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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)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
November-2016 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 7387, November 07, 2016 - MANUEL ENRIQUE L. ZALAMEA, AND MANUEL JOSE L. ZALAMEA, Petitioners, v. ATTY. RODOLFO P. DE GUZMAN, JR. AND PERLAS DE GUZMAN, ANTONIO, VENTURANZA, QUIZON-VENTURANZA, AND HERROSA LAW FIRM, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 204419, November 07, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. HON. EDMAR P. CASTILLO, SR., AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF BRANCH 6, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, APARRI, CAGAYAN AND JEOFREY JIL RABINO Y TALOZA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 217956, November 16, 2016 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY (MCIAA), Petitioner, v. LIMBONHAI AND SONS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 212008, November 16, 2016 - WILLIAM ENRIQUEZ AND NELIA-VELA ENRIQUEZ, Petitioners, v. ISAROG LINE TRANSPORT, INC. AND VICTOR SEDENIO, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 11059, November 09, 2016 - JOSE ANTONIO F. BALINGIT, Complainant, v. ATTY. RENATO M. CERVANTES AND ATTY. TEODORO B. DELARMENTE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 215198, November 09, 2016 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JHUN VILLALON Y ORDONO, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 213221, November 09, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BIYAN MOHAMMAD Y ASDORI A.K.A. "BONG BIYAN" AND MINA LADJAHASAN Y TOMBREO, ACCUSED, MINA LADJAHASAN Y TOMBREO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 213934, November 09, 2016 - MARY ANN G. VENZON, EDDIE D. GUTIERREZ, JOSE M. GUTIERREZ, JR. AND MONA LIZA L. CABAL, Petitioners, v. ZAMECO II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. AND ENGR. FIDEL S. CORREA, GENERAL MANAGER, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 208090, November 09, 2016 - FERDINAND V. TOMAS, Petitioner, v. CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND DETECTION GROUP (CIDG) - ANTI-ORGANIZED CRIME DIVISION (AOCD) (CIDG-AOCD) AND MYRNA UY TOMAS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 224302, November 29, 2016 - HON. PHILIP A. AGUINALDO, HON. REYNALDO A. ALHAMBRA, HON. DANILO S. CRUZ, HON. BENJAMIN T. POZON, HON. SALVADOR V. TIMBANG, JR., AND THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES (IBP), Petitioners, v. HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III, HON. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, HON. MICHAEL FREDERICK L. MUSNGI, HON. MA. GERALDINE FAITH A. ECONG, HON. DANILO S. SANDOVAL, HON. WILHELMINA B. JORGE-WAGAN, HON. ROSANA FE ROMERO-MAGLAYA, HON. MERIANTHE PACITA M. ZURAEK, HON. ELMO M. ALAMEDA, AND HON. VICTORIA C. FERNANDEZ-BERNARDO, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 212656-57, November 23, 2016 - MAYOR AMADO CORPUZ, JR., Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SANDIGANBAYAN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 190385, November 16, 2016 - UCPB GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. Petitioner, v. HUGHES ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 209303, November 14, 2016 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. THE PROVINCIAL TREASURER OF BENGUET, THE PROVINCIAL ASSESSOR OF BENGUET, THE MUNICIPAL TREASURER OF ITOGON, BENGUET AND THE MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR OF ITOGON, BENGUET, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 209415-17, November 15, 2016 - JOCELYN "JOY" LIM-BUNGCARAS, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC) AND RICO RENTUZA, Respondents.; HERMENEGILDO S. CASTIL, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC) AND RACHEL B. AVENDULA, Respondents.; JESUS AVENDULA, JR., DOMINGO RAMADA, JR. AND VICTOR RAMADA, Petitioners, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC), MANUEL O. CALAPRE, SATURNINO V. CINCO, FERNAN V. SALAS, ANTONIO DALUGDUGAN, FEDERICO C. JAPON, SANTIAGO M. SANTIAGO, JACINTA O. MALUBAY AND BELEN G. BUNGCAG, Respondents.; G.R. No. 210002 - ALDRIN B. PAMAOS, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, MANUEL O. CALAPRE, SATURNINO V. CINCO, FERNAN V. SALAS, ANTONIO DALUGDUGAN, FEDERICO C. JAPON, SANTIAGO M. SANTIAGO, JACINTA O. MALUBAY AND BELEN G. BUNGCAG, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. 16-02-01-CTA, November 15, 2016 - MA. ROSARIO R. ESCAÑO, CHIEF JUDICIAL STAFF OFFICER, HUMAN RESOURCE DIVISION, OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCE SERVICES, COURT OF TAX APPEALS, Complainant, v. ADRIAN P. MANAOIS, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT OFFICER III, HUMAN RESOURCE DIVISION, COURT OF TAX APPEALS, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-15-3386 (Formerly A.M. No. 15-07-227-RTC), November 15, 2016 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. CLERK OF COURT VI MELVIN C. DEQUITO AND CASH CLERK ABNER C. ARO, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, SAN PABLO CITY, LAGUNA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 208350, November 14, 2016 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. HEIRS OF SPOUSES TOMASA ESTACIO AND EULALIO OCOL, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 188751, November 16, 2016 - BONIFACIO NIEVA Y MONTERO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 225973, November 08, 2016 - SATURNINO C. OCAMPO, TRINIDAD H. REPUNO, BIENVENIDO LUMBERA, BONIFACIO P. ILAGAN, NERI JAVIER COLMENARES, MARIA CAROLINA P. ARAULLO, M.D., SAMAHAN NG EX­DETAINEES LABAN SA DETENSYON AT ARESTO (SELDA), REPRESENTED BY DIONITO CABILLAS, CARMENCITA M. FLORENTINO, RODOLFO DEL ROSARIO, FELIX C. DALISAY, AND DANILO M. DELAFUENTE,* Petitioners, v. REAR ADMIRAL ERNESTO C. ENRIQUEZ (IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR RESERVIST AND RETIREE AFFAIRS, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES), THE GRAVE SERVICES UNIT (PHILIPPINE ARMY), AND GENERAL RICARDO R. VISAYA (IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES), DEFENSE SECRETARY DELFIN LORENZANA, AND HEIRS OF FERDINAND E. MARCOS, REPRESENTED BY HIS SURVIVING SPOUSE IMELDA ROMUALDEZ MARCOS, Respondents.; RENE A.V. SAGUISAG, SR., RENE A.Q. SAGUISAG, JR., RENE A.C. SAGUISAG III, Intervenors.; G.R. No. 225984 - REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN, IN HIS PERSONAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITIES AND AS A MEMBER OF CONGRESS AND AS THE HONORARY CHAIRPERSON OF THE FAMILIES OF VICTIMS OF INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCE (FIND); FAMILIES OF VICTIMS OF INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCE (FIND), REPRESENTED BY ITS CO­CHAIRPERSON, NILDA L. SEVILLA; REP. TEDDY BRAWNER BAGUILAT, JR.; REP. TOMASITO S. VILLARIN; REP. EDGAR R. ERICE; AND REP. EMMANUEL A. BILLONES, Petitioners, v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA; DEFENSE SECRETARY DELFIN N. LORENZANA; AFP CHIEF OF STAFF LT. GEN. RICARDO R. VISAYA; AFP DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF REAR ADMIRAL ERNESTO C. ENRIQUEZ; AND HEIRS OF FERDINAND E. MARCOS, REPRESENTED BY HIS SURVIVING SPOUSE IMELDA ROMUALDEZ MARCOS, Respondents.; G.R. No. 226097 - LORETTA ANN PARGAS-ROSALES, HILDA B. NARCISO, AIDA F. SANTOS­MARANAN, JO-ANN Q. MAGLIPON, ZENAIDA S. MIQUE, FE B. MANGAHAS, MA. CRISTINA P. BAWAGAN, MILA D. AGUILAR, MINERVA G. GONZALES, MA. CRISTINA V. RODRIGUEZ, LOUIE G. CRISMO, FRANCISCO E. RODRIGO, JR., LIWAYWAY D. ARCE, AND ABDULMARI DE LEON IMAO, JR., Petitioners, v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA, DEFENSE SECRETARY DELFIN LORENZANA, AFP DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF REAR ADMIRAL ERNESTO C. ENRIQUEZ, AFP CHIEF OF STAFF LT. GEN. RICARDO R. VISAYA, AND PHILIPPINE VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE (PVAO) ADMINISTRATOR LT. GEN. ERNESTO G. CAROLINA (RET.), Respondents.; G.R. No. 226116 - HEHERSON T. ALVAREZ, JOEL C. LAMANGAN, FRANCIS X. MANGLAPUS, EDILBERTO C. DE JESUS, BELINDA O. CUNANAN, CECILIA GUIDOTE ALVAREZ, REX DEGRACIA LORES, SR., ARNOLD MARIE NOEL, CARLOS MANUEL, EDMUND S. TAYAO, DANILO P. OLIVARES, NOEL F. TRINIDAD, JESUS DELA FUENTE, REBECCA M. QUIJANO, FR. BENIGNO BELTRAN, SVD, ROBERTO S. VERZOLA, AUGUSTO A. LEGASTO, JR., AND JULIA KRISTINA P. LEGASTO, Petitioners, v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA, DEFENSE SECRETARY DELFIN LORENZANA, AFP CHIEF OF STAFF LT. GEN. RICARDO R. VISAYA, AFP DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF REAR ADMIRAL ERNESTO C. ENRIQUEZ, AND PHILIPPINE VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE (PVAO) OF THE DND, Respondents.; G.R. No. 226117 - ZAIRA PATRICIA B. BANIAGA, JOHN ARVIN BUENAAGUA, JOANNE ROSE SACE LIM, JUAN ANTONIO RAROGAL MAGALANG, Petitioners, v. SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE DELFIN N. LORENZANA, AFP CHIEF OF STAFF RICARDO R. VISAYA, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE PHILIPPINE VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE ERNESTO G. CAROLINA, Respondents.; G.R. No. 226120 - ALGAMAR A. LATIPH, Petitioner, v. SECRETARY DELFIN N. LORENZANA, SUED IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, LT. GEN. RICARDO R. VISAYA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND LT. GEN. ERNESTO G. CAROLINA (RET.), IN HIS CAPACITY AS ADMINISTRATOR, PHILIPPINE VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE (PVAO), Respondents.; G.R. No. 226294 - LEILA M. DE LIMA, IN HER CAPACITY AS SENATOR OF THE REPUBLIC AND AS TAXPAYER, Petitioner, v. HON. SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA, DEFENSE SECRETARY DELFIN LORENZANA, AFP CHIEF OF STAFF LT. GEN. RICARDO R. VISAYA, UNDERSECRETARY ERNESTO G. CAROLINA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PHILIPPINE VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE (PVAO) ADMINISTRATOR AND B/GEN. RESTITUTO L. AGUILAR, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SHRINE CURATOR AND CHIEF VETERANS MEMORIAL AND HISTORICAL DIVISION AND HEIRS OF FERDINAND EDRALIN MARCOS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 189026, November 09, 2016 - PHILIPPINE TELEGRAPH TELEPHONE CORP., Petitioner, v. SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 192369, November 09, 2016 - MARIA VICTORIA TOLENTINO-PRIETO, Petitioner, v. ROBERT S. ELVAS, Respondent.; G.R. No. 193685 - ROBERT S. ELVAS, Petitioner, v. INNSBRUCK INTERNATIONAL TRADING AND/OR MARIVIC TOLENTINO (A.K.A. MARIA VICTORIA TOLENTINO-PRIETO), Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 222730, November 07, 2016 - BUENAFLOR CAR SERVICES, INC., Petitioner, v. CEZAR DURUMPILI DAVID, JR., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 190203, November 07, 2016 - POWERHOUSE STAFFBUILDERS INTERNATIONAL, INC., Petitioner, v. ROMELIA REY, LIZA CABAD, EVANGELINE NICMIC, EVA LAMEYRA, ROSARIO ABORDAJE, LILYBETH MAGALANG, VENIA BUYAG, JAYNALYN NOLLEDO, IREN NICOLAS, AILEEN SAMALEA, SUSAN YBAÑEZ; CHERYL ANN ORIA, MA. LIZA SERASPI, KATHERINE ORACION, AND JEJ INTERNATIONAL MANPOWER SERVICES CORPORATION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 223290, November 07, 2016 - WOODROW B. CAMASO, Petitioner, v. TSM SHIPPING (PHILS), INC., UTKILEN, AND/OR JONES TULOD, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215047, November 23, 2016 - UNIVERSAL CANNING INC., MS. MA. LOURDES A. LOSARIA, PERSONNEL OFFICER, AND ENGR. ROGELIO A. DESOSA, PLANT MANAGER, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS AND DANTE SAROSAL, FRANCISCO DUMAGAL, JR., NELSON E. FRANCISCO, ELMER C. SAROMINES AND SAMUEL D. CORONEL, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 219430, November 07, 2016 - JINKY S. STA. ISABEL, Petitioner, v. PERLA COMPAÑIA* DE SEGUROS, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 221897, November 07, 2016 - ISIDRO QUEBRAL, ALBERTO ESQUILLO, RENANTE SALINSAN, JEROME MACANDOG, EDGARDO GAYORGOR, JIM ROBERT PERFECTO, NOEL PERFECTO, DENNIS PAGAYON, AND HERCULANO MACANDOG Petitioners, v. ANGBUS CONSTRUCTION, INC. AND ANGELO BUSTAMANTE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 221465, November 16, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RODELIO LOPEZ Y CAPULI, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 160864, November 16, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., Respondent.; G.R. No. 160897 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., Respondent.

  • I.P.I. No. 15-227-CA-J, November 29, 2016 - RE: VERIFIED COMPLAINT DATED 17 NOVEMBER 2014 OF DOLORA CADIZ KHANNA AGAINST HON. EDGARDO L. DELOS SANTOS, HON. MARILYN B. LAGURA-YAP AND HON. JHOSEP Y. LOPEZ, ASSOCIATE JUSTICES, COURT OF APPEALS, JUDGE RONALD H. EXMUNDO, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 4, KALIBO, AKLAN, JUDGE FRICIA C. GOMEZ-GUILLEN, BRANCH 15, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, MANILA AND JUAN S. APOLINAR, SHERIFF III, BRANCH 17, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, MANILA.

  • G.R. No. 202114, November 09, 2016 - ELMER A. APINES, Petitioner, v. ELBURG SHIPMANAGEMENT PHILIPPINES, INC., AND/OR DANILO F. VENIDA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 181007, November 21, 2016 - COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, Petitioner, v. WILLIAM SINGSON AND TRITON SHIPPING CORPORATION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 213488, November 07, 2016 - TOYOTA PASIG, INC., Petitioner, v. VILMA S. DE PERALTA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 190667, November 07, 2016 - COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, v. SPOUSES JOSE R. BERNARDO AND LILIBETH R. BERNARDO, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE "JOLLY BEVERAGE ENTERPRISES," Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 194417, November 23, 2016 - HEIRS OF TEODORO CADELIÑA, REPRESENTED BY SOLEDAD CADIZ VDA. DE CADELIÑA, Petitioners, v. FRANCISCO CADIZ, CELESTINO DELA CRUZ, ANTONIO VICTORIA, HEIRS OF TELESFORO VILLAR REPRESENTED BY SAMUEL VILLAR, FRANCISCO VICTORIA AND MAGNO GANTE, Respondents; HON. JOSE C. REYES, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUSTICE, HON. NORMANDIE PIZARRO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS MEMBER, AND HON. RICARDO R. ROSARIO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS MEMBER OF THE COURT OF APPEALS SPECIAL FORMER THIRD DIVISION, Public Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 214772, November 21, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ELSON SANTUILLE @ "BORDADO" @ ELTON SANTUILLE @ "BORDADO," Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 185082, November 28, 2016 - MANDAUE REALTY & RESOURCES CORPORATION AND MANDAUE CITY REGISTER OF DEEDS, Petitioners, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS AND BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 161425, November 23, 2016 - ANIANO DESIERTO (SUBSTITUTED BY SIMEON V. MARCELO) AND MAUCENCIA ORDONEZ, Petitioners, v. RUTH EPISTOLA AND RODOLFO GAMIDO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215759, November 28, 2016 - HEIRS OF ANDRES NAYA: TERESITA B. NAYA, NORMA N. ORBISO, CARMENCITA N. FERNAN, AND NARCISO P. NAYA, Petitioners, v. ORLANDO P. NAYA AND SPOUSES HONESIMO C. RUIZ AND GLORIA S. RUIZ, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 200726, November 09, 2016 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. MATEO LAO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 188047, November 28, 2016 - LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Petitioner, v. BIENVENIDO R. ALVAREZ, CARLOS S. VELASCO, ASCENCION A. GARGALICANO, MARLON E. AGUINALDO, PETRONILO T. LEGASPI, BONIFACIO A. ESTOPIA, ANDRE A. DELA MERCED, JOSE NOVIER D. BAYOT, ROLANDO AMAZONA AND MARLINO HERRERA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 197634, November 28, 2016 - JULIUS B. CAMPOL, Petitioner, v. MAYOR RONALD S. BALAO-AS AND VICE-MAYOR DOMINADOR I. SIANEN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215640, November 28, 2016 - NESTOR CABRERA, Petitioner, v. ARNEL CLARIN AND WIFE; MILAGROS BARRIOS AND HUSBAND; AURORA SERAFIN AND HUSBAND; AND BONIFACIO MORENO AND WIFE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215341, November 28, 2016 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARLON MANSON Y RESULTAY, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 213453, November 29, 2016 - PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, MA. GRACIA PULIDO TAN, CHAIRPERSON; AND JANET D. NACION, DIRECTOR IV, Respondents.

  • I.P.I. No. 16-241-CA-J, November 29, 2016 - CLEMENTE F. ATOC, Complainant, v. EDGARDO A. CAMELLO, OSCAR V. BADELLES AND PERPETUA T. ATAL-PAÑO, ASSOCIATE JUSTICES, COURT OF APPEALS, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY. Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 210316, November 28, 2016 - THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) CHAIRPERSON TERESITA J. HERBOSA, COMMISSIONER MA. JUANITA E. CUETO, COMMISIONER RAUL J. PALABRICA, COMMISSIONER MANUEL HUBERTO B. GAITE, COMMISIONER ELADIO M. JALA, AND THE SEC ENFORCEMENT AND PROSECUTION DEPARTMENT, Petitioners, v. CJH DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND CJH SUITES CORPORATION, HEREIN REPRESENTED BY ITS EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ALFREDO R. YÑIGUEZ III, Respondents.

  • Decisions / Signed Resolutions

  • G.R. No. 217379, November 23, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDUARDO MARMOL Y BAUSO, JR., Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 182201, November 14, 2016 - UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT (BVI) LIMITED, Petitioner, v. RAY BURTON DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent.; G.R. No. 185815, November 14, 2016 - UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT (BVI) LIMITED, Petitioner, v. RAY BURTON DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 210588, November 29, 2016 - SECRETARY OF FINANCE CESAR B. PURISIMA AND COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE KIM S. JACINTO-­HENARES, Petitioners, v. REPRESENTATIVE CARMELO F. LAZATIN AND ECOZONE PLASTIC ENTERPRISES CORPORATION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 201883, November 16, 2016 - SPOUSES DESIDERIO AND TERESA DOMINGO, Petitioners, v. SPOUSES EMMANUEL AND TITA MANZANO, FRANKLIN ESTABILLO, AND CARMELITA AQUINO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 209098, November 14, 2016 - JUAN B. HERNANDEZ, Petitioner, v. CROSSWORLD MARINE SERVICES, INC., MYKONOS SHIPPING CO., LTD., AND ELEAZAR DIAZ, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 194412, November 16, 2016 - SAMSODEN PANGCATAN, Petitioner, v. ALEXANDRO "DODONG" MAGHUYOP AND BELINDO BANKIAO, Respondents.; G.R. No. 194566, November 16, 2016 - ALEXANDRO "DODONG" MAGHUYOP AND BELINDO BANKIAO, Petitioners, v. SAMSODEN PANGCATAN, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 195834, November 09, 2016 - GUILLERMO SALVADOR, REMEDIOS CASTRO, REPRESENTED BY PAZ "CHIT" CASTRO, LEONILA GUEVARRA, FELIPE MARIANO, RICARDO DE GUZMAN, VIRGILIO JIMENEZ, REPRESENTED BY JOSIE JIMENEZ, ASUNCION JUAMIZ, ROLANDO BATANG, CARMENCITA SAMSON, AUGUSTO TORTOSA, REPRESENTED BY FERNANDO TORTOSA, SUSANA MORANTE, LUZVIMINDA BULARAN, LUZ OROZCO, JOSE SAPICO, LEONARDO PALAD, ABEL BAKING, REPRESENTED BY ABELINA BAKING, GRACIANO ARNALDO, REPRESENTED BY LUDY ARNALDO, JUDITH HIDALGO, AND IGMIDIO JUSTINIANO, CIRIACO MIJARES, REPRESENTED BY FREDEZWINDA MIJARES, JENNIFER MORANTE, TERESITA DIALA, AND ANITA P. SALAR, Petitioners, v. PATRICIA, INC., RESPONDENT. THE CITY OF MANILA AND CIRIACO C. MIJARES, Intervenors-Appellees.

  • G.R. No. 172539, November 16, 2016 - ALBERTO GARONG Y VILLANUEVA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 200150, November 07, 2016 - CATHERINE CHING, LORENZO CHING, LAURENCE CHING, AND CHRISTINE CHING, Petitioners, v. QUEZON CITY SPORTS CLUB, INC.; MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, NAMELY: ANTONIO T. CHUA, MARGARET MARY A. RODAS, ALEJANDRO G. YABUT, JR., ROBERT C. GAW, EDGARDO A. HO, ROMULO D. SALES, BIENVENIDO ALANO, AUGUSTO E. OROSA, AND THE FINANCE MANAGER, LOURDES RUTH M. LOPEZ, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 221770, November 16, 2016 - NANITO Z. EVANGELISTA* (SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, REPRESENTED BY THE SURVIVING SPOUSE, LEOVIGILDA C. EVANGELISTA), Petitioners, v. SPOUSES NEREO V. ANDOLONG III AND ERLINDA T. ANDOLONG** AND RINO AMUSEMENT INNOVATORS, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 217210, November 07, 2016 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. CAPITAL RESOURCES CORPORATION, ROMEO ROXAS, AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF THE PROVINCE OF LA UNION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 216064, November 07, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ANTONIO DACANAY Y TUMALABCAB, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 207246, November 22, 2016 - JOSE M. ROY III, Petitioner, v. CHAIRPERSON TERESITA HERBOSA,THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, AND PHILILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, Respondents.; WILSON C. GAMBOA, JR., DANIEL V. CARTAGENA, JOHN WARREN P. GABINETE, ANTONIO V. PESINA, JR., MODESTO MARTIN Y. MAMON III, AND GERARDO C. EREBAREN, Petitioners-in-Intervention; PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention; SHAREHOLDERS' ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention.

  • Decisions / Signed Resolutions

  • G.R. No. 211072, November 07, 2016 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. DEUTSCHE KNOWLEDGE SERVICES, PTE. LTD., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 205035, November 16, 2016 - SPOUSES GEMINO C. MIANO, JR. AND JULIET MIANO, Petitioners, v. MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY [MERALCO], Respondents.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-12-1813 (Formerly A.M. No. 12-5-42-METC), November 22, 2016 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. JUDGE ELIZA B. YU, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH47, PASAY CITY, Respondent.; A.M. No. 12-1-09-METC - RE: LETTER DATED 21 JULY 2011 OF EXECUTIVE JUDGE BIBIANO G. COLASITO AND THREE (3) OTHER JUDGES OF THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, PASAY CITY, FOR THE SUSPENSION OR DETAIL TO ANOTHER STATION OF JUDGE ELIZA B. YU, BRANCH 47, SAME COURT.; A.M. No. MTJ-13-1836 (FORMERLY A.M. No. 11-11-115-METC) - RE: LETTER DATED MAY 2, 2011 OF HON. ELIZA B. YU, PRESIDING JUDGE, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 47, PASAY CITY.; A.M. No. MTJ-12-1815 (FORMERLY OCA IPI No. 11-2401-MTJ) - LEILANI A. TEJERO-LOPEZ, Complainant, v. JUDGE ELIZA B. YU, BRANCH 47, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, PASAY CITY, Respondent.; OCA IPI No. 11-2398-MTJ - JOSEFINA G. LABID, Complainant, v. JUDGE ELIZA B. YU,METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 47, PASAY CITY, Respondent.; OCA IPI No. 11-2399-MTJ - AMOR V. ABAD, FROILAN ROBERT L. TOMAS, ROMER H. AVILES, EMELINA J. SAN MIGUEL, NORMAN D.S. GARCIA, MAXIMA SAYO AND DENNIS ECHEGOYEN, Complainants, v. HON. ELIZA B. YU, PRESIDING JUDGE, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 47, PASAY CITY, Respondent.; OCA IPI No. 11-2378-MTJ - EXECUTIVE JUDGE BIBIANO G. COLASITO, VICE EXECUTIVE JUDGE BONIFACIO S. PASCUA, JUDGE RESTITUTO V. MANGALINDAN, JR. JUDGE CATHERINE P. MANODON, MIGUEL C. INFANTE (CLERK OF COURT IV, OCC-METC), RACQUEL C. DIANO (CLERK OF COURT III, METC, BRANCH 45), EMMA ANNIE D. ARAFILES (ASSISTANT CLERK OF COURT, OCC-METC), PEDRO C. DOCTOLERO, JR. (CLERK OF COURT III, METC, BRANCH 44), LYDIA T. CASAS (CLERK OF COURT III, METC, BRANCH 46), ELEANOR N. BAYOG (LEGAL RESEARCHER, METC, BRANCH 45), LEILANIE A. TEJERO ( LEGAL RESEARCHER, METC, BRANCH 46), ANA MARIA V. FRANCISCO (CASHIER I, OCC­ METC), SOLEDAD J. BASSIG (CLERK III, OCC-METC), MARISSA MASHHOOR RASTGOOY (RECORDS OFFICER, OCC-METC), MARIE LUZ M. OBIDA (ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER, OCC-METC), VIRGINIA D. GALANG (RECORDS OFFICER I, OCC-METC), AUXENCIO JOSEPH CLEMENTE (CLERK OF COURT III, METC, BRANCH 48), EVELYN P. DEPALOBOS (LEGAL RESEARCHER, METC, BRANCH 44), MA. CECILIA GERTRUDES R. SALVADOR (LEGAL RESEARCHER, METC, BRANCH 48), JOSEPH B. PAMATMAT (CLERK III, OCC-METC), ZENAIDA N. GERONIMO (COURT STENOGRAPHER, OCC-METC), BENJIE V. ORE (PROCESS SERVER, OCC-METC), FORTUNATO E. DIEZMO (PROCESS SERVER, OCC-METC), NOMER B. VILLANUEVA (UTILITY WORKER, OCC-METC), ELSA D. GARNET (CLERK III, OCC­ METC), FATIMA V. ROJAS (CLERK III, OCC-METC), EDUARDO E. EBREO (SHERIFF III, METC, BRANCH 45), RONALYN T. ALMARVEZ (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 45), MA. VICTORIA C. OCAMPO (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 45), ELIZABETH LIPURA (CLERK III METC, BRANCH 45), MARY ANN J. CAYANAN (CLERK III, METC, BRANCH 45), MANOLO MANUEL E. GARCIA (PROCESS SERVER, METC, BRANCH 45), EDWINA A. JUROK (UTILITY WORKER, OCC-METC), ARMINA B. ALMONTE (CLERK III, OCC-METC), ELIZABETH G. VILLANUEVA (RECORDS OFFICER, METC, BRANCH 44), ERWIN RUSS B. RAGASA (SHERIFF III, METC, BRANCH 44), BIEN T. CAMBA (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 44), MARLON M. SULIGAN (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 44), CHANDA B. TOLENTINO (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 44), FERDINAND R. MOLINA (COURT INTERPRETER, METC, BRANCH 44), PETRONILO C. PRIMACIO, JR. (PROCESS SERVER, METC, BRANCH 45), EDWARD ERIC SANTOS (UTILITY WORKER, METC, BRANCH 45), EMILIO P. DOMINE (UTILITY WORKER, METC, BRANCH 45), ARNOLD P. OBIAL (UTILITY WORKER, METC, BRANCH 44), RICARDO E. LAMPITOC (SHERIFF III, METC, BRANCH 46), JEROME H. AVILES (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 46), ANA LEA M. ESTACIO (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 46), LANIE F. AGUINALDO (CLERK III, METC, BRANCH 44), JASMINE L. LINDAIN (CLERK III, METC, BRANCH 44), RONALDO S. QUIJANO (PROCESS SERVER, METC, BRANCH 44), DOMINGO H. HOCOSOL (UTILITY WORKER, METC, BRANCH 48), EDWIN P. UBANA (SHERIFF III, METC, BRANCH 48), MARVIN O. BALICUATRO (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 48), MA. LUZ D. DIONISIO (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 48), MARIBEL A. MOLINA (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 48), CRISTINA E. LAMPITOC (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 46), MELANIE DC BEGASA (CLERK III, METC, BRANCH 46), EVANGELINE M. CHING (CLERK III, METC, BRANCH 46), LAWRENCE D. PEREZ (PROCESS SERVER, METC, BRANCH 46), EDMUNDO VERGARA (UTILITY WORKER, METC, BRANCH 46), AMOR V. ABAD (COURT INTERPRETER, METC, BRANCH 47), ROMER H. AVILES (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 47), FROILAN ROBERT L. TOMAS (COURT STENOGRAPHER II, METC, BRANCH 47), MAXIMA C. SAYO (PROCESS SERVER, BRANCH 47), SEVILLA B. DEL CASTILLO (COURT INTERPRETER, METC, BRANCH 48), AIDA JOSEFINA IGNACIO (CLERK III, METC, BRANCH 48), BENIGNO A. MARZAN (CLERK III, METC, BRANCH 48), KARLA MAE R. PACUNAYEN (CLERK III, METC, BRANCH 48), IGNACIO M. GONZALES (PROCESS SERVER, METC, BRANCH 48), EMELINA J. SAN MIGUEL (RECORDS OFFICER, OCC, DETAILED AT BRANCH 47), DENNIS M. ECHEGOYEN (SHERIFF III, OCC-METC), NORMAN GARCIA (SHERIFF III, METC, BRANCH 47), NOEL G. LABID (UTILITY WORKER I, BRANCH 47), Complainant, v. HON. ELIZA B. YU, PRESIDING JUDGE, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 47, PASAY CITY, Respondent.; OCA IPI No. 12-2456-MTJ - JUDGE BIBIANO G. COLASITO, JUDGE BONIFACIO S. PASCUA, JUDGE RESTITUTO V. MANGALINDAN, JR. AND CLERK OF COURT MIGUEL C. INFANTE, Complainants, v. HON. ELIZA B. YU, PRESIDING JUDGE, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 47, PASAY CITY, Respondent.; A.M. No. MTJ-13-1821 - JUDGE EMILY L. SAN GASPAR-GITO, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 20, MANILA, Complainant, v. JUDGE ELIZA B. YU, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 47, PASAY CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 219510, November 04, 2016 - MARLON CURAMMENG Y PABLO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 207315, November 23, 2016 - INTERADENT ZAHNTECHNIK PHILIPPINES, INC., BERNARDINO G. BANTEGUI, JR. AND SONIA J. GRANDEA, Petitioners, v. REBECCA F. SIMBILLO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204422, November 21, 2016 - JESUS B. VILLAMOR, Petitioner, v. EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [ECC] AND SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215943, November 16, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. RANDY CLOMA Y CABANA, Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 204280, November 09, 2016 - EVELYN V. RUIZ, Petitioner, v. BERNARDO F. DIMAILIG, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193816, November 21, 2016 - ERSON ANG LEE DOING BUSINESS AS "SUPER LAMINATION SERVICES," Petitioner, v. SAMAHANG MANGGAGAWA NG SUPER LAMINATION (SMSLS­-NAFLU-KMU), Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 184841, November 21, 2016 - GERINO YUKIT, DANILO REYES, RODRIGO S. SUMILANG, LEODEGARIO O. ROSALES, MARIO MELARPIS,1 MARCELO R. OCAN, DENNIS V. BATHAN, BERNARDO S. MAGNAYE, LORENZO U. MARTINEZ, ANTONIO M. LADERES, SOFIO DE LOS REYES BAON, MARIO R. MIGUEL, RODOLFO S. LEOPANDO, EDGARDO N. MACALLA, JR., MARIANO REYES, ALEJANDRO CUETO, VIRGILIO RINGOR AND JASON R. BARTE, Petitioner, v. TRITRAN, INC., JOSE C. ALVAREZ, JEHU C. SEBASTIAN, AND JAM TRANSIT INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 169967, November 23, 2016 - COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC., EMMANUEL CURA, ANGEL LABAO, ALMEDO LOPEZ, AND RUSTOM ALEJANDRINO, Petitioners, v. IBM LOCAL I, REGNER SANGALANG AND ROLANDO NACPIL, Respondents.; G.R. No. 176074, November 23, 2016 - REGNER A. SANGALANG AND ROLANDO V. NACPIL, Petitioners, v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC. (CCBPI), EMMANUEL CURA, ANGEL LABAO, AND RUSTOM ALEJANDRINO, Respondents.; G.R. No. 176205, November 23, 2016 - COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC., EMMANUEL CURA, ANGEL LABAO, AND RUSTOM ALEJANDRINO, Petitioners, v. REGNER A. SANGALANG AND ROLANDO NACPIL, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. P-15-3368 [Formerly A.M. No. 15-04-39-MTC], November 08, 2016 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. EVANGELINE E. PANGANIBAN, CLERK OF COURT II, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT (MTC), BALAYAN, BATANGAS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 202639, November 09, 2016 - FEDERATED LPG DEALERS ASSOCIATION, Petitioner, v. MA. CRISTINA L. DEL ROSARIO, CELSO E.ESCOBIDO II, SHIELA M. ESCOBIDO, AND RESTY P. CAPILI, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 182944, November 09, 2016 - DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS (DPWH), REPRESENTED BY SEC. HERMOGENES E. EBDANE, JR, AND METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, REPRESENTED BY CHAIRMAN BAYANI F. FERNANDO, Petitioners, v. CITY ADVERTISING VENTURES CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY DEXTER Y. LIM, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203284, November 14, 2016 - NICOLAS S. MATUDAN, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND MARILYN** B. MATUDAN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 203770, November 23, 2016 - MANUELA AZUCENA MAYOR, Petitioner, v. EDWIN TIU AND DAMIANA CHARITO MARTY, Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 9880, November 28, 2016 - WILSON CHUA, Complainant, v. ATTY. DIOSDADO B. JIMENEZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 177250, November 28, 2016 - ROSITA B. LIM, ON HER BEHALF AND ON BEHALF OF HER (THEN) MINOR CHILDREN NAMELY, JENNIFER, LYSANDER AND BEVERLIE, Petitioners, v. LUIS TAN, ALFONSO TAN, EUSEBIO TAN, WILLIAM TAN, VICENTE TAN, JOAQUIN TAN, ANG TIAT CHUAN, Respondents.; G.R. No. 177422 - LUIS TAN, ALFONSO TAN, EUSEBIO TAN, WILLIAM TAN, VICENTE TAN, JOAQUIN TAN, ANG TIAT CHUAN, Petitioners, v. ROSITA B. LIM, ON HER BEHALF AND ON BEHALF OF HER (THEN) MINOR CHILDREN NAMELY, JENNIFER, LYSANDER AND BEVERLIE, Respondents.; G.R. No. 177676 - ANG TIAT CHUAN, Petitioner, v. ROSITA B. LIM, ON HER BEHALF AND ON BEHALF OF HER (THEN) MINOR CHILDREN NAMELY, JENNIFER, LYSANDER AND BEVERLIE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 220629, November 23, 2016 - GENARO G. CALIMLIM, Petitioner, v. WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES, INC., WALLEM GMBH & CO. KG AND MR. REGINALDO OBEN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 222407, November 23, 2016 - WHITE MARKETING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. GRANDWOOD FURNITURE & WOODWORK, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204736, November 28, 2016 - MANULIFE PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioners, v. HERMENEGILDA YBAÑEZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 205972, November 09, 2016 - CATERPILLAR, INC., Petitioner, v. MANOLO P. SAMSON, Respondent.; G.R. NO. 164352, November 09, 2016 - CATERPILLAR, INC., Petitioner, v. MANOLO P. SAMSON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 223625, November 22, 2016 - NATIONAL TRANSMISSION CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT (COA) AND COA CHAIRPERSON MICHAEL G. AGUINALDO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 220333, November 14, 2016 - ANTONIO GAMBOA Y DELOS SANTOS, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 181912 & 183347, November 29, 2016 - RAMON M. ALFONSO, Petitioner, v. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES AND DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 197191, November 21, 2016 - OASIS PARK HOTEL, Petitioner, v. LESLEE G. NAVALUNA, AMIE M. TUBELLEJA, JOAN REODIQUE, JOCELYN ORENCIADA, ELLAINE B. VILLAGOMEZ, OLIVIA E. AMASOLA AND JONA MAE COSTELO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 198664, November 23, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. OWEN MARCELO CAGALINGAN AND BEATRIZ B. CAGALINGAN, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 227146, November 14, 2016 - RADIOWEALTH FINANCE COMPANY, INC., Petitioner, v. ROMEO T. NOLASCO AND REYNALDO T. NOLASCO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 218980, November 28, 2016 - PHILIPPINE AUTO COMPONENTS, INC., Petitioner, v. RONNIE B. JUMADLA, ROY A. ARIZ AND ROY T. CONEJOS, Respondents.; G.R. No. 219124 - RONNIE B. JUMADLA, ROY A. ARIZ AND ROY T. CONEJOS, Petitioners, v. PHILIPPINE AUTO COMPONENTS, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 189077, November 16, 2016 - LINA M. BERNARDO, Petitioner, v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (FORMER FOURTH DIVISION) AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215937, November 09, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GENER VILLAR Y POJA, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 207500, November 14, 2016 - EFREN S. QUESADA, PETER CHUA, ARTURO B. PEREJAS, ERLINDA ESCOTA, CRISANTO H. LIM, VASQUEZ BUILDING SYSTEMS CORPORATION, LION GRANITE CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY CORPORATION, NELLIE M. MARIVELES, ALEJANDRO V. VARDELEON III, ANGELITA P. ROQUE, DAVID LU, J.A.O. BUILDERS & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. BONANZA RESTAURANTS, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 205148, November 16, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. RAMIL PRUDENCIO Y BAJAMONDE, Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 203293, November 14, 2016 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. MARDAN AMERIL, Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 177387, November 09, 2016 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, AND PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215957, November 09, 2016 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. FITNESS BY DESIGN, INC., Respondent

  • G.R. No. 216600, November 21, 2016 - FEDERAL EXPRESS CORPORATION AND RHICKE S. JENNINGS, Petitioners, v. AIRFREIGHT 2100, INC. AND ALBERTO D. LINA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 193618, November 28, 2016 - HEIRS OF LEOPOLDO DELFIN AND SOLEDAD DELFIN, NAMELY EMELITA D. FABRIGAR AND LEONILO C. DELFIN, Petitioners, v. NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204197, November 23, 2016 - FRUEHAUF ELECTRONICS PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. TECHNOLOGY ELECTRONICS ASSEMBLY AND MANAGEMENT PACIFIC CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 223506, November 28, 2016 - GARRY V. INACAY, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 196596, November 09, 2016 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY, INC., Respondent.; G.R. No. 198841 - DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY INC., Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,Respondent.; G.R. No. 198941 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY, INC., Respondent.

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    G.R. No. 207246, November 22, 2016 - JOSE M. ROY III, Petitioner, v. CHAIRPERSON TERESITA HERBOSA,THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, AND PHILILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, Respondents.; WILSON C. GAMBOA, JR., DANIEL V. CARTAGENA, JOHN WARREN P. GABINETE, ANTONIO V. PESINA, JR., MODESTO MARTIN Y. MAMON III, AND GERARDO C. EREBAREN, Petitioners-in-Intervention; PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention; SHAREHOLDERS' ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention.

      G.R. No. 207246, November 22, 2016 - JOSE M. ROY III, Petitioner, v. CHAIRPERSON TERESITA HERBOSA,THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, AND PHILILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, Respondents.; WILSON C. GAMBOA, JR., DANIEL V. CARTAGENA, JOHN WARREN P. GABINETE, ANTONIO V. PESINA, JR., MODESTO MARTIN Y. MAMON III, AND GERARDO C. EREBAREN, Petitioners-in-Intervention; PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention; SHAREHOLDERS' ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    G.R. No. 207246, November 22, 2016

    JOSE M. ROY III, Petitioner, v. CHAIRPERSON TERESITA HERBOSA,THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, AND PHILILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, Respondents.

    WILSON C. GAMBOA, JR., DANIEL V. CARTAGENA, JOHN WARREN P. GABINETE, ANTONIO V. PESINA, JR., MODESTO MARTIN Y. MAMON III, AND GERARDO C. EREBAREN, Petitioners-in-Intervention,

    PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention,

    SHAREHOLDERS' ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention.

    D E C I S I O N

    CAGUIOA, J.:

    The petitions1 before the Court are special civil actions for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking to annul Memorandum Circular No. 8, Series of 2013 ("SEC-MC No. 8") issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") for allegedly being in violation of the Court's Decision2 ("Gamboa Decision") and Resolution3 ("Gamboa Resolution") in Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, G.R. No. 176579, respectively promulgated on June 28, 2011, and October 9, 2012, which jurisprudentially established the proper interpretation of Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    The Antecedents

    On June 28, 2011, the Court issued the Gamboa Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    WHEREFORE, we PARTLY GRANT the petition and rule that the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock (common and non-voting preferred shares). Respondent Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission is DIRECTED to apply this definition of the term "capital" in determining the extent of allowable foreign ownership in respondent Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and if there is a violation of Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, to impose the appropriate sanctions under the law.

    SO ORDERED.4
    Several motions for reconsideration were filed assailing the Gamboa Decision. They were denied in the Gamboa Resolution issued by the Court on October 9, 2012, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    WHEREFORE, we DENY the motions for reconsideration WITH FINALITY. No further pleadings shall be entertained.

    SO ORDERED.5
    The Gamboa Decision attained finality on October 18, 2012, and Entry of Judgment was thereafter issued on December 11, 2012.6

    On November 6, 2012, the SEC posted a Notice in its website inviting the public to attend a public dialogue and to submit comments on the draft memorandum circular (attached thereto) on the guidelines to be followed in determining compliance with the Filipino ownership requirement in public utilities under Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution pursuant to the Court's directive in the Gamboa Decision.7

    On November 9, 2012, the SEC held the scheduled dialogue and more than 100 representatives from various organizations, government agencies, the academe and the private sector attended.8

    On January 8, 2013, the SEC received a copy of the Entry of Judgment9 from the Court certifying that on October 18, 2012, the Gamboa Decision had become final and executory.10

    On March 25, 2013, the SEC posted another Notice in its website soliciting from the public comments and suggestions on the draft guidelines.11

    On April 22, 2013, petitioner Atty. Jose M. Roy III ("Roy") submitted his written comments on the draft guidelines.12

    On May 20, 2013, the SEC, through respondent Chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa, issued SEC-MC No. 8 entitled "Guidelines on Compliance with the Filipino-Foreign Ownership Requirements Prescribed in the Constitution and/or Existing Laws by Corporations Engaged in Nationalized and Partly Nationalized Activities." It was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Business Mirror on May 22, 2013.13 Section 2 of SEC-MC No. 8 provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 2. All covered corporations shall, at all times, observe the constitutional or statutory ownership requirement. For purposes of determining compliance therewith, the required percentage of Filipino ownership shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors.

    Corporations covered by special laws which provide specific citizenship requirements shall comply with the provisions of said law.14
    On June 10, 2013, petitioner Roy, as a lawyer and taxpayer, filed the Petition,15 assailing the validity of SEC-MC No. 8 for not conforming to the letter and spirit of the Gamboa Decision and Resolution and for having been issued by the SEC with grave abuse of discretion. Petitioner Roy seeks to apply the 60-40 Filipino ownership requirement separately to each class of shares of a public utility corporation, whether common, preferred non­voting, preferred voting or any other class of shares. Petitioner Roy also questions the ruling of the SEC that respondent Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company ("PLDT") is compliant with the constitutional rule on foreign ownership. He prays that the Court declare SEC-MC No. 8 unconstitutional and direct the SEC to issue new guidelines regarding the determination of compliance with Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution in accordance with Gamboa.

    Wilson C. Gamboa, Jr.,16 Daniel V. Cartagena, John Warren P. Gabinete, Antonio V. Pesina, Jr., Modesto Martin Y. Mamon III, and Gerardo C. Erebaren ("intervenors Gamboa, et al.") filed a Motion for Leave to File Petition-in-Intervention17 on July 30, 2013, which the Court granted. The Petition-in-Intervention18 filed by intervenors Gamboa, et al. mirrored the issues, arguments and prayer of petitioner Roy.

    On September 5, 2013, respondent PLDT filed its Comment (on the Petition dated 10 June 2013).19 PLDT posited that the Petition should be dismissed because it violates the doctrine of hierarchy of courts as there are no compelling reasons to invoke the Court's original jurisdiction; it is prematurely filed because petitioner Roy failed to exhaust administrative remedies before the SEC; the principal actions/remedies of mandamus and declaratory relief are not within the exclusive and/or original jurisdiction of the Court; the petition for certiorari is an inappropriate remedy since the SEC issued SEC-MC No. 8 in the exercise of its quasi-legislative power; it deprives the necessary and indispensable parties of their constitutional right to due process; and the SEC merely implemented the dispositive portion of the Gamboa Decision.

    On September 20, 2013, respondents Chairperson Teresita Herbosa and SEC filed their Consolidated Comment.20 They sought the dismissal of the petitions on the following grounds: (1) the petitioners do not possess locus standi to assail the constitutionality of SEC-MC No. 8; (2) a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is not the appropriate and proper remedy to assail the validity and constitutionality of the SEC-MC No. 8; (3) the direct resort to the Court violates the doctrine of hierarchy of courts; (4) the SEC did not abuse its discretion; (5) on PLDT's compliance with the capital requirement as stated in the Gamboa ruling, the petitioners' challenge is premature considering that the SEC has not yet issued a definitive ruling thereon.

    On October 22, 2013, PLDT filed its Comment (on the Petition-in­-Intervention dated 16 July 2013).21 PLDT adopted the position that intervenors Gamboa, et al. have no standing and are not the proper party to question the constitutionality of SEC-MC No. 8; they are in no position to assail SEC-MC No. 8 considering that they did not participate in the public consultations or give comments thereon; and their Petition-in-Intervention is a disguised motion for reconsideration of the Gamboa Decision and Resolution.

    On May 7, 2014, Petitioner Roy and intervenors Gamboa, et al.22 filed their Joint Consolidated Reply with Motion for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order.23

    On May 22, 2014, PLDT filed its Rejoinder [To Petitioner and Petitioners-in-Intervention's Joint Consolidated Reply dated 7 May 2014] and Opposition [To Petitioner and Petitioners-in-Intervention's Motion for Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order dated 7 May 2014].24

    On June 18, 2014, the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. ("PSE") filed its Motion to Intervene with Leave of Court25 and its Comment-in­ Intervention.26 The PSE alleged that it has standing to intervene as the primary regulator of the stock exchange and will sustain direct injury should the petitions be granted. The PSE argued that in the Gamboa ruling, "capital" refers only to shares entitled to vote in the election of directors, and excludes those not so entitled; and the dispositive portion of the decision is the controlling factor that determines and settles the questions presented in the case. The PSE further argued that adopting a new interpretation of Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution violates the policy of conclusiveness of judgment, stare decisis, and the State's obligation to maintain a stable and predictable legal framework for foreign investors under international treaties; and adopting a new definition of "capital" will prove disastrous for the Philippine stock market. The Court granted the Motion to Intervene filed by PSE.27

    PLDT filed its Consolidated Memorandum28 on February 10, 2015.

    On June 1, 2016, Shareholders' Association of the Philippines, Inc.29 ("SHAREPHIL") filed an Omnibus Motion [1] For Leave to Intervene; and [2] To Admit Attached Comment-in-Intervention.30 The Court granted the Omnibus Motion of SHAREPHIL.31

    On June 30, 2016, petitioner Roy filed his Opposition and Reply to Interventions of Philippine Stock Exchange and Sharephil.32 Intervenors Gamboa, et al. then filed on September 14, 2016, their Reply (to Interventions by Philippine Stock Exchange and Sharephil).33

    The Issues

    The twin issues of the Petition and the Petition-in-Intervention are: (1) whether the SEC gravely abused its discretion in issuing SEC-MC No. 8 in light of the Gamboa Decision and Gamboa Resolution, and (2) whether the SEC gravely abused its discretion in ruling that PLDT is compliant with the constitutional limitation on foreign ownership.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    The Court's Ruling

    At the outset, the Court disposes of the second issue for being without merit. In its Consolidated Comment dated September 13, 2013,34 the SEC already clarified that it "has not yet issued a definitive ruling anent PLDT's compliance with the limitation on foreign ownership imposed under the Constitution and relevant laws [and i]n fact, a careful perusal of x x x SEC­-MC No. 8 readily reveals that all existing covered corporations which are non-compliant with Section 2 thereof were given a period of one (1) year from the effectivity of the same within which to comply with said ownership requirement. x x x."35 Thus, in the absence of a definitive ruling by the SEC on PLDT's compliance with the capital requirement pursuant to the Gamboa Decision and Resolution, any question relative to the inexistent ruling is premature.

    Also, considering that the Court is not a trier of facts and is in no position to make a factual determination of PLDT's compliance with the constitutional provision under review, the Court can only resolve the first issue, which is a pure question of law. However, before the Court tackles the first issue, it has to rule on certain procedural challenges that have been raised.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    The Procedural Issues

    The Court may exercise its power of judicial review and take cognizance of a case when the following specific requisites are met: (1) there is an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the petitioner has standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance, i.e., he has a personal and substantial interest in the case that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the act or issuance; (3) the question of constitutionality is raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the very lis mota of the case.36

    The first two requisites of judicial review are not met.

    Petitioners' failure to sufficiently allege, much less establish, the existence of the first two requisites for the exercise of judicial review warrants the perfunctory dismissal of the petitions.

    a. No actual controversy.

    Regarding the first requisite, the Court in Belgica v. Ochoa37 stressed anew that an actual case or controversy is one which involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims, susceptible of judicial resolution as distinguished from a hypothetical or abstract difference or dispute since the courts will decline to pass upon constitutional issues through advisory opinions, bereft as they are of authority to resolve hypothetical or moot questions. Related to the requirement of an actual case or controversy is the requirement of "ripeness", and a question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it.

    Petitioners have failed to show that there IS an actual case or controversy which is ripe for adjudication.

    The Petition and the Petition-in-Intervention identically allege:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    3. The standing interpretation of the SEC found in MC8 practically encourages circumvention of the 60-40 ownership rule by impliedly allowing the creation of several classes of voting shares with different degrees of beneficial ownership over the same, but at the same time, not imposing a 40% limit on foreign ownership of the higher yielding stocks.38

    4. For instance, a situation may arise where a corporation may issue several classes of shares of stock, one of which are common shares with rights to elect directors, another are preferred shares with rights to elect directors but with much lesser entitlement to dividends, and still another class of preferred shares with no rights to elect the directors and even less dividends. In this situation, the corporation may issue common shares to foreigners amounting to forty percent (40%) of the outstanding capital stock and issue preferred shares entitled to vote the directors of the corporation to Filipinos consisting of 60%39 percent (sic) of the outstanding capital stock entitled to vote. Although it may appear that the 60-40 rule has been complied with, the beneficial ownership of the corporation remains with the foreign stockholder since the Filipino owners of the preferred shares have only a miniscule share in the dividends and profit of the corporation. Plainly, this situation runs contrary to the Constitution and the ruling of this x x x Court.40
    Petitioners' hypothetical illustration as to how SEC-MC No. 8 "practically encourages circumvention of the 60-40 ownership rule" is evidently speculative and fraught with conjectures and assumptions. There is clearly wanting specific facts against which the veracity of the conclusions purportedly following from the speculations and assumptions can be validated. The lack of a specific factual milieu from which the petitions originated renders any pronouncement from the Court as a purely advisory opinion and not a decision binding on identified and definite parties and on a known set of facts.

    Firstly, unlike in Gamboa, the identity of the public utility corporation, the capital of which is at issue, is unknown. Its outstanding capital stock and the actual composition thereof in terms of numbers, classes, preferences and features are all theoretical. The description "preferred shares with rights to elect directors but with much lesser entitlement to dividends, and still another class of preferred shares with no rights to elect the directors and even less dividends" is ambiguous. What are the specific dividend policies or entitlements of the purported preferred shares? How are the preferred shares' dividend policies different from those of the common shares? Why and how did the fictional public utility corporation issue those preferred shares intended to be owned by Filipinos? What are the actual features of the foreign-owned common shares which make them superior over those owned by Filipinos? How did it come to be that Filipino holders of preferred shares ended up with "only a miniscule share in the dividends and profit of the [hypothetical] corporation"? Any answer to any of these questions will, at best, be contingent, conjectural, indefinite or anticipatory.

    Secondly, preferred shares usually have preference over the common shares in the payment of dividends. If most of the "preferred shares with rights to elect directors but with much lesser entitlement to dividends" and the other "class of preferred shares with no rights to elect the directors and even less dividends" are owned by Filipinos, they stand to receive their dividend entitlement ahead of the foreigners, who are common shareholders. For the common shareholders to have "bigger dividends" as compared to the dividends paid to the preferred shareholders, which are supposedly predominantly owned by Filipinos, there must still be unrestricted retained earnings of the fictional corporation left after payment of the dividends declared in favor of the preferred shareholders. The fictional illustration does not even intimate how this situation can be possible. No permutation of unrestricted retained earnings of the hypothetical corporation is shown that makes the present conclusion of the petitioners achievable. Also, no concrete meaning to the petitioners' claim of the Filipinos' "miniscule share in the dividends and profit of the [fictional] corporation" is demonstrated.

    Thirdly, petitioners fail to allege or show how their hypothetical illustration will directly and adversely affect them. That is impossible since their relationship to the fictional corporation is a matter of guesswork.

    From the foregoing, it is evident that the Court can only surmise or speculate on the situation or controversy that the petitioners contemplate to present for judicial determination. Petitioners are likewise conspicuously silent on the direct adverse impact to them of the implementation of SEC­-MC No. 8. Thus, the petitions must fail because the Court is barred from rendering a decision based on assumptions, speculations, conjectures and hypothetical or fictional illustrations, more so in the present case which is not even ripe for decision.

    b. No locus standi.

    The personal and substantial interest that enables a party to have legal standing is one that is both material, an interest in issue and to be affected by the government action, as distinguished from mere interest in the issue involved, or a mere incidental interest, and real, which means a present substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy or a future, contingent, subordinate, or consequential interest.41cralawred

    As to injury, the party must show that (1) he will personally suffer some actual or threatened injury because of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action.42 If the asserted injury is more imagined than real, or is merely superficial and insubstantial, an excursion into constitutional adjudication by the courts is not warranted.43

    Petitioners have no legal standing to question the constitutionality of SEC-MC No. 8.

    To establish his standing, petitioner Roy merely claimed that he has standing to question SEC-MC No. 8 "as a concerned citizen, an officer of the Court and as a taxpayer" as well as "the senior law partner of his own law firm[, which] x x x is a subscriber of PLDT."44 On the other hand, intervenors Gamboa, et al. allege, as basis of their locus standi, their "[b]eing lawyers and officers of the Court" and "citizens x x x and taxpayers."45

    The Court has previously emphasized that the locus standi requisite is not met by the expedient invocation of one's citizenship or membership in the bar who has an interest in ensuring that laws and orders of the Philippine government are legally and validly issued as these supposed interests are too general, which are shared by other groups and by the whole citizenry.46 Per their allegations, the personal interest invoked by petitioners as citizens and members of the bar in the validity or invalidity of SEC-MC No. 8 is at best equivocal, and totally insufficient.

    Petitioners' status as taxpayers is also of no moment. As often reiterated by the Court, a taxpayer's suit is allowed only when the petitioner has demonstrated the direct correlation of the act complained of and the disbursement of public funds in contravention of law or the Constitution, or has shown that the case involves the exercise of the spending or taxing power of Congress.47 SEC-MC No. 8 does not involve an additional expenditure of public funds and the taxing or spending power of Congress.

    The allegation that petitioner Roy's law firm is a "subscriber of PLDT" is ambiguous. It is unclear whether his law firm is a "subscriber" of PLDT's shares of stock or of its various telecommunication services. Petitioner Roy has not identified the specific direct and substantial injury he or his law firm stands to suffer as "subscriber of PLDT" as a result of the issuance of SEC-MC No. 8 and its enforcement.

    As correctly observed by respondent PLDT, "(w]hether or not the constitutionality of SEC-MC No. 8 is upheld, the rights and privileges of all PLDT subscribers, as with all the rest of subscribers of other corporations, are necessarily and equally preserved and protected. Nothing is added [to] or removed from a PLDT subscriber in terms of the extent of his or her participation, relative to what he or she had originally enjoyed from the beginning. In the most practical sense, a PLDT subscriber loses or gains nothing in the event that SEC-MC No. 8 is either sustained or struck down by [the Court]."48

    More importantly, the issue regarding PLDT's compliance with Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution has been earlier ruled as premature and beyond the Court's jurisdiction. Thus, petitioner Roy's allegation that his law firm is a "subscriber of PLDT" is insufficient to clothe him with locus standi.

    Petitioners' cursory incantation of "transcendental importance x x x of the rules on foreign ownership of corporations or entities vested with public interest"49 does not automatically justify the brushing aside of the strict observance of the requisites for the Court's exercise of judicial review. An indiscriminate disregard of the requisites every time "transcendental or paramount importance or significance" is invoked would result in an unacceptable corruption of the settled doctrine of locus standi, as every worthy cause is an interest shared by the general public.50

    In the present case, the general and equivocal allegations of petitioners on their legal standing do not justify the relaxation of the locus standi rule. While the Court has taken an increasingly liberal approach to the rule of locus standi, evolving from the stringent requirements of personal injury to the broader transcendental importance doctrine, such liberality is not to be abused.51

    The Rule on the Hierarchy of Courts has been violated.

    The Court in Bañez, Jr. v. Concepcion52 stressed that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    The Court must enjoin the observance of the policy on the hierarchy of courts, and now affirms that the policy is not to be ignored without serious consequences. The strictness of the policy is designed to shied the Court from having to deal with causes that are also well within the competence of the lower courts, and thus leave time to the Court to deal with the more fundamental and more essential tasks that the Constitution has assigned to it. The Court may act on petitions for the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus only when absolutely necessary or when serious and important reasons exist to justifY an exception to the policy. x x x
    x x x Where the issuance of an extraordinary writ is also within the competence of the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court, it is in either of these courts that the specific action for the writ's procurement must be presented. This is and should continue to be the policy in this regard, a policy that courts and lawyers must strictly observe. x x x53
    Petitioners' invocation of "transcendental importance" is hollow and does not merit the relaxation of the rule on hierarchy of courts. There being no special, important or compelling reason that justified the direct filing of the petitions in the Court in violation of the policy on hierarchy of courts, their outright dismissal on this ground is further warranted.54

    The petitioners failed to implead indispensable parties.

    The cogent submissions of the PSE in its Comment-in-Intervention dated June 16, 201455 and SHAREPHIL in its Omnibus Motion [1] For Leave to Intervene; and [2] To Admit Attached Comment-in-Intervention dated May 30, 201656 demonstrate how petitioners should have impleaded not only PLDT but all other corporations in nationalized and partly­nationalized industries because the propriety of the SEC's enforcement of the Court's interpretation of "capital" through SEC-MC No. 8 affects them as well.

    Under Section 3, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court, an indispensable party is a party-in-interest without whom there can be no final determination of an action. Indispensable parties are those with such a material and direct interest in the controversy that a final decree would necessarily affect their rights, so that the court cannot proceed without their presence.57 The interests of such indispensable parties in the subject matter of the suit and the relief are so bound with those of the other parties that their legal presence as parties to the proceeding is an absolute necessity and a complete and efficient determination of the equities and rights of the parties is not possible if they are not joined.58

    Other than PLDT, the petitions failed to join or implead other public utility corporations subject to the same restriction imposed by Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution. These corporations are in danger of losing their franchise and property if they are found not compliant with the restrictive interpretation of the constitutional provision under review which is being espoused by petitioners. They should be afforded due notice and opportunity to be heard, lest they be deprived of their property without due process.

    Not only are public utility corporations other than PLDT directly and materially affected by the outcome of the petitions, their shareholders also stand to suffer in case they will be forced to divest their shareholdings to ensure compliance with the said restrictive interpretation of the term "capital". As explained by SHAREPIDL, in five corporations alone, more than Php158 Billion worth of shares must be divested by foreign shareholders and absorbed by Filipino investors if petitioners' position is upheld.59

    Petitioners' disregard of the rights of these other corporations and numerous shareholders constitutes another fatal procedural flaw, justifYing the dismissal of their petitions. Without giving all of them their day in court, they will definitely be deprived of their property without due process of law.

    During the deliberations, Justice Velasco stressed on the foregoing procedural objections to the granting of the petitions; and Justice Bersamin added that the special civil action for certiorari and prohibition is not the proper remedy to assail SEC-MC No. 8 because it was not issued under the adjudicatory or quasi-judicial functions of the SEC.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    The Substantive Issue

    The only substantive issue that the petitions assert is whether the SEC's issuance of SEC-MC No. 8 is tainted with grave abuse of discretion.

    The Court holds that, even if the resolution of the procedural issues were conceded in favor of petitioners, the petitions, being anchored on Rule 65, must nonetheless fail because the SEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it issued SEC­-MC No. 8. To the contrary, the Court finds SEC-MC No. 8 to have been issued in fealty to the Gamboa Decision and Resolution.

    The ratio in the Gamboa Decision and Gamboa Resolution.

    To determine what the Court directed the SEC to do - and therefore resolve whether what the SEC did amounted to grave abuse of discretion - the Court resorts to the decretal portion of the Gamboa Decision, as this is the portion of the decision that a party relies upon to determine his or her rights and duties,60viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    WHEREFORE, we PARTLY GRANT the petition and rule that the term "capital" in Section II, Article XII of the I987 Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock (common and non-voting preferred shares). Respondent Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission is DIRECTED to apply this definition of the term "capital" in determining the extent of allowable foreign ownership in respondent Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and if there is a violation of Section II, Article XII of the Constitution, to impose the appropriate sanctions under the law.61
    In turn, the Gamboa Resolution stated:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    In any event, the SEC has expressly manifested62 that it will abide by the Court's decision and defer to the Court's definition of the term "capital" in Section II, Article XII of the Constitution. Further, the SEC entered its special appearance in this case and argued during the Oral Arguments, indicating its submission to the Court's jurisdiction. It is clear, therefore, that there exists no legal impediment against the proper and immediate implementation of the Court's directive to the SEC.

    x x x x

    x x x The dispositive portion of the Court's ruling is addressed not to PLDT but solely to the SEC, which is the administrative agency tasked to enforce the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution.63
    To recall, the sole issue in the Gamboa case was: "whether the term 'capital' in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers to the total common shares only or to the total outstanding capital stock (combined total of common and non-voting preferred shares) of PLDT, a public utility."64

    The Court directly answered the Issue and consistently defined the term "capital" as follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    x x x The term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock comprising both common and non­ voting preferred shares.

    x x x x

    Considering that common shares have voting rights which translate to control, as opposed to preferred shares which usually have no voting rights, the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to common shares. However, if the preferred shares also have the right to vote in the election of directors, then the term "capital" shall include such preferred shares because the right to participate in the control or management of the corporation is exercised through the right to vote in the election of directors. In short, the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to shares of stock that can vote in the election of directors.65
    The decretal portion of the Gamboa Decision follows the definition of the term "capital" in the body of the decision, to wit: "x x x we x x x rule that the term 'capital' in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock (common and non-voting preferred shares)."66

    The Court adopted the foregoing definition of the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution in furtherance of "the intent and letter of the Constitution that the 'State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos' [because a] broad definition unjustifiably disregards who owns the all-important voting stock, which necessarily equates to control of the public utility."67 The Court, recognizing that the provision is an express recognition of the sensitive and vital position of public utilities both in the national economy and for national security, also pronounced that the evident purpose of the citizenship requirement is to prevent aliens from assuming control of public utilities, which may be inimical to the national interest.68 Further, the Court noted that the foregoing interpretation is consistent with the intent of the framers of the Constitution to place in the hands of Filipino citizens the control and management of public utilities; and, as revealed in the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, "capital" refers to the voting stock or controlling interest of a corporation.69

    In this regard, it would be apropos to state that since Filipinos own at least 60% of the outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote directors, which is what the Constitution precisely requires, then the Filipino stockholders control the corporation, i.e., they dictate corporate actions and decisions, and they have all the rights of ownership including, but not limited to, offering certain preferred shares that may have greater economic interest to foreign investors - as the need for capital for corporate pursuits (such as expansion), may be good for the corporation that they own. Surely, these "true owners" will not allow any dilution of their ownership and control if such move will not be beneficial to them.

    As owners of the corporation, the economic benefits will necessarily accrue to them. There is thus no logical reason why Filipino shareholders will allow foreigners to have greater economic benefits than them. It is illogical to speculate that they will create shares which have features that will give greater economic interests or benefits than they are holding and not benefit from such offering, or that they will allow foreigners to profit more than them from their own corporation - unless they are dummies. But, Commonwealth Act No. 108, the Anti-Dummy Law, is NOT in issue in these petitions. Notably, even if the shares of a particular public utility were owned 100% Filipino, that does not discount the possibility of a dummy situation from arising. Hence, even if the 60-40 ownership in favor of Filipinos rule is applied separately to each class of shares of a public utility corporation, as the petitioners insist, the rule can easily be side-stepped by a dummy relationship. In other words, even applying the 60-40 Filipino­ foreign ownership rule to each class of shares will not assure the lofty purpose enunciated by petitioners.

    The Court observed further in the Gamboa Decision that reinforcing this interpretation of the term "capital", as referring to interests or shares entitled to vote, is the definition of a Philippine national in the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 ("FIA"), which is explained in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the FIA ("FIA-IRR"). The FIA-IRR provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Compliance with the required Filipino ownership of a corporation shall be determined on the basis of outstanding capital stock whether fully paid or not, but only such stocks which are generally entitled to vote are considered.

    For stocks to be deemed owned and held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity. Full beneficial ownership of the stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights is essential. Thus, stocks, the voting rights of which have been assigned or transferred to aliens cannot be considered held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals.70
    Echoing the FIA-IRR, the Court stated in the Gamboa Decision that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Mere legal title is insufficient to meet the 60 percent Filipino­owned "capital" required in the Constitution. Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights, is required. The legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock must rest in the hands of Filipino nationals in accordance with the constitutional mandate. Otherwise, the corporation is "considered as non-Philippine national[s]."

    x x x x

    The legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock must rest in the hands of Filipinos in accordance with the constitutional mandate. Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights, is constitutionally required for the State's grant of authority to operate a public utility. x x x71
    Was the definition of the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution declared for the first time by the Court in the Gamboa Decision modified in the Gamboa Resolution?

    The Court is convinced that it was not. The Gamboa Resolution consists of 51 pages (excluding the dissenting opinions of Associate Justices Velasco and Abad). For the most part of the Gamboa Resolution, the Court, after reviewing SEC and DOJ72 Opinions as well as the provisions of the FIA and its predecessor statutes,73 reiterated that both the Voting Control Test and the Beneficial Ownership Test must be applied to determine whether a corporation is a "Philippine national"74 and that a "Philippine national," as defined in the FIA and all its predecessor statutes, is "a Filipino citizen, or a domestic corporation "at least sixty percent (60%) of the capital stock outstanding and entitled to vote," is owned by Filipino citizens. A domestic corporation is a "Philippine national" only if at least 60% of its voting stock is owned by Filipino citizens."75 The Court also reiterated that, from the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, it is evident that the term "capital" refers to controlling interest of a corporation,76 and the framers of the Constitution intended public utilities to be majority Filipino-owned and controlled.

    The "Final Word" of the Gamboa Resolution put to rest the Court's interpretation of the term "capital", and this is quoted verbatim, to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    XII.
    Final Word


    The Constitution expressly declares as State policy the development of an economy "effectively controlled" by Filipinos. Consistent with such State policy, the Constitution explicitly reserves the ownership and operation of public utilities to Philippine nationals, who are defined in the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 as Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least 60 percent of whose capital with voting rights belongs to Filipinos. The FIA's implementing rules explain that "[f]or stocks to be deemed owned and held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity. Full beneficial ownership of stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights is essential." In effect, the FIA clarifies, reiterates and confirms the interpretation that the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution refers to shares with voting rights, as well as with full beneficial ownership. This is precisely because the right to vote in the election of directors, coupled with full beneficial ownership of stocks, translates to effective control of a corporation.77
    Everything told, the Court, in both the Gamboa Decision and Gamboa Resolution, finally settled with the PIA's definition of "Philippine national" as expounded in the FIA-IRR in construing the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution.

    The assailed SEC-MC No. 8.

    The relevant provision in the assailed SEC-MC No. 8 IS Section 2, which provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 2. All covered corporations shall, at all times, observe the constitutional or statutory ownership requirement. For purposes of determining compliance therewith, the required percentage of Filipino ownership shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors.78
    Section 2 of SEC-MC No. 8 clearly incorporates the Voting Control Test or the controlling interest requirement. In fact, Section 2 goes beyond requiring a 60-40 ratio in favor of Filipino nationals in the voting stocks; it moreover requires the 60-40 percentage ownership in the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether voting or not. The SEC formulated SEC-MC No. 8 to adhere to the Court's unambiguous pronouncement that "[f]ull beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights is required."79 Clearly, SEC-MC No. 8 cannot be said to have been issued with grave abuse of discretion.

    A simple illustration involving Company X with three kinds of shares of stock, easily shows how compliance with the requirements of SEC-MC No. 8 will necessarily result to full and faithful compliance with the Gamboa Decision as well as the Gamboa Resolution.

    The following is the composition of the outstanding capital stock of Company X:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    100 common shares
    100 Class A preferred shares (with right to elect directors)
    100 Class B preferred shares (without right to elect directors)
    SEC-MC No. 8
    GAMBOA DECISION
    (1) 60% (required percentage of Filipino) applied to the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors
    "shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors"80 (60% of the voting rights)

    If at least a total of 120 of common shares and Class A preferred shares (in any combination) are owned and controlled by Filipinos, Company X is compliant with the 60% of the voting rights in favor of Filipinos requirement of both SEC-MC No. 8 and the Gamboa Decision.

    SEC-MC No. 8
    GAMBOA DECISION/RESOLUTION
    (2) 60% (required percentage of Filipino) applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors.
    "Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights"81 or "Full beneficial ownership of the stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights x x x shares with voting rights, as well as with full beneficial ownership"82

    If at least a total of 180 shares of all the outstanding capital stock of Company X are owned and controlled by Filipinos, provided that among those 180 shares a total of 120 of the common shares and Class A preferred shares (in any combination) are owned and controlled by Filipinos, then Company X is compliant with both requirements of voting rights and beneficial ownership under SEC-MC No. 8 and the Gamboa Decision and Resolution.

    From the foregoing illustration, SEC-MC No. 8 simply implemented, and is fully in accordance with, the Gamboa Decision and Resolution.

    While SEC-MC No. 8 does not expressly mention the Beneficial Ownership Test or full beneficial ownership of stocks requirement in the FIA, this will not, as it does not, render it invalid meaning, it does not follow that the SEC will not apply this test in determining whether the shares claimed to be owned by Philippine nationals are Filipino, i.e., are held by them by mere title or in full beneficial ownership. To be sure, the SEC takes its guiding lights also from the FIA and its implementing rules, the Securities Regulation Code (Republic Act No. 8799; "SRC") and its implementing rules.83

    The full beneficial ownership test.

    The minority justifies the application of the 60-40 Filipino-foreign ownership rule separately to each class of shares of a public utility corporation in this fashion:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    x x x The words "own and control," used to qualify the minimum Filipino participation in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, reflects the importance of Filipinos having both the ability to influence the corporation through voting rights and economic benefits. In other words, full ownership up to 60% of a public utility encompasses both control and economic rights, both of which must stay in Filipino hands. Filipinos, who own 60% of the controlling interest, must also own 60% of the economic interest in a public utility.

    x x x In mixed class or dual structured corporations, however, there is variance in the proportion of stockholders' controlling interest vis­a-vis their economic ownership rights. This resulting variation is recognized by the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Securities Regulation Code, which defined beneficial ownership as that may exist either through voting power and/or through investment returns. By using and/or in defining beneficial ownership, the IRR, in effect, recognizes a possible situation where voting power is not commensurate to investment power.
    The definition of "beneficial owner" or "beneficial ownership" in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Securities Regulation Code ("SRC-IRR") is consistent with the concept of"full beneficial ownership" in the FIA-IRR.

    As defined in the SRC-IRR, "[b]eneficial owner or beneficial ownership means any person who, directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise, has or shares voting power (which includes the power to vote or direct the voting of such security) and/or investment returns or power (which includes the power to dispose of, or direct the disposition of such security) x x x."84

    While it is correct to state that beneficial ownership is that which may exist either through voting power and/or investment returns, it does not follow, as espoused by the minority opinion, that the SRC-IRR, in effect, recognizes a possible situation where voting power is not commensurate to investment power. That is a wrong syllogism. The fallacy arises from a misunderstanding on what the definition is for. The "beneficial ownership" referred to in the definition, while it may ultimately and indirectly refer to the overall ownership of the corporation, more pertinently refers to the ownership of the share subject of the question: is it Filipino-owned or not?

    As noted earlier, the FIA-IRR states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Compliance with the required Filipino ownership of a corporation shall be determined on the basis of outstanding capital stock whether fully paid or not, but only such stocks which are generally entitled to vote are considered.

    For stocks to be deemed owned and held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity. Full beneficial ownership of the stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights is essential. Thus, stocks, the voting rights of which have been assigned or transferred to aliens cannot be considered held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals.85
    The emphasized portions in the foregoing provision is the equivalent of the so-called "beneficial ownership test". That is all.

    The term "full beneficial ownership" found in the FIA-IRR is to be understood in the context of the entire paragraph defining the term "Philippine national". Mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity, which means that it is not sufficient that a share is registered in the name of a Filipino citizen or national, i.e., he should also have full beneficial ownership of the share. If the voting right of a share held in the name of a Filipino citizen or national is assigned or transferred to an alien, that share is not to be counted in the determination of the required Filipino equity. In the same vein, if the dividends and other fruits and accessions of the share do not accrue to a Filipino citizen or national, then that share is also to be excluded or not counted.

    In this regard, it is worth reiterating the Court's pronouncement in the Gamboa Decision, which is consistent with the FIA-IRR, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Mere legal title is insufficient to meet the 60 percent Filipino­owned "capital" required in the Constitution. Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights, is required. x x x

    x x x x

    The legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock must rest in the hands of Filipinos in accordance with the constitutional mandate. Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights, is constitutionally required (or the State's grant of authority to operate a public utility. x x x.86
    And the "Final Word" of the Gamboa Resolution is in full accord with the foregoing pronouncement of the Court, to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    XII.
    Final Word


    x x x The FIA's implementing rules explain that "[f]or stocks to be deemed owned and held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity. Full beneficial ownership of the stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights is essential."87
    Given that beneficial ownership of the outstanding capital stock of the public utility corporation has to be determined for purposes of compliance with the 60% Filipino ownership requirement, the definition in the SRC-IRR can now be applied to resolve only the question of who is the beneficial owner or who has beneficial ownership of each "specific stock" of the said corporation. Thus, if a "specific stock" is owned by a Filipino in the books of the corporation, but the stock's voting power or disposing power belongs to a foreigner, then that "specific stock" will not be deemed as "beneficially owned" by a Filipino.

    Stated inversely, if the Filipino has the "specific stock's" voting power (he can vote the stock or direct another to vote for him), or the Filipino has the investment power over the "specific stock" (he can dispose of the stock or direct another to dispose it for him), or he has both (he can vote and dispose of the "specific stock" or direct another to vote or dispose it for him), then such Filipino is the "beneficial owner" of that "specific stock" and that "specific stock" is considered (or counted) as part of the 60% Filipino ownership of the corporation. In the end, all those "specific stocks" that are determined to be Filipino (per definition of "beneficial owner" or "beneficial ownership") will be added together and their sum must be equivalent to at least 60% of the total outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors and at least 60% of the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors.

    To reiterate, the "beneficial owner or beneficial ownership" definition in the SRC-IRR is understood only in determining the respective nationalities of the outstanding capital stock of a public utility corporation in order to determine its compliance with the percentage of Filipino ownership required by the Constitution.

    The restrictive re-interpretation of "capital" as insisted by the petitioners is unwarranted.

    Petitioners' insistence that the 60% Filipino equity requirement must be applied to each class of shares is simply beyond the literal text and contemplation of Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Sec. 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum or whose capital is owned by such citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common good so requires. The State shall encourage equity participation in public utilities by the general public. The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines.
    As worded, effective control by Filipino citizens of a public utility is already assured in the provision. With respect to a stock corporation engaged in the business of a public utility, the constitutional provision mandates three safeguards: (1) 60% of its capital must be owned by Filipino citizens; (2) participation of foreign investors in its board of directors is limited to their proportionate share in its capital; and (3) all its executive and managing officers must be citizens of the Philippines.

    In the exhaustive review made by the Court in the Gamboa Resolution of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, the opinions of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, the opinions of the SEC and the DOJ as well as the provisions of the FIA, its implementing rules and its predecessor statutes, the intention to apply the voting control test and the beneficial ownership test was not mentioned in reference to "each class of shares." Even the Gamboa Decision was silent on this point.

    To be sure, the application of the 60-40 Filipino-foreign ownership requirement separately to each class of shares, whether common, preferred non-voting, preferred voting or any other class of shares fails to understand and appreciate the nature and features of stocks as financial instruments.88

    There are basically only two types of shares or stocks, i.e., common stock and preferred stock. However, the classes and variety of shares that a corporation may issue are dictated by the confluence of the corporation's financial position and needs, business opportunities, short-term and long­ term targets, risks involved, to name a few; and they can be classified and re-classified from time to time. With respect to preferred shares, there are cumulative preferred shares, non-cumulative preferred shares, convertible preferred shares, participating preferred shares.

    Because of the different features of preferred shares, it is required that the presentation and disclosure of these financial instruments in financial statements should be in accordance with the substance of the contractual arrangement and the definitions of a financial liability, a financial asset and an equity instrument.89

    Under IAS90 32.16, a financial instrument is an equity instrument only if (a) the instrument includes no contractual obligation to deliver cash or another financial asset to another entity, and (b) if the instrument will or may be settled in the issuer's own equity instruments, it is either: (i) a non­ derivative that includes no contractual obligation for the issuer to deliver a variable number of its own equity instruments; or (ii) a derivative that will be settled only by the issuer exchanging a fixed amount of cash or another financial asset for a fixed number of its own equity instruments.91

    The following are illustrations of how preferred shares should be presented and disclosed:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Illustration - preference shares

    If an entity issues preference (preferred) shares that pay a fixed rate of dividend and that have a mandatory redemption feature at a future date, the substance is that they are a contractual obligation to deliver cash and, therefore, should be recognized as a liability. [IAS 32.18(a)] In contrast, preference shares that do not have a fixed maturity, and where the issuer does not have a contractual obligation to make any payment are equity. In this example even though both instruments are legally termed preference shares they have different contractual terms and one is a financial liability while the other is equity.

    Illustration - issuance of fixed monetary amount of equity instruments

    A contractual right or obligation to receive or deliver a number of its own shares or other equity instruments that varies so that the fair value of the entity's own equity instruments to be received or delivered equals the fixed monetary amount of the contractual right or obligation is a financial liability. [IAS 32.20]

    Illustration - one party bas a choice over bow an instrument is settled

    When a derivative financial instrument gives one party a choice over how it is settled (for instance, the issuer or the holder can choose settlement net in cash or by exchanging shares for cash), it is a financial asset or a financial liability unless all of the settlement alternatives would result in it being an equity instrument. [IAS 32.26]92
    The fact that from an accounting standpoint, the substance or essence of the financial instrument is the key determinant whether it should be categorized as a financial liability or an equity instrument, there is no compelling reason why the same treatment may not be recognized from a legal perspective. Thus, to require Filipino shareholders to acquire preferred shares that are substantially debts, in order to meet the "restrictive" Filipino ownership requirement that petitioners espouse, may not bode well for the Philippine corporation and its Filipino shareholders.

    Parenthetically, given the innumerable permutations that the types and classes of stocks may take, requiring the SEC and other government agencies to keep track of the ever-changing capital classes of corporations will be impracticable, if not downright impossible. And the law does not require the impossible. (Lex non cogit ad impossibilia.)93

    That stock corporations are allowed to create shares of different classes with varying features is a flexibility that is granted, among others, for the corporation to attract and generate capital (funds) from both local and foreign capital markets. This access to capital - which a stock corporation may need for expansion, debt relief/repayment, working capital requirement and other corporate pursuits - will be greatly eroded with further unwarranted limitations that are not articulated in the Constitution. The intricacies and delicate balance between debt instruments (liabilities) and equity (capital) that stock corporations need to calibrate to fund their business requirements and achieve their financial targets are better left to the judgment of their boards and officers, whose bounden duty is to steer their companies to financial stability and profitability and who are ultimately answerable to their shareholders.

    Going back to the illustration above, the restrictive meaning of the term "capital" espoused by petitioners will definitely be complied with if 60% of each of the three classes of shares of Company X, consisting of 100 common shares, 100 Class A preferred shares (with right to elect directors) and 100 Class B preferred shares (without right to elect directors), is owned by Filipinos. However, what if the 60% Filipino ownership in each class of preferred shares, i.e., 60 Class A preferred shares and 60 Class B preferred shares, is not fully subscribed or achieved because there are not enough Filipino takers? Company X will be deprived of capital that would otherwise be accessible to it were it not for this unwarranted "restrictive" meaning of "capital".

    The fact that all shares have the right to vote in 8 specific corporate actions as provided in Section 6 of the Corporation Code does not per se justify the favorable adoption of the restrictive re-interpretation of "capital" as the petitioners espouse. As observed in the Gamboa Decision, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    The Corporation Code of the Philippines classifies shares as common or preferred, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Sec. 6. Classification of shares. The shares of stock of stock corporations may be divided into classes or series of shares, or both, any of which classes or series of shares may have such rights, privileges or restrictions as may be stated in the articles of incorporation: Provided, That no share may be deprived of voting rights except those classified and issued as "preferred" or "redeemable" shares, unless otherwise provided in this Code: Provided, further, That there shall always be a class or series of shares which have complete voting rights. Any or all of the shares or series of shares may have a par value or have no par value as may be provided for in the articles of incorporation: Provided, however, That banks, trust companies, insurance companies, public utilities, and building and loan associations shall not be permitted to issue no-par value shares of stock.

    Preferred shares of stock issued by any corporation may be given preference in the distribution of the assets of the corporation in case of liquidation and in the distribution of dividends, or such other preferences as may be stated in the articles of incorporation which are not violative of the provisions of this Code: Provided, That preferred shares of stock may be issued only with a stated par value. The Board of Directors, where authorized in the articles of incorporation, may fix the terms and conditions of preferred shares of stock or any series thereof: Provided, That such terms and conditions shall be effective upon the filing of a certificate thereof with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    x x x x

    A corporation may, furthermore, classify its shares for the purpose of insuring compliance with constitutional or legal requirements.

    Except as otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation and stated in the certificate of stock, each share shall be equal in all respects to every other share.

    Where the articles of incorporation provide for non­ voting shares in the cases allowed by this Code, the holders of such shares shall nevertheless be entitled to vote on the following matters:cralawlawlibrary

    1. Amendment of the articles of incorporation;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    2. Adoption and amendment of by-laws;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    3. Sale, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge or other disposition of all or substantially all of the corporate property;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    4. Incurring, creating or increasing bonded indebtedness;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    5. Increase or decrease of capital stock;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    6. Merger or consolidation of the corporation with another corporation or other corporations;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    7. Investment of corporate funds in another corporation or business in accordance with this Code; and

    8. Dissolution of the corporation.

    Except as provided in the immediately preceding paragraph, the vote necessary to approve a particular corporate act as provided in this Code shall be deemed to refer only to stocks with voting rights.
    Indisputably, one of the rights of a stockholder is the right to participate in the control or management of the corporation. This is exercised through his vote in the election of directors because it is the board of directors that controls or manages the corporation. In the absence of provisions in the articles of incorporation denying voting rights to preferred shares, preferred shares have the same voting rights as common shares. However, preferred shareholders are often excluded from any control, that is, deprived of the right to vote in the election of directors and on other matters, on the theory that the preferred shareholders are merely investors in the corporation for income in the same manner as bondholders. In fact, under the Corporation Code only preferred or redeemable shares can be deprived of the right to vote. Common shares cannot be deprived of the right to vote in any corporate meeting, and any provision in the articles of incorporation restricting the right of common shareholders to vote is invalid.

    Considering that common shares have voting rights which translate to control, as opposed to preferred shares which usually have no voting rights, the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to common shares. However, if the preferred shares also have the right to vote in the election of directors, then the term "capital" shall include such preferred shares because the right to participate in the control or management of the corporation is exercised through the right to vote in the election of directors. In short, the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to shares of stock that can vote in the election of directors.

    This interpretation is consistent with the intent of the framers of the Constitution to place in the hands of Filipino citizens the control and management of public utilities. As revealed in the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, "capital" refers to the voting stock or controlling interest of a corporation x x x.94
    The Gamboa Decision held that preferred shares are to be factored in only if they are entitled to vote in the election of directors. If preferred shares have no voting rights, then they cannot elect members of the board of directors, which wields control of the corporation. As to the right of non­ voting preferred shares to vote in the 8 instances enumerated in Section 6 of the Corporation Code, the Gamboa Decision considered them but, in the end, did not find them significant in resolving the issue of the proper interpretation of the word "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution.

    Therefore, to now insist in the present case that preferred shares be regarded differently from their unambiguous treatment in the Gamboa Decision is enough proof that the Gamboa Decision, which had attained finality more than 4 years ago, is being drastically changed or expanded.

    In this regard, it should be noted that the 8 corporate matters enumerated in Section 6 of the Corporation Code require, at the outset, a favorable recommendation by the management to the board. As mandated by Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, all the executive and managing officers of a public utility company must be Filipinos. Thus, the all-Filipino management team must first be convinced that any of the 8 corporate actions in Section 6 will be to the best interest of the company. Then, when the all­-Filipino management team recommends this to the board, a majority of the board has to approve the recommendation and, as required by the Constitution, foreign participation in the board cannot exceed 40% of the total number of board seats. Since the Filipino directors comprise the majority, they, if united, do not even need the vote of the foreign directors to approve the intended corporate act. After approval by the board, all the shareholders (with and without voting rights) will vote on the corporate action. The required vote in the shareholders' meeting is 2/3 of the outstanding capital stock.95 Given the super majority vote requirement, foreign shareholders cannot dictate upon their Filipino counterpart. However, foreigners (if owning at least a third of the outstanding capital stock) must agree with Filipino shareholders for the corporate action to be approved. The 2/3 voting requirement applies to all corporations, given the significance of the 8 corporate actions contemplated in Section 6 of the Corporation Code.

    In short, if the Filipino officers, directors and shareholders will not approve of the corporate act, the foreigners are helpless.

    Allowing stockholders holding preferred shares without voting rights to vote in the 8 corporate matters enumerated in Section 6 is an acknowledgment of their right of ownership. If the owners of preferred shares without right to vote/elect directors are not allowed to vote in any of those 8 corporate actions, then they will not be entitled to the appraisal right provided under Section 8196 of the Corporation Code in the event that they dissent in the corporate act. As required in Section 82, the appraisal right can only be exercised by any stockholder who voted against the proposed action. Thus, without recognizing the right of every stockholder to vote in the 8 instances enumerated in Section 6, the stockholder cannot exercise his appraisal right in case he votes against the corporate action. In simple terms, the right to vote in the 8 instances enumerated in Section 6 is more in furtherance of the stockholder's right of ownership rather than as a mode of control.

    As to financial interest, giving short-lived preferred or superior terms to certain classes or series of shares may be a welcome option to expand capital, without the Filipino shareholders putting up additional substantial capital and/or losing ownership and control of the company. For shareholders who are not keen on the creation of those shares, they may opt to avail themselves of their appraisal right. As acknowledged in the Gamboa Decision, preferred shareholders are merely investors in the company for income in the same manner as bondholders. Without a lucrative package, including an attractive return of investment, preferred shares will not be subscribed and the much-needed additional capital will be elusive. A too restrictive definition of "capital", one which was never contemplated in the Gamboa Decision, will surely have a dampening effect on the business milieu by eroding the flexibility inherent in the issuance of preferred shares with varying terms and conditions. Consequently, the rights and prerogatives of the owners of the corporation will be unwarrantedly stymied.

    Moreover, the restrictive interpretation of the term "capital" would have a tremendous impact on the country as a whole and to all Filipinos.

    The PSE's Comment-in-Intervention dated June 16, 201497 warns that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    80. [R]edefining "capital" as used in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution and adopting the supposed "Effective Control Test" will lead to disastrous consequences to the Philippine stock market.

    81. Current data of the PSE show that, if the "Effective Control Test" were applied, the total value of shares that would be deemed in excess of the foreign-ownership limits based on stock prices as of 30 April 2014 is One Hundred Fifty Nine Billion Six Hundred Thirty Eight Million Eight Hundred Forty Five Thousand Two Hundred Six Pesos and Eighty Nine Cents (Php159,638,845,206.89).

    82. The aforementioned value of investments would have to be discharged by foreign holders, and consequently must be absorbed by Filipino investors. Needless to state, the lack of investments may lead to shutdown of the affected enterprises and to immeasurable consequences to the Philippine economy.98
    In its Omnibus Motion [1] For Leave to Intervene; and [2] To Admit Attached Comment-in-Intervention dated May 30, 2016,99 SHAREPHIL further warns that "[t]he restrictive re-interpretation of the term "capital" will result in massive forced divestment of foreign stockholdings in Philippine corporations."100 SHAREPHIL explains:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    4.51. On 16 October 2012, Deutsche Bank released a Market Research Study, which analyzed the implications of the ruling in Gamboa. The Market Research Study stated that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    "If this thinking is applied and becomes established precedent, it would significantly expand on the rules for determining nationality in partially nationalized industries. If that were to happen, not only will PLDT's move to issue the 150m voting prefs be inadequate to address the issue, a large number of listed companies with similar capital structures could also be affected."
    4.52. In five (5) companies alone, One Hundred Fifty Eight Billion Pesos (PhP158,000,000,000.00) worth of shares will have to be sold by foreign shareholders in a forced divestment, if the obiter in Gamboa were to be implemented. Foreign shareholders of PLDT will have to divest One Hundred Three Billion Eight Hundred Sixty Million Pesos (PhP103,860,000,000.00) worth of shares.
    1. Foreign shareholders of Globe Telecom will have to divest Thirty Eight Billion Two Hundred Fifty Million Pesos (PhP38,250,000,000.00) worth of shares.

    2. Foreign shareholders of Ayala Land will have to divest Seventeen Billion Five Hundred Fifty Million Pesos (PhP17,550,000,000.00) worth of shares.

    3. Foreign shareholders of ICTSI will have to divest Six Billion Four Hundred Ninety Million Pesos (PhP6,490,000,000.00) worth of shares.

    4. Foreign shareholders of MWC will have to divest Seven Billion Seven Hundred Fourteen Million Pesos (PhP7,714,000,000.00) worth of shares.
    4.53. Clearly, the local stock market which has an average value turn-over of Seven Billion Pesos cannot adequately absorb the influx of shares caused by the forced divestment. As a result, foreign stockholders will have to sell these shares at bargain prices just to comply with the Obiter.

    4.54. These shares being part of the Philippine index, their forced divestment vis-a-vis the inability of the local stock market to absorb these shares will necessarily bring immense downward pressure on the index. A domino-effect implosion of the Philippine stock market and the Philippine economy, in general is not remote. x x x.101
    Petitioners have failed to counter or refute these submissions of the PSE and SHAREPHIL. These unrefuted observations indicate to the Court that a restrictive interpretation - or rather, re-interpretation, of "capital", as already defined with finality in the Gamboa Decision and Resolution - directly affects the well-being of the country and cannot be labelled as "irrelevant and impertinent concerns x x x add[ing] burden [to] the Court."102 These observations by the PSE103 and SHAREPHIL,104 unless refuted, must be considered by the Court to be valid and sound.

    The Court in Abacus Securities Corp. v. Ampil105 observed that: "[s]tock market transactions affect the general public and the national economy. The rise and fall of stock market indices reflect to a considerable degree the state of the economy. Trends in stock prices tend to herald changes in business conditions. Consequently, securities transactions are impressed with public interest x x x."106 The importance of the stock market in the economy cannot simply be glossed over.

    In view of the foregoing, the pronouncement of the Court in the Gamboa Resolution - the constitutional requirement to apply uniformly and across the board to all classes of shares, regardless of nomenclature and category, comprising the capital of a corporation107 - is clearly an obiter dictum that cannot override the Court's unequivocal definition of the term "capital" in both the Gamboa Decision and Resolution.

    Nowhere in the discussion of the definition of the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution in the Gamboa Decision did the Court mention the 60% Filipino equity requirement to be applied to each class of shares. The definition of "Philippine national" in the FIA and expounded in its IRR, which the Court adopted in its interpretation of the term "capital", does not support such application. In fact, even the Final Word of the Gamboa Resolution does not even intimate or suggest the need for a clarification or re-interpretation.

    To revisit or even clarify the unequivocal definition of the term "capital" as referring "only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors" and apply the 60% Filipino ownership requirement to each class of share is effectively and unwarrantedly amending or changing the Gamboa Decision and Resolution. The Gamboa Decision and Resolution Doctrine did NOT make any definitive ruling that the 60% Filipino ownership requirement was intended to apply to each class of share.

    In Malayang Manggagawa ng Stayfast Phils., Inc. v. NLRC,108 the Court stated:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Where a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court alleges grave abuse of discretion, the petitioner should establish that the respondent court or tribunal acted in a capricious, whimsical, arbitrary or despotic manner in the exercise of its jurisdiction as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. This is so because "grave abuse of discretion" is well-defined and not an amorphous concept that may easily be manipulated to suit one's purpose. In this connection, Yu v. Judge Reyes-Carpio, is instructive:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    The term "grave abuse of discretion" has a specific meaning. An act of a court or tribunal can only be considered as with grave abuse of discretion when such act is done in a "capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction." The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an "evasion of a positive duty or to 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." Furthermore, the use of a petition for certiorari is restricted only to "truly extraordinary cases wherein the act of the lower court or quasi-judicial body is wholly void." From the foregoing definition, it is clear that the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 can only strike an act down for having been done with grave abuse of discretion if the petitioner could manifestly show that such act was patent and gross. x x x.
    The onus rests on petitioners to clearly and sufficiently establish that the SEC, in issuing SEC-MC No. 8, acted in a capricious, whimsical, arbitrary or despotic manner in the exercise of its jurisdiction as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction or that the SEC's abuse of discretion is so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law and the Gamboa Decision and Resolution. Petitioners miserably failed in this respect.

    The clear and unequivocal definition of "capital" in Gamboa has attained finality.

    It is an elementary principle in procedure that the resolution of the court in a given issue as embodied in the dispositive portion or fallo of a decision controls the settlement of rights of the parties and the questions, notwithstanding statement in the body of the decision which may be somewhat confusing, inasmuch as the dispositive part of a final decision is definite, clear and unequivocal and can be wholly given effect without need of interpretation or construction.109

    As explained above, the fallo or decretal/dispositive portions of both the Gamboa Decision and Resolution are definite, clear and unequivocaL While there is a passage in the body of the Gamboa Resolution that might have appeared contrary to the fallo of the Gamboa Decision - capitalized upon by petitioners to espouse a restrictive re-interpretation of "capital" - the definiteness and clarity of the fallo of the Gamboa Decision must control over the obiter dictum in the Gamboa Resolution regarding the application of the 60-40 Filipino-foreign ownership requirement to "each class of shares, regardless of differences in voting rights, privileges and restrictions."

    The final judgment as rendered is the judgment of the court irrespective of all seemingly contrary statements in the decision because at the root of the doctrine that the premises must yield to the conclusion is, side by side with the need of writing finis to litigations, the recognition of the truth that "the trained intuition of the judge continually leads him to right results for which he is puzzled to give unimpeachable legal reasons."110

    Petitioners cannot, after Gamboa has attained finality, seek a belated correction or reconsideration of the Court's unequivocal definition of the term "capital". At the core of the doctrine of finality of judgments is that public policy and sound practice demand that, at the risk of occasional errors, judgments of courts should become final at some definite date fixed by law and the very objects for which courts were instituted was to put an end to controversies.111 Indeed, the definition of the term "capital" in the fallo of the Gamboa Decision has acquired finality.

    Because the SEC acted pursuant to the Court's pronouncements in both the Gamboa Decision and Gamboa Resolution, then it could not have gravely abused its discretion. That portion found in the body of the Gamboa Resolution which the petitioners rely upon is nothing more than an obiter dictum and the SEC could not be expected to apply it as it was not - is not - a binding pronouncement of the Court.112

    Furthermore, as opined by Justice Bersamin during the deliberations, the doctrine of immutability of judgment precludes the Court from re­ examining the definition of "capital" under Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution. Under the doctrine of finality and immutability of judgment, a decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable, and may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law, and even if the modification is made by the court that rendered it or by the Highest Court of the land. Any act that violates the principle must be immediately stricken down.113 The petitions have not succeeded in pointing to any exceptions to the doctrine of finality of judgments, under which the present case falls, to wit: (1) the correction of clerical errors; (2) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any party; (3) void judgments; and (4) whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of the decision rendering its execution unjust and inequitable.114

    With the foregoing disquisition, the Court rules that SEC-MC No. 8 is not contrary to the Court's definition and interpretation of the term "capital". Accordingly, the petitions must be denied for failing to show grave abuse of discretion in the issuance of SEC-MC No. 8.

    The petitions are second motions for Reconsideration, which are proscribed.

    As Justice Bersamin further noted during the deliberations, the petitions are in reality second motions for reconsideration prohibited by the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court.115 The parties, particularly intervenors Gamboa, et al., could have filed a motion for clarification in Gamboa in order to fill in the perceived shortcoming occasioned by the non-inclusion in the dispositive portion of the Gamboa Resolution of what was discussed in the body.116 The statement in the fallo of the Gamboa Resolution to the effect that "[n]o further pleadings shall be entertained" could not be a hindrance to a motion for clarification that sought an unadulterated inquiry arising upon an ambiguity in the decision.117

    Closing

    Ultimately, the key to nationalism is in the individual. Particularly for a public utility corporation or association, whether stock or non-stock, it starts with the Filipino shareholder or member who, together with other Filipino shareholders or members wielding 60% voting power, elects the Filipino director who, in turn, together with other Filipino directors comprising a majority of the board of directors or trustees, appoints and employs the all-Filipino management team. This is what is envisioned by the Constitution to assure effective control by Filipinos. If the safeguards, which are already stringent, fail, i.e., a public utility corporation whose voting stocks are beneficially owned by Filipinos, the majority of its directors are Filipinos, and all its managing officers are Filipinos, is pro­alien (or worse, dummies), then that is not the fault or failure of the Constitution. It is the breakdown of nationalism in each of the Filipino shareholders, Filipino directors and Filipino officers of that corporation. No Constitution, no decision of the Court, no legislation, no matter how ultra­nationalistic they are, can guarantee nationalism.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court DENIES the Petition and Petition-in-Intervention.

    SO ORDERED.ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    Sereno, C. J., see Concurring Opinion.
    Del Castillo, Perez, and Reyes, JJ., concur.
    Carpio, J., see Dissenting Opinion.
    Velasco, Jr., J., please see Concurring Opinion.
    Leonardo-De Castro, J., I join the Dissent of Justice Carpio.
    Brion, J., I join J. Carpio's Dissent.
    Peralta,*J., on leave but left vote.
    Bersamin, J., with Concurring Opinion.
    Mendoza, J., see Dissenting Opinion.
    Perlas-Bernabe, J., no part and on official leave.
    Leonen, J., I Dissent. See Separate Opinion.
    Jardeleza, J., no part.

    Endnotes:


    * On official leave.

    1 These are the Petition for Certiorari filed on June 10, 2013 (the "Petition") and Petition-in-Intervention (for Certiorari) filed on July 30, 2013 (the "Petition-in-Intervention"). They will be referred to collectively as the "petitions".

    2Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, 668 Phil. 1 (2011).

    3Heirs of Wilson P. Gamboa v. Finance Sec. Teves, 696 Phil. 276 (2012).

    4Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 2, at 69-70.

    5Heirs of Wilson P. Gamboa v. Finance Sec. Teves, supra note 3, at 363.

    6Rollo (Vol. II), pp. 605-609.

    7 Id. at 547.

    8 Id. at 548.

    9 Id. at 605-609.

    10 Id. at 548.

    11 Id.

    12Rollo (Vol. 1), pp. 31-33.

    13Rollo (Vol. II), pp. 549, 587-288.

    14 Id. at 588.

    15Rollo (VoL I), pp. 3-206 (with annexes).

    16 Son of deceased petitioner Wilson P. Gamboa in Gamboa.

    17Rollo (Vol. I), pp. 222-230 (with annex).

    18 Id. at 231-446 (with annexes).

    19 Id. at 466-530.

    20Rollo (Vol. II), pp. 544-615 (with annexes).

    21 Id. at 633-654.

    22 Petitioner Roy and intervenors Gamboa, et al. will be col1ectively referred to as the "petitioners".

    23Rollo (Vol. II), pp. 723-762 (with annex).

    24 Id. at 765-828.

    25 Id. at 839-847.

    26 Id. at 848-879.

    27 Id. at 880.

    28 Id. at 964-1077.

    29 A non-stock and non-profit association composed of shareholders of Philippine companies, which aims to advocate changes in the legal and regulatory framework that will help improve the rights of minority shareholders and to promote and protect all types of shareholders' rights under existing laws, rules and regulations. Id. at 1081.

    30 Id. at 1080-1114.

    31 Resolution dated June 14, 2016, id. at 1115-1116.

    32 Id. at 1117-1133.

    33 Id. at 1134-1138.

    34 Id. at 544-615 (with annex).

    35 Id. at 580.

    36Belgica v. Ochoa, 721 Phil. 416, 518-519 (2013), citing Joya v. Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), 296-A Phil. 595, 602 (1993) and Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, 651 Phil. 374, 438 (2010); Hon. General v. Hon. Urro, 662 Phil. 132, 144 (2011), citing Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, 392 Phil. 618, 632 (2000).

    37 Id. at 519-520. Citations omitted.

    38 ";"instead of "." in the Petition-in-Intervention.

    39 "%" is omitted in the Petition-in-Intervention.

    40 ";" instead of "." in the Petition-in-Intervention. Petition for Certiorari, rollo (Vol. I), p. 12; Petition-in­intervention, id. at 243.

    41Galicto v. Aquino III, 683 Phil. 141, 170-171 (2012), citing Miñoza v. Lopez, 664 Phil. 115, 123 (2011).

    42 Id. at 170, citing Tolentino v. Commission on Elections, 465 Phil. 385, 402 (2004).

    43 Id. at 172. Citations omitted.

    44Rollo (Vol. I), p. 7.

    45 Motion for Leave to file Petition-In-Intervention, id. at 224-225.

    46Galicto v. Aquino III, supra note 41, at 172-173, citing Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, supra note 36, at 633.

    47 Automotive Industry Workers Alliance v. Romulo, 489 Phil. 710, 719 (2005). Citations omitted.

    48 PLDT's Consolidated Memorandum, rollo (Vol. II), p. 992.

    49 Petition for Certiorari, rollo (Vol. I), p.10, and Petition-in-intervention (For Certiorari), rollo (Vol. I), p. 240.

    50Republic v. Roque, 718 Phil. 294, 307 (2013), citing Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc. v. Anti-Terrorism Council, 646 Phil. 452, 478 (2010).

    51 See Galicto v. Aquino III, supra note 41, at 170, citing Lozano v. Nograles, 607 Phil. 334, 344 (2009).

    52 693 Phil. 399 (2012).

    53 Id. at 412.

    54 Id. at 414.

    55Rollo (Vol. II), pp. 848-879.

    56 Id. at 1080-1114.

    57 See Cua, Jr. v. Tan, 622 Phil. 661, 720 (2009).

    58De Galicia v. Mercado, 519 Phil. 122, 127 (2006).

    59Rollo (Vol. II), p. 1107.

    60 See Suntay v. Cojuangco-Suntay, 360 Phil. 932 (1998).

    61Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 2.

    62 In its Manifestation and Omnibus Motion dated July 29, 2011, the SEC stated: "x x x The Commission, however, would submit to whatever would be the final decision of this Honorable Court on the meaning of the term "capital"."

    In its Memorandum, the SEC also stated: "In the event that this Honorable Court rules with finality on the meaning of "capital," the SEC will yield to the Court and follow its interpretation." (Heirs of Wilson P. Gamboa v. Finance Sec. Teves, supra note 3, at 356-357, footnote 54; emphasis omitted.)

    63Heirs of Wilson P. Gamboa v. Finance Sec. Teves, id. at 356, 358.

    64Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 2, at 35.

    65 Id. at 51-53.

    66 Id. at 69-70.

    67 Id. at 58.

    68 Id. at 44.

    69 Id. at 53-54.

    70 Id. at 55-57.

    71 Id. at 57, 63.

    72 Department of Justice.

    73 Executive Order No. 226 or the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987; Presidential Decree No. 1789 or the Omnibus Investments Code of 1981, and Republic Act No. 5186 or the Investment Incentives Act of 1967.

    74Heirs of Wilson P. Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 3, at 321.

    75 Id. at 331.

    76 Id. at 342.

    77 Id. at 361-362.

    78Rollo (Vol. I), p. 35.

    79Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 2, at 57.

    80 Id. at 69-70.

    81 Id. at 57.

    82Heirs of Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 3, at 361.

    83 For definition of "Beneficial owner or beneficial ownership" and "Control", please refer to Sections 3.1.2 and 3.1.8, respectively of the 2015 Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Securities Regulation Code.

    84 2015 Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Securities Regulations Code, Sec. 3.1.2.

    85 Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7042 (Foreign Investment Act of 1991) as Amended by Republic Act No. 8179, Sec. 1, b; underscoring and emphasis supplied.

    86Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 2, at 57, 63. Emphasis and underscoring supplied.

    87Heirs of Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 3, at 361.

    88 A financial instrument is a contract that gives rise to a financial a set of one entity and a financial liability or equity instrument of another entity. [IAS 32 --- Financial Instruments: Presentation, Key definitions [IAS 32.11, available at <http://www.iasplus.com/en/standards/ias/ias32>, last accessed on November 28, 2016]. The common examples of financial instruments within the scope of International Auditing Standards (IAS) 39 are as follows: cash; demand and time deposit; commercial paper; accounts, notes, and loans receivable and payable; debt and equity securities which includes investments in subsidiaries, associates, and joint ventures; asset backed securities such as collateralised mortgage obligations, repurchase agreements, and securitised packages of receivables; and derivatives, including options, rights, warrants, futures contracts, forward contracts, and swaps. [IAS 39 - Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, available at <http://www.iasplus.com/en/standards/ias/ias39>, last accessed on November 28, 2016].

    89 IAS 32 Financial Instruments: Presentation, <http://www.ifrs.org/Documents/IAS32.pdf>, last accessed on November 28, 2016.

    90 International Accounting Standards.

    91 <http://www.iasplus.com/en/standards/ias/ias32>, last accessed on November 28, 2016.

    92 Id.

    93Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, supra note 36, at 463.

    94Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 2, at 51-54. Underscoring supplied.

    95 Sec. 16 (Amendment of Articles of Incorporation); Sec. 37 (Power to extend or shorten corporate term); Sec. 38 (Power to increase or decrease capital stock; create or increase bonded indebtedness); Sec. 40 (Sale or other dispositions of [all or substantially all] assets); Sec. 42 (Power to invest corporate funds in another corporation or business or for any other purpose); Sec. 48 (Amendments to by-laws); Sec. 77 (Stockholder's or member's approval [of plan of merger or consolidation]); Sec. 118 (Voluntary dissolution where no creditors are affected); and Sec. 119 (Voluntary dissolution where creditors are affected).

    96 Sec. 81. Instances of appraisal right. Any stockholder of a corporation shall have the right to dissent and demand payment of the fair value of his shares in the following instances:cralawlawlibrary

    1. In case any amendment to the articles of incorporation has the effect of changing or restricting the rights of any stockholder or class of shares, or of authorizing preferences in any respect superior to those of outstanding shares of any class, or of extending or shortening the term of corporate existence;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    2. In case of sale, lease, exchange, transfer, mortgage, pledge or other disposition of all or substantially all of the corporate property and assets as provided in the Code; and

    3. In case of merger or consolidation.

    97Rollo (Vol. II), pp. 848-879.

    98 Id. at 870. Emphasis supplied.

    99 Id. at 1080-1114.

    100 Id. 1105.

    101 Id. at 1106-1107.

    102 Petitioner Roy's Opposition and Reply to Interventions of Philippine Stock Exchange and SHAREPHIL dated June 30, 2016, id. at 1128.

    103 The PSE is an entity mandated to provide and maintain a convenient, economical, and suitable market for the exchange of stocks, to formulate and implement rules and regulations to ensure that the interests of all market participants are protected, and to provide an efficient and fair market for buyers and sellers alike. The PSE alleges that, in case the petitions are granted, it stands to be injured and there will be damaging consequences on the market, as it will force the reduction of foreign investment and restrict capital outflow. PSE's Comment-in-Intervention, p. 2, id. at 849.

    104 SHAREPHIL, as an association forwarding the rights and welfare of shareholders, alleges that it aims to protect shareholders who have direct and substantial interest in this case and will no doubt be adversely affected by the restrictive re-interpretation of the Gamboa ruling forwarded by the petitioners. SHAREPHIL's Omnibus Motion 1 For Leave to Intervene; and 2 To Admit Attached Comment-in-Intervention, par. 5, p. 3, id. at 1082.

    105 518 Phil. 478 (2006).

    106 Id. at 482.

    107Heirs of Wilson P. Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, supra note 3, at 339.

    108 716 Phil. 500, 515-516 (2013). Emphasis supplied; citations omitted.

    109Suntay v. Cojuangco-Suntay, supra note 60, at 944-945 (1998).

    110Contreras and Gingco v. Felix and China Banking Corp., 78 Phil. 570, 577-578 (1947). Citations omitted.

    111 Id. at 575.

    112 See Land Bank of the Philippines v. Suntay, 678 Phil. 879, 913-914 (2011).

    113FGU Insurance Corp. v. RTC of Makati City, Branch 66, 659 Phil. 117, 123 (2011).

    114 Id.

    115 A.M. No. 10-4-20-SC, Rule 15, Sec. 3. Second motion for reconsideration. - The Court shall not entertain a second motion for reconsideration, and any exception to this rule can only be granted in the higher interest of justice by the Court en banc upon a vote of at least two-thirds of its actual membership. There is reconsideration "in the higher interest of justice" when the assailed decision is not only legally erroneous, but is likewise patently unjust and potentially capable of causing unwarranted and irremediable injury or damage to the parties. A second motion for reconsideration can only be entertained before the ruling sought to be reconsidered becomes final by operation oflaw or by the Court's declaration.

    x x x x

    116 See Spouses Mahusay v. B.E. San Diego, Inc., 666 Phil. 528, 536 (2011).

    117 See Commissioner on Higher Education v. Mercado, 519 Phil. 399, 406 (2006).
    chanrobleslaw



    CONCURRING OPINION

    SERENO, C.J.:


    The Petition for Certiorari before this Court assails the validity of Memorandum Circular No. 8, Series of 2013, issued by respondent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    The SEC circular provides for the guidelines on compliance with the Filipino-foreign ownership requirements prescribed in the Constitution and/or existing laws by corporations engaged in nationalized and partly nationalized activities. The specific provision that operationalizes the ownership requirements reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 2. All covered corporations shall, at all times, observe the constitutional or statutory ownership requirement. For purposes of determining compliance therewith, the required percentage of Filipino ownership shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors. (Emphasis supplied)
    Evidently, the circular limits the application of the ownership requirement only to the number of stocks in a corporation. It does not take into consideration the par value, which, in tum, affects the dividends or earnings of the shares.

    The par value of shares is not always equal. The par value of common shares may be lower than that of preferred shares. The latter take any of a variety of forms - they may be cumulative, noncumulative, participating, nonparticipating, or convertible. Their par values tend to differ depending on their features and entitlement to dividends.

    The number and the par value of the permutation of shares definitely affect the issue of the stockholding of a corporation. As illustrated by Justice Antonio T. Carpio, preferred shares having higher par values and higher dividend declarations result in higher earnings than those of common shares. In his example, even if Filipinos own 120 shares (100 common, 20 preferred), which outnumber the 80 preferred shares of foreigners, it is possible that the latter would have higher earnings. This possibility would arise if preferred shares - although less in number - have greater par values and dividend earnmgs.

    Thus, compliance on the basis of the number of shares alone, does not necessarily result in keeping the required degree of beneficial ownership in favor of Filipinos. The different combinations of shares with respect to the number, par value, and dividend earnings must also be taken into account.

    For this reason, I reiterate our directive in Gamboa for the SEC to comply with its duty to ascertain the factual issues surrounding the ownership of the PLDT shares. The dispositive pmiion of our ruling in that case reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Respondent Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission is DIRECTED to apply this definition of the term "capital" in determining the extent of allowable foreign ownership in respondent Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and ifthere is a violation of Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, to impose the appropriate sanctions under the law. (Emphasis in the original)
    From that determination, the SEC may be able to gather the necessary information to correctly classify various kinds of shares in different combinations of numbers, par values, and dividends. However, with the SEC considering only the matter of the number of shares under the assailed circular, and absent any deeper analysis of PLDT equity structure, any disposition in this case would be premature.

    I would even venture that in the case of a company where 60% of stocks are voting and 40% are preferred, with each stock having the same par value, and which complies with the 60% Filipino voting share rule by requiring that all voting stocks be purely in the hands of Filipinos, the minority formula that would impose upon such companies another layer of nationality requirement by demanding that at least 60% of each category of shares be in Filipino hands would effectively drive up the nationality requirement to at least 84%. That this was not the intention of the Constitution is quite obvious.

    The parties have pleaded with this Court to settle what is or is not doctrine in Gamboa v. Teves.1 The discussion on the various permutations possible not only in this case but in many other cases drives home my point that the present case as pleaded by petitioners has prematurely attempted to make out a case of grave abuse of discretion by the SEC. Moreover, should we decide to grant a petition that could have such far-reaching consequences as this case appears to have, it is a threshold requirement that the shareholders be allowed to plead their cause.

    WHEREFORE, I vote to DENY the petition.

    Endnotes:


    1Gamboa v. Teves, 668 Phil. 1 (2011) and Heirs of Gamboa v. Teves, 696 Phil. 276-485 (2012).
    chanrobleslaw



    SEPARATE DISSENTING OPINION

    CARPIO, J.:


    On 28 June 2011, the Court rendered a ruling in Gamboa v. Tevez1 (Gamboa Decision) by defining for the first time for over 75 years the term "capital" which appears not only in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987

    Constitution, prescribing the minimum nationality requirement for public utilities, but likewise in several provisions thereof, such as Section 2, Article XII; Section 10, Article XII; Section 11, Article XII; Section 4(2), Article XIV, and Section 11(2), Article XVI.

    In the Gamboa Decision, the Court held that "[a]ny citizen or juridical entity desiring to operate a public utility must x x x meet the minimum nationality requirement prescribed in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution. Hence, for a corporation to be granted authority to operate a public utility, at least 60 percent of its "capital" must be owned by Filipino citizens."2 The 60 percent Filipino ownership of the "capital" assumes, or should result in, "controlling interest" in the corporation.

    In the Gamboa Decision, the Court defined the term "capital" as referring to shares of stock that can vote in the election of directors. Voting rights translate to control. Otherwise stated, "the right to participate in the control or management of the corporation is exercised through the right to vote in the election of directors."3

    In the same decision, the Court pointed out that "[m]ere legal title is insufficient to meet the 60 percent Filipino-owned 'capital' required in the Constitution."4 Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the total outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights, is the minimum constitutional requirement for a corporation to operate a public utility, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    x x x. Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights, is required. The legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock must rest in the hands of Filipino nationals in accordance with the constitutional mandate. Otherwise, the corporation is "considered as non-Philippine national[s]."5 (Emphasis supplied)
    Significantly, in the 9 October 2012 Resolution in Gamboa (Gamboa Resolution)6 denying the motion for reconsideration, the Court reiterated the twin requirement of full beneficial ownership of at least 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock and at least 60 percent of the voting rights. This is consistent with the Foreign Investments Act, as well as its Implementing Rules, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    This is consistent with Section 3 of the FIA which provides that where 100% of the capital stock is held by "a trustee of funds for pension or other employee retirement or separation benefits," the trustee is a Philippine national if "at least sixty percent (60%) of the fund will accrue to the benefit of Philippine nationals." Likewise, Section 1(b) of the Implementing Rules of the FIA provides that "for stocks to be deemed owned and held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity. Full beneficial ownership of the stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights, is essential."7 (Emphasis in the original)
    The Court further clarified, in no uncertain terms, that the 60 percent constitutional requirement of Filipino ownership applies uniformly and across the board to all classes of shares comprising the capital of a corporation. The 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement applies to each class of share, not to the total outstanding capital stock as a single class of share. The Court explained:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Since the constitutional requirement of at least 60 percent Filipino ownership applies not only to voting control of the corporation but also to the beneficial ownership of the corporation, it is therefore imperative that such requirement apply uniformly and across the board to all classes of shares, regardless of nomenclature and category, comprising the capital of a corporation. Under the Corporation Code, capital stock consists of all classes of shares issued to stockholders, that is, common shares as well as preferred shares, which may have different rights, privileges or restrictions as stated in the articles of incorporation.

    x x x x

    x x x In short, the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens must apply separately to each class of shares, whether common, preferred non-voting, preferred voting or any other class of shares. This uniform application of the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens clearly breathes life to the constitutional command that the ownership and operation of public utilities shall be reserved exclusively to corporations at least 60 percent of whose capital is Filipino-owned. Applying uniformly the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens to each class of shares, regardless of differences in voting rights, privileges and restrictions, guarantees effective Filipino control of public utilities, as mandated by the Constitution.

    Moreover, such uniform application to each class of shares insures that the "controlling interest" in public utilities always lies in the hands of Filipino citizens. x x x.

    As we held in our 28 June 2011 Decision, to construe broadly the term "capital" as the total outstanding capital stock, treated as a single class regardless of the actual classification of shares, grossly contravenes the intent and letter of the Constitution that the "State shall develop a self­reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos." We illustrated the glaring anomaly which would result in defining the term "capital" as the total outstanding capital stock of a corporation, treated as a single class of shares regardless of the actual classification of shares, to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Let us assume that a corporation has 100 common shares owned by foreigners and 1,000,000 non-voting preferred shares owned by Filipinos, with both classes of share having a par value of one peso (P1.00) per share. Under the broad definition of the term "capital," such corporation would be considered compliant with the 40 percent constitutional limit on foreign equity of public utilities since the overwhelming majority, or more than 99.999 percent, of the total outstanding capital stock is Filipino owned. This is obviously absurd.

    In the example given, only the foreigners holding the common shares have voting rights in the election of directors, even if they hold only 100 shares. The foreigners, with a minuscule equity of less than 0.001 percent, exercise control over the public utility. On the other hand, the Filipinos, holding more than 99.999 percent of the equity, cannot vote in the election of directors and hence, have no control over the public utility. This starkly circumvents the intent of the framers of the Constitution, as well as the clear language of the Constitution, to place the control of public utilities in the hands of Filipinos. x x x.8 (Emphasis supplied)
    Clearly, in both Gamboa Decision and Resolution, the Court categorically declared that the 60 percent minimum Filipino ownership refers not only to voting rights but likewise to full beneficial ownership of the stocks. Likewise, the 60 percent Filipino ownership applies uniformly to each class of shares. Such interpretation ensures effective control by Filipinos of public utilities, as expressly mandated by the Constitution.

    On 20 May 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), through respondent Chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa, issued Memorandum Circular No. 8, series of 2013, to implement the Court's directive in the Gamboa Decision and Resolution. Section 2 thereof pertinently provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 2. All covered corporations shall, at all times, observe the constitutional or statutory ownership requirement. For purposes of determining compliance therewith, the required percentage of Filipino ownership shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors. (Emphasis supplied)
    SEC Memorandum Circular No. 8 provides for two conditions in determining whether a corporation intending to operate or operating a public utility complies with the mandatory 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement. It expressly states that the 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement "shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors." Section 2 of SEC Memorandum Circular No. 8 therefore mandates that the 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement shall be applied separately to both the total number of stocks with voting rights, and to the entire outstanding stock with and without voting rights. If the 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement is not met either by the outstanding voting stock or by the total outstanding voting and non-voting stock, then the Constitutional requirement is violated.

    SEC Memorandum Circular No. 8 can be sustained as valid and fully compliant with the Gamboa Decision and Resolution only if (1) the stocks with voting rights and (2) the stocks without voting rights, which comprise the capital of a corporation operating a public utility, have equal par values. If the shares of stock have different par values, then applying SEC Memorandum Circular No. 8 would contravene the Gamboa Decision that the "legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock x x x rests in the hands of Filipino nationals in accordance with the constitutional mandate."

    For example, assume that class "A" voting shares have a par value of P1.00, and class "B" non-voting preferred shares have a par value of P100.00. If 100 outstanding class "A" shares are all owned by Filipino citizens, and 80 outstanding class "B" shares are owned by foreigners and 20 class "B" shares are owned by Filipino citizens, the 60-40 percent ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens for voting shares, as well as for the total voting and non-voting shares, will be complied with. If dividends are declared equivalent to the par value per share for all classes of shares, only 20.8 percent of the dividends will go to Filipino citizens while 79.2 percent of the dividends will go to foreigners, an absurdity or anomaly that the framers of the Constitution certainly did not intend. Such absurdity or anomaly will also be contrary to the Gamboa Decision that the "legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock x x x rests in the hands of Filipino nationals in accordance with the constitutional mandate."

    Thus, SEC Memorandum Circular No. 8 is valid and constitutional provided that the par values of the shares with voting rights and the shares without voting rights are equal. If the par values vary, then the 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement must be applied to each class of shares in order that the "legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock x x x rests in the hands of Filipino nationals in accordance with the constitutional mandate," as expressly stated in the Gamboa Decision and as reiterated and amplified in the Gamboa Resolution.

    Finally, Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution is clear: "No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, x x x." The term "capital" in this constitutional provision does not refer to a specific class of share, as the Constitution does not distinguish between voting or non-voting, common or preferred shares of stock. Thus, the term "capital" refers to all shares of stock that are subscribed, which constitute the "capital" of a corporation.

    Consequently, the 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement applies uniformly to all classes of shares that are subscribed. A simple application of the 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement is to apply the same to the total capital, taken together regardless of different classes of shares, as what SEC Memorandum Circular No. 8 does. However, if the shares of stock have different par values, such a simple application will result in an absurdity or anomaly as explained in the example discussed above. It is hornbook doctrine that if a provision of the Constitution or the law is susceptible of more than one meaning, one resulting in an absurdity or anomaly and the other in a sensible meaning, the meaning that results in an absurdity or anomaly must be avoided,9 particularly an absurdity or anomaly that frustrates the intent of the Constitution or the law. Thus, to avoid such an absurdity or anomaly, the 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement should be applied to each class of shares if their par values are different.

    ACCORDINGLY, I vote to GRANT the petition IN PART SEC Memorandum Circular No. 8, series of 2013, is valid and constitutional if all the shares of stock have the same par values. However, if the shares of stock have different par values, the 60 percent Filipino ownership requirement must be applied to each class of shares.

    Endnotes:


    1 668 Phil. 1 (2011).

    2 Id. at 45.

    3 Id. at 53.

    4 Id. at 57.

    5 Id.

    6 696 Phil. 276 (2012).

    7 Id. at 338-339.

    8 Id. at 339, 341, 345.
     
    9Spouses Bela v. Philippine National Bank, 405 Phil. 851 (2001); Soriano v. Offshore Shipping and Manning Corp., 258 Phil. 309 (1989).
    chanrobleslaw



    CONCURRING OPINION

    VELASCO, JR., J.:


    Nature of the Case

    Before the Court is a petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing the constitutionality and validity of Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 8, entitled "Guidelines on Compliance with the Filipino-Foreign Ownership Requirements prescribed by the Constitution and/or Existing Laws by Corporations Engaged in Nationalized Activities," issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Factual Antecedents

    On June 28, 2011, the Court issued a Decision in Gamboa v. Teves1 on the matter of "whether the term 'capital' in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers to the total common shares only or to the total outstanding capital stock (combined total of voting and non-voting shares) of PLDT, a public utility."

    Resolving the issue, the majority of the Court held that: "The term 'capital' in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock comprising both common and non-voting preferred shares."2 The Court then directed the SEC to apply this definition of the term "capital" in determining the extent of allowable foreign ownership in PLDT.

    Several motions for reconsideration assailing the Decision in Gamboa were filed but, eventually, denied by the Court in its October 9, 2012 Resolution.

    Pursuant to the Court's directive in Gamboa, the SEC prepared a draft memorandum circular on the guidelines to be followed in determining compliance with the constitutional and statutory limitations on foreign ownership in nationalized and partly nationalized industries. The SEC then invited the public to a dialogue and submit comments on the draft of the memorandum circular.3

    Representatives from various organizations, government agencies, the academe and the private sector attended the public dialogue and submitted position papers and written comments on the draft to the SEC.

    On May 20, 2013, the SEC issued MC No. 8. Section 2 of the circular provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 2. All covered corporations shall, at all times, observe the constitutional or statutory ownership requirement. For purposes of determining compliance therewith, the required percentage of Filipino ownership shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors.

    Corporations covered by special laws which provide specific citizenship requirements shall comply with the provisions of said law.
    Petitioner Jose Roy III takes exception to the foregoing provision alleging that it is not in accord with the ruling of the Court in Gamboa. He contends that the SEC committed grave abuse of discretion since Section 2 of MC No. 8 "fails to differentiate the varying classes of shares and does not require the application of the foreign equity limits to each class of shares issued by a corporation." Petitioner relies on a portion of the October 9, 2012 Resolution in Gamboa providing that "the 60-40 ownership requirement must apply to each class of shares, whether common, preferred non-voting, preferred voting or any other class of shares." He, thus, prays for this Court to declare MC No. 8 unconstitutional and to direct the SEC to issue new guidelines regarding the determination of compliance with Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution in accordance with Gamboa.

    Petitioner further maintains that the SEC gravely abused its discretion in ruling that PLDT is compliant with the Constitutional rule on Foreign Ownership.

    William Gamboa, Jr., Daniel Cartagena, John Wilson Gabinete, Antonio V. Pesina, Jr., Modesto Martin Y. Mamon III, Gerardo C. Erebaren and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) sought, and were granted, intervention.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Issue

    Considering that the Court is not a trier of facts and is not in a position to make a factual determination of PLDT's compliance with Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, the Court can only address the pure question of law presented by the petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention: whether or not the SEC gravely abused its discretion in issuing MC No. 8.

    I concur with the ruling in the ponencia.

    The petition has not met the requisites for the exercise of judicial review

    It is elementary that the power of judicial review is subject to certain limitations, which must be complied with by the petitioner before this Court may take cognizance of the case.4 The Court held, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    When questions of constitutional significance are raised, the Court can exercise its power of judicial review only if the following requisites are present: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate case; (2) the existence of personal and substantial interest on the part of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) recourse to judicial review is made at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota of the case.5
    The petitioner's failure to sufficiently allege, much less prove the existence of the first two requisites, warrants the outright dismissal of the petition.

    To satisfy legal standing in assailing the constitutionality of a governmental act, the petitioner must prove the direct and personal injury that he might suffer if the act is permitted to stand. Petitioner Roy, however, merely glossed over this requisite, simply claiming that the law firm he represents is "a subscriber of PLDT." It is not even clear whether the law firm is a "subscriber" of PLDT's shares or purely of its various communication services.

    Clearly, the very limited information provided by the petitioner does not sufficiently demonstrate how he is left to sustain or is in immediate danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of the SEC's issuance of MC No. 8. As correctly argued by the respondents, assuming that his law firm is indeed a subscriber of PLDT shares of stocks, whether or not the constitutionality of MC No. 8 is upheld, his law firm's rights as a shareholder in PLDT will not be affected or altered. There is simply no rational connection between his law firm's rights as an alleged shareholder with the legality of MC No. 8.

    The locus standi requisite is likewise not satisfied by the mere fact that petitioner Roy is a "concerned citizen, an officer of this Court and ... a taxpayer." We have previously emphasized that the locus standi requisite is not overcome by one's citizenship or membership in the bar. These supposed interests are too general, shared as they are by other groups and by the whole citizenry.6

    The only "injury" attributable to petitioner Roy is that the position paper he submitted to the SEC was not adopted by the Commission in issuing MC No. 8. This injury, however, is not sufficient to clothe him with the requisite standing to invoke the Court's exercise of judicial power to review and declare unconstitutional the issuance of a governmental body.

    Neither can petitioner Roy take refuge in his status as a taxpayer. Lest it is forgotten, a taxpayer's suit is proper only when the petitioner has established that the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation.7 MC No. 8 does not involve an expenditure of public funds. It does not even concern the taxing and spending power of the Congress. Hence, justifying the recourse as a taxpayer's suit is far-fetched and implausible, with petitioner ignoring the basic requirements of the concept.

    In like manner, the petitioners-intervenors suffer the same infirmity as petitioner Roy. None of them alleged, let alone proved, even a remote link to the implementation of MC No. 8. Certainly, there is nothing by which this Court can ascertain their personality to challenge the validity of the SEC Issuance.

    The casual invocation of the supposed "transcendental importance" of the questions posed by the petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention does not automatically justify the disregard of the stringent requirements for this Court's exercise of judicial power. Otherwise, the Court would be allowing the dilution of the settled doctrine of locus standi as every worthy cause is an interest shared by the general public.8

    Indeed, while this Court has previously allowed the expansion of the boundaries of the rule on legal standing in matters of far-reaching implications, the Court cannot condone the trivial treatment of the element of locus standi as a mere technical requirement. The requirement of legal standing goes into the very essence of jurisdiction and the competence of this Court to intrude into matters falling within the executive realm. In Galicto v. Aquino III,9 the Court explained the importance of the rule, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    ... The rationale for this constitutional requirement of locus standi is by no means trifle. Not only does it assure the vigorous adversary presentation of the case; more importantly, it must suffice to warrant the Judiciary's overruling the determination of a coordinate, democratically elected organ of government, such as the President, and the clear approval by Congress, in this case. Indeed, the rationale goes to the very essence of representative democracies.10 (emphasis supplied)
    The liberality of the Court in bypassing the locus standi rule cannot, therefore, be abused. If the Court is to maintain the respect demanded by the concept of separation of governmental powers, it must subject applications for exemptions from the requirements of judicial review to the highest possible judicial inquiry. In the present case, the anemic allegations of the petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention do not warrant the application of the exceptions rather than the rule on locus standi.

    The Rule on the Hierarchy of Courts has been violated

    In like manner, a hollow invocation of "transcendental importance" does not warrant the immediate relaxation of the rule on hierarchy of courts. That hierarchy is determinative of the venue of appeals, and also serves as a general determinant of the appropriate forum for petitions for the extraordinary writs.11 Indeed, "the Supreme Court is a court of last resort and must so remain if it is to satisfactorily perform the functions assigned to it by the fundamental charter and immemorial tradition."12 This Court has explained that the rationale for this strict policy is to prevent the following: (1) inordinate demands upon its time and attention, which is better devoted to those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction; and (2) further overcrowding of the Court's docket.13

    While direct recourse to the court has previously been allowed on exceptional grounds, the circumstances set forth in the petition and petition­ in-intervention do not justify the disregard of the established policy. Worse, petitioner's allegation that there is little value in presenting the petition to another court is demeaning and less than fair to the lower courts. There is no reason to doubt our trial court's ability and competence to determine the existence of grave abuse of discretion.

    Section 4, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court itself provides that the RTC and the CA have concurrent jurisdiction to issue the writ of certiorari. For certainly, the issue of abuse of discretion is not so complex as to disqualify every court, except this Court, from deciding it. Thus, due deference to the competence of these courts and a becoming regard of the time-honored principle of the hierarchy of courts bars the present direct recourse to this Court.

    Indispensable Parties are Being Denied their Rights to Due Process

    Even assuming that the issue involved in the present recourse is of vital importance, it is dismissible for its failure to implead the indispensable parties.

    Under Rule 3, Section 7 of the Rules of Court, an indispensable party is a party-in-interest, without whom there can be no final determination of an action. The interests of such indispensable party in the subject matter of the suit and the relief are so bound with those of the other parties that his legal presence as a party to the proceeding is an absolute necessity.14 As a rule, an indispensable party's interest in the subject matter is such that a complete and efficient determination of the equities and rights of the parties is not possible if he is not joined.15

    In the case at bar, it is alleged that the propriety of the SEC's enforcement of this Court's interpretation of "capital" is important as it affects corporations in nationalized and partly-nationalized industries. And yet, besides respondent PLDT, no other corporation subject to the same restriction imposed by Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution has been joined or impleaded by the present recourse. These corporations are in danger of losing their franchises and property holdings if they are found not compliant with a revised interpretation of the nationality requirement. Nonetheless, they have not been afforded due notice, much less the opportunity to be heard, in the present case.

    Worse, petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention failed to acknowledge that their restrictive interpretation of the Court's ruling in Gamboa affects not only the public utility corporations but, more so, the shareholders who will likely be divested of their stocks. The sheer number of foreign shareholders and the affected shareholdings have been illustrated by the Shareholder's Association of the Philippines, Inc. (SHAREPHIL) when it explained that, in five companies alone, more than One Hundred Fifty Billion Pesos (P150,000,000,000.00) worth of shares have to be forcibly taken from foreign shareholders (and absorbed by Filipino investors).

    The rights of these other corporations and numerous shareholders cannot simply be ignored in making a final determination on the constitutionality of MC No. 8. The petitioner's failure to implead is not just a simple procedural misstep but a patent denial of due process rights.16

    The Constitution is clear as it is categorical. The State cannot proceed with depriving persons their property without first ensuring that compliance with due process requirements is duly observed.17 This Court cannot, thus, sanction a restrictive interpretation of the nationality requirement without first affording the other public utility corporations and their shareholders an opportunity to participate in the present proceedings.

    The SEC did not abuse its discretion in issuing MC No. 8

    Even if the Court takes the lenient stance and turns a blind eye on all the numerous procedural infirmities of the petition, the petition still fails on the merits.

    The petition is anchored on the contention that the SEC committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing MC No. 8. By grave abuse of discretion, the petitioners must prove that the Commission's act was tainted with the quality of whim and caprice.18 Abuse of discretion is not enough. It must be shown that the Commission exercised its power in an arbitrary or despotic manner because of passion or personal hostility that is so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.19

    With this standard in mind, the petitioner and petitioners-in­intervention failed to demonstrate that the SEC's issuance of MC No. 8 was attended with grave abuse of discretion. On the contrary, the assailed circular sufficiently applied the Court's definitive ruling in Gamboa.

    To recall, Gamboa construed the word "capital" and the nationality requirement in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, which states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    SECTION 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common good so requires. The State shall encourage equity participation in public utilities by the general public. The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines. (emphasis supplied)
    The Court explained in the June 28, 2011 Decision in Gamboa that the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII refers "only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors." The rationale provided by the majority was that this interpretation ensures that control of the Board of Directors stays in the hands of Filipinos, since foreigners can only own a maximum of 40% of said shares and, accordingly, can only elect the equivalent percentage of directors. As a necessary corollary, Filipino stockholders can always elect 60% of the Board of Directors which, to the majority of the Court, translates to control over the corporation. The June 28, 2011 Decision, thus, reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Considering that common shares have voting rights which translate to control, as opposed to preferred shares which usually have no voting rights, the term 'capital' in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to common shares. However, if the preferred shares also have the right to vote in the election of directors, then the term "capital" shall include such preferred shares because the right to participate in the control or management of the corporation is exercised through the right to vote in the election of directors. In short, the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to shares of stock that can vote in the election of directors.

    This interpretation is consistent with the intent of the framers of the Constitution to place in the hands of Filipino citizens the control and management of public utilities. As revealed in the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, "capital" refers to the voting stock or controlling interest of a corporation x x x.
    The dispositive portion of the June 28, 2011 Decision in Gamboa clearly spelled out the doctrinal declaration of the Court on the meaning of "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    WHEREFORE, we PARTLY GRANT the petition and rule that the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock (common and non-voting preferred shares). Respondent Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission is DIRECTED to apply this definition of the term "capital" in determining the extent of allowable foreign ownership in respondent Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and if there is a violation of Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, to impose the appropriate sanctions under the law. (emphasis supplied)
    The motions for reconsideration of the June 28, 2011 Decision filed by the movants in Gamboa argued against the application of the term "capital" to the voting shares alone and in favor of applying the term to the total outstanding capital stock (combined total of voting and non-voting shares). Notably, none of them contended or moved for the application of the capital or the 60-40 requirement to "each and every class of shares" of a public utility, as it was never an issue in the case.

    In resolving the motions for reconsideration in Gamboa, it is relevant to stress that the majority did not modify the June 28, 2011 Decision. The fallo of the October 9, 2012 Resolution simply stated:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    WHEREFORE, we DENY the motions for reconsideration WITH FINALITY. No further pleadings shall be entertained.
    Clearly, the Court had no intention, express or otherwise, to amend the construction of the term "capital" in the June 28, 2011 Decision in Gamboa, much less in the manner proposed by petitioner Roy. Hence, no grave abuse of discretion can be attributed to the SEC in applying the term "capital" to the "voting shares" of a corporation.

    The portion quoted by the petitioners is nothing more than an obiter dictum that has never been discussed as an issue during the deliberations in Gamboa. As such, it is not a binding pronouncement of the Court20 that can be used as basis to declare the SEC's circular as unconstitutional.

    This Court explained the concept and effect of an obiter dictum thusly:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    An obiter dictum has been defined as an opinion expressed by a court upon some question of law that is not necessary in the determination of the case before the court. It is a remark made, or opinion expressed, by a judge, in his decision upon a cause by the way, that is, incidentally or collaterally, and not directly upon the question before him, or upon a point not necessarily involved in the determination of the cause, or introduced by way of illustration, or analogy or argument. It does not embody the resolution or determination of the court, and is made without argument, or full consideration of the point. It lacks the force of an adjudication, being a mere expression of an opinion with no binding force for purposes of res judicata.21 (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
    What is more, requiring the SEC to impose the 60-40 requirement to "each and every class of shares" in a public utility is not only unsupported by Section 11, Article XXI, it is also administratively and technically infeasible to implement and enforce given the variety and number of classes that may be issued by public utility corporations.

    Common and preferred are the usual forms of stock. However, it is also possible for companies to customize and issue different classes of stock in any way they want. Thus, while all issued common shares may be voting, their dividends may be "deferred" or subject to certain conditions. Corporations can also issue "cumulative preferred shares" that are issued with the stipulation that any scheduled dividends that cannot be paid when due are carried forward and must be paid before the company can pay out ordinary share dividends. A company can likewise issue "hybrid stocks" or preferred shares that can be converted to a fixed number of common stocks at a specified time. These stocks may or may not be given voting rights. Further, some stocks may be embedded with derivative options so that a type of stock may be "called" or redeemed by the company at a specified time at a fixed price, while some stocks may be "puttable" or offered by the stockholder at a certain time, at a certain price.

    Without a doubt, the classes and variety of shares that may be issued by a corporation are limited only by the bounds of the corporate directors' imagination. Worse, they can be classified and re-classified, ad nauseam, from time to time.

    Thus, to require the SEC and other government agencies to keep track of the ever-changing capital classes of corporations would be impractical, if not downright impossible. Perhaps it is best to be reminded that the law does not require the impossible. (Lex non cogit ad impossibilia.)22

    Neither can the petitioners rely on the concept of "beneficial ownership" to sustain their position. The phrase, "beneficial ownership," is nowhere found in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution. Rather "beneficial ownership" was introduced in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Foreign Investment Act of 1991 (FIA), not even in the law itself. Suggesting that the phrase can expand, qualify and amend the intent of the Constitution is, bluntly, preposterous.

    In defining a "Philippine National," the FIA stated, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    a) The term "Philippine national" shall mean a citizen of the Philippines or a domestic partnership or association wholly owned by citizens of the Philippines; or a corporation organized under the laws of the Philippines of which at least sixty percent (60%) of the capital stock outstanding and entitled to vote is owned and held by citizens of the Philippines; or a trustee of funds for pension or other employee retirement or separation benefits, where the trustee is a Philippine national and at least sixty (60%) of the fund will accrue to the benefit of the Philippine nationals: Provided, That where a corporation and its non-Filipino stockholders own stocks in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered enterprise, at least sixty percent (60%) of the capital stocks outstanding and entitled to vote of both corporations must be owned and held by citizens of the Philippines and at least sixty percent (60%) of the members of the Board of Directors of both corporations must be citizens of the Philippines, in order that the corporations shall be considered a Philippine national.
    The definition was taken a step further in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the law where the phrase "beneficial ownership" was used, as follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    b. Philippine national shall mean a citizen of the Philippines or a domestic partnership or association wholly owned by the citizens of the Philippines; or a corporation organized under the laws of the Philippines of which at least sixty percent (60%) of the capital stock outstanding and entitled to vote is owned and held by citizens of the Philippines; or a trustee of funds for pension or other employee retirement or separation benefits, where the trustee is a Philippine national and at least sixty percent (60%) of the fund will accrue to the benefit of the Philippine nationals; Provided, that where a corporation its non-Filipino stockholders own stocks in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered enterprise, at least sixty percent (60%) of the capital stock outstanding and entitled to vote of both corporations must be owned and held by citizens of the Philippines and at least sixty percent (60%) of the members of the Board of Directors of both corporation must be citizens of the Philippines, in order that the corporation shall be considered a Philippine national. The control test shall be applied for this purpose.

    The term Philippine national shall not include juridical entities organized and existing under the laws of any other country even if wholly owned by Philippine citizens.

    Compliance with the required Filipino ownership of a corporation shall be determined on the basis of outstanding capital stock whether fully paid or not, but only such stocks which are generally entitled to vote are considered.

    For stocks to be deemed owned and held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity. Full beneficial ownership of the stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights is essential. Thus, stocks, the voting rights of which have been assigned or transferred to aliens cannot be considered held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals.

    Individuals or juridical entities not meeting the aforementioned qualifications are considered as non-Philippine nationals. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
    While the foregoing provisions were cited in Gamboa in identifying the "capital stock outstanding and entitled to vote" as equivalent to "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, nothing in either provision requires the application of the 60% threshold to "each and every class of shares" of public utilities.

    At most, as pointed out by the majority, "beneficial ownership" must be understood in the context in which it is used. Thusly, the phrase simply means that the name and full rights of ownership over the 60% of the voting shares in public utilities must belong to Filipinos. If either the voting rights or the right to dividends, among others, of voting shares registered in the name Filipino citizens or nationals are assigned or transferred to an alien, these shares shall not be included in the computation of the 60% threshold.

    The Commission even went above and beyond the duty levied by the court and imposed the 60-40 requirement not only on the voting shares but also on the totality of the corporation's shareholding, thus ensuring that the public utilities are, in fact, "effectively controlled" by Filipinos given the added layers of protection given to ensure that Filipino stockholders have the full beneficial ownership and control of public utility corporations in accordance with the Constitution, thus:cralawlawlibrary

    1. Forty percent (40%) ceiling on foreign ownership in the capital stock that ensures sixty percent (60%) Filipino control over the capital stock which covers both voting and non-voting shares. As a consequence, Filipino control over the stockholders is assured. Thus, foreigners can own only up to 40% of the capital stock.

    2. Forty percent (40%) ceiling on the right of foreigners to own and hold voting shares and elect board directors that guarantees sixty percent (60%) Filipino control over the Board of Directors.

    3. Reservation to Filipino citizens of the executive and managing officers, regardless of the level of alien equity ownership to secure total Filipino control over the management of the public utility enterprise. Thus, all executive and managing officers must be Filipinos.

    In my opinion in Heirs of Gamboa v. Teves,23 I pointed out the dire consequences of not imposing the 40% limit on foreign ownership on the totality of the shareholdings, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    [L]et us suppose that the authorized capital stock of a public utility corporation is divided into 100 common shares and 1,000,000 non-voting preferred shares. Since, according to the Court's June 28, 2011 Decision, the word "capital" in Sec. 11, Art. XII refers only to the voting shares, then the 40% cap on foreign ownership applies only to the 100 common shares. Foreigners can, therefore, own 100% of the 1,000,000 non-voting preferred shares. But then again, the ponencia continues, at least, the "control" rests with the Filipinos because the 60% Filipino-owned common shares will necessarily ordain the majority in the governing body of the public utility corporation, the board of directors/trustees. Hence, Filipinos are assured of control over the day-to-day activities of the public utility corporation.

    Let us, however, take this corporate scenario a little bit farther and consider the irresistible implications of changes and circumstances that are inevitable and common in the business world. Consider the simple matter of a possible investment of corporate funds in another corporation or business, or a merger of the public utility corporation, or a possible dissolution of the public utility corporation. Who has the "control" over these vital and important corporate matters? The last paragraph of Sec. 6 of the Corporation Code provides:cralawlawlibrary

    Where the articles of incorporation provide for non-voting shares in the cases allowed by this Code, the holders of such (non-voting) shares shall nevertheless be entitled to vote on the following matters:
    1. Amendment of the articles of incorporation;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    2. Adoption and amendment of by-laws;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    3. Sale, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge or other disposition of all or substantially all of the corporate property;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    4. Incurring, creating or increasing bonded indebtedness;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    5. Increase or decrease of capital stock;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    6. Merger or consolidation of the corporation with another corporation or other corporations;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    7. Investment of corporate funds in another corporation or business in accordance with this Code; and

    8. Dissolution of the corporation. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
    In our hypothetical case, all 1,000,100 (voting and non-voting) shares are entitled to vote in cases involving fundamental and major changes in the corporate structure, such as those listed in Sec. 6 of the Corporation Code. Hence, with only 60 out of the 1,000,100 shares in the hands of the Filipino shareholders, control is definitely in the hands of the foreigners. The foreigners can opt to invest in other businesses and corporations, increase its bonded indebtedness, and even dissolve the public utility corporation against the interest of the Filipino holders of the majority voting shares. This cannot plausibly be the constitutional intent.

    Consider further a situation where the majority holders of the total outstanding capital stock, both voting and non-voting, decide to dissolve our hypothetical public utility corporation. Who will eventually acquire the beneficial ownership of the corporate assets upon dissolution and liquidation? Note that Sec. 122 of the Corporation Code states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 122. Corporate liquidation. - Every corporation whose charter expires by its own limitation or is annulled by forfeiture or otherwise, or whose corporate existence for other purposes is terminated in any other manner, shall nevertheless be continued as a body corporate for three (3) years ... to dispose of and convey its property and to distribute its assets, but not for the purpose of continuing the business for which it was established.

    At any time during said three (3) years, the corporation is authorized and empowered to convey all of its property to trustees for the benefit of stockholders, members, creditors, and other persons in interest. From and after any such conveyance by the corporation of its property in trust for the benefit of its stockholders, members, creditors and others in interest, all interest which the corporation had in the property terminates, the legal interest vests in the trustees, and the beneficial interest in the stockholders, members, creditors or other persons in interest. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
    Clearly then, the bulk of the assets of our imaginary public utility corporation, which may include private lands, will go to the beneficial ownership of the foreigners who can hold up to 40 out of the 100 common shares and the entire 1,000,000 preferred non-voting shares of the corporation. These foreign shareholders will enjoy the bulk of the proceeds of the sale of the corporate lands, or worse, exercise control over these lands behind the fa ade of corporations nominally owned by Filipino shareholders. Bluntly, while the Constitution expressly prohibits the transfer of land to aliens, foreign stockholders may resort to schemes or arrangements where such land will be conveyed to their dummies or nominees. Is this not circumvention, if not an outright violation, of the fundamental Constitutional tenet that only Filipinos can own Philippine land?

    A construction of "capital" as referring to the total shareholdings of the company is an acknowledgment of the existence of numerous corporate control-enhancing mechanisms, besides ownership of voting rights, that limits the proportion between the separate and distinct concepts of economic right to the cash flow of the corporation and the right to corporate control (hence, they are also referred to as proportionality­ limiting measures). This corporate reality is reflected in SRC Rule 3 (E) of the Amended Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the SRC and Sec. 3 (g) of The Real Estate Investment Trust Act (REIT) of 2009, 72 which both provide that control can exist regardless of ownership of voting shares. The SRC IRR states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Control is the power to govern the financial and operating policies of an enterprise so as to obtain benefits from its activities. Control is presumed to exist when the parent owns, directly or indirectly through subsidiaries, more than one half of the voting power of an enterprise unless, in exceptional circumstances, it can be clearly demonstrated that such ownership does not constitute control. Control also exists even when the parent owns one half or less of the voting power of an enterprise when there is:

    i. Power over more than one half of the voting rights by virtue of an agreement with other investors;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    ii. Power to govern the financial and operating policies of the enterprise under a statute or an agreement;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    iii. Power to appoint or remove the majority of the members of the board of directors or equivalent governing body;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    iv. Power to cast the majority of votes at meetings of the board of directors or equivalent governing body. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
    As shown above, ownership of voting shares or power alone without economic control of the company does not necessarily equate to corporate control. A shareholder's agreement can effectively clip the voting power of a shareholder holding voting shares. In the same way, a voting right ceiling, which is "a restriction prohibiting shareholders to vote above a certain threshold irrespective of the number of voting shares they hold," 73 can limit the control that may be exerted by a person who owns voting stocks but who does not have a substantial economic interest over the company. So also does the use of financial derivatives with attached conditions to ensure the acquisition of corporate control separately from the ownership of voting shares, or the use of supermajority provisions in the by-laws and articles of incorporation or association. Indeed, there are innumerable ways and means, both explicit and implicit, by which the control of a corporation can be attained and retained even with very limited voting shares, i.e., there are a number of ways by which control can be disproportionately increased compared to ownership 74 so long as economic rights over the majority of the assets and equity of the corporation are maintained.

    Hence, if We follow the construction of "capital" in Sec. 11, Art. XII stated in the ponencia of June 28, 2011 and turn a blind eye to these realities of the business world, this Court may have veritably put a limit on the foreign ownership of common shares but have indirectly allowed foreigners to acquire greater economic right to the cash flow of public utility corporations, which is a leverage to bargain for far greater control through the various enhancing mechanisms or proportionality-limiting measures available in the business world.

    In our extremely hypothetical public utility corporation with the equity structure as thus described, since the majority recognized only the 100 common shares as the "capital" referred to in the Constitution, the entire economic right to the cash flow arising from the 1,000,000 non­ voting preferred shares can be acquired by foreigners. With this economic power, the foreign holders of the minority common shares will, as they easily can, bargain with the holders of the majority common shares for more corporate control in order to protect their economic interest and reduce their economic risk in the public utility corporation. For instance, they can easily demand the right to cast the majority of votes during the meeting of the board of directors. After all, money commands control.

    The court cannot, and ought not, accept as correct a holding that routinely disregards legal and practical considerations as significant as above indicated. Committing an error is bad enough, persisting in it is worse.
    Thus, the zealous watchfulness demonstrated by the SEC in imposing another tier of protection for Filipino stockholders cannot, therefore, be penalized on a misreading of the October 9, 2012 Resolution in Gamboa, which neither added nor subtracted anything from the June 28, 2011 Decision defining capital as "shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors."

    Thus, I join the majority in ruling that there is no need to clarify the ruling in Gamboa nor hold the Commission liable for grave abuse of discretion. As it has manifested in Gamboa,24 in issuing MC No. 8, the SEC abided by the Court's decision and deferred to the Court's definition of the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution.

    In view of all the foregoing, I vote to DISMISS the petition.

    Endnotes:


    1 G.R. No. 176579, June 28, 2011, 652 SCRA 690 and October 9, 2012, 682 SCRA 397.

    2Emphasis supplied.

    3 PLDT's Consolidated Memorandwn, pp. 2-3, citing SEC Notice dated 6 November 2012.

    4In Re Save the Supreme Court Judicial Independence and Fiscal Autonomy Movement, UDK-15143, January 21, 2015.

    5Hon. Luis Mario M. General v. Hon Alejandro S. Urro, G.R. No. 191560, March 29, 2011 citing Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, 392 Phil. 618, 632 (2000).

    6Galicto v. Aquino III, G.R. No. 193978, February 28, 2012, citing Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) v. Hon. Zamora, 392 Phil. 618 (2000).

    7Automotive Industry Workers Alliance v. Romulo, 489 Phil. 710, 719 (2005); Gonzales v. Narvasa, 392 Phil. 518, 525 (2000).

    8Republic v. Roque, G.R. No. 204603, September 24, 2013.

    9 G.R. No. 193978, February 28, 2012.

    10Emphasis supplied.

    11The Liga ng mga Barangay National v. The City Mayor of Manila, G.R. No. 154599, January 21, 2004.

    12Vergara Sr. v. Suelto, 240 Phil. 719, 732 (1987); De Castro v. Santos, G.R. No. 194994, April 16, 2013.

    13De Castro v. Santos, supra note 12, citing Santiago v. Vasquez, G.R. Nos. 99289-90, January 27, 1993, 217 SCRA 633; and People v. Cuaresma, 254 Phil. 418, 427 (1989).

    14Cua, Jr. v. Tan, G.R. No. 181455-56, December 4, 2009.

    15 Id.; citing Galicia v. Mercado, G.R. No. 146744, March 6, 2006, 484 SCRA 131, 136-137.

    16 See David v. Paragas, G.R. No. 176973, February 25, 2015 and Sy v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 94285, August 31, 1999.

    17 Id.

    18OKS Designtech, Inc. v. Caccam, G.R. No. 211263, August 5, 2015.

    19Gold City Integrated Services, Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. Nos. 71771-73, March 31, 1989, citing Arguelles v. Young, G.R. No. L-59880, September 11, 1987, 153 SCRA 690; Republic v. Heirs of Spouses Molinyawe, G.R. No. 217120, April 18, 2016; Olaño v. Lim Eng Co, G.R. No. 195835, March 14, 2016; City of Iloilo v. Honrado, G.R. No. 160399, December 9, 2015; OKS Designtech, Inc. v. Caccam, G.R. No. 211263, August 5, 2015.

    20Ocean East Agency, Corp. v. Lopez, G.R. No. 194410, October 14, 2015.

    21Landbank of the Philippines v. Suntay, G.R. No. 188376, December 14, 2011.

    22Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission, G.R. Nos. 192935 and 193036, December 7, 2010.

    23 G.R. No. 176579, October 9, 2012, 682 SCRA 397.

    24 Id. at 414.
    chanrobleslaw



    CONCURRING OPINION

    BERSAMIN, J.:


    Petitioner Jose M. Roy III (Roy) initiated this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition to seek the declaration of Memorandum Circular No. 8, Series of 2013 (MC No. 8), particularly Section 2 thereof issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unconstitutional. Allegedly, MC No. 8 was in contravention of the rule on the nationality of the shareholdings in a public utility pronounced in Gamboa v. Teves.1

    According to Roy, MC No. 8 effectively limited the application of the 60-40 nationality rule to voting and other shares alone; and the SEC thereby gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

    Section 2 of MC No. 8 reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 2. All covered corporations shall, at all times, observe lhe constitutional or statutory ownership requirement. For purposes of determining compliance therewith, the required percentage of Filipino shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors. (Bold underscoring supplied for emphasis)
    I CONCUR.

    I VOTE TO DISMISS the petition for certiorari and prohibition of Roy and the petition in intervention. The SEC did not abuse its discretion, least of all gravely, but, on the contrary, strictly complied with the language and tenor of the decision promulgated on June 28, 2011 in Gamboa v. Teves and of the resolution promulgated on October 9, 2012 in the same case.

    Grave abuse of discretion means either that the judicial or quasi­ judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, or that the respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded a positive duty, or virtually refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as when such judge, tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Mere abuse of discretion is not enough to warrant the issuance of the writ. The abuse of discretion must be grave.2 The SEC's strict compliance with the interpretation in Gamboa v. Teves of the term capital as used in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution is an indication that it acted without arbitrariness, whimsicality or capriciousness.

    In addition, I hereby respectfully give other reasons that compel my vote to dismiss Roy's petition for certiorari and prohibition as well as the petition in intervention.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    1.

    Neither certiorari nor prohibition is the proper remedy to assail MC No. 8


    The remedies of certiorari and prohibition respectively provided for in Section 13 and Section 24 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court are limited to the exercise of judicial or quasi-judicial functions (except that prohibition also applies to ministerial functions) by the respondent tribunal, board or officer that acts without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

    It is hardly a matter to be disputed that the issuance by the SEC of MC No. 8 was in the exercise of its regulatory functions.5 In such exercise, the SEC's quasi-judicial functions were not involved. A quasi-judicial function relates to the action, discretion, etc. of public administrative officers or bodies required to investigate facts, or to ascertain the existence of facts, to hold hearings, and to draw conclusions from the facts as the basis for official actions and for the exercise of discretion of a judicial nature.6 Indeed, the quasi-judicial or adjudicatory functions of the SEC under its original and exclusive jurisdiction related only to the hearing and determination of controversies and cases involving: (a) intra-corporate and partnership relations between or among the corporation, officers and stockholders and partners, including their elections or appointments; (b) state and corporate affairs in relation to the legal existence of corporations, partnerships and associations or to their franchises; and (c) investors and corporate affairs, particularly in respect of devices and schemes, such as fraudulent practices, employed by directors, officers, business associates, and/or other stockholders, partners, or members of registered firms. They did not relate to the issuance of the regulatory measures like MC No. 8.

    In the context of the limitations on the remedies of certiorari and prohibition, Roy improperly challenged MC No. 8 by petition for certiorari and prohibition.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    2.

    The Court cannot take cognizance of the petitions for certiorari and prohibition in the exercise of its expanded jurisdiction


    The Court cannot take cognizance of Roy's petition for certiorari and prohibition under its expanded jurisdiction provided in Section 1, paragraph 2,7 of Article VIII of the Constitution. Such expanded jurisdiction of the Court is confined to reviewing whether or not another branch of the Government (that is, the Executive or the Legislature), including the responsible officials of such other branch, acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

    The expanded jurisdiction of the Court was introduced in the 1987 Constitution precisely to impose on the Court the duty of judicial review as the means to neutralize the avoidance or non-interference approach based on the doctrine of political question whenever a controversy came before the Court. As explained in Araullo v. Aquino III:8chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
    The background and rationale of the expansion of judicial power under the 1987 Constitution were laid out during the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission by Commissioner Roberto R. Concepcion (a former Chief Justice of the Philippines) in his sponsorship of the proposed provisions on the Judiciary, where he said:-
    The Supreme Court, like all other courts, has one main function: to settle actual controversies involving conflicts of rights which are demandable and enforceable. There are rights which are guaranteed by law but cannot be enforced by a judicial party. In a decided case, a husband complained that his wife was unwilling to perform her duties as a wife. The Court said: "We can tell your wife what her duties as such are and that she is bound to comply with them, but we cannot force her physically to discharge her main marital duty to her husband. There are some rights guaranteed by law, but they are so personal that to enforce them by actual compulsion would be highly derogatory to human dignity."

    This is why the first part of the second paragraph of Section 1 provides that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Judicial power includes the duty of courts to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable or enforceable...
    The courts, therefore, cannot entertain, much less decide, hypothetical questions. In a presidential system of government, the Supreme Court has, also, another important function. The powers of government are generally considered divided into three branches: the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary. Each one is supreme within its own sphere and independent of the others. Because of that supremacy power to determine whether a given law is valid or not is vested in courts of justice.

    Briefly stated, courts of justice determine the limits of power of the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its officers. In other words, the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature.

    This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1, which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature, by claiming that such matters constitute a political question.
    (Bold emphasis supplied)
    Araullo did not stop there, however, and went on to discourse on the procedural aspect of enabling the exercise of the expanded jurisdiction m this wise:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    What are the remedies by which the grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government may be determined under the Constitution?

    The present Rules of Court uses two special civil actions for determining and correcting grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. These are the special civil actions for certiorari and prohibition, and both are governed by Rule 65. A similar remedy of certiorari exists under Rule 64, but the remedy is expressly applicable only to the judgments and final orders or resolutions of the Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit.

    The ordinary nature and function of the writ of certiorari in our present system are aptly explained in Delos Santos v. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    In the common law, from which the remedy of certiorari evolved, the writ of certiorari was issued out of Chancery, or the King's Bench, commanding agents or officers of the inferior courts to return the record of a cause pending before them, so as to give the party more sure and speedy justice, for the writ would enable the superior court to determine from an inspection of the record whether the inferior court's judgment was rendered without authority. The errors were of such a nature that, if allowed to stand, they would result in a substantial injury to the petitioner to whom no other remedy was available. If the inferior court acted without authority, the record was then revised and corrected in matters of law. The writ of certiorari was limited to cases in which the inferior court was said to be exceeding its jurisdiction or was not proceeding according to essential requirements of law and would lie only to review judicial or quasi-judicial acts.

    The concept of the remedy of certiorari in our judicial system remains much the same as it has been in the common law. In this jurisdiction, however, the exercise of the power to issue the writ of certiorari is largely regulated by laying down the instances or situations in the Rules of Court in which a superior court may issue the writ of certiorari to an inferior court or officer. Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court compellingly provides the requirements for that purpose, viz:cralawlawlibrary

    x x x x

    The sole office of the writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdiction, which includes the commission of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. In this regard, mere abuse of discretion is not enough to warrant the issuance of the writ. The abuse of discretion must be grave, which means either that the judicial or quasi-judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, or that the respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded a positive duty, or virtually refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as when such judge, tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.
    Although similar to prohibition in that it will lie for want or excess of jurisdiction, certiorari is to be distinguished from prohibition by the fact that it is a corrective remedy used for the re-examination of some action of an inferior tribunal, and is directed to the cause or proceeding in the lower court and not to the court itself, while prohibition is a preventative remedy issuing to restrain future action, and is directed to the court itself. x x x

    With respect to the Court, however, the remedies of certiorari and prohibition are necessarily broader in scope and reach, and the writ of certiorari or prohibition may be issued to correct errors of jurisdiction committed not only by a tribunal, corporation, board or officer exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions but also to set right, undo and restrain any act of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of ,jurisdiction by any branch or instrumentality of the Government, even if the latter does not exercise judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions. This application is expressly authorized by the text of the second paragraph of Section 1, supra.

    Thus, petitions for certiorari and prohibition are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit or nullify the acts of legislative and executive officials.

    Necessarily, in discharging its duty under Section 1, supra, to set right and undo any act of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by any branch or instrumentality of the Government, the Court is not at all precluded from making the inquiry provided the challenge was properly brought by interested or affected parties. The Court has been thereby entrusted expressly or by necessary implication with both the duty and the obligation of determining, in appropriate cases, the validity of any assailed legislative or executive action. This entrustment is consistent with the republican system of checks and balances.
    9
    The SEC, albeit under the administrative supervision of the Department of Finance,10 did not come under the terms any branch or instrumentality of the Government used in Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. Although it is an agency vested with adjudicatory as well as regulatory powers, its issuance of MC No. 8 cannot be categorized as an act of either an executive or a legislative character within the context of the phrase any branch or instrumentality of the Government used in Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution.

    Accordingly, the expanded jurisdiction of the Court under Section 1, paragraph 2, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution was not properly invoked to decide whether or not the SEC had acted with grave abuse of discretion in issuing MC No. 8.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    3.

    The doctrine of immutability of judgment precludes the Court from re-evaluating the definition of capital under Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution


    In focus is the term capital as used in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, which provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common good so requires. The State shall encourage equity participation in public utilities by the general public. The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines.
    In the decision promulgated on June 28, 2011 in Gamboa v. Teves, the Court explicitly defined the term capital as referring only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors.11 In the case of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), its capital - for purposes of complying with the constitutional requirement on nationality should include only its common shares, not its total outstanding capital stock comprising both common and non-voting preferred shares.12

    The Court clarified, however, that -
    Considering that common shares have voting rights which translate to control, as opposed to preferred shares which usually have no voting rights, the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to common shares. However, if the preferred shares also have the right to vote in the election of directors, then the term capital shall include such preferred shares because the right to participate in the control or management of the corporation is exercised through the right to vote in the election of directors. In short, the term capital in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to shares of stock that can vote in the election of directors.

    This interpretation is consistent with the intent of the framers of the Constitution to place in the hands of Filipino citizens the control and management of public utilities. As revealed in the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, capital refers to the voting stock or controlling interest of a corporation, x x x:cralawlawlibrary

    x x x x

    Thus, 60 percent of the capital assumes, or should result in, controlling interest in the corporation. x x x

    x x x x

    Mere legal title is insufficient to meet the 60 percent Filipino­owned capital required in the Constitution. Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights, is required. The legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock must rest in the hands of Filipino nationals in accordance with the constitutional mandate. Otherwise, the corporation is considered as non-Philippine national[s].13
    In the June 28, 2011 decision, the Court disposed as follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    WHEREFORE we PARTLY GRANT the petition and rule that the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock (common and non-voting preferred shares). Respondent Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission is DIRECTED to apply this definition of the term "capital" in determining the extent of allowable foreign ownership in respondent Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and if there is a violation of Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, to impose the appropriate sanctions under the law.

    SO ORDERED.14
    Acting subsequently on the motion for reconsideration, the Court promulgated its resolution of October 9, 2012 affirming the foregoing pronouncement of June 28, 2011, holding and disposing:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Since the constitutional requirement of at least 60 percent Filipino ownership applies not only to voting control of the corporation but also to the beneficial ownership of the corporation, it is therefore imperative that such requirement apply uniformly and across the board to all classes of shares, regardless of nomenclature and category, comprising the capital of a corporation. Under the Corporation Code, capital stock consists of all classes of shares issued to stockholders, that is, common shares as well as preferred shares, which may have different rights, privileges or restrictions as stated in the articles of incorporation.

    x x x x

    x x x Thus, if a corporation, engaged in a partially nationalized industry, issues a mixture of common and preferred non-voting shares, at least 60 percent of the common shares and at least 60 percent of the preferred non-voting shares must be owned by Filipinos. Of course, if a corporation issues only a single class of shares, at least 60 percent of such shares must necessarily be owned by Filipinos. In short, the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens must apply separately to each class of shares, whether common, preferred non-voting, preferred voting or any other class of shares. This uniform application of the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens clearly breathes life to the constitutional command that the ownership and operation of public utilities shall be reserved exclusively to corporations at least 60 percent of whose capital is Filipino­owned. Applying uniformly the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens to each class of shares, regardless of differences in voting rights, privileges and restrictions, guarantees effective Filipino control of public utilities, as mandated by the Constitution.

    Moreover, such uniform application to each class of shares insures that the "controlling interest" in public utilities always lies in the hands of Filipino citizens. x x x

    x x x x

    WHEREFORE, we DENY the motions for reconsideration WITH FINALITY. No further pleadings shall be entertained.

    SO ORDERED.15
    The SEC issued MC No. 8 to conform with the Court's pronouncement in its decision of June 28, 2011. As stated, Section 2 of MC No. 8 declared that "[f]or purposes of determining compliance therewith, the required percentage of Filipino shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors."

    Roy and the intervenors submit herein, however, that MC No. 8 thereby defied the pronouncement in Gamboa v. Teves on the determination of foreign ownership of a public utility by failing "to make a distinction between different classes of shares, and instead offers only a general distinction between voting and all other shares."

    I disagree with the submission of Roy and the intervenors.

    The objective of the Court in defining the term capital as used in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution was to ensure that both controlling interest and beneficial ownership were vested in Filipinos. The decision of June 28, 2011 pronounced that capital refers only to shares of stock that can vote in the election of directors (controlling interest) and owned by Filipinos (beneficial ownership). Put differently, 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock (whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors), coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights, must rest in the hands of Filipinos.

    The language and tenor of the assailed Section 2 of MC No. 8 strictly follow the definition of the term capital in Gamboa v. Teves. Such definition already attained finality at the time Roy filed his petition. The resolution of October 9, 2012 did not in the least modify such definition. Hence, the SEC did not abuse its discretion in issuing MC No. 8.

    What Roy and the intervenors actually would have the Court do herein is to re-define capital so that the 60-40 ownership requirement would apply separately to each class of shares, as discussed in the body of the resolution promulgated on October 9, 2012.16 Such a re-definition, because it would contravene the June 28, 2011 decision or the resolution of October 9, 2012, would actually reopen and relitigate Gamboa v. Teves.

    Any attempt on the part of Roy and the intervenors to hereby re-define the concept of capital will unavoidably disregard the immutability of the final judgment in Gamboa v. Teves. That is not permissible. If the main role of the courts of justice is to assist in the enforcement of the law and in the maintenance of peace and order by putting an end to judiciable controversies with finality, nothing serves this role better than the long established doctrine of immutability of judgments.17 Under the doctrine of finality and immutability of judgment, a decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable, and may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law, and even if the modification is made by the court that rendered it or by the Highest Court of the land. Any act that violates this principle must be immediately struck down.18 This is because the doctrine of immutability of a final judgment serves a two-fold purpose, namely: (1) to avoid delay in the administration of justice and thus, procedurally, to make orderly the discharge of judicial business; and (2) to put an end to judicial controversies, at the risk of occasional errors, which is precisely why courts exist. Verily, controversies cannot drag on indefinitely. The doctrine is not a mere technicality to be easily brushed aside, but a matter of public policy as well as a time-honored principle of procedural law.19 Otherwise the rights and obligations of every litigant could hang in suspense for an indefinite period of time.

    The only time when the immutable and final judgment may be corrected or modified is when the correction or modification concerns: (1) merely clerical errors; (2) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries that cause no prejudice to any party; (3) void judgments; and (4) whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of the decision rendering its execution unjust and inequitable.20

    The supposed conflict between the dispositive pmiion or fallo of the resolution promulgated on October 9, 2012 and the body of the resolution was not a sufficient cause to disregard the doctrine of immutability. To begin with, the dispositive portion or fallo prevails over body of the resolution. It is really fundamental that the dispositive part or fallo of a judgment that actually settles and declares the rights and obligations of the parties finally, definitively, and authoritatively controls, regardless of the presence of inconsistent statements in the body that may tend to confuse.21 Indeed, the dispositive part or fallo is the final order, while the opinion is but a mere statement, ordering nothing.22 As pointed out in Contreras and Gingco v. Felix and China Banking Corp.:23chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
    x x x More to the point is another well-recognized doctrine, that the final judgment as rendered is the judgment of the court irrespective of all seemingly contrary statements in the decision. "A judgment must be distinguished from an opinion. The latter is the informal expression of the views of the court and cannot prevail against its final order or decision. While the two may be combined in one instrument, the opinion forms no part of the judgment. So, ... there is a distinction between the findings and conclusions of a court and its judgment. While they may constitute its decision and amount to the rendition of a judgment, they are not the judgment itself. They amount to nothing more than an order for judgment, which must, of course, be distinguished from the judgment." (1 Freeman on Judgments, p. 6) At the root of the doctrine that the premises must yield to the conclusion is perhaps, side by side with the needs of writing finis to litigations, the recognition of the truth that "the trained intuition of the judge continually leads him to right results for which he is puzzled to give [tmu] [un]impeachable legal reasons." "It is an everyday experience of those who study judicial decisions that the results are usually sound, whether the reasoning from which the results purport to flow is sound or not." (The Theory of Judicial Decision, Pound, 36 Harv. Law Review, pp. 9, 51.) It is not infrequent that the grounds of a decision fail to reflect the exact views of the court, especially those of concurring justices in a collegiate court. We often encounter in judicial decisions, lapses, findings, loose statements and generalities which do not bear on the issues or are apparently opposed to the otherwise sound and considered result reached by the court as expressed in the dispositive part, so called, of the decision.
    There is also no need to try to harmonize the seeming conflict between the fallo of the October 9, 2012 resolution and its body in order to favor Roy and the intervenors. The dispositive portion of the resolution of October 9, 2012, which tersely stated that "we DENY the motions for reconsideration WITH FINALITY," was clear and forthright enough, and should prevail. The only time when the body of the decision or resolution should be controlling is when one can unquestionably find a persuasive showing in the body of the decision or resolution that there was a clear mistake in the dispositive portion.24 Yet, no effort has been exerted herein to show that there was such an error or mistake in the dispositive portion or fallo of the October 9, 2012 resolution.

    Under the circumstances, the dispositive portions of both the decision of June 28, 2011 and of the resolution of October 12, 2012 are controlling.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    4.

    The petition is actually a disguised circumvention of the ban against a second motion for reconsideration


    To me, the petition of Roy is an attempt to correct the failure of the dispositive portion of the resolution of October 9, 2012 to echo what was stated in the body of the resolution. In that sense, the petition is actually a second motion for reconsideration disguise as an original petition for certiorari and prohibition designed to accomplish something that the intervenors, who were the petitioners in Gamboa v. Teves, did not accomplish directly thereat. Hence, the dismissal of the petition and the petition in intervention is fully warranted, for what the intervenors could not do directly should not now be allowed to be done by them indirectly.

    In this regard, we reiterate the rule that a second motion for reconsideration is prohibited from being filed in this Court. Section 3, Rule 15 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court expressly state so, to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 3 Second motion for reconsideration. The Court shall not entertain a second motion for reconsideration, and any exception to this rule can only be granted in the higher interest of justice by the Court en bane upon a vote of at least two-thirds of its actual membership. There is reconsideration "in the higher interest of justice" when the assailed decision is not only legally erroneous, but is likewise patently unjust and potentially capable of causing unwarranted and irremediable injury or damage to the parties. A second motion for reconsideration can only be entertained before the ruling sought to be reconsidered becomes final by operation of law or by the Court's declaration.

    x x x x
    Had the intervenors genuinely desired to correct the perceived omission in the resolution of October 9, 2012 in Gamboa v. Teves, their proper recourse was not for Roy to bring the petition herein, but to file by themselves a motion for clarification in Gamboa v. Teves itself. As the Court observed in Mahusay v. B.E. San Diego, Inc.:25chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
    It is a settled rule is that a judgment which has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable; hence, it may no longer be modified in any respect except only to correct clerical errors or mistakes. Clarification after final judgment is, however, allowed when what is involved is a clerical error, not a correction of an erroneous judgment, or dispositive portion of the Decision. Where there is an ambiguity caused by an omission or mistake in the dispositive portion, the court may clarify such ambiguity, mistake, or omission by an amendment; and in so doing, it may resort to the pleadings filed by the parties, the court's findings of facts and conclusions of law as expressed in the body of the decision. (Bold emphasis supplied.)
    The statement in the dispositive portion or fallo of the resolution of October 9, 2012 to the effect that "[n]o further pleadings shall be entertained" would not have been a hindrance to the filing of the motion for clarification because such statement referred only to motions that would have sought the reversal or modification of the decision on its merits, or to motions ill-disguised as requests for clarification.26 Indeed, the intervenors as the petitioners in Gamboa v. Teves would not have been precluded from filing such motion that would have presented an unadulterated mqwry arising upon an ambiguity in the decision.27

    Endnotes:


    1 G.R. No 176579, June 28, 2011, 652 SCRA 690; October 9, 2012 (resolution), 682 SCRA 397.

    2De los Santos v. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Corporation, G.R. No. 153852, October 24, 2012, 684 SCRA 410, 422-423.

    3 Section 1. Petition for certiorari. - When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi­judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.

    The petition shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto, and a sworn ceJtification of non-forum shopping as provided in the third paragraph of section 3, Rule 46. (1a)

    4 Section 2. Petition for prohibition. - When the proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, are without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent to desist from further proceedings in the action or matter specified therein, or otherwise granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.

    The petition shall likewise be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto, and a sworn ce11ification of non-forum shopping as provided in the third paragraph of section 3, Rule 46. (2a)

    5 See Securities and Exchange Commission v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 106425 & 106431-32, July 21, 1995, 246 SCRA 738, 740-741.

    6Securities and Exchange Commission v. Universal Rightfield Property Holdings, Inc., G.R. No. 181381, July 20, 2015.

    7 Section 1. x x x x

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

    8 G.R. No. 209287, July I, 2014, 728 SCRA 1, 68-69.

    9 Id. at 71-75.

    10 Section 1. Executive Order No. 37 dated April 19, 2011.

    11 652 SCRA, at 723.

    12 Id.

    13 Id. at 726-730.

    14 Id. at 744.

    15 682 SCRA at 443-470.

    16 Id. at 445, where the Court said:cralawlawlibrary

    x x x [T]he 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens must apply separately to each class of shares, whether common, preferred non-voting, preferred voting or any other class of shares.

    17Apo Fruits Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 164195, December 4, 2009, 607 SCRA 200, 212-213.

    18FGU Insurance Corporation v. Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 66, G.R. No. 161282, February 23, 2011, 644 SCRA 50, 56.

    19Apo Fruits Corporation v. Court of Appeals, supra, at 213-214.

    20FGU Insurance Corporation v. Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Br. 66, supra, at 56.

    21Light Rail Transit Authority v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 139275-76 and 140949, November 25, 2004, 444 SCRA 125, 136.

    22PH Credit Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 109648, November 22, 2001, 370 SCRA 155, 166.

    23 78 Phil. 570, 577-578 (1947).

    24Cobarrubias v. People, G.R. No. 160610, August 14, 2009, 596 SCRA 77, 89-90.

    25 G.R. No. 179675, June 8, 2011, 651 SCRA 539-540.

    26 See Republic v. Unimex Micro Electronics GmBH, G.R. Nos. 166309-10, November 25, 2008, 571 SCRA 537, 540.

    27 See Commissioner on Higher Education v. Mercado, G.R. No. 157877, March 10, 2006, 484 SCRA 424, 430-431.
    chanrobleslaw



    DISSENTING OPINION

    MENDOZA, J.:


    The final ruling in a case includes not only the decision but also the clarifications and amplifications contained in subsequent resolutions before its finality. A party cannot isolate the decision and ignore the elucidations contained in the resolutions. It is only after the decision becomes final that it becomes immutable and unalterable.1

    Accordingly, the June 28, 2011 Decision in Gamboa v. Teves2 (Gamboa Decision) is not the final ruling in said case but includes the clarification and amplifications of the Court in its October 9, 2012 Resolution (Gamboa Resolution). Therefore, any regulation which ignores the Court's final ruling is not compliant with it. Hence,

    I dissent.

    My position is that SEC MC No. 8 is non-compliant with the final Gamboa ruling and must be amended to conform thereto.

    The Antecedents

    The case of Gamboa was filed by the late Wilson Gamboa, questioning the sale of 111,415 shares of Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corporation (PITC) to First Pacific, a foreign corporation, as it was violative of Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution.3 It was averred therein that PITC owned 6.3% of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), a public utility enterprise, and the acquisition by First Pacific of its entire shareholding would amount to the foreign ownership of the 6.3% common shares of PLDT. This would effectively increase the foreign ownership of common shares in PLDT to 81.47%.

    On June 28, 2011, the Court rendered the Gamboa Decision, holding that for there to be compliance with the constitutional mandate, full beneficial ownership over sixty-percent (60%) of the total outstanding capital stock, coupled by sixty-percent (60%) control over shares with the right to vote in the election of directors, must be held by Filipinos. Thus, the decretal portion of the Gamboa Decision reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    WHEREFORE, we PARTLY GRANT the petition and rule that the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock (common and non-voting preferred shares). Respondent Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission is DIRECTED to apply this definition of the term "capital" in determining the extent of allowable foreign ownership in respondent Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and if there is a violation of Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, to Impose the appropriate sanctions under the law.4
    Thereafter, motions for reconsideration were filed. In its Resolution5 dated October 9, 2012 (Gamboa Resolution), the Court stressed that the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens in the Constitution to engage in certain economic activities applied not only to voting control, but also to the beneficial ownership of the corporation. The Court wrote that the same limits must apply uniformly and separately to each class of shares, without regard to their restrictions or privileges. Specifically, the Court explained:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Since a specific class of shares may have rights and privileges or restrictions different from the rest of the shares in a corporation, the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution must apply not only to shares with voting rights but also to shares without voting rights. Preferred shares, denied the right to vote in the election of directors, are anyway still entitled to vote on the eight specific corporate matters mentioned above. Thus, if a corporation, engaged in a partially nationalized industry, issues a mixture of common and preferred non-voting shares, at least 60 percent of the common shares and at least 60 percent of the preferred non-voting shares must be owned by Filipinos. Of course, if a corporation issues only a single class of shares, at least 60 percent of such shares must necessarily be owned by Filipinos. In short, the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens must apply separately to each class of shares, whether common, preferred non-voting, preferred voting or any other class of shares. This uniform application of the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens clearly breathes life to the constitutional command that the ownership and operation of public utilities shall be reserved exclusively to corporations at least 6o percent of whose capital is Filipino-owned. Applying uniformly the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens to each class of shares, regardless of differences in voting rights, privileges and restrictions, guarantees effective Filipino control of public utilities, as mandated by the Constitution. [Emphases supplied]
    Hence, the Court finally decreed:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    WHEREFORE, we DENY the motions for reconsideration WITH FINALITY. No further pleadings shall be entertained.

    SO ORDERED.6
    Eventually, the definition of "capital," as finally amplified and elucidated by the Court in the Gamboa Resolution, became final and executory.

    On March 25, 2013, the SEC issued a notice to the public, soliciting comments on, and suggestions to, the draft guidelines in compliance with the Filipino ownership requirement in public utilities prescribed in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution.

    On April 22, 2013, petitioner Atty. Jose M. Roy III (Roy) submitted his written comments7 pursuant to the SEC Notice of March 25, 2013. He pointed out that the said guidelines (specifically Section 2 thereof) did not comply with the letter and spirit of the Court's final ruling in Gamboa. Roy claimed that he never received a reply from the SEC.

    On May 20, 2013, the SEC, through Chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa, issued MC No.8. Section 2 thereof reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 2. All covered corporations shall, at all times, observe the constitutional or statutory ownership requirement. For purposes of determining compliance therewith, the required percentage of Filipino shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors.8 [Emphasis supplied]
    The Subject Petition

    Contending that the issuance of the assailed circular contradicted the intent and spirit of Gamboa, Roy, as a lawyer and taxpayer. filed the subject petition, contending that the assailed circular contradicted the intent and spirit of the final Gamboa ruling. He feared that the assailed circular would encourage circumvention of the constitutional limitation for it would allow the creation of several classes of voting shares with different degrees of beneficial ownership over the same, but at the same time, not imposing a forty percent (40%) limit on foreign ownership of the higher yielding stocks; and that permitting foreigners to benefit from equity structures with Filipinos being given merely voting rights, but not the full economic benefits, thwarts the constitutional directive of guaranteeing a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. The effect would be, as he wrote, that while Filipinos are given voting rights, they would be denied of the full economic benefits produced by the public utility company.

    Petition-in-Intervention

    Following the filing of the said petition by Roy, the Court granted the Motion to Leave to File Petition-in-Intervention filed by Wilson C. Gamboa, Jr., the son of the petitioner in Gamboa, together with lawyers Daniel V. Cartagena, John Warren P. Gabinete, Antonio V. Pesina, Jr., Modesto Martin Y. Manon, and Gerardo C. Erebaren (Gamboa, et al.). In their Petition-in-Intervention (For Certiorari),9 dated July 16, 2013, Gamboa, et al. merely adopted the issues, arguments and prayer of Roy.

    Both Roy and Gamboa, et al. (petitioners) claimed that by issuing MC No. 8, the SEC defied the final Gamboa ruling as to the determination of foreign ownership in a public utility corporation. They argued that MC No. 8 did not conform to the letter and spirit of the final Court ruling as the Gamboa Resolution clearly stated that the 60-40 ownership requirement must apply separately to each class of shares. MC No. 8, they asserted, failed "to make a distinction between different claims of shares, and instead offers only a general distinction between voting and all other shares."10 They further pointed out that, as an effect of this faulty interpretation by the SEC, PLDT would be in direct violation of the Constitution as it did not comply with the 60-40 rule and, therefore, could not be considered a Filipino corporation.

    Respondents' Position

    The SEC, in its Consolidated Comment,11 dated September 13, 2013, and PLDT, in its Comment (on the Petition dated 10 June 2013),12 dated September 5, 2013, and Comment (on The Petition-in-Intervention, dated July 16, 2013)13 submitted basically the same arguments to support their prayer for the dismissal of the petition and the petition-in-intervention. They both questioned the jurisdiction of the Court over the petitions and invoked the doctrine of hierarchy of courts to show that direct resort to this Court by the petitioners could not be justified, and that they failed to exhaust administrative remedies. The SEC and PLDT also agreed that the petitioners did not possess the locus standi to question the constitutionality of MC No. 8, and that they could not invoke "transcendental importance" as a protective cloak. With regard to PLDT's compliance with the foreign ownership requirement laid down in Gamboa, the SEC and PLDT both argued that this requires the determination of facts, in effect, categorizing the petitions premature and improper.

    The SEC also pointed out that the tenor of the decretal portion of the decision of the Court in Gamboa, as well as that of its October 9, 2012 resolution, was that the term capital should pertain to shares of stocks entitled to vote in the election of directors, and that there was nothing in there that mentioned about the 60-40 ownership requirement for each class of shares. It also argued that the omitted rule was a mere obiter dictum or one without any binding precedent The SEC emphasized that the fallos of the said decision and resolution must control.

    Petitioners' Reply

    On May 7, 2014, the petitioners filed their Joint Consolidated Reply with Motion for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order14 wherein they insisted that the Court had already determined the transcendental importance of the matters being raised, citing the rule that where there was already a finding that a case possessed transcendental importance, the locus standi requirement should be relaxed.

    On May 22, 2014, PLDT filed its Rejoinder and Opposition.

    Comment in Intervention by Philippine Stock Exchange

    On June 18, 2014, the Philippine Stocks Exchange, Inc. (PSEI) filed its Motion to Intervene with Leave of Court15 attaching thereto its Comment­in-Intervention. The PSEI took the same position as the SEC as to how capital in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution was defined in Gamboa. It agreed with the SEC that the dispositive portion or the fallo of a decision should be the controlling factor.

    Comment in Intervention by Sharephil

    On June 1, 2016, Shareholders' Association of the Philippines, Inc. (Sharephil) filed an Omnibus Motion for Leave to Intervene and Admit attached Comment-in-Intervention. It sought intervention under Rule 19 of the Rules of Court16 to protect the rights of shareholders against the effects ofunlawful and unreasonable regulations.

    As an association composed of shareholders of Philippine companies, Sharephil questions the propriety of the remedy availed of by the petitioners. It asserts that the proper remedy should have been a petition for declaratory relief, which is well within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts.17

    On the merits, Sharephil rejects petitioners' contention that MC No. 8 deviated from the ruling of this Court in Gamboa. It argues that the SEC, in issuing the assailed circular, merely followed what the Court stated in the dispositive portion of the Gamboa Resolution18 affirming the Gamboa Decision.19

    On practical considerations, Sharephil seeks to bring to the attention of the Court the effects of declaring MC No. 8 as unconstitutionaL It cites a market research study released by Deutsche Bank on October 16, 2012 which opined that if the Court would adopt an overly strict interpretation of the meaning of capital, not only PLDT but also a large number of listed companies with similar structures could also be affected. It cautions that in five (5) companies alone, 150 billion pesos worth of shares would have to be sold by foreign shareholders in a forced divestment, if the obiter in Gamboa were to be implemented.

    Petitioners' Reply to the Comment-in-Intervention

    In their Opposition and Reply to Intervention of Philippine Stock Exchange and Sharephil,20 petitioners essentially argue that PSE and Sharephil have no legal standing to intervene. They submit that both intervenors have failed to establish sufficient legal interest in the petition; that while it is true that intervention is permissive, it should not be so lax as to admit of any whimsical or a mere passing interest in the issues at hand; that in the instances where interventions were allowed by this Court, the most cited reason was that the parties seeking intervention were indispensable in the case; and that in this case, PSEI and Sharephil are not indispensable parties as they will not sustain direct injury capable or deserving judicial protection.

    Moreover, petitioners assert that Sharephil's claims were broad and speculative as they were based solely on a perceived inconvenience that would be brought by this proceedings to their members; and that there was no showing of any direct injury or damage on the part of Sharephil considering that it is not involved in a constitutionally restricted economic activity.

    As to the claim that a ruling in favor of the petitioners will result in an injury to PSE by reason of a sudden selling of shares in the market, they point out that the depreciation and fluctuation of the market and share prices are not an injury capable of legal protection in a proceeding involving the interpretation of the Constitution. At any rate, such movement in prices is normal.

    Finally, in upholding the correct interpretation and implementation of the Constitution, the Philippines commits no breach against other states or their nationals under international law particularly in cases where no general or particular specific obligations limiting judicial interpretation of municipal law exists.
    ISSUES
    1. WHETHER OR NOT SEC MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 8, SERIES OF 2013 CONFORMS TO THE LETTER AND SPIRIT OF THE DECISION AND RESOLUTION OF THIS HONORABLE COURT DATED 28 JUNE 2011 AND 9 OCTOBER 2012 IN G.R. NO. 176579 ENTITLED HEIRS OF WILSON GAMBOA v. FINANCE SECRETARY MARGARITO B. TEVES, ET AL.

    2. WHETHER THE SEC GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN RULING THAT PLDT IS COMPLIANT WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL RULE ON FOREIGN OWNERSHIP.
    3. THE PLDT BENEFICIAL TRUST FUND DOES NOT SATISFY THE EFFECTIVE CONTROL TEST FOR PURPOSES OF INCORPORATING BTF HOLDINGS WHICH ACQUIRED THE 150 MILLION PREFERRED VOTING SHARES OF PLDT.

    4. WHETHER PLDT, THROUGH ITS ALTER-EGOS MEDIAQUEST  AND BTF HOLDINGS, INC., IS CIRCUMVENTING THE FOREIGN OWNERSHIP RESTRICTIONS PROVIDED FOR IN THE 1987 CONSTITUTION.
    WHETHER RECOURSE TO THIS HONORABLE COURT IS JUSTIFIED BY THE TRANSCENDENTAL IMPORTANCE OF THE ISSUE RAISED BY THE PETITIONER.21
    A reading of the contending pleadings discloses that the issues primarily raised are (1) whether the SEC gravely abused its discretion when it omitted in SEC MC No. 8 the uniform and separate application of the 60:40 rule in favor of Filipinos to each and every class of shares of a corporation; and (2) whether the constitutional prescription has been complied with in the case of PLDT.

    Considering that this Court is not a trier of facts, questions pertaining to whether there was violation of the constitutional limits on foreign ownership by PLDT requires the reception and examination of evidence. As this is beyond the Court's jurisdiction, it will just confine itself to the first question.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Procedural Issues

    Propriety of the Remedy

    The SEC and PLDT raise two procedural issues that should bar the assumption of jurisdiction by this Court.

    According to the SEC, a Rule 65 petition is not the appropriate remedy to assail the validity and constitutionality of MC No. 8. It posits that it may be invoked only against a tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. Considering that the assailed circular was not issued in the exercise of quasi-judicial functions and was more of a quasi­legislative act, the SEC opines that the filing of a Rule 65 petition is not proper. Citing Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc., v. Anti­ Terrorism Council,22 where the Court dismissed the petition for certiorari and prohibition assailing the constitutionality of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9372 and Executive Order (E.O.) No.7 for being an improper remedy as the said issuances did not involve a quasi-judicial or judicial act, the SEC argues that the appropriate remedy should have been a petition for declaratory relief under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court filed before a regional trial court.23

    I cannot entirely agree.

    Ordinarily, the remedies of special civil actions for certiorari and prohibition are used in cases where the inferior court or tribunal is said to be exceeding its jurisdiction or was not proceeding according to essential requirements of law and would lie only to review judicial or quasi-judicial acts.24 Still, with the constitutionally expanded powers of judicial review, particularly the authority and duty to determine the existence of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the legislative and executive branches of government, it cannot be denied that the scope of the said remedies, as traditionally known, has changed.

    The special civil actions for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 have been held by this Court as proper remedies through which the question of grave abuse of discretion can be heard regardless of how the assailed act has been exercised. In Araullo v. Aquino,25 this Court stated that "the remedies of certiorari and prohibition are necessarily broader in scope and reach, and the writ of certiorari or prohibition may be issued to correct errors of jurisdiction committed not only by a tribunal, corporation, board or officer exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions but also to set right, undo and restrain any act of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by any branch or instrumentality of the Government, even if the latter does not exercise judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions." It was further stated that in discharging the duty "to set right and undo any act of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by any branch or instrumentality of the Government, the Court is not at all precluded from making the inquiry provided the challenge was properly brought by interested or affected parties."26

    Hence, petitions for certiorari, as in this case, and prohibition are undeniably appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit or nullify the acts of legislative and executive officials.

    As to PLDT's position that a petition for declaratory relief should have been the appropriate remedy, I find it to be without basis.

    An action for declaratory relief presupposes that there has been no actual breach of the instruments involved or of the rights arising thereunder. It gives a practical remedy to end controversies that have not reached the state where another relief is immediately available; and supplies the need for a form of action that will set controversies at rest before they lead to a repudiation of obligations, an invasion of rights, and a commission of wrongs. The purpose of an action for declaratory relief is to secure an authoritative statement of the rights and obligations of the parties under a statute, deed, or contract for their guidance in the enforcement thereof, or compliance therewith, and not to settle issues arising from an alleged breach thereof, it may be entertained before the breach or violation of the statute, deed or contract to which it refers.27

    In this case, declaratory relief can no longer be availed of because the mere issuance of MC No. 8 is being viewed by the petitioners as a violation by itself of the Constitution and this Court's final directive in Gamboa. As it appears, the purpose of this petition is not to determine rights or obligations under the assailed circular for enforcement purposes, but to settle the very question on whether the issuance was made within the bounds of the Constitution which, if otherwise, would certainly amount to grave abuse of discretion. By that standard alone, a petition for declaratory relief clearly would not lie.

    Hierarchy of Courts

    The SEC and PLDT also contend that the Court should not assume jurisdiction over this case because the petitioners failed to observe the principle of hierarchy of courts. Under that principle, direct recourse to this Court is improper because the Court must remain the court of last resort to satisfactorily perform its constitutional functions. It allows the Court to devote its time and attention to matters within its exclusive jurisdiction and to prevent the overcrowding of its docket. Be that as it may, the invocation of this Court's original jurisdiction or plea for the dispensation of recourse to inferior courts having concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari has been allowed in certain instances for special and important reasons clearly stated in the petition, such as, (1) when dictated by the public welfare and the advancement of public policy; (2) when demanded by the broader interest of justice; (3) when the challenged orders were patent nullities; or (4) when analogous exceptional and compelling circumstances called for and justified the immediate and direct handling of the case.28

    Exigent and compelling circumstances demand that this Court take cognizance of this case to put an end to the controversy and resolve the matter that could have pervasive effect on this nation's economy and security. Surely, this case is a litmus test for a regulatory framework that must conform to the final Gamboa ruling and, above all, the Constitution. Not to be disregarded is the opportunity that this case seeks to clarify the dynamics of how to properly apply the nationality limits on public utilities. As Roy puts it, the fact that this case relates to, and involves, an interpretation of the final Gamboa ruling, makes it more necessary to immediately and finally settle the issues being raised. This provides the Court an adequate and compelling reason to justify direct recourse to this Court.

    Justiciability of the Controversy

    The Court's authority to take cognizance of the kind of questions presented in this case is not absolute. The Constitution prescribes that before the Court accepts a challenge to a governmental act, there must be first an actual case or controversy. In the words of the US Supreme Court, this is an "essential limit on our power [as] [i]t ensures that we act as judges, and do not engage in policymaking properly left to elected representatives."29 For if the Court would rule in all cases despite lacking the requirement of an actual case, the Court might tread on forbidden grounds or matters on which it had no constitutional competence, these matters being reserved to a more appropriate branch of government pursuant to the established principle of separation of powers.

    As ingrained in our jurisprudence, an actual case is one that is appropriate or ripe for determination, not conjectural or anticipatory.30 "[C]ourts do not sit to adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest, however intellectually challenging."31 It has been said that any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities.32 For said reasons, courts have no business issuing advisory opinions.

    Traditionally, a justiciable controversy must involve countervailing interests pertaining to enforceable and demandable rights of adverse parties. But with the constitutionally granted expansion of the power of judicial review brought about to reflect the people's desire to have a proactive Judiciary that is ever vigilant with its duty to maintain the supremacy of the Constitution,33 justiciable questions took an expanded form. As held in Imbong v. Ochoa,34 the Judiciary would now have the constitutional authority to determine whether there had been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.35

    A cursory reading of the petition and petition-in-intervention reflects that this case falls within that category as grave abuse of discretion is being ascribed against the SEC in issuing MC No. 8. Section 2 of the said circular is being challenged for being in violation of the Constitution and of the letter and spirit of the final ruling in Gamboa. Considering the fact that MC No. 8 had already been issued by the SEC and such circular, although called merely as guidelines, carried with it a warning that failure to comply with it shall subject the juridical entity, any person, and the corporate officers responsible to sanctions provided in Section 14 of the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 (FIA), as amended, it is beyond doubt that the question before the Court qualifies as a justiciable controversy.

    Legal Standing

    As defined, locus standi or legal standing is the personal and substantial interest in a case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged.36 The party must also demonstrate that the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action of the courts.37 Absent this, the Court cannot consider a case. In every situation, the Court must scrutinize first whether a petitioner is suited to challenge a particular governmental act.

    The petitioners' invocation of standing is based on being a citizen, lawyer, taxpayer, and additionally for petitioner Roy, a partner of a firm that patronizes PLDT for its telecommunication needs.

    The SEC and PLDT claim that such justification is not enough to clothe the petitioners with legal standing because they failed to show that the implementation of the circular would cause them any direct or substantial injury. Citing IBP v. Zamora,38 they also argue that standing cannot be based merely on being a lawyer, as membership in the Bar is too general an interest to satisfy the requirement of locus standi.

    I find, however, that the petitioners as properly suited m their capacities as citizens.

    In many cases, the legal standing of a citizen in the context of issues concerning constitutional questions was permitted by the Court. In Imbong v. Ochoa,39 the Court stated that the citizen's standing to question the constitutionality of a law could be allowed even if they had only an indirect and general interest shared m common with the public, provided that it involved the assertion of a public right specifically in cases where the people themselves were regarded as the real parties-in-interest. The assertion of a public right as a predicate for challenging a supposedly illegal or unconstitutional executive or legislative action rests on the theory that a citizen represents the public in general. Although such citizen may not be as adversely affected by the action complained against as are others, it is enough that there is demonstration of entitlement to protection or relief from the Court in the vindication of a public right.40

    The collective interest of the Filipino in the compliance of the SEC, being the statutory regulator in charge of enforcing and monitoring observance with the Court's interpretation of the constitutional limits on foreign participation in public utilities, is a matter of public right. A manifest error in the implementation of what the Constitution demands, specifically in the crafting of a legal framework for corporate observance on nationality limits, lies grave abuse of discretion in its heart. This transcendentally important question requires the Court to determine whether MC No. 8 conforms to the final ruling in Gamboa. Thus, as citizens, petitioners have the proper standing to challenge the validity and constitutionality of the assailed circular.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Substantive Issues

    For the reason that Filipinos must remain in effective control of a public utility company, I am of the strong view that the Court should have partly granted the petition and declared SEC MC No. 8 as non-compliant with the final Gamboa ruling.

    The Gamboa Decision and Resolution

    Mindful of the constitutional objective of ensuring that Filipinos remain in effective control of our national economy, the Court in Gamboa seized the opportunity to define the term capital as read in the context of the 1987 Constitution. In deciding the issue, the Court fundamentally recognized and employed the control test41 as a primary method of determining compliance with the restrictions imposed by the Constitution on foreign equity participation. Under such test, one has to first look into the nationality of each stockholder as it appears in the books of the corporation because for a stockholder to have control over the shares, he must hold them as the duly registered owner in the stock and transfer book of a corporation. Thus, in Gamboa, the Court declared that the required Filipino control over the "capital" of a public utility meant 60% control over all shares with the right to elect the members of the board coupled with 60% control over the total outstanding capital stock. This would ensure that effective control over a public utility would remain in the hands of Filipinos.

    The Court, however, further stated that even stockholders, deprived of the right to participate in the elections of directors, could still exert effective control through the power of their vote on fundamental corporate transactions as outlined under Section 6 of the Corporation Code.42 For instance, stockholders, holding preferred shares, though not generally entitled to elect directors, can still exercise their undeniable right to approve or disapprove an amendment in the articles of incorporation.

    Foreigners can greatly control and influence corporate decision­making processes even if they do not have legal title to the shares. Non­stockholders or persons or entities that do not have shares of a subject corporation registered under their names can remain in effective control, albeit indirectly, of those with controlling interest by just having specific property rights ("use and title") in equity given to them while the legal title of the property given to another.43 Thus, in the Gamboa Resolution it was clarified and stressed that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Since the constitutional requirement of at least 60 percent Filipino ownership applies not only to voting control of the corporation but also to the beneficial ownership of the corporation, it is therefore imperative that such requirement apply uniformly and across the board to all classes of shares, regardless of nomenclature and category, comprising the capital of a corporation. Under the Corporation Code, capital stock consists of all classes of shares issued to stockholders, that is, common shares as well as preferred shares, which may have different rights, privileges or restrictions as stated in the articles of incorporation.44 [Emphases supplied]
    The Court then went on to explain that "[f]ull beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60% of the voting rights, is also required." In other words, not only should the 60% of the total outstanding capital stock and the shares with the right to elect the directors be registered in the names of Filipinos, but also the beneficial or equitable title to such shares must be reasonably45 traced to Filipinos.

    Thus, in Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp. v. Redmont Consolidated Mines Corp.,46 the Court stated that if doubt exists as to the extent of control and beneficial ownership in a public utility, the grandfather rule can be applied to supplement the control test. The purpose of the test is to make further inquiry on the ownership of the corporate stockholders.47 By satisfying beneficial ownership test through the employment of the grandfather rule, devious yet imaginative legal strategies used to circumvent the constitutional and statutory limits on foreign equity participation can be determined.48

    The Assailed Circular as it relates to Gamboa Resolution

    The petitioners strongly assert that the SEC gravely abused its discretion when it issued MC No. 8, with specific reference to Section 2, which is again quoted as follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Section 2. All covered corporations shall, at all times, observe the constitutional or statutory ownership requirement. For purposes of determining compliance therewith, the required percentage of Filipino shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors.
    Roy points out that the SEC did not include in the assailed circular the requirement of applying the 60-40 rule to each and every class of shares. He fears that although Filipinos will have voting rights, they may remain deprived of the full economic benefits if the rule is not applied to all classes of shares.

    I agree with the petitioners.

    The Basis of the Uniform and Separate Application of 60:40 Rule to Each and Every Class of Shares

    It has been said that economic rights give meaning to control. The general assumption is that control rights are always coupled with proportionate economic interest in a corporation. This proportionality gives stockholders theoretically an incentive to exercise voting power well, makes possible the market for corporate control and legitimates managerial property the managers do not own.49

    The same theory is adhered to by the Constitution. The words "own and control," used to qualify the minimum Filipino participation in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, reflects the importance of Filipinos having both the ability to influence the corporation through voting rights and economic benefits. In other words, full ownership up to 60% of a public utility encompasses both control and economic rights, both of which must stay in Filipino hands. Filipinos, who own 60% of the controlling interest, must also own 60% of the economic interest in a public utility.

    In a single class structured corporation, the proportionality required can easily be determined. In mixed class or dual structured corporations, however, there is variance in the proportion of stockholders' controlling interest vis-a-vis their economic ownership rights. This resulting variation is recognized by the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of the Securities Regulation Code,50 which defined beneficial ownership as that may exist either through voting power and/or through investment returns. By using and/or in defining beneficial ownership, the IRR, in effect, recognizes a possible situation where voting power is not commensurate to investment power.

    Disparity in privileges accorded to different classes of shares was best illustrated in the Gamboa Resolution. By operation of Section 6 of the Corporation Code,51 preferred class of shares may be created with superior economic rights as compared to the other classes. Dissimilar shares, although similar in terms of number, can differ in terms of benefits. In such cases, holders of preferred shares, although constituting only a smaller portion of the total outstanding capital stock of the corporation, can have greater economic interest over those of common stockholders.

    In the event that a public utility corporation restructures and eventually concentrates all foreign shareholdings solely to a preferred class of shares with high yielding investment power, foreigners would, in effect, have economic interests exceeding those of the Filipinos with less economically valuable common shares. Evidently, this was not envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. And for the reasons that follow, the Court considers such a situation as an affront to the Constitution.

    To begin with, it dilutes the potency of Filipino control in a public utility.

    Economic rights effectively encourage the controlling stockholders to exercise their control rights in accordance with their own interest. Necessarily, if Filipino controlling stockholders have dominance over both economic ownership and control rights, their decisions on corporate matters will mean independence from external forces.

    Conversely, if Filipino controlling stockholders do not have commensurate level of interest in the economic gains of a public utility, the disparity would allow foreigners to intervene in the management, operation, administration or control of the corporation through means that circumvent the limitations imposed by the Constitution. It would foster the creation of falsely simulated existence of the required Filipino equity participation, an act prohibited under Section 2 of Commonwealth Act No. 108, commonly known as the Anti-Dummy Law,52 effectively circumventing the rationale behind the constitutional limitations on foreign equity participation.

    Moreover, the variation in the classes of shares would allow foreigners to acquire preferential interest and advantage in the remaining assets of the corporation after its dissolution or termination. This runs counter to the intent of the present constitution - the conservation and development of the national patrimony. Filipino stockholders should not only be entitled to the benefits generated by a public utility, they should equally have the right to receive the greater share in whatever asset that would be left should the corporation face its end.

    Clearly the only way to minimize, if not totally prevent disparity of control and economic rights given to Filipinos, and to obstruct consequences not envisioned by the Constitution, is to apply the 60-40 rule separately to each class of shares of a public utility corporation. It results in the equalization of Filipino interests, both in terms of control and economic rights, in each and every class of shares. By making the economic rights and controlling rights of Filipinos in a public utility paramount, directors and managers would be persuaded to act in the interest of the Filipino stockholders. In turn, the Filipino stockholders would exercise their corporate ownership rights in ways that would benefit the entire Filipino people cognizant of the trust and preference accorded to them by the Constitution.

    Neither an Obiter Dictum or a Treaty Violation

    The respondents claim that the statement that the 60-40 rule applies to each type of shares was a mere obiter dictum. As reference, they point to the dispositive portions of the Gamboa Decision and Gamboa Resolution, where there is no directive that the 60-40 rule should apply to each class of shares. They insisted that the controlling rule should be what was stated in the fallo of the decision in Gamboa that the 60-40 rule applied only to shares with the right to vote in the election of directors. PSEI also cautions this Court in upholding the application of the 60-40 rule to each type of shares because it would redefine what was stated in the Gamboa Decision. It would also affect the obligation of the State under different treaties and executive agreements, and could disastrously affect the stock exchange market and the state of foreign investments in the country.

    Again, on this point, I differ. The majority disregarded the final ruling in Gamboa.

    Jurisprudence is replete with the doctrine that a final and executory judgment may nonetheless be "clarified" by reference to other portions of the decision of which it forms a part; that a judgment must not be read separately but in connection with the other portions of the decision of which it forms a part. Otherwise stated, a decision should be taken as a whole and considered in its entirety to get the true meaning and intent of any particular portion thereof.53 It "must be construed as a whole so as to bring all of its parts into harmony as far as this can be done by fair and reasonable interpretation and so as to give effect to every word and part, if possible, and to effectuate the obvious intention and purpose of the Court, consistent with the provisions of the organic law."54 A final ruling in Gamboa, therefore, includes the clarification and elucidation in the subsequent Gamboa Resolution, which was unquestioned until it lapsed into finality.

    The claimed inconsistency in the definition of capital in the Gamboa Decision and Gamboa Resolution and on how the Court uses them in this case is more apparent than real. A deeper understanding of the Court's philosophical underpinning on the issue of capital is that capital must be construed in relation to the constitutional goal of securing the controlling interest in favor of Filipinos.

    Plain from the Court's previous discussions is the conclusion that controlling interest in a public utility cannot be achieved by applying the 60-40 rule solely to shares with the right to vote in the election of directors; it must be applied to all classes of shares. Although applying the rule only to such shares gives an assurance that Filipinos will have control over the choice on who will manage the corporation, it does not mean that they also control the decisions that are fundamentally important to the corporation. If they would own 60% of all the shares of whatever class, they cannot be denied the right to vote on important corporate matters. To the Court, the only way by which Filipinos can be assured of having the controlling interest is to apply the 60:40 rule to each class of shares regardless of restrictions or privileges present, with each class, being considered as a distinct but indispensable and integral part of the entire capital of a public utility for the purpose of determining the nationality restrictions under the Constitution.

    On the point of PSEI that a ruling in favor of the petitioners would lead to a violation of the obligation of the Philippines to provide fair and equitable treatment to foreign investors who have relied on the FIA and its IRR, as well as predecessor statutes, the Court believes otherwise. Basic is the rule that the Constitution is paramount above all else. It prevails not only over domestic laws, but also against treaties and executive agreements. It cannot be said either that due process and equal protection were violated. These constitutional limitations on foreign equity participation have been there all along.

    Need for a Constitutional Amendment

    Until the people decide, through a new constitution, to ease the restrictions on foreign participation in the public utility sector, the Court should resolve all doubts in favor of upholding the spirit and intent of the 1987 Constitution.

    As the SEC Memorandum Circular No. 8 is non-compliant with the final Gamboa ruling, the omission by the SEC of the 60-40 rule application in favor of Filipinos to each and every class of shares of a public utility constituted, and should have been declared, a grave abuse of discretion.

    In view of all the foregoing, the petition should have been granted and SEC Memorandum Circular No. 8 should have been declared as non­ compliant with the final Gamboa ruling.

    Accordingly, the Security and Exchange Commission should have been directed to strictly comply with the final Gamboa ruling, by including in the assailed circular the rule on the application of the 60-40 nationality requirement to each class of shares regardless of restrictions or privileges in accordance with the foregoing disquisition.

    Endnotes:


    1 Under the doctrine of finality of judgment or immutability of judgment, a decision that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable, and may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law, and whether it be made by the court that rendered it or by the Highest Court of the land. (Gomeco Metal Corp. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 202531, August 17, 2016.

    2 668 Phil. 1 (2011) (Decision)

    3Section 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common good so requires. The State shall encourage equity participation in public utilities by the general public. The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines.

    4 Decision, supra note 2.

    5 Resolution, G.R. No. 176579, October 9, 2012. (http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/ jurisprudence/2012/october2012/176579.pdf) (Last visited, April 21, 2015).

    6 Resolution, G.R. No. 176579, October 9, 2012. (http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/ jurisprudence/2012/ctober2012/176579.pdf) (Last visited, April 21, 2015).

    7Rollo, pp. 270-272.

    8
    (Last visited, April 21, 2015).

    9Rollo, pp. 231-263.

    10 Id. at 11.

    11 Id. at 544-584.

    12 Id. at 466-524.

    13 Id. at 633-653.

    14 Id. at 723-756.

    15 Id. at 839-847.

    16Section 1. Who may intervene. - A person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof may, with leave of court, be allowed to intervene in the action. The court shall consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties, and whether or not the intervenor's rights may be fully protected in a separate proceeding. (2[a], [b]a, R12)

    Section 2. Time to intervene. - The motion to intervene may be filed at any time before rendition of judgment by the trial court. A copy of the pleading-in-intervention shall be attached to the motion and served on the original parties. (n)

    Section 3. Pleadings-in-intervention. - The intervenor shall file a complaint-in-intervention if he asserts a claim against either or all of the original parties, or an answer-in-intervention if he unites with the defending party in resisting a claim against the latter. (2[c]a, R12)

    Section 4. Answer to complaint-in-intervention. - The answer to the complaint-in-intervention shall be filed within fifteen (15) days from notice of the order admitting the same, unless a different period is fixed by the court.

    17Galicto v. Aquino, 683 Phil. 141 (2012).

    18 Resolution, 696 Phil. 276 (2012).

    19 Decision, 668 Phil. 1 (2011).

    20Rollo

    21Rollo, Volume I, pp. 10-11.

    22 646 Phil. 452 (2010).

    23Rollo, Volume II. pp. 564-566.

    24People v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 1881 December 11, 2013, 712 SCRA 359.

    25 G.R. No. 209287, July 1, 2014, 728 SCRA 1.

    26 Id.

    27Malana v. Tappa, 616 Phil. 177 (2009).

    28Dy v. Judge Bibat-Palamos, G.R. No. 196200, September 11, 2013, 705 SCRA 613.

    29Hollingsworth v. Perry, 133 S. Ct. 2652 (U.S. 2013).

    30Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network. Inc. v. Anti-Terrorism Council, 646 Phil. 452, 479 (2010) [Per J. Carpio Morales, En Banc], citing Republic Telecommunications Holding, Inc. v. Santiago, 556 Phil. 83, 91-92 (2007).

    31Abdul v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 184496, December 2, 2013, 711 SCRA 246 citing Mattel, Inc. v. Francisco, 582 Phil. 492, 501 (2008).

    32Lozano v. Nograles, 607 Phil. 334 (2009), citing Angara v. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil. 139 (1936).

    33Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014, 721 SCRA 146.

    34 G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014, 721 SCRA 146.

    35 G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014, 721 SCRA 146.

    36Galicto v. Aquino III, G.R. No. 193978, February 28, 2012, 667 SCRA 150, citing Lozano v. Nograles, 607 Phil. 334 (2009).

    37Anak Mindanao Party-List Group v. Exec. Sec. Ermita, 558 Phil. 338, 351 (2007).

    38 392 Phil. 618 (2000).

    39 G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014, 721 SCRA 146.

    40Araullo v. Aquino III, G.R. No. 209287, July 1, 2014, 728 SCRA 1.

    41 As embodied in Sec. 3 of R.A. No. 7042 or the Foreign Investments Act of 1991.

    42 The Corporation Code, Section 6. "Classification of shares. The shares of stock of stock corporations may be divided into classes or series of shares, or both, any of which classes or series of shares may have such rights, privileges or restrictions as may be stated in the articles of incorporation: Provided, That no share may be deprived of voting rights except those classified and issued as "preferred" or "redeemable" shares, unless otherwise provided in this Code: Provided, further, that there shall always be a class or series of shares which have complete voting rights.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    xxx xxx xxx
    "Where the articles of incorporation provide for non-voting shares in the cases allowed by this Code, the holders of such shares shall nevertheless be entitled to vote on the following matters:
    1. Amendment of the articles of incorporation;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    2. Adoption and amendment of by-laws;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    3. Sale, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge or other disposition of all or substantially all of the corporation property;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    4. Incurring, creating or increasing bonded indebtedness;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    5. Increase or decrease of capital stock;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    6. Merger or consolidation of the corporation with another corporation or other corporations;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    7. Investment of corporate funds in another corporation or business in accordance with this Code; and

    8. Dissolution of the corporation.
    "Except as provided in the immediately preceding paragraph, the vote necessary to approve a particular corporate act as provided in this Code shall be deemed to refer only to stocks with voting rights."
    43 Black's Law Dictionary (2nd Pocket ed. 2001 p. 508).

    44 Resolution, Gamboa v. Teves, G.R. No. 176579, October 9, 2012, <http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2012/october2012/176579.pdf> (Last visited, April 21, 2015).

    45 Resolution, Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp. v. Tesoro Mining and Development Inc., et. al., G.R. No. 195580, January 28, 2015, <http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2012october2012/176579.pdf> (Last visited, April 21, 2015). Parenthetically, it is advanced that the application of the Grandfather Rule is impractical as tracing the shareholdings to the point when natural persons hold rights to the stocks may very well lead to an investigation ad infinitum. Suffice it to say in this regard that, while the Grandfather Rule was originally intended to trace the shareholdings to the point where natural persons hold the shares, the SEC had already set up a limit as to the number of corporate layers the attribution of the nationality of the corporate shareholders may be applied.

    46 Resolution, G.R. No. 195580, January 28, 2015, <http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2012/october2012/176579.pdf> (Last visited, April 21, 2015).

    47 Resolution, Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp. v. Tesoro Mining and Development Inc., et. al.. G.R. No. 195580, January 28, 2015, <http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2012/october2012/176579.pdf> (Last visited, April 21, 2015).

    48 To illustrate:cralawlawlibrary

    Suppose that X corporation seeks to engage as a public utility company. It divided its total outstanding capital stock of 1000 into three classes of shares 300 common shares, 200 preferred shares with the right to vote in the election of directors (Class A preferred), and 500 preferred without such right to elect the directors (Class B preferred). Another Corporation, Y, an entity considered as a Philippine national under the FIA on the assumption that 60% of its capital is owned by Filipinos, owns all common and class 8 preferred shares.

    Three Hundred (300) common shares in the hands of Y, a Philippine national represents sixty percent (60% )control over all shares with the right to vote in the election of directors (sum of 200 Cass A preferred shares and 300 common shares). Coupled with another 500 preferred Class 8 shares, Y can be considered in control of eighty-percent (80%) of the total outstanding capital stock of X.

    Applying the control test leads to the conclusion that a Philippine national in the person of Y controls X both with respect to the total outstanding capital stock and the sum of all shares with the right to elect the directors. However, after applying beneficial ownership test, which means looking into each stockholders of Y through the grandfather rule, it would show insufficient Filipino equity of at least sixty-percent (60%) in X as required under the Constitution, Foreign Investments Act and the Court's ruling in Gamboa.

    Since Y is only sixty-percent (60%) controlled by Filipinos, the Filipino Equity in X through Y would be as follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Sixty-percent (60%) of 300 common shares = 180 shares or 36% beneficial equity in all shares with the rights to vote in the election of directors (sum of 300 common shares and 200 Class A Preferred shares).

    Sixty percent (60%) of 500 Class B preferred shares = 300 shares with the right to elect directors.

    To compute total Filipino beneficial equity in the total outstanding capital stock, 300 shares plus the 180 shares as calculated above must be added. Thus, 300 shares + 180 shares = 480 shares or forty eight (48%) of the total outstanding capital stock of X.
    In effect, the equity of Filipinos in X, after applying the grandfather rule, has been diluted to forty­ eight percent (48%) of the total outstanding capital stock and thirty-six percent (36%) of all shares with the rights to vote in the election of directors. Clearly, it violates the constitutional limitation on foreign equity participation.

    49Empty Voting and Hidden Ownership: Taxonomy, Implications, and Reforms, Henry T.C. Hu, <www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/cbl/PM-6-Bus-Law-Hu-Black.pdf> (Last visited, April 23, 2015).

    50 Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Securities and Regulation Code, Rule III, Sec. 1.d. Beneficial owner or beneficial ownership means any person who, directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise has or shares: voting power, which includes the power to vote, or to direct the voting ot:such security; and/or investment returns or power, which includes the power to dispose of, or to direct, the disposition of such security; xxx xxx xxx.

    51 The Corporation Code, Section 6. Classification of shares. - The shares of stock of stock corporations may be divided into classes or series of shares, or both, any of which classes or series of shares may have such rights, privileges or restrictions as may be stated in the articles of incorporation: Provided, That no share may be deprived of voting rights except those classified and issued as "preferred" or "redeemable" shares, unless otherwise provided in this Code. xxx xxx xxx.

    52 The Anti-Dummy Law, Section 2. "In all cases in which a constitutional or legal provision requires that, in order that a corporation or association may exercise or enjoy a right, franchise or privilege, not less than a certain per centum of its capital must be owned by citizens of the Philippines or of any other specific country, it shall be unlawful to falsely simulate the existence of such minimum stock or capital as owned by such citizens, for the purpose of evading said provision. The president or managers and directors or trustees of corporations or associations convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than five nor more than fifteen years, and by a fine not less than the value of the right, franchise or privilege, enjoyed or acquired in violation of the provisions hereof but in no case less than five thousand pesos."

    53La Campana Development Corp. v. Development Bank of the Phils., 598 Phil. 612-634 (2009).

    54 49 C.J.S. 436, cited in Republic v. De los Angeles, 150-A Phil. 25-85 (1972).
    chanrobleslaw



    DISSENTING OPINION

    LEONEN, J.:


    I dissent from the Decision denying the Petition. Respondent Securities and Exchange Commission's Memorandum Circular No. 8, series of 2013 is inadequate as it fails to encompass each and every class of shares in a corporation engaged in nationalized economic activities. This is in violation of the constitutional provisions limiting foreign ownership in certain economic activities, and is in patent disregard of this Court's statements in its June 28, 2011 Decision1 as furthr illuminated in its October 9, 2012 Resolution2 in Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves. Thus, the Securities and Exchange Commission gravely abused its discretion.

    A better considered reading of both the 2011 Decision and 2012 Resolution in Gamboa demonstrates this Court's adherence to the rule on which the present Decision turns: that the 60 per centum (or higher, in the case of Article XII, Section 10) Filipino ownership requirement in corporations engaged in nationalized economic activities, as articulated in Article XII and Article XIV3 of the 1987 Constitution, must apply "to each class of shares, regardless of differences m voting rights, privileges and restrictions[.]"4

    The 2011 Decision and 2012 Resolution in Gamboa concededly lend themselves to some degree of confusion. The dispositive portion in the 2011 Decision explicitly stated that "the term 'capital' in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors[.]"5 The 2012 Resolution, for its part, fine-tuned this. Thus, it clarified that each class of shares, not only those entitled to vote in the election of directors, is subject to the Filipino ownership requirement.6 However, the 2012 Resolution did not recalibrate the 2011 Decision's dispositive portion inclusive of its definition of "capital." Rather, it merely stated that the motions for reconsideration were denied with finality and that no further pleadings shall be allowed.7

    Nevertheless, a judgment must be read in its entirety; in such a manner as to bring harmony to all of its parts and to facilitate an interpretation that gives effect to its entire text. The brief statement in the dispositive portion of the 2012 Resolution that the motions for reconsideration were denied was not inconsistent with the jurisprudential fine-tuning of the concept of "capital." Neither was it inadequate; it succinctly stated the action taken by the court on the pending incidents of the case. The dispositive portion no longer needed to pontificate on the concept of "capital," for all that it needed to state to dispose of the case, at that specific instance was that the motions for reconsideration had been denied.

    The brevity of the 2012 Resolution's dispositive portion was certainly not all that there was to that Resolution. The Court's having promulgated an extended resolution (as opposed to the more commonplace minute resolutions issued when motions for reconsideration raise no substantial arguments or when the Court's prior decision or resolution on the main petition had already passed upon all the basic issues) is telling. It reveals that the Court felt it necessary to engage anew in an extended discussion because matters not yet covered, needing greater illumination, warranting re­calibration, or impelling fine-tuning, were then expounded on. This, even if the ultimate juridical result would have merely been the denial of the motions for reconsideration. It would be a disservice to the Court's own wisdom then, if attention was to be drawn solely to the disposition denying the motions for reconsideration, while failing to consider the rationale for that denial.

    This position does not violate the doctrine on immutability of judgments. The Gamboa ruling is not being revisited or re-evaluated in such a manner as to alter it. Far from it, this position affirms and reinforces it. In resolving the validity of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Memorandum Circular No. 8, this position merely echoes the conception of capital already articulated in Gamboa; it does not invent an unprecedented idea. This echoing builds on an integrated understanding, rather than on a myopic or even isolationist emphasis on a matter that the dispositive portion no longer even needed to state.

    In any case, the present Petition does not purport or sets itself out as a bare continuation of Gamboa. If at all, it accepts Gamboa as a settled matter, a fait accompli; and only sets out to ensure that the matters settled there are satisfied. This, then, is an entirely novel proceeding precipitated by a distinct action of an instrumentality of government that, as the present Petition alleges, deviates from what this Court has put to rest.

    Memorandum Circular No. 8, an official act of the Securities and Exchange Commission, suffices to trigger a justiciable controversy. There is no shortage of precedents (e.g., Province of North Cotabato, et al. v. Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain (GRP), et al.,8Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr.,9 and Disini, Jr., et al. v. The Secretary of Justice, et al.10) in which this Court appreciated a controversy as ripe for adjudication even when the trigger for judicial review were official enactments which supposedly had yet to occasion an actual violation of a party's rights. Province of North Cotabato is on point:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    The Solicitor General argues that there is no justiciable controversy that is ripe for judicial review in the present petitions, reasoning that
    The unsigned MOA-AD is simply a list of consensus points subject to further negotiations and legislative enactments as well as constitutional processes aimed at attaining a final peaceful agreement. Simply put, the MOA-AD remains to be a proposal that does not automatically create legally demandable rights and obligations until the list of operative acts required have been duly complied with. xxx

    xxx xxx xxx

    In the cases at bar, it is respectfully submitted that this Honorable Court has no authority to pass upon issues based on hypothetical or feigned constitutional problems or interests with no concrete bases. Considering the preliminary character of the MOA-AD, there are no concrete acts that could possibly violate petitioners' and intervenors' rights since the acts complained of are mere contemplated steps toward the formulation of a final peace agreement. Plainly, petitioners and intervenors' perceived injury, if at all, is merely imaginary and illusory apart from being unfounded and based on mere conjectures....
    ....

    The Solicitor General's arguments fail to persuade.

    Concrete acts under the MOA-AD are not necessary to render the present controversy ripe. In Pimentel, Jr. v. Aguirre, this Court held:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    x x x [B]y the mere enactment of the questioned law or the approval of the challenged action, the dispute is said to have ripened into a judicial controversy even without any other overt act. Indeed, even a singular violation of the Constitution and/or the law is enough to awaken judicial duty.

    xxx xxx xxx

    By the same token, when an act of the President, who in our constitutional scheme is a coequal of Congress, is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution and the laws x x x settling the dispute becomes the duty and the responsibility of the courts.
    In Santa Independent School District v. Doe, the United States Supreme Court held that the challenge to the constitutionality of the school's policy allowing student-led prayers and speeches before games was ripe for adjudication, even if no public prayer had yet been led under the policy, because the policy was being challenged as unconstitutional on its face.

    That the law or act in question is not yet effective does not negate ripeness. For example, in New York v. United States, decided in 1992, the United States Supreme Court held that the action by the State of New York challenging the provisions of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act was ripe for adjudication even if the questioned provision was not to take effect until January 1, 1996, because the parties agreed that New York had to take immediate action to avoid the provision's consequences.11 (Underscoring and citations omitted)
    The Court, here, is called to examine an official enactment that supposedly runs afoul of the Constitution's injunction to "conserve and develop our patrimony,"12 and to "develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos."13 This allegation of a serious infringement of the Constitution compels us to exercise our power of judicial review.

    A consideration of the constitutional equity requirement as applying to each and every single class of shares, not just to those entitled to vote for directors in a corporation, is more in keeping with the "philosophical underpinning"14 of the 1987 Constitution, i.e., "that capital must be construed in relation to the constitutional goal of securing the controlling interest in favor of Filipinos."15

    No class of shares is ever truly bereft of a measure of control of a corporation. It is true, as Section 616 of the Corporation Code permits, that preferred and/or redeemable shares may be denied the right to vote extended to other classes of shares. For this reason, they are also often referred to as 'non-voting shares.' However, the absolutist connotation of the description "non-voting" is misleading. The same Section 6 provides that these "non­ voting shares" are still entitled to vote on the following matters:
    1. Amendment of the articles of incorporation;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    2. Adoption and amendment of by-laws;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    3. Sale, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge or other disposition of all or substantially all of the corporate property;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    4. Incurring, creating or increasing bonded indebtedness;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    5. Increase or decrease of capital stock;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    6. Merger or consolidation of the corporation with another corporation or other corporations;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    7. Investment of corporate funds in another corporation or business in accordance with this Code; and

    8. Dissolution of the corporation.
    In the most crucial corporate actions - those that go into the very constitution of the corporation - even so-called non-voting shares may vote. Not only can they vote; they can be pivotal in deciding the most basic issues confronting a corporation. Certainly, the ability to decide a corporation's framework of governance (i.e., its articles of incorporation and by-laws), viability (through the encumbrance or disposition of all or substantially all of its assets, engagement in another enterprise, or subjection to indebtedness), or even its very existence (through its merger or consolidation with another corporate entity, or even through its outright dissolution) demonstrates not only a measure of control, but even possibly overruling control. "Non­voting" preferred and redeemable shares are hardly irrelevant in controlling a corporation.

    It is in this light that I emphasize the necessity, not only of legal title, but more so of full beneficial ownership by Filipinos of the required percentage of capital in certain corporations engaged in nationalized economic activities. This has been underscored in Gamboa. This too, is a matter, which I emphasized in my Dissenting Opinion in the Narra Nickel and Development Corp. v. Redmont Consolidated Mines Corp17 April 21, 2014 Decision.

    I likewise emphasize "the [C]ontrol [T]est as a primary method of determining compliance with the restrictions imposed by the Constitution on foreign equity participation,"18 along with a recognition of the Grandfather Rule as a "supplement"19 to the Control Test.

    My Dissent from the April 21, 2014 Decision in Narra Nickel, noted that "there are two (2) ways through which one may be a beneficial owner of securities, such as shares of stock: first, by having or sharing voting power; and second, by having or sharing investment returns or power."20 This is gleaned from the definition of "beneficial owner or beneficial ownership" provided for in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Securities Regulation Code.21

    Full beneficial ownership vis-a-vis capacity to control a corporation is self-evident in ownership of voting stocks: the investiture of the capacity to vote evinces involvement in the running of the corporation. Through it, a stockholder participates in corporate decision-making, or otherwise participates in the designation of directors - those individuals tasked with overseeing the corporation's activities.

    Appreciating full beneficial ownership and control in a corporation may require a more nuanced approach when the subject of inquiry is investment returns or power. Control through the capacity to vote can be countervailed, if not totally negated, by reducing voting shares to empty shells that represent nominal ownership even as the corporation's economic gains actually redound to the holders of other classes of shares. There exist practices such as corporate layering which, can be used to undermine the Constitution's equity requirements.

    It is in the spirit of ensuring that effective control is lodged in Filipinos that the dynamics of applying the Control Test and the Grandfather Rule must be considered.

    As I emphasized in my twin dissents in the Narra Nickel April 21, 2014 Decision and January 28, 2015 Resolution,22 with the 1987 Constitution's silence on the specific mechanism for reckoning Filipino and foreign equity ownership in corporations, the Control Test - statutorily established through Republic Act No. 8179, the Foreign Investments Act­ "must govern in reckoning foreign equity ownership in corporations engaged in nationalized economic activities."23 Nevertheless, "the Grandfather Rule may be used ... as a further check to ensure that control and beneficial ownership of a corporation is in fact lodged in Filipinos."24

    The Control Test was established by legislative fiat. The Foreign Investments Act "is the basic law governing foreign investments in the Philippines, irrespective of the nature of business and area of investment."25 Its Section 3(a) defines a "Philippine national" as including "a corporation organized under the laws of the Philippines of which at least sixty per cent (60%) of the capital stock outstanding and entitled to vote is owned and held by citizens of the Philippines[.]" In my Dissent in the Narra Nickel April 21, 2014 Decision:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    This is a definition that is consistent with the first part of paragraph 7 of the 1967 SEC Rules, which [originally articulated] the Control Test: "[s]hares belonging to corporations or partnerships at least 60 per cent of the capital of which is owned by Filipino citizens shall be considered as of Philippine nationality."26
    The Control Test serves the purposes of ensuring effective control and full beneficial ownership of corporations by Filipinos, even as several corporations may be involved in the equity structure of another. As I explained in my Dissent from the April 21, 2014 Decision in Narra Nickel:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    It is a matter of transitivity that if Filipino stockholders control a corporation which, in turn, controls another corporation, then the Filipino stockholders control the latter corporation, albeit indirectly or through the former corporation.

    An illustration is apt.

    Suppose that a corporation, "C", is engaged in a nationalized activity requiring that 60% of its capital be owned by Filipinos and that this 60% is owned by another corporation, "B", while the remaining 40% is owned by stockholders, collectively referred to as "Y". Y is composed entirely of foreign nationals. As for B, 60% of its capital is owned by stockholders collectively referred to as "A", while the remaining 40% is owned by stockholders collectively referred to as "X". The collective A, is composed entirely of Philippine nationals, while the collective X is composed entirely of foreign nationals. (N.b., in this illustration, capital is understood to mean "shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors," per the definition in Gamboa). Thus:cralawlawlibrary

    (see image page 9)

    By owning 60% of B's capital, A controls B. Likewise, by owning 60% of C's capital, B controls C. From this, it follows, as a matter of transitivity, that A controls C; albeit indirectly, that is, through B.

    This "control" holds true regardless of the aggregate foreign capital in B and C. As explained in Gamboa, control by stockholders is a matter resting on the ability to vote in the election of directors:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Indisputably, one of the rights of a stockholder is the right to participate in the control or management of the corporation. This is exercised through his vote in the election of directors because it is the board of directors that controls or manages the corporation.
    B will not be outvoted by Y in matters relating to C, while A will not be outvoted by X in matters relating to B. Since all actions taken by B must necessarily be in conformity with the will of A, anything that B does in relation to C is, in effect, in conformity with the will of A. No amount of aggregating the foreign capital in B and C will enable X to outvote A, nor Y to outvote B.

    In effect, A controls C, through B. Stated otherwise, the collective Filipinos in A, effectively control C, through their control of B.27 (Emphasis in the original)
    Full beneficial ownership is addressed both with respect to voting power and investment returns or power.

    As I explained, on voting power:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Voting power, as discussed previously, ultimately rests on the controlling stockholders of the controlling investor corporation. To go back to the previous illustration, voting power ultimately rests on A, it having the voting power in B which, in tum, has the voting power in C.28
    As I also explained, on investment returns or power:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    As to investment returns or power, it is ultimately A which enjoys investment power. It controls B's investment decisions including the disposition of securities held by B and (again, through B) controls C's investment decisions.

    Similarly, it is ultimately A which benefits from investment returns generated through C. Any income generated by C redounds to B's benefit, that is, through income obtained from C, B gains funds or assets which it can use either to finance itself in respect of capital and/or operations. This is a direct benefit to B, itself a Philippine national. This is also an indirect benefit to A, a collectivity of Philippine nationals, as then, its business B - not only becomes more viable as a going concern but also becomes equipped to funnel income to A.

    Moreover, beneficial ownership need not be direct. A controlling shareholder is deemed the indirect beneficial owner of securities (e.g., shares) held by a corporation of which he or she is a controlling shareholder. Thus, in the previous illustration, A, the controlling shareholder of B, is the indirect beneficial owner of the shares in C to the extent that they are held by B.29
    Nevertheless, ostensible equity ownership does not preclude unscrupulous parties' resort to devices that undermine the constitutional objective of full beneficial ownership of and effective control by Filipinos. It is at this juncture that the Grandfather Rule finds application:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Bare ownership of 60% of a corporation's shares would not suffice. What is necessary is such ownership as will ensure control of a corporation.

    ... [T]he Grandfather Rule may be used as a supplement to the Control Test, that is, as a further check to ensure that control and beneficial ownership of a corporation is in fact lodged in Filipinos.

    For instance, Department of Justice Opinion No. 165, series of 1984, identified the following "significant indicators" or badges of "dummy status":chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    1. That the foreign investor provides practically all the funds for the joint investment undertaken by Filipino businessmen and their foreign partner[;]

    2. That the foreign investors undertake to provide practically all the technological support for the joint venture[; and]

    3. That the foreign investors, while being minority stockholders, manage the company and prepare all economic viability studies.
    In instances where methods are employed to disable Filipinos from exercising control and reaping the economic benefits of an enterprise, the ostensible control vested by ownership of 60% of a corporation's capital may be pierced. Then, the Grandfather Rule allows for a further, more exacting examination of who actually controls and benefits from holding such capital.30
    It is opportune that the present Petition has enabled this Court to clarify both the conception of capital, for purposes of compliance with the 1987 Constitution, and the mechanisms primarily the Control Test, and suppletorily, the Grandfather Rule through which such compliance may be assessed.

    ACCORDINGLY, I vote to grant the Petition.

    Endnotes:


    1Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, et al., 668 Phil. 1 (2011) [Per J. Carpio, En Banc].

    2Heirs of Wilson P. Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, et al., 696 Phil. 276 (2012) [Per J. Carpio, En Banc].

    3 CONST., art. XII, secs. 2, 10, 11, and art. XIV, sec. 4(2) provide:cralawlawlibrary

    ARTICLE XII. National Economy and Patrimony

    ....

    SECTION 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-­five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.

    ....

    SECTION 10. The Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and planning agency, when the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, or such higher percentage as Congress may prescribe, certain areas of investments. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos.

    In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.

    The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and priorities.

    SECTION 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common good so requires. The State shall encourage equity participation in public utilities by the general public. The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines.

    ....

    ARTICLE XIV. Education, Science and Technology, Arts, Culture, and Sports

    ....

    SECTION 4....

    (2) Educational institutions, other than those established by religious groups and mission boards, shall be owned solely by citizens of the Philippines or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens. The Congress may, however, require increased Filipino equity participation in all educational institutions[.] (Emphasis supplied)

    4Heirs of Wilson P. Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, et al., 696 Phil. 776, 341 (2012) [Per J. Carpio, En Banc].

    5Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, et al., 668 Phil. 1, 69-70 (2011) [Per J. Carpio, En Banc]. This definition, stated in a fallo, was noted in my April 21, 2014 Dissent in Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp., et al. v. Redmont Consolidated Mines Corp., 733 Phil. 365, 420 (2014) [Per J. Velasco, Jr., Third Division]. This, however, was not the pivotal point in that Opinion.

    6Heirs of Wilson P Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, et al., 696 Phil. 276, 341 (2012) [Per J. Carpio, En Banc]. The Court stated, "[s]ince a specific class of shares may have rights and privileges or restrictions different from the rest of the shares in a corporation, the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution must apply not only to shares with voting rights but also to shares without voting rights. Preferred shares, denied the right to vote in the election of directors, are anyway still entitled to vote on the eight specific corporate matters mentioned above. Thus, if a corporation, engaged in a partially nationalized industry, issues a mixture of common and preferred non-voting shares, at least 60 percent of the common shares and at least 60 percent of the preferred non-voting shares must be owned by Filipinos. Of course, if a corporation issues only a single class of shares, at least 60 percent of such shares must necessarily be owned by Filipinos. In short, the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens must apply separately to each class of shares, whether common, preferred non-voting, preferred voting or any other class of shares. This uniform application of the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens clearly breathes life to the constitutional command that the ownership and operation of public utilities shall be reserved exclusively to corporations at least 60 percent of whose capital is Filipino-owned. Applying uniformly the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of Filipino citizens to each class of shares, regardless of differences in voting rights, privileges and restrictions, guarantees effective Filipino control of public utilities, as mandated by the Constitution."

    7 Id. at 363.

    8 589 Phil. 387 (2008) [Per J. Carpio Morales, En Banc].

    9 G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014, 721 SCRA 146 [Per J. Mendoza, En Banc].

    10 727 Phil. 28 (2014) [Per J. Abad, En Banc].

    11Province of North Cotabato, et al. v. Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain (GRP), et al., 589 Phil. 387 (2008) [Per J. Carpio Morales, En Banc].

    12 CONST., preamble.

    13 CONST., art. II, sec. 19.

    14 J. Mendoza, Dissenting Opinion, p. 21.

    15 Id.

    16 CORP. CODE, sec. 6, par. 1 provides:cralawlawlibrary

    Section 6. Classification of shares. - The shares of stock of stock corporations may be divided into classes or series of shares, or both, any of which classes or series of shares may have such rights, privileges or restrictions as may be stated in the articles of incorporation: Provided, That no share may be deprived of voting rights except those classified and issued as "preferred" or "redeemable" shares, unless otherwise provided in this Code: Provided, further, That there shall always be a class or series of shares which have complete voting rights. Any or all of the shares or series of shares may have a par value or have no par value as may he provided for in the articles of incorporation: Provided, however, That banks, trust companies, insurance companies, public utilities, and building and loan associations shall not be permitted to issue no-par value shares of stock. (Emphasis supplied)

    17 J. Leonen, Dissenting Opinion in Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp., et al. v. Redmont Consolidated Mines Corp., 733 Phil. 365, 420 (2014) [Per J. Velasco, Jr., Third Division].

    18 J. Mendoza, Dissenting Opinion, p. 14.

    19 Id. at 16.

    20 J. Leonen, Dissenting Opinion in Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp., et al. v. Redmont Consolidated Mines Corp., 733 Phil. 365, 475 (2014) [Per J. Velasco, Jr., Third Division].

    21 SECURITIES CODE, Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (2011), Rule 3(1)(A) provides:cralawlawlibrary

    Rules 3 - Definition of Terms

    1....
    1. Beneficial owner or beneficial ownership means any person who, directly or indirectly, through any contract, anangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise, has or shares voting power (which includes the power to vote or direct the voting of such security) and/or investment returns or power (which includes the power to dispose of, or direct the disposition of such security)[.]
    22 J. Leonen, Dissenting Opinion in Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp. v. Redmont Consolidated Mines Corp., G.R. No. 195580, January 28, 2015, 748 SCRA 455, 492 [Per J. Velasco, Jr., Special Third Division].

    23 J. Leonen, Dissenting Opinion in Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp. et al. v. Redmont Consolidated Mines Corp., 733 Phil. 365, 468 (2014) [Per J. Velasco, Jr., Third Division].

    24 Id. at 478.

    25Heirs of Wilson P Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, et al., 696 Phil. 276, 332 (2012) [Per J. Carpio, En Banc].

    26 J. Leonen, Dissenting Opinion in Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp., et al. v. Redmont Consolidated Mines Corp., 733 Phil. 365, 467 (2014) [Per J. Velasco, Jr., Third Division].

    27 Id. at 469-471, citing Gamboa v. Finance Secretary Teves, et al., 668 Phil. 1, 51, 53, and 69-71 (2011) [Per J. Carpio, En Banc].

    28 Id. at 475.

    29 Id. at 475-476.

    30 Id. at 478-479, citing DOJ Opinion No. 165, series of 1984, p. 5.

    G.R. No. 207246, November 22, 2016 - JOSE M. ROY III, Petitioner, v. CHAIRPERSON TERESITA HERBOSA,THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, AND PHILILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, Respondents.; WILSON C. GAMBOA, JR., DANIEL V. CARTAGENA, JOHN WARREN P. GABINETE, ANTONIO V. PESINA, JR., MODESTO MARTIN Y. MAMON III, AND GERARDO C. EREBAREN, Petitioners-in-Intervention; PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention; SHAREHOLDERS' ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent-in-Intervention.


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