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TO: Atty.

Ariane Cerezo
FROM: Markrod L. Abrazaldo
DATE: March 29, 2017
RE: Whether the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules
concerning procedure in all courts under Article VIII, Section 5(5)
exclusive?

FACT:
Article VIII, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the Supreme
Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and
enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice and procedure in all courts,
the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the
underprivileged.

ISSUE:
Whether or Not the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules
concerning procedure in all courts under Article VIII, Section 5 exclusive?
Specifically, does Article VIII, Section 5 prohibit Congress from enacting laws
providing for the mode of appeal and the period to avail a particular mode before
the courts, e.g. an appeal of a decision rendered by a lower court or quasi-judicial
body?

CONCLUSION:
The rule making power of this Court was expanded. This Court for the first
time was given the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and
enforcement of constitutional rights. The Court was also granted for the first
time the power to disapprove rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial
bodies. But most importantly, the 1987 Constitution took away the power of
Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and
procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and
procedure is no longer shared by this Court with Congress, more so with the
Executive.

The separation of powers among the three co-equal branches of our


government has erected an impregnable wall that keeps the power to promulgate
rules of pleading, practice and procedure within the sole province of this Court. The
other branches trespass upon this prerogative if they enact laws or issue orders that
effectively repeal, alter or modify any of the procedural rules promulgated by this
Court. (A.M. No. 05-10-20-SC, In re: Exemption of the National Power
Corporation from the Payment of Filing/Docket Fees, on the basisof Section 13,
Republic Act No. 6395)

As one of the safeguards of this Courts institutional independence, the


power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure is now the Courts
exclusive domain. (Baguio market vendors G.R. No. 165922)
The 1987 Constitution textually altered the power-sharing scheme under the
previous charters by omitting or deleting in Section 5(5) of Article VIII Congress
subsidiary and corrective power. This glaring and fundamental omission led the
Court to observe in Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice that this Courts power to
promulgate judicial rules is no longer shared by this Court with Congress.

Discussion:

The Philippines is a democratic and republican state. As a republican state,


sovereignty resides in the People and all government authority emanates from them
(Constitution, Art. III, Sec. 1). A Republican form of government rests on the
conviction that sovereignty should reside in the people and that all government
authority must emanate from them. It abhors the concentration of power on one or
a few, cognizant that power, when absolute, can lead to abuse, but it also shuns a
direct and unbridled rule by the people, a veritable kindling to the passionate fires
of anarchy. Our people have accepted this notion and decided to delegate the basic
state authority to principally three branches of government the Executive, the
Legislative, and the Judiciary each branch being supreme in its own sphere but
with constitutional limits and a firm tripod of checks and balances .

The Judiciary:

Judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court and in such lower courts as
may be established by law. The judiciary has the moderating power to determine
the proper allocation of powers between the branches of government. When the
judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any
superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an
act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to
it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the
Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which
that instrument secures and guarantees to them. In the words of Chief Justice
Reynato S. Puno:The Judiciary may not have the power of the sword, may not have
the power of the purse, but it has the power to interpret the Constitution, and the
unerring lessons of history tell us that rightly wielded, that power can make a
difference for good.
While Congress has the power to define, prescribe and apportion
the jurisdiction of the various courts, Congress cannot deprive the Supreme Court
of its jurisdiction provided in the Constitution. No law shall also be passed
reorganizing the judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its members.
The Supreme Court also has administrative supervision over all courts and the
personnel thereof, having the power to discipline or dismiss judges of lower courts.

Doctrine:

A. Stare decisis where the decision of the Supreme Court applying or


interpreting a statue is controlling with respect to the interpretation of that statue
and is of greater weight than that of an executive or an administrative office in the
construction of statue. This legal maxim which requires that past decisions of the
court be followed in the adjudication of cases is known stare decisis et, non quieta
movere. It means that one must follow past precedent and should not disturb what
has been settle. That when the court has once laid down a principle of law as
applicable to certain set of facts, it will adhere to that principle and apply it to all
future cases where the facts are substantially the same.

A. A.M. No. 05-10-20-SC, In re: EXEMPTION OF THE


NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION FROM THE payment Of
FILING FEE/DOCKET FEES
B. BAGUIO MARKET VENDORS G.R. No. 165922
C. PETITION A.M. No. 08-2-01-RECOGNITION OF THE
EXEMPTION OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE
INSURANCE SYSTEM FROM PAYMENT OF LEGAL FEES.

These cases cited above shares the same set of facts and applying the
doctrine of stare decisis the court ruled in the same way as to the other that the
payment of legal fees is a vital component of the rules promulgated by this Court
concerning pleading, practice and procedure, it cannot be validly annulled, changed
or modified by Congress. As one of the safeguards of this Courts institutional
independence, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure
is now the Courts exclusive domain

B. Cassus omissus meaning a case omitted is to be held as intentionally


omitted.

The 1987 Constitution textually altered the power-sharing scheme under the
previous charters by omitting or deleting in Section 5(5) of Article VIII Congress
subsidiary and corrective power. This glaring and fundamental omission led the
Court to observe in Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice that this Courts power to
promulgate judicial rules is no longer shared by this Court with Congress.

Sec 5(5) Art VIII of the 1973 Constitution Such rules shall provide a
simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be
uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify
substantive rights was ommitted and altered as a result, the 1987 Constitution
took away the power of Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning
pleading, practice and procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading,
practice and procedure is no longer shared by this Court with Congress, more so
with the Executive.

Deliberations:

1987 Constitutional Commission; Deliberations of 1935 or 1973.


Reynato S. Puno traced the history of the rule-making power of this Court
and highlighted its evolution and development in Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice.
Under the 1935 Constitution, the power of this Court to promulgate rules
concerning pleading, practice and procedure was granted but it appeared to be co-
existent with legislative power for it was subject to the power of Congress to repeal,
alter or supplement. Thus, its Section 13, Article VIII provides:

Sec. 13. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules
concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the
practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and
shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. The existing laws on
pleading, practice and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes, and are declared
Rules of Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the
same. The Congress shall have the power to repeal, alter or supplement the rules
concerning pleading, practice and procedure, and the admission to the practice of
law in the Philippines.

The said power of Congress, however, is not as absolute as it may appear


on its surface. In In re Cunanan, Congress in the exercise of its power to amend
rules of the Supreme Court regarding admission to the practice of law, enacted the
Bar Flunkers Act of 1953 which considered as a passing grade, the average of 70%
in the bar examinations after July 4, 1946 up to August 1951 and 71% in the 1952
bar examinations. This Court struck down the law as unconstitutional. In his
ponencia, Mr. Justice Diokno held that " the disputed law is not a legislation; it is a
judgment - a judgment promulgated by this Court during the aforecited years
affecting the bar candidates concerned; and although this Court certainly can revoke
these judgments even now, for justifiable reasons, it is no less certain that only this
Court, and not the legislative nor executive department, that may do so. Any
attempt on the part of these departments would be a clear usurpation of its function,
as is the case with the law in question." The venerable jurist further ruled: "It is
obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law
belongs exclusively to this Court, and the law passed by Congress on the matter is
of permissive character, or as other authorities say, merely to fix the minimum
conditions for the license." By its ruling, this Court qualified the absolutist tone of
the power of Congress to "repeal, alter or supplement the rules concerning pleading,
practice and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines.

The ruling of this Court in In re Cunanan was not changed by the 1973
Constitution. For the 1973 Constitution reiterated the power of this Court "to
promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, x x x
which, however, may be repealed, altered or supplemented by the Batasang
Pambansa x x x." More completely, Section 5(2)5 of its Article X provided:

Sec. 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers.


(5) Promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure
in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, and the integration of the
Bar, which, however, may be repealed, altered, or supplemented by the
Batasang Pambansa. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive
procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts
of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive
rights.

Well worth noting is that the 1973 Constitution further strengthened the
independence of the judiciary by giving to it the additional power to promulgate
rules governing the integration of the Bar.

The 1987 Constitution molded an even stronger and more independent


judiciary. Among others, it enhanced the rule making power of this Court. Its
Section 5(5), Article VIII provides:

Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:

(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of


constitutional rights, pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, the
admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to
the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive
procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts
of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive
rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall
remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.

The rule making power of this Court was expanded. This Court for the first
time was given the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and
enforcement of constitutional rights. The Court was also granted for the first
time the power to disapprove rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial
bodies. But most importantly, the 1987 Constitution took away the power of
Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and
procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and
procedure is no longer shared by this Court with Congress, more so with the
Executive.

The separation of powers among the three co-equal branches of our


government has erected an impregnable wall that keeps the power to promulgate
rules of pleading, practice and procedure within the sole province of this Court. The
other branches trespass upon this prerogative if they enact laws or issue orders that
effectively repeal, alter or modify any of the procedural rules promulgated by this
Court. Viewed from this perspective, the claim of a legislative grant of exemption
from the payment of legal fees under Section 39 of RA 8291 necessarily fails.

CASES:
A) A.M. No. 05-10-20-SC, In re: Exemption of the National Power
Corporation from the Payment of Filing,
On December 6, 2005, the Court issued A.M. No. 05-10-20-SC, In re:
Exemption of the National Power Corporation from the Payment of Filing/Docket
Fees, on the basis of Section 13, Republic Act No. 6395 (An Act Revising the
Charter of the National Power Corporation). It reads:
The National Power Corporation (NPC) seeks clarification from the Court
on whether or not it is exempt from the payment of filing fees, appeal bonds and
supersedeas bonds.

The Court Resolved, upon recommendation of the Committee on the


Revision of the Rules of Court, to deny the request of the National Power
Corporation (NPC) for exemption from the payment of filing fees pursuant to
Section 10 of Republic Act No. 6395, as amended by Section 13 of Presidential
Decree No. 938. The request appears to run counter to Section 5(5), Article VIII of
the Constitution, in the rule-making power of the Supreme Court over the rules on
pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, which includes the sole power to fix
the filing fees of cases in courts.

Thus, NPC is not exempt from payment of filing fees. The non-exemption
of NPC is further fortified by the promulgation on February 11, 2010 of A.M. No.
08-2-01-0.

The 1987 Constitution molded an even stronger and more independent


judiciary. Among others, it enhanced the rule making power of this Court. Its
Section 5(5), Article VIII provides:

Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers.

(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement


of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the
admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to
the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive
procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts
of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive
rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall
remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.

The rule making power of this Court was expanded. This Court for the first
time was given the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and
enforcement of constitutional rights. The Court was also granted for the first
time the power to disapprove rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial
bodies. But most importantly, the 1987 Constitution took away the power of
Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and
procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and
procedure is no longer shared by this Court with Congress, more so with the
Executive.

The separation of powers among the three co-equal branches of our


government has erected an impregnable wall that keeps the power to promulgate
rules of pleading, practice and procedure within the sole province of this Court. The
other branches trespass upon this prerogative if they enact laws or issue orders that
effectively repeal, alter or modify any of the procedural rules promulgated by this
Court. Viewed from this perspective, the claim of a legislative grant of exemption
from the payment of legal fees under Section 39 of RA 8291 necessarily fails.

B) Petitioner Baguio Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative


(petitioner) is a credit cooperative organized under Republic Act No.
6938 (RA 6938), or the Cooperative Code of the Philippines.] Article
62(6) of RA 6938 exempts cooperatives:

In 2004, petitioner, as mortgagee, filed with the Clerk of Court of the


Regional Trial Court of Baguio City (trial court) a petition to extra-judicially
foreclose a mortgage under Act 3135, as amended. Under Section 7(c) of Rule 141,
as amended, petitions for extrajudicial foreclosure are subject to legal fees based
on the value of the mortgagees claim. Invoking Article 62 (6) of RA 6938,
petitioner sought exemption from payment of the fees.

The Power of the Legislature vis a vis the Power of the Supreme Court to
Enact Judicial Rules

Our holding above suffices to dispose of this petition. However, the Court
En Banc has recently ruled in Re: Petition for Recognition of the Exemption of the
Government Service Insurance System from Payment of Legal Fees on the issue of
legislative exemptions from court fees. We take the opportunity to reiterate our En
Banc ruling in GSIS.

Until the 1987 Constitution took effect, our two previous


constitutions textualized a power-sharing scheme between the legislature and this
Court in the enactment of judicial rules. Thus, both the 1935 and the
1973 Constitutions vested on the Supreme Court the power to promulgate rules
concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the
practice of law. However, these constitutions also granted to the legislature the
concurrent power to repeal, alter or supplement such rules.

The 1987 Constitution textually altered the power-sharing scheme under the
previous charters by deleting in Section 5(5) of Article VIII Congress subsidiary
and corrective power. This glaring and fundamental omission led the Court to
observe in Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice that this Courts power to promulgate
judicial rules is no longer shared by this Court with Congress.
The 1987 Constitution molded an even stronger and more independent
judiciary. Among others, it enhanced the rule making power of this Court under
Section 5(5), Article VIII.

The rule making power of this Court was expanded. This Court for the first
time was given the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and
enforcement of constitutional rights. The Court was also granted for the first time
the power to disapprove rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial
bodies. But most importantly, the 1987 Constitution took away the power of
Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and
procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and
procedure is no longer shared by this Court with Congress, more so with the
Executive.

Any lingering doubt on the import of the textual evolution of Section 5(5)
should be put to rest with our recent En Banc ruling denying a request by the
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for exemption from payment of
legal fees based on Section 39 of its Charter, Republic Act No. 8291, exempting
GSIS from all taxes, assessments, fees, charges or dues of all kinds.
Reaffirming Echegara ys Secretary of Justice construction of Section 5(5), the
Court described its exclusive power to promulgate rules on pleading, practice and
procedure as one of the safeguards of this Courts institutional independence:

The payment of legal fees is a vital component of the rules promulgated by


this Court concerning pleading, practice and procedure, it cannot be validly
annulled, changed or modified by Congress. As one of the safeguards of this Courts
institutional independence, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and
procedure is now the Courts exclusive domain.