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6.

Cruz vs Secretary of Environmental and Natural Resources


G.R. No. 135385. December 6, 2000
PER CURIAM

Petitioners Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa brought this suit for prohibition
and mandamus as citizens and taxpayers, assailing the constitutionality of
certain provisions of Republic Act No. 8371 (R.A. 8371), otherwise known as
the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA), and its Implementing
Rules and Regulations (Implementing Rules) on the ground that they
amount to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over lands of the
public domain as well as minerals and other natural resources therein, in
violation of the regalian doctrine embodied in Section 2, Article XII of the
Constitution. Seven justices vote to dismiss the petition while the seven
other members of the Supreme Court move to grant the petition. As the
votes were equally divided (7 to 7) and the necessary majority was not
obtained, the case was redeliberated upon.

Issue: Whether or not the IPRA Law is unconstitutional

Justice Punos separate opinion: The IPRA Law is constitutional. The rights of
the ICCs/IPs to their ancestral domains and ancestral lands may be acquired
in two modes: (1) by native title over both ancestral lands and domains; or
(2) by torrens title under the Public Land Act and the Land Registration Act
with respect to ancestral lands only.

Sec. 3 [l]. Native Title- refers to pre-conquest rights to lands and domains
which, as far back as memory reaches, have been held under a claim of
private ownership by ICCs/IPs, have never been public lands and are thus
indisputably presumed to have been held that way since before the Spanish
Conquest.

Native title, however, is a right of private ownership peculiarly granted to


ICCs/IPs over their ancestral lands and domains. The IPRA categorically
declares ancestral lands and domains held by native title as never to have
been public land. Domains and lands held under native title are, therefore,
indisputably presumed to have never been public lands and are private. It
does not violate the Regalian doctrine because the lands which are under
native title are private lands since time immemorial.
7. Social Justice Society vs Atienza
G.R. No. 156052. March 7, 2007
Corona, J

On November 20, 2001, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Manila enacted


Ordinance No.8027. Respondent Manila Mayor Jose Lito Atienza approved
the ordinance on November 28, 2001. It was enacted for the purpose of
promoting sound urban planning and ensuring health, public safety, and
general welfare of the residents of Pandacan and Sta. Ana as well as its
adjoining areas. Ordinance No. 8027 reclassified the area described therein
from industrial to commercial and directed the owners and operators of
businesses disallowed under Section 1 to cease and desist from operating
their businesses within six months from the date of effectivity of the
ordinance. Among the businesses situated in the area are the so-called "
Pandacan Terminals" of the oil companies Caltex (Philippines), Inc., Petron
Corporation and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. However, on June 26,
2002, the City of Manila and the Department of Energy (DOE) entered into a
memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the oil companies in which they
agreed that the that " the scaling down of businesses of the Pandacan
Terminal oil companies was the most viable and practicable option. The
Sangguniang Panlungsod ratified the MOU in Resolution No. 97. In the same
resolution, the Sanggunian declared that the MOU was effective only for a
period of six months starting July 25, 2002. On January 30, 2003, the
Sanggunian adopted Resolution No. 13 extending the validity of Resolution
No. 97 to April 30, 2003 and authorizing Mayor Atienza to issue special
business permits to the oil companies. Petitioner SJS and other citizens of
Manila petitioners filed this original action for mandamus on December 4,
2002 praying that Mayor Atienza be compelled to enforce Ordinance No.
8027 and order the immediate removal of the terminals of the oil
companies. Atienza's defense is that Ordinance No. 8027 has been
superseded by the MOU and the resolutions. However, he also confusingly
argues that the ordinance and MOU are not inconsistent with each other and
that the latter has not amended the former.

Issue: Whether or not Mayor Atienza should enforce Ordinance 8027

Held: Yes. the resolutions which ratified it and made it binding on the City of
Manila expressly gave it full force and effect only until April 30, 2003. Thus,
at present, there is nothing that legally hinders respondent from enforcing
Ordinance No. 8027. Local Government Code imposes upon respondent the
duty, as city mayor, to " enforce all laws and ordinances relative to the
governance of the city." One of these is Ordinance No. 8027. As the chief
executive of the city, he has the duty to enforce Ordinance No. 8027 as long
as it has not been repealed by the Sanggunian or annulled by the courts. He
has no other choice because it is his ministerial duty to do so.

The Court stated that Ordinance No. 8027 was enacted right after the
Philippines, along with the rest of the world, witnessed the horror of the
September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in
New York City. The objective of the ordinance is to protect the residents of
Manila from the catastrophic devastation that will surely occur in case of a
terrorist attack on the Pandacan Terminals. No reason exists why such a
protective measure should be delayed.
8. Chavez v. Public Estates Authority
G.R. No. 133250. November 11, 2003
Carpio, J.

Facts: In 1973, the Comissioner on Public Highways entered into a contract


to reclaim areas of Manila Bay with the Construction and Development
Corportion of the Philippines (CDCP). PEA (Public Estates Authority) was
created by President Marcos under P.D. 1084, tasked with developing and
leasing reclaimed lands. These lands were transferred to the care of PEA
under P.D. 1085 as part of the Manila Cavite Road and Reclamation Project
(MCRRP). CDCP and PEA entered into an agreement that all future projects
under the MCRRP would be funded and owned by PEA.
By 1988, President Aquino issued Special Patent No. 3517 transferring lands
to PEA. It was followed by the transfer of three Titles (7309, 7311 and 7312)
by the Register of Deeds of Paranaque to PEA covering the three reclaimed
islands known as the FREEDOM ISLANDS.
Subsquently, PEA entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with AMARI,
a Thai-Philippine corporation to develop the Freedom Islands. Along with
another 250 hectares, PEA and AMARI entered the JVA which would later
transfer said lands to AMARI. This caused a stir especially when Sen. Maceda
assailed the agreement, claiming that such lands were part of public domain.
Peitioner Francisco J. Chavez filed case as a taxpayer praying for mandamus,
a writ of preliminary injunction and a TRO against the sale of reclaimed lands
by PEA to AMARI and from implementing the JVA. Following these events,
under President Estradas admin, PEA and AMARI entered into an Amended
JVA and Mr. Chaves claim that the contract is null and void.

Issue: Whether or not the transfer is valid.

Held: No. To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of the public domain to be
transferred to Amari as private lands will sanction a gross violation of the
constitutional ban on private corporations from acquiring any kind of
alienable land of the public domain.
The Supreme Court affirmed that the 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands
comprising the Freedom Islands, now covered by certificates of title in the
name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. The 592.15 hectares
of submerged areas of Manila Bay remain inalienable natural resources of
the public domain. The transfer (as embodied in a joint venture
agreement) to AMARI, a private corporation, ownership of 77.34 hectares of
the Freedom Islands, is void for being contrary to Section 3, Article XII of
the 1987 Constitution which prohibits private corporations from acquiring
any kind of alienable land of the public domain. Furthermore, since the
Amended JVA also seeks to transfer to Amari ownership of 290.156 hectares
of still submerged areas of Manila Bay, such transfer is void for being
contrary to Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits the
alienation of natural resources other than agricultural lands of the public
domain.

Furthermore, there is no congressional authority that allows PEA to alienate


the lands. Alienable and disposable lands held by the government entities
under Section 60 of CA 141 cannot be alienated without the approval of the
congress.
9. Valmonte vs Belmonte
170 SCRA 256, February 13, 1989
Ricardo Valmonte wrote a letter to respondent Feliciano Belmonte Jr.,
General Manager of GSIS, requesting the latter to furnish him the list of the
names of the Batasang Pambansa members belonging to the UNIDO and
PDP-Laban who were able to secure clean loans immediately before the
February 7 election thru the intercession/marginal note of the then First
Lady Imelda Marcos. The Deputy General counsel of the GSIS wrote back
the petitioner turning down his request on the ground that there exists a
confidential relationship between the GSIS and all those who borrow from it,
which confidence it is the GSIS is duty bound to preserve.

Issue: Whether or not mandamus lies to compel respondent to perform the


acts sought by petitioner to be done, in pursuance of their right to
information

Held: Yes. The government,whether carrying out its sovereign attributes or


running some business, discharges the same function of service to the
people. Consequently, that the GSIS, in granting the loans, was exercising a
proprietary function would not justify the exclusion of the transactions from
the coverage and scope of the constitutional right to information. Petitioners
are practitioners in media. As such, they have both the right to gather and
the obligation to check the accuracy of information they disseminate.. The
information sought by petitioners in this case is the truth of reports that
certain Members of the Batasang Pambansa belonging to the opposition
were able to secure "clean" loans from the GSIS immediately before the
February 7, 1986 election through the intercession of the former First Lady,
Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos. The GSIS is a trustee of contributions from the
government and its employees and the administrator of various insurance
programs for the benefit of the latter.
Undeniably, its funds assume a public character. It is therefore the
legitimate concern of the public to ensure that these funds are managed
properly with the end in view of maximizing thebenefits that accrue to the
insured government employees. Hence, the petitioners are allowed to access
the documents evidencing the loans. However, the constitution does not
accord them a right tocompel custodians of official records to prepare lists,
abstracts, summaries and thelike in their desire to acquire information or
matters of public concern.
10. Legaspi vs Civil Service Commission
G.R. No. 72119. May 29, 1987
Cortes, J.

Valentino Legaspi requested for information on the civil service eligibilities of


certain persons employed as sanitarians in the Health Department of Cebu
City.These government employees, Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas,
had allegedly represented themselves as civil service eligibles who passed
the civil service examinations for sanitarians. Claiming that his right to be
informed and that he has no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy to
acquire the information, he prays for the issuance of the extraordinary writ
of Mandamus to compel the respondent Commission to disclose said
information. The standing of the petitioner was challenged by the Solicitor
General of being devoid of legal right to be informed of the civil service
eligibilities of government employees for failure of petitioner to provide
actual interest to secure the information sought.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner may invoke his constitutional right to


information in the case at bar.

Held: Yes. When the question is one of public right and the object of the
mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty, the people are
regarded as the real party in interest and the relator at whose instigation the
proceedings are instituted need not show that he has any legal or special
interest in the result, it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as
such interested in the execution of the laws. The information sought by the
petitioner in this case is the truth of the claim of certain government
employees that they are civil service eligibles for the positions to which they
were appointed. Public office being a public trust, it is the legitimate concern
of citizens to ensure that government positions requiring civil service
eligibility are occupied only by persons who are eligible. Availability of access
to a particular public record must be circumscribed by the nature of the
information sought, i.e., (a) being of public concern or one that involves
public interest, and, (b) not being exempted by law from the operation of
the constitutional guarantee (i.e. information about national security, trade
secrets). Since the information sought fall within these two requisites,
Legaspi has the right to be informed if the employees are eligible to civil
service.