Thursday, February 20, 2014

ANSWER TO THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION IN POLITICAL LAW




1. Elma was appointed as Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) on 30 October 1998. Thereafter, during his tenure as PCGG Chairman, he was appointed as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel (CPLC). He accepted the second appointment, but waived any renumeration that he may receive as CPLC. Question: Is the appointment as CPLC valid? Explain.
ANSWER: The two offices are incompatible. Hence the appointment is unconstitutional. When he accepted the CPLC appointment he is deemed to have abandoned his being Chairman of the PCGG. (PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, INC., LAUREANO T. ANGELES and JOCELYN P. CELESTINO, Petitioners, vs.MAGDANGAL B. ELMA, as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and as Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, and RONALDO ZAMORA, as Executive Secretary, Accused-Appellant. G.R. No. 138965 March 5, 2007)

2. On October 4, 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed respondent Maria Elena H. Bautista (Bautista) as Undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), vice Agustin R. Bengzon. Bautista was designated as Undersecretary for Maritime Transport of the department under Special Order No. 2006-171 dated October 23, 2006.1
On September 1, 2008, following the resignation of then MARINA Administrator Vicente T. Suazo, Jr., Bautista was designated as Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Office of the Administrator, MARINA, in concurrent capacity as DOTC Undersecretary. Question: Is the designation of Bautista as OIC of MARINA valid? Explain.

ANSWER: It is not valid. It is an incompatible office. (DENNIS A. B. FUNA, Petitioner, vs.EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO R. ERMITA, Office of the President, SEC. LEANDRO R. MENDOZA, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications, USEC. MARIA ELENA H. BAUTISTA, in her official capacities as Undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications and as Officer-in-Charge of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Respondents. G.R. No. 184740 , February 11, 2010)

3.What is the power of judicial review? What are its limitations?
ANSWER:The power of judicial review is the power of the Supreme Court to check whether other departments acted beyond their powers or have exercised grave abuse of discretion. The courts’ power of judicial review, like almost all other powers conferred by the Constitution, is subject to several limitations, namely: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge; he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that he has sustained or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.20 Respondents assert that the second requisite is absent in this case.

4.What is the meaning of a moot and academic case? Can the Court render a decision when the case has become moot and academic? What are the exceptions to this rule?
ANSWER:A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of mootness.24 However, as we held in Public Interest Center, Inc. v. Elma,25 supervening events, whether intended or accidental, cannot prevent the Court from rendering a decision if there is a grave violation of the Constitution. Even in cases where supervening events had made the cases moot, this Court did not hesitate to resolve the legal or constitutional issues raised to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, bar, and public.This is also known as the symbolic function of the Supreme Court. There are exceptions: (a) when the issue is of paramount interest to the nation, (b) when it is capable of evading judicial review.

 5.What is “appointment”? What is “designation”? Distinguish the two by giving at least two examples.
ANSWER: Appointment may be defined as the selection, by the authority vested with the power, of an individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office. When completed, usually with its confirmation, the appointment results in security of tenure for the person chosen unless he is replaceable at pleasure because of the nature of his office.
Designation, on the other hand, connotes merely the imposition by law of additional duties on an incumbent official, as where, in the case before us, the Secretary of Tourism is designated Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Tourism Authority, or where, under the Constitution, three Justices of the Supreme Court are designated by the Chief Justice to sit in the Electoral Tribunal of the Senate or the House of Representatives. It is said that appointment is essentially executive while designation is legislative in nature.
Designation may also be loosely defined as an appointment because it likewise involves the naming of a particular person to a specified public office. That is the common understanding of the term. However, where the person is merely designated and not appointed, the implication is that he shall hold the office only in a temporary capacity and may be replaced at will by the appointing authority. In this sense, the designation is considered only an acting or temporary appointment, which does not confer security of tenure on the person named.36

6.In a constitutional government, what must prevail? What is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform? What is the principle of separation of powers? What department of our government is considered as the guardian of the constitution?
Answer: It cannot be overstressed that in a constitutional government such as ours, the rule of law must prevail. The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons including the highest official of this land must defer. From this cardinal postulate, it follows that the three branches of government must discharge their respective functions within the limits of authority conferred by the Constitution. Under the principle of separation of powers, neither Congress, the President nor the Judiciary may encroach on fields allocated to the other branches of government. The legislature is generally limited to the enactment of laws, the executive to the enforcement of laws and the judiciary to their interpretation and application to cases and controversies. The Constitution expressly confers or the judiciary the power to maintain inviolate what it decrees. As the guardian of the Constitution we cannot shirk the duty of seeing to it that the officers in each branch of government do not go beyond their constitutionally allocated boundaries and that the entire Government itself or any of its branches does not violate the basic liberties of the people (CESAR BENGZON, QUERUBE MAKALINTAL, LINO M. PATAJO, JOSE LEUTERIO, ET AL., petitioners, vs.HON. FRANKLIN N. DRILON, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, HON. GUILLERMO CARAGUE, in his capacity as Secretary of Department of Budget and Management, and HON. ROSALINA CAJUCOM, in her capacity as National Treasurer, respondents. G.R. No. 103524 April 15, 1992)

7. On June 20, 1953, House Bill No. 16297 was enacted to provide the retirement pensions of Justices of the Supreme Court and of the Court of Appeals who have rendered at least twenty (20) years service either in the Judiciary or in any other branch of the Government or in both, having attained the age of seventy (70) years or who resign by reason of incapacity to discharge the duties of the office. The retired Justice shall receive during the residue of his natural life the salary which he was receiving at the time of his retirement or resignation. President Aquino, however vetoed House Bill No. 16297 on July 11, 1990 on the ground that according to her "it would erode the very foundation of the Government's collective effort to adhere faithfully to and enforce strictly the policy on standardization of compensation as articulated in Republic Act No. 6758 known as Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989." She further said that "the Government should not grant distinct privileges to select group of officials whose retirement benefits under existing laws already enjoy preferential treatment over those of the vast majority of our civil service servants." Questions: Is the veto of the president valid? Explain.
Answer: Invalid. The subject veto is not an item veto; The veto by the Executive is violative of the doctrine of separation of powers; The veto deprives the retired Justices of their rights to the pensions due them; The questioned veto impairs the Fiscal Autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution.(Bengzon v. Drilon, supra)

8.  Congressman X is a full-pledged member of Congress who is now confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of lasciviousness on six counts is pending appeal. He filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense.
Question: a)Does membership in Congress exempt an accused from statutes and rules which apply to validly incarcerated persons in general?
b) The  "Motion To Be Allowed To Discharge Mandate As Member of House of Representatives" was filed on the contentions that —
1. His reelection being an expression of popular will cannot be rendered inutile by any ruling, giving priority to any right or interest — not even the police power of the State.
2. To deprive the electorate of their elected representative amounts to taxation without representation.
3. To bar Congressman X from performing his duties amounts to his suspension/removal and mocks the renewed mandates entrusted to him by the people.
4. The House treats Congressman X as a bona fide member thereof and urges a co-equal branch of government to respect its mandate.
5. The concept of temporary detention does not necessarily curtail the duty of Congressman X to discharge his mandate.
Rule on the contentions of Congressman X.
Answer(a) NO. One rationale behind confinement, whether pending appeal or after final conviction, is public self-defense. Society must protect itself. It also serves as an example and warning to others.
A person charged with crime is taken into custody for purposes of the administration of justice. As stated in United States v. Gustilo, it is the injury to the public which State action in criminal law seeks to redress. It is not the injury to the complainant. After conviction in the Regional Trial Court, the accused may be denied bail and thus subjected to incarceration if there is risk of his absconding.(B) When the voters of his district elected the accused-appellant to Congress, they did so with full awareness of the limitations on his freedom of action. They did so with the knowledge that he could achieve only such legislative results which he could accomplish within the confines of prison. To give a more drastic illustration, if voters elect a person with full knowledge that he is suffering from a terminal illness, they do so knowing that at any time, he may no longer serve his full term in officeThe performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse to free a person validly in prison. The duties imposed by the "mandate of the people" are multifarious. The accused-appellant asserts that the duty to legislate ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The accused-appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives, not to mention the 24 members of the Senate, charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to function well in the physical absence of one or a few of its members. Depending on the exigency of Government that has to be addressed, the President or the Supreme Court can also be deemed the highest for that particular duty. The importance of a function depends on the need for its exercise. The duty of a mother to nurse her infant is most compelling under the law of nature. A doctor with unique skills has the duty to save the lives of those with a particular affliction. An elective governor has to serve provincial constituents. A police officer must maintain peace and order. Never has the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into a different classification from those others who are validly restrained by law.
 (PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.ROMEO G. JALOSJOS, accused-appellant. EN BANC G.R. No. 132875-76 February 3, 2000)

9. Kishu Dalamal, a British subject, was charged, together with other aliens, with having committed certain irregularities in violation of the Central Bank Rules and Regulations before the Deportation Board in a complaint filed by a Special Prosecutor of the Department of Justice.
Acting on the complaint, the Chairman of the Deportation Board issued a warrant of arrest against Dalamal pursuant to the authority given to said Board by Section 1-(b) of Executive Order No. 398.  Dalamal was accordingly arrested, but he was subsequently released upon filing a bond in the amount of P10,000.00.
Question: Is it within the power of the Chairman of the Deportation Board to issue the warrant of arrest? Explain.

ANSWER: No. The power to issue a warrant of arrest only belongs to the Judicial Members or judges. Whenever, therefore, the President exercises his power of deporting an alien upon prior investigation conducted in the manner and form prescribed in Section 69 of the Administrative Code of 1917, he does so, not only as an act of state, but also "under the combined powers" of the President and the Legislature. As an act of state, the President has the inherent power to order the deportation of an alien and as incident thereof, his arrest, while at the same time that power may be deemed vested in him thru delegation by the Legislature thru the enactment of an appropriate statute (Section 69, Revised Administrative Code.) But insofar as his power to order the arrest of an alien is concerned, either as a measure to insure his appearance at the investigation proceedings to determine if he is liable to deportation, or an incident of his inherent power to deport to make effective his deportation order, assuming only arguendo that he has such incidental power, that power cannot be delegated either under the principle of delegata potesta non potest delegare,1or upon the theory that it is non-delegable because it involves the exercise of judgment or discretion. (KISHU DALAMAL, petitioner, vs.DEPORTATION BOARD, respondent. EN BANC G.R. No. L-16812 ,October 31, 1963)

10. The Bureau of Printing is an office of the Government created by the Administrative Code of 1916 (Act No. 2657). As such instrumentality of the Government, it operates under the direct supervision of the Executive Secretary, Office of the President, and is "charged with the execution of all printing and binding, including work incidental to those processes, required by the National Government and such other work of the same character as said Bureau may, by law or by order of the (Secretary of Finance) Executive Secretary, be authorized to undertake . . .." (See. 1644, Rev. Adm. Code). It has no corporate existence, and its appropriations are provided for in the General Appropriations Act. Designed to meet the printing needs of the Government, it is primarily a service bureau and obviously, not engaged in business or occupation for pecuniary profit.
Question: Can the Bureau of Printing be sued? Explain.

ANSWER:Indeed, as an office of the Government, without any corporate or juridical personality, the Bureau of Printing cannot be sued. (Sec. 1, Rule 3, Rules of Court). Any suit, action or proceeding against it, if it were to produce any effect, would actually be a suit, action or proceeding against the Government itself, and the rule is settled that the Government cannot be sued without its consent, much less over its objection (BUREAU OF PRINTING, SERAFIN SALVADOR and MARIANO LEDESMA, petitioners, vs.THE BUREAU OF PRINTING EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (NLU), PACIFICO ADVINCULA, ROBERTO MENDOZA, PONCIANO ARGANDA and TEODULO TOLERAN, respondents. EN BANC  G.R. No. L-15751,January 28, 1961)

11. What are the four parameters in a Philippine-style party-list election system? Explain each parameter.

Answer: To summarize, there are four parameters in a Philippine-style party-list election system:
1. Twenty percent of the total number of the membership of the House of Representatives is the maximum number of seats available to party-list organizations, such that there is automatically one party-list seat for every four existing legislative districts.
2. Garnering two percent of the total votes cast in the party-list elections guarantees a party-list organization one seat. The guaranteed seats shall be distributed in a first round of seat allocation to parties receiving at least two percent of the total party-list votes.
3. The additional seats, that is, the remaining seats after allocation of the guaranteed seats, shall be distributed to the party-list organizations including those that received less than two percent of the total votes. The continued operation of the two percent threshold as it applies to the allocation of the additional seats is now unconstitutional because this threshold mathematically and physically prevents the filling up of the available party-list seats. The additional seats shall be distributed to the parties in a second round of seat allocation according to the two-step procedure laid down in the Decision of 21 April 2009 as clarified in this Resolution.
4. The three-seat cap is constitutional. The three-seat cap is intended by the Legislature to prevent any party from dominating the party-list system. There is no violation of the Constitution because the 1987 Constitution does not require absolute proportionality for the party-list system. The well-settled rule is that courts will not question the wisdom of the Legislature as long as it is not violative of the Constitution.( BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FOR NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY (BANAT), Petitioner, vs.COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (sitting as the National Board of Canvassers), Respondent.ARTS BUSINESS AND SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS, Intervenor.AANGAT TAYO, Intervenor.
COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES, INC. (SENIOR CITIZENS), Intervenor. G.R. No. 179271 ,July 8, 2009)

12.On January 29, 1964, the Municipal Board of Ormoc City passed 1 Ordinance No. 4, Series of 1964, imposing "on any and all productions of centrifugal sugar milled at the Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc., in Ormoc City a municipal tax equivalent to one per centum (1%) per export sale to the United States of America and other foreign countries."Question: Is this ordinance constitutional? Explain your answer.

ANSWER: Not constitutional. A perusal of the requisites instantly shows that the questioned ordinance does not meet them, for it taxes only centrifugal sugar produced and exported by the Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. and none other. At the time of the taxing ordinance's enactment, Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc., it is true, was the only sugar central in the city of Ormoc. Still, the classification, to be reasonable, should be in terms applicable to future conditions as well. The taxing ordinance should not be singular and exclusive as to exclude any subsequently established sugar central, of the same class as plaintiff, for the coverage of the tax. As it is now, even if later a similar company is set up, it cannot be subject to the tax because the ordinance expressly points only to Ormoc City Sugar Company, Inc. as the entity to be levied upon. ORMOC SUGAR COMPANY, INC., plaintiff-appellant, vs.THE TREASURER OF ORMOC CITY, THE MUNICIPAL BOARD OF ORMOC CITY, HON. ESTEBAN C. CONEJOS as Mayor of Ormoc City and ORMOC CITY, defendants-appellees. G.R. No. L-23794 February 17, 1968

13.           The Constitution in the bill of rights provides: ". . . nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws." (Sec. 1 [1], Art. III) In Felwa vs. Salas, 5 We ruled that the equal protection clause applies only to persons or things identically situated and does not bar a reasonable classification of the subject of legislation. Question: What are the requirements for a reasonable or valid classification?
ANSWER: A classification is reasonable where (1) it is based on substantial distinctions which make real differences; (2) these are germane to the purpose of the law; (3) the classification applies not only to present conditions but also to future conditions which are substantially identical to those of the present; (4) the classification applies only to those who belong to the same class.


14. Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution 8678 is a faithful reflection of the present state of the law and jurisprudence on the matter, viz.:
Incumbent Appointive Official. - Under Section 13 of RA 9369, which reiterates Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and officers and employees in government-owned or -controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
Incumbent Elected Official. – Upon the other hand, pursuant to Section 14 of RA 9006 or the Fair Election Act,17 which repealed Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code18 and rendered ineffective Section 11 of R.A. 8436 insofar as it considered an elected official as resigned only upon the start of the campaign period corresponding to the positions for which they are running,19 an elected official is not deemed to have resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy for the same or any other elected office or position. In fine, an elected official may run for another position without forfeiting his seat.
QUESTION: Are these provisions constitutional? How did the Supreme Court rule on these provisions? Explain.

Answer: All the provisions are constitutional. There is a substantial distinction between elected official and appointive officials, hence they are not treated equally. Thus elective officials are not deemed resigned, while the appointive officials are deemed resigned.
(ELEAZAR P. QUINTO and GERINO A. TOLENTINO, JR., Petitioners, vs.COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent G.R. No. 189698 February 22, 2010)

15. . In a speech delivered before the House of Representatives, Congressman X,  said: “The people, Mr. President, have been hearing of ugly reports that under your unpopular administration the free things they used to get from the government are now for sale at premium prices. They say that even pardons are for sale, and that regardless of the gravity or seriousness of a criminal case, the culprit can always be bailed out forever from jail as long as he can come across with a handsome dole. I am afraid, such an anomalous situation would reflect badly on the kind of justice that your administration is dispensing. . . . .”.
 The allies of the President passed a Resolution for Congressman X to substantiate his charges, and if he cannot do so, he shall be suspended from the House.
Congressman X did not substantiate the charges against the President of the Philippines. By a vote of 2/3 of the House, Congressman X was suspended for fifteen months for reason of “disorderly behavior”.
Arguing that the House has committed grave abuse of discretion, Congressman X went to the Supreme Court on Certiorari, contending that (1) the Constitution gave him complete parliamentary immunity, and so, for words spoken in the House, he ought not to be questioned; (2) that his speech constituted no disorderly behavior for which he could be punished; and  (3) that the House has no power, under the Constitution, to suspend one of its members.
Rule on the three contentions of Congressman X.

ANSWER (1) it is true that under the constitution he enjoys parliamentary immunity. He cannot be held liable for his speech in Congress while it is in session. (2) However if he is declared having a disorderly behavior, this matter belongs to Congress alone based on its internal rules, which becomes then a political question, and hence beyond the scope of the power of judicial review of the SC, OTHERWISE, there will be undue interference, amounting to the violation of the principle of separation of powers.  (3) Definitely, it is within the power of Congress to discipline or suspend any of its members.
 SERGIO OSMEÑA, JR., petitioner, vs.SALIPADA K. PENDATUN, LEON Z. GUINTO, JR., VICENTE L. PERALTA, FAUSTINO TOBIA, LORENZO G. TEVES, JOPSE J. ROY, FAUSTINO DUGENIO, ANTONIO Y. DE PIO, BENJAMIN T. LIGOT, PEDRO G. TRONO, FELIPE ABRIGO, FELIPE S. ABELEDA, TECLA SAN ANDRES ZIGA, ANGEL B. FERNADEZ, and EUGENIO S. BALTAO, in their capacity as members of the Special Committee created by House Resolution No. 59, respondents. EN BANC
G.R. No. L-17144 ,October 28, 1960

16. The Filipino First Policy enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, i.e., in the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos, is invoked by petitioner in its bid to acquire 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC) which owns the historic Manila Hotel.  Opposing, respondents maintain that the provision is not self-executing but requires an implementing legislation for its enforcement.  Corollarily, they ask whether the 51% shares form part of the national economy and patrimony covered by the protective mantle of the Constitution.
Questions: (1) Is said constitutional provision a self-executing one? Explain. (2) Does the 51% shares therein form part of the patrimony of the nation? Explain.

ANSWER:The Supreme Court ruled that this provision is self-executing. Though late in Tanada v. Tuvera, it said that this is only an exception to the rule, because the general rule is that the provision on Declaration of Principles and State Polices are merely guidelines of the other departments.
 (MANILA PRINCE HOTEL, petitioner, vs. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION, COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL, respondents. EN BANC[G.R. No. 122156.  February 3, 1997])
17. Given the PROPOSITION:  “DO YOU APPROVE OF THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLES VI AND VII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION, CHANGING THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT FROM THE PRESENT BICAMERAL-PRESIDENTIAL TO A UNICAMERAL-PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE GREATER EFFICIENCY, SIMPLICITY AND ECONOMY IN GOVERNMENT; AND PROVIDING AN ARTICLE XVIII AS TRANSITORY PROVISIONS FOR THE ORDERLY SHIFT FROM ONE SYSTEM TO ANOTHER?”

Questions: (1) Is this a proposal to amend the constitution?  Or a proposal to revise the constitution? Explain. (2) In what ways can the constitution be REVISED? (3) Can the above proposition be “directly proposed by the people through initiative”? (4) What are the  two essential elements that must be present for such a proposal?

ANSWERL1) In Lambino, the SC ruled that practically the proposal offers a qualitative overhaul of the government, and thus this would tantamount to a REVISION of the Constitution, and not merely an amendment. There are only two ways to a proposal for Revision: constitutional convention and constituent assembly. The people’s initiative applies only to amendment. Hence, the above proposition cannot therefore be directly proposed to the people through initiative. (4)First, the people must author and thus sign the entire proposal.  No agent or representative can sign on their behalf.  Second, as an initiative upon a petition, the proposal must be embodied in a petition.
( Lambino v. Comelec G.R. 174153 October 25, 2006)

18. Petitioner Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) operates the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Complex in Parañaque City under Executive Order No. 903, otherwise known as the Revised Charter of the Manila International Airport Authority ("MIAA Charter"). Executive Order No. 903 was issued on 21 July 1983 by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Subsequently, Executive Order Nos. 9091 and 2982 amended the MIAA Charter.
As operator of the international airport, MIAA administers the land, improvements and equipment within the NAIA Complex. The MIAA Charter transferred to MIAA approximately 600 hectares of land,3 including the runways and buildings ("Airport Lands and Buildings") then under the Bureau of Air Transportation.4 The MIAA Charter further provides that no portion of the land transferred to MIAA shall be disposed of through sale or any other mode unless specifically approved by the President of the Philippines.5
On 21 March 1997, the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) issued Opinion No. 061. The OGCC opined that the Local Government Code of 1991 withdrew the exemption from real estate tax granted to MIAA under Section 21 of the MIAA Charter. Thus, MIAA negotiated with respondent City of Parañaque to pay the real estate tax imposed by the City. MIAA then paid some of the real estate tax already due.
Questions: (1) Is the Opinion of the OGCC correct? (2)  What is the nature of the MIAA? Is it a government owned or controlled corporation?(4) Is it subject to the real property tax of the City of Paranaque? (5) Is there an exception to its taxability or non-taxability? Explain your answer.
ANSWER: MIAA is a government instrumentality vested with corporate powers to perform efficiently its governmental functions. MIAA is like any other government instrumentality, the only difference is that MIAA is vested with corporate powers. Section 2(10) of the Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code defines a government "instrumentality" as follows:
SEC. 2. General Terms Defined. –– x x x x
(10) Instrumentality refers to any agency of the National Government, not integrated within the department framework, vested with special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed with some if not all corporate powers, administering special funds, and enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a charter. x x x (Emphasis supplied)
When the law vests in a government instrumentality corporate powers, the instrumentality does not become a corporation. Unless the government instrumentality is organized as a stock or non-stock corporation, it remains a government instrumentality exercising not only governmental but also corporate powers. Thus, MIAA exercises the governmental powers of eminent domain,12 police authority13 and the levying of fees and charges.14 At the same time, MIAA exercises "all the powers of a corporation under the Corporation Law, insofar as these powers are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Executive Order."15
Likewise, when the law makes a government instrumentality operationally autonomous, the instrumentality remains part of the National Government machinery although not integrated with the department framework. The MIAA Charter expressly states that transforming MIAA into a "separate and autonomous body"16 will make its operation more "financially viable."17
X x x
Under Section 2(10) and (13) of the Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code, which governs the legal relation and status of government units, agencies and offices within the entire government machinery, MIAA is a government instrumentality and not a government-owned or controlled corporation. Under Section 133(o) of the Local Government Code, MIAA as a government instrumentality is not a taxable person because it is not subject to "[t]axes, fees or charges of any kind" by local governments. The only exception is when MIAA leases its real property to a "taxable person" as provided in Section 234(a) of the Local Government Code, in which case the specific real property leased becomes subject to real estate tax. Thus, only portions of the Airport Lands and Buildings leased to taxable persons like private parties are subject to real estate tax by the City of Parañaque.
Under Article 420 of the Civil Code, the Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA, being devoted to public use, are properties of public dominion and thus owned by the State or the Republic of the Philippines. Article 420 specifically mentions "ports x x x constructed by the State," which includes public airports and seaports, as properties of public dominion and owned by the Republic. As properties of public dominion owned by the Republic, there is no doubt whatsoever that the Airport Lands and Buildings are expressly exempt from real estate tax under Section 234(a) of the Local Government Code. This Court has also repeatedly ruled that properties of public dominion are not subject to execution or foreclosure sale.(MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, petitioner, vs.COURT OF APPEALS, CITY OF PARAÑAQUE, CITY MAYOR OF PARAÑAQUE, SANGGUNIANG PANGLUNGSOD NG PARAÑAQUE, CITY ASSESSOR OF PARAÑAQUE, and CITY TREASURER OF PARAÑAQUE, EN BANC G.R. No. 155650  July 20, 2006)
19. On January 27, 1985 at about 8:00 p.m., Genaro N. Teotico was at the corner of the Old Luneta and P. Burgos Avenue, Manila, within a "loading and unloading" zone, waiting for a jeepney to take him down town. After waiting for about five minutes, he managed to hail a jeepney that came along to a stop. As he stepped down from the curb to board the jeepney, and took a few steps, he fell inside an uncovered and unlighted catch basin or manhole on P. Burgos Avenue. Due to the fall, his head hit the rim of the manhole breaking his eyeglasses and causing broken pieces thereof to pierce his left eyelid. As blood flowed therefrom, impairing his vision, several persons came to his assistance and pulled him out of the manhole. One of them brought Teotico to the Philippine General Hospital, where his injuries were treated, after which he was taken home. In addition to the lacerated wound in his left upper eyelid, Teotico suffered contusions on the left thigh, the left upper arm, the right leg and the upper lip apart from an abrasion on the right infra-patella region. These injuries and the allergic eruption caused by anti-tetanus injections administered to him in the hospital, required further medical treatment by a private practitioner who charged therefor P14,000.00.
          As a consequence of the foregoing occurrence, Teotico filed, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, a complaint — which was, subsequently, amended — for damages against the City of Manila, its mayor, city engineer, city health officer, city treasurer and chief of police. As stated in the decision of the trial court.
The first issue raised by the latter is whether the present case is governed by Section 4 of Republic Act No. 409 (Charter of the City of Manila) reading:
          The city shall not be liable or held for damages or injuries to persons or property arising from the failure of the Mayor, the Municipal Board, or any other city officer, to enforce the provisions of this chapter, or any other law or ordinance, or from negligence of said Mayor, Municipal Board, or other officers while enforcing or attempting to enforce said provisions.
          or by Article 2189 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which provides:
          Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of defective conditions of road, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public works under their control or supervision.
          Manila maintains that the former provision should prevail over the latter, because Republic Act 409, is a special law, intended exclusively for the City of Manila, whereas the Civil Code is a general law, applicable to the entire Philippines.
QUESTIONS: (1) Is the contention of Manila correct? (2) Is the City of Manila liable for damages? Explain.
ANSWER: (1) Manila’s contention is not correct. (2) It is therefore liable for damages. As regards the first issue, we note that it is based upon an allegation of fact not made in the answer of the City. Moreover, Teotico alleged in his complaint, as well as in his amended complaint, that his injuries were due to the defective condition of a street which is "under the supervision and control" of the City. In its answer to the amended complaint, the City, in turn, alleged that "the streets aforementioned were and have been constantly kept in good condition and regularly inspected and the storm drains and manholes thereof covered by the defendant City and the officers concerned" who "have been ever vigilant and zealous in the performance of their respective functions and duties as imposed upon them by law." Thus, the City had, in effect, admitted that P. Burgos Avenue was and is under its control and supervision.
          Moreover, the assertion to the effect that said Avenue is a national highway was made, for the first time, in its motion for reconsideration of the decision of the Court of Appeals. Such assertion raised, therefore, a question of fact, which had not been put in issue in the trial court, and cannot be set up, for the first time, on appeal, much less after the rendition of the decision of the appellate court, in a motion for the reconsideration thereof.
          At any rate, under Article 2189 of the Civil Code, it is not necessary for the liability therein established to attach that the defective roads or streets belong to the province, city or municipality from which responsibility is exacted. What said article requires is that the province, city or municipality have either "control or supervision" over said street or road. Even if P. Burgos Avenue were, therefore, a national highway, this circumstance would not necessarily detract from its "control or supervision" by the City of Manila, under Republic Act 409. In fact Section 18(x) thereof provides:
          Sec. 18. Legislative powers. — The Municipal Board shall have the following legislative powers:
x x x           x x x           x x x
          (x) Subject to the provisions of existing law to provide for the laying out, construction and improvement, and to regulate the use of streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks, wharves, piers, parks, cemeteries, and other public places; to provide for lighting, cleaning, and sprinkling of streets and public places; . . . to provide for the inspection of, fix the license fees for and regulate the openings in the same for the laying of gas, water, sewer and other pipes, the building and repair of tunnels, sewers, and drains, and all structures in and under the same and the erecting of poles and the stringing of wires therein; to provide for and regulate cross-works, curbs, and gutters therein, . . . to regulate traffic and sales upon the streets and other public places; to provide for the abatement of nuisances in the same and punish the authors or owners thereof; to provide for the construction and maintenance, and regulate the use, of bridges, viaducts and culverts; to prohibit and regulate ball playing, kite-flying, hoop rolling, and other amusements which may annoy persons using the streets and public places, or frighten horses or other animals; to regulate the speed of horses and other animals, motor and other vehicles, cars, and locomotives within the limits of the city; to regulate the lights used on all vehicles, cars, and locomotives; . . . to provide for and change the location, grade, and crossing of railroads, and compel any such railroad to raise or lower its tracks to conform to such provisions or changes; and to require railroad companies to fence their property, or any part thereof, to provide suitable protection against injury to persons or property, and to construct and repair ditches, drains, sewers, and culverts along and under their tracks, so that the natural drainage of the streets and adjacent property shall not be obstructed.
          This authority has been neither withdrawn nor restricted by Republic Act No. 917 and Executive Order No. 113, dated May 2, 1955, upon which the City relies. Said Act governs the disposition or appropriation of the highway funds and the giving of aid to provinces, chartered cities and municipalities in the construction of roads and streets within their respective boundaries, and Executive Order No. 113 merely implements the provisions of said Republic Act No. 917, concerning the disposition and appropriation of the highway funds. Moreover, it provides that "the construction, maintenance and improvement of national primary, national secondary and national aid provincial and city roads shall be accomplished by the Highway District Engineers and Highway City Engineers under the supervision of the Commissioner of Public Highways and shall be financed from such appropriations as may be authorized by the Republic of the Philippines in annual or special appropriation Acts."
CITY OF MANILA, petitioner, vs.GENARO N. TEOTICO and COURT OF APPEALS, respondents. EN BANCG.R. No. L-23052   January 29, 1968

20. . (a)The general rule is that Courts shy away from deciding cases which have become moot and academic. State the four exceptions to this rule
(b) For Taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, and legislators to be accorded standing to sue, what requirements must be met?

ANSWER:(a)The "moot and academic" principle is not a magical formula that can automatically dissuade the courts in resolving a case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if: first, there is a grave violation of the Constitution;31 second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved;32 third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public;33 and fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.34
(b) Taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, and legislators may be accorded standing to sue, provided that the following requirements are met:
(1) the cases involve constitutional issues;
(2) for taxpayers, there must be a claim of illegal disbursement of public funds or that the tax measure is unconstitutional;
(3) for voters, there must be a showing of obvious interest in the validity of the election law in question;
(4) for concerned citizens, there must be a showing that the issues raised are of transcendental importance which must be settled early; and
(5) for legislators, there must be a claim that the official action complained of infringes upon their prerogatives as legislators (PROF. RANDOLF S. DAVID, LORENZO TAÑADA III, RONALD LLAMAS, H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., JOEL RUIZ BUTUYAN, ROGER R. RAYEL, GARY S. MALLARI, ROMEL REGALADO BAGARES, CHRISTOPHER F.C. BOLASTIG, Petitioners, vs.GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, AS PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, HON. AVELINO CRUZ II, SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, GENERAL GENEROSO SENGA, CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, DIRECTOR GENERAL ARTURO LOMIBAO, CHIEF, PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, Respondents. G.R. No. 171396 May 3, 2006)




















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