Essay: Logical Fallacies in SC Decisions

The following are examples of logical fallacy as used in SC decisions:

1. Legal and Judicial Ethics – Nonsequitur

As Rosa’s prayer for relief suggests, what she wants is for this Court to annul her marriage on the bases of its findings in A.C. No. 5333. Obviously, she is of the impression that since her charges in A.C. No. 5333 were found to be true, justifying the suspension of Justo from the practice of law, the same charges are also sufficient to prove his psychological incapacity to comply with the essential marital obligations.
Her premise is of course non-sequitur.
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Accordingly, one’s unfitness as a lawyer does not automatically mean one’s unfitness as a husband or vice versa. The yardsticks for such roles are simply different. This is why the disposition in a disbarment case cannot be conclusive on an action for declaration of nullity of marriage. While Rosa’s charges sufficiently proved Justo’s unfitness as a lawyer, however, they may not establish that he is psychologically incapacitated to perform his duties as a husband. (Paras v Paras, GR No. 147824, August 2, 2007).

2. Labor Law – Hasty Generalization

We find appellant, despite her denial, to have been engaged in the practice of illegal recruitment in large scale and thus violated the provisions of Article 38 (a) and (b) in relation to Article 39 (a) and Article 13 (b) and (c) of the Labor Code.]
Appellant’s argument is less than convincing. In the face of direct and positive evidence presented by four complainants against her, the appellant could interpose only the defense of denial. She would want the trial court to make her denial prevail over the testimonies and documents presented by the prosecution. However, nothing on record would show any ill-motive or bias whatsoever that would taint the prosecution’s evidence. It thus becomes impossible for an objective judge to overturn, without legal basis, precedents which maintain that denial is a self-serving negative evidence that cannot be given greater weight than the declaration of credible witnesses who testified on affirmative matters. Between categorical statements of prosecution witnesses, on the one hand, and bare denials of the accused, on the other hand, the former must perforce prevail. All of the witnesses testified to having personally met the accused; they averred that she asked from them a sum of money in exchange for the promised employment overseas. Moreover, exhibits were presented in the form of receipts issued by and copies of the documentary requirements submitted to appellant. For appellant to say that she was merely chosen as a scapegoat for appellees’ misfortune, having failed to bring the alleged real recruiter to justice, does not appear well founded. It is but a hasty generalization of no probative significance. Without credible evidence proferred by the defense, bad faith or ulterior motive could not be imputed on the part of the appellees in pointing to the accused as the illegal recruiter who victimized them. When there is no showing that the principal witnesses for the prosecution were actuated by improper motive, the presumption is that the witnesses were not so actuated and their testimonies are thus entitled to full faith and credit. (Alert Security and Investigation Agency Inc v. Pasawilan, GR No. 182397, September 14, 2011).

3. Civil Law – Circular Argument

Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines pointed out as the national law is the internal law of California. But as above explained the laws of California have prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens, one for residents therein and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Reason demands that We should enforce the California internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein, and enforce the conflict of laws rules for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must enforce the law of California as in comity we are bound to go, as so declared in Article 16 of our Civil Code, then we must enforce the law of California in accordance with the express mandate thereof and as above explained, i.e., apply the internal law for residents therein, and its conflict-of-laws rule for those domiciled abroad.
It is argued on appellees’ behalf that the clause “if there is no law to the contrary in the place where the property is situated” in Sec. 946 of the California Civil Code refers to Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and that the law to the contrary in the Philippines is the provision in said Article 16 that the national law of the deceased should govern. This contention can not be sustained. As explained in the various authorities cited above the national law mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the law on conflict of laws in the California Civil Code, i.e., Article 946, which authorizes the reference or return of the question to the law of the testator’s domicile. The conflict of laws rule in California, Article 946, Civil Code, precisely refers back the case, when a decedent is not domiciled in California, to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar. The court of the domicile can not and should not refer the case back to California; such action would leave the issue incapable of determination because the case will then be like a football, tossed back and forth between the two states, between the country of which the decedent was a citizen and the country of his domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in the conflict of laws rule of the state of the decedent, if the question has to be decided, especially as the application of the internal law of California provides no legitime for children while the Philippine law, Arts. 887(4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines, makes natural children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them. (In the Matter of the Testate Estate of Edward Christensen v. Helen Christensen Garcia, GR No. 16749, January 31, 1963).

4. Remedial Law – Fallacy of Composition

The petitioners further theorize that Section 1 (3) of PD 1866 is invalid because it gives the public prosecutor an option not to file a case for rebellion and instead file as many crimes for murder, frustrated murder, etc. as might have been perpetrated in furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with rebellion, insurrection or subversion. The argument is not tenable. The fact is that the Revised Penal Code treats rebellion or insurrection as a crime distinct from murder, homicide, arson, or other felonies that might conceivably be committed in the course of a rebellion. It is the Code, therefore, in relation to the evidence in the hands of the public prosecutor, and not the latter’s whim or caprice, which gives the choice. The Code allows, for example, separate prosecutions for eithermurder or rebellion, although not for both where the indictment alleges that the former has been committed in furtherance of or in connection with the latter. Surely, whether people are killed or injured in connection with a rebellion, or not, the deaths or injuries of the victims are no less real, and the grief of the victims’ families no less poignant.
Moreover, it certainly is within the power of the legislature to determine what acts or omissions other than those set out in the Revised Penal Code or other existing statutes are to be condemned as separate, individual crimes and what penalties should be attached thereto. The power is not diluted or improperly wielded simply because at some prior time the act or omission was but an element or ingredient of another offense, or might usually have been connected with another crime. (Baylosis v. Chavez, GR No. 95136, October 3, 1991)

5. Criminal Law – Overzealous Application of General Rule

It may be argued that one who enters the dwelling house of another is not liable unless he has been forbidden — i.e., the phrase “against the will of the owner” means that there must have been an express prohibition to enter. In other words, if one enters the dwelling house of another without the knowledge of the owner he has not entered against his will. This construction is certainly not tenable, because entrance is forbidden generally under the spirit of the law unless permission to enter is expressly given. To allow this construction would destroy the very spirit of the law. Under the law no one has the right to enter the home of another without the other’s express consent. Therefore, to say that one’s home is open for the entrance of all who are not expressly forbidden. This is not the rule. The statute must not be given that construction. No one can enter the dwelling house of another, in there Islands, without rendering himself liable under the law, unless he has the express consent of the owner and unless the one seeking entrance comes within some of the exceptions dictated by the law or by a sound public policy. (US v. Arceo, GR No. 1491, March 5, 1904).

6. Political Law – Ad Hominem

Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth “concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration” only. The intent to single out the previous administration is plain, patent and manifest.
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The reports of widespread corruption in the Arroyo administration cannot be taken as basis for distinguishing said administration from earlier administrations which were also blemished by similar widespread reports of impropriety. They are not inherent in, and do not inure solely to, the Arroyo administration. As Justice Isagani Cruz put it, “Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification.”
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The insinuations that the members of the majority are impelled by improper motives, being countermajoritarian and allowing graft and corruption to proliferate with impunity are utterly baseless. Not only are these sort of ad hominem attacks and populist appeals to emotion fallacious, they are essentially non-legal arguments that have no place in a debate regarding constitutionality. At the end of the day, Justices of this Court must vote according to their conscience and their honest belief of what the law is in a particular case. That is what gives us courage to stand by our actions even in the face of the harshest criticism. Those who read our opinions, if they are truly discerning, will be able to determine if we voted on points of law and if any one of us was merely pandering to the appointing power. (Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, GR No. 192935, December 7, 2010).

8. Taxation Law – Ambiguity and Ignorance

The appellant’s brief says:
The lower court held that the plaintiff was not subject to the tax on consignments abroad, because it was not a merchant according to the definition of same given in section 1459 of the Revised Administrative Code. It is true that the plaintiff is not and never has been engaged in the sale, barter, or exchange of personal property of any character in the Philippine Islands (paragraph IV of Agreed Statement of Facts). It should be taken into consideration, however, that the plaintiff is a manufacturing corporation, licensed to transact business in this country and is engaged in the manufacture and sale of coconut and other oils in the United States (paragraph I of Agreed Statements of Facts). Inasmuch as plaintiff manufactures and sells oil, it comes within the definition of a merchant given in section 1459 above mentioned, which includes manufacturers who sell articles of their own production.”
The last statement is not tenable. The record shows that the plaintiff never did manufacture or sell oil in the Philippine Islands. That it only manufactures and sells oil in the United States. It is further contended that the plaintiff is the consignor of the copra and, as such, is liable of the payment of the tax. The contention is in direct conflict with clause two of the “Agreed Statement of Facts,” above quoted. (El Dorado Oil Works v. The Collector of Internal Revenue, GR No. 20101, July 12, 1923).

9. Commercial Law – Hasty Generalization

It is argued, however, that as the check had been made payable to “cash” and had not been endorsed by Ang Tek Lian, the defendant is not guilty of the offense charged. Based on the proposition that “by uniform practice of all banks in the Philippines a check so drawn is invariably dishonored,” the following line of reasoning is advanced in support of the argument:
. . . When, therefore, he (the offended party ) accepted the check (Exhibit A) from the appellant, he did so with full knowledge that it would be dishonored upon presentment. In that sense, the appellant could not be said to have acted fraudulently because the complainant, in so accepting the check as it was drawn, must be considered, by every rational consideration, to have done so fully aware of the risk he was running thereby.” (Brief for the appellant, p. 11.)
We are not aware of the uniformity of such practice. Instances have undoubtedly occurred wherein the Bank required the indorsement of the drawer before honoring a check payable to “cash.” But cases there are too, where no such requirement had been made . It depends upon the circumstances of each transaction.
Of course, if the bank is not sure of the bearer’s identity or financial solvency, it has the right to demand identification and /or assurance against possible complications, — for instance, (a) forgery of drawer’s signature, (b) loss of the check by the rightful owner, (c) raising of the amount payable, etc. The bank may therefore require, for its protection, that the indorsement of the drawer — or of some other person known to it — be obtained. But where the Bank is satisfied of the identity and /or the economic standing of the bearer who tenders the check for collection, it will pay the instrument without further question; and it would incur no liability to the drawer in thus acting. (Lian v. Court of Appeals, GR No. 2516, September 25, 1950).

Estafa By Means of Deceit vis-a-vis Bouncing Checks Law

ESTAFA

Elements in General:

  1. The accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence of by means of deceit; and
  2. That damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused to the offended party or third persons

 

ESTAFA BY MEANS OF DECEIT (Article 315, No. 2 RPC)
Elements:

  1. There must be false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means;
  2. Such false pretense, act or fraudulent means must be made or executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud;
  3. The offended party must have relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means, that is, he was induced to part with his money or property because of the false pretense; and
  4. That as result thereof, the offended party suffered damage.

 

Article 315, No. 2 RPC
(d) By post-dating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check. The failure of the drawer of the check to deposit the amount necessary to cover his check within three (3) days from receipt of notice from the bank and/or the payee or holder that said check has been dishonored for lack of insufficiency of funds shall be prima facie evidence of deceit constituting false pretense or fraudulent act. (As amended by R.A. 4885, approved June 17, 1967.)

ELEMENTS:

  1. That the offender postdated a check, OR issued a check in payment of an obligation; and
  2. That such postdating or issuing a check was done when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check

The issuance by the offender of the check (whether postdated or not), prior to or simultaneous with the transaction, must be for the purpose of contracting the obligation, otherwise if the check is issued in payment of a preexisting obligation, no estafa is committed, only a civil liability.

If the check was issued by the debtor only for security of the creditor, as in the nature of promissory notes but not to be encashed, no estafa will be involved.

Good faith is a defense in a charge of estafa by postdating or issuing a check (People vs Villapando, 56 Phil 31)

Estafa by issuing a bad check is a continuing offense

There is prima facie evidence of deceit when the drawer fails to pay or make arrangement for payment three (3) days after receiving notice of dishonor.

The payee or person receiving the check must be damaged or prejudiced

 

BOUNCING CHECKS LAW (B.P. Blg. 22)

Offenses Punished under BP22:

1. Making or Drawing and issuing a check knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds

Elements:

  1. That a person makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value;
  2. That the person knows that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check upon its presentment; and
  3. That the check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit, or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment

Requisites for Criminal Liability under BP 22

  1. A person makes, draws or issues a check as payment for account or for value;
  2. That the check was dishonored by the bank due to a lack of funds, insufficiency of funds or account already closed;
  3. The payee or holder of such check gives written notice of dishonor and demand for payment; and
  4. That the maker, drawer or issuer, after receiving such notice and demand, refuses or fails to pay the value of the check within FIVE BANKING DAYS
  • It is not the making, drawing, or issuance nor the dishonor of the check which gives rise to a violation of BP 22, but rather the failure to make good the check within FIVE BANKING DAYS from receipt of the Notice of Dishonor and Demand for Payment
  • While the written notice of dishonor and demand is not an element in the violation of BP 22, the failure to give such notice to the maker, drawer or issuer of the bouncing check is FATAL to an action to hold the latter criminally liable.
  • The full payment of the amount appearing in the check within five banking days from notice of dishonor is a complete defense against BP 22. The absence of a notice of dishonor necessarily deprives an accused an opportunity to preclude criminal prosecution. Accordingly, procedural due process clearly enjoins that a notice of dishonor be actually served on the maker, drawer or issuer of the check. He has a right to demand that the notice of dishonor be actually sent to and received by him to afford him the opportunity to avert prosecution under BP 22. (Lina Lim Lao vs People GR No. 117178 June 20, 1997)

 

2. Failing to keep sufficient funds to cover the full amount of the check

Elements:

  1. That a person has sufficient funds with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check;
  2. That he fails to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount if presented within a period of 90 days from the date of appearing thereon; and
  3. That the check is dishonored by the drawee bank.
  • The 90- day period stated is NOT an element of the violation of BP 22 by failing to keep sufficient funds. As such, the maker, drawer or issuer of the check is not discharged from his duty to maintain a sufficient balance on his account for a reasonable time even BEYOND the 90-day period. A “reasonable time” according to current banking practice is 6 months or 180 days, after which the check becomes stale.
  • Thus, where a check is presented beyond the 90-day period but within 180 days from the date of failure to maintain a sufficient balance, the maker, drawer or issuer shall still be liable for violation of BP 22 (Wong vs C.A. GR No. 117857, February 2, 2001)
  • Gravamen of BP 22 is the issuance of a worthless or bum check

 

Evidence of Knowledge of Insufficient Funds

         – Refusal of drawee bank to pay the check due to insufficiency of funds when presented within 90 days from the date of the check shall be prima facie knowledge of insufficiency of funds, unless the drawer or maker pays the holder the amount due thereon or makes arrangements for the payment thereof by the drawee within five (5) banking days after receipt of notice that the check was dishonored.

BP 22

ESTAFA (RPC)

The maker or drawer and issuer knows at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient fund in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full Not necessary that the drawer should know at the time that he issued the check that the funds deposited in the bank were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check
Mere issuance of a check that is dishonored gives rise to the presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds No presumption of knowledge arises

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Separation Pay and Backwages

 

CONSEQUENCES OF TERMINATION

 

SEPARATION PAY – FOUR CONTEXT

SEPARATION PAY FOR AUTHORIZED CAUSES UNDER ARTS. 283-284.

Separation Pay. An employee lawfully dismissed for a just cause is not entitled to any separation pay; while an employee separated for an authorized cause is entitled to separation pay in accordance with the rates prescribed by law. (Chan. The Labor Code of the Philippines Annotated – Volume II).

Art. 298. [283] Closure of Establishment and Reduction of Personnel. – The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered as one (1) whole year.

In case the CBA or company policy provides for a higher separation pay, the same must be followed instead of the one provided in Article 283. (Chan. The Labor Code of the Philippines Annotated – Volume II).

Art. 299. [284] Disease as a Ground of Termination – An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees: Provided, That he is paid separation pay equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, whichever is greater, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year.

 

 

SEPARATION PAY AS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IN LEGAL DISMISSAL UNDER ART. 282

The basis of the grant of financial assistance is equity. (Chan. The Labor Code of the Philippines Annotated – Volume II).

An employee who is dismissed for just cause is generally not entitled to separation pay. A reading of Art. 279 in relation to Art. 282 of the Labor Code, reveals that an employee who is dismissed for cause after appropriate proceedings in compliance with due process requirements is not entitled to an award of separation pay. In some cases however, the SC awarded separation pay to a legally dismissed employee on the grounds of equity and social justice. This is not allowed though when the employee has been dismissed for serious misconduct or some other causes reflecting on his moral character or personal integrity. (Etcuban, Jr. v. Sulpicio Lines, Inc. G.R. No. 148410, Jan. 17, 2005, among others).

 

SEPARATION PAY IN LIEU OF REINSTATEMENT

If reinstatement is no longer possible, the employer has the alternative of paying the employee his separation pay in lieu of reinstatement. (Manila Water Co, Inc. v. Pena, G.R. No. 158255, Jul. 8, 2004).

Reinstatement cannot be awarded when what is prayed for is separation pay. As pronounced in Dela Cruz v. NLRC, [G.R. No. 121288, November 20, 1998], the petitioner therein would have been entitled to reinstatement as a consequence of his illegal dismissal from employment. However, by expressly asking for separation pay, he is deemed to have opted for separation pay in lieu of reinstatement.

In Deguzman v. NLRC, [G.R. No. 167701, Dec. 12, 2007], and in several other earlier cases, where the employee explicitly prayed for an award of separation pay in lieu of reinstatement, it was held that by so praying, he forecloses reinstatement as a relief by implication. Consequently, he is entitled to separation pay equivalent to one month pay for every year of services, computed from the time of his illegal dismissal up to the finality of the judgement, as an alternative to reinstatement.

The amount of separation pay that should be paid in lieu of reinstatement is not provided in the Labor Code or its implementing rules. Jurisprudence, however, dictates that the following should be included in its computation:

  1. The amount equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one (1) month salary for every year of services, whichever is higher, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year. (Sec. 4[b], Rule I, Book VI, Rules to Implement the Labor Code).
  2. Allowances that the employee has been receiving on a regular basis. (Planters Products, Inc. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 78524, Jan. 20, 1989).

 

SEPARATION PAY AS AN EMPLOYEE BENEFIT

Employers may lawfully and effectively reduce their personnel by offering resignation benefits through a Voluntary Resignation Program where employees are afforded the right to voluntarily terminate the employment relationship. If made in good faith, such as scheme should be considered a valid form of terminating employment. Consequently, the employer need not comply with the requirement under Article 283 of the Labor Code that notice be sent to the Department of Labor and Employment at least a month prior to the effectivity of the termination of employment. The reason is that by applying to voluntarily resign, the employee thereby acknowledges the existence of a valid cause for terminating his employment. (Dole Philippines Inc. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 120009, Sept. 13, 2001; International Hardware, Inc. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 80770, Aug. 10, 1989).

 

BACKWAGES

DISTINGUISH FROM SEPARATION PAY

Separation pay in lieu of reinstatement and backwages are two different things. Payment of separation pay is not inconsistent with payment of backwages. (Cabatulan v. Buat, G.R. No. 147142, Feb. 14, 2005).

Separation pay is paid when reinstatement is not possible; while backwages are paid for the compensation which otherwise the employee should have earned had he not been illegally dismissed. (Equitable Banking Corp. v. Sadac, G.R. No. 164772, June 8, 2006).

Separation pay is computed on the basis of employee’s length of service; while backwages are based on the actual period when he was unlawfully prevented from working. (Lim v. NLRC, G.R. Nos. 79907 and 79975, Mar. 16, 1989).

Separation pay is paid where a wherewithal during the period that an employee is looking for another employment; while backwages are paid for the loss of earnings during the period between illegal dismissal and reinstatement. (Quebec, Sr. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 123184, Jan. 22, 1999).

Separation pay is oriented towards the immediate future; while backwages involve the restoration of the past income lost. (Lopez, Jr. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 109166, Jul. 6, 1995).

Separation pay cannot be paid in lieu of backwages. (Torillo v. Leogardo, G.R. No. 77205, May 27, 1991).

 

FULL BACKWAGES

MERCURY DRUG RULE (PRIOR TO R.A. 6715)

MERCURY DRUG VS. CIR 56 SCRA 694

MAKASIAR, J.:p

Procedural History:

Petitioner Mercury Drug Co., Inc. seeked the reversal of the decision of respondent Court of Industrial Relations dated January 17, 1964 and its order dated February 25, 1964 denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration of the said decision.

Statement of Facts:

Private respondent Dayao was employed on February 13, 1956 by the petitioners originally as driver, later assigned as delivery man, then as checker and was last promoted to the position of assistant chief checker in the checking department until his separation on April 10, 1961.

Days before April 10, 1961, Dayao urged petitioners to pay them overtime pay, criticized their employees’ association for failing to protect the welfare of the employees by not securing such additional compensation for overtime, and campaigned among his co-employees to organize another labor union. Hearing of Dayao’s union activities, petitioner called for Dayao on April 10, 1961, told him to resign and persuaded him to accept the amount of P562.50 as termination pay and to sign a clearance stating to the effect that he has no claims whatsoever of any kind and nature against herein petitioners.

On April 25, 1963, exactly two years and fifteen days from his separation on April 10, 1961, Dayao filed a complaint for unfair labor practice against petitioners for dismissing him because of his having campaigned among his co-employees to become members of a new labor union that he was then organizing.

In their answer to the ULP complaint, petitioners interposed as their only defense that Dayao “was separated from the service … for cause because of creating trouble with another employee who was also dismissed and that even if the said complainant was separated for cause, he received compensation pay and hereby relieved respondent from whatever claim or claims that he had against respondents.” They also relied on laches, aside from estoppel, to defeat Dayao’s ULP charge.

SC held that the petitioners were guilty of unfair labor practices. There was no sufficient basis for discharging Dayao from employment. Acceptance of termination pay does not divest a laborer the right to prosecute his employer for unfair labor practice acts, much less for signing the clearance paper. Acceptance of those benefits would not amount to estoppel. SC stated that there was clear interference with the union activity and that his dismissal from employment was discriminatory. And since there was illegal dismissal, Dayao was entitled to backwages.

Issue:

How much backwages shall be allowed private respondent Dayao.

Answer:

Dayao should be paid backwages equivalent to one year, eleven months, and fifteen days without further disqualifications, which is computed from 4 years prescriptive period less the period of delay in instituting the ULP charge (2 years and 15 days).

Reasoning:

While this case was submitted for decision on March 29, 1965, the delay in its resolution is not due to the parties. However, it should be noted that private respondent Dayao filed his ULP charge with reinstatement and back wages about two years and fifteen days after his separation on April 10, 1961. As aforestated, the shortest prescriptive period for the filing of all other actions for which the statute of limitations does not fix a period, is four years. The period of delay in instituting this ULP charge with claim for reinstatement and back wages, although within the prescriptive period, should be deducted from the liability of the employer to him for back wages. In order that the employee however should be relieved from proving his income during the period he was out of the service and the employer from submitting counter-proofs, which may delay the execution of the decision, the employer in the case at bar should be directed to pay private respondent Dayao backwages equivalent to one year, eleven months, and fifteen days without further disqualifications.

Holding:

WHEREFORE, THE PETITION IS HEREBY DISMISSED AND PETITIONERS ARE HEREBY DIRECTED: (1) TO PAY PRIVATE RESPONDENT NARDO DAYAO BACK WAGES EQUIVALENT TO ONE YEAR, ELEVEN MONTHS, AND FIFTEEN DAYS; (2) TO REINSTATE HIM AFTER CERTIFICATION OF HIS PHYSICAL FITNESS BY A GOVERNMENT PHYSICIAN; AND (3) TO PAY THE COSTS.

Justice Teehankee’s Dissent:

Justice Teehankee dissented from the specific result in the judgement, awarding respondent backwages only in an amount equivalent to 1 year, 11 months and 15 days. Such delay in filing the complaint should in no manner prejudice the amount of the back wages award justly due respondent — particularly, when it is considered that he pursued with vigor his complaint after its filing on April 25, 1963 and obtained favorable judgment in the industrial court within a year as per said court’s decision of January 17, 1964 and its en banc resolution of February 25, 1964 denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.

Hence, an award of back wages equivalent to three years (where the case is not terminated sooner) should serve as the base figure for such awards without deduction, subject to deduction where there are mitigating circumstances in favor of the employer but subject to increase by way of exemplary damages where there are aggravating circumstances (e.g. oppression or dilatory appeals) on the employer’s part. He submitted that the minimum award to which respondent is entitled should be at the very least the equivalent of the proposed base figure of three years pay. Employers should be put on notice as a deterrent that if they pursue manifestly dilatory and unmeritorious appeals and thus delay satisfaction of the judgment justly due their employee(s), they run the risk of exemplary and punitive damages being assessed against them by way of an increased award of back wages to the wrongfully discharged employee(s) commensurate to the delay caused by the appeal process.

 

RULE AFTER R.A. 6715 (DATE TO RECKON – MARCH 21, 1989)

ALEX FERRER VS. NLRC

JULY 5, 1993

MELO, J.:

Procedural History:

The petition for certiorari seeks to annul and set aside: (a) the decision dated June 20, 1991 of the Second Division of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which affirmed in toto the decision of April 5, 1990 of Labor Arbiter dismissing the complaint for illegal dismissal and unfair labor practice on the ground that both the company and the union merely complied with the collective bargaining agreement provision sanctioning the termination of any employee who fails to retain membership in good standing with the union; and (b) the NLRC resolution denying the motion for the reconsideration of said decision.

Statement of Facts:

Petitioners were regular and permanent employees of the Occidental Foundry Corporation (OFC) which was under the management of Hui Kam Chang. As piece workers, petitioners’ earnings ranged from P110 to P140 a day. They had been in the employ of OFC for about ten years at the time of their dismissal in 1989.

On January 5, 1989, the Samahang Manggagawa ng Occidental Foundry Corporation-FFW (SAMAHAN) and the OFC entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which would be effective for the three-year period between October 1, 1988 and September 30, 1991. It included a union security clause saying that failure to retain membership in good standing with the UNION shall be ground for the operation of paragraph 1 hereof and the dismissal by the company of the aforesaid employee upon written request by the union.

Several intraunion squabbles took place as to the election of the officers due to their alleged inattentiveness to the economic demands of the members. This prompted the union to send a letter to Hui Kam Chang, requesting for the dismissal of several people, including petitioners Ferrer et. al. The petitioners professed their innocence to the chages levelled against them by SAMAHAN and FFW, but received no reply. As such, they filed a complained for illegal dismissal and unfair labor practice before the NLRC against Hui Kam Chang, OFC, SAMAHAN, and FFW.

Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint, saying that OFC was merely complying with the mandatory provisions of the CBA, and that SAMAHAN and FFW cannot be charged with illegal dismissal as there was no employer-employee relationship between them and the petitioners. NLRC affirmed the decision of Labor Arbiter. Hence the appeal.

SC held that the petitioners were illegally dismissed because while the CBA’s union security clause was valid, both parties thereto should see to it that no right is violated or impaired during its implementation. There was an absence of notice and hearing when the petitioners were illegally dismissed. Due process was inexistent.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioners, who were illegally dismissed, were entitled to backwages.

Answer:

Yes. The petitioners can receive their full back wages computed from the moment their compensation was withheld after their dismissal in 1989 up to the date of actual reinstatement.

Reasoning:

With the passage of Republic Act No. 6715 which took effect on March 21, 1989, Article 279 of the Labor Code was amended to read as follows:

Security of Tenure. — In cases of regular employment, the employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a just cause or when authorized by this Title. An employee who is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement.

and as implemented by Section 3, Rule 8 of the 1990 New Rules of Procedure of the National Labor Relations Commission, it would seem that the Mercury Drug Rule (Mercury Drug Co., Inc. vs. Court of Industrial Relations, 56 SCRA 694 [1974]) which limited the award of back wages of illegally dismissed workers to three (3) years “without deduction or qualification” to obviate the need for further proceedings in the course of execution, is no longer applicable.

A legally dismissed employee may now be paid his back wages, allowances, and other benefits for the entire period he was out of work subject to the rule enunciated before the Mercury Drug Rule, which is that the employer may, however, deduct any amount which the employee may have earned during the period of his illegal termination. Computation of full back wages and presentation of proof as to income earned elsewhere by the illegally dismissed employee after his termination and before actual reinstatement should be ventilated in the execution proceedings before the Labor Arbiter concordant with Section 3, Rule 8 of the 1990 new Rules of Procedure of the National Labor Relations Commission.

The petitioners can receive their back wages computed from the moment their compensation was withheld after their dismissal in 1989 up to the date of actual reinstatement. In such a scenario, the award of back wages can extend beyond the 3-year period fixed by the Mercury Drug Rule depending, of course, on when the employer will reinstate the employees.

Holding:

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby SET ASIDE and private respondents are hereby ordered to reinstate petitioners to their former or equivalent positions without loss of seniority rights and with full back wages, inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their monetary equivalent, pursuant to Article 279 of the Labor Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 6715.

 

PINES CITY VS. NLRC

NOV. 10, 1993

NOCON, J.:

Procedural History:

This a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of the resolution of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission dated November 29, 1990, in NLRC Case No. 01-04-0056-89, which affirmed in toto the decision of the Labor Arbiter dated February 28,1990.

Statement of Facts:

Private respondents Bentrez et. al., were all employed as teachers on probationary basis by petitioner Pines City Educational Center. All the private respondents, except Roland Picart and Lucia Chan, signed contracts of employment with petitioner for a fixed duration. On March 31, 1989, due to the expiration of private respondents’ contracts and their poor performance as teachers, they were notified of petitioners’ decision not to renew their contracts anymore.

On April 10, 1989, private respondents filed a complaint for illegal dismissal before the Labor Arbiter, alleging that their dismissals were without cause and in violation of due process. Except for private respondent Leila Dominguez who worked with petitioners for one semester, all other private respondents were employed for one to two years. They were never informed in writing by petitioners regarding the standards or criteria of evaluation so as to enable them to meet the requirements for appointment as regular employees.

For their part, petitioners contended that private respondents’ separation from employment, apart from their poor performance, was due to the expiration of the periods stipulated in their respective contracts. In the case of private respondent Dangwa Bentrez, the duration of his employment contract was for one year, or beginning June, 1988 to March 1989 whereas in the case of the other private respondents, the duration of their employment contracts was for one semester, or beginning November, 1988 to March 1989.

On February 28, 1990, the Labor Arbiter rendered judgment in favor of private respondents, ordering their reinstatement and the payment of their full backwages and other benefits and privileges without qualification and deduction from the time they were dismissed up to their actual reinstatement. The computation of backwages covered only the period private respondents were terminated up to January 31, 1990 or 10 months and does not include backwages from January 31, 1990 up to their actual reinstatement. In support of this decision, the Labor Arbiter rationalized that the teacher’s contracts were vague and did not include the specific description of duties and assignments of private respondents.

NLRC affirmed the decision of Labor Arbiter. Hence, the appeal.

SC held that insofar as the private respondents who knowingly and voluntarily agreed upon fixed periods of employment are concerned, their services were lawfully terminated by reason of the expiration of the periods of their respective contracts. With respect to the remaining private respondents Roland Picart and Lucia Chan, both of whom did not sign any contract fixing the periods of their employment nor to have knowingly and voluntarily agreed upon fixed periods of employment, petitioners had the burden of proving that the termination of their services was legal. As probationary employees, they are likewise protected by the security of tenure provision of the Constitution. Consequently, they cannot be removed from their positions unless for cause.

Issue:

Whether or not private respondents Picart and Chan, who were illegally dismissed, were entitled to payment of backwages.

Answer:

Yes. Private respondents Picart and Chan were entitled to payment of backwages. However, in the computation of the backwages, the total amount derived from employment elsewhere by the employee from the date of dismissal up to the date of reinstatement, if any, should be deducted therefrom.

Reasoning:

The order for their reinstatement and payment of full backwages and other benefits and privileges from the time they were dismissed up to their actual reinstatement was proper, conformably with Article 279 of the Labor Code, as amended by Section 34 of Republic Act No. 6715, 14 which took effect on March 21, 1989. It should be noted that private respondents Roland Picart and Lucia Chan were dismissed illegally on March 31, 1989, or after the effectivity of said amendatory law.

However, in ascertaining the total amount of backwages payable to them, SC went back to the rule prior to the Mercury Drug Rule that the total amount derived from employment elsewhere by the employee from the date of dismissal up to the date of reinstatement, if any, should be deducted therefrom. SC restated the underlying reason that employees should not be permitted to enrich themselves at the expense of their employer. In addition, the law abhors double compensation. To this extent, SC’s ruling in Alex Ferrer, et al., v. NLRC, et al., G.R. No. 100898, promulgated on July 5, 1993, was hereby modified.

Holding:

WHEREFORE, the resolution of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission dated November 29, 1990 is hereby MODIFIED. Private respondents Roland Picart and Lucia Chan are ordered reinstated without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and their backwages paid in full inclusive of allowances, and to their other benefits or their monetary equivalent pursuant to Article 279 of the Labor Code, as amended by Section 34 of Republic Act No. 6715, subject to deduction of income earned elsewhere during the period of dismissal, if any, to be computed from the time they were dismissed up to the time of their actual reinstatement. The rest of the Labor Arbiter’s decision dated February 28, 1990, as affirmed by the NLRC is set aside.

 

PINES CITY RULING ABANDONED

BUSTAMANTE VS. NLRC

Nov. 28, 1996

PADILLA, J.

Procedural History:

This is a Motion for Reconsideration filed for a previous decision issued by SC.

Statement of Facts:

On 15 March 1996, SC First Division promulgated a decision, stating that backwages shall be paid to petitioners from the time of their illegal dismissal on 25 June 1990 up to the date of their reinstatement. If reinstatement is no longer feasible, a one-month salary shall be paid the petitioners as ordered in the Labor Arbiter’s decision, in addition to the adjudged backwages.

Private respondent moved to reconsider the decision on grounds that assuming that petitioners were entitled to backwages, computation thereof should not start from cessation of work up to actual reinstatement, and that salary earned elsewhere (during the period of illegal dismissal) should be deducted from the award of such backwages.

From here, SC stated that over the years, it applied different methods in the computation of backwages:

  1. The first labor relations law governing the award of backwages was Republic Act No. 875, the Industrial Peace Act, approved on 17 June 1953. Sections 5 and 15 thereof provided that backpay (the same as backwages) could be awarded where, in the opinion of the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) such was necessary to effectuate the policies of the Industrial Peace Act. As the CIR was given wide discretion to grant or disallow payment of backpay (backwages) to an employee, it also had the implied power of mitigating (reducing) the backpay where backpay was allowed. Thus, in the exercise of its jurisdiction, the CIR increased or diminished the award of backpay, depending on several circumstances, among them, the employee’s employment in other establishments during the period of illegal dismissal. The same was enunciated in the case of Itogon-Suyoc Mines, Inc. v. Sagilo-Itogon Workers’ Union.
  2. SC found occasion in the case of Mercury Drug Co., Inc., et al. v. CIR, et al. to rule that a fixed amount of backwages without further qualifications should be awarded to an illegally dismissed employee (hereinafter the Mercury Drug rule). However, Justice Teehankee dissented from the majority and opined that an award of back wages equivalent to three years (where the case is not terminated sooner) should serve as the base figure for such awards without deduction, subject to deduction where there are mitigating circumstances in favor of the employer but subject to increase by way of exemplary damages where there are aggravating circumstances (e.g. oppression or dilatory appeals) on the employer’s part.”
  3. The proposal on the three-year backwages was subsequently adopted in later cases.
  4. Then came Presidential Decree No. 442 (the Labor Code of the Philippines) which was signed into law on 1 May 1974 and which took effect on 1 November 1974. The law specifically declared that the award of backwages was to be computed from the time compensation was withheld from the employee up to the time of his reinstatement. This nothwithstanding, the rule generally applied by the Court after the promulgation of the Mercury Drug case, and during the effectivity of P.D. No. 442 was still the Mercury Drug rule. A survey of cases from 1974 until 1989, when the amendatory law to P.D. No. 442, namely, R.A. No. 6715 took effect, supports this conclusion.
  5. In the case of New Manila Candy Workers Union (Naconwa-Paflu) v. CIR (1978), or after the Labor Code (P.D. No. 442) had taken effect, the Court still followed the Mercury Drug rule to avoid the necessity of a hearing on earnings obtained elsewhere by the employee during the period of illegal dismissal. In an even later case (1987) the Court declared that the general principle is that an employee is entitled to receive as backwages all the amounts he may have received from the date of his dismissal up to the time of his reinstatement. However, in compliance with the jurisprudential policy of fixing the amount of backwages to a just and reasonable level, the award of backwages equivalent to three (3) years, without qualification or deduction, was nonetheless followed.
  6. In a more direct approach to the rule on the award of backwages, this Court declared in the 1990 case of Medado v. Court of Appeals that “any decision or order granting backwages in excess of three (3) years is null and void as to the excess”. In sum, during the effectivity of P.D. 442, the Court enforced the Mercury Drug rule and, in effect, qualified the provision under P.D. No. 442 by limiting the award of backwages to three (3) years.
  7. On 21 march 1989, Republic Act No. 6715 took effect, amending the Labor Code. In here, an illegally dismissed employee is entitled to his full backwages from the time his compensation was withheld from him (which, as a rule, is from the time of his illegal dismissal) up to the time of his actual reinstatement. It was true that SC had ruled in the case of Pines City Educational Center vs. NLRC (G.R. No. 96779, 10 November 1993, 227 SCRA 655) that “in ascertaining the total amount of backwages payable to them (employees), SC went back to the rule prior to the Mercury Drug rule that the total amount derived from employment elsewhere by the employee from the date of dismissal up to the date of reinstatement, if any, should be deducted therefrom.” The rationale for such ruling was that, the earning derived elsewhere by the dismissed employee while litigating the legality of his dismissal, should be deducted from the full amount of backwages which the law grants him upon reinstatement, so as not to unduly or unjustly enrich the employee at the expense of the employer.

Issue:

Whether or not the ruling in Pines City v NLRC must still be observed.

Answer:

No. SC categorically concluded the final computation of the backwages after reconsidering the ruling mentioned in Pines City v. NLRC case. Those who were illegally dismissed are entitled to the payment of full backwages.

Reasoning:

With the evident legislative intent as expressed in Rep. Act No. 6715, above-quoted, backwages to be awarded to an illegally dismissed employee, should not, as a general rule, be diminished or reduced by the earnings derived by him elsewhere during the period of his illegal dismissal. The underlying reason for this ruling is that the employee, while litigating the legality (illegality) of his dismissal, must still earn a living to support himself and family, while full backwages have to be paid by the employer as part of the price or penalty he has to pay for illegally dismissing his employee.

The clear legislative intent of the amendment in Rep. Act No. 6715 is to give more benefits to workers than was previously given them under the Mercury Drug rule or the “deduction of earnings elsewhere” rule. Thus, a closer adherence to the legislative policy behind Rep. Act No. 6715 points to “full backwages” as meaning exactly that, i.e., without deducting from backwages the earnings derived elsewhere by the concerned employee during the period of his illegal dismissal.

Therefore, in accordance with R.A No. 6715, petitioners were entitled to their full backwages, inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their monetary equivalent, from the time their actual compensation was withheld from them up to the time of their actual reinstatement. As to reinstatement of petitioners, SC has already ruled that since reinstatement is no longer feasible, because the company would be unjustly prejudiced by the continued employment of petitioners who at present are overage, a separation pay equal to one-month salary granted to them in the Labor Arbiter’s decision was in order and, therefore, affirmed in the Court’s decision of 15 March 1996. Furthermore, since reinstatement in this case is no longer feasible, the amount of backwages shall be computed from the time of their illegal termination on 25 June 1990 up to the time of finality of this decision.

Holding:

ACCORDINGLY, private respondent’s Motion for Reconsideration, dated 10 April 1996, is DENIED.

 

Art. 417, NCC: Shares of stocks are considered personal property

Shares of stocks are personal property, and therefore, can be the subject matter of a chattel mortgage. So are the certificates themselves evidencing the ownership of shares.

The capital stock of stock corporations shall be divided into shares for which certificates signed by the president or the vice-president, counter signed by the secretary or clerk and sealed with the seal of the corporation, shall be issued in accordance with the by-laws. Shares of stock so issued are personal property and may be transferred by delivery of the certificate indorsed by the owner or his attorney in fact or other person legally authorized to make the transfer. No transfer, however, shall be valid, except as between the parties, until the transfer is entered and noted upon the books of the corporation so as to show the names of the parties to the transaction, the date of the transfer the number of the certificate, and the number of shares transferred. (Section 35, Corporation Law)

It is to be noted, however, that section 35 of the Corporation Law (Act No. 1459) enacts that shares of stock “may be transferred by delivery of the certificate endorsed by the owner or his attorney in fact or other person legally authorized to make the transfer.” The use of the verb “may” does not exclude the possibility that a transfer may be made in a different manner, thus leaving the creditor in an insecure position even though he has the certificate in his possession. Moreover, the shares still standing in the name of the debtor on the books of the corporation will be liable to seizure by attachment or levy on execution at the instance of other creditors. (Cf. Uy Piaoco vs. McMicking, 10 Phil., 286, and Uson vs. Diosomito, 61 Phil., 535.) .

Diplomatic Immunity and Territoriality Principle

A few months ago, our PIL professor asked us to review the 2014 Political Law bar exam questions and answer those which fall under the purview of Public International Law course.  Below is what I came up with.  If you have any feedback or opinion as to the accuracy and the way I answered the questions, please feel free to comment on the post.  After all, criticism can be a great teacher.

 

Ambassador Gaylor is State Juvenus’ diplomatic representative to State Hinterlands. During one of his vacations, Ambassador Gaylor decided to experience for himself the sights and sounds of State Paradise, a country known for its beauty and other attractions. While in State Paradise, Ambassador Gaylor was caught in the company of children under suspicious circumstances. He was arrested for violation of the strict anti-pedophilia statute of State Paradise. He claims that he is immune from arrest and incarceration by virtue of his diplomatic immunity. Does the claim of Ambassador Gaylor hold water? (4%)

No, Ambassador Gaylor does not hold any merit in the case.

While it is true that according to the Diplomatic Convention, a diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving state, it is subject to the following exceptions: a) a real action relating to private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving state, unless he holds it on behalf of the sending state for the purposes of the mission; b) an action relating to succession in which the diplomatic agent is involved as an executor, administrator, heir, or legatee as a private person and not on behalf of the sending state; c) an action relating to any professional or commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent in the receiving state outside his official functions.

The third exception applies in the case. When Ambassador Gaylor was caught, he was not in the process of exercising his official functions; he was merely on vacation and was taking a stroll, and it just so happened that he was suspiciously caught in the company of children. As such, his diplomatic immunity cannot be invoked in this case.

 

Alienmae is a foreign tourist. She was asked certain questions in regard to a complaint that was filed against her by someone who claimed to have been defrauded by her. Alienmae answered all the questions asked, except in regard to some matters in which she invoked her right against self-incrimination. When she was pressed to elucidate, she said that the questions being asked might tend to elicit incriminating answers insofar as her home state is concerned. Could Alienmae invoke the right against self-incrimination if the fear of incrimination is in regard to her foreign law? (4%)

No. Alienmae cannot invoke her right against self-incrimination even if the fear of incrimination is in regard to her foreign law.

Under the territoriality principle, the general rule is that a state has jurisdiction over all persons and property within its territory. The jurisdiction of the nation within its own territory is necessary, exclusive, and absolute. However, the are a few exceptions on when a state cannot exercise jurisdiction even within its own territory, to wit: 1) foreign states, head of states, diplomatic representatives, and consults to a certain degree; 2) foreign state property; 3) acts of state; 4) foreign merchant vessels exercising rights of innocent passage or arrival under stress; 5) foreign armies passing through or stationed in its territories with its permission; and 6) such other persons or property, including organisations like the United Nations, over which it may, by agreement, waive jurisdiction.

Seeing that the circumstances surrounding Alienmae do not fall under those exceptions, that she is a foreign tourist who received a complaint for fraud, such principle of territoriality can be exercised by the State to get the information it needs to proceed with the case.

Extradition and Deportation

A paramount principle of the law of extradition provides that a State may not surrender any individual for any offense not included in a treaty of extradition. This principle arises from the reality of extradition as a derogation of sovereignty. Extradition is an intrusion into the territorial integrity of the host State and a delimitation of the sovereign power of the State within its own territory.  The act of extraditing amounts to a “delivery by the State of a person accused or convicted of a crime, to another State within whose territorial jurisdiction, actual or constructive, it was committed and which asks for his surrender with a view to execute justice.” As it is an act of “surrender” of an individual found in a sovereign State to another State which demands his surrender , an act of extradition, even with a treaty rendered executory upon ratification by appropriate authorities, does not imposed an obligation to extradite on the requested State until the latter has made its own determination of the validity of the requesting State’s demand, in accordance with the requested State’s own interests.

The principles of international law recognize no right of extradition apart from that arising from treaty. Pursuant to these principles, States enter into treaties of extradition principally for the purpose of bringing fugitives of justice within the ambit of their laws, under conventions recognizing the right of nations to mutually agree to surrender individuals within their jurisdiction and control, and for the purpose of enforcing their respective municipal laws. Since punishment of fugitive criminals is dependent mainly on the willingness of host State to apprehend them and revert them to the State where their offenses were committed, jurisdiction over such fugitives and subsequent enforcement of penal laws can be effectively accomplished only by agreement between States through treaties of extradition.

Deportation is the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. All countries reserve the right to deport foreigners, even those who are longtime residents. In general, foreigners who have committed serious crimes, entered the country illegally, overstayed and/or broken the conditions of their visa, or otherwise lost their legal status to remain in the country may be administratively removed or deported. In many cases, deportation is done by the government’s executive apparatus, and as such is often subject to a simpler legal process (or none), with reduced or no right to trial, legal representation or appeal due to the subject’s lack of citizenship.

Deportation can also happen within a state, when (for example) an individual or a group of people is forcibly resettled to a different part of the country. If ethnic groups are affected by this, it may also be referred to as population transfer.

Extradition differs from deportation in that extradition is affected at the request of the state of origin whereas deportation is the unilateral act of the local state; extradition is based on offenses generally committed in the state of origin whereas deportation is based on causes arising in the local state; and extradition calls for the return of the fugitive to the state of origin whereas an undesirable alien may be deported to a state other than his own or the state of origin.

References:  Oppenheim, International Law: A Treaties 362-369 (1912). Bishop, International Law 471 (1962). Terlindan v Arnes, 184 U.S. 270, 289 (1902). Factor v. Laubenheimer, 270 U.S. 276 (1933). Fenwick, Cases of International Law 448 (1951). Henckaerts, Mass Expulsion in Modern International Law and Practice, 1995. Cruz, Isagani. International Law, 2000.

Hierarchy of Rights: Basic Concepts and Principles

The following is an excerpt from the case of Philippine Blooming Mills Employment Organization v Philippine Blooming Mills Co Inc, stating the basic concepts and principles of the Bill of Rights. 

(1) In a democracy, the preservation and enhancement of the dignity and worth of the human personality is the central core as well as the cardinal article of faith of our civilization. The inviolable character of man as an individual must be “protected to the largest possible extent in his thoughts and in his beliefs as the citadel of his person.” 

(2) The Bill of Rights is designed to preserve the ideals of liberty, equality and security “against the assaults of opportunism, the expediency of the passing hour, the erosion of small encroachments, and the scorn and derision of those who have no patience with general principles.” 

In the pithy language of Mr. Justice Robert Jackson, the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to withdraw “certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s rights to life, liberty and property, to free speech, or free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” Laski proclaimed that “the happiness of the individual, not the well-being of the State, was the criterion by which its behaviour was to be judged. His interests, not its power, set the limits to the authority it was entitled to exercise.” 

(3) The freedoms of expression and of assembly as well as the right to petition are included among the immunities reserved by the sovereign people, in the rhetorical aphorism of Justice Holmes, to protect the ideas that we abhor or hate more than the ideas we cherish; or as Socrates insinuated, not only to protect the minority who want to talk, but also to benefit the majority who refuse to listen. And as Justice Douglas cogently stresses it, the liberties of one are the liberties of all; and the liberties of one are not safe unless the liberties of all are protected. 

(4) The rights of free expression, free assembly and petition, are not only civil rights but also political rights essential to man’s enjoyment of his life, to his happiness and to his full and complete fulfillment. Thru these freedoms the citizens can participate not merely in the periodic establishment of the government through their suffrage but also in the administration of public affairs as well as in the discipline of abusive public officers. The citizen is accorded these rights so that he can appeal to the appropriate governmental officers or agencies for redress and protection as well as for the imposition of the lawful sanctions on erring public officers and employees.

(5) While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights, the primacy of human rights over property rights is recognized. Because these freedoms are “delicate and vulnerable, as well as supremely precious in our society” and the “threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as potently as the actual application of sanctions,” they “need breathing space to survive,” permitting government regulation only “with narrow specificity.” 

Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription; but human rights are imprescriptible. If human rights are extinguished by the passage of time, then the Bill of Rights is a useless attempt to limit the power of government and ceases to be an efficacious shield against the tyranny of officials, of majorities, of the influential and powerful, and of oligarchs — political, economic or otherwise.

In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights of free expression and of assembly occupy a preferred position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and political institutions;  and such priority “gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction not permitting dubious intrusions.”

The superiority of these freedoms over property rights is underscored by the fact that a mere reasonable or rational relation between the means employed by the law and its object or purpose — that the law is neither arbitrary nor discriminatory nor oppressive — would suffice to validate a law which restricts or impairs property rights.  On the other hand, a constitutional or valid infringement of human rights requires a more stringent criterion, namely existence of a grave and immediate danger of a substantive evil which the State has the right to prevent. So it has been stressed in the main opinion of Mr. Justice Fernando in Gonzales vs. Comelec and reiterated by the writer of the opinion in Imbong vs. Ferrer It should be added that Mr. Justice Barredo inGonzales vs. Comelecsupra, like Justices Douglas, Black and Goldberg in N.Y. Times Co. vs. Sullivan,  believes that the freedoms of speech and of the press as well as of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of grievances are absolute when directed against public officials or “when exercised in relation to our right to choose the men and women by whom we shall be governed,” even as Mr. Justice Castro relies on the balancing-of-interests test. Chief Justice Vinson is partial to the improbable danger rule formulated by Chief Judge Learned Hand, viz. — whether the gravity of the evil, discounted by its improbability, justifies such invasion of free expression as is necessary to avoid the danger.