Showing posts with label PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW - TREATIES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW - TREATIES. Show all posts


 Commissioner of Customs v Eastern Sea Trading

G.R. No. L-14279; Oct 31, 1961


Respondent Eastern Sea Trading was the consignee of several shipments of onion and garlic which arrived at the Port of Manila. In as much as none of the shipments had the certificate required by Central Bank Circular Nos. 44 and 45 for the release thereof, the goods imported were seized and subjected to forfeiture proceedings for alleged violations of Section 1363(f) of the Revised Administrative Code, in relation to the said circulars. It is argued by Eastern Sea Trading that, among other things,  the seizure and forfeiture of the goods imported from Japan cannot be justified under Executive Order No. 328, not only because the same seeks to implement an executive agreement — extending the effectivity of our Trades and Financial Agreements with Japan — which (executive agreement), it believed, is of dubious validity, but, also, because there is no governmental agency authorized to issue the import license required by the aforementioned executive order.

ISSUE: Is the executive agreement subject to the concurrence of at least 2/3 of the Senate?

RULING: NO. While the concurrence of the Senate is required by the Constitution in the making of "treaties," "executive agreements" may be validly entered into without such concurrence. Treaties are formal documents which require ratification with the approval of two thirds of the Senate. Executive agreements become binding through executive action without the need of a vote by the Senate or by Congress. 

Agreements concluded by the President which fall short of treaties are commonly referred to as executive agreements and are no less common in our scheme of government than are the more formal instruments — treaties and conventions. They sometimes take the form of exchanges of notes and at other times that of more formal documents denominated "agreements" time or "protocols". The point where ordinary correspondence between this and other governments ends and agreements — whether denominated executive agreements or exchanges of notes or otherwise — begin, may sometimes be difficult of ready ascertainment. It would be useless to undertake to discuss here the large variety of executive agreements as such, concluded from time to time. Hundreds of executive agreements, other than those entered into under the trade-agreements act, have been negotiated with foreign governments. . . . It would seem to be sufficient, in order to show that the trade agreements under the act of 1934 are not anomalous in character, that they are not treaties, and that they have abundant precedent in our history, to refer to certain classes of agreements heretofore entered into by the Executive without the approval of the Senate. They cover such subjects as the inspection of vessels, navigation dues, income tax on shipping profits, the admission of civil aircraft, customs matters, and commercial relations generally, international claims, postal matters, the registration of trademarks and copyrights, etcetera. Some of them were concluded not by specific congressional authorization but in conformity with policies declared in acts of Congress with respect to the general subject matter, such as tariff acts; while still others, particularly those with respect of the settlement of claims against foreign governments, were concluded independently of any legislation.

Deutsche Bank v CIR

GR No. 188550; Aug 19, 2013


In accordance with Section 28(A)(5)4 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997, petitioner withheld and remitted to respondent on 21 October 2003 the amount of PHP 67,688,553.51, which represented the fifteen percent (15%) branch profit remittance tax (BPRT) on its regular banking unit (RBU) net income remitted to Deutsche Bank Germany (DB Germany) for 2002 and prior taxable years.

Believing that it made an overpayment of the BPRT, petitioner filed with the BIR Large Taxpayers Assessment and Investigation Division on 4 October 2005 an administrative claim for refund or issuance of its tax credit certificate in the total amount of PHP 22,562,851.17. On the same date, petitioner requested from the International Tax Affairs Division (ITAD) a confirmation of its entitlement to the preferential tax rate of 10% under the RP-Germany Tax Treaty.

Alleging the inaction of the BIR on its administrative claim, petitioner filed a Petition for Review with the CTA on 18 October 2005. Petitioner reiterated its claim for the refund or issuance of its tax credit certificate for the amount of PHP 22,562,851.17 representing the alleged excess BPRT paid on branch profits remittance to DB Germany.

ISSUE: Does the failure to strictly comply with RMO No. 1-2000 deprive persons of the benefit of a tax treaty.

RULING: NO. The obligation to comply with a tax treaty must take precedence over the objective of RMO No. 1-2000. Our Constitution provides for adherence to the general principles of international law as part of the law of the land. The time-honored international principle of pacta sunt servanda demands the performance in good faith of treaty obligations on the part of the states that enter into the agreement. Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties, and obligations under the treaty must be performed by them in good faith. More importantly, treaties have the force and effect of law in this jurisdiction.  Tax treaties are entered into "to reconcile the national fiscal legislations of the contracting parties and, in turn, help the taxpayer avoid simultaneous taxations in two different jurisdictions." CIR v. S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc. further clarifies that "tax conventions are drafted with a view towards the elimination of international juridical double taxation, which is defined as the imposition of comparable taxes in two or more states on the same taxpayer in respect of the same subject matter and for identical periods. The apparent rationale for doing away with double taxation is to encourage the free flow of goods and services and the movement of capital, technology and persons between countries, conditions deemed vital in creating robust and dynamic economies. Foreign investments will only thrive in a fairly predictable and reasonable international investment climate and the protection against double taxation is crucial in creating such a climate."  Simply put, tax treaties are entered into to minimize, if not eliminate the harshness of international juridical double taxation, which is why they are also known as double tax treaty or double tax agreements. "A state that has contracted valid international obligations is bound to make in its legislations those modifications that may be necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken." Thus, laws and issuances must ensure that the reliefs granted under tax treaties are accorded to the parties entitled thereto. The BIR must not impose additional requirements that would negate the availment of the reliefs provided for under international agreements. More so, when the RP-Germany Tax Treaty does not provide for any pre-requisite for the availment of the benefits under said agreement. Likewise, it must be stressed that there is nothing in RMO No. 1-2000 which would indicate a deprivation of entitlement to a tax treaty relief for failure to comply with the 15-day period. We recognize the clear intention of the BIR in implementing RMO No. 1-2000, but the CTA’s outright denial of a tax treaty relief for failure to strictly comply with the prescribed period is not in harmony with the objectives of the contracting state to ensure that the benefits granted under tax treaties are enjoyed by duly entitled persons or corporations. Bearing in mind the rationale of tax treaties, the period of application for the availment of tax treaty relief as required by RMO No. 1-2000 should not operate to divest entitlement to the relief as it would constitute a violation of the duty required by good faith in complying with a tax treaty. The denial of the availment of tax relief for the failure of a taxpayer to apply within the prescribed period under the administrative issuance would impair the value of the tax treaty. At most, the application for a tax treaty relief from the BIR should merely operate to confirm the entitlement of the taxpayer to the relief. The obligation to comply with a tax treaty must take precedence over the objective of RMO No. 1-2000. Logically, noncompliance with tax treaties has negative implications on international relations, and unduly discourages foreign investors. While the consequences sought to be prevented by RMO No. 1-2000 involve an administrative procedure, these may be remedied through other system management processes, e.g., the imposition of a fine or penalty.  

Guerrero Transport v Blaylock

GR No L-41518; June 30, 1976


On June 1, 1972, the United States Naval Base authorities at Subic, Zambales, conducted a public bidding for a five-year contract for the right to operate and/or manage the transportation services inside the naval base. This bidding was won by Santiago Guerrero, owner- operator of Guerrero's Transport Services, Inc., herein petitioner, over Concepcion F. Blaylock, the then incumbent concessionaire doing business under the name of "Blaylock Transport Services", whose 395 employees are members of respondent union BTEA-KILUSAN. When petitioner, after the commencement of its operation on January 1, 1973, refused to employ the members of the respondent union, the latter. On January, 12, 1975, filed a complaint  with the National Labor Relations Commission  docketed as NLRC Case No. 214, against Guerrero's Transport Services, Inc. and Santiago Guerrero, to compel them to employ its members pursuant to Article 1, Section 2 of the RP-US Base Agreement dated May 27, 1968. This case was dismissed by the National Labor Relations Commission on March 13, 1973, upon petitioner's motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, there being no employer-employee relationship between the parties. 

ISSUE: Can the employees of respondent union BTEA-KILUSAN compel the petitioner to employ them.

RULING: YES. pursuant to Section 6 of Article I of the Philippine-U S. Labor Agreement of May 27, 1968, the United States Armed Forces undertook, consistent with military requirements, "to provide security for employment, and, in the event certain services are contracted out, the United States Armed Forces shall require the contractor or concessionaire to give priority consideration to affected employees for employment. As above indicated, under the Compromise Agreement as embodied in the Resolution of this Court dated October 24, 1975, the parties agreed to submit to the Secretary of Labor the determination as to who of the members of the respondent union BTEA-KILUSAN shall be absorbed or employed by the herein petitioner Guerrero's Transport Services, Inc., and that such determination shall be considered as final.


USA v Purganan

GR No 148571; Sept 24, 2002


Pursuant to the existing RP-US Extradition Treaty, the United States Government, through diplomatic channels, sent to the Philippine Government Note Verbale No. 0522  requesting the extradition of Mark B. Jimenez, also known as Mario Batacan Crespo.

Upon learning of the request for his extradition, Jimenez sought and was granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by the RTC. The TRO prohibited the Department of Justice (DOJ) from filing with the RTC a petition for his extradition.

The SOJ was ordered to furnish private respondent copies of the extradition request and its supporting papers and to grant the latter a reasonable period within which to file a comment and supporting evidence. 

The warrant had been issued in connection with the following charges: (1) conspiracy to defraud the United States and to commit certain offenses; (2) tax evasion; (3) wire fraud; (4) false statements; and (5) illegal campaign contributions 


1. Is Jimenez entitled to notice and hearing before a warrant for his arrest can be issued?

2. Is Jimenez entitled to bail?


1. NO. It is significant to note that Section 6 of PD 1069, our Extradition Law, uses the word "immediate" to qualify the arrest of the accused. This qualification would be rendered nugatory by setting for hearing the issuance of the arrest warrant. Hearing entails sending notices to the opposing parties, receiving facts and arguments from them, and giving them time to prepare and present such facts and arguments. Arrest subsequent to a hearing can no longer be considered "immediate." The law could not have intended the word as a mere superfluity but, on the whole, as a means of imparting a sense of urgency and swiftness in the determination of whether a warrant of arrest should be issued. 

By using the phrase "if it appears," the law further conveys that accuracy is not as important as speed at such an early stage. The trial court is not expected to make an exhaustive determination to ferret out the true and actual situation, immediately upon the filing of the petition.From the knowledge and the material then available to it, the court is expected merely to get a good first impression -- a prima facie finding -- sufficient to make a speedy initial determination as regards the arrest and detention of the accused.

Also in Section 2 of Article III of our Constitution, which is invoked by Jimenez, does not require a notice or a hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest. It provides:

Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things

to be seized."

That the case under consideration is an extradition and not a criminal action is not sufficient to justify the adoption of a set of procedures more protective of the accused. If a different procedure were called for at all, a more restrictive one -- not the opposite -- would be justified in view of respondent’s demonstrated predisposition to flee. 

2. NO. Section 4 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, applies only when a person has been arrested and detained for violation of Philippine criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition proceedings, because extradition courts do not render judgments of conviction or acquittal. Moreover, the constitutional right to bail "flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt." It follows that the constitutional provision on bail will not apply to a case like extradition, where the presumption of innocence is not at issue. That the offenses for which Jimenez is sought to be extradited are bailable in the United States is not an argument to grant him one in the present case. He should apply for bail before the courts trying the criminal cases against him, not before the extradition court. The denial of bail as a matter of course in extradition cases falls into place with and gives life to Article 14 of the Treaty, since this practice would encourage the accused to voluntarily surrender to the requesting state to cut short their detention here. Likewise, their detention pending the resolution of extradition proceedings would fall into place with the emphasis of the Extradition Law on the summary nature of extradition cases and the need for their speedy disposition. It is also worth noting that before the US government requested the extradition of the respondent, proceedings had already been conducted in that country. But because he left the jurisdiction of the requesting state before those proceedings could be completed, it was hindered from continuing with the due processes prescribed under its laws.  He already had that opportunity in the requesting state; yet, instead of taking it, he ran away.



USAFFE v Treasurer of the Philippines

GR No. L-10500; June 30, 1959


In October 1941, by two special orders, General Douglas MacArthur, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (known as USAFFE) placed under his command all the Philippine Army units including the Philippine Constabulary, about 100,000 officers and soldiers. Out of the total amounts thus appropriated by the U.S. Congress as itemized, P570,863,000.00 was transferred directly to the Philippines Armed Forces by means of vouchers which stated "Advance of Funds under Public law 353-77th Congress and Executive Order No. 9011". This amount was used (mostly) to discharge in the Philippine Islands the monetary obligations assumed by the U.S. Government as a result of the induction of the Philippine Armed Forces into the U.S. Army, and of its operations beginning in 1941. Part of these obligations consisted in the claims of Filipino USAFFE soldiers for arrears in pay and in the charges for supplies used by them and the guerrillas. Of the millions so transferred, there remained unexpended and uncommitted in the possession of the Philippine Armed Forces as of December 31, 1949 about 35 million dollars. As at that time, the Philippine Government badly needed funds for its activities, President Quirino, through Governor Miguel Cuaderno of the Central Bank proposed to the corresponding officials of the U.S. Government the retention of the 35-million dollars as a loan, and for its repayment in ten annual installments. After protracted negotiations the deal was concluded, and the Romulo-Snyder Agreement was signed in Washington on November 6, 1950, by the then Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Carlos P. Romulo, and the then American Secretary of the Treasury, John W. Snyder.

In this appeal, the Usaffe Veterans reiterated with extended arguments their basic propositions. They insists: first, the money delivered to the U.S. to the Armed Forces of the Philippine Island were straight payments for military services; ownership thereof vested in the Philippine Government upon delivery, and consequently, there was nothing to return, nothing to consider as a loan; and second, the Romulo-Snyder Agreement was void because it was not binding on the Philippine Government for lack of authority of the officers who concluded the same.

ISSUE: Is the Romulo-Snyder Agreement void because it was not binding on the Philippine Government for lack of authority of the officers who concluded the same?

RULING: NO. That the agreement is not a "treaty" as that term is used in the Constitution, is conceded. The agreement was never submitted to the Senate for concurrence (Art. VII, Sec. 10 (7)). However, it must be noted that a treaty is not the only form that an international agreement may assume. For the grant of the treaty-making power to the Executive and the Senate does not exhaust the power of the government over international relations. Consequently, executive agreements may be entered with other states and are effective even without the concurrence of the Senate. 

Executive Agreements fall into two classes: (1) agreements made purely as executive acts affecting external relations and independent of or without legislative authorization, which may be termed as presidential agreements and (2) agreements entered into in pursuant of acts of Congress, which have been designated as Congressional-Executive Agreements.

The Romulo-Snyder Agreement may fall under any of these two classes, for precisely on September 18, 1946, Congress of the Philippines specifically authorized the President of the Philippines to obtain such loans or incur such indebtedness with the Government of the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities. Even granting, arguendo, that there was no legislative authorization, it is hereby maintained that the Romulo-Snyder Agreement was legally and validly entered into to conform to the second category, namely, "agreements entered into purely as executive acts without legislative authorization." This second category usually includes money agreements relating to the settlement of pecuniary claims of citizens. It may be said that this method of settling such claims has come to be the usual way of dealing with matters of this kind.

Abaya v Ebdane

GR No. 167919 ; Feb 14, 2007


Based on the Exchange of Notes dated December 27, 1999, the Government of Japan and the Government of the Philippines, through their respective representatives, Ambassador Yoshihisa Ara and then Secretary of Foreign Affairs Domingo L. Siazon, have reached an understanding concerning Japanese loans to be extended to the Philippines. In accordance with the agreement reached by the Government of Japan and the Philippine Government, the Philippines obtained from and was granted a loan by the JBIC (Loan Agreement No. PH-P204). The proceeds of the loan was to be used to finance the Arterial Road Links Development Project (Phase IV). Subsequently, the DPWH caused the publication of the invitation to bid for the implementation of the project in two leading national newspapers. A total of 23 foreign and local contractors responded to the invitation, but only eight contractors were evaluated or considered eligible to bid as concurred by the JBIC. One of them, however, withdrew; thus, only seven contractors submitted their bid proposals. After evaluations, the contract was recommended by Mr. Ezawa, Project Consultant of the Project, to be awarded to private respondent China Road & Bridge Corporation. Resolution No. PJHL-A-04-012 was issued recommending the award in favor of private respondent China Road & Bridge Corporation of the contract or the implementation of civil works. A Contract of Agreement was entered into by and between the DPWH and private respondent China Road & Bridge Corporation for the implementation of the project. 

The petitioners seek to nullify DPWH Resolution No. PHJL-A-04-012, and the contract of agreement subsequently entered into by and between the DPWH and China Road & Bridge Corporation. They assert that the award of the contract to private respondent violates RA 9184 known as the Government Procurement Reform Act particularly Sec. 31 thereof. In connection to this, the petitioners insist that the Loan Agreement PH-P204 between the JBIC and the Philippine Government is neither a treaty, an international nor an executive agreement that would bar the application of RA 9184. They point out that to be considered a treaty, an international or an executive agreement, the parties must be two sovereigns or States whereas in the case of Loan Agreement PH-P204 here, the parties are the Philippine Government and the JBIC, a banking agency of Japan, which has a separate juridical personality from the Japanese Government.

ISSUE: Is the Loan Agreement PH-P204 between the Government of Japan and the Philippine Government an executive agreement?

RULING: YES. The Loan Agreement was executed by and between the JBIC and the Philippine Government pursuant to the Exchange of Notes executed by and between Ambassador Ara, and then Foreign Affairs Secretary Siazon, on behalf of their respective governments. The Exchange of Notes expressed that the two governments have reached an understanding concerning Japanese loans to be extended to the Philippines and that these loans were aimed at promoting our country’s economic stabilization and development efforts. Loan Agreement No. PH-P204 was executed and declared that it was so entered by the parties with a view to promoting the economic stabilization and development efforts of the Republic of the Philippines. Under the circumstances, the JBIC may well be considered an adjunct of the Japanese Government. Further, Loan Agreement No. PH-P204 is indubitably an integral part of the Exchange of Notes. It forms part of the Exchange of Notes such that it cannot be properly taken independent thereof. In this connection, it is well to understand the definition of an "exchange of notes" under international law. According to the United Nations Treaty Collection, an "exchange of notes" is a record of a routine agreement that has many similarities with the private law contract. The agreement consists of the exchange of two documents, each of the parties being in the possession of the one signed by the representative of the other. Under the usual procedure, the accepting State repeats the text of the offering State to record its assent. The signatories of the letters may be government Ministers, diplomats or departmental heads. The technique of exchange of notes is frequently resorted to, either because of its speedy procedure, or, sometimes, to avoid the process of legislative approval.

It is stated that "treaties, agreements, conventions, charters, protocols, declarations, memoranda of understanding, modus vivendi and exchange of notes" all refer to "international instruments binding at international law."Significantly, an exchange of notes is considered a form of an executive agreement, which becomes binding through executive action without the need of a vote by the Senate or Congress. According to Francis B. Sayre, former United States High Commissioner to the Philippines, “Agreements concluded by the President which fall short of treaties are commonly referred to as executive agreements and are no less common in our scheme of government than are the more formal instruments – treaties and conventions. They sometimes take the form of exchange of notes and at other times that of more formal documents denominated "agreements" or "protocols". The point where ordinary correspondence between this and other governments ends and agreements – whether denominated executive agreements or exchange of notes or otherwise – begin, may sometimes be difficult of ready ascertainment. It would be useless to undertake to discuss here the large variety of executive agreements as such, concluded from time to time. Hundreds of executive agreements, other than those entered into under the trade-agreements act, have been negotiated with foreign governments.”

DMB v Kolonwel Trading

GR No 175608; June 8, 2007


In the middle of 2005, DepEd requested the services of the DBM-PS to undertake procurement project which is to be jointly funded by the World Bank (WB), thru the Second Social Expenditure Management Program (SEMP2) of the RP-IBRD Loan Agreement No. 7118-PH and the Asian Development Bank (ABD) thru SEDIP Loan No. 1654-PHI. In October 2005, the DBM-PS called for a bidding for the supply of the Makabayan textbooks and teachers manuals. Of the entities, foreign and local, only eleven (11) bidders submitted, including private respondent Kolonwel.

Following the bid and the book content/body evaluation process, DBM committee issued a resolution disqualifying, among others, Kolonwel for “failure in cover stock testing “. Kolonwel was informed of this and subsequently filed with RTC Manila a special civil action for certiorari with a prayer for TRO. In support of its TRO application, Kolonwel alleged, among other things, that the supply-awardees were rushing with the implementation of the void supply contracts to beat the closing-date deadline. After summary hearing, the Manila RTC issued a 20-day TRO, and later issued a decision wherein Resolution 001-2006-A of the DBM was annulled and set aside. Hence this petition.

ISSUE: Was the resolution of the DBM disqualifying Kolonwel proper?

RULING: NO. Under the fundamental international principle of pacta sunt servanda, the RP, as borrower, bound itself to perform in good faith the duties and obligations under Loan No. 7118-PH. Applying this postulate, the DBM IABAC, was legally obliged to comply with, or accord primacy to the WB guidelines on the conduct and implementation of the bidding/procurement process in question.

Foreign loan agreements with international financial institutions, such as Loan No. 7118-PH, partake of an executive or international agreement within the purview of Sec. 4 of RA9184. Significantly, whatever was stipulated in the loan agreement, shall primarily govern the procurement of goods necessary to implement the main project.

Philip Morris v CA

GR No 91332 ; July 16, 1993


Philip Morris, Incorporated is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Virginia, United States of America, and not doing business in the Philippines. They are registered owners "MARK VII", "MARK TEN", and "LARK" per certificates of registration issued by the Philippine Patent Office.

They asserted that even if they are not doing business in the Philippines and are suing on an isolated transaction, Fortune Tobacco Corporation has no right to manufacture and sell cigarettes bearing the allegedly identical or confusingly similar trademark "MARK" in contravention of Section 22 of the Trademark Law, and should, therefore, be precluded during the pendency of the case from performing the acts complained of via a preliminary injunction. 

Plaintiffs maintain that since their trademarks are entitled to protection by treaty obligation under Article 2 of the Paris Convention and since this is an action for a violation or infringement of a trademark or trade name by defendant, such mere allegation is sufficient even in the absence of proof to support it.

For its part, Fortune Tobacco Corporation admitted petitioners' certificates of registration with the Philippine Patent Office. Private respondent alleged further that it has been authorized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue to manufacture and sell cigarettes bearing the trademark "MARK", and that "MARK" is a common word which cannot be exclusively appropriated. 

ISSUE: Does Philip Morris have rights over the patent pursuant to the treaty of the Paris Convention of 1965?

RULING: NO. To sustain a successful prosecution of their suit for infringement, petitioners considered to be of significant interest and which they desire to impress upon the Court,  the protection they enjoy under the Paris Convention of 1965 to which the Philippines is a signatory. Yet, insofar as this discourse is concerned, there is no necessity to treat the matter with an extensive response because adherence of the Philippines to the 1965 international covenant due to Pact Sunt Servanda had been acknowledged in La Chemise.

Petitioners, as foreign corporations not engaged in local commerce, rely on section 21-A of the Trademark Law reading as follows:

“Sec. 21-A. Any foreign corporation or juristic person to which a mark or trade-name has been registered or assigned under this act may bring an action hereunder for infringement, for unfair competition, or false designation of origin and false description, whether or not it has been licensed to do business in the Philippines under Act Numbered Fourteen hundred and fifty-nine, as amended, otherwise known as the Corporation Law, at the time it brings complaint: Provided, That the country of which the said foreign corporation or juristic person is a citizen or in which it is domiciled, by treaty, convention or law, grants a similar privilege to corporate or juristic persons of the Philippines.” (As inserted by Sec. 7 of Republic Act No. 638.)

To drive home the point that they are not precluded from initiating a cause of action in the Philippines on account of the principal perception that another entity is pirating their symbol without any lawful authority to do so. Judging from a perusal of the aforequoted Section 21-A, the conclusion reached by petitioners is certainly correct for the proposition in support thereof is embedded in the Philippine legal jurisprudence.

Given these confluence of existing laws amidst the cases involving trademarks, there can be no disagreement to the guiding principle in commercial law that foreign corporations not engaged in business in the Philippines may maintain a cause of action for infringement primarily because of Section 21-A of the Trademark Law when the legal standing to sue is alleged, which petitioners have done in the case at hand.

Province of North Cotabato v GRP

GR No 183591; Oct 14, 2008


The Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the MILF were to sign a MOA on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Upon motion of petitioners, this Court issued a TRO enjoining the GRP from signing the same. While peace negotiations were still on-going, the MILF took control of the town hall of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte. Then President Estrada carried out an “all-out-war” against the MILF. When President Gloria Arroyo assumed office, she asked Malaysia to convince MILF to return to the negotiating table. Formal talks took place in Tripoli, Libya. The Tripoli Agreement 2001 contained the Security Aspect, Rehabilitation Aspect, and Ancestral Domain Aspect. Another round of peace talks was held in Cyberjaya, Malaysia which ended with the signing of Implementing Guidelines on the Security Aspect. In 2005, several exploratory talks were held between the parties in Kuala Lumpur, eventually leading to the MOA-AD which was set to be signed last August 5, 2008.


1. Did respondents violate constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and later initiated the MOA-AD?

2. Were the contents of the MOA-AD contrary to law?


1. Yes. It is provided under Section 7, Article III on the Bill of Rights: The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. In this case, the MOA-AD is a matter of public concern. It involves the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State, which directly affects the lives of the public at large. as a "splendid symmetry" to the right to information under the Bill of Rights is the policy of public disclosure under Section 28, Article II of the Constitution reading: Sec. 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

The policy of full public disclosure enunciated in above-quoted Section 28 complements the right of access to information on matters of public concern found in the Bill of Rights. The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand information, while Section 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody demands.

At least three pertinent laws animate these constitutional imperatives and justify the exercise of the people's right to be consulted on relevant matters relating to the peace agenda and these are: 1. E.O. No. 3, Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 and Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997.

2. YES. These provisions of the MOA indicate, among other things, that the Parties aimed to vest in the BJE the status of an associated state or, at any rate, a status closely approximating it. The concept of association is not recognized under the present Constitution. No province, city, or municipality, not even the ARMM, is recognized under our laws as having an "associative" relationship with the national government. Indeed, the concept implies powers that go beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to any local or regional government. It also implies the recognition of the associated entity as a state. The Constitution, however, does not contemplate any state in this jurisdiction other than the Philippine State, much less does it provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare any part of Philippine territory for independence.,

The MOA-AD, moreover, would not comply with Article X, Section 20 of the Constitution since that provision defines the powers of autonomous regions. Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution must also be amended if the scheme envisioned in the MOA-AD is to be effected. That constitutional provision states: "The State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development." An associative arrangement does not uphold national unity. While there may be a semblance of unity because of the associative ties between the BJE and the national government, the act of placing a portion of Philippine territory in a status which, in international practice, has generally been a preparation for independence, is certainly not conducive to national unity. Besides being irreconcilable with the Constitution, the MOA-AD is also inconsistent with prevailing statutory law, among which are R.A. No. 9054 or the Organic Act of the ARMM, and the IPRA.

Santos v Northwest Airlines

GR No. 101538; June 23, 1992


The petitioner is a minor and a resident of the Philippines. Private respondent Northwest Orient Airlines (NOA) is a foreign corporation with principal office in Minnesota, U.S.A. and licensed to do business and maintain a branch office in the Philippines. On October 21, 1986, the petitioner purchased from NOA a round-trip ticket in San Francisco. U.S.A., for his flight from San Francisco to Manila via Tokyo and back. The scheduled departure date from Tokyo was December 20, 1986. No date was specified for his return to San Francisco.

On December 19, 1986, the petitioner checked in at the NOA counter in the San Francisco airport for his scheduled departure to Manila. Despite a previous confirmation and re-confirmation, he was informed that he had no reservation for his flight from Tokyo to Manila. He therefore had to be wait-listed. On March 12, 1987, the petitioner sued NOA for damages in the RTC of Makati. On April 13, 1987, NOA moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, citing Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention, reading as follows: Art. 28. (1) An action for damage must be brought at the option of the plaintiff, in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the carrier or of his principal place of business, or where he has a place of business through which the contract has been made, or before the court at the place of destination. The private respondent contended that the Philippines was not its domicile nor was this its principal place of business. Neither was the petitioner’s ticket issued in this country nor was his destination Manila but San Francisco in the United States. Lower court granted the dismissal, CA affirmed.

ISSUE: Does the Philippines have jurisdiction over the case?

RULING: NO. The Warsaw Convention is a treaty commitment voluntarily assumed by the Philippine government and, as such, has the force and effect of law in this country. The petitioner’s allegations are not convincing enough to overcome this presumption. Apparently, the Convention considered the four places designated in Article 28 the most convenient forums for the litigation of any claim that may arise between the airline and its passenger, as distinguished from all other places. Convention applies to all international transportation of persons performed by aircraft for hire. Whether the transportation is “international” is determined by the contract of the parties, which in the case of passengers is the ticket. When the contract of carriage provides for the transportation of the passenger between certain designated terminals “within the territories of two High Contracting Parties,” the provisions of the Convention automatically apply and exclusively govern the rights and liabilities of the airline and its passenger.

Adolfo v CFI

GR No L-30650; July 31, 1970


On September 1, 1969, the Municipal Judge of Subic, Zambales, the Honorable Nicolas C. Adolfo, against the Court of First Instance of that province and a certain Albert L. Merchant, to reverse the decision of respondent CFI that annulled the petitioner’s order in a criminal case pending before him declaring as non-existent the custody receipt issued by the Commander of the United States Naval Base at Subic Bay for the provisional liberty of the respondent Albert L. Merchant, the accused in that case, so that the warrant for his arrest could be reissued pursuant to Article 13 of the United States-Philippines Military Bases Agreement of 1937.

The 1947 Military Bases Agreement provides : "In all cases over which the Philippines exercises jurisdiction the custody of the accused, pending trial and final judgment, shall be entrusted without delay to the commanding officer of the nearest base, who shall acknowledge in writing that such accused has been delivered to him for custody pending trial in a competent court of the Philippines and that he will be held ready to appear and will be produced before said court when required by it. The commanding officer shall be furnished by the fiscal (prosecuting attorney) with a copy of the information against the accused upon the filing of the original in the competent court."  It likewise alleged that the clause "in all cases over which the Philippines exercises jurisdiction" did obviously refer to the second paragraph of the same article which reads: " The Philippines shall have the right to exercise jurisdiction over all other offenses committed outside the bases by any member of armed forces of the United States."

"There is no dispute that the crime for which respondent Albert L. Merchant is charged was committed outside a base and said respondent, though a citizen of the United States, is a civilian employee or component of the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay, thus not a member of the armed forces of the United States within the purview of the oft-repeated Base Agreement."

The respondent CFI justifies that even if the right of custody of a commanding officer over the person of an accused civilian component of the base is not prescribed by the original Base Agreement, nonetheless such a right is now provided for in paragraph 5 of the Agreed Official Minutes of the Agreement, entered into between the Philippines and the United States on August 10, 1965.

ISSUE: Are the exchange of notes binding?

RULING: NO. International agreements involving political issues or changes of national policy and those involving international arrangements of a permanent character usually take the form of treaties. But international agreements embodying adjustments of detail carrying out well-established national policies and traditions and those involving arrangements of a more or less temporary nature usually take the form of executive agreements. " 

"We can thus see that executive agreements cover such subjects as commercial and consular relations, property relations like patent rights, trademark and copyrights, postal, navigation, settlement of private claims, tariff and trade matters. These types of agreements are certainly not in the plane of one, like the U.S. — P.I. Military Bases Agreement, which affects and reduces to a certain degree the territorial authority, the jurisdiction and even the dignity of the country and its people. Said Base Agreement undoubtedly involves more than a national policy, and is practically of a permanent nature (99 years or longer, Art. XXIX, ibid.). Therefore, said Agreement is a treaty which must be ratified, as it was ratified, by the Senate." 7 The petition reinforced the above conclusion with this argument: "Since the power to make treaties is lodged under our Constitution with the President with the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senate, the power to amend these treaties must similarly be vested in those organs of the government. After all, an amendment to a statute produces one law, usually the statute as amended. (Black.

Interpretation of Laws, P. 574). In pari materia is the observation that only Congress, with its legislative power, can make laws and alter or repeal them.

Therefore, as applied to this case, the making of the treaty having been undertaken under the joint auspices of the President and the Senate, its amendment or revision must similarly be undertaken by both agencies of the State as directed by the Constitution. The August 10, 1965 notes to the U.S.-P.I. Military Bases Agreement of 1947, not having been ratified yet by the Senate, remain as mere proposals."