Monday, November 4, 2013

Case Digest: G.R. No. L-25024. March 30, 1970. 32 SCRA 188

Teodoro C. Santiago, JR. minor, represented by his mother, Angelita C. Santiago, petitioner-appellant, vs. Juanita Bautista, Rosalinda Alpas, Rebecca Matugas, Milkita Inamac, Romeo Agustin, Aida Camino, Luna Sarmago, Aurora Lorena, Soledad Francisco and Mr. Flor Marcelo, respondents-appellees.

Facts: Appellant Teodoro Santiago, Jr. was a pupil in Grade Six at the public school named Sero Elementary School in Cotabato City. As the school year 1964-1965 was then about to end, the "Committee on the Rating of Students for Honor" was constituted by the teachers concerned at said school for the purpose of selecting the "honor students" of its graduating class. With the school Principal, Mrs. Aurora Lorena, as chairman, and Juanita Bautista, Rosalinda Alpas, Rebecca Matugas, Milkita Inamac, Romeo Agustin, Aida Camino and Luna Sarmago, as members, the above-named committee deliberated and finally adjudged Socorro Medina, Patricia LiƱgat and Teodoro C. Santiago, Jr. as first, second and third honors, respectively. The school's graduation exercises were thereafter set for May 21, 1965; but three days before that date, the "third placer" Teodoro Santiago, Jr., represented by his mother, and with his father as counsel, sought the invalidation of the "ranking of honor students."

Issue: Whether or not there is an actual cause of action for petition for certiorari.

Ruling: No. The court held to sustain the order of dismissal appealed from for failure on the part of appellant to comply with the requirements of Section 1 of Rule 65. To be sure, the lower court's holding that appellant's failure to accompany his petition with a copy of the judgment or order subject thereof together with copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto "is fatal to his cause" is supported not only by the provision of that Rule but by precedents as well.

Case Digest: G.R. No. 78780. July 23, 1987. 152 SCRA 284

David G. Nitafan, Wenceslao M. Polo, and Maximo A. Savellano, Jr., petitioners, vs. Commissioner Of Internal Revenue and The Financial Officer, Supreme Court Of The Philippines, respondents.

Facts: Petitioners, the duly appointed and qualified Judges presiding over Branches 52, 19 and 53, respectively, of the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, all with stations in Manila, seek to prohibit and/or perpetually enjoin respondents, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the Financial Officer of the Supreme Court, from making any deduction of withholding taxes from their salaries.

Issue: Whether or not members of the Judiciary are exempt from income taxes.

Ruling: Yes. The Court held that the salaries of Justices and Judges are properly subject to a general income tax law applicable to all income earners and that the payment of such income tax by Justices and Judges does not fall within the constitutional protection against decrease of their salaries during their continuance in office and the ruling that "the imposition of income tax upon the salary of judges is a diminution thereof, and so violates the Constitution" in Perfecto vs. Meer, as affirmed in Endencia vs. David must be declared discarded. The framers of the fundamental law, as the alter ego of the people, have expressed in clear and unmistakable terms the meaning and import of Section 10, Article VIII, of the 1987 Constitution that they have adopted.

Case Digest: G.R. No. 138570. October 10, 2000. 342 SCRA 449

BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan), a Junk VFA Movement, Bishop Tomas Millamena (Iglesia Filipina Independiente), Bishop Elmer Bolocan (United Church of Christ of the Phil.), Dr. Reynaldo Legasca, Md, Kilusang Mambubukid Ng Pilipinas, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela, Prolabor, and The Public Interest Law Center, petitioners, vs. Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, Foreign Affairs Secretary Domingo Siazon, Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado, Brig. Gen. Alexander Aguirre, Senate President Marcelo Fernan, Senator Franklin Drilon, Senator Blas Ople, Senator Rodolfo Biazon, And Senator Francisco Tatad, respondents.

Facts: On March 14, 1947, the Philippines and the United States of America forged a Military Bases Agreement which formalized, among others, the use of installations in the Philippine territory by United States military personnel. In view of the impending expiration of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement in 1991, the Philippines and the United States negotiated for a possible extension of the military bases agreement. On September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the proposed RP-US Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Security which, in effect, would have extended the presence of US military bases in the Philippines. On July 18, 1997, the United States panel, headed by US Defense Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia Pacific Kurt Campbell, met with the Philippine panel, headed by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rodolfo Severino Jr., to exchange notes on “the complementing strategic interests of the United States and the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific region.” Both sides discussed, among other things, the possible elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA for brevity). Thereafter, then President Fidel V. Ramos approved the VFA, which was respectively signed by public respondent Secretary Siazon and Unites States Ambassador Thomas Hubbard. On October 5, 1998, President Joseph E. Estrada, through respondent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, ratified the VFA. On October 6, 1998, the President, acting through respondent Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, officially transmitted to the Senate of the Philippines, the Instrument of Ratification, the letter of the President and the VFA, for concurrence pursuant to Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution

Issues (justiciable controversy): (1) Whether or not petitioners have legal standing as concerned citizens, taxpayers, or legislators to question the constitutionality of the VFA; (2) whether the VFA is governed by the provisions of Section 21, Article VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of the Constitution; (3) and whether or not the Supreme Court has jurisdiction.

Ruling: (1) No. Petitioners failed to show that they have sustained, or are in danger of sustaining any direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the VFA. As taxpayers, petitioners have not established that the VFA involves the exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending powers. On this point, it bears stressing that a taxpayer’s suit refers to a case where the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation.

(2) Yes.The fact that the President referred the VFA to the Senate under Section 21, Article VII, and that the Senate extended its concurrence under the same provision, is immaterial. For in either case, whether under Section 21, Article VII or Section 25, Article XVIII, the fundamental law is crystalline that the concurrence of the Senate is mandatory to comply with the strict constitutional requirements.

(3) No. In fine, absent any clear showing of grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondents, the Court as the final arbiter of legal controversies and staunch sentinel of the rights of the people is then without power to conduct an incursion and meddle with such affairs purely executive and legislative in character and nature. For the Constitution no less, maps out the distinct boundaries and limits the metes and bounds within which each of the three political branches of government may exercise the powers exclusively and essentially conferred to it by law.