Treaties May Be Superseded by Municipal Laws in the Exercise of Police Power
Lao Ichong is a Chinese businessman who entered the country to take advantage of business opportunities herein abound (then) – particularly in the retail business. For some time he and his fellow Chinese businessmen enjoyed a “monopoly” in the local market in Pasay. Until in June 1954 when Congress passed the RA 1180 or the Retail Trade Nationalization Act the purpose of which is to reserve to Filipinos the right to engage in the retail business. Ichong then petitioned for the nullification of the said Act on the ground that it contravened several treaties concluded by the RP which, according to him, violates the equal protection clause (pacta sund servanda). He said that as a Chinese businessman engaged in the business here in the country who helps in the income generation of the country he should be given equal opportunity.