Republic vs. Sandoval

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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, et al., petitioners,
HON. EDILBERTO G. SANDOVAL, Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch IX, et al., respondents.

220 SCRA 124
March 19, 1993


By reason of the Mendiola massacre, wherein 12 rallyists died in their quest for ―genuine agrarian reform, President Aquino issued Administrative Order No.11 which created the Citizen‘s Mendiola Commission for the purpose of conducting an investigation for the disorders, death and casualties that took place. The most significant recommendation of the Commission was for the deceased and other victims of Mendiola incident to be compensated by the government. Due to the recommendation, petitioners filed a formal letter of demand for compensation from the government to which the latter did not take heed. The group then instituted an action for damages against the Republic of the Philippines together with military officers and personnel involved in Mendiola incident. Respondent Judge Sandoval dismissed the complaint as against the Republic of the Philippines on the basis that there was no waver by the state. Hence, the petition for certiorari.


Whether the State by virtue of the administrative order waived its immunity from suit?


NO. Firstly, recommendation made by the commission does not in any way mean that liability automatically attaches to the state. In effect, the same shall only serve as a cause of action on the event that any party decides to litigate his or her claim. The commission is merely a preliminary venue.

Secondly, whatever acts or utterances that then President Aquino may have said or done the same are not tantamount to the state having waived its immunity from suit. The principle of state immunity from suit does not apply in this case, as when the relief demanded by the suit requires no affirmative official action on the part of the state nor the affirmative discharge of any obligation which belongs to the state in its political capacity, even though the officers or agents who are made defendants claim to hold or act only by virtue of a title of the state and as its agents and servants.

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