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1/24/2017 G.R. No.

88211

TodayisTuesday,January24,2017

RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila

ENBANC

G.R.No.88211September15,1989

FERDINANDE.MARCOS,IMELDAR.MARCOS,FERDINANDR.MARCOS,JR.,IRENEM.ARANETA,IMEE
MANOTOC,TOMASMANOTOC,GREGORIOARANETA,PACIFICOE.MARCOS,NICANORYIGUEZand
PHILIPPINECONSTITUTIONASSOCIATION(PHILCONSA),representedbyitsPresident,CONRADOF.
ESTRELLA,petitioners,
vs.
HONORABLERAULMANGLAPUS,CATALINOMACARAIG,SEDFREYORDOEZ,MIRIAMDEFENSOR
SANTIAGO,FIDELRAMOS,RENATODEVILLA,intheircapacityasSecretaryofForeignAffairs,Executive
Secretary,SecretaryofJustice,ImmigrationCommissioner,SecretaryofNationalDefenseandChiefof
Staff,respectively,respondents.

CORTES,J.:

BeforetheCourtisacontreversyofgravenationalimportance.Whileostensiblyonlylegalissuesareinvolved,the
Court'sdecisioninthiscasewouldundeniablyhaveaprofoundeffectonthepolitical,economicandotheraspectsof
nationallife.

WerecallthatinFebruary1986,FerdinandE.Marcoswasdeposedfromthepresidencyviathenonviolent"people
power" revolution and forced into exile. In his stead, Corazon C. Aquino was declared President of the Republic
underarevolutionarygovernment.Herascensiontoandconsilidationofpowerhavenotbeenunchallenged.The
failedManilaHotelcoupin1986ledbypoliticalleadersofMr.Marcos,thetakeoveroftelevisionstationChannel7
by rebel troops led by Col. Canlas with the support of "Marcos loyalists" and the unseccessful plot of the Marcos
spouses to surreptitiously return from Hawii with mercenaries aboard an aircraft chartered by a Lebanese arms
dealer[ManilaBulletin,January30,1987]awakenedthenationtothecapacityoftheMarcosestostirtroubleeven
from afar and to the fanaticism and blind loyalty of their followers in the country. The ratification of the 1987
Constitutionenshrinedthevictoryof"peoplepower"andalsoclearlyreinforcedtheconstitutionalmooringsofMrs.
Aquino's presidency. This did not, however, stop bloody challenges to the government. On August 28, 1987, Col.
GregorioHonasan,oneofthemajorplayersintheFebruaryRevolution,ledafailedcoupthatleftscoresofpeople,
bothcombatantsandcivilians,dead.Therewereseveralotherarmedsortiesoflessersignificance,butthemessage
theyconveyedwasthesameasplitintheranksofthemilitaryestablishmentthatthraetenedciviliansupremacy
over military and brought to the fore the realization that civilian government could be at the mercy of a fractious
military.

ButthearmedthreatstotheGovernmentwerenotonlyfoundinmisguidedelementsandamongrabidfollowersof
Mr.Marcos.TherearealsothecommunistinsurgencyandtheseccessionistmovementinMindanaowhichgained
groundduringtheruleofMr.Marcos,totheextentthatthecommunistshavesetupaparallelgovernmentoftheir
ownontheareastheyeffectivelycontrolwhiletheseparatistarevirtuallyfreetomoveaboutinarmedbands.There
has been no let up on this groups' determination to wrest power from the govermnent. Not only through resort to
armsbutalsotothroughtheuseofpropagandahavetheybeensuccessfulindreatingchaosanddestabilizingthe
country.

Nor are the woes of the Republic purely political. The accumulated foreign debt and the plunder of the nation
attributedtoMr.Marcosandhiscronieslefttheeconomydevastated.Theeffortsateconomicrecovery,threeyears
afterMrs.Aquinoassumedoffice,haveyettoshowconcreteresultsinalleviatingthepovertyofthemasses,while
therecoveryoftheillgottenwealthoftheMarcoseshasremainedelusive.

Now, Mr. Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to return to the Philipppines to die. But Mrs. Aquino,
considering the dire consequences to the nation of his return at a time when the stability of government is
threatenedfromvariousdirectionsandtheeconomyisjustbeginningtoriseandmoveforward,hasstoodfirmlyon
thedecisiontobarthereturnofMr.Marcosandhisfamily.
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ThePetition

Thiscaseisunique.Itshouldnotcreateaprecedent,forthecaseofadictatorforcedoutofofficeandintoexileafter
causingtwentyyearsofpolitical,economicandsocialhavocinthecountryandwhowithintheshortspaceofthree
yearsseekstoreturn,isinaclassbyitself.

ThispetitionformandamusandprohibitionaskstheCourtstoordertherespondentstoissuetraveldocumentsto
Mr.MarcosandtheimmediatemembersofhisfamilyandtoenjointheimplementationofthePresident'sdecisionto
bartheirreturntothePhilippines.

TheIssue

Th issue is basicallyoneofpower:whetherornot,intheexerciseofthepowers granted by the Constitution, the


PresidentmayprohibittheMarcosesfromreturningtothePhilippines.

Accordingtothepetitioners,theresolutionofthecasewoulddependontheresolutionofthefollowingissues:

1.DoesthePresidenthavethepowertobarthereturnofformerPresidentMarcosandfamilytothe
Philippines?

a.Isthisapoliticalquestion?

2. Assuming that the President has the power to bar former President Marcos and his family from
returningtothePhilippines,intheinterestof"nationalsecurity,publicsafetyorpublichealth

a.HasthePresidentmadeafindingthatthereturnofformerPresidentMarcosandhisfamilytothe
Philippinesisaclearandpresentdangertonationalsecurity,publicsafetyorpublichealth?

b.Assumingthatshehasmadethatfinding

(1)Havetherequirementsofdueprocessbeencompliedwithinmakingsuchfinding?

(2)Hastherebeenpriornoticetopetitioners?

(3)Hastherebeenahearing?

(4) Assuming that notice and hearing may be dispensed with, has the President's
decision,includingthegroundsuponwhichitwasbased,beenmadeknowntopetitioners
sothattheymaycontrovertthesame?

c. Is the President's determination that the return of former President Marcos and his family to the
Philippinesisaclearandpresentdangertonationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealthapolitical
question?

d.Assuming that the Court may inquire as to whether the return of former President Marcos and his
family is a clear and present danger to national security, public safety, or public health, have
respondentsestablishedsuchfact?

3.Havetherespondents,therefore,inimplementingthePresident'sdecisiontobarthereturnofformer
President Marcos and his family, acted and would be acting without jurisdiction, or in excess of
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, in performing any act which would effectively bar the
returnofformerPresidentMarcosandhisfamilytothePhilippines?[MemorandumforPetitioners,pp.
57Rollo,pp.234236.1

The case for petitioners is founded on the assertion that the right of the Marcoses to return to the Philippines is
guaranteedunderthefollowingprovisionsoftheBillofRights,towit:

Section1.Nopersonshallbedeprivedoflife,liberty,orpropertywithoutdueprocessoflaw,norshall
anypersonbedeniedtheequalprotectionofthelaws.

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Section6.Thelibertyofabodeandofchangingthesamewithinthelimitsprescribedbylawshallnot
beimpairedexceptuponlawfulorderofthecourt.Neithershalltherighttotravelbeimpairedexceptin
theinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealth,asmaybeprovidedbylaw.

ThepetitionerscontendthatthePresidentiswithoutpowertoimpairthelibertyofabodeoftheMarcosesbecause
only a court may do so "within the limits prescribed by law." Nor may the President impair their right to travel

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becausenolawhasauthorizedhertodoso.Theyadvancetheviewthatbeforetherighttotravelmaybeimpaired
byanyauthorityoragencyofthegovernment,theremustbelegislationtothateffect.

The petitioners further assert that under international law, the right of Mr. Marcos and his family to return to the
Philippinesisguaranteed.

TheUniversalDeclarationofHumanRightsprovides:

Article13.(1)Everyonehastherighttofreedomofmovementandresidencewithinthebordersofeach
state.

(2)Everyonehastherighttoleaveanycountry,includinghisown,andtoreturntohiscountry.

Likewise, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which had been ratified by the Philippines,
provides:

Article12

1)EveryonelawfullywithintheterritoryofaStateshall,withinthatterritory,havetherighttolibertyof
movementandfreedomtochoosehisresidence.

2)Everyoneshallbefreetoleaveanycountry,includinghisown.

3)Theabovementionedrightsshallnotbesubjecttoanyrestrictionsexceptthosewhichareprovided
bylaw,arenecessarytoprotectnationalsecurity,publicorder(orderpublic),publichealthormoralsor
the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present
Covenant.

4)Nooneshallbearbitrarilydeprivedoftherighttoenterhisowncountry.

On the other hand, the respondents' principal argument is that the issue in this case involves a political question
whichisnonjusticiable.AccordingtotheSolicitorGeneral:

Aspetitionerscouchit,thequestioninvolvedissimplywhetherornotpetitionersFerdinandE.Marcos
andhisfamilyhavetherighttotravelandlibertyofabode.Petitionersinvoketheseconstitutionalrights
invacuowithoutreferencetoattendantcircumstances.

Respondentssubmitthatinitsproperformulation,theissueiswhetherornotpetitionersFerdinandE.
MarcosandfamilyhavetherighttoreturntothePhilippinesandresidehereatthistimeinthefaceof
thedeterminationbythePresidentthatsuchreturnandresidencewillendangernationalsecurityand
publicsafety.

It may be conceded that as formulated by petitioners, the question is not a political question as it
involves merely a determination of what the law provides on the matter and application thereof to
petitionersFerdinandE.Marcosandfamily.Butwhenthequestioniswhetherthetworightsclaimedby
petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family impinge on or collide with the more primordial and
transcendentalrightoftheStatetosecurityandsafetyofitsnationals,thequestionbecomespolitical
andthisHonorableCourtcannotconsiderit.

Therearethusgradationstothequestion,towit:

Do petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have the right to return to the Philippines and
reestablishtheirresidencehere?ThisisclearlyajusticiablequestionwhichthisHonorableCourtcan
decide.

Do petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have their right to return to the Philippines and
reestablishtheirresidencehereeveniftheirreturnandresidenceherewillendangernationalsecurity
andpublicsafety?thisisstillajusticiablequestionwhichthisHonorableCourtcandecide.

IstheredangertonationalsecurityandpublicsafetyifpetitionersFerdinandE.Marcosandfamilyshall
returntothePhilippinesandestablishtheirresidencehere?Thisisnowapoliticalquestionwhichthis
Honorable Court can not decide for it falls within the exclusive authority and competence of the
PresidentofthePhilippines.[MemorandumforRespondents,pp.911Rollo,pp.297299.]

Respondents argue for the primacy of the right of the State to national security over individual rights. In support
thereof,theyciteArticleIIoftheConstitution,towit:

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Section4.TheprimedutyoftheGovernmentistoserveandprotectthepeople.TheGovernmentmay
call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required,
underconditionsprovidedbylaw,torenderpersonal,military,orcivilservice.

Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the
promotionofthegeneralwelfareareessentialfortheenjoymentbyallthepeopleoftheblessingsof
democracy.

Respondents also point out that the decision to ban Mr. Marcos and family from returning to the Philippines for
reasons of national security and public safety has international precedents. Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican
Republic,AnastacioSomozaJr.ofNicaragua,JorgeUbicoofGuatemala,FulgenciobatistaofCuba,KingFaroukof
Egypt,MaximilianoHernandezMartinezofElSalvador,andMarcosPerezJimenezofVenezuelawereamongthe
deposeddictatorswhosereturntotheirhomelandswaspreventedbytheirgovernments.[SeeStatementofForeign
AffairsSecretaryRaulS.Manglapus,quotedinMemorandumforRespondents,pp.2632Rollo,pp.314319.]

Thepartiesareinagreementthattheunderlyingissueisoneofthescopeofpresidentialpoweranditslimits.We,
however,viewthisissueinadifferentlight.Althoughwegivedueweighttotheparties'formulationoftheissues,we
arenotboundbyitsnarrowconfinesinarrivingatasolutiontothecontroversy.

Attheoutset,wemuststatethatitwouldnotdotoviewthecasewithintheconfinesoftherighttotravelandthe
importofthedecisionsoftheU.S.SupremeCourtintheleadingcasesofKentv.Dulles[357U.S.116,78SCt1113,
2LEd.2d1204]andHaigv.Agee[453U.S.280,101SCt2766,69LEd.2d640)whichaffirmedtherighttotravel
andrecognizedexceptionstotheexercisethereof,respectively.

It must be emphasized that the individual right involved is not the right to travel from the Philippines to other
countriesorwithinthePhilippines.Thesearewhattherighttotravelwouldnormallyconnote.Essentially,theright
involved is the right to return to one's country, a totally distinct right under international law, independent from
although related to the right to travel. Thus, the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights and the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treat the right to freedom of movement and abode within the territory of a
state, the right to leave a country, and the right to enter one's country as separate and distinct rights. The
Declarationspeaksofthe"righttofreedomofmovementandresidencewithinthebordersofeachstate"[Art.13(l)]
separatelyfromthe"righttoleaveanycountry,includinghisown,andtoreturntohiscountry."[Art.13(2).]Onthe
otherhand,theCovenantguaranteesthe"righttolibertyofmovementandfreedomtochoosehisresidence"[Art.
12(l)]andtherightto"befreetoleaveanycountry,includinghisown."[Art.12(2)]whichrightsmayberestrictedby
such laws as "are necessary to protect national security, public order, public health or morals or enter qqqs own
country"ofwhichonecannotbe"arbitrarilydeprived."[Art.12(4).]Itwouldthereforebeinappropriatetoconstruethe
limitationstotherighttoreturntoone'scountryinthesamecontextasthosepertainingtothelibertyofabodeand
therighttotravel.

Therighttoreturntoone'scountryisnotamongtherightsspecificallyguaranteedintheBillofRights,whichtreats
onlyofthelibertyofabodeandtherighttotravel,butitisourwellconsideredviewthattherighttoreturnmaybe
considered,asagenerallyacceptedprincipleofinternationallawand,underourConstitution,ispartofthelawof
theland[Art.II,Sec.2oftheConstitution.]However,itisdistinctandseparatefromtherighttotravelandenjoysa
different protection under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, i.e., against being "arbitrarily
deprived"thereof[Art.12(4).]

Thus,therulingsinthecasesKentandHaigwhichrefertotheissuanceofpassportsforthepurposeofeffectively
exercising the right to travel are not determinative of this case and are only tangentially material insofar as they
relate to a conflict between executive action and the exercise of a protected right. The issue before the Court is
novelandwithoutprecedentinPhilippine,andeveninAmericanjurisprudence.

Consequently, resolution by the Court of the welldebated issue of whether or not there can be limitations on the
right to travel in the absence of legislation to that effect is rendered unnecessary. An appropriate case for its
resolutionwillhavetobeawaited.

Havingclarifiedthesubstanceofthelegalissue,wefindnowaneedtoexplainthemethodologyforitsresolution.
Ourresolutionoftheissuewillinvolveatwotieredapproach.WeshallfirstresolvewhetherornotthePresidenthas
thepowerundertheConstitution,tobartheMarcosesfromreturningtothePhilippines.Then,weshalldetermine,
pursuant to the express power of the Court under the Constitution in Article VIII, Section 1, whether or not the
President acted arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she
determinedthatthereturnoftheMarcose'stothePhilippinesposesaseriousthreattonationalinterestandwelfare
anddecidedtobartheirreturn.

ExecutivePower

The 1987 Constitution has fully restored the separation of powers of the three great branches of government. To
recall the words of Justice Laurel in Angara v. Electoral Commission [63 Phil. 139 (1936)], "the Constitution has
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blockedbutwithdeftstrokesandinboldlines,allotmentofpowertotheexecutive,thelegislativeandthejudicial
departmentsofthegovernment."[At157.1Thus,the1987Constitutionexplicitlyprovidesthat"[thelegislativepower
shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines" Art VI, Sec. 11, "[t]he executive power shall bevested in the
PresidentofthePhilippines"[Art.VII,Sec.11,and"[tejudicialpowershallbevestedinoneSupremeCourtandin
suchlowercourtsasmaybeestablishedbylaw"[Art.VIII,Sec.1.]Theseprovisionsnotonlyestablishaseparation
ofpowersbyactualdivision[Angarav.ElectoralCommission,supra]butalsoconferplenarylegislative,executive
andjudicialpowerssubjectonlytolimitationsprovidedintheConstitution.ForastheSupremeCourtinOcampov.
Cabangis[15Phil.626(1910)]pointedout"agrantofthelegislativepowermeansagrantofalllegislativepower
and a grant of the judicial power means a grant of all the judicial power which may be exercised under the
government."[At631632.1Ifthiscanbesaidofthelegislativepowerwhichisexercisedbytwochamberswitha
combinedmembershipofmorethantwohundredmembersandofthejudicialpowerwhichisvestedinahierarchy
ofcourts,itcanequallybesaidoftheexecutivepowerwhichisvestedinoneofficialthePresident.

As stated above, the Constitution provides that "[t]he executive power shall be vested in the President of the
Philippines."[Art.VII,Sec.1].However,itdoesnotdefinewhatismeantbyexecutivepower"althoughinthesame
article it touches on the exercise of certain powers by the President, i.e., the power of control over all executive
departments, bureaus and offices, the power to execute the laws, the appointing power, the powers under the
commanderinchiefclause,thepowertograntreprieves,commutationsandpardons,thepowertograntamnesty
withtheconcurrenceofCongress,thepowertocontractorguaranteeforeignloans,thepowertoenterintotreaties
orinternationalagreements,thepowertosubmitthebudgettoCongress,andthepowertoaddressCongress[Art.
VII,Sec.1423].

The inevitable question then arises: by enumerating certain powers of the President did the framers of the
ConstitutionintendthatthePresidentshallexercisethosespecificpowersandnoother?Aretheseseenumerated
powersthebreadthandscopeof"executivepower"?PetitionersadvancetheviewthatthePresident'spowersare
limitedtothosespecificallyenumeratedinthe1987Constitution.Thus,theyassert:"ThePresidenthasenumerated
powers,andwhatisnotenumeratedisimpliedlydeniedtoher.Inclusionuniusestexclusioalterius[Memorandumfor
Petitioners,p.4Rollop.233.1ThisargumentbringstomindtheinstitutionoftheU.S.Presidencyafterwhichours
islegallypatterned.**

Corwin,inhismonumentalvolumeonthePresidentoftheUnitedStatesgrappledwiththesameproblem.Hesaid:

ArticleIIisthemostlooselydrawnchapteroftheConstitution.Tothosewhothinkthataconstitution
oughttosettleeverythingbeforehanditshouldbeanightmarebythesametoken,tothosewhothink
that constitution makers ought to leave considerable leeway for the future play of political forces, it
shouldbeavisionrealized.

We encounter this characteristic of Article 11 in its opening words: "The executive power shall be
vested in a President of the United States of America." . . .. [The President: Office and Powers,
17871957,pp.34.]

ReviewinghowthepowersoftheU.S.Presidentwereexercisedbythedifferentpersonswhoheldtheofficefrom
Washington to the early 1900's, and the swing from the presidency by commission to Lincoln's dictatorship, he
concluded that "what the presidency is at any particular moment depends in important measure on who is
President."[At30.]

ThisviewissharedbySchlesingerwhowroteinTheImperialPresidency:

FortheAmericanPresidencywasapeculiarlypersonalinstitution.itremainedofcourse,anagencyof
governmentsubjecttounvaryingdemandsanddutiesnoremained,ofcasPresident.But,morethan
mostagenciesofgovernment,itchangedshape,intensityandethosaccordingtothemanincharge.
Each President's distinctive temperament and character, his values, standards, style, his habits,
expectations, Idiosyncrasies, compulsions, phobias recast the WhiteHouse and pervaded the entire
government. The executive branch, said Clark Clifford, was a chameleon, taking its color from the
character and personality of the President. The thrust of the office, its impact on the constitutional
order,thereforealteredfromPresidenttoPresident.Aboveall,thewayeachPresidentunderstooditas
his personal obligation to inform and involve the Congress, to earn and hold the confidence of the
electorateandtorenderanaccountingtothenationandposteritydeterminedwhetherhestrengthened
orweakenedtheconstitutionalorder.[At212213.]

WedonotsaythatthepresidencyiswhatMrs.Aquinosaysitisorwhatshedoesbut,rather,thattheconsideration
oftraditionandthedevelopmentofpresidentialpowerunderthedifferentconstitutionsareessentialforacomplete
understanding of the extent of and limitations to the President's powers under the 1987 Constitution. The 1935
Constitution created a strong President with explicitly broader powers than the U.S. President. The 1973
Constitutionattemptedtomodifythesystemofgovernmentintotheparliamentarytype,withthePresidentasamere
figurehead,butthroughnumerousamendments,thePresidentbecameevenmorepowerful,tothepointthathewas
alsothedefactoLegislature.The1987Constitution,however,broughtbackthepresidentialsystemofgovernment
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and restored the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers by their actual distribution among three
distinctbranchesofgovernmentwithprovisionforchecksandbalances.

Itwouldnotbeaccurate,however,tostatethat"executivepower"isthepowertoenforcethelaws,forthePresident
isheadofstateaswellasheadofgovernmentandwhateverpowersinhereinsuchpositionspertaintotheoffice
unlesstheConstitutionitselfwithholdsit.Furthermore,theConstitutionitselfprovidesthattheexecutionofthelaws
is only one of the powers of the President. It also grants the President other powers that do not involve the
executionofanyprovisionoflaw,e.g.,hispoweroverthecountry'sforeignrelations.

On these premises, we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise of
specificpowersofthePresident,itmaintainsintactwhatistraditionallyconsideredaswithinthescopeof"executive
power."Corollarily,thepowersofthePresidentcannotbesaidtobelimitedonlytothespecificpowersenumerated
intheConstitution.Inotherwords,executivepowerismorethanthesumofspecificpowerssoenumerated,

Ithasbeenadvancedthatwhateverpowerinherentinthegovernmentthatisneitherlegislativenorjudicialhastobe
executive.Thus,inthelandmarkdecisionofSpringerv.GovernmentofthePhilippineIslands,277U.S.189(1928),
ontheissueofwhobetweentheGovernorGeneralofthePhilippinesandtheLegislaturemayvotethesharesof
stockheldbytheGovernmenttoelectdirectorsintheNationalCoalCompanyandthePhilippineNationalBank,the
U.S.SupremeCourt,inupholdingthepoweroftheGovernorGeneraltodoso,said:

...Here the members of the legislature who constitute a majority of the "board" and "committee"
respectively, are not charged with the performance of any legislative functions or with the doing of
anythingwhichisinaidofperformanceofanysuchfunctionsbythelegislature.Puttingasideforthe
momentthequestionwhetherthedutiesdevolveduponthesemembersarevestedbytheOrganicAct
in the GovernorGeneral, it is clear that they are not legislative in character, and still more clear that
theyarenotjudicial.Thefactthattheydonotfallwithintheauthorityofeitherofthesetwoconstitutes
logicalgroundforconcludingthattheydofallwithinthatoftheremainingoneamongwhichthepowers
ofgovernmentaredivided....[At202203Emphasissupplied.]

WearenotunmindfulofJusticeHolmes'strongdissent.Butinhisenduringwordsofdissentwefindreinforcement
fortheviewthatitwouldindeedbeafollytoconstruethepowersofabranchofgovernmenttoembraceonlywhat
arespecificallymentionedintheConstitution:

ThegreatordinancesoftheConstitutiondonotestablishanddividefieldsofblackandwhite.Eventhe
morespecificofthemarefoundtoterminateinapenumbrashadinggraduallyfromoneextremetothe
other.....

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Itdoesnotseemtoneedargumenttoshowthathoweverwemaydisguiseitbyveilingwordswedonot
and cannot carry out the distinction between legislative and executive action with mathematical
precision and divide the branches into watertight compartments, were it ever so desirable to do so,
whichIamfarfrombelievingthatitis,orthattheConstitutionrequires.[At210211.]

ThePowerInvolved

The Constitution declares among the guiding principles that "[t]he prime duty of theGovernment is to serve and
protectthepeople"andthat"[t]hemaintenanceofpeaceandorder,theprotectionoflife,liberty,andproperty,and
the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of
democracy."[Art.II,Secs.4and5.]

Admittedly,serviceandprotectionofthepeople,themaintenanceofpeaceandorder,theprotectionoflife,liberty
andproperty,andthepromotionofthegeneralwelfareareessentiallyidealstoguidegovernmentalaction.Butsuch
does not mean that they are empty words. Thus, in the exercise of presidential functions, in drawing a plan of
government, and in directing implementing action for these plans, or from another point of view, in making any
decision as President of the Republic, the President has to consider these principles, among other things, and
adheretothem.

Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to allow the Marcoses to return to the Philippines, the
President is, under the Constitution, constrained to consider these basic principles in arriving at a decision. More
than that, having sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution, the President has the obligation under the
Constitutiontoprotectthepeople,promotetheirwelfareandadvancethenationalinterest.Itmustbeborneinmind
that the Constitution, aside from being an allocation of power is also a social contract whereby the people have
surrenderedtheirsovereignpowerstotheStateforthecommongood.Hence,lesttheofficersoftheGovernment
exercisingthepowersdelegatedbythepeopleforgetandtheservantsofthepeoplebecomerulers,theConstitution
remindseveryonethat"[s]overeigntyresidesinthepeopleandallgovernmentauthorityemanatesfromthem."[Art.
II,Sec.1.]
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The resolution of the problem is made difficult because the persons who seek to return to the country are the
deposeddictatorandhisfamilyatwhosedoorthetravailsofthecountryarelaidandfromwhombillionsofdollars
believed to be illgotten wealth are sought to be recovered. The constitutional guarantees they invoke are neither
absolute nor inflexible. For the exercise of even the preferred freedoms of speech and ofexpression, although
couched in absolute terms, admits of limits and must be adjusted to the requirements of equally important public
interests[Zaldivarv.Sandiganbayan,G.R.Nos.79690707,October7,1981.]

TothePresident,theproblemisoneofbalancingthegeneralwelfareandthecommongoodagainsttheexerciseof
rightsofcertainindividuals.ThepowerinvolvedisthePresident'sresidualpowertoprotectthegeneralwelfareof
thepeople.ItisfoundedonthedutyofthePresident,asstewardofthepeople.ToparaphraseTheodoreRoosevelt,
itisnotonlythepowerofthePresidentbutalsohisdutytodoanythingnotforbiddenbytheConstitutionorthelaws
that the needs of the nation demand [See Corwin, supra, at 153]. It is a power borne by the President's duty to
preserveanddefendtheConstitution.ItalsomaybeviewedasapowerimplicitinthePresident'sdutytotakecare
thatthelawsarefaithfullyexecuted[seeHyman,TheAmericanPresident,wheretheauthoradvancestheviewthat
anallowanceofdiscretionarypowerisunavoidableinanygovernmentandisbestlodgedinthePresident].

Moreparticularly,thiscasecallsfortheexerciseofthePresident'spowersasprotectorofthepeace.RossiterThe
American Presidency].The power of the President to keep the peace is not limited merely to exercising the
commanderinchiefpowersintimesofemergencyortoleadingtheStateagainstexternalandinternalthreatstoits
existence.ThePresidentisnotonlyclothedwithextraordinarypowersintimesofemergency,butisalsotaskedwith
attending to the daytoday problems of maintaining peace and order and ensuring domestic tranquility in times
whennoforeignfoeappearsonthehorizon.Widediscretion,withintheboundsoflaw,infulfillingpresidentialduties
intimesofpeaceisnotinanywaydiminishedbytherelativewantofanemergencyspecifiedinthecommanderin
chief provision. For inmakingthePresidentcommanderinchieftheenumeration of powers that follow cannot be
saidtoexcludethePresident'sexercisingasCommanderinChiefpowersshortofthecallingofthearmedforces,
orsuspendingtheprivilegeofthewritofhabeascorpus or declaring martial law, in order to keep the peace, and
maintainpublicorderandsecurity.

ThatthePresidenthasthepowerundertheConstitutiontobartheMarcose'sfromreturninghasbeenrecognized
bymemembersoftheLegislature,andismanifestedbytheResolutionproposedintheHouseofRepresentatives
andsignedby103ofitsmembersurgingthePresidenttoallowMr.MarcostoreturntothePhilippines"asagenuine
unselfish gesture for true national reconciliation and as irrevocable proof of our collective adherence to
uncompromisingrespectforhumanrightsundertheConstitutionandourlaws."[HouseResolutionNo.1342,Rollo,
p. 321.1 The Resolution does not question the President's power to bar the Marcoses from returning to the
Philippines, rather, it appeals to the President's sense of compassion to allow a man to come home to die in his
country.

WhatwearesayingineffectisthattherequestordemandoftheMarcosestobeallowedtoreturntothePhilippines
cannotbeconsideredinthelightsolelyoftheconstitutionalprovisionsguaranteeinglibertyofabodeandtherightto
travel, subject to certain exceptions, or of case law which clearly never contemplated situations even remotely
similartothepresentone.Itmustbetreatedasamatterthatisappropriatelyaddressedtothoseresidualunstated
powers of the President which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty residing in that office to
safeguardandprotectgeneralwelfare.Inthatcontext,suchrequestordemandshouldsubmittotheexerciseofa
broaderdiscretiononthepartofthePresidenttodeterminewhetheritmustbegrantedordenied.

TheExtentofReview

UndertheConstitution,judicialpowerincludesthedutytodeterminewhetherornottherehasbeenagraveabuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government." [Art. VIII, Sec. 1] Given this wording, we cannot agree with the Solicitor General that the issue
constitutesapoliticalquestionwhichisbeyondthejurisdictionoftheCourttodecide.

ThepresentConstitutionlimitsresorttothepoliticalquestiondoctrineandbroadensthescopeofjudicialinquiryinto
areaswhichtheCourt,underpreviousconstitutions,wouldhavenormallylefttothepoliticaldepartmentstodecide.
ButnonethelessthereremainissuesbeyondtheCourt'sjurisdictionthedeterminationofwhichisexclusivelyforthe
President,forCongressorforthepeoplethemselvesthroughaplebisciteorreferendum.Wecannot,forexample,
questionthePresident'srecognitionofaforeigngovernment,nomatterhowprematureorimprovidentsuchaction
may appear. We cannot set aside a presidential pardon though it may appear to us that the beneficiary is totally
undeservingofthegrant.NorcanweamendtheConstitutionundertheguiseofresolvingadisputebroughtbefore
usbecausethepowerisreservedtothepeople.

There is nothing in the case before us that precludes our determination thereof on the political question doctrine.
ThedeliberationsoftheConstitutionalCommissioncitedbypetitionersshowthattheframersintendedtowidenthe
scopeofjudicialreviewbuttheydidnotintendcourtsofjusticetosettleallactualcontroversiesbeforethem.When
politicalquestionsareinvolved,theConstitutionlimitsthedeterminationtowhetherornottherehasbeenagrave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the official whose action is being
questioned. If grave abuse is not established, the Court will not substitute its judgment for that of the official
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concernedanddecideamatterwhichbyitsnatureorbylawisforthelatteralonetodecide.Inthislight,itwould
appearclearthatthesecondparagraphofArticleVIII,Section1oftheConstitution,defining"judicialpower,"which
specificallyempowersthecourtstodeterminewhetherornottherehasbeenagraveabuseofdiscretiononthepart
of any branch or instrumentality of the government, incorporates in the fundamental law the ruling in Lansang v.
Garcia[G.R.No.L33964,December11,1971,42SCRA4481that:]

Article VII of the [1935] Constitution vests in the Executive the power to suspend the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus under specified conditions. Pursuant to the principle of separation of powers
underlyingoursystemofgovernment,theExecutiveissupremewithinhisownsphere.However,the
separationofpowers,undertheConstitution,isnotabsolute.Whatismore,itgoeshandinhandwith
thesystemofchecksandbalances,underwhichtheExecutiveissupreme,asregardsthesuspension
oftheprivilege,butonlyifandwhenheactswithinthesphereallotedtohimbytheBasicLaw,andthe
authoritytodeterminewhetherornothehassoactedisvestedintheJudicialDepartment,which,in
thisrespect,is,inturn,constitutionallysupreme.Intheexerciseofsuchauthority,thefunctionofthe
CourtismerelytochecknottosupplanttheExecutive,ortoascertainmerelywhetherhehasgone
beyond the constitutional limits of his jurisdiction, not to exercise the power vested in him or to
determinethewisdomofhisact[At479480.]

Accordingly,thequestionfortheCourttodetermineiswhetherornotthereexistfactualbasesforthePresidentto
concludethatitwasinthenationalinteresttobarthereturnoftheMarcosestothePhilippines.Ifsuchpostulatesdo
exist, it cannot be said that she has acted, or acts, arbitrarily or that she has gravely abused her discretion in
decidingtobartheirreturn.

We find that from the pleadings filed by the parties, from their oral arguments, and the facts revealed during the
briefinginchambersbytheChiefofStaffoftheArmedForcesofthePhilippinesandtheNationalSecurityAdviser,
whereinpetitionersandrespondentswererepresented,thereexistfactualbasesforthePresident'sdecision..

TheCourtcannotcloseitseyestopresentrealitiesandpretendthatthecountryisnotbesiegedfromwithinbya
wellorganized communist insurgency, a separatist movement in Mindanao, rightist conspiracies to grab power,
urbanterrorism,themurderwithimpunityofmilitarymen,policeofficersandcivilianofficials,tomentiononlyafew.
The documented history of the efforts of the Marcose's and their followers to destabilize the country, as earlier
narratedinthisponenciabolsterstheconclusionthatthereturnoftheMarcosesatthistimewouldonlyexacerbate
andintensifytheviolencedirectedagainsttheStateandinstigatemorechaos.

As divergent and discordant forces, the enemies of the State may be contained. The military establishment has
givenassurancesthatitcouldhandlethethreatsposedbyparticulargroups.Butitisthecatalyticeffectofthereturn
oftheMarcosesthatmayprovetobetheproverbialfinalstrawthatwouldbreakthecamel'sback.Withthesebefore
her,thePresidentcannotbesaidtohaveactedarbitrarilyandcapriciouslyandwhimsicallyindeterminingthatthe
returnoftheMarcosesposesaseriousthreattothenationalinterestandwelfareandinprohibitingtheirreturn.

ItwillnotdotoarguethatifthereturnoftheMarcosestothePhilippineswillcausetheescalationofviolenceagainst
theState,thatwouldbethetimeforthePresidenttostepinandexercisethecommanderinchiefpowersgranted
herbytheConstitutiontosuppressorstampoutsuchviolence.TheState,actingthroughtheGovernment,isnot
precludedfromtakingpreemptiveactionagainstthreatstoitsexistenceif,thoughstillnascenttheyareperceived
as apt to become serious and direct. Protection of the people is the essence of the duty of government. The
preservationoftheStatethefruitionofthepeople'ssovereigntyisanobligationinthehighestorder.ThePresident,
sworn to preserve and defend the Constitution and to see the faithful execution the laws, cannot shirk from that
responsibility.

Wecannotalsolosesightofthefactthatthecountryisonlynowbeginningtorecoverfromthehardshipsbrought
aboutbytheplunderoftheeconomyattributedtotheMarcosesandtheircloseassociatesandrelatives,manyof
whom are still here in the Philippines in a position to destabilize the country, while the Government has barely
scratchedthesurface,sotospeak,initseffortstorecovertheenormouswealthstashedawaybytheMarcosesin
foreign jurisdictions. Then, We cannot ignore the continually increasing burden imposed on the economy by the
excessiveforeignborrowingduringtheMarcosregime,whichstiflesandstagnatesdevelopmentandisoneofthe
root causes of widespread poverty and all its attendant ills. The resulting precarious state of our economy is of
commonknowledgeandiseasilywithintheambitofjudicialnotice.

ThePresidenthasdeterminedthatthedestabilizationcausedbythereturnoftheMarcoseswouldwipeawaythe
gainsachievedduringthepastfewyearsandleadtototaleconomiccollapse.Givenwhatiswithinourindividual
andcommonknowledgeofthestateoftheeconomy,wecannotarguewiththatdetermination.

WHEREFORE,anditbeingourwellconsideredopinionthatthePresidentdidnotactarbitrarilyorwithgraveabuse
ofdiscretionindeterminingthatthereturnofformerPresidentMarcosandhisfamilyatthepresenttimeandunder
presentcircumstancesposesaseriousthreattonationalinterestandwelfareandinprohibitingtheirreturntothe
Philippines,theinstantpetitionisherebyDISMISSED.

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SOORDERED.

SeparateOpinions

FERNAN,C.J.,concurring:

"The threats to national security and public order are real the mounting Communist insurgency, a simmering
separatist movement, a restive studentry, widespread labor disputes, militant farmer groups. . . . Each of these
threatsisanexplosiveingredientinasteamingcauldronwhichcouldblowupifnothandledproperly."1

Thesearenotmywords.TheybelongtomydistinguishedcolleagueintheCourt,Mr.JusticeHugoE.Gutierrez,Jr.
Buttheyexpresseloquentlythebasisofmyfullconcurrencetotheexhaustiveandwellwrittenponencia of Mme.
JusticeIreneR.Cortes.

Presidential powers and prerogatives are not fixed but fluctuate. They are not derived solely from a particular
constitutionalclauseorarticleorfromanexpressstatutorygrant.Theirlimitsarelikelytodependontheimperatives
of events and contemporary imponderables rather than on abstract theories of law. History and timehonored
principlesofconstitutionallawhaveconcededtotheExecutiveBranchcertainpowersintimesofcrisisorgraveand
imperativenationalemergency.Manytermsareappliedtothesepowers:"residual,""inherent,"44moral,""implied,"
"aggregate," "emergency." whatever they may be called, the fact is that these powers exist, as they must if the
governancefunctionoftheExecutiveBranchistobecarriedouteffectivelyandefficiently.Itisinthiscontextthat
the power of the President to allow or disallow the Marcoses to return to the Philippines should be viewed. By
reason of its impact on national peace and order in these admittedly critical times, said question cannot be
withdrawnfromthecompetenceoftheExecutiveBranchtodecide.

Andindeed,thereturnofthedeposedPresident,hiswifeandchildrencannotbutposeaclearandpresentdanger
to public order and safety. One needs only to recall the series of destabilizing actions attempted by the socalled
MarcosloyalistsaswellastheultrarightistgroupsduringtheEDSARevolution'saftermathtorealizethis.Themost
publicizedoftheseoffensivesistheManilaHotelincidentwhichoccurredbarelyfive(5)monthsafterthePeople's
PowerRevolution.Around10,000Marcossupporters,backedby300loyalistsoldiersledbyBrigadierGeneralJose
ZumelandLt.Col.ReynaldoCabauatanconvergedattheManilaHoteltowitnesstheoathtakingofArturoTolentino
asactingpresidentofthePhilippines.Thepublicdisorderandperiltolifeandlimbofthecitizensengenderedbythis
eventsubsidedonlyupontheeventualsurrenderoftheloyalistsoldierstotheauthorities.

Then followed the Channel 7, Sangley, Villamor, Horseshoe Drive and Camp Aguinaldo incidents. Military rebels
waged simultaneous offensives in different parts of Metro Manila and Sangley Point in Cavite. A hundred rebel
soldierstookoverChannel7anditsradiostationDZBB.About74soldierrebelsattackedVillamorAirBase,while
anothergroupstruckatSangleyPointinCaviteandheldthe15thAirForceStrikewingcommanderandhisdeputy
hostage.TroopsonboardseveralvehiclesattemptedtoenterGateIofCampAguinaldoevenasanotherbatchof
200soldiersencampedatHorseshoeVillage.

AnotherdestabilizationplotwascarriedoutinApril,1987byenlistedpersonnelwhoforcedtheirwaythroughGate1
ofFortBonifacio.Theystormedintothearmystockadebuthavingfailedtoconvincetheirincarceratedmembersto
uniteintheircause,hadtogiveupnine(9)hourslater.

AndwhocanforgettheAugust28,1987coupattemptwhichalmosttoppledtheAquinoGovernment?Launchednot
by Marcos loyalists, but by another ultrarightist group in the military led by Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan who
remainsatlargetodate,thismostseriousattempttowrestcontrolofthegovernmentresultedinthedeathofmany
civilians.

MembersofthesocalledBlackForestCommandowereabletocartawayhighpoweredfirearmsandammunition
fromtheCampCrameArmoryduringaraidconductedinJune1988.Mostofthegroupmemberswere,however,
capturedinAntipolo,Rizal.ThesamegroupwasinvolvedinanunsuccessfulplotknownasOplanBalikSayawhich
soughtthereturnofMarcostothecountry.

Amorerecentthreattopublicorder,peaceandsafetywastheattemptofagroupnamedCEDECORtomobilize
civiliansfromnearbyprovincestoactasblockadingforcesatdifferentMetroManilaareasfortheprojectedlinkup
ofMarcosmilitaryloyalisttroopswiththegroupofHonasan.Thepseudo"peoplepower"movementwasneutralized
thrucheckpointssetupbytheauthoritiesalongmajorroadarterieswherethememberswerearrestedorforcedto
turnback.

WhilenotallofthesedisruptiveincidentsmaybetraceddirectlytotheMarcoses,theiroccurrencemilitatesheavily
againstthewisdomofallowingtheMarcoses'return.NotonlywilltheMarcoses'presenceemboldentheirfollowers

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towardsimilaractions,butanysuchactionwouldbeseizeduponasanopportunitybyotherenemiesoftheState,
suchastheCommunistPartyofthePhilippinesandtheNPA'S,theMuslimsecessionistsandextremerightistsof
the RAM, to wage an offensive against the government. Certainly, the state through its executive branch has the
power,nay,theresponsibilityandobligation,topreventagraveandseriousthreattoitssafetyfromarising.

ApparentlylostamidstthedebateonwhetherornottoallowtheMarcosestoreturntothePhilippinesisonefactor,
which albeit, at first blush appears to be extra legal, constitutes a valid justification for disallowing the requested
return.Irefertothepublicpulse.ItmustberememberedthattheousteroftheMarcosesfromthePhilippinescame
aboutasanunexpected,butcertainlywelcomed,resultoftheunprecedentedpeoplespower"revolution.Millionsof
our people braved military tanks and firepower, kept vigil, prayed, and in countless manner and ways contributed
time, effort and money to put an end to an evidently untenable claim to power of a dictator. The removal of the
Marcoses from the Philippines was a moral victory for the Filipino people and the installation of the present
administration,arealizationofandobediencetothepeople'sWill.

FailinginlegalargumentsfortheallowanceoftheMarcoses'return,appealisbeingmadetosympathy,compassion
and even Filipino tradition. The political and economic gains we have achieved during the past three years are
howevertoovaluableandprecioustogambleawayonpurelycompassionateconsiderations.Neithercouldpublic
peace, order and safety be sacrificed for an individual's wish to die in his own country. Verily in the balancing of
interests, the scales tilt in favor of presidential prerogative, which we do not find to have been gravely abused or
arbitrarilyexercised,tobantheMarcosesfromreturningtothePhilippines.

GUTIERREZ,JR.,J.,dissenting

"The Constitution ... is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its
protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine involving more pernicious
consequenceswaseverinventedbythewitofmanthanthatanyofitsprovisionscanbesuspendedduringanyof
thegreatexigenciesofgovernment."(ExParteMilligan,4Wall.218L.Ed.281[1866])

Sinceourdaysaslawstudents,wehaveproclaimedthestirringwordsofExParteMilliganasselfevidenttruth.But
facedwithahardanddelicatecase,wenowhesitatetoqivesubstancetotheirmeaning.TheCourthaspermitteda
basicfreedomenshrinedintheBillofRightstobetakenawaybyGovernment.

ThereisonlyoneBillofRightswiththesameinterpretationoflibertyandthesameguaranteeoffreedomforboth
unlovedanddespisedpersonsononehandandtherestwhoarenotsostigmatizedontheother.

Iam,therefore,disturbedbythemajorityrulingwhichdeclaresthatitshouldnotbeaprecedent.Weareinterpreting
the Constitution for only one person and constituting him into a class by himself. The Constitution is a law for all
classesofmenatalltimes.Tohaveapersonasoneclassbyhimselfsmacksofunequalprotectionofthelaws.

WithallduerespectforthemajorityintheCourt,Ibelievethattheissuebeforeusisoneofrightsandnotofpower.
Mr.Marcosisinsensateandwouldnotliveifseparatedfromthemachineswhichhavetakenoverthefunctionsof
hiskidneysandotherorgans.Totreathimatthispointasonewithfullpanoplyofpoweragainstwhomtheforcesof
Governmentshouldbemarshalledistotallyunrealistic.TheGovernmenthasthepowertoarrestandpunishhim.
Butdoesithavethepowertodenyhimhisrighttocomehomeanddieamongfamiliarsurroundings?

Hence,thisdissent.

TheBillofRightsprovides:

Sec.6.Thelibertyofabodeandofchangingthesamewithinthelimitsprescribedbylawshallnotbe
impairedexceptuponlawfulorderofthecourt.Neithershalltherighttotravelbeimpairedexceptinthe
interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law. (Emphasis
supplied,Section6,Art.111,Constitution)

Tohavethepetitiondismissed,theSolicitorGeneralrepeatsaritualinvocationofnationalsecurityandpublicsafety
which is hauntingly familiar because it was pleaded so often by petitioner Ferdinand E. Marcos to justify his acts
under martial law. There is, however, no showing of the existence of a law prescribing the limits of the power to
impairandtheoccasionsforitsexercise.Andexceptforcitingbreachesoflawandorder,themoreseriousofwhich
were totally unrelated to Mr. Marcos and which the military was able to readily quell, the respondents have not
pointed to any grave exigency which permits the use of untrammeled Governmental power in this case and the
indefinitesuspensionoftheconstitutionalrighttotravel.

The respondents' basic argument is that the issue before us is a political question beyond our jurisdiction to
consider. They contend that the decision to ban former President Marcos, and his family on grounds of national
security and public safety is vested by the Constitution in the President alone. The determination should not be
questionedbeforethisCourt.ThePresident'sfindingofdangertothenationshouldbeconclusiveontheCourt.

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Whatisapoliticalquestion?

InVerav.Avelino(77Phil.192,223[1946],theCourtstated:

xxxxxxxxx

Itisawellsettleddoctrinethatpoliticalquestionsarenotwithintheprovinceofthejudiciary,exceptto
the extent that power to deal with such questions has been conferred on the courts by express
constitutionalorstatutoryprovisions.Itisnotsoeasy,however,todefinethephrasepoliticalquestion,
nortodeterminewhatmattersfallwithinitsscope.Itisfrequentlyusedtodesignateallquestionsthat
he outside the scope of the judicial power. More properly, however, it means those questions which,
undertheconstitution,aretobedecidedbythepeopleintheirsovereigncapacity,orinregardtowhich
fulldiscretionaryauthorityhasbeendelegatedtothelegislativeorexecutivebranchofthegovernment.

WedefinedapoliticalquestioninTaniadav.Cuenco(103Phil.1051,1066[1957]),asfollows:

In short, the term 'Political question' connotes, in legal parlance, what it means in ordinary parlance,
namely, a question of policy. In other words, in the language of Corpus Juris Secundum (supra), it
refers to 'those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their
sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the
Legislature or executive branch of the Government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the
wisdom,notlegality,ofaparticularmeasure.

ThemostoftenquoteddefinitionofpoliticalquestionwasmadebyJusticeWilliamJ.BrennanJr.,whopennedthe
decisionoftheUnitedStatesSupremeCourtinBakerv.Carr(369US186,82,S.Ct.691,L.Ed.2d.663[1962]).
TheingredientsofapoliticalquestionasformulatedinBakerv.Carrare:

It is apparent that several formulations which vary slightly according to the settings in which the
questions arise may describe a political question, which identifies it as essentially a function of the
separationofpowers.Prominentonthesurfaceofanycaseheldtoinvolveapoliticalquestionisfound
atextuallydemonstrableconstitutionalcommitmentoftheissuetoacoordinatepoliticaldepartmentor
a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it or the impossibility of
deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion or the
impossibilityofacourt'sundertakingindependentresolutionwithoutexpressinglackoftherespectdue
coordinate branches of government or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political
decisionalreadymadeorpotentialityofembarrassmentfrommultifariouspronouncementsbyvarious
departmentsononequestion.

For a political question to exist, there must be in the Constitution a power vested exclusively in the President or
Congress, the exercise of which the court should not examine or prohibit. A claim of plenary or inherent power
againstacivilrightwhichclaimisnotfoundinaspecificprovisionisdangerous.Neithershouldwevalidatearoving
commissionallowingpublicofficialstostrikewheretheypleaseandtooverrideeverythingwhichtothemrepresents
evil.TheentireGovernmentisboundbytheruleoflaw.

TherespondentshavenotpointedtoanyprovisionoftheConstitutionwhichcommitsorveststhedeterminationof
thequestionraisedtoussolelyinthePresident.

The authority implied in Section 6 of the Bill of Rights itself does not exist because no law has been enacted
specifyingthecircumstanceswhentherightmaybeimpairedintheinterestofnationalsecurityorpublicsafety.The
powerisinCongress,nottheExecutive.

Theclosestresorttoatextiledemonstrableconstitutionalcommitmentofpowermaybefoundinthecommanderin
chiefclausewhichallowsthePresidenttocalloutthearmedforcesincaseoflawlessviolence,invasionorrebellion
andtosuspendtheprivilegeofthewritofhabeascorpusorproclaimmartiallawintheeventofinvasionorrebellion,
whenthepublicsafetyrequiresit.

There is, however, no showing, not even a claim that the followers of former President Marcos are engaging in
rebellionorthatheisinapositiontoleadthem.Neitherisitclaimedthatthereisaneedtosuspendtheprivilegeof
thewritofhabeascorpusorproclaimmartiallawbecauseofthearrivalofMr.Marcosandhisfamily.Tobesure,
there may be disturbances but not of a magnitude as would compel this Court to resort to a doctrine of non
justiceabilityandtoignoreapleafortheenforcementofanexpressBillofRightsguarantee.

The respondents themselves are hardpressed to state who or what constitutes a Marcos "loyalist." The constant
insinuations that the "loyalist" group is heavily funded by Mr. Marcos and his cronies and that the "loyalists"
engaging in rallies and demonstrations have to be paid individual allowances to do so constitute the strongest
indicationthatthehardcore"loyalists"whowouldfollowMarcosrightorwrongaresofewinnumberthattheycould
notpossiblydestabilizethegovernment,muchlessmountaseriousattempttooverthrowit.

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NoteverypersonwhowouldallowMr.Marcostocomehomecanbetaggeda"loyalist."ItisinthebestofFilipino
customsandtraditionstoallowadyingpersontoreturntohishomeandbreathhislastinhisnativesurroundings.
Outofthe103CongressmenwhopassedtheHouseresolutionurgingpermissionforhisreturn,therearethosewho
dislikeMr.Marcosintenselyorwhosufferedunderhisregime.TherearealsomanyFilipinoswhobelievethatinthe
spiritofnationalunityandreconciliationMr.MarcosandhisfamilyshouldbepermittedtoreturntothePhilippines
and that such a return would deprive his fanatic followers of any further reason to engage in rallies and
demonstrations.

The Court, however, should view the return of Mr. Marcos and his family solely in the light of the constitutional
guarantee of liberty of abode and the citizen's right to travel as against the respondents' contention that national
securityandpublicsafetywouldbeendangeredbyagrantofthepetition.

Apart from the absence of any text in the Constitution committing the issue exclusively to the President, there is
likewise no dearth of decisional data, no unmanageable standards which stand in the way of a judicial
determination.

Section6oftheBillofRightsstatescategoricallythatthelibertyofabodeandofchangingthesamewithinthelimits
prescribedbylawmaybeimpairedonlyuponalawfulorderofacourt.Notbyanexecutiveofficer.Notevenbythe
President.Section6furtherprovidesthattherighttotravel,andthisobviouslyincludestherighttotraveloutofor
back into the Philippines, cannot be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public
health,asmaybeprovidedbylaw.

There is no law setting the limits on a citizen's right to move from one part of the country to another or from the
PhilippinestoaforeigncountryorfromaforeigncountrytothePhilippines.ThelawscitedbytheSolicitorGeneral
immigration,health,quarantine,passports,motorvehicle,destierroprobation,andparoleareallinapplicableinsofar
asthereturnofMr.Marcosandfamilyisconcerned.Thereisabsolutelynoshowinghowanyofthesestatutesand
regulationscouldserveasabasistobartheircominghome.

ThereisalsonodisrespectforaPresidentialdeterminationifwegrantthepetition.Wewouldsimplybeapplyingthe
Constitution, in the preservation and defense of which all of us in Government, the President and Congress
included, are sworn to participate. Significantly, the President herself has stated that the Court has the last word
whenitcomestoconstitutionallibertiesandthatshewouldabidebyourdecision.

Asearlyas1983,itwasnotedthatthisCourthasnotbeenveryreceptivetotheinvocationofthepoliticalquestion
doctrinebygovernmentlawyers.(SeeMorales,Jr..vPonceEnrile,121SCRA538[1983]).

Many of those now occupying the highest positions in the executive departments, Congress, and the judiciary
criticizedthisCourtforusingwhattheyfeltwasadoctrineofconvenience,expediency,utilityorsubservience.Every
major challenge to the acts of petitioner Ferdinand E. Marcos under his authoritarian regime the proclamation of
martiallaw,theratificationofanewconstitution,thearrestanddetentionof"enemiesoftheState"withoutcharges
beingfiledagainstthem,thedissolutionofCongressandtheexercisebythePresidentoflegislativepowers,thetrial
ofciviliansforciviloffensesbymilitarytribunals,theseizureofsomeofthecountry'sbiggestcorporations,thetaking
overorclosureofnewspaperoffices,radioandtelevisionstationsandotherformsofmedia,theproposalstoamend
theConstitution,etc.wasinvariablymetbyaninvocationthatthepetitioninvolvedapoliticalquestion.Itisindeed
poeticjusticethatthepoliticalquestiondoctrinesoofteninvokedbythenPresidentMarcostojustifyhisactsisnow
beingusedagainsthimandhisfamily.Unfortunately,theCourtshouldnotandisnotallowedtoindulgeinsucha
persiflage.WeareboundbytheConstitution.

Thedimviewofthedoctrine'susewassuchthatwhenthepresentConstitutionwasdrafted,abroaddefinitionof
judicialpowerwasaddedtothevestingintheSupremeCourtandstatutorycourtsofsaidpower.

ThesecondparagraphofSection1,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitutionprovides:

Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights
which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentalityoftheGovernment.

ThisnewprovisionwasenactedtoprecludethisCourtfromusingthepoliticalquestiondoctrineasameanstoavoid
having to make decisions simply because they are too controversial, displeasing to the President or Congress,
inordinatelyunpopular,orwhichmaybeignoredandnotenforced.

TheframersoftheConstitutionbelievedthatthefreeuseofthepoliticalquestiondoctrineallowedtheCourtduring
the Marcos years to fall back on prudence, institutional difficulties, complexity of issues, momentousness of
consequencesorafearthatitwasextravagantlyextendingjudicialpowerinthecaseswhereitrefusedtoexamine
andstrikedownanexerciseofauthoritarianpower.Parenthetically,atleasttwooftherespondentsandtheircounsel
were among the most vigorous critics of Mr. Marcos (the main petitioner) and his use of the political question
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doctrine. The Constitution was accordingly amended. We are now precluded by its mandate from refusing to
invalidateapoliticaluseofpowerthroughaconvenientresorttothequestiondoctrine.Wearecompelledtodecide
whatwouldhavebeennonjusticeableunderourdecisionsinterpretingearlierfundamentalcharters.

This is not to state that there can be no more political questions which we may refuse to resolve. There are still
somepoliticalquestionswhichonlythePresident,Congress,oraplebiscitemaydecide.Definitely,theissuebefore
usisnotoneofthem.

The Constitution requires the Court "to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion
amountingtolackorexcessofjurisdiction."

Howdowedetermineagraveabuseofdiscretion?

Thetestedprocedureistorequirethepartiestopresentevidence.Unfortunately,considerationsofnationalsecurity
donotreadilylendthemselvestothepresentationofproofbeforeacourtofjustice.Thevitalinformationessentialto
anobjectivedeterminationisusuallyhighlyclassifiedanditcannotberebuttedbythosewhoseektooverthrowthe
government.AsearlyasBarcelonv.Baker(5Phil.87,93[19051),theCourtwasfacedwithasimilarsituation.It
posed a rhetorical question. If after investigating conditions in the Archipelago or any part thereof, the President
finds that public safety requires the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, can the judicial
departmentinvestigatethesamefactsanddeclarethatnosuchconditionsexist?

Intheefforttofollowthe"graveabuseofdiscretion"formulainthesecondparagraphofSection1,ArticleVIIIofthe
Constitution,thecourtgrantedtheSolicitorGeneral'sofferthatthemilitarygiveusacloseddoorfactualbriefingwith
alawyerforthepetitionersandalawyerfortherespondentspresent.

TheresultsofthebriefingcalltomindtheconcurrenceofJusticeVicenteAbadSantosinMorales,Jr.v.Enrile,(121
SCRA538,592[19831):

How can this Court determine the factual basis in order that it can ascertain whether or not the
presidentactedarbitrarilyinsuspendingthewritwhen,inthetruthwordsofMontenegro,withitsvery
limitedmachineryfit]cannotbeinbetterposition[thantheExecutiveBranch]toascertainorevaluate
the conditions prevailing in the Archipelago? (At p. 887). The answer is obvious. It must rely on the
Executive Branch which has the appropriate civil and military machinery for the facts. This was the
methodwhichhadtobeusedinLansang.ThisCourtreliedheavilyonclassifiedinformationsupplied
bythemilitary.Accordingly,anincongruoussituationobtained.ForthisCourt,reliedontheverybranch
of the government whose act was in question to obtain the facts. And as should be expected the
Executive Branch supplied information to support its position and this Court was in no situation to
disprovethem.Itwasacaseofthedefendantjudgingthesuit.Afterallissaidanddone,theattemptby
its Court to determine whether or not the President acted arbitrarily in suspending the writ was a
uselessandfutileexercise.

ThereisstillanotherreasonwhythisCourtshouldmaintainadetachedattitudeandrefrainfromgiving
thesealofapprovaltotheactoftheExecutiveBranch.Foritispossiblethatthesuspensionofthewrit
lacks popular support because of one reason or another. But when this Court declares that the
suspensionisnotarbitrary(becauseitcannotdootherwiseuponthefactsgiventoitbytheExecutive
Branch) it in effect participates in the decisionmaking process. It assumes a task which it is not
equippedtohandleitlendsitsprestigeandcredibilitytoanunpopularact.

The other method is to avail of judicial notice. In this particular case, judicial notice would be the only basis for
determiningtheclearandpresentdangertonationalsecurityandpublicsafety.ThemajorityoftheCourthastaken
judicialnoticeoftheCommunistrebellion,theseparatistmovement,therightistconspiracies,andurbanterrorism.
But is it fair to blame the present day Marcos for these incidents? All these problems are totally unrelated to the
Marcos of today and, in fact, are led by people who have always opposed him. If we use the problems of
Government as excuses for denying a person's right to come home, we will never run out of justifying reasons.
Theseproblemsorotherslikethemwillalwaysbewithus.

Significantly,wedonothavetolookintothefactualbasesofthebanMarcospolicyinordertoascertainwhetheror
nottherespondentsactedwithgraveabuseofdiscretion.Norareweforcedtofallbackuponjudicialnoticeofthe
implicationsofaMarcosreturntohishometobuttressaconclusion.

In the first place, there has never been a pronouncement by the President that a clear and present danger to
nationalsecurityandpublicsafetywillariseifMr.MarcosandhisfamilyareallowedtoreturntothePhilippines.It
was only after the present petition was filed that the alleged danger to national security and public safety
conveniently surfaced in the respondents' pleadings. Secondly, President Aquino herself limits the reason for the
banMarcospolicyto(1)nationalwelfareandinterestand(2)thecontinuingneedtopreservethegainsachieved
intermsofrecoveryandstability.(Seepage7,respondents'Commentatpage73ofRollo).Neithergroundsatisfies
thecriteriaofnationalsecurityandpublicsafety.ThePresidenthasbeenquotedasstatingthatthevastmajorityof
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Filipinos support her position. (TheJournal, front page, January 24,1989) We cannot validate their stance simply
because it is a popular one. Supreme Court decisions do not have to be popular as long as they follow the
Constitutionandthelaw.ThePresident'soriginalposition"thatitisnotintheinterestofthenationthatMarcosbe
allowed to return at this time" has not changed. (Manila Times, front page, February 7, 1989). On February 11,
1989, the President is reported to have stated that "considerations of the highest national good dictate that we
preservethesubstantialeconomicandpoliticalgainsofthepastthreeyears"injustifyingherfirmrefusaltoallow
the return of Mr. Marcos despite his failing health. (Daily Globe, front page, February 15, 1989). "Interest of the
nation national good," and "preserving economic and political gains," cannot be equated with national security or
publicorder.Theyaretoogenericandsweepingtoserveasgroundsforthedenialofaconstitutionalright.TheBill
ofRightscommandsthattherighttotravelmaynotbeimpairedexceptonthestatedgroundsofnationalsecurity,
publicsafety,orpublichealthandwiththeaddedrequirementthatsuchimpairmentmustbe"asprovidedbylaw."
Theconstitutionalcommandcannotbenegatedbymeregeneralizations.

ThereisanactualrebellionnotbyMarcosfollowersbutbytheNewPeoples'Army.Feedingasitdoesoninjustice,
ignorance, poverty, and other aspects at underdevelopment, the Communist rebellion is the clearest and most
present danger to national security and constitutional freedoms. Nobody has suggested that one way to quell it
would be to catch and exile its leaders, Mr. Marcos himself was forced to flee the country because of "peoples'
power."Yet,thereisnomovetoarrestandexiletheleadersofstudentgroups,teachers'organizations,peaantand
labor federations, transport workers, and government unions whose threatened mass actions would definitely
endanger national security and the stability of government. We fail to see how Mr. Marcos could be a greater
danger.

ThefearthatCommunistrebels,BangsaMorosecessionists,theHonasanexsoldiers,thehardcoreloyalists,and
otherdissatisfiedelementswouldsuddenlyunitetooverthrowtheRepublicshouldadyingMarcoscomehomeis
toospeculativeandunsubstantialagroundfordenyingaconstitutionalright.Itisnotshownhowextremistsfromthe
rightandtheleftwholoatheeachothercouldfindarallyingpointinthecomingofMr.Marcos.

The"confluencetheory"oftheSolicitorGeneralorwhatthemajoritycalls"catalyticeffect,"whichalonesustainsthe
claim of danger to national security is fraught with perilous implications. Any difficult problem or any troublesome
person can be substituted for the Marcos threat as the catalysing factor. The alleged confluence of NPAs,
secessionists, radical elements, renegade soldiers, etc., would still be present. Challenged by any critic or any
seriousproblem,theGovernmentcanstatethatthesituationthreatensaconfluenceofrebelforcesandproceedto
ride roughshod over civil liberties in the name of national security. Today, a passport is denied. Tomorrow, a
newspapermaybeclosed.Publicassembliesmaybeprohibited.Humanrightsmaybeviolated.Yesterday,theright
totravelofSenatorsBenignoAquino,Jr.andJovitoSalongawascurtailed.Today,itistherightofMr.Marcosand
family.Whowillbetomorrow'spariahsIdeeplyregretthattheCourt'sdecisiontousethepoliticalquestiondoctrine
inasituationwhereitdoesnotapplyraisesallkindsofdisturbingpossibilities.

ImustemphasizethatGeneralRenatodeVilla,theChiefofStaffoftheArmedForces,haspersonallyassuredthe
Courtthatarebellionoftheabovecombinedgroupswillnotsucceedandthatthemilitaryisontopofthesituation.
Wherethenisthecleardangertonationalsecurity?TheCourthastakenjudicialnoticeofsomethingwhicheventhe
militarydenies.TherewouldbeseverestrainsonmilitarycapabilitiesaccordingtoGeneraldeVilla.Therewouldbe
setbacksintheexpectederadicationoftheCommunistthreat.Therewouldbeotherseriousproblemsbutallcan
besuccessfullycontainedbythemilitary.Imuststressthatnoreferencewasmadetoaclearandpresentdangerto
nationalsecurityaswouldallowanoverridingoftheBillofRights.

TheSolicitorGeneral'sargumentthatthefailureofCongresstoenactastatutedefiningtheparametersoftheright
totravelandtofreelychooseone'sabodehasconstrainedthePresidenttofillinthevacuum,istooreminiscentof
Amendment No. 6 of the martial law Constitution to warrant serious consideration. Amendment No. 6 allowed
MarcostoissuedecreeswhenevertheBatasangPambansafailedorwasunabletoactadequatelyonanymatter
foranyreasonthatinhisjudgmentrequiredimmediateaction.WhentheBillofRightsprovidesthatarightmaynot
beimpairedexceptintheinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealthandfurtherrequiresthatalaw
mustprovidewhensuchspecificallydefinedinterestsareprejudicedorrequireprotection,theinactionofCongress
doesnotgivereasonfortherespondentstoassumethegroundsforitsimpairment.

The fact that the Marcoses have been indicted before American federal courts does not obstruct us from ruling
againstanunconstitutionalassertionofpowerbyPhilippineofficials.LettheUnitedStatesapplyitslaws.Wehave
tobetruetoourown.

Mr.Marcosmaybetooilltowithstandtherigorsofatranspacificflight.Theagonyoftravelingwhilehookedupto
machineswhichhavetakenoverthefunctionsofhisheart,lungs,andkidneysmayhastenhisdeath.Thephysical
conditionofMr.Marcosdoesnotjustifyourignoringorrefusingtoactonhisclaimtoabasicrightwhichislegally
demandable and enforceable. For his own good, it might be preferable to stay where he is. But he invokes a
constitutionalright.Wehavenopowertodenyittohim.

The issuance of a passport may be discretionary but it should not be withheld if to do so would run counter to a
constitutional guarantee. Besides, the petitioners are not asking for passports and nothing else. Any travel
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documents or any formal lifting of the Marcos ban as would allow international airlines to sell them tickets would
suffice.

Withallduerespectforthemajorityopinion,Idisagreewithitsdictumontherighttotravel.Idonotthinkweshould
differentiatetherighttoreturnhomefromtherighttogoabroadortomovearoundinthePhilippines.Ifatall,the
righttocomehomemustbemorepreferredthananyotheraspectoftherighttotravel.Itwaspreciselythebanning
by Mr. Marcos of the right to travel by Senators Benigno Aquino, Jr., Jovito Salonga, and scores of other
"undesirables"and"threatstonationalsecurity"duringthatunfortunateperiodwhichledtheframersofourpresent
Constitutionnotonlytoreenactbuttostrengthenthedeclarationofthisright.Mediaoftenasks,"whatelseisnew?"
Isubmitthatwenowhaveafreedomlovingandhumaneregime.IregretthattheCourt'sdecisioninthiscasesets
backthegainsthatourcountryhasachievedintermsofhumanrights,especiallyhumanrightsforthosewhomwe
donotlikeorthosewhoareagainstus.

TherespondentSecretaryofForeignAffairs,RaulS.Manglapushasdisclosedalistofformerdictatorswhowere
barred by their successors from returning to their respective countries. There is no showing that the countries
involved have constitutions which guarantee the liberty of abode and the freedom to travel and that despite such
constitutionalprotections,thecourtshavevalidatedthe"banareturn"policy.Neitherisitshownthatthesuccessors
of the listed dictators are as deeply committed to democratic principles and as observant of constitutional
protectionsasPresidentAquino.

ItisindeedregrettablethatsomefollowersoftheformerPresidentareconductingacampaigntosowdiscordandto
dividethenation.Oppositiontothegovernmentnomatterhowodiousordisgustingis,however,insufficientground
toignoreaconstitutionalguarantee.

Duringtheprotracteddeliberationsonthiscase,thequestionwasaskedistheGovernmenthelplesstodefenditself
againstathreattonationalsecurity?DoesthePresidenthavetosuspendtheprivilegeofthewritofhabeascorpus
orproclaimmartiallaw?Canshenottakelessdrasticmeasures?

Ofcourse,theGovernmentcanact.ItcanhaveMr.Marcosarrestedandtriedincourt.TheGovernmenthasmore
thanamplepowersundereixistinglawtodealwithapersonwhotransgressesthepeaceandimperilspublicsafety.
But the denial of travel papers is not one of those powers because the Bill of Rights says so. There is no law
prescribingexileinaforeignlandasthepenaltyforhurtingtheNation.

Consideringalltheforegoing,IvotetoGRANTthepetition.

CRUZ,J.,dissenting:

Itismybeliefthatthepetitioner,asacitizenofthePhilippines,isentitledtoreturntoandliveanddieinhis
owncountry.Isaythiswithaheavyheartbutsayitnonetheless.Thatconvictionisnotdiminishedonewhitsimply
becausemanybelieveMarcostobebeneathcontemptandundeservingoftheverylibertiesheflountedwhenhe
wastheabsoluterulerofthisland.

TherightoftheUnitedStatesgovernmenttodetainhimisnotthequestionbeforeus,norcanweresolveit.The
questionwemustansweriswhetherornot,assumingthatMarcosispermittedtoleaveHawaii(whichmaydepend
ontheactionwetaketoday),therespondentshaveactedwithgraveabuseofdiscretioninbarringhimfromhisown
country.

Myreluctantconclusionisthattheyhave,absenttheprooftheysaidtheywerepreparedtooffer,butcouldnot,that
thepetitioner'sreturnwouldprejudicethesecurityoftheState.

Iwastheonewho,intheopenhearingheldonJune27,1989,askedtheSolicitorGeneralifthegovernmentwas
preparedtoprovethejustificationforopposingthehereinpetition,i.e.thatithadnotactedarbitrarily.Hesaiditwas.
Accordingly, the Court, appreciating the classified nature of the information expected, scheduled a closeddoor
hearing on July 25,1988. The Solicitor General and three representatives from the military appeared for the
respondents,togetherwithformerSenatorArturoM.Tolentino,representingthepetitioners.

Inabouttwohoursofbriefing,thegovernmentfaileddismallytoshowthatthereturnofMarcosdeadoralivewould
poseathreattothenationalsecurityasithadalleged.Thefearsexpressedbyitsrepresentativeswerebasedon
mereconjecturesofpoliticalandeconomicdestabilizationwithoutanysinglepieceofconcreteevidencetobackup
theirapprehensions.

Amazingly, however, the majority has come to the conclusion that there exist "factual bases for the President's
decision"tobarMarcos'sreturn.ThatisnotmyrecollectionoftheimpressionsoftheCourtafterthathearing.

InholdingthatthePresidentofthePhilippineshasresidualpowersinadditiontothespecificpowersgrantedbythe
Constitution,theCourtistakingagreatleapbackwardandreinstatingthediscrediteddoctrineannouncedinPlanas

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v.Gil(67Phil.62).ThisdoesnotsquarewiththeannouncedpolicyoftheConstitutionalCommission,whichwas
preciselytolimitratherthanexpandpresidentialpowers,asareactiontotheexcessesofthepastdictatorship.

IcanonlyrepeatJusticeBlack'swryobservationintheSteelSeizureCase(343U.S.579)thatifitwastruethatthe
Presidenthadbeengrantedthetotalityofexecutivepower,"itisdifficulttoseewhyourforefathersbotheredtoadd
severalspecificitems,includingsometriflingones,...Icannotaccepttheviewthatthisclauseisagrantinbulkof
all conceivable executive power but regard it as an allocation to the presidential office of the generic powers
thereafterstated."

IhavenoillusionthatthestandIamtakingwillbemetwithpaeansofpraise,consideringthatMarcosisperhapsthe
most detested man in the entire history of our country. But we are not concerned here with popularity and
personalities.Asajudge,IamnotswayedbywhatJusticeCardozocalledthe"hootingthrong"thatmaymakeus
seethingsthroughtheprismsofprejudice.IbearinmindthatwhenIsitinjudgmentasamemberofthisCourt,I
mustcastallpersonalfeelingsaside.

The issue before us must be resolved with total objectivity, on the basis only of the established facts and the
applicablelawandnotofwoundsthatstillfesterandscarsthathavenothealed.Andnotevenoffear,forfearisa
phantom. That phantom did not rise when the people stood fast at EDSA against the threat of total massacre in
defenseatlastoftheirfreedom.

IcannotturnbackonthelessonsoflibertythatItaughtformorethanthreedecadesasaprofessorofConstitutional
Law.TheseprincipleshavenotchangedsimplybecauseIamnowontheCourtoranewadministrationisinpower
andtheshoeisontheotherfoot.

Like the martyred Ninoy Aquino who also wanted to come back to the Philippines against the prohibitions of the
governmentthen,Marcosisentitledtothesamerighttotravelandthelibertyofabodethathisadversaryinvoked.
These rights are guaranteed by the Constitution to all individuals, including the patriot and the homesick and the
prodigalsonreturning,andtyrantsandcharlatansandscoundrelsofeverystripe.

Ivotetograntthepetition.

PARAS,J.,dissenting:

Idissent.Already,somepeoplerefertousasanationwithoutdiscipline.Arewereadytobealsocalledasociety
withoutcompassion?

TheissueastowhetherornotformerPresidentFerdinandE.MarcosshouldbeallowedtoreturntothePhilippines
mayberesolvedbyansweringtwosimplequestions:Doeshehavetherighttoreturntohisowncountryandshould
nationalsafetyandsecuritydenyhimthisright?

There is no dispute that the former President is still a Filipino citizen and both under the Universal Declaration of
HumanRightsandthe1987ConstitutionofthePhilippines,hehastherighttoreturntohisowncountryexceptonly
ifpreventedbythedemandsofnationalsafetyandnationalsecurity.

Our Armed Forces have failed to prove this danger. They are bereft of hard evidence, and all they can rely on is
sheerspeculation.True,thereissomedangerbutthereisnoshowingastotheextent.

Itisincrediblethatonemanalonetogetherwithhisfamily,whohadbeenoustedfromthiscountrybypopularwill,
canarouseanentirecountrytoriseinmorbidsympathyforthecauseheonceespoused.

It is therefore clear to me, all other opinions to the contrary notwithstanding, that the former President should be
allowedtoreturntoourcountryundertheconditionsthatheandthemembersofhisfamilybeunderhousearrestin
hishometowninIlocosNorte,andshouldPresidentMarcosoranymemberofhisfamilydie,thebodyshouldnotbe
takenoutofthemunicipalityofconfinementandshouldbeburiedwithinten(10)daysfromdate.

Ifwedothis,ourcountryshallhavemaintaineditsregardforfundamentalhumanrights,fornationaldiscipline,and
forhumancompassion.

PADILLA,J.,dissenting:

I dissent. As I see it, the core issue in this case is, which right will prevail in the conflict between the right of a
Filipino,FerdinandE.Marcos,toreturntothePhilippines,andtherightofthePhilippineGovernmenttobarsuch
returnintheinterestofnationalsecurityandpublicsafety.Inthiscontext,theissueisclearlyjusticiableinvolving,as
itdoes,collidingassertionsofindividualrightandgovernmentalpower.Issuesofthisnaturemorethanexplainwhy
the1986ConstitutionalCommission,ledbytheillustriousformerChiefJusticeRobertoConcepcion,incorporatedin
the1987Constitution,thenewprovisiononthepowerofJudicialReview,viz:
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Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights
which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentalityoftheGovernment.ArticleVIII,Section1,par.2(Emphasissupplied)

Mr.MarcosinvokesinhisfavorthespecificandpreciseconstitutionalrightofeveryFilipinototravelwhich,inthe
languageoftheConstitution,shallnotbeimpaired"exceptintheinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublic
health,asmaybeprovidedbylaw"(Art.III,Sec.6).Thattherighttotravelcomprisestherighttotravelwithinthe
country,totraveloutofthecountryandtoreturntothecountry(Philippines),ishardlydisputable.Shortofallsuch
components, the right to travel is meaningless. The real question arises in the interpretation of the qualifications
attachedbytheConstitutiontosuchrighttotravel.

Petitionerscontendthat,intheabsenceofrestrictinglegislation,therighttotravelisabsolute.Idonotagree.Itis
myviewthat,withorwithoutrestrictinglegislation,theinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafetyorpublichealthcan
justifyandevenrequirerestrictionsontherighttotravel,andthattheclause"asmaybeprovidedbylaw"contained
inArticleIII,Section6ofthe1987ConstitutionmerelydeclaresaconstitutionalleaveorpermissionforCongressto
enactlawsthatmayrestricttherighttotravelintheinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafetyorpublichealth.Ido
not, therefore, accept the petitioners' submission that, in the absence of enabling legislation, the Philippine
Governmentispowerlesstorestricttravelevenwhensuchrestrictionisdemandedbynationalsecurity,publicsafety
orpublichealth,ThepoweroftheState,inparticularcases,torestricttravelofitscitizensfindsabundantsupportin
thepolicepowerofthestatewichmaybeexercisedtopreserveandmaintaingovernmentaswellaspromotethe
generalwelfareofthegreatestnumberofpeople.

Andyet,thepoweroftheState,actingthroughagovernmentinauthorityatanygiventime,torestricttravel,evenif
foundedonpolicepower,cannotbeabsoluteandunlimitedunderallcircumstances,muchless,canitbearbitrary
andirrational.

Mr.Marcos,Irepeat,comesbeforetheCourtasaFilipino,invokingaspecificconstitutionalright,i.e.,therightto
returntothecountry. 1Havetherespondentspresentedsufficientevidencetooffsetoroverridetheexerciseofthisright
invokedbyMr.Marcos?Stateddifferently,havetherespondentsshowntotheCourtsufficientfactualbasesanddatawhich
wouldjustifytheirrelianceonnationalsecurityandpublicsafetyinnegatingtherighttoreturninvokedbyMr.Marcos?

Ihavegiventhesequestionsasearchingexamination.Ihavecarefullyweighedandassessedthe"briefing"given
the Court by the highest military authorities of the land last 28 July 1989. 1 have searched, but in vain, for
convincingevidencethatwoulddefeatandovercometherightofMr.MarcosasaFilipinotoreturntothiscountry.It
appears to me that the apprehensions entertained and expressed by the respondents, including those conveyed
throughthemilitary,donot,withallduerespect,escalatetoproportionsofnationalsecurityorpublicsafety.They
appear to be more speculative than real, obsessive rather than factual. Moreover, such apprehensions even if
translated into realities, would be "under control," as admitted to the Court by said military authorities, given the
resources and facilities at the command of government. But, above all, the Filipino people themselves, in my
opinion,willknowhowtohandleanysituationbroughtaboutbyapoliticalrecognitionofMr.Marcos'righttoreturn,
and his actual return, to this country. The Court, in short, should not accept respondents' general apprehensions,
concerns and perceptions at face value, in the light of a countervailing and even irresistible, specific, clear,
demandable,andenforceablerightassertedbyaFilipino.

Deteriorating political, social, economic or exceptional conditions, if any, are not to be used as a pretext to justify
derogationofhumanrights.2

As a member of the United Nations, the Philippines has obligations under its charter. By adopting the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, (Art. II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution), the
Philippine government cannot just pay lip service to Art. 13, par. 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
whichprovidesthateveryonehastherighttoleaveanycountry,includinghisown,andtoreturntohiscountry.This
guaranteeisreiteratedinArt.XII,par.2oftheInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRightswhichstatesthat
"no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country." (Emphasis supplied) "Arbitrary" or
"arbitrarily"wasspecificallychosenbythedraftersoftheCovenant3hopingtoprotectanindividualagainstunexpected,
irresponsibleorexcessiveencroachmentonhisrightsbythestatebasedonnationaltraditionsoraparticularsenseofjustice
whichfallsshortofinternationallaworstandards.4

The Solicitor General maintains that because the respondents, as alter egos of the President, have raised the
argumentof"nationalsecurity"and"publicsafety,"itisthedutyofthisCourttounquestioninglyyieldthereto,thus
casting the controversy to the realm of a political question. I do not agree. I believe that it is one case where the
human and constitutional light invoked by one party is so specific, substantial and clear that it cannot be
overshadowed, much less, nullified by simplistic generalities worse, the Court neglects its duty under the
Constitution when it allows the theory of political question to serve as a convenient, and yet, lame excuse for
evadingwhat,tome,isitsclearlypressinganddemandabledutytotheConstitution.

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Duringtheoralargumentsinthiscase,IaskedtheSolicitorGeneralhowonecouldvalidlydefendtherightofformer
SenatorBenignoS.Aquino,Jr.,aFilipino,toreturntothePhilippinesin1983and,atthesametime,crediblydeny
the right of Mr. Marcos, also a Filipino, to return to the Philippines in 1989. I still have not found a satisfactory
answertothatquestion.Instead,ithasbecomeclearerbythedaythatthedramatodayisthesamedramain1983
withtheonlydifferencethattheactorsareinoppositeroles,whichreallymakesonehope,inthenationalinterest,
thatthemistakein1983shouldnotbemadetopersistin1989.

To one who owes Mr. Marcos, his wife and followers absolutely nothing, personal, political or otherwise, the
followingarethecogentanddecisivepropositionsinthiscase

1.Mr.MarcosisaFilipinoand,assuch,entitledtoreturntodieandbeburiedinthiscountry

2.respondentshavenotshownany"hardevidence"orconvincingproofwhyhisrightasaFilipino to
return should be denied him. All we have are general conclusions of "national security" and "public
safety"inavoidanceofaspecificdemandableandenforceableconstitutionalandbasichumanrightto
return

3. the issue of Marcos' return to the Philippines, perhaps more than any issue today, requires of all
members of the Court, in what appears to be an extended political contest, the "cold neutrality of an
impartial judge." It is only thus that we fortify the independence of this Court, with fidelity, not to any
person,partyorgroupbuttotheConstitutionandonlytotheConstitution.

ACCORDINGLY,IvotetoGRANTthepetition.

SARMIENTO,J.,dissenting:

Ivotetograntthepetition.

The only issue that saddles the Court is simply: "whether or not, in the exercise of the powers granted by the
Constitution,thePresidentmayprohibittheMarcosesfromreturningtothePhilippines."1Ithereforetakeexceptionto
allusions 2 anent "the capacity of the Marcoses to stir trouble even from afar." 3 I have legitimate reason to fear that my
brethren,inpassingjudgmentontheMarcoses(insofarastheir"capacitytostirtrouble"isconcerned),haveoversteppedthe
boundsofjudicialrestraint,orevenworse,convictedthemwithouttrial.

Ialsofindquitestrainedwhatthemajoritywouldhaveasthe"realissues"facingtheCourt:"Therighttoreturnto
one's country," pitted against "the right of travel and freedom of abode", and their supposed distinctions under
international law, as if such distinctions, under international law in truth and in fact exist. There is only one right
involvedhere,whetherundermunicipalorinternationallaw:thelightoftravel,whetherwithinone'sowncountry,or
to another, and the right to return thereto. The Constitution itself makes no distinctions let then, no one make a
distinction.Ubilexnondistinguishnecnosdistingueredebemus.

Asthemajoritywouldindeedhaveit,theissueisoneofpower:DoestheExecutivehavethepowertodenyacitizen
hisrighttotravel(backtothecountryortoanother)?Itisaquestionthat,inessence,involvestheapplication,and
nomore,oftheprovisionsofthe1987Constitution:

Sec.6.Thelibertyofabodeandofchangingthesamewithinthelimitsprescribedbylawshallnotbe
impairedexceptuponlawfulorderofthecourt.Neithershalltherighttotravelbeimpairedexceptinthe
interestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealth,asmaybeprovidedbylaw.4

Themajoritysays,withamplehelpfromAmericanprecedents,thatthePresidentispossessedofthepower,thus:

On these premises, we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the
exerciseofspecificpowersofthePresident,itmaintainsintactwhatistraditionallyconsideredaswithin
the scope of "executive power." Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited
only to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. In other words, executive power is more
thanthesumofspecificpowerssoenumerated.5

Soalso:

Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to allow the Marcoses to return to the
Philippines,thePresidentis,undertheConstitution,constrainedtoconsiderthesebasicprinciplesin
arriving at a decision. More than that, having sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution, the
President has the obligation under the Constitution to protect the people, promote their welfare and
advance the national interest. It must be borne in mind that the Constitution, aside from being an
allocation of power is also a social contract whereby the people have surrendered their sovereign
powers to the State for the common good. Hence, lest the officers of the Government exercising the
powersdelegatedbythepeopleforgetandtheservantsofthepeoplebecomerulers,theConstitution
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remindseveryonethat"sovereigntyresidesinthepeopleandallgovernmentauthorityemanatesfrom
them."[Art.II,Sec.1.]6

Andfinally:

TothePresident,theproblemisoneofbalancingthegeneralwelfareandthecommongoodagainst
the exercise of rights of certain individuals. The power involved is the President's residual power to
protectthegeneralwelfareofthepeople.ItisfoundedonthedutyofthePresident,asstewardofthe
people.ToparaphraseTheodoreRoosevelt,itisnotonlythepowerofthePresidentbutalsohisdutyto
doanythingnotforbiddenbytheConstitutionorthelawsthattheneedsofthenationdemanded[See
Corwin, supra, at 153]. It is a power borne by the President's duty to preserve and defend the
Constitution.ItalsomaybeviewedasapowerimplicitinthePresident'sdutytotakecarethatthelaws
arefaithfullyexecuted[SeeHyman,TheAmericanPresident,wheretheauthoradvancestheviewthat
an allowance of discretionary power is unavoidable in any government and is best lodged in the
President].7

Iamnotpersuaded.

First:WhiletheChiefExecutiveexercisespowersnotfoundexpresslyintheCharter,buthasthembyconstitutional
implication* the latter must yield to the paramountcy of the Bill of Rights. According to Fernando: "A regime of
constitutionalismisthusunthinkablewithoutanassuranceoftheprimacyofabigofrights.Preciselyaconstitution
existstoassurethatinthedischargeofthegovernmentalfunctions,thedignitythatisthebirthrightofeveryhuman
being is duly safeguarded. To be true to its primordial aim a constitution must lay down the boundaries beyond
whichhe'sforbiddenterritoryforstateaction"8

Mybrethrenhavenotdemonstrated,tomysatisfaction,howthePresidentmayoverridethedirectmandateofthe
fundamentallaw.Itwillnotsuffice,soIsubmit,tosaythatthePresident'splenitudeofpowers,asprovidedinthe
Constitution, or by sheer constitutional implication, prevail over express constitutional commands. "Clearly," so I
borrowJ.B.L.Reyes,inhisownright,atitaninthefieldofpubliclaw,"thisargument...rests...notuponthetextof
the(Constitution]...butuponamereinferencetherefrom." 9Forifitwere,indeed,theintentoftheChartertocreatean
exception,thatis,byPresidentialaction,totherightoftravelorlibertyofabodeandofchangingthesameotherthanwhatit
explicitlysaysalready("limitsprescribedbylaw" 10or"uponlawfulorderofthecourt" 11theChartercouldhavespecifically
declaredso.Asitis,thelonedeterrentstotherightinquestionare:(1)decreeofstatute,or(2)lawfuljudicialmandate.Had
the Constitution intended a third exception, that is, by Presidential initiative, it could have so averred. It would also have
made the Constitution, as far as limits to the said right are concerned, come full circle: Limits by legislative, judicial, and
executiveprocesses.

Obviously,noneofthetwinlegalbarsexist.ThereisnolawbanningtheMarcosesfromthecountryneitheristhere
anycourtdecreebanishinghimfromPhilippineterritory.

Itistobenotedthatunderthe1973Constitution,therighttotraveliswordedasfollows:

Sec.5.Thelibertyofabodeandoftravelshallnotbeimpairedexceptuponlawfulorderofthecourt,or
whennecessaryintheinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealth.12

Underthisprovision,therightmaybeabated:(1)uponalawfulcourtorder,or(2)"whennecessaryintheinterestof
national security, public safety, or public health. 13 Arguably, the provision enabled the Chief Executive (Marcos) to
moderate movement of citizens, which, Bernas says, justified such practices as "hamletting", forced relocations, or the
establishmentoffreefirezones.14

The new Constitution, however, so it clearly appears, has divested the Executive's implied power. And, as it so
appears,therightmaybeimpairedonly"withinthelimitsprovidedbylaw.15ThePresidentisoutofthepicture.

Admittedly,theChiefExecutiveisthe"sole"judgeofallmattersaffectingnationalsecurity 16andforeignaffairs 17
the Bill of Rights precisely, a form of check against excesses of officialdom is, in this case, a formidable barrier against
Presidential action. (Even on matters of State security, this Constitution prescribes limits to Executive's powers as
CommanderinChief.)

Second: Assuming, ex hypothesis that the President may legally act, the question that emerges is: Has it been
proved that Marcos, or his return, will, in fact, interpose a threat to the national security , public safety, or public
health?"WhatappearsintherecordsarevehementinsistencesthatMarcosdoesposeathreattothenationalgood
andyet,atthesametime,wehavepersistentclaims,madebythemilitarytopbrassduringthelengthycloseddoor
hearingonJuly25,1989,that"thisGovernmentwillnotfall"shouldtheformerfirstfamilyinexilesteponPhilippine
soil.whichiswhich?
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Atanyrate,itismyopinionthatwecannotleavethatdeterminationsolelytotheChiefExecutive.TheCourtitself
mustbecontentthatthethreatisnotonlyclear,butmoreso,present.18

ThatthePresident"hastheobligationundertheConstitutiontoprotectthepeople..." 19isanobligationopentono
doubt.Butthequestion,andsoIaskagainandagain,is:Fromwhom?Ifwesay"fromMarcos,"weunravelchinksinour
politicalarmor.Italsofliesinthefaceofclaims,soconfidentlyasserted,that"thisGovernmentwillnotfall"evenifweallowed
Marcostoreturn.

Itflies,finally,inthefaceofthefactthatagoodnumberofthehenchmentrustedallies,implementorsofmartiallaw,
andpatheticparasitesoftheexfirstcoupleare,infact,intheGovernment,inthecomfortofitsoffices,andoratthe
helmofitskeyagencies.Letusnot,therefore,jokeourselvesofmoralfactorswarrantingthecontinuedbanishment
ofMarcos.Moralityisthelastrefugeoftheselfrighteous.

Third: The problem is not of balancing the general welfare against the exercise of individual liberties. 20 As I
indicated,notoneshredofevidence,letalonesolidevidence,otherthansurmisesofpossibilities,hasbeenshowntojustify
the'balancingact"referredto.Worse,theseconjecturescontradictcontentionsthatasfarasPhilippinesocietyisconcerned,
Marcosis"history".

ThepowerofthePresident,somybrethrendeclaim,"callsfortheexerciseofthePresident'spowerasprotectorof
peace.21

ThisistheselfsamefalsehoodMarcosfoistedontheFilipinopeopletojustifytheauthoritarianrule.Italsomeans
thatwearenobetterthanhehas.

That "[t]he power of the President to keep the peace is not limited merely to exercising the commanderinchief
powersintimesofemergencyortoleadingtheStateagainstexternalandinternalthreatstoitsexistence" 22 is a
bigger fantasy: It not only summons the martial law decisions of pre"EDSA" (especially with respect to the detestable
Amendment No. 6), it is inconsistent with the express provisions of the commanderinchief clause of the 1987 Charter, a
CharterthathasperceptiblyreducedtheExecutive'spowersvisavisits1973counterpart.23

II.

Theundersignedwouldbelackingincandortoconcealhisdislike,tosaytheleast,forMarcos.BecauseofMarcos,
thewriterofit'sdissentlostasonHisson'sonly"offense"wasthatheopenlyandunabatedlycriticizedthedictator,
hisassociates,andhismilitarymachinery.Hewouldpaydearlyforithewasarrestedanddetained,withoutjudicial
warrantordecision,forsevenmonthsandsevendays.Hewasheldincommunicadoagreaterpartofthetime,in
themilitarystockadeofCampCrame.Inhislastweekindetention,hewas,grudgingly,hospitalized(prisonhospital)
and confined for chronic asthma. The deplorable conditions of his imprisonment exacerbated his delicate health
beyondcure.Hedied,onNovember11,1977,amartyronthealtarofthemartiallawapparatus.

TheundersignedalsocountshimselfasoneofthevictimsofMarcos'ruthlessapparatchiki.OnAugust14,1979,he
was, along with former President Diosdado Macapagal, and Congressmen Rogaciano Mercado and Manuel
Concordia,charged,"ASSOed"andplacedunderhousearrest,for"incitingtosedition"and"rumormongering"24in
the midst of the distribution of Ang Demokrasya Sa Pilipinas (Democracy In the Philippines), a book extremely critical of
martial rule, published by him and former Congressman Concordia, authored by President Macapagal and translated into
TagalogbyCongressmanRogacianoMercado.Inaddition,theywerealsoallaccusedoflibelinmorethantwodozensof
criminalcomplaintsfiledbytheseveralmilitaryofficersnamedinthe"condemned"bookashavingviolatedthehumanrights
ofdissenters,andforothercrimes,intheofficeoftheProvincialFiscalofRizal.Ithadtotaketheeventsat"EDSA"toset
themfreefromhousearrestandthesepoliticaloffenses.IamforMarcos'returnnotbecauseIhaveascoretosettlewith
him.Ditto'sdeathormyarrestarescoresthatcannotbesettled.

IfeeltheexPresident'sdeathabroad(presentedinthedailiesas'imminent")wouldleavehim'unpunishedforhis
crimestocountryandcountrymen.Ifpunishmentisdue,letthisleadershipinflictit.Butlethimstandtrialandaccord
himdueprocess.

Modestyaside,Ihavestaunchlyandconsistentlyadvocatedthehumanrightoftravelandmovementandtheliberty
ofabode.25WewouldhavebetrayedourownIdealsifwedeniedMarcoshisrights.Itishisconstitutionalright,a
rightthatcannotbeabridgedbypersonalhatred,fear,foundedorunfounded,andbyspeculationsofthe"man's
"capacity""tostirtrouble"Nowthattheshoeisontheotherfoot,letnomoreofhumanrightsviolationsberepeated
againstanyone,friendorfoe.Inademocraticframework,thereisnothisasgettingeven.

Themajoritystartedthisinquiryonthequestionofpower.IholdthatthePresident,underthepresentConstitution
andexistinglaws,doesnothaveit.Mandamus,Isubmit,lies.

Narvasa,MelencioHerrera,Gancayco,GrioAquino,MedialdeaandRegalado,JJ.,concur.

Feliciano,J.,isonleave.
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SeparateOpinions

FERNAN,C.J.,concurring:

"ThethreatstonationalsecurityandpublicorderarerealthemountingCommunistinsurgency,asimmering
separatistmovement,arestivestudentry,widespreadlabordisputes,militantfarmergroups....Eachofthese
threatsisanexplosiveingredientinasteamingcauldronwhichcouldblowupifnothandledproperly."1

Thesearenotmywords.TheybelongtomydistinguishedcolleagueintheCourt,Mr.JusticeHugoE.Gutierrez,Jr.
ButtheyexpresseloquentlythebasisofmyfullconcurrencetotheexhaustiveandwellwrittenponenciaofMme.
JusticeIreneR.Cortes.

Presidentialpowersandprerogativesarenotfixedbutfluctuate.Theyarenotderivedsolelyfromaparticular
constitutionalclauseorarticleorfromanexpressstatutorygrant.Theirlimitsarelikelytodependontheimperatives
ofeventsandcontemporaryimponderablesratherthanonabstracttheoriesoflaw.Historyandtimehonored
principlesofconstitutionallawhaveconcededtotheExecutiveBranchcertainpowersintimesofcrisisorgraveand
imperativenationalemergency.Manytermsareappliedtothesepowers:"residual,""inherent,"44moral,""implied,"
"aggregate,"'emergency."whatevertheymaybecalled,thefactisthatthesepowersexist,astheymustifthe
governancefunctionoftheExecutiveBranchistobecarriedouteffectivelyandefficiently.Itisinthiscontextthat
thepowerofthePresidenttoallowordisallowtheMarcosestoreturntothePhilippinesshouldbeviewed.By
reasonofitsimpactonnationalpeaceandorderintheseadmittedlycriticaltimes,saidquestioncannotbe
withdrawnfromthecompetenceoftheExecutiveBranchtodecide.

Andindeed,thereturnofthedeposedPresident,hiswifeandchildrencannotbutposeaclearandpresentdanger
topublicorderandsafety.Oneneedsonlytorecalltheseriesofdestabilizingactionsattemptedbythesocalled
MarcosloyalistsaswellastheultrarightistgroupsduringtheEDSARevolution'saftermathtorealizethis.Themost
publicizedoftheseoffensivesistheManilaHotelincidentwhichoccurredbarelyfive(5)monthsafterthePeople's
PowerRevolution.Around10,000Marcossupporters,backedby300loyalistsoldiersledbyBrigadierGeneralJose
ZumelandLt.Col.ReynaldoCabauatanconvergedattheManilaHoteltowitnesstheoathtakingofArturoTolentino
asactingpresidentofthePhilippines.Thepublicdisorderandperiltolifeandlimbofthecitizensengenderedbythis
eventsubsidedonlyupontheeventualsurrenderoftheloyalistsoldierstotheauthorities.

ThenfollowedtheChannel7,Sangley,Villamor,HorseshoeDriveandCampAguinaldoincidents.Militaryrebels
wagedsimultaneousoffensivesindifferentpartsofMetroManilaandSangleyPointinCavite.Ahundredrebel
soldierstookoverChannel7anditsradiostationDZBB.About74soldierrebelsattackedVillamorAirBase,while
anothergroupstruckatSangleyPointinCaviteandheldthe15thAirForceStrikewingcommanderandhisdeputy
hostage.TroopsonboardseveralvehiclesattemptedtoenterGateIofCampAguinaldoevenasanotherbatchof
200soldiersencampedatHorseshoeVillage.

AnotherdestabilizationplotwascarriedoutinApril,1987byenlistedpersonnelwhoforcedtheirwaythroughGate1
ofFortBonifacio.Theystormedintothearmystockadebuthavingfailedtoconvincetheirincarceratedmembersto
uniteintheircause,hadtogiveupnine(9)hourslater.

AndwhocanforgettheAugust28,1987coupattemptwhichalmosttoppledtheAquinoGovernment?Launchednot
byMarcosloyalists,butbyanotherultrarightistgroupinthemilitaryledbyCol.Gregorio"Gringo"Honasanwho
remainsatlargetodate,thismostseriousattempttowrestcontrolofthegovernmentresultedinthedeathofmany
civilians.

MembersofthesocalledBlackForestCommandowereabletocartawayhighpoweredfirearmsandammunition
fromtheCampCrameArmoryduringaraidconductedinJune1988.Mostofthegroupmemberswere,however,
capturedinAntipolo,Rizal.ThesamegroupwasinvolvedinanunsuccessfulplotknownasOplanBalikSayawhich
soughtthereturnofMarcostothecountry.

Amorerecentthreattopublicorder,peaceandsafetywastheattemptofagroupnamedCEDECORtomobilize
civiliansfromnearbyprovincestoactasblockadingforcesatdifferentMetroManilaareasfortheprojectedlinkup
ofMarcosmilitaryloyalisttroopswiththegroupofHonasan.Thepseudo"peoplepower"movementwasneutralized
thrucheckpointssetupbytheauthoritiesalongmajorroadarterieswherethememberswerearrestedorforcedto
turnback.

WhilenotallofthesedisruptiveincidentsmaybetraceddirectlytotheMarcoses,theiroccurrencemilitatesheavily
againstthewisdomofallowingtheMarcoses'return.NotonlywilltheMarcoses'presenceemboldentheirfollowers
towardsimilaractions,butanysuchactionwouldbeseizeduponasanopportunitybyotherenemiesoftheState,
suchastheCommunistPartyofthePhilippinesandtheNPA'S,theMuslimsecessionistsandextremerightistsof
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theRAM,towageanoffensiveagainstthegovernment.Certainly,thestatethroughitsexecutivebranchhasthe
power,nay,theresponsibilityandobligation,topreventagraveandseriousthreattoitssafetyfromarising.

ApparentlylostamidstthedebateonwhetherornottoallowtheMarcosestoreturntothePhilippinesisonefactor,
whichalbeit,atfirstblushappearstobeextralegal,constitutesavalidjustificationfordisallowingtherequested
return.Irefertothepublicpulse.ItmustberememberedthattheousteroftheMarcosesfromthePhilippinescame
aboutasanunexpected,butcertainlywelcomed,resultoftheunprecedentedpeoplespower"revolution.Millionsof
ourpeoplebravedmilitarytanksandfirepower,keptvigil,prayed,andincountlessmannerandwayscontributed
time,effortandmoneytoputanendtoanevidentlyuntenableclaimtopowerofadictator.Theremovalofthe
MarcosesfromthePhilippineswasamoralvictoryfortheFilipinopeopleandtheinstallationofthepresent
administration,arealizationofandobediencetothepeople'sWill.

FailinginlegalargumentsfortheallowanceoftheMarcoses'return,appealisbeingmadetosympathy,compassion
andevenFilipinotradition.Thepoliticalandeconomicgainswehaveachievedduringthepastthreeyearsare
howevertoovaluableandprecioustogambleawayonpurelycompassionateconsiderations.Neithercouldpublic
peace,orderandsafetybesacrificedforanindividual'swishtodieinhisowncountry.Verilyinthebalancingof
interests,thescalestiltinfavorofpresidentialprerogative,whichwedonotfindtohavebeengravelyabusedor
arbitrarilyexercised,tobantheMarcosesfromreturningtothePhilippines.

GUTIERREZ,JR.,J.,dissenting

"TheConstitution...isalawforrulersandpeople,equallyinwarandinpeace,andcoverswiththeshieldofits
protectionallclassesofmen,atalltimes,andunderallcircumstances.Nodoctrineinvolvingmorepernicious
consequenceswaseverinventedbythewitofmanthanthatanyofitsprovisionscanbesuspendedduringanyof
thegreatexigenciesofgovernment."(ExParteMilligan,4Wall.218L.Ed.281[1866])

Sinceourdaysaslawstudents,wehaveproclaimedthestirringwordsofExParteMilliganasselfevidenttruth.But
facedwithahardanddelicatecase,wenowhesitatetoqivesubstancetotheirmeaning.TheCourthaspermitteda
basicfreedomenshrinedintheBillofRightstobetakenawaybyGovernment.

ThereisonlyoneBillofRightswiththesameinterpretationoflibertyandthesameguaranteeoffreedomforboth
unlovedanddespisedpersonsononehandandtherestwhoarenotsostigmatizedontheother.

Iam,therefore,disturbedbythemajorityrulingwhichdeclaresthatitshouldnotbeaprecedent.Weareinterpreting
theConstitutionforonlyonepersonandconstitutinghimintoaclassbyhimself.TheConstitutionisalawforall
classesofmenatalltimes.Tohaveapersonasoneclassbyhimselfsmacksofunequalprotectionofthelaws.

WithallduerespectforthemajorityintheCourt,Ibelievethattheissuebeforeusisoneofrightsandnotofpower.
Mr.Marcosisinsensateandwouldnotliveifseparatedfromthemachineswhichhavetakenoverthefunctionsof
hiskidneysandotherorgans.Totreathimatthispointasonewithfullpanoplyofpoweragainstwhomtheforcesof
Governmentshouldbemarshalledistotallyunrealistic.TheGovernmenthasthepowertoarrestandpunishhim.
Butdoesithavethepowertodenyhimhisrighttocomehomeanddieamongfamiliarsurroundings?

Hence,thisdissent.

TheBillofRightsprovides:

Sec.6.Thelibertyofabodeandofchangingthesamewithinthelimitsprescribedbylawshallnotbe
impairedexceptuponlawfulorderofthecourt.Neithershalltherighttotravelbeimpairedexceptinthe
interestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealth,asmaybeprovidedbylaw.(Emphasis
supplied,Section6,Art.111,Constitution)

Tohavethepetitiondismissed,theSolicitorGeneralrepeatsaritualinvocationofnationalsecurityandpublicsafety
whichishauntinglyfamiliarbecauseitwaspleadedsooftenbypetitionerFerdinandE.Marcostojustifyhisacts
undermartiallaw.Thereis,however,noshowingoftheexistenceofalawprescribingthelimitsofthepowerto
impairandtheoccasionsforitsexercise.Andexceptforcitingbreachesoflawandorder,themoreseriousofwhich
weretotallyunrelatedtoMr.Marcosandwhichthemilitarywasabletoreadilyquell,therespondentshavenot
pointedtoanygraveexigencywhichpermitstheuseofuntrammeledGovernmentalpowerinthiscaseandthe
indefinitesuspensionoftheconstitutionalrighttotravel.

Therespondents'basicargumentisthattheissuebeforeusisapoliticalquestionbeyondourjurisdictionto
consider.TheycontendthatthedecisiontobanformerPresidentMarcos,andhisfamilyongroundsofnational
securityandpublicsafetyisvestedbytheConstitutioninthePresidentalone.Thedeterminationshouldnotbe
questionedbeforethisCourt.ThePresident'sfindingofdangertothenationshouldbeconclusiveontheCourt.

Whatisapoliticalquestion?

InVerav.Avelino(77Phil.192,223[1946],theCourtstated:
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xxxxxxxxx

Itisawellsettleddoctrinethatpoliticalquestionsarenotwithintheprovinceofthejudiciary,exceptto
theextentthatpowertodealwithsuchquestionshasbeenconferredonthecourtsbyexpress
constitutionalorstatutoryprovisions.Itisnotsoeasy,however,todefinethephrasepoliticalquestion,
nortodeterminewhatmattersfallwithinitsscope.Itisfrequentlyusedtodesignateallquestionsthat
heoutsidethescopeofthejudicialpower.Moreproperly,however,itmeansthosequestionswhich,
undertheconstitution,aretobedecidedbythepeopleintheirsovereigncapacity,orinregardtowhich
fulldiscretionaryauthorityhasbeendelegatedtothelegislativeorexecutivebranchofthegovernment.

WedefinedapoliticalquestioninTaniadav.Cuenco(103Phil.1051,1066[1957]),asfollows:

Inshort,theterm'Politicalquestion'connotes,inlegalparlance,whatitmeansinordinaryparlance,
namely,aquestionofpolicy.Inotherwords,inthelanguageofCorpusJurisSecundum(supra),it
refersto'thosequestionswhich,undertheConstitution,aretobedecidedbythepeopleintheir
sovereigncapacity,orinregardtowhichfulldiscretionaryauthorityhasbeendelegatedtothe
LegislatureorexecutivebranchoftheGovernment.Itisconcernedwithissuesdependentuponthe
wisdom,notlegality,ofaparticularmeasure.

ThemostoftenquoteddefinitionofpoliticalquestionwasmadebyJusticeWilhamJ.BrennanJr.,whopennedthe
decisionoftheUnitedStatesSupremeCourtinBakerv.Carr(369US186,82,S.Ct.691,L.Ed.2d.663[1962]).
TheingredientsofapoliticalquestionasformulatedinBakerv.Carrare:

Itisapparentthatseveralformulationswhichvaryslightlyaccordingtothesettingsinwhichthe
questionsarisemaydescribeapoliticalquestion,whichIdentifiesitasessentiallyafunctionofthe
separationofpowers.Prominentonthesurfaceofanycaseheldtoinvolveapoliticalquestionisfound
atextuallydemonstrableconstitutionalcommitmentoftheissuetoacoordinatepoliticaldepartmentor
alackofjudiciallydiscoverableandmanageablestandardsforresolvingitortheimpossibilityof
decidingwithoutaninitialpolicydeterminationofakindclearlyfornonjudicialdiscretionorthe
impossibilityofacourt'sundertakingindependentresolutionwithoutexpressinglackoftherespectdue
coordinatebranchesofgovernmentoranunusualneedforunquestioningadherencetoapolitical
decisionalreadymadeorpotentialityofembarrassmentfrommultifariouspronouncementsbyvarious
departmentsononequestion.

Forapoliticalquestiontoexist,theremustbeintheConstitutionapowervestedexclusivelyinthePresidentor
Congress,theexerciseofwhichthecourtshouldnotexamineorprohibit.Aclaimofplenaryorinherentpower
againstacivilrightwhichclaimisnotfoundinaspecificprovisionisdangerous.Neithershouldwevalidatearoving
commissionallowingpublicofficialstostrikewheretheypleaseandtooverrideeverythingwhichtothemrepresents
evil.TheentireGovernmentisboundbytheruleoflaw.

TherespondentshavenotpointedtoanyprovisionoftheConstitutionwhichcommitsorveststhedeterminationof
thequestionraisedtoussolelyinthePresident.

TheauthorityimpliedinSection6oftheBillofRightsitselfdoesnotexistbecausenolawhasbeenenacted
specifyingthecircumstanceswhentherightmaybeimpairedintheinterestofnationalsecurityorpublicsafety.The
powerisinCongress,nottheExecutive.

Theclosestresorttoatextiledemonstrableconstitutionalcommitmentofpowermaybefoundinthecommanderin
chiefclausewhichallowsthePresidenttocalloutthearmedforcesincaseoflawlessviolence,invasionorrebellion
andtosuspendtheprivilegeofthewritofhabeascorpusorproclaimmartiallawintheeventofinvasionorrebellion,
whenthepublicsafetyrequiresit.

Thereis,however,noshowing,notevenaclaimthatthefollowersofformerPresidentMarcosareengagingin
rebellionorthatheisinapositiontoleadthem.Neitherisitclaimedthatthereisaneedtosuspendtheprivilegeof
thewritofhabeascorpusorproclaimmartiallawbecauseofthearrivalofMr.Marcosandhisfamily.Tobesure,
theremaybedisturbancesbutnotofamagnitudeaswouldcompelthisCourttoresorttoadoctrineofnon
justiceabilityandtoignoreapleafortheenforcementofanexpressBillofRightsguarantee.

TherespondentsthemselvesarehardpressedtostatewhoorwhatconstitutesaMarcos"loyalist."Theconstant
insinuationsthatthe"loyalist"groupisheavilyfundedbyMr.Marcosandhiscroniesandthatthe"loyalists"
engaginginralliesanddemonstrationshavetobepaidindividualallowancestodosoconstitutethestrongest
indicationthatthehardcore"loyalists"whowouldfollowMarcosrightorwrongaresofewinnumberthattheycould
notpossiblydestabilizethegovernment,muchlessmountaseriousattempttooverthrowit.

NoteverypersonwhowouldallowMr.Marcostocomehomecanbetaggeda"loyalist."ItisinthebestofFilipino
customsandtraditionstoallowadyingpersontoreturntohishomeandbreathhislastinhisnativesurroundings.

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Outofthe103CongressmenwhopassedtheHouseresolutionurgingpermissionforhisreturn,therearethosewho
dislikeMr.Marcosintenselyorwhosufferedunderhisregime.TherearealsomanyFilipinoswhobelievethatinthe
spiritofnationalunityandreconciliationMr.MarcosandhisfamilyshouldbepermittedtoreturntothePhilippines
andthatsuchareturnwoulddeprivehisfanaticfollowersofanyfurtherreasontoengageinralliesand
demonstrations.

TheCourt,however,shouldviewthereturnofMr.Marcosandhisfamilysolelyinthelightoftheconstitutional
guaranteeoflibertyofabodeandthecitizen'srighttotravelasagainsttherespondents'contentionthatnational
securityandpublicsafetywouldbeendangeredbyagrantofthepetition.

ApartfromtheabsenceofanytextintheConstitutioncommittingtheissueexclusivelytothePresident,thereis
likewisenodearthofdecisionaldata,nounmanageablestandardswhichstandinthewayofajudicial
determination.

Section6oftheBillofRightsstatescategoricallythatthelibertyofabodeandofchangingthesamewithinthelimits
prescribedbylawmaybeimpairedonlyuponalawfulorderofacourt.Notbyanexecutiveofficer.Notevenbythe
President.Section6furtherprovidesthattherighttotravel,andthisobviouslyincludestherighttotraveloutofor
backintothePhilippines,cannotbeimpairedexceptintheinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublic
health,asmaybeprovidedbylaw.

Thereisnolawsettingthelimitsonacitizen'srighttomovefromonepartofthecountrytoanotherorfromthe
PhilippinestoaforeigncountryorfromaforeigncountrytothePhilippines.ThelawscitedbytheSolicitorGeneral
immigration,health,quarantine,passports,motorvehicle,destierroprobation,andparoleareallinapplicableinsofar
asthereturnofMr.Marcosandfamilyisconcerned.Thereisabsolutelynoshowinghowanyofthesestatutesand
regulationscouldserveasabasistobartheircominghome.

ThereisalsonodisrespectforaPresidentialdeterminationifwegrantthepetition.Wewouldsimplybeapplyingthe
Constitution,inthepreservationanddefenseofwhichallofusinGovernment,thePresidentandCongress
included,aresworntoparticipate.Significantly,thePresidentherselfhasstatedthattheCourthasthelastword
whenitcomestoconstitutionallibertiesandthatshewouldabidebyourdecision.

Asearlyas1983,itwasnotedthatthisCourthasnotbeenveryreceptivetotheinvocationofthepoliticalquestion
doctrinebygovernmentlawyers.(SeeMorales,Jr..vPonceEnrile,121SCRA538[1983]).

Manyofthosenowoccupyingthehighestpositionsintheexecutivedepartments,Congress,andthejudiciary
criticizedthisCourtforusingwhattheyfeltwasadoctrineofconvenience,expediency,utilityorsubservience.Every
majorchallengetotheactsofpetitionerFerdinandE.Marcosunderhisauthoritarianregimetheproclamationof
martiallaw,theratificationofanewconstitution,thearrestanddetentionof"enemiesoftheState"withoutcharges
beingfiledagainstthem,thedissolutionofCongressandtheexercisebythePresidentoflegislativepowers,thetrial
ofciviliansforciviloffensesbymilitarytribunals,theseizureofsomeofthecountry'sbiggestcorporations,thetaking
overorclosureofnewspaperoffices,radioandtelevisionstationsandotherformsofmedia,theproposalstoamend
theConstitution,etc.wasinvariablymetbyaninvocationthatthepetitioninvolvedapoliticalquestion.Itisindeed
poeticjusticethatthepoliticalquestiondoctrinesoofteninvokedbythenPresidentMarcostojustifyhisactsisnow
beingusedagainsthimandhisfamily.Unfortunately,theCourtshouldnotandisnotallowedtoindulgeinsucha
persiflage.WeareboundbytheConstitution.

Thedimviewofthedoctrine'susewassuchthatwhenthepresentConstitutionwasdrafted,abroaddefinitionof
judicialpowerwasaddedtothevestingintheSupremeCourtandstatutorycourtsofsaidpower.

ThesecondparagraphofSection1,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitutionprovides:

Judicialpowerincludesthedutyofthecourtsofjusticetosettleactualcontroversiesinvolvingrights
whicharelegallydemandableandenforceable,andtodeterminewhetherornottherehasbeena
graveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictiononthepartofanybranchor
instrumentalityoftheGovernment.

ThisnewprovisionwasenactedtoprecludethisCourtfromusingthepoliticalquestiondoctrineasameanstoavoid
havingtomakedecisionssimplybecausetheyaretoocontroversial,displeasingtothePresidentorCongress,
inordinatelyunpopular,orwhichmaybeignoredandnotenforced.

TheframersoftheConstitutionbelievedthatthefreeuseofthepoliticalquestiondoctrineallowedtheCourtduring
theMarcosyearstofallbackonprudence,institutionaldifficulties,complexityofissues,momentousnessof
consequencesorafearthatitwasextravagantlyextendingjudicialpowerinthecaseswhereitrefusedtoexamine
andstrikedownanexerciseofauthoritarianpower.Parenthetically,atleasttwooftherespondentsandtheircounsel
wereamongthemostvigorouscriticsofMr.Marcos(themainpetitioner)andhisuseofthepoliticalquestion
doctrine.TheConstitutionwasaccordinglyamended.Wearenowprecludedbyitsmandatefromrefusingto

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invalidateapoliticaluseofpowerthroughaconvenientresorttothequestiondoctrine.Wearecompelledtodecide
whatwouldhavebeennonjusticeableunderourdecisionsinterpretingearlierfundamentalcharters.

Thisisnottostatethattherecanbenomorepoliticalquestionswhichwemayrefusetoresolve.Therearestill
somepoliticalquestionswhichonlythePresident,Congress,oraplebiscitemaydecide.Definitely,theissuebefore
usisnotoneofthem.

TheConstitutionrequirestheCourt"todeterminewhetherornottherehasbeenagraveabuseofdiscretion
amountingtolackorexcessofjurisdiction."

Howdowedetermineagraveabuseofdiscretion?

Thetestedprocedureistorequirethepartiestopresentevidence.Unfortunately,considerationsofnationalsecurity
donotreadilylendthemselvestothepresentationofproofbeforeacourtofjustice.Thevitalinformationessentialto
anobjectivedeterminationisusuallyhighlyclassifiedanditcannotberebuttedbythosewhoseektooverthrowthe
government.AsearlyasBarcelonv.Baker(5Phil.87,93[19051),theCourtwasfacedwithasimilarsituation.It
posedarhetoricalquestion.IfafterinvestigatingconditionsintheArchipelagooranypartthereof,thePresident
findsthatpublicsafetyrequiresthesuspensionoftheprivilegeofthewritofhabeascorpus,canthejudicial
departmentinvestigatethesamefactsanddeclarethatnosuchconditionsexist?

Intheefforttofollowthe"graveabuseofdiscretion"formulainthesecondparagraphofSection1,ArticleVIIIofthe
Constitution,thecourtgrantedtheSolicitorGeneral'sofferthatthemilitarygiveusacloseddoorfactualbriefingwith
alawyerforthepetitionersandalawyerfortherespondentspresent.

TheresultsofthebriefingcalltomindtheconcurrenceofJusticeVicenteAbadSantosinMorales,Jr.v.Enrile,(121
SCRA538,592[19831):

HowcanthisCourtdeterminethefactualbasisinorderthatitcanascertainwhetherornotthe
presidentactedarbitrarilyinsuspendingthewritwhen,inthetruthwordsofMontenegro,withitsvery
limitedmachineryfit]cannotbeinbetterposition[thantheExecutiveBranch]toascertainorevaluate
theconditionsprevailingintheArchipelago?(Atp.887).Theanswerisobvious.Itmustrelyonthe
ExecutiveBranchwhichhastheappropriatecivilandmilitarymachineryforthefacts.Thiswasthe
methodwhichhadtobeusedinLansang.ThisCourtreliedheavilyonclassifiedinformationsupplied
bythemilitary.Accordingly,anincongruoussituationobtained.ForthisCourt,reliedontheverybranch
ofthegovernmentwhoseactwasinquestiontoobtainthefacts.Andasshouldbeexpectedthe
ExecutiveBranchsuppliedinformationtosupportitspositionandthisCourtwasinnosituationto
disprovethem.Itwasacaseofthedefendantjudgingthesuit.Afterallissaidanddone,theattemptby
itsCourttodeterminewhetherornotthePresidentactedarbitrarilyinsuspendingthewritwasa
uselessandfutileexercise.

ThereisstillanotherreasonwhythisCourtshouldmaintainadetachedattitudeandrefrainfromgiving
thesealofapprovaltotheactoftheExecutiveBranch.Foritispossiblethatthesuspensionofthewrit
lackspopularsupportbecauseofonereasonoranother.ButwhenthisCourtdeclaresthatthe
suspensionisnotarbitrary(becauseitcannotdootherwiseuponthefactsgiventoitbytheExecutive
Branch)itineffectparticipatesinthedecisionmakingprocess.Itassumesataskwhichitisnot
equippedtohandleitlendsitsprestigeandcredibilitytoanunpopularact.

Theothermethodistoavailofjudicialnotice.Inthisparticularcase,judicialnoticewouldbetheonlybasisfor
determiningtheclearandpresentdangertonationalsecurityandpublicsafety.ThemajorityoftheCourthastaken
judicialnoticeoftheCommunistrebellion,theseparatistmovement,therightistconspiracies,andurbanterrorism.
ButisitfairtoblamethepresentdayMarcosfortheseincidents?Alltheseproblemsaretotallyunrelatedtothe
Marcosoftodayand,infact,areledbypeoplewhohavealwaysopposedhim.Ifweusetheproblemsof
Governmentasexcusesfordenyingaperson'srighttocomehome,wewillneverrunoutofjustifyingreasons.
Theseproblemsorotherslikethemwillalwaysbewithus.

Significantly,wedonothavetolookintothefactualbasesofthebanMarcospolicyinordertoascertainwhetheror
nottherespondentsactedwithgraveabuseofdiscretion.Norareweforcedtofallbackuponjudicialnoticeofthe
implicationsofaMarcosreturntohishometobuttressaconclusion.

Inthefirstplace,therehasneverbeenapronouncementbythePresidentthataclearandpresentdangerto
nationalsecurityandpublicsafetywillariseifMr.MarcosandhisfamilyareallowedtoreturntothePhilippines.It
wasonlyafterthepresentpetitionwasfiledthattheallegeddangertonationalsecurityandpublicsafety
convenientlysurfacedintherespondents'pleadings.Secondly,PresidentAquinoherselflimitsthereasonforthe
banMarcospolicyto41)nationalwelfareandinterestand(2)thecontinuingneedtopreservethegainsachievedin
termsofrecoveryandstability.(Seepage7,respondents'Commentatpage73ofRollo).Neithergroundsatisfies
thecriteriaofnationalsecurityandpublicsafety.ThePresidenthasbeenquotedasstatingthatthevastmajorityof
Filipinossupportherposition.(TheJournal,frontpage,January24,1989)Wecannotvalidatetheirstancesimply
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becauseitisapopularone.SupremeCourtdecisionsdonothavetobepopularaslongastheyfollowthe
Constitutionandthelaw.ThePresident'soriginalposition"thatitisnotintheinterestofthenationthatMarcosbe
allowedtoreturnatthistime"hasnotchanged.(ManilaTimes,frontpage,February7,1989).OnFebruary11,
1989,thePresidentisreportedtohavestatedthat"considerationsofthehighestnationalgooddictatethatwe
preservethesubstantialeconomicandpoliticalgainsofthepastthreeyears"injustifyingherfirmrefusaltoallow
thereturnofMr.Marcosdespitehisfailinghealth.(DailyGlobe,frontpage,February15,1989)."Interestofthe
nationnationalgood,"and"preservingeconomicandpoliticalgains,"cannotbeequatedwithnationalsecurityor
publicorder.Theyaretoogenericandsweepingtoserveasgroundsforthedenialofaconstitutionalright.TheBill
ofRightscommandsthattherighttotravelmaynotbeimpairedexceptonthestatedgroundsofnationalsecurity,
publicsafety,orpublichealthandwiththeaddedrequirementthatsuchimpairmentmustbe"asprovidedbylaw."
Theconstitutionalcommandcannotbenegatedbymeregeneralizations.

ThereisanactualrebellionnotbyMarcosfollowersbutbytheNewPeoples'Army.Feedingasitdoesoninjustice,
ignorance,poverty,andotheraspectsatunderdevelopment,theCommunistrebellionistheclearestandmost
presentdangertonationalsecurityandconstitutionalfreedoms.Nobodyhassuggestedthatonewaytoquellit
wouldbetocatchandexileitsleaders,Mr.Marcoshimselfwasforcedtofleethecountrybecauseof"peoples'
power."Yet,thereisnomovetoarrestandexiletheleadersofstudentgroups,teachers'organizations,peaantand
laborfederations,transportworkers,andgovernmentunionswhosethreatenedmassactionswoulddefinitely
endangernationalsecurityandthestabilityofgovernment.WefailtoseehowMr.Marcoscouldbeagreater
danger.

ThefearthatCommunistrebels,BangsaMorosecessionists,theHonasanexsoldiers,thehardcoreloyalists,and
otherdissatisfiedelementswouldsuddenlyunitetooverthrowtheRepublicshouldadyingMarcoscomehomeis
toospeculativeandunsubstantialagroundfordenyingaconstitutionalright.Itisnotshownhowextremistsfromthe
rightandtheleftwholoatheeachothercouldfindarallyingpointinthecomingofMr.Marcos.

The"confluencetheory"oftheSolicitorGeneralorwhatthemajoritycalls"catalyticeffect,"whichalonesustainsthe
claimofdangertonationalsecurityisfraughtwithperilousimplications.Anydifficultproblemoranytroublesome
personcanbesubstitutedfortheMarcosthreatasthecatalysingfactor.TheallegedconfluenceofNPAS,
secessionists,radicalelements,renegadesoldiers,etc.,wouldstillbepresent.Challengedbyanycriticorany
seriousproblem,theGovernmentcanstatethatthesituationthreatensaconfluenceofrebelforcesandproceedto
rideroughshodovercivillibertiesinthenameofnationalsecurity.Today,apassportisdenied.Tomorrow,a
newspapermaybeclosed.Publicassembliesmaybeprohibited.Humanrightsmaybeviolated.Yesterday,theright
totravelofSenatorsBenignoAquino,Jr.andJovitoSalongawascurtailed.Today,itistherightofMr.Marcosand
family.Whowillbetomorrow'spariahsIdeeplyregretthattheCourt'sdecisiontousethepoliticalquestiondoctrine
inasituationwhereitdoesnotapplyraisesallkindsofdisturbingpossibilities.

ImustemphasizethatGeneralRenatodeVilla,theChiefofStaffoftheArmedForces,haspersonallyassuredthe
Courtthatarebellionoftheabovecombinedgroupswillnotsucceedandthatthemilitaryisontopofthesituation.
Wherethenisthecleardangertonationalsecurity?TheCourthastakenjudicialnoticeofsomethingwhicheventhe
militarydenies.TherewouldbeseverestrainsonmilitarycapabilitiesaccordingtoGeneraldeVilla.Therewouldbe
setbacksintheexpectederadicationoftheCommunistthreat.Therewouldbeotherseriousproblemsbutallcan
besuccessfullycontainedbythemilitary.Imuststressthatnoreferencewasmadetoaclearandpresentdangerto
nationalsecurityaswouldallowanoverridingoftheBillofRights.

TheSolicitorGeneral'sargumentthatthefailureofCongresstoenactastatutedefiningtheparametersoftheright
totravelandtofreelychooseone'sabodehasconstrainedthePresidenttofillinthevacuum,istooreminiscentof
AmendmentNo.6ofthemartiallawConstitutiontowarrantseriousconsideration.AmendmentNo.6allowed
MarcostoissuedecreeswhenevertheBatasangPambansafailedorwasunabletoactadequatelyonanymatter
foranyreasonthatinhisjudgmentrequiredimmediateaction.WhentheBillofRightsprovidesthatarightmaynot
beimpairedexceptintheinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealthandfurtherrequiresthatalaw
mustprovidewhensuchspecificallydefinedinterestsareprejudicedorrequireprotection,theinactionofCongress
doesnotgivereasonfortherespondentstoassumethegroundsforitsimpairment.

ThefactthattheMarcoseshavebeenindictedbeforeAmericanfederalcourtsdoesnotobstructusfromruling
againstanunconstitutionalassertionofpowerbyPhilippineofficials.LettheUnitedStatesapplyitslaws.Wehave
tobetruetoourown.

Mr.Marcosmaybetooilltowithstandtherigorsofatranspacificflight.Theagonyoftravelingwhilehookedupto
machineswhichhavetakenoverthefunctionsofhisheart,lungs,andkidneysmayhastenhisdeath.Thephysical
conditionofMr.Marcosdoesnotjustifyourignoringorrefusingtoactonhisclaimtoabasicrightwhichislegally
demandableandenforceable.Forhisowngood,itmightbepreferabletostaywhereheis.Butheinvokesa
constitutionalright.Wehavenopowertodenyittohim.

Theissuanceofapassportmaybediscretionarybutitshouldnotbewithheldiftodosowouldruncountertoa
constitutionalguarantee.Besides,thepetitionersarenotaskingforpassportsandnothingelse.Anytravel

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documentsoranyformalliftingoftheMarcosbanaswouldallowinternationalairlinestosellthemticketswould
suffice.

Withallduerespectforthemajorityopinion,Idisagreewithitsdictumontherighttotravel.Idonotthinkweshould
differentiatetherighttoreturnhomefromtherighttogoabroadortomovearoundinthePhilippines.Ifatall,the
righttocomehomemustbemorepreferredthananyotheraspectoftherighttotravel.Itwaspreciselythebanning
byMr.MarcosoftherighttotravelbySenatorsBenignoAquino,Jr.,JovitoSalonga,andscoresofother
"undesirables"and"threatstonationalsecurity"duringthatunfortunateperiodwhichledtheframersofourpresent
Constitutionnotonlytoreenactbuttostrengthenthedeclarationofthisright.Mediaoftenasks,"whatelseisnew?"
Isubmitthatwenowhaveafreedomlovingandhumaneregime.IregretthattheCourt'sdecisioninthiscasesets
backthegainsthatourcountryhasachievedintermsofhumanrights,especiallyhumanrightsforthosewhomwe
donotlikeorthosewhoareagainstus.

TherespondentSecretaryofForeignAffairs,RaulS.Manglapushasdisclosedalistofformerdictatorswhowere
barredbytheirsuccessorsfromreturningtotheirrespectivecountries.Thereisnoshowingthatthecountries
involvedhaveconstitutionswhichguaranteethelibertyofabodeandthefreedomtotravelandthatdespitesuch
constitutionalprotections,thecourtshavevalidatedthe"banareturn"policy.Neitherisitshownthatthesuccessors
ofthelisteddictatorsareasdeeplycommittedtodemocraticprinciplesandasobservantofconstitutional
protectionsasPresidentAquino.

ItisindeedregrettablethatsomefollowersoftheformerPresidentareconductingacampaigntosowdiscordandto
dividethenation.Oppositiontothegovernmentnomatterhowodiousordisgustingis,however,insufficientground
toignoreaconstitutionalguarantee.

Duringtheprotracteddeliberationsonthiscase,thequestionwasaskedistheGovernmenthelplesstodefenditself
againstathreattonationalsecurity?DoesthePresidenthavetosuspendtheprivilegeofthewritofhabeascorpus
orproclaimmartiallaw?Canshenottakelessdrasticmeasures?

Ofcourse,theGovernmentcanact.ItcanhaveMr.Marcosarrestedandtriedincourt.TheGovernmenthasmore
thanamplepowersundereixistinglawtodealwithapersonwhotransgressesthepeaceandimperilspublicsafety.
ButthedenialoftravelpapersisnotoneofthosepowersbecausetheBillofRightssaysso.Thereisnolaw
prescribingexileinaforeignlandasthepenaltyforhurtingtheNation.

Consideringalltheforegoing,IvotetoGRANTthepetition.

CRUZ,J.,dissenting:

Itismybeliefthatthepetitioner,asacitizenofthePhilippines,isentitledtoreturntoandliveanddieinhisown
country.Isaythiswithaheavyheartbutsayitnonetheless.Thatconvictionisnotdiminishedonewhitsimply
becausemanybelieveMarcostobebeneathcontemptandundeservingoftheverylibertiesheflountedwhenhe
wastheabsoluterulerofthisland.

TherightoftheUnitedStatesgovernmenttodetainhimisnotthequestionbeforeus,norcanweresolveit.The
questionwemustansweriswhetherornot,assumingthatMarcosispermittedtoleaveHawaii(whichmaydepend
ontheactionwetaketoday),therespondentshaveactedwithgraveabuseofdiscretioninbarringhimfromhisown
country.

Myreluctantconclusionisthattheyhave,absenttheprooftheysaidtheywerepreparedtooffer,butcouldnot,that
thepetitioner'sreturnwouldprejudicethesecurityoftheState.

Iwastheonewho,intheopenhearingheldonJune27,1989,askedtheSolicitorGeneralifthegovernmentwas
preparedtoprovethejustificationforopposingthehereinpetition,i.thatithadnotactedarbitrarily.Hesaiditwas.
Accordingly,theCourt,appreciatingtheclassifiednatureoftheinformationexpected,scheduledacloseddoor
hearingonJuly25,1988.TheSolicitorGeneralandthreerepresentativesfromthemilitaryappearedforthe
respondents,togetherwithformerSenatorArturoM.Tolentino,representingthepetitioners.

Inabouttwohoursofbriefing,thegovernmentfaileddismallytoshowthatthereturnofMarcosdeadoralivewould
poseathreattothenationalsecurityasithadalleged.Thefearsexpressedbyitsrepresentativeswerebasedon
mereconjecturesofpoliticalandeconomicdestabilizationwithoutanysinglepieceofconcreteevidencetobackup
theirapprehensions.

Amazingly,however,themajorityhascometotheconclusionthatthereexist"factualbasesforthePresident's
decision"tobarMarcos'sreturn.ThatisnotmyrecollectionoftheimpressionsoftheCourtafterthathearing.

InholdingthatthePresidentofthePhilippineshasresidualpowersinadditiontothespecificpowersgrantedbythe
Constitution,theCourtistakingagreatleapbackwardandreinstatingthediscrediteddoctrineannouncedinPlanas

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v.Gil(67Phil.62).ThisdoesnotsquarewiththeannouncedpolicyoftheConstitutionalCommission,whichwas
preciselytolimitratherthanexpandpresidentialpowers,asareactiontotheexcessesofthepastdictatorship.

IcanonlyrepeatJusticeBlack'swryobservationintheSteelSeizureCase(343U.S.579)thatifitwastruethatthe
Presidenthadbeengrantedthetotalityofexecutivepower,"itisdifficulttoseewhyourforefathersbotheredtoadd
severalspecificitems,includingsometriflingones,...Icannotaccepttheviewthatthisclauseisagrantinbulkof
allconceivableexecutivepowerbutregarditasanallocationtothepresidentialofficeofthegenericpowers
thereafterstated."

IhavenoillusionthatthestandIamtakingwillbemetwithpaeansofpraise,consideringthatMarcosisperhapsthe
mostdetestedmanintheentirehistoryofourcountry.Butwearenotconcernedherewithpopularityand
personalities.Asajudge,IamnotswayedbywhatJusticeCardozocalledthe"hootingthrong"thatmaymakeus
seethingsthroughtheprismsofprejudice.IbearinmindthatwhenIsitinjudgmentasamemberofthisCourt,I
mustcastallpersonalfeelingsaside.

Theissuebeforeusmustberesolvedwithtotalobjectivity,onthebasisonlyoftheestablishedfactsandthe
applicablelawandnotofwoundsthatstillfesterandscarsthathavenothealed.Andnotevenoffear,forfearisa
phantom.ThatphantomdidnotrisewhenthepeoplestoodfastatEDSAagainstthethreatoftotalmassacrein
defenseatlastoftheirfreedom.

IcannotturnbackonthelessonsoflibertythatItaughtformorethanthreedecadesasaprofessorofConstitutional
Law.TheseprincipleshavenotchangedsimplybecauseIamnowontheCourtoranewadministrationisinpower
andtheshoeisontheotherfoot.

LikethemartyredNinoyAquinowhoalsowantedtocomebacktothePhilippinesagainsttheprohibitionsofthe
governmentthen,Marcosisentitledtothesamerighttotravelandthelibertyofabodethathisadversaryinvoked.
TheserightsareguaranteedbytheConstitutiontoallindividuals,includingthepatriotandthehomesickandthe
prodigalsonreturning,andtyrantsandcharlatansandscoundrelsofeverystripe.

Ivotetograntthepetition.

PARAS,J.,dissenting:

Idissent.Already,somepeoplerefertousasanationwithoutdiscipline.Arewereadytobealsocalledasociety
withoutcompassion?

TheissueastowhetherornotformerPresidentFerdinandE.MarcosshouldbeallowedtoreturntothePhilippines
mayberesolvedbyansweringtwosimplequestions:Doeshehavetherighttoreturntohisowncountryandshould
nationalsafetyandsecuritydenyhimthisright?

ThereisnodisputethattheformerPresidentisstillaFilipinocitizenandbothundertheUniversalDeclarationof
HumanRightsandthe1987ConstitutionofthePhilippines,hehastherighttoreturntohisowncountryexceptonly
ifpreventedbythedemandsofnationalsafetyandnationalsecurity.

OurArmedForceshavefailedtoprovethisdanger.Theyarebereftofhardevidence,andalltheycanrelyonis
sheerspeculation.True,thereissomedangerbutthereisnoshowingastotheextent.

Itisincrediblethatonemanalonetogetherwithhisfamily,whohadbeenoustedfromthiscountrybypopularwill,
canarouseanentirecountrytoriseinmorbidsympathyforthecauseheonceespoused.

Itisthereforecleartome,allotheropinionstothecontrarynotwithstanding,thattheformerPresidentshouldbe
allowedtoreturntoourcountryundertheconditionsthatheandthemembersofhisfamilybeunderhousearrestin
hishometowninIlocosNorte,andshouldPresidentMarcosoranymemberofhisfamilydie,thebodyshouldnotbe
takenoutofthemunicipalityofconfinementandshouldbeburiedwithinten(10)daysfromdate.

Ifwedothis,ourcountryshallhavemaintaineditsregardforfundamentalhumanrights,fornationaldiscipline,and
forhumancompassion.

PADILLA,J.,dissenting:

Idissent.AsIseeit,thecoreissueinthiscaseis,whichrightwillprevailintheconflictbetweentherightofa
Filipino,FerdinandE.Marcos,toreturntothePhilippines,andtherightofthePhilippineGovernmenttobarsuch
returnintheinterestofnationalsecurityandpublicsafety.Inthiscontext,theissueisclearlyjusticiableinvolving,as
itdoes,collidingassertionsofindividualrightandgovernmentalpower.Issuesofthisnaturemorethanexplainwhy
the1986ConstitutionalCommission,ledbytheillustriousformerChiefJusticeRobertoConcepcion,incorporatedin
the1987Constitution,thenewprovisiononthepowerofJudicialReview,viz:

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Judicialpowerincludesthedutyofthecourtsofjusticetosettleactualcontroversiesinvolvingrights
whicharelegallydemandableandenforceable,andtodeterminewhetherornottherehasbeena
graveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictiononthepartofanybranchor
instrumentalityoftheGovernment.ArticleVIII,Section1,par.2(Emphasissupplied)

Mr.MarcosinvokesinhisfavorthespecificandpreciseconstitutionalrightofeveryFilipinototravelwhich,inthe
languageoftheConstitution,shallnotbeimpaired"exceptintheinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublic
health,asmaybeprovidedbylaw"(Art.III,Sec.6).Thattherighttotravelcomprisestherighttotravelwithinthe
country,totraveloutofthecountryandtoreturntothecountry(Philippines),ishardlydisputable.Shortofallsuch
components,therighttotravelismeaningless.Therealquestionarisesintheinterpretationofthequalifications
attachedbytheConstitutiontosuchrighttotravel.

Petitionerscontendthat,intheabsenceofrestrictinglegislation,therighttotravelisabsolute.Idonotagree.Itis
myviewthat,withorwithoutrestrictinglegislation,theinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafetyorpublichealthcan
justifyandevenrequirerestrictionsontherighttotravel,andthattheclause"asmaybeprovidedbylaw"contained
inArticleIII,Section6ofthe1987ConstitutionmerelydeclaresaconstitutionalleaveorpermissionforCongressto
enactlawsthatmayrestricttherighttotravelintheinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafetyorpublichealth.Ido
not,therefore,acceptthepetitioners'submissionthat,intheabsenceofenablinglegislation,thePhilippine
Governmentispowerlesstorestricttravelevenwhensuchrestrictionisdemandedbynationalsecurity,publicsafety
orpublichealth,ThepoweroftheState,inparticularcases,torestricttravelofitscitizensfindsabundantsupportin
thepolicepowerofthestatewichmaybeexercisedtopreserveandmaintaingovernmentaswellaspromotethe
generalwelfareofthegreatestnumberofpeople.

Andyet,thepoweroftheState,actingthroughagovernmentinauthorityatanygiventime,torestricttravel,evenif
foundedonpolicepower,cannotbeabsoluteandunlimitedunderallcircumstances,muchless,canitbearbitrary
andirrational.

Mr.Marcos,Irepeat,comesbeforetheCourtasaFilipino,invokingaspecificconstitutionalright,i.e.,therightto
returntothecountry.1Havetherespondentspresentedsufficientevidencetooffsetoroverridetheexerciseofthisright
invokedbyMr.Marcos?Stateddifferently,havetherespondentsshowntotheCourtsufficientfactualbasesanddatawhich
wouldjustifytheirrelianceonnationalsecurityandpublicsafetyinnegatingtherighttoreturninvokedbyMr.Marcos?

Ihavegiventhesequestionsasearchingexamination.Ihavecarefullyweighedandassessedthe"briefing"given
theCourtbythehighestmilitaryauthoritiesofthelandlast28July1989.1havesearched,butinvain,for
convincingevidencethatwoulddefeatandovercometherightofMr.MarcosasaFilipinotoreturntothiscountry.It
appearstomethattheapprehensionsentertainedandexpressedbytherespondents,includingthoseconveyed
throughthemilitary,donot,withallduerespect,escalatetoproportionsofnationalsecurityorpublicsafety.They
appeartobemorespeculativethanreal,obsessiveratherthanfactual.Moreover,suchapprehensionsevenif
translatedintorealities,wouldbe"undercontrol,"asadmittedtotheCourtbysaidmilitaryauthorities,giventhe
resourcesandfacilitiesatthecommandofgovernment.But,aboveall,theFilipinopeoplethemselves,inmy
opinion,willknowhowtohandleanysituationbroughtaboutbyapoliticalrecognitionofMr.Marcos'righttoreturn,
andhisactualreturn,tothiscountry.TheCourt,inshort,shouldnotacceptrespondents'generalapprehensions,
concernsandperceptionsatfacevalue,inthelightofacountervailingandevenirresistible,specific,clear,
demandable,andenforceablerightassertedbyaFilipino.

Deterioratingpolitical,social,economicorexceptionalconditions,ifany,arenottobeusedasapretexttojustify
derogationofhumanrights.2

AsamemberoftheUnitedNations,thePhilippineshasobligationsunderitscharter.Byadoptingthegenerally
acceptedprinciplesofinternationallawaspartofthelawoftheland,(Art.II,Sec.2oftheConstitution),the
PhilippinegovernmentcannotjustpaylipservicetoArt.13,par.2oftheUniversalDeclarationofHumanRights
whichprovidesthateveryonehastherighttoleaveanycountry,includinghisown,andtoreturntohiscountry.This
guaranteeisreiteratedinArt.XII,par.2oftheInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRightswhichstatesthat
"nooneshallbearbitrarilydeprivedoftherighttoenterhisowncountry."(Emphasissupplied)"Arbitrary"or
"arbitrarily"wasspecificallychosenbythedraftersoftheCovenant3hopingtoprotectanindividualagainstunexpected,
irresponsibleorexcessiveencroachmentonhisrightsbythestatebasedonnationaltraditionsoraparticularsenseofjustice
whichfallsshortofinternationallaworstandards.4

TheSolicitorGeneralmaintainsthatbecausetherespondents,asalteregosofthePresident,haveraisedthe
argumentof"nationalsecurity"and"publicsafety,"itisthedutyofthisCourttounquestioninglyyieldthereto,thus
castingthecontroversytotherealmofapoliticalquestion.Idonotagree.Ibelievethatitisonecasewherethe
humanandconstitutionallightinvokedbyonepartyissospecific,substantialandclearthatitcannotbe
overshadowed,muchless,nullifiedbysimplisticgeneralitiesworse,theCourtneglectsitsdutyunderthe
Constitutionwhenitallowsthetheoryofpoliticalquestiontoserveasaconvenient,andyet,lameexcusefor
evadingwhat,tome,isitsclearlypressinganddemandabledutytotheConstitution.

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Duringtheoralargumentsinthiscase,IaskedtheSolicitorGeneralhowonecouldvalidlydefendtherightofformer
SenatorBenignoS.Aquino,Jr.,aFilipino,toreturntothePhilippinesin1983and,atthesametime,crediblydeny
therightofMr.Marcos,alsoaFilipino,toreturntothePhilippinesin1989.Istillhavenotfoundasatisfactory
answertothatquestion.Instead,ithasbecomeclearerbythedaythatthedramatodayisthesamedramain1983
withtheonlydifferencethattheactorsareinoppositeroles,whichreallymakesonehope,inthenationalinterest,
thatthemistakein1983shouldnotbemadetopersistin1989.

ToonewhoowesMr.Marcos,hiswifeandfollowersabsolutelynothing,personal,politicalorotherwise,the
followingarethecogentanddecisivepropositionsinthiscase

1.Mr.MarcosisaFilipinoand,assuch,entitledtoreturntodieandbeburiedinthiscountry

2.respondentshavenotshownany"hardevidence"orconvincingproofwhyhisrightasaFilipinoto
returnshouldbedeniedhim.Allwehavearegeneralconclusionsof"nationalsecurity"and"public
safety"inavoidanceofaspecificdemandableandenforceableconstitutionalandbasichumanrightto
return

3.theissueofMarcos'returntothePhilippines,perhapsmorethananyissuetoday,requiresofall
membersoftheCourt,inwhatappearstobeanextendedpoliticalcontest,the"coldneutralityofan
impartialjudge."ItisonlythusthatwefortifytheindependenceofthisCourt,withfidelity,nottoany
person,partyorgroupbuttotheConstitutionandonlytotheConstitution.

ACCORDINGLY,IvotetoGRANTthepetition.

SARMIENTO,J.,dissenting:

Ivotetograntthepetition.

TheonlyissuethatsaddlestheCourtissimply:"whetherornot,intheexerciseofthepowersgrantedbythe
Constitution,thePresidentmayprohibittheMarcosesfromreturningtothePhilippines."1Ithereforetakeexceptionto
allusions2anent"thecapacityoftheMarcosestostirtroubleevenfromafar."3Ihavelegitimatereasontofearthatmy
brethren,inpassingjudgmentontheMarcoses(insofarastheir"capacitytostirtrouble"isconcerned),haveoversteppedthe
boundsofjudicialrestraint,orevenworse,convictedthemwithouttrial.

Ialsofindquitestrainedwhatthemajoritywouldhaveasthe"realissues"facingtheCourt:"Therighttoreturnto
one'scountry,"pittedagainst"therightoftravelandfreedomofabode",andtheirsupposeddistinctionsunder
internationallaw,asifsuchdistinctions,underinternationallawintruthandinfactexist.Thereisonlyoneright
involvedhere,whetherundermunicipalorinternationallaw:thelightoftravel,whetherwithinone'sowncountry,or
toanother,andtherighttoreturnthereto.TheConstitutionitselfmakesnodistinctionsletthen,noonemakea
distinction.Ubilexnondistinguishnecnosdistingueredebemus.

Asthemajoritywouldindeedhaveit,theissueisoneofpower:DoestheExecutivehavethepowertodenyacitizen
hisrighttotravel(backtothecountryortoanother)?Itisaquestionthat,inessence,involvestheapplication,and
nomore,oftheprovisionsofthe1987Constitution:

Sec.6.Thelibertyofabodeandofchangingthesamewithinthelimitsprescribedbylawshallnotbe
impairedexceptuponlawfulorderofthecourt.Neithershalltherighttotravelbeimpairedexceptinthe
interestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealth,asmaybeprovidedbylaw.4

Themajoritysays,withamplehelpfromAmericanprecedents,thatthePresidentispossessedofthepower,thus:

Onthesepremises,weholdtheviewthatalthoughthe1987Constitutionimposeslimitationsonthe
exerciseofspecificpowersofthePresident,itmaintainsintactwhatistraditionallyconsideredaswithin
thescopeof"executivepower."Corollarily,thepowersofthePresidentcannotbesaidtobelimited
onlytothespecificpowersenumeratedintheConstitution.Inotherwords,executivepowerismore
thanthesumofspecificpowerssoenumerated.5

Soalso:

FacedwiththeproblemofwhetherornotthetimeisrighttoallowtheMarcosestoreturntothe
Philippines,thePresidentis,undertheConstitution,constrainedtoconsiderthesebasicprinciplesin
arrivingatadecision.Morethanthat,havingsworntodefendandupholdtheConstitution,the
PresidenthastheobligationundertheConstitutiontoprotectthepeople,promotetheirwelfareand
advancethenationalinterest.ItmustbeborneinmindthattheConstitution,asidefrombeingan
allocationofpowerisalsoasocialcontractwherebythepeoplehavesurrenderedtheirsovereign
powerstotheStateforthecommongood.Hence,lesttheofficersoftheGovernmentexercisingthe
powersdelegatedbythepeopleforgetandtheservantsofthepeoplebecomerulers,theConstitution
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remindseveryonethat"sovereigntyresidesinthepeopleandallgovernmentauthorityemanatesfrom
them."[Art.II,Sec.1.]6

Andfinally:

TothePresident,theproblemisoneofbalancingthegeneralwelfareandthecommongoodagainst
theexerciseofrightsofcertainindividuals.ThepowerinvolvedisthePresident'sresidualpowerto
protectthegeneralwelfareofthepeople.ItisfoundedonthedutyofthePresident,asstewardofthe
people.ToparaphraseTheodoreRoosevelt,itisnotonlythepowerofthePresidentbutalsohisdutyto
doanythingnotforbiddenbytheConstitutionorthelawsthattheneedsofthenationdemanded[See
Corwin,supra,at153].ItisapowerbornebythePresident'sdutytopreserveanddefendthe
Constitution.ItalsomaybeviewedasapowerimplicitinthePresident'sdutytotakecarethatthelaws
arefaithfullyexecuted[SeeHyman,TheAmericanPresident,wheretheauthoradvancestheviewthat
anallowanceofdiscretionarypowerisunavoidableinanygovernmentandisbestlodgedinthe
President].7

Iamnotpersuaded.

First:WhiletheChiefExecutiveexercisespowersnotfoundexpresslyintheCharter,buthasthembyconstitutional
implication*thelattermustyieldtotheparamountcyoftheBillofRights.AccordingtoFernando:"Aregimeof
constitutionalismisthusunthinkablewithoutanassuranceoftheprimacyofabigofrights.Preciselyaconstitution
existstoassurethatinthedischargeofthegovernmentalfunctions,thedignitythatisthebirthrightofeveryhuman
beingisdulysafeguarded.Tobetruetoitsprimordialaimaconstitutionmustlaydowntheboundariesbeyond
whichhe'sforbiddenterritoryforstateaction"8

Mybrethrenhavenotdemonstrated,tomysatisfaction,howthePresidentmayoverridethedirectmandateofthe
fundamentallaw.Itwillnotsuffice,soIsubmit,tosaythatthePresident'splenitudeofpowers,asprovidedinthe
Constitution,orbysheerconstitutionalimplication,prevailoverexpressconstitutionalcommands."Clearly,"soI
borrowJ.B.L.Reyes,inMsownright,atitaninthefieldofpubliclaw,"thisargument...rests...notuponthetextof
the(Constitution]...butuponamereinferencetherefrom."9Forifitwere,indeed,theintentoftheChartertocreatean
exception,thatis,byPresidentialaction,totherightoftravelorlibertyofabodeandofchangingthesameotherthanwhatit
explicitlysaysalready("limitsprescribedbylaw"10or"uponlawfulorderofthecourt"11theChartercouldhavespecifically
declaredso.Asitis,thelonedeterrentstotherightinquestionare:(1)decreeofstatute,or(2)lawfuljudicialmandate.Had
theConstitutionintendedathirdexception,thatis,byPresidentialinitiative,itcouldhavesoaverred.Itwouldalsohave
madetheConstitution,asfaraslimitstothesaidrightareconcerned,comefullcircle:Limitsbylegislative,judicial,and
executiveprocesses.

Obviously,noneofthetwinlegalbarsexist.ThereisnolawbanningtheMarcosesfromthecountryneitheristhere
anycourtdecreebanishinghimfromPhilippineterritory.

Itistobenotedthatunderthe1973Constitution,therighttotraveliswordedasfollows:

Sec.5.Thelibertyofabodeandoftravelshallnotbeimpairedexceptuponlawfulorderofthecourt,or
whennecessaryintheinterestofnationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealth.12

Underthisprovision,therightmaybeabated:(1)uponalawfulcourtorder,or(2)"whennecessaryintheinterestof
nationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublichealth.13Arguably,theprovisionenabledtheChiefExecutive(Marcos)to
moderatemovementofcitizens,which,Bernassays,justifiedsuchpracticesas"hamletting",forcedrelocations,orthe
establishmentoffreefirezones.14

ThenewConstitution,however,soitclearlyappears,hasdivestedtheExecutive'simpliedpower.And,asitso
appears,therightmaybeimpairedonly"withinthelimitsprovidedbylaw.15ThePresidentisoutofthepicture.

Admittedly,theChiefExecutiveisthe"sole"judgeofallmattersaffectingnationalsecurity16andforeignaffairs17
theBillofRightsprecisely,aformofcheckagainstexcessesofofficialdomis,inthiscase,aformidablebarrieragainst
Presidentialaction.(EvenonmattersofStatesecurity,thisConstitutionprescribeslimitstoExecutive'spowersas
CommanderinChief.)

Second:Assuming,exhypothesisthatthePresidentmaylegallyact,thequestionthatemergesis:Hasitbeen
provedthatMarcos,orhisreturn,will,infact,interposeathreattothenationalsecurity,publicsafety,orpublic
health?"WhatappearsintherecordsarevehementinsistencesthatMarcosdoesposeathreattothenationalgood
andyet,atthesametime,wehavepersistentclaims,madebythemilitarytopbrassduringthelengthycloseddoor
hearingonJuly25,1989,that"thisGovernmentwillnotfall"shouldtheformerfirstfamilyinexilesteponPhilippine
soil.whichiswhich?
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Atanyrate,itismyopinionthatwecannotleavethatdeterminationsolelytotheChiefExecutive.TheCourtitself
mustbecontentthatthethreatisnotonlyclear,butmoreso,present.18

ThatthePresident"hastheobligationundertheConstitutiontoprotectthepeople..."19isanobligationopentono
doubt.Butthequestion,andsoIaskagainandagain,is:Fromwhom?Ifwesay"fromMarcos,"weunravelchinksinour
politicalarmor.Italsofliesinthefaceofclaims,soconfidentlyasserted,that"thisGovernmentwillnotfall"evenifweallowed
Marcostoreturn.

Itflies,finally,inthefaceofthefactthatagoodnumberofthehenchmentrustedallies,implementorsofmartiallaw,
andpatheticparasitesoftheexfirstcoupleare,infact,intheGovernment,inthecomfortofitsoffices,andoratthe
helmofitskeyagencies.Letusnot,therefore,jokeourselvesofmoralfactorswarrantingthecontinuedbanishment
ofMarcos.Moralityisthelastrefugeoftheselfrighteous.

Third:Theproblemisnotofbalancingthegeneralwelfareagainsttheexerciseofindividualliberties.20AsI
indicated,notoneshredofevidence,letalonesolidevidence,otherthansurmisesofpossibilities,hasbeenshowntojustify
the'balancingact"referredto.Worse,theseconjecturescontradictcontentionsthatasfarasPhilippinesocietyisconcerned,
Marcosis"history".

ThepowerofthePresident,somybrethrendeclaim,"callsfortheexerciseofthePresident'spowerasprotectorof
peace.21

ThisistheselfsamefalsehoodMarcosfoistedontheFilipinopeopletojustifytheauthoritarianrule.Italsomeans
thatwearenobetterthanhehas.

That"[t]hepowerofthePresidenttokeepthepeaceisnotlimitedmerelytoexercisingthecommanderinchief
powersintimesofemergencyortoleadingtheStateagainstexternalandinternalthreatstoitsexistence"22isa
biggerfantasy:Itnotonlysummonsthemartiallawdecisionsofpre"EDSA"(especiallywithrespecttothedetestable
AmendmentNo.6),itisinconsistentwiththeexpressprovisionsofthecommanderinchiefclauseofthe1987Charter,a
CharterthathasperceptiblyreducedtheExecutive'spowersvisavisits1973counterpart.23

II.

Theundersignedwouldbelackingincandortoconcealhisdislike,tosaytheleast,forMarcos.BecauseofMarcos,
thewriterofit'sdissentlostasonHisson'sonly"offense"wasthatheopenlyandunabatedlycriticizedthedictator,
hisassociates,andhismilitarymachinery.Hewouldpaydearlyforithewasarrestedanddetained,withoutjudicial
warrantordecision,forsevenmonthsandsevendays.Hewasheldincommunicadoagreaterpartofthetime,in
themilitarystockadeofCampCrame.Inhislastweekindetention,hewas,grudgingly,hospitalized(prisonhospital)
andconfinedforchronicasthma.Thedeplorableconditionsofhisimprisonmentexacerbatedhisdelicatehealth
beyondcure.Hedied,onNovember11,1977,amartyronthealtarofthemartiallawapparatus.

TheundersignedalsocountshimselfasoneofthevictimsofMarcos'ruthlessapparatchiki.OnAugust14,1979,he
was,alongwithformerPresidentDiosdadoMacapagal,andCongressmenRogacianoMercadoandManuel
Concordia,charged,"ASSOed"andplacedunderhousearrest,for"incitingtosedition"and"rumormongering"24in
themidstofthedistributionofAngDemokrasyaSaPilipinas(DemocracyInthePhilippines),abookextremelycriticalof
martialrule,publishedbyhimandformerCongressmanConcordia,authoredbyPresidentMacapagalandtranslatedinto
TagalogbyCongressmanRogacianoMercado.Inaddition,theywerealsoallaccusedoflibelinmorethantwodozensof
criminalcomplaintsfiledbytheseveralmilitaryofficersnamedinthe"condemned"bookashavingviolatedthehumanrights
ofdissenters,andforothercrimes,intheofficeoftheProvincialFiscalofRizal.Ithadtotaketheeventsat"EDSA"toset
themfreefromhousearrestandthesepoliticaloffenses.IamforMarcos'returnnotbecauseIhaveascoretosettlewith
him.Ditto'sdeathormyarrestarescoresthatcannotbesettled.

IfeeltheexPresident'sdeathabroad(presentedinthedailiesas'imminent")wouldleavehim'unpunishedforMs
crimestocountryandcountrymen.Ifpunishmentisdue,letthisleadershipinflictit.Butlethimstandtrialandaccord
himdueprocess.

Modestyaside,Ihavestaunchlyandconsistentlyadvocatedthehumanrightoftravelandmovementandtheliberty
ofabode.25WewouldhavebetrayedourownIdealsifwedeniedMarcoshisrights.Itishisconstitutionalright,a
rightthatcannotbeabridgedbypersonalhatred,fear,foundedorunfounded,andbyspeculationsofthe"man's
"capacity""tostirtrouble"Nowthattheshoeisontheotherfoot,letnomoreofhumanrightsviolationsberepeated
againstanyone,friendorfoe.Inademocraticframwork,thereisnothisasgettingeven.

Themajoritystartedthisinquiryonthequestionofpower.IholdthatthePresident,underthepresentConstitution
andexistinglaws,doesnothaveit.Mandamus,Isubmit,lies.

Narvasa,MelencioHerrera,Gancayco,GrioAquino,MedialdeaandRegalado,JJ.,concur.

Feliciano,J.,isonleave.
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Footnotes

**ThePhilippinepresidencyunderthe1935Constitutionwaspatternedinlargemeasureafterthe
Americanpresidency.Butattheoutset,itmustbepointedoutthatthePhilippinegovernment
establishedundertheconstitutionsof1935,1973and1987isaunitarygovernmentwithgeneral
powersunlikethatoftheUnitedStateswhichisafederalgovernmentwithlimitedandenumerated
powers.Evenso,thepowersofthepresidentoftheUnitedStateshavethroughtheyearsgrown,
developedandtakenshapeasstudentsofthatpresidencyhavedemonstrated.

FERNAN,C.J.:

1Fromthespeech"RestrictionsonHumanRightsStatesofEmergency,NationalSecurity,Public
SafetyandPublicOrder"deliveredattheLawasiaSeminaronHumanRights,TodayandTomorrow:
TheRoleofHumanRightsCommissionsandOtherOrgans,attheManilaHotelonAugust27,1988.

CRUZ,J.

1Inaddition,heinvokestherightasabasichumanrightrecognizedbytheUniversalDeclaration
rationofHumanRights.ni

2S.P.Marks,PrinciplesandNormsofHumanRightsApplicableinEmergencySituations:Under
development,CatastrophiesandArmedConflicts,TheInternationalDimensionsofHumanRights,Vol.
1Unesco,1982,pp.175204.

3P.Hassan,TheWord"Arbitrary"asusedintheUniversalDeclarationofHumanRights:"Illegalor
Unjust",10HarvInt.L.J.,p.225(1969).4FCNewmanandICVasakCivilandPoliticalRights,The
InternationalDimensionsofHumanRights,pp.135166.

4F.C.NewmanandK.VasakandPoiticalRights,TheInternationalDimensionsofHumanRights,pp.
135166.5astowhethertheU.S.FederalGovernmentwillallowMr.MarcostoleavetheUnitedStates,
isbeyondtheissuesinthiscasesimilarly,astohowthePhilippinegovernmentshoulddealwithMr.
Marcosuponhisreturnisalsooutsideoftheissuesinthiscase.

5AstowhethertheU.S.FederalGovernmentwillallowMr.MarcostoleavetheUnitedStates,is
beyondtheissuesinthiscasesimilarly,astohowthePhilippineGovernmentshoulddealwithMr.
Marcosuponhisreturnisalsooutsideoftheissuesinthiscase.

SARMIENTO,J.:

1Decision,4.

2Seesupra,14.

3Supra,2.

4CONST.,art.Ill,see.6.

5Decision,supra,18emphasisintheoriginal.

6Supra,2021.

7Supra,2122.

*ButseeCruz,J.,Dissenting.

8FERNANDO,THEBILLOFRIGHTS,4(1972ed.).

9Republicv.Quasha,NoL30299,Aug.17,1972,46SCRA160,169.

10CONST.,supra.

11Supra.

12CONST.(1973),art.IV,sec.5.

13Supra.

14SeeBERNAS,THECONSTITUTIONOFTHEREPUBLICOFTHEPHILIPPINES,263(1987ED.)

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15CONST.(1987),artIII,sec.6,supra.

16SeeSupra,AartVII,sec18.

17SeeGoTekv.DeportationBoard,No.L23846,September9,1977,79scra17.

18SeeLansangv.Garcia,Nos.L33964,33965,33973,33982,34004,34013,34039,34265,and
34339,December11,1971,42SCRA448,480.

19Decision,supra,21.

20Supra.

21Supra.

22Supra,22.

23Abraham("Ditto")Sarmiento,Jr.,thenEditorinChief,PhilippineCollegian(19751976),official
studentorganoftheUniversityofthephilippines.Hewasdetainedinthemilitarystockadefor
commoncriminalsfromJan.toAug,1976.

24SPINo.79347("For:ViolationofPresidentialDecreeNo.90andArticle142oftheRevisedPenal
Code,asamendedtheJG.R.No.54180,DiosdadoMacapagal,RogacianoM.Mercado,ManuelA.
Concordia,andAbrahamF.Sarmiento,Petitioners,vsThePreliminaryInvestigatingPanelinSPINo.
79347[HamiltonB.DimayaBrigadierGeneral,AFP,TheJudgeAdvocateGeneral,ChairmanLeon0.
RidaoColonel,JAGSGSCDeputyJudgeAdvocateGeneral,MemberandAmorB.Felipe,Colonel,
JAGS(GSC)ExecutiveOfficer,Member],andtheMinisterofNationalDefense,RespondentSupreme
Court.

25SeeSantosv.TheSpecialCommotteeonTravel,etal.,G.R.No.L45748,June28,1977,ofwhich
theundersignedwasthecounselofthepetitioner.

TheLawphilProjectArellanoLawFoundation

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