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J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 3 SCRA 696, No. L-18128, No. L-18672 December 26, 1961

En Banc

[REYES, J.B.L., J.]

FACTS: Bruna Rosete and Tranquilino Dizon, petitioned the Court of First Instance to suspend the order of demolition of their houses, on the ground that they were tenants of the Tatalon Estate; that Republic Act No. 2616, after specifically authorizing the expropriation of the Tatalon Estate. However, Judge Nicasio Yatco of the Court of First Instance of Quezon City denied the suspension because no expropriation proceedings had been actually filed. On certiorari, the Court of Appeals ordered the issuance ex parte of the preliminary injunction.

Respondent Tuason & Company, Inc., moved to dissolve the preliminary injunction of the Court of Appeals, that the prohibition proceedings a question of constitutionality of a statute is not appealable to the Court of Appeals; It is urged by amicus curiae that Courts of First Instance have no jurisdiction to entertain actions assailing the constitutionality of statutes or treaties, because section 10 of Article VIII of the Constitution prescribes that — No treaty or law may be declared unconstitutional without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of the (Supreme) Court.

ISSUE: Are trial courts vested with jurisdiction to decide on the constitutionality of statutes or treaties?

HELD: YES.

[T]he Constitution itself inhibits Congress from depriving the Supreme Court —

of its jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari or writ of error, as the law or the rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts in —

(1) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law, ordinance or executive orders or regulations is in question (Emphasis supplied).

Plainly the Constitution contemplates that the inferior courts should have jurisdiction in cases involving constitutionality of any treaty or law, for it speaks of appellate review of final judgments of inferior courts in cases where such constitutionality happens to be in issue. Construing both provisions together, it is readily discerned that the two-third vote of the Supreme Court, required by Section 10 of Article VIII, conditions only the decisions of the Supreme Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction.

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