Government v. Monte de Piedad
35 PHIL 728
About $400,000 were paid into the treasury of the Philippine Islands by the inhabitants of the Spanish Dominions for the relief of those damaged by the earthquake on June 3, 1863, in the Philippines. Upon the petition of the governing body of the respondent, the Philippine government directed its treasurer to turn over to the respondent the sum of $80,000 of the relief fund in installments of $20,000 each. Petitioner now brings suit to recover said amount with interest against respondents in behalf of the various petitions of the persons and heirs to whom the relief was intended. Defendant contends that the amount was given as a donation and that the court erred in stating that the Philippine Islands has subrogated the Spanish government in its rights.
Does the government of the Philippines have authority to file a suit against the respondent?
The legislature or government of the State, as parens patriae, has the right to enforce all charities of public nature. The court further asserted that said amount was not a donation and that respondent is liable for the debt regardless of the cession of the Philippine Islands to the United States. It is said that there is a total abrogation of the former political relations of the inhabitants of the ceded region, however, the circumstances present in the case are not political in nature. The great body of municipal law which regulates private and domestic rights continue in force until they are abrogated or changed by the new ruler. As such, the government has the authority to file a suit on behalf of its people by virtue of the principle of parens patriae.