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February 26, 1990


These cases are consolidated because they all involve the doctrine of state

1) US VS GUINTO (GR No. 76607)

The private respondents are suing several officers of the US Air Force in
Clark Air Base in connection with the bidding conducted by them for contracts for
barber services in the said base which was won by a certain Dizon. The
respondents wanted to cancel the award to the bid winner because they claimed
that Dizon had included in his bid an area not included in the invitation to bid, and
subsequently, to conduct a rebidding.

2} US VS RODRIGO (GR No 79470)

Genove, employed as a cook in the Main Club at John Hay Station, was
dismissed after it had been ascertained in an investigation that he poured urine in
the soup stock. Genove filed a complaint for damages against the club manager
who was also an officer of USAF.

2) US VS CEBALLOS (GR No 80018)

Luis Bautista, a barracks boy in Camp ODonnel, was arrested following a

buy-bust operation conducted by petitioners who were USAF officers and special
agents of the Air Force Office. A trial ensued where petitioners testified against
respondent Bautista. As a result of the charge, Bautista was dismissed from his
employment. He then filed for damages against petitioners claiming that because
of the latters acts, he was removed from his job.


Complaint for damages was filed by private respondents against individual

petitioners for injuries allegedly sustained by handcuffing and unleashing dogs on
them by the latter. The individual petitioners, US military officers, deny this
stressing that the private respondents were arrested for theft but resisted arrest, thus
incurring the injuries. In all these cases, the individual petitioners claimed they
were just exercising their official functions. The USA was not impleaded in the
complaints but has moved to dismiss on the ground that they are in effect suits against it
to which it has not consented.


Is the doctrine of state immunity applicable in the cases at bar?


A state may not be sued without its consent. This doctrine is not absolute
and does not say the state may not be sued under any circumstance. The rule says
that the state may not be sued without its consent, which clearly imports that it may
be sued if it consents. The consent of the state to be sued may be manifested
expressly or impliedly. Express consent may be embodied in a general law or a
special law. Consent is implied when the sate enters into a contract or it itself
commences litigation. When the government enters into a contract, it is deemed to
have descended to the level of the other contracting party and divested itself of
its sovereign immunity from suit with its implied consent. Waiver is also implied
when the government files a complaint, thus opening itself to a counter claim. The
USA, like any other state, will be deemed to have impliedly waived its non-
suability if it has entered into a contract in its