Equal protection of laws

No person shall be deprived life, liberty or property, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. (Section 1 of Article I of the 1987 Constitution) This was taken from Section 1 of Fourteenth Amendment of the United States (US) Constitution which says: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Equal protection, a concept enshrined in the US Constitution, the constitutional guarantee that no person or group will be denied the protection under the law that is enjoyed by similar persons or groups. In other words, persons similarly situated must be similarly treated. https://www.britannica.com/topic/equal-protection.

According to the constitutional law expert Nachura, all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. Natural and juridical persons are entitled to this guarantee; but with respect to artificial persons, they enjoy the protection only insofar as their property is concerned.

A primary motivation for this clause was to validate the equality provisions contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1866 [in the US], which guaranteed that all people would have rights equal to those of all citizens. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Protection_Clause.

In Brown v. Board of Education, the US Supreme Court said: "To separate [children in grade and high schools] from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone... We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."In Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942), a law was passed, which involved depriving certain criminals of the fundamental right to procreate. The Court said: "When the law lays an unequal hand on those who have committed intrinsically the same quality of offense and sterilizes one and not the other, it has made as invidious a discrimination as if it had selected a particular race or nationality for oppressive treatment."

In Tan v. Del Rosario (G.R. No. 109289. October 3, 1994), the Supreme Court of the Philippines upheld the constitutionality of Republic Act (RA) No. 7496 limiting the allowable deductions from gross income of single proprietorships and professionals. It was held that uniformity of taxation does not prohibit classification, provided the requirements of valid classification are complied with. Uniformity of taxation, like the kindred concept of equal protection, merely requires that all subjects or objects of taxation, similarly situated, are to be treated alike both in privileges and liabilities. (Juan Luna Subdivision vs. Sarmiento, 91 Phil. 371)

Uniformity does not forfend classification as long as: [1] the standards that are used therefor are substantial and not arbitrary; [2] the categorization is germane to achieve the legislative purpose; [3] the law applies, all things being equal, to both present and future conditions; and [4] the classification applies equally well to all those belonging to the same class (Pepsi Cola vs. City of Butuan G.R. No. L-22814. August 28, 1968)

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