Sunteți pe pagina 1din 19

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No.

81958 June 30, 1988 PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF SERVICE EXPORTERS, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. FRANKLIN M. DRILON as Secretary of Labor and Employment, and TOMAS D. ACHACOSO, as Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, respondents. Gutierrez & Alo Law Offices for petitioner.

It finds no specific Constitutional grant for the plain reason that it does not owe its origin to the Charter. Along with the taxing power and eminent domain, it is inborn in the very fact of statehood and sovereignty. It is a fundamental attribute of government that has enabled it to perform the most vital functions of governance. Marshall, to whom the expression has been credited, 7 refers to it succinctly as the plenary power of the State "to govern its citizens." 8 "The police power of the State ... is a power coextensive with self- protection, and it is not inaptly termed the "law of overwhelming necessity." It may be said to be that inherent and plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety, and welfare of society." 9 It constitutes an implied limitation on the Bill of Rights. According to Fernando, it is "rooted in the conception that men in organizing the state and imposing upon its government limitations to safeguard constitutional rights did not intend thereby to enable an individual citizen or a group of citizens to obstruct unreasonably the enactment of such salutary measures calculated to ensure communal peace, safety, good order, and welfare." 10 Significantly, the Bill of Rights itself does not purport to be an absolute guaranty of individual rights and liberties "Even liberty itself, the greatest of all rights, is not unrestricted license to act according to one's will." 11 It is subject to the far more overriding demands and requirements of the greater number. Notwithstanding its extensive sweep, police power is not without its own limitations. For all its awesome consequences, it may not be exercised arbitrarily or unreasonably. Otherwise, and in that event, it defeats the purpose for which it is exercised, that is, to advance the public good. Thus, when the power is used to further private interests at the expense of the citizenry, there is a clear misuse of the power. 12 In the light of the foregoing, the petition must be dismissed. As a general rule, official acts enjoy a presumed validity. 13 In the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, the presumption logically stands. The petitioner has shown no satisfactory reason why the contested measure should be nullified. There is no question that Department Order No. 1 applies only to "female contract workers," 14 but it does not thereby make an undue discrimination between the sexes. It is well-settled that "equality before the law" under the Constitution 15 does not import a perfect Identity of rights among all men and women. It admits of classifications, provided that (1) such classifications rest on substantial distinctions; (2) they are germane to the purposes of the law; (3) they are not confined to existing conditions; and (4) they apply equally to all members of the same class. 16 The Court is satisfied that the classification made-the preference for female workers rests on substantial distinctions. As a matter of judicial notice, the Court is well aware of the unhappy plight that has befallen our female labor force abroad, especially domestic servants, amid exploitative working conditions marked by, in not a few cases, physical and personal abuse. The sordid tales of maltreatment suffered by migrant Filipina workers, even rape and various forms of torture, confirmed by testimonies of returning workers, are compelling motives for urgent Government action. As precisely the caretaker of Constitutional rights, the Court is called upon to protect victims of exploitation. In fulfilling that duty, the Court sustains the Government's efforts. The same, however, cannot be said of our male workers. In the first place, there is no evidence that, except perhaps for isolated instances, our men abroad have been afflicted with an Identical predicament. The petitioner has proffered no argument that the Government should act similarly with respect to male workers. The Court, of course, is not impressing some male chauvinistic notion that men are superior to women. What the Court is saying is that it was largely a matter of evidence (that women domestic workers are being ill-treated abroad in massive instances) and not upon some fanciful or arbitrary yardstick that the Government acted in this case. It is evidence capable indeed of unquestionable demonstration and evidence this Court accepts. The Court cannot, however, say the same thing as far as men are concerned. There is simply no evidence to justify such an inference. Suffice it to state, then, that insofar as

SARMIENTO, J.: The petitioner, Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI, for short), a firm "engaged principally in the recruitment of Filipino workers, male and female, for overseas placement," 1 challenges the Constitutional validity of Department Order No. 1, Series of 1988, of the Department of Labor and Employment, in the character of "GUIDELINES GOVERNING THE TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF DEPLOYMENT OF FILIPINO DOMESTIC AND HOUSEHOLD WORKERS," in this petition for certiorari and prohibition. Specifically, the measure is assailed for "discrimination against males or females;" 2 that it "does not apply to all Filipino workers but only to domestic helpers and females with similar skills;" 3 and that it is violative of the right to travel. It is held likewise to be an invalid exercise of the lawmaking power, police power being legislative, and not executive, in character. In its supplement to the petition, PASEI invokes Section 3, of Article XIII, of the Constitution, providing for worker participation "in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law." 4 Department Order No. 1, it is contended, was passed in the absence of prior consultations. It is claimed, finally, to be in violation of the Charter's non-impairment clause, in addition to the "great and irreparable injury" that PASEI members face should the Order be further enforced. On May 25, 1988, the Solicitor General, on behalf of the respondents Secretary of Labor and Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, filed a Comment informing the Court that on March 8, 1988, the respondent Labor Secretary lifted the deployment ban in the states of Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Canada, Hongkong, United States, Italy, Norway, Austria, and Switzerland. * In submitting the validity of the challenged "guidelines," the Solicitor General invokes the police power of the Philippine State. It is admitted that Department Order No. 1 is in the nature of a police power measure. The only question is whether or not it is valid under the Constitution. The concept of police power is well-established in this jurisdiction. It has been defined as the "state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare." 5 As defined, it consists of (1) an imposition of restraint upon liberty or property, (2) in order to foster the common good. It is not capable of an exact definition but has been, purposely, veiled in general terms to underscore its all-comprehensive embrace. "Its scope, ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the future where it could be done, provides enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits." 6

classifications are concerned, this Court is content that distinctions are borne by the evidence. Discrimination in this case is justified. As we have furthermore indicated, executive determinations are generally final on the Court. Under a republican regime, it is the executive branch that enforces policy. For their part, the courts decide, in the proper cases, whether that policy, or the manner by which it is implemented, agrees with the Constitution or the laws, but it is not for them to question its wisdom. As a co-equal body, the judiciary has great respect for determinations of the Chief Executive or his subalterns, especially when the legislature itself has specifically given them enough room on how the law should be effectively enforced. In the case at bar, there is no gainsaying the fact, and the Court will deal with this at greater length shortly, that Department Order No. 1 implements the rule-making powers granted by the Labor Code. But what should be noted is the fact that in spite of such a fiction of finality, the Court is on its own persuaded that prevailing conditions indeed call for a deployment ban. There is likewise no doubt that such a classification is germane to the purpose behind the measure. Unquestionably, it is the avowed objective of Department Order No. 1 to "enhance the protection for Filipino female overseas workers" 17 this Court has no quarrel that in the midst of the terrible mistreatment Filipina workers have suffered abroad, a ban on deployment will be for their own good and welfare.

5. AUTHORIZED DEPLOYMENT-The deployment of domestic helpers and workers of similar skills defined herein to the following [sic] are authorized under these guidelines and are exempted from the suspension. 5.1 Hirings by immediate members of the family of Heads of State and Government; 5.2 Hirings by Minister, Deputy Minister and the other senior government officials; and 5.3 Hirings by senior officials of the diplomatic corps and duly accredited international organizations. 5.4 Hirings by employers in countries with whom the Philippines have [sic] bilateral labor agreements or understanding. xxx xxx xxx

The Order does not narrowly apply to existing conditions. Rather, it is intended to apply indefinitely so long as those conditions exist. This is clear from the Order itself ("Pending review of the administrative and legal measures, in the Philippines and in the host countries . . ." 18), meaning to say that should the authorities arrive at a means impressed with a greater degree of permanency, the ban shall be lifted. As a stop-gap measure, it is possessed of a necessary malleability, depending on the circumstances of each case. Accordingly, it provides: 9. LIFTING OF SUSPENSION. The Secretary of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may, upon recommendation of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), lift the suspension in countries where there are: 1. Bilateral agreements or understanding with the Philippines, and/or, 2. Existing mechanisms providing for sufficient safeguards to ensure the welfare and protection of Filipino workers. 19 The Court finds, finally, the impugned guidelines to be applicable to all female domestic overseas workers. That it does not apply to "all Filipina workers" 20 is not an argument for unconstitutionality. Had the ban been given universal applicability, then it would have been unreasonable and arbitrary. For obvious reasons, not all of them are similarly circumstanced. What the Constitution prohibits is the singling out of a select person or group of persons within an existing class, to the prejudice of such a person or group or resulting in an unfair advantage to another person or group of persons. To apply the ban, say exclusively to workers deployed by A, but not to those recruited by B, would obviously clash with the equal protection clause of the Charter. It would be a classic case of what Chase refers to as a law that "takes property from A and gives it to B." 21 It would be an unlawful invasion of property rights and freedom of contract and needless to state, an invalid act. 22 (Fernando says: "Where the classification is based on such distinctions that make a real difference as infancy, sex, and stage of civilization of minority groups, the better rule, it would seem, is to recognize its validity only if the young, the women, and the cultural minorities are singled out for favorable treatment. There would be an element of unreasonableness if on the contrary their status that calls for the law ministering to their needs is made the basis of discriminatory legislation against them. If such be the case, it would be difficult to refute the assertion of denial of equal protection." 23 In the case at bar, the assailed Order clearly accords protection to certain women workers, and not the contrary.) It is incorrect to say that Department Order No. 1 prescribes a total ban on overseas deployment. From scattered provisions of the Order, it is evident that such a total ban has hot been contemplated. We quote:

7. VACATIONING DOMESTIC HELPERS AND WORKERS OF SIMILAR SKILLS--Vacationing domestic helpers and/or workers of similar skills shall be allowed to process with the POEA and leave for worksite only if they are returning to the same employer to finish an existing or partially served employment contract. Those workers returning to worksite to serve a new employer shall be covered by the suspension and the provision of these guidelines. xxx xxx xxx 9. LIFTING OF SUSPENSION-The Secretary of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may, upon recommendation of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), lift the suspension in countries where there are: 1. Bilateral agreements or understanding with the Philippines, and/or, 2. Existing mechanisms providing for sufficient safeguards to ensure the welfare and protection of Filipino workers. 24 xxx xxx xxx The consequence the deployment ban has on the right to travel does not impair the right. The right to travel is subject, among other things, to the requirements of "public safety," "as may be provided by law." 25 Department Order No. 1 is a valid implementation of the Labor Code, in particular, its basic policy to "afford protection to labor," 26 pursuant to the respondent Department of Labor's rule-making authority vested in it by the Labor Code. 27 The petitioner assumes that it is unreasonable simply because of its impact on the right to travel, but as we have stated, the right itself is not absolute. The disputed Order is a valid qualification thereto. Neither is there merit in the contention that Department Order No. 1 constitutes an invalid exercise of legislative power. It is true that police power is the domain of the legislature, but it does not mean that such an authority may not be lawfully delegated. As we have mentioned, the Labor Code itself vests the Department of Labor and Employment with rulemaking powers in the enforcement whereof. 28

The petitioners reliance on the Constitutional guaranty of worker participation "in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits" 29 is not well-taken. The right granted by this provision, again, must submit to the demands and necessities of the State's power of regulation. The Constitution declares that: Sec. 3. The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all. 30 "Protection to labor" does not signify the promotion of employment alone. What concerns the Constitution more paramountly is that such an employment be above all, decent, just, and humane. It is bad enough that the country has to send its sons and daughters to strange lands because it cannot satisfy their employment needs at home. Under these circumstances, the Government is duty-bound to insure that our toiling expatriates have adequate protection, personally and economically, while away from home. In this case, the Government has evidence, an evidence the petitioner cannot seriously dispute, of the lack or inadequacy of such protection, and as part of its duty, it has precisely ordered an indefinite ban on deployment. The Court finds furthermore that the Government has not indiscriminately made use of its authority. It is not contested that it has in fact removed the prohibition with respect to certain countries as manifested by the Solicitor General. The non-impairment clause of the Constitution, invoked by the petitioner, must yield to the loftier purposes targetted by the Government. 31 Freedom of contract and enterprise, like all other freedoms, is not free from restrictions, more so in this jurisdiction, where laissez faire has never been fully accepted as a controlling economic way of life. This Court understands the grave implications the questioned Order has on the business of recruitment. The concern of the Government, however, is not necessarily to maintain profits of business firms. In the ordinary sequence of events, it is profits that suffer as a result of Government regulation. The interest of the State is to provide a decent living to its citizens. The Government has convinced the Court in this case that this is its intent. We do not find the impugned Order to be tainted with a grave abuse of discretion to warrant the extraordinary relief prayed for. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. No costs. SO ORDERED. Yap, C.J., Fernan, Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Cruz, Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin, Cortes and Grio-Aquino, JJ., concur. Gutierrez, Jr. and Medialdea, JJ., are on leave. G.R. No. 132875-76 February 3, 2000

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ROMEO G. JALOSJOS, accused-appellant. RESOLUTION YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: The accused-appellant, Romeo F. Jaloslos is a full-pledged member of Congress who is now confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of lasciviousness on six counts1 is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed this motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense. The issue raised is one of the first impression. Does membership in Congress exempt an accused from statutes and rules which apply to validly incarcerated persons in general? In answering the query, we are called upon to balance relevant and conflicting factors in the judicial interpretation of legislative privilege in the context of penal law. The accused-appellant's "Motion To Be Allowed To Discharge Mandate As Member of House of Representatives" was filed on the grounds that 1. Accused-appellant's reelection being an expression of popular will cannot be rendered inutile by any ruling, giving priority to any right or interest not even the police power of the State. 2. To deprive the electorate of their elected representative amounts to taxation without representation. 3. To bar accused-appellant from performing his duties amounts to his suspension/removal and mocks the renewed mandates entrusted to him by the people. 4. The electorate of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte wants their voice to be heard. 5. A precedent-setting U.S. ruling allowed a detained lawmaker to attend sessions of the U.S. Congress. 6. The House treats accused-appellant as a bona fide member thereof and urges a co-equal branch of government to respect its mandate. 7. The concept of temporary detention does not necessarily curtail the duty of accused-appellant to discharge his mandate.

8. Accused-appellant has always complied with the conditions/restrictions when allowed to leave jail. The primary argument of the movant is the "mandate of sovereign will." He states that the sovereign electorate of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte chose him as their representative in Congress. Having been re-elected by his constituents, he has the duty to perform the functions of a Congressman. He calls this a covenant with his constituents made possible by the intervention of the State. He adds that it cannot be defeated by insuperable procedural restraints arising from pending criminal cases. True, election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. In the exercise of suffrage, a free people expects to achieve the continuity of government and the perpetuation of its benefits. However, inspite of its importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law. Our first task is to ascertain the applicable law. We start with the incontestable proposition that all top officials of Government-executive, legislative, and judicial are subject to the majesty of law. There is an unfortunate misimpression in the public mind that election or appointment to high government office, by itself, frees the official from the common restraints of general law. Privilege has to be granted by law, not inferred from the duties of a position. In fact, the higher the rank, the greater is the requirement of obedience rather than exemption. The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives, the latter customarily addressed as Congressmen, arises from a provision of the Constitution. The history of the provision shows that privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment, implication or equitable considerations. The 1935 Constitution provided in its Article VI on the Legislative Department. Sec 15. The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of Congress, and in going to and returning from the same, . . . Because of the broad coverage of felony and breach of the peace, the exemption applied only to civil arrests. A congressman like the accused-appellant, convicted under Title Eleven of the Revised Penal Code could not claim parliamentary immunity from arrest. He was subject to the same general laws governing all persons still to be tried or whose convictions were pending appeal. The 1973 Constitution broadened the privilege of immunity as follows: Art. VIII, Sec. 9. A Member of the Batasang Pambansa shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest during his attendance at its sessions and in going to and returning from the same. For offenses punishable by more than six years imprisonment, there was no immunity from arrest. The restrictive interpretation of immunity and intent to confine it within carefully defined parameters is illustrated by the concluding portion of the provision, to wit: . . . but the Batasang Pambansa shall surrender the member involved the custody of the law within twenty four hours after its adjournment for a recess or for its next session, otherwise such privilege shall cease upon its failure to do so.

The present Constitution adheres to the same restrictive rule minus the obligation of Congress to surrender the subject Congressman to the custody of the law. The requirement that he should be attending sessions or committee meetings has also been removed. For relatively minor offenses, it is enough that Congress is in session. The accused-appellant argues that a member of Congress' function to attend sessions is underscored by Section 16 (2), Article VI of the Constitution which states that (2) A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent Members in such manner, and under such penalties, as such House may provide. However, the accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Section 11, Article VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than six months is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. Accused-appellant's reliance on the ruling in Aguinaldo v. Santos2, which states, inter alia, that The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. To do otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When a people have elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with the knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or forgave his fault or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It is not for the Court, by reason of such fault or misconduct, to practically overrule the will of the people. will not extricate him from his predicament. It can be readily seen in the above-quoted ruling that the Aguinaldo case involves the administrative removal of a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. It does not apply to imprisonment arising from the enforcement of criminal law. Moreover, in the same way that preventive suspension is not removal, confinement pending appeal is not removal. He remains a congressman unless expelled by Congress or, otherwise, disqualified. One rationale behind confinement, whether pending appeal or after final conviction, is public self-defense. Society must protect itself. It also serves as an example and warning to others. A person charged with crime is taken into custody for purposes of the administration of justice. As stated in United States v. Gustilo,3 it is the injury to the public which State action in criminal law seeks to redress. It is not the injury to the complainant. After conviction in the Regional Trial Court, the accused may be denied bail and thus subjected to incarceration if there is risk of his absconding.4 The accused-appellant states that the plea of the electorate which voted him into office cannot be supplanted by unfounded fears that he might escape eventual punishment if permitted to perform congressional duties outside his regular place of confinement. It will be recalled that when a warrant for accused-appellant's arrest was issued, he fled and evaded capture despite a call from his colleagues in the House of Representatives for him to attend the sessions and to surrender voluntarily to the authorities. Ironically, it is now the same body whose call he initially spurned which accused-appellant is invoking to justify his present motion. This can not be countenanced because, to reiterate, aside from its being contrary to well-defined Constitutional restrains, it would be a mockery of the aims of the State's penal system. Accused-appellant argues that on several occasions the Regional Trial Court of Makati granted several motions to temporarily leave his cell at the Makati City Jail, for official or medical reasons, to wit:

a) to attend hearings of the House Committee on Ethics held at the Batasan Complex, Quezon City, on the issue of whether to expel/suspend him from the House of Representatives; b) to undergo dental examination and treatment at the clinic of his dentist in Makati City;

branch of government to respect his mandate. He also claims that the concept of temporary detention does not necessarily curtail his duty to discharge his mandate and that he has always complied with the conditions/restrictions when he is allowed to leave jail. We remain unpersuaded.

c) to undergo a thorough medical check-up at the Makati Medical Center, Makati City; d) to register as a voter at his hometown in Dapitan City. In this case, accused-appellant commuted by chartered plane and private vehicle. He also calls attention to various instances, after his transfer at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, when he was likewise allowed/permitted to leave the prison premises, to wit. a) to join "living-out" prisoners on "work-volunteer program" for the purpose of 1) establishing a mahogany seedling bank and 2) planting mahogany trees, at the NBP reservation. For this purpose, he was assigned one guard and allowed to use his own vehicle and driver in going to and from the project area and his place of confinement. b) to continue with his dental treatment at the clinic of his dentist in Makati City. c) to be confined at the Makati Medical Center in Makati City for his heart condition. There is no showing that the above privileges are peculiar to him or to a member of Congress. Emergency or compelling temporary leaves from imprisonment are allowed to all prisoners, at the discretion of the authorities or upon court orders. What the accused-appellant seeks is not of an emergency nature. Allowing accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meeting for five (5) days or more in a week will virtually make him free man with all the privilege appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-appellant's status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system. Of particular relevance in this regard are the following observations of the Court in Martinez v. Morfe:5 The above conclusion reached by this Court is bolstered and fortified by policy considerations. There is, to be sure, a full recognition of the necessity to have members of Congress, and likewise delegates to the Constitutional Convention, entitled to the utmost freedom to enable them to discharge their vital responsibilities, bowing to no other force except the dictates of their conscience of their conscience. Necessarily the utmost latitude in free speech should be accorded them. When it comes to freedom from arrest, however, it would amount to the creation of a privileged class, without justification in reason, if notwithstanding their liability for a criminal offense, they would be considered immune during their attendance in Congress and in going to and returning from the same. There is likely to be no dissent from the proposition that a legislator or a delegate can perform his functions efficiently and well, without the need for any transgression of the criminal law. Should such an unfortunate event come to pass, he is to be treated like any other citizen considering that there is a strong public interest in seeing to it that crime should not go unpunished. To the fear that may be expressed that the prosecuting arm of the government might unjustly go after legislators belonging to the minority, it suffices to answer that precisely all the safeguards thrown around an accused by the Constitution, solicitous of the rights of an individual, would constitute an obstacle to such an attempt at abuse of power. The presumption of course is that the judiciary would remain independent. It is trite to say that in each and every manifestation of judicial endeavor, such a virtue is of the essence. The accused-appellant avers that his constituents in the First District of Zamboanga del Norte want their voices to be heard and that since he is treated as bona fide member of the House of Representatives, the latter urges a co-equal No less than accused-appellant himself admits that like any other member of the House of Representatives "[h]e is provided with a congressional office situated at Room N-214, North Wing Building, House of Representatives Complex, Batasan Hills, Quezon City, manned by a full complement of staff paid for by Congress. Through [an] interdepartment coordination, he is also provided with an office at the Administration Building, New Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa City, where he attends to his constituents." Accused-appellant further admits that while under detention, he has filed several bills and resolutions. It also appears that he has been receiving his salaries and other monetary benefits. Succinctly stated, accused-appellant has been discharging his mandate as a member of the House of Representative consistent with the restraints upon one who is presently under detention. Being a detainee, accusedappellant should not even have been allowed by the prison authorities at the National Penitentiary to perform these acts. When the voters of his district elected the accused-appellant to Congress, they did so with full awareness of the limitations on his freedom of action. They did so with the knowledge that he could achieve only such legislative results which he could accomplish within the confines of prison. To give a more drastic illustration, if voters elect a person with full knowledge that he suffering from a terminal illness, they do so knowing that at any time, he may no longer serve his full term in office. In the ultimate analysis, the issue before us boils down to a question of constitutional equal protection. The Constitution guarantees: ". . . nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws."6 This simply means that all persons similarly situated shall be treated alike both in rights enjoyed and responsibilities imposed.7 The organs of government may not show any undue favoritism or hostility to any person. Neither partiality not prejudice shall be displayed. Does being an elective official result in a substantial distinction that allows different treatment? Is being a Congressman a substantial differentiation which removes the accused-appellant as a prisoner from the same class as all persons validly confined under law? The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse to free a person validly in prison. The duties imposed by the "mandate of the people" are multifarious. The accused-appellant asserts that the duty to legislative ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The accused-appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives, not to mention the 24 members of the Senate, charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to function well in the physical absence of one or a few of its members. Depending on the exigency of Government that has to be addressed, the President or the Supreme Court can also be deemed the highest for that particular duty. The importance of a function depends on the need to its exercise. The duty of a mother to nurse her infant is most compelling under the law of nature. A doctor with unique skills has the duty to save the lives of those with a particular affliction. An elective governor has to serve provincial constituents. A police officer must maintain peace and order. Never has the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into a different classification from those others who are validly restrained by law. A strict scrutiny of classifications is essential lest wittingly or otherwise, insidious discriminations are made in favor of or against groups or types of individuals.8 The Court cannot validate badges of inequality. The necessities imposed by public welfare may justify exercise of government authority to regulate even if thereby certain groups may plausibly assert that their interests are disregarded.9

We, therefore, find that election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement. The functions and duties of the office are not substantial distinctions which lift him from the class of prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest and confinement are germane to the purposes of the law and apply to all those belonging to the same class.10 Imprisonment is the restraint of a man's personal liberty; coercion exercised upon a person to prevent the free exercise of his power of locomotion.11 More explicitly, "imprisonment" in its general sense, is the restraint of one's liberty. As a punishment, it is restraint by judgment of a court or lawful tribunal, and is personal to the accused.12 The term refers to the restraint on the personal liberty of another; any prevention of his movements from place to place, or of his free action according to his own pleasure and will.13 Imprisonment is the detention of another against his will depriving him of his power of locomotion14 and it "[is] something more than mere loss of freedom. It includes the notion of restraint within limits defined by wall or any exterior barrier."15 It can be seen from the foregoing that incarceration, by its nature, changes an individual's status in society.16 Prison officials have the difficult and often thankless job of preserving the security in a potentially explosive setting, as well as of attempting to provide rehabilitation that prepares inmates for re-entry into the social mainstream. Necessarily, both these demands require the curtailment and elimination of certain rights.17 Premises considered, we are constrained to rule against the accused-appellant's claim that re-election to public office gives priority to any other right or interest, including the police power of the State. WHEREFORE, the instant motion is hereby DENIED. SO ORDERED. Kapunan, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Purisima, Pardo Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur. Davide, Jr., C.J., and also in separate opinion of Justice Reyes. Bellosillo, J., I concur in the main and separate opinion. Melo, J., I join the majority as well as the separate opinion. Puno, J., I concur with the main and separate opinion. Vitug, J., I concur in both the ponencia and the separate opinion. Mendoza, J., I concur in this as well as in the separate opinion of Justice Gonzaga-Reyes. Gonzaga-Reyes, J., See separate concurring opinion.

The Bill of Rights provides All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.1 (emphasis supplied) This constitutional provision denying the right to bail for offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when the evidence of guilt is strong is reiterated in Rule 114 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, viz Sec. 7. Capital offense or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, not bailable. No person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, when evidence of guilt is strong, shall be admitted to bail regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution. The trial court found accused-appellant guilty of the crime of statutory rape, which is punishable by reclusion perpetua. In People v. Divina2 we held that the trial court's judgment of conviction imports that the evidence of guilt of the crime charged is strong. Unquestionably, the continued incarceration of accused-appellant is a valid and constitutionally mandated curtailment of his rights to provisional liberty pending appeal of his conviction. Neither may the constitutional provision granting immunity from arrest to legislators provide legal justification for accused-appellant's motion. The Constitution states that A Senator of Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No Member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof.3 I agree with the ponencia that to allow accused-appellant to attend legislative sessions would constitute an unjustified broadening of the privilege from the arrest bestowed by the Constitution upon members of Congress. Neither the legislative history of this provision nor the general principles of official immunity support an expanded interpretation of such privilege. Unlike the present Constitution, the 1935 Constitution4 limited the privilege from arrests to "all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace." This provision was taken from the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916, which was in turn based upon the American Constitution. In accordance with American precedents, the word "treason, felony and breach of the peace" have been construed to include all indictable offenses.5 Thus, under the 1935 Constitution the freedom from arrest only encompassed civil arrest. Under the 19736 and the 1987 Constitution, the privilege was broadened to include arrests for crimes punishable by imprisonment of six years or less. Despite the expansion of the privilege, the rationale for granting members of Congress immunity from arrest remained the same to ensure that they are not prevented from performing their legislative duties.7 In fact, the 1986 Constitutional Commission rejected the proposal of one of its members to expand the scope of the parliamentary immunity to include searches because, unlike arrest, it was not demonstrated that the conduct of searches would prevent members of Congress from discharging their legislative functions.8 It is a well-established principle that official immunity is a necessary adjunct to the vigorous and effective performance of official functions. Members of Congress in particular, who are called upon to exercise their discretion and judgment in enacting laws responsive to the needs of the people, would certainly be impeded in the exercise of their legislative functions if every dissatisfied person could compel them to vindicate the wisdom of their enactments in an action for damages or question their official acts before the courts.9

Separate Opinions GONZAGA-REYES, J., concurring opinion; For resolution in this case is a motion filed by accused-appellant Romeo G. Jalosjos, who has been convicted by the trial court of two counts of statutory rape and six counts of acts of lasciviousness, which judgment is currently pending appeal before this Court. As a member of the House of Representatives, accused-appellant claims that his constituents are deprived of representation by reason of his incarceration pending appeal of the judgment of conviction and that he should therefore be allowed to discharge his legislative functions, including attendance of legislative sessions and committee meetings. I concur in the ponencia of my colleague Madame Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago in holding that accusedappellant's motion is bereft of any legal merit.

It was never the intention of the framers of the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions to shield a member of Congress from the consequences of his wrongdoing. Thus, despite the widening of its scope to include criminal offenses, the privilege from arrest is still circumscribed by the nature or the gravity of the offenses of which the accused is charged. Hence, the commission of serious crimes, i.e., crimes punishable by afflictive penalties or with capital punishment, does not fall within the scope of the constitutional privilege. A member of Congress could only invoke the immunity from arrest for relatively minor offenses, punishable at most by correctional penalties. As enunciated in Martinez v. Morfe,10 "when it comes to freedom from arrest, it would amount to the creation of a privileged class, without justification in reason, if notwithstanding their liability for a criminal offense, they would be considered immune during their attendance in Congress and in going to and returning from the same" The accused-appellant, having been convicted of statutory rape which is punishable by reclusion perpetua, an afflictive penalty, is obviously not entitled to the privilege of parliamentary immunity and, proceeding from the above stated rationale for legislative immunity, a liberal construction of the constitutional privilege is not in order. It should also be mentioned that, under the factual circumstances of this case, the applicability of this privilege from arrest to accused-appellant is already moot and academic. The constitutional provision contemplates that stage of the criminal process at which personal jurisdiction is sought to be acquired over the accused by means of his arrest. Accused-appellant is no longer at the point of merely being arrested. As a matter of fact, he has already been arrested, tried and convicted by the trial court. Accused-appellant's contention that his re-election constitutes a renewal of his mandate and that such an expression of the popular will should not be rendered inutile by even the police power of the State is hollow. In Aguinaldo v. Comelec,11 Aguinaldo v. Santos12 and in Salalima v. Guingona13 we laid down the doctrine that a public official cannot be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove therefor. This doctrine of forgiveness or condonation cannot apply to criminal acts which the re-elected official may have committed during his previous term.14 The administrative liability of a public officer is separate and distinct from his penal liability. Penal laws are obligatory upon all who live or sojourn in Philippine territory. Since the Constitution itself provides for the immunities from the general application of our criminal laws which a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may enjoy, it follows that any expansion of such immunities must similarly be based upon an express constitutional grant. I vote to deny the motion.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-23794 February 17, 1968

ORMOC SUGAR COMPANY, INC., plaintiff-appellant, vs. THE TREASURER OF ORMOC CITY, THE MUNICIPAL BOARD OF ORMOC CITY, HON. ESTEBAN C. CONEJOS as Mayor of Ormoc City and ORMOC CITY, defendants-appellees. Ponce Enrile, Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Belo and Teehankee, Carreon & Taada for plaintiff-appellant. Ramon O. de Veyra for defendants-appellees. BENGZON, J.P., J.: On January 29, 1964, the Municipal Board of Ormoc City passed 1 Ordinance No. 4, Series of 1964, imposing "on any and all productions of centrifugal sugar milled at the Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc., in Ormoc City a municipal tax equivalent to one per centum (1%) per export sale to the United States of America and other foreign countries." 2 Payments for said tax were made, under protest, by Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. on March 20, 1964 for P7,087.50 and on April 20, 1964 for P5,000, or a total of P12,087.50. On June 1, 1964, Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. filed before the Court of First Instance of Leyte, with service of a copy upon the Solicitor General, a complaint 3 against the City of Ormoc as well as its Treasurer, Municipal Board and Mayor, alleging that the afore-stated ordinance is unconstitutional for being violative of the equal protection clause (Sec. 1[1], Art. III, Constitution) and the rule of uniformity of taxation (Sec. 22[1]), Art. VI, Constitution), aside from being an export tax forbidden under Section 2287 of the Revised Administrative Code. It further alleged that the tax is neither a production nor a license tax which Ormoc City under Section 15-kk of its charter and under Section 2 of Republic Act 2264, otherwise known as the Local Autonomy Act, is authorized to impose; and that the tax amounts to a customs duty, fee or charge in violation of paragraph 1 of Section 2 of Republic Act 2264 because the tax is on both the sale and export of sugar. Answering, the defendants asserted that the tax ordinance was within defendant city's power to enact under the Local Autonomy Act and that the same did not violate the afore-cited constitutional limitations. After pre-trial and submission of the case on memoranda, the Court of First Instance, on August 6, 1964, rendered a decision that upheld the constitutionality of the ordinance and declared the taxing power of defendant chartered city broadened by the Local Autonomy Act to include all other forms of taxes, licenses or fees not excluded in its charter. Appeal therefrom was directly taken to Us by plaintiff Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. Appellant alleges the same statutory and constitutional violations in the aforesaid taxing ordinance mentioned earlier. Section 1 of the ordinance states: "There shall be paid to the City Treasurer on any and all productions of centrifugal sugar milled at the Ormoc Sugar Company, Incorporated, in Ormoc City, a municipal tax equivalent to one per centum (1%) per export sale to the United States of America and other foreign countries." Though referred to as a tax on the export of centrifugal sugar produced at Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. For production of sugar alone is not taxable; the only time the tax applies is when the sugar produced is exported. Appellant questions the authority of the defendant Municipal Board to levy such an export tax, in view of Section 2287 of the Revised Administrative Code which denies from municipal councils the power to impose an export

tax. Section 2287 in part states: "It shall not be in the power of the municipal council to impose a tax in any form whatever, upon goods and merchandise carried into the municipality, or out of the same, and any attempt to impose an import or export tax upon such goods in the guise of an unreasonable charge for wharfage use of bridges or otherwise, shall be void." Subsequently, however, Section 2 of Republic Act 2264 effective June 19, 1959, gave chartered cities, municipalities and municipal districts authority to levy for public purposes just and uniform taxes, licenses or fees. Anent the inconsistency between Section 2287 of the Revised Administrative Code and Section 2 of Republic Act 2264, this Court, in Nin Bay Mining Co. v. Municipality of Roxas 4 held the former to have been repealed by the latter. And expressing Our awareness of the transcendental effects that municipal export or import taxes or licenses will have on the national economy, due to Section 2 of Republic Act 2264, We stated that there was no other alternative until Congress acts to provide remedial measures to forestall any unfavorable results. The point remains to be determined, however, whether constitutional limits on the power of taxation, specifically the equal protection clause and rule of uniformity of taxation, were infringed. The Constitution in the bill of rights provides: ". . . nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws." (Sec. 1 [1], Art. III) In Felwa vs. Salas, 5 We ruled that the equal protection clause applies only to persons or things identically situated and does not bar a reasonable classification of the subject of legislation, and a classification is reasonable where (1) it is based on substantial distinctions which make real differences; (2) these are germane to the purpose of the law; (3) the classification applies not only to present conditions but also to future conditions which are substantially identical to those of the present; (4) the classification applies only to those who belong to the same class. A perusal of the requisites instantly shows that the questioned ordinance does not meet them, for it taxes only centrifugal sugar produced and exported by the Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. and none other. At the time of the taxing ordinance's enactment, Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc., it is true, was the only sugar central in the city of Ormoc. Still, the classification, to be reasonable, should be in terms applicable to future conditions as well. The taxing ordinance should not be singular and exclusive as to exclude any subsequently established sugar central, of the same class as plaintiff, for the coverage of the tax. As it is now, even if later a similar company is set up, it cannot be subject to the tax because the ordinance expressly points only to Ormoc City Sugar Company, Inc. as the entity to be levied upon. Appellant, however, is not entitled to interest; on the refund because the taxes were not arbitrarily collected (Collector of Internal Revenue v. Binalbagan). 6 At the time of collection, the ordinance provided a sufficient basis to preclude arbitrariness, the same being then presumed constitutional until declared otherwise. WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby reversed, the challenged ordinance is declared unconstitutional and the defendants-appellees are hereby ordered to refund the P12,087.50 plaintiff-appellant paid under protest. No costs. So ordered. Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Sanchez, Castro, Angeles and Fernando, JJ., concur.1wph1.t

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-7995 May 31, 1957

LAO H. ICHONG, in his own behalf and in behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships adversely affected. by Republic Act No. 1180, petitioner, vs. JAIME HERNANDEZ, Secretary of Finance, and MARCELINO SARMIENTO, City Treasurer of Manila, respondents. Ozaeta, Lichauco and Picazo and Sycip, Quisumbing, Salazar and Associates for petitioner. Office of the Solicitor General Ambrosio Padilla and Solicitor Pacifico P. de Castro for respondent Secretary of Finance. City Fiscal Eugenio Angeles and Assistant City Fiscal Eulogio S. Serrano for respondent City Treasurer. Dionisio Reyes as Amicus Curiae. Marcial G. Mendiola as Amicus Curiae. Emiliano R. Navarro as Amicus Curiae. LABRADOR, J.: I. The case and issue, in general This Court has before it the delicate task of passing upon the validity and constitutionality of a legislative enactment, fundamental and far-reaching in significance. The enactment poses questions of due process, police power and equal protection of the laws. It also poses an important issue of fact, that is whether the conditions which the disputed law purports to remedy really or actually exist. Admittedly springing from a deep, militant, and positive nationalistic impulse, the law purports to protect citizen and country from the alien retailer. Through it, and within the field of economy it regulates, Congress attempts to translate national aspirations for economic independence and national security, rooted in the drive and urge for national survival and welfare, into a concrete and tangible measures designed to free the national retailer from the competing dominance of the alien, so that the country and the nation may be free from a supposed economic dependence and bondage. Do the facts and circumstances justify the enactment? II. Pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 1180 Republic Act No. 1180 is entitled "An Act to Regulate the Retail Business." In effect it nationalizes the retail trade business. The main provisions of the Act are: (1) a prohibition against persons, not citizens of the Philippines, and against associations, partnerships, or corporations the capital of which are not wholly owned by citizens of the Philippines, from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade; (2) an exception from the above prohibition in favor of aliens actually engaged in said business on May 15, 1954, who are allowed to continue to engaged therein, unless their licenses are forfeited in accordance with the law, until their death or voluntary retirement in case of natural persons, and for ten years after the approval of the Act or until the expiration of term in case of juridical persons; (3) an exception therefrom in favor of citizens and juridical entities of the United States; (4) a provision for the forfeiture of licenses (to engage in the retail business) for violation of the laws on nationalization, control weights and measures and labor and other laws relating to trade, commerce and industry; (5) a prohibition against the establishment or opening by aliens actually engaged in the retail business of additional stores or branches of retail business, (6) a provision requiring aliens actually engaged in the retail business to present for registration with the proper authorities a verified statement concerning their businesses, giving, among other matters, the nature of the business, their assets and liabilities and their offices and principal offices of judicial entities; and (7) a provision allowing the heirs of aliens now engaged in the retail business who die, to continue such business for a period of six months for purposes of liquidation.

III. Grounds upon which petition is based-Answer thereto Petitioner, for and in his own behalf and on behalf of other alien residents corporations and partnerships adversely affected by the provisions of Republic Act. No. 1180, brought this action to obtain a judicial declaration that said Act is unconstitutional, and to enjoin the Secretary of Finance and all other persons acting under him, particularly city and municipal treasurers, from enforcing its provisions. Petitioner attacks the constitutionality of the Act, contending that: (1) it denies to alien residents the equal protection of the laws and deprives of their liberty and property without due process of law ; (2) the subject of the Act is not expressed or comprehended in the title thereof; (3) the Act violates international and treaty obligations of the Republic of the Philippines; (4) the provisions of the Act against the transmission by aliens of their retail business thru hereditary succession, and those requiring 100% Filipino capitalization for a corporation or entity to entitle it to engage in the retail business, violate the spirit of Sections 1 and 5, Article XIII and Section 8 of Article XIV of the Constitution. In answer, the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila contend that: (1) the Act was passed in the valid exercise of the police power of the State, which exercise is authorized in the Constitution in the interest of national economic survival; (2) the Act has only one subject embraced in the title; (3) no treaty or international obligations are infringed; (4) as regards hereditary succession, only the form is affected but the value of the property is not impaired, and the institution of inheritance is only of statutory origin. IV. Preliminary consideration of legal principles involved a. The police power. There is no question that the Act was approved in the exercise of the police power, but petitioner claims that its exercise in this instance is attended by a violation of the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws. But before proceeding to the consideration and resolution of the ultimate issue involved, it would be well to bear in mind certain basic and fundamental, albeit preliminary, considerations in the determination of the ever recurrent conflict between police power and the guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws. What is the scope of police power, and how are the due process and equal protection clauses related to it? What is the province and power of the legislature, and what is the function and duty of the courts? These consideration must be clearly and correctly understood that their application to the facts of the case may be brought forth with clarity and the issue accordingly resolved. It has been said the police power is so far - reaching in scope, that it has become almost impossible to limit its sweep. As it derives its existence from the very existence of the State itself, it does not need to be expressed or defined in its scope; it is said to be co-extensive with self-protection and survival, and as such it is the most positive and active of all governmental processes, the most essential, insistent and illimitable. Especially is it so under a modern democratic framework where the demands of society and of nations have multiplied to almost unimaginable proportions; the field and scope of police power has become almost boundless, just as the fields of public interest and public welfare have become almost all-embracing and have transcended human foresight. Otherwise stated, as we cannot foresee the needs and demands of public interest and welfare in this constantly changing and progressive world, so we cannot delimit beforehand the extent or scope of police power by which and through which the State seeks to attain or achieve interest or welfare. So it is that Constitutions do not define the scope or extent of the police power of the State; what they do is to set forth the limitations thereof. The most important of these are the due process clause and the equal protection clause. b. Limitations on police power.

These constitutional guarantees which embody the essence of individual liberty and freedom in democracies, are not limited to citizens alone but are admittedly universal in their application, without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality. (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 30, L. ed. 220, 226.) c. The, equal protection clause. The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not intended to prohibit legislation, which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by territory within which is to operate. It does not demand absolute equality among residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds exists for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not. (2 Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, 824-825.) d. The due process clause. The due process clause has to do with the reasonableness of legislation enacted in pursuance of the police power. Is there public interest, a public purpose; is public welfare involved? Is the Act reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the legislature's purpose; is it not unreasonable, arbitrary or oppressive? Is there sufficient foundation or reason in connection with the matter involved; or has there not been a capricious use of the legislative power? Can the aims conceived be achieved by the means used, or is it not merely an unjustified interference with private interest? These are the questions that we ask when the due process test is applied. The conflict, therefore, between police power and the guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws is more apparent than real. Properly related, the power and the guarantees are supposed to coexist. The balancing is the essence or, shall it be said, the indispensable means for the attainment of legitimate aspirations of any democratic society. There can be no absolute power, whoever exercise it, for that would be tyranny. Yet there can neither be absolute liberty, for that would mean license and anarchy. So the State can deprive persons of life, liberty and property, provided there is due process of law; and persons may be classified into classes and groups, provided everyone is given the equal protection of the law. The test or standard, as always, is reason. The police power legislation must be firmly grounded on public interest and welfare, and a reasonable relation must exist between purposes and means. And if distinction and classification has been made, there must be a reasonable basis for said distinction. e. Legislative discretion not subject to judicial review. Now, in this matter of equitable balancing, what is the proper place and role of the courts? It must not be overlooked, in the first place, that the legislature, which is the constitutional repository of police power and exercises the prerogative of determining the policy of the State, is by force of circumstances primarily the judge of necessity, adequacy or reasonableness and wisdom, of any law promulgated in the exercise of the police power, or of the measures adopted to implement the public policy or to achieve public interest. On the other hand, courts, although zealous guardians of individual liberty and right, have nevertheless evinced a reluctance to interfere with the exercise of the legislative prerogative. They have done so early where there has been a clear, patent or palpable arbitrary and unreasonable abuse of the legislative prerogative. Moreover, courts are not supposed to override legitimate policy, and courts never inquire into the wisdom of the law. V. Economic problems sought to be remedied

The basic limitations of due process and equal protection are found in the following provisions of our Constitution: SECTION 1.(1) No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. (Article III, Phil. Constitution) With the above considerations in mind, we will now proceed to delve directly into the issue involved. If the disputed legislation were merely a regulation, as its title indicates, there would be no question that it falls within the legitimate scope of legislative power. But it goes further and prohibits a group of residents, the aliens, from engaging therein.

The problem becomes more complex because its subject is a common, trade or occupation, as old as society itself, which from the immemorial has always been open to residents, irrespective of race, color or citizenship. a. Importance of retail trade in the economy of the nation. In a primitive economy where families produce all that they consume and consume all that they produce, the dealer, of course, is unknown. But as group life develops and families begin to live in communities producing more than what they consume and needing an infinite number of things they do not produce, the dealer comes into existence. As villages develop into big communities and specialization in production begins, the dealer's importance is enhanced. Under modern conditions and standards of living, in which man's needs have multiplied and diversified to unlimited extents and proportions, the retailer comes as essential as the producer, because thru him the infinite variety of articles, goods and needed for daily life are placed within the easy reach of consumers. Retail dealers perform the functions of capillaries in the human body, thru which all the needed food and supplies are ministered to members of the communities comprising the nation. There cannot be any question about the importance of the retailer in the life of the community. He ministers to the resident's daily needs, food in all its increasing forms, and the various little gadgets and things needed for home and daily life. He provides his customers around his store with the rice or corn, the fish, the salt, the vinegar, the spices needed for the daily cooking. He has cloths to sell, even the needle and the thread to sew them or darn the clothes that wear out. The retailer, therefore, from the lowly peddler, the owner of a small sari-sari store, to the operator of a department store or, a supermarket is so much a part of day-to-day existence. b. The alien retailer's trait. The alien retailer must have started plying his trades in this country in the bigger centers of population (Time there was when he was unknown in provincial towns and villages). Slowly but gradually be invaded towns and villages; now he predominates in the cities and big centers of population. He even pioneers, in far away nooks where the beginnings of community life appear, ministering to the daily needs of the residents and purchasing their agricultural produce for sale in the towns. It is an undeniable fact that in many communities the alien has replaced the native retailer. He has shown in this trade, industry without limit, and the patience and forbearance of a slave. Derogatory epithets are hurled at him, but he laughs these off without murmur; insults of ill-bred and insolent neighbors and customers are made in his face, but he heeds them not, and he forgets and forgives. The community takes note of him, as he appears to be harmless and extremely useful. c. Alleged alien control and dominance. There is a general feeling on the part of the public, which appears to be true to fact, about the controlling and dominant position that the alien retailer holds in the nation's economy. Food and other essentials, clothing, almost all articles of daily life reach the residents mostly through him. In big cities and centers of population he has acquired not only predominance, but apparent control over distribution of almost all kinds of goods, such as lumber, hardware, textiles, groceries, drugs, sugar, flour, garlic, and scores of other goods and articles. And were it not for some national corporations like the Naric, the Namarco, the Facomas and the Acefa, his control over principal foods and products would easily become full and complete. Petitioner denies that there is alien predominance and control in the retail trade. In one breath it is said that the fear is unfounded and the threat is imagined; in another, it is charged that the law is merely the result of radicalism and pure and unabashed nationalism. Alienage, it is said, is not an element of control; also so many unmanageable factors in the retail business make control virtually impossible. The first argument which brings up an issue of fact merits serious consideration. The others are matters of opinion within the exclusive competence of the legislature and beyond our prerogative to pass upon and decide.

The best evidence are the statistics on the retail trade, which put down the figures in black and white. Between the constitutional convention year (1935), when the fear of alien domination and control of the retail trade already filled the minds of our leaders with fears and misgivings, and the year of the enactment of the nationalization of the retail trade act (1954), official statistics unmistakably point out to the ever-increasing dominance and control by the alien of the retail trade, as witness the following tables: Assets Year and Retailers Nationality 1941: Filipino .......... Chinese ........... Others ............ 1947: Filipino .......... Chinese ........... Others ........... 1948: (Census) Filipino .......... Chinese .......... Others .......... 1949: Filipino .......... Chinese .......... Others .......... 1951: Filipino ......... Chinese .......... Others .......... 119,352 17,429 347 224,053,620 134,325,303 8,614,025 61.09 36.60 2.31 466,058,052 404,481,384 7,645,327 53.07 46.06 87 113,659 16,248 486 213,451,602 125,223,336 12,056,365 60.89 35.72 3.39 462,532,901 392,414,875 10,078,364 53.47 45.36 1.17 113,631 12,087 422 213,342,264 93,155,459 10,514,675 67.30 29.38 3.32 467,161,667 294,894,227 9,995,402 60.51 38.20 1.29 111,107 13,774 354 208,658,946 106,156,218 8,761,260 65.05 33.56 .49 279,583,333 205,701,134 4,927,168 57.03 41.96 1.01 106,671 15,356 1,646 200,323,138 118,348,692 40,187,090 55.82 32.98 11.20 174,181,924 148,813,239 13,630,239 51.74 44.21 4.05 No.Establishments Pesos Per cent Distribution Gross Sales Pesos Per cent Distribution

AVERAGE ASSETS AND GROSS SALES PER ESTABLISHMENT Year and Retailer's Nationality 1941: Filipino ............................................. Chinese .............................................. 1,878 7,707 1,633 9,691 Item Assets (Pesos) Gross Sales (Pesos)

Others ............................................... 1947: Filipino ............................................. Chinese ........................................... Others .............................................. 1948: (Census) Filipino ............................................. Chinese ............................................. Others .............................................. 1949: Filipino ............................................. Chinese .............................................. Others .............................................. 1951: Filipino ............................................. Chinese ............................................. Others ...............................................



1,878 7,707 24,749

2,516 14,934 13,919

It is this domination and control, which we believe has been sufficiently shown to exist, that is the legislature's target in the enactment of the disputed nationalization would never have been adopted. The framers of our Constitution also believed in the existence of this alien dominance and control when they approved a resolution categorically declaring among other things, that "it is the sense of the Convention that the public interest requires the nationalization of the retail trade; . . . ." (II Aruego, The Framing of the Philippine Constitution, 662-663, quoted on page 67 of Petitioner.) That was twenty-two years ago; and the events since then have not been either pleasant or comforting. Dean Sinco of the University of the Philippines College of Law, commenting on the patrimony clause of the Preamble opines that the fathers of our Constitution were merely translating the general preoccupation of Filipinos "of the dangers from alien interests that had already brought under their control the commercial and other economic activities of the country" (Sinco, Phil. Political Law, 10th ed., p. 114); and analyzing the concern of the members of the constitutional convention for the economic life of the citizens, in connection with the nationalistic provisions of the Constitution, he says: But there has been a general feeling that alien dominance over the economic life of the country is not desirable and that if such a situation should remain, political independence alone is no guarantee to national stability and strength. Filipino private capital is not big enough to wrest from alien hands the control of the national economy. Moreover, it is but of recent formation and hence, largely inexperienced, timid and hesitant. Under such conditions, the government as the instrumentality of the national will, has to step in and assume the initiative, if not the leadership, in the struggle for the economic freedom of the nation in somewhat the same way that it did in the crusade for political freedom. Thus . . . it (the Constitution) envisages an organized movement for the protection of the nation not only against the possibilities of armed invasion but also against its economic subjugation by alien interests in the economic field. (Phil. Political Law by Sinco, 10th ed., p. 476.) Belief in the existence of alien control and predominance is felt in other quarters. Filipino businessmen, manufacturers and producers believe so; they fear the dangers coming from alien control, and they express sentiments of economic independence. Witness thereto is Resolution No. 1, approved on July 18, 1953, of the Fifth National convention of Filipino Businessmen, and a similar resolution, approved on March 20, 1954, of the Second National Convention of Manufacturers and Producers. The man in the street also believes, and fears, alien predominance and control; so our newspapers, which have editorially pointed out not only to control but to alien stranglehold. We, therefore, find alien domination and control to be a fact, a reality proved by official statistics, and felt by all the sections and groups that compose the Filipino community. e. Dangers of alien control and dominance in retail. But the dangers arising from alien participation in the retail trade does not seem to lie in the predominance alone; there is a prevailing feeling that such predominance may truly endanger the national interest. With ample capital, unity of purpose and action and thorough organization, alien retailers and merchants can act in such complete unison and concert on such vital matters as the fixing of prices, the determination of the amount of goods or articles to be made available in the market, and even the choice of the goods or articles they would or would not patronize or distribute, that fears of dislocation of the national economy and of the complete subservience of national economy and of the consuming public are not entirely unfounded. Nationals, producers and consumers alike can be placed completely at their mercy. This is easily illustrated. Suppose an article of daily use is desired to be prescribed by the aliens, because the producer or importer does not offer them sufficient profits, or because a new competing article offers bigger profits for its introduction. All that aliens would do is to agree to refuse to sell the first article, eliminating it from their stocks, offering the new one as a substitute. Hence, the producers or importers of the prescribed article, or its consumers, find the article suddenly out of the prescribed article, or its consumers, find the article suddenly out of circulation. Freedom of trade is thus curtailed and free enterprise correspondingly suppressed. We can even go farther than theoretical illustrations to show the pernicious influences of alien domination. Grave abuses have characterized the exercise of the retail trade by aliens. It is a fact within judicial notice, which courts of justice may not properly overlook or ignore in the interests of truth and justice, that there exists a general feeling on the part of the public that alien participation in the retail trade has been attended by a pernicious and intolerable practices, the mention of a few of which would suffice for our purposes; that at some time or other they have cornered the market of essential commodities, like corn and rice, creating artificial scarcities to justify and enhance

1,878 7,707 24,916

4,111 24,398 23,686

1,878 7,707 24,807

4,069 24,152 20,737

1,877 7,707 24,824

3,905 33,207 22,033

(Estimated Assets and Gross Sales of Retail Establishments, By Year and Nationality of Owners, Benchmark: 1948 Census, issued by the Bureau of Census and Statistics, Department of Commerce and Industry; pp. 18-19 of Answer.) The above statistics do not include corporations and partnerships, while the figures on Filipino establishments already include mere market vendors, whose capital is necessarily small.. The above figures reveal that in percentage distribution of assests and gross sales, alien participation has steadily increased during the years. It is true, of course, that Filipinos have the edge in the number of retailers, but aliens more than make up for the numerical gap through their assests and gross sales which average between six and seven times those of the very many Filipino retailers. Numbers in retailers, here, do not imply superiority; the alien invests more capital, buys and sells six to seven times more, and gains much more. The same official report, pointing out to the known predominance of foreign elements in the retail trade, remarks that the Filipino retailers were largely engaged in minor retailer enterprises. As observed by respondents, the native investment is thinly spread, and the Filipino retailer is practically helpless in matters of capital, credit, price and supply. d. Alien control and threat, subject of apprehension in Constitutional convention.

profits to unreasonable proportions; that they have hoarded essential foods to the inconvenience and prejudice of the consuming public, so much so that the Government has had to establish the National Rice and Corn Corporation to save the public from their continuous hoarding practices and tendencies; that they have violated price control laws, especially on foods and essential commodities, such that the legislature had to enact a law (Sec. 9, Republic Act No. 1168), authorizing their immediate and automatic deportation for price control convictions; that they have secret combinations among themselves to control prices, cheating the operation of the law of supply and demand; that they have connived to boycott honest merchants and traders who would not cater or yield to their demands, in unlawful restraint of freedom of trade and enterprise. They are believed by the public to have evaded tax laws, smuggled goods and money into and out of the land, violated import and export prohibitions, control laws and the like, in derision and contempt of lawful authority. It is also believed that they have engaged in corrupting public officials with fabulous bribes, indirectly causing the prevalence of graft and corruption in the Government. As a matter of fact appeals to unscrupulous aliens have been made both by the Government and by their own lawful diplomatic representatives, action which impliedly admits a prevailing feeling about the existence of many of the above practices. The circumstances above set forth create well founded fears that worse things may come in the future. The present dominance of the alien retailer, especially in the big centers of population, therefore, becomes a potential source of danger on occasions of war or other calamity. We do not have here in this country isolated groups of harmless aliens retailing goods among nationals; what we have are well organized and powerful groups that dominate the distribution of goods and commodities in the communities and big centers of population. They owe no allegiance or loyalty to the State, and the State cannot rely upon them in times of crisis or emergency. While the national holds his life, his person and his property subject to the needs of his country, the alien may even become the potential enemy of the State. f. Law enacted in interest of national economic survival and security. We are fully satisfied upon a consideration of all the facts and circumstances that the disputed law is not the product of racial hostility, prejudice or discrimination, but the expression of the legitimate desire and determination of the people, thru their authorized representatives, to free the nation from the economic situation that has unfortunately been saddled upon it rightly or wrongly, to its disadvantage. The law is clearly in the interest of the public, nay of the national security itself, and indisputably falls within the scope of police power, thru which and by which the State insures its existence and security and the supreme welfare of its citizens. VI. The Equal Protection Limitation a. Objections to alien participation in retail trade. The next question that now poses solution is, Does the law deny the equal protection of the laws? As pointed out above, the mere fact of alienage is the root and cause of the distinction between the alien and the national as a trader. The alien resident owes allegiance to the country of his birth or his adopted country; his stay here is for personal convenience; he is attracted by the lure of gain and profit. His aim or purpose of stay, we admit, is neither illegitimate nor immoral, but he is naturally lacking in that spirit of loyalty and enthusiasm for this country where he temporarily stays and makes his living, or of that spirit of regard, sympathy and consideration for his Filipino customers as would prevent him from taking advantage of their weakness and exploiting them. The faster he makes his pile, the earlier can the alien go back to his beloved country and his beloved kin and countrymen. The experience of the country is that the alien retailer has shown such utter disregard for his customers and the people on whom he makes his profit, that it has been found necessary to adopt the legislation, radical as it may seem. Another objection to the alien retailer in this country is that he never really makes a genuine contribution to national income and wealth. He undoubtedly contributes to general distribution, but the gains and profits he makes are not invested in industries that would help the country's economy and increase national wealth. The alien's interest in this country being merely transient and temporary, it would indeed be ill-advised to continue entrusting the very important function of retail distribution to his hands. The practices resorted to by aliens in the control of distribution, as already pointed out above, their secret manipulations of stocks of commodities and prices, their utter disregard of the welfare of their customers and of the ultimate happiness of the people of the nation of which they are mere guests, which practices, manipulations and

disregard do not attend the exercise of the trade by the nationals, show the existence of real and actual, positive and fundamental differences between an alien and a national which fully justify the legislative classification adopted in the retail trade measure. These differences are certainly a valid reason for the State to prefer the national over the alien in the retail trade. We would be doing violence to fact and reality were we to hold that no reason or ground for a legitimate distinction can be found between one and the other. b. Difference in alien aims and purposes sufficient basis for distinction. The above objectionable characteristics of the exercise of the retail trade by the aliens, which are actual and real, furnish sufficient grounds for legislative classification of retail traders into nationals and aliens. Some may disagree with the wisdom of the legislature's classification. To this we answer, that this is the prerogative of the law-making power. Since the Court finds that the classification is actual, real and reasonable, and all persons of one class are treated alike, and as it cannot be said that the classification is patently unreasonable and unfounded, it is in duty bound to declare that the legislature acted within its legitimate prerogative and it can not declare that the act transcends the limit of equal protection established by the Constitution. Broadly speaking, the power of the legislature to make distinctions and classifications among persons is not curtailed or denied by the equal protection of the laws clause. The legislative power admits of a wide scope of discretion, and a law can be violative of the constitutional limitation only when the classification is without reasonable basis. In addition to the authorities we have earlier cited, we can also refer to the case of Linsey vs. Natural Carbonic Fas Co. (1911), 55 L. ed., 369, which clearly and succinctly defined the application of equal protection clause to a law sought to be voided as contrary thereto: . . . . "1. The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not take from the state the power to classify in the adoption of police laws, but admits of the exercise of the wide scope of discretion in that regard, and avoids what is done only when it is without any reasonable basis, and therefore is purely arbitrary. 2. A classification having some reasonable basis does not offend against that clause merely because it is not made with mathematical nicety, or because in practice it results in some inequality. 3. When the classification in such a law is called in question, if any state of facts reasonably can be conceived that would sustain it, the existence of that state of facts at the time the law was enacted must be assumed. 4. One who assails the classification in such a law must carry the burden of showing that it does not rest upon any reasonable basis but is essentially arbitrary." c. Authorities recognizing citizenship as basis for classification. The question as to whether or not citizenship is a legal and valid ground for classification has already been affirmatively decided in this jurisdiction as well as in various courts in the United States. In the case of Smith Bell & Co. vs. Natividad, 40 Phil. 136, where the validity of Act No. 2761 of the Philippine Legislature was in issue, because of a condition therein limiting the ownership of vessels engaged in coastwise trade to corporations formed by citizens of the Philippine Islands or the United States, thus denying the right to aliens, it was held that the Philippine Legislature did not violate the equal protection clause of the Philippine Bill of Rights. The legislature in enacting the law had as ultimate purpose the encouragement of Philippine shipbuilding and the safety for these Islands from foreign interlopers. We held that this was a valid exercise of the police power, and all presumptions are in favor of its constitutionality. In substance, we held that the limitation of domestic ownership of vessels engaged in coastwise trade to citizens of the Philippines does not violate the equal protection of the law and due process or law clauses of the Philippine Bill of Rights. In rendering said decision we quoted with approval the concurring opinion of Justice Johnson in the case of Gibbons vs. Ogden, 9 Wheat., I, as follows: "Licensing acts, in fact, in legislation, are universally restraining acts; as, for example, acts licensing gaming houses, retailers of spirituous liquors, etc. The act, in this instance, is distinctly of that character, and forms part of an extensive system, the object of which is to encourage American shipping, and place them on an equal footing with the shipping of other nations. Almost every commercial nation reserves to its own subjects a monopoly of its coasting trade; and a countervailing privilege in favor of American shipping is contemplated, in the whole legislation of the United States on this subject. It is not to give the vessel an

American character, that the license is granted; that effect has been correctly attributed to the act of her enrollment. But it is to confer on her American privileges, as contra distinguished from foreign; and to preserve the Government from fraud by foreigners; in surreptitiously intruding themselves into the American commercial marine, as well as frauds upon the revenue in the trade coastwise, that this whole system is projected." The rule in general is as follows: Aliens are under no special constitutional protection which forbids a classification otherwise justified simply because the limitation of the class falls along the lines of nationality. That would be requiring a higher degree of protection for aliens as a class than for similar classes than for similar classes of American citizens. Broadly speaking, the difference in status between citizens and aliens constitutes a basis for reasonable classification in the exercise of police power. (2 Am., Jur. 468-469.) In Commonwealth vs. Hana, 81 N. E. 149 (Massachusetts, 1907), a statute on the licensing of hawkers and peddlers, which provided that no one can obtain a license unless he is, or has declared his intention, to become a citizen of the United States, was held valid, for the following reason: It may seem wise to the legislature to limit the business of those who are supposed to have regard for the welfare, good order and happiness of the community, and the court cannot question this judgment and conclusion. In Bloomfield vs. State, 99 N. E. 309 (Ohio, 1912), a statute which prevented certain persons, among them aliens, from engaging in the traffic of liquors, was found not to be the result of race hatred, or in hospitality, or a deliberate purpose to discriminate, but was based on the belief that an alien cannot be sufficiently acquainted with "our institutions and our life as to enable him to appreciate the relation of this particular business to our entire social fabric", and was not, therefore, invalid. In Ohio ex rel. Clarke vs. Deckebach, 274 U. S. 392, 71 L. ed. 115 (1926), the U.S. Supreme Court had under consideration an ordinance of the city of Cincinnati prohibiting the issuance of licenses (pools and billiard rooms) to aliens. It held that plainly irrational discrimination against aliens is prohibited, but it does not follow that alien race and allegiance may not bear in some instances such a relation to a legitimate object of legislation as to be made the basis of permitted classification, and that it could not state that the legislation is clearly wrong; and that latitude must be allowed for the legislative appraisement of local conditions and for the legislative choice of methods for controlling an apprehended evil. The case of State vs. Carrol, 124 N. E. 129 (Ohio, 1919) is a parallel case to the one at bar. In Asakura vs. City of Seattle, 210 P. 30 (Washington, 1922), the business of pawn brooking was considered as having tendencies injuring public interest, and limiting it to citizens is within the scope of police power. A similar statute denying aliens the right to engage in auctioneering was also sustained in Wright vs. May, L.R.A., 1915 P. 151 (Minnesota, 1914). So also in Anton vs. Van Winkle, 297 F. 340 (Oregon, 1924), the court said that aliens are judicially known to have different interests, knowledge, attitude, psychology and loyalty, hence the prohibitions of issuance of licenses to them for the business of pawnbroker, pool, billiard, card room, dance hall, is not an infringement of constitutional rights. In Templar vs. Michigan State Board of Examiners, 90 N.W. 1058 (Michigan, 1902), a law prohibiting the licensing of aliens as barbers was held void, but the reason for the decision was the court's findings that the exercise of the business by the aliens does not in any way affect the morals, the health, or even the convenience of the community. In Takahashi vs. Fish and Game Commission, 92 L. ed. 1479 (1947), a California statute banning the issuance of commercial fishing licenses to person ineligible to citizenship was held void, because the law conflicts with Federal power over immigration, and because there is no public interest in the mere claim of ownership of the waters and the fish in them, so there was no adequate justification for the discrimination. It further added that the law was the outgrowth of antagonism toward the persons of Japanese ancestry. However, two Justices dissented on the theory that fishing rights have been treated traditionally as natural resources. In Fraser vs. McConway & Tarley Co., 82 Fed. 257 (Pennsylvania, 1897), a state law which imposed a tax on every employer of foreign-born unnaturalized male persons over 21 years of age, was declared void because the court found that there was no reason for the classification and the tax was an arbitrary deduction from the daily wage of an employee. d. Authorities contra explained. It is true that some decisions of the Federal court and of the State courts in the United States hold that the distinction between aliens and citizens is not a valid ground for classification. But in this decision the laws declared invalid were found to be either arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious, or were the result or product of racial antagonism and hostility, and there was no question of public interest involved or pursued. In Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, 70 L. ed. 1059

(1925), the United States Supreme Court declared invalid a Philippine law making unlawful the keeping of books of account in any language other than English, Spanish or any other local dialect, but the main reasons for the decisions are: (1) that if Chinese were driven out of business there would be no other system of distribution, and (2) that the Chinese would fall prey to all kinds of fraud, because they would be deprived of their right to be advised of their business and to direct its conduct. The real reason for the decision, therefore, is the court's belief that no public benefit would be derived from the operations of the law and on the other hand it would deprive Chinese of something indispensable for carrying on their business. In Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 30 L. ed 220 (1885) an ordinance conferring powers on officials to withhold consent in the operation of laundries both as to persons and place, was declared invalid, but the court said that the power granted was arbitrary, that there was no reason for the discrimination which attended the administration and implementation of the law, and that the motive thereof was mere racial hostility. In State vs. Montgomery, 47 A. 165 (Maine, 1900), a law prohibiting aliens to engage as hawkers and peddlers was declared void, because the discrimination bore no reasonable and just relation to the act in respect to which the classification was proposed. The case at bar is radically different, and the facts make them so. As we already have said, aliens do not naturally possess the sympathetic consideration and regard for the customers with whom they come in daily contact, nor the patriotic desire to help bolster the nation's economy, except in so far as it enhances their profit, nor the loyalty and allegiance which the national owes to the land. These limitations on the qualifications of the aliens have been shown on many occasions and instances, especially in times of crisis and emergency. We can do no better than borrow the language of Anton vs. Van Winkle, 297 F. 340, 342, to drive home the reality and significance of the distinction between the alien and the national, thus: . . . . It may be judicially known, however, that alien coming into this country are without the intimate knowledge of our laws, customs, and usages that our own people have. So it is likewise known that certain classes of aliens are of different psychology from our fellow countrymen. Furthermore, it is natural and reasonable to suppose that the foreign born, whose allegiance is first to their own country, and whose ideals of governmental environment and control have been engendered and formed under entirely different regimes and political systems, have not the same inspiration for the public weal, nor are they as well disposed toward the United States, as those who by citizenship, are a part of the government itself. Further enlargement, is unnecessary. I have said enough so that obviously it cannot be affirmed with absolute confidence that the Legislature was without plausible reason for making the classification, and therefore appropriate discriminations against aliens as it relates to the subject of legislation. . . . . VII. The Due Process of Law Limitation. a. Reasonability, the test of the limitation; determination by legislature decisive. We now come to due process as a limitation on the exercise of the police power. It has been stated by the highest authority in the United States that: . . . . And the guaranty of due process, as has often been held, demands only that the law shall not be unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, and that the means selected shall have a real and substantial relation to the subject sought to be attained. . . . . xxx xxx xxx

So far as the requirement of due process is concerned and in the absence of other constitutional restriction a state is free to adopt whatever economic policy may reasonably be deemed to promote public welfare, and to enforce that policy by legislation adapted to its purpose. The courts are without authority either to declare such policy, or, when it is declared by the legislature, to override it. If the laws passed are seen to have a reasonable relation to a proper legislative purpose, and are neither arbitrary nor discriminatory, the requirements of due process are satisfied, and judicial determination to that effect renders a court functus officio. . . . (Nebbia vs. New York, 78 L. ed. 940, 950, 957.)

Another authority states the principle thus: . . . . Too much significance cannot be given to the word "reasonable" in considering the scope of the police power in a constitutional sense, for the test used to determine the constitutionality of the means employed by the legislature is to inquire whether the restriction it imposes on rights secured to individuals by the Bill of Rights are unreasonable, and not whether it imposes any restrictions on such rights. . . . xxx xxx xxx

The necessity of the law in question is explained in the explanatory note that accompanied the bill, which later was enacted into law: This bill proposes to regulate the retail business. Its purpose is to prevent persons who are not citizens of the Philippines from having a strangle hold upon our economic life. If the persons who control this vital artery of our economic life are the ones who owe no allegiance to this Republic, who have no profound devotion to our free institutions, and who have no permanent stake in our people's welfare, we are not really the masters of our destiny. All aspects of our life, even our national security, will be at the mercy of other people. In seeking to accomplish the foregoing purpose, we do not propose to deprive persons who are not citizens of the Philippines of their means of livelihood. While this bill seeks to take away from the hands of persons who are not citizens of the Philippines a power that can be wielded to paralyze all aspects of our national life and endanger our national security it respects existing rights. The approval of this bill is necessary for our national survival.

. . . . A statute to be within this power must also be reasonable in its operation upon the persons whom it affects, must not be for the annoyance of a particular class, and must not be unduly oppressive. (11 Am. Jur. Sec. 302., 1:1)- 1074-1075.) In the case of Lawton vs. Steele, 38 L. ed. 385, 388. it was also held: . . . . To justify the state in thus interposing its authority in behalf of the public, it must appear, first, that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require such interference; and second, that the means are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose, and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. . . . Prata Undertaking Co. vs. State Board of Embalming, 104 ALR, 389, 395, fixes this test of constitutionality: In determining whether a given act of the Legislature, passed in the exercise of the police power to regulate the operation of a business, is or is not constitutional, one of the first questions to be considered by the court is whether the power as exercised has a sufficient foundation in reason in connection with the matter involved, or is an arbitrary, oppressive, and capricious use of that power, without substantial relation to the health, safety, morals, comfort, and general welfare of the public. b. Petitioner's argument considered. Petitioner's main argument is that retail is a common, ordinary occupation, one of those privileges long ago recognized as essential to the orderly pursuant of happiness by free men; that it is a gainful and honest occupation and therefore beyond the power of the legislature to prohibit and penalized. This arguments overlooks fact and reality and rests on an incorrect assumption and premise, i.e., that in this country where the occupation is engaged in by petitioner, it has been so engaged by him, by the alien in an honest creditable and unimpeachable manner, without harm or injury to the citizens and without ultimate danger to their economic peace, tranquility and welfare. But the Legislature has found, as we have also found and indicated, that the privilege has been so grossly abused by the alien, thru the illegitimate use of pernicious designs and practices, that he now enjoys a monopolistic control of the occupation and threatens a deadly stranglehold on the nation's economy endangering the national security in times of crisis and emergency. The real question at issue, therefore, is not that posed by petitioner, which overlooks and ignores the facts and circumstances, but this, Is the exclusion in the future of aliens from the retail trade unreasonable. Arbitrary capricious, taking into account the illegitimate and pernicious form and manner in which the aliens have heretofore engaged therein? As thus correctly stated the answer is clear. The law in question is deemed absolutely necessary to bring about the desired legislative objective, i.e., to free national economy from alien control and dominance. It is not necessarily unreasonable because it affects private rights and privileges (11 Am. Jur. pp. 1080-1081.) The test of reasonableness of a law is the appropriateness or adequacy under all circumstances of the means adopted to carry out its purpose into effect (Id.) Judged by this test, disputed legislation, which is not merely reasonable but actually necessary, must be considered not to have infringed the constitutional limitation of reasonableness.

If political independence is a legitimate aspiration of a people, then economic independence is none the less legitimate. Freedom and liberty are not real and positive if the people are subject to the economic control and domination of others, especially if not of their own race or country. The removal and eradication of the shackles of foreign economic control and domination, is one of the noblest motives that a national legislature may pursue. It is impossible to conceive that legislation that seeks to bring it about can infringe the constitutional limitation of due process. The attainment of a legitimate aspiration of a people can never be beyond the limits of legislative authority. c. Law expressly held by Constitutional Convention to be within the sphere of legislative action. The framers of the Constitution could not have intended to impose the constitutional restrictions of due process on the attainment of such a noble motive as freedom from economic control and domination, thru the exercise of the police power. The fathers of the Constitution must have given to the legislature full authority and power to enact legislation that would promote the supreme happiness of the people, their freedom and liberty. On the precise issue now before us, they expressly made their voice clear; they adopted a resolution expressing their belief that the legislation in question is within the scope of the legislative power. Thus they declared the their Resolution: That it is the sense of the Convention that the public interest requires the nationalization of retail trade; but it abstain from approving the amendment introduced by the Delegate for Manila, Mr. Araneta, and others on this matter because it is convinced that the National Assembly is authorized to promulgate a law which limits to Filipino and American citizens the privilege to engage in the retail trade. (11 Aruego, The Framing of the Philippine Constitution, quoted on pages 66 and 67 of the Memorandum for the Petitioner.) It would do well to refer to the nationalistic tendency manifested in various provisions of the Constitution. Thus in the preamble, a principle objective is the conservation of the patrimony of the nation and as corollary the provision limiting to citizens of the Philippines the exploitation, development and utilization of its natural resources. And in Section 8 of Article XIV, it is provided that "no franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of the public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines." The nationalization of the retail trade is only a continuance of the nationalistic protective policy laid down as a primary objective of the Constitution. Can it be said that a law imbued with the same purpose and spirit underlying many of the provisions of the Constitution is unreasonable, invalid and unconstitutional? The seriousness of the Legislature's concern for the plight of the nationals as manifested in the approval of the radical measures is, therefore, fully justified. It would have been recreant to its duties towards the country and its people would it view the sorry plight of the nationals with the complacency and refuse or neglect to adopt a remedy commensurate with the demands of public interest and national survival. As the repository of the sovereign power of

legislation, the Legislature was in duty bound to face the problem and meet, through adequate measures, the danger and threat that alien domination of retail trade poses to national economy. d. Provisions of law not unreasonable. A cursory study of the provisions of the law immediately reveals how tolerant, how reasonable the Legislature has been. The law is made prospective and recognizes the right and privilege of those already engaged in the occupation to continue therein during the rest of their lives; and similar recognition of the right to continue is accorded associations of aliens. The right or privilege is denied to those only upon conviction of certain offenses. In the deliberations of the Court on this case, attention was called to the fact that the privilege should not have been denied to children and heirs of aliens now engaged in the retail trade. Such provision would defeat the law itself, its aims and purposes. Beside, the exercise of legislative discretion is not subject to judicial review. It is well settled that the Court will not inquire into the motives of the Legislature, nor pass upon general matters of legislative judgment. The Legislature is primarily the judge of the necessity of an enactment or of any of its provisions, and every presumption is in favor of its validity, and though the Court may hold views inconsistent with the wisdom of the law, it may not annul the legislation if not palpably in excess of the legislative power. Furthermore, the test of the validity of a law attacked as a violation of due process, is not its reasonableness, but its unreasonableness, and we find the provisions are not unreasonable. These principles also answer various other arguments raised against the law, some of which are: that the law does not promote general welfare; that thousands of aliens would be thrown out of employment; that prices will increase because of the elimination of competition; that there is no need for the legislation; that adequate replacement is problematical; that there may be general breakdown; that there would be repercussions from foreigners; etc. Many of these arguments are directed against the supposed wisdom of the law which lies solely within the legislative prerogative; they do not import invalidity. VIII. Alleged defect in the title of the law A subordinate ground or reason for the alleged invalidity of the law is the claim that the title thereof is misleading or deceptive, as it conceals the real purpose of the bill which is to nationalize the retail business and prohibit aliens from engaging therein. The constitutional provision which is claimed to be violated in Section 21 (1) of Article VI, which reads: No bill which may be enacted in the law shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in the title of the bill. What the above provision prohibits is duplicity, that is, if its title completely fails to appraise the legislators or the public of the nature, scope and consequences of the law or its operation (I Sutherland, Statutory Construction, Sec. 1707, p. 297.) A cursory consideration of the title and the provisions of the bill fails to show the presence of duplicity. It is true that the term "regulate" does not and may not readily and at first glance convey the idea of "nationalization" and "prohibition", which terms express the two main purposes and objectives of the law. But "regulate" is a broader term than either prohibition or nationalization. Both of these have always been included within the term regulation. Under the title of an act to "regulate", the sale of intoxicating liquors, the Legislature may prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors. (Sweet vs. City of Wabash, 41 Ind., 7; quoted in page 41 of Answer.) Within the meaning of the Constitution requiring that the subject of every act of the Legislature shall be stated in the tale, the title to regulate the sale of intoxicating liquors, etc." sufficiently expresses the subject of an act prohibiting the sale of such liquors to minors and to persons in the habit of getting intoxicated; such matters being properly included within the subject of regulating the sale. (Williams vs. State, 48 Ind. 306, 308, quoted in p. 42 of Answer.) The word "regulate" is of broad import, and necessarily implies some degree of restraint and prohibition of acts usually done in connection with the thing to be regulated. While word regulate does not ordinarily convey meaning of prohibit, there is no absolute reason why it should not have such meaning when used

in delegating police power in connection with a thing the best or only efficacious regulation of which involves suppression. (State vs. Morton, 162 So. 718, 182 La. 887, quoted in p. 42 of Answer.) The general rule is for the use of general terms in the title of a bill; it has also been said that the title need not be an index to the entire contents of the law (I Sutherland, Statutory Construction, See. 4803, p. 345.) The above rule was followed the title of the Act in question adopted the more general term "regulate" instead of "nationalize" or "prohibit". Furthermore, the law also contains other rules for the regulation of the retail trade which may not be included in the terms "nationalization" or "prohibition"; so were the title changed from "regulate" to "nationalize" or "prohibit", there would have been many provisions not falling within the scope of the title which would have made the Act invalid. The use of the term "regulate", therefore, is in accord with the principle governing the drafting of statutes, under which a simple or general term should be adopted in the title, which would include all other provisions found in the body of the Act. One purpose of the constitutional directive that the subject of a bill should be embraced in its title is to apprise the legislators of the purposes, the nature and scope of its provisions, and prevent the enactment into law of matters which have received the notice, action and study of the legislators or of the public. In the case at bar it cannot be claimed that the legislators have been appraised of the nature of the law, especially the nationalization and the prohibition provisions. The legislators took active interest in the discussion of the law, and a great many of the persons affected by the prohibitions in the law conducted a campaign against its approval. It cannot be claimed, therefore, that the reasons for declaring the law invalid ever existed. The objection must therefore, be overruled. IX. Alleged violation of international treaties and obligations Another subordinate argument against the validity of the law is the supposed violation thereby of the Charter of the United Nations and of the Declaration of the Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. We find no merit in the Nations Charter imposes no strict or legal obligations regarding the rights and freedom of their subjects (Hans Kelsen, The Law of the United Nations, 1951 ed. pp. 29-32), and the Declaration of Human Rights contains nothing more than a mere recommendation or a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations (Id. p. 39.) That such is the import of the United Nations Charter aid of the Declaration of Human Rights can be inferred the fact that members of the United Nations Organizations, such as Norway and Denmark, prohibit foreigners from engaging in retail trade, and in most nations of the world laws against foreigners engaged in domestic trade are adopted. The Treaty of Amity between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of China of April 18, 1947 is also claimed to be violated by the law in question. All that the treaty guarantees is equality of treatment to the Chinese nationals "upon the same terms as the nationals of any other country." But the nationals of China are not discriminating against because nationals of all other countries, except those of the United States, who are granted special rights by the Constitution, are all prohibited from engaging in the retail trade. But even supposing that the law infringes upon the said treaty, the treaty is always subject to qualification or amendment by a subsequent law (U. S. vs. Thompson, 258, Fed. 257, 260), and the same may never curtail or restrict the scope of the police power of the State (plaston vs. Pennsylvania, 58 L. ed. 539.) X. Conclusion Resuming what we have set forth above we hold that the disputed law was enacted to remedy a real actual threat and danger to national economy posed by alien dominance and control of the retail business and free citizens and country from dominance and control; that the enactment clearly falls within the scope of the police power of the State, thru which and by which it protects its own personality and insures its security and future; that the law does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution because sufficient grounds exist for the distinction between alien and citizen in the exercise of the occupation regulated, nor the due process of law clause, because the law is prospective in operation and recognizes the privilege of aliens already engaged in the occupation and reasonably protects their privilege; that the wisdom and efficacy of the law to carry out its objectives appear to us to be plainly evident as a matter of fact it seems not only appropriate but actually necessary and that in any case such matter falls within the prerogative of the Legislature, with whose power and discretion the Judicial department of the

Government may not interfere; that the provisions of the law are clearly embraced in the title, and this suffers from no duplicity and has not misled the legislators or the segment of the population affected; and that it cannot be said to be void for supposed conflict with treaty obligations because no treaty has actually been entered into on the subject and the police power may not be curtailed or surrendered by any treaty or any other conventional agreement. Some members of the Court are of the opinion that the radical effects of the law could have been made less harsh in its impact on the aliens. Thus it is stated that the more time should have been given in the law for the liquidation of existing businesses when the time comes for them to close. Our legal duty, however, is merely to determine if the law falls within the scope of legislative authority and does not transcend the limitations of due process and equal protection guaranteed in the Constitution. Remedies against the harshness of the law should be addressed to the Legislature; they are beyond our power and jurisdiction. The petition is hereby denied, with costs against petitioner. Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Endencia and Felix, JJ., concur.

denied the equal protection of the laws3 would have no meaning as applied to associations or partnership and alien heirs of an alien engaged in the retail business if they were to be compelled to sell or dispose of their business within ten years from the date of the approval of the Act and before the end of the term of the existence of the associations and partnership as agreed upon by the associations and partners and within six months after the death of their predecessor-in-interest. The authors of the Constitution were vigilant, careful and zealous in the safeguard of the ownership of private agricultural lands which together with the lands of the public domain constitute the priceless patrimony and mainstay of the nation; yet, they did not deem it wise and prudent to deprive aliens and their heirs of such lands.4 For these reasons, I am of the opinion that section 1 of the Act, insofar as it compels associations and partnership referred to therein to wind up their retail business within ten years from the date of the approval of the Act even before the expiry of the term of their existence as agreed upon by the associates and partners and section 3 of the Act, insofar as it compels the aliens engaged in the retail business in his lifetime his executor or administrator, to liquidate the business, are invalid, for they violate the due process of law and the equal protection of the laws clauses of the Constitution.

Separate Opinions PADILLA, J., concurring and dissenting: I agree to the proposition, principle or rule that courts may not inquire into the wisdom of an the Act passed by the Congress and duly approved by the President of the Republic. But the rule does not preclude courts from inquiring and determining whether the Act offends against a provision or provisions of the Constitution. I am satisfied that the Act assailed as violative of the due process of law and the equal protection of the laws clauses of the Constitution does not infringe upon them, insofar as it affects associations, partnership or corporations, the capital of which is not wholly owned by the citizens of the Philippines, and aliens, who are not and have not been engaged in the retail business. I am, however, unable to persuade myself that it does not violate said clauses insofar as the Act applies to associations and partnerships referred to in the Act and to aliens, who are and have heretofore been engaged in said business. When they did engage in the retail business there was no prohibition on or against them to engage in it. They assumed and believed in good faith they were entitled to engaged in the business. The Act allows aliens to continue in business until their death or voluntary retirement from the business or forfeiture of their license; and corporations, associations or partnership, the capital of which is not wholly owned by the citizens of the Philippines to continue in the business for a period of ten years from the date of the approval of the Act (19 June 1954) or until the expiry of term of the existence of the association or partnership or corporation, whichever event comes first. The prohibition on corporations, the capital of which is not wholly owned by citizens of the Philippines, to engage in the retail business for a period of more than ten years from the date of the approval of the Act or beyond the term of their corporate existence, whichever event comes first, is valid and lawful, because the continuance of the existence of such corporations is subject to whatever the Congress may impose reasonably upon them by subsequent legislation.1 But the prohibition to engage in the retail business by associations and partnerships, the capital of which is not wholly owned by citizen of the Philippines, after ten years from the date of the approval of the Act, even before the end of the term of their existence as agreed upon by the associates and partners, and by alien heirs to whom the retail business is transmitted by the death of an alien engaged in the business, or by his executor or administrator, amounts to a deprivation of their property without due process of law. To my mind, the ten-year period from the date of the approval of the Act or until the expiration of the term of the existence of the association and partnership, whichever event comes first, and the six-month period granted to alien heirs of a deceased alien, his executor or administrator, to liquidate the business, do not cure the defect of the law, because the effect of the prohibition is to compel them to sell or dispose of their business. The price obtainable at such forced sale of the business would be inadequate to reimburse and compensate the associates or partners of the associations or partnership, and the alien heirs of a deceased alien, engaged in the retail business for the capital invested in it. The stock of merchandise bought and sold at retail does not alone constitute the business. The goodwill that the association, partnership and the alien had built up during a long period of effort, patience and perseverance forms part of such business. The constitutional provisions that no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law2 and that no person shall be

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION

CHUCHI Itutuloy ko na M'am sana ang duty ko. ESG Kaso ilang beses na akong binabalikan doon ng mga no (sic) ko. ESG Nakalimutan mo na ba kung paano ka pumasok sa hotel, kung on your own merit alam ko naman kung gaano ka "ka bobo" mo. Marami ang nag-aaply alam kong hindi ka papasa. CHUCHI Kumuha kami ng exam noon.

G.R. No. 93833 September 28, 1995 ESG Oo, pero hindi ka papasa. SOCORRO D. RAMIREZ, petitioner, vs. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, and ESTER S. GARCIA, respondents. CHUCHI Eh, bakit ako ang nakuha ni Dr. Tamayo ESG Kukunin ka kasi ako. CHUCHI Eh, di sana ESG Huwag mong ipagmalaki na may utak ka kasi wala kang utak. Akala mo ba makukuha ka dito kung hindi ako. CHUCHI Mag-eexplain ako. ESG Huwag na, hindi ako mag-papa-explain sa 'yo, makaalala ka kung paano ka puma-rito. "Putang-ina" sasabi-sabihin mo kamag-anak ng nanay at tatay mo ang mga magulang ko. ESG Wala na akong pakialam, dahil nandito ka sa loob, nasa labas ka puwede ka ng hindi pumasok, okey yan nasaloob ka umalis ka doon. CHUCHI Kasi M'am, binbalikan ako ng mga taga Union. Defendant Ester S. Garcia (ESG) Ano ba ang nangyari sa 'yo, nakalimot ka na kung paano ka napunta rito, porke member ka na, magsumbong ka kung ano ang gagawin ko sa 'yo. CHUCHI Kasi, naka duty ako noon. CHUCHI Ina-ano ko m'am na utang na loob. ESG Tapos iniwan no. (Sic) ESG Huwag na lang, hindi mo utang na loob, kasi kung baga sa no, nilapastangan mo ako. CHUCHI Hindi m'am, pero ilan beses na nila akong binalikan, sabing ganoon CHUCHI Paano kita nilapastanganan? ESG Ito and (sic) masasabi ko sa 'yo, ayaw kung (sic) mag explain ka, kasi hanggang 10:00 p.m., kinabukasan hindi ka na pumasok. Ngayon ako ang babalik sa 'yo, nag-aaply ka sa States, nag-aaply ka sa review mo, kung kakailanganin ang certification mo, kalimutan mo na kasi hindi ka sa akin makakahingi. CHUCHI Hindi M'am. Kasi ang ano ko talaga noon i-cocontinue ko up to 10:00 p.m. ESG Bastos ka, nakalimutan mo na kung paano ka pumasok dito sa hotel. Magsumbong ka sa Union kung gusto mo. Nakalimutan mo na kung paano ka nakapasok dito "Do you think that on your own makakapasok ka kung hindi ako. Panunumbyoyan na kita (Sinusumbatan na kita). ESG Mabuti pa lumabas ka na. Hindi na ako makikipagusap sa 'yo. Lumabas ka na. Magsumbong ka. 3 As a result of petitioner's recording of the event and alleging that the said act of secretly taping the confrontation was illegal, private respondent filed a criminal case before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City for violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled "An Act to prohibit and penalize wire tapping and other related violations of private communication, and other purposes." An information charging petitioner of violation of the said Act, dated October 6, 1988 is quoted herewith: INFORMATION ESG Nandiyan na rin ako, pero huwag mong kalimutan na hindi ka makakapasok kung hindi ako. Kung hindi mo kinikilala yan okey lang sa akin, dahil tapos ka na.

KAPUNAN, J.: A civil case damages was filed by petitioner Socorro D. Ramirez in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City alleging that the private respondent, Ester S. Garcia, in a confrontation in the latter's office, allegedly vexed, insulted and humiliated her in a "hostile and furious mood" and in a manner offensive to petitioner's dignity and personality," contrary to morals, good customs and public policy." 1 In support of her claim, petitioner produced a verbatim transcript of the event and sought moral damages, attorney's fees and other expenses of litigation in the amount of P610,000.00, in addition to costs, interests and other reliefs awardable at the trial court's discretion. The transcript on which the civil case was based was culled from a tape recording of the confrontation made by petitioner. 2 The transcript reads as follows: Plaintiff Soccoro D. Ramirez (Chuchi) Good Afternoon M'am.

The Undersigned Assistant City Fiscal Accusses Socorro D. Ramirez of Violation of Republic Act No. 4200, committed as follows: That on or about the 22nd day of February, 1988, in Pasay City Metro Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, the above-named accused, Socorro D. Ramirez not being authorized by Ester S. Garcia to record the latter's conversation with said accused, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with the use of a tape recorder secretly record the said conversation and thereafter communicate in writing the contents of the said recording to other person. Contrary to law. Pasay City, Metro Manila, September 16, 1988. MARIA NO M. CUNET A Asst. City Fiscal Upon arraignment, in lieu of a plea, petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the Information on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense, particularly a violation of R.A. 4200. In an order May 3, 1989, the trial court granted the Motion to Quash, agreeing with petitioner that 1) the facts charged do not constitute an offense under R.A. 4200; and that 2) the violation punished by R.A. 4200 refers to a the taping of a communication by a person other than a participant to the communication. 4 From the trial court's Order, the private respondent filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari with this Court, which forthwith referred the case to the Court of Appeals in a Resolution (by the First Division) of June 19, 1989. On February 9, 1990, respondent Court of Appeals promulgated its assailed Decision declaring the trial court's order of May 3, 1989 null and void, and holding that: [T]he allegations sufficiently constitute an offense punishable under Section 1 of R.A. 4200. In thus quashing the information based on the ground that the facts alleged do not constitute an offense, the respondent judge acted in grave abuse of discretion correctible by certiorari. 5 Consequently, on February 21, 1990, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration which respondent Court of Appeals denied in its Resolution 6 dated June 19, 1990. Hence, the instant petition. Petitioner vigorously argues, as her "main and principal issue" 7 that the applicable provision of Republic Act 4200 does not apply to the taping of a private conversation by one of the parties to the conversation. She contends that the provision merely refers to the unauthorized taping of a private conversation by a party other than those involved in the communication. 8 In relation to this, petitioner avers that the substance or content of the conversation must be alleged in the Information, otherwise the facts charged would not constitute a violation of R.A. 4200. 9 Finally, petitioner agues that R.A. 4200 penalizes the taping of a "private communication," not a "private conversation" and that consequently, her act of secretly taping her conversation with private respondent was not illegal under the said act. 10 We disagree.

First, legislative intent is determined principally from the language of a statute. Where the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous, the law is applied according to its express terms, and interpretation would be resorted to only where a literal interpretation would be either impossible 11 or absurb or would lead to an injustice. 12 Section 1 of R.A. 4200 entitled, " An Act to Prohibit and Penalized Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of Private Communication and Other Purposes," provides: Sec. 1. It shall be unlawfull for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described. The aforestated provision clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any person, not authorized by all the parties to any private communication to secretly record such communication by means of a tape recorder. The law makes no distinction as to whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be a party other than or different from those involved in the private communication. The statute's intent to penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of the qualifier "any". Consequently, as respondent Court of Appeals correctly concluded, "even a (person) privy to a communication who records his private conversation with another without the knowledge of the latter (will) qualify as a violator" 13 under this provision of R.A. 4200. A perusal of the Senate Congressional Records, moreover, supports the respondent court's conclusion that in enacting R.A. 4200 our lawmakers indeed contemplated to make illegal, unauthorized tape recording of private conversations or communications taken either by the parties themselves or by third persons. Thus: xxx xxx xxx Senator Taada: That qualified only "overhear". Senator Padilla: So that when it is intercepted or recorded, the element of secrecy would not appear to be material. Now, suppose, Your Honor, the recording is not made by all the parties but by some parties and involved not criminal cases that would be mentioned under section 3 but would cover, for example civil cases or special proceedings whereby a recording is made not necessarily by all the parties but perhaps by some in an effort to show the intent of the parties because the actuation of the parties prior, simultaneous even subsequent to the contract or the act may be indicative of their intention. Suppose there is such a recording, would you say, Your Honor, that the intention is to cover it within the purview of this bill or outside? Senator Taada: That is covered by the purview of this bill, Your Honor. Senator Padilla: Even if the record should be used not in the prosecution of offense but as evidence to be used in Civil Cases or special proceedings? Senator Taada: That is right. This is a complete ban on tape recorded conversations taken without the authorization of all the parties. Senator Padilla: Now, would that be reasonable, your Honor? Senator Taada: I believe it is reasonable because it is not sporting to record the observation of one without his knowing it and then using it against him. It is not fair, it is not sportsmanlike. If the purpose; Your honor, is to record the intention of the parties. I believe that all the parties should know that the observations are being recorded.

Senator Padilla: This might reduce the utility of recorders. Senator Taada: Well no. For example, I was to say that in meetings of the board of directors where a tape recording is taken, there is no objection to this if all the parties know. It is but fair that the people whose remarks and observations are being made should know that the observations are being recorded. Senator Padilla: Now, I can understand. Senator Taada: That is why when we take statements of persons, we say: "Please be informed that whatever you say here may be used against you." That is fairness and that is what we demand. Now, in spite of that warning, he makes damaging statements against his own interest, well, he cannot complain any more. But if you are going to take a recording of the observations and remarks of a person without him knowing that it is being taped or recorded, without him knowing that what is being recorded may be used against him, I think it is unfair. xxx xxx xxx (Congression Record, Vol. III, No. 31, p. 584, March 12, 1964) Senator Diokno: Do you understand, Mr. Senator, that under Section 1 of the bill as now worded, if a party secretly records a public speech, he would be penalized under Section 1? Because the speech is public, but the recording is done secretly. Senator Taada: Well, that particular aspect is not contemplated by the bill. It is the communication between one person and another person not between a speaker and a public. xxx xxx xxx (Congressional Record, Vol. III, No. 33, p. 626, March 12, 1964) xxx xxx xxx The unambiguity of the express words of the provision, taken together with the above-quoted deliberations from the Congressional Record, therefore plainly supports the view held by the respondent court that the provision seeks to penalize even those privy to the private communications. Where the law makes no distinctions, one does not distinguish. Second, the nature of the conversations is immaterial to a violation of the statute. The substance of the same need not be specifically alleged in the information. What R.A. 4200 penalizes are the acts of secretly overhearing, intercepting or recording private communications by means of the devices enumerated therein. The mere allegation that an individual made a secret recording of a private communication by means of a tape recorder would suffice to constitute an offense under Section 1 of R.A. 4200. As the Solicitor General pointed out in his COMMENT before the respondent court: "Nowhere (in the said law) is it required that before one can be regarded as a violator, the nature of the conversation, as well as its communication to a third person should be professed." 14 Finally, petitioner's contention that the phrase "private communication" in Section 1 of R.A. 4200 does not include "private conversations" narrows the ordinary meaning of the word "communication" to a point of absurdity. The word communicate comes from the latin word communicare, meaning "to share or to impart." In its ordinary signification, communication connotes the act of sharing or imparting signification, communication connotes the act of sharing or imparting, as in a conversation, 15 or signifies the "process by which meanings or thoughts are shared between

individuals through a common system of symbols (as language signs or gestures)" 16 These definitions are broad enough to include verbal or non-verbal, written or expressive communications of "meanings or thoughts" which are likely to include the emotionally-charged exchange, on February 22, 1988, between petitioner and private respondent, in the privacy of the latter's office. Any doubts about the legislative body's meaning of the phrase "private communication" are, furthermore, put to rest by the fact that the terms "conversation" and "communication" were interchangeably used by Senator Taada in his Explanatory Note to the bill quoted below: It has been said that innocent people have nothing to fear from their conversations being overheard. But this statement ignores the usual nature of conversations as well the undeniable fact that most, if not all, civilized people have some aspects of their lives they do not wish to expose. Free conversations are often characterized by exaggerations, obscenity, agreeable falsehoods, and the expression of anti-social desires of views not intended to be taken seriously. The right to the privacy of communication, among others, has expressly been assured by our Constitution. Needless to state here, the framers of our Constitution must have recognized the nature of conversations between individuals and the significance of man's spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They must have known that part of the pleasures and satisfactions of life are to be found in the unaudited, and free exchange of communication between individuals free from every unjustifiable intrusion by whatever means. 17 In Gaanan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 18 a case which dealt with the issue of telephone wiretapping, we held that the use of a telephone extension for the purpose of overhearing a private conversation without authorization did not violate R.A. 4200 because a telephone extension devise was neither among those "device(s) or arrangement(s)" enumerated therein, 19 following the principle that "penal statutes must be construed strictly in favor of the accused." 20 The instant case turns on a different note, because the applicable facts and circumstances pointing to a violation of R.A. 4200 suffer from no ambiguity, and the statute itself explicitly mentions the unauthorized "recording" of private communications with the use of tape-recorders as among the acts punishable. WHEREFORE, because the law, as applied to the case at bench is clear and unambiguous and leaves us with no discretion, the instant petition is hereby DENIED. The decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED. Padilla, Davide, Jr. and Bellosillo JJ., concur. Hermosisima, Jr., J., is on leave.