Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 2005 > September 2005 Decisions > CONCURRING OPINION : CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et al.:




CONCURRING OPINION : CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et al.

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. NO. 168056 : September 01, 2005]

ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST (FORMERLY AASJAS) OFFICERS SAMSON S. ALCANTARA AND ED VINCENT S. ALBANO, Petitioners, v. THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA; HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE CESAR PURISIMA; AND HONORABLE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE GUILLERMO PARAYNO, JR., Respondents.

[G.R. NO. 168207]

AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., LUISA P. EJERCITO-ESTRADA, JINGGOY E. ESTRADA, PANFILO M. LACSON, ALFREDO S. LIM, JAMBY A.S. MADRIGAL, AND SERGIO R. OSMEÑA III, Petitioners, v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO R. ERMITA, CESAR V. PURISIMA, SECRETARY OF FINANCE, GUILLERMO L. PARAYNO, JR., COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondents.

[G.R. NO. 168461]

ASSOCIATION OF PILIPINAS SHELL DEALERS, INC. REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, ROSARIO ANTONIO; PETRON DEALERS' ASSOCIATION REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, RUTH E. BARBIBI; ASSOCIATION OF CALTEX DEALERS' OF THE PHILIPPINES REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, MERCEDITAS A. GARCIA; ROSARIO ANTONIO DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "ANB NORTH SHELL SERVICE STATION”; LOURDES MARTINEZ DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "SHELL GATE - N. DOMINGO”; BETHZAIDA TAN DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "ADVANCE SHELL STATION”; REYNALDO P. MONTOYA DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "NEW LAMUAN SHELL SERVICE STATION”; EFREN SOTTO DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "RED FIELD SHELL SERVICE STATION”; DONICA CORPORATION REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, DESI TOMACRUZ; RUTH E. MARBIBI DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "R&R PETRON STATION”; PETER M. UNGSON DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "CLASSIC STAR GASOLINE SERVICE STATION”; MARIAN SHEILA A. LEE DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "NTE GASOLINE & SERVICE STATION”; JULIAN CESAR P. POSADAS DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "STARCARGA ENTERPRISES”; ADORACION MAÑEBO DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "CMA MOTORISTS CENTER”; SUSAN M. ENTRATA DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "LEONA'S GASOLINE STATION AND SERVICE CENTER”; CARMELITA BALDONADO DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "FIRST CHOICE SERVICE CENTER”; MERCEDITAS A. GARCIA DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "LORPED SERVICE CENTER”; RHEAMAR A. RAMOS DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "RJRAM PTT GAS STATION”; MA. ISABEL VIOLAGO DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "VIOLAGO-PTT SERVICE CENTER”; MOTORISTS' HEART CORPORATION REPRESENTED BY ITS VICE-PRESIDENT FOR OPERATIONS, JOSELITO F. FLORDELIZA; MOTORISTS' HARVARD CORPORATION REPRESENTED BY ITS VICE-PRESIDENT FOR OPERATIONS, JOSELITO F. FLORDELIZA; MOTORISTS' HERITAGE CORPORATION REPRESENTED BY ITS VICE-PRESIDENT FOR OPERATIONS, JOSELITO F. FLORDELIZA; PHILIPPINE STANDARD OIL CORPORATION REPRESENTED BY ITS VICE-PRESIDENT FOR OPERATIONS, JOSELITO F. FLORDELIZA; ROMEO MANUEL DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "ROMMAN GASOLINE STATION”; ANTHONY ALBERT CRUZ III DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE OF "TRUE SERVICE STATION”, Petitioners, v. CESAR V. PURISIMA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND GUILLERMO L. PARAYNO, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondents.

[G.R. NO. 168463]

FRANCIS JOSEPH G. ESCUDERO, VINCENT CRISOLOGO, EMMANUEL JOEL J. VILLANUEVA, RODOLFO G. PLAZA, DARLENE ANTONINO-CUSTODIO, OSCAR G. MALAPITAN, BENJAMIN C. AGARAO, JR. JUAN EDGARDO M. ANGARA, JUSTIN MARC SB. CHIPECO, FLORENCIO G. NOEL, MUJIV S. HATAMAN, RENATO B. MAGTUBO, JOSEPH A. SANTIAGO, TEOFISTO DL. GUINGONA III, RUY ELIAS C. LOPEZ, RODOLFO Q. AGBAYANI AND TEODORO A. CASIÑO, Petitioners, v. CESAR V. PURISIMA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF FINANCE, GUILLERMO L. PARAYNO, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, AND EDUARDO R. ERMITA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, Respondents.

[G.R. NO. 168730]

BATAAN GOVERNOR ENRIQUE T. GARCIA, JR., Petitioner, v. HON. EDUARDO R. ERMITA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY; HON. MARGARITO TEVES, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF FINANCE; HON. JOSE MARIO BUNAG, IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE OIC COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE; AND HON. ALEXANDER AREVALO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE OIC COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, Respondents.

CONCURRING OPINION

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:


Five petitions were filed before this Court questioning the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9337. Rep. Act No. 9337, which amended certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997,1 by essentially increasing the tax rates and expanding the coverage of the Value-Added Tax (VAT). Undoubtedly, during these financially difficult times, more taxes would be additionally burdensome to the citizenry. However, like a bitter pill, all Filipino citizens must bear the burden of these new taxes so as to raise the much-needed revenue for the ailing Philippine economy. Taxation is the indispensable and inevitable price for a civilized society, and without taxes, the government would be paralyzed.2 Without the tax reforms introduced by Rep. Act No. 9337, the then Secretary of the Department of Finance, Cesar V. Purisima, assessed that "all economic scenarios point to the National Government's inability to sustain its precarious fiscal position, resulting in severe erosion of investor confidence and economic stagnation.”3

Finding Rep. Act No. 9337 as not unconstitutional, both in its procedural enactment and in its substance, I hereby concur in full in the foregoing majority opinion, penned by my esteemed colleague, Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez.

According to petitioners, the enactment of Rep. Act No. 9337 by Congress was riddled with irregularities and violations of the Constitution. In particular, they alleged that: (1) The Bicameral Conference Committee exceeded its authority to merely settle or reconcile the differences among House Bills No. 3555 and 3705 and Senate Bill No. 1950, by including in Rep. Act No. 9337 provisions not found in any of the said bills, or deleting from Rep. Act No. 9337 or amending provisions therein even though they were not in conflict with the provisions of the other bills; (2) The amendments introduced by the Bicameral Conference Committee violated Article VI, Section 26(2), of the Constitution which forbids the amendment of a bill after it had passed third reading; and (3) Rep. Act No. 9337 contravened Article VI, Section 24, of the Constitution which prescribes that revenue bills should originate exclusively from the House of Representatives.

Invoking the expanded power of judicial review granted to it by the Constitution of 1987, petitioners are calling upon this Court to look into the enactment of Rep. Act No. 9337 by Congress and, consequently, to review the applicability of the enrolled bill doctrine in this jurisdiction. Under the said doctrine, the enrolled bill, as signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President, and certified by the Secretaries of both Houses of Congress, shall be conclusive proof of its due enactment.4

Petitioners' arguments failed to convince me of the wisdom of abandoning the enrolled bill doctrine. I believe that it is more prudent for this Court to remain conservative and to continue its adherence to the enrolled bill doctrine, for to abandon the said doctrine would be to open a Pandora's Box, giving rise to a situation more fraught with evil and mischief. Statutes enacted by Congress may not attain finality or conclusiveness unless declared so by this Court. This would undermine the authority of our statutes because despite having been signed and certified by the designated officers of Congress, their validity would still be in doubt and their implementation would be greatly hampered by allegations of irregularities in their passage by the Legislature. Such an uncertainty in the statutes would indubitably result in confusion and disorder. In all probability, it is the contemplation of such a scenario that led an American judge to proclaim, thus -
. . . Better, far better, that a provision should occasionally find its way into the statute through mistake, or even fraud, than, that every Act, state and national, should at any and all times be liable to put in issue and impeached by the journals, loose papers of the Legislature, and parol evidence. Such a state of uncertainty in the statute laws of the land would lead to mischiefs absolutely intolerable. . . .5
Moreover, this Court must attribute good faith and accord utmost respect to the acts of a co-equal branch of government. While it is true that its jurisdiction has been expanded by the Constitution, the exercise thereof should not violate the basic principle of separation of powers. The expanded jurisdiction does not contemplate judicial supremacy over the other branches of government. Thus, in resolving the procedural issues raised by the petitioners, this Court should limit itself to a determination of compliance with, or conversely, the violation of a specified procedure in the Constitution for the passage of laws by Congress, and not of a mere internal rule of proceedings of its Houses.

It bears emphasis that most of the irregularities in the enactment of Rep. Act No. 9337 concern the amendments introduced by the Bicameral Conference Committee. The Constitution is silent on such a committee, it neither prescribes the creation thereof nor does it prohibit it. The creation of the Bicameral Conference Committee is authorized by the Rules of both Houses of Congress. That the Rules of both Houses of Congress provide for the creation of a Bicameral Conference Committee is within the prerogative of each House under the Constitution to determine its own rules of proceedings.

The Bicameral Conference Committee is a creation of necessity and practicality considering that our Congress is composed of two Houses, and it is highly improbable that their respective bills on the same subject matter shall always be in accord and consistent with each other. Instead of all their members, only the appointed representatives of both Houses shall meet to reconcile or settle the differences in their bills. The resulting bill from their meetings, embodied in the Bicameral Conference Report, shall be subject to approval and ratification by both Houses, voting separately.

It does perplex me that members of both Houses would again ask the Court to define and limit the powers of the Bicameral Conference Committee when such committee is of their own creation. In a number of cases,6 this Court already made a determination of the extent of the powers of the Bicameral Conference Committee after taking into account the existing Rules of both Houses of Congress. In gist, the power of the Bicameral Conference Committee to reconcile or settle the differences in the two Houses' respective bills is not limited to the conflicting provisions of the bills; but may include matters not found in the original bills but germane to the purpose thereof. If both Houses viewed the pronouncement made by this Court in such cases as extreme or beyond what they intended, they had the power to amend their respective Rules to clarify or limit even further the scope of the authority which they grant to the Bicameral Conference Committee. Petitioners' grievance that, unfortunately, they cannot bring about such an amendment of the Rules on the Bicameral Conference Committee because they are members of the minority, deserves scant consideration. That the majority of the members of both Houses refuses to amend the Rules on the Bicameral Conference Committee is an indication that it is still satisfied therewith. At any rate, this is how democracy works - the will of the majority shall be controlling.

Worth reiterating herein is the concluding paragraph in Arroyo v. De Venecia,7 which reads -
It would be unwarranted invasion of the prerogative of a coequal department for this Court either to set aside a legislative action as void because the Court thinks the house has disregarded its own rules of procedure, or to allow those defeated in the political arena to seek a rematch in the judicial forum when petitioners can find remedy in that department. The Court has not been invested with a roving commission to inquire into complaints, real or imagined, of legislative skullduggery. It would be acting in excess of its power and would itself be guilty of grave abuse of its discretion were it to do so. . . .
Present jurisprudence allows the Bicameral Conference Committee to amend, add, and delete provisions of the Bill under consideration, even in the absence of conflict thereon between the Senate and House versions, but only so far as said provisions are germane to the purpose of the Bill.8 Now, there is a question as to whether the Bicameral Conference Committee, which produced Rep. Act No. 9337, exceeded its authority when it included therein amendments of provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 not related to VAT.

Although House Bills No. 3555 and 3705 were limited to the amendments of the provisions on VAT of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, Senate Bill No. 1950 had a much wider scope and included amendments of other provisions of the said Code, such as those on income, percentage, and excise taxes. It should be borne in mind that the very purpose of these three Bills and, subsequently, of Rep. Act No. 9337, was to raise additional revenues for the government to address the dire economic situation of the country. The National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as its title suggests, is the single Code that governs all our national internal revenue taxes. While it does cover different taxes, all of them are imposed and collected by the national government to raise revenues. If we have one Code for all our national internal revenue taxes, then there is no reason why we cannot have a single statute amending provisions thereof even if they involve different taxes under separate titles. I hereby submit that the amendments introduced by the Bicameral Conference Committee to non-VAT provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 are not unconstitutional for they are germane to the purpose of House Bills No. 3555 and 3705 and Senate Bill No. 1950, which is to raise national revenues.

Furthermore, the procedural issues raised by the petitioners were already addressed and resolved by this Court in Tolentino v. Executive Secretary.9 Since petitioners failed to proffer novel factual or legal argument in support of their positions that were not previously considered by this Court in the same case, then I am not compelled to depart from the conclusions made therein.

The majority opinion has already thoroughly discussed each of the substantial issues raised by the petitioners. I would just wish to discuss additional matters pertaining to the petition of the petroleum dealers in G.R. No. 168461.

They claim that the provision of Rep. Act No. 9337 limiting their input VAT credit to only 70% of their output VAT deprives them of their property without due process of law. They argue further that such 70% cap violates the equal protection and uniformity of taxation clauses under Article III, Section 1, and Article VI, Section 28(1), respectively, of the Constitution, because it will unduly prejudice taxpayers who have high input VAT and who, because of the cap, cannot fully utilize their input VAT as credit.

I cannot sustain the petroleum dealers' position for the following reasons –

First, I adhere to the view that the input VAT is not a property to which the taxpayer has vested rights. Input VAT consists of the VAT a VAT-registered person had paid on his purchases or importation of goods, properties, and services from a VAT-registered supplier; more simply, it is VAT paid. It is not, as averred by petitioner petroleum dealers, a property that the taxpayer acquired for valuable consideration.10 A VAT-registered person incurs input VAT because he complied with the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, which imposed the VAT and made the payment thereof mandatory; and not because he paid for it or purchased it for a price.

Generally, when one pays taxes to the government, he cannot expect any direct and concrete benefit to himself for such payment. The benefit of payment of taxes shall redound to the society as a whole. However, by virtue of Section 110(A) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, prior to its amendment by Rep. Act No. 9337, a VAT-registered person is allowed, subject to certain substantiation requirements, to credit his input VAT against his output VAT.

Output VAT is the VAT imposed by the VAT-registered person on his own sales of goods, properties, and services or the VAT he passes on to his buyers. Hence, the VAT-registered person selling the goods, properties, and services does not pay for the output VAT; said output VAT is paid for by his consumers and he only collects and remits the same to the government.

The crediting of the input VAT against the output VAT is a statutory privilege, granted by Section 110 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. It gives the VAT-registered person the opportunity to recover the input VAT he had paid, so that, in effect, the input VAT does not constitute an additional cost for him. While it is true that input VAT credits are reported as assets in a VAT-registered person's financial statements and books of account, this accounting treatment is still based on the statutory provision recognizing the input VAT as a credit. Without Section 110 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, then the accounting treatment of any input VAT will also change and may no longer be booked outright as an asset. Since the privilege of an input VAT credit is granted by law, then an amendment of such law may limit the exercise of or may totally withdraw the privilege.

The amendment of Section 110 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 by Rep. Act No. 9337, which imposed the 70% cap on input VAT credits, is a legitimate exercise by Congress of its law-making power. To say that Congress may not trifle with Section 110 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 would be to violate a basic precept of constitutional law - that no law is irrepealable.11 There can be no vested right to the continued existence of a statute, which precludes its change or repeal.12

It bears to emphasize that Rep. Act No. 9337 does not totally remove the privilege of crediting the input VAT against the output VAT. It merely limits the amount of input VAT one may credit against his output VAT per quarter to an amount equivalent to 70% of the output VAT. What is more, any input VAT in excess of the 70% cap may be carried-over to the next quarter.13 It is certainly a departure from the VAT crediting system under Section 110 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, but it is an innovation that Congress may very well introduce, because -
VAT will continue to evolve from its pioneering original structure. Dynamically, it will be subjected to reforms that will make it conform to many factors, among which are: the changing requirements of government revenue; the social, economic and political vicissitudes of the times; and the conflicting interests in our society. In the course of its evolution, it will be injected with some oddities and inevitably transformed into a structure which its revisionists believe will be an improvement overtime.14
Second, assuming for the sake of argument, that the input VAT credit is indeed a property, the petroleum dealers' right thereto has not vested. A right is deemed vested and subject to constitutional protection when -
". . . [T]he right to enjoyment, present or prospective, has become the property of some particular person or persons as a present interest. The right must be absolute, complete, and unconditional, independent of a contingency, and a mere expectancy of future benefit, or a contingent interest in property founded on anticipated continuance of existing laws, does not constitute a vested right. So, inchoate rights which have not been acted on are not vested." (16 C. J. S. 214-215)15
Under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, before it was amended by Rep. Act No. 9337, the sale or importation of petroleum products were exempt from VAT, and instead, were subject to excise tax.16 Petroleum dealers did not impose any output VAT on their sales to consumers. Since they had no output VAT against which they could credit their input VAT, they shouldered the costs of the input VAT that they paid on their purchases of goods, properties, and services. Their sales not being subject to VAT, the petroleum dealers had no input VAT credits to speak of.

It is only under Rep. Act No. 9337 that the sales by the petroleum dealers have become subject to VAT and only in its implementation may they use their input VAT as credit against their output VAT. While eager to use their input VAT credit accorded to it by Rep. Act No. 9337, the petroleum dealers reject the limitation imposed by the very same law on such use.

It should be remembered that prior to Rep. Act No. 9337, the petroleum dealers' input VAT credits were inexistent - they were unrecognized and disallowed by law. The petroleum dealers had no such property called input VAT credits. It is only rational, therefore, that they cannot acquire vested rights to the use of such input VAT credits when they were never entitled to such credits in the first place, at least, not until Rep. Act No. 9337.

My view, at this point, when Rep. Act No. 9337 has not yet even been implemented, is that petroleum dealers' right to use their input VAT as credit against their output VAT unlimitedly has not vested, being a mere expectancy of a future benefit and being contingent on the continuance of Section 110 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, prior to its amendment by Rep. Act No. 9337.

Third, although the petroleum dealers presented figures and computations to support their contention that the cap shall lead to the demise of their businesses, I remain unconvinced.

Rep. Act No. 9337, while imposing the 70% cap on input VAT credits, allows the taxpayer to carry-over to the succeeding quarters any excess input VAT. The petroleum dealers presented a situation wherein their input VAT would always exceed 70% of their output VAT, and thus, their excess input VAT will be perennially carried-over and would remain unutilized. Even though they consistently questioned the 70% cap on their input VAT credits, the petroleum dealers failed to establish what is the average ratio of their input VAT vis-à-vis their output VAT per quarter. Without such fact, I consider their objection to the 70% cap arbitrary because there is no basis therefor.

On the other, I find that the 70% cap on input VAT credits was not imposed by Congress arbitrarily. Members of the Bicameral Conference Committee settled on the said percentage so as to ensure that the government can collect a minimum of 30% output VAT per taxpayer. This is to put a VAT-taxpayer, at least, on equal footing with a VAT-exempt taxpayer under Section 109(V) of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended by Rep. Act No. 9337.17 The latter taxpayer is exempt from VAT on the basis that his sale or lease of goods or properties or services do not exceed P1,500,000; instead, he is subject to pay a three percent (3%) tax on his gross receipts in lieu of the VAT.18 If a taxpayer with presumably a smaller business is required to pay three percent (3%) gross receipts tax, a type of tax which does not even allow for any crediting, a VAT-taxpayer with a bigger business should be obligated, likewise, to pay a minimum of 30% output VAT (which should be equivalent to 3% of the gross selling price per good or property or service sold). The cap assures the government a collection of at least 30% output VAT, contributing to an improved cash flow for the government.

Attention is further called to the fact that the output VAT is the VAT imposed on the sales by a VAT-taxpayer; it is paid by the purchasers of the goods, properties, and services, and merely collected through the VAT-registered seller. The latter, therefore, serves as a collecting agent for the government. The VAT-registered seller is merely being required to remit to the government a minimum of 30% of his output VAT collection.

Fourth, I give no weight to the figures and computations presented before this Court by the petroleum dealers, particularly the supposed quarterly profit and loss statement of a "typical dealer." How these data represent the financial status of a typical dealer, I would not know when there was no effort to explain the manner by which they were surveyed, collated, and averaged out. Without establishing their source therefor, the figures and computations presented by the petroleum dealers are merely self-serving and unsubstantiated, deserving scant consideration by this Court. Even assuming that these figures truly represent the financial standing of petroleum dealers, the introduction and application thereto of the VAT factor, which forebode the collapse of said petroleum dealers' businesses, would be nothing more than an anticipated damage - an injury that may or may not happen. To resolve their petition on this basis would be premature and contrary to the established tenet of ripeness of a cause of action before this Court could validly exercise its power of judicial review.

Fifth, in response to the contention of the petroleum dealers during oral arguments before this Court that they cannot pass on to the consumers the VAT burden and increase the prices of their goods, it is worthy to quote below this Court's ruling in Churchill v. Concepcion,19 to wit -
It will thus be seen that the contention that the rates charged for advertising cannot be raised is purely hypothetical, based entirely upon the opinion of the plaintiffs, unsupported by actual test, and that the plaintiffs themselves admit that a number of other persons have voluntarily and without protest paid the tax herein complained of. Under these circumstances, can it be held as a matter of fact that the tax is confiscatory or that, as a matter of law, the tax is unconstitutional? Is the exercise of the taxing power of the Legislature dependent upon and restricted by the opinion of two interested witnesses? There can be but one answer to these questions, especially in view of the fact that others are paying the tax and presumably making reasonable profit from their business.
As a final observation, I perceive that what truly underlies the opposition to Rep. Act No. 9337 is not the question of its constitutionality, but rather the wisdom of its enactment. Would it truly raise national revenue and benefit the entire country, or would it only increase the burden of the Filipino people? Would it contribute to a revival of our economy or only contribute to the difficulties and eventual closure of businesses? These are issues that we cannot resolve as the Supreme Court. As this Court explained in Agustin v. Edu,20 to wit -
It does appear clearly that petitioner's objection to this Letter of Instruction is not premised on lack of power, the justification for a finding of unconstitutionality, but on the pessimistic, not to say negative, view he entertains as to its wisdom. That approach, it put it at its mildest, is distinguished, if that is the appropriate word, by its unorthodoxy. It bears repeating "that this Court, in the language of Justice Laurel, ‘does not pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation.' As expressed by Justice Tuason: ‘It is not the province of the courts to supervise legislation and keep it within the bounds of propriety and common sense. That is primarily and exclusively a legislative concern.' There can be no possible objection then to the observation of Justice Montemayor: ‘As long as laws do not violate any Constitutional provision, the Courts merely interpret and apply them regardless of whether or not they are wise or salutary.' For they, according to Justice Labrador, ‘are not supposed to override legitimate policy and * * * never inquire into the wisdom of the law.' It is thus settled, to paraphrase Chief Justice Concepcion in Gonzales v. Commission on Elections, that only congressional power or competence, not the wisdom of the action taken, may be the basis for declaring a statute invalid. This is as it ought to be. The principle of separation of powers has in the main wisely allocated the respective authority of each department and confined its jurisdiction to such sphere. There would then be intrusion not allowable under the Constitution if on a matter left to the discretion of a coordinate branch, the judiciary would substitute its own…”21
To reiterate, we cannot substitute our discretion for Congress, and even though there are provisions in Rep. Act No. 9337 which we may believe as unwise or iniquitous, but not unconstitutional, we cannot strike them off by invoking our power of judicial review. In such a situation, the recourse of the people is not judicial, but rather political. If they severely doubt the wisdom of the present Congress for passing a statute such as Rep. Act No. 9337, then they have the power to hold the members of said Congress accountable by using their voting power in the next elections.

In view of the foregoing, I vote for the denial of the present petitions and the upholding of the constitutionality of Rep. Act No. 9337 in its entirety.

Endnotes:


1 Presidential Decree No. 1158, as amended up to Rep. Act No. 8424.

2 Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Algue, Inc., G.R. No. L-28896, 17 February 1988, 158 SCRA 9.

3 Paragraph 3.3 of the Verification and Affidavit of Merit, executed by the then Secretary of the Department of Finance, Cesar V. Purisima, dated 04 July 2005, attached as Annex A of the Very Urgent Motion to Lift Temporary Restraining Order, filed by the Office of the Solicitor General on 04 July 2005.

4 Fariñas v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 147387, 10 December 2003, 417 SCRA 503, 529.

5 Justice Sawyer, in Sherman v. Story, 30 Cal. 253, 256, as quoted in Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U.S. 294, 304.

6 Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, G.R. No. 115544, 25 August 1994, 235 SCRA 630; Philippine Judges Association v. Prado, G.R. No. 105371, 11 November 1993, 227 SCRA 703.

7 G.R. No. 127255, 14 August 1997, 277 SCRA 268, 299.

8Supra, note 6.

9Supra, note 3.

10 Petition for Prohibition (Under Rule 65 with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction) in G.R. No. 168461 entitled, Association of Pilipinas Shell Dealers, Inc., et al. v. Purisima, et al., p. 17, paragraph 52.

11 Asociacion de Agricultores de Talisay-Silay, Inc. v. Talisay-Silay Milling Co., Inc., G.R. No. L-19937, 19 February 1979, 88 SCRA 294; Duarte v. Dade, 32 Phil. 36 (1915).

12 Traux v. Corrigan, 257 U.S. 312, 66 L. Ed. 254, as quoted in Asociacion de Agricultores de Talisay-Silay, Inc. v. Talisay-Silay Milling Co., Inc., Id., p. 452.

13 Section 110(B) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended by Section 8 of Rep. Act No. 9337.

14 VICTORIO A. DEOFERIO, JR. AND VICTORINO C. MAMALATEO, THE VALUE ADDED TAX IN THE PHILIPPINES 48 (2000).

15 Benguet Consolidated Mining Co. v. Pineda, 98 Phil 711, 722 (1956).

16 Section 109(e) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

17 TSN, 18 April 2005, IV-2, p. 5.

18 Section 116 of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended by Rep. Act No. 9337.

19 34 Phil. 969, 973 (1916).

20 G.R. No. L-49112, 02 February 1979, 88 SCRA 195.

21Id., pp. 210-211.



Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com





September-2005 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 5050 - Felisa M. Angeles, et al. v. Atty. Roberto L. Figueroa.

  • A.C. No. 5760 - The Heirs of Tiburcio F. Ballesteros, Sr., et al. v. Atty. Manile o N. Apiag.

  • Adm. Case No. 5910 - Atty. Ireneo L. Torres, et al. v. Atty. Jose Concepcion Javier.

  • ADM. CASE NO. 6542 - Maria Cielo B. Suzuki v. Atty. Erwin L. Tiamson.

  • A.M. No. 05-8-213-MeTC - RE: Habitual Tardiness of Ms. Divina A. Kiamko.

  • A.C. No. 6597 - Eduardo M. Dizon v. Atty. Francisco S. Laurente.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-05-1609 - Trinidad O. Lachica v. Judge Rosabella M. Tormis.

  • A.M. No. CA-05-20-P - Associate Justice Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis v. Cielito M. Salud.

  • A. M. No. MTJ-05-1610 - Dr. Jose S. Luna v. Judge Eduardo H. MIrafuente.

  • A.M. No. P-05-1933 - Jaclyn Chua v. Rey F. Paas.

  • A.M. No. P-05-2066 - Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation v. Dominador B. Caubalejo.

  • A.M. No. P-05-1976 - Erlinda Bergonia v. Romeo S. Gatcheco, Jr.

  • A.M. No. P-05-2074 - Pablo Antimaro, et al. v. Roslyn P. Amores.

  • A.M. No. P-99-1342 - Concerned Taxpayer v. Norberto V. Doblada, Jr.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1780 - Amado L. De Leon v. Judge Patrocinio R. Corpuz.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-05-1956 - Atty. Carlos L. Valdez, Jr. v. Judge Monico G. Gabales.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-05-1957 - Prescilla L. Nedia, et al. v. Judge Celso D. Lavi a, et al.

  • G.R. No. 126858 - Jose U Ong, et al. v. Sandiganbayan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 127454 - Mavest (USA) Inc., et al. v. Sapaguita Garment Corporation.

  • G.R. No. 128959 - Ciriaco "Boy" Guingging v. The Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 129704 - Ulpiano Balo, et al. v. The Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 129875 - Jovito Cabuslay v. People of the Philippines, et al.

  • G.R. No. 130982 - Spouses Domingo and Lourdes Paguyo v. Pierre Astorga, et al.

  • G.R. No. 132768 - Jaime B. Biana v. George Gimenez.

  • G.R. No. 133803 - Bienvenido M. Casi o, Jr. v. The Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 136814 - Spouses Carlos Gocotano, et al. v. Spouses Marcelo Gocotano, et al.

  • G.R. No. 135830 - G.R. NO. 136035 - G.R. NO. 137743 - Juan De Dios Carlos v. Felicidad Sandoval, et al.

  • G.R. No. 137808 - Aldegonda Vda. De Ramones, et al. v. Aurora P. Agbayani.

  • G.R. No. 138248 - Rangay Piapi, et al. v. Nacio Talip, et al.

  • G.R. No. 138380 - Demetria Garcia v. Teofilo D. Zosa, Jr.

  • G.R. No. 138500 - Andy Quelnan v. VHF Philippines.

  • G.R. No. 138900 - Levi Strauss & Co., et al. v. Clinton Apparelle, Inc.

  • G.R. No.138980 - Filinvest Land, Inc. v. Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 139464 - Republic of the Philippines v. Sps. Felix Baes, et al.

  • G.R. No. 139536 - Jesus Perez v. Ruth S. Falcatan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 139803 - Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Factory, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 140847 - Hospicio de San Jose de Barili, Cebu City v. Department of Agrarian Reform.

  • G.R. No. 140892 - Dr. Ibarra S. Santos, et al. v. Spouses Pablo and Nieves De Leon, et al.

  • G.R. No. 140923 - Manuel M. Mendoza, et al. v. Banco Real Development Bank.

  • G.R. No. 141007 - Adoracion Reyes Bautista, et al. v. Celia Reyes Poblete, et al.

  • G.R. No. 141464 - Grandspan Development Corporation v. Ricardo Bernardo, et al.

  • G.R. No. 141524 - Domingo Neypes, et al. v. Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 141525 - Carlos Sanchez v. Medicard Philippines, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 142022 - Mindanao Savings and Loan Association, Inc., v. Vicenta Vda. De Flores, et. al.

  • G.R. NO. 142402 - Oscar L. Rivera v. Serafin O. Roman.

  • G.R. NO. 142408 - Spouses Ricardo Almendrala, et al. v. Spouses Wing On Ngo, et al.

  • G.R. No. 142464 - Guillermo Dela Cruz v. Hon. Deodoro J. Sison, et al.

  • G.R. No. 142619 - Municipality of Taguig, et al. v. The Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 142666 - Metro Drug Distribution, Inc. v. Metro Drug Corporation Employees Association - Federation of Free Workers.

  • G.R. No. 143195 - Andrea Camposagrado, et al. v. Pablo S. Camposagrado, et al.

  • G.R. No. 143572 - Gregorio "George" Amante, et al. v. Bibiano Serwelas.

  • G.R. No. 143788 - Danfoss, Inc. v. Continental Cement Corporation.

  • G.R. No. 144099 - Elvira Macabalo-Bravo, et al. v. Juan F. Macabalo, et al.

  • G.R. No. 143870 - Manila International Airport Authority v. Rivera Village Lessee Homeowners Association, Incorporated.

  • G.R. No. 144101 - Antonio P. Tambunting, Jr., et al. v. Spouses Emilio Sumabat, et al.

  • G.R. No. 144570 - Vivencio V. Jumamil v. Jose J. Caf', et al.

  • G.R. No. 144892 - Sps. Carlos J. Suntay, et al. v. Eugenia D. Gocolay, et al.

  • G.R. No. 145022 - Armand Nocum, et al. v. Lucio Tan.

  • G.R. No. 145291 - Public Estates Authority v. Rosario Ganac Chu.

  • G.R. No. 145874 - Sps. Salvacion Serrano Ladanga, et al. v. Bernardo Aseneta.

  • G.R. No. 146035 - Esperanza Vda. De Lopez, et al. v. Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 147266 - Ludo & Luym Development Corporation, et al. v. Vicente C. Barreto.

  • G.R. No. 147479 - Department of Agrarian Reform, et al. v. Paulino Franco.

  • G.R. No. 148196 and G.R. NO. 148259 - BPI Family Bank v. Edgardo Buenaventura, et al.

  • G.R. No. 147996 - People of the Philippines v. Bayani Roma.

  • G.R. NOS. 150773 and 153599 - Spouses David B. Carpo, et al. v. Eleanor Chua, et al.

  • G.R. No. 150234 - People of the Philippines v. Florante Padrones.

  • G.R. No. 151333 - Spouses Natalio and Felicidad Salonga v. Spouses Manuel and Nenita Concepcion, et al.

  • G.R. No. 151912 - Philippine Savings Bank v. Spouses Pedrito Bermoy, et al.

  • G.R. No. 152012 - Land and Housing Development Corporation, et al. v. Marianito C. Esquillo.

  • G.R. No. 152228 - Rimbunan Hijau Group of Companies, et al. v. Oriental Wood Processing Corporation.

  • G.R. No. 152243 - Victor R. Reyes v. Hon. Jose L. Atienza, et al.

  • G.R. No. 152577 - Republic of the Philippines v. Crasus L. Iyoy.

  • G.R. No. 152808 - Antonio T. Chua v. Total Office Products and Services, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 152627 - Spouses Amancio and and Luisa Sarmiento, et al. v. The Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 153034 - Development Bank of the Philippines v. Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 152884 - Derick D. Wooden v. Civil Service Commission, et al.

  • G.R. No. 153180 - Manila Electric Company v. National Labor Relations Commission, et al.

  • G.R. No. 153155 - Manuel D. Laxina, Sr. v. Office of the Ombudsman, et al.

  • G.R. No. 153798 - Belen Sagad Angeles v. Aleli "Corazon" Angeles Maglaya.

  • G.R. No. 154363 - Joel P. Libuit v. People of the Philippines.

  • G.R. No. 154376 - Roberto T. Domondon v. National Labor Relations Commission, et al.

  • G.R. NO. 154475 - Republic of the Philippines, et al. v. Eno Fishpond Corporation, et al.

  • G.R. No. 154521 - Civil Service Commission v. Juliana E. Ledesma.

  • G.R. No. 154684 - Francel Realty Corporation v. Ricardo T. Sycip.

  • G.R. No. 155098 - Capitol Medical Center, Inc., et al. v. Dr. Cesar E. Meris.

  • G.R. No. 155225 - PVC Investment and Management Corporation v. Jose Borcena, et al.

  • G.R. No. 155343 - Benguet Corporation v. Cordillera Caraballo Mission, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 155653 - Union Refinery Corporation v. Reynaldo C. Tolentino, Sr., et al.

  • G.R. No. 156021 - Cynthia C. Alaban, et al. v. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 156379 - Emma Cordova, et al. v. Keysa's Boutique, et al.

  • G.R. No. 156559 - Rodolfo S. De Jesus, et al. v. Civil Service Commission, et al.

  • G.R. No. 156581 - Victoria R. Arambulo, et al. v. Emerenciana R. Gungab.

  • G.R. No. 156705 - Socorro Taopo-Banga v. Spouses Jose and Emiline Bello.

  • G.R. No. 157783 - Nilo Paloma v. Danilo Mora, et al.

  • G.R. No. 157845 - Philippine National Bank v. Norman Y. Pike.

  • G.R. No. 158157 - People of the Philippines, et al. v. Louel Uy, et al.

  • G.R. No. 158566 - Josephine Orola, et al. v. The Rural Bank of Pontevedra, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 159212 - Navotas Industrial Corporation v. German D. Cruz, et al.

  • G.R. No. 160396 - Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Employees Hired after July 1, 1989, v. Commission on Audit, et al.

  • G.R. No. 160703 - GMA Network, Inc. v. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, et al.

  • G.R. No. 161400 - Zenaida Ortega, et al. v. The Quezon City Government, et al.

  • G.R. No. 161223 - Virgilio A. Cadungog v. Jocelyn O. Yap.

  • G.R. No. 162846 - Republic of the Philippines v. Jose Lubis Masongsong, et al.

  • G.R. No. 161745 - Leamer Industries, Inc. v. Malayan Insurance Co., Inc.

  • G.R. No. 163410 - Concepcion R. Anceta v. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 163338 - Luzon Development Bank v. Benedicto C. Conquilla, et al.

  • G.R. No. 164481 - Conrado C. Doldol v. People of the Philippines, et al.

  • G.R. No. 164250 - Office of the Ombudsman, et al. v. Atty. Gil A. Valera, et al.

  • G.R. No. 164910 - Union Bank of the Philippines v. Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 165005 - Spouses Roberto and Natividad Valderama v. Salvacion V. Macalde.

  • G.R. No. 165306 - Manly Sportwear Manufacturing, Inc. v. Dadodette Enterprises, et al.

  • G.R. No. 165675 - Spouses Eduardo Sobrejuanite, et al. v. ASB Development Corporation.

  • G.R. No. 165889 - Sacobia Hills Development Corporation, et al. v. Allan U. Ty.

  • G.R. No. 166273 - Metro Rail Transit Corporation v. Court of Tax Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 166365 - Duty Free Philippines v. Rossano J. Mojica.

  • G.R. No. 166550 - Robert C. Casol, et al. v. Purefoods Corporation.

  • G.R. NO. 167499 - Miles Andrew Mari Roces v. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, et al.

  • CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION : AZCUNA, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et a

  • CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION : CALLEJO, SR., J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita

  • CONCURRING OPINION : CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et al.

  • SEPARATE CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION : DAVIDE, JR., C.J.: - G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Ed

  • SEPARATE OPINION : PANGANIBAN, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et al.

  • CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION : PUNO, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et al.

  • RESOLUTION : G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et al.

  • RESOLUTION : AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et al.

  • CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION : SANDOVAL - GUTIERREZ, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduard

  • DISSENTING and CONCURRING OPINION : TINGA, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et al

  • CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION : YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Erm

  • G.R. No. 168168 - People of the Philippines v. Edgardo Dimaano

  • G.R. No. 168056, G.R. NO. 168207, G.R. NO. 168461, G.R. NO. 168463 and G.R. NO. 168730 - ABAKADA Guro Party List Officers Samson S. Alcantara, et al. v. The Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et al.