Question XX, Political Law, 2018 Bar Exam

Andreas and Aristotle are foreign nationals working with the Asian Development Bank (ADS) in its headquarters in Manila. Both were charged with criminal acts before the local trial courts.

Andreas was caught importing illegal drugs into the country as part of his “personal effects” and was thus charged with violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Before the criminal proceedings could commence, the President had him deported as an undesirable alien. Aristotle was charged with grave oral defamation for uttering defamatory words against a colleague at work. In his defense, Aristotle claimed diplomatic immunity. He presented as proof a communication from the Department of Foreign Affairs stating that, pursuant to the Agreement between the Philippine Government and the ADS, the bank's officers and staff are immune from legal processes with respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity.

(a) Can the President's act of deporting an undesirable alien be subject to judicial review? (2.5%)

(b) Is Aristotle’s claim of diplomatic immunity proper? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Yes.  Under the 1987 Constitution and jurisprudence, courts may review the President’s act of deporting an undesirable alien via the power of judicial review. Although the courts are without power to directly decide matters over which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government and are not empowered to exec...

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