ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
October-2015 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 182395, October 05, 2015 - MARITO T. BERNALES, Petitioner, v. NORTHWEST AIRLINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193990, October 14, 2015 - EASTERN SHIPPING LINES, INC., AND/OR CONGRESSMAN ERWIN L. CHIONGBIAN, Petitioners, v. JULIO C. CANJA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 191031, October 05, 2015 - DOLORES L. HACBANG AND BERNARDO J. HACBANG, Petitioners, v. ATTY. BASILIO H. ALO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193271, October 05, 2015 - LOLITA M. SANTIAGO, Petitioner, v. SILVESTRE H. BELLO IV, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194767, October 14, 2015 - EDGAR T. BARROSO, Petitioner, v. HON. JUDGE GEORGE E. OMELIO, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 14, DAVAO CITY AND TRAVELLERS INSURANCE & SURETY CORPORATION, ANTONIO V. BATAO, REGIONAL MANAGER, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 171897, October 14, 2015 - PHILIPPINE TRUST COMPANY, Petitioner, v. FLORO ROXAS AND EUFEMIA ROXAS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 186114, October 07, 2015 - CHEVRON (PHILS.), INC., Petitioner, v. VITALIANO C GALIT, SJS AND SONS CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION AND MR. REYNALDO SALOMON, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 191526, October 05, 2015 - SPOUSES FLORENTINO AND CONSOLACION TABALNO, Petitioners, v. PAULINO T. DINGAL, SR. AND JUANITA GALOLA VDA. DE DINGAL, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 211145, October 14, 2015 - SAMAHAN NG MANGGAGAWA SA HANJIN SHIPYARD REP. BY ITS PRESIDENT, ALFIE ALIPIO, Petitioner, v. BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS, HANJIN HEAVY INDUSTRIES AND CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD. (HHIC-PHIL.), Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 213197, October 21, 2015 - REMEGIO A. CHING, Petitioner, v. SAN PEDRO COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203969, October 21, 2015 - ERNESTO OPPEN, INC., Petitioner, v. ALBERTO COMPAS, SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS NAMELY, CLIFFORD M. COMPAS AND JOAN M. COMPAS, AND PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE SCHOOL, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 214057, October 19, 2015 - FLORENTINA BAUTISTA-SPILLE REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, MANUEL B. FLORES, JR., Petitioner, v. NICORP MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, BENJAMIN G. BAUTISTA AND INTERNATIONAL EXCHAN BANK, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 210841, October 14, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ENRICO MIRONDO Y IZON, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 211638, October 07, 2015 - MARK ANTHONY SASO, Petitioner, v. 88 ACES MARITIME SERVICE, INC. AND/OR CARMENCITA A. SARREAL AND LIN WEN YU, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 175483, October 14, 2015 - VALENTINA S. CLEMENTE, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ANNIE SHOTWELL JALANDOON, ET AL., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 182210, October 05, 2015 - PAZ T. BERNARDO, SUBSTITUTED BY HEIRS, MAPALAD G. BERNARDO, EMILIE B. KO, MARILOU B. VALDEZ, EDWIN T. BERNARDO AND GERVY B. SANTOS, Petitioners, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194969, October 07, 2015 - CONVOY MARKETING CORPORATION AND/OR ARNOLD LAAB, Petitioners, v. OLIVER B. ALBIA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 182208, October 14, 2015 - ASIAN TERMINALS, INC., Petitioner, v. ALLIED GUARANTEE INSURANCE, CO., INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194410, October 14, 2015 - OCEAN EAST AGENCY, CORPORATION, ENGR. ARTURO D. CARMEN, AND CAPT. NICOLAS SKINITIS, Petitioners, v. ALLAN I. LOPEZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204105, October 14, 2015 - GERONIMO S. ROSAS, Petitioner, v. DILAUSAN MONTOR AND IMRA-ALI M. SABDULLAH, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 169457, October 19, 2015 - THE CONSOLIDATED BANK AND TRUST CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, UNITED PACIFIC LEASING AND FINANCE CORPORATION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 201535, October 05, 2015 - NEC SYSTEM INTEGRATED CONSTRUCTION (NESIC) PHILS., INC., Petitioner, v. RALPH T. CRISOLOGO, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 153745-46, October 14, 2015 - NEMENCIO C. PULUMBARIT, SR., Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS (17th Division Composed of JUSTICE BIENVENIDO L. REYES, PONENTE; JUSTICE ROBERTO A. BARRIOS, Chairman; AND JUSTICE EDGARDO F. SUNDIAM, Acting Third Member), LOURDES S. PASCUAL, LEONILA F. ACASIO, AND SAN JUAN MACIAS MEMORIAL PARK, INC., Respondents.; G.R. No. 166573 - LOURDES S. PASCUAL, LEONILA F. ACASIO AND SAN JUAN MACIAS MEMORIAL PARK, INC., Petitioners, v. NEMENCIO C. PULUMBARIT, SR., Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-14-3209, October 20, 2015 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. FREDELITO R. BALTAZAR, CLERK OF COURT II, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, ALLACAPAN-LASAM, CAGAYAN, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 215313, October 21, 2015 - OLIMPIO O. OLIDANA, Petitioner, v. JEBSENS MARITIME, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 213014, October 14, 2015 - MAYBANK PHILIPPINES, INC. (FORMERLY PNB-REPUBLIC BANK), Petitioner, v. SPOUSES OSCAR AND NENITA TARROSA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 205039, October 21, 2015 - SPOUSES ROZELLE RAYMOND MARTIN AND CLAUDINE MARGARET SANTIAGO, Petitioners, v. RAFFY TULFO, BEN TULFO, AND ERWIN TULFO, Respondents.

  • G.R. Nos. 204481-82, October 14, 2015 - ALBERT G. AMBAGAN, JR., Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193420, October 14, 2015 - 7107 ISLANDS PUBLISHING, INC., Petitioner, v. THE HOUSE PRINTERS CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 191176, October 14, 2015 - DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (DILG), Petitioner, v. RAUL V. GATUZ, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10783, October 14, 2015 - ATTY. BENIGNO T. BARTOLOME, Complainant, v. ATTY. CHRISTOPHER A. BASILIO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 197058, October 14, 2015 - GREGORY BALUYO Y GAMORA, FOR AND IN BEHALF OF EMMANUEL GAMORA BALUYO, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES JOAQUIN AND REBECCA DE LA CRUZ, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 208802, October 14, 2015 - G.V. FLORIDA TRANSPORT, INC., Petitioner, v. HEIRS OF ROMEO L. BATTUNG, JR., REPRESENTED BY ROMEO BATTUNG, SR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 212096, October 14, 2015 - NIGHTOWL WATCHMAN & SECURITY AGENCY, INC., Petitioner, v. NESTOR LUMAHAN, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-15-3321 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-2966-P), October 21, 2015 - GUIAWAN REGINA BALANZA, Complainant, v. ARSENIO P. CRISTE, CLERK III, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 21, VIGAN CITY, ILOCOS SUR, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-08-2102 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-2762-RTJ), October 14, 2015 - SUGNI REALTY HOLDINGS AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN/PRESIDENT, CYNTHIA CRUZ KHEMANI, Complainant, v. JUDGE BERNADETTE S. PAREDES-ENCINAREAL, [THEN IN HER CAPACITY AS ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 10, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, IN DIPOLOG CITY], PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 12, OROQUIETA CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 196597, October 21, 2015 - MODESTO W. RIVERA, Petitioner, v. ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION, CORA D. CORPUS AND ANTONIO H. SANTOS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 169442, October 14, 2015 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE PRIVATIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE (PMO), Petitioner, v. ANTONIO V. BAÑEZ, LUISITA BAÑEZ VALERA, NENA BAÑEZ HOJILLA, AND EDGARDO B. HOJILLA, JR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 199270, October 21, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. VERGEL ANCAJAS AND ALLAIN ANCAJAS, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 206910, October 14, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JULIET PANCHO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 208015, October 14, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RONWALDO LAFARAN Y ACLAN, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 184076, October 21, 2015 - ST. RAPHAEL MONTESSORI SCHOOL, INC., REPRESENTED BY TERESITA G. BADIOLA, Petitioner, v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 215319, October 21, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. APOLONIO BABOR @ "JULITO", Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 181284, October 20, 2015 - LOLOY UNDURAN, BARANGAY CAPTAIN ROMEO PACANA, NESTOR MACAPAYAG, RUPERTO DOGIA, JIMMY TALINO, ERMELITO ANGEL, PETOY BESTO, VICTORINO ANGEL, RUEL BOLING, JERMY ANGEL, BERTING SULOD, RIO BESTO, BENDIJO SIMBALAN, AND MARK BRAZIL, Petitioners, v. RAMON ABERASTURI, CRISTINA C. LOPEZ, CESAR LOPEZ JR., DIONISIO A. LOPEZ, MERCEDES L. GASTON, AGNES H. LOPEZ, EUSEBIO S. LOPEZ, JOSE MARIA S. LOPEZ, ANTON B. ABERASTURI, MA. RAISSA A. VELEZ, ZOILO ANTONIO A. VELEZ, CRISTINA ABERASTURI, EDUARDO LOPEZ JR., ROSARIO S. LOPEZ, JUAN S. LOPEZ, CESAR ANTHONY R. LOPEZ, VENANCIO L. GASTON, ROSEMARIE S. LOPEZ, JAY A. ASUNCION, NICOLO ABERASTURI, LISA A. ASUNCION, INEZ A. VERAY, HERNAN A. ASUNCION, ASUNCION LOPEZ, THOMAS A. VELEZ, LUIS ENRIQUE VELEZ, ANTONIO H. LOPEZ, CHARLES H. LOPEZ, ANA L. ZAYCO, PILAR L. QUIROS, CRISTINA L. PICAZO, RENATO SANTOS, GERALDINE AGUIRRE, MARIA CARMENCITA T. LOPEZ, and as represented by attorney-in-fact RAMON ABERASTURI, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 206513, October 20, 2015 - MUSTAPHA DIMAKUTA Y MARUHOM, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194159, October 21, 2015 - PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT, Petitioner, v. MA. MERCEDITAS NAVARRO-GUTIERREZ (AS THEN OMBUDSMAN), DON M. FERRY, JOSE R. TENGCO, JR., ROLANDO M. ZOSA, CESAR C. ZALAMEA, OFELIA I. CASTELL, AND RAFAEL A. SISON, PUBLIC RESPONDENTS, RODOLFO M. CUENCA, MANUEL I. TINIO, AND ANTONIO R. ROQUE, PRIVATE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 214506, October 19, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. OSCAR PARBA Y SOLON, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 181683, October 07, 2015 - LORENZO SHIPPING CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Respondent.; G.R. No. 184568 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. LORENZO SHIPPING CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 197852, October 19, 2015 - PASIG AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY CORPORATION AND CELESTINO E. DAMIAN, Petitioners, v. WILSON NIEVAREZ, ALBERTO HALINA, GLORY VIC NUEVO, RICKY TORRES AND CORNELIO BALLE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 177600, October 19, 2015 - MAYOR ANWAR BERUA BALINDONG, LT. COL. JALANDONI COTA, MAYOR AMER ODEN BALINDONG, AND ALI BALINDONG, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS, STATE PROSECUTOR LEAH ARMAMENTO, OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL AND ZENAIDA LIMBONA, Respondents.; G.R. No. 178684 - ZENAIDA M. LIMBONA, Petitioner, v. HON. JUDGE ALEXANDER S. BALUT OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY, BRANCH 76, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 176394, October 21, 2015 - COL. ORLANDO E. DE LEON, PN (M), Petitioner, v. LT. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., (AFP), AND SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondents.; COL. ARMANDO V. BAÑEZ, PN (M), Petitioner-Intervenor.; LTC ACHILLES S. SEGUMALIAN, PN (M), Petitioner-Intervenor.; G.R. No. 177033 - MAJOR LEOMAR JOSE M. DOCTOLERO O-10124 (INFANTRY) PHILIPPINE ARMY AND CAPTAIN WILLIAM VICTORINO F. UPANO O-11876 (INFANTRY) PHILIPPINE ARMY, Petitioners, v. LT. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondents.; G.R. No. 177304 - MAJOR JASON L. AQUINO (INF) PA, Petitioner, v. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND APPOINTING AND REVIEWING AUTHORITY OF THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2 (SIC), AND THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondents.; G.R. No. 177470 - 1ST LIEUTENANT ERVIN C. DIVINAGRACIA O-12742 (INF), PHILIPPINE ARMY, Petitioner, v. LT. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondents.; G.R. No. 177471 - CAPTAIN JOEY T FONTIVEROS O-11713 (INFANTRY) PHILIPPINE ARMY, Petitioner, v. LT. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 172902, October 21, 2015 - RAMON IKE V. SEÑERES, Petitioner, v. DELFIN JAY M. SABIDO IX, VICTORIA P. GARCHITORENA, WALDO Q. FLORES, AND ESTRELLA F. ALABASTRO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 171953, October 21, 2015 - NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, Petitioner, v. ERNESTO ROXAS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194814, October 21, 2015 - ROSARIO ENRIQUEZ VDA. DE SANTIAGO, Petitioner, v. ATTY. JOSE A. SUING, Respondent.; G.R. NO. 194825 - JAIME C. VISTAR, Petitioner, v. ATTY. JOSE A. SUING, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 166391, October 21, 2015 - MICROSOFT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. ROLANDO D. MANANSALA AND/OR MEL MANANSALA, DOING BUSINESS AS DATAMAN TRADING COMPANY AND/OR COMIC ALLEY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 161006, October 14, 2015 - ROGELIO BARONDA, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, AND HIDECO SUGAR MILLING CO., INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 161006, October 14, 2015 - ROGELIO BARONDA, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, AND HIDECO SUGAR MILLING CO., INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 161006, October 14, 2015 - ROGELIO BARONDA, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, AND HIDECO SUGAR MILLING CO., INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 212861, October 14, 2015 - MELVIN P. MALLO, Petitioner, v. SOUTHEAST ASIAN COLLEGE, INC. AND EDITA ENATSU, Respondents.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 181284, October 20, 2015 - LOLOY UNDURAN, BARANGAY CAPTAIN ROMEO PACANA, NESTOR MACAPAYAG, RUPERTO DOGIA, JIMMY TALINO, ERMELITO ANGEL, PETOY BESTO, VICTORINO ANGEL, RUEL BOLING, JERMY ANGEL, BERTING SULOD, RIO BESTO, BENDIJO SIMBALAN, AND MARK BRAZIL, Petitioners, v. RAMON ABERASTURI, CRISTINA C. LOPEZ, CESAR LOPEZ JR., DIONISIO A. LOPEZ, MERCEDES L. GASTON, AGNES H. LOPEZ, EUSEBIO S. LOPEZ, JOSE MARIA S. LOPEZ, ANTON B. ABERASTURI, MA. RAISSA A. VELEZ, ZOILO ANTONIO A. VELEZ, CRISTINA ABERASTURI, EDUARDO LOPEZ JR., ROSARIO S. LOPEZ, JUAN S. LOPEZ, CESAR ANTHONY R. LOPEZ, VENANCIO L. GASTON, ROSEMARIE S. LOPEZ, JAY A. ASUNCION, NICOLO ABERASTURI, LISA A. ASUNCION, INEZ A. VERAY, HERNAN A. ASUNCION, ASUNCION LOPEZ, THOMAS A. VELEZ, LUIS ENRIQUE VELEZ, ANTONIO H. LOPEZ, CHARLES H. LOPEZ, ANA L. ZAYCO, PILAR L. QUIROS, CRISTINA L. PICAZO, RENATO SANTOS, GERALDINE AGUIRRE, MARIA CARMENCITA T. LOPEZ, and as represented by attorney-in-fact RAMON ABERASTURI, Respondents.

      G.R. No. 181284, October 20, 2015 - LOLOY UNDURAN, BARANGAY CAPTAIN ROMEO PACANA, NESTOR MACAPAYAG, RUPERTO DOGIA, JIMMY TALINO, ERMELITO ANGEL, PETOY BESTO, VICTORINO ANGEL, RUEL BOLING, JERMY ANGEL, BERTING SULOD, RIO BESTO, BENDIJO SIMBALAN, AND MARK BRAZIL, Petitioners, v. RAMON ABERASTURI, CRISTINA C. LOPEZ, CESAR LOPEZ JR., DIONISIO A. LOPEZ, MERCEDES L. GASTON, AGNES H. LOPEZ, EUSEBIO S. LOPEZ, JOSE MARIA S. LOPEZ, ANTON B. ABERASTURI, MA. RAISSA A. VELEZ, ZOILO ANTONIO A. VELEZ, CRISTINA ABERASTURI, EDUARDO LOPEZ JR., ROSARIO S. LOPEZ, JUAN S. LOPEZ, CESAR ANTHONY R. LOPEZ, VENANCIO L. GASTON, ROSEMARIE S. LOPEZ, JAY A. ASUNCION, NICOLO ABERASTURI, LISA A. ASUNCION, INEZ A. VERAY, HERNAN A. ASUNCION, ASUNCION LOPEZ, THOMAS A. VELEZ, LUIS ENRIQUE VELEZ, ANTONIO H. LOPEZ, CHARLES H. LOPEZ, ANA L. ZAYCO, PILAR L. QUIROS, CRISTINA L. PICAZO, RENATO SANTOS, GERALDINE AGUIRRE, MARIA CARMENCITA T. LOPEZ, and as represented by attorney-in-fact RAMON ABERASTURI, Respondents.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    G.R. No. 181284, October 20, 2015

    LOLOY UNDURAN, BARANGAY CAPTAIN ROMEO PACANA, NESTOR MACAPAYAG, RUPERTO DOGIA, JIMMY TALINO, ERMELITO ANGEL, PETOY BESTO, VICTORINO ANGEL, RUEL BOLING, JERMY ANGEL, BERTING SULOD, RIO BESTO, BENDIJO SIMBALAN, AND MARK BRAZIL, Petitioners, v. RAMON ABERASTURI, CRISTINA C. LOPEZ, CESAR LOPEZ JR., DIONISIO A. LOPEZ, MERCEDES L. GASTON, AGNES H. LOPEZ, EUSEBIO S. LOPEZ, JOSE MARIA S. LOPEZ, ANTON B. ABERASTURI, MA. RAISSA A. VELEZ, ZOILO ANTONIO A. VELEZ, CRISTINA ABERASTURI, EDUARDO LOPEZ JR., ROSARIO S. LOPEZ, JUAN S. LOPEZ, CESAR ANTHONY R. LOPEZ, VENANCIO L. GASTON, ROSEMARIE S. LOPEZ, JAY A. ASUNCION, NICOLO ABERASTURI, LISA A. ASUNCION, INEZ A. VERAY, HERNAN A. ASUNCION, ASUNCION LOPEZ, THOMAS A. VELEZ, LUIS ENRIQUE VELEZ, ANTONIO H. LOPEZ, CHARLES H. LOPEZ, ANA L. ZAYCO, PILAR L. QUIROS, CRISTINA L. PICAZO, RENATO SANTOS, GERALDINE AGUIRRE, MARIA CARMENCITA T. LOPEZ, and as represented by attorney-in-fact RAMON ABERASTURI, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N

    PERALTA, J.:

    This is a petition for review on certiorari1 assailing the Decision2 dated August 17, 2006 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 00204-MIN, and the Resolution3 dated July 4, 2007, which denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration.

    Petitioners, except for Mark Brazil and Nestor Macapayag, are members of the Miarayon, Lapok, Lirongan, Talaandig Tribal Association (MILALITTRA), or Talaandig tribe, who claimed to have been living since birth on the land located at Barangay Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon, Mindanao, which they inherited from their forefathers.

    On the other hand, respondents, represented by attorney-in-fact Ramon Aberasturi, claimed to be the lawful owners and possessor of an unregistered parcel of agricultural land (Lot No. 7367 Cad 630-D), with an area of 105.7361 hectares, which appears to be located within the ancestral domain of the Talaandig tribe.

    On March 3, 2004, respondents filed a Petition for Accion Reivindicatoria, with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction with Damages4 (original complaint for accion reivindicatoria) against petitioners before the Regional Trial Court of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon (RTC). Docketed as Civil Case No. 04-03-01, the petition was raffled off to Branch 11.

    On March 20, 2004, petitioners Macapayag and Brazil filed their Answer, alleging that respondents have no cause of action against them.

    On March 23, 2004, the rest of the petitioners filed their Motion to Dismiss, alleging that the RTC had no jurisdiction over the case. Petitioners alleged that with the advent of Republic Act No. (RA) 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act (IPRA), they, together with the rest of the tribe members, assisted the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in the processing, validation, and delineation of their Ancestral Domain claim in May 2003. On July 25, 2003, Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) No. R-10-TAL-0703-0010 was issued by virtue of NCIP En Banc Resolution No. 08-02003 to the Talaandig tribe over its ancestral domain in Talakag, Bukidnon, containing an area of 11,105.5657 hectares. On October 30, 2003, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo awarded the said CADT to the Talaandig tribe. As awardees of a CADT, petitioners argued that NCIP has exclusive and original jurisdiction over the case, as the subject matter concerns a dispute and controversy over an ancestral land/domain of Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs)/Indigenous Peoples (IPs).

    On July 1, 2004, the NCIP through Atty. Melanie Pimentel, filed a Motion to Refer the Case to the Regional Hearing Office-National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (RHO-NCIP), alleging that the RTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter.

    On July 5, 2004, respondents filed a Motion to Amend and Supplement Complaint from Accion Reivindicatoria to one for "Injunction, Damages, and Other Relief," with the attached Amended and Supplemental Complaint5 (amended complaint for injunction). On July 30, 2004, petitioners filed an Opposition thereto.

    On August 1, 2004, petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss the Amended and Supplemental Complaint, alleging that the RTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case and to issue a writ of injunction therein.

    On August 10, 2004, the RTC issued an Order granting the Motion to Amend and Supplement Complaint, and declared petitioners' Motion to Refer the Case to the RHO-NCIP and Motion to Dismiss moot and academic as a consequence of the grant of the said motion to amend and supplement complaint.

    On August 17, 2004, petitioners filed a Manifestation praying for an ocular inspection of the disputed land to determine the last, actual, peaceable, uncontested status of the area.

    On August 25, 2004, petitioners filed another Motion to Refer the Case to the RHO-NCIP and Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint.

    On September 14, 2004, respondents filed their Opposition and Motion for Judgment by Default.

    On February 14, 2005, the RTC issued an Order6 resolving all pending incidents before it, the dispositive portion of which reads:

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, defendant's [herein petitioners'] motion to refer the case to the RHO-NCIP and its manifestation for an ocular inspection are hereby denied for being bereft of merit. Further, defendants [petitioners], except Macapayag and Brazil, are hereby declared in default for their failure to file their Answer to the Amended Complaint. Accordingly, let this case, as against defendants Macapayag and Brazil, be called for pre-trial and ex-parte presentation of evidence as against the rest of defendants [petitioners] on May 2, 2005 at 9:00 o'clock in the morning. Furthermore, the injunctive writ prayed for by the plaintiffs is hereby GRANTED for being meritorious. Accordingly, defendants [petitioners], their agents and privies, or any other or all persons acting for and in their behalves, are hereby ordered to observe, maintain and preserve the status quo subject of the action and/or the relation between the parties in order to protect the rights of the plaintiffs while the case is pending in court and to cease and desist from performing any acts that in one way or another contravene the tenor of this order, while awaiting final determination of the instant suit or until further orders of this court. Furthermore, to answer for whatever damage that defendants [petitioners] may sustain by reason of this injunction order if the court should finally decide that plaintiffs [respondents] are not entitled to the relief it prayed for, plaintiffs [respondents] are hereby directed to put up a bond in the amount of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100,000.00) executed in favor of the party enjoined.

    SO ORDERED.7

    On April 12, 2005, petitioners filed before the Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction and Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order.

    On August 17, 2006, the CA rendered a Decision affirming the RTC's February 14, 2005 Order, which in turn denied the referral of the case to the NCIP, the dispositive portion of which states:

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby partly GRANTED. The assailed Order dated February 14, 2005 is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the order of default against petitioners, except Macapayag and Brazil, is hereby LIFTED.

    SO ORDERED.8ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    The CA ruled that the RTC correctly granted the amendment of the complaint and properly refused to refer the case to the RHO-NCIP. Based on the allegations of both original complaint [accion reivindicatoria] and amended complaint [injunction], the CA found that the subject matter of both complaints is well within the jurisdiction of the RTC. The CA noted that the only substantial amendment made was with regard to the nature of the action which originally was one of accion reivindicatoria and then changed to one for damages. And except for some amendments as to petitioners' alleged violent acts and the prayer for declaration of their title to the subject property, the rest of the amended complaint was basically the same as the original one, including the reliefs prayed for by respondents. Anent the writ of preliminary injunction, the CA held that the RTC's assailed February 14, 2005 Order is self-explanatory as to why the issuance of the same was proper considering the circumstances of the case.

    On July 4, 2007, the CA denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration of its August 17, 2006 Decision.

    Hence, this appeal on certiorari raising the following issues:

    I. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURT A QUO OVER A COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTION INVOLVING AN ANCESTRAL DOMAIN OF THE TALAANDIGS.

    II. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE RESOLUTION OF THE COURT A QUO ALLOWING THE AMENDMENT OF THE COMPLAINT, THE SOLE PURPOSE OF WHICH IS TO CONFER JURISDICTION ON THE LOWER COURT.

    III. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RESOLVING THAT EVIDENCE MUST BE PRESENTED BEFORE THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT WHEN IN THE ORIGINAL ACTION FOR SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION FOR CERTIORARI BEFORE IT, THE COURT A QUO HAS ADMITTED THAT A CADT WAS ISSUED IN FAVOR OF PETITIONERS.9

    On the first issue, petitioners contend that the RTC has no jurisdiction over Civil Case No. 04-03-0 for Injunction, Damages and other Relief, because the 105.7361-hectare land claimed by respondents is undisputedly within the ancestral domain of the Talaandig tribe over which a CADT has already been issued. Petitioners insist that, even granting that the case is purely a personal action, the NCIP has exclusive and original jurisdiction over it as it concerns a claim and dispute involving rights of ICCs/IPs over their ancestral domain.

    On the second issue, petitioners argue that the amendment of the complaint from accion reivindicatoria to injunction with damages was clearly meant to oust the NCIP of its jurisdiction over the case and confer it on the RTC by concealing the real issue in the case, which is the parties' conflicting claims over the 105.7361-hectare land in Miarayon, Talakag Bukidnon. According to petitioners, the cause of action in the complaint for accion reivindicatoria is the claim of ownership and recovery of possession of the said land which is undisputedly found within the Talaandig tribe's ancestral domain covered by CADT No. R10-TAL-0703-0010; hence, a claim within the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the NCIP. Petitioners contend that respondents amended the complaint to one for injunction to downplay the real issue which is the dispute over a land that is within the Talaandig tribe's ancestral domain, and mainly capitalized on the acts complained of, such as harassment, threats, acts of terrorism, among others, supposedly committed against respondents.

    On the third issue, petitioners fault the CA in ruling that whether the complaint is one for Injunction or Accion Reivindicatoria, the RTC has jurisdiction because nowhere in respondents' original and amended complaints is it stated that petitioners were members of the ICCs or IPs and that the disputed property was part of their ancestral domain. Petitioners take exception to the rule that jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the allegations of the complaint, as strict adherence thereto would open the floodgates to the unscrupulous practice of litigants divesting the NCIP of jurisdiction by crafting their complaints in such a way as would confer jurisdiction on their court of choice. Petitioners contend that the literal averments of the complaint are not determinative of the jurisdiction over the subject matter where the actual issues are evidenced by subsequent pleadings; in certain cases, the real nature and character of the pleadings and issues are not merely found in the complaint, but also in the subsequent pleadings submitted by both parties. Petitioners stress that although the complaint banners the subject matter as one for injunction, the pleadings of respondents show that the subject matter is the conflicting ownership claims over the land. In fact, petitioners point out that the records of the case show that various pieces of evidence have been presented to prove that the dispute involves conflicting claims over a land covered by a CADT.

    For their part, respondents contend that petitioners do not have legal capacity or standing and locus standi to file this petition, since they failed to make prima facie showing that they are members of IPs/ICCs, or that they were authorized to represent the Talaandig tribe. Respondents insist that based on the allegations in their amended complaint for injunction and damages, the RTC has jurisdiction over the subject matter which is a purely personal action and incapable of pecuniary estimation. Respondents assert that the real issue is whether or not petitioners are guilty of wrongful acts of violence, terrorism, destruction, intimidation, harassment, etc., to justify a permanent injunction and hold the latter liable for damages. Respondents also point out that petitioners cannot invoke protection under the IPRA 8731, because the conflict does not involve an ancestral domain and they (respondents) are not IPs so the condition precedent before bringing a dispute before the NCIP cannot be satisfied, i.e., exhaustion of remedies under customary laws by the parties.

    The petition has no merit.

    On the procedural issue raised by respondents, the Court disagrees with their contention that petitioners do not have legal capacity or standing and locus standi to file the petition, for failure to show that they are members of IPs/ICCs, or that they are authorized to represent the Talaandig tribe.

    Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question. In private suits, standing is governed by the "real parties in interest" rule found in Section 2,10 Rule 3 of the Rules of Court. Such concept of real party-in-interest is adapted in Section 2,11 Rule VI of the 2014 Revised Rules of Procedure before the NCIP. That petitioners are the real parties in interest can be gleaned from the Entry of Appearance with Motion to Refer the Case to the Regional Hearing Office of the NCIP12 filed by the NCIP Special Transition Team-Quick Response Unit (STRAT-QRU). The STRAT-QRU counsels alleged therein that the respondents' complaint for recovery of ownership (accion reinvidicatoria) sought to recover an unregistered real property situated in Miarayon, Bukidnon, from petitioners, all of whom are, with the exception of Nestor Macapayag and Mark Brazil, member-beneficiaries of CADT No. R10-TAL-0703-0010 issued by the NCIP in the name of the Talaandig Indigenous Peoples, located at Talakag, Province of Bukidnon. In support of their allegation, petitioners presented a certification13 that the disputed land is within the area covered by the same CADT, and the NCIP List of Beneficiaries of Talaandig Ancestral Domain of Miarayon, Lirongan, Lapok, San Miguel, Talakag, Bukidnon.14 In contrast, respondents failed to submit any evidence to dispute petitioners' claim that they are members of the Talaandig Tribe. Hence, respondents' contention that petitioners have no legal standing to file the petition, is without merit.

    In resolving the pivotal issue of which between the RTC and the NCIP has jurisdiction over the respondents' amended complaint, foremost in the Court's mind is the principle in "that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and determined by the allegations in the complaint which comprise a concise statement of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action. The nature of an action, as well as which court or body has jurisdiction over it, is determined based on the allegations contained in the complaint of the plaintiff, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein. The averments in the complaint and the character of the relief sought are the ones to be consulted. Once vested by the allegations in the complaint, jurisdiction also remains vested irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein."15

    Under Section 19 of B.P. 129, as amended (Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980), the RTC shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation, and in all civil actions which involve title to, possession of, real property or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein exceeds Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value exceeds Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00).

    On the other hand, the NCIP's jurisdiction is defined under Section 66 of the IPRA as follows:

    Sec. 66. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. - The NCIP, through its regional offices, shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs; Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. For this purpose, a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP.16

    On the matter of NCIP's jurisdiction and of procedures for enforcement of rights, NCIP Administrative Order No. 1, 1998, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (NCIP-IRR) of the IPRA, Rule IX, Section 1 states:

    Section 1. Primacy of Customary Law. - All conflicts related to the ancestral domain and lands, involving ICCs/IPs, such as but not limited to the conflicting claims and boundary disputes, shall be resolved by the concerned parties through the application of customary laws in the area where the disputed ancestral domain or land is located.

    All conflicts related to the ancestral domain or lands where one of the parties is non-ICC/IP or where the dispute could not be resolved through customary law shall be heard and adjudicated in accordance with the Rules on Pleadings, Practice and Procedure before the NCIP to be adopted hereafter.

    All decisions of the NCIP may be brought on Appeal by Petition for Review to the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the Order or Decision.17

    In line with Section 69 of the IPRA on the NCIP's quasi-judicial power to promulgate rules and regulations governing the hearing and disposition of cases filed before it, the NCIP issued Administrative Circular No. 1-03 dated April 9, 2003, known as the Rules on Pleadings, Practice and Procedure (NCIP Rules), which reiterates its jurisdiction over claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs and enumerates the actions that may be brought before it. Section 5, Rule III, of the NCIP Rules provides for the jurisdiction of the NCIP-RHO:

    Sec. 5. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. - The NCIP through its Regional Hearing Offices shall exercise jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs and all cases pertaining to the implementation, enforcement, and interpretation of the IPRA 8371, including but not limited to the following:

    (1) Original and Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Regional Hearing Officer (RHO):chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    a. Cases involving disputes, controversies over ancestral lands/domains of ICCs/IPs;
    b. Cases involving violations of the requirement of free and prior and informed consent of ICC/IPs;cralawlawlibrary
    c. Actions for enforcement of decisions of ICCs/IPs involving violations of customary laws or desecration of ceremonial sites, sacred places, or rituals;cralawlawlibrary
    d. Actions for redemption/reconveyance under Section 8(b) ofR.A. 8371; and
    e. Such other cases analogous to the foregoing.
    (2) Original jurisdiction of the Regional Hearing Officer:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    a. Cases affecting property rights, claims of ownership, hereditary succession, and settlement of land disputes, between and among ICCs/IPs that have not been settled under customary laws; and
    b. Actions for damages arising out of any violation of Republic Act No. 8371;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
    (3) Exclusive and Original Jurisdiction of the Commission:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    a. Petition for cancellation of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles/Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles (CADTs/CALTs) alleged to have been fraudulently acquired by, and issued to, any person or community as provided for under Section 54 of R.A. 8371. Provided that such action is filed within one (1) year from the date of registration.

    Anent the condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP under Section 66 of the IPRA, Sections 13 and 14, Rule IV of the NCIP Rules pertinently provide:

    Section 13. Certification to File Action. - Upon the request of the proper party, members of the indigenous dispute settlement group or council of elders shall likewise issue a certification to file action before the NCIP. In giving due regard to customary laws, the certification may be in any form so long as it states in substance the failure of settlement notwithstanding the efforts made under customary law or traditional practices.

    Section 14. Exceptions. - The certification shall not be required in the following cases:

    a. Where one of the parties is a public or private corporation, partnership, association or juridical person or a public officer or employee and the dispute is in connection with the performance of his official functions;cralawlawlibrary

    b. Where one of the parties is non-IP/ICC or does not belong to the same IP/IC Community, except when he voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the Council of Elders/Leaders;


    c. Where the relief sought for in the complaint or petition seeks to prevent any grave, imminent and irreparable damage or injury that may result if not acted upon immediately; and

    d. Where the Council of Elders/Leaders refuse to issue the necessary certification without justifiable reasons.18

    Having spelled out the jurisdictions conferred by law to the RTC and the NCIP over the subject matters of their respective cases, the Court now examines the allegations in the original and amended complaints to find out which tribunal may properly exercise jurisdiction over this case.

    In their original complaint for accion reivindicatoria, respondents traced the provenance of their title over said land to one Mamerto Decano, a Chieftain of Talaandig tribe, by virtue of a Deed of Sale executed on July 27, 1957. They averred that, together with their predecessor-in-interest, they have religiously paid the real estate taxes thereon since 1957 and that they have been in physical, actual, open, prior, notorious, continuous, public and adverse possession of said land in the concept of owners for more than 50 years, even prior to June 12, 1945. They alleged that said land was declared alienable and disposable since August 3, 1927 per certification of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. They claimed that by means of fraud, stealth and surreptitious means, petitioners entered the said land, without permission and against the consent of the landowners, caused damages therein and harassed respondents by indiscriminately firing upon their farm workers. They added that petitioners continue such harassment by means of armed men frequenting the campsite and firing M-16 rifles at them during nighttime, causing great fear and threat.

    Respondents prayed before the RTC for the following reliefs, among others: (1) to cause the preliminary injunction to be made permanent for the respondents to enjoy possession of their property, free from threats of physical harm, harassment and undue obstruction caused by petitioners; (2) to order petitioners to respect and not to harass, intimidate and cause trouble to the prior possession of respondents as the owners by virtue of right of title; (3) to order petitioners to pay moral and exemplary damages, attorney's fees, appearance fees and costs of suit; and (4) to declare respondents' title as having become a vested right, and as such entitled to all right and incident of an absolute owner.

    In their amended complaint for injunction and damages, on the other hand, respondents further alleged that sometime in November 2003, petitioners harassed, intimidated, threatened, and fired high-powered rifles upon respondents' farm workers to drive them away from the land, without legal or justifiable reason. They added that, despite having hired private security guards to secure and protect their property, these violent incidents were followed by more acts of violence, lawlessness, harassment, terrorism to drive away respondents from the land which they claim to lawfully own and possess.

    Respondents prayed before the RTC for the following reliefs: (1) to order petitioners and their representatives, to stop and refrain from committing acts of violence, destruction, assault and other forms of lawlessness and terrorism against respondents, and to maintain the peaceful possession and enjoyment of the 105-hectare land by respondents as an attribute of ownership; (2) to declare petitioners to have committed acts of violence, harassment, intimidation, destruction, assault and other forms of lawlessness against respondents, and to permanently order petitioners to stop and refrain from committing similar acts; and (3) to hold petitioners jointly and severally liable to pay respondents actual damages, moral damages, exemplary damages, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and treble costs.

    After a perusal of the allegations and prayers in both original and amended complaints, the Court notes that respondents neither alleged therein that the parties are members of ICCs/IPs nor that the case involves a dispute or controversy over ancestral lands/domains of ICC/IPs. Rather, the allegations in respondents' original complaint make up for an accion reivindicatoria, a civil action which involves an interest in a real property with an assessed value of P683,760.00, while the allegations in their amended complaint make out a case for injunction, a civil action which is incapable of pecuniary estimation. The Court therefore finds that the CA correctly ruled that the subject matter of the amended complaint based on allegations therein was within the jurisdiction of the RTC.

    Meanwhile, contrary to petitioners' contention, the mere fact that this case involves members of ICCs/IPs and their ancestral land is not enough to for it to fall under the jurisdiction of the NCIP under Section 66 of the IPRA, to wit:

    Sec. 66. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. ~ The NCIP, through its regional offices, shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs; Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. For this purpose, a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP.

    A careful review of Section 66 shows that the NCIP shall have jurisdiction over claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs only when they arise between or among parties belonging to the same ICC/IP. This can be gathered from the qualifying provision that "no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. For this purpose, a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP."

    The qualifying provision requires two conditions before such disputes may be brought before the NCIP, namely: (1) exhaustion of remedies under customary laws of the parties, and (2) compliance with condition precedent through the said certification by the Council of Elders/Leaders. This is in recognition of the rights of ICCs/IPs to use their own commonly accepted justice systems, conflict resolution institutions, peace building processes or mechanisms and other customary laws and practices within their respective communities, as may be compatible with the national legal system and with internationally recognized human rights.19

    Section 3 (f) of the IPRA defines customary laws as a body of written and/or unwritten rules, usages, customs and practices traditionally and continually recognized, accepted and observed by respective ICCs/IPs. From this restrictive definition, it can be gleaned that it is only when both parties to a case belong to the same ICC/IP that the abovesaid two conditions can be complied with. If the parties to a case belong to different ICCs/IPs which are recognized to have their own separate and distinct customary laws and Council of Elders/Leaders, they will fail to meet the abovesaid two conditions. The same holds true if one of such parties was a non-ICC/IP member who is neither bound by customary laws as contemplated by the IPRA nor governed by such council. Indeed, it would be violative of the principles of fair play and due process for those parties who do not belong to the same ICC/IP to be subjected to its customary laws and Council of Elders/Leaders.

    Therefore, pursuant to Section 66 of the IPRA, the NCIP shall have jurisdiction over claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs only when they arise between or among parties belonging to the same ICC/IP. When such claims and disputes arise between or among parties who do not belong to the same ICC/IP, i.e., parties belonging to different ICC/IPs or where one of the parties is a non-ICC/IP, the case shall fall under the jurisdiction of the proper Courts of Justice, instead of the NCIP. In this case, while most of the petitioners belong to Talaandig Tribe, respondents do not belong to the same ICC/IP. Thus, even if the real issue involves a dispute over land which appear to be located within the ancestral domain of the Talaandig Tribe, it is not the NCIP but the RTC which shall have the power to hear, try and decide this case.

    There are, however, exceptional cases where the NCIP shall still have jurisdiction over such claims and disputes even if the parties involved do not belong to the same ICC/IP, viz.:

    1. Cases under Sections 52 and 62 of the IPRA which contemplate a situation where a dispute over an ancestral domain involving parties who do not belong to the same, but to different ICCs/IPs, to wit:

    SECTION 52. Delineation Process. — The identification and delineation of ancestral domains shall be done in accordance with the following procedures:

    x x x x

    h) Endorsement to NCIP. — Within fifteen (15) days from publication, and of the inspection process, the Ancestral Domains Office shall prepare a report to the NCIP endorsing a favorable action upon a claim that is deemed to have sufficient proof. However, if the proof is deemed insufficient, the Ancestral Domains Office shall require the submission of additional evidence: Provided, That the Ancestral Domains Office shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification: Provided, further, That in case of rejection, the Ancestral Domains Office shall give the applicant due notice, copy furnished all concerned, containing the grounds for denial. The denial shall be appealable to the NCIP: Provided, furthermore, That in cases where there are conflicting claims among ICCs/IPs on the boundaries of ancestral domain claims, the Ancestral Domains Office shall cause the contending parties to meet and assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict, without prejudice to its full adjudication according to the section below.

    x x x x

    SECTION 62. Resolution of Conflicts. — In cases of conflicting interest, where there are adverse claims within the ancestral domains as delineated in the survey plan, and which can not be resolved, the NCIP shall hear and decide, after notice to the proper parties, the disputes arising from the delineation of such ancestral domains: Provided, That if the dispute is between and/or among ICCs/IPs regarding the traditional boundaries of their respective ancestral domains, customary process shall be followed. The NCIP shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to carry out its adjudicatory functions: Provided, further, That any decision, order, award or ruling of the NCIP on any ancestral domain dispute or on any matter pertaining to the application, implementation, enforcement and interpretation of this Act may be brought for Petition for Review to the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof.20

    2. Cases under Section 54 of the IPRA over fraudulent claims by parties who are not members of the same ICC/IP, to wit:

    SECTION 54. Fraudulent Claims. — The Ancestral Domains Office may, upon written request from the ICCs/IPs, review existing claims which have been fraudulently acquired by any person or community. Any claim found to be fraudulently acquired by, and issued to, any person or community may be cancelled by the NCIP after due notice and hearing of all parties concerned.21

    Considering the general rule that the jurisdiction of the NCIP under Section 66 of the IPRA covers only disputes and claims between and among members of the same ICCs/IPs involving their rights under the IPRA, as well as the basic administrative law principle that an administrative rule or regulation must conform, not contradict the provisions of the enabling law,22 the Court declares Rule IX, Section 1 of the IPRA-IRR,23 Rule III, Section 524 and Rule IV, Sections 13 and 14 of the NCIP Rules25 as null and void insofar as they expand the jurisdiction of the NCIP under Section 66 of the IPRA to include such disputes where the parties do not belong to the same ICC/IP. As the Court held in Paduran v. DARAB,26 "[J]urisdiction over a subject matter is conferred by the Constitution or the law and rules of procedure yield to substantive law. Otherwise stated, jurisdiction must exist as a matter of law.27 Only a statute can confer jurisdiction on courts and administrative agencies; rules of procedure cannot.28 In the abovesaid exceptional cases where one of the parties is a non-ICC/IP or does not belong to the same ICC/IP, however, Rule IV, Section 14 of the NCIP Rules validly dispenses with the requirement of certification issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the failed attempt to settle the dispute according to the customary laws of the concerned ICC/IP.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the Court of Appeals Decision dated August 17, 2006, and its Resolution dated July 4, 2007, in CA-G.R. SP No. 00204-MIN, are AFFIRMED.

    SO ORDERED.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Sereno, C.J., Leonardo-De Castro, Bersamin, Villarama, Jr., Perez, Mendoza, Reyes, Perlas-Bernabe, and Jardeleza, JJ., concur.
    Carpio, and Del Castillo, JJ., on official leave.
    Velasco, Jr., J., pls. see concurring opinion.
    Brion, J., see separate concurring opinion.
    Leonen, J., see separate concurring opinion.

    Endnotes:


    1Rollo, pp. 21-50.

    2 Penned by Associate Justice Rodrigo F. Lim Jr., with Associate Justices Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores and Sixto Marella Jr., concurring; rollo, pp. 56-68.

    3Rollo, pp. 11-13.

    4 CA rollo, pp. 29-42.

    5Id. at 74-80.

    6 Id. at 25-28.

    7 Id. at 28.

    8 Id. at 348.

    9 Id. at 433.

    10 SEC. 2. Parties-in-Interest. - A real party-in-interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Unless otherwise authorized by law or these Rules, every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest.

    11 Administrative Circular No. 1, Series of 2014, Rule VI, Section 2. Real Party-in-lnterest. - Every case must be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party in interest who shall sue as "plaintiff or "petitioner". The person being sued shall be referred to as "defendant" or "respondent."

    In actions involving general interest, the real party-in-interest shall be the ICCs/IPs or person/s authorized, through a community resolution, by majority of the ICCs/IPs in the community to represent them.

    A "real party-in-interest," as provided in Section 2, Rule 3, of the Revised Rules of Court, and adapted herein, is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.

    12 CA rollo, pp. 65-71.

    13 Records, p. 262.

    14 CA rollo, pp. 179-204.

    15Padlan v. Dinglasan, G.R. No. 180321, March 20, 2013, 694 SCRA 91, 98.

    16 Emphasis added.

    17Id.

    18 Id.

    19 IPRA, Sec. 15.

    20 Emphasis added.

    21Id.

    22Fort Bonifacio Dev't Corp. v. Commissioner on Internal Revenue, et al., 617 Phil 358, 369 (2009).

    23 Section 1. Primacy of Customary Law. - All conflicts related to the ancestral domain and lands, involving ICCs/IPs, such as but not limited to the conflicting claims and boundary disputes, shall be resolved by the concerned parties through the application of customary laws in the area where the disputed ancestral domain or land is located.

    All conflicts related to the ancestral domain or lands where one of the parties is non-ICC/IP or where the dispute could not be resolved through customary law shall be heard and adjudicated in accordance with the Rules on Pleadings, Practice and Procedure before the NCIP to be adopted hereafter.

    All decisions of the NCIP may be brought on Appeal by Petition for Review to the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the Order or Decision.

    24 Sec. 5. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. - The NCIP through its Regional Hearing Offices shall exercise jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs and all cases pertaining to the implementation, enforcement, and interpretation of R.A. 8371, including but not limited to the following:

    (1) Original and Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Regional Hearing Officer (RHO):

    a. Cases involving disputes, controversies over ancestral lands/domains of ICCs/IPs;cralawlawlibrary

    b. Cases involving violations of the requirement of free and prior and informed consent of ICC/IPs;cralawlawlibrary

    c. Actions for enforcement of decisions of ICCs/IPs involving violations of customary laws or desecration of ceremonial sites, sacred places, or rituals;cralawlawlibrary

    d. Actions for redemption/reconveyance under Section 8(b) of R.A. 8371; and

    e. Such other cases analogous to the foregoing.

    (2) Original jurisdiction of the Regional Hearing Officer:

    a. Cases affecting property rights, claims of ownership, hereditary succession, and settlement of land disputes, between and among ICCs/IPs that have not been settled under customary laws; and

    b. Actions for damages arising out of any violation of Republic Act No. 8371;cralawlawlibrary

    (3) Exclusive and Original Jurisdiction of the Commission:

    a. Petition for cancellation of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles/Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles (CADTs/CALTs) alleged to have been fraudulently acquired by, and issued to, any person or community as provided for under Section 54 of R.A. 8371. Provided that such action is filed within one (1) year from the date of registration.

    25 Section 13. Certification to File Action. — Upon the request of the proper party, members of the indigenous dispute settlement group or council of elders shall likewise issue a certification to file action before the NCIP. In giving due regard to customary laws, the certification may be in any form so long as it states in substance the failure of settlement notwithstanding the efforts made under customary law or traditional practices.

    Section 14. Exceptions. The certification shall not be required in the following cases:

    a. Where one of the parties is a public or private corporation, partnership, association or juridical person or a public officer or employee and the dispute is in connection with the performance of his official functions;cralawlawlibrary

    b. Where one of the parties is non-IP/ICC or does not belong to the same IP/IC Community, except when he voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the Council of Elders/Leaders;cralawlawlibrary

    c. Where the relief sought for in the complaint or petition seeks to prevent any grave, imminent and irreparable damage or injury that may result if not acted upon immediately; and

    d. Where the Coucil of Elders/Leaders refuse to issue the necessary certification without justifiable reasons.

    26 444 Phil. 213(2006).

    27Paduran v. DARAB, supra, at 223.

    28Republic of the Philippines v. CA, 331 Phil. 1070, 1076 (1996).





    CONCURRING OPINION

    VELASCO, JR., J.:


    I concur with the ponencia that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) has jurisdiction over the case. Both original and amended complaints, accion reivindicatoria and injunction, respectively, are incapable of pecuniary estimation; thus falling within the jurisdiction of the RTC. As correctly pointed out by the ponencia, "jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and determined by the allegations in the complaint which comprise a concise statement of the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiffs cause of action."1 It cannot be acquired through a waiver or enlarged by the omission of the parties or conferred by the acquiescence of the court.2

    However, I would like to submit some points for consideration which run counter to the opinion of my esteemed colleague. It is my position that the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) regardless of whether or not they belong to the same IP/IC Community. This is pursuant to Section 66 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8371,3 otherwise known as "The Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act of 1997" (IPRA) as follows:

    SECTION 66. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. — The NCIP, through its regional offices, shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs: Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. For this purpose, a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP. (Emphasis supplied)

    A careful scrutiny of Section 66 of the IPRA would reveal that it is composed of three parts: (1) the NCIP has jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs; (2) the requirement of exhaustion of all remedies provided under the customary laws of the ICCs/IPs; and (3) a certification from the Council of Elders/Leaders as a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with NCIP.

    The first part lays down the basis of jurisdiction of the NCIP. It can be gleaned from this part that the law is silent if the parties should belong to the same IP/IC Community. What the law only provides is that the NCIP has jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs.

    The second part contains the proviso that should be followed before the NCIP acquires jurisdiction over the case. Said proviso states: "Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws."

    The third part, on the other hand, refers to the certification from the Council of Elders/Leaders as a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with NCIP. This is in relation to the second part requiring the exhaustion of all remedies.

    The second and third parts of the provision should not be interpreted as limiting the jurisdiction of the NCIP to claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs only when they arise between or among parties belonging to the same ICC/IP. The proviso only provides for a condition precedent. It is merely procedural and does not divest the NCIP of jurisdiction over parties not belonging to the same IP/IC Community. As provided in Section 14, Rule IV of the Rules on Pleadings, Practice and Procedure4 of the NCIP (NCIP Rules), a party which does not belong to the same IP/IC Community is exempted from the requirement of certification, to wit:

    Section 14. Exceptions. The certification shall not be required in the following cases:
    1. Where one of the parties is a public or private corporation, partnership, association or juridical person or a public officer or employee and the dispute is in connection with the performance of his official functions;cralawlawlibrary

    2. Where one of the parties is non-IP/ICC or does not belong to the same IP/IC Community, except when he voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the Council of Elders/Leaders;

    3. Where the relief sought for in the complaint or petition seeks to prevent any grave, imminent and irreparable damage or injury that may result if not acted upon immediately; and

    4. Where the Council of Elders/Leaders refuses to issue the necessary certification without justifiable reasons. (Emphasis supplied)

    Thus, it is my position that the NCIP has jurisdiction over the following:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    a. claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs arising between or among parties belonging to the same ICC/IP; and

    b. claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs arising between or among ICCs/IPs even if one of the parties does not belong to the same IP/IC Community.

    All cases and disputes where both parties are ICCs/IPs fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the NCIP. Consequently, all cases and disputes where one of the parties is a non-ICC/IP are covered by the jurisdiction of the regular courts regardless of the subject matter even if it involves ancestral domains or lands of ICCs/IPs. Moreover, the regular courts have jurisdiction over cases and disputes as long as there are parties who are non-ICCs/IPs.

    To limit the jurisdiction of the NCIP to claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs arising between or among parties belonging to the same ICC/IP would be contrary to the purpose for which the NCIP was created. It must be pointed out that the NCIP is an administrative body entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under its special knowledge and training. It is charged with the implementation of the law, considering its competence, expertise, experience and informed judgment. As such, the NCIP is vested with quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative powers. It is the primary government agency "responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, plans and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the ICCs/IPs and the recognition of their ancestral domains as well as their rights thereto."5 It is quasi-judicial because it has jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving the rights of the ICCs/IPs.6 It is quasi-legislative because of its rule-making power.7 Because of its expertise in the field of ICCs/IPs, it is better equipped than the trial courts in resolving the claims and disputes involving rights where the parties are both ICCs/IPs.

    Anent the issue as to what customary laws apply in cases where the parties involved in the claims and disputes do not belong to the same IP/IC Community, the NCIP may apply the customary law common to both ICCs/IPs or that which can be applied by analogy.

    Furthermore, it must be pointed out that there is no need to declare the following provisions as null and void:

    i. The first and third paragraphs of Rule IX, Section 1 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 8371 which provide:

    Section 1. Primacy of Customary Law. All conflicts related to ancestral domains and lands, involving ICCs/IPs, such as but not limited to conflicting claims and boundary disputes, shall be resolved by the concerned parties through the application of customary laws in the area where the disputed ancestral domain or land is located.

    x x x xChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    All decisions of the NCIP may be brought on Appeal by Petition for Review to the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the Order or Decision.

    ii. Rule III, Section 5 of the NCIP Rules which provides:

    Section. 5. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. The NCIP through its Regional Hearing Offices shall exercise jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs and all cases pertaining to the implementation, enforcement, and interpretation of R.A. 8371, including but not limited to the following:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    (1) Original and Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Regional Hearing Office (RHO):
    1. Cases involving disputes and controversies over ancestral lands/domains of ICCs/IPs;cralawlawlibrary

    2. Cases involving violations of the requirement of free and prior and informed consent of ICCs/IPs;cralawlawlibrary

    3. Actions for enforcement of decisions of ICCs/IPs involving violations of customary laws or desecration of ceremonial sites, sacred places, or rituals;cralawlawlibrary

    4. Actions for redemption/reconveyance under Section 8(b) of R.A. 8371; and

    5. Such other cases analogous to the foregoing.
    (2) Original Jurisdiction of the Regional Hearing Officer:
    1. Cases affecting property rights, claims of ownership, hereditary succession, and settlement of land disputes, between and among ICCs/IPs that have not been settled under customary laws; and

    2. Actions for damages arising out of any violation of Republic Act No. 8371.
    (3) Exclusive and Original Jurisdiction of the Commission:
    1. Petition for cancellation of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles/Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles (CADTs/CALTs) alleged to have been fraudulently acquired by, and issued to, any person or community as provided for under Section 54 of R.A. 8371. Provided that such action is filed within one (1) year from the date of registration.8

    iii. Rule IV, Sections 13 and 14 of the NCIP Rules which provide:

    Section 13. Certification to File Action. Upon the request of the proper party, members of the indigenous dispute settlement group or council of elders shall likewise issue a certification to file action before the NCIP. In giving due regard to customary laws, the certification may be in any form so long as it states in substance the failure of settlement notwithstanding the efforts made under customary law or traditional practices.9

    Section 14. Exceptions. The certification shall not be required in the following cases:

    a. Where one of the parties is a public or private corporation, partnership, association or juridical person or a public officer or employee and the dispute is in connection with the performance of his official functions;cralawlawlibrary

    b. Where one of the parties is non-IP/ICC or does not belong to the same IP/IC Community, except when he voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the Council of Elders/Leaders;cralawlawlibrary

    c. Where the relief sought for in the complaint or petition seeks to prevent any grave, imminent and irreparable damage or injury that may result if not acted upon immediately; and

    d. Where the Council of Elders/Leaders refuse to issue the necessary certification without justifiable reasons.10

    The abovementioned rules can be interpreted in harmony with the provisions of the IPRA law. Said rules do not expand the jurisdiction of the NCIP but merely enumerate the claims and disputes falling within its jurisdiction. Section 14(b) does not automatically dispense with the certification required by law as the parties may opt to voluntarily submit to the jurisdiction of the Council of Elders/Leaders. This is akin to a barangay conciliation proceeding under the Local Government Code wherein the conciliation process is a condition precedent that affects the sufficiency of the cause of action, not the jurisdiction of the court.11

    However, the second paragraph of Rule IX, Section 1 of the IRR of R.A. No. 8371 is not anchored on legal mooring. Said paragraph reads:

    Section 1. Primacy of Customary Law. All conflicts related to the ancestral domains or lands where one of the parties is a non-ICC/IP or where the dispute could not be resolved through customary law shall be heard and adjudicated in accordance with the Rules on Pleadings, Practice and Procedures Before the NCIP to be adopted hereafter. (Emphasis supplied)

    As earlier discussed, Section 66 of R.A. No. 8371 is explicit that the NCIP's jurisdiction is confined only to claims and disputes where the parties are both ICCs/IPs. Such being the case, the second paragraph of Rule IX, Section 1 of the IRR of R.A. No. 8371 should be declared null and void because it is contrary to the provision of Section 66 of the IPRA. It is well-settled that an administrative rule or regulation must conform, not contradict, the provisions of the enabling law.12 A rule or regulation cannot modify, expand, or subtract from the law it is intended to implement.13 Any rule that is not consistent with the statute itself is null and void.14 Since the rule in question is at war with Section 66 of R.A. No. 8371, then it must be excised.

    Anent the resolution of the substantive issue in the case at bar, I agree with the ponencia that the RTC has jurisdiction over the instant dispute.

    ACCORDINGLY, I concur to DENY the Petition for Review.

    Endnotes:


    1Ponencia, p. 8.

    2Gomez-Castillo v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 187231, 22 June 2010, 621 SCRA 499, 507.

    3 AN ACT TO RECOGNIZE, PROTECT AND PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS CULTURAL COMMUNITIES/INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, CREATING A NATIONAL COMMISSION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, ESTABLISHING IMPLEMENTING MECHANISMS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (1997).

    4 Administrative Circular No. 1-03 dated April 9, 2003.

    5 Supra note 3, Section 38.

    6 Id. Section 66.

    7 Id. Section 44(c).

    8 Supra note 4.

    9 Id.

    10 Id.

    1'Heirs of Fernando Vinzons v. Court of Appeals, 315 SCRA 541, 548 (1999).

    12Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 175707, November 19, 2014.

    13 Id.

    14 Id.





    SEPARATE OPINION

    BRION, J:


    I concur with the ponencia's conclusion that the RTC has jurisdiction over the case. I write this Separate Opinion to express my own approach to the case, and to elaborate on relevant points that may need emphasis.

    I base my concurrence on the following grounds:

    (1) The CA correctly ruled that the RTC's February 14, 2005 order is not tainted with grave abuse;cralawlawlibrary

    (2) Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by law and the allegations of the complaint.

    (3) The National Council for Indigenous Peoples' (NCIP) jurisdiction over disputes is limited to cases where both parties are members of the same ICC/IP.

    I also concur with the ponencia that the NCIP has jurisdiction over adverse claims, boundary disputes, and cancellation of fraudulently issued Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs), regardless of the parties involved. But I clarify and emphasize my view that while the NCIP possesses quasi-judicial powers, its jurisdiction is only primary, and not exclusive.

    The RTC's February 14, 2005 order is
    NOT tainted with grave abuse of discretion.

    The present petition is an appeal from the CA's dismissal of the petitioner's petition for certiorari . Hence, this Court must determine whether the CA correctly ruled that the RTC did not gravely abuse its discretion in issuing the February 14, 2005 order.

    The petitioners alleged before the CA that the February 14, 2005 order is tainted with grave abuse because it: (i) denied the petitioners' motion to refer the case to the NCIP; (ii) declared the petitioners in default; and (iii) issued the writ of preliminary injunction.1

    Jurisprudence2 has traditionally defined grave abuse of discretion as follows:

    Grave abuse of discretion is defined as capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility.ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    Based on this definition, I share the view that the RTC did not abuse its discretion, much less commit any grave abuse of discretion.

    At the time the respondents amended the complaint, the petitioners had yet to file their answers to the original complaint, hence, the amendment was still a matter of right. The rule on amendments as a matter of right applies to a co-defendant who has yet to file his responsive pleading, even if his co-defendants have already done so.3 Thus, while Macapayag and Brazil have filed their answers, the respondents still have the right to amend the complaint with respect to the rest of the petitioners.

    Likewise, the RTC did not abuse its discretion in declaring the petitioners in default and in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction.

    The RTC declared the petitioners in default only after they failed to file their answers within the period allowed. On the other hand, the writ of preliminary injunction sought to maintain the status quo to prevent both parties from committing further acts of violence; there is no caprice in maintaining the peace.

    Nevertheless, default orders are issued on the presumption that the defendant no longer opposes the allegations and reliefs demanded in the complaint.4 In this case, the petitioners vehemently opposed the RTC's cognizance of the complaint, and refused to file their answers because they believed that jurisdiction belongs to the NCIP.

    In the interest of justice, I support the CA in lifting the order of default to allow the parties to try the case on the merits.

    Jurisdiction is determined
    by the allegations of the complaint

    Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by law and by the material allegations of the complaint.5 Under these standards, the petitioner's argument, i.e., that the NCIP has jurisdiction because the case involves the rights of ICCs/IPs, is without merit.

    As the ponencia pointed out, both the original and the amended complaints do not allege that the respondents were ICCs/IPs, or that the dispute involves an ancestral dominion.6 Hence, on the face of the respondents' complaint, the RTC has jurisdiction over the injunction case.7

    Neither am I impressed with the petitioners' argument that, where the actual issue is evidenced by the subsequent pleadings, jurisdiction does not depend on the complaint's literal averments. This Court has consistently ruled that jurisdiction never depends on the defenses set up in the answer, in a motion to dismiss or in a motion for reconsideration.8

    The NCIP's jurisdiction over disputes is limited
    where both parties are members of the same ICC/IP.

    I join the ponencia in ruling that the NCIP does not have jurisdiction over disputes where one of the parties is a non-ICC/IP, or where the opposing parties are members of different ICC/IP.

    My concurrence is based on the following: (i) Section 66 contains a proviso that limits the NCIP's jurisdiction; (ii) the RTC, not the NCIP, has jurisdiction to adjudicate violations of ICC/IP rights; (iii) Congress had no intention to apply customary laws to non-ICCs/IPs.

    I. Section 66 contains a proviso that
    limits the NCIP's jurisdiction.


    The NCIP's jurisdiction is outlined in IPRA's Section 66:

    SECTION 66. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. — The NCIP, through its regional offices, shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs: Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. For this purpose, a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP. (emphasis supplied)

    Section 66 is composed of three parts: the first states the NCIP's jurisdiction; the second requires the prior exhaustion of remedies under customary law; and the third states that a certification from the council of elders/leaders is a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP.

    The first part lays down the NCIP's jurisdiction, i.e., over all claims and disputes involving the rights of ICCs/IPs. The NCIP's jurisdiction is not dependent on who the parties are, but on whether the dispute involves the rights of ICCs/IPs.

    However, the second part contains the proviso "Provided, However, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws." The third part begins with the phrase "for this purpose"; the "purpose" referred to being the exhaustion of remedies under their customary laws.

    Jurisprudence tells us that the office of a proviso is to limit the application of the law.9

    Taking these considerations into account, while the NCIP's jurisdiction is initially couched in general terms to include any and all disputes involving the rights of ICCs/IPs, the second and third parts limit the NCIP's jurisdiction to disputes where both parties have remedies to exhaust under customary laws.

    Consequently, the NCIP does not have jurisdiction over disputes involving non-ICCs/IPs because non-ICCs/IPs have no customary laws to exhaust.

    The limitation likewise applies to disputes where the opposing parties are members of different ICCs/IPs.

    Each ICC/IP has its own set of customary laws and council of elders/leaders. To require members of a particular ICC/IP to appear before the council of elders/leaders of another ICC/IP would be to require the former to observe the customary laws of the latter. This is repugnant to the right of each ICC/IP to use its own commonly accepted justice systems, conflict resolution institutions, and peace building processes or mechanisms.10

    II. The RTC not the NCIP, has
    jurisdiction over violations of ICC/IP rights
    committed by Non-ICC/IP.


    As I had earlier discussed, the first part of Section 66 shows that jurisdiction is not dependent on who the parties are to the dispute, but on whether the dispute involves the rights of ICCs/IPs.

    Guided by the rule that provisos should not be construed to limit the main provisions of the statute;11 this Court must not read Section 66 in isolation but must read it together with the related provision. In this case, the Court must identify the rights of ICCs/IPs, and determine whether the NCIP is the proper venue for the enforcement of these rights.

    The IPRA grants ICCs/IPs rights: (i) over ancestral domains/lands;12 (ii) to self-governance and employment;13 (iii) to social justice and human rights;14 and (iv) to cultural integrity.15 These rights are spread throughout several chapters, mainly under Chapters III to VI.

    It must be noted, however, that most of these rights are state policies, and only the following are clearly demandable and enforceable: the rights over ancestral domains and lands;16 the right against unlawful intrusion;17 the right to equal protection and to nondiscrimination;18 the right against unlawful acts pertaining to employment;19 the rights to religious, cultural sites and ceremonies, including archaeological artifacts;20 and the right to withhold access to biological and genetic resources.21

    Section 72 of the IPRA provides that any person who violates the rights of ICCs/IPs shall be punished "in accordance with the customary laws of the ICCs/IPs concerned....without prejudice to the right of the ICC/IP concerned to avail of the protection of "existing laws... [i]n which case" the penalty shall be imprisonment and/or fine, and damages, "upon the discretion of the court"22

    "Existing laws" refer to national laws as opposed to customary laws; while "the court" refers to the regular courts as opposed to administrative bodies like the NCIP.

    Under Section 72, ICCs/IPs can avail of the protection under national laws and file an action before the regular courts, in which case, the penalty shall be imprisonment and/or fine, and damages. From this perspective,

    Section 72 is a special penal law that applies to ALL persons, including non-ICCs/IPs.

    The phrase "without prejudice," however, fneans without limiting the course of action that one can take.23 Thus, a recourse under customary laws does not take away the right of ICCs/IPs to secure punishment under existing national laws. An express caveat under the customary law option is that the penalty must not be cruel, degrading, or inhuman, nor shall it consist of the death penalty or excessive fines.24

    Since the regular courts, not the NCIP, have jurisdiction over national laws, then the NCIP's jurisdiction is limited to punishment under customary laws.25cralawred

    The NCIP's power to impose penalties under customary laws presents two important issues: first, whether it is legally possible to punish non-ICCs/IPs with penalties under customary laws; and second, whether a member of a particular ICC/IP could be punished in accordance with the customary laws of another ICC/IP.

    Laws that provide for fines, forfeitures, or penalties for their violation or otherwise impose a burden on the people, such as tax and revenue measures, must be published.26

    Most customary laws are not written, much less published. Hence, it is highly unlikely that the NCIP or even the regular courts have the power to penalize non-ICCs/IPs with these penalties under customary laws. A contrary ruling would be constitutionally infirm for lack of due process.

    Similarly, an ICC/IP cannot be punished under the customary law of another. Otherwise, the former would be forced to observe a non-binding customary law.

    Therefore, while the NCIP has jurisdiction over violations of ICC/IP rights, its jurisdiction is limited to those committed by and against members of the same ICC/IP.

    This view does not detract from the IPRA's policy to "protect the rights of ICCs/IPs." ICCs/IPs, whose rights are violated by non-ICCs/IPs or by members of a different ICC/IP, can still file criminal charges before the regular courts. In this situation, the NCIP's role is not to adjudicate but to provide ICCs/IPs with "legal assistance in litigation involving community interest."27

    III. Congress had no intention to apply
    customary laws to non-ICCs/IPs.


    Some might conceivably argue that Congress passed the IPRA and created the NCIP precisely to bind non-ICCs/IPs to customary laws.

    I do not agree with this view.

    The records of the Senate and the bicameral committee hearings show that the legislators focused mainly on: (i) the grant of Ancestral Domains/Lands to ICCs/IPs; (ii) the NCIP's organizational transition from its predecessor-agencies; and (iii) budgetary concerns. Section 66 's controversial proviso was not even discussed on the Senate floor or during the bicameral committee hearings.

    In the course of the bill's28 early development, the Senate technical working group29 realized that it would be difficult for the NCIP to adjudicate rights of non-ICCs/IPs under national laws, on one hand, and the rights of ICCs/IPs under customary laws, on the other. They were likewise concerned with the possible conflict between the customary laws of contending ICCs/IPs.

    As a solution, the Senate technical working group proposed the creation of the Office on Policy, Planning and Research (OPPR) and a Consultative Body that will compile all customary laws, and assist the NCIP in its exercise of quasi-judicial powers:

    Mr. Mike Mercado
    (representative of Sen. Juan Flavier):
    Sir, it's over and above the customs and tradition. What I'm trying to pointout is, it's the whole plan for the sector. Two issues po ang sinasabi ko. Number one is regarding the need to put it down because we talked about conflict of rights here...
    The Presiding Officer:
    ... With the Non-IPs.
    Mr. Mercado:
    With the non-IPs possibly which would happen. It would be easy if the conflict could be between IPs of the same group. So it would be easier to resolve. But paano po 'yung if there would be a conflict between an IP and non-IP.
    Mr. Raiz:
    Non-IP.
    Mr. Mercado:
    Because the assumption nga— oo, 'yong sa civil law relations, may mga conflicts po na possible na mangyayari. So, actually, sabi ko nga, maybe we can do away with it. That's one issue. xxx
    Mr. Austria:
    'Yong point ni Mike is very meritorious, 'yon dapat, Dahil unang una, the IPs should themselves show to the other sectors kung ano ba 'yon rule nila sa society.xxx
    Ms. Damaso:
    Let's go back to that discussion on the creation of a separate office on planning and policy, and research.
    I think it's more germane to mention those points that Mike has enunciated earlier—that this be a primary function of that office xxx continuing documentation of customary laws customary law and other usage 'no for complete mediation or resolution, which would be derived from the culture base of the IPs.
    ....
    The presiding officer:
    You were mentioning iyong other groups. What about the commission? Should they be mandated to do the research and to, you know, to compile such laws. Kasi yung nakikita ko doon sa idea ni Mike is, like for example, kung may conflict iyong IPs and Non-IPs, paano mo sasabihin, although sasabihin natin na yung customary law nga yung mag-go-govern, pero paano natin i-po-prove—-although kailangan natin i-recognize na mayroon ganuong problem. Sabihin natin it's an oral practice, it's an oral customary law pero mas maganda siguro kung iyon nga kung i-compile mo tapos eto ganito yon. So mayroon tayong pang...
    Mr. Mercado:
    For example po on practical ground, I think ang power is lodged with the Commission which is collective in nature iyong mga adjudicatory power. Assuming not all of them would belong to one tribe, they would belong to a different sector or group. I know that it is being practiced and it's not written down, so I have to make decision also as a part of that Commission—as a commissioner based on something, so I have to also acquaint myself on the practices of other groups because that is part of the power of the commission to adjudicate. For practical purposes only, how would I know the practices of the particular groupings, which I am supposed to adjudicate, assuming that we only have 113 tribes or groupings and we have five commissioners. Those other five or those other commissioners who are not aware of that particular practice, to that they will depend their judgment on. So, there is also a need for this five commissioners to be familiar with the practice of other groups because they will make decisions also.
    Ms. Damaso:
    Yeah, Mike, I think your point is to compile, meaning document.
    Mr. Mercado:
    Document only, hindi ho isabatas.
    Ms. Damaso:
    But not to codify. It's a different ball game to codify.
    Mr. Mercado:
    Actually ginamit ko yung term, nag-usap kami ni Didith, sabi ko, "it's compile only". Because, it's beyond the power of this commission to make codifications. But 'yung point kanina ni Datu Sulang is actually going a step further. Kunwari like Muslims, bakit nare-recognize na 'yong three marriages Because there is four marriages and they have specific law for that. If we will not compile it, mahihirapan tayong ma-attain 'yong level na 'yon na sana mas maganda kung 'yong all practices, for example on marriage sa iba't ibang tribes ma-recognize rin ng law. Pero if we will not document the practices, hindi natin maa-attain 'yong level na 'yon. Kaya mas maganda kung mayroon tayong documentation that when legislators if and when they decide to make it a law, mayroon silang existing na gagamitin. xxx
    ....
    ....
    Ms. Chavez
    Couldn't NCIP hire or form a consultative body from which each tribe will be represented by a co-tribal consultant aside from the documentation of customary laws? Pwede ba 'yon ganoon? Kasi kahit may documentation... (emphasis supplied)
    The presiding officer:
    Baka pwede isama sa IRR, implementing rules and regulations 'yong mga tribal tribal consultancy.
    Ms. Chavez:
    Sa IRR.
    The Presiding officer:
    Pwede naman siguro 'yon gawin. Anyway, specifics na 'yon. General lang 'yong functions na ilagay natin.
    x x x x

    While the IPRA did create the OPPR, and directed the NCIP to form a consultative body, their functions had nothing to do with the NCIP's exercise of quasi-judicial powers.

    The OPPR's objective is to document customary laws for monitoring, evaluation, and policy purposes to assist Congress in formulating appropriate legislations benefiting ICCs/IPs.30 On the other hand, the consultative body's role is to advise the NCIP on matters "relating to the problems, aspirations, and interests of the ICCs/IPs."31

    The variance between the deliberations and the law suggests that Congress passed the IPRA without considering the inevitable conflict of rights under national and customary laws. In my opinion, this casts doubt on whether Congress did give the NCIP the mandate to settle disputes between non-ICCs/IPs and ICCs/IPs.

    It is true that the IPRA echoed our Constitution32 in "[recognizing] the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain.33 However, I do not subscribe to the idea that customary laws should bind non-ICCs/IPs simply because Congress ordered the NCIP to compile them.

    In Cruz v. Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources,34 former Associate Justice Jose C. Vitug opined35 that customary laws should not apply to non-ICCs/IPs simply because Congress parroted the Constitution:

    The second paragraph of Section 5 of Article XII of the Constitution allows Congress to provide "for the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domains." I do not see this statement as saying that Congress may enact a law that would simply express that "customary laws shall govern" and end it there. Had it been so, the Constitution could have itself easily provided without having to still commission Congress to do it. Mr. Chief Justice Davide has explained this authority of Congress, during the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Convention, thus: (emphasis supplied)
    "Mr. Davide. x x x Insofar as the application of the customary laws governing property rights' or relations in determining the ownership and extent of the ancestral domain is concerned, it is respectfully submitted that the particular matter must be submitted to Congress. I understand that the idea of Comm. Bennagen is for the possibility of the codification of these customary laws. So before these are codified, we cannot now mandate that the same must immediately be applicable. We leave it to Congress to determine the extent of the ancestral domain and the ownership thereof in relation to whatever may have been codified earlier. So, in short, let us not put the cart ahead of the horse."15
    The constitutional aim, it seems to me, is to get Congress to look closely into the customary laws and, with specificity and by proper recitals, to hew them to, and make them part of, the stream of laws. The "due process clause," as I so understand it in Tañada vs. Tuvera would require an apt publication of a legislative enactment before it is permitted to take force and effect. So, also, customary laws, when specifically enacted to become part of statutory law, must first undergo that publication to render them correspondingly binding and effective as such, (emphasis in the original)

    I share Justice Vitug's view. Laws must be published before they take effect. The publication of all laws "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is mandatory.36 Without publication, non-ICCs/IPs would be deprived of due process of law.37

    The NCIP has Primary Jurisdiction over Claims
    regardless of whether the parties are non-ICCs/IPs,
    or members of a different ICCs/IPs.

    I note that Section 66 applies only to "disputes" and not to "claims":

    SECTION 66. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. — The NCIP, through its regional offices, shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs: Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws, xxx xxx (emphasis and omissions supplied)

    The word "claim" in section 66 relates to rights of ICC/IP over ancestral domains/lands.38

    Four sections in the IPRA are dedicated to the NCIP's jurisdiction over "claims": first, Section 52 (h), which refers to the power of the NCIP Ancestral Domains Office (NCIP-ADO) to deny applications for CADTs; second, Section 53, which refers to the NCIP-ADO's power to reject applications for Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles(CALTs); third, Sec. 54, on fraudulent claims; lastly, Sec. 62, which refers to the resolution of adverse claims.

    Sections 52 (h) and 53 require the NCIP-ADO to publish and post applications for CADTs/CALTs to notify all persons, including non-ICCs/IPs. Section 62 allows all interested persons, including non-ICCs/IPs, to file adverse claims over disputes arising from delineation of ancestral domains.39

    Under Section 54, the NCIP may, upon the written request of ICCs/IPs, review existing claims and after notice and hearing, cancel CADTs and CALTs that were fraudulently acquired by any person or community.40

    In these cases, the NCIP has jurisdiction even if one of the parties is a non-ICC/IP, or where the opposing parties are members of different ICCs/IPs.

    The NCIP's jurisdiction is
    primary and not exclusive.


    Finally, I wish to point out that while the NCIP possesses quasi-judicial powers, its jurisdiction is not exclusive.

    The word "jurisdiction" in the first part of Section 66 is unqualified. Section 66 (then Section 71) of Senate Bill 1728 was originally worded exclusive and original jurisdiction.41 During the Bicameral Committee Conference,42 the lower house objected to giving the NCIP exclusive and original jurisdiction:

    Sen. Juan Flavier:
    (Chairman of the
    Senate Panel)
    There is exclusive original. And so what do you suggest?
    ..... ....
    Rep. Zapata
    (Chairman of the
    Panel for the House
      of Representatives):
    Chairman, may I butt in?
    Sen. Flavier:
    Yes, please.
    Rep. Zapata:

    This was considered. The original, we were willing in the house. But the "exclusive", we objected to the word "exclusive" because it would only be the commission that would exclude the court and the Commission may not be able to undertake all the review nationwide. And so we remove the word "exclusive", so that they will have original jurisdiction but with the removal of the word "exclusive" that would mean that they may bring the case to the ordinary courts of justice.

    Sen. Flavier:
    Without passing through the commission?
    Rep. Zapata:
    Yes. Anyway, if they go to the regular courts, they will have to litigate in court, because if its (sic) exclusive, that would be good.
    Sen. Flavier:
    But what he is saying is that...
    Rep. Zapata:
    But they may not have the facility.
    Rep.______
    Senado na lang.
    Rep. Zapata:
    Oo, iyong original na lang.
    Sen. Flavier:
    In other words, it's not only the Commission that can originate it, pwedeng mag-originate sa courts.
    Rep. Zapata
    Or else, we just remove "exclusive original" so that they will say, the National will have jurisdiction over claims. So we remove both "exclusive and original".
    Sen. Flavier:
    So what version are you batting for, Mr. Chairman?
    Rep. Zapata:
    Just to remove the word "exclusive original." The Commission will still have jurisdiction only that, if the parties will opt to go to courts of justice, then this have (sic) the proper jurisdiction, then they may do so because we have courts nationwide. Here there may be not enough courts of the commission.
    Sen. Flavier:
    So we are going to adopt the senate version minus the words "exclusive original"?
    Rep. Zapata:
    Yes, Mr. Chairman, that's my proposal.
    Sen. Flavier:
    No, problem. Okay Approved.
    xxxx

    The Bicameral Committee's removal of the words "exclusive and original" meant that the NCIP shares concurrent jurisdiction with the regular courts. Thus, I agree with the revised ponencia that it would be ultra vires for NCIP to promulgate rules and regulations stating that it has exclusive jurisdiction.

    The NCIP's jurisdiction, however, while not exclusive, is primary.

    Under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, courts must refrain from determining a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of an administrative tribunal, where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact.43

    On the other hand, when Congress confers exclusive jurisdiction to a judicial or quasi-judicial entity over certain matters by law, its action evinces its intent to exclude other bodies from exercising the same.44

    Having primary jurisdiction is not equivalent to having exclusive jurisdiction. Thus, to avoid confusion, and to prevent future litigants from claiming that the NCIP has exclusive jurisdiction, the Court should remind the NCIP and other administrative bodies to refrain from claiming that they have exclusive jurisdiction when no such jurisdiction is conferred by law.

    Accordingly, the NCIP's Implementing Rules and Regulations, which state that the NCIP has exclusive jurisdiction45 should be modified to read "primary jurisdiction."

    Conclusion

    In sum, the law's intent is neither to grant the NCIP sole jurisdiction over disputes involving ICCs/IPs, nor to disregard the rights of non-ICCs/IPs under national laws. However, the NCIP maintains primary jurisdiction over: (i) adverse claims and border disputes arising from delineation of ancestral domains/lands; (ii) cancellation of fraudulently issued CADTs; and (iii) disputes and violations of ICCs/IPs rights between members of the same ICC/IP.

    For these reasons, I vote to grant the petition. The RTC should forthwith continue with the injunction case.

    Endnotes:


    1Rollo, pp. 62-63.

    2Marcelo G. Ganaden, et al. v. The Hon. Court of Appeals, et al., 665 Phil. 267 (2011). See Siasoco v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 132753, February 15, 1999, 103 SCAD 430, 303 SCRA 186.

    4 See Delbros v. IAC, G.R. No. L-72566, April 12, 1988, 159 SCRA 533.

    5Mendoza v. Germino, 650 Phil. 81 (2010), citing Morta, Sr, v. Occidental, G.R. No. 123417, June 10, 1999, 308 SCRA 167.

    6 Page 12 of the Ponencia.

    7 Section 19 (1), Batas Pambansa Blg. 129.

    8Nuñez v. SLTEAS Phoenix Solutions, Inc, G.R. No. 1 80542, April 12, 2010, 618 SCRA 142.

    9Borromeo v. Mariano, 41 Phil. 326 (1921), citing 25 R. C. L., pp. 984, et seq.; and specifically, the leading cases of McKnight v. Hodge [1909], 55 Wash., 289, 104 Pac, 504, 40 L. R. A. [N.S.], 1207; McCormick v. West Duluth [1891], 47 Minn., 272, 50 N.W., 128; Idaho Power & Light Co. v. Blomquist[1916], 26 Idaho, 222; 141 Pac, 1083, Ann. Cas. [1916 E], p. 282, where these principles concerning provisos are applied.)

    10 Section 15 of the IPRA.

    11 Supra note 9.

    12 Chapter III grants the ICCs/IPs the right to own and possess their ancestral domains/lands including the right to: claim ownership; develop; not to be relocated; be resettled, and to return in case of displacement; regulate the entry of migrants; access integrated systems for the management of inland waters and air space; claim parts of reservations; resolve land conflicts in accord with customary laws of the area; transfer lands to/among the members of the same ICCs/IPs; redeem property sold to a non-member of an ICC/IP, whenever necessary.

    13 Chapter IV grants ICCs/IPs the right to: use their own justice system, conflict resolution institutions and peace building processes; determine their priorities for development; form tribal barangays.

    14  Chapter V grants the ICCs/IPs the right to: equal protection of laws; protection during armed conflicts; equal employment opportunities and benefits; associate and to collectively bargain; basic services. In addition, IPRA declares that ICC/IP women shall enjoy equal rights and opportunities with men.

    15 Chapter VI grants the ICCs/IPs the right to: preserve and protect their culture, traditions and institutions; access to education; practice and revitalize their traditions and customs; restitution of intellectual property taken without their free consent; maintain and protect their religious and cultural sites; use and control ceremonial objects; repatriate human remains; full ownership, control and protection of their cultural and intellectual rights; prevent access to biological, genetic resources and indigenous knowledge without their free and prior consent; receive from the national government funds earmarked for their archaeological and historical sites.

    16 Section 7 of the IPRA.

    17 Section 8 of the IPRA.

    18 Section 21 of the IPRA.

    19 Section 24 of the IPRA.

    20 Section 33 of the IPRA.

    21 Section 35 of the IPRA.

    22 SECTION 72. Punishable Acts and Applicable Penalties. — Any person who commits violation of any of the provisions of this Act, such as, but not limited to, unauthorized and/or unlawful intrusion upon any ancestral lands or domains as stated in Sec. 10, Chapter III, or shall commit any of the prohibited acts mentioned in Sections 21 and 24, Chapter V, Section 33, Chapter VI hereof, shall be punished in accordance with the customary laws of the ICCs/IPs concerned: Provided, That no such penalty shall be cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment: Provided, further, That neither shall the death penalty or excessive fines be imposed. This provision shall be without prejudice to the right of any ICCs/IPs to avail of the protection of existing laws. In which case, any person who violates any provision of this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment of not less than nine (9) months but not more than twelve (12) years or a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000) nor more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000) or both such fine and imprisonment upon the discretion of the court. In addition, he shall be obliged to pay to the ICCs/IPs concerned whatever damage may have been suffered by the latter as a consequence of the unlawful act.

    23 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionarv/without prejudice.

    24 Section 72 of the IPRA.

    25 Under Section 46 (g), the NClP-Legal Affairs Office (NCIP-LAO) shall conduct preliminary investigations on violations of 1CC/IP rights and on the basis of its findings, initiate the filing of appropriate legal or administrative action to the NCIP. The Legal or Administrative Action that Section 46 (g) refers to is the action to enforce punishment under customary laws.

    26 See Tahada v. Tuvera, G.R. No. L-63915 April 24, 1985, 146 SCRA 446.

    27 Section 46 (g) of the IPRA.

    28 The IPRA is the product of Senate Bill 1728 and House Bill 9125. The bill originated from the Senate, and was the consolidation of four separate bills: S.B. Nos. 343, 618, 1476, and 1486. Then as senator, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo authored Senate Bill No. 618, which proposed the creation of the NCIP.

    29 July 30, 1996 Committee on Cultural Communities; Senate Technical Working Group.

    30 Sec. 46 (b) of the IPRA.

    31 Section 50 of the IPRA.

    32 The CONSTITUTION, Section 5, Art. XII.

    33 Section 2 (b) of the IPRA.

    34 G.R. No. 135385, 400 Phil. 904 (2000); In this case, the divided Court upheld the IPRA's Constitutionality.

    35 Id., Separate Opinion.

    36 Supra note 26.

    37 CONSTITUTION, Art. Ill, Sec. 1.

    38 The IPRA classified claims as either communal or individual. The word "claim" or "claims" appeared fifteen times in the IPRA in different sections and sub-sections, all of which are connected with ancestral domains and lands: First, under Sections 3 (a) in defining ancestral domain; second, Section 3 (b) in defining Ancestral Lands; third, Sec. 3 (e) in defining Communal Claims; fourth, in Sec. 3 (h) in classifying ICCs/IPs; fifth, in Sec. 3 (j) on defining individual claims; sixth, in Sec. 3 (1) in defining native titles; seventh, Sec. 4 on the concept of ancestral lands; eighth, in Sec. 7 (a) on the right of ownership of ancestral domains; ninth, in Sec. 7 (g) on the right to claim parts of reservations; tenth, in Sec. 52 (d) on proof of Ancestral Domain Claims; eleventh, in Sec. 52 (h) discussing when NCIP can favorably endorse an action upon a claim on Ancestral Land; twelfth, in Sec. 53 in the Identification, Delineation and Certification of Ancestral Lands; in sec. 54 on fraudulent claims; thirteenth, in Sec. 62 on resolving adverse claims in delineated ancestral lands; fourteenth, in Sec. 63 on the applicability of laws with respect to claims of ownership of property disputes, and fifteenth, under section 66.

    39 SECTION 62. Resolution of Conflicts. — In cases of conflicting interests, where there are adverse claims within the ancestral domains as delineated in the survey plan, and which cannot be resolved, the NCIP shall hear and decide, after notice to the proper parties, the disputes arising from the delineation of such ancestral domains: Provided, That if the dispute is between and/or among ICCs/IPs regarding the traditional boundaries of their respective ancestral domains, customary process shall be followed. The NCIP shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to carry out its adjudicatory functions: Provided, further, That any decision, order, award or ruling of the NCIP on any ancestral domain dispute or on any matter pertaining to the application, implementation, enforcement and interpretation of this Act may be brought for Petition for Review to the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof.

    40 Section 54 of the IPRA.

    41 The Commission, through its Regional Offices, shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of indigenous people: Provided, however, that no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies under their customary laws. For this purpose a Certification shall be issued by the Council who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the Commission, (underscoring ours)

    42 October 9, 1997; Bicameral Conference Meeting on the Disagreeing Provisions of SBN 1728 and HBN 9125.

    43Phil Pharmawealth, Inc. v. Pfizer, Inc., G.R. No. 167715, November 17, 2010, 635 SCRA 140, 153.

    44Pua v. Citibank, G.R. No. 180064, September 16, 2013, 705 SCRA 684.

    45 RULE III. The NCIP shall exercise jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of the ICCs/IPs and all cases pertaining to the implementation, enforcement, and interpretation of R.A. 8371, including but not limited to the following:

    A. Original and Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Regional Hearing Office: (emphasis supplied)

    1. Cases involving disputes and controversies over ancestral lands/domains of ICCs/IPs, except those which involve oppositions to pending applications for CALT and CADT;cralawlawlibrary
    2. Enforcement of compromise agreements or decisions rendered by ICCs/IPs;cralawlawlibrary
    3. Actions for redemption/reconveyance under Section 8 (b) of R.A. 8371;cralawlawlibrary
    4. Interpretation, implementation, or enforcement of Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) entered into by parties as a result of the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process;cralawlawlibrary
    5. Cases involving Projects, Programs, Activities within ancestral lands/domains being implemented without the required FPIC of the affected/host IPs/ICCs;cralawlawlibrary
    6. Petitions for annotation on CADTs and CALTs or cancellations thereof, except notice of Us pendens and those that will result to transfer of ownership;cralawlawlibrary
    7. Actions for damages including, but not limited to, claims for royalties and other benefits.
    8. Cases affecting property rights, claims of ownership, hereditary succession, and settlement of land disputes, between and among ICCs/IPs that have not been settled under customary laws; and
    9. Such other cases analogous to the foregoing.
    B. Original and Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Commission En Banc (emphasis supplied)
    1. Petition for cancellation of registered CADTs and CALTs alleged to have been fraudulently acquired by, and issued to, any person or community as provided for under Section 54 of R.A. 8371, provided that such action is filed within one (1) year from the date of registration;cralawlawlibrary
    2. Actions for cancellations of Certification Precondition (CP), Certificate of Non-Overlap (CNO), issued by the NCIP, as well as, rescissions of FP1C-M0A; and
    3. Any other case that deems to vary, amend, or revoke previously issued rulings, resolutions, or decisions of the Commission en banc.





    CONCURRING OPINION

    PEREZ, J.:


    While I agree with the holding in this case that jurisdiction over the original and amended complaint, accion reivindicatoria and injunction, before the court a quo, correctly lies with the Regional Trial Courts (RTCs): (1) an accion reivindicatoria, a civil action involving interest in real property with an assessed value of P683,760.00; and (2) an injunction, a civil action incapable of pecuniary estimation, I offer my view on the complex nature of the jurisdiction of the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) conferred in the Indigenous People's Rights Act (IPRA), Republic Act No. 8371.

    Even if in this case the complaint was amended from an accion reivindicatoria to one for injunction, both containing allegations clearly falling within the RTCs jurisdiction, petitioners insist and maintain that as indigenous persons, except for two (2) petitioners, with the subject property claimed as their ancestral land, the NCIP has exclusive and original jurisdiction over the case. For the petitioners, with a submission that the ponencia already dismissed, the mere fact that this case involves members of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Persons (ICCs/IPs) and their ancestral land, automatically endows the NCIP, under Section 66 of the IPRA, with jurisdiction over petitioners' complaint. Even the NCIP is of the view of its original and exclusive jurisdiction over both the original and amended complaints. Hence, the two (2) Motions to Refer the Case to the Regional Hearing Office-National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (RHO-NCIP) filed by the NCIP Hearing Officer before the court a quo.

    I concur with the ponencia on the basis of the principle that "jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and determined by the allegations in the complaint, and that the averments in the complaint and the character of the relief sought are the ones to be consulted." As clearly delineated in the ponencia, upon a careful review of Section 66 and based on the qualifying proviso, the NCIP shall have jurisdiction over claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs only when they arise between or among parties belonging to the same ICC/IP. And, as clearly alleged by the petitioners in their complaint, the defendants they impleaded are not indigenous people.

    I submit that the jurisdiction of the NCIP ought to be definitively drawn to settle doubts that still linger due to the implicit affirmation done in The City Government of Baguio City, et al. v. Atty. Masweng, et al.1 of the NCIP's jurisdiction over cases where one of the parties are not ICCs/IPs.

    Jurisdiction is the power and authority, conferred by the Constitution and by statute, to hear and decide a case.2 The authority to decide a cause at all is what makes up jurisdiction.

    The enabling statute, Section 66 of the IPRA, is the measure of quasi-judicial powers the NCIP may exercise:3

    Sec. 66. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. - The NCIP, through its regional offices, shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs: Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. For this purpose, a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP. (Emphasis supplied).

    The conferment of such jurisdiction is consistent with state policy averred in the IPRA which recognizes and promotes all the rights of ICCs/IPs within the framework of the Constitution. Such is likewise reflected in the mandate of the NCIP to protect and promote the interest and well-being of the ICCs/IPs with due regard to their beliefs, customs, traditions and institutions.4

    The other provisions point out that the NCIP is the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, plans and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the ICCs/IPs and the recognition of their ancestral domains as well as their rights thereto.5 Nonetheless, the creation of such a government agency does not per se grant it primary and/or exclusive and original jurisdiction, excluding the regular courts from taking cognizance, and exercising jurisdiction over cases which may involve rights of ICCs/IPs.

    Significantly, while Section 66 uses the word "all" to qualify the ICCs/IPs "claims and disputes" covered by NCIP jurisdiction, it unmistakably contains the proviso, that restrains or limits the initial generality of the grant of jurisdiction.

    As outlined in the ponencia, the elements of the grant of jurisdiction to the NCIP are: (1) the claim and dispute involves the rights of ICCs/IPs; and (2) both parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. Both elements must be present prior to the invocation and exercise of the NCIP's jurisdiction.

    We cannot, therefore, be confined to the first phrase that the NCIP shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs and therefrom deduce primary sole NCIP jurisdiction over all ICCs/IPs claims and disputes to the exclusion of the regular courts. If it were the legislative intention that: (1) the NCIP exercise primary jurisdiction over, and/or (2) the regular courts be excluded from taking cognizance of, claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs, the legislature could have easily done so as in other instances conferring primary, and original and exclusive jurisdiction to a specific administrative body.

    Primary jurisdiction, also known as the doctrine of Prior Resort, is the power and authority vested by the Constitution or by statute upon an administrative body to act upon a matter by virtue of its specific competence.6 The doctrine of primary jurisdiction prevents the court from arrogating unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy which falls under the jurisdiction of a tribunal possessed with special competence.7 In one occasion, we have held that regular courts cannot or should not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal before the question is resolved by the administrative tribunal, where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact, and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with the purposes of the regulatory statute administered.8 The objective of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is "to guide a court in determining whether it should refrain from exercising its jurisdiction until after an administrative agency has determined some question arising in the proceeding before the court."9

    Additionally, primary jurisdiction does not necessarily denote exclusive jurisdiction.10 It applies where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts and comes into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which, under a regulatory scheme, has been placed within the special competence of an administrative body; in such case, the judicial process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view.11 In some instances, the Constitution and statutes grant the administrative body primary jurisdiction, concurrent with either similarly authorized government agencies or the regular courts, such as the distinct kinds of jurisdiction bestowed by the Constitution and statutes on the Ombudsman.

    The case of Honasan II v. The Panel of Investigating Prosecutors of the Department of Justice12 delineated primary and concurrent jurisdiction as opposed to original and exclusive jurisdiction vested by both the Constitution and statutes13 on the Ombudsman concurrent, albeit primary, with the Department of Justice.

    Paragraph (1) of Section 13, Article XI of the Constitution, viz:

    SEC. 13. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions, and duties:

    1. Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient.

    does not exclude other government agencies tasked by law to investigate and prosecute cases involving public officials. If it were the intention of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, they would have expressly declared the exclusive conferment of the power to the Ombudsman. Instead, paragraph (8) of the same Section 13 of the Constitution provides:

    (8) Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law.

    Accordingly, Congress enacted R.A. 6770, otherwise known as "The Ombudsman Act of 1989." Section 15 thereof provides:

    Sec. 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. - The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions and duties:

    (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of the government, the investigation of such cases.

    Pursuant to the authority given to the Ombudsman by the Constitution and the Ombudsman Act of 1989 to lay down its own rules and procedure, the Office of the Ombudsman promulgated Administrative Order No. 8, dated November 8, 1990, entitled, Clarifying and Modifying Certain Rules of Procedure of the Ombudsman, to wit:

    A complaint filed in or taken cognizance of by the Office of the Ombudsman charging any public officer or employee including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, with an act or omission alleged to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient is an Ombudsman case. Such a complaint may be the subject of criminal or administrative proceedings, or both.

    For purposes of investigation and prosecution, Ombudsman cases involving criminal offenses may be subdivided into two classes, to wit: (I) those cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and (2) those falling under the jurisdiction of the regular courts. The difference between the two, aside from the category of the courts wherein they are filed, is on the authority to investigate as distinguished from the authority to prosecute, such cases.

    The power to investigate or conduct a preliminary investigation on any Ombudsman case may be exercised by an investigator or prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman, or by any Provincial or City Prosecutor or their assistance, either in their regular capacities or as deputized Ombudsman prosecutors.

    The prosecution of cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan shall be under the direct exclusive control and supervision of the Office of the Ombudsman. In cases cognizable by the regular Courts, the control and supervision by the Office of the Ombudsman is only in Ombudsman cases in the sense defined above. The law recognizes a concurrence of jurisdiction between the Office of the Ombudsman and other investigative agencies of the government in the prosecution of cases cognizable by regular courts.


    It is noteworthy that as early as 1990, the Ombudsman had properly differentiated the authority to investigate cases from the authority to prosecute cases. It is on this note that the Court will first dwell on the nature or extent of the authority of the Ombudsman to investigate cases. Whence, focus is directed to the second sentence of paragraph (1), Section 15 of the Ombudsman Act which specifically provides that the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigating agency of the government, the investigation of such cases.

    That the power of the Ombudsman to investigate offenses involving public officers or employees is not exclusive but is concurrent with other similarly authorized agencies of the government such as the provincial, city and state prosecutors has long been settled in several decisions of the Court.
    (Emphasis supplied)

    In Cojuangco, Jr. vs. Presidential Commission on Good Government, decided in 1990, the Court expressly declared:

    A reading of the foregoing provision of the Constitution does not show that the power of investigation including preliminary investigation vested on the Ombudsman is exclusive.

    Interpreting the primary jurisdiction of the Ombudsman under Section 15 (1) of the Ombudsman Act, the Court held in said case:

    Under Section 15 (1) of Republic Act No. 6770 aforecited, the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan so that it may take over at any stage from any investigatory agency of the government, the investigation of such cases. The authority of the Ombudsman to investigate offenses involving public officers or employees is not exclusive but is concurrent with other similarly authorized agencies of the government. Such investigatory agencies referred to include the PCGG and the provincial and city prosecutors and their assistants, the state prosecutors and the judges of the municipal trial courts and municipal circuit trial court.

    In other words the provision of the law has opened up the authority to conduct preliminary investigation of offenses cognizable by the Sandiganbayan to all investigatory agencies of the government duly authorized to conduct a preliminary investigation under Section 2, Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure with the only qualification that the Ombudsman may take over at any stage of such investigation in the exercise of his primary jurisdiction.


    A little over a month later, the Court, in Deloso vs. Domingo, pronounced that the Ombudsman, under the authority of Section 13 (1) of the 1987 Constitution, has jurisdiction to investigate any crime committed by a public official, elucidating thus:

    As protector of the people, the office of the Ombudsman has the power, function and duty to "act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials" (Sec. 12) and to "investigate x x x any act or omission of any public official x x x when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient." (Sec. 13.) The Ombudsman is also empowered to "direct the officer concerned," in this case the Special Prosecutor, "to take appropriate action against a public official xxx and to recommend his prosecution" (Sec. 13).

    The clause "any [illegal] act or omission of any public official" is broad enough to embrace any crime committed by a public official. The law does not qualify the nature of the illegal act or omission of the public official or employee that the Ombudsman may investigate. It does not require that the act or omission be related to or be connected with or arise from, the performance of official duty. Since the law does not distinguish, neither should we.

    The reason for the creation of the Ombudsman in the 1987 Constitution and for the grant to it of broad investigative authority, is to insulate said office from the long tentacles of officialdom that are able to penetrate judges' and fiscals' offices, and others involved in the prosecution of erring public officials, and through the exertion of official pressure and influence, quash, delay, or dismiss investigations into malfeasances and misfeasances committed by public officers. It was deemed necessary, therefore, to create a special office to investigate all criminal complaints against public officers regardless of whether or not the acts or omissions complained of are related to or arise from the performance of the duties of their office. The Ombudsman Act makes perfectly clear that the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman encompasses "all kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance, and non-feasance that have been committed by any officer or employee as mentioned in Section 13 hereof, during his tenure of office" (Sec. 16, R.A. 6770).

    Indeed, the labors of the constitutional commission that created the Ombudsman as a special body to investigate erring public officials would be wasted if its jurisdiction were confined to the investigation of minor and less grave offenses arising from, or related to, the duties of public office, but would exclude those grave and terrible crimes that spring from abuses of official powers and prerogatives, for it is the investigation of the latter where the need for an independent, fearless, and honest investigative body, like the Ombudsman, is greatest.

    At first blush, there appears to be conflicting views in the rulings of the Court in the Cojuangco, Jr. case and the Deloso case. However, the contrariety is more apparent than real. In subsequent cases, the Court elucidated on the nature of the powers of the Ombudsman to investigate.

    In 1993, the Court held in Sanchez vs. Demetriou, that while it may be true that the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute any illegal act or omission of any public official, the authority of the Ombudsman to investigate is merely a primary and not an exclusive authority, thus:

    The Ombudsman is indeed empowered under Section 15, paragraph (1) of RA 6770 to investigate and prosecute any illegal act or omission of any public official. However as we held only two years ago in the case of Aguinaldo vs. Domagas, this authority "is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged."

    Petitioners finally assert that the information and amended information filed in this case needed the approval of the Ombudsman. It is not disputed that the information and amended information here did not have the approval of the Ombudsman. However, we do not believe that such approval was necessary at all. In Deloso v. Domingo, 191 SCRA 545 (1990), the Court held that the Ombudsman has authority to investigate charges of illegal acts or omissions on the part of any public official, i.e., any crime imputed to a public official. It must, however, be pointed out that the authority of the Ombudsman to investigate "any [illegal] act or omission of any public official" (191 SCRA 550) is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged, i.e., the crime of sedition. Thus, the non-involvement of the office of the Ombudsman in the present case does not have any adverse legal consequence upon the authority of the panel of prosecutors to file and prosecute the information or amended information.

    In fact, other investigatory agencies of the government such as the Department of Justice in connection with the charge of sedition, and the Presidential Commission on Good Government, in ill gotten wealth cases, may conduct the investigation.

    In Natividad vs. Felix, a 1994 case, where the petitioner municipal mayor contended that it is the Ombudsman and not the provincial fiscal who has the authority to conduct a preliminary investigation over his case for alleged Murder, the Court held:

    The Deloso case has already been re-examined in two cases, namely Aguinaldo vs. Domagas and Sanchez vs. Demetriou. However, by way of amplification, we feel the need for tracing the history of the legislation relative to the jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan since the Ombudsman's primary jurisdiction is dependent on the cases cognizable by the former.

    In the process, we shall observe how the policy of the law, with reference to the subject matter, has been in a state of flux.

    These laws, in chronological order, are the following: (a) Pres. Decree No. 1486, — the first law on the Sandiganbayan; (b) Pres. Decree No. 1606 which expressly repealed Pres. Decree No. 1486; (c) Section 20 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129; (d) Pres. Decree No. 1860; and (e) Pres. Decree No. 1861.

    The latest law on the Sandiganbayan, Sec. 1 of Pres. Decree No. 1861 reads as follows:

    "SECTION 1. Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606 is hereby amended to read as follows:

    'SEC. 4. Jurisdiction. - The Sandiganbayan shall exercise: '(a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:

    (2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporation, whether simple or complexed with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is higher that prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fme of P6,000: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that offenses or felonies mentioned in this paragraph where the penalty prescribed by law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years or a fme of P6,000 shall be tried by the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Court."

    A perusal of the aforecited law shows that two requirements must concur under Sec. 4 (a) (2) for an offense to fall under the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction, namely: the offense committed by the public officer must be in relation to his office and the penalty prescribed be higher then prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fine of P6,000.00.

    Applying the law to the case at bench, we find that although the second requirement has been met, the first requirement is wanting. A review of these Presidential Decrees, except Batas Pambansa Big. 129, would reveal that the crime committed by public officers or employees must be "in relation to their office" if it is to fall within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. This phrase which is traceable to Pres. Decree No. 1468, has been retained by Pres. Decree No. 1861 as a requirement before the Ombudsman can acquire primary jurisdiction on its power to investigate.

    It cannot be denied that Pres. Decree No. 1861 is in pan materia to Article XI, Sections 12 and 13 of the 1987 Constitution and the Ombudsman Act of 1989 because, as earlier mentioned, the Ombudsman's power to investigate is dependent on the cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. Statutes are in pari materia when they relate to the same person or thing or to the same class of persons or things, or object, or cover the same specific or particular subject matter.

    It is axiomatic in statutory construction that a statute must be interpreted, not only to be consistent with itself, but also to harmonize with other laws on the same subject matter, as to form a complete, coherent and intelligible system. The rule is expressed in the maxim, "interpretare et concordare legibus est optimus interpretandi, " or every statute must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence. Thus, in the application and interpretation of Article XI, Sections 12 and 13 of the 1987 Constitution and the Ombudsman Act of 1989, Pres. Decree No. 1861 must be taken into consideration. It must be assumed that when the 1987 Constitution was written, its framers had in mind previous statutes relating to the same subject matter. In the absence of any express repeal or amendment, the 1987 Constitution and the Ombudsman Act of 1989 are deemed in accord with existing statute, specifically, Pres. Decree No. 1861.


    R.A. No. 8249 which amended Section 4, paragraph (b) of the Sandiganbayan Law (P.D. 1861) likewise provides that for other offenses, aside from those enumerated under paragraphs (a) and (c), to fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, they must have been committed by public officers or employees in relation to their office.

    In summation, the Constitution, Section 15 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 and Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law, as amended, do not give to the Ombudsman exclusive jurisdiction to investigate offenses committed by public officers or employees. The authority of the Ombudsman to investigate offenses involving public officers or employees is concurrent with other government investigating agencies such as provincial, city and state prosecutors. However, the Ombudsman, in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, may take over, at any stage, from any investigating agency of the government, the investigation of such cases.

    In other words, respondent DOJ Panel is not precluded from conducting any investigation of cases against public officers involving violations of penal laws but if the cases fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, then respondent Ombudsman may, in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction take over at any stage
    . (Emphasis supplied)

    xxx          xxx

    To reiterate for emphasis, the power to investigate or conduct preliminary investigation on charges against any public officers or employees may be exercised by an investigator or by any provincial or city prosecutor or their assistants, either in their regular capacities or as deputized Ombudsman prosecutors. The fact that all prosecutors are in effect deputized Ombudsman prosecutors under the OMB-DOJ Circular is a mere superfluity. The DOJ Panel need not be authorized nor deputized by the Ombudsman to conduct the preliminary investigation for complaints filed with it because the DOJ's authority to act as the principal law agency of the government and investigate the commission of crimes under the Revised Penal Code is derived from the Revised Administrative Code which had been held in the Natividad case as not being contrary to the Constitution. Thus, there is not even a need to delegate the conduct of the preliminary investigation to an agency which has the jurisdiction to do so in the first place. However, the Ombudsman may assert its primary jurisdiction at any stage of the investigation. (Emphasis supplied)

    I referred to Honasan II to emphasize the point that the NCIP cannot be said to have primary jurisdiction over all the ICC/IP cases comparable to what the Ombudsman has in cases falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. We do not find such specificity in the grant of jurisdiction to the NCIP in Section 66 of the IPRA.

    Neither does the IPRA confer original and exclusive jurisdiction to the NCIP over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs.

    Here, I revert to the point on the investiture of primary and/or original and exclusive jurisdiction to an administrative body which in all instances of such grant was explicitly provided in the Constitution and/or the enabling statute, to wit:

    1. Commission on Elections' exclusive original jurisdiction over all elections contests;14

    2. Securities and Exchange Commission's original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases enumerated under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 902-A15 prior to its transfer to courts of general jurisdiction or the appropriate Regional Trial Court by virtue of Section 4 of the Securities Regulation Code;cralawlawlibrary

    3. Energy Regulatory Commission's original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases contesting rates, fees, fines and penalties imposed by it in the exercise of its powers, functions and responsibilities;16

    4. Department of Agrarian Reform's17 primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and its exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources;18

    5. Construction' Industry Arbitration Commission's original and exclusive jurisdiction over disputes involving contracts of construction, whether government or private, as long as the parties agree to submit the same to voluntary arbitration;19

    6. Voluntary arbitrator or panel of voluntary arbitrators' original and exclusive jurisdiction over all unresolved grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of the collective bargaining agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies;20

    7. The National Labor Relations Commission's original and exclusive jurisdiction over cases listed in Article 217 of the Labor Code involving all workers, whether agricultural or non-agricultural; and

    8. Board of Commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration's primary and exclusive jurisdiction over all deportation cases.21

    That the proviso found in Section 66 of the IPRA is exclusionary, specifically excluding disputes involving rights of IPs/ICCs where the opposing party is non-ICC/IP, is reflected in the IPRA's emphasis of customs and customary law to govern in the lives of the ICCs/IPs.

    Indeed, non-ICCs/IPs cannot be subjected to the special and limited jurisdiction of the NCIP even if the dispute involves rights of ICCs/IPs since the NCIP has no power and authority to decide on a controversy involving as well rights of non-ICCs/IPs which may be brought before a court of general jurisdiction within the legal bounds of rights and remedies. Even as a practical concern, non-IPs and non-members of ICCs ought to be excepted from the NCIP's competence since it cannot determine the right-duty correlative, and breach thereof, between opposing parties who are ICCs/IPs and non-ICCs/IPs, the controversy necessarily contemplating application of other laws, not only customs and customary law of the ICCs/IPs. In short, the NCIP is only vested with jurisdiction to determine the rights of ICCs/IPs based on customs and customary law in a given controversy against another ICC/IP, but not the applicable law for each and every kind of ICC/IP controversy even against an opposing non-ICC/IP.

    In San Miguel Corporation v. NLRC,22 the Court delineated the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, specifically paragraph 3 thereof, as all money claims of workers, limited to "cases arising from employer-employee relations." The same clause was not expressly carried over, in printer's ink, in Article 217 as it exists today, but the Court ruled that such was a limitation on the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, thus:

    The jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the National Labor Relations Commission is outlined in Article 217 of the Labor Code xxx:

    "ART. 217. Jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the Commission. — (a) The Labor Arbiters shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide within thirty (30) working days after submission of the case by the parties for decision, the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or non-agricultural:

    1. Unfair labor practice cases;cralawlawlibrary

    2. Those that workers may file involving wages, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment;cralawlawlibrary

    3. All money claims of workers, including those based on non-payment or underpayment of-wages, overtime compensation, separation pay and other benefits provided by law or appropriate agreement, except claims for employees' compensation, social security, medicare and maternity benefits;cralawlawlibrary

    4. Cases involving household services; and

    5. Cases arising from any violation of Article 265 of this Code, including questions involving the legality of strikes and lockouts.

    (b) The Commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Labor Arbiters."

    While paragraph 3 above refers to "all money claims of workers," it is not necessary to suppose that the entire universe of money claims that might be asserted by workers against their employers has been absorbed into the original and exclusive jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters. In the first place, paragraph 3 should be read not in isolation from but rather within the context formed by paragraph 1 (relating to unfair labor practices), paragraph 2 (relating to claims concerning terms and conditions of employment), paragraph 4 (claims relating to household services, a particular species of employer-employee relations), and paragraph 5 (relating to certain activities prohibited to employees or to employers). It is evident that there is a unifying element which runs through paragraphs 1 to 5 and that is, that they all refer to cases or disputes arising out of or in connection with an employer-employee relationship. This is, in other words, a situation where the rule of noscitur a sociis may be usefully invoked in clarifying the scope of paragraph 3, and any other paragraph of Article 217 of the Labor Code, as amended. We reach the above conclusion from an examination of the terms themselves of Article 217, as last amended by BP Blg. 227, and even though earlier versions of Article 217 of the Labor Code expressly brought within the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiters and the NLRC "cases arising from employer-employee relations,'" which clause was not expressly carried over, in printer's ink, in Article 217 as it exists today. For it cannot be presumed that money claims of workers which do not arise out of or in connection with their employer-employee relationship, and which would therefore fall within the general jurisdiction of the regular courts of justice, were intended by the legislative authority to be taken away from the jurisdiction of the courts and lodged with Labor Arbiters on an exclusive basis. The Court, therefore, believes and so holds that the "money claims of workers" referred to in paragraph 3 of Article 217 embraces money claims which arise out of or in connection the employer-employee relationship, or some aspect or incident of such relationship. Put a little differently, that money claims of workers which now fall within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters are those money claims which have some reasonable causal connection with the employer-employee relationship. (Emphasis supplied)

    Clearly, the phraseology of "all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs" does not necessarily grant the NCIP all-encompassing jurisdiction whenever the case involves rights of ICCs/IPs without regard to the status of the parties, i.e. whether the opposing parties are both ICCs/IPs.

    In all, for the reason that under the provisions of the IPRA, specifically Section 66 thereof, the jurisdiction of the NCIP is special and limited, confined only to cases involving rights of IPs/ICCs, where both such parties belong to the same ICC/IP, the original and amended complaint herein properly fall within the jurisdiction of the regular courts, specifically the RTC. Thus, I concur in the denial of the petition.

    Endnotes:


    1 G.R. No. 180206, 597 Phil. 668 (2009).

    2Bank of Commerce v. Planters Development Bank, G.R. Nos. 154470-71 and G.R. Nos. 154589-90, September 24, 2012, 681 SCRA521 556

    3 Id.

    4 Section 39 IPRA.

    5 Section 38 IPRA.

    6Cristobal v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 125339, June 22, 1998, 291 SCRA 122, 132.

    7 See Crusaders Broadcasting System, Inc. v. NTC, 388 Phil. 624, 636 (2000).

    8Sps. Abejo v. Judge De la Cruz, 233 Phil. 668, 684-685 (1987).

    9Fabia v. Court of Appeals, 437 Phil. 389, 403 (2002).

    10Honasan II v. The Panel of Investigating Prosecutors of the Department of Justice, G.R. No. 159747, April 13, 2004, 427 SCRA 46, 67.

    11Supra note 9.

    12Supra note 10.

    13 Republic Act No. 6770, known as "The Ombudsman Act of 1989" and the "1987 Administrative Code."

    14 Article IX-C, Section 2, paragraph 2.

    SEC. 2. The Commission on elections shall exercise the following powers and functions:

    xxx

    (2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction, xxx

    15Section 5. In addition to the regulatory and adjudicative functions of the Securities and Exchange Commission over corporations, partnerships and other forms of associations registered with it as expressly granted under existing laws and decrees, it shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving.

    a) Devices or schemes employed by or any acts, of the board of directors, business associates, its officers or partnership, amounting to fraud and misrepresentation which may be detrimental to the interest of the public and/or of the stockholder, partners, members of associations or organizations registered with the Commission.

    b) Controversies arising out of intra-corporate or partnership relations, between and among stockholders, members, or associates; between any or all of them and the corporation, partnership or association of which they are stockholders, members or associates, respectively; and between such corporation, partnership or association and the state insofar as it concerns their individual franchise or right to exist as such entity; and

    c) Controversies in the election or appointments of directors, trustees, officers or managers of such corporations, partnerships or associations.

    16 RA 9136, Section 43, paragraph u.

    17 Including the creation of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication board (DARAB).

    18 The DAR's jurisdiction under Section 50 of RA 6657 is two-fold: (1) Essentially executive and pertains to the enforcement and administration of laws, carrying them into practical operation and enforcing their due observance, while the second is judicial and involves the determination of rights and obligations of the parties.

    19 Except for disputes arising from employer-employee relationships which shall continue to be covered by the Labor Cdde of the Philippines; EO No. 1008 or the Construction Industry Arbitration Law.

    20 Articles 260-261 of the Labor Code.

    21 Administrative Code of 1987, Book IV, Title III, Chapter 10, Section 31.

    22 G.R. No. 80774, 244 Phil. 741, 747 (1988).




    CONCURRING OPINION


    LEONEN, J..:

    I concur with the ponencia in holding that respondents' action, alleged to be involving a claim over the ancestral domain of an indigenous cultural community/indigenous people (ICC/IP), does not fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

    A careful reading of Section 661 of Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act of 1997, with particular emphasis on its proviso will reveal that the jurisdiction of the NCIP is limited to disputes where both parties are members of ICC/IPs and come from the same ethnolinguistic group.

    Thus, the assailed Decision dated August 17, 2006 and Resolution dated July 4, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 00204-MIN must be affirmed.

    The present Petition for Review on Certiorari 2 is an offshoot of a Petition for Accion Reivindicatoria with prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining order or preliminary prohibitory injunction with damages3 (Original Complaint) filed by respondents against petitioners before the Regional Trial Court of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon on March 3, 2004, docketed as Civil Case No. 04-03-01. This Petition for Accion Reivindicatoria was subsequently amended by respondents into a Complaint for injunction, damages, and other relief4 (Amended Complaint).

    On March 20, 2004, petitioners Brazil and Macapayag filed their Answer to the original Complaint, asserting that respondents had no cause of action against them.5

    On March 23, 2004, the other petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss. They argued that the Regional Trial Court had no jurisdiction over the case. They asserted that they were members of the Miarayon, Lapok, Lirongan Talaandig Tribal Association or the Talaandig Tribe, and claimed residence in Barangay Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon. They noted that on July 25, 2003, Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim No. R-10-TAL-0703-0010 was issued in favor of the Talaandig Tribe through NCIP En Bane Resolution No. 08-2003. On October 30, 2003, this Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim was formally awarded to the Talaandig Tribe by former President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo. The Certificate covered a total area of 11,105.5657 hectares in Barangay Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon.6 Petitioners argued that as the case filed by respondents entailed a dispute over the ancestral land of an ICC/IP, it fell within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the NCIP.7

    On July 1, 2004, the NCIP filed a Motion to Refer the Case to the Regional Hearing Office - National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (Motion to Refer). As with petitioners who filed the Motion to Dismiss, the NCIP insisted that the Regional Trial Court did not have jurisdiction over the case.8

    On July 5, 2004, respondents filed a Motion to Amend and Supplement the original Complaint into one for injunction, damages, and other relief. Attached to this Motion was the amended Complaint.9

    On July 30, 3004, petitioners filed their Opposition to the Admission of the amended Complaint. On August 1, 2004, they also filed a Motion to Dismiss the amended Complaint, insisting on the Regional Trial Court's lack of jurisdiction.10

    On August 10, 2004, the Regional Trial Court issued the Order granting the Motion to Amend and Supplement. The same Order declared the NCIP's Motion to Refer and petitioners' Motions to Dismiss moot and academic.11

    On August 25, 2004, petitioners filed another Motion to Refer and another Motion to Dismiss.12

    On September 14, 2004, respondents filed their Opposition and a Motion for Judgment by Default.13

    On February 14, 2005, the Regional Trial Court issued the Order denying the Motion to Refer, declaring petitioners (except Macapayag and Brazil, who had earlier filed an Answer) in default, and calling the case for pre-trial (against Macapayag and Brazil) and for ex-parte presentation of evidence (against the other petitioners). The court also issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction subject to respondents' posting of a P100,000.00 bond.14

    Aggrieved, petitioners filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure before the Court of Appeals.

    In the Decision15 dated August 17, 2006, the Court of Appeals affirmed with modification (i.e., lifted the order of default) the Regional Trial Court's February 14, 2005 Order. In the Resolution dated July 4, 2007, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration.

    Hence, this Petition was filed.

    Petitioners pray that the Court of Appeals' August 17, 2006 Decision and July 4, 2007 Resolution be reversed and set aside and that a decision be rendered declaring that the Regional Trial Court has no jurisdiction, enjoining the Regional Trial Court from proceeding, ordering that the case be referred to the NCIP, and declaring void the Writ of Preliminary Injunction issued by the Regional Trial Court.

    Petitioners insist that the NCIP has exclusive and original jurisdiction over the case as it involves the ancestral domain of an ICC/IP. They also assail the amendment of the Complaint from accion reivindicatoria to one for injunction, saying that the amendment was made merely to clothe the Regional Trial Court with jurisdiction and to downplay how the case is ultimately concerned with an ICC/IP's rights over its ancestral domain. Likewise, they claim that the NCIP should not be deprived of jurisdiction merely on account of the Complaints' failure to allege that parties to the case belong to ICCs/IPs.

    This case concerns the issue of which, between the Regional Trial Court and the NCIP, has jurisdiction over the case.

    The case filed by respondents does not fall within the scope of the NCIP's jurisdiction as laid out in Section 6616 of the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act.

    "Jurisdiction is the power and authority of [a] tribunal to hear, try and decide a case."17 Moreover, "[jurisdiction over a subject matter is conferred by law."18 It could not be conferred by any other source, such as the parties' action or conduct and "any judgment, order or resolution issued without it is void."19

    The NCIP does not have jurisdiction over cases where one of the parties does not belong to an indigenous cultural community.

    Section 38 of the Act created the NCIP to carry out the policies set forth in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. Per Section 38, the NCIP "shall be the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, plans and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the ICCs/IPs and the recognition of their ancestral domains as well as their rights thereto." Section 39 provides for the NCIP's mandate to "protect and promote the interest and well-being of the ICCs/IPs with due regard to their beliefs, customs, traditions and institutions."

    Chapter IX of the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act pertains to the quasi-judicial powers of the NCIP. Thus, Section 6920 expressly enables the NCIP to exercise powers that are necessary incidents of this quasi-judicial power: the promulgation of rules and regulations; the administration of oaths; the power to summon parties, issue subpoenas, and contempt power; and the power to issue writs of injunction. Section 6821 enables the NCIP to issue writs of execution. Section 6722 provides for the mode of appeal from decisions of the NCIP. Section 7023 bars inferior courts from restraining proceedings in the NCIP. Section 6524 establishes a framework for resolving disputes by recognizing the primacy of customary laws and practices.

    Section 66 specifically provides for the jurisdiction of the NCIP:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    SEC. 66. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. The NCIP, through its regional offices, shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs: Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. For this purpose, a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP.ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    Section 66's grant of jurisdiction is ostensibly cast in absolute terms: "over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs."

    However, further into Section 66 are two clauses that qualify the NCIP's jurisdiction. First is the proviso that "no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. " Second is that "a certification . . . issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved . . . shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP. "

    A cursory reading of these clauses shows that they state a procedural requirement (i.e., exhaustion of remedies under customary law) and a formal requirement (i.e., certification issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders) that must first be complied with before the NCIP may take cognizance of a case. However, these procedural and formal requirements are not all there is to the qualifying clauses of Section 66.chanrobleslaw

    II

    Attention must be drawn to the proviso's choice of words. To reiterate, the proviso reads: "Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws."

    The proviso uses the plural term "the parties." It also uses the plural "their," which is a possessive pronoun substituting for the noun phrase "the parties."

    The use of the plural "the parties" necessarily means that the requirement of exhaustion of remedies provided under customary laws is a requirement that is not exclusive to a singular party.

    The basic framework of adversarial litigation, as is the case in our a jurisdiction, is one that entails two (2) parties: first, the one initiating or bringing the action (i.e., the plaintiff/complainant/ claimant/petitioner); and the one against whom an action is initiated or brought (i.e., the defendant/respondent).

    Thus, for Section 66 to say that "the parties" must exhaust all remedies is to say that both plaintiff/complainant/claimant/petitioner, on one hand, and defendant/respondent, on the other, must comply. In a case brought by A against B, both A and B must comply with the requirement.

    Had Section 66 intended that compliance with the requirement by only one party shall suffice, it should have used the singular "a party," similar language like "either party" or permissive language like "a/the party/ies? Had Section 66 intended that the requirement must be complied with by a specific party, it should have used specific language like "the petitioner."

    One may point out that the plural "the parties" can be taken to mean two or more of several petitioners, or two or more of several respondents where there are multiple petitioners and/or respondents. This interpretation is untenable. Precisely, it would find application only in situations where there are multiple petitioners and/or respondents. To adopt this interpretation would, therefore, be to unduly restrict and to render inutile under general circumstances the requirement of exhaustion of remedies.chanrobleslaw

    III

    The phrase "their customary laws" is significant in two respects. First, "their" is a plural possessive pronoun substituting for the noun phrase "the parties." Second, "their" is a possessive determiner indicating possession (or otherwise a sense of belonging) of the words that follow it.

    Section 66's use of the phrase "their customary laws" is, therefore, to say that "the parties" have customary laws. Considering what the phrase "the parties" refers to (as explained previously), it follows that both the petitioner(s) and the respondent(s) must have or adhere to customary laws in order that a case between them may fall under the jurisdiction of the NCIP.

    Section 3(f) of the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act defines "customary laws" as follows:

    Section 3. Definition of Terms. — For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall mean:
    . . . .

    f) Customary Laws — refer to a body of written and/or unwritten rules, usages, customs and practices traditionally and continually recognized, accepted and observed by respective ICCs/IPs[.] (Emphasis supplied)

    It is evident that only those belonging to ICCs/IPs have or adhere to customary laws. Since Section 66 refers to parties having customary laws, it follows that the NCIP's jurisdiction, as defined in Section 66 of the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act, is limited to parties who belong to ICCs/IPs. It excludes those who do not.

    To hold otherwise is to summarily compel those who do not belong to ICCs/IPs to adhere and subject themselves to customary laws despite their not having "traditionally and continually recognized, accepted[,] and observed"25 these laws. This runs afoul of fair play and violates their right to due process.

    Thus, Section 66's qualifiers—as specifically worded—indicate that cases that fall under the jurisdiction of the NCIP must be limited to those where both parties belong to ICCs/IPs.chanrobleslaw

    IV

    The requirement that both parties must exhaust all remedies provided under their customary laws necessarily means that both parties must belong to the same ICC/IP.

    The word "respective" denotes "belonging or relating to each one of the people or things that have been mentioned."26

    Section 3(f) of the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act conceives of "customary laws" as "refer[ring] to a body of ... rules, usages, customs[,] and practices traditionally and continually recognized, accepted[,] and observed by respective ICCs/IPs." Thus, inherent in the Act's conception of "customary laws" is a recognition that each ICC/IP has a set of continually recognized, accepted, and observed rules, usages, customs, and practices that is distinct and separate from those of other ICCs/IPs.

    The recognition that ICCs/IPs have distinct customary laws is similarly a recognition that each ICC/IP has a distinct dispute settlement mechanism pursuant to their respective customary laws. To belong to a specific ICC/IP is, therefore, to say that one adheres not only to a specific set of customary laws but also to a specific dispute settlement mechanism applicable to that ICC/IP.

    Thus, much as interpreting Section 66 as encompassing disputes where a party does not belong to an ICC/IP runs afoul of fair play and violates the (non-ICC/IP member's) right to due process, so does interpreting Section 66 as encompassing disputes where the parties belong to different ICCs/IPs. As with the former, to make such a conclusion is to summarily compel a party who adheres to a specific set of customary laws and dispute settlement mechanisms to adhere and be subjected to another set of customary laws.

    Rule IV, Section 14 of NCIP Administrative Circular No. 1-03, the Rules on Pleadings, Practice and Procedure Before the NCIP (NCIP Rules) provides for situations "[w]here one of the parties . . . does not belong to the same IP/IC Community" as an exception to the requirement of a certification issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute. This is a recognition that the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act does not provide a dispute settlement mechanism where the parties belong to different ICCs/IPs. However, even as Rule IV, Section 14 of the NCIP Rules does away with the certification requirement, it cannot serve to extend the NCIP's jurisdiction to disputes involving parties from different ICCs/IPs.chanrobleslaw

    V

    Extending the NCIP's jurisdiction to those who do not belong to an indigenous cultural community or are not indigenous peoples finds no support elsewhere in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.

    Section 66 is the sole provision of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act that spells out the NCIP's jurisdiction in respect of the exercise of its quasi-judicial power.

    This court has defined quasi-judicial power as follows:

    Quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory power on the other hand is the power of the administrative agency to adjudicate the rights of persons before it. It is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by the law itself in enforcing and administering the same law. The administrative body exercises its quasi-judicial power when it performs in a judicial manner an act which is essentially of an executive or administrative nature, where the power to act in such manner is incidental to or reasonably necessary for the performance of the executive or administrative duty entrusted to it. In carrying out their quasi-judicial functions the administrative officers or bodies are required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions from them as basis for their official action and exercise of discretion in a judicial nature. Since rights of specific persons are affected it is elementary that in the proper exercise of quasi-judicial power due process must be observed in the conduct of the proceedings.27 (Emphasis supplied)

    Judicial power, in turn, has been defined in Macasiano v. National Housing Authority,28 as the "right to determine actual controversies arising between adverse litigants."29 In Lopez v. Roxas:30

    Judicial power is the authority to settle justiciable controversies or disputes involving rights that are enforceable and demandable before the courts of justice or the redress of wrongs for violations of such rights.31

    It is true that the other provisions of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act pertain to the competencies of the NCIP. However, a reading of these provisions will show that they do not extend the NCIP's jurisdiction, in the exercise of its quasi-judicial power, to those who do not belong to ICCs/IPs.

    Section 3832 creates the NCIP and states its purpose as "the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, plans and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the ICCs/IPs and the recognition of their ancestral domains as well as the rights thereto."

    Section 3933 articulates in broad language the mandate of the NCIP to "protect and promote the interest and well-being of the ICCs/IPs with due regard to their beliefs, customs, traditions and institutions."

    Section 4434 provides that the NCIP shall have the "powers, jurisdiction and function" provided therein in order that it may "accomplish its mandate." Section 44 lists 17 of such "powers, jurisdiction and function":

    (1)
    Item (a) identifies the NCIP "as the primary government agency through which ICCs/IPs can seek government assistance and as the medium, through which such assistance may be extended."
    (2)
    Item (b) authorizes the NCIP "[t]o review and assess the conditions of ICCs/IPs ... to propose relevant laws and policies[,]" a function which is evidently not (quasi-)judicial in nature.
    (3)
    Item (c) refers to the "formulat[ion] and implementation] [of] policies, plans, programs and projects[.]"
    (4)
    Item (d) permits the NCIP to avail itself of "the services and support" of experts and consultants, whether from government or the private sector.
    (5)
    Item (e) places in the NCIP the authority "[t]o issue certificate[s] of ancestral land/domain title."
    (6)
    Item (f) enables the NCIP "to enter into contracts, agreements, or arrangement[s]. . . and ... to obtain loans."
    (7)
    Item (g) enables the NCIP "[t]o negotiate for funds and to accept grants, donations, gifts[,] and/or properties . . . and administer the same."
    (8)
    Item (h) makes the NCIP the "coordinator] [of] development programs and projects."
    (9)
    Item (i) enables the NCIP "[t]o convene periodic conventions or assemblies of IPs to review, assess as well as propose policies or plans."
    (10)
    Item (j) spells out the NCIP's advisory and reportorial duties vis-a-vis the President of the Philippines, i.e., "[t]o advise the President of the Philippines on all matters relating to the ICCs/IPs and to submit within sixty (60) days after the close of each calendar year, a report of its operations and achievements."
    (11)
    Item (k) allows the NCIP "[t]o submit to Congress appropriate legislative proposals."
    (12)
    Item (1) spells out the budgetary duty of the NCIP, ie., "[t]o prepare and submit the appropriate budget to the Office of the President."
    (13)
    Item (m) relates to the "issu[ance] [of] . . . certification[s] as a pre-condition to the grant of... authority for the disposition, utilization, management[s] and appropriation by any private individual, corporate entity or any government agency, corporation or subdivision thereof on any part or portion of the ancestral domain[.]"
    (14)
    Item (n) provides for the NCIP's appellate power, i.e., "[t]o decide all appeals from the decisions and acts of all the various offices within the Commission."
    (15)
    Item (o) provides for the NCIP's rule-making power, i.e., "[t]o promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the implementation of this Act. "
    (16)
    Item (p) is a catch-all provision enabling the NCIP "[t]o exercise such other powers and functions as may be directed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines."
    (17)
    Item (q) allows the NCIP "[t]o represent the Philippine ICCs/IPs in all international conferences and conventions dealing with indigenous peoples and other related concerns."


    None but two (2) of these 17 "powers, jurisdiction and function[s]" are directly related to the NCIP's exercise of its quasi-judicial power. These two (2) items are item (n)—on the NCIP's appellate power—and Item (o)— on the NCIP's rule-making power— which may be read vis-a-vis Section 69's investiture upon the NCIP of the power "[t]o promulgate rules and regulations governing the hearing and disposition of cases filed before it as well as those pertaining to its internal functions and such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act." Neither of these two states that the NCIP's jurisdiction extends to disputes where a party does not belong to an ICC/IP or to those where the parties belong to different ICCs/IPs.

    Item (m) enables the NCIP to exercise authority over those who not belong to ICCs/IPs, i.e., "any private individual, corporate entity or any government agency, corporation or subdivision thereof." However, item (m) refers specifically to the "issuance of certification[s] as a pre-condition to the grant of ... authority for the disposition, utilization, management[s] and appropriation ... on any part or portion of the ancestral domain[.]" It does not refer to the "exercise of discretion in a judicial nature"35 and the "determin[ation] [of] actual controversies arising between adverse litigants."36

    VI

    Reliance on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act's Implementing Rules and Regulations and the NCIP's rules in support of the assertion that the NCIP has jurisdiction is misplaced. In extending the NCIP's jurisdiction, these rules contradict statutory provisions.

    Rule IX, Section 1 of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act's Implementing Rules and Regulations reads:

    RULE IX. JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURES FOR
    ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS

    Section 1. Primacy of Customary Law. All conflicts related to ancestral domains and lands, involving ICCs/IPs, such as but not limited to conflicting claims and boundary disputes, shall be resolved by the concerned parties through the application of customary laws in the area where the disputed ancestral domain or land is located.

    All conflicts related to the ancestral domains or lands where one of the parties is a non-ICC/IP or where the dispute could not be resolved through customary law shall be heard and adjudicated in accordance with the Rules on Pleadings, Practice and Procedures Before the NCIP to be adopted hereafter.

    All decisions of the NCIP may be brought on Appeal by Petition for Review to the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the Order or Decision. (Emphasis supplied)ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    Rule III, Section 5 of the NCIP Rules, NCIP Administrative Circular No. 1-03 reads:

    Sec. 5. Jurisdiction of the NCIP.—The NCIP through its Regional Hearing Offices shall exercise jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs and all cases pertaining to the implementation, enforcement, and interpretation of R.A. 8371, including but not limited to the following:

    (1)
    Original and Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Regional Hearing Office (RHO):
    a.
    Cases involving disputes and controversies over ancestral lands/domains of ICCs/IPs;
    b.
    Cases involving violations of the requirement of free and prior and informed consent of ICCs/IPs;
    c.
    Actions for enforcement of decisions of ICCs/IPs involving violations of customary laws or desecration of ceremonial sites, sacred places, or rituals;
    d.
    Actions for redemption/reconveyance under Section 8(b) of R.A. 8371; and
    e.
    Such other cases analogous to the foregoing.
    (2)
    Original Jurisdiction of the Regional Hearing Officer:
    a.
    Cases affecting property rights, claims of ownership, hereditary succession, and settlement of land disputes, between and among ICCs/IPs that have not been settled under customary laws; and
    b.
    Actions for damages arising out of any violation of Republic Act No. 8371.
    (3)
    Exclusive and Original Jurisdiction of the Commission:
    a.
    Petition for cancellation of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles/Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles (CADTs/CALTs) alleged to have been fraudulently acquired by, and issued to, any person or community as provided for under Section 54 of R.A. 8371. Provided that such action is filed within one (1) year from the date of registration. (Emphasis supplied)

    Apart from these, Rule IV, Sections 13 and 14 of the NCIP Rules provide:

    Section 13. Certification to File Action. Upon the request of the proper party, members of the indigenous dispute settlement group or council of elders shall likewise issue a certification to file action before the NCIP. In giving due regard to customary laws, the certification may be in any form so long as it states in substance the failure of settlement notwithstanding the efforts made under customary law or traditional practices.

    Section 14. Exceptions. The certification shall not be required in the following cases:
    1. Where one of the parties is a public or private corporation, partnership, association or juridical person or a public officer or employee and the dispute is in connection with the performance of his official functions;cralawlawlibrary

    2. Where one of the parties is non-IP/ICC or does not belong to the same IP/IC Community, except when he voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the Council of Elders/Leaders;cralawlawlibrary

    3. Where the relief sought for in the complaint or petition seeks to prevent any grave, imminent and irreparable damage or injury that may result if not acted upon immediately; and

    4. Where the Council of Elders/Leaders refuse to issue the necessary certification without justifiable reasons. (Emphasis supplied)

    These provisions support the conclusion that the NCIP has jurisdiction even over cases where a party does not belong to an ICC/IP.

    However, it is a basic principle in administrative law that an administrative rule must conform to and not contradict the provision of an enabling law. In Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue:37

    As mandated by Article 7 of the Civil Code,38 an administrative rule or regulation cannot contravene the law on which it is based. . . . The rules and regulations that administrative agencies promulgate, which are the product of a delegated legislative power to create new and additional legal provisions that have the effect of law, should be within the scope of the statutory authority granted by the legislature to the objects and purposes of the law, and should not be in contradiction to, but in conformity with, the standards prescribed by law.

    To be valid, an administrative rule or regulation must conform, not contradict, the provisions of the enabling law. An implementing rule or regulation cannot modify, expand, or subtract from the law it is intended to implement. Any rule that is not consistent with the statute itself is null and void.

    While administrative agencies . . . may issue regulations to implement statutes, they are without authority to limit the scope of the statute to less than what it provides, or extend or expand the statute beyond its terms, or in any way modify explicit provisions of the law. Indeed, a quasi-judicial body or an administrative agency for that matter cannot amend an act of Congress. Hence, in case of a discrepancy between the basic law and an interpretative or administrative ruling, the basic law prevails.39ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act does not extend the NCIP's jurisdiction to disputes involving those who do not belong to ICCs/IPs. The precise wording of Section 66 and the silence of the remainder of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act on extending the NCIP's jurisdiction bear this out.

    Likewise, "[j]urisdiction over a subject matter is conferred by law.40 No amount of administrative rule-making can vest jurisdiction where neither Constitution nor statute vests it.

    Thus, Rule IX, Section 1 of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act's Implementing Rules and Regulations, Rule III, Section 5, and Rule IV, Sections 13 and 14 of the NCIP Rules, insofar as they extend the NCIP's jurisdiction to disputes where a party does not belong to an ICC/IP, must be deemed null and void. They are inconsistent with the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act in that they modify and expand the NCIP's jurisdiction as spelled out in Section 66. In light of this discrepancy between a basic law and administrative rules, the basic law—the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act— must prevail.

    VII

    In sum, the requirements for the proper exercise of the NCIP's jurisdiction over a dispute, pursuant to Section 66 of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, are as follows:

    (1)
    The claim or dispute must involve the rights of ICCs/IPs;
    (2)
    Both parties must belong to the same ICC/IP;
    (3)
    These parties must have exhausted all remedies provided under their ICC/IP's customary laws; and
    (4)
    Compliance with this requirement of exhausting remedies under customary laws must be evidenced by a certification issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute, to the effect that the dispute has not been resolved.


    In this case, it is not disputed that respondents do not belong to an ICC/IP. Their sole interest is in their supposed ownership and possession of land which, in turn, "appears to be located within the ancestral domain of the Talaandig tribe."41 Thus, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples may not exercise jurisdiction over the case filed by respondents.chanrobleslaw

    VII

    Customary norms are as varied as there are tribes within ethnolinguistic groups. If we are to animate the spirit of both the Constitution and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, we should not stereotype all cultures as homogenous or incapable of dynamic interfaces with each other. Customary law is a descriptive label which should acknowledge that each tribe lived through its own history and endogenously emerged their own set of norms reflecting their values and lifeways. To say that the customary norms of the Kalinga are the same as those of the Subanen betrays the same colonial mindset that marginalized what our colonizers called as "Non-Christian Tribes" in the distant past.

    Neither should we straightjacket any culture as incapable of dynamic interfaces or accommodation with other cultures. Various groups of indigenous communities are able to work with the entirety of our legal system in appropriate cases. This case, which involves a party not of their tribe, is certainly one such case.

    ACCORDINGLY, I vote to DENY the Petition for Review on Certiorari . The assailed Decision dated August 17, 2006 and Resolution dated July 4, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 00204-MIN must be AFFIRMED.

    Endnotes:


    1 SEC. 66. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. The NCIP, through its regional offices, shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs: Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. For this purpose, a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP.

    2Rollo, p. 21-50.

    3 Id. at 60, Court of Appeals Decision dated August 17, 2006.

    4 Id.

    5 Id.

    6 Id. at 79, Original Certificate of Title.

    7 Id. at 30-32, Petition for Review on Certiorari .

    8 Id. at 60, Court of Appeals Decision dated August 17, 2006.

    9 Id.

    10 Id. at 61.

    11 Id.

    12 Id.

    13 Id.

    14 Id. at 61-62.

    15 Id. at 57-68.

    16 SEC. 66. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. The NCIP, through its regional offices, shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs: Provided, however, That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. For this purpose, a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved, which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP.

    17Veneracion v. Mancilla, 528 Phil. 309, 325 (2006) [Per J. Callejo, Sr., First Division].

    18Machado v. Gatdula, 626 Phil. 457, 468 (2010) [Per J. Brion, Second Division], citing Spouses Vargas v. Spouses Caminas, 577 Phil. 185 (2008) [Per J. Carpio, First Division]; Metromedia Times Corporation v. Pastorin, 503 Phil. 288 (2005) [Per J. Tinga, Second Division]; and Dy v. National Labor Relations Commission, 229 Phil. 234, 242 (1986) [Per J. Narvasa, First Division].

    19Magno v. People of the Philippines, 662 Phil. 726, 735 (2011) [Per J. Brion, Third Division]; citing Machado v. Gatdula, 626 Phil. 457 (2010) [Per J. Brion, Second Division].

    20 SECTION 69. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the NCIP. — The NCIP shall have the power and authority:

    a) To promulgate rules and regulations governing the hearing and disposition of cases filed before it as well as those pertaining to its internal functions and such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act;cralawlawlibrary

    b) To administer oaths, summon the parties to a controversy, issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of such books, papers, contracts, records, agreements and other document of similar nature as may be material to a just determination of the matter under investigation or hearing conducted in pursuance of this Act;cralawlawlibrary

    c) To hold any person in contempt, directly or indirectly, and impose appropriate penalties therefor; and

    d) To enjoin any or all acts involving or arising from any case pending before it which, if not restrained forthwith, may cause grave or irreparable damage to any of the parties to the case or seriously affect social or economic activity.

    21 SECTION 68. Execution of Decisions, Awards, Orders. — Upon expiration of the period herein provided and no appeal is perfected by any of the contending parties, the Hearing Officer of the NCIP, on its own initiative or upon motion by the prevailing party, shall issue a writ of execution requiring the sheriff or the proper officer to execute final decisions, orders or awards of the Regional Hearing Officer of the NCIP.

    22 SECTION 67. Appeals to the Court of Appeals. — Decisions of the NCIP shall be appealable to the Court of Appeals by way of a petition for review.

    23 SECTION 70. No Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction. — No inferior court of the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against the NCIP or any of its duly authorized or designated offices in any case, dispute or controversy arising from, necessary to, or interpretation of this Act and other pertinent laws relating to ICCs/IPs and ancestral domains.

    24 SECTION 65. Primacy of Customary Laws and Practices. — When disputes involve ICCs/IPs, customary laws and practices shall be used to resolve the dispute.

    25 Rep. Act No. 8371 (1997), sec. 3(f).

    26 Merriam Webster Online (Visited October 21, 2015).

    27Dole Philippines Inc. v. Esteva, 538 Phil. 817, 860-861 (2006) [Per J. Chico-Nazario, First Division], citing Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Court of Appeals, 329 Phil. 987, 1018-1019 (1996) [Per J. Vitug, First Division].

    28 G.R. No. 107921, July 1, 1993, 224 SCRA236 [Per J. Davide, Jr., En Banc].

    29 Id. at 243.

    30 124 Phil. 168 (1966) [Per C.J. Concepcion, En Banc].

    31 Id. at 173, citing Black, Constitutional Law, 2nd ed. p. 82; Ruperlo vs. Torres, 100 Phil. 1098 [Per J. Labrador, Unreported Case], in turn citing 34 C.J. 1183-1184; Wheeling & Elm Grove Railroad Co., Appt. vs. Town of Philadelphia, et al., 4 LRA (NS) pp. 321, 328-329.

    32 Section 38. "National Commission on Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). — To carry out the policies herein set forth, there shall be created the National Commission on ICCs/IPs (NCIP), which shall be the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, plans and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the ICCs/IPs and the recognition of their ancestral domains as well as the rights thereto.

    33 Section 39. Mandate. — The NCIP shall protect and promote the interest and well-being of the ICCs/IPs with due regard to their beliefs, customs, traditions and institutions.

    34 Section 44. Powers and Functions. — To accomplish its mandate, the NCIP shall have the following powers, jurisdiction and function:

    a) To serve as the primary government agency through which ICCs/IPs can seek government assistance and as the medium, through which such assistance may be extended;cralawlawlibrary

    b) To review and assess the conditions of ICCs/IPs including existing laws and policies pertinent thereto and to propose relevant laws and policies to address their role in national development;cralawlawlibrary

    c) To formulate and implement policies, plans, programs and projects for the economic, social and cultural development of the ICCs/IPs and to monitor the implementation thereof;cralawlawlibrary

    d) To request and engage the services and support of experts from other agencies of government or employ private experts and consultants as may be required in the pursuit of its objectives;cralawlawlibrary

    e) To issue certificate of ancestral land/domain title;cralawlawlibrary

    f) Subject to existing laws, to enter into contracts, agreements, or arrangement, with government or private agencies or entities as may be necessary to attain the objectives of this Act, and subject to the approval of the President, to obtain loans from government lending institutions and other lending institutions to finance its programs;cralawlawlibrary

    g) To negotiate for funds and to accept grants, donations, gifts and/or properties in whatever form and from whatever source, local and international, subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines, for the benefit of ICCs/IPs and administer the same in accordance with the terms thereof; or in the absence of any condition, in such manner consistent with the interest of ICCs/IPs as well as existing laws;cralawlawlibrary

    h) To coordinate development programs and projects for the advancement of the ICCs/IPs and to oversee the proper implementation thereof;cralawlawlibrary

    i) To convene periodic conventions or assemblies of IPs to review, assess as well as propose policies or plans;cralawlawlibrary

    j) To advise the President of the Philippines on all matters relating to the ICCs/IPs and to submit within sixty (60) days after the close of each calendar year, a report of its operations and achievements;cralawlawlibrary

    k) To submit to Congress appropriate legislative proposals intended to carry out the policies under this Act;cralawlawlibrary

    1) To prepare and submit the appropriate budget to the Office of the President;cralawlawlibrary

    m) To issue appropriate certification as a pre-condition to the grant of permit, lease, grant, or any other similar authority for the disposition, utilization, management and appropriation by any private individual, corporate entity or any government agency, corporation or subdivision thereof on any part or portion of the ancestral domain taking into consideration the consensus approval of the ICCs/IPs concerned;cralawlawlibrary

    n) To decide all appeals from the decisions and acts of all the various offices within the Commission;cralawlawlibrary

    o) To promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the implementation of this Act;cralawlawlibrary

    p) To exercise such other powers and functions as may be directed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines; and

    q) To represent the Philippine ICCs/IPs in all international conferences and conventions dealing with indigenous peoples and other related concerns.

    35Dole Philippines Inc. v. Esteva, 538 Phil. 817, 860-861 (2006) [Per J. Chico-Nazario, First Division], citing Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Court of Appeals, 329 Phil. 987, 1018-1019 (1996) [Per J. Vitug, First Division].

    36Macasiano v. National Housing Authority, G.R. No. 107921, July 1, 1993, 224 SCRA 236, 243 [Per J. Davide, Jr., En Banc].

    37 617 Phil. 358 (2009) [Per J. Leonardo-De Castro, En Banc].

    38 Article 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary.

    When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern.

    Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution.

    39Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 617 Phil. 358, 368-369 (2009) [Per J. Leonardo-De Castro, En Banc], citing Francel Realty Corporation v. Sycip, 506 Phil. 407 (2005) [Per Acting C.J. Panganiban, Third Division] and Sunga v. Commission on Elections, 351 Phil. 310 (1998) [Per J. Bellosillo, En Banc].

    40Machado v. Gatdula, 626 Phil. 457, 468 (2010) [Per J. Brion, Second Division], citing Spouses Vargas v. Spouses Caminas, 511 Phil. 185 (2008) [Per J. Carpio, First Division]; Metromedia Times Corporation v. Pastorin, 503 Phil. 288 (2005) [Per J. Tinga, Second Division]; and Dy v. National Labor Relations Commission, 229 Phil. 234, 242 (1986) [Per J. Narvasa, First Division].

    41 Ponencia, April 23, 2014, p. 2.

    G.R. No. 181284, October 20, 2015 - LOLOY UNDURAN, BARANGAY CAPTAIN ROMEO PACANA, NESTOR MACAPAYAG, RUPERTO DOGIA, JIMMY TALINO, ERMELITO ANGEL, PETOY BESTO, VICTORINO ANGEL, RUEL BOLING, JERMY ANGEL, BERTING SULOD, RIO BESTO, BENDIJO SIMBALAN, AND MARK BRAZIL, Petitioners, v. RAMON ABERASTURI, CRISTINA C. LOPEZ, CESAR LOPEZ JR., DIONISIO A. LOPEZ, MERCEDES L. GASTON, AGNES H. LOPEZ, EUSEBIO S. LOPEZ, JOSE MARIA S. LOPEZ, ANTON B. ABERASTURI, MA. RAISSA A. VELEZ, ZOILO ANTONIO A. VELEZ, CRISTINA ABERASTURI, EDUARDO LOPEZ JR., ROSARIO S. LOPEZ, JUAN S. LOPEZ, CESAR ANTHONY R. LOPEZ, VENANCIO L. GASTON, ROSEMARIE S. LOPEZ, JAY A. ASUNCION, NICOLO ABERASTURI, LISA A. ASUNCION, INEZ A. VERAY, HERNAN A. ASUNCION, ASUNCION LOPEZ, THOMAS A. VELEZ, LUIS ENRIQUE VELEZ, ANTONIO H. LOPEZ, CHARLES H. LOPEZ, ANA L. ZAYCO, PILAR L. QUIROS, CRISTINA L. PICAZO, RENATO SANTOS, GERALDINE AGUIRRE, MARIA CARMENCITA T. LOPEZ, and as represented by attorney-in-fact RAMON ABERASTURI, Respondents.


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED