When laws become effective Tanada v. Tuvera Facts

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CIVREV DIGESTS – MIDTERMS (DEAN DEL CASTILLO)


When laws become effective
Tanada v. Tuvera
Facts: Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern (Section 6, Article IV of the 1973 Philippine Constitution) as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated, Lorenzo M. Tanada, Abraham F. Sarmiento and Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. (Mabini) seek a writ of mandamus to compel Juan C. Tuvera (in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the President), Joaquin Venus (in his capacity as Deputy Executive Assistant to the President), Melquiades P. de la Cruz (in his capacity as Director, Malacañang Records Office), and Florendo S. Pablo (in his capacity as Director, Bureau of Printing), to publish, and or cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders.
Issue: Whether publication in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement for the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates

Held: NO. Generally, publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date — for then the date of publication is material for determining its date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following its publication — but not when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect. This is correct insofar as it equates the effectivity of laws with the fact of publication. Article 2 of the New Civil Code, however, does not preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity. The clear object of the such provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the application of the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat." It would be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one. Further, publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of regulations and make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. The publication of laws has taken so vital significance when the people have bestowed upon the President a power heretofore enjoyed solely by the legislature. While the people are kept abreast by the mass media of the debates and deliberations in the Batasan Pambansa — and for the diligent ones, ready access to the legislative records — no such publicity accompanies the law-making process of the President. The publication of all presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is mandated by law. Presidential decrees that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise impose a burden on the people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall within this category. Other presidential issuances which apply only to particular persons or class of persons such as administrative and executive orders need not be published on the assumption that they have been circularized to all concerned. The publication of presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of law that before a person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and specifically informed of its contents. Presidential issuances of general application, which have not been published, shall have no force and effect. However, the implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their publication in the Official Gazette is an operative fact, which may have consequences which cannot be justly ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified.

Garcillano v. House of Representatives
Facts: The Hello Garci tapes came out.They allegedly contained the Presidents instructions to COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano to manipulate in her favor results of the 2004 presidential elections. These recordings were to become the subject of heated legislative hearings conducted separately by committees of both Houses of Congress.

 On June 8, 2005, House Minority Floor Leader Francis G. Escudero delivered a privilege speech, setting in motion a congressional investigation jointly conducted by respondent House Committees. NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco, Atty. Alan Paguia and the lawyer of former NBI Deputy Director Samuel Ong submitted to the House Committees seven alleged original tape recordings of the supposed three-hour taped conversation. After prolonged and impassioned debate by the committee members on the admissibility and authenticity of the recordings, the tapes were eventually played in the chambers of the House.

On August 3, 2005, the hearings were suspended indefinitely. Nevertheless, they decided to prepare committee reports based on the said recordings and the testimonies of the resource persons.

Garcillano then filed a petition for prohibition and injunction, with prayer for a TRO (the first of the two petitions in this case), asking that the respondent House Committees be restrained from using these tape recordings. He also asked that they be stricken off the record of and that the House desist from further using the recordings. The House discussion and debates on the Garci case then stopped.

Two years after, Sen. Lacson delivered a privilege speech reviving the issue. The speech was referred to the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.The following day, in plenary session, a lengthy debate ensued when Senator Richard Gordon aired his concern on the possible transgression of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 42001(An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire-Tapping) if the body were to conduct a legislative inquiry on the matter. On August 28, 2007, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago delivered a privilege speech, articulating her considered view that the Constitution absolutely bans the use, possession, replay or communication of the contents of the Hello Garci tapes. However, she recommended a legislative investigation into the role of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP), the Philippine National Police or other government entities in the alleged illegal wiretapping of public officials.

On September 6, 2007, petitioners Santiago Ranada and Oswaldo Agcaoili, retired justices of the Court of Appeals, filed a Petition for Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction, docketed as G.R. No. 179275, seeking to bar the Senate from conducting its scheduled legislative inquiry. They argued in the main that the intended legislative inquiry violates R.A. No. 4200 and Section 3, Article III of the Constitution.

The Court didn’t issue the injunctive writ and Senate hearings took place. 

Issues: 1. WON Garcillano’s petition for prohibition should be granted.

2. WON The Senate cannot be allowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned legislative inquiry without duly published rules of procedure, in clear derogation of the constitutional requirement.

Held: 1. NO.
2. NO! (It’s obvious with the way it’s phrased)
Ratio: 1. It’s already moot and academic. The recordings were already played in the House and heard by its members. There is also the widely publicized fact that the committee reports on the Hello Garci inquiry were completed and submitted to the House in plenary by the respondent committees.

2. Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that the Senate or the House of Representatives, or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The requisite of publication of the rules is intended to satisfy the basic requirements of due process. Publication is indeed imperative, for it will be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law or rule of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one. What constitutes publication is set forth in Article 2 of the Civil Code, which provides that laws shall take effect after 15 days following the completion of their publication either in the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.

The Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation had been published in newspapers of general circulation only in 1995 and in 2006. With respect to the present Senate of the 14th Congress, however, of which the term of half of its members commenced on June 30, 2007, no effort was undertaken for the publication of these rules when they first opened their session.

The Senate Rules simply state said Rules shall take effect seven (7) days after publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation. They don’texplicitly provide for the continued effectivity of such rules until they are amended or repealed. It cannot be presumed that the Rules would continue into the next Congress. The Senate of the next Congress may easily adopt different rules for its legislative inquiries which come within the rule on unfinished business.
It is incumbent upon the Senate to publish the rules for its legislative inquiries in each Congress or otherwise make the published rules clearly state that the same shall be effective in subsequent Congresses or until they are amended or repealed to sufficiently put public on notice.

Also, publication of the rules via a booklet form available to anyone for free, and accessible to the public at the Senates internet web page is insufficient to comply with the publication requirement. R.A. 8792 (The E-Commerce Act) considers an electronic data message or an electronic document as the functional equivalent of a written document only for evidentiary purposes. In other words, the law merely recognizes the admissibility in evidence (for their being the original) of electronic data messages and/or electronic documents. It does not make the internet a medium for publishing laws, rules and regulations.

The Senate Committees, therefore, could not, in violation of the Constitution, use its unpublished rules in the legislative inquiry subject of these consolidated cases. The conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation by the Senate has to be deferred until it shall have caused the publication of the rules, because it can do so only in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure.

Very recently, the Senate caused the publication of the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation in the October 31, 2008 issues of Manila Bulletin and Malaya. While we take judicial notice of this fact, the recent publication does not cure the infirmity of the inquiry sought to be prohibited by the instant petitions. Insofar as the consolidated cases are concerned, the legislative investigation subject thereof still could not be undertaken by the respondent Senate Committees, because no published rules governed it, in clear contravention of the Constitution.


SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION vs. GMA NETWORK

G.R. No. 164026


FACTS
On August 19, 1995, the petitioner, GMA NETWORK, INC., (GMA), a domestic corporation, filed an application for collective approval of various amendments to its Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws with the respondent Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC). The amendments applied for include, among others, the change in the corporate name of petitioner from "Republic Broadcasting System, Inc." to "GMA Network, Inc." as well as the extension of the corporate term for another fifty (50) years from and after June 16, 2000. Upon such filing, the petitioner had been assessed by the SEC’s Corporate and Legal Department a separate filing fee for the application for extension of corporate term equivalent to 1/10 of 1% of its authorized capital stock plus 20% thereof or an amount of P1,212,200.00. On September 26, 1995, the petitioner informed the SEC of its intention to contest the legality and propriety of the said assessment. However, the petitioner requested the SEC to approve the other amendments being requested by the petitioner without being deemed to have withdrawn its application for extension of corporate term. The following month, the petitioner formally protested the assessment amounting to P1,212,200.00 for its application for extension of corporate term. The following year, the SEC approved the other amendments to the petitioner’s Articles of Incorporation, specifically Article 1 thereof referring to the corporate name of the petitioner as well as Article 2 thereof referring to the principal purpose for which the petitioner was formed. But GMA requested for an official opinion/ruling from the SEC on the validity and propriety of the assessment for application for extension of its corporate term.

Consequently, the respondent SEC, through Associate Commissioner Fe Eloisa C. Gloria, on April 18, 1996, issued its ruling upholding the validity of the questioned assessment. Thusly, GMA appealed the ruling of the SEC to the Court of Appeals (CA), on the ground that ground that the assessment of filing fees for the petitioner’s application for extension of corporate term equivalent to 1/10 of 1% of the authorized capital stock plus 20% thereof is not in accordance with law.

ISSUE
Whether the SEC Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 1986 should be the basis for computing the filing fee relative to GMA’s application for the amendment of its articles of incorporation for purposes of extending its corporate term?
RULING
The SEC assailed the Decision dated February 20, 2004 of the Court of Appeals which directed that SEC Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 1986 should be the basis for computing the filing fee relative to GMA Network, Inc.’s (GMA’s) application for the amendment of its articles of incorporation for purposes of extending its corporate term. The appellate court agreed with the SEC’s submission that an extension of the corporate term is a grant of a fresh license for a corporation to act as a juridical being endowed with the powers expressly bestowed by the State. As such, it is not an ordinary amendment but is analogous to the filing of new articles of incorporation. However, the Court of Appeals ruled that Memorandum Circular No. 2, Series of 1994 is legally invalid and ineffective for not having been published in accordance with law. The challenged memorandum circular, according to the appellate court, is not merely an internal or interpretative rule, but affects the public in general. Hence, its publication is required for its effectivity. Rate-fixing is a legislative function which concededly has been delegated to the SEC by R.A. No. 3531 and other pertinent laws. The due process clause, however, permits the courts to determine whether the regulation issued by the SEC is reasonable and within the bounds of its rate-fixing authority and to strike it down when it arbitrarily infringes on a person’s right to property. The instant appeal is dismissed for lack of merit.

Exceptions to irretroactivity of laws

LIAM LAW VS. OLYMPIC SAWMILL

FACTS:

Liam Law loaned 10k to Olympic Sawmill Corporation and Ellino Lee Chi. The loan became due but the debtors failed to pay and asked for an extension of 3 months instead. Law agreed but added an additional obligation of 6k to the principal amount.

The debtors failed to pay again. Because of this, Law instituted a collection case against the debtors. The trial court ruled in favor of Law.

ISSUE:

WON the additional obligation of 6k constituted usurious interest???



RULING:

NO.


Usury has been legally non-existent. Interest can now be charged as lender and borrower may agree upon. The Rules of Court in regards to allegations of usury, procedural in nature, should be considered repealed with retroactive effect.
Judicial Decisions
FELIZA P. DE ROY and VIRGILIO RAMOS v. CA

Facts: The firewall of a burned-out building owned by petitioners collapsed and destroyed the tailoring shop occupied by the family of private respondents, resulting in injuries to private respondents and the death of Marissa Bernal, a daughter. Private respondents had been warned by petitioners to vacate their shop in view of its proximity to the weakened wall but the former failed to do so. On the basis of the foregoing facts, the RTC rendered judgment finding petitioners guilty of gross negligence and awarding damages to private respondents. On appeal, the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto by the CA. On the last day of the 15-day period to file an appeal, petitioners filed a motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration, which was eventually denied by the CA. Petitioners filed their motion for reconsideration but this was also denied.

Issue: WON the CA committed grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioners’ motion for extention to file a Motion for Reconsideration –NO!
Ratio: The CA correctly applied the rule laid down in Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc. v. Japzon, that the fifteen-day period for appealing or for filing a motion for reconsideration cannot be extended.

Beginning one month after the promulgation of this Resolution, the rule shall be strictly enforced that no motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration may be filed with the Metropolitan or Municipal Trial Courts, the Regional Trial Courts, and the Intermediate Appellate Court. Such a motion may be filed only in cases pending with the Supreme Court as the court of last resort, which may in its sound discretion either grant or deny the extension requested.

Petitioners contend that the rule enunciated in the Habaluyas case should not be made to apply to the case at bar owing to the non-publication of the Habaluyas decision in the Official Gazette as of the time the subject decision of the CA was promulgated. Contrary to petitioners' view, there is no law requiring the publication of Supreme Court decisions in the Official Gazette before they can be binding and as a condition to their becoming effective. It is the bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active law practice to keep abreast of decisions of the Supreme Court particularly where issues have been clarified, consistently reiterated, and published in the advance reports of Supreme Court decisions and in such publications as the Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA) and law journals.
Computation of Time
Quiqui vs Boncaros

Facts: (won’t name who private respondents and petitioners are coz there are a lot) Private respondents obtained a free patent over a parcel of land. Petitioners contest this alleging that the land belongs to them because their late father purchased the same and that they continuously and actually possessed it.

Petitioners filed a case for reconveyance against respondents on the ground that the patent was obtained through fraud. Answer was filed, pre trial commenced but no amicable settlement until trial was set. Respondents filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.

On July 16, 1979 the trial court dismissed the complaint. Counsel for petitioners received copy of the decision on July 17, 1989. A motion for reconsideration was filed on August 17, 1979. Trial court denied the MR because it was filed beyond the 30-day reglementary period.

Issue: Whether MR was filed beyond the reglementary period?
Held: YES!

Under the rules enforced at the time of this case, an appeal may be taken within 30days from notice of the judgment of the trial court. In relation thereto, the New Civil Code states that in computing period, the 1st day shall be excluded and the last day included.



In this case, counting 30days from July 17 (day petitioner’s counsel received copy of the judgment) – excluding 1st day – the 30th day would be August 16. Petitioners filed their MR one day late or on August 17. Because of this, the order of the trial court dismissing the complaint has become final and executor.

Nationality Principle – Conflicts Rules
Llorente vs. CA

Nationality Principle: Conflicts Rules
FACTS: Lorenzo and petitioner Paula Llorente were married in Camarines Sur. Before the outbreak of the Pacific War, Lorenzo left for the US Navy while Paula stayed in their conjugal home in Camarines Sur. Lorenzo was admitted to US citizenship and Certificate of Naturalization was issued in his favor. When Lorenzo was allowed to visit his wife in the Philippines, he discovered his wife was pregnant and was “living in” and having an adulterous relationship with his brother, Ceferino Llorente. Lorenzo refused to forgive Paula and the two drew a written agreement which essentially shows that Paula admitted her adulterous acts and that the couple agreed to separate.

Lorenzo returned to the US and filed for divorce which was granted. Lorenzo returned to the Philippines and married Alicia Llorente. Alicia had no knowledge of the first marriage even if they resided in the same town as Paula, who did not oppose the marriage or cohabitation. Lorenzo and Alicia lived together for 25 years and produced 3 children.

Before Lorenzo died, he executed a will, which was pending before the probate court, bequeathing all his property to Alicia and their 3 children. After Lorenzo died, Paula filed with the same court a petition for letters of administration over his estate in his favor. Alicia filed as well.
RTC found that the divorce decree granted to Lorenzo is void and inapplicable in the Philippines therefore the marriage he contracted with Alicia is void. CA affirmed.
ISSUE: Whether or not the divorce is valid.
HELD: YES.
In Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr., the court held that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the CC, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces, the same being considered contrary to the concept of public policy and morality. In the same case, the court ruled that aliens may obtain divorces abroad, provided they are valid according to their national law.
Furthermore, in the case of Quita v. CA, that once proven that respondent was no longer a Filipino citizen when he obtained the divorce from petitioner, the ruling in Van Dorn would become applicable and petitioner could very well lose her right to inherit from him.
For failing to apply these doctrines, the decision of the CA must be reversed. The divorce obtained by Lorenzo from his first wife Paula was valid and recognized in this jurisdiction as a matter of comity. (The SC remand the case to the TC for ruling on the intrinsic validity of the will is left to the TC.)
Application of Chapter 2: Human Relations
De Tavera vs PTS

Petitioner is a doctor, specializing in treating tuberculosis. She was appointed as member of the Board Directors of defendant Phil. Tuberculosis Society. However, she was alleging that she was removed from her post without informing her of the lawful cause and thereafter, Romulo was appointed as her replacement. She was claiming that 4 members of the Board were not members of the Society and hence, they did not have the power to be appointed in the Board and to vote. She filed a case against them, claiming that they violated the Human Rights provisions of the Civil Code. Defendants were claiming that the position of petitioner is held at the pleasure of the Board and hence, she may be removed at anytime.

ISSUE: Can she invoke the human relations provisions of the CC?
SC: NO

Petitioner cannot seek relief from the general provisions of the New Civil Code on Human Relations nor from the fundamental principles of the New Constitution on preservation of human dignity. While these provisions present some basic principles that are to be observed for the rightful relationship between human beings and the stability of social order, these are merely guides for human conduct in the absence of specific legal provisions and definite contractual stipulations. In the case at bar, the Code of By-Laws of the Society contains a specific provision governing the term of office of petitioner. The same necessarily limits her rights under the New Civil Code and the New Constitution upon acceptance of the appointment.



Moreover, the act of the Board in declaring her position as vacant is not only in accordance with the Code of By-Laws of the Society but also meets the exacting standards of honesty and good faith.

9. Chato v. Fortune Tobacco
RA 7654 was passed in June 10, 1993. Prior to its enactment, cigarette brands Champion, Hope and More were considered local brands subjected to a lower ad valorem tax rate. 2 days before RA 7654 took effect, Chato issued RMC 37-93 which reclassified the same cigarette brands resulting to the imposition of a higher ad valorem rate. In effect, the RMC subjected the cigarette brands to the RA even before it took effect. In a separate case (CIR v. CA), RMC 37-93 was held to be not valid for having fallen short of the requirements for a valid admin issuance.

Fortune (the cigarette manufacturer) filed a complaint for damages against Chato in her private capacity. It contended that Chato violated Art. 32 of the CC by depriving it of its property without due process of the law and in violation of equal protection. To this, Chato argued that she issued the RMC in the performance of her official functions and within the scope of her authority so she can’t be liable. She filed motion to dismiss.

Via petition for certiorari, the denial of the motion to dismiss reached the SC. In its June 19, 2007 decision it ordered the trial court to proceed with the case. Chato moved for the reconsideration of that decision.
Issue: w/n Chato can be held liable in her personal capacity for having issued the RMC – NO
Ruling: To determine whether a public officer is liable for improper or non-performance of duty, it must be first determined what kind of duty is involved. There are 2 kinds of duties exercised by public officers. One is the “duty owing to the public collectively” and “duty owing to particular individuals”. The former pertains to officers who act for the public at large and are ordinarily paid out of the treasury. Ex. Governor’s duty to the public is to see to it that laws are properly executed, that competent officials are appointed by him, etc. Legislators owe a duty to the public to pass wise and proper laws. For this kind of duty, no one individual could single himself out and assert that the duties are owed to him alone. The second kind covers those who perform duties to an individual by reason of their employment by a particular person to do some act for him in an official capacity. They usually receive their compensation from that particular individual. Ex. A sheriff in serving civil process for a private suitor, a recorder of deeds in recording a deed or mortgage in favor of a private individual, a notary public in protesting a negotiable paper, etc.

When what is involved is a duty owing to the public in general, an individual can have no cause of action for damages against the public officer. The exception to this is if the individual suffers a particular or special injury on account of the public officer’s improper or non-performance. The principle may now translate into the rule that an individual can hold a public officer personally liable for damages on account of an act or omission that violates a constitutional right only if it results in a particular wrong or injury to the former.  

A public officer like Chato, vested with quasi-legislative or rule-making power, owes a duty to the public to promulgate rules which are compliant with the requirements of valid admin regulations.  It’s a duty owed not to the respondent alone, but to the entire public who would be affected by such rule. 
Note that in CIR v. CA, the RMC was not declared unconstitutional for violating the due process requirement or the equal protection clause. Court only said that the RMC did not meet the requirements for a valid admin issuance. Fortune relies heavily on that case as its cause of action. It shows therefore that it really has no cause of action for failing to show its allegation that Chato violated Art. 32. Fortune failed to show that it incurred some particular wrong or injury.

Finally, Sec. 227 of the Tax Reform Act of 1997 provides: “Satisfaction of Judgment Recovered Against any Internal Revenue Officer. – When an action is brought against any Internal Revenue officer to recover damages by reason of any act done in the performance of official duty…any judgment, damages or costs recovered in such action shall be satisfied by the Commissioner…. No such judgment, damages or costs shall be paid or reimbursed in behalf of a person who has acted negligently or in bad faith, or with willful oppression.” Because the respondent’s complaint does not impute negligence or bad faith to the petitioner, any money judgment by the trial court against her will have to be assumed by the Republic of the Philippines. As such, the complaint is in the nature of a suit against the State.




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