Magallona-vs-Ermita-GR-187167-655-SCRA-476.docx - Republic...

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Republic of the PhilippinesSUPREME COURTManilaEN BANCG.R No. 187167 August 16, 2011PROF. MERLIN M. MAGALLONA, AKBAYAN PARTY-LIST REP. RISA HONTIVEROS,PROF. HARRY C. ROQUE, JR., AND UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE OFLAW STUDENTS, ALITHEA BARBARA ACAS, VOLTAIRE ALFERES, CZARINA MAYALTEZ, FRANCIS ALVIN ASILO, SHERYL BALOT, RUBY AMOR BARRACA, JOSEJAVIER BAUTISTA, ROMINA BERNARDO, VALERIE PAGASA BUENAVENTURA, EDANMARRI CAÑETE, VANN ALLEN DELA CRUZ, RENE DELORINO, PAULYN MAY DUMAN,SHARON ESCOTO, RODRIGO FAJARDO III, GIRLIE FERRER, RAOULLE OSENFERRER, CARLA REGINA GREPO, ANNA MARIE CECILIA GO, IRISH KAY KALAW,MARY ANN JOY LEE, MARIA LUISA MANALAYSAY, MIGUEL RAFAEL MUSNGI,MICHAEL OCAMPO, JAKLYN HANNA PINEDA, WILLIAM RAGAMAT, MARICARRAMOS, ENRIK FORT REVILLAS, JAMES MARK TERRY RIDON, JOHANN FRANTZRIVERA IV, CHRISTIAN RIVERO, DIANNE MARIE ROA, NICHOLAS SANTIZO, MELISSACHRISTINA SANTOS, CRISTINE MAE TABING, VANESSA ANNE TORNO, MARIAESTER VANGUARDIA, and MARCELINO VELOSO III,Petitioners, vs.HON. EDUARDO ERMITA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, HON.ALBERTO ROMULO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OFFOREIGN AFFAIRS, HON. ROLANDO ANDAYA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OFTHE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, HON. DIONY VENTURA, IN HISCAPACITY AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NATIONAL MAPPING & RESOURCEINFORMATION AUTHORITY, and HON. HILARIO DAVIDE, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY ASREPRESENTATIVE OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THEPHILIPPINES TO THE UNITED NATIONS,Respondents.D E C I S I O NCARPIO, J.:The CaseThis original action for the writs of certiorari and prohibition assails the constitutionality ofRepublic Act No. 95221(RA 9522) adjusting the country’s archipelagic baselines andclassifying the baseline regime of nearby territories.The AntecedentsIn 1961, Congress passed Republic Act No. 3046 (RA 3046)2demarcating the maritimebaselines of the Philippines as an archipelagic State.3This law followed the framing of theConvention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone in 1958 (UNCLOS I),4codifying,among others, the sovereign right of States parties over their "territorial sea," the breadth ofwhich, however, was left undetermined. Attempts to fill this void during the second round ofnegotiations in Geneva in 1960 (UNCLOS II) proved futile(incapable of producing usefulresult).Thus, domestically, RA 3046 remained unchanged for nearly five decades, save forlegislation passed in 1968 (Republic Act No. 5446 [RA 5446]) correcting typographical errorsand reserving the drawing of baselines around Sabah in North Borneo.In March 2009, Congress amended RA 3046 by enacting RA 9522, the statute now underscrutiny. The change was prompted by the need to make RA 3046 compliant with the termsof the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III),5which thePhilippines ratified on 27 February 1984.6Among others, UNCLOS III prescribes the water-land ratio, length, and contour of baselines of archipelagic States like the Philippines7andsets the deadline for the filing of application for the extended continental shelf.8Complying
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