Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 2017 > August 2017 Decisions > G.R. No. 225442, August 08, 2017 - SAMAHAN NG MGA PROGRESIBONG KABATAAN (SPARK), JOANNE ROSE SACE LIM, JOHN ARVIN NAVARRO BUENAAGUA, RONEL BACCUTAN, MARK LEO DELOS REYES, AND CLARISSA JOYCE VILLEGAS, MINOR, FOR HERSELF AND AS REPRESENTED BY HER FATHER, JULIAN VILLEGAS, JR., Petitioners, v. QUEZON CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR HERBERT BAUTISTA, CITY OF MANILA, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA, AND NAVOTAS CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOHN REY TIANGCO, Respondents.:




G.R. No. 225442, August 08, 2017 - SAMAHAN NG MGA PROGRESIBONG KABATAAN (SPARK), JOANNE ROSE SACE LIM, JOHN ARVIN NAVARRO BUENAAGUA, RONEL BACCUTAN, MARK LEO DELOS REYES, AND CLARISSA JOYCE VILLEGAS, MINOR, FOR HERSELF AND AS REPRESENTED BY HER FATHER, JULIAN VILLEGAS, JR., Petitioners, v. QUEZON CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR HERBERT BAUTISTA, CITY OF MANILA, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA, AND NAVOTAS CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOHN REY TIANGCO, Respondents.

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

G.R. No. 225442, August 08, 2017

SAMAHAN NG MGA PROGRESIBONG KABATAAN (SPARK),* JOANNE ROSE SACE LIM, JOHN ARVIN NAVARRO BUENAAGUA, RONEL BACCUTAN, MARK LEO DELOS REYES, AND CLARISSA JOYCE VILLEGAS, MINOR, FOR HERSELF AND AS REPRESENTED BY HER FATHER, JULIAN VILLEGAS, JR., Petitioners, v. QUEZON CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR HERBERT BAUTISTA, CITY OF MANILA, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA, AND NAVOTAS CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOHN REY TIANGCO, Respondents.

D E C I S I O N

PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:

This petition for certiorari and prohibition1 assails the constitutionality of the curfew ordinances issued by the local governments of Quezon City, Manila, and Navotas. The petition prays that a temporary restraining order (TRO) be issued ordering respondents Herbert Bautista, Joseph Estrada, and John Rey Tiangco, as Mayors of their respective local governments, to prohibit, refrain, and desist from implementing and enforcing these issuances, pending resolution of this case, and eventually, declare the City of Manila's ordinance as ultra vires for being contrary to Republic Act No. (RA) 9344,2 or the "Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act," as amended, and all curfew ordinances as unconstitutional for violating the constitutional right of minors to travel, as well as the right of parents to rear their children.

The Facts

Following the campaign of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to implement a nationwide curfew for minors, several local governments in Metro Manila started to strictly implement their curfew ordinances on minors through police operations which were publicly known as part of "Oplan Rody."3

Among those local governments that implemented curfew ordinances were respondents: (a) Navotas City, through Pambayang Ordinansa Blg. 99-02,4 dated August 26, 1999, entitled "Nagtatakda ng 'Curfew' ng mga Kabataan na Wala Pang Labing Walong (18) Taong Gulang sa Bayan ng Navotas, Kalakhang Maynila," as amended by Pambayang Ordinansa Blg. 2002-13,5 dated June 6, 2002 (Navotas Ordinance); (b) City of Manila, through Ordinance No. 80466 entitled "An Ordinance Declaring the Hours from 10:00 P.M. to 4:00A.M. of the Following Day as 'Barangay Curfew Hours' for Children and Youths Below Eighteen (18) Years of Age; Prescribing Penalties Therefor; and for Other Purposes" dated October 14, 2002 (Manila Ordinance); and (c) Quezon City, through Ordinance No. SP-2301,7 Series of 2014, entitled "An Ordinance Setting for a [sic] Disciplinary Hours in Quezon City for Minors from 10:00 P.M. to 5:00A.M., Providing Penalties for Parent/Guardian, for Violation Thereof and for Other Purposes" dated July 31, 2014 (Quezon City Ordinance; collectively, Curfew Ordinances).8

Petitioners,9 spearheaded by the Samahan ng mga Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK)- an association of young adults and minors that aims to forward a free and just society, in particular the protection of the rights and welfare of the youth and minors10 - filed this present petition, arguing that the Curfew Ordinances are unconstitutional because they: (a) result in arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement, and thus, fall under the void for vagueness doctrine; (b) suffer from overbreadth by proscribing or impairing legitimate activities of minors during curfew hours; (c) deprive minors of the right to liberty and the right to travel without substantive due process; and (d) deprive parents of their natural and primary right in rearing the youth without substantive due process.11 In addition, petitioners assert that the Manila Ordinance contravenes RA 9344, as amended by RA 10630.12

More specifically, petitioners posit that the Curfew Ordinances encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement as there are no clear provisions or detailed standards on how law enforcers should apprehend and properly determine the age of the alleged curfew violators.13 They further argue that the law enforcer's apprehension depends only on his physical assessment, and, thus, subjective and based only on the law enforcer's visual assessment of the alleged curfew violator.14

While petitioners recognize that the Curfew Ordinances contain provisions indicating the activities exempted from the operation of the imposed curfews, i.e., exemption of working students or students with evening class, they contend that the lists of exemptions do not cover the range and breadth of legitimate activities or reasons as to why minors would be out at night, and, hence, proscribe or impair the legitimate activities of minors during curfew hours.15

Petitioners likewise proffer that the Curfew Ordinances: (a) are unconstitutional as they deprive minors of the right to liberty and the right to travel without substantive due process;16 and (b) fail to pass the strict scrutiny test, for not being narrowly tailored and for employing means that bear no reasonable relation to their purpose.17 They argue that the prohibition of minors on streets during curfew hours will not per se protect and promote the social and moral welfare of children of the community.18

Furthermore, petitioners claim that the Manila Ordinance, particularly Section 419 thereof, contravenes Section 57-A20 of RA 9344, as amended, given that the cited curfew provision imposes on minors the penalties of imprisonment, reprimand, and admonition. They contend that the imposition of penalties contravenes RA 9344's express command that no penalty shall be imposed on minors for curfew violations.21

Lastly, petitioners submit that there is no compelling State interest to impose curfews contrary to the parents' prerogative to impose them in the exercise of their natural and primary right in the rearing of the youth, and that even if a compelling interest exists, less restrictive means are available to achieve the same. In this regard, they suggest massive street lighting programs, installation of CCTVs (closed-circuit televisions) in public streets, and regular visible patrols by law enforcers as other viable means of protecting children and preventing crimes at night. They further opine that the government can impose more reasonable sanctions, i.e., mandatory parental counseling and education seminars informing the parents of the reasons behind the curfew, and that imprisonment is too harsh a penalty for parents who allowed their children to be out during curfew hours.22

The Issue Before the Court

The primordial issue for the Court's resolution in this case is whether or not the Curfew Ordinances are unconstitutional.

The Court's Ruling

The petition is partly granted.

I.

At the onset, the Court addresses the procedural issues raised in this case. Respondents seek the dismissal of the petition, questioning: (a) the propriety of certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to assail the constitutionality of the Curfew Ordinances; (b) petitioners' direct resort to the Court, contrary to the hierarchy of courts doctrine; and (c) the lack of actual controversy and standing to warrant judicial review.23

A. Propriety of the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition.

Under the 1987 Constitution, judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice not only "to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable," but also "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."24 Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution reads:

ARTICLE VIII
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.

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 instrumentalitv of the Government. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

Case law explains that the present Constitution has "expanded the concept of judicial power, which up to then was confined to its traditional ambit of settling actual controversies involving rights that were legally demandable and enforceable."25

In Araullo v. Aquino III,26 it was held that petitions for certiorari and prohibition filed before the Court "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."27 It was explained that "[w]ith respect to the Court, x x x 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, [Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution cited above]."28

In Association of Medical Clinics for Overseas Workers, Inc. v. GCC Approved Medical Centers Association, Inc.,29 it was expounded that "[m]eanwhile that no specific procedural rule has been promulgated to enforce [the] 'expanded' constitutional definition of judicial power and because of the commonality of 'grave abuse of discretion' as a ground for review under Rule 65 and the courts' expanded jurisdiction, the Supreme Court - based on its power to relax its rules - allowed Rule 65 to be used as the medium for petitions invoking the courts' expanded jurisdiction[.]"30

In this case, petitioners question the issuance of the Curfew Ordinances by the legislative councils of Quezon City, Manila, and Navotas in the exercise of their delegated legislative powers on the ground that these ordinances violate the Constitution, specifically, the provisions pertaining to the right to travel of minors, and the right of parents to rear their children. They also claim that the Manila Ordinance, by imposing penalties against minors, conflicts with RA 9344, as amended, which prohibits the imposition of penalties on minors for status offenses. It has been held that "[t]here is grave abuse of discretion when an act is (1) done contrary to the Constitution, the law or jurisprudence or (2) executed whimsically, capriciously or arbitrarily, out of malice, ill will or personal bias."31 In light of the foregoing, petitioners correctly availed of the remedies of certiorari and prohibition, although these governmental actions were not made pursuant to any judicial or quasi-judicial function.

B. Direct Resort to the Court.

Since petitions for certiorari and prohibition are allowed as remedies to assail the constitutionality of legislative and executive enactments, the next question to be resolved is whether or not petitioners' direct resort to this Court is justified.

The doctrine of hierarchy of courts "[r]equires that recourse must first be made to the lower-ranked court exercising concurrent jurisdiction with a higher court. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus. While this jurisdiction is shared with the Court of Appeals [(CA)] and the [Regional Trial Courts], a direct invocation of this Court's jurisdiction is allowed when there are special and important reasons therefor, clearly and especially set out in the petition[.]"32 This Court is tasked to resolve "the issue of constitutionality of a law or regulation at the first instance [if it] is of paramount importance and immediately affects the social, economic, and moral well-being of the people,"33 as in this case. Hence, petitioners' direct resort to the Court is justified.

C. Requisites of Judicial Review.

"The prevailing rule in constitutional litigation is that no question involving the constitutionality or validity of a law or governmental act may be heard and decided by the Court unless there is compliance with the legal requisites for judicial inquiry, namely: (a) there must be anactual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (b) the person challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; (c) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (d) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case."34 In this case, respondents assail the existence of the first two (2) requisites.

1. Actual Case or Controversy.

"Basic in the exercise of judicial power — whether under the traditional or in the expanded setting — is the presence of an actual case or controversy."35 "[A]n 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.' In other words, 'there must be a contrariety of legal rights that can be interpreted and enforced on the basis of existing law and jurisprudence."'36 According to recent jurisprudence, in the Court's exercise of its expanded jurisdiction under the 1987 Constitution, this requirement is simplified "by merely requiring a prima facie showing of grave abuse of discretion in the assailed governmental act."37

"Corollary to the requirement of an actual case or controversy is the requirement of ripeness. A question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. For a case to be considered ripe for adjudication, it is a prerequisite that something has then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture, and the petitioner must allege the existence of an immediate or threatened injury to himself as a result of the challenged action. He must show that he has sustained or is immediately in danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of the act complained of."38

Applying these precepts, this Court finds that there exists an actual justiciable controversy in this case given the evident clash of the parties' legal claims, particularly on whether the Curfew Ordinances impair the minors' and parents' constitutional rights, and whether the Manila Ordinance goes against the provisions of RA 9344. Based on their asseverations, petitioners have - as will be gleaned from the substantive discussions below - conveyed a prima facie case of grave abuse of discretion, which perforce impels this Court to exercise its expanded jurisdiction. The case is likewise ripe for adjudication, considering that the Curfew Ordinances were being implemented until the Court issued the TRO39 enjoining their enforcement. The purported threat or incidence of injury is, therefore, not merely speculative or hypothetical but rather, real and apparent.

2. Legal Standing.

"The question of locus standi or legal standing focuses on the determination of whether those assailing the governmental act have the right of appearance to bring the matter to the court for adjudication. [Petitioners] must show that they have a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that they have sustained or are in immediate danger of sustaining, some direct injury as a consequence of the enforcement of the challenged governmental act."40 "'[I]nterest' in the question involved must be material — an interest that is in issue and will be affected by the official act — as distinguished from being merely incidental or general."41

"The gist of the question of [legal] standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. Unless a person is injuriously affected in any of his constitutional rights by the operation of statute or ordinance, he has no standing."42

As abovementioned, the petition is anchored on the alleged breach of two (2) constitutional rights, namely: (1) the right of minors to freely travel within their respective localities; and (2) the primary right of parents to rear their children. Related to the first is the purported conflict between RA 9344, as amended, and the penal provisions of the Manila Ordinance.

Among the five (5) individual petitioners, only Clarissa Joyce Villegas (Clarissa) has legal standing to raise the issue affecting the minor's right to travel,43 because: (a) she was still a minor at the time the petition was filed before this Court,44 and, hence, a proper subject of the Curfew Ordinances; and (b) as alleged, she travels from Manila to Quezon City at night after school and is, thus, in imminent danger of apprehension by virtue of the Curfew Ordinances. On the other hand, petitioners Joanne Rose Sace Lim, John Arvin Navarro Buenaagua, Ronel Baccutan (Ronel), and Mark Leo Delos Reyes (Mark Leo) admitted in the petition that they are all of legal age, and therefore, beyond the ordinances' coverage. Thus, they are not proper subjects of the Curfew Ordinances, for which they could base any direct injury as a consequence thereof.

None of them, however, has standing to raise the issue of whether the Curfew Ordinances violate the parents' right to rear their children as they have not shown that they stand before this Court as parent/s and/or guardian/s whose constitutional parental right has been infringed. It should be noted that Clarissa is represented by her father, Julian Villegas, Jr. (Mr. Villegas), who could have properly filed the petition for himself for the alleged violation of his parental right. But Mr. Villegas did not question the Curfew Ordinances based on his primary right as a parent as he only stands as the representative of his minor child, Clarissa, whose right to travel was supposedly infringed.

As for SPARK, it is an unincorporated association and, consequently, has no legal personality to bring an action in court.45 Even assuming that it has the capacity to sue, SPARK still has no standing as it failed to allege that it was authorized by its members who were affected by the Curfew Ordinances, i.e., the minors, to file this case on their behalf.

Hence, save for Clarissa, petitioners do not have the required personal interest in the controversy. More particularly, Clarissa has standing only on the issue of the alleged violation of the minors' right to travel, but not on the alleged violation of the parents' right.

These notwithstanding, this Court finds it proper to relax the standing requirement insofar as all the petitioners are concerned, in view of the transcendental importance of the issues involved in this case. "In a number of cases, this Court has taken a liberal stance towards the requirement of legal standing, especially when paramount interest is involved. Indeed, when those who challenge the official act are able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people, the Court may exercise its sound discretion and take cognizance of the suit. It may do so in spite of the inability of the petitioners to show that they have been personally injured by the operation of a law or any other government act."46

This is a case of first impression in which the constitutionality of juvenile curfew ordinances is placed under judicial review. Not only is this Court asked to determine the impact of these issuances on the right of parents to rear their children and the right of minors to travel, it is also requested to determine the extent of the State's authority to regulate these rights in the interest of general welfare. Accordingly, this case is of overarching significance to the public, which, therefore, impels a relaxation of procedural rules, including, among others, the standing requirement.

That being said, this Court now proceeds to the substantive aspect of this case.

II.

A. Void for Vagueness.

Before resolving the issues pertaining to the rights of minors to travel and of parents to rear their children, this Court must first tackle petitioners' contention that the Curfew Ordinances are void for vagueness.

In particular, petitioners submit that the Curfew Ordinances are void for not containing sufficient enforcement parameters, which leaves the enforcing authorities with unbridled discretion to carry out their provisions. They claim that the lack of procedural guidelines in these issuances led to the questioning of petitioners Ronel and Mark Leo, even though they were already of legal age. They maintain that the enforcing authorities apprehended the suspected curfew offenders based only on their physical appearances and, thus, acted arbitrarily. Meanwhile, although they conceded that the Quezon City Ordinance requires enforcers to determine the age of the child, they submit that nowhere does the said ordinance require the law enforcers to ask for proof or identification of the child to show his age.47

The arguments are untenable.

"A statute or act suffers from the defect of vagueness when it lacks comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. It is repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects: (1) it violates due process for failure to accord persons, especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of the conduct to avoid; and (2) it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle."48

In this case, petitioners' invocation of the void for vagueness doctrine is improper, considering that they do not properly identify any provision in any of the Curfew Ordinances, which, because of its vague terminology, fails to provide fair warning and notice to the public of what is prohibited or required so that one may act accordingly.49The void for vagueness doctrine is premised on due process considerations, which are absent from this particular claim. In one case, it was opined that:

[T]he vagueness doctrine is a specie of "unconstitutional uncertainty," which may involve "procedural due process uncertainty cases" and "substantive due process uncertainty cases." "Procedural due process uncertainty" involves cases where the statutory language was so obscure that it failed to give adequate warning to those subject to its prohibitions as well as to provide proper standards for adjudication. Such a definition encompasses the vagueness doctrine. This perspective rightly integrates the vagueness doctrine with the due process clause, a necessary interrelation since there is no constitutional provision that explicitly bars statutes that are "void-for-vagueness."50

Essentially, petitioners only bewail the lack of enforcement parameters to guide the local authorities in the proper apprehension of suspected curfew offenders. They do not assert any confusion as to what conduct the subject ordinances prohibit or not prohibit but only point to the ordinances' lack of enforcement guidelines. The mechanisms related to the implementation of the Curfew Ordinances are, however, matters of policy that are best left for the political branches of government to resolve. Verily, the objective of curbing unbridled enforcement is not the sole consideration in a void for vagueness analysis; rather, petitioners must show that this perceived danger of unbridled enforcement stems from an ambiguous provision in the law that allows enforcement authorities to second-guess if a particular conduct is prohibited or not prohibited. In this regard, that ambiguous provision of law contravenes due process because agents of the government cannot reasonably decipher what conduct the law permits and/or forbids. In Bykofsky v. Borough of Middletown,51 it was ratiocinated that:

A vague law impermissibly delegates basic policy matters to policemen, judges, and juries for resolution on ad hoc and subjective basis, and vague standards result in erratic and arbitrary application based on individual impressions and personal predilections.52

As above-mentioned, petitioners fail to point out any ambiguous standard in any of the provisions of the Curfew Ordinances, but rather, lament the lack of detail on how the age of a suspected minor would be determined. Thus, without any correlation to any vague legal provision, the Curfew Ordinances cannot be stricken down under the void for vagueness doctrine.

Besides, petitioners are mistaken in claiming that there are no sufficient standards to identify suspected curfew violators. While it is true that the Curfew Ordinances do not explicitly state these parameters, law enforcement agents are still bound to follow the prescribed measures found in statutory law when implementing ordinances. Specifically, RA 9344, as amended, provides:

Section 7. Determination of Age. - x x x The age of a child may be determinedfrom the child's birth certificate, baptismal certificate or any other pertinent documents. In the absence of these documents, age may be based on information from the child himself/herself, testimonies of other persons, the physical appearance of the child and other relevant evidence. (Emphases supplied)

This provision should be read in conjunction with the Curfew Ordinances because RA 10630 (the law that amended RA 9344) repeals all ordinances inconsistent with statutory law.53 Pursuant to Section 57-A of RA 9344, as amended by RA 10630,54minors caught in violation of curfew ordinances are children at risk and, therefore, covered by its provisions.55 It is a long-standing principle that "[c]onformity with law is one of the essential requisites for the validity of a municipal ordinance."56 Hence, by necessary implication, ordinances should be read and implemented in conjunction with related statutory law.

Applying the foregoing, any person, such as petitioners Ronel and Mark Leo, who was perceived to be a minor violating the curfew, may therefore prove that he is beyond the application of the Curfew Ordinances by simply presenting any competent proof of identification establishing their majority age. In the absence of such proof, the law authorizes enforcement authorities to conduct a visual assessment of the suspect, which - needless to state - should be done ethically and judiciously under the circumstances. Should law enforcers disregard these rules, the remedy is to pursue the appropriate action against the erring enforcing authority, and not to have the ordinances invalidated.

All told, petitioners' prayer to declare the Curfew Ordinances as void for vagueness is denied.

B. Right of Parents to Rear their Children.

Petitioners submit that the Curfew Ordinances are unconstitutional because they deprive parents of their natural and primary right in the rearing of the youth without substantive due process. In this regard, they assert that this right includes the right to determine whether minors will be required to go home at a certain time or will be allowed to stay late outdoors. Given that the right to impose curfews is primarily with parents and not with the State, the latter's interest in imposing curfews cannot logically be compelling.57

Petitioners' stance cannot be sustained.

Section 12, Article II of the 1987 Constitution articulates the State's policy relative to the rights of parents in the rearing of their children:

Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)

As may be gleaned from this provision, the rearing of children (i.e., referred to as the "youth") for civic efficiency and the development of their moral character are characterized not only as parental rights, but also as parental duties. This means that parents are not only given the privilege of exercising their authority over their children; they are equally obliged to exercise this authority conscientiously. The duty aspect of this provision is a reflection of the State's independent interest to ensure that the youth would eventually grow into free, independent, and well-developed citizens of this nation. For indeed, it is during childhood that minors are prepared for additional obligations to society. "[T]he duty to prepare the child for these [obligations] must be read to include the inculcation of moral standards, religious beliefs, and elements of good citizenship."58 "This affirmative process of teaching, guiding, and inspiring by precept and example is essential to the growth of young people into mature, socially responsible citizens."59

By history and tradition, "the parental role implies a substantial measure of authority over one's children."60 In Ginsberg v. New York,61 the Supreme Court of the United States (US) remarked that "constitutional interpretation has consistently recognized that the parents' claim to authority in their own household to direct the rearing of their children is basic in the structure of our society."62 As in our Constitution, the right and duty of parents to rear their children is not only described as "natural," but also as "primary." The qualifier "primary" connotes the parents' superior right over the State in the upbringing of their children.63 The rationale for the State's deference to parental control over their children was explained by the US Supreme Court in Bellotti v. Baird (Bellotti),64 as follows:

[T]he guiding role of parents in their upbringing of their children justifies limitations on the freedoms of minors. The State commonly protects its youth from adverse governmental action and from their own immaturity by requiring parental consent to or involvement in important decisions by minors. But an additional and more important justification for state deference to parental control over children is that "the child is not [a] mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations."65 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

While parents have the primary role in child-rearing, it should be stressed that "when actions concerning the child have a relation to the public welfare or the well-being of the child, the [S]tate may act to promote these legitimate interests."66 Thus, "[i]n cases in which harm to the physical or mental health of the child or to public safety, peace, order, or welfare is demonstrated, these legitimate state interests may override the parents' qualified right to control the upbringing of their children."67

As our Constitution itself provides, the State is mandated to support parents in the exercise of these rights and duties. State authority is therefore, not exclusive of, but rather, complementary to parental supervision. In Nery v. Lorenzo,68 this Court acknowledged the State's role as parens patriae in protecting minors, viz.:

[W]here minors are involved, the State acts as parens patriae. To it is cast the duty of protecting the rights of persons or individual who because of age or incapacity are in an unfavorable position, vis-a­ vis other parties. Unable as they are to take due care of what concerns them, they have the political community to look after their welfare. This obligation the state must live up to. It cannot be recreant to such a trust. As was set forth in an opinion of the United States Supreme Court: "This prerogative of parens patriae is inherent in the supreme power of every State, x x x."69 (Emphases and underscoring supplied)

As parens patriae, the State has the inherent right and duty to aid parents in the moral development of their children,70 and, thus, assumes a supporting role for parents to fulfill their parental obligations. In Bellotti, it was held that "[l]egal restriction on minors, especially those supportive of the parental role, may be important to the child's chances for the full growth and maturity that make eventual participation in a free society meaningful and rewarding. Under the Constitution, the State can properly conclude that parents and others, teachers for example, who have the primary responsibility for children's well-being are entitled to the support of the laws designed to aid discharge of that responsibility."71

The Curfew Ordinances are but examples of legal restrictions designed to aid parents in their role of promoting their children's well-being. As will be later discussed at greater length, these ordinances further compelling State interests (particularly, the promotion of juvenile safety and the prevention of juvenile crime), which necessarily entail limitations on the primary right of parents to rear their children. Minors, because of their peculiar vulnerability and lack of experience, are not only more exposed to potential physical harm by criminal elements that operate during the night; their moral well-being is likewise imperiled as minor children are prone to making detrimental decisions during this time.72

At this juncture, it should be emphasized that the Curfew Ordinances apply only when the minors are not - whether actually or constructively (as will be later discussed) - accompanied by their parents. This serves as an explicit recognition of the State's deference to the primary nature of parental authority and the importance of parents' role in child-rearing. Parents are effectively given unfettered authority over their children's conduct during curfew hours when they are able to supervise them. Thus, in all actuality, the only aspect of parenting that the Curfew Ordinances affects is the parents' prerogative to allow minors to remain in public places without parental accompaniment during the curfew hours.73 In this respect, the ordinances neither dictate an over-all plan of discipline for the parents to apply to their minors nor force parents to abdicate their authority to influence or control their minors' activities.74 As such, the Curfew Ordinances only amount to a minimal - albeit reasonable - infringement upon a parent's right to bring up his or her child.

Finally, it may be well to point out that the Curfew Ordinances positively influence children to spend more time at home. Consequently, this situation provides parents with better opportunities to take a more active role in their children's upbringing. In Schleifer v. City of Charlottesvillle (Schleifer),75 the US court observed that the city government "was entitled to believe x x x that a nocturnal curfew would promote parental involvement in a child's upbringing. A curfew aids the efforts of parents who desire to protect their children from the perils of the street but are unable to control the nocturnal behavior of those children."76 Curfews may also aid the "efforts of parents who prefer their children to spend time on their studies than on the streets."77 Reason dictates that these realities observed in Schleifer are no less applicable to our local context. Hence, these are additional reasons which justify the impact of the nocturnal curfews on parental rights.

In fine, the Curfew Ordinances should not be declared unconstitutional for violating the parents' right to rear their children.

C. Right to Travel.

Petitioners further assail the constitutionality of the Curfew Ordinances based on the minors' right to travel. They claim that the liberty to travel is a fundamental right, which, therefore, necessitates the application of the strict scrutiny test. Further, they submit that even if there exists a compelling State interest, such as the prevention of juvenile crime and the protection of minors from crime, there are other less restrictive means for achieving the government's interest.78 In addition, they posit that the Curfew Ordinances suffer from overbreadth by proscribing or impairing legitimate activities of minors during curfew hours.79

Petitioner's submissions are partly meritorious.

At the outset, the Court rejects petitioners' invocation of the overbreadth doctrine, considering that petitioners have not claimed any transgression of their rights to free speech or any inhibition of speech-related conduct. In Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc. v. Anti-Terrorism Council (Southern Hemisphere),80 this Court explained that "the application of the overbreadth doctrine is limited to a facial kind of challenge and, owing to the given rationale of a facial challenge, applicable only to free speech cases,"81viz.:

By its nature, the overbreadth doctrine has to necessarily apply a facial type of invalidation in order to plot areas of protected speech, inevitably almost always under situations not before the court, that are impermissibly swept by the substantially overbroad regulation. Otherwise stated, a statute cannot be properly analyzed for being substantially overbroad if the court confines itself only to facts as applied to the litigants.

The most distinctive feature of the overbreadth technique is that it marks an exception to some of the usual rules of constitutional litigation. Ordinarily, a particular litigant claims that a statute is unconstitutional as applied to him or her; if the litigant prevails, the courts carve away the unconstitutional aspects of the law by invalidating its improper applications on a case to case basis. Moreover, challengers to a law are not permitted to raise the rights of third parties and can only assert their own interests. In overbreadth analysis, those rules give way; challenges are permitted to raise the rights of third parties; and the court invalidates the entire statute "on its face," not merely "as applied for" so that the overbroad law becomes unenforceable until a properly authorized court construes it more narrowly. The factor that motivates courts to depart from the normal adjudicatory rules is the concern with the "chilling;" deterrent effect of the overbroad statute on third parties not courageous enough to bring suit. The Court assumes that an overbroad law's "very existence may cause others not before the court to refrain from constitutionally protected speech or expression." An overbreadth ruling is designed to remove that deterrent effect on the speech of those third parties.82 (Emphases and underscoring supplied)

In the same case, it was further pointed out that "[i]n restricting the overbreadth doctrine to free speech claims, the Court, in at least two [(2)] cases, observed that the US Supreme Court has not recognized an overbreadth doctrine outside the limited context of the First Amendment,83 and that claims of facial overbreadth have been entertained in cases involving statutes which, by their terms, seek to regulate only spoken words. In Virginia v. Hicks,84 it was held that rarely, if ever, will an overbreadth challenge succeed against a law or regulation that is not specifically addressed to speech or speech-related conduct. Attacks on overly broad statutes are justified by the 'transcendent value to all society of constitutionally protected expression."'85

In the more recent case of Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr.,86 it was opined that "[f]acial challenges can only be raised on the basis of overbreadth and not on vagueness. Southern Hemisphere demonstrated how vagueness relates to violations of due process rights, whereas facial challenges are raised on the basis of overbreadth and limited to the realm of freedom of expression."87

That being said, this Court finds it improper to undertake an overbreadth analysis in this case, there being no claimed curtailment of free speech. On the contrary, however, this Court finds proper to examine the assailed regulations under the strict scrutiny test.

The right to travel is recognized and guaranteed as a fundamental right88 under Section 6, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, to wit:

Section 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law. (Emphases and underscoring supplied)

Jurisprudence provides that this right refers to the right to move freely from the Philippines to other countries or within the Philippines.89 It is a right embraced within the general concept of liberty.90 Liberty - a birthright of every person - includes the power of locomotion91 and the right of citizens to be free to use their faculties in lawful ways and to live and work where they desire or where they can best pursue the ends of life.92

The right to travel is essential as it enables individuals to access and exercise their other rights, such as the rights to education, free expression, assembly, association, and religion.93 The inter-relation of the right to travel with other fundamental rights was briefly rationalized in City of Maquoketa v. Russell,94 as follows:

Whenever the First Amendment rights of freedom of religion, speech, assembly, and association require one to move about, such movement must necessarily be protected under the First Amendment. Restricting movement in those circumstances to the extent that First Amendment Rights cannot be exercised without violating the law is equivalent to a denial of those rights. One court has eloquently pointed this out:

We would not deny the relatedness of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to freedom of travel and movement. If, for any reason, people cannot walk or drive to their church, their freedom to worship is impaired. If, for any reason, people cannot walk or drive to the meeting hall, freedom of assembly is effectively blocked. If, for any reason, people cannot safely walk the sidewalks or drive the streets of a community, opportunities for freedom of speech are sharply limited. Freedom of movement is inextricably involved with freedoms set forth in the First Amendment. (Emphases supplied)

Nevertheless, grave and overriding considerations of public interest justify restrictions even if made against fundamental rights. Specifically on the freedom to move from one place to another, jurisprudence provides that this right is not absolute.95 As the 1987 Constitution itself reads, the State96 may impose limitations on the exercise of this right, provided that they: (1) serve the interest of national security, public safety, or public health; and (2) are provided by law.97

The stated purposes of the Curfew Ordinances, specifically the promotion of juvenile safety and prevention of juvenile crime, inarguably serve the interest of public safety. The restriction on the minor's movement and activities within the confines of their residences and their immediate vicinity during the curfew period is perceived to reduce the probability of the minor becoming victims of or getting involved in crimes and criminal activities. As to the second requirement, i.e., that the limitation "be provided by law," our legal system is replete with laws emphasizing the State's duty to afford special protection to children, i.e., RA 7610,98 as amended, RA 9775,99 RA 9262,100 RA 9851, 101 RA 9344,102 RA 10364,103 RA 9211,104 RA 8980,105 RA 9288,106 and Presidential Decree (PD) 603,107 as amended.

Particularly relevant to this case is Article 139 of PD 603, which explicitly authorizes local government units, through their city or municipal councils, to set curfew hours for children. It reads:

Article 139. Curfew Hours for Children. - City or municipal councils may prescribe such curfew hours for children as may be warranted by local conditions. The duty to enforce curfew ordinances shall devolve upon the parents or guardians and the local authorities.

x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

As explicitly worded, city councils are authorized to enact curfew ordinances (as what respondents have done in this case) and enforce the same through their local officials. In other words, PD 603 provides sufficient statutory basis - as required by the Constitution - to restrict the minors' exercise of the right to travel.

The restrictions set by the Curfew Ordinances that apply solely to minors are likewise constitutionally permissible. In this relation, this Court recognizes that minors do possess and enjoy constitutional rights,108but the exercise of these rights is not co-extensive as those of adults.109 They are always subject to the authority or custody of another, such as their parent/s and/or guardian/s, and the State.110 As parens patriae, the State regulates and, to a certain extent, restricts the minors' exercise of their rights, such as in their affairs concerning the right to vote,111 the right to execute contracts,112 and the right to engage in gainful employment.113 With respect to the right to travel, minors are required by law to obtain a clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development before they can travel to a foreign country by themselves or with a person other than their parents.114 These limitations demonstrate that the State has broader authority over the minors' activities than over similar actions of adults,115 and overall, reflect the State's general interest in the well-being of minors.116 Thus, the State may impose limitations on the minors' exercise of rights even though these limitations do not generally apply to adults.

In Bellotti,117 the US Supreme Court identified three (3) justifications for the differential treatment of the minors' constitutional rights. These are:first, the peculiar vulnerability of children; second, their inability to make critical decisions in an informed and mature manner; and third, the importance of the parental role in child rearing:118

[On the first reason,] our cases show that although children generally are protected by the same constitutional guarantees against governmental deprivations as are adults, the State is entitled to adjust its legal system to account for children's vulnerability and their needs for 'concern, ...sympathy, and ... paternal attention. x x x.

[On the second reason, this Court's rulings are] grounded [on] the recognition that, during the formative years of childhood and adolescence, minors often lack the experience, perspective, and judgment to recognize and avoid choices that could be detrimental to them. x x x.

x x x x

[On the third reason,] the guiding role of parents in the upbringing of their children justifies limitations on the freedoms of minors. The State commonly protects its youth from adverse governmental action and from their own immaturity by requiring parental consent to or involvement in important decisions by minors. x x x.

x x x x

x x x Legal restrictions on minors, especially those supportive of the parental role, may be important to the child's chances for the full growth and maturity that make eventual participation in a free society meaningful and rewarding.119 (Emphases and underscoring supplied)

Moreover, in Prince v. Massachusetts,120 the US Supreme Court acknowledged the heightened dangers on the streets to minors, as compared to adults:

A democratic society rests, for its continuance, upon the healthy, well-rounded growth of young people into full maturity as citizens, with all that implies. It may secure this against impeding restraints and dangers within a broad range of selection. Among evils most appropriate for such action are the crippling effects of child employment, more especially in public places, and the possible harms arising from other activities subject to all the diverse influences of the [streets]. It is too late now to doubt that legislation appropriately designed to reach such evils is within the state's police power, whether against the parent's claim to control of the child or one that religious scruples dictate contrary action.

It is true children have rights, in common with older people, in the primary use of highways. But even in such use streets afford dangers for them not affecting adults. And in other uses, whether in work or in other things, this difference may be magnified.121 (Emphases and underscoring supplied)

For these reasons, the State is justified in setting restrictions on the minors' exercise of their travel rights, provided, they are singled out on reasonable grounds.

Philippine jurisprudence has developed three (3) tests of judicial scrutiny to determine the reasonableness of classifications.122 The strict scrutiny test applies when a classification either (i) interferes with the exercise of fundamental rights, including the basic liberties guaranteed under the Constitution, or (ii) burdens suspect classes.123 The intermediate scrutiny test applies when a classification does not involve suspect classes or fundamental rights, but requires heightened scrutiny, such as in classifications based on gender and legitimacy.124 Lastly, the rational basis test applies to all other subjects not covered by the first two tests.125

Considering that the right to travel is a fundamental right in our legal system guaranteed no less by our Constitution, the strict scrutiny test126 is the applicable test.127 At this juncture, it should be emphasized that minors enjoy the same constitutional rights as adults; the fact that the State has broader authority over minors than over adults does not trigger the application of a lower level of scrutiny.128 In Nunez v. City of San Diego (Nunez),129 the US court illumined that:

Although many federal courts have recognized that juvenile curfews implicate the fundamental rights of minors, the parties dispute whether strict scrutiny review is necessary. The Supreme Court teaches that rights are no less "fundamental" for minors than adults, but that the analysis of those rights may differ:

Constitutional rights do not mature and come into being magically only when one attains the state-defined age of majority. Minors, as well as adults, are protected by the Constitution and possess constitutional rights. The Court[,] indeed, however, [has long] recognized that the State has somewhat broader authority to regulate the activities of children than of adults. x x x. Thus, minors' rights are not coextensive with the rights of adults because the state has a greater range of interests that justify the infringement of minors' rights.

The Supreme Court has articulated three specific factors that, when applicable, warrant differential analysis of the constitutional rights of minors and adults: x x x. The Bellotti test [however] does not establish a lower level of scrutiny for the constitutional rights of minors in the context of a juvenile curfew. Rather, the Bellotti framework enables courts to determine whether the state has a compelling state interest justifying greater restrictions on minors than on adults. x x x.

x x x Although the state may have a compelling interest in regulating minors differently than adults, we do not believe that [a] lesser degree of scrutiny is appropriate to review burdens on minors' fundamental rights. x x x.

Accordingly, we apply strict scrutiny to our review of the ordinance. x x x.130 (Emphases supplied)

The strict scrutiny test as applied to minors entails a consideration of the peculiar circumstances of minors as enumerated in Bellotti vis-a-vis the State's duty as parens patriae to protect and preserve their well-being with the compelling State interests justifying the assailed government act. Under the strict scrutiny test, a legislative classification that interferes with the exercise of a fundamental right or operates to the disadvantage of a suspect class is presumed unconstitutional.131 Thus, the government has the burden of proving that the classification (i) is necessary to achieve a compelling State interest, and (ii) is the least restrictive means to protect such interest or the means chosen is narrowly tailored to accomplish the interest.132

a. Compelling State Interest.

Jurisprudence holds that compelling State interests include constitutionally declared policies.133This Court has ruled that children's welfare and the State's mandate to protect and care for them as parens patriae constitute compelling interests to justify regulations by the State.134 It is akin to the paramount interest of the state for which some individual liberties must give way.135 As explained in Nunez, the Bellotti framework shows that the State has a compelling interest in imposing greater restrictions on minors than on adults. The limitations on minors under Philippine laws also highlight this compelling interest of the State to protect and care for their welfare.

In this case, respondents have sufficiently established that the ultimate objective of the Curfew Ordinances is to keep unsupervised minors during the late hours of night time off of public areas, so as to reduce - if not totally eliminate - their exposure to potential harm, and to insulate them against criminal pressure and influences which may even include themselves. As denoted in the "whereas clauses" of the Quezon City Ordinance, the State, in imposing nocturnal curfews on minors, recognizes that:

[b] x x x children, particularly the minors, appear to be neglected of their proper care and guidance, education, and moral development, which [lead] them into exploitation, drug addiction, and become vulnerable to and at the risk of committing criminal offenses;

xxxx

[d] as a consequence, most of minor children become out-of-school youth, unproductive by-standers, street children, and member of notorious gangs who stay, roam around or meander in public or private roads, streets or other public places, whether singly or in groups without lawful purpose or justification;

xxxx

[f] reports of barangay officials and law enforcement agencies reveal that minor children roaming around, loitering or wandering in the evening are the frequent personalities involved in various infractions of city ordinances and national laws;

[g] it is necessary in the interest of public order and safety to regulate the movement of minor children during night time by setting disciplinary hours, protect them from neglect, abuse or cruelty and exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial or detrimental to their development;

[h] to strengthen and support parental control on these minor children, there is a need to put a restraint on the tendency of growing number of youth spending their nocturnal activities wastefully, especially in the face of the unabated rise of criminality and to ensure that the dissident elements of society are not provided with potent avenues for furthering their nefarious activities[.]136

The US court's judicial demeanor in Schleifer,137 as regards the information gathered by the City Council to support its passage of the curfew ordinance subject of that case, may serve as a guidepost to our own treatment of the present case. Significantly, in Schleifer, the US court recognized the entitlement of elected bodies to implement policies for a safer community, in relation to the proclivity of children to make dangerous and potentially life-shaping decisions when left unsupervised during the late hours of night:

Charlottesville was constitutionally justified in believing that its curfew would materially assist its first stated interest—that of reducing juvenile violence and crime. The City Council acted on the basis of information from many sources, including records from Charlottesville's police department, a survey of public opinion, news reports, data from the United States Department of Justice, national crime reports, and police reports from other localities. On the basis of such evidence, elected bodies are entitled to conclude that keeping unsupervised juveniles off the streets late at night will make for a safer community. The same streets may have a more volatile and less wholesome character at night than during the day. Alone on the streets at night children face a series of dangerous and potentially life-shaping decisions. Drug dealers may lure them to use narcotics or aid in their sale. Gangs may pressure them into membership or participation in violence. "[D]uring the formative years of childhood and adolescence, minors often lack the experience, perspective, and judgment to recognize and avoid choices that could be detrimental to them." Those who succumb to these criminal influences at an early age may persist in their criminal conduct as adults. Whether we as judges subscribe to these theories is beside the point. Those elected officials with their finger on the pulse of their home community clearly did. In attempting to reduce through its curfew the opportunities for children to come into contact with criminal influences,the City was directly advancing its first objective of reducing juvenile violence and crime.138 (Emphases and underscoring supplied; citations omitted)

Similar to the City of Charlottesville in Schleifer, the local governments of Quezon City and Manila presented statistical data in their respective pleadings showing the alarming prevalence of crimes involving juveniles, either as victims or perpetrators, in their respective localities.139

Based on these findings, their city councils found it necessary to enact curfew ordinances pursuant to their police power under the general welfare clause.140 In this light, the Court thus finds that the local governments have not only conveyed but, in fact, attempted to substantiate legitimate concerns on public welfare, especially with respect to minors. As such, a compelling State interest exists for the enactment and enforcement of the Curfew Ordinances.

With the first requirement of the strict scrutiny test satisfied, the Court now proceeds to determine if the restrictions set forth in the Curfew Ordinances are narrowly tailored or provide the least restrictive means to address the cited compelling State interest - the second requirement of the strict scrutiny test.

b. Least Restrictive Means/ Narrowly Drawn.

The second requirement of the strict scrutiny test stems from the fundamental premise that citizens should not be hampered from pursuing legitimate activities in the exercise of their constitutional rights. While rights may be restricted, the restrictions must be minimal or only to the extent necessary to achieve the purpose or to address the State's compelling interest. When it is possible for governmental regulations to be more narrowly drawn to avoid conflicts with constitutional rights, then they must be so narrowly drawn.141

Although treated differently from adults, the foregoing standard applies to regulations on minors as they are still accorded the freedom to participate in any legitimate activity, whether it be social, religious, or civic.142 Thus, in the present case, each of the ordinances must be narrowly tailored as to ensure minimal constraint not only on the minors' right to travel but also on their other constitutional rights.143

In In Re Mosier,144 a US court declared a curfew ordinance unconstitutional impliedly for not being narrowly drawn, resulting in unnecessary curtailment of minors' rights to freely exercise their religion and to free speech.145 It observed that:

The ordinance prohibits the older minor from attending alone Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the local Roman Catholic Church or Christmas Eve services at the various local Protestant Churches. It would likewise prohibit them from attending the New [Year's] Eve watch services at the various churches. Likewise it would prohibit grandparents, uncles, aunts or adult brothers and sisters from taking their minor relatives of any age to the above mentioned services. x x x.

xxxx

Under the ordinance, during nine months of the year a minor could not even attend the city council meetings if they ran past 10:30 (which they frequently do) to express his views on the necessity to repeal the curfew ordinance, clearly a deprivation of his First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

xxxx

[In contrast, the ordinance in Bykofsky v. Borough of Middletown (supra note 52)] was [a] very narrowly drawn ordinance of many pages with eleven exceptions and was very carefully drafted in an attempt to pass constitutional muster. It specifically excepted [the] exercise of First Amendment rights, travel in a motor vehicle and returning home by a direct route from religious, school, or voluntary association activities. (Emphases supplied)

After a thorough evaluation of the ordinances' respective provisions, this Court finds that only the Quezon City Ordinance meets the above-discussed requirement, while the Manila and Navotas Ordinances do not.

The Manila Ordinance cites only four (4) exemptions from the coverage of the curfew, namely: (a) minors accompanied by their parents, family members of legal age, or guardian; (b) those running lawful errands such as buying of medicines, using of telecommunication facilities for emergency purposes and the like; (c) night school students and those who, by virtue of their employment, are required in the streets or outside their residence after 10:00 p.m.; and (d) those working at night.146

For its part, the Navotas Ordinance provides more exceptions, to wit: (a) minors with night classes; (b) those working at night; (c) those who attended a school or church activity, in coordination with a specific barangay office; (d) those traveling towards home during the curfew hours; (e) those running errands under the supervision of their parents, guardians, or persons of legal age having authority over them; (f) those involved in accidents, calamities, and the like. It also exempts minors from the curfew during these specific occasions: Christmas eve, Christmas day, New Year's eve, New Year's day, the night before the barangay fiesta, the day of the fiesta, All Saints' and All Souls' Day, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, and Easter Sunday.147

This Court observes that these two ordinances are not narrowly drawn in that their exceptions are inadequate and therefore, run the risk of overly restricting the minors' fundamental freedoms. To be fair, both ordinances protect the rights to education, to gainful employment, and to travel at night from school or work.148 However, even with those safeguards, the Navotas Ordinance and, to a greater extent, the Manila Ordinance still do not account for the reasonable exercise of the minors' rights of association, free exercise of religion, rights to peaceably assemble, and of free expression, among others.

The exceptions under the Manila Ordinance are too limited, and thus, unduly trample upon protected liberties. The Navotas Ordinance is apparently more protective of constitutional rights than the Manila Ordinance; nonetheless, it still provides insufficient safeguards as discussed in detail below:

First, although it allows minors to engage in school or church activities, it hinders them from engaging in legitimate non-school or non-church activities in the streets or going to and from such activities; thus, their freedom of association is effectively curtailed. It bears stressing that participation in legitimate activities of organizations, other than school or church, also contributes to the minors' social, emotional, and intellectual development, yet, such participation is not exempted under the Navotas Ordinance.

Second, although the Navotas Ordinance does not impose the curfew during Christmas Eve and Christmas day, it effectively prohibits minors from attending traditional religious activities (such as simbang gabi) at night without accompanying adults, similar to the scenario depicted in Mosier.149 This legitimate activity done pursuant to the minors' right to freely exercise their religion is therefore effectively curtailed.

Third, the Navotas Ordinance does not accommodate avenues for minors to engage in political rallies or attend city council meetings to voice out their concerns in line with their right to peaceably assemble and to free expression.

Certainly, minors are allowed under the Navotas Ordinance to engage in these activities outside curfew hours, but the Court finds no reason to prohibit them from participating in these legitimate activities during curfew hours. Such proscription does not advance the State's compelling interest to protect minors from the dangers of the streets at night, such as becoming prey or instruments of criminal activity. These legitimate activities are merely hindered without any reasonable relation to the State's interest; hence, the Navotas Ordinance is not narrowly drawn. More so, the Manila Ordinance, with its limited exceptions, is also not narrowly drawn.

In sum, the Manila and Navotas Ordinances should be completely stricken down since their exceptions, which are essentially determinative of the scope and breadth of the curfew regulations, are inadequate to ensure protection of the above-mentioned fundamental rights. While some provisions may be valid, the same are merely ancillary thereto; as such, they cannot subsist independently despite the presence150 of any separability clause.151

The Quezon City Ordinance stands in stark contrast to the first two (2) ordinances as it sufficiently safeguards the minors' constitutional rights. It provides the following exceptions:

Section 4. EXEMPTIONS - Minor children under the following circumstances shall not be covered by the provisions of this ordinance;

(a)
Those accompanied by their parents or guardian;
(b)
Those on their way to or from a party, graduation ceremony, religious mass, and/or other extra-curricular activities of their school or organization wherein their attendance are required or otherwise indispensable, or when such minors are out and unable to go home early due to circumstances beyond their control as verified by the proper authorities concerned; and
(c)
Those attending to, or in experience of, an emergency situation such as conflagration, earthquake, hospitalization, road accident, law enforcers encounter, and similar incidents[;]
(d)
When the minor is engaged in an authorized employment activity, or going to or returning home from the same place of employment activity without any detour or stop;
(e)
When the minor is in [a] motor vehicle or other travel accompanied by an adult in no violation of this Ordinance;
(f)
When the minor is involved in an emergency;
(g)
When the minor is out of his/her residence attending an official school, religious, recreational, educational, social, communitv or other similar private activity sponsored by the city, barangay, school, or other similar private civic/religious organization/group (recognized by the community) that supervises the activity or when the minor is going to or returning home from such activity, without any detour or stop; and
(h)
When the minor can present papers certifying that he/she is a student and was dismissed from his/her class/es in the evening or that he/she is a working student.152 (Emphases and underscoring supplied)

As compared to the first two (2) ordinances, the list of exceptions under the Quezon City Ordinance is more narrowly drawn to sufficiently protect the minors' rights of association, free exercise of religion, travel, to peaceably assemble, and of free expression.

Specifically, the inclusion of items (b) and (g) in the list of exceptions guarantees the protection of these aforementioned rights. These items uphold the right of association by enabling minors to attend both official and extra-curricular activities not only of their school or church but also of other legitimate organizations. The rights to peaceably assemble and of free expression are also covered by these items given that the minors' attendance in the official activities of civic or religious organizations are allowed during the curfew hours. Unlike in the Navotas Ordinance, the right to the free exercise of religion is sufficiently safeguarded in the Quezon City Ordinance by exempting attendance at religious masses even during curfew hours. In relation to their right to travel, the ordinance allows the minor-participants to move to and from the places where these activities are held. Thus, with these numerous exceptions, the Quezon City Ordinance, in truth, only prohibits unsupervised activities that hardly contribute to the well-being of minors who publicly loaf and loiter within the locality at a time where danger is perceivably more prominent.

To note, there is no lack of supervision when a parent duly authorizes his/her minor child to run lawful errands or engage in legitimate activities during the night, notwithstanding curfew hours. As astutely observed by Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio and Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen during the deliberations on this case, parental permission is implicitly considered as an exception found in Section 4, item (a) of the Quezon City Ordinance, i.e., "[t]hose accompanied by their parents or guardian", as accompaniment should be understood not only in its actual but also in its constructive sense. As the Court sees it, this should be the reasonable construction of this exception so as to reconcile the juvenile curfew measure with the basic premise that State interference is not superior but only complementary to parental supervision. After all, as the Constitution itself prescribes, the parents' right to rear their children is not only natural but primary.

Ultimately, it is important to highlight that this Court, in passing judgment on these ordinances, is dealing with the welfare of minors who are presumed by law to be incapable of giving proper consent due to their incapability to fully understand the import and consequences of their actions. In one case it was observed that:

A child cannot give consent to a contract under our civil laws. This is on the rationale that she can easily be the victim of fraud as she is not capable of fully understanding or knowing the nature or import of her actions. The State, as parens patriae, is under the obligation to minimize the risk of harm to those who, because of their minority, are as yet unable to take care of themselves fully. Those of tender years deserve its protection.153

Under our legal system's own recognition of a minor's inherent lack of full rational capacity, and balancing the same against the State's compelling interest to promote juvenile safety and prevent juvenile crime, this Court finds that the curfew imposed under the Quezon City Ordinance is reasonably justified with its narrowly drawn exceptions and hence, constitutional. Needless to say, these exceptions are in no way limited or restricted, as the State, in accordance with the lawful exercise of its police power, is not precluded from crafting, adding, or modifying exceptions in similar laws/ordinances for as long as the regulation, overall, passes the parameters of scrutiny as applied in this case.

D. Penal Provisions of the Manila Ordinance.

Going back to the Manila Ordinance, this Court deems it proper - as it was raised- to further discuss the validity of its penal provisions in relation to RA 9344, as amended.

To recount, the Quezon City Ordinance, while penalizing the parentis or guardian under Section 8 thereof,154 does not impose any penalty on the minors. For its part, the Navotas Ordinance requires the minor, along with his or her parent/s or guardian/s, to render social civic duty and community service either in lieu of - should the parent/s or guardian/s of the minor be unable to pay the fine imposed - or in addition to the fine imposed therein.155Meanwhile, the Manila Ordinance imposed various sanctions to the minor based on the age and frequency of violations, to wit:

SEC. 4. Sanctions and Penalties for Violation. Any child or youth violating this ordinance shall be sanctioned/punished as follows:

(a) If the offender is Fifteen (15) years of age and below, the sanction shall consist of a REPRIMAND for the youth offender and ADMONITION to the offender's parent, guardian or person exercising parental authority.

(b) If the offender is Fifteen (15) years of age and under Eighteen (18) years of age, the sanction/penalty shall be:

  1. For the FIRST OFFENSE, Reprimand and Admonition;
  2. For the SECOND OFFENSE, Reprimand and Admonition, and a warning about the legal impostitions in case of a third and subsequent violation; and
  3. For the THIRD AND SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES, Imprisonment of one (1) day to ten (10) days, or a Fine of TWO THOUSAND PESOS (Php2,000.00), or both at the discretion of the Court, PROVIDED, That the complaint shall be filed by the Punong Barangay with the office of the City Prosecutor.156 (Emphases and underscoring supplied).

Thus springs the question of whether local governments could validly impose on minors these sanctions - i.e., (a) community service; (b) reprimand and admonition; (c) fine; and (d) imprisonment. Pertinently, Sections 57 and 57-A of RA 9344, as amended, prohibit the imposition of penalties on minors for status offenses such as curfew violations, viz.:

SEC. 57. Status Offenses.Any conduct not considered an offense or not penalized if committed by an adult shall not be considered an offense and shall not be punished if committed by a child.

SEC. 57-A. Violations of Local Ordinances. — Ordinances enacted by local governments concerning juvenile status offenses such as, but not limited to, curfew violations, truancy, parental disobedience, anti-smoking and anti-drinking laws, as well as light offenses and misdemeanors against public order or safety such as, but not limited to, disorderly conduct, public scandal, harassment, drunkenness, public intoxication, criminal nuisance, vandalism, gambling, mendicancy, littering, public urination, and trespassing, shall be for the protection of children. No penalty shall be imposed on children for said violations, and they shall instead be brought to their residence or to any barangay official at the barangay hall to be released to the custody of their parents. Appropriate intervention programs shall be provided for in such ordinances. The child shall also be recorded as a "child at risk" and not as a "child in conflict with the law." The ordinance shall also provide for intervention programs, such as counseling, attendance in group activities for children, and for the parents, attendance in parenting education seminars. (Emphases and underscoring supplied.)

To clarify, these provisions do not prohibit the enactment of regulations that curtail the conduct of minors, when the similar conduct of adults are not considered as an offense or penalized (i.e., status offenses). Instead, what they prohibit is the imposition of penalties on minors for violations of these regulations. Consequently, the enactment of curfew ordinances on minors, without penalizing them for violations thereof, is not violative of Section 57-A.

"Penalty" 157 is defined as "[p]unishment imposed on a wrongdoer usually in the form of imprisonment or fine";158 "[p]unishment imposed by lawful authority upon a person who commits a deliberate or negligent act."159 Punishment, in turn, is defined as "[a] sanction - such as fine, penalty, confinement, or loss of property, right, or privilege - assessed against a person who has violated the law."160

The provisions of RA 9344, as amended, should not be read to mean that all the actions of the minor in violation of the regulations are without legal consequences. Section 57-A thereof empowers local governments to adopt appropriate intervention programs, such as community-based programs161 recognized under Section 54162 of the same law.

In this regard, requiring the minor to perform community service is a valid form of intervention program that a local government (such as Navotas City in this case) could appropriately adopt in an ordinance to promote the welfare of minors. For one, the community service programs provide minors an alternative mode of rehabilitation as they promote accountability for their delinquent acts without the moral and social stigma caused by jail detention. In the same light, these programs help inculcate discipline and compliance with the law and legal orders. More importantly, they give them the opportunity to become productive members of society and thereby promote their integration to and solidarity with their community.

The sanction of admonition imposed by the City of Manila is likewise consistent with Sections 57 and 57-A of RA 9344 as it is merely a formal way of giving warnings and expressing disapproval to the minor's misdemeanor. Admonition is generally defined as a "gentle or friendly reproof' or "counsel or warning against fault or oversight."163 The Black's Law Dictionary defines admonition as "[a]n authoritatively issued warning or censure";164 while the Philippine Law Dictionary defines it as a "gentle or friendly reproof, a mild rebuke, warning or reminder, [counseling], on a fault, error or oversight, an expression of authoritative advice or warning."165 Notably, the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RRACCS) and our jurisprudence in administrative cases explicitly declare that "a warning or admonition shall not be considered a penalty."166

In other words, the disciplinary measures of community-based programs and admonition are clearly not penalties - as they are not punitive in nature - and are generally less intrusive on the rights and conduct of the minor. To be clear, their objectives are to formally inform and educate the minor, and for the latter to understand, what actions must be avoided so as to aid him in his future conduct.

A different conclusion, however, is reached with regard to reprimand and fines and/or imprisonment imposed by the City of Manila on the minor. Reprimand is generally defined as "a severe or formal reproof."167 The Black's Law Dictionary defines it as "a mild form of lawyer discipline that does not restrict the lawyer's ability to practice law";168 while the Philippine Law Dictionary defines it as a "public and formal censure or severe reproof, administered to a person in fault by his superior officer or body to which he belongs. It is more than just a warning or admonition."169 In other words, reprimand is a formal and public pronouncement made to denounce the error or violation committed, to sharply criticize and rebuke the erring individual, and to sternly warn the erring individual including the public against repeating or committing the same, and thus, may unwittingly subject the erring individual or violator to unwarranted censure or sharp disapproval from others. In fact, the RRACCS and our jurisprudence explicitly indicate that reprimand is a penalty,170 hence, prohibited by Section 57-A of RA 9344, as amended.

Fines and/or imprisonment, on the other hand, undeniably constitute penalties - as provided in our various criminal and administrative laws and jurisprudence - that Section 57-A of RA 9344, as amended, evidently prohibits.

As worded, the prohibition in Section 57-A is clear, categorical, and unambiguous. It states that "[n]o penalty shall be imposed on children for x x x violations [of] juvenile status offenses]." Thus, for imposing the sanctions of reprimand, fine, and/or imprisonment on minors for curfew violations, portions of Section 4 of the Manila Ordinance directly and irreconcilably conflict with the clear language of Section 57-A of RA 9344, as amended, and hence, invalid. On the other hand, the impositions of community service programs and admonition on the minors are allowed as they do not constitute penalties.

CONCLUSION

In sum, while the Court finds that all three Curfew Ordinances have passed the first prong of the strict scrutiny test - that is, that the State has sufficiently shown a compelling interest to promote juvenile safety and prevent juvenile crime in the concerned localities, only the Quezon City Ordinance has passed the second prong of the strict scrutiny test, as it is the only issuance out of the three which provides for the least restrictive means to achieve this interest. In particular, the Quezon City Ordinance provides for adequate exceptions that enable minors to freely exercise their fundamental rights during the prescribed curfew hours, and therefore, narrowly drawn to achieve the State's purpose. Section 4 (a) of the said ordinance, i.e., "[t]hose accompanied by their parents or guardian", has also been construed to include parental permission as a constructive form of accompaniment and hence, an allowable exception to the curfew measure; the manner of enforcement, however, is left to the discretion of the local government unit.

In fine, the Manila and Navotas Ordinances are declared unconstitutional and thus, null and void, while the Quezon City Ordinance is declared as constitutional and thus, valid in accordance with this Decision.

For another, the Court has determined that the Manila Ordinance's penal provisions imposing reprimand and fines/imprisonment on minors conflict with Section 57-A of RA 9344, as amended. Hence, following the rule that ordinances should always conform with the law, these provisions must be struck down as invalid.

WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTLY GRANTED. The Court hereby declares Ordinance No. 8046, issued by the local government of the City of Manila, and Pambayang Ordinansa Blg. No. 99-02, as amended by Pambayang Ordinansa Blg. 2002-13 issued by the local government of Navotas City, UNCONSTITUTIONAL and, thus, NULL and VOID; while Ordinance No. SP-2301, Series of 2014, issued by the local government of the Quezon City is declared CONSTITUTIONAL and, thus,VALID in accordance with this Decision.

SO ORDERED.

Sereno, C.J., Carpio, Velasco, Jr., Leonardo-De Castro, Peralta, Bersamin, Del Castillo, Mendoza, Jardeleza, Caguioa, Martires, Tijam, and Reyes, Jr., JJ., concur.
Leonen, J., see separate opinion.

Endnotes:


* Or "Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan," rollo, p. 4.

1 Id. at 3-36.

2 Entitled "AN ACT ESTABLISHING A COMPREHENSIVE JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE SYSTEM, CREATING THE JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE COUNCIL UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," approved on April 28, 2006.

3 Rollo, p. 6.

4 Id. at 37-40.

5 Id. at 41-43. Entitled "Ordinansa na Nag-aamyenda sa Ilang Bahagi ng Tuntunin 1, 2 at Tuntunin 4 ng Pambayang Ordinansa Blg. 99- 02, Kilala Bilang Ordinansang Nagtatakda ng 'Curfew' ng mga Kabataan na Wala Pang Labing Walong (18) Taong Gulang sa Bayan ng Navotas, Kalakhang Maynila."

6 Id. at 44-47.

7 Id. at 48-60.

8 See id. at 5-6.

9 Namely, herein petitioners Joanne Rose Sace Lim and John Arvin Navarro Buenaagua, and Ronel Baccutan, Mark Leo Delos Reyes, and Clarissa Joyce Villegas, minor, for herself and as represented by her father, Julian Villegas, Jr, as leaders and members of the SPARK, respectively. Id. at 4-5.

10 Id. at 4.

11 See id. at 16.

12 Entitled "AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE PHILIPPINES, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9344, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE 'JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE ACT OF 2006' AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR," approved on October 3, 2013.

13 See rollo, pp. 20-21.

14 See id.

15 See id. at 21-22.

16 Id. at 23.

17 Id. at 23-25.

18 Id. at 25.

19 Sec. 4. Sanctions and Penalties for Violation. Any child or youth violating this ordinance shall be sanctioned/punished as follows:

(a) If the offender is fifteen (15) years of age and below, the sanction shall consist of a REPRIMAND for the youth offender and ADMONITION to the offender's parent, guardian or person exercising parental authority.

(b) If offender is Fifteen (15) years and under Eighteen (18) years of age, the sanction/penalty shall be:

  1. for the FIRST OFFENSE, Reprimand and Admonition;
  2. for the SECOND OFFENSE, Reprimand and Admonition, and a warning about the legal impositions in case of a third and subsequent violation; and
  3. for the THIRD OFFENSE AND SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES, Imprisonment of one (1) day to ten (10) days, or a Fine of TWO THOUSAND PESOS (Php2,000.00), or both at the discretion of the Court: PROVIDED, That the complaint shall be filed by the Punong Barangay with the office of the City Prosecutor. (See id. at 45.)

20 Section 57-A. Violations of Local Ordinances.- Ordinances enacted by local governments concerning juvenile status offenses such as, but not limited to, curfew violations, truancy, parental disobedience, anti-smoking and anti-drinking laws, as well as light offenses and misdemeanors against public order or safety such as, but not limited to, disorderly conduct, public scandal, harassment, drunkenness, public intoxication, criminal nuisance, vandalism, gambling, mendicancy, littering, public urination, and trespassing, shall be for the protection of children. No penalty shall be imposed on children for said violations, and they shall instead be brought to their residence or to any barangay official at the barangay hall to be released to the custody of their parents. Appropriate intervention programs shall be provided for in such ordinances. The child shall also be recorded as a "child at risk" and not as a "child in conflict with the law." The ordinance shall also provide for intervention programs, such as counseling, attendance in group activities for children, and for the parents, attendance in parenting education seminars.

21 See rollo, pp. 18-19.

22 Id. at 26-28.

23 See id. at 243-248.

24Araullo v. Aquino III, 737 Phil. 457, 525 (2014).

25 Id.

26 Id.

27 Id. at 528.

28 Id. at 531; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

29 See G.R. Nos. 207132 and 207205, December 6, 2016.

30 See id.

31 See Ocampo v. Enriquez, G.R. Nos. 225973, 225984, 226097, 226116, 226117, 226120, and 226294, November 8, 2016.

32 Arroyo v. Department of Justice, 695 Phil. 302, 334 (2012); emphasis and underscoring supplied.

33 Id. at 335; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

34Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., 721 Phil. 416, 518-519 (2013).

35 See Association of Medical Clinics for Overseas Workers, Inc. v. GCC Approved Medical Centers Association, Inc., supra note 29.

36Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., supra note 34, at 519; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

37 See Association of Medical Clinics for Overseas Workers, Inc. v. GCC Approved Medical Centers Association, Inc., supra note 29; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

38Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., 732 Phil. 1, 123-124 (2014); emphasis and underscoring supplied.

39 See TRO dated July 26, 2016 issued by Clerk of Court Felipa B. Anama; rollo, pp. 67-70.

40Saguisag v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 212426 and 212444, January 12, 2016, 779 SCRA 241, 327-328; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

41 Id. at 328.

42Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., supra note 34, at 527; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

43Rollo, p. 5.

44 Clarissa was seventeen (17) years old (see Certificate of Live Birth; id. at 63) at the time the petition was filed on July 22, 2016 (see id. at 3).

45Association of Flood Victims v. Commission on Elections (COMELEC), G.R. No. 203775, August 5, 2014, 732 SCRA 100, 106.

46Saguisag v. Ochoa, Jr., supra note 40, at 335-336; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

47 See rollo, pp. 19-21.

48Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc. v. Anti-Terrorism Council, 646 Phil. 452, 488 (2010); emphases and underscoring supplied.

49 See Smith v. Goguen, 415 U.S. 566; 94 S. Ct. 1242; 39 L. Ed. 2d 605 (1974) U.S. LEXIS 113.

50 Dissenting Opinion of Retired Associate Justice Dante O. Tinga in Spouses. Romualdez v. COMELEC, 576 Phil. 357, 432 (2008).

51 401 F. Supp. 1242 (1975) U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16477.

52 Id., citation omitted.

53 Section 16 of RA 10630 provides:

Section. 16. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, ordinances and rules inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby modified or repealed accordingly.

54 Section 11 of RA 10630 provides:

Section. 57-A. Violations of Local Ordinances. - Ordinances enacted by local governments concerning juvenile status offenses such as, but not limited to, curfew violations, truancy, parental disobedience, anti- smoking and anti-drinking laws, as well as light offenses and misdemeanors against public order or safety such as, but not limited to, disorderly conduct, public scandal, harassment, drunkenness, public intoxication, criminal nuisance, vandalism, gambling, mendicancy, littering, public urination, and trespassing, shall be for the protection of children. x x x The child shall also be recorded as a 'child at risk' and not as a 'child in conflict with the law.' x x x. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

55 Section 1. Short Title and Scope.- This Act shall be known as the "Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006." It shall cover the different stages involving children at risk and children in conflict with the law from prevention to rehabilitation and reintegration.

56People v. Chong Hong, 65 Phil. 625, 628 (1938); emphasis and underscoring supplied.

57 See rollo, pp. 26-28.

58Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205; 92 S. Ct. 1526; 32 L. Ed. 2d 15 (1972) U.S. LEXIS 144; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

59Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. 622; 99 S. Ct. 3035; 61 L. Ed. 2d 797 (1979) U.S. LEXIS 17.

60 Id.

61 390 U.S. 629; 88 S. Ct. 1274; 20 L. Ed. 2d 195 (1968) U.S. LEXIS 1880; 1 Media L. Rep. 1424; 44 Ohio Op. 2d 339.

62 Id; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

63 See Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., supra note 38, at 192 and 195.

64Bellotti v. Baird, supra note 59.

65 See id.

66Bykofsky v. Borough of Middletown, supra note 51; emphasis supplied.

67 Id.; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

68 150-A Phil. 241 (1972).

69 Id. at 248, citing Mormon Church v. US, 136 U.S. 1 (1890).

70 See Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., supra note 38, at 195-196.

71Bellotti, supra note 59, citing See Hafen, Children's Liberation and the New Egalitarianism: Some Reservations About Abandoning Children to Their "Rights," 1976 B. Y. U. L. Rev. 605 and Ginsberg v. New York, supra note 61; emphasis and underscoring supplied.

72 See Schleifer v. City of Charlottesville, 159 F.3d 843 (1998) U.S. App. LEXIS 26597.

73 See Qutb v. Strauss, 11 F.3d 488 {1993) U.S. App. LEXIS 29974.

74 See Bykofsky v. Borough of Middletown, supra note 51; and City of Panora v. Simmons, 445 N.W.2d 363; 1989 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 254; 83 A.L.R. 4th 1035.

75 Supra note 72.

76 Id.

77 Id.

78 See rollo, pp. 23-25.

79 See id.at 21-23.

80 Supra note 48.

81 Id. at 490; emphasis in the original omitted, citation omitted.

82 Id. at 490-491.

83 First Amendment (US Constitution). Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

84 539 U.S. 113; 123 S. Ct. 2191; 156 L. Ed. 2d 148 (2003) U.S. LEXIS 4782; 71 U.S.L.W. 4441; 2003 Cal. Daily Op. Service 5136; 16 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 347.

85Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc. v. Anti-Terrorism Council, supra note 48, at 491.

86 Supra note 38.

87 See Associate Justice Marvic M.V. F. Leonen's Dissenting Opinion; id. at 583-584; emphases and underscoring supplied.

88 See In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. v. Enrile, 158-A Phil. 1 (1974); Kwong v. Presidential Commission on Good Government, 240 Phil. 219 (1987).

89 In Marcos v. Manglapus, 258 Phil. 479, 497-498 (1989), the Court ruled that the right to travel under our Constitution refer to right to move within the country, or to another country, but not the right to return to one's country. The latter right, however, is provided under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which the Philippines is a signatory.

90 UP Law Center Constitutional Revision Project 61 (1970). See Kent v. Dulles, 351 U.S. 116; 78 S. Ct. 1113; 2 L. Ed. 2d 1204 (1958) U.S. LEXIS 814. See also Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro, 39 Phil. 660 705-706 (1919), where the Court stated that the right of locomotion is one of the chief elements of the guaranty of liberty.

91 See Duran v. Abad Santos, 75 Phil. 410, 431-432 (1945).

92 See Salvador H Laurel. Proceedings of the Philippine Constitutional Convention. As Faithfully Reproduced from the Personal Record of Jose P. Laurel, Vol. III, 652 (1966). See also Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro, supra note 90, at 705.

93 See City of Maquoketa v. Russell, 484 N.W.2d 179 (1992) Iowa Sup. LEXIS 91.

94 Id.

95 See Leave Division, Office of Administrative Services-Office of the Court Administrator (OAS-OCA) v. Heusdens, 678 Phil. 328, 399 (2011) and Mirasol v. Department of Public Works and Highways, 523 Phil. 713, 752 (2006). See also Marcos v. Manglapus, supra note 89, at 504. In Silverio v. CA (273 Phil. 128, 133 [1991]), the Court held that "the [State is] not armed with arbitrary discretion to impose limitations [on this right)," and in Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro (supra note 90, at 716), it was held that "citizens [do] not possess an absolute freedom of locomotion."

96 The State under Section 6, Article III of the 1987 Constitution pertains to executive officers or administrative authorities (see Santiago v. Vasquez, G.R. Nos. 99289-90, January 27, 1993, 217 SCRA 633, 651).

97Silverio v. CA, supra note 95, at 133.

98 See Section 2 of RA 7610, entitled "AN ACT PROVIDING FOR STRONGER DETERRENCE AND SPECIAL PROTECTION AGAINST CHILD ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND DISCRIMINATION, PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR ITS VIOLATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," otherwise known as "SPECIAL PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AGAINST CHILD ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND DISCRIMINATION ACT" (July 27, 1992).

99 See Section 2 of RA 9775, entitled "AN ACT DEFINING AND PENALIZING THE CRIME OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, PRESCRIBING PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," otherwise known as the "ANTI-CHILD PORNOGRAPHY ACT OF 2009," approved on November 17, 2009.

100 See Sections 2 and 4 of RA 9262, entitled "AN ACT DEFINING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN, PROVIDING FOR PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR VICTIMS, PRESCRIBING PENALTIES THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," otherwise known as the "ANTI-VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN ACT OF 2004" (March 27, 2004).

101 See Section 2 of RA 9851, entitled "AN ACT DEFINING AND PENALIZING CRIMES AGAINST INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW, GENOCIDE AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, ORGANIZING JURISDICTION, DESIGNATING SPECIAL COURTS, AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES" otherwise known as the "PHILIPPINE ACT ON CRIMES AGAINST INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW, GENOCIDE, AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY," approved on December 11, 2009.

102 See Section 2 of RA 9344.

103 See Sections 3 (a) and (b) of RA 10364, entitled "AN ACT EXPANDING REPUBLIC ACT No. 9208, ENTITLED 'AN ACT TO INSTITUTE POLICIES TO ELIMINATE TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN, ESTABLISHING THE NECESSARY INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS FOR THE PROTECTION AND SUPPORT OF TRAFFICKED PERSONS, PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR ITS VIOLATIONS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE "EXPANDED ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ACT of 2012," approved on February 6, 2013.

104 See Section 32 (b) of RA 9211, entitled "AN ACT REGULATING THE PACKAGING, USE, SALE, DISTRIBUTION AND ADVERTISEMENTS OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," otherwise known as "TOBACCO REGULATION ACT OF 2003" (September 2, 2003).

105 See Sections 2 and 3 of RA 8980, entitled "AN ACT PROMULGATING A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY AND A NATIONAL SYSTEM FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT (ECCD), PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," otherwise known as "ECCD ACT" (May 22, 2001).

106 See Sections 2 and 3 of RA 9288, entitled "AN ACT PROMULGATING A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY AND A NATIONAL SYSTEM FOR ENSURING NEWBORN SCREENING," otherwise known as the "NEWBORN SCREENING ACT OF 2004" (May 10, 2004).

107 See Articles 1, 3, and 8 of PD 603, entitled "THE CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE CODE," approved on December 10, 1974.

108 See Bellotti, supra note 59. See also Assessing the Scope of Minors' Fundamental Rights: Juvenile Curfews and the Constitution 97 Harv. L. Rev. 1163 (March 1984), stating that minors enjoy a myriad of constitutional rights shared with adults. Indeed, the Bill of Rights under the Constitution is not for adults alone; hence, the State should not afford less protection to minors' right simply because they fall below the age of majority.

109 See Hutchins v. District of Columbia, 188 F.3d 531; 338 U.S. App. D.C. 11 (1999) U.S. App. LEXIS 13635; Schleifer v. City of Charlottesville, supra note 72, citing Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675; 106 S. Ct. 3159; 92 L. Ed. 2d 549 (1986) U.S. LEXIS 139; 54 U.S.L.W. 5054; Bellotti, supra note 59; Ginsberg v. New York, supra note 61; and Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 804; 64 S. Ct. 784; 88 L. Ed. 1090 (1944) U.S. LEXIS 942.

110 See Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646; 115 S. Ct. 2386; 132 L. Ed. 2d 564 (1995) U.S. LEXIS 4275; 63 U.S.L.W. 4653; 95 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4846; 9 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 229.

111 1987 CONSTITUTION, Article V, Section 1.

112 Civil Code of the Philippines, Article 1327.

113 Labor Code of the Philippines, as renumbered, Articles 137 and 138.

114 See Section 8 (a) of RA 7610 and Section 5 (f) of RA 8239, entitled "PHILIPPINE PASSPORT ACT OF 1996," approved on November 22, 1996.

115Schleifer v. City of Charlottesville, supra note 72, citing Prince v. Massachusetts, supra note 109.

116Schleifer v. City of Charlottesville; id.

117 Supra note 59.

118Bellotti, id.; to wit: "The unique role in our society of the family x x x requires that constitutional principles be applied with sensitivity and flexibility to the special needs of parents and children. We have recognized three [(3)] reasons justifying the conclusion that the constitutional rights of children cannot be equated with those of adults: [1] the peculiar vulnerability of children; [2] their inability to make critical decisions in an informed, mature manner; and [3] the importance of the parental role in child rearing." (Emphases and underscoring supplied)

119 Id.

120 Supra note 109.

121 Id., citations omitted.

122 See Central Bank Employees Association, Inc. v. BSP (BSP), 487 Phil. 531 (2004); White Light Corporation v. City of Manila, 596 Phil. 444 (2009); Ang Ladlad LGBT Party v. COMELEC, 632 Phil. 32, 77 (2010), citing Joaquin Bernas, S.J. The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines: A Commentary 139-140 (2009). See also Concurring Opinion of Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro in Garcia v. Drilon, 712 Phil. 44, 124-127 (2013); and Disini, Jr. v. Secretary of Justice, 727 Phil. 28, 97- 98 (2014).

123 In Central Bank Employees Association, Inc. v. BSP (id. at 693- 696, citations omitted), it was opined that, "in the landmark case of San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (411 U.S. 1; 93 S. Ct. 1278; 36 L. Ed. 2d 16 [1973] U.S. LEXIS 91), the U.S. Supreme Court in identifying a 'suspect class' as a class saddled with such disabilities, or subjected to such a history of purposeful unequal treatment, or relegated to such a position of political powerlessness as to command extraordinary protection from the majoritarian political process, articulated that suspect classifications were not limited to classifications based on race, alienage or national origin but could also be applied to other criteria such as religion. Thus, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that suspect classifications deserving of Strict Scrutiny include those based on race or national origin, [alienage], and religion while classifications based on gender, illegitimacy, financial need, conscientious objection and age have been held not to constitute suspect classifications." See also Mosqueda v. Filipino Banana Growers & Exporters Association, Inc., G.R. Nos. 189185 and 189305, August 16, 2016. See further White Light Corporation v. City of Manila (id. at 463), where it was held that "[s[trict scrutiny is used today to test the validity of laws dealing with the regulation of speech, gender, or race[,] as well as other fundamental rights as expansion from its earlier applications to equal protection. The [US] Supreme Court has expanded the scope of strict scrutiny to protect fundamental rights such as suffrage, judicial access, and interstate travel."

124 See Dissenting Opinion of Retired Chief Justice Artermio V. Panganiban in Central Bank Employees Association. Inc. v. BSP, id. at 648.

125 See id.

126 See White Light Corporation v. City of Manila, id.

127 In the US, courts have made several, albeit conflicting, rulings in determining the applicable level of scrutiny in cases involving minors' constitutional rights, specifically on the right to travel (see Bykofsky v. Borough of Middletown, supra note 51; Johnson v. City of Opelousas, 658 F.2d 1065 [1981] U.S. App. LEXIS 16939; 32 Fed. R. Serv. 2d [Callaghan] 879; McCollester v. City of Keene, 586 F. Supp. 1381 [1984] U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16647; Waters v. Barry, 711 F. Supp. 1125 [1989] U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5707; Qutb v. Strauss, supra note 73; Hutchins v. District of Columbia, supra note 109; Nunez v. City of San Diego, 114 F.3d 935 [1997] U.S. App. LEXIS 13409; 97 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4317, 97 Daily Journal DAR 7221; Schleifer v. City of Charlottesville, supra note 72; Ramos v. Town of Vernon, 353 F.3d 171 [2003] U.S. App. LEXIS 25851; and Hodgkins v. Peterson, 355 F.3d 1048 [2004] U.S. App. LEXIS 910). These conflicting rulings spring from the uncertainty on whether the right to interstate travel under US laws is a fundamental right (see US v. Wheeler, 254 U.S. 281; 41 S. Ct. 133; 65 L. Ed. 270 [1920] U.S. LEXIS 1159; and Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618; 89 S. Ct. 1322; 22 L. Ed. 2d 600 [1969] U.S. LEXIS 3190).In contrast, the right to travel is clearly a fundamental right under Philippine law; thus, the strict scrutiny test is undeniably the applicable level of scrutiny.

See also In Re Mosier, 59 Ohio Misc. 83; 394 N.E.2d 368 [1978] Ohio Misc. LEXIS 94; citing earlier cases involving curfew ordinances on minors; People in the Interest of J.M., 768 P.2d 219 [1989] Colo. LEXIS 10; 13 BTR 93; City of Panora v. Simmons, supra note 74; and City of Maquoketa v. Russell, supra note 93.

128 See In Re Mosier, id. citing People v. Chambers, 32 Ill. App. 3d 444; 335 N.E.2d 612 (1975) Ill. App. LEXIS 2993.

129Nunez v. City of San Diego, supra note 127.

130 Id.

131Disini, Jr. v. Secretary of Justice, supra note 122, at 98. See also Serrano v. Gallant Maritime Services, Inc., 601 Phil. 245,282 (2009).

132Disini, Jr. v. Secretary of Justice, id. See also Dissenting Opinion of Ret. Chief Justice Panganiban and Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio in Central Bank Employees Association, Inc. v. BSP, supra note 122, at 644 and 688-689, respectively.

133 See The Diocese of Bacolod v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015, 747 SCRA 1, 97-98, citing 1987 CONSTITUTION, Art. II, Secs. 12 and 13 and Soriano v. Laguardia, 605 Phil. 43, 106 (2009).

134 Id.

135Serrano v. Gallant Maritime Services, Inc., supra note 131, at 298.

136 Rollo, pp. 48-49.

137 Supra note 72.

138 Id.

139 In its Comment dated August 18, 2016 (see rollo, pp. 270-313), the local government of Quezon City attached statistical data on "Children in Conflict with Law" (CICL) incidents from the various barangays of its six (6) districts for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015 (see id. at 330-333). The information is summarized as follows:

YEAR
NUMBER OF CICL
2013
2677
2014
5106
2015
4778

In 2014 and 2015, most of the reported CICL incidents were related to Theft, Curfew violations, and Physical Injury. The local government claimed that the decline of CICL incidents in 2015 was due to the enforcement of the curfew ordinance (id. at 298).

Also, together with its Comment dated August 16, 2016 (id. at 85-111 ), the local government of Manila submitted data reports of the Manila Police District (MPD) on CICL incidents, in Manila from 2014, 2015, and half of the year 2016 (id. at 116-197), as follows:

YEAR
NUMBER OF CICL
2014
74*
2015
30
January to July 2016
75**

* It includes a minor who violated RA 4136 or the '"Land Transportation and Traffic Code" (June 20, 1964) and RA 10586 or the "Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013," approved on May 27, 2013.

* It includes the number of minors who violated curfew hours.

A number from these reports involve incidents of Robbery (43), Theft (43), Physical Injuries (12), Rape (9), and Frustrated Homicide (6).

The local government of Manila likewise attached the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) report on CICL for the years 2015 and half of the year 2016, summed as follows (id. at 198-199):

YEAR
NUMBER OF CICL
2015
845
January to June 2016
524

Further, it attached DSWD's report on minors who were at risk of running in conflict with law and CICL as a result of the local government of Manila's Campaign on Zero Street Dwellers in the City of Manila for the year 2016 (id. at 200-202):

Reached out Cases
2,194
**Reached out Cases with Offenses (CICL)
480

See also id. at 98-99 and 298.

140 See id. at 296-298.

141 See In Re Mosier, supra note 127.

142 See People in Interest of J.M, supra note 127.

143 Assessing the Scope of Minors' Fundamental Rights: Juvenile Curfews and the Constitution, 97 Harv. L. Rev. 1163 (March 1984).

144 Note that the court in this US case used "no compelling interest" as the ground to declare the ordinance unconstitutional. The reasons set forth in its discussion, however, relates to the failure of the ordinance to be narrowly drawn as to infringe on constitutional rights (see supra note 127).

145 See Qutb v. Strauss (supra note 73), wherein a US court ruled that the assailed .curfew ordinance employed the least restrictive means of accomplishing its objectives as it contained various defenses or exceptions that narrowly tailored the ordinance and allowed the local government to meet its goals while respecting the rights of minors. In effect, the ordinance placed only minimal burden on the minors' constitutional rights. It held:

Furthermore, we are convinced that this curfew ordinance also employs the least restrictive means of accomplishing its goals. The ordinance contains various "defenses" that allow affected minors to remain in public areas during curfew hours. x x x To be sure, the defenses are the most important consideration in determining whether this ordinance is narrowly tailored.

xxxx

x x x It is true, of course, that the curfew ordinance would restrict some late-night activities of juveniles; if indeed it did not, then there would be no purpose in enacting it. But when balanced with the compelling interest sought to be addressed— protecting juveniles and preventing juvenile crime— the impositions are minor. x x x. Thus, after carefully examining the juvenile curfew ordinance enacted by the city of Dallas, we conclude that it is narrowly tailored to address the city's compelling interest and any burden this ordinance places upon minors' constitutional rights will be minimal. (Emphases supplied)

146 Rollo, pp. 44.

Sec. 2. During curfew hours, no children and youths below eighteen (18) years of age shall be allowed in the streets, commercial establishments, recreation centers, malls or any other area outside the immediate vicinity of their residence, EXCEPT:

(a)
those accompanied by their parents, family members of legal age, or guardian;
(b)
those running lawful errands such as buying of medicines, using of telecommunication facilities for emergency purposes and the like;
(c)
students of night schools and those who, by virtue of their employment, are required to stay in the streets or outside their residence after 10:00 P.M.; and
(d)
those working at night: PROVIDED, That children falling under categories c) and d) shall secure a certification from their Punong Barangay exempting them from the coverage of this Ordinance, or present documentation/identification proving their qualification under such category.

147 Id. at 38.

Tuntunin 3. Mga Eksemsyon

a. Eksemsyon dahil sa Gawain[:]

a.1 Mga mag-aaral na may klase sa gabi;
a.2 Mga kabataang naghahanapbuhay sa gabi;
a.3
Mga kabataang dumalo sa gawain/pagtitipon ng paaralan o simbahan na may pakikipag-ugnayan sa Tanggapan ng Sangguniang Barangay.

Ang lahat ng kabataan sa sakop ng Bayan ng Navotas, Kalakhang Maynila na nag-aaral o naghahanapbuhay na ang oras ng pagpasok o pag-uwi ay sakop ng "curfew" ay kailangang kumuha ng katibayan (certification) mula sa paaralan/tanggapan/pagawaan na pinapasukan ng may pagpapatunay ng Punong Barangay na sumasakop sa mga kinauukulan, upang ito ay magamit sa oras ng "curfew" sa kanilang pag-uwi o pagpasok.

b. Eskemsyong [sic] Insidental:

b.1
Mga kabataang may mga gawain sa ilalim ng superbisyon o pamamahala ng kanilang mga magulang/tagapag-alaga o mga indibiduwal na nasa hustong gulang (18 taon at pataas) na may awtoridad sa kanila.
b.2
Mga kabataang napasama sa mga aksidente, kalamidad at mga tulad nito.

k. Eksemsyong tuwing may okasyon:

k.1 Bisperas at Araw ng Pasko;
k.2 Bisperas at Araw ng Bagong Taon;
k.3 Bisperas at Araw ng Pistang Barangay;
k.4 Araw ng Santo/Araw ng mga Kaluluwa;
k.5 Huwebes Santo;
k.6 Biyernes Santo;
k.7 Sabado de Gloria; at
k.8 Pasko ng Pagkabuhay.

148 The Curfew Ordinances exempt minors from the curfews when they are engaged in night school, night work, or emergency situations (see id. at 38, 44, and 53-54).

149 Supra note 127.

150 See Tuntunin 4 of the Navotas Ordinance (rollo, p. 42); and Section 12 of the Manila Ordinance (rollo, p. 46).

151 The general rule is that where part of a statute is void as repugnant to the Constitution, while another part is valid, the valid portion, if separable from the invalid, may stand and be enforced. The presence of a separability clause in a statute creates the presumption that the legislature intended separability, rather than complete nullity of the statute. To justify this result, the valid portion must be so far independent of the invalid portion that it is fair to presume that the legislature would have enacted it by itself if it had supposed that it could not constitutionally enact the other. Enough must remain to make a complete, intelligible and valid statute, which carries out the legislative intent. x x x.

The exception to the general rule is that when the parts of a statute are so mutually dependent and connected, as conditions, considerations, inducements, or compensations for each other, as to warrant a belief that the legislature intended them as a whole, the nullity of one part will vitiate the rest. In making the parts of the statute dependent, conditional, or connected with one another, the legislature intended the statute to be carried out as a whole and would not have enacted it if one part is void, in which case if some parts are unconstitutional, all the other provisions thus dependent, conditional, or connected must fall with them. (Tatad v. The Secretary of the Department of Energy, 346 Phil. 321, 371 [1997], citing Agpalo, Statutory Construction, 1986 Ed., pp. 28-29.)

152 Rollo, pp. 53-54.

153 Malto v. People, 560 Phil. 119, 139-140 (2007).

154 Rollo, p. 57-59.

155 See amended Navotas Ordinance; id. at 41-42.

Tuntunin 1. PAMPATAKARANG KAPARUSAHAN AT MULTA.

a)
Unang Paglabag - ang mahuhuli ay dadalhin sa Tanggapan ng Kagalingang Panlipunan at Pagpapaunlad (MSWDO). Ipapatawag ang magulang o tagapag-alaga sa kabataang lumabag at pagkuha ng tala hinggil sa pagkatao nito (Pangalan, Edad, Tirahan, Pangalan ng Magulang o Tagapag-alaga), at pagpapaalala, kasunod ang pagbabalik sa kalinga ng magulang o tagapagalaga ng batang nahuli.
b)
Pangalawang Paglabag - Ang batang lumabag ay [dadalhin] sa MSWDO, pagmumultahin ang magulang/tagapag-alaga ng halagang P300.00 piso, dahil sa kapabayaan o apat (4) na oras na gawaing sibiko-sosyal o pangkomunidad ng magulang/tagapag-alaga at ang batang nahuli.
k)
Ikatlong Paglabag - pagmumulta ng magulang/tagapag-alaga ng halagang P300.00 piso dahil sa kapabayaan atapat (4) na oras ng gawaing sibiko-sosyal o pangkomunidad ng magulang/tagapag-alaga at ang batang nahuli.
d)
Para sa pang-apat at paulit-ulit na lalabag ay papatawan ng kaparusahang doble sa itinakda ng Tuntuning 1.k ng ordinansang ito.


1.1
Sa pagkakataong walang multang [maibibigay] ang magulang/tagapag-alaga ng kabataang [nahuli], ang Tanggapan ng Kagalingang Panlipunan at Pagpapaunlad (MSDWO) ay magpapataw ng gawaing sibiko-social o pangkomunidad sa magulang at ang batang nahuli katumbas ng nasabing multa tulad ng mga sumusunod:



a.
Apat (4) na oras na paglilinis ng kanal o lansangan na itinakda ng nasabing tanggapan.


b.
Apat (4) na oras na pagtatanim ng puno sa Iugar na itatakda ng nasabing tanggapan.


c.
Apat (4) na oras na gawaing pagpapaganda ng komunidad bilang suporta sa programang "Clean and Green" ng Pamahalaang Bayan. (Emphases and underscoring supplied.)

156 Rollo, p. 45.

157 Penalties (as punishment) are imposed either: (1) to "satisfy the community's retaliatory sense of indignation that is provoked by injustice" (Black's Law Dictionary, 8th Ed., p. 1270) - or for retribution following the classical or juristic school of thought underlying the criminal law system (Boado, Notes and Cases on the Revised Penal Code, 2012 Ed., p. 9); (2) to "change the character of the offender" (Black's Law Dictionary, Eight Ed., p. 1270) - or for reformation pursuant to the positivist or realistic school of thought (Boado, Notes and Cases on the Revised Penal Code, 2012 Ed., pp. 9-10); (32 to "prevent the repetition of wrongdoing by disabling the offender" (Black's Law Dictionary, 8th Ed., p. 1270)-following the utilitarian theory (Boado, Notes and Cases on the Revised Penal Code, 2012 Ed., p. 11); or (4) for both retribution and reformation pursuant to the eclectic theory (Boado, Notes and Cases on the Revised Penal Code, 2012 Ed., p. 11).

158 Black's Law Dictionary, 8th Ed., p. 1168.

159 Philippine Law Dictionary, 3rd Ed., p. 688.

160 Black's Law Dictionary, 8th Ed., p. 1269.

161 Section 4 (f) of RA 9344 reads: Section 4. Definition of Terms- x x x.

xxxx

(f) "Community-based Programs" refers to the programs provided in a community setting developed for purposes of intervention and diversion, as well as rehabilitation of the child in conflict with the law, for reintegration into his/her family and/or community.

162 Section 54 of RA 9344 reads:

Section 54. Objectives of Community-Based Programs. -The objectives of community-based programs are as follows:

(a)
Prevent disruption in the education or means of livelihood of the child in conflict with the law in case he/she is studying, working or attending vocational learning institutions;
(b)
Prevent separation of the child in conflict with the law from his/her parents/guardians to maintain the support system fostered by their relationship and to create greater awareness of their mutual and reciprocal responsibilities;
(c)
Facilitate the rehabilitation and mainstreaming of the child in conflict with the law and encourage community support and involvement; and
(d)
Minimize the stigma that attaches to the child in conflict with the law by preventing jail detention.

163 < https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/admonition > (last accessed on March 14, 2017).

164 8th Ed., p. 52.

165 3rd Ed., p. 36.

166 See Section 52 (g), Rule 10 of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RRACCS) (promulgated on November 18, 2011 ), which states that: "[a] warning or admonition shall not be considered a penalty." See also In the Matter of the Contempt Orders Against Lt. Gen. Calimlim, 584 Phil. 377, 384 (2008), citing Tobias v. Veloso, 188 Phil. 267, 274-275 (1980); Re: Anonymous Complaint Against Ms. Bayani for Dishonesty, 656 Phil. 222, 228 (2011); and Dalmacio-Joaquin v. Dela Cruz, 690 Phil. 400, 409 (2012), to name a few.

See also Section 58 (i), Rule IV of Memorandum Circular No. 19, Series of 1999 or the "Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service" (RURACCS) (September 27, 1999). The RRACCS (Section 46 (f), Rule 10) and its predecessor RURACCS (Section 52 (c), Rule IV), however, consider reprimand (or censure) as a penalty imposed for light offenses.

167 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reprimand (last accessed on March 14, 2017).

168 8th Ed., p. 1329.

169 3rd Ed., p. 818.

170 See Section 52 (f) Rule 10 of the RRACCS: "[t]he penalty of reprimand x x x." See also Tobias v. Veloso, supra note 166, at 275.




SEPARATE OPINION

LEONEN, J.:

I concur in the result. All of the assailed ordinances should have been struck down for failing to ground themselves on demonstrated rational bases, for failing to adopt the least restrictive means to achieve their aims, and for failing to show narrowly tailored enforcement measures that foreclose abuse by law enforcers. The doctrine of parens patriae fails to justify these ordinances. While this doctrine enables state intervention for the welfare of children, its operation must not transgress the constitutionally enshrined natural and primary right of parents to rear their children.

However, the adoption by this Court of the interpretation of Section 4, item (a) of the Quezon City Ordinance to the effect that parental permission in any form for any minor is also an exception will have the effect of narrowly tailoring the application of that curfew regulation.

The assailed ordinances are not novel. Navotas City Pambayang Ordinansa Blg. 99-021 was passed on August 26, 1999. City of Manila Ordinance No. 80462 was passed on October 14, 2002. Quezon City Ordinance No. SP-23013 was passed on July 31, 2014.

The present controversy was spurred by the revitalized, strict implementation of these curfew ordinances as part of police operations under the broad umbrella of "'Oplan Rody." These operations were in fulfillment of President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign promise for a nationwide implementation of a curfew for minors.4

Samahan ng mga Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), an association of youths and minors for "the protection of the rights and welfare of youths and minors," and its members Joanne Rose Sace Lim, John Arvin Navarro Buenaagua, Ronel Baccutan (Baccutan), Mark Leo Delos Reyes (Delos Reyes), and Clarissa Joyce Villegas (Villegas) filed the present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition alleging that the ordinances are unconstitutional and in violation of Republic Act No. 9344.5

I

Constitutional challenges against local legislation

Petitioners submit a multi-faceted constitutional challenge against the assailed ordinances.

They assert that the assailed ordinances should be declared unconstitutional as the lack of expressed standards for the identification of minors facilitates arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.6

Petitioners further argue that the assailed ordinances unduly restrict a minor's liberty, in general, and right to travel, in particular.7

Likewise, petitioners assert that, without due process, the assailed ordinances intrude into or deprive parents of their "natural and primary right"8 to rear their children.

Ordinances are products of "derivative legislative power"9 in that legislative power is delegated by the national legislature to local government units. They are presumed constitutional and, until judicially declared invalid, retain their binding effect. In Tano v. Hon. Gov. Socrates:10

It is of course settled that laws (including ordinances enacted by local government units) enjoy the presumption of constitutionality. To overthrow this presumption, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not merely a doubtful or argumentative contradiction. In short, the conflict with the Constitution must be shown beyond reasonable doubt. Where doubt exists, even if well-founded, there can be no finding of unconstitutionality. To doubt is to sustain.11

The presumption of constitutionality is rooted in the respect that the judiciary must accord to the legislature. In Estrada v. Sandiganbayan:12

This strong predilection for constitutionality takes its bearings on the idea that it is forbidden for one branch of the government to encroach upon the duties and powers of another. Thus it has been said that the presumption is based on the deference the judicial branch accords to its coordinate branch — the legislature.

If there is any reasonable basis upon which the legislation may firmly rest, the courts must assume that the legislature is ever conscious of the borders and edges of its plenary powers, and has passed the law with full knowledge of the facts and for the purpose of promoting what is right and advancing the welfare of the majority. Hence in determining whether the acts of the legislature are in tune with the fundamental law, courts should proceed with judicial restraint and act with caution and forbearance.13

The same respect is proper for acts made by local legislative bodies, whose members are equally presumed to have acted conscientiously and with full awareness of the constitutional and statutory bounds within which they may operate. Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association v. City of Manila14 explained:

As was expressed categorically by Justice Malcolm: "The presumption is all in favor of validity . . . The action of the elected representatives of the people cannot be lightly set aside. The councilors must, in the very nature of things, be familiar with the necessities of their particular municipality and with all the facts and circumstances which surround the subject and necessitates action. The local legislative body, by enacting the ordinance, has in effect given notice that the regulations are essential to the well being of the people . . . The Judiciary should not lightly set aside legislative action when there is not a clear invasion of personal or property rights under the guise of police regulation."15

The presumption of constitutionality may, of course, be challenged. Challenges, however, shall only be sustained upon a clear and unequivocal showing of the bases for invalidating a law. In Smart Communications v. Municipality of Malvar:16

To justify the nullification of the law or its implementation, there must be a clear and unequivocal, not a doubtful, breach of the Constitution. In case of doubt in the sufficiency of proof establishing unconstitutionality, the Court must sustain legislation because "to invalidate [a law] based on ... baseless supposition is an affront to the wisdom not only of the legislature that passed it but also of the executive which approved it." This presumption of constitutionality can be overcome only by the clearest showing that there was indeed an infraction of the Constitution, and only when such a conclusion is reached by the required majority may the Court pronounce, in the discharge of the duty it cannot escape, that the challenged act must be struck down.17

Consistent with the exacting standard for invalidating ordinances, Hon. Fernando v. St. Scholastica's College,18 outlined the test for determining the validity of an ordinance:

The test of a valid ordinance is well established. A long line of decisions including City of Manila has held that for an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the local government unit to enact and pass according to the procedure prescribed by law, it must also conform to the following substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute; (2) must not be unfair or oppressive; (3) must not be partial or discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade; (5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must not be unreasonable.19

The first consideration hearkens to the primacy of the Constitution, as well as to the basic nature of ordinances as products of a power that was merely delegated to local government units. In City of Manila v. Hon. Laguio:20

Anent the first criterion, ordinances shall only be valid when they are not contrary to the Constitution and to the laws. The Ordinance must satisfy two requirements: it must pass muster under the test of constitutionality and the test of consistency with the prevailing laws. That ordinances should be constitutional uphold the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution. The requirement that the enactment must not violate existing law gives stress to the precept that local government units are able to legislate only by virtue of their derivative legislative power, a delegation of legislative power from the national legislature. The delegate cannot be superior to the principal or exercise powers higher than those of the latter.21 (Citations omitted)

II

Appraising due process and equal protection challenges

At stake here is the basic constitutional guarantee that "[n]o person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws."22 There are two (2) dimensions to this: first, is an enumeration of objects of protection—life, liberty and property; second, is an identification and delimitation of the legitimate mechanism for their modulation or abnegation—due process and equal protection. The first dimension lists specific objects whose bounds are amorphous; the second dimension delineates action, and therefore, requires precision.

Speaking of life and its protection does not merely entail ensuring biological subsistence. It is not just a proscription against killing. Likewise, speaking of liberty and its protection does not merely involve a lack of physical restraint. The objects of the constitutional protection of due process are better understood dynamically and from a frame of consummate human dignity. They are likewise better understood integrally, operating in a synergistic frame that serves to secure a person's integrity.

"Life, liberty and property" is akin to the United Nations' formulation of "life, liberty, and security of person"23 and the American formulation of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."24 As the American Declaration of Independence postulates, they are "unalienable rights" for which "[g]overnments are instituted among men" in order that they may be secured.25 Securing them denotes pursuing and obtaining them, as much as it denotes preserving them. The formulation is, thus, an aspirational declaration, not merely operating on factual givens but enabling the pursuit of ideals.

"Life," then, is more appropriately understood as the fullness of human potential: not merely organic, physiological existence, but consummate self-actualization, enabled and effected not only by freedom from bodily restraint but by facilitating an empowering existence.26 "Life and liberty," placed in the context of a constitutional aspiration, it then becomes the duty of the government to facilitate this empowering existence. This is not an inventively novel understanding but one that has been at the bedrock of our social and political conceptions. As Justice George Malcolm, speaking for this Court in 1919, articulated:

Civil liberty may be said to mean that measure of freedom which may be enjoyed in a civilized community, consistently with the peaceful enjoyment of like freedom in others. The right to liberty guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to exist and the right to be free from arbitrary personal restraint or servitude. The term cannot be dwarfed into mere freedom from physical restraint of the person of the citizen, but is deemed to embrace the right of man to enjoy the faculties with which he has been endowed by his Creator, subject only to such restraints as are necessary for the common welfare. As enunciated in a long array of authorities including epoch-making decisions of the United States Supreme Court, liberty includes the right of the citizen to be free to use his faculties in lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; to pursue any avocation, and for that purpose, to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary, and essential to his carrying out these purposes to a successful conclusion. The chief elements of the guaranty are the right to contract, the right to choose one's employment, the right to labor, and the right of locomotion.27

It is in this sense that the constitutional listing of the objects of due process protection admits amorphous bounds. The constitutional protection of life and liberty encompasses a penumbra of cognate rights that is not fixed but evolves—expanding liberty—alongside the contemporaneous reality in which the Constitution operates. People v. Hernandez28 illustrated how the right to liberty is multi-faceted and is not limited to its initial formulation in the due process clause:

[T]he preservation of liberty is such a major preoccupation of our political system that, not satisfied with guaranteeing its enjoyment in the very first paragraph of section (1) of the Bill of Rights, the framers of our Constitution devoted paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (18), and (21) of said section (1)29 to the protection of several aspects of freedom.30

While the extent of the constitutional protection of life and liberty is dynamic, evolving, and expanding with contemporaneous realities, the mechanism for preserving life and liberty is immutable: any intrusion into it must be with due process of law and must not run afoul of the equal protection of the laws.

Appraising the validity of government regulation in relation to the due process and equal protection clauses invokes three (3) levels of analysis. Proceeding similarly as we do now with the task of appraising local ordinances, White Light Corporation v. City of Manila31 discussed:

The general test of the validity of an ordinance on substantive due process grounds is best tested when assessed with the evolved footnote 4 test laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Carolene Products. Footnote 4 of the Carolene Products case acknowledged that the judiciary would defer to the legislature unless there is a discrimination against a "discrete and insular" minority or infringement of a "fundamental right". Consequently, two standards of judicial review were established: strict scrutiny for laws dealing with freedom of the mind or restricting the political process, and the rational basis standard of review for economic legislation.

A third standard, denominated as heightened or immediate scrutiny, was later adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court for evaluating classifications based on gender and legitimacy. Immediate scrutiny was adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Craig, after the Court declined to do so in Reed v. Reed. While the test may have first been articulated in equal protection analysis, it has in the United States since been applied in all substantive due process cases as well.

We ourselves have often applied the rational basis test mainly in analysis of equal protection challenges. Using the rational basis examination, laws or ordinances are upheld if they rationally further a legitimate governmental interest. Under intermediate review, governmental interest is extensively examined and the availability of less restrictive measures is considered. Applying strict scrutiny, the focus is on the presence of compelling, rather than substantial, governmental interest and on the absence of less restrictive means for achieving that interest.

In terms of judicial review of statutes or ordinances, strict scrutiny refers to the standard for determining the quality and the amount of governmental interest brought to justify the regulation of fundamental freedoms. Strict scrutiny is used today to test the validity of laws dealing with the regulation of speech, gender, or race as well as other fundamental rights as expansion from its earlier applications to equal protection. The United States Supreme Court has expanded the scope of strict scrutiny to protect fundamental rights such as suffrage, judicial access and interstate travel.32 (Citations omitted)

An appraisal of due process and equal protection challenges against government regulation must admit that the gravity of interests invoked by the government and the personal liberties or classification affected are not uniform. Hence, the three (3) levels of analysis that demand careful calibration: the rational basis test, intermediate review, and strict scrutiny. Each level is typified by the dual considerations of: first, the interest invoked by the government; and second, the means employed to achieve that interest.

The rational basis test requires only that there be a legitimate government interest and that there is a reasonable connection between it and the means employed to achieve it.

Intermediate review requires an important government interest. Here, it would suffice if government is able to demonstrate substantial connection between its interest and the means it employs. In accordance with White Light, "the availability of less restrictive measures [must have been] considered."33 This demands a conscientious effort at devising the least restrictive means for attaining its avowed interest. It is enough that the means employed is conceptually the least restrictive mechanism that the government may apply.

Strict scrutiny applies when what is at stake are fundamental freedoms or what is involved are suspect classifications. It requires that there be a compelling state interest and that the means employed to effect it are narrowly-tailored, actually—not only conceptually—being the least restrictive means for effecting the invoked interest. Here, it does not suffice that the government contemplated on the means available to it. Rather, it must show an active effort at demonstrating the inefficacy of all possible alternatives. Here, it is required to not only explore all possible avenues but to even debunk the viability of alternatives so as to ensure that its chosen course of action is the sole effective means. To the extent practicable, this must be supported by sound data gathering mechanisms.

Central Bank Employees Association, Inc. v. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas34 further explained:

Under most circumstances, the Court will exercise judicial restraint in deciding questions of constitutionality, recognizing the broad discretion given to Congress in exercising its legislative power. Judicial scrutiny would be based on the "rational basis" test, and the legislative discretion would be given deferential treatment.

But if the challenge to the statute is premised on the denial of a fundamental right, or the perpetuation of prejudice against persons favored by the Constitution with special protection, judicial scrutiny ought to be more strict. A weak and watered down view would call for the abdication of this Court's solemn duty to strike down any law repugnant to the Constitution and the rights it enshrines. This is true whether the actor committing the unconstitutional act is a private person or the government itself or one of its instrumentalities. Oppressive acts will be struck down regardless of the character or nature of the actor.35 (Emphasis supplied)

Cases involving strict scrutiny innately favor the preservation of fundamental rights and the non-discrimination of protected classes. Thus, in these cases, the burden falls upon the government to prove that it was impelled by a compelling state interest and that there is actually no other less restrictive mechanism for realizing the interest that it invokes:

Applying strict scrutiny, the focus is on the presence of compelling, rather than substantial, governmental interest and on the absence of less restrictive means for achieving that interest, and the burden befalls upon the State to prove the same.36

III

The present Petition entails fundamental rights and
defines status offenses. Thus, strict scrutiny is proper.

By definition, a curfew restricts mobility. As effected by the assailed ordinances, this restriction applies daily at specified times and is directed at minors, who remain under the authority of their parents.

Thus, petitioners correctly note that at stake in the present Petition is the right to travel. Article III, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution provides:

Section 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.

While a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right, this right is not absolute. The Constitution itself states that the right may be "impaired" in consideration of: national security, public safety, or public health.37 The ponencia underscores that the avowed purpose of the assailed ordinances is "the promotion of juvenile safety and prevention of juvenile crime."38 The assailed ordinances, therefore, seem to find justification as a valid exercise of the State's police power, regulating—as opposed to completely negating—the right to travel.

Given the overlap of the state's prerogatives with those of parents, equally at stake is the right that parents hold in the rearing of their children.

There are several facets of the right to privacy. Ople v. Torres39 identified the right of persons to be secure "in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,"40 the right against unreasonable searches and seizures,41 liberty of abode,42 the right to form associations,43 and the right against self­incrimination44 as among these facets.

While not among the rights enumerated under Article III of the 1987 Constitution, the rights of parents with respect to the family is no less a fundamental right and an integral aspect of liberty and privacy. Article II, Section 12 characterizes the right of parents in the rearing of the youth to be ''natural and primary."45 It adds that it is a right, which shall "receive the support of the Government."46

Imbong v. Ochoa,47 affirms the natural and primary rights of parents in the rearing of children as a facet of the right to privacy:

To insist on a rule that interferes with the right of parents to exercise parental control over their minor-child or the right of the spouses to mutually decide on matters which very well affect the very purpose of marriage, that is, the establishment of conjugal and family life, would result in the violation of one's privacy with respect to his family.48

This Court's 2009 Decision in White Light49 unequivocally characterized the right to privacy as a fundamental right. Thus, alleged . statutory intrusion into it warrants strict scrutiny.50

If we were to take the myopic view that an Ordinance should be analyzed strictly as to its effect only on the petitioners at bar, then it would seem that the only restraint imposed by the law which we are capacitated to act upon is the injury to property sustained by the petitioners, an injury that would warrant the application of the most deferential standard - the rational basis test. Yet as earlier stated, we recognize the capacity of the petitioners to invoke as well the constitutional rights of their patrons - those persons who would be deprived of availing short time access or wash-up rates to the lodging establishments in question.

. . . .

The rights at stake herein fall within the same fundamental rights to liberty which we upheld in City of Manila v. Hon. Laguio, Jr. We expounded on that most primordial of rights, thus:

Liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution was defined by Justice Malcolm to include "the right to exist and the right to be free from arbitrary restraint or servitude. The term cannot be dwarfed into mere freedom from physical restraint of the person of the citizen, but is deemed to embrace the right of man to enjoy the faculties with which he has been endowed by his Creator, subject only to such restraint as are necessary for the common welfare.'' .. . In accordance with this case, the rights of the citizen to be free to use his faculties in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; and to pursue any avocation are all deemed embraced in the concept of liberty ...

It cannot be denied that the primary animus behind the ordinance is the curtailment of sexual behavior. The City asserts before this Court that the subject establishments "have gained notoriety as venue of 'prostitution, adultery and fornications' in Manila since they provide the necessary atmosphere for clandestine entry, presence and exit and thus became the 'ideal haven for prostitutes and thrill-seekers"'. Whether or not this depiction of a mise-en-scene of vice is accurate, it cannot be denied that legitimate sexual behavior among consenting married or consenting single adults which is constitutionally protected will be curtailed as well, as it was in the City of Manila case. Our holding therein retains significance for our purposes:

The concept of liberty compels respect for the individual whose claim to privacy and interference demands respect ...

Indeed, the right to privacy as a constitutional right was recognized in Morfe, the invasion of which should be justified by a compelling state interest. Morfe accorded recognition to the right to privacy independently of its identification with liberty; in itself it is fully deserving of constitutional protection. Governmental powers should stop short of certain intrusions into the personal life of the citizen.51 (Citations omitted)

In determining that the interest invoked by the State was not sufficiently compelling to justify intrusion of the patrons' privacy rights, this Court weighed the State's need for the "promotion of public morality" as against the individual patrons' "liberty to make the choices in [their] lives," thus:

The promotion of public welfare and a sense of morality among citizens deserves the full endorsement of the judiciary provided that such measures do not trample rights this Court is sworn to protect ...

. . . .

[T]he continuing progression of the human story has seen not only the acceptance of the right-wrong distinction, but also the advent of fundamental liberties as the key to the enjoyment of life to the fullest. Our democracy is distinguished from non-free societies not with any more extensive elaboration on our part of what is moral and immoral, but from our recognition that the individual liberty to make the choices in our lives is innate, and protected by the State.52 (Citation omitted)

Apart from impinging upon fundamental rights, the assailed ordinances define status offenses. They identify and restrict offenders, not purely on the basis of prohibited acts or omissions, but on the basis of their inherent personal condition. Altogether and to the restriction of all other persons, minors are exclusively classified as potential offenders. What is potential is then made real on a passive basis, as the commission of an offense relies merely on presence in public places at given times and not on the doing of a conclusively noxious act.

The assailed ordinances' adoption and implementation concern a prejudicial classification. The assailed ordinances are demonstrably incongruent with the Constitution's unequivocal nurturing attitude towards the youths and whose mandate is to "promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being."53

This attitude is reflected in Republic Act No. 9344, otherwise known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, which takes great pains at a nuanced approach to children. Republic Act No. 9344 meticulously defines a "child at risk" and a "child in conflict with the law" and distinguishes them from the generic identification of a "child" as any "person under the age of eighteen (18) years."54 These concepts were adopted precisely to prevent a lackadaisical reduction to a wholesale and indiscriminate concept, consistent with the protection that is proper to a vulnerable sector. The assailed ordinances' broad and sweeping determination of presence in the streets past defined times as delinquencies warranting the imposition of sanctions tend to run afoul of the carefully calibrated attitude of Republic Act No. 9344 and the protection that the Constitution mandates. For these, a strict consideration of the assailed ordinances is equally proper.

IV

The apparent factual bases for the
assailed ordinances are tenuous at best.

To prove the necessity of implementing curfew ordinances, respondents City of Manila and Quezon City provide statistical data on the number of Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL).55 Quezon City's data is summarized as follows:56

Year
No. of Barangays
Barangay with submissions Barangays without submissions No. of Barangays with Zero CICL
Total no. of CICL
2013
142
102 (January to June)
44 (July to December)
40 (January to June)
98 (July to December)
Not provided
2677
2014
142
119 (January to June)
82 (July to December)
23 (January to June)
60 (July to December)
32 (January to June)
25 (July to December)
2937
2015
142
142 0 51
4778

The data submitted, however, is inconclusive to prove that the city is so overrun by juvenile crime that it may as well be totally rid of the public presence of children at specified times. While there is a perceptively raised number of CICLs in Quezon City, the data fails to specify the rate of these figures in relation to the total number of minors and, thus, fails to establish the extent to which CICLs dominate the city. As to geographical prevalence that may justify a city-wide prohibition, a substantial number of barangays reported not having CICLs for the entire year. As to prevalence that stretches across the relative maturity of all who may be considered minors (e.g., grade-schoolers as against adolescents), there was also no data showing the average age of these CICLs.

The City of Manila's data, on the other hand, is too conflicting to be authoritative. The data reports of the Manila Police Department, as summarized in the ponencia,57 state:

YEAR
NUMBER OF CICL
2014
74
2015
30
January to June 2016
75

The Department of Social Welfare and Development of the City of Manila has vastly different numbers. As summarized in the ponencia:58

YEAR
NUMBER OF CICL
2015
845
January to June 2016
524

The Department of Social Welfare of Manila submits that for January to August 2016, there was a total of 480 CICLs as part of their Zero Street Dwellers Campaign.59 Of the 480 minors, 210 minors were apprehended for curfew violations, not for petty crimes.60 Again, the data fails to account for the percentage of CICLs as against the total number of minors in Manila.

The ponencia cites Shleifer v. City of Charlottesville,61 a United States Court of Appeals case, as basis for examining the validity of curfew ordinances in Metro Manila. Far from supporting the validity of the assailed ordinances, Shleifer discounts it. Shleifer relies on unequivocally demonstrated scientific and empirical data on the rise of juvenile crime and the emphasis on juvenile safety during curfew hours in Charlottesville, Virginia. Here, while local government units adduced data, there does not appear to have been a well-informed effort as to these data's processing, interpretation, and correlation with avowed policy objectives.

With incomplete and inconclusive bases, the concerned local government units' justifications of reducing crime and sweeping averments of "peace and order" hardly sustain a rational basis for the restriction of minors' movement during curfew hours. If at all, the assertion that curfew restrictions ipso facto equate to the reduction of CICLs appears to be a gratuitous conclusion. It is more sentimental than logical. Lacking in even a rational basis, it follows that there is no support for the more arduous requirement of demonstrating that the assailed ordinances support a compelling state interest.

V

It has not been demonstrated that the curfews
effected by the assailed ordinances are the least
restrictive means for achieving their avowed purposes.

The strict scrutiny test not only requires that the challenged law be narrowly tailored in order to achieve compelling governmental interests, it also requires that the mechanisms it adopts are the least burdensome or least drastic means to achieve its ends:

Fundamental rights which give rise to Strict Scrutiny include the right of procreation, the right to marry, the right to exercise. First Amendment freedoms such as free speech, political expression, press, assembly, and so forth, the right to travel, and the right to vote.

Because Strict Scrutiny involves statutes which either classifies on the basis of an inherently suspect characteristic or infringes fundamental constitutional rights, the presumption of constitutionality is reversed; that is, such legislation is assumed to be unconstitutional until the government demonstrates otherwise. The government must show that the statute is supported by a compelling governmental interest and the means chosen to accomplish that interest are narrowly tailored. Gerald Gunther explains as follows:

... The intensive review associated with the new equal protection imposed two demands a demand not only as to means but also as to ends. Legislation qualifying for strict scrutiny required a far closer fit between classification and statutory purpose than the rough and ready flexibility traditionally tolerated by the old equal protection: means had to be shown "necessary" to achieve statutory ends, not merely "reasonably related." Moreover, equal protection became a source of ends scrutiny as well: legislation in the areas of the new equal protection had to be justified by "compelling" state interests, not merely the wide spectrum of "legitimate" state ends.

Furthermore, the legislature must adopt the least burdensome or least drastic means available for achieving the governmental objective.62 (Citations omitted)

The governmental interests to be protected must not only be reasonable. They must be compelling. Certainly, the promotion of public safety is compelling enough to restrict certain freedoms. It does not, however, suffice to make a generic, sweeping averment of public safety.

To reiterate, respondents have not shown adequate data to prove that an imposition of curfew lessens the number of CICLs. Respondents further fail to provide data on the frequency of crimes against unattended minors during curfew hours. Without this data, it cannot be concluded that the safety of minors is better achieved if they are not allowed out on the streets during curfew hours.

While the ponencia holds that the Navotas and Manila Ordinances tend to restrict minors' fundamental rights, it found that the Quezon City Ordinance is narrowly tailored to achieve its objectives. The Quezon City Ordinance's statement of its objectives reads:

WHEREAS ... the children, particularly the minors, appear to be neglected of their proper care and guidance, education, and moral development, which led them into exploitation, drug addiction, and become vulnerable to and at the risk of committing criminal offenses;

. . . .

WHEREAS, as a consequence, most of minor children become out-of-school youth, unproductive by-standers, street children, and member of notorious gangs who stay, roam around or meander in public or private roads, streets or other public places, whether singly or in groups, without lawful purpose or justification;

WHEREAS, to keep themselves away from the watch and supervision of the barangay officials and other authorities, these misguided minor children preferred to converge or flock together during the night time until the wee hours of the morning resorting to drinking on the streets and other public places, illegal drug use and sometimes drug peddling, engaging in troubles and other criminal activities which often resulted to bodily injuries and loss of lives;

WHEREAS, reports of barangay officials and law enforcement agencies reveal that minor children roaming around, loitering or wandering in the evening are the frequent personalities involved in various infractions of city ordinances and national laws;

WHEREAS, it is necessary in the interest of public order and safety to regulate the movement of minor children during night time by setting disciplinary hours, protect them from neglect, abuse, cruelty and exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial or detrimental to their development;

WHEREAS, to strengthen and support parental control on these minor children, there is a need to put a restraint on the tendency of a growing number of the youth spending their nocturnal activities wastefully, especially in the face of the unabated rise of criminality and to ensure that the dissident elements in society are not provided with potent avenues for furthering their nefarious activities[.]63

In order to achieve these objectives,64 the ponencia cites the ordinances' exemptions, which it found to be "sufficiently safeguard[ing] the minors' constitutional rights":65

SECTION 4. EXEMPTIONS - Minor children under the following circumstances shall not be covered by the provisions of this ordinance:

(a)
Those accompanied by their parents or guardian;
(b)
Those on their way to or from a party, graduation ceremony, religious mass, and/or other extra-curricular activities of their school or organization wherein their attendance are required or otherwise indispensable, or when such minors are out and unable to go home early due to circumstances beyond their control as verified by the proper authorities concerned; and
(c)
Those attending to, or in experience of, an emergency situation such as conflagration, earthquake, hospitalization, road accident, law enforcers encounter, and similar incidents;
(d)
When the minor is engaged in an authorized employment activity, or going to or returning home from the same place of employment activity, without any detour or stop;
(e)
When the minor is in motor vehicle or other travel accompanied by an adult in no violation of this Ordinance;
(f)
When the minor is involved in an emergency;
(g)
When the minor is out of his/her residence attending an official school, religious, recreational, educational, social, community or other similar private activity sponsored by the city, barangay, school or other similar private civic/religious organization/group (recognized by the community) that supervises the activity or when the minor is going to or returning home from such activity, without any detour or stop; and
(h)
When the minor can present papers certifying that he/she is a student and was dismissed from his/her class/es in the evening or that he/she is a working student.66

The ponencia states:

[T]he Quezon City Ordinance, in truth, only prohibits unsupervised activities that hardly contribute to the well-being of minors who publicly loaf and loiter within the locality at a time where danger is perceivably more prominent.67

The ponencia unfortunately falls into a hasty generalization. It generalizes unattended minors out in the streets during curfew hours as potentially, if not actually, engaging in criminal activities, merely on the basis that they are not within the bounds of the stated exemptions. It is evident, however, that the exemptions are hardly exhaustive.

Consider the dilemma that petitioner Villegas faces when she goes out at night to buy food from a convenience store because the rest of her family is already asleep.68 As a Quezon City resident, she violates the curfew merely for wanting to buy food when she gets home from school.

It may be that a minor is out with friends or a minor was told to make a purchase at a nearby sari-sari store. None of these is within the context of a "party, graduation ceremony, religious mass, and/or other extra-curricular activities of their school and organization" or part of an "official school, religious, recreational, educational, social, community or other similar private activity." Still, these activities are not criminal or nefarious. To the contrary, socializing with friends, unsavorily portrayed as mere loafing or loitering as it may be, contributes to a person's social and psychological development. Doing one's chores is within the scope of respecting one's elders.

Imposing a curfew on minors merely on the assumption that it can keep them safe from crime is not the least restrictive means to achieve this objective. Petitioners suggest street lighting programs, installation of CCTVs in street comers, and visible police patrol.69 Public safety is better achieved by effective police work, not by clearing streets of children en masse at night. Crimes can just as well occur in broad daylight and children can be just as susceptible in such an environment. Efficient law enforcement, more than sweeping, generalized measures, ensures that children will be safe regardless of what time they are out on the streets.

The assailed ordinances' deficiencies only serve to highlight their most disturbing aspect: the imposition of a curfew only burdens minors who are living in poverty.

For instance, the Quezon City Ordinance targets minors who are not traditionally employed as the exemptions require that the minor be engaged in "an authorized employment activity." Curfew violators could include minors who scour garbage at night looking for food to eat or scraps to sell. The Department of Social Welfare and Development of Manila reports that for 2016, 2,194 minors were turned over as part of their Zero Street Dwellers Campaign.70 The greater likelihood that most, if not all, curfew violators will be street children—who have no place to even come home to—than actual CICLs. So too, those caught violating the ordinance will most likely have no parent or guardian to fetch them from barangay halls.

An examination of Manila Police District's data on CICLs show that for most of the crimes committed, the motive is poverty, not a drive for nocturnal escapades.71 Thus, to lessen the instances of juvenile crime, the government must first alleviate poverty, not impose a curfew. Poverty alleviation programs, not curfews, are the least restrictive means of preventing indigent children from turning to a life of criminality.

VI

The assailed ordinances give
unbridled discretion to law enforcers.

The assailed ordinances are deficient not only for failing to provide the least restrictive means for achieving their avowed ends but also in failing to articulate safeguards and define limitations that foreclose abuses.

In assailing the lack of expressed standards for identifying minor, petitioners invoke the void for vagueness doctrine.72

The doctrine is explained in People v. Nazario:73

As a rule, a statute or act may be said to be vague when it lacks comprehensible standards that men "of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application.'' It is repugnant to the Constitution in two respects: (1) it violates due process for failure to accord persons, especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of the conduct to avoid; and (2) it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle.74

While facial challenges of a statute on the ground of vagueness is permitted only in cases involving alleged transgressions against the right to free speech, penal laws may nevertheless be invalidated for vagueness "as applied." In Estrada v. Sandiganbayan:75

[T]he doctrines of strict scrutiny, overbreadth, and vagueness are analytical tools developed for testing "on their faces" statutes in free speech cases or, as they are called in American law, First Amendment cases. They cannot be made to do service when what is involved is a criminal statute. With respect to such statute, the established rule is that "one to whom application of a statute is constitutional will not be heard to attack the statute on the ground that impliedly it might also be taken as applying to other persons or other situations in which its application might be unconstitutional." As has been pointed out, "vagueness challenges in the First Amendment context, like overbreadth challenges typically produce facial invalidation, while statutes found vague as a matter of due process typically are invalidated [only] 'as applied' to a particular defendant." Consequently, there is no basis for petitioner's claim that this Court review the Anti-Plunder Law on its face and in its entirety.76

The difference between a facial challenge and an as-applied challenge is settled. As explained in Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network v. Anti-Terrorism Council:77

Distinguished from an as-applied challenge which considers only extant facts affecting real litigants, a facial invalidation is an examination of the entire law, pinpointing its flaws and defects, not only on the basis of its actual operation to the parties, but also on the assumption or prediction that its very existence may cause others not before the court to refrain from constitutionally protected speech or activities.78 (Citation omitted)

Thus, to invalidate a law with penal provisions, such as the assailed ordinances, as-applied parties must assert actual violations of their rights and not prospective violations of the rights of third persons. In Imbong v. Ochoa:79

In relation to locus standi, the "as applied challenge" embodies the rule that one can challenge the constitutionality of a statute only if he asserts a violation of his own rights. The rule prohibits one from challenging the constitutionality of the statute grounded on a violation of the rights of third persons not before the court. This rule is also known as the prohibition against third-party standing.80

The ponencia states that petitioners' invocation of the void for vagueness doctrine is improper. It reasons that petitioners failed to point out any ambiguous provision in the assailed ordinances.81 It then proceeds to examine the provisions of the ordinances, vis-a-vis their alleged defects, while discussing how these defects may affect minors and parents who are not parties to this case. In effect, the ponencia engaged in a facial examination of the assailed ordinances. This facial examination is an improper exercise for the assailed ordinances, as they are penal laws that do not ostensibly involve the right to free speech.

The more appropriate stance would have been to examine the assailed ordinances, not in isolation, but in the context of the specific cases pleaded by petitioners. Contrary to the ponencia's position, the lack of specific provisions in the assailed ordinances indeed made them vague, so much so that actual transgressions into petitioner's rights were made.

The questioned Navotas and City of Manila Ordinances do not state any guidelines on how law enforcement agencies may determine if a person apprehended is a minor.

For its part, Section 5(h) of the Quezon City ordinance provides:

(h) Determine the age of the child pursuant to Section 7 of this Act;82

However, the Section 7 it refers to provides no guidelines on the identification of age. It merely states that any member of the community may call the attention of barangay officials if they see minors during curfew hours:

SECTION 7. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT/PARTICIPATION - Any person who has personal knowledge of the existence of any minor during the wee hours as provided under Section 3 hereof, must immediately call the attention of the barangay.83

The ponencia asserts that Republic Act No. 9344, Section 784 addresses the lacunae as it articulates measures for determining age. However, none of the assailed ordinances actually refers law enforcers to extant statutes. Their actions and prerogatives are not actually limited whether by the assailed ordinances' express provisions or by implied invocation. True, Republic Act No. 9344 states its prescriptions but the assailed ordinances' equivocation by silence reduces these prescriptions to mere suggestions, at best, or to mere afterthoughts of a justification, at worst.

Thus, the lack of sufficient guidelines gives law enforcers "unbridled discretion in carrying out [the assailed ordinances'] provisions."85 The present Petition illustrates how this has engendered abusive and even absurd situations.

Petitioner Mark Leo Delos Reyes (Delos Reyes), an 18-year-old—no longer a minor—student, recalled that when he was apprehended for violating the curfew, he showed the barangay tanod his registration card. Despite his presentation of an official document, the barangay tanod refused to believe him. Delos Reyes had to resort to showing the barangay tanod his hairy legs for the tanod to let him go.86

Petitioner Baccutan likewise alleged that he and his friends were apprehended by 10 barangay tanods for violating curfew even though he was already 19 years old at that time. He alleged that he and his friends were told to perform 200 squats and if they refused, they would be framed up for a crime. They were released only when the aunt of one (1) of his friends arrived.87

These instances illustrate how predicaments engendered by enforcing the assailed ordinances have not been resolved by "simply presenting any competent proof of identification"88 considering that precisely, the assailed ordinances state no mandate for law enforcers to check proof of age before apprehension. Clear and explicit guidelines for implementation are imperative to foreclose further violations of petitioners' due process rights. In the interim, the assailed statutes must be invalidated on account of their vagueness.

VII

The doctrine of parens patriae
does not sustain the assailed ordinances.

The doctrine of parens patriae fails to justify the intrusions into parental prerogatives made by the assailed ordinances. The State acts as parens patriae in the protection of minors only when there is a clear showing of neglect, abuse, or exploitation. It cannot, on its own, decide on how children are to be reared, supplanting its own wisdom to that of parents.

The doctrine of parens patriae is of Anglo-American, common law origin. It was understood to have "emanate[d] from the right of the Crown to protect those of its subjects who were unable to protect themselves."89 It was the King's "royal prerogative"90 to "take responsibility for those without capacity to look after themselves."91 At its outset, parens patriae contemplated situations where vulnerable persons had no means to support or protect themselves. Given this, it was the duty of the State, as the ultimate guardian of the people, to safeguard its citizens' welfare.

The doctrine became entrenched in the United States, even as it gained independence and developed its own legal tradition. In Late Corporation of Church of Jesus Christ v. United States,92 the United States Supreme Court explained parens patriae as a beneficent state power and not an arbitrary royal prerogative:

This prerogative of parens patriae is inherent in the supreme power of every State, whether that power is lodged in a royal person or in the legislature, and has no affinity to those arbitrary powers which are sometimes exerted by irresponsible monarch to the great detriment of the people and the destruction of their liberties. On the contrary, it is a most beneficent function, and often necessary to be exercised in the interest of humanity, and for the prevention of injury to those who cannot protect themselves.93 (Emphasis supplied.)

In the same case, the United States Supreme Court emphasized that the exercise of parens patriae applies "to the beneficiaries of charities, who are often incapable of vindicating their rights, and justly look for protection to the sovereign authority."94 It is from this reliance and expectation of the people that a state stands as "parent of the nation."95

American colonial rule and the adoption of American legal traditions that it entailed facilitated our own jurisdiction's adoption of the doctrine of parens patriae.96 Originally, the doctrine was understood as "the inherent power and authority of the state to provide protection of the person and property of a person non sui juris."97

However, significant developments have smce calibrated our own understanding and application of the doctrine.

Article II, Section 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides:

Section 12.... The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government. (Emphasis supplied.)

It is only the 1987 Constitution which introduced the qualifier "primary." The present Article II, Section 12's counterpart provision in the 1973 Constitution merely referred to "[t]he natural right and duty of parents":

Section 4.... The natural right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the aid and support of the Government.98

As with the 1973 Constitution, the 1935 Constitution also merely spoke of"[t]he natural right and duty of parents":

Section 4. . . . The natural right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency should receive the aid and support of the government.99

The addition of the qualifier "primary" unequivocally attests to the constitutional intent to afford primacy and preeminence to parental responsibility. More plainly stated, the Constitution now recognizes the superiority of parental prerogative. It follows, then, that state interventions, which are tantamount to deviations from the preeminent and superior rights of parents, are permitted only in instances where the parents themselves have failed or have become incapable of performing their duties.

Shifts in constitutional temperament contextualize Nery v. Lorenzo,100 the authority cited by ponencia in explaining the State's role in the upbringing of children.101 In Nery, this Court alluded to the State's supreme authority to exercise parens patriae. Nery was decided in 1972, when the 1935 Constitution was in operation.102 It stated:

[W]here minors are involved, the State acts as parens patriae. To it is cast the duty of protecting the rights of persons or individual[s] who because of age or incapacity are in an unfavorable position, vis-a-vis other parties. Unable as they are to take due care of what concerns them, they have the political community to look after their welfare. This obligation the state must live up to. It cannot be recreant to such a trust.103

This outmoded temperament is similarly reflected in the 1978 case of Vasco v. Court of Appeals,104 where, without moderation or qualification, this Court asserted that "the State is considered the parens patriae of minors.''105

In contrast, Imbong v. Ochoa,106 a cased decided by this Court in 2014, unequivocally characterized parents' rights as being "superior" to the state:

Section 12, Article II of the 1987 Constitution provides that the natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government. Like the 1973 Constitution and the 1935 Constitution, the 1987 Constitution affirms the State recognition of the invaluable role of parents in preparing the youth to become productive members of society. Notably, it places more importance on the role of parents in the development of their children by recognizing that said role shall be "primary, " that is, that the right of parents in upbringing the youth is superior to that of the State.107 (Emphasis supplied)

Thus, the State acts as parens patriae only when parents cannot fulfill their role, as in cases of neglect, abuse, or exploitation:

The State as parens patriae affords special protection to children from abuse, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development. It is mandated to provide protection to those of tender years. Through its laws, the State safeguards them from everyone, even their own parents, to the end that their eventual development as responsible citizens and members of society shall not be impeded, distracted or impaired by family acrimony.108

As it stands, the doctrine of parens patriae is a mere substitute or supplement to parents' authority over their children. It operates only when parental authority is established to be absent or grossly deficient. The wisdom underlying this doctrine considers the existence of harm and the subsequent inability of the person to protect himself or herself. This premise entails the incapacity of parents and/or legal guardians to protect a child.

To hold otherwise is to afford an overarching and almost absolute power to the State; to allow the Government to arbitrarily exercise its parens patriae power might as well render the superior Constitutional right of parents inutile.

More refined applications of this doctrine reflect this position. In these instances where the State exercised its powers over minors on account of parens patriae, it was only because the children were prejudiced and it was without subverting the authority of the parents themselves when they have not acted in manifest offense against the rights of their children.

Thus, in Bernabe v. Alejo,109parens patriae was exercised in order to give the minor his day in court. This is a matter beyond the conventional capacities of parents, and therefore, it was necessary for the State to intervene in order to protect the interests of the child.

In People v. Baylon110 and other rape cases,111 this Court held that a rigorous application of the penal law is in order, since "[t]he state, as parens patriae, is under the obligation to minimize the risk of harm to those, who, because of their minority, are as yet unable to take care of themselves fully."112 In these criminal cases where minor children were victims, this Court, acting as the representative of the State exercising its parens patriae power, was firm in imposing the appropriate penalties for the crimes—no matter how severe—precisely because it was the only way to mitigate further harm to minors. Parens patriae is also the reason why "a child is presumed by law to be incapable of giving rational consent to any lascivious act or sexual intercourse," as this Court held in People v. Malto.113 Again, these State actions are well outside the conventional capabilities of the parents and in no way encroach on the latter's authority.

Such assistive and justified regulation is wanting in this case.

VIII

In my view, the interpretation that this Court gives to Section 4, item (a) of the Quezon City Ordinance will sufficiently narrowly tailor its application so as to save it from its otherwise apparent breach of fundamental constitutional principles. Thus, in the ponencia of Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe:

To note, there is no lack of supervision when a parent duly authorizes his/her minor child to run lawful errands or engage in legitimate activities during the night, notwithstanding curfew hours. As astutely observed by Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio and Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen during the deliberations on this case, parental permission is implicitly considered as an exception found in Section 4, item (a) of the Quezon City Ordinance, i.e., "[t]hose accompanied by their parents or guardian", as accompaniment should be understood not only in its actual but also in its constructive sense. As the Court sees it, this should be the reasonable construction of this exception so as to reconcile the juvenile curfew measure with the basic premise that State interference is not superior but only complementary to parental supervision. After all, as the Constitution itself prescribes, the parents' right to rear their children is not only natural but primary.

Of course, nothing in this decision will preclude a stricter review in a factual case whose factual ambient will be different. Accordingly, for these reasons, I concur in the result.

Endnotes:


1 Entitled "Nagtatakda ng 'Curfew' ng mga Kabataan na Wala Pang Labing Walong (18) Taong Gulang sa Bayan ng Navotas, Kalakhang Maynila." See rollo, pp. 37-40.

2 Entitled "An Ordinance Declaring the Hours from 10:00 P.M. to 4:00A.M. of the Following Day as 'Barangay Curfew Hours' for Children and Youths Below Eighteen (18) Years of Age; Prescribing Penalties Therefor; and for Other Purposes." See rollo, pp. 44-47.

3 Entitled "An Ordinance Setting for a Disciplinary Hours [sic] in Quezon City for Minors from 10:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M., Providing Penalties for Parent/Guardian, for Violation Thereof and for Other Purposes." See rollo, pp. 48-60.

4Rollo, p. 6, Petition.

5 Id. at 4-5, Petition.

6 Id. at 20, Petition.

7 Id. at 23, Petition.

8 Id. at 26, Petition.

9City of Manila v. Hon. Laguio, 495 Phil. 289, 308 (2005) [Per J. Tinga, En Banc].

10 343 Phil. 670 (1997) [Per J. Davide, Jr., En Banc].

11 Id. at 700-701, citing La Union Electric Cooperative v. Yaranon, 259 Phil. 457 (1989) [Per J. Gancayco, First Division] and Francisco v. Permskul, 255 Phil. 311 (1989) [Per J. Cruz, En Banc].

12 421 Phil. 290 (2001) (Per J. Bellosillo, En Banc].

13 Id. at 342.

14 128 Phil. 473 (1967) [Per J. Fernando, En Banc].

15 Id. at 475-476.

16 727 Phil. 430 (2014) [Per J. Carpio, En Banc].

17 Id. at 447.

18 706 Phil. 138 (2013) [Per J. Mendoza, En Banc].

19 Id. at 157.

20 495 Phil. 289 (2005) [Per J. Tinga, En Banc].

21 Id. at 308.

22 CONST., art. III, sec. 1.

23 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, art. 3.

24 American Declaration of Independence (1776).

25 In the words of the American Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men[.]"

26 See Abraham H. Maslow's, A Theory of Human Motivation, PSYCHOLOGICAL REVIEW, 50, 370-396 (1943).

27Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro, 39 Phil. 660, 705 (1919) [Per J. Malcolm, En Banc].

28 99 Phil. 515 (1956) [Per J. Concepcion, En Banc].

29 CONST. ( 1935), art. III, sec. I provides:

Section 1. (1) No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws
....
(3) The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
(4) The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired.
(5) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court or when public safety and order require otherwise.
(6) The right to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.
(7) No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
(8) No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances.
. . . .
(11) No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.
(12) No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax.
(13) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
(14) The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, in any of which events the same may be suspended wherever during such period the necessity for such suspension shall exist.
(15) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.
(16) All persons shall before conviction be bailable by sufficient sureties, except those charged with capital offenses when evidence of guilt is strong. Excessive bail shall not be required.
(17) In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall be presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses in his behalf.
(18) No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
. . . .
(21) Free access to the courts shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.

30People v. Hernandez, 99 Phil. 515, 551-552 (1956) [Per J. Concepcion, En Banc]. This enumeration must not be taken as an exhaustive listing of the extent of constitutional protection vis-a-vis liberty. Emphasis is placed on how the penumbra of cognate rights evolves and expands with the times.

31 596 Phil. 444 (2009) [Per J. Tinga, En Banc].

32 Id. at 462-463.

33 Id. at 463.

34 487 Phil. 531 (2004). (Per J. Puno, En Banc]

35 Id. at 599-600.

36Kabataan Party-List v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 221318, December 16, 2015 http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/pdf/web/viewer.html?file=/jurisprudence/2015/december2015/221318.pdf [Per J. Perlas-Bernabe, En Banc] citing White Light Corporation v. City of Manila, 596 Phil. 444 (2009) [Per J. Tinga, En Banc]; Concurring Opinion of J. Leonardo-De Castro in Garcia v. Drilon,712 Phil. 44, 112-143 (2013) [Per J. Perlas-Bernabe, En Banc]; and Separate Concurring Opinion of C.J. Reynato S. Puno in Ang Ladlad LGBT Party v. COMELEC, 632 Phil. 32, 106 (2010) [Per J. Del Castillo, En Banc].

37 CONST., art. II, sec. 12.

Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

38Ponencia, p. 20.

39 354 Phil. 948 (1998) [Per J. Puno, En Banc] states:

[T]he right of privacy is recognized and enshrined in several provisions of our Constitution. It is expressly recognized in Section 3(1) of the Bill of Rights:
"Sec. 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law."
Other facets of the right to privacy are protected in various provisions of the Bill of Rights, viz:
"Sec. 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
. . . .
Section 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.
. . . .
Section 8. The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.
. . . .
Section 17. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself." (Citations omitted)

40 CONST., art. III, sec. 2.

41 CONST., art. III, Sec. 2.

42 CONST., art. III, sec. 6.

43 CONST., art. III, sec. 8.

44 CONST., art. III, sec. 17.

45 CONST., art. II, sec. 12: Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

46 CONST., art. II, sec. 12.

47 732 Phil. 1 (2014) [Per J. Mendoza, En Banc].

48 Id. at 193.

49 596 Phil. 444 (2009) [Per J. Tinga, En Banc].

50White Light is notable, not only for characterizing privacy as a fundamental right whose intrusions impel strict scrutiny. It is also notable for extending a similar inquiry previously made by this Court in 1967, in Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, et al. v. City of Manila, 128 Phil. 473 (1967) [Per J. Femando, En Banc].
There, operators of motels assailed a supposed infringement of their property rights by an ordinance increasing license fees for their motels. In upholding the validity of the ordinance, this Court distinguished between "freedom of the mind" and property rights and held that ''if the liberty involved were freedom of the mind or the person, the standard for the validity of governmental acts is much more rigorous and exacting, but where the liberty curtailed affects at the most rights of property, the permissible scope of regulatory measure is wider." Since the case only involved property rights, this Court found that the state interest of curbing "an admitted deterioration of the state of public morals" sufficed. White Light extended the consideration of rights involved in similar establishments by examining, not only motel owners' property rights but also their clientele's privacy rights.

51White Light Corp. v. City of Manila, 596 Phil. 444, 464-466 (2009) [Per J. Tinga, En Banc].

52 Id. at 469-471.

53 CONST. art. II, sec. 13.

54 Section 4. Definition of Terms.- The following terms as used in this Act shall be defined as follows:

. . . .

(c) "Child" refers to a person under the age of eighteen (18) years.

(d) "Child at Risk" refers to a child who is vulnerable to and at the risk of committing criminal offenses because of personal, family and social circumstances, such as, but not limited to, the following:

(1) being abused by any person through sexual, physical, psychological, mental, economic or any other means and the parents or guardian refuse, are unwilling, or unable to provide protection for the child;
(2) being exploited including sexually or economically;
(3) being abandoned or neglected, and after diligent search and inquiry, the parent or guardian cannot be found;
(4) coming from a dysfunctional or broken family or without a parent or guardian;
(5) being out of school;
(6) being a streetchild;
(7) being a member of a gang;
(8) living in a community with a high level of criminality or drug abuse; and
(9) living in situations of armed conflict.

(e) "Child in Conflict with the Law" refers to a child who is alleged as, accused of, or adjudged as, having committed an offense under Philippine laws.

55 Rep. Act No. 9344, sec. 4 (e) "Child in Conflict with the Law" refers to a child who is alleged as, accused of, or adjudged as, having committed an offense under Philippine laws.

56Rollo, pp. 330-333.

57Ponencia, p. 28, fn 139.

58 Id.

59Rollo, p. 201, Annex 5 of City of Manila Comment.

60 Id. at 202, Annex 5 of City of Manila Comment.

61 159 F.3d 843 ( 1998).

62 Dissenting Opinion of J. Carpio Morales in Central Bank Employees Association, Inc. v. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 487 Phil. 531, 697-701 (2004) [Per J. Puno, En Banc] citing Skinner v. State of Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942); Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967); Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652, 666 (1990); Attorney General of New York v. Soto Lopez, 476 U.S. 898, 903-904 (1986); Kramer v. Union Free School District No. 15, 395 U.S. 621 (1969); Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200, 235 (1995); Chapter 9 of G. GUNTHER, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (12th Ed., 1991); and Gunther, Foreword: In Search of Evolving Doctrine on a Changing Court: A Model for a Newer Equal Protection, 86 HARV. L. REV. 1, 21 (1972).

63Rollo, pp. 317-318.

64 It should be pointed out that the statement "most of minor children become out-of-school youth, unproductive by-standers, street children, and member of notorious gangs" is an absurd generalization without any basis.

65Ponencia, p. 33.

66Rollo, pp. 322-323.

67Ponencia, p. 34.

68Rollo, p. 7, Petition.

69 Id. at 24, Petition.

70 Id. at 200, Annex 5 of City of Manila Comment.

71 See rollo, pp. 116-197, Annexes "1," "2," and "3'' of City of Manila Comment.

72Rollo, p. 19, Petition.

73 247-A Phil. 276 (1988) [Per J. Sarmiento, En Banc].

74 Id. at 286 citing TRIBE, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 718 (1978) and Connally v. General Construction Co., 269 U.S. 385 (1926).

75 421 Phil. 290 (2001) [Per J. Bellosillo, En Banc].

76 Id. at 354-355 citing United States v. Raines, 362 U.S. 17, 21, 4 L. Ed. 2d 524, 529 (1960); Yazoo & Mississippi Valley RR. v. Jackson Vinegar Co., 226 U.S. 217, 57 L. Ed. 193 (1912); and G. GUNTHER & K. SULLIVAN,CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1299 (2001).

77 646 Phil. 452 (2010) [Per J. Carpio-Morales, En Banc].

78 Id. at 489 citing David v. Macapagal Arroyo, 522 Phil. 705 (2006) [Per J. Sandoval-Gutierrez, En Banc].

79 732 Phil. 1 (2014) [Per J. Mendoza, En Banc].

80 Id. at 127 citing the Dissenting Opinion of J. Carpio in Romualdez v. Commission on Elections, 576 Phil. 357, 406 (2008) (Per J. Chico-Nazario, En Banc].

81Ponencia, pp. 11-12.

82Rollo, p. 324.

83 Id. at 326.

84 Rep. Act No. 9344 , sec. 7. Determination of Age.- The child in conflict with the law shall enjoy the presumption of minority. He/She shall enjoy all the rights of a child in conflict with the law until he/she is proven to be eighteen (18) years old or older. The age of a child may be determined from the child's birth certificate, baptismal certificate or any other pertinent documents. In the absence of these documents, age may be based on information from the child himself/herself, testimonies of other persons, the physical appearance of the child and other relevant evidence. In case of doubt as to the age of the child, it shall be resolved in his/her favor.

85People v. Nazario, 247-A Phil. 276, 286 (1988) [Per J. Sarmiento, En Banc].

86 Rollo, p. 7, Petition.

87 Id. at 6.

88Ponencia, p. 13.

89 Kay Kindred, God Bless the Child: Poor Children, Parens Patriae, and a State Obligation to Provide Assistance, 57 OHIO STATE L. J. 519, 526 (1996).

90 J. Ryan and D. Sampen, Suing on Behalf of the State: A Parens Patriae Primer, 86 Ill. Bar J. 684 (1998), citing Hawaii v. Standard Oil Co. of California, 405 U.S. 251, 257 (172).

91 Margaret Hall, The Vulnerability Jurisdiction: Equity, Parens Patriae, and the Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court, 2(1) CAN. J. OF COMP. & CONTEMP. L. 185, 190-191 (2016), citing Sir James Munby, Protecting the Rights of Vulnerable and Incapacitous Adults - the Role of the Courts: An Example of Judicial Law-making, 26 CHILD & FAMILY LAW QUARTERLY 64, 66 (2014).

92 136 U.S. 1, 57 (1890).

93 Id.

94 Id.

95 J. Ryan and D. Sampen, Suing on Behalf of the State: A Parens Patriae Primer, 86 ILL. BAR J. 684 (1998); see also Southern Luzon Drug Corporation v. Department of Social Welfare and Development, G.R. No. 199669, April 25. 2017, http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/pdf/web/viewer.html?file=/jurisprudence/2017/april2017/199669.pdf [Per J. Reyes, En Banc].

96See Government of the Philippine Islands v. El Monte de Piedad, 35 Phil. 728 (1916) [Per J. Trent, Second Division].

97 Vasco v. Court of Appeals, 171 Phil. 673, 677 (1978) [Per J. Aquino, Second Division], citing 67 C.J.S. 624; and Government of the Philippine Islands v. El Monte de Piedad, 35 Phil. 728 (1916) [Per J. Trent, Second Division].

98 CONST. (1973), art. II, sec. 4.

99 CONST. (1935), art. II, sec. 4.

100 150-A Phil. 241 (1972) [Per J. Fernando, Second Division].

101Ponencia, p. 15.

102 CONST. (1935), art. II, sec. 4 was worded almost as similarly as the 1973 Constitution.

103 Nery v. Lorenzo, 150-A Phil. 241, 248 (1972) [Per J. Fernando, Second Division].

104 171 Phil. 673 (1978) [Per J. Aquino, Second Division].

105 Id. at 677.

106 732 Phil. 1 (2014) [Per J. Mendoza, En Banc].

107 Id. at 195 citing Records, 1986 Constitutional Convention, Volume IV, pp. 401-402.

108Concepcion v. Court of Appeals, 505 Phil. 529, 546 (2005) [Per J. Corona, Third Division]. See also Dela Cruz v. Gracia, G.R. No. 177728, July 31, 2009 [Per J. Carpio Morales, Second Division].

109 424 Phil. 933 (2000) (Per J. Panganiban, Third Division].

110 156 Phil. 87 (1974) [Per J. Fenando, Second Division].

111 See also People v. Cabodac, 284-A Phil. 303, 312 (1992) [Per J. Melencio-Herrera, Second Division]; People v. Dolores, 266 Phil. 724 (1990) [Per J. Melencio-Herrera, Second Division]; People v. Cawili, 160 Phil.. 25 (1975) [Per J. Fernando, Second Division]; and People v. Evangelista, 346 Phil. 717 (1997) [Per J. Belosillo, First Division]; People v. Malto, 560 Phil. 119 (2007) [Per J. Corona, First Division].

112 People v. Baylon, 156 Phil. 87, 95 (1974) [Per J. Fenando, Second Division].

113 560 Phil. 119 (2007) [Per J. Corona, First Division].




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August-2017 Jurisprudence                 

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  • G.R. No. 217777, August 16, 2017 - PRISCILLA Z. ORBE, Petitioner, v. LEONORA O. MIARAL, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 144760-61, August 02, 2017 - EVELYN L. MIRANDA, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN AND THE OMBUDSMAN, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 167311-12 - EVELYN L. MIRANDA, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 167316-17 - VENANCIO R. NAVA, Petitioner, v. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN 4TH DIVISION AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 167625-26 - PRIMO C. OBENZA, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 11149 (Formerly CBD Case No. 13-3709), August 15, 2017 - LAURENCE D. PUNLA AND MARILYN SANTOS, Complainants, v. ATTY. ELEONOR MARAVILLA-ONA, Respondent.

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  • G.R. No. 221493, August 02, 2017 - STERLING PAPER PRODUCTS ENTERPRISES, INC., Petitioner, v. KMM-KATIPUNAN AND RAYMOND Z. ESPONGA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 222095, August 07, 2017 - IN THE MATTER OF PETITION FOR CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATES OF LIVE BIRTH OF YUHARES JAN BARCELOTE TINITIGAN AND AVEE KYNNA NOELLE BARCELOTE TINITIGAN - JONNA KARLA BAGUIO BARCELOTE, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RICKY O. TINITIGAN, AND LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR, DAVAO CITY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 216161, August 09, 2017 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. PHILIPPINE ALUMINUM WHEELS, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 189942, August 09, 2017 - ADTEL, INC. AND/OR REYNALDO T. CASAS, Petitioners, v. MARIJOY A. VALDEZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 228887, August 02, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DOMINADOR UDTOHAN Y JOSE, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 215999, August 16, 2017 - SPS. FELIX A. CHUA AND CARMEN L. CHUA, JAMES B. HERRERA, EDUARDO L. ALMENDRAS, MILA NG ROXAS, EUGENE C. LEE, EDICER H. ALMENDRAS, BENEDICT C. LEE, LOURDES C. NG, LUCENA INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, LUCENA GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL, INC., REPRESENTED BY FELIX A. CHUA, Petitioners, v. UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK, ASSET POOL A (SPV-AMC), REVERE REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, JOSE C. GO AND THE REGISTRAR OF DEEDS OF LUCENA CITY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 224302, August 08, 2017 - 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, Respondents.; JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL, Intervenor.

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  • G.R. No. 185559, August 02, 2017 - JOSE G. TAN AND ORENCIO C. LUZURIAGA, Petitioners, v. ROMEO H. VALERIANO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 217993, August 09, 2017 - MANUEL R. BAKUNAWA III, Petitioner, v. NORA REYES BAKUNAWA, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-09-2649 [Formerly A.M. No. 09-5-219-RTC], August 01, 2017 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. EDUARDO T. UMBLAS, LEGAL RESEARCHER, AND ATTY. RIZALINA G. BALTAZAR­AQUINO, CLERK OF COURT IV, BOTH OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 33, BALLESTEROS CAGAYAN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 227309, August 16, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOCELYN CARLIT Y GAWAT, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 216491, August 23, 2017 - THE HEIRS OF PETER DONTON, THROUGH THEIR LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE, FELIPE G. CAPULONG, Petitioners, v. DUANE STIER AND EMILY MAGGAY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 222711, August 23, 2017 - LEY CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, JANET C. LEY, Petitioner, v. MARVIN MEDEL SEDANO, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE "LOLA TABA LOLO PATO PALENGKE AT PALUTO SA SEASIDE," Respondent.; MARVIN MEDEL SEDANO, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE "LOLA TABA LOLO PATO PALENGKE AT PALUTO SA SEASIDE," Respondent (THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF), VS. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION, Respondent (THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT).

  • G.R. No. 222561, August 30, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JONATHAN TICA Y EPANTO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 187257, August 08, 2017 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL (OSG) AS THE PEOPLE'S TRIBUNE, AND THE NATIONAL POWER BOARD, Petitioners, v. HON. LUISITO G. CORTEZ, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 84, QUEZON CITY, ABNER P. ELERIA, MELITO B. LUPANGCO, NAPOCOR EMPLOYEES CONSOLIDATED UNION (NECU), AND NAPOCOR EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS UNION (NEWU), Respondents.; G.R. No. 187776 - ROLANDO G. ANDAYA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT AND MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. HON. LUISITO G. CORTEZ, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 84, QUEZON CITY, ABNER P. ELERIA, MELITO B. LUPANGCO, NAPOCOR EMPLOYEES CONSOLIDATED UNION AND NAPOCOR EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS UNION, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-10-2223 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 08-3003-RTJ), August 30, 2017 - MS. FLORITA PALMA AND MS. FILIPINA MERCADO, Complainants, v. JUDGE GEORGE E. OMELIO, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BR. 14, DAVAO CITY (THEN OF MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, BR.4, DAVAO CITY), JUDGE VIRGILIO G. MURCIA, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, BR. 2, AND CLERK OF COURT MA. FLORIDA C. OMELIO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT, BOTH OF THE ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 178379, August 22, 2017 - CRISPIN S. FRONDOZO,* DANILO M. PEREZ, JOSE A. ZAFRA, ARTURO B. VITO, CESAR S. CRUZ, NAZARIO C. DELA CRUZ, AND LUISITO R. DILOY, Petitioners, v. MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 11616 [Formerly CBD Case No. 08-2141], August 23, 2017 - LITO V. BUENVIAJE, Complainant, v. ATTY. MELCHOR G. MAGDAMO, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 6980, August 30, 2017 - CESAR O. STA. ANA, CRISTINA M. STA. ANA AND ESTHER STA. ANA-SILVERIO, Complainants, v. ATTY. ANTONIO JOSE F. CORTES, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 7253, August 29, 2017 - ATTY. PLARIDEL C. NAVA II, Complainant, v. PROSECUTOR OFELIA M. D. ARTUZ,* Respondent.; A.M. No. MTJ-08-1717] (FORMERLY OCA IPI NO. 07-1911-MTJ) - ATTY. PLARIDEL C. NAVA II, Complainant, v. JUDGE OFELIA M. D. ARTUZ, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES OF ILOILO CITY, BRANCH 5, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10253, August 22, 2017 - RAFAEL PADILLA, Complainant, v. ATTY. GLENN SAMSON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 198146, August 08, 2017 - POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 225442, August 08, 2017 - SAMAHAN NG MGA PROGRESIBONG KABATAAN (SPARK), JOANNE ROSE SACE LIM, JOHN ARVIN NAVARRO BUENAAGUA, RONEL BACCUTAN, MARK LEO DELOS REYES, AND CLARISSA JOYCE VILLEGAS, MINOR, FOR HERSELF AND AS REPRESENTED BY HER FATHER, JULIAN VILLEGAS, JR., Petitioners, v. QUEZON CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR HERBERT BAUTISTA, CITY OF MANILA, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA, AND NAVOTAS CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOHN REY TIANGCO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 190004, August 08, 2017 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. EUGENIO DALAUTA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 218911, August 23, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LEONARDO SIAPNO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 221732, August 23, 2017 - FERNANDO U. JUAN, Petitioner, v. ROBERTO U. JUAN (SUBSTITUTED BY HIS SON JEFFREY C. JUAN) AND LAUNDROMATIC CORPORATION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 222821, August 09, 2017 - NORTH GREENHILLS ASSOCIATION, INC., Petitioner, v. ATTY. NARCISO MORALES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 227878, August 09, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GERALDO SANTILLAN Y VILLANUEVA AND EUGENE BORROMEO Y NATIVIDAD, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 211222, August 07, 2017 - ALLAN S. CU, Petitioner, v. SMALL BUSINESS GUARANTEE AND FINANCE CORPORATION THROUGH MR. HECTOR M. OLMEDILLO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 186329, August 02, 2017 - DR. FRISCO M. MALABANAN, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN, Respondent.; G.R. Nos. 186584-86, August 2, 2017 - ABUSAMA MANGUDADATU ALID, Petitioner, v. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN - 1st DIVISION, OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, HON. SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Respondents.; G.R. No. 198598, August 2, 2017 - ABUSAMA M. ALID, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 223366, August 01, 2017 - NATIONAL TRANSMISSION CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. OROVILLE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 226679, August 15, 2017 - SALVADOR ESTIPONA, JR. Y ASUELA, Petitioner, v. HON. FRANK E. LOBRIGO, PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 3, LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY, AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 219500, August 09, 2017 - MAMERTO DY, Petitioner, v. MARIA LOURDES ROSELL ALDEA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 217965, August 08, 2017 - CONFEDERATION OF COCONUT FARMERS ORGANIZATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. (CCFOP), Petitioner, v. HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III, ACTING COMMISSIONER RICHARD ROGER AMURAO OF THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG), CHAIRMAN CESAR L. VILLANUEVA OF THE GOVERNANCE COMMISSION FOR GOCCS (GCG), AND SECRETARY LEILA M. DE LIMA OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-17-1900 [Formerly OCA IPI No. 13-2585-MTJ], August 09, 2017 - ARNEL MENDOZA, Complainant, v. HON. MARCOS C. DIASEN, JR., ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BR. 62, MAKATI CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 217764, August 07, 2017 - ANTONIETA LUCIDO @ TONYAY, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-16-3424 [Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 11-3666-P], August 07, 2017 - GLORIA SERDONCILLO, Complainant, v. SHERIFF NESTOR M. LANZADERAS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 37, GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 199710, August 02, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PO3 JULIETO BORJA, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 228248, August 09, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROMEO DE GUZMAN Y DE CASTRO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 228894, August 07, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOHN PAUL CERALDE Y RAMOS, Accused-Appellant.

  • A.C. No. 8903, August 30, 2017 - EDIGARDO V. BONDOC, Complainant, v. ATTY. OLIMPIO R. DATU, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 201665, August 30, 2017 - EDISON (BATAAN) COGENERATION CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent.; G.R. No. 201668, August 30, 2017 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. EDISON (BATAAN) COGENERATION CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10245, August 16, 2017 - ELIBENA A. CABILES, Complainant, v. ATTY. LEANDRO S. CEDO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 188144, August 30, 2017 - F.F. CRUZ & COMPANY, INC., Petitioner, v. PHILIPPINE IRON CONSTRUCTION AND MARINE WORKS, INC., AND/OR ANCHOR METALS CORP., Respondents.; G.R. NO. 188301 - PHILIPPINE IRON CONSTRUCTION AND MARINE WORKS, INC., AND/OR ANCHOR METALS CORP., Petitioners, v. F.F. CRUZ & COMPANY, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 201806, August 14, 2017 - NORTH SEA MARINE SERVICES CORPORATION, MS. ROSALINDA CERDINA AND/OR CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES, Petitioners, v. SANTIAGO S. ENRIQUEZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 210209, August 09, 2017 - CATHAY LAND, INC. AND CATHAY METAL CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. AYALA LAND, INC., AVIDA LAND CORPORATION AND LAGUNA TECHNOPARK, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 188027, August 09, 2017 - SWIRE REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. SPECIALTY CONTRACTS GENERAL AND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. AND JOSE JAVELLANA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 195457, August 16, 2017 - READ-RITE PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, v. GINA G. FRANCISCO, MAXIMINO H. REYES, LUCIA E. MACHADO, IRENE G. ABANILLA, EDNA L. GUAVES, ARLENE FRANCISCO, JOSEPHINE V. TRINIDAD, MARILYN E. AMPARO, SOLITA F. SANTOS, ELLEN T. CASTILLO, ROSALIE VALDEABELLA, MARITA E. RIVERA, JULITA M. MAGNO, MARCIA P. DELA TORRE, ELENA ANGCAHAN, ESTER H. REYES, CORAZON ARMADILLA, IRMA A. PEREGRINO, DELFIN D. DUBAN, AMANCIA PRADO, CECILIA D. NABUA, DANNY A. CABUCOY, ELIZABETH R. REVELLAME, ELVIRA R. MAGNO, GIERLYN R. MARASIGAN, JOHN JOSEPH R. MAGNO, LODELYN P. CASTILLO, JUSTINA TORTOSA, LENY M. ZARENO, LOIDA E. ESTOMATA, MA. BASILIA DE LA ROSA, MA. GRACIA DE GUZMAN, MA. NENITA G. CASTILLO, MERCEDARIO A. MARTINEZ, NORA M. PAVELON, PRECILLA D. MAGBITANG, RAQUEL CABUCOY, REGAL M. ALFARO, RIZA UMANDAP, ROSALITA R. MANLUNAS, ROSEMARIE C. LEYVA, ROSSANA M. YUMOL, SENETA SERENO, VILMA R. MANALO, YOLANDA Y. MANGAOANG, GLORIA BARSOLASCO AND NENA M. REYES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 211004, August 23, 2017 - QUEEN ERRIKA L. SADDI, Petitioner, v. MARICRIS RENOMERON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 223592, August 07, 2017 - EQUITABLE INSURANCE CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. TRANSMODAL INTERNATIONAL, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 221857, August 16, 2017 - JESUS O. TYPOCO, JR., Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.; G.R. No. 222020 - NOEL D. REYES, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 223731, August 30, 2017 - ROBELITO MALINIS TALAROC, Petitioner, v. ARPAPHIL SHIPPING CORPORATION, EPIDAURUS S.A., AND/OR NATIVIDAD PAPPAS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 224204, August 30, 2017 - PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES RAMON AND ANNABELLE SABADO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 224225, August 14, 2017 - NORMA I. BARING, Petitioner, v. ELENA LOAN AND CREDIT COMPANY, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 211845, August 09, 2017 - PEN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND LAS BRISAS RESORT CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. MARTINEZ LEYBA, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 215454, August 09, 2017 - HEIRS OF SPOUSES CORAZON P. DE GUZMAN AND FORTUNATO DE GUZMAN, REPRESENTED BY JENIE JANE DE GUZMAN-CARPIO, Petitioners, v. HEIRS OF MARCELIANO BANDONG, REPRESENTED BY REGINA Z. BANDONG, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 201478, August 23, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PAROK LUMUDAG Y RACMAN @ AKMAD, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 210669, August 01, 2017 - HI-LON MANUFACTURING, INC., Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 8574, August 16, 2017 - CARMELO IRINGAN, Complainant, v. ATTY. CLAYTON B. GUMANGAN, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 196342, August 08, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. NOEL GO CAOILI ALIAS "BOY TAGALOG", Respondent.; G.R. No. 196848, August 8, 2017 - NOEL GO CAOILI, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 230696, August 30, 2017 - WILLIAM R. WENCESLAO, VIVENCIO B. RODRIGO, JR., NOEL N. DAMIASAN, VIRGILIO B. CRISTOBAL, JEMYLITO M. APIAG, JOVENAL P. ATAG, ARNULFO S. DASCO, CARLITO E. INFANTE, ALFREDO T. VISAYA, JAMES M. REAL, RENATO A. GUINGUE, ZACARIAS G. TALABOC, JR., GEORGE N. TAGUIAM, RANDY D. ABRENCILLO, MELECIO B. QUINIMON, CESAR B. JARANILLA, RIZALDE R. BARILE, HERICO A. BUENAVENTE, JERSON A. TATOY, MICHAEL L. CASIANO, FELIX M. DINIAY, PEDRO DELA CRUZ, JR., JHOSEL BOY G. ABAYON, AUGUSTO L. OCENAR, MARIO M. FUNELAS, AND AVELINO T. QUIÑONES, Petitioners, v. MAKATI DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, DANTE ABANDO AND COURT OF APPEALS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 227734, August 09, 2017 - ROMEO ALBA, Petitioner, v. CONRADO G. ESPINOSA, ET AL., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 208471, August 02, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ERNESTO SAGANA Y DE GUZMAN, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 207396, August 09, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DELIA SAUNAR, Accused-Appellant.

  • OCA IPI No. 10-3423-P, August 22, 2017 - JUDGE RAMON V. EFONDO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT OF GOA, CAMARINES SUR, Complainant, v. EDEN D. FAVORITO, CLERK OF COURT II, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, GOA, CAMARINES SUR, Respondent.; A.M. No. P-11-2889 [FORMERLY OCA IPI No. 10-10-117-MTC FINANCIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MTC OF GOA, CAMARINES SUR] - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. EDEN D. FAVORITO, CLERK OF COURT II, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, GOA, CAMARINES SUR, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 197297, August 02, 2017 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES DANILO GO AND AMORLINA GO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 185420, August 29, 2017 - LANAO DEL NORTE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC., AS REPRESENTED BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER ENGR. RESNOL C. TORRES, Petitioner, v. PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF LANAO DEL NORTE, AS REPRESENTED BY ITS GOVERNOR HON. MOHAMAD KHALID Q. DIMAPORO AND ITS PROVINCIAL TREASURER, MILDRED J. HINGCO, PROVINCIAL ASSESSOR, NATIONAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION (NEA), AS REPRESENTED BY ITS ADMINISTRATOR HON. EDITA S. BUENO, POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT (PSALM), AS REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT AND CEO HON. JOSE C. IBAZETA, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE), AS REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY HON. ANGELO T. REYES, THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT (COA), AS REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN HON. REYNALDO A. VILLAR, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 224631, August 23, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RUPERTO RUBILLAR, JR. Y GABERON, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 221991, August 30, 2017 - JOSELITO PERALTA Y ZARENO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 222430, August 30, 2017 - TRANSGLOBAL MARITIME AGENCY, INC., GOODWOOD SHIPMANAGEMENT PTE., LTD. AND/OR MICHAEL ESTANIEL, Petitioners, v. VICENTE D. CHUA, JR., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 180447, August 23, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. FERNANDO GERONIMO Y AGUSTINE, ALIAS "NANDING BAKULAW", Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 193625, August 30, 2017 - AICHI FORGING COMPANY OF ASIA, INC., Petitioner, v. COURT OF TAX APPEALS - EN BANC AND COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 191615, August 02, 2017 - VICTORIA P. CABRAL, Petitioner, v. HEIRS OF FLORENCIO ADOLFO AND HEIRS OF ELIAS POLICARPIO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 218592, August 02, 2017 - CHRISTOPHER FIANZA A.K.A. "TOPEL," Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 185894, August 30, 2017 - BELO MEDICAL GROUP, INC., Petitioner, v. JOSE L. SANTOS AND VICTORIA G. BELO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 197654, August 30, 2017 - MERCURY DRUG CORPORATION AND ROLANDO J. DEL ROSARIO, Petitioners, v. SPOUSES RICHARD Y. HUANG & CARMEN G. HUANG, AND STEPHEN G. HUANG, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 205483, August 23, 2017 - MARIO MAGAT, SR., MARIO S. MAGAT, JR. MARIO S. MAGAT, III, MA. MARGARITA M. ESTAVILLA, MA. MARJORIE S. MAGAT, ALL SUBSTITUTE PARTIES AND HEIRS OF THE DECEASED PARTY, JULIANA S. MAGAT, Petitioners, v. TANTRADE CORPORATION AND PABLO S. BORJA, JR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 180745, August 30, 2017 - ALBERTA DE JOYA IGLESIAS, Petitioner, v. THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, GEORGE M. JEREOS, ROBERTO G. GEOTINA, JUAN T. TAN, KRISTINE MORALES, AND ALBERTO LINA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 205638, August 23, 2017 - DEE HWA LIONG FOUNDATION MEDICAL CENTER AND ANTHONY DEE, Petitioners, v. ASIAMED SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203943, August 30, 2017 - MAGSAYSAY MARITIME CORPORATION/EDUARDO MANESE AND PRINCESS CRUISE LINES, LTD., Petitioners, v. CYNTHIA DE JESUS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 202364, August 30, 2017 - ARTURO C. CALUBAD, Petitioner, v. RICARCEN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 199107, August 30, 2017 - ALFONSO SINGSON CORTAL, JUANITO SINGSON CORTAL, NENITA CODILLA, GENEROSO PEPITO LONGAKIT, PONCIANA BATOON, AND GREGORIA SABROSO, Petitioners, v. INAKI A. LARRAZABAL ENTERPRISES, REPRESENTED BY INAKI P. LARRAZABAL, JR., THE HONORABLE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, REGIONAL OFFICE NO. VIII, TACLOBAN CITY AND THE HONORABLE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, QUEZON CITY IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD (DARAB), Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 208314, August 23, 2017 - ANTONIO B. MANANSALA, Petitioner, v. MARLOW NAVIGATION PHILS., INC./MARLOW NAVIGATION CO. LTD./CYPRUS, AND/OR EILEEN MORALES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 214771, August 09, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RUBEN "ROBIN" BONGBONGA Y NALOS, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 196564, August 07, 2017 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS), Petitioner, v. ALBERT M. VELASCO, Respondent.