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The Highest Bidder must negotiate and execute with the GSIS/MHC the Management Contract, International Marketing/Reservation System Contract or other type of contract specified by the Highest Bidder in its strategic plan for the Manila Hotel. It is supreme, imperious, absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which it emanates. 10, second par., of Art XII is couched in such a way as not to make it appear that it is non-self-executing but simply for purposes of style.It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of the nation. But, certainly, the legislature is not precluded from enacting other further laws to enforce the constitutional provision so long as the contemplated statute squares with the Constitution. 122156 February 3, 1997 MANILA PRINCE HOTEL petitioner, vs.Opposing, respondents maintain that the provision is not self-executing but requires an implementing legislation for its enforcement. It is a proud legacy of an earlier generation of Filipinos who believed in the nobility and sacredness of independence and its power and capacity to release the full potential of the Filipino people. According to respondents, while petitioner speaks of the guests who have slept in the hotel and the events that have transpired therein which make the hotel historic, these alone do not make the hotel fall under the patrimony of the nation.In 1986 the hotel was the site of a failed coup d' etat where an aspirant for vice-president was "proclaimed" President of the Philippine Republic. Since the "Filipino First Policy provision of the Constitution bestows preference on qualified Filipinos the mere tending of the highest bid is not an assurance that the highest bidder will be declared the winning bidder.For more than eight (8) decades Manila Hotel has bore mute witness to the triumphs and failures, loves and frustrations of the Filipinos; its existence is impressed with public interest; its own historicity associated with our struggle for sovereignty, independence and nationhood. Resultantly, respondents are not bound to make the award yet, nor are they under obligation to enter into one with the highest bidder. BELLOSILLO, J.: The Fi Iipino First Policy enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, i.e., in the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos,1 is in oked by petitioner in its bid to acquire 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC) which owns the historic Manila Hotel. XII, of the 1987 Constitution and submits that the Manila Hotel has been identified with the Filipino nation and has practically become a historical monument which reflects the vibrancy of Philippine heritage and culture.
Manila Hotel has become a landmark a living testimonial of Philippine heritage. "IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND CONCESSIONS COVERING THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY, THE STATE SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS." MR FOZ. If it were, the executive would have to ask Congress, or perhaps the Court, for an interpretation every time the executive is confronted by a constitutional command. J., this fact alone makes the sale of the assets of respondents GSIS and MHC a "state action." In constitutional jurisprudence, the acts of persons distinct from the government are considered "state action" covered by the Constitution (1) when the activity it engages in is a "public function;" (2) when the government is so significantly involved with the private actor as to make the government responsible for his action; and, (3) when the government has approved or authorized the action.
Corollarily, they ask whether the 51% shares form part of the national economy and patrimony covered by the protective mantle of the Constitution. DECLARATION OF THE WINNING BIDDER/STRATEGIC PARTNER a. On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive that respondent GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by respondent GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad, petitioner came to this Court on prohibition and mandamus. To all intents and purposes, it has become a part of the national patrimony.6 Petitioner also argues that since 51% of the shares of the MHC carries with it the ownership of the business of the hotel which is owned by respondent GSIS, a government-owned and controlled corporation, the hotel business of respondent GSIS being a part of the tourism industry is unquestionably a part of the national economy. Thus, for the said provision to Operate, there must be existing laws "to lay down conditions under which business may be done."9 Second, granting that this provision is self-executing, Manila Hotel does not fall under the term national patrimony which only refers to lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna and all marine wealth in its territorial sea, and exclusive marine zone as cited in the first and second paragraphs of Sec. What is more, the mandate of the Constitution is addressed to the State, not to respondent GSIS which possesses a personality of its own separate and distinct from the Philippines as a State.
The controversy arose when respondent Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation No. Execution of the necessary contracts with GSIS/MHC not later than October 23, 1995 (reset to November 3, 1995); and b. On 18 October 1995 the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining respondents from perfecting and consummating the sale to the Malaysian firm. Thus, any transaction involving 51% of the shares of stock of the MHC is clearly covered by the term national economy, to which Sec. XII, 1987 Constitution, applies.7 It is also the thesis of petitioner that since Manila Hotel is part of the national patrimony and its business also unquestionably part of the national economy petitioner should be preferred after it has matched the bid offer of the Malaysian firm. XII, of the 1987 Constitution is merely a statement of principle and policy since it is not a self-executing provision and requires implementing legislation(s) . Third, granting that the Manila Hotel forms part of the national patrimony, the constitutional provision invoked is still inapplicable since what is being sold is only 51% of the outstanding shares of the corporation, not the hotel building nor the land upon which the building stands. 1., of the bidding rules which provides that if for any reason, the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may offer this to the other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these Qualified Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share, is misplaced.
Admittedly, some constitutions are merely declarations of policies and principles. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject, but any legislation must be in harmony with the constitution, further the exercise of constitutional right and make it more available. Instead of "MUST," it will be "SHALL THE STATE SHALL Gl VE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS. It certainly does NOT mandate the pampering and preferential treatment to Filipino citizens or organizations that are incompetent or inefficient, since such an indiscriminate preference would be counter productive and inimical to the common good.
Their provisions command the legislature to enact laws and carry out the purposes of the framers who merely establish an outline of government providing for the different departments of the governmental machinery and securing certain fundamental and inalienable rights of citizens. 17 Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject constitutional provision is not, by itself, fully enforceable. This embodies the so-called "Filipino First" policy. This provision was never found in previous Constitutions . In the granting of economic rights, privileges, and concessions, when a choice has to be made between a "qualified foreigner" end a "qualified Filipino," the latter shall be chosen over the former." Lastly, the word qualified is also determinable.Verily, Manila Hotel has become part of our national economy and patrimony. For in choosing the awardee respondents are mandated to abide by the dictates of the 1987 Constitution the provisions of which are presumed to be known to all the bidders and other interested parties.