Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Rizalistas of Mount Banahaw

Copyright © 2011 by Chester B. Cabalza. All Rights Reserved.

In celebration of the sesquicentennial (150th) birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine's national hero, I am posting my poem composed in 2000, in honor to the divine being who is immortalized by the religious sect, called "Rizalista" at Mount Banahaw. The said poem can also be read in my upcoming and soon to be published novel, entitled "The Circle of Avengers". The poem is also translated into Filipino.

By Chester B. Cabalza

And we are the New Jerusalem
in a holy, mysterious mountain,
abundant with natural bounty;
tranquil, clean, beautiful, holy place;
clear skies, cloud formations, ablaze,
and enriches a potent space.
listen to the calm sound of winds,
the powerful voice of this wonder,
its trees, streams, rocks, plants, and caves.
we hear its mystical lores and myths,
even its spirituality,
and that make our paces so surreal...
this is our life, this is our story
we are waiting for our messiah
we believe He shall come, we shall know
we are the chosen ones, yes, we are,
this is our belief, this is our lore,
and we are the New Jerusalem!
we can be mystical, we wear
all white, and this symbolizes our
cleanliness, and yes we shall be saved.
bare foot, devotees’ messiah,
we hold amulets, white candles,
lit in our spiritual ritual...
we come to worship, praise, worship, praise,
and like those esteemed heroes, we praise
Jose Rizal, our savior and our
hero, and if not, who else shall be
our savior, our redeemer, our lord?
he shall save us, and our countrymen?
many have tried traversing this path,
in this mystical mountain, the likes
of Bernardo Carpio, Hermano
Pule, come all of you and let’s trek
its mountains, stations, creeks, and caves
and renew our hearts and convert our souls.
This is a holy mountain; this is
like Sinai, Tibet. devotees
climb the summit awaiting the time
and all set for the final judgment!
and when the hour has come, we are
blessed. this is our gift to all people!
come and see the temple! come and see,
its simple disciples, priestesses,
and saints on top of colossal rocks,
inside the grottos, we can feel peace,
inner peace, yes we deem, inner peace,
gardens, streams, roots of ancient trees
can heal sins, sickness. O spirits come
heal us, cleanse our souls, purify us!
breathe a soothing air, O spirits
deliver us from worldly powers,
listen to our pleas, O spirits
all devotees shall praise and worship
wearing all those white garments, lit the
candles, for spiritual ritual...
we come to worship, praise, worship, praise
and like those esteemed heroes, we praise
Jose Rizal, our savior, our saint.
Banahaw! Banahaw! claim our souls!
and when shall our redeemer come? when?
and we are the New Jerusalem!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Overpopulation is not a Problem but a Challenge

(A policy brief of the paper presented by BGen Galileo C Kintanar AFP (Ret) entitled “Development and Security Impact of Overpopulation: Challenges and Responses” to the Strategic Studies Group on 06 July 2010)


OVERPOPULATION IS A STATE OR condition where the numbers of a subject organism, say the human species, are too high in a given habitat, in relation to the sustainable carrying capacity of that habitat in terms of space, water, food and other resources.

The security impacts of overpopulation would depend on the gravity of the overpopulation. If the severity is mild, the security implications would normally be minor. There would be unemployment, underemployment, poverty, malnutrition, and criminality, but these should be within manageable or tolerable levels, not requiring resort to emergency measures. As it grows graver, however, overpopulation would be accompanied by worsening symptoms, including food riots, epidemics of diseases, civil unrest, rampant criminality, insurgency, and/or anarchy.

What is ironic is that those who belong to the poorest families are the one who have most children. With limited resources, they are still obliged to support the needs of all family members. Children who belong to the poorest families are destined to a life of poverty before they reach adolescence. This explains why overpopulation and poverty are closely related.

Major Issues/Controversies

1. Population Growth Rate (PGR) vs. Population Size

These two concepts may indeed be intercorrelated, but they are not necessarily interchangeable. There are countries, notably China and Japan, that have low or even negative population growth rates (PGR), yet are considered overpopulated. This becomes more obvious when equated with population density.

2. Depletion of Basic Necessities for Existence

Some environmentalists claim that humanity has already eclipsed the planet’s carrying capacity, and continues to deplete resources beyond sustainable regenerating capacities. We are eating our way to starvation, drinking our way to dehydration, breathing our way to asphyxiation. We are told that humanity made a great mistake when it domesticated crops and animals and turned from nomadic hunting and scavenging to permanent settlements fed through agriculture.

If not for agriculture, the world’s human population today would be only half a million, instead of over 6.8 billion.

3.Impact of Population Size

If the severity of overpopulation is mild, the security implications would normally be minor. There would be unemployment, underemployment, poverty, malnutrition, and criminality, but these should be within manageable or tolerable levels, not requiring resort to emergency measures. As it grows graver, however, overpopulation would be accompanied by worsening symptoms, including food riots, epidemics of diseases, civil unrest, rampant criminality, insurgency, and/or anarchy.

Strategies to Deal with the Issues

1. Assessment of the Need for Population Management

In anticipation of the overpopulation becoming worse, the government has revived attempts to control population growth. This may be seen as a preemptive security measure, but the opposition it has provoked may also be seen as a security threat. And so it may be asked, is it timely to press population management at this time, or is it counterproductive?

2. Population Size vis-à-vis Economic Development

Statistical analysis strongly suggests that mere population size is not a primary factor in determining a country’s development level. A greater deal depends on a country’s resources, and the composition and quality of its population, as well as its leadership.

This tells us that population size alone is not a determinant of development, but rather as an obstacle or as a driver.

Thus, overpopulation by itself is not a problem, but a challenge. Failing to hurdle the challenge makes overpopulation a problem, or a crisis. Success turns it into an asset.

3. Failure of the Philippines to Capitalize on its Population

What makes our population a problem, even when it was smaller, is the chronic failure of several administrations to mobilize the population as an asset. Our educational system has degenerated, reducing the global competitiveness of our high literacy rate. Our economy, bled by corruption, remains unable to create enough jobs for our growing population of workers, making us critically dependent on overseas employment.

Despite much talk over agricultural modernization and other safety nets, our farmers are unable to produce rice, vegetables, poultry and other products as cost-efficiently as China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Key Points to Consider

1. Population as a Basis for Politico-Economic Hegemony

Hitler justified Germany’s invasion of neighboring as well as distant countries with the concept of lebensraum, or living space, as Japan did with the concept of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. It was not merely living space, of course, that these expansionist regimes wanted, but also resources like oil, rubber, tin, iron, coal and other assets essential to their war machineries.

Nonetheless, space itself is valuable in relation to location, as is apparent from the escalation of real estate prices in key localities.

2.Geographic and Political Topology of the Philippines in the Population and Economic Development Paradigm

It may also be pointed out that our archipelagic setting has set back our economic development. The countries and localities with the highest per capita GDPs generally have compact and mostly small territories, which greatly simplifies governance, the delivery of public services, and economic activities, allowing them to achieve higher efficiencies.

It is not sheer population size that hinders development, but negatives in the quality both of population and of governance. Population size cannot be validly used as a scapegoat for underdevelopment, when corruption might be the bigger culprit.

3. Stand of the Philippine Government to Population Management

Historically, population was a non-issue in the Philippines before 1967, the year that the Philippines signed the UN Declaration on Population. The signing was not controversial because it produced nothing immediate. It was not until August 1971 that Republic Act 6365 (Population Act of the Philippines) created the Population Commission and tasked it to recommend solutions to the population issue.

Upon the PopComm’s recommendation, the Marcos government launched the National Population Program, which advocated small family size. In December 1972, Presidential Decree 79 revised the Population Act; it tasked the PopComm to make available “all acceptable methods of contraception” to “prevent resort to unacceptable practice of birth control such as abortion.” In July 1976, it became mandatory under P.D. 965 for marriage license applicants to undergo seminars on family planning and responsible parenthood. In September 1976, P.D. 1013 included sterilization among the population program’s acceptable fertility control procedures, entitled to benefits under the Medical Care or Medicare law.

In 1991, population policy programs were devolved in principle to LGUs, but it was not until February 1996 that E.O. 307 formalized and made effective of such devolution. In its last months in office in 2010, recoiling from the election-season controversy ignited by the Reproductive Health Bill, the Arroyo administration mainstreamed the Catholic church- backed Natural Family Planning or NFP approach as “the only acceptable mode of birth control,” and left it to LGUs to take the initiative (and the expenses) as to other methods.

Policy Options

1.Objective and Comprehensive Study of Population Management Legislations

Deliberations should be open to the public, to make the debate more intelligent and at the same time more democratic. On this regard, issues should be studied more objectively and more comprehensively, before making a final decision on the bill, once it is submitted to the President for either approval into law or for certification as an urgent administration bill.

2. Importance of Political Coherence

This enables government to focus on development, instead of devoting significant resources to grappling with insurgency, dissidence, and criminality. It is worth noting that the world’s highest GDP per capita countries and localities share some features in common: political stability, the absence of insurgencies, and low criminality. It is with doubt whether Philippines can aspire to their GDP per capita levels through mere economic development programs.

In a wider perspective, our population situation, if it is a problem, demands a package of political, social, cultural and moral reforms, just as insurgencies require not just a military but also a political solution.


Population size, by itself, is not a problem. Failing to hurdle the challenge makes overpopulation a problem, or a crisis. Success turns it into an asset. In this sense, those who say that overpopulation is a myth that will benefit only the makers and the manufacturers of condoms, and other contraceptives, are correct.

What makes our population a problem, even when it was smaller, is the chronic failure of several administrations to mobilize the population as an asset. Our educational system has degenerated, reducing the global competitiveness of our high literacy rate. Lack of information has been of the cause of overpopulation. Our economy, bled by corruption, remains unable to create enough jobs for our growing population of workers, making us critically dependent on overseas employment. Despite much talk over agricultural modernization and other safety nets, our farmers are unable to produce rice, vegetables, poultry and other products as cost-efficiently as China, Thailand and Vietnam – which is partly why we’re asking where the fertilizer funds ended up in 2004.

We have failed to achieve sustainable unity. We stand divided by politics, by religion, by issues. Unity is important to enable government to focus on development, instead of devoting significant resources to grappling with insurgency, dissidence, and criminality. The government should also consider population problem a priority. With more people to serve and less resources to offer, the government needs to be more discreet to help the neediest.

In addition to being a political question, the population dilemma poses a moral issue. Offering the people free choice, to the extent of inducing them not only through the public and free availability of artificial contraceptives, but also through advertising and information and education campaigns, to actually practice contraception, is a moral issue. The Roman Catholic Church is capable of defending its own position on this, in opposing the population management program proposed by the Reproductive Health Bill. But everyone should responsibly consider the consequences. Free choice means people can accept or reject the program. If enough people reject it, such that our population continues to grow anyway, what’s next? Impose a compulsory family size limit, to be enforced by infanticide? Criminalize the bearing of children over the prescribed limit? If the wanton and casual use of contraception breeds permissiveness and decadence, irresponsibility and indiscipline, what’s next? Who will be liable for the consequences?

Everyone should be aware or knowledgeable of what is going on and everybody should have something to do to control the soaring population growth.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Saint Pope John Paul II, Pray For Us

By Chester B Cabalza

The moment I saw him inside his enclosed pope mobile, immediately, I knew he would become a saint; plying the spacious Luneta Park, the largest public park in Southeast Asia, his angelic face and saintly waving gestures, was captivated by cheering multitude and energetic Catholic followers around the country, including neighboring Asian countries and various contingents of youngster worldwide.

Pope John Paul II’s soul is full of purity and hope. By the time I saw him closer, a transforming air would come from nowhere, like tongues of fire, it touched the hearts of many individuals, and like apostles we all chanted his name, believing that God’s ambassador of goodwill had come to spread His message.

In 1995, as one of the delegates to the World Youth Day held in Manila, Philippines, representing St Louis College, now renamed as University of St Louis Tuguegarao (USLT), I felt the blessings of one of the “living saints” at the time.

Pope John Paul and Mother Theresa are two leading Catholic leaders, living saints, and religious greats in the latter part of the 20th century and early 21st century, who sowed goodwill and good name to over a billion followers of the Vatican-based Catholic Church.

This coming May 1, 2011, the late charismatic John Paul II will be beatified at St Peter’s Square, expected are hundreds of thousands of believers to witness this big step closer to Roman Catholic sainthood of the beloved pope, in memoriam to his funeral in 2005, as one of the biggest media events in the 21st century.

His 27-year papacy was one of the most historic and tumultuous of modern times. During his pontificate, communism collapsed across Eastern Europe, starting in his native Poland. The first non-Italian pope in some 450 years, John Paul was almost killed in a 1981 assassination attempt, which some historians believe was ordered by the secret services of the then-Soviet Union to stop his support of freedom in Poland. Known as the globetrotting pope because he visited every corner of the world in more than 100 trips, he died on April 2, 2005, after a long struggle with failing health.

According to, the pope’s coffin will be moved beforehand from its present location in the Vatican crypts and placed under an altar in a chapel in St Peter's Basilica so more people can pay homage.

I have no doubt that more miracles will happen attributed to the intercession of John Paul with God. As one of the greatest popes the Catholic Church had ever had, and the only pope I had ever seen in my entire life, I pray and hope that he will indeed become a well-beloved saint.

St John Paul, pray for us.

Monday, January 17, 2011

MMDA v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited. Xie xie!

G.R. Nos. 171947-48 December 18, 2008



The need to address environmental pollution, as a cause of climate change, has of late gained the attention of the international community. Media have finally trained their sights on the ill effects of pollution, the destruction of forests and other critical habitats, oil spills, and the unabated improper disposal of garbage. And rightly so, for the magnitude of environmental destruction is now on a scale few ever foresaw and the wound no longer simply heals by itself. But amidst hard evidence and clear signs of a climate crisis that need bold action, the voice of cynicism, naysayers, and procrastinators can still be heard.

This case turns on government agencies and their officers who, by the nature of their respective offices or by direct statutory command, are tasked to protect and preserve, at the first instance, our internal waters, rivers, shores, and seas polluted by human activities. To most of these agencies and their official complement, the pollution menace does not seem to carry the high national priority it deserves, if their track records are to be the norm. Their cavalier attitude towards solving, if not mitigating, the environmental pollution problem, is a sad commentary on bureaucratic efficiency and commitment.

At the core of the case is the Manila Bay, a place with a proud historic past, once brimming with marine life and, for so many decades in the past, a spot for different contact recreation activities, but now a dirty and slowly dying expanse mainly because of the abject official indifference of people and institutions that could have otherwise made a difference.


On January 29, 1999, respondents Concerned Residents of Manila Bay filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Imus, Cavite against several government agencies, for the cleanup, rehabilitation, and protection of the Manila Bay.

The complaint alleged that the water quality of the Manila Bay had fallen way below the allowable standards set by law, specifically Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1152 or the Philippine Environment Code.

In their individual causes of action, respondents alleged that the continued neglect of petitioners in abating the pollution of the Manila Bay constitutes a violation of, among others:

(1) Respondents’ constitutional right to life, health, and a balanced ecology;

(2) The Environment Code (PD 1152);

(3) The Pollution Control Law (PD 984);

(4) The Water Code (PD 1067);

(5) The Sanitation Code (PD 856);

(6) The Illegal Disposal of Wastes Decree (PD 825);

(7) The Marine Pollution Law (PD 979);

(8) Executive Order No. 192;

(9) The Toxic and Hazardous Wastes Law (Republic Act No. 6969);

(10) Civil Code provisions on nuisance and human relations;

(11) The Trust Doctrine and the Principle of Guardianship; and

(12) International Law

Inter alia, respondents, as plaintiffs a quo, prayed that petitioners be ordered to clean the Manila Bay and submit to the RTC a concerted concrete plan of action for the purpose.


a) Whether or not pertinent provisions of the Environment Code (PD 1152) relate only to the cleaning of specific pollution incidents and do not cover cleaning in general.

b) Whether or not the cleaning of the Manila Bay is not a ministerial act which can be compelled by mandamus.


Regional Trial Court’s Order to Clean Up and Rehabilitate Manila Bay

On September 13, 2002, the RTC rendered a Decision in favor of respondents. Finding merit in the complaint, the Court ordered defendant-government agencies, jointly and solidarily, to clean up and rehabilitate Manila Bay and restore its waters to SB classification to make it fit for swimming, skin-diving and other forms of contact recreation.

To attain this, defendant-agencies, with defendant DENR as the lead agency, are directed, within six (6) months from receipt hereof, to act and perform their respective duties by devising a consolidated, coordinated and concerted scheme of action for the rehabilitation and restoration of the bay.

In particular:

Defendant MWSS is directed to install, operate and maintain adequate [sewerage] treatment facilities in strategic places under its jurisdiction and increase their capacities.

Defendant LWUA, to see to it that the water districts under its wings, provide, construct and operate sewage facilities for the proper disposal of waste.

Defendant DENR, which is the lead agency in cleaning up Manila Bay, to install, operate and maintain waste facilities to rid the bay of toxic and hazardous substances.

Defendant PPA, to prevent and also to treat the discharge not only of ship-generated wastes but also of other solid and liquid wastes from docking vessels that contribute to the pollution of the bay.

Defendant MMDA, to establish, operate and maintain an adequate and appropriate sanitary landfill and/or adequate solid waste and liquid disposal as well as other alternative garbage disposal system such as re-use or recycling of wastes.

Defendant DA, through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, to revitalize the marine life in Manila Bay and restock its waters with indigenous fish and other aquatic animals.

Defendant DBM, to provide and set aside an adequate budget solely for the purpose of cleaning up and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Defendant DPWH, to remove and demolish structures and other nuisances that obstruct the free flow of waters to the bay. These nuisances discharge solid and liquid wastes which eventually end up in Manila Bay. As the construction and engineering arm of the government, DPWH is ordered to actively participate in removing debris, such as carcass of sunken vessels, and other non-biodegradable garbage in the bay.

Defendant DOH, to closely supervise and monitor the operations of septic and sludge companies and require them to have proper facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage coming from septic tanks.

Defendant DECS, to inculcate in the minds and hearts of the people through education the importance of preserving and protecting the environment.

Defendant Philippine Coast Guard and the PNP Maritime Group, to protect at all costs the Manila Bay from all forms of illegal fishing.

The Court of Appeals Sustained the RTC’s Decision

The MWSS, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and PPA filed before the Court of Appeals (CA) individual Notices of Appeal. On the other hand, the DENR, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group, and five other executive departments and agencies filed directly with this Court a petition for review under Rule 45.

In the light of the ongoing environmental degradation, the Court wishes to emphasize the extreme necessity for all concerned executive departments and agencies to immediately act and discharge their respective official duties and obligations. Indeed, time is of the essence; hence, there is a need to set timetables for the performance and completion of the tasks, some of them as defined for them by law and the nature of their respective offices and mandates.

The importance of the Manila Bay as a sea resource, playground, and as a historical landmark cannot be over-emphasized. It is not yet too late in the day to restore the Manila Bay to its former splendor and bring back the plants and sea life that once thrived in its blue waters. But the tasks ahead, daunting as they may be, could only be accomplished if those mandated, with the help and cooperation of all civic-minded individuals, would put their minds to these tasks and take responsibility. This means that the State, through petitioners, has to take the lead in the preservation and protection of the Manila Bay.

So it was that in Oposa v. Factoran, Jr. the Court stated that the right to a balanced and healthful ecology need not even be written in the Constitution for it is assumed, like other civil and political rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, to exist from the inception of mankind and it is an issue of transcendental importance with intergenerational implications. Even assuming the absence of a categorical legal provision specifically prodding petitioners to clean up the bay, they and the men and women representing them cannot escape their obligation to future generations of Filipinos to keep the waters of the Manila Bay clean and clear as humanly as possible. Anything less would be a betrayal of the trust reposed in them.

By a Decision of September 28, 2005, the CA denied petitioners’ appeal and affirmed the Decision of the RTC in toto, stressing that the trial court’s decision did not require petitioners to do tasks outside of their usual basic functions under existing laws.

SEC v. GMA Network, Inc.

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited. Xie xie!

G.R. No. 164026 December 23, 2008

GMA NETWORK, INC., respondent.


On August 19, 1995, the petitioner, GMA NETWORK, INC., (GMA), a domestic corporation, filed an application for collective approval of various amendments to its Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws with the respondent Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC).

The amendments applied for include, among others, the change in the corporate name of petitioner from "Republic Broadcasting System, Inc." to "GMA Network, Inc." as well as the extension of the corporate term for another fifty (50) years from and after June 16, 2000.

Upon such filing, the petitioner had been assessed by the SEC’s Corporate and Legal Department a separate filing fee for the application for extension of corporate term equivalent to 1/10 of 1% of its authorized capital stock plus 20% thereof or an amount of P1,212,200.00.

On September 26, 1995, the petitioner informed the SEC of its intention to contest the legality and propriety of the said assessment. However, the petitioner requested the SEC to approve the other amendments being requested by the petitioner without being deemed to have withdrawn its application for extension of corporate term. The following month, the petitioner formally protested the assessment amounting to P1,212,200.00 for its application for extension of corporate term.

The following year, the SEC approved the other amendments to the petitioner’s Articles of Incorporation, specifically Article 1 thereof referring to the corporate name of the petitioner as well as Article 2 thereof referring to the principal purpose for which the petitioner was formed. But GMA requested for an official opinion/ruling from the SEC on the validity and propriety of the assessment for application for extension of its corporate term.

Consequently, the respondent SEC, through Associate Commissioner Fe Eloisa C. Gloria, on April 18, 1996, issued its ruling upholding the validity of the questioned assessment.

Thusly, GMA appealed the ruling of the SEC to the Court of Appeals (CA), on the ground that ground that the assessment of filing fees for the petitioner’s application for extension of corporate term equivalent to 1/10 of 1% of the authorized capital stock plus 20% thereof is not in accordance with law.


Whether the SEC Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 1986 should be the basis for computing the filing fee relative to GMA’s application for the amendment of its articles of incorporation for purposes of extending its corporate term?


The SEC assailed the Decision dated February 20, 2004 of the Court of Appeals which directed that SEC Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 1986 should be the basis for computing the filing fee relative to GMA Network, Inc.’s (GMA’s) application for the amendment of its articles of incorporation for purposes of extending its corporate term.

The appellate court agreed with the SEC’s submission that an extension of the corporate term is a grant of a fresh license for a corporation to act as a juridical being endowed with the powers expressly bestowed by the State. As such, it is not an ordinary amendment but is analogous to the filing of new articles of incorporation.

However, the Court of Appeals ruled that Memorandum Circular No. 2, Series of 1994 is legally invalid and ineffective for not having been published in accordance with law. The challenged memorandum circular, according to the appellate court, is not merely an internal or interpretative rule, but affects the public in general. Hence, its publication is required for its effectivity.

Rate-fixing is a legislative function which concededly has been delegated to the SEC by R.A. No. 3531 and other pertinent laws. The due process clause, however, permits the courts to determine whether the regulation issued by the SEC is reasonable and within the bounds of its rate-fixing authority and to strike it down when it arbitrarily infringes on a person’s right to property.

The instant appeal is dismissed for lack of merit.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tomoyuki Yamashita v. Wilhelm Styer

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited. Xie xie!

G.R. No. L-129 December 19, 1945

WILHELM D. STYER, Commanding General, United States Army Forces, Western Pacific, respondent.
Col. Harry E. Clarke and Lt. Col. Walter C. Hendrix for petitioner.
Maj. Robert M. Kerr for respondent.
Delgado, Dizon, Flores and Rodrigo appeared as amici curiae.



Tomoyuki Yamashita was an erstwhile commanding general of the 14th army group of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines. He was charged before an American Military Commission with the most monstrous crimes ever committed against the American and Filipino peoples.

Filed before the Court were petition for habeas corpus and prohibition against Lt. Gen. Wilhelm D. Styer, Commanding General of the United States Army Forces, Western Pacific.

It was alleged that General Yamashita, after his surrender, became a prisoner of war of the US but was later removed from such status and placed in confinement as an accused charged for war crimes before an American Military Commission constituted by respondent Lieutenant General Styer.

Petitioner wanted to be reinstated to his former status as prisoner of war, and that the Military Commission be prohibited from further trying him.


(1) That the Military Commission was not duly constituted, and, therefore, it is without jurisdiction;

(2) That the Philippines cannot be considered as an occupied territory, and the Military Commission cannot exercise jurisdiction therein;

(3) That Spain, the "protecting power" of Japan, has not been given notice of the implementing trial against petitioner, contrary to the provisions of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1892, and therefore, the Military Commission has no jurisdiction to try the petitioner;

(4) That there is against the petitioner no charge of an offense against the laws of war; and

(5) That the rules of procedure and evidence under which the Military Commission purports to be acting denied the petitioner a fair trial.


The Court deemed that petition for habeas corpus is untenable.

The relative difference as to the degree of confinement in such cases is a matter of military measure, disciplinary in character, beyond the jurisdiction of civil courts.

Neither may the petition for prohibition prosper against Lt. Gen. Wilhelm D. Styer. The military Commission is not made party respondent in this case, and although it may be acting, as alleged, without jurisdiction, no order may be issued in these case proceedings requiring it to refrain from trying the petitioner.

Constitutionality of the Military Commission

The Commission has been validly constituted by Lieutenant General Styer duly issued by General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief, United States Army Force Pacific, in accordance in authority vested in him and with radio communication from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Under paragraph 356 of the Rules of the Land Welfare a Military Commission for the trial and punishment of the war criminals must be designated by the belligerent. And the belligerent's representative in the present case is none other than the Commander in Chief of the United States Army in the Pacific.

The Military Commission thus duly constituted has jurisdiction both over the person of the petitioner and over the offenses with which he is charged. It has jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner by reason of his having fallen into the hands of the United States Army Forces. Under paragraph 347 of the Rules of the Land Warfare, "the commanders ordering the commission of such acts, or under whose authority they are committed by their troops, may be punished by the belligerent into whose hands they may fall."

As to the jurisdiction of the Military Commission over war crimes, the Supreme Court of the United States said:

From the very beginning of its history this Court has recognized and applied the law of war as including that part of the law of nations which prescribes, for the conduct of war, the status rights and duties and of enemy nations as well as of enemy individuals. By the Articles of War, and especially Article 15, Congress has explicitly provided, so far as it may constitutionally do so, that military tribunals shall have jurisdiction to try offenders or offenses against the law of war in appropriate cases. Congress, in addition to making rules for the government of our Armed Forces, has thus exercised its authority to define and punish offenses against the law of nations by sanctioning, within constitutional limitations, the jurisdiction of military commissions to try persons and offenses which, according to the rules and precepts of the law of nations, and more particularly the law of war, are cognizable by such tribunals. (Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1, 27-28; 63 Sup. Ct., 2.)

Philippine jurisdiction to the case

Petitioner is charged before the Military Commission sitting at Manila with having permitted members of his command "to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against the people of the United States and of its allies and dependencies, particularly the Philippines," crimes and atrocities which in the bills of particulars, are described as massacre and extermination of thousand and thousands of unarmed noncombatant civilians by cruel and brutal means, including bayoneting of children and raping of young girls, as well as devastation and destruction of public, or private, and religious property for no other motive than pillage and hatred. These are offenses against the laws of the war as described in paragraph 347 of the Rules of Land Warfare.

It is maintained, however, that, according to the Regulations Governing the Trial of War Criminals in the Pacific. "the Military Commission . . . shall have jurisdiction over all of Japan and other areas occupied by the armed forces commanded by the Commander in Chief, United States Army Forces, Pacific" (emphasis supplied), and the Philippines is not an occupied territory. The American Forces have occupied the Philippines for the purpose of liberating the Filipino people from the shackles of Japanese tyranny, and the creation of a Military Commission for the trial and punishment of Japanese war criminals is an incident of such war of liberation.

Third Issue – Spain as “protecting power” of Japan

It is maintained that Spain, the "protecting power" of Japan, has not been given notice before trial was begun against petitioner, contrary to the provisions of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929. But there is nothing in that Convention showing that notice is a prerequisite to the jurisdiction of Military Commissions appointed by victorious belligerent. Upon the other hand, the unconditional surrender of Japan and her acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Ultimatum are a clear waiver of such a notice. It may be stated, furthermore, that Spain has severed her diplomatic relation of Japan because of atrocities committed by the Japanese troops against Spaniards in the Philippines. Apparently, therefore, Spain has ceased to be the protecting power of Japan.

Dismissal of the petition

And, lastly, it is alleged that the rules of procedure and evidence being followed by the Military Commission in the admission of allegedly immaterial or hearsay evidence, cannot divest the commission of its jurisdiction and cannot be reviewed in a petition for the habeas corpus. (25 Am. Jur., 218; Collins vs. McDonald, 258 U. S. 416; 66 Law. ed., 692; 42 Sup. Ct., 326).

For all foregoing, petition is hereby dismissed without costs.

Shigenori Kuroda v. Rafael Jalandoni, et. al.

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited. Xie xie!

G.R. No. L-2662 March 26, 1949




Shigenori Kuroda was a former Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial Army and Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces in the Philippines during a period covering 1943 and 1944.

He was charged before a military Commission convened by the Chief of Staff of the Armed forces of the Philippines with having unlawfully disregarded and failed "to discharge his duties as such command, permitting them to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against noncombatant civilians and prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Forces in violation of the laws and customs of war."


a) Whether Executive Order No 68 is legal and constitutional?

b) Whether the United States through attorneys Melville Hussey and Robert Port are authorized by the Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines?

c) Whether the US is party interest to this case?


Validity of E.O. No. 68 and the acceptance of the principles of International law

Executive Order No. 68, establishing a National War Crimes Office prescribing rule and regulation governing the trial of accused war criminals, was issued by the President of the Philippines July 29, 1947. The Court holds that this order is valid and constitutional.

In accordance with the generally accepted principle of international law of the present day including the Hague Convention the Geneva Convention and significant precedents of international jurisprudence established by the United Nation all those person military or civilian who have been guilty of planning preparing or waging a war of aggression and of the commission of crimes and offenses consequential and incidental thereto in violation of the laws and customs of war, of humanity and civilization are held accountable. Consequently in the promulgation and enforcement of Execution Order No. 68 the President of the Philippines has acted in conformity with the generally accepted and policies of international law which are part of the our Constitution.

The promulgation of said executive order is an exercise by the President of his power as Commander in chief of all our armed forces as upheld by this Court in the case of Yamashita vs. Styer (L-129, 42 Off. Gaz., 664).

Jurisdiction of the Philippine Court

Petitioner argues that respondent Military Commission has no Jurisdiction to try petitioner for acts committed in violation of the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention because the Philippines is not a signatory to the first and signed the second only in 1947.

It cannot be denied that the rules and regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions form part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principals of international law. In facts these rules and principles were accepted by the two belligerent nation the United State and Japan who were signatories to the two Convention, then such rule and principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying them for our Constitution has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope and is not confined to the recognition of rule and principle of international law as continued inn treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a signatory.

Furthermore when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed the Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound together with the United States and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in the treaties between the belligerent countries.

In this connection it is well to remember what we have said in the case of Laurel vs. Misa (76 Phil., 372): The change of our form government from Commonwealth to Republic does not affect the prosecution of those charged with the crime of treason committed during then Commonwealth because it is an offense against the same sovereign people. . .

Practice of law in the Philippines

Petitioner challenges the participation of two American attorneys namely Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port in the prosecution of his case on the ground that said attorneys are not qualified to practice law in Philippines in accordance with our Rules of court and the appointment of said attorneys as prosecutors is violative of our national sovereignty.

In the first place respondent Military Commission is a special military tribunal governed by a special law and not by the Rules of court which govern ordinary civil court. It has already been shown that Executive Order No. 68 which provides for the organization of such military commission is a valid and constitutional law.

There is nothing in said executive order which requires that counsel appearing before said commission must be attorneys qualified to practice law in the Philippines in accordance with the Rules of Court. In facts it is common in military tribunals that counsel for the parties are usually military personnel who are neither attorney nor even possessed of legal training.

Secondly the appointment of the two American attorneys is not violative of our nation sovereignty.

The US as party interest to the case

Alleging that the United State is not a party in interest in the case petitioner challenges the personality of attorneys Hussey and Port as prosecutors. It is of common knowledge that the United State and its people have been equally if not more greatly aggrieved by the crimes with which petitioner stands charged before the Military Commission. It can be considered a privilege for our Republic that a leader nation should submit the vindication of the honor of its citizens and its government to a military tribunal of our country.

The Military Commission having been convened by virtue of a valid law with jurisdiction over the crimes charged which fall under the provisions of Executive Order No. 68, and having said petitioner in its custody, this Court will not interfere with the due process of such Military commission.

For all the foregoing the petition is denied with costs de oficio.

Monday, January 10, 2011

India as a hegemon but will the Philippines bandwagon with it?

(based on the policy paper presented by Atty Pedro Banzon, MNSA“India as a World Superpower: Its Impact on the Philippines” to the Strategic Studies Group on 14 December 2010)

Edited by Chester Cabalza


THE END OF THE COLD WAR USHERED in a new world order in which with the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, the United States appears to be the remaining so-called superpower. There are however quite a few great powers, which emerging from the great wars, or with the end of the colonial period and with their independence, attained such state of economic, political, technological development as to be capable of fully protecting their national interests and greatly influencing other states in any aspects of the complex international relations. Some of them are aspiring to attain superpower status.

Major Issue

India – An Emerging/Emerged Power?

India is a country in South Asia which is the seventh largest country in the world. It is considered as a sub-continent with a population of 1.18 billion, the second in the world in terms of population; and the most populous democracy. India is a federal constitutional republic with 28 states and seven union territories. It maintains the third largest standing armed force in the world. Like China, India’s economic growth averaging about 8 percent annually during the last decade or two, the second fastest growing economy after China, can be described as phenomenal. Among other achievements, India is one of the world’s leading producers of computer software, the third Asian nation to launch satellites into space, and the fourth country to send an unmanned lunar probe and plant the Indian flag on the moon’s surface. Hence, India is an emerging superpower.

Strategic Scenarios for Policy Considerations

A. The Indian Armed Forces

Like almost all of the armed forces of great powers, the military component of the Republic of India consist of the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, the Indian Air Force and various other inter-service institutions.

At present, the Indian military consists of about 1,325,000 Regular troops, 1,155,000 Reserves and approximately 1,293,300 Paramilitary forces (a total of about 3,773,300 troops), making India the third-largest standing military in the world after the People's Republic of China. The Indian Coast Guard, the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF) and the Strategic Forces Command constitute its Auxiliary services. The country’s official defense budget amounts to US $32 billion although like China, the actual spending on the armed forces is believed to be much higher. India has in its arsenal nuclear weapons, estimated about 50- 80 warheads and for its delivery, operates short and intermediate-range ballistic missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft and naval vessels.

As part of its on-going rapid expansion and modernization, the Indian Armed Forces has an active military space program, including the development of a missile defense shield and nuclear triad capability. India plans to build a $2 billion core dedicated, highly secure and state-of-the-art optical fiber cable (OFC) network for its Armed Forces three major services, making it one of the world's largest, closed user group (CUG) networks for exclusive use by the million-plus military personnel (Jane Defense Weekly).

The Indian Air Force now ranks the fourth largest air force in the world with approximately 170,000 personnel, and 1,309 aircraft in active service. Since the last decade or so, the Indian Air Force has undertaken an ambitious expansion and modernization program, obviously for power projection beyond South Asia. Early in its expansion program, the Air Force generally depended on Soviet, British, Israeli and French military craft and technology to support its growth.

Making effective use of offset and technology transfer arrangements, particularly by the state agency Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO), India is currently manufacturing its own aircraft. These include the Sulkhoi 30 MK1, multi-role fighter bomber in cooperation with Russia, HAL Tejas, a 4th generation fighter, and the HAL Dhruv, a multi-role helicopter, which has been exported to several countries, including Israel, Burma, Nepal and Ecuador.

India also manufactures and maintains UAV squadrons which can be used to carry out ground attacks and aerial surveillance. It is also expected to come up soon with its own the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), in development for over 20 years, reportedly at a cost of over US$2 billion. It has its own long range air to air missile named Astra and also building a Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) called Rustom. India and Russia are building number of next generation aircraft like 5th generation stealth aircraft called Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (Sulkhoi 35) in addition to the multi-role fighter Sulkhoi 30MKI and medium-lift military transport aircraft called Multirole Transport Aircraft.

Navy controls the ship and in future submarine based missiles and the Air Force the air based warheads. India's nuclear warheads are believed deployed in four areas:

1.Ship based mobile, like Dhanush.(operational)
2.Land-based mobile, like Agni.(operational)
3.Submarine based, like Sagarika (under deployment)
4.Air-based warheads of the Indian Air Forces' strategic bomber force (operational)

B. Indian Missiles

The current Indian ballistic missiles are the Agni I, II, III, IV, Prithvi I, II, III Dhanush, the SRBM Shaurya, and the SLBM Sagarika K -15.

C. Indian Military Spending

India is the world's 10th largest defense budget. In 2009, India's official military budget amounted to $32.7 billion. In 2004, the Global estimated India's budget to be around $100 billion in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP).

According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India's military budget (PPP) stood at $72.7 billion in 2007 A great portion of India's current defense budget is utilized to fund the ambitious modernization program of the country's armed forces. For about five years starting from 2007 up to 2012, India is expected to spend about $50 billion on the procurement of new weapons. India boosted defense spending by 21 percent in 2009. The country has in its modernization plans the acquisition/ construction of aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates, fifth generation multi-role fighters, submarines, conventional and nuclear, heavy transport aircraft, main battle management systems, UAVs etc.

Current PH-India Relations

The first Philippine envoy to India was the late Foreign Secretary Narciso Ramos. Seven years after India’s independence in 1947, the Philippines and India signed a Treaty of Friendship on 11 July 1952 in Manila to strengthen the friendly relations existing between the two countries. Soon after, the Philippine Legation in New Delhi was established and then elevated to an Embassy.

In April 2009, the Indian Navy warships INS Khanjar and INS Jyoti made port visits to Manila under the terms of the 2006 RP-India defense cooperation agreement.

In observance of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with India on 16 November 1949 President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her incumbency proclaimed the month of November 2009 as “Philippines-India Friendship Month” under Proclamation No. 1924 signed on 23 October 2009 in Malacañang Palace.

PH-India Cooperation on Defense Technology

Indian (defense) technology is more advanced than the Philippines. Both countries can benefit from a much closer cooperation in the following:

1. Development and Application of Space Technology. – such as telecomnmunication, television broadcast, meteorological services – disaster warning and providing information related to agriculture by the use of Indian-built satellites (which are cheaper). Thus, it is believed that India can assist RP in surveillance capability in the latter’s ISO operation. (At present, it is claimed that India’s surveillance satellite can cover only about 2,000 km radius from India. It is expected, however, that by 2012, this will expand to cover areas to include Southeast Asia and the Philippines).

2. Procurement of Defense Equipment / Technology Transfer – With its strong Navy and naval aviation, India can assist in maintaining stability in the Indian Ocean and Andaman Sea -all the way to the Straits of Malacca against piracy in the high seas and other transnational crimes and terrorism. In 2003 in Bali, ASEAN and India signed a Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism. (There has been some suggestion on the role of India as a possible hedge (by the US) against China’s territorial ambitions and hegemony tendencies).

Policy Recommendations

1. That the Memorandum of Agreement of PH and GOI be implemented more vigorously especially in the areas of defense technology, intelligence exchange (particularly in the campaign against insurgency and terrorism), and training where mutual benefits may ensue, and continue the practice of high level visits,

2. More initiative and vigorous efforts be made to further strengthen trade ties, reduce trade gaps and – specially in the service sector and in BPO, if possible, to adopt measures for complimentary programs and to minimize competition.

3. That the Philippines take advantage of India’s offer of assistance and cooperation in science, research, technology, higher education, in agriculture and defense infrastructure and industry development.

4. That the implementing constraints be addressed specially in the matter of proper coordination, review of operational procedures, removal or reduction of bureaucratic red tape, specially in setting up business and drumming up investments by better initiative on the part of the implementers.

5. That the necessary budgetary/ administrative support should be provided, consistent with our other defense and security requirements.

6. That Philippines continue to seek the political support of India and other major powers in dealing with China on the territorial disputes in the South China Sea and help ensure peace, stability and economic development in the region.


India, (like China) is a global power; in fact President Obama in his visit to India last October 2010 even used the words “has emerged” and not merely “emerging”. It is predicted that India will become the third largest economy after China and the US, perhaps in a decade or less.

Undoubtedly, India and China, (both consider themselves as still developing economies) are asserting themselves in the arena of global governance- in WTO, ILO, IMF etc. making them heard and protecting their interests and espousing the cause of developing nations or providing political and economic leadership. Today, even as China is India's largest trading partner, these two Asian great powers are in competition with each other in these efforts in their quest for political and economic and cultural dominance in Asia.

India has joined the world’s nuclear club, for some time the exclusive domain of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. India’s economic performance during the last two decades has been short of miraculous with an annual growth rate of about eight percent. It has made great strides in its military modernization program, through offsets arrangements, joint ventures and technology transfers that now enables the country to manufacture its own military assets that include warships, aircrafts, ballistic missiles, and electronic battle management systems, without mentioning its nuclear stockpile.

In the case of the relationship between the Philippines and India, due to a number of constraints, particularly on the financial requirements for operationalizing the details of areas of cooperation and the need to prioritize existing bilateral relationships with other nations, the implementation of the provisions of the MOA with India and the expected increase in trade and cultural areas have been relatively minimal, and not fully maximized.

Thus, at the present time and perhaps for the next few years there does not seem to be much impact on the Philippines as regards to India emerging as a great power. Our economy is still much influenced by our trade relations with the United States, China, Japan South Korea and the European Union. Commerce and trade between the Philippines and India while improving is still minimal, representing just about two percent of the country’s total trade.

In the area of defense and security, more vigorous efforts in the exchange of information on terrorism and personalities associated with this scourge of nations, and lessons in the campaign against insurgency afflicting both countries, would be mutually advantageous. But, presumably, it cannot replace the traditional political, economic, military and cultural ties the Philippines has with the US, the current global superpower, in the light of the estimated four million-strong Filipinos residing in that country. For unlike in India (which currently has a Filipino population of less than 2,000) there is hardly a Filipino family who has no relatives in the US. Nonetheless, it would not be proper to assume that India’s weight in the power equation in the region or in the global stage would be minimal considering the prediction of its being the third largest economy after China and the US, the biggest population in 20-30 years with the most number of young educated work forces in the world.


Ummu Salma Bava. India’s Role in the Emerging World Order, Friedrich Ebert Tiftung.
Briefing Paper – Dialogue on Globalization – New Delhi
Chacko, KT. India-Philippines Trade prospect: Focus on ASEAN-India FTA. New Delhi
Hogg Jr., James F. “A Global Shifting in the Making: Is the United States Ready? Foreign Affairs – A Lecture given at John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced Int’l Studies, Washington D.C.
Lambert , Tim. Brief History of India
Kowelski, Przmyslaw. China and India: A Comparison of Two Trade Integration Approaches. OECD
Kumar, Amit. . China’s Island Strategy in the Indian Ocean: Breaching India’s Sphere of Influence. 09/17/2010
Messner, Dick & Humphrey, John. China and India in the Global Governance Arena. German Development Institute.
Mahbubani, Kishore, Dean, Lee Kwan Yew’s School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore’s Center for the Advance Study of India.
Mohan, C. Raja. India and the Balance of Power. Foreign Affairs, July 2006. Council on Foreign Relations 2006
Perkovich, George. Is India a Major Power?. The Center for Strategic International Studies and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Washington Quarterly-Winter. 2003-2004.
Ramos, Fidel V. The Philippines –South/North Korea-ASEAN –Within Orbit of US-China Power Rivalry. Manila Bulletin. Oct 1,2010 Smith, Jeff M. India As A US Hedge Against China, Asia Times Online. August 6, 200 Tharoor, Ishaan. India’s China Panic: Seeing Red Peril on Land and Sea. Sept 20, 2009. Time Magazine(?)
___ China Broadens Strategy in the South Pacific. Sept 27,2010. Time Mag.
India: The Future Economic and Knowledge Super Power. International Business and Economics Research Journals. Feb 2007, Vol 6, No. 2
India as Global Power. Deutsche Bank Research. December 16, 2005
Brief on India-Philippines Economic and Commercial Relations. Embassy of India. Manila
Imperialism in Asia. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Great Power. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. htthp:// power
China Boosting Maritime Capabilities in the Indian Ocean. Word Press. Org. Asia Pacific Sept 2,20010
Can India Be Great? The Diplomat APAC. great/ 9/4/2010
Bureau of Immigration, DOJ. Statistics of Indian Nationals Issued ACR-I Card. 2006-2010
U.S. and India: An Emerging Entente? U.S. Dept of State. R. Nicholas Burns, Undersec. of State for Political Affairs; Robert G. Joseph, Undersec for Arms Control & Int’l Security (Remarks before the House Committee on Int’l Relations. Washington D.C. Sept 8,2005.
China Extends Military’s Reach. Defense News May 24,2010
China, ASEAN Open Talks on Spratly Code of Conduct. Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 2, 2010, p. A5
US and India Look to Enhance Defense Ties. Jane Defense Weekly, 14 July 2010, p.30 US, Russia join Asia club in a blow to China, analysts say. Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business. Oct. 30,2010.
Wikipedia An Insider’s Guide to APEC Fortune Magazine, Asia Pacific Edition. November 15,2010

The views expressed in the policy brief do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Defense College of the Philippines. The readers are free to make additional copies or quote any part provided proper citations are made.

Is There a Culture of Tourism in the Philippines?

(based on the policy paper presented by Realidad Santico-Rolda, PhD “Tourism: Challenges, Responses, and Opportunity” to the Strategic Studies Group on September 21,2010)

Edited by Chester Cabalza


TOURISM HAS ALWAYS BEEN associated with economics – of jobs, revenues, investments, and foreign exchanges. But tourism is also about the social and cultural aspects, reinventing and recreating traditions/cultures to inculcate patriotism and nationalism among the younger generation. This is one of the concerns of the Shanghai Expo 2010 when Old Shanghai was recreated and resurfaced not only for foreign consumption but also for their nationals especially the young who knew very little about traditions. Tourism is not all about tradition and culture but also about change.

Security is considered to be an important component of tourism. Even if resources are rich, potentials are great, and challenges are met, there is nothing could have increased the arrival of tourists but the country’s peace and order. Travel means spending a fortune, the peace and quiet and the serenity of the place is the value that we get for our money. Thus, we expect greater security and safety when traveling. Lastly, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore get more tourists than Filipinos because they do not have homegrown terrorists and criminals.

Major Issues/Controversies

The study revolves around answering the following questions:

1)Why do people travel? What is their concept and perception about traveling?

2)What are the challenges of the tourism industry? How do the officials and private sectors address these challenges? How does the government convert these challenges into opportunities?

3)What are the socio-cultural impacts of tourism?

Herein, the author tries to find out whether the challenges noted in the MNSA theses of Red (1973), Santos (1978), Ochoco (1979), Domingo (1998), Bengzon (1999) and Macayayong (2000) were the same for 2010.

Surprisingly, after thirty seven years, the same challenges like physical infrastructure continue to haunt the industry. Hotels and good roads continue to be the problems of the industry.

A Brief History of Tourism in the Philippines

The history of tourism may also be considered as part of Philippine history – of development and also of historical reconstruction. The construction of infrastructure like roads, hotels, airports to accommodate foreign guests may be considered as the advent of modernization. For domestic tourists in the past, need no hotel for accommodation, staying with friends and relatives were considered to be the best places to stay. Also, relatives were offended if they learned that they (relatives) booked in a hotel instead of staying with them. Many Filipinos still do this when they visit relatives in the US. It would be cheaper staying with relatives than the hotels. Balikbayans also stay with relatives when they come home to the Philippines.

In 1952, the Philippine Tourist and Travel Association (PTTA), a non-stock, non-profit organization, on account of its achievement was given a legal personality through Republic Act No. 710. Thus, its primary responsibility was to help the Philippine government in the implementation of policies related to tourism. The Philippine government, on the other hand, allocated P75, 000 on a yearly basis, to be spent on the “publicity, advertising, and public relations abroad.”

It was in 1956, when the Board of Travel and Tourist Industry (BTTI) was created and placed under the supervision of the Department of Commerce and Industry through Republic Act No. 1478. It was also coincided with marking (PTTA) as the “promotional arm of the newly formed body. Evidently, the Philippine government and the private sectors, started to be dependent on each other on matters concerning tourism.

During the time of President Ferdinand E. Marcos when tourism became the flagship of his administration. On May 11, 1973, he created the Department of Tourism “as a response to a different kind of tourism administration.” It replaced and strengthened the Bureau of Travel and Tourist Industry. Later on, the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) became the implementing arm of the Department of Tourism.

Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo are two well traveled presidents of the Philippines. The objectives of their travels were to gain economic investments for the Philippines. On the other hand, Arroyo was responsible for the growth of domestic tourism and the proponent of economic holiday. She also rushed the enactment of the implementing rules and regulations of the New Tourism Policy Act of 2009 (R.A. 0953) without consulting the private sector as required.

Challenges, Responses, and Opportunities

Though national security is the greatest challenge to the government to make the Philippines a tourist destination, there are many challenges that confront the government and must be addressed in order for the industry to succeed.

The revision of the tourism policy of the Philippine has been the concern of the World Tourism Organization. This is an on-going project since February 2003. The investment put in by the United Nations Development Programme is to develop the Philippines as a tourist destination in Asia. The UNDP is aware of the potentials of the Philippines, particularly its natural and human resources. There were four consultants to assist the Philippines in four areas: Human Resource Development, Regional Planning, Local Governance and Community Development. (http:/ asia-tourism, pdf).

Recent assessment of the tourism industry in the Philippines showed that it failed to meet the international standards set for Asia. The Philippines continues to lag behind her Asian neighbors like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and even Vietnam. Boo Chanco, also made the same observation in his column (Philippine Star). He said, that “it is embarrassing that our neighbors have left us behind in the tourism industry. For instance, about 10 to 14 million tourists, have visited Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. About seven million tourists have traveled to Vietnam and Indonesia. In the case of the Philippines, three million tourists came and most of them are balikbayan (June 7, 2010:B2).

The growth and development of tourism in the said countries continue to rise. World recession and some political problems, Thailand’s tourism was severely affected by the recent political turmoil. In fact, the Philippines Foreign Affairs department and perhaps other countries too, have advised their nationals not to travel for their safety.

Hence, it would be interesting whether or not the present administration will completely change the new tourism law and replace the head of the TIEZA with his own appointee.

While Thailand and China overcame their political and financial debacles, the Philippines appeared not to have resolved its problem. As such, the $2 billion revenues earned by the Philippines, through tourism, did not increase. An opportunity lost and its failure to open new jobs to ease the unemployment problem in the Philippines.

The Philippine government is determined to recoup its lost revenue and opportunity by adopting strategic programs:

1.Agricultural modernization
2.Leveling the playing field in terms of access to economic opportunities
3.Strengthening the capacity of the state
4.Sharpening the country’s global competitiveness
5.Using foreign policy in aid of development
6.Modernization of the rural sector
7.Creating a world class service sector
8.Promoting domestic competition
9.Creating magnets for foreign investment and development aid
10.Enhancing the assets of the poor
11.Modernizing the political and government administrative system.

Strategic Scenarios for Policy Considerations

Key Points To Consider

1. Accommodation - Majority of the respondents in the survey deemed to have traveled to Baguio, Bohol and Palawan with their families. Most of them stayed in a hotel but others avail of bank rest-houses. In staying at hotels, this indicates that the culture of tourism is emerging.

It is also important that private sector in partnership with the government, to improve the infrastructure and the hotels in particular. In fact, Cebu has 13,967 rooms; Boracay has 5,524 rooms while Bohol has 3,336 rooms (DOT Report, 2009). New hotels in Boracay have opened like the Shangri-la Resort and Spa, Seven Suites, Nandana Resort, and regency Lagoon.

About fifty percent of the respondents would rather stay in a hotel because they felt secured. There were security guards around to protect them. The Chinese, on the other, have preferences about the hotels they would want to stay. They went to the hotel where there are staffs who speak Chinese.

2. Food - In the past, Filipinos treated traveling as an excursion wherein they brought food in the hotel. Traveling is also about tasting the food of the host country which is part of the culture. One can even compare the food in one’s country with those served in the host country. Sometimes, the cuisines we have in the Philippines are differently prepared in other countries, even if they have the same name.

3. Senior Travelers - Senior citizens get a 20 percent discount in hotel rooms, transportation, restaurants, since the implementation of the Senior Citizen Act last July 6, 2010. It was noted that tourist between the ages of 61-69 compose 17 percent of the adventure-travel market worldwide while those over 70 make up four percent. Senior travelers believe that “it is one of the advantages of getting older, this freedom from responsibility. It means that senior citizens can take the risks as there are no more younger children to think about” (Weingarten, 2010).

4. Security Aspect of Tourism - It is clear that natural resources, cultural heritage, infrastructures, and other adventure activities are not sufficient to draw tourists to a tourist spot. The security stability of a place is most essential in the tourism industry. The expected response of the government is to continuously see to it that peace and order is maintained. Failure to do so means lost economic opportunity for the country. A social stigma may be attached to a country as most foreign nationals avoided the Philippines as a tourist destination.

Policy Recommendations

1)Sustain and maintain tourist policy of the previous administration especially if they contribute to the economic needs/interests of the Filipinos.

2)Provide continuous evaluation of standards like hotels, staffs, and other infrastructures to meet international standards.

3)Promotion/marketing of Philippine destinations be the object/and concern of the tourist offices in order to change the international image of the Philippines.

4)Although the hostage taking of August 23, 2020 is an isolated case. It is however, a case study of security/safety concerns of any host country to tourists. To institute change – the police, military, and even media. In the case of latter – emphasize the good news about the Philippines, not the bad news is concealed from the public – but emphasis must be more positive. Testimonials from tourists and foreign investors who have gone to the Philippines for the world to appreciate. It may contribute to changing the image of the country.

5)The airlines and airport facilities need to be improved in order to encourage more tourists to the country. With a new President and his known integrity and honesty, it can be considered as a come-on to tourists. Similar to what her mother, President Cory, did with her administration.

6)Open sky policy can be revisited by the Philippine government in order to strengthen the tourism industry.

7)Evaluation of the domestic tourism. Travel agencies promoting domestic tourism where foreign travelers are brought to various Philippine resorts, It may look into the Possibilities and even opportunities for religious pilgrimages where foreigners are brought to various churches in the Philippines from Quiapo to Intramuros to Antipolo and even Tanay and Morong, Rizal where old churches are found.

8)Casino as opportunities for promoting tourism.

9)Golf courses are also opportunities for foreign tourists to come to the Philippines.


One of the measures that the study used to determine the status of the country’s tourism industry as compared to neighboring Asian countries is the number of arrivals to the Philippines. This is one of the challenges that confront the tourism industry. Ensuring security, safety, and maintaining peace and order remained to be the biggest challenge to the Philippine tourism industry.

Also, response of the government to improve physical facilities, roads and hotels in collaboration with the private sectors, are not sufficient to increase foreign tourists in the country. Moreover, the Philippines physical landscape, i.e., an archipelago proved to be barriers to increase tourists to the Philippines as there is no border-crossing similar to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore where tourists can move from one country to the other through trains and busses.

Lastly, declogging of tourist resorts, that is, creating/developing more tourist destination so that Cebu and other urbanized areas most frequented by tourists can be decongested, in order to spread economic benefits brought by tourism to other areas like Catanduanes and other Bicol area as well as Davao.


1.Bauer, Thomas G. and Bob Mckecher 2003 Sex and Tourism Journey’s of Romance, Love and Lust. The Howard Hospitality Press, New Jersey, U.S.A.
2.Richter, Linda K. 1989. The Politics of Tourism in Asia. University of Hawaii

NDCP Theses (unpublished)
1.Barbers, Robert Dean 2006. Tourism Development: A Peace Strategy for Mindanao.
2.Bengzon, Benito C., Jr. 1999. How Can Tourism Investments Be Enhanced in the Philippines?
3.Macayayong, Evelyn Alcaraz 2000. Improving Investment – Readiness’ of Selected Existing Tourist Destinations for Tourism Projects.
4.Domingo, Manalo Miguel 1998. An Organizational Framework for the Tourism Industry and Its Implications to National Security.
5.Ochoco, Claudio C., 1979. The Domestic and Foreign Tourism Promotion Programs of the Ministry of Tourism: Plans and Strategies
6.Red, Jimmy 1973. The Role of Infrastructure Development on the Growth of Tourism in the Philippines.
7.Santos, Nestor B. 1978. Tourism in the Philippines and the Relevance of the Hotel Industry.

Magazines and Newspaper’s Articles
1.Alcuaz, Vic
“Is 2010 A Big Year in Hospitality in F and B World, March-April, 2010.
2.Beltran, Cito.
The Secret of Z in Philippine Star, April 21, 2010.
3.Chanco, Boo
“Tourism Strategy” in Philippine Star, June 7, 2010.
4.Laude, Jaime
“Sayyaf Still a Potent Force” says AFP in Philippine Star, June 20, 2010.
5.Magno, Alex
First Person in Philippine Star, June 1, 2010.
6.Newsweek Special Issue on Tourism. May 24-31, 2010
7.and Lifestyle, Vol. 21, 2009.

Other References:
1.The Report on Tourism, p. 92-96, 124 Oxford Business Group, 2009.
2.Philippine Tourism: Stable Amidst a Global Tourism Downturn, DOT Report, 2009.
3.WTO and the Government of the Philippines join hands in tourism Policy Review
4.Sidetrip Magazine Vol. 2 Issue No. 9 March-April, 2010.

# # #

The views expressed in the policy brief do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Defense College of the Philippines. The readers are free to make additional copies or quote any part provided proper citations are made.

GMRC, Inc. et al v. Bell Telecoms, et al

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited. Xie xie!

G.R. No. 126496. April 30, 1997


G.R. No. 126526. April 30, 1997



In 1993, private respondent Bell Telecommunication Philippines, Inc. (BellTel) filed with the NTC an Application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Procure (CPNP) to install, operate and maintain a Nationwide Integrated Telecommunications Services and to Charge Rates, and with further request for the issuance of Provisional Authority (PA).

Since BellTel was, at that time, an unenfranchised applicant, it was excluded in the deliberations for service area assignments for local exchange carrier service.

Only petitioners GMCR, Inc., Smart Communications, Inc., Isla Communications Co., Inc. and International Communications Corporation, among others, were beneficiaries of formal awards of service area assignments in April and May, 1994.

With the enactment of Republic Act No. 7692 on March 25, 1994, BellTel was granted a congressional franchise to carry on the business of providing telecommunications services in and around the country.

The following year of July 1994, said respondent filed with NTC a second application for the issuance of CPCN for its local and international interconnection under an integrated system.

After presenting its pieces of evidence and cross-examined by the oppositors in the proceedings, BellTel later filed its Formal Offer of Evidence together with all the technical, financial and legal documents in support of its application. Pursuant to its rules, the application was referred to the Common Carriers Authorization Department (CCAD) for study and recommendation.

Agreeing with the findings and recommendations of the CCAD, NTC Deputy Commissioners Fidelo Dumlao and Consuelo Perez adopted the same and expressly signified their approval of the Memorandum of the CCAD dated February 6, 1995. The draft was initialed by Deputy Commissioners Fidelo Q. Dumlao and Consuelo Perez but was not signed by Commissioner Simeon Kintanar.


Whether or not the NTC is a collegial body under Executive Order No. 546


In the interim, the Solicitor General filed with the respondent appellate court a Manifestation In Lieu of Comment in which the Solicitor General took a legal position adverse to that of the NTC. The Solicitor General, after a close examination of the laws creating the NTC and its predecessors and a studious analysis of certain Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) orders, NTC circulars, and Department of Justice (DOJ) legal opinions pertinent to the issue of collegiality of the NTC, made the following recommendations:

(a) declare respondent National Telecommunications Commission as a collegial body;

(b) restrain respondent Commissioner Simeon Kintanar from arrogating unto himself alone the powers of the said agency;

(c) order NTC, acting as a collegial body, to resolve petitioner Bell Telecoms application under NTC-94-229;

(d) declare NTC Memorandum Circulars 1-1-93 and 3-1-93 as void; [and]

(e) uphold the legality of DOTC Department Order 92-614.

The more critical point that matters most, however, is that Court cannot be diverted from the principal issue in this case concerning the collegiality of the NTC.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

RP v. Lat Vda de Castillo, et. al.

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited. Xie xie!

G.R. No. L-69002 June 30, 1988



This is a petition for review on certiorari of the April 26, 1984 Decision of the then Intermediate Appellate Court reversing the February 6, 1976 Decision of the then Court of First Instance of Batangas.


In 1951, the late Modesto Castillo applied for the registration of two parcels of land, Lots 1 and 2, located in Banadero, Tanauan, Batangas, as the true and absolute owner of the land with the improvements thereon, which was issued to him by the Register of Deeds of Batangas. He was married to Amanda Lat.

By virtue of an instrument dated in March 1960, the two parcels of land with Original Certificate of Title (OCT) were consolidated and divided into Lots 1 to 9 which was covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT). After the death of Modesto Castillo on August 31, 1960, Amanda Lat Vda. de Castillo, et al., executed a deed of partition and assumption of mortgage in favor of Florencio L. Castillo, et al., as a result of which Original Certificate of Title was cancelled, and in lieu thereof, new transfer certificates of title (TCT) were issued to the following appellants-defendants.

The Republic of the Philippines filed Civil Case No. 2044 with the lower court for the annulment of the certificates of title issued to defendants Amanda Lat Vda. de Castillo, et al., as heirs/successors of Modesto Castillo, and for the reversion of the lands covered thereby (Lots 1 and 2, Psu-119166) to the State.

It was alleged that said lands had always formed part of the Taal Lake and being of public ownership, it could not be the subject of registration as private property.
They alleged in their answer that the Government's action was already barred by the decision of the registration court; that the action has prescribed; and that the government was estopped from questioning the ownership and possession of appellants.

The then Court of First Instance of Batangas, Branch VI, decided that the Register of Deeds of Batangas to order the cancellation of the OCT in the name of Modesto Castillo and the subsequent TCT issued over the property in the names of the defendants. Lots Nos. 1 and 2 of Plan Psu-19166 are hereby declared public lands belonging to the state. Without pronouncement as to costs.

Defendants appealed their case. The Court of Appeals, in a decision promulgated on April 26,1984, reversed and set aside the appealed decision, and dismissed the complaint.


The sole issue raised in this case is whether or not the decision of the Land Registration Court involving shore lands constitutes res adjudicata.


There is no question that one of the requisites of res judicata is that the court rendering the final judgment must have jurisdiction over the subject matter (Ramos v. Pablo, 146 SCRA 24 [1986]; that shores are properties of the public domain intended for public use (Article 420, Civil Code) and, therefore, not registrable.

Thus, it has long been settled that portions of the foreshore or of the territorial waters and beaches cannot be registered. Their inclusion in a certificate of title does not convert the same into properties of private ownership or confer title upon the registrant (Republic v. Ayala y Cia, 14 SCRA, 259 [1965], citing the cases of Dizon, et al. v. Bayona, et al., 98 Phil. 943; and Dizon, et al. v. Rodriguez, et al., 13 SCRA 704).

But an important bone of contention is the nature of the lands involved in this case.

Petitioner contends "that "Lots 1 and 2, PSU-119166 had always formed part of the Taal Lake, washed and inundated by the waters thereof. Consequently, the same were not subject to registration, being outside the commerce of men; and that since the lots in litigation are of public domain (Art. 502), par. 4 Civil Code) the registration court (of 1951) did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate said lands as private property, hence, res judicata does not apply. (Rollo, pp. 37-38).

The Government presented both oral and documentary evidence.

Lakeshore land or lands adjacent to the lake, like the lands in question must be differentiated from foreshore land or that part of the land adjacent to the sea which is alternately covered and left dry by the ordinary flow of the tides (Castillo, Law on Natural Resources, Fifth Edition, 1954, p. 67).

Such distinction draws importance from the fact that accretions on the bank of a lake, like Laguna de Bay, belong to the owners of the estate to which they have been added (Gov't. v. Colegio de San Jose, 53 Phil. 423) while accretion on a sea bank still belongs to the public domain, and is not available for private ownership until formally declared by the government to be no longer needed for public use (Ignacio v. Director of Lands, 108 Phil. 335 [1960]).

But said distinction will not help private respondents because there is no accretion shown to exist in the case at bar. On the contrary, it was established that the occupants of the lots who were engaged in duck raising filled up the area with shells and sand to make it habitable.

The defense of long possession is likewise not available in this case because, as already ruled by this Court, mere possession of land does not by itself automatically divest the land of its public character (Cuevas v. Pineda, 143 SCRA 674 [1968]).

PREMISES CONSIDERED, the April 26,1984 Decision of the then Intermediate Appellate Court is hereby SET ASIDE and REVERSED and the February 6,1976 Decision of the then Court of First Instance of Batangas is hereby AFFIRMED and REINSTATED. SO ORDERED.

Ignacio v. Dir of Lands & Valeriano

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited. Xie xie!

G.R. No. L-12958 May 30, 1960

FAUSTINO IGNACIO, applicant-appellant,


Faustino Ignacio is appealing the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, dismissing his application for the registration of a parcel of land.

On January 25, 1950, Ignacio filed an application for the registration of a parcel of land (mangrove), situated in barrio Gasac, Navotas, Rizal, with an area of 37,877 square meters. Later, he amended his application by alleging among others that he owned the parcel applied for by right of accretion.

To the application, the Director of Lands, Laureano Valeriano and Domingo Gutierrez filed oppositions. Gutierrez later withdrew his opposition. The Director of Lands claimed the parcel applied for as a portion of the public domain, for the reason that neither the applicant nor his predecessor-in-interest possessed sufficient title thereto.

In his turn, Valeriano alleged he was holding the land by virtue of a permit granted him by the Bureau of Fisheries, issued on January 13, 1947, and approved by the President.

It is not disputed that the land applied for adjoins a parcel owned by the applicant which he had acquired from the Government by virtue of a free patent title in 1936. It has also been established that the parcel in question was formed by accretion and alluvial deposits caused by the action of the Manila Bay which boarders it on the southwest. Applicant Ignacio claims that he had occupied the land since 1935, planting it with api-api trees, and that his possession thereof had been continuous, adverse and public for a period of twenty years until said possession was distributed by oppositor Valeriano.

On the other hand, the Director of Lands sought to prove that the parcel is foreshore land, covered by the ebb and flow of the tide and, therefore, formed part of the public domain.

After hearing, the trial court dismissed the application, holding that the parcel formed part of the public domain. He appealed his case.


1) Whether the parcel of land in question belongs to the petitioner by the law of accretion, having been formed by gradual deposit by action of the Manila Bay, and he cites Article 457 of the New Civil Code (Article 366, Old Civil Code).

2) Whether Articles 1, 4 and 5 of the Law of Waters are not applicable because they refer to accretions formed by the sea, and that Manila Bay cannot be considered as a sea.

3) Whether the land in question formed part of the public domain, having been gained from the sea, the trial court should have declared the same no longer necessary for any public use or purpose, and therefore, became disposable and available for private ownership.


The tribunal has some cases applied the Law of Waters on Lands bordering Manila Bay. (See the cases of Ker & Co. vs. Cauden, 6 Phil., 732, involving a parcel of land bounded on the sides by Manila Bay, where it was held that such land formed by the action of the sea is property of the State; Francisco vs. Government of the P.I., 28 Phil., 505, involving a land claimed by a private person and subject to the ebb and flow of the tides of the Manila Bay).

Interpreting Article 4 of the Law of Waters of 1866, in the case of Natividad vs. Director of Lands, (CA) 37 Off. Gaz., 2905, it was there held that: Article 4 of the Law of Waters of 1866 provides that when a portion of the shore is no longer washed by the waters of the sea and is not necessary for purposes of public utility, or for the establishment of special industries, or for coastguard service, the government shall declare it to be the property of the owners of the estates adjacent thereto and as an increment thereof. We believe that only the executive and possibly the legislative departments have the authority and the power to make the declaration that any land so gained by the sea, is not necessary for purposes of public utility, or for the establishment of special industries, on for coast-guard service. If no such declaration has been made by said departments, the lot in question forms part of the public domain. (Natividad vs. Director of Lands, supra.)

Consequently, until a formal declaration on the part of the Government, through the executive department or the Legislature, to the effect that the land in question is no longer needed for coast guard service, for public use or for special industries, they continue to be part of the public domain, not available for private appropriation or ownership.

Appellant next contends that he had acquired the parcel in question through acquisitive prescription, having possessed the same for over ten years. In answer, suffice it to say that land of the public domain is not subject to ordinary prescription.

We deem it unnecessary to discuss the other points raised in the appeal.
In view of the foregoing, the appealed decision is hereby affirmed, with costs.