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Syllabus in Political Law Review

First Topic: Constitutional Law I

I. Basic Concepts

Definition of the Constitution


The fundamental law, written or unwritten, that establishes the character of a government by definingthe basic
principles to which a society must conform; by describing the organization of thegovernment and regulation, dis
tribution, and limitations on the functions of different governmentdepartments; and by prescribing the extent an
d manner of the exercise of its sovereign powers.
A legislative charter by which a government or group derives its authority to act.

Types of Constitution

A. written or unwritten
B. enacted or evolved
C. rigid or flexible

Doctrine of Constitutional Supremacy


Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the constitution that
law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private
persons for private purposes is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is
the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract.

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, G.R. No. 122156, 03 February 1997


The controversy arose when respondent Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the
privatization program of the Philippine Government, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the
issued and outstanding shares of respondent Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC). The winning bidder, or the
eventual strategic partner, will provide management expertise or an international marketing/reservation
system, and financial support to strengthen the profitability and performance of the Manila Hotel.

In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two (2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel
Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per
share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for the same
number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Prior to the declaration of
Renong Berhard as the winning bidder, petitioner Manila Prince Hotel matched the bid price and sent a
managers check as bid security, which GSIS refused to accept.

Apprehensive that GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale may be
consummated with Renong Berhad, petitioner filed a petition before the Court.

Issues:

1. Whether or not Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision.
2. Whether or not the Manila Hotel forms part of the national patrimony.
3. Whether or not the submission of matching bid is premature
4. Whether or not there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondents in refusing the matching
bid of the petitioner.
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Rulings:

In the resolution of the case, the Court held that:

1. It is a self-executing provision.
1. Since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed
written in every statute and contract. A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those
found in Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete
in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which
supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-
executing.
2. A constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability
imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and
construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the
legislature for action. Unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a
constitutional mandate, the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing.
If the constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing, the
legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law.
3. 10, second par., Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete
in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From
its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It is per se judicially
enforceable. When our Constitution mandates that in the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions
covering national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos, it
means just that qualified Filipinos shall be preferred. And when our Constitution declares that a right
exists in certain specified circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such right
notwithstanding the absence of any legislation on the subject; consequently, if there is no statute
especially enacted to enforce such constitutional right, such right enforces itself by its own inherent
potency and puissance, and from which all legislations must take their bearings. Where there is a right
there is a remedy. Ubi jus ibi remedium.
2. The Court agree.
1. In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to heritage. When the Constitution
speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural resources of the Philippines, as the
Constitution could have very well used the term natural resources, but also to the cultural heritage of
the Filipinos.
2. It also refers to Filipinos intelligence in arts, sciences and letters. In the present case, Manila Hotel has
become a landmark, a living testimonial of Philippine heritage. While it was restrictively an American
hotel when it first opened in 1912, a concourse for the elite, it has since then become the venue of
various significant events which have shaped Philippine history.
3. Verily, Manila Hotel has become part of our national economy and patrimony. For sure, 51% of the
equity of the MHC comes within the purview of the constitutional shelter for it comprises the majority
and controlling stock, so that anyone who acquires or owns the 51% will have actual control and
management of the hotel. In this instance, 51% of the MHC cannot be disassociated from the hotel and
the land on which the hotel edifice stands.
3. It is not premature.
1. In the instant case, where a foreign firm submits the highest bid in a public bidding concerning the grant
of rights, privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, thereby exceeding
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the bid of a Filipino, there is no question that the Filipino will have to be allowed to match the bid of the
foreign entity. And if the Filipino matches the bid of a foreign firm the award should go to the Filipino. It
must be so if the Court is to give life and meaning to the Filipino First Policy provision of the 1987
Constitution. For, while this may neither be expressly stated nor contemplated in the bidding rules, the
constitutional fiat is omnipresent to be simply disregarded. To ignore it would be to sanction a perilous
skirting of the basic law.
2. The Court does not discount the apprehension that this policy may discourage foreign investors. But the
Constitution and laws of the Philippines are understood to be always open to public scrutiny. These are
given factors which investors must consider when venturing into business in a foreign jurisdiction. Any
person therefore desiring to do business in the Philippines or with any of its agencies or
instrumentalities is presumed to know his rights and obligations under the Constitution and the laws of
the forum.
4. There was grave abuse of discretion.
1. To insist on selling the Manila Hotel to foreigners when there is a Filipino group willing to match the bid
of the foreign group is to insist that government be treated as any other ordinary market player, and
bound by its mistakes or gross errors of judgement, regardless of the consequences to the Filipino
people. The miscomprehension of the Constitution is regrettable. Thus, the Court would rather remedy
the indiscretion while there is still an opportunity to do so than let the government develop the habit of
forgetting that the Constitution lays down the basic conditions and parameters for its actions.
2. Since petitioner has already matched the bid price tendered by Renong Berhad pursuant to the bidding
rules, respondent GSIS is left with no alternative but to award to petitioner the block of shares of MHC
and to execute the necessary agreements and documents to effect the sale in accordance not only with
the bidding guidelines and procedures but with the Constitution as well. The refusal of respondent GSIS
to execute the corresponding documents with petitioner as provided in the bidding rules after the latter
has matched the bid of the Malaysian firm clearly constitutes grave abuse of discretion.

Hence, respondents GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION,


COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL are
directed to CEASE and DESIST from selling 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation to RENONG
BERHAD, and to ACCEPT the matching bid of petitioner MANILA PRINCE HOTEL CORPORATION to
purchase the subject 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation at P44.00 per share and thereafter to
execute the necessary agreements and documents to effect the sale, to issue the necessary clearances and to
do such other acts and deeds as may be necessary for the purpose.

Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative v. La Trinidad Water District, G.R. No. 166471, 22 March 2011
On 9 October 2000, Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC) filed with the National Water Resources
Board (NWRB) an application for a certificate of public convenience (CPC) to operate and maintain a
waterworks system in Barangay Tawang. La Trinidad Water District (LTWD), a local water utility,
opposed TMPC's application. LTWD claimed that, under Section 47 of PD No. 198, as amended, its franchise
is exclusive.

The NWRB approved TMPC's application for a CPC. In its 15 August 2002 Decision, the NWRB held that
LTWD's franchise cannot be exclusive since exclusive franchises are unconstitutional and found that TMPC is
legally and financially qualified to operate and maintain a waterworks system. The RTC set aside the NWRB's
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decision and cancelled TMPC's CPC, stating that "the Constitution does not necessarily prohibit a franchise
that is exclusive on its face, meaning, that the grantee shall be allowed to exercise this present right or
privilege to the exclusion of all others. Nonetheless, the grantee cannot set up its exclusive franchise against
the ultimate authority of the State."

ISSUE: Whether or not an exclusive franchise is allowed

HELD:

The petition is meritorious.

POLITICAL LAW: Nature of franchise grants.

The President, Congress and the Court cannot create directly franchises for the operation of a public utility that
are exclusive in character. The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions (the latter in Section 11, Article
XII) expressly and clearly prohibit the creation of franchises that are exclusive in character.When the law is
clear, there is nothing for the courts to do but to apply it. In Republic of the Philippines v. Express
Telecommunications Co., Inc., and other cases,the Court held that, "The Constitution is quite emphatic that the
operation of a public utility shall not be exclusive."

Indeed, the President, Congress and the Court cannot create directly franchises that are exclusive in
character. What the President, Congress and the Court cannot legally do directly they cannot do indirectly.
Thus, the President, Congress and the Court cannot create indirectly franchises that are exclusive in character
by allowing the Board of Directors (BOD) of a water district and the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)
to create franchises that are exclusive in character.

In PD No. 198, as amended, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos (President Marcos) created indirectly
franchises that are exclusive in character by allowing the BOD of LTWD and the LWUA to create directly
franchises that are exclusive in character. Section 47 of PD No. 198 states that, "No franchise shall be granted
to any other person or agency xxxunless and except to the extent that the board of directors consents thereto
xxx subject to review by the Administration." Section 47 creates a glaring exception to the absolute prohibition
in the Constitution. Clearly, it is patently unconstitutional.

In case of conflict between the Constitution and a statute, the Constitution always prevails because the
Constitution is the basic law to which all other laws must conform to. The duty of the Court is to uphold the
Constitution and to declare void all laws that do not conform to it.

Petition is GRANTED.
On 9 October 2000, Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC) filed with the National Water Resources
Board (NWRB) an application for a certificate of public convenience (CPC) to operate and maintain a
waterworks system in Barangay Tawang. La Trinidad Water District (LTWD), a local water utility,
opposed TMPC's application. LTWD claimed that, under Section 47 of PD No. 198, as amended, its franchise
is exclusive.

The NWRB approved TMPC's application for a CPC. In its 15 August 2002 Decision, the NWRB held that
LTWD's franchise cannot be exclusive since exclusive franchises are unconstitutional and found that TMPC is
legally and financially qualified to operate and maintain a waterworks system. The RTC set aside the NWRB's
decision and cancelled TMPC's CPC, stating that "the Constitution does not necessarily prohibit a franchise
that is exclusive on its face, meaning, that the grantee shall be allowed to exercise this present right or
privilege to the exclusion of all others. Nonetheless, the grantee cannot set up its exclusive franchise against
the ultimate authority of the State."

ISSUE: Whether or not an exclusive franchise is allowed


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HELD:

The petition is meritorious.

POLITICAL LAW: Nature of franchise grants.

The President, Congress and the Court cannot create directly franchises for the operation of a public utility that
are exclusive in character. The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions (the latter in Section 11, Article
XII) expressly and clearly prohibit the creation of franchises that are exclusive in character.When the law is
clear, there is nothing for the courts to do but to apply it. In Republic of the Philippines v. Express
Telecommunications Co., Inc., and other cases,the Court held that, "The Constitution is quite emphatic that the
operation of a public utility shall not be exclusive."

Indeed, the President, Congress and the Court cannot create directly franchises that are exclusive in
character. What the President, Congress and the Court cannot legally do directly they cannot do indirectly.
Thus, the President, Congress and the Court cannot create indirectly franchises that are exclusive in character
by allowing the Board of Directors (BOD) of a water district and the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)
to create franchises that are exclusive in character.

In PD No. 198, as amended, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos (President Marcos) created indirectly
franchises that are exclusive in character by allowing the BOD of LTWD and the LWUA to create directly
franchises that are exclusive in character. Section 47 of PD No. 198 states that, "No franchise shall be granted
to any other person or agency xxxunless and except to the extent that the board of directors consents thereto
xxx subject to review by the Administration." Section 47 creates a glaring exception to the absolute prohibition
in the Constitution. Clearly, it is patently unconstitutional.

In case of conflict between the Constitution and a statute, the Constitution always prevails because the
Constitution is the basic law to which all other laws must conform to. The duty of the Court is to uphold the
Constitution and to declare void all laws that do not conform to it.

Petition is GRANTED.

Parts of the Constitution


ESSENTIAL PARTS OF A CONSTITUTION
1. Provisions on government The part that deal with the: framework of government powers that defines
the electorate.
2. Provision on Liberty The part that sets forth the fundamental rights of the people imposition on certain
limitations on the powers of this rights.
3. That part pointing out the mode or procedure for amending or revising the constitutionsProvisions on
Sovereignty

Amendments and Revisions


1) Amendment: an alteration of one or a few specific provisions of the Constitution. Its main purpose is to
improve specific provisions of the Constitution. The changes brought about by amendments will not affect the
other provisions of the Constitution.
2) Revision: An examination of the entire Constitution to determine how and to what extent it should be
altered. A revision implies substantive change, affecting the Constitution as a whole.
Constituent power v. Legislative power
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1) Constituent power is the power to formulate a Constitution or to propose amendments to or revisions of


the Constitution and to ratify such proposal. Legislative power is the power to pass, repeal or amend or
ordinary laws or statutes (as opposed to organic law).
2) Constituent power is exercised by Congress (by special constitutional conferment), by a Constitutional
Convention or Commission, by the people through initiative and referendum, and ultimately by sovereign
electorate, whereas legislative power is an ordinary power of Congress and of the people, also through
initiative and referendum.
3) The exercise of constituent power does not need the approval of the Chief Executive, whereas
the exercise of legislative power ordinarily needs the approval of the Chief Executive, except when done by
people through initiative and referendum.
Three (3) steps necessary to give effect to amendments and revisions:

1) Proposal of amendments or revisions by the proper constituent assembly;

2) Submission of the proposed amendments or revisions; and

3) Ratification

Proposal of amendments:
Amendments may be proposed by:
A. Congress, acting as a constituent assembly, by a 3/4 vote of all its members.
The power of Congress to propose amendments is NOT part of its ordinary legislative power.
The only reason Congress can exercise such power is that the Constitution has granted it such power.
B. Constitutional Convention:

1) How a Constitutional Convention may be called

a). Congress may call a ConCon by a 2/3 vote of all its members; or

b). By a majority vote of all its members, Congress may submit to the electorate the question of whether to call
a ConCon or not.

2) Choice of which constituent assembly (either Congress or ConCon) should initiate amendments and
revisions is left to the discretion of Congress. In other words, it is a political question.

3) BUT: The manner of calling a ConCon is subject to judicial review, because the Constitution has provided
for vote requirements.

4) If Congress, acting as a constituent assembly, calls for a ConCon but does not provide the details for the
calling of such ConCon, Congress exercising its ordinary legislative power may supply such details. But in
so doing, Congress (as legislature) should not transgress the resolution of Congress acting as a constituent
assemble.

5) Congress, as a constituent assembly and the ConCon have no power to appropriate money for their
expenses. Money may be spent from the treasury only to pursuant to an appropriation made by law.

C. Peoples Initiative

1) Petition to propose such amendments must be signed be at least 12% of ALL registered voters.
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2) Every legislative district represented by at least 3% of the registered voters therein.

3) Limitation:

It cannot be exercised oftener than once every 5 years.

Note:

1) While the substance of the proposals made by each type of constituent assembly is not subject to judicial
review, the manner the proposals are made is subject to judicial review.

2) Since these constituent assemblies owe their existence to the Constitution, the courts may determine
whether the assembly has acted in accordance with the Constitution.

3) Examples of justiciable issues:

a) Whether a proposal was approved by the required number of votes in Congress (acting as a constituent
assembly).

b) Whether the approved proposals were properly submitted to the people for ratification.

Proposal of Revisions

1) By Congress, upon a vote of 3/4 of its members

2) By a constitutional convention

Ratification
1) Amendments and revisions proposed by Congress and/or by a ConCon:

a) Valid when ratified by a MAJORITY of votes cast in a plebiscite.

b) Plebiscite is held not earlier than 60 days nor later than 90 days from the approval of such amendments
or revisions.

2) Amendments proposed by the people via initiative:

a) Valid when ratified by a MAJORITY of votes cast in a plebiscite.

b) Plebiscite is held not earlier than 60 days nor later than 90 days after the certification by COMELEC of
the petitions sufficiency

3) Requisites of a valid ratification:

a) Held in a plebiscite conducted under the election law;

b) Supervised by the COMELEC; and

c) Where only franchised voters (registered) voters take part.

4) Issues regarding ratification:


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a) The Constitution does not require that amendments and revisions be submitted to the people in a special
election. Thus, they may be submitted for ratification simultaneously with a general election.

b) The determination of the conditions under which proposed amendments/revisions are submitted to the
people falls within the legislative sphere. That Congress could have done better does not make the steps taken
unconstitutional.

c) All the proposed amendments/revisions made by the constituent assemblies must be submitted for
ratification in one single plebiscite. There cannot be a piece-meal ratification of amendments/revisions.

d) Presidential proclamation is NOT required for effectivity of amendments/revisions, UNLESS the proposed
amendments/revisions so provide.

Lambino v. COMELEC,G.R. No. 174153, 25 October2006

Facts:
Petitioners (Lambino group) commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to change the 1987
constitution, they filed a petition with the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that willratify their initiative petition
under RA 6735. Lambino group alleged that the petition had the support of 6M individuals fulfilling what was
provided by art 17 of the constitution. Their petition changes the1987 constitution by modifying sections 1-7 of
Art 6 and sections 1-4 of Art 7 and by adding Art 18.the proposed changes will shift the present bicameral-
presidential form of government to unicameral-parliamentary. COMELEC denied the petition due to lack of
enabling law governing initiative petitions and invoked the Santiago Vs. Comelec ruling that RA 6735 is
inadequate to implement the initiativepetitions.

Issue:
Whether or Not the Lambino Groups initiative petition complies with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution
on amendments to the Constitution through a peoples initiative.

Whether or Not this Court should revisit its ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735 incomplete, inadequate or
wanting in essential terms an d conditions to implement the initiative clause on proposals to amend the
Constitution.

Whether or Not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the Lambino
Groups petition.

Held:
According to the SC the Lambino group failed to comply with the basic requirements for conducting a peoples
initiative. The Court held that the COMELEC did not grave abuse of discretion on dismissing the Lambino
petition.
1. The Initiative Petition Does Not Comply with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on Direct Proposal by
the People The petitioners failed to show the court that the initiative signer must be informed at the time of the
signing of the nature and effect, failure to do so is deceptive and misleading which renders the initiative void.
2. The Initiative Violates Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution Disallowing Revision through Initiatives
The framers of the constitution intended a clear distinction between amendment and revision, it is
intended that the third mode of stated in sec 2 art 17 of the constitution may propose only amendments to the
constitution. Merging of the legislative and the executive is a radical change, therefore a constitutes a revision.

3. A Revisit of Santiago v. COMELEC is Not NecessaryEven assuming that RA 6735 is valid, it will not change
the result because the present petition violated Sec 2 Art 17 to be a valid initiative, must first comply with the
constitution before complying with RA 6735Petition is dismissed
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Tolentino v. COMELEC, G.R. No. L-34150, 16 October 1971


The 1971 Constitutional Convention came into being by virtue of two resolutions of the Congress approved in
its capacity as a constituent assembly convened for the purpose of calling a convention to propose
amendments to the Constitution. After election of delegates held on November 10, 1970, the Convention held
its inaugural session on June 1, 1971. In the morning of September 28, 1970, the Convention approved
Organic Resolution No. 1 which is entitled as, "A RESOLUTION AMENDING SECTION 1 OF ARTICLE V OF
THE CONSTITUTION SO AS TO LOWER THE VOTING AGE TO 18." On September 30, 1971, the
COMELEC "resolved" to follow the mandate of the Convention, that it will hold the said plebiscite together with
the senatorial elections on November 8, 1971 .
Petitioner, Arturo Tolentino, filed a petition for prohibition, its main thrust being that Organic Resolution No. 1
and the necessary implementing resolutions subsequently approved have no force and effect as laws in so far
as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite co-incident with the senatorial elections, on the ground that the
calling and holding of such a plebiscite is, by the Constitution, a power lodged exclusively in Congress as a
legislative body and may not be exercised by the Convention, and that, under Article XV Section 1 of the 1935
Constitution, the proposed amendment in question cannot be presented to the people for ratification separately
from each and all other amendments to be drafted and proposed by the Constitution. Petitioner, Arturo
Tolentino, filed a petition for prohibition, its main thrust being that Organic Resolution No. 1 and the necessary
implementing resolutions subsequently approved have no force and effect as laws in so far as they provide for
the holding of a plebiscite co-incident with the senatorial elections, on the ground that the calling and holding of
such a plebiscite is, by the Constitution, a power lodged exclusively in Congress as a legislative body and may
not be exercised by the Convention, and that, under Article XV Section 1 of the 1935 Constitution, the
proposed amendment in question cannot be presented to the people for ratification separately from each and
all other amendments to be drafted and proposed by the Constitution.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Organic Resolution No. 1 of the 1971 Constitutional Convention violative to the
Constitution.

HELD:

NO.

All the amendments to be proposed by the same Convention must be submitted to the people in a single
"election" or plebiscite. In order that a plebiscite for the ratification of a Constitutional amendment may be
validly held, it must provide the voter not only sufficient time but ample basis for an intelligent appraisal of the
nature of the amendment per se but as well as its relation to the other parts of the Constitution with which it
has to form a harmonious whole.

In the present context, where the Convention has hardly started considering the merits, if not thousands, of
proposals to amend the existing Constitution, to present to the people any single proposal or a few of them
cannot comply with this requirement.

Self-executing and non-self-executing provisions


A constitutional provision is self-executing when it can be given effect without the aid of legislation, and there is
nothing to indicate that legislation is intended to make it operative. For example, a constitutional provision that
any municipality by vote of four-sevenths of its qualified electors may issue and sell revenue bonds in order to
pay for the cost of purchasing a municipally owned public utility is self-executing and effective without a
legislative enactment.

Constitutional provisions are not self-executing if they merely set forth a line of policy or principles without
supplying the means by which they are to be effectuated, or if the language of the constitution is directed to the
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legislature. As a result, a constitutional provision that the legislature shall direct by law in what manner and in
what court suits may be brought against the state is not self-executing.

Just as with constitutional provisions, statutes and court judgments can be self-executing

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, G.R. No. 122156, 03 February 1997

A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance and administration of a nation. It is supreme,
imperious, absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which it emanates. It has been defined as the
fundamental and paramount law of the nation. It prescribes the permanent framework of a system of
government, assigns to the different departments their respective powers and duties, and establishes certain
fixed principles on which government is founded. The fundamental conception in other words is that it is a
supreme law to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights must be
determined and all public authority administered.

Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the constitution that
law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private
persons for private purposes is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is
the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract.

Admittedly, some constitutions are merely declarations of policies and principles. Their provisions command
the legislature to enact laws and carry out the purposes of the framers who merely establish an outline of
government providing for the different departments of the governmental machinery and securing certain
fundamental and inalienable rights of citizens. A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those
found in Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision, which is complete in itself
and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies
sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing. Thus a
constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed
are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its
terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action.

Espina v. Zamora, G.R. No. 143855, 21 September 2010

The Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of RA 8762 (Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000),
which expressly repealed the law prohibiting foreign nationals from engaging in retail trade (RA 1180). RA
8762 also allows natural-born Filipino citizens, who had lost their citizenship and now reside in the Philippines,
to engage in the retail trade business with the same rights as Filipino citizens.

In a unanimous 11-page decision penned by Justice Roberto A. Abad, the Court En Banc dismissed for lack of
merit the petition filed a decade ago assailing RA 8762. It found no showing that the law has contravened any
constitutional mandate and that it would eventually lead to alien control of the retail trade business.

The Court noted that while the Constitution mandates a bias in favor Filipino goods, services, labor, and local
enterprises, it also recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the basis of
equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against foreign competition and trade
practices that are unfair. The Court also pointed out that Congress has the discretion under Article XIII, sec. 10
of the Constitution to reserve to Filipinos certain areas of investment upon recommendation of the National
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Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and when the national interest requires; and that in this case
Congress has decided, without opposition from NEDA, to open certain areas of the retail trade business to
foreign investments.

The Court also found that RA 8762 has provided for strict safeguards on foreign participation in retail trade.
(GR No. 143855, Espina v. Zamora, September 21, 2010)

Oposa v. Factoran, G.R. No. 101083, 30 July 1993


The plaintiffs in this case are all minors duly represented and joined by their parents. The first complaint was filed as a taxpayer's class
suit at the Branch 66 (Makati, Metro Manila), of the Regional Trial Court, National capital Judicial Region against defendant
(respondent) Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Reasources (DENR). Plaintiffs alleged that they are entitled to
the full benefit, use and enjoyment of the natural resource treasure that is the country's virgin tropical forests. They further asseverate
that they represent their generation as well as generations yet unborn and asserted that continued deforestation have caused a
distortion and disturbance of the ecological balance and have resulted in a host of environmental tragedies.

Plaintiffs prayed that judgement be rendered ordering the respondent, his agents, representatives and other persons acting in his behalf
to cancel all existing Timber License Agreement (TLA) in the country and to cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing,
renewing or approving new TLAs.

Defendant, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint had no cause of action against him and that it
raises a political question.

The RTC Judge sustained the motion to dismiss, further ruling that granting of the relief prayed for would result in the impairment of
contracts which is prohibited by the Constitution.

Plaintiffs (petitioners) thus filed the instant special civil action for certiorari and asked the court to rescind and set aside the dismissal
order on the ground that the respondent RTC Judge gravely abused his discretion in dismissing the action.

ISSUES:

(1) Whether or not the plaintiffs have a cause of action.


(2) Whether or not the complaint raises a political issue.
(3) Whether or not the original prayer of the plaintiffs result in the impairment of contracts.

RULING:

First Issue: Cause of Action.

Respondents aver that the petitioners failed to allege in their complaint a specific legal right violated by the respondent Secretary for
which any relief is provided by law. The Court did not agree with this. The complaint focuses on one fundamental legal right -- the right
to a balanced and healthful ecology which is incorporated in Section 16 Article II of the Constitution. The said right carries with it the
duty to refrain from impairing the environment and implies, among many other things, the judicious management and conservation of
the country's forests. Section 4 of E.O. 192 expressly mandates the DENR to be the primary government agency responsible for the
governing and supervising the exploration, utilization, development and conservation of the country's natural resources. The policy
declaration of E.O. 192 is also substantially re-stated in Title XIV Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987. Both E.O. 192 and
Administrative Code of 1987 have set the objectives which will serve as the bases for policy formation, and have defined the powers
and functions of the DENR. Thus, right of the petitioners (and all those they represent) to a balanced and healthful ecology is as clear
as DENR's duty to protect and advance the said right.

A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect or respect the same gives
rise to a cause of action. Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLA, which they claim was done with grave abuse of discretion,
violated their right to a balance and healthful ecology. Hence, the full protection thereof requires that no further TLAs should be
renewed or granted.
12

After careful examination of the petitioners' complaint, the Court finds it to be adequate enough to show, prima facie, the claimed
violation of their rights.

Second Issue: Political Issue.

Second paragraph, Section 1 of Article VIII of the constitution provides for the expanded jurisdiction vested upon the Supreme Court. It
allows the Court to rule upon even on the wisdom of the decision of the Executive and Legislature and to declare their acts as invalid for
lack or excess of jurisdiction because it is tainted with grave abuse of discretion.

Third Issue: Violation of the non-impairment clause.

The Court held that the Timber License Agreement is an instrument by which the state regulates the utilization and disposition of forest
resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. It is not a contract within the purview of the due process clause thus, the non-
impairment clause cannot be invoked. It can be validly withdraw whenever dictated by public interest or public welfare as in this case.
The granting of license does not create irrevocable rights, neither is it property or property rights.

Moreover, the constitutional guaranty of non-impairment of obligations of contract is limit by the exercise by the police power of the
State, in the interest of public health, safety, moral and general welfare. In short, the non-impairment clause must yield to the police
power of the State.

The instant petition, being impressed with merit, is hereby GRANTED and the RTC decision is SET ASIDE.

II. General Considerations

National Territory
The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced
therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its
terrestrial, fluvial and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves,
and other submarine areas. The waters around between, the connecting the islands of the archipelago,
regardless of their breadth and dimensions, from part of the internal waters of the Philippines.

Archipelagic Doctrine
The ARCHIPELAGIC DOCTRINE emphasizes the unity of land and waters by defining an archipelago either
as a group of islands surrounded by waters or a body of waters studded with islands. For this purpose, it
requires that baselines be drawn by connecting the appropriate points of the "outermost islands to encircle the
islands within the archipelago. The waters on the landward side of the baselines regardless of breadth or
dimensions are merely internal waters.

Yes, the archipelagic doctrine is reflected in the 1987 Constitution. Article I, Section 1 provides that the national
territory of the Philippines includes the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced
therein; and the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their
breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.

Magallona v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 187167, 16 July 2011

In March 2009, R.A. 9522 was enacted by the Congress to comply with the terms of the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which the Philippines ratified on February 27, 1984.
13

Professor Merlin Magallona et al questioned the validity of RA 9522 as they contend, among others,
that the law decreased the national territory of the Philippines. Some of their particular arguments are as
follows:

RA 9522 reduces Philippine maritime territory, and logically, the reach of the Philippine states
sovereign power, in violation of Article 1 of the 1987 Constitution, embodying the terms of the Treaty of Paris
and ancillary treaties.
RA 9522 opens the countrys waters landward of the baselines to maritime passage by all vessels and
aircrafts, undermining Philippine sovereignty and national security, contravening the countrys nuclear-free
policy, and damaging marine resources, in violation of relevant constitutional provisions.
RA 9522s treatmentof the KIG as regime of islands not only results in the loss of a large maritime
area but also prejudices the livelihood of subsistence fishermen.

Hence, petitioners files action for the writs of certiorari and prohibition assails the constitutionality of
Republic Act No. 95221 (RA 9522) adjusting the countrys archipelagic baselines and classifying the baseline
regime of nearby territories.

Issues:

Whether or not RA 9522, the amendatory Philippine Baseline Law is unconstitutional.

Discussions:

The provision of Art I 198 Constitution clearly affirms the archipelagic doctrine, which we connect the
outermost points of our archipelago with straight baselines and consider all the waters enclosed thereby as
internal waters. RA 9522, as a Statutory Tool to Demarcate the Countrys Maritime Zones and Continental
Shelf Under UNCLOS III, gave nothing less than an explicit definition in congruent with the archipelagic
doctrine.

Rulings:

No. The Court finds R.A. 9522 constitutional. It is a Statutory Tool to Demarcate the Countrys Maritime Zones
and Continental Shelf Under UNCLOS III, not to Delineate Philippine Territory. It is a vital step in safeguarding
the countrys maritime zones. It also allows an internationally-recognized delimitation of the breadth of the
Philippines maritime zones and continental shelf.

Additionally, The Court finds that the conversion of internal waters into archipelagic waters will not risk the
Philippines as affirmed in the Article 49 of the UNCLOS III, an archipelagic State has sovereign power that
extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines, regardless of their depth or distance from the
coast. It is further stated that the regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage will not affect the status of its
archipelagic waters or the exercise of sovereignty over waters and air space, bed and subsoil and the
resources therein.

The Court further stressed that the baseline laws are mere mechanisms for the UNCLOS III to precisely
describe the delimitations. It serves as a notice to the international family of states and it is in no way affecting
or producing any effect like enlargement or diminution of territories.
14

State Immunity

Suability of State

1) The State cannot be sued without its consent.

2) When considered a suit against the State

a). The Republic is sued by name;

b). Suits against an un-incorporated government agency;

c). Suit is against a government official, but is such that ultimate liability shall devolve on the government

i. When a public officer acts in bad faith, or beyond the scope of his authority, he can be held personally liable for damages.

ii. BUT: If he acted pursuant to his official duties, without malice, negligence, or bad faith, they are not personally liable,
and the suit is really one against the State.

3) This rule applies not only in favor of the Philippines but also in favor of foreign states.

4) The rule likewise prohibits a person from filing for interpleader, with the State as one of the defendants being compelled
to interplead.

Consent to be sued
A. Express consent:

1). The law expressly grants the authority to sue the State or any of its agencies.

2). Examples:

a). A law creating a government body expressly providing that such body may sue or be sued.

b). Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, which creates liability against the State when it acts through a special agent.

B. Implied consent:

1). The State enters into a private contract.

a). The contract must be entered into by the proper officer and within the scope of his authority.

b). UNLESS: The contract is merely incidental to the performance of a governmental function.

2). The State enters into an operation that is essentially a business operation.

a). UNLESS: The operation is incidental to the performance of a governmental function (e.g. arrastre services)

b). Thus, when the State conducts business operations through a GOCC, the latter can generally be sued, even if its charter
contains no express sue or be sued clause.
15

3). Suit against an incorporated government agency.

a) This is because they generally conduct propriety business operations and have charters which grant them a separate
juridical personality.

4). The State files suit against a private party.

UNLESS: The suit is entered into only to resist a claim.

Garnishment of government funds:

1) GENERAL RULE: NO. Whether the money is deposited by way of general or special deposit, they remain government funds
and are not subject to garnishment.

2) EXCEPTION: A law or ordinance has been enacted appropriating a specific amount to pay a valid government obligation,
then the money can be garnished.

Consent to be sued is not equivalent to consent to liability:

1) The Fact that the State consented to being sued does not mean that the State will ultimately be held liable.

2) Even if the case is decided against the State, an award cannot be satisfied by writs of execution or garnishment against
public funds. Reason: No money shall be paid out of the public treasury unless pursuant to an appropriation made by law.

Department of Agriculture v. NLRC, G.R. No. 104269, 11 November 1993


Facts:

The case is regarding money claim against Department of Agriculture (DA) as filed and requested by National
Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

Petitioner Department of Agriculture and Sultan Security Agency entered into a contract for security services to
be provided by the latter to the said governmental entity. Pursuant to their arrangements, guards were
deployed by Sultan Security Agency in the various premises of the DA. Thereafter, several guards filed a
complaint for underpayment of wages, non-payment of 13th month pay, uniform allowances, night shift
differential pay, holiday pay, and overtime pay, as well as for damages against the DA and the security agency.

The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision finding the DA jointly and severally liable with the security agency for the
payment of money claims of the complainant security guards. The DA and the security agency did not appeal
the decision. Thus, the decision became final and executory. The Labor Arbiter issued a writ of execution to
enforce and execute the judgment against the property of the DA and the security agency. Thereafter, the City
Sheriff levied on execution the motor vehicles of the DA.

The petitioner charges the NLRC with grave abuse of discretion for refusing to quash the writ of execution. The
petitioner faults the NLRC for assuming jurisdiction over a money claim against the Department, which, it
claims, falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit. More importantly, the petitioner
asserts, the NLRC has disregarded the cardinal rule on the non-suability of the State.
16

The private respondents, on the other hand, argue that the petitioner has impliedly waived its immunity from
suit by concluding a service contract with Sultan Security Agency.

Issues:

Whether or not the doctrine of non-suability of the State applies in the case.

Discussions:

Act No. 3083, aforecited, gives the consent of the State to be sued upon any moneyed claim involving liability
arising from contract, express or implied. However, the money claim should first be brought to the Commission
on Audit. Act 3083 stands as the general law waiving the States immunity from suit, subject to its general
limitation expressed in Section 7 thereof that no execution shall issue upon any judgment rendered by any
Court against the Government of the (Philippines), and that the conditions provided in Commonwealth Act 327
for filing money claims against the Government must be strictly observed.

Rulings:

No. The rule does not say that the State may not be sued under any circumstances. The State may at times be
sued. The general law waiving the immunity of the state from suit is found in Act No. 3083, where the
Philippine government consents and submits to be sued upon any money claims involving liability arising from
contract, express or implied, which could serve as a basis of civil action between private parties.

In this case, The DA has not pretended to have assumed a capacity apart from its being a governmental entity
when it entered into the questioned contract; nor that it could have, in fact, performed any act proprietary in
character. But the claims of the complainant security guards clearly constitute money claims.

Sanders v. Veridiano, G.R. No. L-46930, 10 June 1988


FACTS:
Petitioner Dale Sanders was the special services of the US Naval Station (NAVSTA) in Olongapo city. Private
respondents Anthony Rossi and Ralph Wyers are American citizens permanently residing in the Philippines
and who were employed as gameroom attendants in the special services department of NAVSTA. On October
3, 1975, the respondents were advised that their employment had been converted from permanent full-time to
permanent part-time. In a letter addressed to petitioner Moreau, Sanders disagreed with the hearing officers
report of the reinstatement of private respondents to permanent full-time status plus backwages. Respondents
allege that the letters contained libellous imputations which caused them to be ridiculed and thus filed for
damages against petitioners.

ISSUE:
1) Were the petitioners acting officially or only in their private capacities when they did the acts for which the
private respondents sued them for damages?
2) Does the court have jurisdiction over the case?

HELD:
It is abundantly clear in the present case that the acts for which the petitioner are being called to account were
performed by them in the discharge of their official duties. Given the official character of the letters, the
petioners were, legally speaking, being sued as officers of the United States government. As such, the
complaint cannot prosper unless the government sought to be held ultimately liable has given its consent to be
sued. The private respondents must pursue their claim against the petitioners in accordance with the laws of
the Unites States of which they are all citizens and under whose jurisdiction the alleged offenses were
committed for the Philippine courts have no jurisdiction over the case.
17

Arigo v. Swift, G.R. No. 206510, 16 September 2014


In 2013, the USS Guardian of the US Navy ran aground on an area near the Tubbataha Reefs, a marine
habitat of which entry and certain human activities are prevented and afforded protection by a Philippine law.
The grounding incident prompted the petitioners to seek for issuance of Writ of Kalikasan with TEPO from the
SC.

Among those impleaded are US officials in their capacity as commanding officers of the US Navy. As
petitioners argued, they were impleaded because there was a waiver of immunity from suit between US and
PH pursuant to the VFA terms.

Petitioners claimed that the grounding, salvaging and post-salvaging operations of the USS Guardian violated
their constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology since these events caused and continue to cause
environmental damage of such magnitude as to affect other provinces surrounding the Tubbataha Reefs.
Aside from damages, they sought a directive from the SC for the institution of civil, administrative and criminal
suits for acts committed in violation of environmental laws and regulations in connection with the grounding
incident. They also prayed for the annulment of some VFA provisions for being unconstitutional.

Issue 1: W/N the US Government has given its consent to be sued through the VFA

No. The general rule on states immunity from suit applies in this case.

First, any waiver of State immunity under the VFA pertains only to criminal jurisdiction and not to special civil
actions such as for the issuance of the writ of kalikasan. Hence, contrary to petitioners claim, the US
government could not be deemed to have waived its immunity from suit.

Second, the US respondents were sued in their official capacity as commanding officers of the US Navy who
have control and supervision over the USS Guardian and its crew. Since the satisfaction of any judgment
against these officials would require remedial actions and the appropriation of funds by the US government,
the suit is deemed to be one against the US itself. Thus, the principle of State Immunity in correlation with the
principle of States as sovereign equals par in parem non habet non imperium bars the exercise of
jurisdiction by the court over their persons.

Issue 2: W/N the US government may still be held liable for damages caused to the Tubbataha Reefs

Yes. The US government is liable for damages in relation to the grounding incident under the customary laws
of navigation.

The conduct of the US in this case, when its warship entered a restricted area in violation of RA 10067 and
caused damage to the TRNP reef system, brings the matter within the ambit of Article 31 of the UNCLOS.
While historically, warships enjoy sovereign immunity from suit as extensions of their flag State, Art. 31 of the
UNCLOS creates an exception to this rule in cases where they fail to comply with the rules and regulations of
the coastal State regarding passage through the latters internal waters and the territorial sea.

Although the US to date has not ratified the UNCLOS, as a matter of long-standing policy, the US considers
itself bound by customary international rules on the traditional uses of the oceans, which is codified in
UNCLOS.

As to the non-ratification by the US, it must be noted that the US refusal to join the UNCLOS was centered on
its disagreement with UNCLOS regime of deep seabed mining (Part XI) which considers the oceans and deep
seabed commonly owned by mankind. Such has nothing to do with the acceptance by the US of customary
international rules on navigation. (Justice Carpio)
18

Hence, non-membership in the UNCLOS does not mean that the US will disregard the rights of the Philippines
as a Coastal State over its internal waters and territorial sea. It is thus expected of the US to bear international
responsibility under Art. 31 in connection with the USS Guardian grounding which adversely affected the
Tubbataha reefs. ##

Other Issues

Claim for Damages Caused by Violation of Environmental Laws Must be Filed Separately

The invocation of US federal tort laws and even common law is improper considering that it is the VFA which
governs disputes involving US military ships and crew navigating Philippine waters in pursuance of the
objectives of the agreement.

As it is, the waiver of State immunity under the VFA pertains only to criminal jurisdiction and not to special civil
actions. Since jurisdiction cannot be had over the respondents for being immuned from suit, there is no way
damages which resulted from violation of environmental laws could be awarded to petitioners.

In any case, the Rules on Writ of Kalikasan provides that a criminal case against a person charged with a
violation of an environmental law is to be filed separately. Hence, a ruling on the application or non-application
of criminal jurisdiction provisions of the VFA to a US personnel who may be found responsible for the
grounding of the USS Guardian, would be premature and beyond the province of a petition for a writ of
Kalikasan.

Challenging the Constitutionality of a Treaty Via a Petition for the Issuance of Writ of Kalikasan is Not Proper

The VFA was duly concurred in by the Philippine Senate and has been recognized as a treaty by the US as
attested and certified by the duly authorized representative of the US government. The VFA being a valid and
binding agreement, the parties are required as a matter of international law to abide by its terms and
provisions. A petition under the Rules on Writ of Kalikasan is not the proper remedy to assail the
constitutionality of its provisions.

Vinzons-Chato v. Fortune Tobacco Corporation, G.R. No. 141309, 23 December 2009


This is a case for damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code filed by Fortune against Liwayway as CIR.

On June 10, 1993, the legislature enacted RA 7654, which provided that locally manufactured cigarettes which
are currently classified and taxed at 55% shall be charged an ad valorem tax of 55% provided that the
maximum tax shall not be less than Five Pesos per pack. Prior to effectivity of RA 7654, Liwayway issued a
rule, reclassifying Champion, Hope, and More (all manufactured by Fortune) as locally manufactured
cigarettes bearing foreign brand subject to the 55% ad valorem tax. Thus, when RA 7654 was passed, these
cigarette brands were already covered.

In a case filed against Liwayway with the RTC, Fortune contended that the issuance of the rule violated its
constitutional right against deprivation of property without due process of law and the right to equal protection
of the laws.

For her part, Liwayway contended in her motion to dismiss that respondent has no cause of action against her
because she issued RMC 37-93 in the performance of her official function and within the scope of her
authority. She claimed that she acted merely as an agent of the Republic and therefore the latter is the one
responsible for her acts. She also contended that the complaint states no cause of action for lack of allegation
of malice or bad faith.

The order denying the motion to dismiss was elevated to the CA, who dismissed the case on the ground that
under Article 32, liability may arise even if the defendant did not act with malice or bad faith.
19

Hence this appeal.

ISSUES:

Whether or not a public officer may be validly sued in his/her private capacity for acts done in connection with
the discharge of the functions of his/her office
Whether or not Article 32, NCC, should be applied instead of Sec. 38, Book I, Administrative Code

HELD:

On the first issue, the general rule is that a public officer is not liable for damages which a person may suffer
arising from the just performance of his official duties and within the scope of his assigned tasks. An officer
who acts within his authority to administer the affairs of the office which he/she heads is not liable for damages
that may have been caused to another, as it would virtually be a charge against the Republic, which is not
amenable to judgment for monetary claims without its consent. However, a public officer is by law not immune
from damages in his/her personal capacity for acts done in bad faith which, being outside the scope of his
authority, are no longer protected by the mantle of immunity for official actions.

Specifically, under Sec. 38, Book I, Administrative Code, civil liability may arise where there is bad faith,
malice, or gross negligence on the part of a superior public officer. And, under Sec. 39 of the same Book, civil
liability may arise where the subordinate public officers act is characterized by willfulness or negligence. In
Cojuangco, Jr. V. CA, a public officer who directly or indirectly violates the constitutional rights of another, may
be validly sued for damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code even if his acts were not so tainted with malice
or bad faith.

Thus, the rule in this jurisdiction is that a public officer may be validly sued in his/her private capacity for acts
done in the course of the performance of the functions of the office, where said public officer: (1) acted with
malice, bad faith, or negligence; or (2) where the public officer violated a constitutional right of the plaintiff.

On the second issue, SC ruled that the decisive provision is Article 32, it being a special law, which prevails
over a general law (the Administrative Code).

Article 32 was patterned after the tort in American law. A tort is a wrong, a tortious act which has been
defined as the commission or omission of an act by one, without right, whereby another receives some injury,
directly or indirectly, in person, property or reputation. There are cases in which it has been stated that civil
liability in tort is determined by the conduct and not by the mental state of the tortfeasor, and there are
circumstances under which the motive of the defendant has been rendered immaterial. The reason sometimes
given for the rule is that otherwise, the mental attitude of the alleged wrongdoer, and not the act itself, would
determine whether the act was wrongful. Presence of good motive, or rather, the absence of an evil motive,
does not render lawful an act which is otherwise an invasion of anothers legal right; that is, liability in tort in not
precluded by the fact that defendant acted without evil intent.

Department of Health v. Phil Pharmawealth, Inc., G.R. No. 182358, 20 February 2013

Defense of state immunity does not apply where the public official is charged in his official capacity for acts that
are unauthorized or unlawful and injurious to the rights of others neither does it apply where the public official
is clearly being sued not in his official capacity but in his personal capacity, although the acts complained of
may have been committed while he occupied a public position.

FACTS: Secretary of Health Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr. issued an Administrative Order providing for additional
guidelines for accreditation of drug suppliers aimed at ensuring that only qualified bidders can transact
business with petitioner Department of Health (DOH). Respondent Phil. Pharmawealth, Inc. (Pharmawealth)
20

submitted to DOH a request for the inclusion of additional items in its list of accredited drug products, including
the antibiotic Penicillin G Benzathine.

Petitioner DOH issued an Invitation for Bids for the procurement of 1.2 million units vials of Penicillin G
Benzathine. Despite the lack of response from DOH regarding Pharmawealths request for inclusion of
additional items in its list of accredited products, the latter submitted its bid for the Penicillin G Benzathine
contract and gave the lowest bid thereof. . In view, however, of the non-accreditation of respondents Penicillin
G Benzathine product, the contract was awarded to Cathay/YSS Laboratories (YSS).

Respondent Pharmawealth filed a complaint for injunction, mandamus and damages with prayer for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order with the Regional Trial praying,
inter alia, that the trial court nullify the award of the Penicillin G Benzathine contract to YSS Laboratories,
Inc. and direct petitioners DOH et al. to declare Pharmawealth as the lowest complying responsible bidder for
the Benzathine contract, and that they accordingly award the same to plaintiff company and adjudge
defendants Romualdez, Galon and Lopez liable, jointly and severally to plaintiff. Petitioners DOH et al.
subsequently filed a motion to dismiss praying for the dismissal of the complaint based on the doctrine of state
immunity. The trial court, however, denied the motion to dismiss. The Court of Appeals (CA) denied DOHs
petition for review which affirmed the order issued Regional Trial Court of Pasig City denying petitioners
motion to dismiss the case.

ISSUE: Whether or not the charge against the public officers acting in their official capacity will prosper

HELD: The suability of a government official depends on whether the official concerned was acting within his
official or jurisdictional capacity, and whether the acts done in the performance of official functions will result in
a charge or financial liability against the government. In its complaint, DOH sufficiently imputes grave abuse of
discretion against petitioners in their official capacity. Since judicial review of acts alleged to have been tainted
with grave abuse of discretion is guaranteed by the Constitution, it necessarily follows that it is the official
concerned who should be impleaded as defendant or respondent in an appropriate suit.

As regards petitioner DOH, the defense of immunity from suit will not avail despite its being an unincorporated
agency of the government, for the only causes of action directed against it are preliminary injunction and
mandamus. Under Section 1, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court, preliminary injunction may be directed against a
party or a court, agency or a person. Moreover, the defense of state immunity from suit does not apply in
causes of action which do not seek to impose a charge or financial liability against the State.

Hence, the rule does not apply where the public official is charged in his official capacity for acts that are
unauthorized or unlawful and injurious to the rights of others. Neither does it apply where the public official is
clearly being sued not in his official capacity but in his personal capacity, although the acts complained of may
have been committed while he occupied a public position.

In the present case, suing individual petitioners in their personal capacities for damages in connection with
their alleged act of illegally abusing their official positions to make sure that plaintiff Pharmawealth would not
be awarded the Benzathine contract [which act was] done in bad faith and with full knowledge of the limits and
breadth of their powers given by law is permissible, in consonance with the foregoing principles. For an officer
who exceeds the power conferred on him by law cannot hide behind the plea of sovereign immunity and must
bear the liability personally.

German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 152318, 16 April 2009
GTZ consistently has been unable to establish with satisfaction that it enjoys the immunity from suit generally
enjoyed by its parent country, the Federal Republic of Germany. Consequently, both the Labor Arbiter and the
Court of Appeals acted within proper bounds when they refused to acknowledge that GTZ is so immune by
dismissing the complaint against it. Our finding has additional ramifications on the failure of GTZ to properly
appeal the Labor Arbiters decision to the NLRC. As pointed out by the OSG, the direct recourse to the Court of
Appeals while bypassing the NLRC could have been sanctioned had the Labor Arbiters decision been a
21

patent nullity. Since the Labor Arbiter acted properly in deciding the complaint, notwithstanding GTZs claim
of immunity, we cannot see how the decision could have translated into a patent nullity.

Facts: The governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of the Philippines ratified an
Agreement called Social Health InsuranceNetworking and Empowerment (SHINE which was designed to
"enable Philippine familiesespecially poor onesto maintain their health and secure health care of sustainable
quality." Private respondents were engaged as contract employees hired by GTZ to work for SHINE.
Nicolay, a Belgian national, assumed the post of SHINE Project Manager. Disagreements eventually arose
between Nicolay and private respondents in matters such as proposed salary adjustments, and the course
Nicolay was taking in the implementation of SHINE different from her predecessors.
The dispute culminated in a signed by the private respondents, addressed to Nicolay, and copies furnished
officials of the DOH, Philheath, and the director of the Manila office of GTZ. The letter raised several issues
which private respondents claim had been brought up several times in the past, but have not been given
appropriate response.
In response, Nicolay wrote each of the private respondents a letter, all similarly worded except for their
respective addressees. She informed private respondents that they could no longer find any reason to stay
with the project unless ALL of these issues be addressed immediately and appropriately.
Under the foregoing premises and circumstances, it is now imperative that I am to accept your resignation,
which I expect to receive as soon as possible.
Negotiations ensued between private respondents and Nicolay, but for naught. Each of the private
respondents received a letter from Nicolay, informing them of the pre-termination of their contracts of
employment on the grounds of "serious and gross insubordination, among others, resulting to loss of
confidence and trust."

HELD: NO.
This self-description of GTZ in its own official website gives further cause for pause in adopting petitioners
argument that GTZ is entitled to immunity from suit because it is "an implementing agency." The above-quoted
statement does not dispute the characterization of GTZ as an "implementing agency of the Federal Republic of
Germany," yet it bolsters the notion that as a company organized under private law, it has a legal personality
independent of that of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Court is thus holds and so rules that GTZ consistently has been unable to establish with satisfaction that it
enjoys the immunity from suit generally enjoyed by its parent country, the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Holy See v. Rosario, G.R. No. 101949, 01 December 1994


FACTS: Petition arose from a controversy over a parcel of land. Lot 5-A, registered under the name Holy See,
was contiguous to Lot 5-B and 5-D under the name of Philippine Realty Corporation (PRC). The land was
donated by the Archdiocese of Manila to the Papal Nuncio, which represents the Holy See, who exercises
sovereignty over the Vatican City, Rome, Italy, for his residence.

Said lots were sold through an agent to Ramon Licup who assigned his rights to respondents Starbright Sales
Enterprises, Inc.

When the squatters refuse to vacate the lots, a dispute arose between the two parties because both were
unsure whose responsibility was it to evict the squatters from said lots. Respondent Starbright Sales
Enterprises Inc. insists that Holy See should clear the property while Holy See says that respondent
corporation should do it or the earnest money will be returned. With this, Msgr. Cirilios, the agent, subsequently
returned the P100,000 earnest money.

The same lots were then sold to Tropicana Properties and Development Corporation.

Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc. filed a suit for annulment of the sale, specific performance and damages
against Msgr. Cirilios, PRC as well as Tropicana Properties and Development Corporation. The Holy See and
Msgr. Cirilos moved to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity from suit. RTC
22

denied the motion on ground that petitioner already "shed off" its sovereign immunity by entering into a
business contract. The subsequent Motion for Reconsideration was also denied hence this special civil action
for certiorari was forwarded to the Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not Holy See can invoke sovereign immunity.

HELD: The Court held that Holy See may properly invoke sovereign immunity for its non-suability. As
expressed in Sec. 2 Art II of the 1987 Constitution, generally accepted principles of International Law are
adopted by our Courts and thus shall form part of the laws of the land as a condition and consequence of our
admission in the society of nations.

It was noted in Article 31(A) of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that diplomatic envoy shall
be granted immunity from civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving state over any real action relating
to private immovable property. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) certified that the Embassy of the Holy
See is a duly accredited diplomatic missionary to the Republic of the Philippines and is thus exempted from
local jurisdiction and is entitled to the immunity rights of a diplomatic mission or embassy in this Court.

Furthermore, it shall be understood that in the case at bar, the petitioner has bought and sold lands in the
ordinary course of real estate business, surely, the said transaction can be categorized as an act jure
gestionis. However, petitioner has denied that the acquisition and subsequent disposal of the lot were made for
profit but claimed that it acquired said property for the site of its mission or the Apostolic Nunciature in the
Philippines.

The Holy See is immune from suit because the act of selling the lot of concern is non-propriety in nature. The
lot was acquired through a donation from the Archdiocese of Manila, not for a commercial purpose, but for the
use of petitioner to construct the official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio thereof. The transfer of the
property and its subsequent disposal are likewise clothed with a governmental (non-proprietal) character as
petitioner sold the lot not for profit or gain rather because it merely cannot evict the squatters living in said
property.

In view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the complaints were dismissed accordingly.

China National Machinery & Equipment Corp. v. Judge Santamaria, G.R. No. 185572, 07 February
2012
On 14 September 2002, petitioner China National Machinery & Equipment Corp. (Group) (CNMEG),
represented by its chairperson, Ren Hongbin, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the North
Luzon Railways Corporation (Northrail), represented by its president, Jose L. Cortes, Jr. for the conduct of a
feasibility study on a possible railway line from Manila to San Fernando, La Union (the Northrail Project). On 30
August 2003, the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) and the Department of Finance of the Philippines
(DOF) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (Aug 30 MOU), wherein Chinaagreed to extend
Preferential Buyers Credit to the Philippine government to finance the Northrail Project.

USD 400,000,000 in favor of the DOF, payable in 20 years, with a 5-year grace period, and at the rate of 3%
per annum. On 1 October 2003, the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Wang Chungui (Amb. Wang),
wrote a letter to DOF Secretary JoseIsidro Camacho (Sec. Camacho) informing him of CNMEGs
designation as the Prime Contractor for the Northrail Project. On 30 December 2003, Northrail and CNMEG
executed a Contract Agreement for the construction of Section I, Phase I of the North Luzon Railway System
from Caloocan to Malolos on a turnkey basis (the Contract Agreement).
7
The contract price for the Northrail Project was pegged at USD 421,050,000. On 26 February 2004, the
Philippine government and EXIM Bank entered into a counterpart financial agreement

Buyer Credit Loan Agreement No. BLA 04055 (the Loan Agreement).
23

In the LoanAgreement, EXIM Bank agreed to extend Preferential Buyers Creditin the amount of USD
400,000,000 in favor of the Philippine government in order to finance the construction of Phase I of the
Northrail Project. On 13 February 2006, respondents filed a Complaint for Annulment of Contract and
Injunction with Urgent Motion for Summary Hearing to Determine the Existence of Facts and Circumstances
Justifying the Issuance of Writs of Preliminary Prohibitory and Mandatory Injunction and/or TRO against
CNMEG, the Office of the Executive Secretary, the DOF, the Department of Budget and Management, the
National Economic Development Authority and Northrail.

The case was filed before the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Makati City, Branch 145
(RTC Br. 145). In the Complaint, respondents alleged that the Contract Agreement and the Loan Agreement
were void for being contrary to (a) the Constitution; (b) Republic Act No. 9184 (R.A. No. 9184), otherwise
known as the Government Procurement Reform Act; (c) Presidential Decree No. 1445, otherwise known as the
Government Auditing Code; and (d) Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code.
On 15 May 2007, RTC Br. 145 issued an Omnibus Order denying
CNMEGs Motion to Dismiss and setting the case for summary hearing to determine whether the injunctive
reliefs prayed for should be issued.

CNMEG then filed a Motion for Reconsideration,which was denied by the trial court in an Order dated 10
March 2008.

Thus, CNMEG filed before the CA a Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for the Issuance of TRO and/or Writ of
Preliminary Injunction dated 4 April 2008. the appellate court dismissed the Petition for Certiorari.

Subsequently, CNMEG filed a Motion for Reconsideration,which was denied by the CA in a Resolution dated 5
December 2008.

Petitioners Argument:

Petitioner claims that the EXIM Bank extended financial assistance to Northrail because the bank was
mandated by the Chinese government, and not because of any motivation to do business in the Philippines, it
is clear from the foregoing provisions that the Northrail Project was a purely commercial transaction.

Respondents Argument:

Rrespondents alleged that the Contract Agreement and the Loan Agreement were void for being contrary to
(a) the Constitution; (b) Republic Act No. 9184 (R.A. No. 9184), otherwise known as the Government
Procurement Reform Act; (c) Presidential Decree No. 1445, otherwise known as the Government Auditing
Code; and (d) Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner CNMEG is an agent of thesovereign Peoples Republic of China.

Whether or not the Northrail contracts are products of an executive agreement between two sovereign states.

Ruling: The instant Petition isDENIED


. Petitioner China National Machinery & Equipment Corp. (Group) is not entitled to immunity from suit, and the
Contract Agreement is not an executive agreement.CNMEGs prayer for the issuance of a TRO and/or Writ of
Preliminary Injunction isDENIEDfor being moot and academic. The Court explained the doctrine of sovereign
immunity inHoly See v. Rosario,to wit: There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity, each widely
held and firmly established. According to the classical or absolute theory,a sovereign cannot, without its
consent, be made a respondent in the courts of another sovereign. According to the newer or restrictive theory,
the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard to public acts or acts jure imperii of a state, but
not with regard to private acts or actsjure gestionis
.
24

(Emphasis supplied; citations omitted.) As it stands now, the application of the doctrine of immunity from suit
has been restricted to sovereign or governmental activities (
jure imperii
).

The mantle of state immunity cannot be extended to commercial, private and proprietary acts (
jure gestionis
).

Since the Philippines adheres to the restrictive theory, it is crucial to ascertain the legal nature of the act
involved

whether the entity claiming immunity performs governmental, as opposed to proprietary, functions. As held in
United States of America v. Ruiz Admittedly, the Loan Agreement was entered into between EXIM Bank and
the Philippine government, while the Contract Agreement was between Northrail and CNMEG. Although the
Contract Agreement is silent on the classification of the legal nature of the transaction, the foregoing
provisions of the Loan Agreement, which is an inextricable part of the entire undertaking, nonetheless reveal
the intention of the parties to the Northrail Project to classify the whole venture as commercial or proprietary in
character. Thus, piecing together the content and tenor of the Contract Agreement, the Memorandum of
Understanding dated 14
September 2002, Amb. Wangs letter dated 1 October 2003, and the
Loan Agreement would reveal the desire of CNMEG to construct the Luzon Railways in pursuit of a purely
commercial activity performed in the ordinary course of its business.

JUSMAG Philippines v. NLRC, G.R. No. 108813, 15 December 1994


JUSMAG Philippines vs. NLRC (Article XVI Sec. 3) (Foreign
Government)

Facts: Florencio Sacramento (private respondent) was one of the 74 security assistance support personnel
(SASP) working at the Joint United States Military Assistance Group to the Philippines (JUSMAG-
Phils.). He had been with JUSMAG from 1969-1992. When dismissed, he held the position of Illustrator 2 and
incumbent Pres. of JUSMAG Phils.- Filipino Civilian Employees Assoc., a labor org. duly registered with DOLE.
His services were terminated allegedly due to the abolition of his position.Sacramento filed complaint w/ DOLE
on the ground that he was illegally suspended and dismissed from service by JUSMAG. He asked for
reinstatement. JUSMAG filed Motion to Dismiss invoking immunity from suit. Labor arbiter Cueto in an Order
dismissed the complaint "for want of jurisdiction". Sacramento appealed toNLRC. NLRC reversed the ruling of
the labor arbiter and held that petitioner had lost its right not to be sued bec. (1) the principle of estoppel-that
JUSMAG failed to refute the existence of employer-employee rel. (2)JUSMAG has waived its right to immunity
from suit when it hired the services of private respondent. Hence, this petition.

Issue:W/N JUSMAG has immunity from suit

Held: Yes. When JUSMAG took the services of private respondent, it was performing a governmental function
on behalf of the United States pursuant to the Military Assistance Agreement between the Phils. and America*
JUSMAG consists of Air, Naval and Army group and its primary task was to advise and assist the Phils. on air
force, army and naval matters. A suit against JUSMAG is one against the United States government, and in
the absence of any waiver or consent of the latter to the suit, the complaint against JUSMAG
cannot prosper.

Immunity of State from suit is one of the universally recognized principles of international law that the Phils.
recognizes and adopts as part of the law of the land. Immunity is commonly understood as the exemption of
the state and its organs from the judicial jurisdiction of another state and anchored on the principle of the
25

sovereign equality of states under which one state cannot assert jurisdiction over another in violation of the
maxim par in parem non habeat imperium (an equal has no power over an equal)

As it stands now, the application of the doctrine of immunity from suit has been restricted to sovereign or
governmental activities and does not extend to commercial, private and proprietary acts.

Air Transportation Office v. Ramos, G.R. No. 159402, 23 February 2011


The immunity from suit is based on the political truism that the State, as a sovereign, can do no wrong.
Practical considerations dictate the establishment of immunity from suit in favor of the State. Otherwise, and
the State is suable at the instance of every other individual, government service may be severely obstructed
and public safety endangered because of the number of suits that the State has to defend against. An
unincorporated government agency without any separate juridical personality of its own enjoys immunity from
suit because it is invested with an inherent power of sovereignty. Accordingly, a claim for damages against the
agency cannot prosper; otherwise, the doctrine of sovereign immunity is violated. However, the need to
distinguish between an unincorporated government agency performing governmental function and one
performing proprietary functions has arisen. The immunity has been upheld in favor of the former because its
function is governmental or incidental to such function; it has not been upheld in favor of the latter whose
function was not in pursuit of a necessary function of government but was essentially a business. In this case,
the juridical character of the Air Transportation Office (ATO) as an agency of the Government was not
performing a purely governmental or sovereign function, but was instead involved in the management and
maintenance of the Loakan Airport, an activity that was not the exclusive prerogative of the State in its
sovereign capacity. Hence, the ATO had no claim to the States immunity from suit.

University of the Philippines v. Dizon, G.R. No. 171182, 23 August 2012


The UP, through its then President Jose V. Abueva, entered into a General Construction Agreement with
respondent Stern Builders Corporation (Stern Builders), for the construction of the extension building and the
renovation of the College of Arts and Sciences Building in the campus of the University of the Philippines in
Los Baos (UPLB). In the course of the implementation of the contract, Stern Builders submitted three
progress billings corresponding to the work accomplished, but the UP paid only two of the billings. The third
billing worth P273,729.47 was not paid due to its disallowance by the Commission on Audit (COA). Despite the
lifting of the disallowance, the UP failed to pay the billing, prompting Stern Builders and dela Cruz to sue the
UP and its co-respondent officials to collect the unpaid billing and to recover various damages (actual and
moral) and attorneys fees. After trial, the RTC rendered its decision in favor of the plaintiffs. Following the
RTCs denial of its motion for reconsideration, UP filed a notice of appeal. The RTC denied due course to the
notice of appeal for having been filed out of time and granted the private respondents motion for
execution.The RTC issued the writ of execution and the sheriff of the RTC served the writ of execution and
notice of demand upon the UP. The UP filed an urgent motion to reconsider the order, to quash the writ of
execution and to restrain the proceedings. However, the RTC denied the urgent motion. UP assailed the denial
of due course to its appeal through a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals but the latter dismissed the
petition for certiorari upon finding that the UPs notice of appeal had been filed late. The UP sought a
reconsideration, but the CA denied the UPs motion for reconsideration. The UP appealed to the Court by
petition for review on certiorari. The Court denied the petition for review. The UP moved for the reconsideration
of the denial of its petition for review but the Court denied the motion which denial became final and executory.
In the meanwhile that the UP was exhausting the available remedies to overturn the denial of due course to the
appeal and the issuance of the writ of execution, Stern Builders and dela Cruz filed in the RTC their motions for
execution despite their previous motion having already been granted and despite the writ of execution having
already issued. The RTC granted another motion for execution filed. The sheriff served notices of garnishment
on the UPs depository banks. The UP assailed the garnishment through an urgent motion to quash the notices
of garnishment; and a motion to quash the writ of execution but was denied by the RTC. UP moved for the
reconsideration of the order but was denied by the same court. On their part, Stern Builders and dela Cruz filed
their ex parte motion for issuance of a release order which the RTC granted and authorized the release of the
garnished funds of the UP. The UP brought a petition for certiorari in the CA to challenge the jurisdiction of the
RTC in issuing the order of December 21, 2004. While pending resolution, CA issued a temporary restraining
order (TRO) upon application by the UP. In its decision CA dismissed the UPs petition for certiorari, ruling that
26

the UP had been given ample opportunity to contest the motion to direct the DBP to deposit the check in the
name of Stern Builders and dela Cruz; and that the garnished funds could be the proper subject of
garnishment because they had been already earmarked for the project, with the UP holding the funds only in a
fiduciary capacity. After the CA denied their motion for reconsideration on December 23, 2005, the petitioners
appealed by petition for review.
ISSUE:
1. Whether the funds of the UP were the proper subject of garnishment in order to satisfy the judgment award.
2. Whether the UPs prayer for the deletion of the awards of actual damages, moral damages and attorneys
fees could be granted despite the finality of the judgment of the RTC.
RULING:
I.
UPs funds, being government funds,
are not subject to garnishment
Despite its establishment as a body corporate, the UP remains to be a "chartered institution" performing a
legitimate government function. It is an institution of higher learning, not a corporation established for profit and
declaring any dividends. In enacting Republic Act No. 9500 (The University of the Philippines Charter of 2008),
Congress has declared the UP as the national university67 "dedicated to the search for truth and knowledge
as well as the development of future leaders." UP is a government instrumentality, performing the States
constitutional mandate of promoting quality and accessible education. As a government instrumentality, the UP
administers special funds sourced from the fees and income enumerated under Act No. 1870 and Section 1 of
Executive Order No. 714, and from the yearly appropriations, to achieve the purposes laid down by Section 2
of Act 1870, as expanded in Republic Act No. 9500. All the funds going into the possession of the UP,
including any interest accruing from the deposit of such funds in any banking institution, constitute a "special
trust fund," the disbursement of which should always be aligned with the UPs mission and purpose, and
should always be subject to auditing by the COA.
"Trust fund"as a fund that officially comes in the possession of an agency of the government or of a public
officer as trustee, agent or administrator, or that is received for the fulfillment of some obligation.75 A trust fund
may be utilized only for the "specific purpose for which the trust was created or the funds received."
The funds of the UP are government funds that are public in character. Hence, the funds subject of this action
could not be validly made the subject of the RTCs writ of execution or garnishment. The adverse judgment
rendered against the UP in a suit to which it had impliedly consented was not immediately enforceable by
execution against the UP, because suability of the State did not necessarily mean its liability.
A distinction should first be made between suability and liability. "Suability depends on the consent of the state
to be sued, liability on the applicable law and the established facts. The circumstance that a state is suable
does not necessarily mean that it is liable; on the other hand, it can never be held liable if it does not first
consent to be sued. Liability is not conceded by the mere fact that the state has allowed itself to be sued.
When the state does waive its sovereign immunity, it is only giving the plaintiff the chance to prove, if it can,
that the defendant is liable.(Municipality of San Fernando, La Union v. Firme)
The UP correctly submits here that the garnishment of its funds to satisfy the judgment awards of actual and
moral damages (including attorneys fees) was not validly made if there was no special appropriation by
Congress to cover the liability. The Constitution strictly mandated that "(n)o money shall be paid out of the
Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law."
II
COA must adjudicate private respondents claim
before execution should proceed
The execution of the monetary judgment against the UP was within the primary jurisdiction of the COA.
It was of no moment that a final and executory decision already validated the claim against the UP. The
settlement of the monetary claim was still subject to the primary jurisdiction of the COA despite the final
decision of the RTC having already validated the claim. As such, Stern Builders and dela Cruz as the claimants
had no alternative except to first seek the approval of the COA of their monetary claim.
However, notwithstanding the rule that government properties are not subject to levy and execution unless
otherwise provided for by statute (Republic v. Palacio, 23 SCRA 899 1968; Commissioner of Public Highways
v. San Diego, supra) or municipal ordinance (Municipality of Makati v. Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA 206 1990),
the Court has, in various instances, distinguished between government funds and properties for public use and
27

those not held for public use. Thus, in Viuda de Tan Toco v. Municipal Council of Iloilo (49 Phil 52 1926, the
Court ruled that "where property of a municipal or other public corporation is sought to be subjected to
execution to satisfy judgments recovered against such corporation, the question as to whether such property is
leviable or not is to be determined by the usage and purposes for which it is held." The following can be culled
from Viuda de Tan Toco v. Municipal Council of Iloilo:
1. Properties held for public uses and generally everything held for governmental purposes are not subject
to levy and sale under execution against such corporation. The same rule applies to funds in the hands of a
public officer and taxes due to a municipal corporation.
2. Where a municipal corporation owns in its proprietary capacity, as distinguished from its public or
government capacity, property not used or used for a public purpose but for quasi-private purposes, it is the
general rule that such property may be seized and sold under execution against the corporation.
3. Property held for public purposes is not subject to execution merely because it is temporarily used for private
purposes. If the public use is wholly abandoned, such property becomes subject to execution.
This Administrative Circular shall take effect immediately and the Court Administrator shall see to it that it is
faithfully implemented.
Although Judge Yadao pointed out that neither the CA nor the Court had issued as of then any writ of
preliminary injunction to enjoin the release or withdrawal of the garnished amount, she did not need any writ of
injunction from a superior court to compel her obedience to the law.

III
Period of appeal did not start without effective
service of decision upon counsel of record;
Fresh-period rule announced in
Neypes v. Court of Appeals
can be given retroactive application
It is true that a decision that has attained finality becomes immutable and unalterable, and cannot be modified
in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law, and whether
the modification is made by the court that rendered it or by this Court as the highest court of the land. Public
policy dictates that once a judgment becomes final, executory and unappealable, the prevailing party should
not be deprived of the fruits of victory by some subterfuge devised by the losing party. Unjustified delay in the
enforcement of such judgment sets at naught the role and purpose of the courts to resolve justiciable
controversies with finality. Indeed, all litigations must at some time end, even at the risk of occasional errors.
But the doctrine of immutability of a final judgment has not been absolute, and has admitted several
exceptions, among them: (a) the correction of clerical errors; (b) the so-called nunc pro tunc entries that cause
no prejudice to any party; (c) void judgments; and (d) whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of the
decision that render its execution unjust and inequitable. Despite the absence of the preceding circumstances,
the Court is not precluded from brushing aside procedural norms if only to serve the higher interests of justice
and equity.
It is settled that where a party has appeared by counsel, service must be made upon such counsel.95 Service
on the party or the partys employee is not effective because such notice is not notice in law.
Equity calls for the retroactive application in the UPs favor of the fresh-period rule that the Court first
announced in its ruling in Neypes v. Court of Appeals that to standardize the appeal periods provided in the
Rules and to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their cases, the Court deems it practical to allow a fresh
period of 15 days within which to file the notice of appeal in the Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt of
the order dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for reconsideration.
The retroactive application of the fresh-period rule, a procedural law that aims "to regiment or make the appeal
period uniform, to be counted from receipt of the order denying the motion for new trial, motion for
reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any final order or resolution,"99 is impervious to any serious
challenge. This is because there are no vested rights in rules of procedure.
IV
Awards of monetary damages,
being devoid of factual and legal bases,
did not attain finality and should be deleted
28

Section 14 of Article VIII of the Constitution prescribes that express findings of fact and of law should be made
in the decision rendered by any court, to wit:
The Constitution and the Rules of Court apparently delineate two main essential parts of a judgment, namely:
the body and the decretal portion. Although the latter is the controlling part, the importance of the former is not
to be lightly regarded because it is there where the court clearly and distinctly states its findings of fact and of
law on which the decision is based. To state it differently, one without the other is ineffectual and useless. The
omission of either inevitably results in a judgment that violates the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and
the Rules of Court.
The term findings of fact that must be found in the body of the decision refers to statements of fact, not to
conclusions of law. Unlike in pleadings where ultimate facts alone need to be stated, the Constitution and the
Rules of Court require not only that a decision should state the ultimate facts but also that it should specify the
supporting evidentiary facts, for they are what are called the findings of fact.
The statement that "due to defendants unjustified refusal to pay their outstanding obligation to plaintiff, the
same suffered losses and incurred expenses as he was forced to re-mortgage his house and lot located in
Quezon City to Metrobank (Exh. "CC") and BPI Bank just to pay its monetary obligations in the form of interest
and penalties incurred in the course of the construction of the subject project" was only a conclusion of fact
and law that did not comply with the constitutional and statutory prescription. The statement specified no
detailed expenses. The omission of such expenses or losses directly indicated that Stern Builders did not
prove them at all.
Like the actual damages, the moral damages constituted another judicial ipse dixit, the inevitable consequence
of which was to render the award of moral damages incapable of attaining finality. The contravention of the law
was manifest considering that Stern Builders, as an artificial person, was incapable of experiencing pain and
moral sufferings. Lastly, the RTC violated the basic principle that moral damages were not intended to enrich
the plaintiff at the expense of the defendant, but to restore the plaintiff to his status quo ante as much as
possible.
The general rule is that a successful litigant cannot recover attorneys fees as part of the damages to be
assessed against the losing party because of the policy that no premium should be placed on the right to
litigate. Nonetheless, with attorneys fees being allowed in the concept of actual damages, their amounts must
be factually and legally justified in the body of the decision and not stated for the first time in the decretal
portion.
That the attorneys fees granted to the private respondents did not satisfy the foregoing requirement suffices
for the Court to undo them.121 The grant was ineffectual for being contrary to law and public policy, it being
clear that the express findings of fact and law were intended to bring the case within the exception and thereby
justify the award of the attorneys Nonetheless, the absence of findings of fact and of any statement of the law
and jurisprudence on which the awards of actual and moral damages, as well as of attorneys fees, were based
was a fatal flaw that invalidated the decision of the RTC only as to such awards. As the Court declared in
Velarde v. Social Justice Society,123 the failure to comply with the constitutional requirement for a clear and
distinct statement of the supporting facts and law "is a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction" and that "(d)ecisions or orders issued in careless disregard of the constitutional mandate are a
patent nullity and must be struck down as void."

Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation v. Pacana, G.R. No. 171673, 30 May 2011

Respondents in the case at bar (the DXWG personnel), are employees of the DXWG-Iligan City radio station
which is owned by petitioner Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), a corporation managed by
Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC).

On August 29, 1995, the DXWG personnel filed a complaint for illegal dismissal, unfair labor practice,
reimbursement of unpaid Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) benefits, and attorneys fees against IBC and
BBC.

On June 21, 1996, Labor Arbiter (LA) decided in favour of the DXWG personnel.

Both, parties, however, appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
29

On May 15, 1997, a Motion to Dismiss, Release, Waiver and Quitclaim, was jointly filed by IBC and the DXWG
personnel based on the latter's admission that IBC is not their employer as it does not own DXWG-Iligan
City.The NLRC granted the Motion with respect to IBC.

BBC filed an MR.

On December 12, 1997, the NLRC issued a Resolution vacating the Decision of LA and remanding the case to
the arbitration branch of origin on the ground that while the complaint was filed against both IBC and BBC, only
IBC was served with summons, ordered to submit a position paper, and furnished a copy of the assailed
decision.

On October 15, 1998, the new LA rendered a Decision adjudging BBC to be liable for the same amount
discussed in the vacated original Decision of the previous LA.

Both BBC and respondents appealed to the NLRC.BBC challenged the monetary award itself. In the same
Memorandum of Appeal, BBC incorporated a Motion for the Recomputation of the Monetary Award (of the
Labor Arbiter),in order that the appeal bond may be reduced.

On September 16, 1999, the NLRC issued an Order Denying the Motion for the Recomputation of the
Monetary Award. The NLRC ordered BBC to post the required bond within 10 days from receipt of said Order,
with a warning that noncompliance will cause the dismissal of the appeal for non-perfection.Instead of
complying with the Order to post the required bond, BBC filed a Motion for Reconsideration,alleging this time
that since it is wholly owned by the Republic of the Philippines, it need not post an appeal bond.

On November 22, 1999, the NLRC rendered its Decision. In said Decision, the NLRC denied the MR of BBC
and accordingly dismissed the appeal of BBC for non-perfection.

BBC filed an MR which was denied by the NLRC.

BBC filed with the CA a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65.

On April 15, 2005, the CA rendered the assailed Decision denying BBCs Petition forCertiorari.The CA held that
BBC, though owned by the government, is a corporation with a personality distinct from the Republic or any of
its agencies or instrumentalities, and therefore do not partake in the latter's exemption from the posting of
appeal bonds.

The Court of Appeals denied the MR.Hence, this Petition for Review.

ISSUE: Whether BBC is exempt from posting an appeal bond.

HELD: Petition denied.

GOCCs NOT EXEMPT FROM POSTING BOND

Generally, the government and all the attached agencies with no legal personality distinct from the former are
exempt from posting appeal bonds, whereas government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) are not
similarly exempted except if it is sued in relation to its governmental functions. Here, BBC was organized as a
private corporation, sequestered in the 1980s and the ownership of which was subsequently transferred to the
government. Its primary function is to engage in commercial radio and television broadcasting. It is therefore
clear that BBCs function is commercial or proprietary and not governmental.As such, BBC is not entitled to an
exemption from the posting of an appeal bond.

FAILURE TO POST BOND CONSTITUTED NON-PERFECTION OF APPEAL


30

In case of a judgment involving a monetary award, an appeal by the employer may be perfected only upon the
posting of a cash or surety bond issued by a reputable bonding company duly accredited by the Commission in
the amount equivalent to the monetary award in the judgment appealed from.The posting of the appeal bond
within the period provided by law is not merely mandatory but jurisdictional.The failure on the part of BBC to
perfect the appeal thus had the effect of rendering the judgment final and executory.
31

General Principles and State Policies

Forms of Government
1. De Facto
- is that government that gets possession and control of, or usurps, by force or by the voice of majority, the
rightful legal government and maintains itself against the will of the latter.
- is that which is established and maintained by military forces who invade and occupy a territory of the enemy
in the course of war, and which is denominated by a government of paramount force.
- is that established as the independent government by the inhabitants of a country who rise in insurrection
against the parent state.

2. De Jure - has a rightful title but no power or control, either because this has been withdrawn from it or
because it has not yet actually entered into the exercise thereof.

Meaning of Democratic and Republican State


1. Republican form of government - is one where sovereignty resides in the people and where all government
authority emanates from the people.
- a government which derives all its power directly or indirectly from the great body of people; and is
administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.

2. Democratic form of government - the Philippines under the new Constitution is not just a representative
government but also shares some aspects of direct democracy such, for instance, as the initiative and
referendum under Article 6, Section 32.

Doctrine of Incorporation
- international law as the force of domestic law. International law therefor can be used by Philippine courts to
settle domestic disputes in much the same way that they would use the Civil Code or the Penal Code and
other laws passed by Congress. By mere constitutional declaration, international law is deemed to have the
force of domestic law.

Doctrine of Transformation
- international law can become part of municipal law only if it is transformed into domestic law through the
appropriate constitutional mechanism such as local legislation.

Civilian Supremacy
1. Article 2, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution: Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The
Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the
sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory."

2. Article 7, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution: The president shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed
forces of the Philippines

3. Article 16, Section 5(1) of the 1987 Constitution: All members of the Armed Forces shall take an oath of
affirmation to uphold and defend this Constitution."

Separation of Church and State


1. Article 2, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution: The separation of church and state shall be inviolable.

2. Article 3, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution: No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship,
without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the
exercise of civil or political rights. - Non-establishment clause.
32

3. Article 9(C), Section 2(5) of the 1987 Constitution: Religious denominations and sects shall not be
registered. - religious sect cannot be registered as political party.

4. Article 6, Section 5(2) of the 1987 Constitution - no sectoral representative from the religious sector.

5. Article 6, Section 29 (2) of the 1987 Constitution: No public money or property shall be appropriated,
applied, paid, or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church,
denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, other religious
teacher, or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed
forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium. - Prohibition against appropriation
for sectarian benefit.

Exceptions:
a) Article 6, Section 28(3) of the 1987 Constitution - (Churches, parsonages, etc., actually, directly and
exclusively used for religious purposes shall be exempt from taxation).

b) Article 6, Section 29(2) of the 1987 Constitution - (Prohibition against appropriation for sectarian benefit,
except when priest, etc., is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution or government orphanage
or leprosarium).

c) Article 14, Section 3(3) of the 1987 Constitution - (Optional religious instruction for public elementary and
high school students).

d) Article 14, Section 4(2) of the 1987 Constitution - (Filipino ownership requirement for educational institutions,
except those established by religious groups and mission boards).

Healthful and Balanced Ecology


Article 2, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution: The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a
balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Local Autonomy
A. Article 2, Section 25 of the 1987 Constitution: The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.

B. Basco vs. PAGCOR: where the Supreme Court said that local autonomy under the 1987 Constitution simply
means decentralization, and does not make the local governments sovereign within the State or an imperium
in imperio.

C. Limbonas vs. Mangelin: the Court distinguished between decentralization of administration and
decentralization of power. The latter is abdication by the national government of governmental powers; while
the former is merely delegation of administrative powers to the local government unit in order to broaden the
base of governmental powers.

Thus, even as we recognize that the Constitution guarantees autonomy to local government units, the exercise
of local autonomy remains subject to the power of control by Congress and the power of general supervision
by the President.

On the Presidents power of general supervision, however, the President can only interfere in the affairs and
activities of a local government unit if he or she finds that the latter had acted contrary to law. The President or
any of his alter egos, cannot interfere in local affairs as long as the concerned local government unit acts within
the parameters of the law and the Constitution. Any directive, therefore, by the President or any of his alter
egos seeking to alter the wisdom of a law-conforming judgment on local affairs of a local government unit is a
33

patent nullity, because it violates the principle of local autonomy, as well as the doctrine of separation of
powers of the executive and legislative departments in governing municipal corporations.

Political Dynasty/Equal Access of Opportunities for Public Service


Article 2, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution: The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for
public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.

In Pamatong v. COMELEC, the Supreme Court said that this provision does not bestow a right to seek the
Presidency; it does not contain a judicially enforceable constitutional right and merely specifies a guideline for
legislative action. The provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would
accommodate as many as possible into public office. The privilege may be subjected to limitations. One such
valid limitation is the provision of the Omnibus Election Code on nuisance candidates

Naval v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207851, 08 July 2014


In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court said quoting James Freeman Clarke, an American preacher
and author:

A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman of the next generation.

How right was Clarke when he said such a statement? How many are still thinking of the future generation
among our politicians? Let such a statement awaken the people who will soon be electing the leaders a year
from now. For, there is a need for moral regeneration, not only of the leaders of our country, but even the
people. Our leaders should be reminded that a public office is a public trust, and that sovereignty reside in
the people and all government authority emanates from them. Whatever power every government official has
is a mere borrowed power.

The case in point is all about the redistricting or renaming of a district of the province of Camarines Sur. Prior
thereto, Angel G. Naval was elected three (3) times as a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
representing the Second District. In the 2013 local elections, he again filed his certificate of candidacy for
membership in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to represent the Third District of the province. Nelson B. Julia, a
candidate for the same position questioned Navals eligibility considering that he was running for a fourth (4th)
term which is violative of the inflexible three-term limit rule enshrined in the Constitution and the Local
Government Code. The COMELEC ruled that Naval was not eligible. When the province was redistricted, the
new Third District where Naval was elected and has served was composed of the same municipalities
comprising the previous Second District absent the towns of Gainza and Milaor. The territorial jurisdiction
which he sought to serve for the 2013-2016 is the same as the territorial jurisdiction he previously served. The
electorate who voted for him in 2004, 2007, 2010, is the same electorate in the 2013 elections. Naval
contended that the First, Second and Third Legislative Districts of Camarines Sur were not merely renamed
but are composed of new sets of Municipalities. With the separation of Gainza and Milaor from the towns that
comprised the Second District, the voters from the Third Legislative District are no longer the same ones as
those who elected him in 2004 and 2007. He further invoked Article 94 of Administrative Order No. 270
prescribing the Implementing Rules & Regulations of the Local Government Code that Sanggunian Members
are elected by districts, hence, the right to choose representatives of the Sanggunian pertains to each of the
districts. He was elected in2004 and 2007 by the Second District. In 2010 & 2013, it was the Third District
which brought him to office, hence, his election in 2013 was only his second term as SB member of the Third
District. Finally, he argued that he garnered majority of the votes from his constituents whose will and mandate
should be upheld. In ruling that Naval is not eligible to run for a fourth term, the SC

Held: Three (3) consecutive terms would ensure that new blood would be infused into our political system.

The constitutional provision fixes the term of a local elective office and limits an elective officials stay in office
to no more than three consecutive terms. This is the first branch of the rule embodied in Section 8, Article X.
34

Significantly, this provision refers to a term as a period of time three years during which an official has title
to office and can serve. x x x.

The limitation under this first branch of the provision is expressed in the negativeno such official shall
serve for more than three consecutive terms. This formulationno more than three consecutive termsis a
clear command suggesting the existence of an inflexible rule. x x x.

This examination of the wording of the constitutional provision and of the circumstances surrounding its
formulation impresses upon us the clear intent to make term limitation a high priority constitutional objective
whose terms must be strictly construed and which cannot be defeated by, nor sacrificed for, values of less than
equal constitutional worth. x x x.

x x x [T]he Court signalled how zealously it guards the three-term limit rule. Effectively, these cases teach us to
strictly interpret the term limitation rule in favor of limitation rather than its exception.

In Latasa v. Commission on Elections x x x, the Court said:

This Court reiterates that the framers of the Constitution specifically included an exception to the peoples
freedom to choose those who will govern them in order to avoid the evil of a single person accumulating
excessive power over a particular territorial jurisdiction as a result of a prolonged stay in the same office. x x x.

xxxx

To put it differently although at the risk of repetition, Section 8, Article Xboth by structure and substance
fixes an elective officials term of office and limits his stay in office to three consecutive terms as an inflexible
rule that is stressed, no less, by citing voluntary renunciation as an example of a circumvention. x x x.

Reapportionment and its Basis

Reapportionment is the realignment or change in legislative districts brought about by changes in population
and mandated by the constitutional requirement of equality of representation. The aim of legislative
apportionment is to equalize population and voting power among districts. The basis for districting shall be the
number of the inhabitants of a city or a province and not the number of registered voters therein.

A fter the reapportionment of the districts in Camarines Sur, the current Third District, which brought Naval to
office in 2010 and 2013, has a population of 35,856 less than that of the old Second District, which elected him
in 2004 and 2007. However, the wordings of R.A. No. 9716 indicate the intent of the lawmakers to create a
single new Second District from the merger of the towns from the old First District with Gainza and Milaor. As
to the current Third District, Section 3(c) of R.A. No. 9716 used the word rename. Although the qualifier
without a change in its composition was not found in Section 3(c), unlike in Sections 3(d) and (e), still, what is
pervasive is the clear intent to create a sole new district in that of the Second, while merely renaming the rest.

In Navals case, the words of R.A. No. 9716 plainly state that the new Second District is to be created,but the
Third District is to be renamed. Verba legis non est recedendum. The terms used in a legal provision to be
construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it, based on the postulate that the
framers mean what they say.

The verb create means to make or produce something new. On the other hand, the verb renamemeans to
give a new name to someone or something. A complete reading of R.A. No. 9716 yields no logical conclusion
other than that the lawmakers intended the old Second District to be merely renamed as the current Third
District.
It likewise bears noting that the actual difference in the population of the old Second District from that of the
current Third District amounts to less than 10% of the population of the latter. This numerical fact renders the
35

new Third District as essentially, although not literally, the same as the old Second District. Hence, while Naval
is correct in his argument that Sanggunian members are elected by district, it does not alter the fact that the
district which elected him for the third and fourth time is the same one which brought him to office in 2004 and
2007.

The rationale behind reapportionment is the constitutional requirement to achieve equality of representation
among the districts. It is with this mindset that the Court should consider Navals argument anent having a new
set of constituents electing him into office in 2010 and 2013.

Navals ineligibility to run, by reason of violation of the three-term limit rule, does not undermine the right to
equal representation of any of the districts in Camarines Sur. With or without him, the renamed Third District,
which he labels as a new set of constituents, would still be represented, albeit by another eligible person.
(Angel G. Naval v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 207851, July 8, 2014, Perez, J).

The mere fact that the people have voted for him despite violation of the three-term limit does not mean that he
can serve for a fourth term in violation of the Constitution. The will of the people cannot supplant the lack of
qualification because of the doctrine of constitutional supremacy. Lest we forget, the Constitution is the
supreme law. All laws and acts must conform to it, otherwise, it is unconstitutional.

Note: While the contending parties cite Latasa, Lonzanida v. COMELEC, 370 Phil. 625 [1999], Borja, Aldovino,
Jr. v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 184836, December 23, 2009 and Bandillo, which all involve the application of the
three-term limit rule, the factual and legal circumstances in those cases are different and the doctrinal values
therein do not directly address the issues now at hand.

In Latasa, the issue arose as a result of the conversion of a municipality into a city. The then municipal mayor
attempted to evade the application upon him of the three-term limit rule by arguing that the position of a city
mayor was not the same as the one he previously held. The Court was not convinced and, thus, declared that
there was no interruption of the incumbent mayors continuity of service.

In Lonzanida, a candidate ran for the mayoralty post and won in three consecutive elections. While serving his
third term, his opponent filed an election protest. Months before the expiration of the mayors third term, he was
ousted from office. He ran again for the same post in the immediately succeeding election. A petition was
thereafter filed assailing his eligibility to run as mayor on the ground of violation of the three-term limit rule. The
Court ruled that the mayor could not be considered as having served a full third term. An interruption for any
length of time, if due to an involuntary cause, is enough to break the elected officials continuity of service.

In Borja, the mayor of Pateros died and was succeeded in office by the vice mayor. In the two immediately
succeeding elections, the latter vied for and won the mayoralty post. When he ran for the same position for the
third time, his disqualification was sought for alleged violation of the three-term limit rule. The Court ruled that
when he assumed the position of mayor by virtue of succession, his service should not be treated as one full
term. For the disqualification to apply, the candidate should have been thrice elected for and had served the
same post consecutively.

In Aldovino, preventive suspension was imposed upon an elected municipal councilor. The Court ruled that the
said suspension did not interrupt the elective officials term. Although he was barred from exercising the
functions of the position during the period of suspension, his continued stay and entitlement to the office
remain unaffected.

In Bandillo, a case decided by the COMELEC, Gainza and Milaor were added to five of the ten towns, which
used to comprise Camarines Surs old First District, to form the new Second District. The COMELEC declined
to apply the three-term limit rule against the elected Provincial Board member on the ground that the addition
of Gainza and Milaor distinctively created a new district, with an altered territory and constituency.
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A republic is a representative government, a government run by and for the people. It is not a pure democracy
where the people govern themselves directly. The essence of republicanism is representation and renovation,
the selection by the citizenry of a corps of public functionaries who derive their mandate from the people and
act on their behalf, serving for a limited period only, after which they are replaced or retained, at the option of
their principal. Obviously, a republican government is a responsible government whose officials hold and
discharge their position as a public trust and shall, according to the Constitution, at all times be accountable to
the people they are sworn to serve. The purpose of a republican government it is almost needless to state, is
the promotion of the common welfare according to the will of the people themselves. (Frivaldo v. COMELEC,
327 Phil. 521 [1996]).

In Tolentino v. COMELEC, 465 Phil. 385 [2004], the SC characterized the role of the electoral process in the
following wise:

The electoral process is one of the linchpins of a democratic and republican framework because it is through
the act of voting that government by consent is secured. Through the ballot, people express their will on the
defining issues of the day and they are able to choose their leaders in accordance with the fundamental
principle of representative democracy that the people should elect whom they please to govern them. Voting
has an important instrumental value in preserving the viability of constitutional democracy. It has traditionally
been taken as a prime indicator of democratic participation.

The importance of elections cannot therefore be over emphasized. Thus,


True, election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. In the exercise of suffrage, a free people
expects to achieve the continuity of government and the perpetuation of its benefits. However, inspite of its
importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law. x x
x. (People v. Jalosjos, 381 Phil. 690 [2000]).

Hence, while it is settled that in elections, the first consideration of every democratic polity is to give effect to
the expressed will of the majority, there are limitations to being elected to a public office. Our Constitution and
statutes are explicit anent the existence of term limits, the nature of public office, and the guarantee from the
State that citizens shall have equal access to public service. Section 8, Article X of our Constitution, on term
limits, is significantly reiterated by Section 43(b) of the LGC. Moreover, the Court has time and again declared
that a public office is a public trust and not a vested property right. (COMELEC v. Cruz, G.R. No. 186616,
November 20, 2009, 605 SCRA 167; Monteclaros v. COMELEC, 433 Phil. 620 [2002]).

Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines v. Health Secretary,


G.R. No. 173034, 09 October 2007
Facts:
Petition for certiorari seeking to nullify the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR) of E.O. 51
(Milk Code). Petitioner claims that the RIRR is not valid as it contains provisions that are not constitutional and
go beyond what it is supposed to implement. Milk Code was issued by President Cory Aquino under the
Freedom Constitution on Oct.1986. One of the preambular clauses of the Milk Code states that the law seeks
to give effect to Art 11 of the Intl Code of Marketing and Breastmilk Substitutes(ICBMS), a code adopted by
the World Health Assembly(WHA). From 1982-2006, The WHA also adopted severe resolutions to the effect
that breastfeeding should be supported, hence, it should be ensured that nutrition and health claims are not
permitted for breastmilk substitutes. In 2006, the DOH issued the assailed RIRR.

Issue:
Sub-Issue: W/N the pertinent intl agreements entered into by the Phil are part of the law of the land and may
be implemented by DOH through the RIRR. If yes, W/N the RIRR is in accord with intl agreements

MAIN: W/N the DOH acted w/o or in excess of their jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack of excess of jurisdiction and in violation of the Constitution by promulgating the RIRR.
37

Held:
Sub-issue:
Yes for ICBMS. Under 1987 Consti, intl law can become domestic law by transformation (thru constitutional
mechanism such as local legislation) or incorporation (mere constitutional declaration i.e treaties) The ICBMS
and WHA resolutions were not treaties as they have not been concurred by 2/3 of all members of the Senate
as required under Sec, 21, Art 8. However, the ICBMS had been transformed into domestic law through a local
legislation such as the Milk Code. The Milk Code is almost a verbatim reproduction of ICBMS.

No for WHA Resolutions. The Court ruled that DOH failed to establish that the provisions pertinent WHA
resolutions are customary intl law that may be deemed part of the law of the land. For an intl rule to be
considered as customary law, it must be established that such rule is being followed by states because they
consider it as obligatory to comply with such rules (opinion juris). The WHO resolutions, although signed by
most of the member states, were enforced or practiced by at least a majority of member states. Unlike the
ICBMS whereby legislature enacted most of the provisions into the law via the Milk Code, the WHA
Resolutions (specifically providing for exclusive breastfeeding from 0-6 months, breastfeeding up to 24 Months
and absolutely prohibiting ads for breastmilk substitutes) have not been adopted as domestic law nor are they
followed in our country as well. The Filipinos have the option of how to take care of their babies as they see fit.
WHA Resolutions may be classified as SOFT LAW non-binding norms, principles and practices that
influence state behavior. Soft law is not part of intl law.

Main issue:
Yes. Some parts of the RIRR were not in consonance with the Milk Code such as Sec. 4(f) ->advertising,
promotions of formula are prohibited,
Sec 11 -> prohibitions for advertising breastmilk substitutes intended for infants and young children uo to 24
months
And Sec 46 -> sanctions for advertising .
These provisions are declared null and void. The DOH and respondents are prohibited from implementing said
provisions.

Mijares v. Ranada, G.R. No. 139325, 12 April 12, 2005


Petition: Petition for certiorari
Petitioner: Mijares, Rosales, Narciso Sr., Dimaanan, SFIC, and Lamangan in their behalf and on behalf of the
Class Plaintiffs in Class Action No. MDL 840, United States District Court of Hawaii
Defendant: Hon. Ranada, in his capacity as Presiding Judge in RTC Makati and the ESTATE OF FERDINAND
E. MARCOS, through its court appointed legal representatives: Imelda R. Marcos and Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
Ponente: Tinga

DOCTRINE:
For an action in rem, the foreign judgment is deemed conclusive upon the title to the thing, while in an action in
personam, the foreign judgment is presumptive, and not conclusive, of a right as between the parties and their
successors in interest by a subsequent title. However, in both cases, the foreign judgment is susceptible to
impeachment in our local courts on the grounds of want of jurisdiction or notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or
clear mistake of law or fact.

FACTS:
1. A class suit was filed US District Court Hawaii, against the Estate of Pres. Marcos (Marcos Estate).
2. The plaintiffs suffered human rights abuses such as arbitrary detention, torture and rape in the hands of
police or military forces during the Marcos regime.
3. The Alien Tort Act was invoked as basis for the US District Courts jurisdiction over the complaint, as it
involved a suit by aliens for tortious violations of international law.
38

4. A verdict and an award of compensatory and exemplary damages in favor of the plaintiff class is
rendered.
5. US District Court rendered a Final Judgment (Final Judgment) awarding the plaintiff class a total $1.9
billion. Also affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
6. Petitioners filed Complaint with Makati RTC for enforcement of the Final Judgment. They argued that
since the Marcos Estate failed to file a petition for certiorari with the US Supreme Court after the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals had affirmed the Final Judgment, the decision of the US District Court had
become final and executory, and hence should be recognized and enforced in the Philippines, pursuant
to Section 50, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court then in force.
7. Marcos Estate filed a motion to dismiss for non-payment of the correct filing fees. It alleged that
petitioners only paid P410 as docket and filing fees, notwithstanding the fact that they sought to enforce
a monetary amount of damages in the amount of over US$2.25 Billion.
8. The Marcos Estate cited Supreme Court Circular No. 7, pertaining to the proper computation and
payment of docket fees. In response, the petitioners claimed that it is not capable of pecuniary
estimation; hence, a filing fee of only P410 was proper, pursuant to Section 7(c) of Rule 141.
9. Judge Ranada dismissed the complaint without prejudice ruling that the complaint was indeed capable
of pecuniary estimation. The RTC estimated the proper amount of filing fees was approximately P472
million, which obviously had not been paid.
ISSUE: WoN the petitioners should pay P472 million as filing fees
RULING + RATIO: NO
The subject matter of an action for enforcement of a foreign judgment is the foreign judgment itself, and not the
right-duty correlatives that resulted in the foreign judgment.

In this particular circumstance, given that the complaint is lodged against an estate and is based on the US
District Courts Final Judgment, this foreign judgment may, for purposes of classification under the governing
procedural rule, be deemed as subsumed under Section 7(b)(3) of Rule 141, i.e., within the class of all other
actions not involving property. Thus, only the blanket filing fee of minimal amount is required.

Petitioners appreciate the distinctions (stated below), and rely upon it to support the proposition that the
subject matter of the complaint the enforcement of a foreign judgment is incapable of pecuniary estimation
(SC ruled it is not):

o There is an evident distinction between a foreign judgment in an action in rem and one in personam.
For an action in rem, the foreign judgment is deemed conclusive upon the title to the thing, while in an
action in personam, the foreign judgment is presumptive, and not conclusive, of a right as between the
parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent title. However, in both cases, the foreign
judgment is susceptible to impeachment in our local courts on the grounds of want of jurisdiction or
notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. Thus, the party aggrieved by the
foreign judgment is entitled to defend against the enforcement of such decision in the local forum. It is
essential that there should be an opportunity to challenge the foreign judgment, in order for the court in
this jurisdiction to properly determine its efficacy

o In an action to enforce a foreign judgment, the matter left for proof is the foreign judgment itself, and not
the facts from which it prescinds.

o As stated in Section 48, Rule 39, the actionable issues are generally restricted to a review of jurisdiction
of the foreign court, the service of personal notice, collusion, fraud, or mistake of fact or law. The
limitations on review is in consonance with a strong and pervasive policy in all legal systems to limit
repetitive litigation on claims and issues.

o Petitioners raise the point that a declaration that an action for enforcement of foreign judgment may be
capable of pecuniary estimation might lead to an instance wherein a first level court such as the
Municipal Trial Court would have jurisdiction to enforce a foreign judgment. BUT under the statute
39

defining the jurisdiction of first level courts, B.P. 129, such courts are not vested with jurisdiction over
actions for the enforcement of foreign judgments.

-However, SC finds that the complaint to enforce the foreign judgment is one capable of pecuniary estimation.
But at the same time, it is also an action based on judgment against an estate, thus placing it beyond the ambit
of Section 7(a) of Rule 141.

-It is covered by Section 7(b)(3), involving as it does, other actions not involving property.

-The amount paid as docket fees by the petitioners on the premise that it was an action incapable of pecuniary
estimation corresponds to the same amount required for other actions not involving property. The petitioners
thus paid the correct amount of filing fees, and it was a grave abuse of discretion for respondent judge to have
applied instead a clearly inapplicable rule and dismissed the complaint.

-It bears noting that Section 48, Rule 39 acknowledges that the Final Judgment is not conclusive yet, but
presumptive evidence of a right of the petitioners against the Marcos Estate.

DISPOSITION: Petition granted.

Ladlad LGBT Party v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190582, 08 April 2010


FACTS:
Petitioner is an organization composed of men and women who identify themselves as lesbians, gays,
bisexuals, or trans-gendered individuals (LGBTs). Incorporated in 2003, Ang Ladlad first applied for
registration with the COMELEC in 2006 as a party-list organization under Republic Act 7941, otherwise known
as the Party-List System Act. The application for accreditation was denied on the ground that the organization
had no substantial membership base. In 2009, Ang Ladlad again filed a petition for registration with the
COMELEC upon which it was dismissed on moral grounds.

Ang Ladlad sought reconsideration but the COMELEC upheld its First Resolution, stating that the
party-list system is a tool for the realization of aspirations of marginalized individuals whose interests are also
the nations. Until the time comes when Ladlad is able to justify that having mixed sexual orientations and
transgender identities is beneficial to the nation, its application for accreditation under the party-list system will
remain just that. That the Philippines cannot ignore its more than 500 years of Muslim and Christian
upbringing, such that some moral precepts espoused by said religions have sipped into society and these are
not publicly accepted moral norms. COMELEC reiterated that petitioner does not have a concrete and
genuine national poltical agenda to benefit the nation and that the petition was validly dismissed on moral
grounds. It also argued for the first time that the LGBT sector is not among the sectors enumerated by the
Constitution and RA 7941. Thus Ladlad filed this petition for Certiorari under Rule 65.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Petitioner should be accredited as a party-list organization under RA 7941.

HELD:
The Supreme Court granted the petition and set aside the resolutions of the COMELEC. It also directed
the COMELEC to grant petitioners application for party-list accreditation.
The enumeration of marginalized and under-represented sectors is not exclusive. The crucial element
is not whether a sector is specifically enumerated, but whether a particular organization complies with the
requirements of the Constitution and RA 7941. Ang Ladlad has sufficiently demonstrated its compliance with
the legal requirements for accreditation. Nowhere in the records has the respondent ever found/ruled that Ang
Ladlad is not qualified to register as a party-list organization under any of the requisites under RA 7941.
Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5 that no law shall be made respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. At bottom, what our non-establishment clause calls for is
40

government neutrality in religious matters. Clearly, governmental reliance on religious justification is


inconsistent with this policy of neutrality.
Laws of general application should apply with equal force to LGBTs and they deserve to participate in the
party-list system on the same basis as other marginalized and under-represented sectors.
The principle of non-discrimination requires the laws of general application relating to elections be applied to all
persons, regardless of sexual orientation.

Province of North Cotabato v. Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on
Ancestral Domain (GRP), G.R. No. 183591, 14 October 2008
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in line with the governments policy of pursuing peace negotiations with
the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), asked Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad to convince the MILF to
continue negotiating with the government. MILF, thereafter, convened its Central Committee and decided to
meet with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). Formal peace talks were held in Libya
which resulted to the crafting of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace (Tripoli Agreement 2001) which
consists of three (3) aspects: a.) security aspect; b.) rehabilitation aspect; and c.) ancestral domain aspect.
Various negotiations were held which led to the finalization of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral
Domain (MOA-AD). The said memorandum was set to be signed last August 5, 2008. In its body, it grants
the authority and jurisdiction over the Ancestral Domain and Ancestral Lands of the Bangsamoro to the
Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE). The latter, in addition, has the freedom to enter into any economic
cooperation and trade relation with foreign countries. The sharing between the Central Government and the
BJE of total production pertaining to natural resources is to be 75:25 in favor of the BJE. The MOA-AD further
provides for the extent of the territory of the Bangsamoro. It describes it as the land mass as well as the
maritime, terrestrial, fluvial and alluvial domains, including the aerial domain and the atmospheric space above
it, embracing the Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan geographic region. With regard to governance, on the other hand, a
shared responsibility and authority between the Central Government and BJE was provided. The relationship
was described as associative. With the formulation of the MOA-AD, petitioners aver that the negotiation and
finalization of the MOA-AD violates constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation, as mandated
by Executive Order No. 3, and right to information. They further contend that it violates the Constitution and
laws. Hence, the filing of the petition.

ISSUES:

1) Whether or not the MOA-AD violates constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and right
to information 2) Whether or not the MOA-AD violates the Constitution and the laws.

HELD:

The MOA-AD subject of the present cases is of public concern, involving as it does the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of the State, which directly affects the lives of the public at large. Intended as a splendid
symmetry to the right to information under the Bill of Rights is the policy of public disclosure under Section 28,
Article II of the Constitution which provides that subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State
adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.
Moreover, the policy of full public disclosure enunciated in above-quoted Section 28 complements the right of
access to information on matters of public concern found in the Bill of Rights. The right to information
guarantees the right of the people to demand information, while Section 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom
to give information even if nobody demands. The policy of public disclosure establishes a concrete ethical
principle for the conduct of public affairs in a genuinely open democracy, with the peoples right to know as the
centerpiece. It is a mandate of the State to be accountable by following such policy. These provisions are vital
to the exercise of the freedom of expression and essential to hold public officials at all times accountable to the
people. Indubitably, the effectivity of the policy of public disclosure need not await the passing of a statute. As
Congress cannot revoke this principle, it is merely directed to provide for reasonable safeguards. The
complete and effective exercise of the right to information necessitates that its complementary provision on
public disclosure derive the same self-executory nature. Since both provisions go hand-in-hand, it is absurd to
41

say that the broader right to information on matters of public concern is already enforceable while the
correlative duty of the State to disclose its transactions involving public interest is not enforceable until there is
an enabling law. Respondents cannot thus point to the absence of an implementing legislation as an excuse in
not effecting such policy. An essential element of these freedoms is to keep open a continuing dialogue or
process of communication between the government and the people. It is in the interest of the State that the
channels for free political discussion be maintained to the end that the government may perceive and be
responsive to the peoples will. Envisioned to be corollary to the twin rights to information and disclosure is the
design for feedback mechanisms. The imperative of a public consultation, as a species of the right to
information, is evident in the marching orders to respondents. The mechanics for the duty to disclose
information and to conduct public consultation regarding the peace agenda and process is manifestly provided
by E.O. No. 3. The preambulatory clause of E.O. No. 3 declares that there is a need to further enhance the
contribution of civil society to the comprehensive peace process by institutionalizing the peoples participation.
One of the three underlying principles of the comprehensive peace process is that it should be community-
based, reflecting the sentiments, values and principles important to all Filipinos and shall be defined not by
the government alone, nor by the different contending groups only, but by all Filipinos as one community.
Included as a component of the comprehensive peace process is consensus-building and empowerment for
peace, which includes continuing consultations on both national and local levels to build consensus for a
peace agenda and process, and the mobilization and facilitation of peoples participation in the peace
process.Clearly, E.O. No. 3 contemplates not just the conduct of a plebiscite to effectuate continuing
consultations, contrary to respondents position that plebiscite is more than sufficient consultation.Further,
E.O. No. 3 enumerates the functions and responsibilities of the PAPP, one of which is to conduct regular
dialogues with the National Peace Forum (NPF) and other peace partners to seek relevant information,
comments, recommendations as well as to render appropriate and timely reports on the progress of the
comprehensive peace process. E.O. No. 3 mandates the establishment of the NPF to be the principal forum
for the Presidential Adviser on Peace Progress (PAPP) to consult with and seek advi[c]e from the peace
advocates, peace partners and concerned sectors of society on both national and local levels, on the
implementation of the comprehensive peace process, as well as for government[-]civil society dialogue and
consensus-building on peace agenda and initiatives. In fine, E.O. No. 3 establishes petitioners right to be
consulted on the peace agenda, as a corollary to the constitutional right to information and disclosure. In
general, the objections against the MOA-AD center on the extent of the powers conceded therein to the BJE.
Petitioners assert that the powers granted to the BJE exceed those granted to any local government under
present laws, and even go beyond those of the present ARMM. Before assessing some of the specific powers
that would have been vested in the BJE, however, it would be useful to turn first to a general idea that serves
as a unifying link to the different provisions of the MOA-AD, namely, the international law concept of
association. Significantly, the MOA-AD explicitly alludes to this concept, indicating that the Parties actually
framed its provisions with it in mind. Association is referred to in paragraph 3 on TERRITORY, paragraph 11
on RESOURCES, and paragraph 4 on GOVERNANCE. It is in the last mentioned provision, however, that the
MOA-AD most clearly uses it to describe the envisioned relationship between the BJE and the Central
Government.

4. The relationship between the Central Government and the Bangsamoro juridical entity shall be associative
characterized by shared authority and responsibility with a structure of governance based on executive,
legislative, judicial and administrative institutions with defined powers and functions in the comprehensive
compact. A period of transition shall be established in a comprehensive peace compact specifying the
relationship between the Central Government and the BJE. The nature of the associative relationship may
have been intended to be defined more precisely in the still to be forged Comprehensive Compact.
Nonetheless, given that there is a concept of association in international law, and the MOA-AD by its
inclusion of international law instruments in its TOR placed itself in an international legal context, that concept
of association may be brought to bear in understanding the use of the term associative in the MOA-AD. The
MOA-AD contains many provisions which are consistent with the international legal concept of association,
specifically the following: the BJEs capacity to enter into economic and trade relations with foreign countries,
the commitment of the Central Government to ensure the BJEs participation in meetings and events in the
ASEAN and the specialized UN agencies, and the continuing responsibility of the Central Government over
external defense. Moreover, the BJEs right to participate in Philippine official missions bearing on negotiation
42

of border agreements, environmental protection, and sharing of revenues pertaining to the bodies of water
adjacent to or between the islands forming part of the ancestral domain, resembles the right of the
governments of FSM and the Marshall Islands to be consulted by the U.S. government on any foreign affairs
matter affecting them. These provisions of the MOA indicate, among other things, that the Parties aimed to
vest in the BJE the status of an associated state or, at any rate, a status closely approximating it. The concept
of association is not recognized under the present Constitution. No province, city, or municipality, not even the
ARMM, is recognized under our laws as having an associative relationship with the national government.
Indeed, the concept implies powers that go beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to any local or
regional government. It also implies the recognition of the associated entity as a state. The Constitution,
however, does not contemplate any state in this jurisdiction other than the Philippine State, much less does it
provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare any part of Philippine territory for independence.
Even the mere concept animating many of the MOA-ADs provisions, therefore, already requires for its validity
the amendment of constitutional provisions, specifically the following provisions of Article X:
SECTION 1. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces, cities,
municipalities, and barangays. There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as
hereinafter provided. SECTION 15. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the
Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas sharing common and
distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics
within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the
Republic of the Philippines.
It is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM, the status of its relationship with the national government
being fundamentally different from that of the ARMM. Indeed, BJE is a state in all but name as it meets the
criteria of a state laid down in the Montevideo Convention, namely, a permanent population, a defined territory,
a government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states.
The defining concept underlying the relationship between the national government and the BJE being itself
contrary to the present Constitution, it is not surprising that many of the specific provisions of the M OA-AD on
the formation and powers of the BJE are in conflict with the Constitution and the laws. Article X, Section 18 of
the Constitution provides that [t]he creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a
majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose, provided that only
provinces, cities, and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous
region.
The BJE is more of a state than an autonomous region. But even assuming that it is covered by the term
autonomous region in the constitutional provision just quoted, the MOA-AD would still be in conflict with it.
Under paragraph 2(c) on TERRITORY in relation to 2(d) and 2(e), the present geographic area of the ARMM
and, in addition, the municipalities of Lanao del Norte which voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001
plebiscite Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal are automatically part of the BJE without
need of another plebiscite, in contrast to the areas under Categories A and B mentioned earlier in the
overview. That the present components of the ARMM and the above-mentioned municipalities voted for
inclusion therein in 2001, however, does not render another plebiscite unnecessary under the Constitution,
precisely because what these areas voted for then was their inclusion in the ARMM, not the BJE.
Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution must also be amended if the scheme envisioned in the MOA-AD is to
be effected. That constitutional provision states: The State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous
cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development. An associative arrangement
does not uphold national unity. While there may be a semblance of unity because of the associative ties
between the BJE and the national government, the act of placing a portion of Philippine territory in a status
which, in international practice, has generally been a preparation for independence, is certainly not conducive
to national unity.
The MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. Not only its specific provisions but
the very concept underlying them, namely, the associative relationship envisioned between the GRP and the
BJE, are unconstitutional, for the concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the
same is on its way to independence.
While there is a clause in the MOA-AD stating that the provisions thereof inconsistent with the present legal
framework will not be effective until that framework is amended, the same does not cure its defect. The
inclusion of provisions in the MOA-AD establishing an associative relationship between the BJE and the
43

Central Government is, itself, a violation of the Memorandum of Instructions from the President dated March 1,
2001, addressed to the government peace panel. Moreover, as the clause is worded, it virtually guarantees
that the necessary amendments to the Constitution and the laws will eventually be put in place. Neither the
GRP Peace Panel nor the President herself is authorized to make such a guarantee. Upholding such an act
would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress, a Constitutional
Convention, or the people themselves through the process of initiative, for the only way that the Executive can
ensure the outcome of the amendment process is through an undue influence or interference with that
process.

Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, 204957, 204988, 205003, 205043, 205138, 205478,
205491, 205720, 206355, 207111, 207172 & 207563, 08 April 2014
This a Landmark Case not only citing the validity of the RH Bill but also the classic scenario where of the
Catholic Church vs the Government. It is no secret that the Catholic Church plays political power in the
Philippines for many years. This displays ow the separation of the State and the Church paves it way.

On December 21, 2012, the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10354, otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood
and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RH Law), was enacted by Congress.

14 petitions and 2 petitions-in-intervention were filed by petitioners praying for the declaration of the RH Law as
unconstitutional on the grounds, as alleged by the petitioners, that it violates:

1. Rights to life
2. Rights to health
3. Freedom of expression and speech
4. Privacy of families
5. Academic freedom
6. Due process of law
7. Equal protection and
8. Against involuntary servitude.

Petitioners also contended that RH law intrudes in the autonomy of local governments and the ARMM, and
violate the natural law, and that delegation of authority to the FDA is invalid.

On March 15, 2013, the RH law took effect but on March 19, 2013, after considering the issues and arguments
raised, the Court issued the Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO), which effected a 120-day halt on the
implementation or until July 17, 2013.

The Status Quo Ante generally states that the government has already supported this kind of law even as early
as 1966 until August 2009. The Status Quo Ante shows the series of laws enacted which concludes the RH Bill
is just an enhancement measure to fortify and make effective the current laws on contraception, women's
health and population control.

Despite the legislative measures in the past, the population of the country kept on galloping at an
uncontrollable pace. The RH Law role is to make it mandatory for health providers to provide information on
the full range of modem family planning methods, supplies and services, and for schools to provide
reproductive health education. To put teeth to it, the RH Law criminalizes certain acts of refusals to carry out its
mandates.

On May 30, 2013, the Court held a preliminary conference with the counsels of the parties to identify the
pertinent issues raised by the parties and the sequence by which these issues were to be discussed in the oral
arguments.
44

On July 9 and 23, 2013, and on August 6, 13, and 27, 2013, the cases were heard on oral argument.

On July 16, 2013, the SQAO was ordered extended until further orders of the Court.

Thereafter, the Court directed the parties to submit their respective memoranda within sixty (60) days and, at
the same time posed several questions for their clarification on some contentions of the parties.

Petitioners prayed to maintain the status quo.

ISSUES

I. PROCEDURAL ISSUES:

1] Power of Judicial Review


2] Actual Case or Controversy
3] Facial Challenge
4] Locus Standi
5] Declaratory Relief
6] One Subject/One Title Rule

II. SUBSTANTIVE: Whether the RH law is unconstitutional:

1] Right to Life
2] Right to Health
3] Freedom of Religion and the Right to Free Speech
4] The Family
5] Freedom of Expression and Academic Freedom
6] Due Process
7] Equal Protection
8] Involuntary Servitude
9] Delegation of Authority to the FDA
10] Autonomy of Local Govemment/ARMM

RULING ON PROCEDURAL ISSUES

1. Whether the Court can exercise its power of judicial review over the controversy.

YES. The Court may pass upon the constitutionality of acts of the legislative and the executive branches, since
its duty is not to review their collective wisdom but to make sure that they have acted in consonance with their
respective authorities and rights as mandated of them by the Constitution. If after said review, the Court finds
no constitutional violations of any sort, then, it has no more authority of proscribing the actions under review.
This is in line with Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution which expressly provides:

Judicial review is limited by four exacting requisites, viz : (a) there must be an actual case or controversy; (b)
the petitioners must possess locus standi; (c) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest
opportunity; and (d) the issue of constitutionality must be the lis mota of the case.

All requisites were met.

2. Whether on Not there is an Actual Case or Controversy


45

Yes. An actual case or controversy means an existing case or controversy that is appropriate or ripe for
determination, not conjectural or anticipatory, lest the decision of the court would amount to an advisory
opinion.
Considering that the RH Law has already taken effect and that budgetary measures have already been
passed, the subject petitions present a justiciable controversy. As stated earlier, when an action of the
legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it not only becomes a right, but also a
duty of the Judiciary to settle the dispute.

3. Whether or not the court my apply Facial Challenge

Yes it can. This Court, under its expanded jurisdiction, is mandated by the Fundamental Law not only to settle
actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, but also to determine
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of any branch of the Government.

4. Whether or not the Petitioners have Locus Standi

Yes. The petitioners invoke the "transcendental importance" doctrine and their status as citizens and taxpayers
in establishing the requisite locus standi. The Court cannot exercise judicial restraint at this time when rights
enshrined in the Constitution are being imperilled to be violated. To do so, when the life of either the mother or
her child is at stake, would lead to irreparable consequences.

5. Whether or not Petitioners are praying for Declaratory Relief

YES. The respondents also assail the petitions because they are essentially petitions for declaratory relief over
which the Court has no original jurisdiction. Suffice it to state that most of the petitions are praying for injunctive
reliefs and so the Court would just consider them as petitions for prohibition under Rule 65, over which it has
original jurisdiction. Where the case has far-reaching implications and prays for injunctive reliefs, the Court
may consider them as petitions for prohibition.

6. Whether or not the One Subject-One Title is violated

NO. The RH Law does not violate the one subject/one bill rule: The one subject/one title rule expresses the
principle that the title of a law must not be "so uncertain that the average person reading it would not be
informed of the purpose of the enactment or put on inquiry as to its contents, or which is misleading, either in
referring to or indicating one subject where another or different one is really embraced in the act, or in omitting
any expression or indication of the real subject or scope of the act.

Considering the close intimacy between "reproductive health" and "responsible parenthood" which bears to the
attainment of the goal of achieving "sustainable human development" as stated under its terms, the Court finds
no reason to believe that Congress intentionally sought to deceive the public as to the contents of the assailed
legislation.

RULING ON SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES

1. Does RH Bill violate the Right to life? No.

This issue relies on the answer as to when life of a fetus begins in order to define life. It was established that
life is not synonymous with civil personality. One need not acquire civil personality first before he/she could die.
Even a child inside the womb already has life.

After study of the deliberation of the framers of the law, it was established that life begins at fertilization, so that
when there is no union yet of the sperm and egg, there is no life to speak of and there is no right to be
protected yet.
46

Contraceptives that kill the ovum (fertilized egg) are banned. Only those that prevent the union of the egg and
sperm are permitted to be used.

2. Does RH Bill violate The Right to Health? No.

In the distribution by the DOH of contraceptive drugs and devices, the provisions of R.A. No. 4729 ensures that
the contraceptives to be procured shall be from a duly licensed drug store or pharmaceutical company and that
the actual dispensation of these contraceptive drugs and devices will done following a prescription of a
qualified medical practitioner. The distribution of contraceptive drugs and devices must not be indiscriminately
done. The public health must be protected by all possible means.
3 Freedom of Religion and the Right to Free Speech

Does RH bill violate Right to Freedom of Religion? No.

The state may still pursue its objectives without being dictated by policies of any religion. To allow any
religion to dictate the state would be unconstitutional. By seeking the declaration that the RH Law is
unconstitutional, the petitioners are asking that the Court recognize only the Catholic Church's sanctioned
natural family planning methods and impose this on the entire citizenry.

Does RH Law violate Right to Free Speech? Yes.

RH law threatens conscientious objectors of criminal prosecution, imprisonment and other forms of
punishment, as it compels medical practitioners 1] to refer patients who seek advice on reproductive health
programs to other doctors; and 2] to provide full and correct information on reproductive health programs and
service even against their beliefs. As the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RH Law provides, skilled
health professionals who are public officers such as, but not limited to, Provincial, City, or Municipal Health
Officers, medical officers, medical specialists, rural health physicians, hospital staff nurses, public health
nurses, or rural health midwives, who are specifically charged with the duty to implement these Rules, cannot
object as they are considered as conscientious objectors, thus suppressing the right of free speech.

4-Does the RH Law violate constitutional provisions on the Family and the Right to Privacy? Yes

RH law violates the provisions of the Constitution by intruding into marital privacy and autonomy by
giving absolute authority to the spouse who would undergo a procedure, and barring the other spouse from
participating in the decision would drive a wedge between the husband and wife, possibly result in bitter
animosity. So as debarment of parental consent in cases where the minor, who will be undergoing a
procedure, is already a parent or has had a miscarriage. Even if she is not yet emancipated, the parental
authority is already cut off just because there is a need to tame population growth.

5 Does RH Law violate constitutional provisions on Academic Freedom? Undecided.

At this point, suffice it to state that any attack on the validity of Section 14 of the RH Law is premature because
the Department of Education, Culture and Sports has yet to formulate a curriculum on age-appropriate
reproductive health education.

While the Court notes the possibility that educators might raise their objection to their participation in the
reproductive health education program provided under Section 14 of the RH Law on the ground that the same
violates their religious beliefs, the Court reserves its judgment should an actual case be filed before it.

6 Does RH Law violate constitutional provision on Due Process? No.

The RH law is not vague and confusing. Private health care institution is the same with private health
care service provider. The same with service and methods.
47

7-Does RH law violate constitutional provisions on Equal Protection? No.

Pursuant to Section 11, Article XIII of the Constitution recognizes the distinct necessity to address the needs of
the underprivileged by providing that they be given priority in addressing the health development of the people.
RH Law prioritizes poor and marginalized couples who are suffering from fertility issues and desire to have
children. It also sanctions abortion as Section 3(1) explains, the "promotion and/or stabilization of the
population growth rate is incidental to the advancement of reproductive health."

8- Does RH law violate constitutional provisions on Involuntary Servitude? No.

While petitioners aver that requiring private and non-government health care service providers to render forty-
eight (48) hours of pro bono reproductive health services amounts to involuntary servitude because it requires
medical practitioners to perform acts against their will, it can hardly be considered as forced labor, as
reproductive health care service providers have the discretion as to the manner and time of giving pro bono
services.

9-Whether or not the Delegation of Authority to the FDA is valid. Yes.

Section 4 of R.A. No. 3 720, as amended by R.A. No. 9711 states that powers and duties of the FDA are
specific to enable the agency to carry out the mandates of the law. Being the country's premiere and sole
agency that ensures the safety of food and medicines available to the public, the FDA was equipped with the
necessary powers and functions to make it effective.

10- Does RH Law Infringe Autonomy of Local Governments and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM)? NO.

Unless an LGU is particularly designated as the implementing agency, it has no power over a program for
which funding has been provided by the national government under the annual general appropriations act,
even if the program involves the delivery of basic services within the jurisdiction of the LGU.
In this case, a reading of the RH Law clearly shows that whether it pertains to the establishment of health care
facilities, the hiring of skilled health professionals, or the training of barangay health workers, it will be the
national government that will provide for the funding of its implementation. Local autonomy is not absolute. The
national government still has the say when it comes to national priority programs which the local government is
called upon to implement like the RH Law.
The fact that the RH Law does not intrude in the autonomy of local governments can be equally applied to the
ARMM. The RH Law does not infringe upon its autonomy.

11 - Natural Law

The Court does not duly recognize it as a legal basis for upholding or invalidating a law. Our only guidepost is
the Constitution. While every law enacted by man emanated from what is perceived as natural law, the Court is
not obliged to see if a statute, executive issuance or ordinance is in conformity to it.
At any rate, as earlier expounded, the RH Law does not sanction the taking away of life. It does not allow
abortion in any shape or form. It only seeks to enhance the population control program of the government by
providing information and making non-abortifacient contraceptives more readily available to the public,
especially to the poor.
HELD:

Petitions are PARTIALLY GRANTED. Accordingly, the Court declares R.A. No. 10354 as NOT
UNCONSTITUTIONAL except with respect to the following provisions which are declared
UNCONSTITUTIONAL:
48

1) Section 7 and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they: a) require private health
facilities and non-maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group to refer
patients, not in an emergency or life-threatening case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to another
health facility which is conveniently accessible; and b) allow minor-parents or minors who have suffered a
miscarriage access to modem methods of family planning without written consent from their parents or
guardian/s;

2) Section 23(a)(l) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5 .24 thereof,
insofar as they punish any healthcare service provider who fails and or refuses to disseminate information
regarding programs and services on reproductive health regardless of his or her religious beliefs.
3) Section 23(a)(2)(i) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they allow a married
individual, not in an emergency or life-threatening case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to undergo
reproductive health procedures without the consent of the spouse;

4) Section 23(a)(2)(ii) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they limit the requirement
of parental consent only to elective surgical procedures.

5) Section 23(a)(3) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5.24 thereof,
insofar as they punish any healthcare service provider who fails and/or refuses to refer a patient not in an
emergency or life-threatening case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to another health care service
provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible regardless of his or her religious
beliefs;

6) Section 23(b) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5 .24 thereof, insofar
as they punish any public officer who refuses to support reproductive health programs or shall do any act that
hinders the full implementation of a reproductive health program, regardless of his or her religious beliefs;

7) Section 17 and the corresponding prov1s10n in the RH-IRR regarding the rendering of pro bona
reproductive health service in so far as they affect the conscientious objector in securing PhilHealth
accreditation; and

8) Section 3.0l(a) and Section 3.01 G) of the RH-IRR, which added the qualifier "primarily" in defining
abortifacients and contraceptives, as they are ultra vires and, therefore, null and void for contravening Section
4(a) of the RH Law and violating Section 12, Article II of the Constitution.

The Status Quo Ante Order issued by the Court on March 19, 2013 as extended by its Order, dated July 16,
2013 is hereby LIFTED, insofar as the provisions of R.A. No. 10354 which have been herein declared as
constitutional.

SO ORDERED.

JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA


Associate Justice

Oposa v. Factoran, G.R. No. 101083, 30 July 1993


A taxpayers class suit was filed by minors Juan Antonio Oposa, et al., representing their generation and
generations yet unborn, and represented by their parents against Fulgencio Factoran Jr., Secretary of DENR.
They prayed that judgment be rendered ordering the defendant, his agents, representatives and other persons
acting in his behalf to:

1. Cancel all existing Timber Licensing Agreements (TLA) in the country;


49

2. Cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing, or appraising new TLAs;

and granting the plaintiffs such other reliefs just and equitable under the premises. They alleged that they
have a clear and constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology and are entitled to protection by the
State in its capacity as parens patriae. Furthermore, they claim that the act of the defendant in allowing TLA
holders to cut and deforest the remaining forests constitutes a misappropriation and/or impairment of the
natural resources property he holds in trust for the benefit of the plaintiff minors and succeeding generations.
The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the following grounds:

1. Plaintiffs have no cause of action against him;


2. The issues raised by the plaintiffs is a political question which properly pertains to the legislative
or executive branches of the government.

ISSUE:
Do the petitioner-minors have a cause of action in filing a class suit to prevent the misappropriation or
impairment of Philippine rainforests?

HELD:
Yes. Petitioner-minors assert that they represent their generation as well as generations to come. The
Supreme Court ruled that they can, for themselves, for others of their generation, and for the succeeding
generation, file a class suit. Their personality to sue in behalf of succeeding generations is based on the
concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is
concerned. Such a right considers the rhythm and harmony of nature which indispensably include, inter alia,
the judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the countrys forest, mineral,
land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, offshore areas and other natural resources to the end that their exploration,
development, and utilization be equitably accessible to the present as well as the future generations.
Needless to say, every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony for the
full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, the minors assertion of their right to a
sound environment constitutes at the same time, the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of
that right for the generations to come.

Separation of Powers
Essence. In essence, separation of powers meansthat legislation belongs to Congress, execution tothe
executive, settlement of legal controversies tothe judiciary. Each is prevented from invading thedomain of
others. (Bernas, Commentary 656, 2003ed.)

Division and Assignment. Its starting point is theassumption of the division of the functions of the
government into three distinct classestheexecutive, the legislative and the judicial. Itsessence consists in the
assignment of each classof functions to one of the three organs of government.

Theory. The theory is that a power definitelyassigned by the Constitution to one departmentcan neither be
surrendered nor delegated by that department, nor vested by statute in another department or agency.

Reason. The underlying reason of this principle is the assumption that arbitrary rule and abuse of
authority would inevitably result from the concentration of the three powers of government in the same person,
body of persons or organ.

More specifically, according to Justice Laurel, the doctrine of separation of powers is intended to:
1. Secure action
2. To forestall overaction
3. To prevent despotism
50

4. To obtain efficiency

History. Separation of powers became the pith and core of the American system of government largely
through the influence of the French political writer Montesquieu. By the establishment of theAmerican
sovereignty in the Philippines, the principle was introduced as an inseparable feature of the governmental
system organized by the United States in this country.

Limitations on the Principle


1. System of Checks and Balances
2. Existence of overlapping powers

The Doctrine of Separation of Powers entails: first, the division of the powers of the government into three,
which are legislative, executive, and judicial; and second, the distribution of these powers to the three major
branches of the government, which are the Legislative Department, Executive Department, and the Judicial
Department. Basically, it means that the Legislative Department is generally limited to the enactment of the law
and not to implementation or interpretation of the same; the Executive Department is generally limited to the
implementation of the law and not to the enactment or interpretation of the same; and the Judicial Department
is generally limited to the interpretation and application of laws in specific cases and not to the making or
implementation of the same.

The principle of separation of powers is explained by the Court in the leading case of Angara v. Electoral
Commission:

The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. It obtains not through
express provision but by actual division in our Constitution. Each department of the government has exclusive
cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere. But it does not follow from
the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be
absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system
of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. x
x x And the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter, effectively checks the other
department in its exercise of its power to determine the law, and hence to declare executive and legislative
acts void if violative of the Constitution

Purpose of the Doctrine


Prevention of Monopoly of Power. Separation of powers is said to be an attribute of republicanism, in that,
among other reasons, it seeks to prevent monopoly or concentration of power to one person or group of
persons, and thereby forestalls dictatorship or despotism. Sovereignty resides in the people, and it should
remain that way. Government officials, who are the representatives of the people, must exercise the powers of
their office in the interest of the public. While representational exercise of power brings out the essence of
republicanism, too much concentration of power rips it apart, as was experienced some administrations.

Separation not Exclusive


Important to understand is the meaning of separation not as exclusivity but as collaboration. While each of
the Departments exercises its respective power, it does so in collaboration with the other Departments
because in the end they all belong to one unified government with a common purpose. Appointment, for
example, of Members of the Supreme Court by the President must be upon the recommendation of the Judicial
and Bar Council. In here before the President, who belongs to the executive branch, appoint a Supreme Court
justice, a recommendation must first be given to him by the JBC, which is an independent body in the judiciary.
Another example would be the use of public funds. In here, the President prepares the budget, on the basis of
which the Congress enacts an appropriations bill which will then be submitted and approved by the President.

Belgica v. Ochoa, G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493 and 209251, 19 November 2013
Legislative Department Invalid Delegation of Legislative Power
This case is consolidated with G.R. No. 208493 and G.R. No. 209251.
51

The so-called pork barrel system has been around in the Philippines since about 1922. Pork Barrel is
commonly known as the lump-sum, discretionary funds of the members of the Congress. It underwent several
legal designations from Congressional Pork Barrel to the latest Priority Development Assistance Fund or
PDAF. The allocation for the pork barrel is integrated in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Since 2011, the allocation of the PDAF has been done in the following manner:

a. P70 million: for each member of the lower house; broken down to P40 million for hard projects
(infrastructure projects like roads, buildings, schools, etc.), and P30 million for soft projects (scholarship
grants, medical assistance, livelihood programs, IT development, etc.);

b. P200 million: for each senator; broken down to P100 million for hard projects, P100 million for soft
projects;

c. P200 million: for the Vice-President; broken down to P100 million for hard projects, P100 million for soft
projects.

The PDAF articles in the GAA do provide for realignment of funds whereby certain cabinet members may
request for the realignment of funds into their department provided that the request for realignment is approved
or concurred by the legislator concerned.

Presidential Pork Barrel

The president does have his own source of fund albeit not included in the GAA. The so-called presidential pork
barrel comes from two sources: (a) the Malampaya Funds, from the Malampaya Gas Project this has been
around since 1976, and (b) the Presidential Social Fund which is derived from the earnings of PAGCOR this
has been around since about 1983.

Pork Barrel Scam Controversy

Ever since, the pork barrel system has been besieged by allegations of corruption. In July 2013, six whistle
blowers, headed by Benhur Luy, exposed that for the last decade, the corruption in the pork barrel system had
been facilitated by Janet Lim Napoles. Napoles had been helping lawmakers in funneling their pork barrel
funds into about 20 bogus NGOs (non-government organizations) which would make it appear that
government funds are being used in legit existing projects but are in fact going to ghost projects. An audit
was then conducted by the Commission on Audit and the results thereof concurred with the exposes of Luy et
al.

Motivated by the foregoing, Greco Belgica and several others, filed various petitions before the Supreme Court
questioning the constitutionality of the pork barrel system.

ISSUES:

I. Whether or not the congressional pork barrel system is constitutional.

II. Whether or not presidential pork barrel system is constitutional.

HELD:

I. No, the congressional pork barrel system is unconstitutional. It is unconstitutional because it violates the
following principles:
52

a. Separation of Powers

As a rule, the budgeting power lies in Congress. It regulates the release of funds (power of the purse). The
executive, on the other hand, implements the laws this includes the GAA to which the PDAF is a part of. Only
the executive may implement the law but under the pork barrel system, whats happening was that, after the
GAA, itself a law, was enacted, the legislators themselves dictate as to which projects their PDAF funds should
be allocated to a clear act of implementing the law they enacted a violation of the principle of separation of
powers. (Note in the older case of PHILCONSA vs Enriquez, it was ruled that pork barrel, then called as CDF
or the Countrywide Development Fund, was constitutional insofar as the legislators only recommend where
their pork barrel funds go).

This is also highlighted by the fact that in realigning the PDAF, the executive will still have to get the
concurrence of the legislator concerned.

b. Non-delegability of Legislative Power

As a rule, the Constitution vests legislative power in Congress alone. (The Constitution does grant the people
legislative power but only insofar as the processes of referendum and initiative are concerned). That being,
legislative power cannot be delegated by Congress for it cannot delegate further that which was delegated to it
by the Constitution.

Exceptions to the rule are:

(i) delegated legislative power to local government units but this shall involve purely local matters;

(ii) authority of the President to, by law, exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national
policy in times of war or other national emergency, or fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations
and restrictions as Congress may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues,
and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the Government.

In this case, the PDAF articles which allow the individual legislator to identify the projects to which his PDAF
money should go to is a violation of the rule on non-delegability of legislative power. The power to appropriate
funds is solely lodged in Congress (in the two houses comprising it) collectively and not lodged in the individual
members. Further, nowhere in the exceptions does it state that the Congress can delegate the power to the
individual member of Congress.

c. Principle of Checks and Balances

One feature in the principle of checks and balances is the power of the president to veto items in the GAA
which he may deem to be inappropriate. But this power is already being undermined because of the fact that
once the GAA is approved, the legislator can now identify the project to which he will appropriate his PDAF.
Under such system, how can the president veto the appropriation made by the legislator if the appropriation is
made after the approval of the GAA again, Congress cannot choose a mode of budgeting which effectively
renders the constitutionally-given power of the President useless.

d. Local Autonomy

As a rule, the local governments have the power to manage their local affairs. Through their Local
Development Councils (LDCs), the LGUs can develop their own programs and policies concerning their
localities. But with the PDAF, particularly on the part of the members of the house of representatives, whats
happening is that a congressman can either bypass or duplicate a project by the LDC and later on claim it as
his own. This is an instance where the national government (note, a congressman is a national officer)
meddles with the affairs of the local government and this is contrary to the State policy embodied in the
53

Constitution on local autonomy. Its good if thats all that is happening under the pork barrel system but worse,
the PDAF becomes more of a personal fund on the part of legislators.

II. Yes, the presidential pork barrel is valid.

The main issue raised by Belgica et al against the presidential pork barrel is that it is unconstitutional because
it violates Section 29 (1), Article VI of the Constitution which provides:

No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.

Belgica et al emphasized that the presidential pork comes from the earnings of the Malampaya and PAGCOR
and not from any appropriation from a particular legislation.

The Supreme Court disagrees as it ruled that PD 910, which created the Malampaya Fund, as well as PD 1869
(as amended by PD 1993), which amended PAGCORs charter, provided for the appropriation, to wit:

(i) PD 910: Section 8 thereof provides that all fees, among others, collected from certain energy-related
ventures shall form part of a special fund (the Malampaya Fund) which shall be used to further finance energy
resource development and for other purposes which the President may direct;

(ii) PD 1869, as amended: Section 12 thereof provides that a part of PAGCORs earnings shall be allocated to
a General Fund (the Presidential Social Fund) which shall be used in government infrastructure projects.

These are sufficient laws which met the requirement of Section 29, Article VI of the Constitution. The
appropriation contemplated therein does not have to be a particular appropriation as it can be a general
appropriation as in the case of PD 910 and PD 1869.

AbakadaGuro Party List v. Purisma, G.R. No. 166715, 14 August 2008


Petitioners seeks to prevent respondents from implementing and enforcing Republic Act (RA) 9335. R.A. 9335
was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue
(BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The law intends to encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees
to exceed their revenue targets by providing a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a
Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board). It covers all
officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC with at least six months of service, regardless of employment
status.

Petitioners, invoking their right as taxpayers filed this petition challenging the constitutionality of RA 9335, a tax
reform legislation. They contend that, by establishing a system of rewards and incentives, the law transforms
the officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC into mercenaries and bounty hunters as they will do their
best only in consideration of such rewards. Thus, the system of rewards and incentives invites corruption and
undermines the constitutionally mandated duty of these officials and employees to serve the people with
utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency.

Petitioners also claim that limiting the scope of the system of rewards and incentives only to officials and
employees of the BIR and the BOC violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection. There is no valid
basis for classification or distinction as to why such a system should not apply to officials and employees of all
other government agencies.

In addition, petitioners assert that the law unduly delegates the power to fix revenue targets to the President as
it lacks a sufficient standard on that matter. While Section 7(b) and (c) of RA 9335 provides that BIR and BOC
officials may be dismissed from the service if their revenue collections fall short of the target by at least 7.5%,
the law does not, however, fix the revenue targets to be achieved. Instead, the fixing of revenue targets has
54

been delegated to the President without sufficient standards. It will therefore be easy for the President to fix an
unrealistic and unattainable target in order to dismiss BIR or BOC personnel.

Finally, petitioners assail the creation of a congressional oversight committee on the ground that it violates the
doctrine of separation of powers. While the legislative function is deemed accomplished and completed upon
the enactment and approval of the law, the creation of the congressional oversight committee permits
legislative participation in the implementation and enforcement of the law.

Issues:

Whether or not the scope of the system of rewards and incentives limitation to officials and employees of the
BIR and the BOC violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.
Whether or not there was an unduly delegation of power to fix revenue targets to the President.
Whether or not the doctrine of separation of powers has been violated in the creation of a congressional
oversight committee.

Discussions:

The Court referred to the ruling of Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers Union, which states that the guaranty
of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the application of the laws upon all citizens of the
State.
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. Classification in law, as in the
other departments of knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice because they
agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of
classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of inequality in no manner
determines the matter of constitutionality.

The Court has held that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable
foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary.

To determine the validity of delegation of legislative power, it needs the following: (1) the completeness test
and (2) the sufficient standard test. A law is complete when it sets forth therein the policy to be executed,
carried out or implemented by the delegate. It lays down a sufficient standard when it provides adequate
guidelines or limitations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegates authority and prevent the
delegation from running riot. To be sufficient, the standard must specify the limits of the delegates authority,
announce the legislative policy and identify the conditions under which it is to be implemented.
Based from the ruling under Macalintal v. Commission on Elections, it is clear that congressional oversight is
not unconstitutional per se, meaning, it neither necessarily constitutes an encroachment on the executive
power to implement laws nor undermines the constitutional separation of powers. Rather, it is integral to the
checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of government. It may in fact even enhance the
separation of powers as it prevents the over-accumulation of power in the executive branch.

Checks and Balances


Under the doctrine, there is no absolute separation of the three branches of the government, but to maintain
their coequality each department checks the power of the others. Generally, the departments cannot encroach
each others power, but constitutional mechanisms allow each one of them to perform acts that would check
the power of others to prevent monopoly, concentration, and abuse of power. For example, the Judicial and
Bar Council recommends nominees to the President so that the latter will not capriciously appoint someone
whom he can easily convert into a puppet and thereby become his medium to control the judiciary. In the same
way, the disbursement of public funds cannot depend solely upon the discretion of the President, but must be
based on legislation by the Congress.
55

Belgica v. Ochoa, G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493 and 209251, 19 November 2013

Gonzales III v. Office of the President, G.R. Nos. 196231 & 196232, 28 January 2014
Emilio A. Gonzales III vs. Office of the PresidentG.R. Nos. 196231 & 196232 September 4, 2012Perlas-
Bernabe, J
.FACTS:Sometime in 2008, a formal charge for Grave Misconduct was filed before the PNP-NCRagainst
Rolando Mendoza and four others. While said cases were still pending, the Office of the Regional Director of
the National Police Commission (NPC) turned over, upon the request of petitioner Emilio A. Gonzales III, all
relevant documents and evidence in relation to said case to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for
appropriate administrative adjudication. On February 16, 2009, upon the recommendation of petitioner Emilio
Gonzales III, a Decision finding Rolando Mendoza and his fellow police officers guilty of Grave Misconduct was
approved by the Ombudsman. They filed a Motion for Reconsideration. On December 14, 2009, the pleadings
mentioned and the records of the case were assigned for review and recommendation to Graft Investigation
and Prosecutor Officer Dennis L. Garcia, who released a draft Order on April 5, 2010 for appropriate action by
his immediate superior, Director Eulogio S. Cecilio, who, in turn, signed and forwarded said Order to petitioner
Gonzalez's office on April 27, 2010. Not more than ten (10) days after, more particularly on May 6, 2010,
petitioner endorsed the Order, together with the case records, for final approval by Ombudsman Merceditas N.
Gutierrez, in whose office it remained pending for final review and action when Mendoza hijacked a bus-load of
foreign tourists on that fateful day of August 23, 2010 in a desperate attempt to have himself reinstated in the
police service. In the aftermath of the hostage-taking incident, a public outcry against the blundering of
government officials prompted the creation of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC). It was
tasked to determine accountability for the incident through the conduct of public hearings and executive
sessions. However, petitioner, as well as the Ombudsman herself, refused to participate in the IIRC
proceedings on the assertion that the Office of the Ombudsman is an independent constitutional body. The
IIRC eventually identified petitioner Gonzales to be among those in whom culpability must lie. It recommended
that its findings with respect to petitioner Gonzales be referred to the Office of the President (OP) for further
determination of possible administrative offenses and for the initiation of the proper administrative proceedings.
On October 15, 2010, the OP instituted a Formal Charge against petitioner. Petitioners asseverate that the
President has no disciplinary jurisdiction over them considering that the Office of the Ombudsman to which
they belong is clothed with constitutional independence and that they, as Deputy Ombudsman and Special
Prosecutor therein, necessarily bear the constitutional attributes of said office.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Office of the President, acting through individual respondents, has constitutional or
valid statutory authority to subject petitioner to an administrative investigation and to thereafter order his
removal as Deputy Ombudsman.

HELD: Yes. While the Ombudsman's authority to discipline administratively is extensive and covers all
government officials, whether appointive or elective, with the exception only of those officials removable by
impeachment, the members of congress and the judiciary, such authority is by no means exclusive. Petitioners
cannot insist that they should be solely and directly subject to the disciplinary authority of the Ombudsman.
For, while Section 21 declares the Ombudsman's disciplinary authority over all government officials, Section
8(2), on the other hand, grants the President express power of removal over a Deputy Ombudsman and a
Special Prosecutor. It is a basic canon of statutory construction that in interpreting a statute, care should be
taken that every part thereof be given effect, on the theory that it was enacted as an integrated measure and
not as a hodgepodge of conflicting provisions. A construction that would render a provision inoperative should
be avoided; instead, apparently inconsistent provisions should be reconciled whenever possible as parts of a
coordinated and harmonious whole. Indubitably, the manifest intent of Congress in enacting both provisions -
Section 8(2) and Section 21 - in the same Organic Act was to provide for an external authority, through the
person of the President, that would exercise the power of administrative discipline over the Deputy
Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor without in the least diminishing the constitutional and plenary authority of
the Ombudsman over all government officials and employees. Such legislative design is simply a measure of
"check and balance" intended to address the lawmakers' real and valid concern that the Ombudsman and his
Deputy may try to protect one another from administrative liabilities.
56

Delegation of Powers
What is Delegation of Powers?
Fundamentally, legislative power is an attribute of sovereignty, in that the Constitution itself, the fundamental
law of the State, is a legislation of the sovereign people. However, through the Constitution, the people
delegated the legislative power to the Congress of the Philippines. Section 1, Article VI states that
Legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines The delegation of power entails a
surrender of authority to the representatives, or in the case of legislative power, to the Congress. Thus, law-
making can only be performed by the Congress, even if the law it enacts involves the people.

What is the Principle of Non-delegation of Powers?


The Congress cannot further delegate the power delegated to it by the people. This is in keeping with the
principle of non-delegation of powers which is applicable to all the three branches of the government. The rule
states that what has been delegated cannot further be delegated potestas delegata non delegari potest. A
delegated power must be discharged directly by the delegate and not through the delegates agent. It is
basically an ethical principle which requires direct performance by the delegate of an entrusted power. Further
delegation therefore constitutes violation of the trust reposed by the delegator on the delegate. The people,
through the Constitution, delegated lawmaking powers to the Congress, and as such, it cannot as a rule
delegate further the same to another.

Exceptions to the Principle of Non-delegation of Powers


Permissible Delegation:
(1) Delegation of tariff powers to the President.

Article 6, Section 28(2). The Congress may by law authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and
subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and
wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts, within the framework of the national development program of the
Government.

- the reason for this delegation is the necessity, not to say expediency, of giving the chief executive the
authority to act immediately on certain matters affecting the national economy lest delay result in hardship to
the people.

(2) Delegation of emergency powers to the President.

Article 6, Section 23(2). In times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may by law authorize the
President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers
necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the
Congress, such powers shall cease upon its next adjournment.

The conditions for the vesture of emergency powers in the President are the following:
a. There must be war or other national emergency.
b. The delegation must be for a limited period only.
c. The delegation must be subject to such restrictions as the Congress may prescribe.
d. The emergency powers must be exercised to carry out a national policy declared by the Congress.

Important points:
* the emergency powers are self-liquidating unless sooner withdrawn.
* Conferment of emergency powers on the President is not mandatory on the Congress. The Congress may
choose to hold on to its legislative powers and validly refuse to delegate it.

(3) Delegation to the people at large.


57

- The Congress further delegates its legislative power by allowing direct legislation by the people in cases of
initiative and referendum.

(4) Delegation to local governments.


- This delegation is based on the principle that the local government is in better position than the national
government to act on purely local concerns. Legislative power is therefore given to them for effective local
legislation.

(5) Delegation to administrative bodies.


- The Congress delegates the so called power of subordinate legislation to administrative bodies. Due to the
growing complexity of modern society, it has become necessary to allow specialized administrative bodies to
promulgate supplementary rules, so that they can deal with technical problems with more expertise and
dispatch than the Congress or the courts. Regulations or supplementary rules passed by the administrative
bodies are intended to fill-in the gaps and provide details to what is otherwise a broad statute passed by
Congress. For the rules and regulations to be valid and binding, they must be in accordance with the statute on
which they are based, complete in themselves, and fix sufficient standards. If any of the requirements is not
satisfied, the regulation will not be allowed to affect private rights

The Completeness Test


Ideally, the law must be complete in all its essential terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature so that
there will be nothing left for the delegate to do when it reaches him except enforce it.

Sufficient Standard Test


It is intended to map out the boundaries of the delegates authority by defining the legislative policy and
indicating the circumstances under which it is to be pursued and effected. The purpose of the sufficient
standard is to prevent a total transference of legislative power from the lawmaking body to the delegate.

Bureau of Customs Employees Association v. Teves, G.R. No. 181704, 06 December 2011
R.A. No. 9335, otherwise known as the Attrition Act of 2005 and its IRR are constitutional.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo enacted R.A. No. 9335, otherwise known as the Attrition Act of
2005 to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and
the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The law intends to encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees to exceed
their revenue targets by providing a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and
Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board). It covers all officials and
employees of the BIR and the BOC with at least six months of service, regardless of employment status.

Contending that the enactment and implementation of R.A. No. 9335 are tainted with constitutional infirmities in
violation of the fundamental rights of its members, petitioner Bureau of Customs Employees Association
(BOCEA), directly filed the present petition before this Court against respondents.

In essence, BOCEA contends that R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR (1) gives an undue delegation of legislative
power to the Board; (2) violates the rights of BOCEAs members to: (a) equal protection of laws, (b) security of
tenure and (c) due process because R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR unduly discriminates against BIR and BOC
employees as compared to employees of other revenue generating government agencies which are not
subject to attrition, (2) that the assailed law because it inflicts punishment upon a particular group or class of
officials and employees without trial. This is evident from the fact that the law confers upon the Board the
power to impose the penalty of removal upon employees who do not meet their revenue targets.
ISSUE:

Whether R.A. No. 9335 is a bill of attainder proscribed under Section 22, Article III of the 1987 Constitution.
58

HELD:
Petition DISMISSED.
Delegation of Legislative power

In Abakada, the Court held,

Two tests determine the validity of delegation of legislative power: (1) the completeness test and (2) the
sufficient standard test. A law is complete when it sets forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or
implemented by the delegate. It lays down a sufficient standard when it provides adequate guidelines or
limitations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegates authority and prevent the delegation from
running riot. To be sufficient, the standard must specify the limits of the delegates authority, announce the
legislative policy and identify the conditions under which it is to be implemented.

RA [No.] 9335 adequately states the policy and standards to guide the President in fixing revenue targets and
the implementing agencies in carrying out the provisions of the law. In sum, the Court finds that R.A. No. 9335,
read and appreciated in its entirety, is complete in all its essential terms and conditions, and that it contains
sufficient standards as to negate BOCEAs supposition of undue delegation of legislative power to the Board.

Equal protection of the laws

Equal protection simply provides that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated in a similar
manner, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed.
Both the BIR and the BOC are bureaus under the DOF. They principally perform the special function of being
the instrumentalities through which the State exercises one of its great inherent functions taxation.
Indubitably, such substantial distinction is germane and intimately related to the purpose of the law. Hence, the
classification and treatment accorded to the BIR and the BOC under RA [No.] 9335 fully satisfy the demands of
equal protection.

Moreover, RA [No.] 9335 in no way violates the security of tenure of officials and employees of the BIR and the
BOC.The guarantee of security of tenure only means that an employee cannot be dismissed from the service
for causes other than those provided by law and only after due process is accorded the employee. In the case
of RA [No.] 9335, it lays down a reasonable yardstick for removal (when the revenue collection falls short of the
target by at least 7.5%) with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection. This
standard is analogous to inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties, a ground for
disciplinary action under civil service laws. The action for removal is also subject to civil service laws, rules and
regulations and compliance with substantive and procedural due process.

R.A. No. 9335 is not a bill of attainder

A bill of attainder is a legislative act which inflicts punishment on individuals or members of a particular group
without a judicial trial. Essential to a bill of attainder are a specification of certain individuals or a group of
individuals, the imposition of a punishment, penal or otherwise, and the lack of judicial trial

R.A. No. 9335 does not possess the elements of a bill of attainder. It does not seek to inflict punishment
without a judicial trial. R.A. No. 9335 merely lays down the grounds for the termination of a BIR or BOC official
or employee and provides for the consequences thereof. The democratic processes are still followed and the
constitutional rights of the concerned employee are amply protected.

Belgica v. Ochoa, G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493 and 209251, 19 November 2013 (supra)

Forms of Government
The Republic of the Philippines is a constitutional democracy, with the President as head of state. The
president and vice president are elected by the people for six-year terms. The national government has three
coequal branches that exercise a system of checks and balances: executive, legislative, and judicial.
59

The executive branch consists of the President and his Cabinet. The Senate and the House of Representatives
make up the bicameral legislature. The Supreme Court heads the systems of courts under the judicial branch.

Congress consists of a 24-member Senate and a 250-member House of Representatives. The voters of the
entire nation elect senators to six-year terms. Voters from different districts elect 200 of the representatives to
three-year terms. The remaining 50 representatives are selected from lists drawn up by the political parties to
ensure representation of women, ethnic minorities, and certain economic and occupational groups. The
number selected from each party's list is about one-fourth of the number of the party's elected representatives.
All Philippine citizens who are at least 18 years old may vote.

The Philippine Constitution is the fundamental basis of the laws of the land. The country has had several
Constitutions, but the current one was adopted through a nationwide plebiscite in 1987. It is supported by other
laws, such as the Civil Code, the Labor Code, the Omnibus Investments Code, and the National Internal
Revenue Code, as well as by rules and regulations passed by government bodies. The latter include rulings,
letters of instruction, circulars, memoranda, administrative orders, judicial orders, and pronouncements, as well
as laws adopted by local government within the scope of the Constitution.

Legislative History:
WHEN OUR COUNTRY WAS UNDER AMERICAN colonial rule, the legislative body was the Philippine
Commission which existed from September, 1900 to October, 1907. The President of the United States
appointed the members of the Philippine Commission.

The Philippine Bill of 1902 mandated the creation of a bicameral or a two-chamber Philippine Legislature with
the Philippine Commission as the Upper House and the Philippine Assembly as the Lower House. This
bicameral legislature was inaugurated in October, 1907. Through the leadership of then Speaker Sergio
Osmena and then Floor Leader Manuel Quezon, the Rules of the 59th Congress of the United States was
substantially adopted as the Rules of the Philippine Legislature.

In 1916, the Jones Law changed the legislative system. The Philippine Commission was abolished, and a new
bicameral Philippine Legislature consisting of a House of Representatives and a Senate was established.

The legislative system was changed again in 1935. The 1935 Constitution established a unicameral National
Assembly. But in 1940, through an amendment to the 1935 Constitution, a bicameral Congress of the
Philippines consisting of a House of Representatives and a Senate was created.

Upon the inauguration of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946, Republic Act No. 6 was enacted providing
that on the date of the proclamation of the Republic of the Philippines, the existing Congress would be known
as the First Congress of the Republic.

The 1973 Constitution abolished the bicameral Congress and created a unicameral Batasang Pambansa in a
parliamentary system of government.

The 1987 Constitution restored the presidential system of government together with a bicameral Congress of
the Philippines.

III. Legislative Department


Who may exercise legislative powers

The Philippine Legislative branch, otherwise known as the Congress of the Philippines, is composed of two
houses: the House of Senate and the House of Representatives. The first house is considered as the upper
house and the latter is the lower house. Lodged in these two houses is the legislative power or the power to
60

make, alter or repeal laws. However, one of the modifications of the 1987 Philippine Constitution is that the
legislative power is now not exclusively vested in the Congress. It provides:

"The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a
House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and
referendum."

This makes the power of initiative and referendum directly in the hands of the people. The people therefore has
the direct power to "propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law on part thereof passed by the
Congress or local legislative body." This power can be used by the people should the legislature show itselt
indifferent to the needs of the people. (Bernas, 2007) Of course, the scope of this legislative power which the
people may exercise through initiative and referendum is subject to the exceptions which Congress may
impose. (Sec 32, Art VI, 1987 Phil Const)

RA 6735 (The Initiative and Referendum Act)


I. General Provisions

Section 1. Title. This Act shall be known as "The Initiative and Referendum Act."

Section 2. Statement of Policy. The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to
directly propose, enact, approve or reject, in whole or in part, the Constitution, laws, ordinances, or resolutions
passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed,
recognized and guaranteed.

Section 3. Definition of Terms. For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall mean:

(a) "Initiative" is the power of the people to propose amendments to the Constitution or to propose and enact
legislations through an election called for the purpose.

There are three (3) systems of initiative, namely:

a.1 Initiative on the Constitution which refers to a petition proposing amendments to the Constitution;

a.2. Initiative on statutes which refers to a petition proposing to enact a national legislation; and

a.3. Initiative on local legislation which refers to a petition proposing to enact a regional, provincial, city,
municipal, or barangay law, resolution or ordinance.

(b) "Indirect initiative" is exercise of initiative by the people through a proposition sent to Congress or the local
legislative body for action.

(c) "Referendum" is the power of the electorate to approve or reject a legislation through an election called for
the purpose. It may be of two classes, namely:

c.1. Referendum on statutes which refers to a petition to approve or reject an act or law, or part thereof,
passed by Congress; and

c.2. Referendum on local law which refers to a petition to approve or reject a law, resolution or ordinance
enacted by regional assemblies and local legislative bodies.

(d) "Proposition" is the measure proposed by the voters.


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(e) "Plebiscite" is the electoral process by which an initiative on the Constitution is approved or rejected by the
people.

(f) "Petition" is the written instrument containing the proposition and the required number of signatories. It shall
be in a form to be determined by and submitted to the Commission on Elections, hereinafter referred to as the
Commission.

(g) "Local government units" refers to provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays.

(h) "Local legislative bodies" refers to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguniang Panlungsod, Sangguniang
Bayan, and Sangguniang Nayon.

(i) "Local executives" refers to the Provincial Governors, City or Municipal Mayors and Punong Barangay, as
the case may be.

Section 4. Who may exercise. The power of initiative and referendum may be exercised by all registered
voters of the country, autonomous regions, provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays.

Section 5. Requirements. (a) To exercise the power of initiative or referendum, at least ten per centum
(10%) of the total number of the registered voters, of which every legislative district is represented by at least
three per centum (3%) of the registered voters thereof, shall sign a petition for the purpose and register the
same with the Commission.

(b) A petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total
number of registered voters as signatories, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least
three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein. Initiative on the Constitution may be exercised only
after five (5) years from the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and only once every five (5) years thereafter.

(c) The petition shall state the following:

c.1. contents or text of the proposed law sought to be enacted, approved or rejected, amended or repealed, as
the case may be;

c.2. the proposition;

c.3. the reason or reasons therefor;

c.4. that it is not one of the exceptions provided herein;

c.5. signatures of the petitioners or registered voters; and

c.6. an abstract or summary in not more than one hundred (100) words which shall be legibly written or printed
at the top of every page of the petition.

(d) A referendum or initiative affecting a law, resolution or ordinance passed by the legislative assembly of an
autonomous region, province or city is deemed validly initiated if the petition thereof is signed by at least ten
per centum (10%) of the registered voters in the province or city, of which every legislative district must be
represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein; Provided, however, That if the
province or city is composed only of one (1) legislative district, then at least each municipality in a province or
each barangay in a city should be represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters
therein.
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(e) A referendum of initiative on an ordinance passed in a municipality shall be deemed validly initiated if the
petition therefor is signed by at least ten per centum (10%) of the registered voters in the municipality, of which
every barangay is represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein.

(f) A referendum or initiative on a barangay resolution or ordinance is deemed validly initiated if signed by at
least ten per centum (10%) of the registered voters in said barangay.

Section 6. Special Registration. The Commission on Election shall set a special registration day at least
three (3) weeks before a scheduled initiative or referendum.

Section 7. Verification of Signatures. The Election Registrar shall verify the signatures on the basis of the
registry list of voters, voters' affidavits and voters identification cards used in the immediately preceding
election.

II. National Initiative and Referendum

SECTION 8. Conduct and Date of Initiative or Referendum. The Commission shall call and supervise the
conduct of initiative or referendum.

Within a period of thirty (30) days from receipt of the petition, the Commission shall, upon determining the
sufficiency of the petition, publish the same in Filipino and English at least twice in newspapers of general and
local circulation and set the date of the initiative or referendum which shall not be earlier than forty-five (45)
days but not later than ninety (90) days from the determination by the Commission of the sufficiency of the
petition.

Section 9. Effectivity of Initiative or Referendum Proposition. (a) The Proposition of the enactment, approval,
amendment or rejection of a national law shall be submitted to and approved by a majority of the votes cast by
all the registered voters of the Philippines.

If, as certified to by the Commission, the proposition is approved by a majority of the votes cast, the national
law proposed for enactment, approval, or amendment shall become effective fifteen (15) days following
completion of its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines. If,
as certified by the Commission, the proposition to reject a national law is approved by a majority of the votes
cast, the said national law shall be deemed repealed and the repeal shall become effective fifteen (15) days
following the completion of publication of the proposition and the certification by the Commission in the Official
Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.

However, if the majority vote is not obtained, the national law sought to be rejected or amended shall remain in
full force and effect.

(b) The proposition in an initiative on the Constitution approved by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite
shall become effective as to the day of the plebiscite.

(c) A national or local initiative proposition approved by majority of the votes cast in an election called for the
purpose shall become effective fifteen (15) days after certification and proclamation by the Commission.

Section 10. Prohibited Measures. The following cannot be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition:

(a) No petition embracing more than one (1) subject shall be submitted to the electorate; and

(b) Statutes involving emergency measures, the enactment of which are specifically vested in Congress by the
Constitution, cannot be subject to referendum until ninety (90) days after its effectivity.
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Section 11. Indirect Initiative. Any duly accredited people's organization, as defined by law, may file a
petition for indirect initiative with the House of Representatives, and other legislative bodies. The petition shall
contain a summary of the chief purposes and contents of the bill that the organization proposes to be enacted
into law by the legislature.

The procedure to be followed on the initiative bill shall be the same as the enactment of any legislative
measure before the House of Representatives except that the said initiative bill shall have precedence over the
pending legislative measures on the committee.

Section 12. Appeal. The decision of the Commission on the findings of the sufficiency or insufficiency of the
petition for initiative or referendum may be appealed to the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from notice
thereof.

III. Local Initiative and Referendum

SECTION 13. Procedure in Local Initiative. (a) Not less than two thousand (2,000) registered voters in case
of autonomous regions, one thousand (1,000) in case of provinces and cities, one hundred (100) in case of
municipalities, and fifty (50) in case of barangays, may file a petition with the Regional Assembly or local
legislative body, respectively, proposing the adoption, enactment, repeal, or amendment, of any law, ordinance
or resolution.

(b) If no favorable action thereon is made by local legislative body within (30) days from its presentation, the
proponents through their duly authorized and registered representative may invoke their power of initiative,
giving notice thereof to the local legislative body concerned.

(c) The proposition shall be numbered serially starting from one (1). The Secretary of Local Government or his
designated representative shall extend assistance in the formulation of the proposition.

(d) Two or more propositions may be submitted in an initiative.

(e) Proponents shall have one hundred twenty (120) days in case of autonomous regions, ninety (90) days in
case of provinces and cities, sixty (60) days in case of municipalities, and thirty (30) days in case of barangays,
from notice mentioned in subsection (b) hereof to collect the required number of signatures.

(f) The petition shall be signed before the Election Registrar, or his designated representative, in the presence
of a representative of the proponent, and a representative of the regional assemblies and local legislative
bodies concerned in a public place in the autonomous region or local government unit, as the case may be.
Signature stations may be established in as many places as may be warranted.

(g) Upon the lapse of the period herein provided, the Commission on Elections, through its office in the local
government unit concerned shall certify as to whether or not the required number of signatures has been
obtained. Failure to obtain the required number is a defeat of the proposition.

(h) If the required number of the signatures is obtained, the Commission shall then set a date for the initiative
at which the proposition shall be submitted to the registered voters in the local government unit concerned for
their approval within ninety (90) days from the date of certification by the Commission, as provided in
subsection (g) hereof, in case of autonomous regions, sixty (60) days in case of the provinces and cities, forty-
five (45) days in case of municipalities, and thirty (30) days in case of barangays. The initiative shall then be
held on the date set, after which the results thereof shall be certified and proclaimed by the Commission on
Elections.

Section 14. Effectivity of Local Propositions. If the proposition is approved by a majority of the votes cast, it
shall take effect fifteen (15) days after certification by the Commission as if affirmative action thereon had been
64

made by the local legislative body and local executive concerned. If it fails to obtain said number of votes, the
proposition is considered defeated.

Section 15. Limitations on Local Initiatives. (a) The power of local initiative shall not be exercised more than
once a year.

(b) Initiative shall extend only to subjects or matters which are within the legal powers of the local legislative
bodies to enact.

(c) If at any time before the initiative is held, the local legislative body shall adopt in toto the proposition
presented, the initiative shall be cancelled. However, those against such action may, if they so desire, apply for
initiative in the manner herein provided.

Section 16. Limitations Upon Local Legislative Bodies. Any proposition or ordinance or resolution approved
through the system of initiative and referendum as herein provided shall not be repealed, modified or
amended, by the local legislative body concerned within six (6) months from the date therefrom, and may be
amended, modified or repealed by the local legislative body within three (3) years thereafter by a vote of three-
fourths (3/4) of all its members: Provided, however, that in case of barangays, the period shall be one (1) year
after the expiration of the first six (6) months.

Section 17. Local Referendum. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 hereof, any local legislative
body may submit to the registered voters of autonomous region, provinces, cities, municipalities and
barangays for the approval or rejection, any ordinance or resolution duly enacted or approved.

Said referendum shall be held under the control and direction of the Commission within sixty (60) days in case
of provinces and cities, forty-five (45) days in case of municipalities and thirty (30) days in case of barangays.

The Commission shall certify and proclaim the results of the said referendum.

Section 18. Authority of Courts. Nothing in this Act shall prevent or preclude the proper courts from
declaring null and void any proposition approved pursuant to this Act for violation of the Constitution or want of
capacity of the local legislative body to enact the said measure.

IV. Final Provisions

SECTION 19. Applicability of the Omnibus Election Code. The Omnibus Election Code and other election
laws, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, shall apply to all initiatives and referenda.

Section 20. Rules and Regulations. The Commission is hereby empowered to promulgate such rules and
regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.

Section 21. Appropriations. The amount necessary to defray the cost of the initial implementation of this Act
shall be charged against the Contingent Fund in the General Appropriations Act of the current year. Thereafter,
such sums as may be necessary for the full implementation of this Act shall be included in the annual General
Appropriations Act.

Section 22. Separability Clause. If any part or provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, the
other parts or provisions thereof shall remain valid and effective.

Section 23. Effectivity. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in a newspaper of
general circulation.

Approved: August 4, 1989


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ARTICLE VI THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT


Sec. 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines, which shall consist of a
Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on
initiative and referendum.

Definition of Legislative Power: The authority to make laws and to alter or repeal them.

Classification of legislative power: (O De CO)

Original Possessed by the people in their sovereign capacity


Delegated Possessed by Congress and other legislative bodies by virtue of the Constitution
Constituent The power to amend or revise the Constitution
Ordinary The power to pass ordinary laws
Note:

The original legislative power of the people is exercised via initiative and referendum. In this manner, people
can directly propose and enact laws, or approve or reject any act or law passed by Congress or a local
government unit.

Limits on the legislative power of Congress:

Substantive limitations on the content of laws. E.g. no law shall be passed establishing a state religion.
Procedural limitations on the manner of passing laws. E.g. generally a bill must go through three readings on
three separate days.
Note:

Provided that these two limitations are not exceeded, Congress legislative power is plenary.

Corollaries of legislative power:


Congress cannot pass irrepealable laws. Since Congress powers are plenary, and limited only by the
Constitution, any attempt to limit the powers of future Congresses via an irrepealable law is not allowed.
Congress, as a general rule, cannot delegate its legislative power. Since the people have already delegated
legislative power to Congress, the latter cannot delegate it any further.
EXCEPTIONS:

Delegation of legislative power to local government units;


Instances when the Constitution itself allows for such delegation [see Art. VI Sec. 23(2)]

What may Congress delegate:


Congress can only delegate, usually to administrative agencies, RULE-MAKING POWER or LAW
EXECUTION. This involves either of two tasks for the administrative agencies:

Filling up the details on an otherwise complete statute; or


Ascertaining the facts necessary to bring a contingent law or provision into actual operation.

Sections 2-4. SENATE


Composition
24 senators who shall be elected at large by the qualified voters of the Philippines, as may be provided by law.
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Qualifications
Natural-born citizen;
At least 35 years old on the day of election;
Able to read and write;
A registered voter; and
Philippine resident for at least 2 years immediately preceding the day of the election.
Note: The qualifications of both Senators and Members of the House are limited to those provided by the
Constitution. Congress cannot, by law, add or subtract from these qualifications.

Term of Office:
6 years, commencing (unless otherwise provided by law) at noon, 30 June next following their election.

Term Limitations:
No Senator shall serve for more than 2 consecutive terms.
Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the
continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected.
Sections 5-7. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Composition:
Not more than 25 members, unless otherwise fixed by law; and
Party-list Representative
Election of 250 members

They shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities and the Metropolitan
Manila area.
Legislative districts are apportioned in accordance with the number of inhabitants of each area and on the
basis of a uniform and progressive ratio.
Each district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory;
Each city with at least 250,000 inhabitants will be entitled to at least one representative.
Each province will have at least one representative.
Legislative districts shall be re-apportioned by Congress within 3 years after the return of each census.
According to Jack, however, while the apportionment of districts is NOT a political question, the judiciary
CANNOT compel Congress to do this.
The standards used to determine the apportionment of legislative districts is meant to prevent
gerrymandering, which is the formation of a legislative district out of separate territories so as to favor a
particular candidate or party.

Qualifications

Natural born citizen of the Philippines;


At least 25 years old on the day of the election;
Able to read and write;
Registered voter in the district he seeks to represent; and
A resident of such district for at least one year immediately preceding the day of the election.

Term of Office
Each member of the House shall be elected for a term of three (3) years which shall commence (unless
otherwise provided for by law) at noon on 30 June next following their election.
Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the
continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected.
Term Limitations

No member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms.
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Distinctions between Term and Tenure

Definition
Terms means the period during which the elected officer is legally authorized to assume his office and exercise
the powers thereof.
Tenure is the actual period during which such officer actually holds his position.

Limitation/Possible Reduction
Term CANNOT be reduced.
Tenure MAY, by law, be limited. Thus, a provision which considers an elective office automatically vacated
when the holder thereof files a certificate of candidacy for another elective office (except President and Vice-
President) is valid, as it only affects the officers tenure and NOT his constitutional term.

Party-List Representatives
Constitute 20% of the total number of representatives, including those under the party-list system (thus a
maximum of 50 party-list members of the House)
However, for 3 consecutive terms from 2 February 1987 (i.e., the 1987-92, 92-95 and 95-98 terms), 25 seats
shall be allotted to sectoral representatives. Under Art. XVIII, Sec. 7, the sectoral representatives are to be
appointed by the President until legislation otherwise provides.

Mechanics of the party-list system:


Registered organizations submit a list of candidates in order of priority.
During the elections, these organizations are voted for at large.
The number of seats that each organization gets out of the 20% allotted to the system depends on the
number of votes they get.

Qualifications
Natural born citizen of the Philippines
At least 25 years of age on the day of the election
Able to read and write

Sec. 9. In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of Representatives, a special election may be called
to fill such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law, but the Senator or Member of the House of
Representatives thus elected shall serve only for the unexpired term.

Sec. 10. Salaries of Senators and Members of the House

Determination of Salaries:

Salaries of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall be determined by law.

Rule on increase in salaries:

No increase in their salaries shall take effect until after the EXPIRATION OF THE FULL TERM (NOT
TENURE) OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
APPROVING SUCH INCREASE.

Note: Since the Constitution provides for rules on salaries and not on emoluments, our distinguished
legislators can appropriate for themselves other sums of money such as travel allowances, as well as other
side benefits.

Sec. 11: CONGRESSIONAL IMMUNITIES


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1.) Immunity from arrest:

Legislators are privileged from arrest while Congress is in session with respect to offenses punishable by up
to 6 years of imprisonment. Thus, whether Congress is in regular or special session, the immunity from arrest
applies.
If Congress is in recess, members thereof may be arrested.
The immunity is only with respect to arrests and NOT to prosecution for criminal offenses.

2.) Legislative privilege:


No member shall be questioned or held liable in any forum other than his/her respective Congressional body
for any debate or speech in the Congress or in any Committee thereof.
Limitation on the privilege:

i. Protection is only against forum other than Congress itself. Thus for inflammatory remarks which are
otherwise privileged, a member may be sanctioned by either the Senate or the House as the case may
be.

ii. The speech or debate must be made in performance of their duties as members of Congress. This
includes speeches delivered, statements made, votes cast, as well as bills introduced, and other
activities done in performance of their official duties.

iii. Congress need NOT be in session when the utterance is made, as long as it forms part of legislative
action, i.e. part of the deliberative and communicative process used to participate in legislative
proceedings in consideration of proposed legislation or with respect to other matters with Congress
jurisdiction.

Sec. 12. All Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives shall, upon assumption of office, make
a full disclosure of their financial and business interests. They shall notify the House concerned of a potential
conflict of interest that may arise from the filing of a proposed legislation of which they are authors.

Sec. 13-14: CONGRESSIONAL DISQUALIFICATIONS:

Disqualifications:

DISQUALIFICATION WHEN APPLICABLE


1. Senator/Member of the House cannot hold any other office or employment in the Government or any
subdivision, agency or Instrumentality thereof, including GOCCS or their subsidiaries. During his
term. If he does so, he forfeits his seat.
2. Legislators cannot be appointed to any office. IF the office was created or the emoluments thereof
increased during the term for which he was elected.
3. Legislators cannot personally appear as counsel before any court of justice, electoral tribunal, quasi-
judicial and administrative bodies. During his term of office.
4. Legislators cannot be financially interested directly or indirectly in any contract with or in any franchise,
or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof,
including any GOCC or its subsidiary. During his term of office.
5. Legislators cannot intervene in any matter before any office of the government. When it is for his
pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of his office.

Sec. 15: REGULAR AND SPECIAL SESSIONS

Regular Sessions:
69

1.) Congress convenes once every year on the 4th Monday of July (unless otherwise provided for by law)

2.) Continues in session for as long as it sees fit, until 30 days before the opening of the next regular
session, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

Special Sessions:

Called by the President at any time when Congress is not in session.

Sec. 16. Officers:

1.) Senate President;

2.) Speaker of the House; and

3.) Each House may choose such other officers as it may deem necessary.

Election of Officers

By a majority vote of all respective members.

Quorum to do business:

Majority of each House shall constitute a quorum.


A smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent members.
In computing a quorum, members who are outside the country and thus outside of each Houses coercive
jurisdiction are not included.

Internal Rules:
Each House shall determine its own procedural rules.
Since this is a power vested in Congress as part of its inherent powers, under the principle of separation of
powers, the courts cannot intervene in the implementation of these rules insofar as they affect the members of
Congress.
Also, since Congress has the power to make these rules, it also has the power to ignore them when
circumstances so require.

Discipline:

1.) Suspension
Concurrence of 2/3 of ALL its members and
Shall not exceed 60 days.
2.) Expulsion
Concurrence of 2/3 of ALL its members.

Congressional Journals and Records:

1.) The Journal is conclusive upon the courts.


2.) BUT an enrolled bill prevails over the contents of the Journal.
3.) An enrolled bill is the official copy of approved legislation and bears the certifications of the presiding
officers of each House. Thus where the certifications are valid and are not withdrawn, the contents of
the enrolled bill are conclusive upon the courts as regards the provision of that particular bill.
70

Adjournments:

1.) Neither House can adjourn for more than 3 days during the time Congress is in session without the
consent of the other House.
2.) Neither can they adjourn to any other place than that where the two houses are sitting, without the
consent of the other.

Section 17: THE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL

The Senate and the House shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be composed of:

3 Supreme Court Justices to be designated by the Chief Justice; &


6 Members of the Senate or House, as the case may be.
The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.

Note: The congressional members of the ETs shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from
the political parties and party-list organizations.

Jurisdiction:

1.) Each ET shall be the sole judge of all CONTESTS relating to the election, returns, and qualifications
of their respective members. This includes determining the validity or invalidity of a proclamation
declaring a particular candidate as the winner.
2.) An election contest is one where a defeated candidate challenges the qualification and claims for
himself the seat of a proclaimed winner.
3.) In the absence of an election contest, the ET is without jurisdiction. However, the power of each
House to expel its own members or even to defer their oath-taking until their qualifications are
determined may still be exercised even without an election contest.

Issues regarding the Electoral Tribunals:

1.) Since the ETs are independent constitutional bodies, independent even of the House from which
the members are respectively taken, neither Congress nor the Courts may interfere with procedural
matters relating to the functions of the ETs, such as the setting of deadlines or filing their election
contests with the respective ETs.

2.) The ETs being independent bodies, its members may not be arbitrarily removed from their positions
in the tribunal by the parties which they represent. Neither may they be removed for not voting
according to party lines, since they are acting independently of Congress.

3.) The mere fact that the members of either the Senate or the House sitting on the ET are those which
are sought to be disqualified due to the filing of an election contest against them does not warrant all
of them from being disqualified from sitting in the ET. The Constitution is quite clear that the ET
must act with both members from the SC and from the Senate or the House. If all the legislator-
members of the ET were to be disqualified, the ET would not be able to fulfill its constitutional
functions.

4.) Judicial review of decisions of the ETs may be had with the SC only insofar as the decision or
resolution was rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion
constituting denial of due process.

Section 18: THE COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS

Composition:
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Senate President as ex-officio chairman;


12 Senators; and
12 Members of the House.

Note: The 12 Senators and 12 Representatives are elected on the basis of proportional representation from the
political parties and party-list organizations.

Voting/Action

1.) The chairman shall only vote in case of a tie.


2.) The CA shall act on all appointments within 30 session days from their submission to Congress.
3.) The Commission shall rule by a majority vote of all the Members.

Jurisdiction
1.) CA shall confirm the appointments by the President with respect to the following positions:
a. Heads of the Executive Departments (except if it is the Vice-President who is appointed to the
post).
b. Ambassadors, other public ministers or consuls.
c. Officers of the AFP from the rank of Colonel or Naval Captain: and
d. Other officers whose appointments are vested in him by the Constitution (e.g. COMELEC
members).
2.) Congress CANNOT by law prescribe that the appointment of a person to an office created by such
law shall be subject to confirmation by the CA.

3.) Appointments extended by the President to the above-mentioned positions while Congress is not in
session shall only be effective until disapproval by the CA or until the next adjournment of Congress.

Meetings of the CA

1.) CA meets only while Congress is in session.


2.) Meetings are held either at the call of the Chairman or a majority of all its members.
3.) Since the CA is also an independent constitutional body, its rules of procedure are also outside the
scope of congressional powers as well as that of the judiciary.

Note: The ET and the CA shall be constituted within 30 days after the Senate and the House of
Representative shall have been organized with the election of the President and the Speaker.

Sections 21-22: LEGISLATIVE INQUIRIES


Scope:
Either House or any of their committees may conduct inquires in aid of legislation.
In aid of legislation does not mean that there is pending legislation regarding the subject of the inquiry. In
fact, investigation may be needed for purposes of proposing future legislation.
If the stated purpose of the investigation is to determine the existence of violations of the law, the investigation
is no longer in aid of legislation but in aid of prosecution. This violates the principle of separation of powers
and is beyond the scope of congressional powers.

Enforcement:
Since experience has shown that mere requests for information does not usually work, Congress has the
inherent power to punish recalcitrant witnesses for contempt, and may have them incarcerated until such time
that they agree to testify.
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The continuance of such incarceration only subsists for the lifetime, or term, of such body. Once the body
ceases to exist after its final adjournment, the power to incarcerate ceases to exist as well. Thus, each
Congress of the House lasts for only 3 years. But if one is incarcerated by the Senate, it is indefinite because
the Senate, with its staggered terms, is a continuing body.
BUT, in order for a witness to be subject to this incarceration, the primary requirement is that the inquiry is
within the scope of Congress powers. i.e. it is in aid of legislation.
The materiality of a question is determined not by its connection to any actually pending legislation, but by its
connection to the general scope of the inquiry.
The power to punish for contempt is inherent in Congress and this power is sui generis. It cannot be exercised
by local government units unless they are expressly authorized to do so.

Limitations:
The inquiry must be conducted in accordance with the duly published rules of procedure of the House
conducting the inquiry; and
The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. Ex. The right against self-
incrimination.

Appearance by department heads before Congress:


Since members of the executive department are co-equals with those of the legislative department, under the
principle of separations of powers, department heads cannot be compelled to appear before Congress.
Neither may the department heads impose their appearance upon Congress.
Department heads may appear before Congress in the following instances.
Upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President (and that of the House concerned); or
Upon the request of either House (which cannot compel them to attend)
The appearance will be conducted in EXECUTIVE SESSION when:
Required by the security of state or required by public interest; and
When the President so states in writing

Sections 23-24. DECLARATION OF WAR/EMERGENCY POWERS


Vote requirement: (to declare the existence of a state of war)

2/3 of both Houses, in joint session


Voting separately

Emergency powers:
During times of war or other national emergency, Congress may, BY LAW, authorize the President to exercise
powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy.

Limitations:
Powers will be exercised for a limited period only; and
Powers will be subject to restrictions prescribed by Congress
Expiration of emergency powers
By resolution of Congress or
Upon the next adjournment of Congress

Sections 24-27, 30-31 LEGISLATION


Bills that must originate from the House of Representatives (Section 24)

CODE: A R T Pu Lo P

Appropriation bills
Revenue bills
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Tariff bills
Bills authorizing the increase of public debt
Bills of local application
Private bills
Note: The Senate may, however, propose or concur with amendments.

Appropriation bills
The primary and specific aim of an appropriation bill is to appropriate a sum of money from the public treasury.
Thus, a bill enacting the budget is an appropriations bill.
BUT: A bill creating a new office, and appropriating funds therefor is NOT an appropriation bill.

Revenue Bill
A revenue bill is one specifically designed to raise money or revenue through imposition or levy.
Thus, a bill introducing a new tax is a revenue bill, but a provision in, for instance, the Videogram Regulatory
Board law imposing a tax on video rentals does not make the law a revenue bill.

Bills of local application


A bill of local application, such as one asking for the conversion of a municipality into a city, is deemed to have
originated from the House provided that the bill of the House was filed prior to the filing of the bill in the Senate
even if, in the end, the Senate approved its own version.

Limitations:

For appropriation bills:


Congress cannot increase the appropriations recommended by the President for the operation of the
Government as specified in the budget.
Each provision or enactment in the General Appropriations Bill must relate specifically to some particular
appropriation therein and any such provision or enactment must be limited in its operation to the appropriation
to which it relates.
The procedure in approving appropriations for Congress shall strictly follow the procedure for approving
appropriations for other departments and agencies.
A special appropriations bill must specify the purpose for which it is intended and must be supported by funds
actually available as certified by the National Treasurer or to be raised by a corresponding revenue proposal
therein.

Transfer of appropriations:
Rule: No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations
BUT the following may, BY LAW, be authorized to AUGMENT any item in the general appropriations law for
their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations
President
President of the Senate
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court
Heads of the Constitutional Commissions

Discretionary funds appropriated for particular officials shall be:


Disbursed only for public purposes;
Should be supported by appropriate vouchers; and
Subject to guidelines as may be prescribed by law.

If Congress fails to pass General Appropriations Bill (GAB) by the end of any fiscal year:
i. The GAB for the previous year is deemed reenacted
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ii. It will remain in full force and effect until the GAB is passed by Congress.

For law granting tax exemption


It should be passed with the concurrence of a MAJORITY of ALL the members of Congress.

For bills in general


Every bill shall embrace only one (1) subject, as expressed in the title thereof
i. As a mandatory requirement
ii. The title does not have to be a complete catalogue of everything stated in the bill. It is sufficient if the
title expresses the general subject of the bill and all the provisions of the statute are germane to that
general subject.
iii. A bill which repeals legislation regarding the subject matter need not state in the title that it is repealing
the latter. Thus, a repealing clause in the bill is considered germane to the subject matter of the bill.

Readings
In order to become a law, each bill must pass three (3) readings in both Houses.

General rule: Each reading shall be held on separate days & printed copies thereof in its final form shall be
distributed to its Members three (3) days before its passage.

Exception: If a bill is certified as urgent by the President as to the necessity of its immediate enactment to
meet a public calamity or emergency, the 3 readings can be held on the same day.
First reading only the title is read; the bill is passed to the proper committee
Second reading Entire text is read and debates are held, and amendments introduced.

Third reading only the title is read, no amendments are allowed. Vote shall be taken immediately thereafter
and the yeas and nays entered in the journal.

Veto power of President:


Every bill, in order to become a law, must be presented to and signed by the President.
If the President does not approve of the bill, he shall veto the same and return it with his objections to the
House from which it originated. The House shall enter the objections in the Journal and proceed to reconsider
it.
The President must communicate his decision to veto within 30 days from the date of receipt thereof. If he fails
to do so, the bill shall become a law as if he signed it.
This rule eliminates the pocket veto whereby the President would simply refuse to act on the bill.

To OVERRIDE the veto, at least 2/3 of ALL the members of each House must agree to pass the bill. In such
case, the veto is overriden and becomes a law without need of presidential approval.
Item veto
The President may veto particular items in an appropriation, revenue or tariff bill.
This veto will not affect items to which he does not object.

Definition of item
TYPE OF BILL ITEM

1. Revenue/tax bill Subject of the tax and the tax rate imposed thereon

2. Appropriations bill Indivisible sum dedicated to a stated purpose

Veto of RIDER
A rider is a provision which does not relate to a particular appropriation stated in the bill.
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Since it is an invalid provision under Section 25(2), the President may veto it as an item.

Specific limitations on legislation


No law shall be enacted increasing the Supreme Courts appellate jurisdiction without the SCs advice
and concurrence.
No law shall be enacted granting titles of royalty or nobility.
Section 28. POWER TO TAX
Limitations:

1) The rule of taxation should be UNIFORM


2) It should be EQUITABLE
3) Congress should evolve a PROGRESSIVE system of taxation.
4) The power to tax must be exercised for a public purpose because the power exists for the general
welfare
5) The due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution should be observed.

Delegation of power to fix rates


1) Congress may, BY LAW, authorize the President to fix the following:

a) Tariff rates
b) Import and Export Quotas
c) Tonnage and wharfage dues
d) Other duties and imposts

Within the framework of the national development program of the Government

2) The exercise of such power by the President shall be within the specified limits fixed by Congress
and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose.

Constitutional tax exemptions:


1) The following properties are exempt from REAL PROPERTY taxes

(CODE: Cha Chu M- CA)


a) Charitable institutions
b) Churches, and parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto
c) Mosques
d) Non-profit cemeteries; and
e) All lands, buildings and improvements actually, directly and exclusively used for religious,
charitable, or educational purposes.

2) All revenues and assets of NON-STOCK NON-PROFIT EDUCATIONAL institutions are exempt from
taxes and duties PROVIDED that such revenues and assets are actually, directly and exclusively
used for educational purposes. (Art. XIV Sec 4 (3))

3) Grants, endowments, donations or contributions used actually, directly and exclusively for
educational purposes shall be exempt from tax. This is subject to conditions prescribed by law. (Art.
XIV. Sec 4 (4))

Section 29. Power of the Purse


1) No money shall be paid out of the National Treasury EXCEPT in pursuance of an appropriation
made by law.

a) This places the control of public funds in the hands of Congress.


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b) BUT: This rule does not prohibit continuing appropriations. e.g. for debt servicing. This is
because the rule does not require yearly, or annual appropriation.

2) Limitations.

a) Appropriations must be for a PUBLIC PURPOSE


b) Cannot appropriate public funds or property, directly or indirectly, in favor of

(i) Any sect, church, denomination, or sectarian institution or system of religion


or

(ii) Any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such.

EXCEPT if the priest, etc is assigned to:

i. the Armed Forces; or


ii. any penal institution; or
iii. government orphanage; or
iv. leprosarium

c) BUT the government is not prohibited from appropriating money for a valid secular purpose,
even if it incidentally benefits a religion, e.g. appropriations for a national police force is valid
even if the police also protects the safety of clergymen.

d) ALSO, the temporary use of public property for religious purposes is valid, as long as the
property is available for all religions

3) Special Funds

a) Money collected on a tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund and
paid out for such purpose only.

b) Once the special purpose is fulfilled or abandoned, any balance shall be transferred to the
general funds of the Government

Section 32. INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM


1) Through the system of initiative and referendum, the people can directly propose and enact laws or
approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body.

2) Required Petition

a) Should be signed by at least 10% of the total number of registered voters


b) Every legislative district should be represented by at least 3% of the registered voters
c) Petition should be registered

Proscription on Irrepealable Laws

Abas Kida v. Senate,G.R. Nos. 196271, 197221, 197280, 197282, 197392 & 197454, 18 October 2011
FACTS: On August 1, 1989 or two years after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, Congress acted through
Republic Act (RA) No. 6734 entitled "An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao."The initially assenting provinces were Lanao del Sur,Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.RA
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No. 6734 scheduled the first regular elections for the regional officials of the ARMM on a date not earlier than
60 days nor later than 90 days after its ratification.

Thereafter, R.A. No. 9054 was passed to further enhance the structure of ARMM under R.A. 6734. Along with
it is the reset of the regular elections for the ARMM regional officials to the second Monday of September
2001.

RA No. 9333was subsequently passed by Congress to reset the ARMM regional elections to the 2ndMonday
of August 2005, and on the same date every 3 years thereafter. Unlike RA No. 6734 and RA No. 9054, RA No.
9333 was not ratified in a plebiscite.

Pursuant to RA No. 9333, the next ARMM regional elections should have been held onAugust 8, 2011.
COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had accepted certificates of candidacies for the
various regional offices to be elected.But onJune 30, 2011, RA No. 10153 was enacted, resetting the ARMM
elections to May 2013, to coincide with the regular national and local elections of the country.With the
enactment into law of RA No. 10153, the COMELEC stopped its preparations for the ARMM elections.

Several cases for certiorari, prohibition and madamus originating from different parties arose as a
consequence of the passage of R.A. No. 9333 and R.A. No. 10153 questioning the validity of said laws.

OnSeptember 13, 2011, the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the implementation of RA No.
10153 and ordering the incumbent elective officials of ARMM to continue to perform their functions should
these cases not be decided by the end of their term onSeptember 30, 2011.

The petitioners assailing RA No. 9140, RA No. 9333 and RA No. 10153 assert that these laws amend RA No.
9054 and thus, have to comply with the supermajority vote and plebiscite requirements prescribed under
Sections 1 and 3, Article XVII of RA No. 9094 in order to become effective.

The petitions assailing RA No. 10153 further maintain that it is unconstitutional for its failure to comply with the
three-reading requirement of Section 26(2), Article VI of the Constitution.Also cited as grounds are the alleged
violations of the right of suffrage of the people of ARMM, as well as the failure to adhere to the "elective and
representative" character of the executive and legislative departments of the ARMM. Lastly, the petitioners
challenged the grant to the President of the power to appoint OICs to undertake the functions of the elective
ARMM officials until the officials elected under the May 2013 regular elections shall have assumed office.
Corrolarily, they also argue that the power of appointment also gave the President the power of control over
the ARMM, in complete violation of Section 16, Article X of the Constitution.

ISSUE:

Does the 1987 Constitution mandate the synchronization of elections?


Does the passage of RA No. 10153 violate the provisions of the 1987 Constitution?

HELD: Court dismissed the petition and affirmed the constitutionality of R.A. 10153 in toto. The Court agreed
with respondent Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on its position that the Constitution mandates
synchronization, citing Sections 1, 2 and 5, Article XVIII (Transitory Provisions) of the 1987 Constitution. While
the Constitution does not expressly state that Congress has to synchronize national and local elections, the
clear intent towards this objective can be gleaned from the Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the
Constitution,which show the extent to which the Constitutional Commission, by deliberately making
adjustments to the terms of the incumbent officials, sought to attain synchronization of elections.

The objective behind setting a common termination date for all elective officials, done among others through
the shortening the terms of the twelve winning senators with the least number of votes, is to synchronize the
holding of all future elections whether national or local to once every three years.This intention finds full
78

support in the discussions during the Constitutional Commission deliberations. Furthermore, to achieve
synchronization, Congressnecessarilyhas to reconcile the schedule of the ARMMs regular elections (which
should have been held in August 2011 based on RA No. 9333) with the fixed schedule of the national and local
elections (fixed by RA No. 7166 to be held in May 2013).

In Osme v. Commission on Elections, the court thus explained:

It is clear from the aforequoted provisions of the 1987 Constitution that the terms of office of Senators,
Members of the House of Representatives, the local officials, the President and the Vice-President have been
synchronized to end on the same hour, date and year noon of June 30, 1992.

It is likewise evident from the wording of the above-mentioned Sections that the term ofsynchronizationis used
synonymously as the phraseholding simultaneouslysince this is the precise intent in terminating their Office
Tenure on the sameday or occasion.This common termination date will synchronize future elections to once
every three years (Bernas, the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Vol. II, p. 605).

That the election for Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and the local officials (under Sec. 2,
Art. XVIII) will have to be synchronized with the election for President and Vice President (under Sec. 5, Art.
XVIII) is likewise evident from the x x xrecords of the proceedings in the Constitutional Commission.

Although called regional elections, the ARMM elections should be included among the elections to be
synchronized as it is a "local" election based on the wording and structure of the Constitution. Regional
elections in the ARMM for the positions of governor, vice-governor and regional assembly representatives fall
within the classification of "local" elections, since they pertain to the elected officials who will serve within the
limited region of ARMM. From the perspective of the Constitution, autonomous regions are considered one of
the forms of local governments, as evident from Article Xof the Constitution entitled "Local
Government."Autonomous regions are established and discussed under Sections 15 to 21 of this Article the
article wholly devoted to Local Government.

Second issue: Congress, in passing RA No. 10153, acted strictly within its constitutional mandate. Given an
array of choices, it acted within due constitutional bounds and with marked reasonableness in light of the
necessary adjustments that synchronization demands. Congress, therefore, cannot be accused of any evasion
of a positive duty or of a refusal to perform its duty nor is there reason to accord merit to the petitioners claims
of grave abuse of discretion.

In relation with synchronization, both autonomy and the synchronization of national and local elections are
recognized and established constitutional mandates, with one being as compelling as the other.If their
compelling force differs at all, the difference is in their coverage; synchronization operates on and affects the
whole country, while regional autonomy as the term suggests directly carries a narrower regional effect
although its national effect cannot be discounted.

In all these, the need for interim measures is dictated by necessity; out-of-the-way arrangements and
approaches were adopted or used in order to adjust to the goal or objective in sight in a manner that does not
do violence to the Constitution and to reasonably accepted norms.Under these limitations, the choice of
measures was a question of wisdom left to congressional discretion.

However, the holdover contained in R.A. No. 10153, for those who were elected in executive and legislative
positions in the ARMM during the 2008-2011 term as an option that Congress could have chosen because a
holdover violates Section 8, Article X of the Constitution. In the case of the terms of local officials, their term
has been fixed clearly and unequivocally, allowing no room for any implementing legislation with respect to the
fixed term itself and no vagueness that would allow an interpretation from this Court. Thus, the term of three
years for local officials should stay at three (3) years as fixed by the Constitution and cannot be extended by
holdover by Congress.
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RA No. 10153, does not in any way amend what the organic law of the ARMM(RA No. 9054) sets outs in terms
of structure of governance.What RA No. 10153 in fact only does is to"appoint officers-in-charge for the Office
of the Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who
shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections
shall have qualified and assumed office."This power is far different from appointing elective ARMM officials for
the abbreviated term ending on the assumption to office of the officials elected in the May 2013 elections. It
must be therefore emphasized that the law must be interpreted as an interim measure to synchronize elections
and must not be interpreted otherwise.

Senate and the House of Representatives

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are called Representatives or Congressmen/Congress-women.


They are elected to a three-year term by voters in their respective legislative districts. A Representative can
serve for not more than three consecutive terms. There are 238 legislative districts in the country. You live in
one of these districts along with about 250,000 other people! There are 238 representatives elected by district.
In addition, there are Representatives elected through the party-list system who constitute not more than
twenty percent (20%) of the total number of Representatives.

Lawmakers in the Senate are called Senators who are elected at large or nationwide by qualified voters to a
six-year term. Senators can serve for not more than two consecutive terms. The Senate has twenty-four (24)
Senators.

To qualify for election as a Representative, you have to be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a
registered voter in the district in which you seek to be elected, a resident therein for not less than one (1) year
before the day of the election and at least twenty-five (25) years of age. To qualify for election as a Senator,
you also have to be a natural-born Filipino citizen, a registered voter, a resident of the Philippines for at least
two (2) years before the day of the election and at least thirty-five (35) years old.

Our Constitution provides that our Congress convenes for its regular session every year beginning on the 4th
Monday of July. A regular session can last until thirty days before the opening of its next regular session in the
succeeding year. The President may, however, call special sessions which are usually held between regular
sessions to handle emergencies or urgent matters.

THE SPEAKER LEADS, MANAGES AND PRESIDES over your House of Representatives. A majority of all
the Members of the House elects the Speaker. Those who voted for the Speaker belong to the Majority while
those who voted for the Speaker's opponent belong to the Minority. Representatives belonging to the Majority
choose the Majority Floor Leader who automatically chairs the Committee on Rules, and those in the Minority
choose the Minority Floor Leader.

The other officers of the House of Representatives are the fourteen (14) Deputy Speakers, the Secretary-
General and the Sergeant-at-Arms who are also elected by a majority of all the Representatives.

Committees, or small groups of Representatives, headed by committee chairpersons, study proposed laws
called bills, and other measures relating to issues and concerns affecting our lives, our communities and our
society. They conduct hearings that give us, citizens, opportunities to express our views on proposed laws or
measures. Employees of the House constituting Committee Secretariats provide the committees with
legislative support services such as research, report preparation, policy studies and the like.

When you visit the House of Representatives, you may see your Representatives in action during sessions or
committee hearings. If you wish to speak with any one of them during sessions or hearings, the Pages who
assist and run errands for our representatives in the Session Hall and in our conference rooms, can bring your
notes and messages to the Representative you wish to speak with.
80

You may also send an email to your Representatives, attend or testify at committee hearings, or ask for
information about the legislative process or a specific bill. Your Representatives will appreciate hearing from
you because they know how important your views are in making good laws that effectively address the welfare
of our people.

Apportionment and Reapportionment of Legislative Districts

Aquino III v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189793, 07 April 2010


FACTS:

Republic Act No. 9176 created an additional legislative district for the province of Camarines Sur by
reconfiguring the existing first and second legislative districts of the province. The said law originated from
House Bill No. 4264 and was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on 12 October 2009.

To that effect, the first and second districts of Camarines Sur were reconfigured in order to create an additional
legislative district for the province. Hence, the first district municipalities of Libmanan, Minalabac, Pamplona,
Pasacao, and San Fernando were combined with the second district Municipalities of Milaor and Gainza to
form a new second legislative district.

Petitioners claim that the reapportionment introduced by Republic Act No. 9716 violates the constitutional
standards that requires a minimum population of two hundred fifty thousand ( 250,000) for the creation of a
legislative district. Thus, the proposed first district will end up with a population of less than 250,000 or only
176,383.

ISSUE:

Whether a population of 250,000 is an indispensable constitutional requirement for the creation of a new
legislative district in a province.

HELD:

NO. The second sentence of Section 5 (3), Article VI of the constitution states that: Each city with a
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative.

There is a plain and clear distinction between the entitlement of a city to a district on one hand, and the
entitlement of a province to a district on the other. For a province is entitled to at least a representative, there is
nothing mentioned about the population. Meanwhile, a city must first meet a population minimum of 250,000 in
order to be similarly entitled.

It should be clearly read that Section 5(3) of the constitution requires a 250,000 minimum population only for a
city to be entitled to a representative, but not so for a province.

Bagabuyo v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176970, 08 December 2008


FACTS:
Cagayan de Oro only had one legislative district before. In 2006, CdO congressman Jaraula sponsored a bill to
have two legislative districts in CdO instead. The law was passed (RA 9371) hence two legislative districts
were created. Bagabuyo assailed the validity of the said law and he went immediately to the Supreme Court.
He was contending that the 2nd district was created without a plebiscite which was required by the
Constitution.

ISSUE: Whether or not a plebiscite was required in the case at bar.


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HELD: No, a plebiscite is not required in the case at bar. RA 9371 merely increased the representation of
Cagayan de Oro City in the House of Representatives and Sangguniang Panglungsod pursuant to Section 5,
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution; the criteria established under Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution
only apply when there is a creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of a
province, city, municipality, or barangay; in this case, no such creation, division, merger, abolition or alteration
of boundaries of a local government unit took place; and R.A. No. 9371 did not bring about any change in
Cagayan de Oros territory, population and income classification; hence, no plebiscite is required.
Sema v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 177579 and 178628, 16 July 2008
The Province of Maguindanao is part of ARMM. Cotabato City is part of the province of Maguindanao but it is
not part of ARMM because Cotabato City voted against its inclusion in a plebiscite held in 1989. Maguindanao
has two legislative districts. The 1st legislative district comprises of Cotabato City and 8 other municipalities.

A law (RA 9054) was passed amending ARMMs Organic Act and vesting it with power to create provinces,
municipalities, cities and barangays. Pursuant to this law, the ARMM Regional Assembly created Shariff
Kabunsuan (Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act 201) which comprised of the municipalities of the 1st district of
Maguindanao with the exception of Cotabato City.

For the purposes of the 2007 elections, COMELEC initially stated that the 1st district is now only made of
Cotabato City (because of MMA 201). But it later amended this stating that status quo should be retained;
however, just for the purposes of the elections, the first district should be called Shariff Kabunsuan with
Cotabato City this is also while awaiting a decisive declaration from Congress as to Cotabatos status as a
legislative district (or part of any).

Bai Sandra Sema was a congressional candidate for the legislative district of S. Kabunsuan with Cotabato (1st
district). Later, Sema was contending that Cotabato City should be a separate legislative district and that votes
therefrom should be excluded in the voting (probably because her rival Dilangalen was from there and D was
winning in fact he won). She contended that under the Constitution, upon creation of a province (S.
Kabunsuan), that province automatically gains legislative representation and since S. Kabunsuan excludes
Cotabato City so in effect Cotabato is being deprived of a representative in the HOR.

COMELEC maintained that the legislative district is still there and that regardless of S. Kabunsuan being
created, the legislative district is not affected and so is its representation.

ISSUE: Whether or not RA 9054 is unconstitutional. Whether or not ARMM can create validly LGUs.

HELD: RA 9054 is unconstitutional. The creation of local government units is governed by Section 10, Article X
of the Constitution, which provides:

Sec. 10. No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished or its
boundary substantially altered except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code
and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.

Thus, the creation of any of the four local government units province, city, municipality or barangay must
comply with three conditions. First, the creation of a local government unit must follow the criteria fixed in the
Local Government Code. Second, such creation must not conflict with any provision of the Constitution. Third,
there must be a plebiscite in the political units affected.

There is neither an express prohibition nor an express grant of authority in the Constitution for Congress to
delegate to regional or local legislative bodies the power to create local government units. However, under its
plenary legislative powers, Congress can delegate to local legislative bodies the power to create local
government units, subject to reasonable standards and provided no conflict arises with any provision of the
Constitution. In fact, Congress has delegated to provincial boards, and city and municipal councils, the power
to create barangays within their jurisdiction, subject to compliance with the criteria established in the Local
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Government Code, and the plebiscite requirement in Section 10, Article X of the Constitution. Hence, ARMM
cannot validly create Shariff Kabunsuan province.

Note that in order to create a city there must be at least a population of at least 250k, and that a province, once
created, should have at least one representative in the HOR. Note further that in order to have a legislative
district, there must at least be 250k (population) in said district. Cotabato City did not meet the population
requirement so Semas contention is untenable. On the other hand, ARMM cannot validly create the province
of S. Kabunsuan without first creating a legislative district. But this can never be legally possible because the
creation of legislative districts is vested solely in Congress. At most, what ARMM can create are barangays not
cities and provinces.

Aldaba v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 188078, 25 January 2010


Facts: This case is an original action for Prohibition to declareunconstitutional, R.A. 9591 which creates a
legislative district for the City of Malolos, Bulacan. Allegedly, the R.A. violates the minimum population
requirement for the creation of a legislative district in a city. Before the May 1, 2009, the province of Bulacan
was represented in Congress through 4 legislative districts. Before the passage of the Act through House Bill
3162 (later converted to House Bill 3693) and Senate Bill 1986, Malolos City had a population of 223, 069 in
2007.

House Bill 3693 cites the undated Certification, as requested to be issued to Mayor Domingo (then Mayor of
Malolos), by Region III Director Miranda of NSO that the population of Malolos will be as projected, 254,030 by
the year 2010.

Petitioners contended that R.A. 9591 is unconstitutional for failing to meet the minimum population threshold of
250,000 for a city to meritrepresentative in Congress.

Issue: Whether or not R.A. 9591, n act creating a legislative district for the City of Malolos, Bulacan is
unconstitutional as petitioned. And whether the City of Malolos has at least 250,000 actual or projected.

Held: It was declared by the Supreme Court that the R.A. 9591 isunconstitutional for being violative of Section
5 (3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution on
the grounds that, as required by the 1987 Constitution, a city must have at least 250,000 population. In relation
with this, Regional Director Miranda issued a Certification which is based on the demographic projections, was
declared without legal effect because the Regional Director has no basis and no authority to issue the
Certification based on the following statements supported by Section 6 of E.O. 135 as signed by President
Fidel V. Ramos, which provides:

The certification on demographic projection can be issued only if such are declared official by the Natl
Statistics Coordination Board. In this case, it was not stated whether the document have been declared official
by the NSCB.

The certification can be issued only by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer, in which
case, the Regional Director of Central Luzon NSO is unauthorized.

The population projection must be as of the middle of the year, which in this case, the Certification issued by
Director Miranda was undated.

It was also computed that the correct figures using the growth rate, even if compounded, the Malolos
population of 223,069 as of August 1, 2007 will grow to only 249,333 as of August 1, 2010.

It was emphasized that the 1935 Constitution, that this Court ruled that the aim of legislative reappointment is
to equalize the population and voting power among districts.
83

Party-list System
PRIMER ON THE PARTY-LIST SYSTEM OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
[As mandated by Republic Act No. 7941]
by
The Commission on Elections

What is the party-list system of election?

It is a mechanism of proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of


Representatives from marginalized or underrepresented national, regional and sectoral parties, or
organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
It is part of the electoral process that enables small political parties and marginalized and
underrepresented sectors to obtain possible representation in the House of Representatives, which
traditionally is dominated by parties with big political machinery.

For purposes of the May 14, 2001 elections, what are the important dates in relation to the party-list system of
election?
November 15, 2000 last day to file petition for registration for party-list system.
February 12, 2001 last day to file manifestation to participate in the party-list election.
March 31, 2001 last day to submit to the Law Department, Commission on Elections, Intramuros, Manila a
list of at least five (5) nominees to represent said party/organization/coalition.

What are the legal bases for the party-list system of election?

a) the Constitution in its article on the Legislative Department provides:

"[1] x x x The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty
members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned
among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila Area in accordance with the number of their
respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided
by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties
or organizations;

"[2] The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of
representatives including those under the party-list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of
this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided
by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities,
women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector;

"[3] Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent
territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have
at least one representative; and

"[4] Within three years following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a
reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section x x x." (Sec. 5,
Article VI, Constitution of the Philippines)

b) Republic Act No. 7941 dated March 3, 1995, "An Act Providing for the Election of Party-List
Representatives Through the Party-List System, Appropriating Funds Therefor" ;

c) Resolution No. 2847 dated June 25, 1996 entitled, "Rules and Regulations Governing the Election of
the Party-List Representatives through the Party-List System" ; and
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d) Resolution No. 3307-A dated November 9, 2000 entitled, "Rules and Regulations Governing the Filing
of Petition for Registration, Manifestation to Participate, and Submission of Names of Nominees Under
the Party-List System of Representation in Connection with the May 14, 2001 National and Local
Elections."

Who may participate?


Instead of individual candidates, only registered organized groups may participate and these are:
Sectoral Party an organized group of citizens whose principal advocacy pertains to the special interests and
concerns of the following sectors:

- professionals handicapped elderly


- labor fisherfolk peasant
- women urban poor youth
- indigenous overseas workers veterans
cultural
communities

Sectoral Organization a group of qualified voters bound together by similar physical attributes or
characteristics, or by employment, interests or concerns.

Political Party an organized group of qualified voters pursuing the same ideology, political ideas and
principles for the general conduct of the government; it may be:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
1. A national party when its constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of
the regions; and
2. A regional party when its constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of
the cities and provinces comprising a region.

Coalition an aggrupation of duly-registered national, regional, sectoral parties or organizations for political
and/or election purposes.

What is the basic requirement for party-list participation?


Only organized groups duly registered with the Commission on Elections, and which have manifested their
desire to participate in the party-list elections, may participate.

How may a party, organization or coalition [herein-after referred to as party] participate in the party-list
election?
a) Organized groups not yet registered with the Commission on Elections can participate by filing a
petition for registration under oath. For purposes of the 2001 election, the petition must be filed not later
than November 15, 2000.

b) An organized group already registered need not register anew but shall file with the Commission a
manifestation to participate in the party-list election.

When is the deadline to file manifestation?


Last day to file manifestation to participate in the party-list system for the May 14, 2001 elections February
12, 2001.

What are the documents needed to support the petition for registration?

a) Constitution and by-laws;


b) Platform or program of government;
c) Lists of officers and members;
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d) Coalition agreement, if any; and


e) Other information required by the Commission.

For purposes of the May 14, 2001 elections, where shall a petition for registration or manifestation to
participate be filed?
The petition for registration and manifestation to participate shall be filed with the Clerk of the Commission,
Commission on Elections, Intramuros, Manila, as follows:
a) For petitions involving a party with a national constituency, file in twenty-three (23) copies;
b) For petitions involving a party with a regional constituency, file in ten (10) copies; and
c) For manifestations, file in twelve (12) copies.

Who shall file applications for registration or manifestations to participate?


Any authorized representative of the political or sectoral party with the Clerk of the Commission, Commission
on Elections, Intramuros, Manila.

What happens after the petition is filed?


The Clerk of the Commission shall determine if the petition is in due form and substance and verifies the
accuracy of the allegations therein. Within seven (7) days, it shall submit the petition together with its findings
and recommendations to the Commission.
The gist of the petition shall be published in two (2) national newspapers at the expense of the petitioner.
The Commission, after due notice and hearing, shall resolve the petition within fifteen (15) days from the date it
was submitted for decision but not later than one hundred twenty (120) days before election day.

May a component party or organization participate independently of the coalition of which they form
part?
Yes, provided the coalition of which they form part does not participate.

For purposes of determining regional constituency, what is meant by the phrase "spread over the
geographical territory of at least a majority of the cities and provinces comprising the region"?
"Majority" means a number higher than 50%. Thus, if a region consists of, say, five (5) cities and six (6)
provinces, in order to obtain the required majority, the party should have chapters in three (3) cities and
provincial offices in four (4) provinces.

For purposes of determining national constituency, what is meant by the phrase "spread over the
geographical territory of at least a majority of the regions"?
"Majority" means a number higher than 50%. Since the country is composed of sixteen regions, including CAR,
ARMM and CARAGA, the party should have regional offices in at least nine (9) regions in order to constitute a
majority of the regions in the country.

What information is necessary to establish existence of a party in a city and province?


A party must have identifiable leadership, membership and structure. These may be shown by the following:

1. Addresses of its city chapter and provincial chapter; and

2. The names of the chapter officials and members, and their respective addresses.
A party may submit additional documents to prove its existence in the city and province.

May the Comelec remove and/or cancel registration of any entity?


The Comelec may, motu proprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel after due
notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition on any
of the following grounds:
a) It is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association organized for religious purposes;
b) It advocates violence or unlawful means to achieve its goal;
c) It is a foreign party or organization;
86

d) It is receiving support from any foreign government, foreign political party, foundation, organization,
whether directly or indirectly or through its officers or members or indirectly through third parties for
partisan election purposes;
e) It violates or fails to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to elections;
f) It has made untruthful statements in its petition; and
g) It has ceased to exist for at least one (1) year from the time the petition is filed.

Is the enumeration of the sectors eligible to participate as sectoral party exclusive?


Yes. Only parties of those sectors enumerated in Section 5 of R.A. 7941 may register and participate as
sectoral party.
May an organization which is not listed among the sectors eligible to participate as a sectoral party still
participate in the party-list system?
Yes, as a sectoral organization.

How will the voters know which entities are participating?


Comelec shall prepare and publish a certified list of entities qualified to participate which shall be posted in all
voting booths on election day.

What are the qualifications of a party-list nominee?


a) A natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
b) A registered voter;
c) A resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the
election day;
d) Able to read and write;
e) A bona fide member of the party he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding election
day; and
f) At least twenty-five (25) years of age on election day.

In case of the youth sector, he must be at least twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on
the day of the election. Any youth sectoral representative who reaches the age of thirty (30) during his term
shall be allowed to continue in office until the expiration of his term.

How many seats are available under the party-list system?


Twenty percent (20%) of the total membership in the House of Representatives is reserved for party-list
representatives, or a ratio of one (1) party list representative for every four (4) legislative district
representatives.

How does the party-list system enhance the chances or marginalized or underrepresented parties of
winning seats in the House of Representatives?
In the party-list system, no single party may hold more than three (3) party-list seats. Bigger parties which
traditionally will dominate elections cannot corner all the seats and crowd out the smaller parties because of
this maximum ceiling. This system shall pave the way for smaller parties to also win seats in the House of
Representatives.

If individual candidates are not qualified to participate, how will the organized groups be represented
in the House of Representatives?
A party shall, not later than March 31, 2001 submit to the Clerk of the Commission, Commission on Elections a
list of at least five (5) nominees to represent said party. Once the party obtains the required number of votes,
the Comelec shall proclaim the party-list representatives according to their ranking in the list of nominees
submitted to Comelec.

In voting for representatives, how will a voter cast his vote?


Every voter shall be entitled to two (2) votes for the House of Representatives, as follows:
a) First, a vote for a district representative; and
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b) Second, a vote for the party he wants represented in the House of Representatives.

How shall the votes cast for the party-list be counted?


Because the voting will be at large, and not by sector, all votes obtained by a party regardless of constituency
will be tallied on a nationwide basis.
The percentage of votes garnered by a party shall be computed in relation to the total votes cast for the party-
list nationwide.

How shall party-list seats be allocated? [See Veterans Federation Party, et al. vs. Commission on
Elections, et al. (G. R. No. 136781, 06 October 2000)].
Party-list seats shall be allocated as follows:

1) The parties shall be ranked from highest to lowest based on the number and percentage of votes
garnered during the elections;
2) Only a maximum of three seats may be allowed per party. Seats are allocated at the rate of one seat
per 2% of votes obtained; and
3) Unallocated seats shall be distributed among the parties which have not yet obtained the maximum 3
seats, provided they have mustered at least 2% of votes.

The variance of percentage in excess of 2% or 4% (equivalent to 1 or 2 seats that have already been obtained,
respectively) shall be ranked and be the basis for allocating the remaining seats.

Will the names of nominees be included in the certified list of registered parties?
No. The names of the party-list nominees shall not be shown on the certified list of participating parties.

What is the importance of the list of nominees and of their ranking therein?
In case the party obtains the required number of votes, the nominees listed shall be proclaimed by Comelec
according of their ranking in said list.

What are the limitations on party-list nominations?


1) A person may be nominated by one party in one (1) list only;
2) Only persons who have given their consent in writing and under oath may be named in the list;
3) The list shall not include any candidate for any elective office in the same election or has lost his bid for
an elective office in the immediately preceding election; and
4) No change of name or alteration of the order of nominees shall be allowed after the list has been
submitted to the Comelec except in valid cases of substitution.

Shall incumbent sectoral representatives in the House of Representatives nominated as party-list


representative be considered resigned?
No, by express provisions of Sec. 8, R. A. 7941 which reads:
"Incumbent sectoral representatives in the House of Representatives who are nominated in the Party-list
System shall not be considered resigned."
The provision creates a special class for incumbent sectoral representatives as to remove them from the
general application of Secs. 66 and 67 [Repealed by Section 14, R. A. No. 9006] of the Omnibus Election
Code which are quoted in the succeeding question.

If nominees of political parties and sectoral parties and organizations are employees of the
government, whether by appointment or by election, are they deemed ipso facto resigned from office
upon the filing of the list of nominees?
Yes. Sections 66 and 67 [Repealed by Section 14, R. A. No. 9006] of the Omnibus Election Code state:
"Sec. 66. Candidates holding appointive office or position. Any person holding a public appointive office or
position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and officers and employees in
government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the
filing of his certificate of candidacy."
88

"Sec. 67. Candidates holding elective office. Any elective official whether national or local, running for any
office other than the one which he is holding in a permanent capacity, except for President and Vice President,
shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy." [Repealed
by Section 14, R. A. No. 9006]
The specific mention of the incumbent sectoral representatives for non-coverage of the above provision implies
that other party-list nominees shall be covered by Secs. 66 and 67. [Repealed by Section 14, R. A. No. 9006]

Is it necessary for a nominee to be a member of the party nominating him?


Yes. A nominee should be a bona fide member of the party or organization he seeks to represent for at least
ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election.

What are the effects of accepting a nomination?


a) Any person holding a public appointive office including active members of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) and other officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations
shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon acceptance of a nomination.
b) Any elective official, except incumbent party-list representatives, who has given his consent to a
nomination shall be deemed resigned only upon the start of the campaign period.

What is required of a nominee in accepting nomination or in cases of withdrawal/s of nominations?


In either case, acceptance or withdrawal of nomination shall be in writing and filed with the Law Department of
the Commission in Manila before the close of polls.
A nominee who withdraws his acceptance to the nomination shall not be eligible for nomination by other
parties.

When can a party-list nominee be substituted?


A party-list nominee may be substituted only when he dies, or his nomination is withdrawn by the party, or he
becomes incapacitated to continue as such, the name of the substitute nominee be placed last in the list of
nominees.
No substitution shall be allowed by reason of withdrawal after the close of polls.

Are registered political and sectoral parties and organizations prohibited from revealing during their
campaign the identities of those they included in the list of nominees submitted to the Comelec?
The law is silent as to the revelation of the names of nominees of the registered political or sectoral parties,
except that in the last paragraph of Sec. 7 of the party-list law, it states that "the names of the party-list
nominees shall not be shown on the certified list."

What will be the effect if a party-list representative changes his political party or sectoral affiliation
during his term of office?
He shall forfeit his seat. Moreover, if he changes his political party or sectoral affiliation within six (6) months
before an election, he shall not be eligible for nomination as party-list representative under his new party or
organization.

What is the status of the party-list representatives vis--vis representatives of legislative districts in
the House of Representatives?
Party-list representatives are considered elected Members of the House and as such, entitled to the same
deliberative rights, salaries, and emoluments as the regular Members of the House of representatives. They
shall serve for a term of three (3) years with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms.

AtongPaglaum, Inc. v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 203766, 02 April 2013


FACTS:
52 party-list groups and organizations filed separate petitions totaling 54 with the Supreme Court (SC) in an
effort to reverse various resolutions by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualifying them from the
May 2013 party-list race. The Comelec, in its assailed resolutions issued in October, November and December
89

of 2012, ruled, among others, that these party-list groups and organizations failed to represent a marginalized
and underrepresented sector, their nominees do not come from a marginalized and underrepresented sector,
and/or some of the organizations or groups are not truly representative of the sector they intend to represent in
Congress.

Petitioners argued that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections, either by denial
of their new petitions for registration under the party-list system, or by cancellation of their existing registration
and accreditation as party-list organizations; andsecond, whether the criteria for participating in the party-list
system laid down inAng Bagong Bayani and Barangay Association for National Advancement and
Transparency v. Commission on Elections(BANAT) should be applied by the COMELEC in the coming 13 May
2013 party-list elections.

ISSUE: Whether or not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion

HELD: No. The COMELEC merely followed the guidelines set in the cases of Ang Bagong Bayani and BANAT.
However, the Supreme Court remanded the cases back to the COMELEC as the Supreme Court now provides
for new guidelines which abandoned some principles established in the two aforestated cases.

Political Law- Party-list system

Commissioner Christian S. Monsod, the main sponsor of the party-list system, stressed that "the party-list
system is not synonymous with that of the sectoral representation." Indisputably, the framers of the 1987
Constitution intended the party-list system to include not only sectoral parties but also non-sectoral parties. The
framers intended the sectoral parties to constitute a part, but not the entirety, of the party-list system.As
explained by Commissioner Wilfredo Villacorta, political parties can participate in the party-list system "For as
long as they field candidates who come from the different marginalized sectors that we shall designate in this
Constitution."

Republic Act No. 7941 or the Party-List System Act is the law that implements the party-list system prescribed
in the Constitution.

Section 3(a) of R.A. No. 7941 defines a "party" as"either a political party or a sectoral partyor a coalition of
parties." Clearly, a political party is different from a sectoral party. Section 3(c) of R.A. No. 7941 further
provides that a"political partyrefers to anorganized group of citizens advocating an ideology or platform,
principles and policies for the general conduct of government."On the other hand, Section 3(d) of R.A. No.
7941 provides that a "sectoral partyrefers to an organized group of citizens belonging to any of the sectors
enumerated in Section 5 hereofwhose principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and concerns of their
sector."R.A. No. 7941 provides different definitions for a political and a sectoral party. Obviously, they are
separate and distinct from each other.

Under the party-list system, an ideology-based or cause-oriented political party is clearly different from a
sectoral party. A political party need not be organized as a sectoral party and need not represent any particular
sector. There is no requirement in R.A. No. 7941 that a national or regional political party must represent a
"marginalized and underrepresented" sector. It is sufficient that the political party consists of citizens who
advocate the same ideology or platform, or the same governance principles and policies,regardless of their
economic status as citizens.

Political Law- parameters in qualifying party- lists

The COMELEC excluded from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections those that did not satisfy
these two criteria: (1) all national, regional, and sectoral groups or organizations must represent the
"marginalized and underrepresented" sectors, and (2) all nominees must belong to the "marginalized and
underrepresented" sector they represent. Petitioners may have been disqualified by the COMELEC because
90

as political or regional parties they are not organized along sectoral lines and do not represent the
"marginalized and underrepresented."

Also, petitioners' nominees who do not belong to the sectors they represent may have been disqualified,
although they may have a track record of advocacy for their sectors. Likewise, nominees of non-sectoral
parties may have been disqualified because they do not belong to any sector. Moreover, a party may have
been disqualified because one or more of its nominees failed to qualify, even if the party has at least one
remaining qualified nominee.

In determining who may participate in the coming 13 May 2013 and subsequent party-list elections, the
COMELEC shall adhere to the following parameters:

1. Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (1) national parties or organizations, (2)
regional parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral parties or organizations.

2. National parties or organizations and regional parties or organizations do not need to organize along
sectoral lines and do not need to represent any "marginalized and underrepresented" sector.

3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided they register under the party-list system and
do not field candidates in legislative district elections. A political party, whether major or not, that fields
candidates in legislative district elections can participate in party-list elections only through its sectoral wing
that can separately register under the party-list system. The sectoral wing is by itself an independent sectoral
party, and is linked to a political party through a coalition.

4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be "marginalized and underrepresented" or lacking in "well-
defined political constituencies." It is enough that their principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and
concerns of their sector. The sectors that are "marginalized and underrepresented" include labor, peasant,
fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, and overseas workers. The
sectors that lack "well-defined political constituencies" include professionals, the elderly, women, and the
youth.

5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the "marginalized and
underrepresented" must belong to the "marginalized and underrepresented" sector they represent. Similarly, a
majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that lack "well-defined political constituencies"
must belong to the sector they represent. The nominees of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the
"marginalized and underrepresented," or that represent those who lack "well-defined political constituencies,"
either must belong to their respective sectors, or must have a track record of advocacy for their respective
sectors. The nominees of national and regional parties or organizations must be bona-fide members of such
parties or organizations.

6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations shall not be disqualified if some of their nominees
are disqualified, provided that they have at least one nominee who remains qualified.

This Court is sworn to uphold the 1987 Constitution, apply its provisions faithfully, and desist from engaging in
socio-economic or political experimentations contrary to what the Constitution has ordained. Judicial power
does not include the power to re-write the Constitution. Thus, the present petitions should be remanded to the
COMELEC not because the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying petitioners, but
because petitioners may now possibly qualify to participate in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections
under the new parameters prescribed by this Court.

Banat v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 179271 and 179295, 21 April 2009


NOTE: This case is consolidated with BAYAN Muna vs COMELEC (G.R. No. 179295).
91

In July and August 2007, the COMELEC, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, made a partial
proclamation of the winners in the party-list elections which was held in May 2007.

In proclaiming the winners and apportioning their seats, the COMELEC considered the following rules:

1. In the lower house, 80% shall comprise the seats for legislative districts, while the remaining 20% shall
come from party-list representatives (Sec. 5, Article VI, 1987 Constitution);

2. Pursuant to Sec. 11b of R.A. 7941 or the Party-List System Act, a party-list which garners at least 2% of the
total votes cast in the party-list elections shall be entitled to one seat;

3. If a party-list garners at least 4%, then it is entitled to 2 seats; if it garners at least 6%, then it is entitled to 3
seats this is pursuant to the 2-4-6 rule or the Panganiban Formula from the case of Veterans Federation
Party vs COMELEC.

4. In no way shall a party be given more than three seats even if if garners more than 6% of the votes cast for
the party-list election (3 seat cap rule, same case).

The Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT), a party-list candidate,
questioned the proclamation as well as the formula being used. BANAT averred that the 2% threshold is
invalid; Sec. 11 of RA 7941 is void because its provision that a party-list, to qualify for a congressional seat,
must garner at least 2% of the votes cast in the party-list election, is not supported by the Constitution. Further,
the 2% rule creates a mathematical impossibility to meet the 20% party-list seat prescribed by the Constitution.

BANAT also questions if the 20% rule is a mere ceiling or is it mandatory. If it is mandatory, then with the 2%
qualifying vote, there would be instances when it would be impossible to fill the prescribed 20% share of party-
lists in the lower house. BANAT also proposes a new computation (which shall be discussed in the HELD
portion of this digest).

On the other hand, BAYAN MUNA, another party-list candidate, questions the validity of the 3 seat rule
(Section 11a of RA 7941). It also raised the issue of whether or not major political parties are allowed to
participate in the party-list elections or is the said elections limited to sectoral parties.

ISSUES:

I. How is the 80-20 rule observed in apportioning the seats in the lower house?

II. Whether or not the 20% allocation for party-list representatives mandatory or a mere ceiling.

III. Whether or not the 2% threshold to qualify for a seat valid.

IV. How are party-list seats allocated?

V. Whether or not major political parties are allowed to participate in the party-list elections.

VI. Whether or not the 3 seat cap rule (3 Seat Limit Rule) is valid.

HELD:

I. The 80-20 rule is observed in the following manner: for every 5 seats allotted for legislative districts, there
shall be one seat allotted for a party-list representative. Originally, the 1987 Constitution provides that there
shall be not more than 250 members of the lower house. Using the 80-20 rule, 200 of that will be from
legislative districts, and 50 would be from party-list representatives. However, the Constitution also allowed
92

Congress to fix the number of the membership of the lower house as in fact, it can create additional legislative
districts as it may deem appropriate. As can be seen in the May 2007 elections, there were 220 district
representatives, hence applying the 80-20 rule or the 5:1 ratio, there should be 55 seats allotted for party-list
representatives.

How did the Supreme Court arrive at 55? This is the formula:

(Current Number of Legislative DistrictRepresentatives 0.80) x (0.20) = Number of Seats Available to Party-
List Representatives

Hence,

(220 0.80) x (0.20) = 55

II. The 20% allocation for party-list representatives is merely a ceiling meaning, the number of party-list
representatives shall not exceed 20% of the total number of the members of the lower house. However, it is
not mandatory that the 20% shall be filled.

III. No. Section 11b of RA 7941 is unconstitutional. There is no constitutional basis to allow that only party-lists
which garnered 2% of the votes cast are qualified for a seat and those which garnered less than 2% are
disqualified. Further, the 2% threshold creates a mathematical impossibility to attain the ideal 80-20
apportionment. The Supreme Court explained:

To illustrate: There are 55 available party-list seats. Suppose there are 50 million votes cast for the 100
participants in the party list elections. A party that has two percent of the votes cast, or one million votes, gets
a guaranteed seat. Let us further assume that the first 50 parties all get one million votes. Only 50 parties get a
seat despite the availability of 55 seats. Because of the operation of the two percent threshold, this situation
will repeat itself even if we increase the available party-list seats to 60 seats and even if we increase the votes
cast to 100 million. Thus, even if the maximum number of parties get two percent of the votes for every party, it
is always impossible for the number of occupied party-list seats to exceed 50 seats as long as the two percent
threshold is present.

It is therefore clear that the two percent threshold presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation
of Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution and prevents the attainment of the broadest possible
representation of party, sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives.

IV. Instead, the 2% rule should mean that if a party-list garners 2% of the votes cast, then it is guaranteed a
seat, and not qualified. This allows those party-lists garnering less than 2% to also get a seat.

But how? The Supreme Court laid down the following rules:

1. The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the
number of votes they garnered during the elections.

2. The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the
party-list system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each.

3. Those garnering sufficient number of votes, according to the ranking in paragraph 1, shall be entitled to
additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes until all the additional seats are allocated.

4. Each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats.

In computing the additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no longer be included because they have already
been allocated, at one seat each, to every two-percenter. Thus, the remaining available seats for allocation as
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additional seats are the maximum seats reserved under the Party List System less the guaranteed seats.
Fractional seats are disregarded in the absence of a provision in R.A. No. 7941 allowing for a rounding off of
fractional seats.

In short, there shall be two rounds in determining the allocation of the seats. In the first round, all party-lists
which garnered at least 2% of the votes cast (called the two-percenters) are given their one seat each. The
total number of seats given to these two-percenters are then deducted from the total available seats for party-
lists. In this case, 17 party-lists were able to garner 2% each. There are a total 55 seats available for party-lists
hence, 55 minus 17 = 38 remaining seats. (Please refer to the full text of the case for the tabulation).

The number of remaining seats, in this case 38, shall be used in the second round, particularly, in determining,
first, the additional seats for the two-percenters, and second, in determining seats for the party-lists that did not
garner at least 2% of the votes cast, and in the process filling up the 20% allocation for party-list
representatives.

How is this done?

Get the total percentage of votes garnered by the party and multiply it against the remaining number of seats.
The product, which shall not be rounded off, will be the additional number of seats allotted for the party list
but the 3 seat limit rule shall still be observed.

Example:

In this case, the BUHAY party-list garnered the highest total vote of 1,169,234 which is 7.33% of the total votes
cast for the party-list elections (15,950,900).

Applying the formula above: (Percentage of vote garnered) x (remaining seats) = number of additional seat

Hence, 7.33% x 38 = 2.79

Rounding off to the next higher number is not allowed so 2.79 remains 2. BUHAY is a two-percenter which
means it has a guaranteed one seat PLUS additional 2 seats or a total of 3 seats. Now if it so happens that
BUHAY got 20% of the votes cast, it will still get 3 seats because the 3 seat limit rule prohibits it from having
more than 3 seats.

Now after all the tw0-percenters were given their guaranteed and additional seats, and there are still
unoccupied seats, those seats shall be distributed to the remaining party-lists and those higher in rank in the
voting shall be prioritized until all the seats are occupied.

V. No. By a vote of 8-7, the Supreme Court continued to disallow major political parties (the likes of UNIDO,
LABAN, etc) from participating in the party-list elections.

Although the ponencia (Justice Carpio) did point out that there is no prohibition either from the Constitution or
from RA 7941 against major political parties from participating in the party-list elections as the word party was
not qualified and that even the framers of the Constitution in their deliberations deliberately allowed major
political parties to participate in the party-list elections provided that they establish a sectoral wing which
represents the marginalized (indirect participation), Justice Puno, in his separate opinion, concurred by 7 other
justices, explained that the will of the people defeats the will of the framers of the Constitution precisely
because it is the people who ultimately ratified the Constitution and the will of the people is that only the
marginalized sections of the country shall participate in the party-list elections. Hence, major political parties
cannot participate in the party-list elections, directly or indirectly.

VI. Yes, the 3 seat limit rule is valid. This is one way to ensure that no one party shall dominate the party-list
system.
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Amores v. HRET, G.R. No. 189600, 29 June 2010


FACTS
Petitioner, Milagros E. Amores, challenges the decision of the House of RepresentativesElectoral Tribunal
(public respondent), which both dismissed her petition for Quo Warranto. Herpetition seeks to ouster
Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, whom she alleged to have assumed officeas a representative of the party list
organization Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC)without formal proclamation by the Commission on
Elections; to be a disqualified to be anominee of the youth sector since at the time of his filing of his certificates
of nomination andacceptance, he was already 31 years old, which was beyond the age limit of 30 pursuant
toSection 9 of Party-List System Act; to have changed his affiliation from CIBACs youth sectorto its overseas
Filipino workers sector was not effected at least 6 months before the May 14, 2007 elections. The public
respondent held that age qualification pursuant to Section 9 of RA 7941 only appliedto those nominated until
1998, unless the sectoral party exclusively represents the youth which isnot CIBACs case. Moreover, it held
that Section 14 of RA 7941 did not apply as there was noresultant change in the party-list affiliation. After
having her motion for reconsideration denied by Resolution No. 09-130, petitioner filedPetitioner for Certoriari
contending that the public respondent has created distinctions in theapplication of Sections 9 and 15 of RA No.
7941 fostering interpretations that go against equalprotection of laws. In addition partial proclamation NBC
Resolution 07-60 was not enough basis for Villanueva to assume office on July 10, 2007.

ISSUE: Do Sections 9 and 15 of Republic Act No. 7941 apply to Villanueva?

HELD:
The court has held that Sections 9 and 15 of RA No. 7941 or Partylist System Act, applyto the private
respondent. According to Section 9 of RA 7941, a nominee of the youthsector must be at least 25 but not more
than 30 years of age on the day of election. Whena youth sectoral representative attains the age of 30 during
his term, he will be allowed tocontinue until the expiration of his term. Meanwhile, Section 15 reads Change
ofAffiliation; Effect. Any elected party-list representative who changes his political partyor sectoral
affiliationduring his term of office shall forfeit his seat: Provided, that if hechanges his political party orsectoral
affiliationwithin six (6) months before anelection, he shall not be eligible for nomination as party-list
representative under his newparty or organization. (emphasis and underscoring supplied.) The court has
found no textual support for the public respondents interpretation that Section 9 isapplicable only to those
nominated until 1998 and found that Villanueva has changed hisaffiliation only on March 17, 2007, which was
within 6 months before the May 2007 elections.

Therefore the court finds the private respondent not qualified to be a nominee of either the youthsector or the
overseas Filipino workers and their families in May 2007 elections.

Privilege from Arrest


One of the privileges that a member of Congress enjoys is the privilege from arrest. In this regard, Section 11,
Article VI, of the Constitution provides as follows:

A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six
years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No member shall be
questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in Congress or in any committee
thereof.

This privilege is intended to insure representation of the constituents by the members of Congress. In Vera vs.
Avelino, the Supreme Court, quoting a decision of the United States Supreme Court, explained for whose
benefit the right to parliamentary immunity is secured:
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These privileges are thus secured not with the intention of protecting the members against prosecutors for their
own benefit, but to support the rights of the people, by enabling their representatives to execute the function of
their office without fear of prosecution, civil or criminal.

A member of Congress could only be suspended by the House of which he is a member and only for the
purpose of self-preservation or self-protection. To protect a member of Congress from oppression, even this
power has been circumscribed by the 1935 Constitution and further limited by the 1987 Constitution.

The rationale for this was expressed by the Supreme Court as early as 11 September 1924 in Alejandrino vs.
Quezon:

It is noteworthy that the Congress of the United States shall not in all its long history suspend a member. And
the reason is obvious. Punishment by way of reprimand or fine vindicates the outraged dignity of the House
without depriving the constituency of representation; expulsion, when permissible, likewise vindicates the
honor of the legislative body while giving to the constituency an opportunity to elect anew; but suspension
deprives the electoral district of representation without that district being afforded any means by which to fill the
vacancy. By suspension, the seat remains filled, but the occupant is silenced.

People v. Jalosjos, G.R. Nos. 132875-76, 03 February 2000


Facts: The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress who is confined at the
national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness is pending appeal. The
accused-appellant filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman,
including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the
first instance of a non-bailable offense on the basis of popular sovereignty and the need for his constituents to
be represented

Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as member of House of
Representatives

Held: Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, inspite of its importance, the
privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law.

The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives arises from a
provision of the Constitution. The privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision
granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It
may not be extended by intendment, implication or equitable considerations.

The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Sec. 11,
Art. VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the
reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime
punishable by imprisonment of more than six years is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional
foundations. To allow accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings for 5 days
or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an
aberrant situation not only elevates accused-appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a
mockery of the purposes of the correction system.

Privilege of Speech
1. Bases of the Privilege

1.1. Constitutional Basis

Privilege speech is a parliamentary privilege enjoyed by a Member of Congress provided for in Section 11,
Article VI of the Constitution. It states as follows:
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Sec. 11. A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses be punishable by not
more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No Member shall
be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in Congress or in any committee
thereof.

1.2 Rules of the Senate

This is contained in Section 110, Rule XL, Rules of the Senate, which provides as follows:

Sec. 110. After the consideration of the matters contained in the Calendar for Special Orders, a Senator may
forthwith request for and avail of the privilege to speak for one (1) hour on any matter of public interest.

If more than one (1) Senator wish to avail of the same privilege, the Senator who first announced his intention
shall be given priority.

The period of time allowed in this section may, upon motion of the Senator on the floor be extended for such
time as may be necessary for him to finish his speech unless a majority of all the Senators vote against such
extension.

2. Purpose of the Privilege

Members of Congress cannot be prosecuted for any words spoken in debate or in connection with voting or
used in written reports or with things generally done in a session of either House in relation to the business
before it. This protection is extended to them during the session on the occasion of the exercise of their
functions either in their respective chambers or in joint assembly, or in committees or commission. The
purpose of this privilege of speech or debate is not to protect the members against prosecutions for their own
benefit but to enable them as representatives of the people to execute the functions of their office without fear
of prosecution, civil or criminal. As held in the case of Osmea v. Pendatun, the Supreme Court took the
occasion of defining the purpose of the privilege. It ruled:

Our Constitution enshrines parliamentary immunity which is a fundamental privilege cherished in every
legislative assembly of the democratic world. As old as the English Parliament, its purpose is to enable and
encourage a representative of the public to discharge his public trust with firmness and success for it is
indispensably necessary that he should enjoy the fullest liberty of speech, and that he should be protected
from the resentment of every one, however, powerful, to whom the exercise of that liberty may occasion. Such
immunity has come to this country from the practices of Parliament as construed and applied by the Congress
of the United States. Its extent and application remain no longer in doubt insofar as related to the question
before us. It guarantees the legislator complete freedom of expression without fear of being made responsible
in criminal or civil actions before the courts or any other forum outside of the Congressional hall. But it does not
protect him from responsibility before the legislative body itself whenever his words and conduct are
considered by the latter disorderly or unbecoming to a member thereof.

3. Precedents and Practices

The following are some of the precedents and practices observed in the previous sessions of Congress
concerning the privilege speech:

3.1. When It Can and When It Cannot

It has been ruled that the privilege granted under this section cannot be availed of when the House has already
proceeded to transact its business, such as the consideration of bills. But in a certain case, when the House
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was already considering unfinished business or business for the day, a member was permitted, through a
motion unanimously approved, to deliver a short speech on an important case in his province. A member
availing himself of such a privilege was entitled to one full hour. Having the floor on the privilege hour, he could
not be forced to yield to interpellations.

The one-hour privilege not having expired yet, a member, who requested only 10 minutes in order to deliver his
speech, was allowed to use the rest of the hour. He could not be precluded from continuing with his speech
until the one hour was consumed.

3.2. On Request for Reservation

On point of order whether preference be given to a member who requests a previous reservation over any
member who stands up on the floor ahead of the former, it has been held that an unwritten rule, sanctioned by
immemorial practice, establishes such a preference. A request for reservation to use the privilege hour on a
future date made on the floor by a member is recorded in the Journal.

The time of a member automatically expires the moment he takes his seat and, consequently, he cannot
answer questions unless an extension of his time is granted by unanimous consent. The one-hour privilege
can be extended only by unanimous consent.

3.3. Decorum on Speech

A member, availing himself of the privilege hour, may refuse interpellations, but he may be advised by the
Chair not to use any improper language. He should use a language in conformity with the decorum and dignity
of the House.

The Chair entertained a motion to delete from the Record a portion of a members speech under the privilege
hour as unparliamentary for being against the dignity and integrity of the members, and when submitted by the
Chair to the House, the motion was approved.

When a member attacks the leadership of the House, he may be declared out of order and deprived further
use of the privilege hour.

A member should, during the privilege hour, refrain from making personal allusions to any member. In availing
himself of the privilege hour, a member may, under his own responsibility, speak against an absent fellow
member. It is indecorous of the Senate during a privilege speech.

In the exercise of his one- hour privilege, a member can speak on any subject of national interest, and he may
even criticize the President on the appointment of certain persons to the government. But delivering speeches
attacking the Chief Executive constitutes disorderly conduct for which a member may be suspended or
expelled from the House as a disciplinary action. The Chair sustained a point of order which asked for deletion
from the Record, as unparliamentary, parts of the privilege speech attacking the Catholic religion.

3.4. Interpellation

A member having the floor to avail himself of the privilege hour may refuse to yield to interpellation or yield for
information. He cannot be forced to yield to another so that, in turn, the latter can answer questions.

It is in order for a member interpellating to lay the premises of his question. He may interpellate in the manner
he so desires and use any of the official languages even if different from that used by the member who has the
floor.

A member on the floor using the remaining portion of the privilege hour may stop yielding to further
interpellations.
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The time consumed by interpellation is counted against a member who has the floor; that is the reason why he
has the option to yield or not to questions.

3.5. Precedence and Interruption

The House sustained the Chair that after the reading of the order of business, the one-hour privilege has
precedence over any other matters, such as question of privilege.

A member availing himself of the one-hour privilege may yield to further interpellation, but he cannot be
interrupted except by a point of order. He cannot be deprived of the floor except with his consent, and he may
deliver his speech in such manner as he pleases as long as he speaks with due decorum. The Chair did not
entertain a motion referring a one-hour privilege speech to a committee on the ground that while a member is
enjoying the privilege, he cannot be deprived of the floor except by a point of order.

3.6. Extension of Time

After a member has consumed the privilege hour, no extension of time for the privilege can be granted if there
is an objection to the motion for such extension.

An objection to a motion for extension of the one-hour privilege is not debatable.

The one-hour privilege can no longer be extended when, after its delivery, the member using the privilege sits
down, thereby forfeiting his right to continue. When a member sits down after the expiration of his one-hour
privilege, his time can no longer be extended.

A member who has the privilege hour may yield a portion of it to another member. When a member ceded a
portion of his one-hour privilege, such a portion could not, without his consent, be extended to more than the
number of minutes agreed upon.
A member using the remaining portion of the privilege hour may refuse any interpellation in order to save the
time left for him.

3.7. Reference Speech

The Chair entertained a motion to refer a privilege speech to a committee after it had been delivered on the
floor.

3.8. Stricken Off the Record

On motion approved by the House, the whole speech including interpellations, was stricken off the record for
being unparliamentary.

During the privilege hour, the Chair motu proprio ordered stricken off the record the word "dishonorable"
uttered with reference to the members of the House by the member interpellating.

4. Relevance

4.1. No assured government by the people unless their representatives possess this privilege.

There could be no assured government by the people, unless their representatives had unquestioned
possession of this privilege. Thus, only the House of Commons was concerned in its vindication, and only in its
connection with that House could it be a matter of constitutional importance. The Lords, of course, possess the
right equally with the Commons, and thus it is considered one of the common privileges of Parliament. But it
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seems never to have been an issue with the Lords. As Stubbs says, "he would have been a bold King indeed
who had attempted to stop discussion in the House of Lords."

4.2. To protect independence and integrity of Congress and to reinforce separation of powers.

In U.S. vs. Johnson, Justice John Marshall Harlan said that the purpose of the speech or debate clause is
prophylactic, that it was adopted by the Constitutional Convention (without discussion or opposition) because
of the English experience with the intent to protect the independence and integrity of Congress and to reinforce
the separation of powers by preventing an unfriendly executive and a hostile judiciary appointed by the
executive from reaching a congressional activity for evidence of criminality.

4.3. Basis of corrective legislative measures.

In practice, many subjects of privilege speeches are the bases of consequent appropriate committee
investigations of legislative bodies, and these may result to corrective measures being filed on the basis of
such committee investigations. It appears to be co-extensive with the range of legislative power, like the range
of legislative inquiry together with its limitations.

4.4. To voice out dissent, the essence of democracy.

It is the best outlet of the people and of the opposition to ventilate anomalies in government and
misgovernment, to express their concerns and sentiments thru their representatives in legislative bodies. In
short, to voice out dissent is the essence of democracy.

5. Scope of Privilege Speech:

Personal and Collective

A question of privilege consists of a question affecting the rights of the Senate collectively or of its members
individually including its privileges, reputation, conduct, decorum, dignity and integrity of proceedings.

A Senator may rise to a question of personal privilege at any time, but he cannot interrupt or take another
Senator from the floor for that purpose without the latters consent. However, the reading of the Journal cannot
be interrupted by a question of personal privilege neither can a question of privilege be raised when there is no
quorum or when the roll is being called.

Under this provision, a member of the Senate may raise a question of privilege by a statement or remark on
the floor and if sustained by the Chair, the member is entitled to speak.

After the privilege speech of a Senator, another member was recognized on a question of personal privilege to
clarify certain matters in which he participated and which was left out in the privilege speech of the former.

A member rose to speak on a question of personal privilege as his name was linked in a news item which was
considered as a malicious publication.

Franking Privilege

Republic Act No. 69 remains a good law. It expressly grants members of Congress the transmission free of
charge within the Philippines of mail matters. Sections 1 and 2 of this law provide as follows:

All mail matter of Senators and of members of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, addressed for
delivery within the Philippines, shall be received, transmitted and delivered in the mails of the Philippines free
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of postage: Provided, That each such mail matter when addressed to persons or offices other than government
officers or offices shall not exceed one hundred and twenty grams in weight.

The envelope or wrapper of such mail matter shall bear on the left upper corner the name and official
designation of the official sending the mail matter, and the words "Senate of the Philippines," or "House of
Representatives," as the case may be, and on the right upper corner the words "Penalty for private or
unauthorized use to avoid payment of postage, P500.00."

Osmena v. Pendatun, G.R. No. L-17144, 28 October 1960


Facts: Congressman Osmea took the floor on the one-hour privilege to deliver a speech, entitled A Message
to Garcia wherein said speech contained serious imputations of bribery against the President. Being unable to
produce evidence thereof, Osmea was then found to be guilty of serious disorderly behaviour by the House of
Representatives. Osmea argues that the Constitution gave him complete parliamentary immunity, and so, for
words spoken in the House, he ought not to be questioned.

ISSUE:
Whether said disciplinary action by the House is in violation of Section 15, Article VI of the Constitution.

RULING:
Said disciplinary action is not in violation of the Constitution. Section 15, Article VI of the Constitution provides
that for any speech or debate in Congress, the Senators or Members of the House of Representative shall not
be questioned in any other place. Although exempt from prosecution or civil actions for their words uttered in
Congress, the members of Congress may, nevertheless, be questioned in Congress itself. Observe that they
shall not be questioned in any other place in Congress.

Pobre v. Defensor-Santiago, A.C. No. 7399, 25 August 2009


FACTS:
JBC through public invitation publish the soon vacant position of Chief of Justice, hence Santiago was one of
the applicant but unfortunately informed by the JBC that only incumbent associate justice would qualify the
position. During her privilege speech on the Congress to wit; x x x I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in
the mouth. I am homicidal. I am suicidal. I am humiliated, debased, degraded. And I am not only that, I feel like
throwing up to be living my middle years in a country of this nature. I am nauseated. I spit on the face of Chief
Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in the position [of
Chief Justice] if I was to be surrounded by idiots. I would rather be in another environment but not in the
Supreme Court of idiots.xxx
ANTERO J. POBRE in his sworn letter/complaint invites the attention of the court and asks that disbarment
proceedings or other disciplinary actions be taken against the lady senator.

Issue: Does the disbarment proceeding and other disciplinary actions should be taken against the senator?

Ruling:
NO, because the delivery of speech was conducted while the Congress is in session and therefore she is
covered with the state immunity provided in our Constitution Art. VI Sec.11 of the Constitution. Indeed, her
privilege speech is not actionable criminally or in a disciplinary proceeding under the Rules of Court. The plea
of Senator Santiago for the dismissal of the complaint for disbarment or disciplinary action is well taken.
Indeed, her privilege speech is not actionable criminally or in a disciplinary proceeding under the Rules of
Court.
The disciplinary actions falls under the Congress provided in The Rules of the Senate contains a provision on
Unparliamentary Acts and Language that enjoins a Senator from using, under any circumstance, offensive or
improper language against another Senator or against any public institution. Senate President had not
apparently called her to order, let alone referred the matter to the Senate Ethics Committee for appropriate
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disciplinary action, as the Rules dictates under such circumstance. The lady senator clearly violated the rules
of her own chamber. Therefore the disbarment case proceeding was DISMISSED.

Incompatible Offices&Forbidden Offices

Under Section 13, Article VI of the Constitution, it states some other disqualifications by which a member of
Congress may hold office, to wit:

Sec. 13. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other office or employment in
the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his seat. Neither shall he be
appointed to any office which may have been created or the emoluments thereof increased during the term for
which he was elected.

The first part of this section refers to what are known as incompatible offices, which may not be held by the
legislator during his tenure in Congress. The purpose is to prevent him from owing loyalty to another branch of
the government, to the detriment of the independence of the legislature and the doctrine of separation of
powers.

The prohibition against the holding of an incompatible office is not absolute; what is not allowed is the
simultaneous holding of that office and the seat in Congress. In the case of the rest of the legislators, any of
them may hold another office or employment in the government provided he forfeits, as a result, his position in
Congress.

Forfeiture of the legislators seat, or cessation of his tenure, shall be automatic upon the holding of the
incompatible office. Thus, a congress-man who was elected provincial governor was deemed to have
automatically forfeited his seat in the House of Representatives when he took his oath for the provincial office.
No resolution was necessary to declare his legislative post vacant.

In Adaza v. Pacana, the petitioner and the respondent were elected governor and vice-governor, respectively,
of Misamis Oriental. Both subsequently ran for the Batasang Pambansa, but only the petitioner won. Adaza
then qualified as a member of the lawmaking body, whereupon Pacana assumed the governorship as statutory
successor. Adaza challenged Pacanas takeover, contending that under the parliamentary system a legislator
could concurrently serve as governor; hence, there was no vacancy in the governorship that Pacana could fill.
Through Justice Escolin, the Court unanimously rejected this argument and held that Adaza automatically
forfeited the governorship the moment he took his oath as a member of the Batasang Pambansa.

The constitutional prohibition against a member of the Batasang Pambansa from holding any other office or
employment in the government during his tenure is clear. Section 10, Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution
provides as follows:

Sec. 10. A Member of the National Assembly shall not hold any other office or employment in the government
or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations,
during his tenure, except that of prime minister or member of the cabinet. xxx

The language used in the above-cited section is plain. The only exceptions mentioned therein are the offices of
prime minister and cabinet member. The wisdom or expediency of the said provision is a matter which is not
within the province of the Court to determine.

A public office is a public trust. It is created for the interest and the benefit of the people. As such, a holder
thereof is subject to such regulations and conditions as the law may impose and he cannot complain of any
restrictions which public policy may dictate on his holding of more than one office. It is therefore of no avail to
petitioner that the system of government in other states allows a local elective official to act as an elected
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member of the parliament at the same time. The dictate of the people in whom legal sovereignty lies is explicit.
It provides no exceptions save the two offices specifically cited in the above-quoted constitutional provision.
Thus, while it may be said that within the purely parliamentary system of government no incompatibility exists
in the nature of the two offices under consideration, as incompatibility herein present is one created by no less
than the Constitution itself. In the case at bar, there is no question that petitioner has taken his oath of office as
an elected Mambabatas Pambansa and has been discharging his duties as such. In the light of the oft-
mentioned constitutional provision, this fact operated to vacate his former post and he cannot now continue to
occupy the same, nor attempt to discharge its functions.

But not every other office or employment is to be regarded as incompatible with the legislative position. For
example, membership in the Electoral Tribunal is permitted by the Constitution itself. Moreover, if it can be
shown that the second office is an extension of the legislative position or is in aid of legislative duties, the
holding thereof will not result in the loss of the legislators seat in Congress.

Accordingly, the chairmen of the Senate and House committees on education retain their seats in Congress
while sitting concurrently as ex-officio members in the U.P. Board of Regents. Legislators who serve as treaty
negotiators under the President of the Philippines continue to sit in Congress, where they can better work for
the approval of the treaty and the passage of the needed implementing legislation.

But even if a member of Congress is willing to forfeit his seat therein, he may not be appointed to any civil
office in the government that has been created or the emoluments thereof have been increased while he was
incumbent in the legislature. Such a position is a forbidden office.

The purpose is to prevent trafficking in public office. Were the rule otherwise, certain legislators, especially
those not sure of reelection, might be able to work for the creation or improvement of lucrative positions and, in
combination with the President, arrange for their appointment thereto in order to provide for their future security
at the expense of the public service.

Notably, this provision does not apply to elective offices, which are filled by the voters themselves.

The appointment of a member of Congress to the forbidden office is not allowed only during the term for which
he was elected, when such office was created or its emoluments were increased. After such term, and even if
the legislator is reelected, the disqualification no longer applies and he may therefore be appointed to the
office.

Liban v. Gordon, G.R. No. 175352, 18 January 2011 (Ruling on Motion for Clarification and/or
Reconsideration filed by Gordon)
THE FACTS

Petitioners Liban, et al., who were officers of the Board of Directors of the Quezon City Red Cross Chapter,
filed with the Supreme Court what they styled as Petition to Declare Richard J. Gordon as Having Forfeited
His Seat in the Senate against respondent Gordon, who was elected Chairman of the Philippine National Red
Cross (PNRC) Board of Governors during his incumbency as Senator.

Petitioners alleged that by accepting the chairmanship of the PNRC Board of Governors, respondent Gordon
ceased to be a member of the Senate pursuant to Sec. 13, Article VI of the Constitution, which provides that
[n]o Senator . . . may hold any other office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or
instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his
term without forfeiting his seat. Petitioners cited the case of Camporedondo vs. NLRC, G.R. No. 129049,
decided August 6, 1999, which held that the PNRC is a GOCC, in supporting their argument that respondent
Gordon automatically forfeited his seat in the Senate when he accepted and held the position of Chairman of
the PNRC Board of Governors.
103

Formerly, in its Decision dated July 15, 2009, the Court, voting 7-5,[1] held that the office of the PNRC
Chairman is NOT a government office or an office in a GOCC for purposes of the prohibition in Sec. 13, Article
VI of the 1987 Constitution. The PNRC Chairman is elected by the PNRC Board of Governors; he is not
appointed by the President or by any subordinate government official. Moreover, the PNRC is NOT a GOCC
because it is a privately-owned, privately-funded, and privately-run charitable organization and because it is
controlled by a Board of Governors four-fifths of which are private sector individuals. Therefore, respondent
Gordon did not forfeit his legislative seat when he was elected as PNRC Chairman during his incumbency as
Senator.

The Court however held further that the PNRC Charter, R.A. 95, as amended by PD 1264 and 1643, is void
insofar as it creates the PNRC as a private corporation since Section 7, Article XIV of the 1935 Constitution
states that [t]he Congress shall not, except by general law, provide for the formation, organization, or
regulation of private corporations, unless such corporations are owned or controlled by the Government or any
subdivision or instrumentality thereof. The Court thus directed the PNRC to incorporate under the Corporation
Code and register with the Securities and Exchange Commission if it wants to be a private corporation. The
fallo of the Decision read:

WHEREFORE, we declare that the office of the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross is not a
government office or an office in a government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition
in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. We also declare that Sections 1, 2, 3, 4(a), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, and 13 of the Charter of the Philippine National Red Cross, or Republic Act No. 95, as amended by
Presidential Decree Nos. 1264 and 1643, are VOID because they create the PNRC as a private corporation or
grant it corporate powers.

Respondent Gordon filed a Motion for Clarification and/or for Reconsideration of the Decision. The PNRC
likewise moved to intervene and filed its own Motion for Partial Reconsideration. They basically questioned the
second part of the Decision with regard to the pronouncement on the nature of the PNRC and the
constitutionality of some provisions of the PNRC Charter.

II. THE ISSUE

Was it correct for the Court to have passed upon and decided on the issue of the constitutionality of the PNRC
charter? Corollarily: What is the nature of the PNRC?

III. THE RULING

[The Court GRANTED reconsideration and MODIFIED the dispositive portion of the Decision by deleting the
second sentence thereof.]

NO, it was not correct for the Court to have decided on the constitutional issue because it was not the very lis
mota of the case. The PNRC is sui generis in nature; it is neither strictly a GOCC nor a private corporation.

The issue of constitutionality of R.A. No. 95 was not raised by the parties, and was not among the issues
defined in the body of the Decision; thus, it was not the very lis mota of the case. We have reiterated the rule
as to when the Court will consider the issue of constitutionality in Alvarez v. PICOP Resources, Inc., thus:

This Court will not touch the issue of unconstitutionality unless it is the very lis mota. It is a well-established rule
that a court should not pass upon a constitutional question and decide a law to be unconstitutional or invalid,
unless such question is raised by the parties and that when it is raised, if the record also presents some other
ground upon which the court may [rest] its judgment, that course will be adopted and the constitutional
question will be left for consideration until such question will be unavoidable.
104

[T]his Court should not have declared void certain sections of . . . the PNRC Charter. Instead, the Court
should have exercised judicial restraint on this matter, especially since there was some other ground upon
which the Court could have based its judgment. Furthermore, the PNRC, the entity most adversely affected by
this declaration of unconstitutionality, which was not even originally a party to this case, was being compelled,
as a consequence of the Decision, to suddenly reorganize and incorporate under the Corporation Code, after
more than sixty (60) years of existence in this country.

Since its enactment, the PNRC Charter was amended several times, particularly on June 11, 1953, August 16,
1971, December 15, 1977, and October 1, 1979, by virtue of R.A. No. 855, R.A. No. 6373, P.D. No. 1264, and
P.D. No. 1643, respectively. The passage of several laws relating to the PNRCs corporate existence
notwithstanding the effectivity of the constitutional proscription on the creation of private corporations by law is
a recognition that the PNRC is not strictly in the nature of a private corporation contemplated by the aforesaid
constitutional ban.

A closer look at the nature of the PNRC would show that there is none like it[,] not just in terms of structure, but
also in terms of history, public service and official status accorded to it by the State and the international
community. There is merit in PNRCs contention that its structure is sui generis. It is in recognition of this sui
generis character of the PNRC that R.A. No. 95 has remained valid and effective from the time of its enactment
in March 22, 1947 under the 1935 Constitution and during the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution and the 1987
Constitution. The PNRC Charter and its amendatory laws have not been questioned or challenged on
constitutional grounds, not even in this case before the Court now.

[T]his Court [must] recognize the countrys adherence to the Geneva Convention and respect the unique status
of the PNRC in consonance with its treaty obligations. The Geneva Convention has the force and effect of law.
Under the Constitution, the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of
the law of the land. This constitutional provision must be reconciled and harmonized with Article XII, Section 16
of the Constitution, instead of using the latter to negate the former. By requiring the PNRC to organize under
the Corporation Code just like any other private corporation, the Decision of July 15, 2009 lost sight of the
PNRCs special status under international humanitarian law and as an auxiliary of the State, designated to
assist it in discharging its obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

The PNRC, as a National Society of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, can neither be
classified as an instrumentality of the State, so as not to lose its character of neutrality as well as its
independence, nor strictly as a private corporation since it is regulated by international humanitarian law and is
treated as an auxiliary of the State.

Although [the PNRC] is neither a subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the government, nor a GOCC or a
subsidiary thereof . . . so much so that respondent, under the Decision, was correctly allowed to hold his
position as Chairman thereof concurrently while he served as a Senator, such a conclusion does not ipso facto
imply that the PNRC is a private corporation within the contemplation of the provision of the Constitution, that
must be organized under the Corporation Code. [T]he sui generis character of PNRC requires us to approach
controversies involving the PNRC on a case-to-case basis.

In sum, the PNRC enjoys a special status as an important ally and auxiliary of the government in the
humanitarian field in accordance with its commitments under international law. This Court cannot all of a
sudden refuse to recognize its existence, especially since the issue of the constitutionality of the PNRC Charter
was never raised by the parties. It bears emphasizing that the PNRC has responded to almost all national
disasters since 1947, and is widely known to provide a substantial portion of the countrys blood requirements.
Its humanitarian work is unparalleled. The Court should not shake its existence to the core in an untimely and
drastic manner that would not only have negative consequences to those who depend on it in times of disaster
and armed hostilities but also have adverse effects on the image of the Philippines in the international
community. The sections of the PNRC Charter that were declared void must therefore stay.
105

[Thus, R.A. No. 95 remains valid and constitutional in its entirety. The Court MODIFIED the dispositive portion
of the Decision by deleting the second sentence, to now read as follows:

WHEREFORE, we declare that the office of the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross is not a
government office or an office in a government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition
in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.]

Discipline of Members
Section 16(3), Article VI of the Constitution provides the manner in which members of the Senate may be
disciplined, suspended or expelled. It provides as follows:

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and with
the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when
imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.

Rules of proceedings are needed for the orderly conduct of the sessions of Congress. Unless such rules
violate fundamental or individual rights, they are within the exclusive discretion of each House to formulate and
interpret and may not be judicially reversed.

Without the above provision, the authority to discipline its members can still be exercised by each House as an
inherent power, with the concurrence of a majority vote, conformably to the general rule on the will of the
majority. With this provision, the disciplinary power is not so much expressly conferred as limited because of
the specific conditions laid down for its proper exercise.

Thus, the courts may annul any expulsion or suspension of a member that is not concurred in by at least two-
thirds of the entire body or any suspension meted out by the legislature, even with the required two-thirds vote,
as to any period in excess of the 60-day maximum duration. These are procedural matters and therefore
justiciable.

But the interpretation of the phrase "disorderly behavior" is the prerogative of Congress and cannot as a rule
be judicially reviewed. The matter comes in the category of a political question. Accordingly, the Supreme
Court did not interfere when the legislature declared that the physical assault by one member against another,
or the delivery of a derogatory speech which the member was unable to substantiate, constituted "disorderly
behavior" and justified the adoption of disciplinary measures.

Other disciplinary measures besides expulsion and suspension are deletion of unparliamentary remarks from
the record, fine, imprisonment and censure, sometimes called "soft impeachment."

Defensor-Santiago v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 128055, 18 April 2001


Suspension of a Member of Congress Violations of RA 3019

In October 1988, Miriam Defensor Santiago, who was the then Commissioner of the Commission of
Immigration and Deportation (CID), approved the application for legalization of the stay of about 32 aliens. Her
act was said to be illegal and was tainted with bad faith and it ran counter against Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). The legalization of such is also a violation of Executive Order No. 324 which
prohibits the legalization of disqualified aliens. The aliens legalized by Santiago were allegedly known by her to
be disqualified. Two other criminal cases were filed against Santiago. Pursuant to this information, Francis
Garchitorena, a presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan, issued a warrant of arrest against Santiago. Santiago
petitioned for provisional liberty since she was just recovering from a car accident which was approved. In
1995, a motion was filed with the Sandiganbayan for the suspension of Santiago, who was already a senator
106

by then. The Sandiganbayan ordered the Senate President (Maceda) to suspend Santiago from office for 90
days.

ISSUE: Whether or not Sandiganbayan can order suspension of a member of the Senate without violating the
Constitution.

HELD: Yes. it is true that the Constitution provides that each house may determine the rules of its
proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its
Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.

But on the other hand, Section 13 of RA 3019 provides:

Suspension and loss of benefits. any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a
valid information under this Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving
fraud upon government or public funds or property whether as a simple or as a complex offense and in
whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office.
Should he be convicted by final judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if
he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive
during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against him.

In here, the order of suspension prescribed by RA. 3019 is distinct from the power of Congress to discipline its
own ranks under the Constitution. The suspension contemplated in the above constitutional provision is a
punitive measure that is imposed upon determination by the Senate or the Lower House, as the case may be,
upon an erring member. This is quite distinct from the suspension spoken of in Section 13 of RA 3019, which is
not a penalty but a preliminary, preventive measure, prescinding from the fact that the latter is not being
imposed on petitioner for misbehavior as a Member of the Senate.

Republic Act No. 3019 does not exclude from its coverage the members of Congress and that, therefore, the
Sandiganbayan did not err in thus decreeing the assailed preventive suspension order.

But Santiago committed the said act when she was still the CID commissioner, can she still be suspended as a
senator?

Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019 does not state that the public officer concerned must be suspended only
in the office where he is alleged to have committed the acts with which he has been charged. Thus, it has
been held that the use of the word office would indicate that it applies to any office which the officer charged
may be holding, and not only the particular office under which he stands accused.

Santiago has not yet been convicted of the alleged crime, can she still be suspended?

The law does not require that the guilt of the accused must be established in a pre-suspension proceeding
before trial on the merits proceeds. Neither does it contemplate a proceeding to determine (1) the strength of
the evidence of culpability against him, (2) the gravity of the offense charged, or (3) whether or not his
continuance in office could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records
another evidence before the court could have a valid basis in decreeing preventive suspension pending the
trial of the case. All it secures to the accused is adequate opportunity to challenge the validity or regularity of
the proceedings against him, such as, that he has not been afforded the right to due preliminary investigation,
that the acts imputed to him do not constitute a specific crime warranting his mandatory suspension from office
under Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019, or that the information is subject to quashal on any of the grounds
set out in Section 3, Rule 117, of the Revised Rules on Criminal procedure.

Electoral Tribunals
107

Section 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be
the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members.
Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme
Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the
House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional
representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system
represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.

The present Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) was constituted under Section 17, Article VI of the 1987
Constitution to be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualification of members of
the Senate of the Philippines. It is an independent, impartial and non-partisan tribunal composed of nine (9)
members. Three (3) members are Associate Justices of the Supreme Court designated by the Chief Justice.
As envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, they serve to neutralize the partisanship that may arise from
the political affiliation of the other six (6) members, who are Senators of the Philippines chosen on the basis of
proportional representation from the political parties represented in the Senate. The Tribunal is chaired by the
most senior Associate Justice-Member.

The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) is an electoral tribunal that decides election protests
in the House of Representatives of the Philippines. It consists of 6 representatives and 3 justices of the
Supreme Court of the Philippines, who are designated by the Chief Justice. The equivalent tribunals for
elections to the upper house is the Senate Electoral Tribunal and for president is the Presidential Electoral
Tribunal. The tribunal is located at SET-HRET Building, Commission on Audit Compound, Quezon City.

Bondoc v. Pineda, G.R. No. 97710, 26 September 1991


Removal of a Member&Separation of Powers

Emigdio Bondoc and Marciano Pineda were rivals for a Congressional seat in the 4th District of Pampanga.
Pineda was a member of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP). While Bondoc was a member of the
Nacionalista Party (NP). Pineda won in that election. However, Bondoc contested the result in the HRET
(House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal). Bondoc won in the protest and he was subsequently declared
as the winner by the HRET.

Meanwhile, one member of the HRET, Congressman Juanito Camasura, Jr. who was a member of LDP
confessed to Rep. Jose Cojuangco (LDPs leader) that he voted for Bondoc even though Bondoc was a
member of the NP. He confessed that he believed in his conscience that Bondoc truly won the election. This
resulted to Camasuras expulsion from the LDP. Pineda then moved that they withdraw Camasura from the
HRET. They further prayed that a new election be held and that the new LDP representative be appointed in
the HRET. This new representative will be voting for Pineda in the reopening of the election contest. Camasura
was then removed by HRETs chairwoman Justice Ameurfina Herrera. Naturally, Bondoc questioned such
action before the Supreme Court (SC).

Pineda contends that the issue is already outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court because Camasuras
removal is an official act of Congress and by virtue of the doctrine of separation of powers, the judiciary may
not interfere.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Supreme Court may inquire upon the validity of the said act of the HRET without
violating the doctrine of separation of powers.
108

HELD: Yes. The SC can settle the controversy in the case at bar without encroaching upon the function of the
legislature particularly a part thereof, HRET. The issue here is a judicial question. It must be noted that what is
being complained of is the act of HRET not the act of Congress. In here, when Camasura was rescinded by
the tribunal, a decision has already been made, members of the tribunal have already voted regarding the
electoral contest involving Pineda and Bondoc wherein Bondoc won. The LDP cannot withdraw their
representative from the HRET after the tribunal has already reached a decision. They cannot hold the same
election since the issue has already become moot and academic. LDP is merely changing their representative
to change the outcome of the election. Camasura should be reinstated because his removal was not due to a
lawful or valid cause. Disloyalty to party is not a valid cause for termination of membership in the HRET.
Expulsion of Camasura violates his right to security of tenure.

**HRET is composed of 9 members. 3 members coming from the SC. 5 coming from the majority party (LDP).
And 1 coming from the minority.

Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides:

Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall
be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of their respective members.
Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme
Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be members of the Senate or House of
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the
political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party list system represented therein. The
senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.

Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. L-45081, 15 July 1936


Separation of Powers

FACTS: In the elections of September 1935, Jose Angara, Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo and Dionisio Mayor
were candidates voted for the position of member of the National Assembly in the first district of Tayabas. The
petitioner was proclaimed member-elect for the said district for receiving the most number of votes and
thereafter took his oath in office. A Motion of Protest was filed by Ynsua against the election of the petitioner.
The petitioner countered this with a Motion to Dismiss the Protest which was denied by the Electoral
Commission.

ISSUES: Whether the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of
the controversy; and

Whether the said Electoral Commission acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in assuming cognizance of
the protest filed over the election of herein petitioner.

HELD: The National Assembly operates as a check on the Executive in the sense that its consent through its
Commission on Appointments is necessary in the appointments of certain officers; and the concurrence of a
majority of all its members is essential to the conclusion of treaties. Furthermore, its power to determine what
courts other than the Supreme Court shall be established, to define their jurisdiction and to appropriate funds
for their support, the National Assembly controls the judicial department to a certain extent. The Assembly also
exercises the judicial power of trying impeachments. The Judiciary, in turn, with the Supreme Court as the final
arbiter effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law, and hence to
declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution. This power of has been stated in
Section 2, Article VIII of the Constitution.
109

Section 4, Article VI of the Constitution provides that x x x The Electoral Commission shall be the sole judge of
all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. In
view of the deliberations of the framers of the Constitution, it is held that the Electoral Commission was acting
within the legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative in assuming to take cognizance of the protest filed
by the respondent Ynsua. The petition of writ of prohibition against the Electoral Commission is hereby denied.

Co v. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives, G.R. Nos. 92191- 92, 30 July 1991
Facts:
On May 11, 1987, the congressional election of Northern Samar was held.Among the candidate is herein
respondent Jose Ong, Jr. Respondent Ong was proclaimed the duly elected representative of the second
district of Northern Samar. Petitioners questioned the citizenship of respondent Ong since Ongs father was
only a naturalized Filipino citizen and questioned Ongs residence qualificationsince Ong does not own any
property in Samar.

ISSUE/s:

1.) Whether the decision of HRET is appealable;


2.) Whether respondent is a citizen of the Philippines; and
3.) WhetherOng is a resident of Samar.

RULING:

1.) Yes. The Constitution explicitly provides that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and
the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) shall be the sole judges of all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of their respective members. In the case at bar, the Court finds no improvident use of power, no
denial of due process on the part of the HRET which will necessitate the exercise of the power of judicial
review by the Supreme Court.
2.) Yes. On April 28, 1955, Jose OngChuan, respondents father, an immigrant from China was declared a
Filipino citizen by the CFI of Samar. At the time Jose OngChuan took his oath, the private respondent then is a
minor of nine years, was finishing his elementary education in the province of Samar. Hence, there is no
ground to deny the Filipino citizenship of respondent Ong. Respondent Ong was also born of a natural-born
Filipino mother, thus the issue of citizenship is immaterial.
3.) Yes. The framers of the Constitution adhered to the earlier definition given to the word residence which
regarded it as having the same meaning as domicile. The domicile of origin of the private respondent, which
was the domicile of his parents, is fixed at Laoang, Samar. Contrary to the petitioners' imputation, Jose Ong,
Jr. never abandoned said domicile; it remained fixed therein even up to the present. Hence, the residency of
respondent Ong has sufficiently proved.

WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby DISMISSED.

Duenas Jr. v. HRET, G.R. No. 185401, 21 July 2009


Under our constitutional scheme, the Supreme Court is the ultimate guardian of the Constitution, particularly of
the allocation of powers, the guarantee of individual liberties and the assurance of the peoples sovereignty.
The Court has the distinguished but delicate duty of determining and defining constitutional meaning, divining
constitutional intent and deciding constitutional disputes. Nonetheless, its judicial supremacy is never judicial
superiority (for it is co-equal with the other branches) or judicial tyranny (for it is supposed to be the least
dangerous branch). Instead, judicial supremacy is the conscious and cautious awareness and acceptance of
its proper place in the overall scheme of government with the objective of asserting and promoting the
supremacy of the Constitution. Thus, whenever the Court exercises its function of checking the excesses of
any branch of government, it is also duty-bound to check itself. Otherwise, who will guard the guardian?
110

FACTS:

Petitioner Henry Jun Dueas, Jr. and private respondent Angelito Jett P. Reyes were rival candidates for
the position of congressman in the 2nd legislative district of Taguig City in the May 14, 2007 synchronized
national and local elections. After the canvass of the votes, petitioner was proclaimed the winner, having
garnered 28,564 votes as opposed to private respondents 27,107 votes. Not conceding defeat, private
respondent filed an election protest, praying for a revision/recount, alleging that he was cheated in the
protested 170 of 732 precincts through insidious and well-orchestrated electoral frauds and anomalies which
resulted in the systematic reduction of his votes and the corresponding increase in petitioners votes.

In an order dated September 25, 2008, the HRET directed the continuation of the revision and appreciation of
the remaining 75% of the counter-protested precincts pursuant to Rule 88 of the HRET Rules. Instead of
complying with the order, petitioner filed an urgent motion to withdraw/abandon the remaining 75% counter-
protested precincts on October 27, 2008. This was denied by the HRET, reiterating its order directing the
continuation of the revision of ballots in the remaining 75% counter-protested precincts and recalling its order
requiring petitioner to augment his cash deposit. The Tribunal instead ordered the use of its own funds for the
revision of the remaining 75% counter-protested precincts.

On November 27, 2008, the HRET issued a resolution under Rule 88 of the HRET Rules and settled
jurisprudence, ruling that it had the discretion either to dismiss the protest or counter-protest, or to continue
with the revision if necessitated by reasonable and sufficient grounds affecting the validity of the election. This
was with the end in view of ascertaining the true choice of the electorate. It was the HRETs position that the
mere filing of a motion to withdraw/abandon the unrevised precincts did not automatically divest the HRET of
its jurisdiction over the same. Moreover, it ruled that its task of determining the true will of the electorate was
not confined to the examination of contested ballots. Under its plenary power, it could motu propio review the
validity of every ballot involved in a protest or counter-protest and the same could not be frustrated by the mere
expedient of filing a motion to withdraw/abandon the remaining counter-protested precincts. Convinced that it
could not determine the true will of the electorate of the 2nd legislative district of Taguig City on the basis alone
of the initial revision of the 100% protested precincts and the 25% counter-protested precincts, it had no other
recourse but to continue the revision and appreciation of all the remaining 75% counter-protested precincts.

ISSUE:

(1) Whether the HRET committed grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, in
issuing the Resolution, to continue the revision and appreciation of all the remaining 75% counter-protested
precincts.

(2) Whether or not HRETs assumption of the burden of the costs of the continued revision amounted to an
illegal and unconstitutional disbursement of public funds nder Section 29 (1), Article VI of the Constitution.

HELD:

The petition has no merit.

So long as the Constitution grants the HRET the power to be the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives, any final action taken by the
HRET on a matter within its jurisdiction shall, as a rule, not be reviewed by this Court . the power granted to
the Electoral Tribunal x x x excludes the exercise of any authority on the part of this Court that would in any
wise restrict it or curtail it or even affect the same. Guided by this basic principle, the Court will neither assume
a power that belongs exclusively to the HRET nor substitute its own judgment for that of the Tribunal.

(1) HRETs Power to Deny the Motion to Withdraw / Abandon Counter-protest


111

First, there are 732 precincts in the 2nd Legislative District of Taguig City, where respondent protested the
election results in 170 precincts and petitioner counter-protested 560 precincts. All in all, therefore, 730
precincts were the subject of the revision proceedings. While 100% of the protested precincts were already
revised, only 25% or 140 of the counter-protested precincts (or a total of 310 precincts) were actually done.
Yet, with 420 more precincts to go had the HRET only been allowed to continue its proceedings, petitioner
claims that respondents were only speculating that a sufficient number of fake/spurious ballots would be
discovered in the remaining 75% counter-protested precincts and that these fake/spurious ballots would
overturn the result of the election.

Indeed, due regard and respect for the authority of the HRET as an independent constitutional body require
that any finding of grave abuse of discretion against that body should be based on firm and convincing proof,
not on shaky assumptions. Any accusation of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the HRET must be
established by a clear showing of arbitrariness and improvidence. But the Court finds no evidence of such
grave abuse of discretion by the HRET.

Second, the Constitution mandates that the HRET shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of its members. By employing the word sole, the Constitution is emphatic
that the jurisdiction of the HRET in the adjudication of election contests involving its members is exclusive and
exhaustive. Its exercise of power is intended to be its own full, complete and unimpaired.

Protective of its jurisdiction and assertive of its constitutional mandate, the Tribunal adopted Rule 7 of the
HRET Rules: The Tribunal shall have exclusive control, direction and supervision of all matters pertaining to
its own functions and operation.

In this connection and in the matter of the revision of ballots, the HRET reserved for itself the discretion to
continue or discontinue the process. The meaning of Rule 88 is plain. The HRET could continue or discontinue
the revision proceedings ex propio motu, that is, of its own accord. Thus, even if we were to adopt petitioners
view that he ought to have been allowed by HRET to withdraw his counter-protest, there was nothing to
prevent the HRET from continuing the revision of its own accord by authority of Rule 88.

The only prerequisite to the exercise by the HRET of its prerogative under Rule 88 was its own determination
that the evidence thus far presented could affect the officially proclaimed results. Much like the appreciation of
contested ballots and election documents, the determination of whether the evidence could influence the
officially proclaimed results was a highly technical undertaking, a function best left to the specialized expertise
of the HRET.

At the risk of unduly encroaching on the exclusive prerogative of the HRET as the sole judge of election
contests involving its members, the Court cannot substitute its own sense or judgment for that of the HRET on
the issues of whether the evidence presented during the initial revision could affect the officially proclaimed
results and whether the continuation of the revision proceedings could lead to a determination of the true will of
the electorate. TheCourt should merely test whether or not the governmental branch or agency has gone
beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction, not that it erred or had a different view. If the Court will
dictate to the HRET on how to proceed with these election protest proceedings, the Tribunal will no longer
have exclusive control, direction and supervision of all matters pertaining to its own functions and operation. It
will constitute an intrusion into the HRETs domain and a curtailment of the HRETs power to act of its own
accord on its own evaluation of the evidentiary weight and effect of the result of the initial revision.

Finally, it is hornbook doctrine that jurisdiction, once acquired, is not lost at the instance of the parties but
continues until the case is terminated. Thus, in Robles v. HRET, the Court ruled: The mere filing of the motion
to withdraw protest on the remaining uncontested precincts, without any action on the part of respondent
tribunal, does not by itself divest the tribunal of its jurisdiction over the case. Jurisdiction, once acquired, is not
lost upon the instance of the parties but continues until the case is terminated. Certainly, the Tribunal retains
the authority to grant or deny the Motion, and the withdrawal becomes effective only when the Motion is
granted. To hold otherwise would permit a party to deprive the Tribunal of jurisdiction already acquired.
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Where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter, its orders upon all questions pertaining to the cause
are orders within its jurisdiction, and however erroneous they may be, they cannot be corrected by certiorari.
This rule more appropriately applies to respondent HRET whose independence as a constitutional body has
time and again been upheld by Us in many cases. As explained in the case of Lazatin v. The House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal and Timbol, G.R. No. 84297, December 8, 1988, thus:

The use of the word sole emphasizes the exclusive character of the jurisdiction conferred [Angara v. Electoral
Commission, supra, at 162]. The exercise of the Power by the Electoral Commission under the 1935
Constitution has been described as `intended to be complete and unimpaired as if it had remained originally in
the legislature [Id. at 175]. Earlier, this grant of power to the legislature was characterized by Justice Malcolm
as full, clear and complete [Veloso v. Board of Canvassers of Leyte and Samar, 39 Phil. 886 (1919)]. Under
the amended 1935 Constitution, the power was unqualifiedly reposed upon the Electoral Tribunal [Suanes v.
Chief Accountant of the Senate, 81 Phil. 818 (1948)] and it remained as full, clear and complete as that
previously granted the legislature and the Electoral Commission [Lachica v. Yap, G.R. No. L-25379,
September 25, 1968, 25 SCRA 140]. The same may be said with regard to the jurisdiction of the Electoral
Tribunals under the 1987 Constitution. Thus, judicial review of decisions or final resolutions of the House
Electoral Tribunal is (thus) possible only in the exercise of this Courts so-called extraordinary jurisdiction, . . .
upon a determination that the tribunals decision or resolution was rendered without or in excess of its
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion or, paraphrasing Morrera, upon a clear showing of such arbitrary
and improvident use by the Tribunal of its power as constitutes a denial of due process of law, or upon a
demonstration of a very clear unmitigated ERROR, manifestly constituting such a GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION that there has to be a remedy for such abuse. (emphasis supplied)

(2) HRETs Discretion to Use Its Own Funds in Revision Proceedings

When jurisdiction is conferred by law on a court or tribunal, that court or tribunal, unless otherwise
provided by law, is deemed to have the authority to employ all writs, processes and other means to make its
power effective. Where a general power is conferred or duty enjoined, every particular power necessary for the
exercise of one or the performance of the other is also conferred. Since the HRET possessed the authority to
motu propio continue a revision of ballots, it also had the wherewithal to carry it out. It thus ordered the
disbursement of its own funds for the revision of the ballots in the remaining counter-protested precincts. We
hark back to Rule 7 of the HRET Rules which provides that the HRET has exclusive control, direction and
supervision of its functions. The HRETs order was but one aspect of its power.

Moreover, Rule 8 of the HRET Rules provides that the Tribunal shall have and exercise all such powers as are
vested in it by the Constitution or by law, and such other powers as are necessary or incidental to the
accomplishment of its purposes and functions as set forth in the Constitution or as may be provided by law.
(emphasis supplied)

Certainly, the HRETs order that its own funds be used for the revision of the ballots from the 75% counter-
protested precincts was an exercise of a power necessary or incidental to the accomplishment of its primary
function as sole judge of election protest cases involving its members.

First, if petitioner hypothetically admits that the HRET has the power to order the continuation of the revision of
the 75% remaining counter-protested precincts, then he should also necessarily concede that there is nothing
to prevent the HRET from using its own funds to carry out such objective. Otherwise, the existence of such
power on the part of the HRET becomes useless and meaningless.

Second, Section 1, Chapter 1 of RA 9498 provides that the HRET has an allotted budget for the Adjudication
of Electoral Contests Involving Members of the House of Representatives. The provision is general and
encompassing enough to authorize the use of the HRETs funds for the revision of ballots, whether in a protest
or counter-protest. Being allowed by law, the use of HRET funds for the revision of the remaining 75% counter-
protested precincts was not illegal, much less violative of Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code. To reiterate,
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the law (particularly RA 9498) itself has appropriated funds for adjudicating election contests in the HRET. As
an independent constitutional body, and having received the proper appropriation for that purpose, the HRET
had wide discretion in the disbursement and allocation of such funds.

Third, HRET ha[s] the inherent power to suspend its own rules and disburse its funds for any lawful purpose it
deemed best. This is specially significant in election contests such as this where what is at stake is the vital
public interest in determining the true will of the electorate. In any event, nothing prevented the HRET from
ordering any of the parties to make the additional required deposit(s) to cover costs, as respondent in fact
manifested in the HRET. Such disbursement could not be deemed a giving of unwarranted benefit, advantage
or preference to a party since the benefit would actually redound to the electorate whose true will must be
determined. Suffrage is a matter of public, not private, interest. The Court declared in Aruelo, Jr. v. Court of
Appeals that [o]ver and above the desire of the candidates to win, is the deep public interest to determine the
true choice of the people. Thus, in an election protest, any benefit to a party would simply be incidental.

All told, it should be borne in mind that the present petition is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court. It alleges that the HRET committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction when it promulgated Resolution No. 08-353 dated November 27, 2008. But what is grave abuse of
discretion? It is such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment which is tantamount to lack of jurisdiction.
Ordinary abuse of discretion is insufficient. The abuse of discretion must be grave, that is, the power is
exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. It must be so patent
and gross as to amount to evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined by or to
act at all in contemplation of the law. In other words, for a petition for certiorari to prosper, there must be a
clear showing of caprice and arbitrariness in the exercise of discretion. There is also grave abuse of discretion
when there is a contravention of the Constitution, the law or existing jurisprudence. Using the foregoing as
yardstick, the Court finds that petitioner miserably failed to discharge the onus probandi imposed on him.

Vinzons-Chato v. HRET and Panotes, G.R. Nos. 199149 and 201350, 22 January 2013
In the May 10, 2010 elections, Chato and Panotes both ran for the congressional seat to represent the Second
District of Camarines Norte. On May 12, 2010, Panotes was proclaimed as the winner for having garnered
51,704 votes. The votes cast for Chato totalled 47,822. Chato filed an electoral protest before the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) assailing the results in all the 160 clustered precincts in four (4)
municipalities. Chato designated forty (40) pilot clustered precincts, equivalent to 25% of the total number of
protested clustered precincts, in which revision of ballots shall be conducted. The initial revision of ballots,
conducted on March 21 - 24, 2011, showed a substantial discrepancy between the votes of the parties per
physical count vis-a-vis their votes per election returns in certain precincts. Panotes lost no time in moving for
the suspension of the proceedings in the case, and praying that a preliminary hearing be set in order to
determine first the integrity of the ballots and the ballot boxes used in the elections.
Consequently, in its Resolution, HRET directed the copying of the picture image files of ballots relative to the
protest. After the initial revision of the pilot protested clustered precincts, Chato moved for the revision of
ballots in all of the protested clustered precincts arguing that the results of the revision of 25% of said precincts
indicate a reasonable recovery of votes in her favor, but was denied by HRET. HRET issued the assailed
Resolution directing the continuation of the revision of ballots in the remaining 75% protested clustered
precincts, or a total of 120 precincts. Expectedly, Panotes moved for reconsideration, which was denied for
lack of merit.
ISSUE
WON there were grave abuse of discretion on the part of HRET in ordering the continuation of the revision of
ballots in the remaining 75% of the protested clustered precincts?
Ruling
There were no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the HRET since the Constitution mandates that the
HRET "shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications" of its members.
By employing the word "sole", the Constitution is emphatic that the jurisdiction of the HRET in the adjudication
of election contests involving its members is intended to be its own full, complete and unimpaired. The
Tribunal, thus, unequivocally asserted its exclusive control in Rule 7 of the 2011 HRET Rules, as follows:
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Rule 7. Exclusive Control of Functions. The Tribunal shall have exclusive control, direction, and supervision
of all matters pertaining to its own functions and operation.
Contrary to Panotes' posturing, there existed legal and factual bases for the revision of the remaining 75% of
the protested clustered precincts. Rule 37 of the 2011 HRET Rules clearly provides that, after post-revision
determination of the merit or legitimacy of the protest, the Tribunal may proceed with the revision of the ballots
in the remaining contested precincts. It should be pointed out, however, that the provision in question is
couched in the permissive term "may" instead of the mandatory word "shall." Therefore, it is merely directory,
and the HRET is not without authority to opt to proceed with the revision of ballots in the remaining contested
precincts even if there was no reasonable recovery made by the protestant in the initial revision.
At the risk of unduly encroaching on the exclusive prerogative of the HRET as the sole judge of election
contests involving its members, the Court cannot substitute its own judgment for that of the HRET on the
issues of whether the evidence presented during the initial revision could affect the officially proclaimed results
and whether the continuation of the revision proceedings could lead to a determination of the true will of the
electorate.

Abayon v. HRET, G.R. Nos. 222236 and 223032, 03 May 2016


HARLIN C. ABAYON, Petitioner, v. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL (HRET) AND
RAUL A. DAZA, Respondents.

G.R. No. 223032

HARLIN C. ABAYON, Petitioner, v. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL (HRET) AND


RAUL A. DAZA, Respondent.

DECISION

MENDOZA, J.:

These consolidated petitions for certiorari filed under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seek to reverse and set
aside the December 14, 20151 and January 21, 20162 Resolutions of the House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal (HRET) in HRET Case No. 13-023, dismissing the counter-protest of petitioner Harlin C. Abayon
(Abayon); and the February 3, 2016 Decision3 and the March 7, 2016 Resolution4 of the HRET in the same
case, which found private respondent Raul A. Daza (Daza) as the duly elected Representative of the First
Legislative District of Northern Samar in the May 13, 2013 Elections.

The Antecedents

Abayon and Daza were contenders for the position of Representative in the First Legislative District of
Northern Samar during the May 13, 2013 Elections. Out of the votes cast in the 332 clustered precincts in the
First District of Northern Samar, Abayon emerged as the winner after obtaining the majority vote of 72,857.
Daza placed second with a total of 72,805 votes. The difference was 52 votes. On May 17, 2013, the Provincial
Board of Canvassers of Northern Samar proclaimed Abayon as the duly elected member of the House of
Representatives for the said legislative district.5

On May 31, 2013, Daza filed his Election Protest6 challenging the elections results in 25 clustered precincts in
the Municipalities of Biri, Capul, Catarman, Lavezares, San Isidro, and Victoria. In his protest, he bewailed that
there was massive fraud, vote-buying, intimidation, employment of illegal and fraudulent devices and schemes
before, during and after the elections benefitting Abayon and that terrorism was committed by the latter and his
unidentified cohorts, agents and supporters.7

On August 1, 2013, Abayon filed his Verified Answer raising special and affirmative defenses as well as his
Counter-Protest.8 He challenged the results in all 332 precincts alleging that the 72,805 votes obtained by
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Daza were questionable in view of the frauds and anomalies committed by the latter and his supporters during
the elections.9

In its Resolution No. 14-055,10 dated February 27, 2014, the HRET found both Daza's protest and Abayon's
counter-protest to be sufficient in form and substance. From October 14, 2014, until October 15, 2014, revision
proceedings were conducted on the 25 clustered precincts protested by Daza.11 After the revision of ballots in
the said precincts, the votes for Abayon increased by 28 and the votes for Daza increased by 14.12

In his Urgent Manifestation and Omnibus Motion,13 dated September 3, 2015, Daza moved for the withdrawal
of his cause of action for the recount, revision and re-appreciation of the ballots in the clustered precincts in the
municipalities of Biri, Capul and San Isidro. He likewise prayed that the validity and legitimacy of his separate
and distinct cause of action for the annulment of election results in certain identified precincts on the ground of
terrorism be upheld.14 In its Resolution No. 15-052, dated September 24, 2015, the HRET granted Daza's
motion and directed the Hearing Commissioner to continue with the reception of Abayon's defense on the
issue of terrorism and to hold in abeyance the proceedings relative to his counter-protest.15

G.R. No. 222236

Thereafter, Daza filed an Urgent Manifestation and Motion,16 dated November 4, 2015, praying that Abayon's
counter-protest be dismissed as a consequence of the withdrawal of his (Daza's) cause of action for the
recount, revision and re-appreciation in the concerned clustered precincts.

In its Resolution No. 15-058, dated December 14, 2015, the HRET granted Daza's motion and dismissed
Abayon's counter-protest. Abayon moved for reconsideration but his motion was denied by the HRET in its
January 21, 2016 Resolution. Aggrieved, Abayon filed a Petition for Certiorari17 with prayer for the urgent
issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or a status quo ante order and/or Preliminary injunction
before the Court, which was docketed as G.R. No. 222236.

Meanwhile, the HRET proceeded with the reception of evidence with regard to the issue of terrorism on the
remaining clustered precincts in the municipalities of Lavezares and Victoria. After the parties had submitted
their memoranda, the HRET decided the election protest in Daza's favor and declared him as the winning
candidate.

G.R. No. 223032

In its February 3, 2016 Decision, the HRET annulled the election results in five (5) clustered precincts in the
municipalities of Lavezares and Victoria because of the commission of massive terrorism. As a result of
nullifying the election results in the said clustered precincts, the HRET deducted the votes received by the
parties in the concerned clustered precincts and concluded that Daza obtained 72,436 votes and Abayon had
72,002 votes.

The HRET highlighted that Daza presented testimonial and documentary evidence showing that: (1) prior to
the May 13, 2013 elections, the National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) had already shown its
animosity and hostility towards him and his then incumbent governor son through the posting on the NDF-EV
website and in conspicuous places statements declaring them as enemies of the people of Northern Samar;
(2) comic magazines vilifying them were distributed; (3) "pulong-pulongs" were held in the concerned
barangays where the NDF-EV exhorted the resident-attendees to vote against him and in favor of Abayon,
threatening to comeback if the result were otherwise; (4) his supporters and/or fellow Liberal Party candidates
were prohibited from campaigning for him, and also from mounting tarpaulins/posters and distributing sample
ballots; (5) Abayon had meetings with NDF-EV officials, during which times, he gave them money and guns;
and (6) NDF-EV armed partisans were deployed around the school premises in the concerned precincts on
election day.
116

The HRET found that Daza had adduced convincing evidence to establish that fear was instilled in the minds
of hundreds of resident-voters in the protested clustered precincts from the time they had attended the
"pulong-pulongs" up until the election day itself when armed partisans were deployed to the schools to ensure
that the voters would not vote for him but for Abayon.

The HRET disregarded the certifications issued by the Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Antonio G. Gulay Jr.
that there was no failure of election in Northern Samar and by P/SSupt. Mario Abraham Gonzalez Lenaming,
Officer-in-Charge of the Northern Samar Police Provincial Office, that the conduct of the elections was
generally peaceful despite the occurrence of two election-related incidents in the First District of Northern
Samar. The HRET noted that the said government officials were not presented to testify and, even if the said
certifications were admissible, it had no probative value in disputing the terroristic acts committed upon the
voters in the assailed precincts.

The HRET ratiocinated that there was clear and convincing evidence to warrant the annulment of the elections
in the concerned precincts because the terrorism affected more than 50% of the votes cast in the said
precincts and it was impossible to distinguish the good votes from the bad.

Abayon moved for reconsideration, but his motion was denied by the HRET in its March 7, 2016 Resolution.

On March 9, 2016, Abayon filed before the Court this petition for certiorari18 and prohibition with prayer for the
urgent issuance of TRO and/or a status quo ante order and/or preliminary injunction before the Court, which
was docketed as G.R. No. 223032.

These present consolidated petitions raise the following:

ISSUES

1] Whether the HRET had jurisdiction to annul the elections in the contested precincts in the municipalities of
Lavezares and Victoria;

2] Whether the HRET committed grave abuse of discretion in annulling the elections on the ground of
terrorism; and

2] Whether the HRET committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the counter-protest filed by Abayon.
G.R. No. 222236

Petitioner Abayon insists that the HRET erred when it dismissed his counter-protest as it was in violation of his
right to due process. He states that the resolutions issued by the HRET dismissing his counter-protest did not
state clearly and distinctly the facts and legal bases thereof. Abayon even asserts that the HRET admitted in its
resolution that it merely adopted the facts and the law invoked by Daza in his urgent manifestation and motion.

He argues that the counter-protest could not be simply dismissed on the basis of Daza's withdrawal of his
cause of action for the recount, revision and re-appreciation of the ballots in the clustered precincts in Biri,
Capul and San Isidro; that a counter-protest is an independent, distinct, separate and alternative legal remedy
which is exclusively available to a protestee in an election protest case; and that his counter-protest may be
summarily dismissed only if the grounds under Rule 2119 of the 2011 HRET Rules of Procedure are present.

G.R. No. 223032

Abayon asserts that the nullification of the election results in the concerned clustered precincts was not within
the jurisdiction of the HRET. He explains that the annulment of election results on the ground of terrorism is
akin to a declaration of failure of elections, which is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) En Banc pursuant to Section 4 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7166.20
117

Further, Abayon argues that even if the HRET had jurisdiction to annul election results, it still committed grave
abuse of discretion in this particular case for lack of legal and factual bases. He avers that there was no clear
and convincing evidence to establish that terrorism affected more than 50% of the votes cast and that it was
impossible to distinguish the good votes from the bad. Abayon heavily relies on the respective certifications
issued by the COMELEC and the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the elections in Northern Samar were
orderly and peaceful.

Also, Abayon laments that his right to due process was violated because the HRET did not exhibit the cold
neutrality of an impartial judge in handling the present election protest. He points out that the HRET granted
Daza's motion to present additional witnesses without him being granted the opportunity to be heard. Abayon
also reiterates that his counter-protest was unceremoniously dismissed.

Position of Respondent Daza

In his Consolidated Comment,21 dated March 28, 2016, Daza countered that the petition (G.R. No. 222236)
should be dismissed because it contained fatal violations of the Rules of Court. He cited the following
infractions: (1) forum shopping; (2) the resolution dismissing Abayon's protest had become final and executory
for his failure to file a motion for reconsideration thereof; and (3) the petition did not indicate in its caption the
original case number before the HRET. Moreover, Daza contended that the petition was without merit because
the HRET could continue or discontinue the revision proceedings motu propio. In addition, he stated that the
case had been mooted by the promulgation of the HRET decision declaring him as the winner in the last
electoral process.

Further, Daza posited that the HRET had jurisdiction to annul the election results on the ground of terrorism.
He questioned the present petition (G.R. No. 223032) as it raised factual issues, which was outside the
province of a Rule 65 petition. He stressed that the Court could only exercise its certiorari jurisdiction in cases
of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the HRET. Daza further stated that even if the Court were to review
the factual findings of the HRET, it would still find clear and convincing evidence to justify the annulment of
election results in the contested precincts. He asserted that the testimonies of the voters and residents of the
concerned precincts were corroborated by P/SSupt. Isaias B. Tonog (P/SSupt. Tonog), then Provincial Director
of Northern Samar; and Col. Roberto S. Capulong (Col. Capulong), Operations Officer of the 8th Division,
Philippine Army in Catbalogan, Samar. Daza explained that the totality of his evidence clearly and convincingly
showed that the NDF-EV, through violence, intimidation and threats conducted before and during elections,
harassed voters in the contested precincts to vote for Abayon and threatened them should they not do so.

In its Consolidated Comment,22 dated March 28, 2016, the HRET, through the Office of the Solicitor General,
averred that it had jurisdiction to annul election results. It highlighted Rule 16 of the 2011 HRET Rules stating
that the election or returns of a proclaimed House Representative may be assailed in an election protest if the
election or returns were attended by specific acts or omission constituting electoral frauds, anomalies or
irregularities, which necessarily included acts of terrorism to dissuade voters from casting their vote or to alter
the results of the election.

The HRET faulted Abayon in claiming that the case was similar to a declaration of failure of elections which
was under the jurisdiction of the COMELEC En Banc, pursuant to R.A. No. 7166. It reasoned that mere
allegation of terrorism would not immediately convert the case to a nullification case because terrorism was an
act resulting in either failure of elections or electoral fraud, anomaly, or irregularity, which can only be protested
through an election protest. Moreover, the HRET claimed that it did not commit grave abuse of discretion as its
decision in favor of Daza was supported by clear and convincing evidence. As such, it concluded that its
decision should be sustained.

The HRET further stated that it did not commit grave abuse of discretion in dismissing Abayon's counter-
protest because it had the prerogative to discontinue the revision proceedings. It likewise elucidated that
Abayon was not deprived of due process when his counter-protest was dismissed because he was given his
day in court.
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The HRET underscored that Abayon did not move for reconsideration when his counter-protest was denied,
hence, the resolution became final and executory.

Finally, the HRET posited that it did not violate Article VIII, Section 14 of the Constitution23 because the
assailed resolutions were merely interlocutory orders and, even if they were considered decisions or final
orders, they sufficiently stated the facts and law upon which they were based as there was no proscription
against the court's adoption of the narration of facts made in the briefs or memoranda of the parties.

The Court's Ruling

The petitions are impressed with merit.

The HRET Jurisdiction

Article VI, Section 17 of the Constitution clearly spells out HRET's jurisdiction, to wit:
The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. Each
Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court
to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the
political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The
senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman,

[Emphasis Supplied]
Abayon argues that the annulment of the election results in the contested precincts was beyond the jurisdiction
of the HRET as the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of
the House of Representatives. He claims that under Section 4 of R.A. No. 7166,24 only the COMELEC En
Banc has jurisdiction to annul elections or declare a failure of elections. Daza, on the other hand, counters that
the power of the HRET to annul election results, where terrorism, fraud or other irregularities are existent,
differs from the power of the COMELEC to declare failure of elections or annul elections pursuant to the
provisions of R.A. No. 7166.

Both Abayon and Daza do not contest the exclusive jurisdiction of the HRET to decide election protests filed
against members of the House of Representatives. They, however, diverge as to the extent of its jurisdiction.

An Election Protest proposes to oust the winning candidate from office. It is strictly a contest between the
defeated and the winning candidates, based on the grounds of electoral frauds or irregularities.25 It aims to
determine who between them has actually obtained the majority of the legal votes cast and, therefore, entitled
to hold the office.26

The Court agrees that the power of the HRET to annul elections differ from the power granted to the
COMELEC to declare failure of elections. The Constitution no less, grants the HRET with exclusive jurisdiction
to decide all election contests involving the members of the House of Representatives, which necessarily
includes those which raise the issue of fraud, terrorism or other irregularities committed before, during or after
the elections. To deprive the HRET the prerogative to annul elections would undermine its constitutional fiat to
decide election contests. The phrase "election, returns and qualifications" should be interpreted in its totality as
referring to all matters affecting the validity of the contestee's title.27 Consequently, the annulment of election
results is but a power concomitant to the HRET's constitutional mandate to determine the validity of the
contestee's title.

The power granted to the HRET by the Constitution is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as if it had
remained originally in the legislature.28 Thus, the HRET, as the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives, may annul election results if
119

in its determination, fraud, terrorism or other electoral irregularities existed to warrant the annulment. Because
in doing so, it is merely exercising its constitutional duty to ascertain who among the candidates received the
majority of the valid votes cast.

To the Court's mind, the HRET had jurisdiction to determine whether there was terrorism in the contested
precincts. In the event that the HRET would conclude that terrorism indeed existed in the said precincts, then it
could annul the election results in the said precincts to the extent of deducting the votes received by Daza and
Abayon in order to remain faithful to its constitutional mandate to determine who among the candidates
received the majority of the valid votes cast.

Moreover, the passage of R.A. No. 7166 cannot deprive the HRET of its incidental power to annul elections in
the exercise of its sole and exclusive authority conferred by no less than the Constitution. It must be
remembered that the COMELEC exercises quasi-judicial, quasi-legislative and administrative functions. In
Bedol v. COMELEC,29 the Court expounded, to wit:
The powers and functions of the COMELEC, conferred upon it by the 1987 Constitution and the Omnibus
Election Code, may be classified into administrative, quasi-legislative, and quasi-judicial. The quasi-judicial
power of the COMELEC embraces the power to resolve controversies arising from the enforcement of election
laws, and to be the sole judge of all pre-proclamation controversies; and of all contests relating to the elections,
returns, and qualifications. Its quasi-legislative power refers to the issuance of rules and regulations to
implement the election laws and to exercise such legislative functions as may expressly be delegated to it by
Congress. Its administrative function refers to the enforcement and administration of election laws. In the
exercise of such power, the Constitution (Section 6, Article IX-A) and the Omnibus Election Code (Section 52
[c]) authorize the COMELEC to issue rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the 1987
Constitution and the Omnibus Election Code.

The quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory power is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to
which the legislative policy is to apply, and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by the law
itself in enforcing and administering the same law.30

[Emphases Supplied]
Thus, the COMELEC exercises its quasi-judicial function when it decides election contests not otherwise
reserved to other electoral tribunals by the Constitution. The COMELEC, however, does not exercise its quasi-
judicial functions when it declares a failure of elections pursuant to R.A. No. 7166. Rather, the COMELEC
performs its administrative function when it exercises such power.

R.A. No. 7166 was enacted to empower the COMELEC to be most effective in the performance of its sacred
duty of ensuring the conduct of honest and free elections.31 Further, a closer perusal of Section 6 of the
Omnibus Election Code readily reveals that it is more in line with the COMELEC's administrative function of
ensuring that elections are free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible, and not its quasi-judicial function to
adjudicate election contests. The said provision reads:
Sec. 6. Failure of elections - If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous
causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before
the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the
transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to
elect, and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the
Commission shall, on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing,
call for the holding or continuation of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on
a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect
but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the
election or failure to elect.

[Emphasis Supplied]
In Sambarani v. COMELEC,32 the Court clarified the nature of the COMELEC's power to declare failure of
elections, to wit:
120

Section 2(1) of Article IX(C) of the Constitution gives the COMELEC the broad power to "enforce and
administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and
recall." Indisputably, the text and intent of this constitutional provision is to give COMELEC all the necessary
and incidental powers for it to achieve its primordial objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful and
credible elections.

The functions of the COMELEC under the Constitution are essentially executive and administrative in nature. It
is elementary in administrative law that "courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound
discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the special technical
knowledge and training of such agencies." The authority given to COMELEC to declare a failure of elections
and to call for special elections falls under its administrative function.33

[Emphasis Supplied]
Consequently, the difference between the annulment of elections by electoral tribunals and the declaration of
failure of elections by the COMELEC cannot be gainsaid. First, the former is an incident of the judicial function
of electoral tribunals while the latter is in the exercise of the COMELEC's administrative function. Second,
electoral tribunals only annul the election results connected with the election contest before it whereas the
declaration of failure of elections by the COMELEC relates to the entire election in the concerned precinct or
political unit. As such, in annulling elections, the HRET does so only to determine who among the candidates
garnered a majority of the legal votes cast. The COMELEC, on the other hand, declares a failure of elections
with the objective of holding or continuing the elections, which were not held or were suspended, or if there
was one, resulted in a failure to elect. When COMELEC declares a failure of elections, special elections will
have to be conducted.34

Hence, there is no overlap of jurisdiction because when the COMELEC declares a failure of elections on the
ground of violence, intimidation, terrorism or other irregularities, it does so in its administrative capacity. In
contrast, when electoral tribunals annul elections under the same grounds, they do so in the performance of
their quasi-judicial functions.

Annulment of elections only warranted in exceptional circumstances

Abayon asserts that even if the HRET had jurisdiction to annul the elections in the concerned precincts, the
latter nonetheless acted with grave abuse of discretion because the circumstances did not warrant the
nullification of the results in the contested precincts. He explains that Daza failed to sufficiently establish that
terrorism was so prevalent in the said clustered precincts that it had adversely affected the right of the majority
of residents to vote and that made it impossible to differentiate the valid votes from the invalid ones.

It must be remembered that "[t]he power to declare a failure of elections should be exercised with utmost care
and only under circumstances which demonstrate beyond doubt that the disregard of the law had been so
fundamental or so persistent and continuous that it is impossible to distinguish what votes are lawful and what
are unlawful, or to arrive at any certain result whatsoever, or that the great body of the voters have been
prevented by violence, intimidation and threats from exercising their franchise."35 Consequently, a protestant
alleging terrorism in an election protest must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the will of the
majority has been muted by violence, intimidation or threats.

The Court agrees with the observation of HRET Member and esteemed colleague, Associate Justice Diosdado
M. Peralta (Justice Peralta), that the circumstances in the case at bench did not warrant the nullification of the
election in the concerned clustered precincts. The Court quotes the pertinent portions of his dissent in the
HRET decision, to wit:

Protestant's evidence is utterly weak, unclear and unconvincing. The Tribunal, in Balindong v. Macarambon,
Jr., declared that "[t]here should be clear and convincing evidence to nullify an election. It is the duty of the
courts to sustain an election authorized by law if it has so conducted as to give substantially a free and fair
expression of the popular will, and actual result thereof is clearly ascertained. When a person elected obtained
121

a considerable plurality of votes over his adversary, and the evidence offered to rebut such a result is neither
solid nor decisive, it would be imprudent to quash the election, as that would be to oppose without reason the
popular will solemnly expressed in suffrage." xxx

There are two (2) indispensable requisites that must concur in order to justify the drastic action of nullifying the
election:
1) The illegality of the ballots must affect more than fifty percent (50%) of the votes cast on the specific
precinct or precincts sought to be annulled, or in case of the entire municipality, more than fifty percent
(50%) of its total precincts and the votes cast therein; and

2) It is impossible to distinguish with reasonable certainty between the lawful and unlawful ballots. xxx

While protestant's witnesses, Messrs. Crisanto G. Camposano, Alex B. Rimbao and Melquiades T. Bornillo,
contended that they are residents and voters of Barangay Salvacion, Barangay Toog and Barangay Datag,
respectively, and merely voted for protestee out of fear of the said armed partisans, not a single ballot or vote
cast by said witnesses and/or other voters allegedly subjected to terroristic acts had been identified and the
effect thereof, proven extensive or massive. Failing in this regard, the Tribunal cannot order the annulment of
votes for protestee, as prayed for by protestant. The validity of the results of the elections in the protested
clustered precincts must be upheld.

It is worthy to note that no evidence was presented which will directly point to protestee as the one responsible
for the incidents which allegedly happened before and during the elections. Absent anything that would
concretely and directly establish protestee as the one who had induced or actually perpetrated the commission
of terroristic acts and demonstrate that those incidents were part of a scheme to frustrate the free expression
of the will of the electorate, the alluded handing of material considerations, including guns, to the NDF-EV
officials, and the garnering of votes higher than those of the protestant in the protested clustered precincts, do
not per se make him responsible for the charges of terrorism.

Moreover, at the time of the alleged submission to the offices of the Provincial and Regional Directors,
Philippine National Police (PNP), of intelligence reports regarding the commission of massive terroristic acts,
Comelec Resolution No. 9583 xxx was already effective. Upon validation of intelligence reports, the logical
step that should have been undertaken by the PNP, which is in accord with human experience, was to report
also such terroristic acts to the Comelec in order to place under its immediate and direct control and
supervision the political divisions, subdivision, unit or area affected by "serious armed threats" to ensure the
holding of free, peaceful, honest, orderly and credible elections. However, no evidence on reporting to the
Comelec for said purpose was made to concretize protestant's postulation of massive terrorism. The protestant
himself did not even bother to report to the COMELEC the alleged terroristic acts in order to control or prevent
such serious armed threats and to ensure the holding of free, peaceful, honest, orderly and credible elections.
Protestant also did not report the matter to the police so that the alleged persons committing such terroristic
acts would be arrested and the proper cases filed against them in court. It is thus highly doubtful that such
terroristic acts, as protestant claimed, existed. Such actuation by protestant is simply not in accord with human
experience.

Since public officers like those in the PNP are presumed to have regularly performed their official duties, given
the foregoing intelligence reports, and the effectivity as well during the election period xxx of Comelec
Resolution No. 9561-A xxx it is expected that they would have assigned their forces therein to protect not only
the life and limb of the voters, but also their right to vote. In fact, in his post-election memorandum addressed
to the Regional Director dated May 27, 2013, P/SSupt. Tonog, then Provincial Director, mentioned about the
strict implementation of "PRO8 LOI 20/2012 "SAFE 2013 WARAY" through the Provincial Special Operations
Task Group, Secure and Fair Elections 2013 (PSOTG-SAFE 2013)." Hence, it is incredible that there were as
many as five (5) NPA armed partisan at the school premises for the purpose of over-seeing that the voters in
involved barangays would not be supporting protestant on the day of the elections. Such circumstance was not
even reflected in the memorandum of P/SSupt. Tonog.36
122

[Emphases Supplied]
It is on record that Daza presented several residents of the concerned precincts to illustrate how NDF-EV
members terrorized the residents of the said precincts before and during the elections to ensure Daza's defeat
to Abayon. The Court, nevertheless, observes that only three (3) witnesses testified that they voted for Abayon
out of fear from the NDF-EV. The other witnesses merely described the alleged violence committed by the
NFD-EV but did not expound whether the same had ultimately made other voters vote for Abayon.

Neither did the testimonies of P/SSupt. Tonog and Col. Capulong corroborate the fact that the alleged
terrorism by the NDF-EV caused voters to vote for Abayon. These testimonies do not prove that voters in the
concerned precincts indeed voted for Abayon out of fear of the NDF-EV. For one, Col. Capulong simply stated
that the NDF-EV would want to see that politicians and candidates whom they call "enemies of the people" be
defeated in the elections. Further, as noted by Justice Peralta, P/SSupt. Tonog's Post-Election Memorandum
did not state that NDF-EV armed partisans were present in the course of the elections.

Daza presented three (3) voters as witnesses to establish that they were coerced by NDF-EV armed partisan
to vote for Abayon during the 2013 Elections. Their collective testimonies, however, fail to impress. First, their
testimonies made no reference to Abayon's alleged participation in the purported terroristic acts committed by
the NDF-EV. Second, Daza's witnesses alone are insufficient to prove that indeed terrorism occurred in the
contested precincts and the same affected at least 50% of the votes cast therein. The testimonies of three (3)
voters can hardly represent the majority that indeed their right to vote was stifled by violence. With the
allegation of widespread terrorism, it would have been more prudent for Daza to present more voters who were
coerced to vote for Abayon as a result of the NDF-EV s purported violence and intimidation.

Indubitably, the numbers mattered considering that both the COMELEC and the PNP issued certifications
stating that no failure of elections occurred in Northern Samar and that the elections was generally peaceful
and orderly. The unsubstantiated testimonies of Daza's witnesses falter when faced with official
pronouncements of government agencies, which are presumed to be issued in the regular performance of their
duties.

In Tan v. COMELEC,37 the Court found wanting the testimony of a sole witness to substantiate the claim of
terrorism which disenfranchised a majority of voters and gave more credence to official statements of
government agencies, to wit:
We agree with the finding of the COMELEC en banc that the evidence relied upon by petitioners to support
their charges of fraud and irregularities in the conduct of elections in the questioned municipalities consisted of
affidavits prepared and executed by their own representatives; and that the other pieces of evidence submitted
by petitioners were not credible and inadequate to substantiate petitioners' charges of fraud and irregularities
in the conduct of elections. Mere affidavits are insufficient, more so, when they were executed by petitioners'
poll watchers. The conclusion of respondent COMELEC is correct that although petitioners specifically alleged
violence, terrorism, fraud, and other irregularities in the conduct of elections, they failed to substantiate or
prove said allegations. Had there been massive disenfranchisement, petitioners should have presented the
affidavits of these disenfranchised voters, instead of only a single affidavit of one allegedly disenfranchised
voter.

We go along with the COMELEC en banc giving more weight to the affidavits and certifications executed by
the members of the Board of Election Inspectors and the PNP and military authorities that the elections held
were peaceful and orderly, under the presumption that their official duties had been regularly performed.38

[Emphasis Supplied]
The testimonies of a minute portion of the registered voters in the said precincts should not be used as a tool
to silence the voice of the majority expressed through their votes during elections. To do so would
disenfranchise the will of the majority and reward a candidate not chosen by the people to be their
representative. With such dire consequences, it is but expected that annulment of elections be judiciously
exercised with utmost caution and resorted only in exceptional circumstances.
123

It is true that in Vilando v. HRET,39 the Court recognized that the power granted to the HRET by the
Constitution is full, clear and complete, which excludes the exercise of any authority by the Court that may
restrict or curtail, or affect the same.40 The Court, nevertheless, clarified in Tagolino v. HRET41 that the
HRET's independence is not without limits as the Court retains certiorari jurisdiction over it if only to check
whether it had gravely abused its discretion.42 As such, the Court will not hesitate to set aside the HRET's
decision favoring Daza if it was tainted with grave abuse of discretion on its part.

In Leus v. St. Scholastica's College Westgrove,43 the Court has ruled that a decision unsupported by sufficient
evidence amount to grave abuse of discretion, to wit:

Nevertheless, while a certiorari proceeding does not strictly include an inquiry as to the correctness of the
evaluation of evidence (that was the basis of the labor tribunals in determining their conclusion), the
incorrectness of its evidentiary evaluation should not result in negating the requirement of substantial evidence.
Indeed, when there is a showing that the findings or conclusions, drawn from the same pieces of evidence,
were arrived at arbitrarily or in disregard of the evidence on record, they may be reviewed by the courts. In
particular, the CA can grant the petition for certiorari if it finds that the NLRC, in its assailed decision or
resolution, made a factual finding not supported by substantial evidence. A decision that is not supported by
substantial evidence is definitely a decision tainted with grave abuse of discretion.

[Emphasis Supplied]
As discussed above, the decision of the HRET was clearly unsupported by clear and convincing evidence.
Thus, the HRET committed grave abuse of discretion in annulling the elections in the contested precincts and
disregarding the respective number of votes received by Abayon and Daza from the precincts, which led to its
conclusion that Daza was the one elected by the majority of voters in the First Legislative District of Northern
Samar to be their Representative in Congress. Hence, Abayon should be reinstated as the duly elected
Representative of the said legislative district.

Moreover, Daza cannot claim that the issue had been mooted by his assumption to office because the same is
premised on the fact that the HRET had correctly ruled Daza to be the duly elected representative. A moot and
academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that
a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value.44 In the present case, there is still a justiciable
controversy who between Daza and Abayon was truly chosen by the majority of voters of the First
Legislative District of Northern Samar to be their representative.

Propriety of the dismissal of Abayon 's counter-protest is now moot

With the Court's ruling that Abayon is the duly elected Representative of the First Legislative District of
Northern Samar, the issue of dismissal of his counter-protest in G.R. No. 222236 is now moot and academic. A
declaration on the propriety of the dismissal of Abayon's counter-protest has no practical value because to
continue with his counter-protest would be a redundancy considering that the Court has upheld his election as
the duly elected Representative of his constituents.

WHEREFORE, the February 3, 2016 Decision and the March 7, 2016 Resolution of the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner Harlin C. Abayon is
DECLARED to be the lawfully elected Representative of the First Legislative District of Northern Samar in the
May 13, 2013 Elections.

This decision is IMMEDIATELY EXECUTORY.

Reyes v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207264, 25 June 2013


REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND JOSEPH SOCORRO B.
TAN, Respondents.
G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013
124

Facts:
The petitioners assail through a Petition for Certiorari with prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and/or
Preliminary Injunction resolution of the Commission on Election ordering the cancellation of the Certificate of
Candidacy of petitioner for the position of the Representative of the lone district of Marinduque.
On October 31. 2012, Joseph Socorro Tan filed with the Comelec an Amended Petition to Deny Due Course or
to Cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of Regina Ongsiako Reyes, the petitioner, on the ground that it
contained material representations.On March 27, 2013, the COMELEC cancelled the certificate of candidacy of
the petitioner. She filed an MR on April 8, 2013. On May 14, 2013, COMELEC en banc denied her MR.
However, on May 18, 2013, she was proclaimed winner of the May 13, 2013 Elections. On June 5, 2013,
COMELEC declared the May 14, 2013 Resolution final and Executory. On the same day, petitioner took her
oath of office before Feliciano Belmonte, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. She has yet to assume
office at that time, as her term officially starts at noon of June 30, 2013.According to petitioner, the COMELEC
was ousted of its jurisdiction when she was duly proclaimed20 because pursuant to Section 17, Article VI of
the 1987 Constitution, the HRET has the exclusive jurisdiction to be the sole judge of all contests relating to
the election, returns and qualifications of the Members of the House of Representatives.

Issue:
Whether or not COMELEC has jurisdiction over the petitioner who is proclaimed as winner and who has
already taken her oath of office for the position of member of the House of Representative of Marinduque.
Held:
Yes, COMELEC retains jurisdiction because the jurisdiction of the HRET begins only after the candidate is
considered a Member of the House of Representatives, as stated in Section 17, Article VI of the 1987
Constitution. For one to be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a
concurrence of these requisites: (1) valid proclamation; (2) proper oath, and (3) assumption of office.
Thus the petitioner cannot be considered a member of the HR yet as she has not assumed office yet. Also,
the 2nd requirement was not validly complied with as a valid oath must be made (1) before the Speaker of the
House of Representatives, and (2) in open session. Here, although she made the oath before Speaker
Belmonte, there is no indication that it was made during plenary or in open session and, thus, it remains
unclear whether the required oath of office was indeed complied.
Furthermore, petition for certiorari will prosper only if grave abuse of discretion is alleged and proved to exist.
For an act to be struck down as having been done with grave abuse of discretion, the abuse of discretion must
be patent and gross.
Here, this Court finds that petitioner failed to adequately and substantially show that grave abuse of discretion
exists.

Powers of Congress
The powers of Congress are classified as follows:
A. Legislative power in general
B. Specific legislative powers
C. Non-legislative powers
D. Implied powers
E. Inherent powers.
A. Legislative power in general.
Legislative power in general refers to the power to enact laws, which includes the power to alter or
repeal them. Said power starts formally from the time a bill or a proposed law is introduced by a
member of the House of Representatives or a Senator. Once approved by Congress, and the
President, the said bill becomes a law.

B. Specific legislative powers.


These are the powers expressly conferred by the Constitution. They are: power of appropriation, power
taxation and power of expropriation.

C. Non-legislative powers.
125

These are the powers which are not basically legislative in nature but which are performed by
Congress. Examples are power to propose amendments to the Constitution, power to impeach, power
to canvass presidential elections and power to declare the existence of a state of war.

D. Implied powers.
These are the powers which are not expressly conferred by the Constitution but which are implied from
those expressly granted. Examples are: power to punish a person in contempt during or in the course
of legislative investigation and power to issue summons and notices in connection with matters subject
of its investigation or inquiry.

E. Inherent powers
These are the powers which are inherent to the exercise of legislative powers like the power to
determine the rules of its proceedings.

Inquiries in aid of legislation and oversight function

What is the concept of separation of powers?


There are three branches of the government legislative, executive and judicial. Each department of the
government has exclusive cognizance of the matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own
sphere. But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the
Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution has
provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various
departments of the government.

What is congressional oversight?


Broadly defined, the power of oversight embraces all activities undertaken by Congress to enhance its
understanding of and influence over the implementation of legislation it has enacted. Clearly, oversight
concerns post-enactment measures undertaken by Congress: (a) to monitor bureaucratic compliance with
program objectives, (b) to determine whether agencies are properly administered, (c) to eliminate executive
waste and dishonesty, (d) to prevent executive usurpation of legislative authority, and (e) to assess executive
conformity with the congressional perception of public interest. The power of oversight has been held to be
intrinsic in the grant of legislative power itself and integral to the checks and balances inherent in a democratic
system of government.

What are the categories of congressional oversight functions?


The acts done by Congress purportedly in the exercise of its oversight powers may be divided into three
categories, namely: (1) supervision, which connotes a continuing and informed awareness on the part of a
congressional committee regarding executive operations in a given administrative area; (2) scrutiny, primarily
intended to determine economy and efficiency of the operation of government activities, exercised through
budget hearings, the question hour and the power of confirmation; and (2) investigation, which is also known
as the inquiry in aid of legislation.

What is the basis the power of inquiry in aid of legislation?


The Congressional power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution:

SECTION 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct
inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons
appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.
Even without this express Constitutional provision, the power of inquiry is inherent in the power to legislate.
The power of inquiry, with process to enforce it, is grounded on the necessity of information in the legislative
process. If the information possessed by executive officials on the operation of their offices is necessary for
wise legislation on that subject, by parity of reasoning, Congress has the right to that information and the
power to compel the disclosure thereof.
126

Why is inquiry in aid of legislation important under the separation of powers?


Under the separation of powers, Congress has the right to obtain information from any source even from
officials of departments and agencies in the executive branch. It is this very separation that makes the
congressional right to obtain information from the executive so essential, if the functions of the Congress as the
elected representatives of the people are adequately to be carried out.

Is the Supreme Court covered by the Congressional power of inquiry?


No. Members of the Supreme Court are exempt from this power of inquiry on the basis not only of separation
of powers but also on the fiscal autonomy and the constitutional independence of the judiciary.

Is the power of inquiry subject to judicial review?


Yes. It may be subjected to judicial review pursuant to the Supreme Courts certiorari powers under Section 1,
Article VIII of the Constitution. Since the right of Congress to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation is, in
theory, no less susceptible to abuse than executive or judicial power.

Is the President covered by the power of inquiry?


No. The President, on whom executive power is vested, is beyond the reach of Congress, except through the
power of impeachment. It is based on the Presidents position as the highest official of the executive branch,
and the due respect accorded to a co-equal branch of government which is sanctioned by a long-standing
custom.

Does the power to inquire extend to officials in the executive branch?


Yes. The power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive branch. The power of inquiry is
co-extensive with the power to legislate. The matters which may be a proper subject of legislation and those
which may be a proper subject of investigation are one. It follows that the operation of government, being a
legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for investigation. Since Congress has authority to inquire
into the operations of the executive branch, it would be incongruous to hold that the power of inquiry does not
extend to executive officials who are the most familiar with and informed on executive operations.

Are there limitations to this power? If yes, what are these limitations?
Yes. As now contained in the 1987 Constitution (Section 21, Article VI), the power of Congress to investigate is
circumscribed by three limitations, namely: (a) it must be in aid of its legislative functions, (b) it must be
conducted in accordance with duly published rules of procedure, and (c) the persons appearing therein are
afforded their constitutional rights, including the right to be represented by counsel and the right against self-
incrimination.

In addition, even where the inquiry is in aid of legislation, there are still recognized exemptions to the power of
inquiry, which exemptions fall under the rubric of executive privilege.

What is executive privilege?


Executive privilege is not a clear or unitary concept, although it has been defined as the power of the
Government to withhold information from the public, the courts, and the Congress or the right of the
President and high-level executive branch officers to withhold information from Congress, the courts, and
ultimately the public.

Does executive privilege refer to persons?


No. Executive privilege is properly invoked in relation to specific categories of information and not to categories
of persons. Executive privilege, whether asserted against Congress, the courts, or the public, is recognized
only in relation to certain types of information of a sensitive character.

What matters are covered by executive privilege?


127

The matters covered under executive privilege include: (1) Information between inter-government agencies
prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements; (2) Presidential conversations, correspondences,
and discussions in closed-door Cabinet meetings; and (3) Matters affecting national security and public order.

How is this invoked?


When an official is being summoned by Congress on a matter which, in his own judgment, might be covered by
executive privilege, he must be afforded reasonable time to inform the President or the Executive Secretary of
the possible need for invoking the privilege. This is necessary in order to provide the President or the
Executive Secretary with fair opportunity to consider whether the matter indeed calls for a claim of executive
privilege. If, after the lapse of that reasonable time, neither the President nor the Executive Secretary invokes
the privilege, Congress is no longer bound to respect the failure of the official to appear before Congress and
may then opt to avail of the necessary legal means to compel his appearance.

Is an implied claim of executive privilege valid?


No. A claim of privilege, being a claim of exemption from an obligation to disclose information, must be clearly
asserted. An implied claim of privilege is invalid per se. The validity of claims of privilege must be assessed on
a case to case basis, examining the ground invoked therefore, and the particular circumstances surrounding it.

What is the Question Hour?


In the context of a parliamentary system of government, the question hour is a period of confrontation initiated
by Parliament to hold the Prime Minister and the other ministers accountable for their acts and the operation of
the government, corresponding to what is known in Britain as the question period. The framers of the 1987
Constitution removed the mandatory nature of such appearance during the question hour in the present
Constitution so as to conform more fully to a system of separation of powers. This is provided in Article VI,
Section 22 of the Constitution:

SECTION 22. The heads of departments may upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President, or
upon the request of either House, as the rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by
such House on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted to the
President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three days before their
scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but may cover matters related
thereto. When the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing,
the appearance shall be conducted in executive session.

Is the power of inquiry in aid of legislation the same as the Question Hour?
No. Section 21 (inquiry in aid of legislation) and Section 22 (question hour) of Article VI of the Constitution are
closely related and complementary to each other, but they do not pertain to the same power of Congress. One
specifically relates to the power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation, the aim of which is to elicit information
that may be used for legislation, while the other pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective
of which is to obtain information in pursuit of the oversight function of Congress. While attendance was meant
to be discretionary in the question hour, it was compulsory in inquiries in aid of legislation.

If a person is cited in contempt and imprisoned in relation to the Congressional exercise of inquiry in
aid of legislation, how long will the imprisonment last?

This is tackled by the Supreme Court in Arnault vs. Nazareno, where the petitioner argued that the Senate
lacks authority to commit him for contempt for a term beyond its period of legislative session. According to the
Supreme Court:

That investigation has not been completed because of the refusal of the petitioner as a witness to answer
certain questions pertinent to the subject of the inquiry. The Senate has empowered the committee to continue
the investigation during the recess. By refusing to answer the questions, the witness has obstructed the
performance by the Senate of its legislative function, and the Senate has the power to remove the obstruction
by compelling the witness to answer the questions thru restraint of his liberty until he shall have answered
128

them. That power subsists as long as the Senate, which is a continuing body, persists in performing the
particular legislative function involved. To hold that it may punish the witness for contempt only during the
session in which investigation was begun, would be to recognize the right of the Senate to perform its function
but at the same time to deny to it an essential and appropriate means for its performance. Aside from this, if we
should hold that the power to punish for contempt terminates upon the adjournment of the session, the Senate
would have to resume the investigation at the next and succeeding sessions and repeat the contempt
proceedings against the witness until the investigation is completed-an absurd, unnecessary, and vexatious
procedure, which should be avoided.

As against the foregoing conclusion it is argued for the petitioner that the power may be abusively and
oppressively exerted by the Senate which might keep the witness in prison for life. But we must assume that
the Senate will not be disposed to exert the power beyond its proper bounds. And if, contrary to this
assumption, proper limitations are disregarded, the portals of this Court are always open to those whose rights
might thus be transgressed.

Romero II v. Estrada, G.R. No. 174105, 02 April 2009


G.R. No. 174105 | April 2, 2009
Petitioners: Reghis M. Romero II(Romero II), Edmond Q. Sese, Leopoldo T. Sanchez, Reghis M. Romero III (Romero III), Michael L.
Romero, Nathaniel L. Romero and Jerome R. Canlas
Respondents: Sen. Jinggoy E. Estrada and Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development
(Committee)

Velasco, Jr., J.
SUMMARY: Petitioners were invited to a Senate Hearing to answer questions concerning the investments of OWWA funds in the
Smokey Mountain project. This was done by the Senate Committee in aid of legislation to determine propriety of amending Migrant
Workers Act and enactment of laws to protect OWWA funds. Petitioners filed this petition to assail the constitutionality of the invitations
and subpoenas issued by the Senate on the ground that the subject matter of the inquiry is sub judice because of the pendency of
Chavez v. NHA case.
W/N the subject matter of the Committees Inquiry is sub judice? NO. SC held that it is no longer sub judice because the Chavez
case (which petitioners say has the same issue as the subject matter of the Senate inquiry) was already decided with finality last 2008.
Moreover, even assuming it was still pending, mere pendency of any prosecution or administrative action (or while it is on appeal) shall
not bar any inquiry in aid of legislation. Reason is that inquiry and court proceedings have different purposes. (note: sub judice means
before a court for consideration, sub judice rules purpose is to avoid disclosure/comments etc. to avoid prejudgment/bias or influence
in the decision)

FACTS:
Petition for prohibition, TRO and Prelim. Injunction assailing the Constitutionality of the invitations and other compulsory
processes issued by the Senate Committeein connection with its investigation on the investment of Overseas Workers
Welfare Administration (OWWA) funds in the Smokey Mountain Project
Aug. 15, 3006: Petitioner Romero II (owner of R-II Builders, Inc.) received an invitation from the Committee asking him to go
to the hearing and answer inquiries by the Senate involving the investment of OWWA funds. It reads:
Pursuant to P.S. Resolution No. 537, entitled: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE LABOR COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, THE LIABILITY FOR
PLUNDER OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT RAMOS AND OTHERS, FOR THE ILLEGAL INVESTMENT OF OWWA FUNDS IN THE SMOKEY MOUNTAIN PROJECT,
CAUSING A LOSS TO OWWA OF P550.86 MILLION and P.S. Resolution No. 543, entitled: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND
EMPLOYMENT, IN ITS ONGOING INQUIRY IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE ALLEGED OWWA LOSS OF P480 MILLION TO FOCUS ON THE CULPABILITY OF THEN
PRESIDENT FIDEL RAMOS, THEN OWWA ADMINISTRATOR WILHELM SORIANO, AND R-II BUILDERS OWNER REGHIS ROMERO II, the Committee on Labor,
Employment and Human Resources Development chaired by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada will conduct a public hearing at 1PM on 8/23/06 at the Sen. G.T. Pecson Room, 2nd floor,
Senate of the Phil., Pasay City.

The inquiry/investigation is specifically intended to aid the Senate in the review and possible amendments to the pertinent provisions of RA 8042, the Migrant
Workers Act and to craft a much needed legislation relative to the stated subject matter and purpose of the aforementioned Resolutions.

By virtue of the power vested in Congress by Art. VI, Sec. 21, Consti regarding inquiries in aid of legislation, may we have the privilege of inviting you to the said hearing
to shed light on any matter, within your knowledge and competence, covered by the subject matter and purpose of the inquiry. Rest assured that your rights, when properly
invoked and not unfounded, will be duly respected.
Aug.18, 2006: Romero II requested that he be excused from appearing and testifying before the Committee. DENIED by
the Committee on Aug. 28.
Aug. 28, 2006: Invitations (to attend the hearing on Sept. 4) were also sent to the other 6 petitioners (former members of the
BOD of R-II Builders Inc.)
The next day, Sen. Estrada also caused the service of subpoena ad testificandum on Romero II directing him to appear
and testify before the Committee. Separate subpoenas were also issued to other petitioners.
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Aug. 30, 2006: Petitioners filed this instant petition (on the basis of the grounds stated below) to enjoin the Committee from
compelling petitioners to appear before it.
No TRO was issued Romero II appeared at the Committee investigation
2days after, Romero II filed a Manifestation with Urgent Plea for a TRO, he alleges that:
(1) He answered questions concerning the investments of OWWA funds in the Smokey Mountain project and how much
of OWWAs original investment had already been paid
(2) When Sen. Estrada called on Atty. Francisco Chavez, as resource person, the latter spoke of the facts and
issues he raised with the Court in Chavez v. National Housing Authority, none of which were related to the
subject of the inquiry; and
(3) When Sen. Estrada adjourned the investigation, he asked petitioners Romero II and Canlas to return at the
resumption of the investigation.
Note: This was followed by the filing of another urgent motion for a TRO (petitioners imputed to the Committee the intention to
harass them as none of them except Romero II had even been mentioned in relation to the subject of the investigation)
Respondents Comments on the TRO:
o Senates motives in calling for an investigation in aid of legislation were a political question
o Pendency of Chavez is not sufficient ground to divest the respondents of their jurisdiction to conduct an
inquiry into the matters alleged in the petition.
Petitioners GROUNDS in this petition:
(1) Subject matter of the investigation is sub judice owing to the pendency of the Chavez petition
(2) Investigation has been intended to ascertain petitioners criminal liability for plunder = it is not in aid of legislation
(3) Inquiry is in violation of their rights against self-incrimination
(4) Petitioners would be in danger of being arrested, detained, and forced to give testimony against their will, before the
Court could resolve the issues raised in Chavez v NHA
Respondents Comments:
(1) Made a distinction between the issues raised in Chavez and the subject matter of the inquiry it is not sub
judice
(2) Subject matter of the investigation alleged dissipation of OWWA funds; Purpose aid the Senate determine the
propriety of amending The Migrant Workers Act and enacting laws to protect OWWA funds in the future.
(3) Proposed resolutions were a proper subject of legislative inquiry
(4) Petitioners right against self-incrimination was well-protected and could be invoked when incriminating questions
were propounded.

ISSUE: Whether or not the subject matter of the Committees inquiry is sub judice?
HELD: Petition DISMISSED.

RATIO:
SUBJECT MATTER OF THE SENATE INQUIRY IS NO LONGER SUB JUDICE
*SUB JUDICE literally means before a court or judge for consideration
The sub judice rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to judicial proceedings to avoid prejudging the issue,
influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice.
A violation of the sub judice rule may render one liable for indirect contempt (Sec. 3(d), Rule 71 Rules of Court)
Rationale for the sub judice rule:
o It is a traditional conviction of civilized society everywhere that courts and juries, in the decision of issues of fact and
law should be immune from every extraneous influence; that facts should be decided upon evidence produced in
court; and that the determination of such facts should be uninfluenced by bias, prejudice or sympathies. (Nestle
Philippines v. Sanchez)
Chavezcase (assuming it involves issues subject of the Senate inquiry) is no longer sub judice or before a court or judge
for consideration.
By an en banc Resolution dated July 1, 2008, the Court, in GR No. 164527, denied with finality the motion of Chavezfor
reconsideration of the Decision of the Court dated August 15, 2007.
Thesub judice issue has been rendered moot and academic by the supervening issuance of the en banc Resolution of
July 1, 2008 in GR No. 164527 (Chavez v. NHA case) (Note: see above, this case was decided only on April 2, 2009 meh)
An issue or a case becomes moot and academic when it ceases to present a justiciable controversy, so that a determination of
the issue would be without practical use and value as there is no actual substantial relief to which the petitioner would be
entitled

Even assuming hypothetically that Chavez is still pending final adjudication by the Court, still, such circumstance would NOT
bar the continuance of the committee investigation.
Sabio v. Gordon: The same directors and officers contend that the Senate is barred from inquiring into the same issues being
litigated before the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan. Suffice it to state that the Senate Rules of Procedure
Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation provide that the filing or pendency of any prosecution or administrative
action should NOT stop or abate any inquiry to carry out a legislative purpose.

LEGISLATIVE INVESTIGATION (in aid of legislation) vs. COURT PROCEEDINGS


They have different purposes.
130

Courts conduct hearings or like adjudicative procedures to settle, through the application of a law, actual controversies arising
between adverse litigants and involving demandable rights.
Inquiries in aid of legislation are undertaken as tools to enable the legislative body to gather information and, thus, legislate
wisely and effectively and to determine whether there is a need to improve existing laws or enact new or remedial legislation,
albeit the inquiry need not result in any potential legislation.
On-going judicial proceedings do NOT preclude congressional hearings in aid of legislation.

Some cases cited:


Standard Chartered Bank v. Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies: The mere filing of a criminal
or an administrative complaint before a court or quasi-judicial body should not automatically bar the conduct of legislative
investigation. Otherwise, it would be extremely easy to subvert any intended inquiry by Congress through the convenient ploy
of instituting a criminal or an administrative complaint. Surely, the exercise of sovereign legislative authority, of which the
power of legislative inquiry is an essential component, cannot be made subordinate to a criminal or administrative
investigation.
Arnault v. Nazareno: The power of inquirywith process to enforce itis an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the
legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the
conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change; and where the legislative body does not itself possess the
requisite informationwhich is not infrequently truerecourse must be had to others who possess it.
Note: Although the above cases pertain only to pending criminal and administrative case before lower courts, such
doctrine/pronouncements by SC can be logically applied/extended to appealed cases and SCA awaiting final disposition
before the SC

OTHER MATTERS:
On the termination of legislative inquiry | Separability of past and present Congress
SC also said that this petition has also been mooted due to the fact that the resolutions and invitations were sent out last Aug
2006 or in the past Congress.
On the postulate that the Senate of each Congress acts separately and independently of the Senate before and after it, the
invitations and subpoenas are considered functos oficio and the related legislative inquiry conducted
isTERMINATED.
Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations: The Senate as an institution is continuing,
as it is not dissolved as an entity with each national election or change in the composition of its members. However, in the
conduct of its day-to-day business, the Senate of each Congress acts separately and independently of the Senate before it.1
Hence, all pending matters and proceedings, unpassed bills and even legislative investigations, of the Senate of a
particular Congress are considered TERMINATED upon the expiration of that Congress
It is merely OPTIONAL on the Senate of the succeeding Congress to take up such unfinished matters, not in the same
status, but as if presented for the first time.
Succeeding Congress (which will typically have a different composition) should not be bound by the acts and deliberations of
the Senate of which they had no part.

On the right against self-incrimination


This may be invoked only when the incriminating question is being asked, since they have no way of knowing
in advance the nature or effect of the questions to be asked of them.
That this right may possibly be violated or abused is no ground for denying respondent Senate Committees their power of
inquiry.
So long as the constitutional rights of witnesses will be respected by Senate Committees, it is their duty to cooperate with them
in their efforts to obtain the facts needed for intelligent legislative action.
The unremitting obligation of every citizen is to respond to subpoena, to respect the dignity of the Congress and its
Committees, and to testify fully with respect

Standard Chartered Bank (Philippine Branch) v. Senate Committee on Banks, Financial


Institutions and Currencies,G.R. No. 167173, 27 December 2007
FACTS:
SCB Phil Branch had criminal and civil charges against them before the courts in Metro Manila for selling
unregistered foreign securities in violation of Securities Regulation Code (RA 8799). Enrile, in his privileged
speech, urged the Senate to immediately conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation, to prevent the occurrences of
a similar fraudulent in the future. The respondent Committee then set an initial hearing to investigate, in aid of
legislation thereto. SCB stressed that there were cases allegedly involving the same issues subject of

1
Rule of Senate - SEC. 123. Unfinished business at the end of the session shall be taken up at the next session in the same status.
All pending matters and proceedings shall terminate upon the expiration of one (1) Congress, but may be taken by the succeeding Congress as if present[ed] for the first time.
131

legislative inquiry, thus posting a challenge to the jurisdiction of respondent Committee to continue with the
inquiry.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the respondent Committee, by aid of legislation, would encroach upon the judicial powers
vested solely in the courts who took cognizance of the foregoing cases.

RULING:
Yes. The unmistakable objective of the investigation, as set forth in the resolution, as initiated in the privileged
speech of Senate President Enrile, was simply "to denounce the illegal practices committed by a foreign bank
in selling unregistered foreign securities xxx", and at the conclusion of the said speech "to immediately conduct
an inquiry, in aid of legislation, so as to prevent the occurrence of a similar fraudulent in the future."

The mere filing of a criminal or administrative complaint before a court or a quasi-judicial body should not
automatically bar the conduct of legislation. The exercise of sovereign legislative authority, of which the power
of legislative inquiry is an essential component, cannot be made subordinate to a criminal or an administrative
investigation.

The intent of legislative inquiries is to arrive at a policy determination, which may or may not be enacted into
law. Except only when it exercises the power to punish for contempt, the committees of the Senate or the
House of Representatives cannot penalize violators even there is overwhelmingly evidence of criminal
culpability. Other than proposing or initiating amendatory or remedial legislation, respondent Committee can
only recommend measures to address or remedy whatever irregularities may be unearthed during the
investigation, although it may include in its Report a recommendation for criminal indictment of persons who
may appear liable. At best, the recommendation, along with the evidence, contained in such Report would only
be persuasive, but it is still up to the prosecutorial agencies and the courts to determine the liabilities of the
offender.

Garcillano v. House of Representatives Committees on Public Information, Public Order and Safety,
National Defense and Security, Information and Communications Technology, and Suffrage and
Electoral Reforms, G.R. Nos. 170338 and 179275, 23 December 2008
FACTS:
In 2005, tapes which allegedly contained a conversation between GMA and COMELEC Commissioner
Garcillano surfaced. The said conversation contained a plan to rig the elections to favor GMA. The recordings
then became subject to legislative hearings conducted separately by each House. In his privilege speech, Sen.
Escudero motioned a congressional investigation jointly conducted by the Committees on Public Information,
Public Order and Safety, National Defense and Security, Information and Communications Technology, and
Suffrage and Electoral Reforms (respondent House Committees). During the inquiry, several versions of the
wiretapped conversation emerged. Lacsons motion for a senate inquiry was referred to the Committee on
National Defense and Security headed by Biazon. Garci subsequently filed to petitions. One to prevent the
playing of the tapes in the each house for they are alleged to be inadmissible and the other to prohibit and stop
the conduct of the Senate inquiry on the wiretapped conversation.

ISSUE: Whether or not publication is indispensable.

HELD:
Yes. Garcis petition to strike the tapes off the record cannot be granted. The tapes were already played in
Congress and those tapes were already highly publicized. The issue is already overtaken by these incidents
hence it has become moot and academic. The second petition must be granted however. The Senate cannot
be allowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned legislative inquiry without duly published rules of
procedure, in clear derogation of the constitutional requirement.
132

Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that [t]he Senate or the House of
Representatives, or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance
with its duly published rules of procedure. The requisite of publication of the rules is intended to satisfy the
basic requirements of due process. Publication is indeed imperative, for it will be the height of injustice to
punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law or rule of which he had no notice
whatsoever, not even a constructive one. What constitutes publication is set forth in Article 2 of the Civil Code,
which provides that laws shall take effect after 15 days following the completion of their publication either in
the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.
The Senate admits in their pleadings and even on oral argument that the Senate Rules of Procedure
Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation had been published in newspapers of general circulation only in 1995
and in 2006. With respect to the present Senate of the 14th Congress, however, of which the term of half of its
members commenced on June 30, 2007, no effort was undertaken for the publication of these rules when they
first opened their session.

Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, G.R. No. 180643,
04 September 2008
FACTS: On April 21, 2007, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) entered into a
contract with Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) for the supply of equipment and services for
the National Broadband Network (NBN) Project in the amount of U.S. $ 329,481,290 (approximately P16 Billion
Pesos). The Project was to be financed by the Peoples Republic of China.
The Senate passed various resolutions relative to the NBN deal. In the September 18, 2007 hearing Jose de
Venecia III testified that several high executive officials and power brokers were using their influence to push
the approval of the NBN Project by the NEDA.
Neri, the head of NEDA, was then invited to testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon. He appeared in one hearing
wherein he was interrogated for 11 hrs and during which he admitted that Abalos of COMELEC tried to bribe
him with P200M in exchange for his approval of the NBN project. He further narrated that he informed
President Arroyo about the bribery attempt and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe.

However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project, petitioner refused to answer,
invoking executive privilege. In particular, he refused to answer the questions on:
a. whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project,
b. whether or not she directed him to prioritize it, and
c. whether or not she directed him to approve.

He later refused to attend the other hearings and Ermita sent a letter to the senate averring that the
communications between GMA and Neri are privileged and that the jurisprudence laid down in Senate vs
Ermita be applied. He was cited in contempt of respondent committees and an order for his arrest and
detention until such time that he would appear and give his testimony.

ISSUE:
Are the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions covered by executive privilege?

HELD:

The communications are covered by executive privilege

The revocation of EO 464 (advised executive officials and employees to follow and abide by the Constitution,
existing laws and jurisprudence, including, among others, the case of Senate v. Ermita when they are invited to
legislative inquiries in aid of legislation.), does not in any way diminish the concept of executive privilege. This
is because this concept has Constitutional underpinnings.

The claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where the subject of inquiry relates to a power
textually committed by the Constitution to the President, such as the area of military and foreign relations.
133

Under our Constitution, the President is the repository of the commander-in-chief, appointing, pardoning, and
diplomatic powers. Consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers, the information relating to these
powers may enjoy greater confidentiality than others.
Several jurisprudence cited provide the elements of presidential communications privilege:
1) The protected communication must relate to a quintessential and non-delegable presidential power.
2) The communication must be authored or solicited and received by a close advisor of the President or the
President himself. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in operational proximity with the President.

3) The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be overcome by a showing
of adequate need, such that the information sought likely contains important evidence and by the
unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority.

In the case at bar, Executive Secretary Ermita premised his claim of executive privilege on the ground that the
communications elicited by the three (3) questions fall under conversation and correspondence between the
President and public officials necessary in her executive and policy decision-making process and, that the
information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the Peoples
Republic of China. Simply put, the bases are presidential communications privilege and executive privilege on
matters relating to diplomacy or foreign relations.

Using the above elements, we are convinced that, indeed, the communications elicited by the three (3)
questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege. First, the communications relate to a
quintessential and non-delegable power of the President, i.e. the power to enter into an executive agreement
with other countries. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence
of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine jurisprudence. Second, the communications
are received by a close advisor of the President. Under the operational proximity test, petitioner can be
considered a close advisor, being a member of President Arroyos cabinet. And third, there is no adequate
showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the unavailability of the
information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority.

Respondent Committees further contend that the grant of petitioners claim of executive privilege violates the
constitutional provisions on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern.50 We might
have agreed with such contention if petitioner did not appear before them at all. But petitioner made himself
available to them during the September 26 hearing, where he was questioned for eleven (11) hours. Not only
that, he expressly manifested his willingness to answer more questions from the Senators, with the exception
only of those covered by his claim of executive privilege.

The right to public information, like any other right, is subject to limitation. Section 7 of Article III provides:
The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official
records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to
government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such
limitations as may be provided by law.

Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, 20 April 2006


Facts:
This case is regarding the railway project of the North Luzon Railways Corporation with the China National
Machinery and Equipment Group as well as the Wiretapping activity of the ISAFP, and the Fertilizer scam.

The Senate Committees sent invitations to various officials of the Executive Department and AFP officials for
them to appear before Senate on Sept. 29, 2005. Before said date arrived, Executive Sec. Ermita sent a letter
to Senate President Drilon, requesting for a postponement of the hearing on Sept. 29 in order to afford said
officials ample time and opportunity to study and prepare for the various issues so that they may better
enlighten the Senate Committee on its investigation. Senate refused the request.
134

On Sept. 28, 2005, the President issued EO 464, effective immediately, which, among others, mandated that
all heads of departments of the Executive Branch of the government shall secure the consent of the President
prior to appearing before either House of Congress. Pursuant to this Order, Executive Sec. Ermita
communicated to the Senate that the executive and AFP officials would not be able to attend the meeting since
the President has not yet given her consent. Despite the lack of consent, Col. Balutan and Brig. Gen. Gudani,
among all the AFP officials invited, attended the investigation. Both faced court marshal for such attendance.

Issue:
Whether E.O. 464 contravenes the power of inquiry vested in Congress.

Ruling:
To determine the constitutionality of E.O. 464, the Supreme Court discussed the two different functions of the
Legislature: The power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation and the power to conduct inquiry during
question hour.

Question Hour:

The power to conduct inquiry during question hours is recognized in Article 6, Section 22 of the 1987
Constitution, which reads:

The heads of departments may, upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the
request of either House, as the rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House
on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the
Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three days before their scheduled appearance.
Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but may cover matters related thereto. When the
security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, the appearance
shall be conducted in executive session.

The objective of conducting a question hour is to obtain information in pursuit of Congress oversight function.
When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how department heads are implementing the statutes which it
had issued, the department heads appearance is merely requested.

The Supreme Court construed Section 1 of E.O. 464 as those in relation to the appearance of department
heads during question hour as it explicitly referred to Section 22, Article 6 of the 1987 Constitution.

In aid of Legislation:

The Legislatures power to conduct inquiry in aid of legislation is expressly recognized in Article 6, section21 of
the 1987 Constitution, which reads:

The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid
of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in, or
affected by, such inquiries shall be respected.

The power of inquiry in aid of legislation is inherent in the power to legislate. A legislative body cannot legislate
wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to
affect or change. And where the legislative body does not itself possess the requisite information, recourse
must be had to others who do possess it.

But even where the inquiry is in aid of legislation, there are still recognized exemptions to the power of inquiry,
which exemptions fall under the rubric of executive privilege. This is the power of the government to withhold
information from the public, the courts, and the Congress. This is recognized only to certain types of
information of a sensitive character. When Congress exercise its power of inquiry, the only way for department
135

heads to exempt themselves therefrom is by a valid claim of privilege. They are not exempt by the mere fact
that they are department heads. Only one official may be exempted from this power -- the President.

Section 2 & 3 of E.O. 464 requires that all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) should secure the
consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress. The enumeration is broad. In view
thereof, whenever an official invokes E.O.464 to justify the failure to be present, such invocation must be
construed as a declaration to Congress that the President, or a head of office authorized by the President, has
determined that the requested information is privileged.

The letter sent by the Executive Secretary to Senator Drilon does not explicitly invoke executive privilege or
that the matter on which these officials are being requested to be resource persons falls under the recognized
grounds of the privilege to justify their absence. Nor does it expressly state that in view of the lack of consent
from the President under E.O. 464, they cannot attend the hearing. The letter assumes that the invited official
possesses information that is covered by the executive privilege. Certainly, Congress has the right to know
why the executive considers the requested information privileged. It does not suffice to merely declare that the
President, or an authorized head of office, has determined that it is so.

The claim of privilege under Section 3 of E.O. 464 in relation to Section 2(b) is thus invalid per se. It is not
asserted. It is merely implied. Instead of providing precise and certain reasons for the claim, it merely invokes
E.O. 464, coupled with an announcement that the President has not given her consent.

When an official is being summoned by Congress on a matter which, in his own judgment, might be covered by
executive privilege, he must be afforded reasonable time to inform the President or the Executive Secretary of
the possible need for invoking the privilege. This is necessary to provide the President or the Executive
Secretary with fair opportunity to consider whether the matter indeed calls for a claim of executive privilege. If,
after the lapse of that reasonable time, neither the President nor the Executive Secretary invokes the privilege,
Congress is no longer bound to respect the failure of the official to appear before Congress and may then opt
to avail of the necessary legal means to compel his appearance.

Wherefore, the petitions are partly granted. Sections 2(b) and 3 of E.O. 464 are declared void. Section 1(a) are
however valid.

Bicameral Conference Committee


If there are certain differences, a Bicameral Conference Committee is called to reconcile conflicting provisions
of both versions of the Senate and of the House of Representatives. Conference committee submits report on
the reconciled version of the bill, duly approved by both chambers.

A Conference Committee is constituted and is composed of Members from each House of Congress to
settle, reconcile or thresh out differences or disagreements on any provision of the bill.
The conferees are not limited to reconciling the differences in the bill but may introduce new provisions
germane to the subject matter or may report out an entirely new bill on the subject.
The Conference Committee prepares a report to be signed by all the conferees and the Chairman.
The Conference Committee Report is submitted for consideration/approval of both Houses. No
amendment is allowed.

AbakadaGuro Party-list v. Ermita, G.R. No. 168056, 01 September 2005


Petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List challenged the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9337 particularly Sections
4, 5 and 6, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108, respectively, of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).
These questioned provisions contain a uniform proviso authorizing the President, upon recommendation of the
Secretary of Finance, to raise the VAT rate to 12%, effective January 1, 2006, after any of the following
conditions have been satisfied, to wit:
136

. . . That the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, shall, effective January 1, 2006,
raise the rate of value-added tax to twelve percent (12%), after any of the following conditions has been
satisfied:

(i) Value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous year exceeds
two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%); or

(ii) National government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and one-half percent
(1 %).

Petitioners argue that the law is unconstitutional, as it constitutes abandonment by Congress of its exclusive
authority to fix the rate of taxes under Article VI, Section 28(2) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. They further
argue that VAT is a tax levied on the sale or exchange of goods and services and cannot be included within
the purview of tariffs under the exemption delegation since this refers to customs duties, tolls or tribute payable
upon merchandise to the government and usually imposed on imported/exported goods. They also said that
the President has powers to cause, influence or create the conditions provided by law to bring about the
conditions precedent. Moreover, they allege that no guiding standards are made by law as to how the
Secretary of Finance will make the recommendation. They claim, nonetheless, that any recommendation of the
Secretary of Finance can easily be brushed aside by the President since the former is a mere alter ego of the
latter, such that, ultimately, it is the President who decides whether to impose the increased tax rate or not.

Issues:
1) Whether or not R.A. No. 9337 has violated the provisions in Article VI, Section 24, and Article VI,
Section 26 (2) of the Constitution.
2) Whether or not there was an undue delegation of legislative power in violation of Article VI Sec 28 Par 1
and 2 of the Constitution.
3) Whether or not there was a violation of the due process and equal protection under Article III Sec. 1 of
the Constitution.

Discussions:

Basing from the ruling of Tolentino case, it is not the law, but the revenue bill which is required by the
Constitution to originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but Senate has the power not only to
propose amendments, but also to propose its own version even with respect to bills which are required by the
Constitution to originate in the House. the Constitution simply means is that the initiative for filing revenue, tariff
or tax bills, bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of local application must come
from the House of Representatives on the theory that, elected as they are from the districts, the members of
the House can be expected to be more sensitive to the local needs and problems. On the other hand, the
senators, who are elected at large, are expected to approach the same problems from the national
perspective. Both views are thereby made to bear on the enactment of such laws.
In testing whether a statute constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to inquire
whether the statute was complete in all its terms and provisions when it left the hands of the legislature so that
nothing was left to the judgment of any other appointee or delegate of the legislature.
The equal protection clause under the Constitution means that no person or class of persons shall be
deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place
and in like circumstances.

Rulings:

1) R.A. No. 9337 has not violated the provisions. The revenue bill exclusively originated in the House of
Representatives, the Senate was acting within its constitutional power to introduce amendments to the
137

House bill when it included provisions in Senate Bill No. 1950 amending corporate income taxes,
percentage, excise and franchise taxes. Verily, Article VI, Section 24 of the Constitution does not
contain any prohibition or limitation on the extent of the amendments that may be introduced by the
Senate to the House revenue bill.

2) There is no undue delegation of legislative power but only of the discretion as to the execution of a law.
This is constitutionally permissible. Congress does not abdicate its functions or unduly delegate power
when it describes what job must be done, who must do it, and what is the scope of his authority; in our
complex economy that is frequently the only way in which the legislative process can go forward.

3) Supreme Court held no decision on this matter. The power of the State to make reasonable and natural
classifications for the purposes of taxation has long been established. Whether it relates to the subject
of taxation, the kind of property, the rates to be levied, or the amounts to be raised, the methods of
assessment, valuation and collection, the States power is entitled to presumption of validity. As a rule,
the judiciary will not interfere with such power absent a clear showing of unreasonableness,
discrimination, or arbitrariness.

One title-one subject rule


Section 26. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in
the title thereof.

Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, 204957, 204988, 205003, 205043, 205138, 205478,
205491, 205720, 206355, 207111, 207172 & 207563, 08 April 2014
Substantial: Right to Life; Health; Religion; Free Speech; Privacy; Due Process Clause; Equal Protection
Clause
Procedural: Actual Case; Facial Challenge; Locus Standi; Declaratory Relief; One Subject One Title Rule

JAMES M. IMBONG and LOVELY-ANN C. IMBONG, for themselves and in behalf of their minor children,
LUCIA CARLOS IMBONG and BERNADETTE CARLOS IMBONG and MAGNIFICAT CHILD DEVELOPMENT
CENTER, INC., Petitioners,
vs.
HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., Executive Secretary, HON. FLORENCIO B. ABAD, Secretary, Department
of Budget and Management, HON. ENRIQUE T. ONA, Secretary, Department of Health, HON. ARMIN A.
LUISTRO, Secretary, Department of Education, Culture and Sports and HON. MANUELA. ROXAS II,
Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government, Respondents.

Facts:

Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10354, otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act
of 2012 (RH Law), was enacted by Congress on December 21, 2012.

Challengers from various sectors of society are questioning the constitutionality of the said Act. The petitioners
are assailing the constitutionality of RH Law on the following grounds:

SUBSTANTIAL ISSUES:

The RH Law violates the right to life of the unborn.


The RH Law violates the right to health and the right to protection against hazardous products.
The RH Law violates the right to religious freedom.
The RH Law violates the constitutional provision on involuntary servitude.
The RH Law violates the right to equal protection of the law.
The RH Law violates the right to free speech.
The RH Law is void-for-vagueness in violation of the due process clause of the Constitution.
The RH Law intrudes into the zone of privacy of ones family protected by the Constitution
138

PROCEDURAL: Whether the Court may exercise its power of judicial review over the controversy.

Power of Judicial Review


Actual Case or Controversy
Facial Challenge
Locus Standi
Declaratory Relief
One Subject/One Title Rule

Issue/s:

SUBSTANTIAL ISSUES:

Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the:

Right to life
Right to health
Freedom of religion and right to free speech
Right to privacy (marital privacy and autonomy)
Freedom of expression and academic freedom
Due process clause
Equal protection clause
Prohibition against involuntary servitude

PROCEDURAL:

Whether the Court can exercise its power of judicial review over the controversy.

Actual Case or Controversy


Facial Challenge
Locus Standi
Declaratory Relief
One Subject/One Title Rule

Discussions:

PROCEDURAL

Judicial Review Jurisprudence is replete with the rule that the power of judicial review is limited by four
exacting requisites: (a) there must be an actual case or controversy; (b) the petitioners must possess locus
standi; (c) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (d) the issue of
constitutionality must be the lis mota of the case.

Actual Controversy: An actual case or controversy means an existing case or controversy that is appropriate
or ripe for determination, not conjectural or anticipatory, lest the decision of the court would amount to an
advisory opinion. It must concern a real, tangible and not merely a theoretical question or issue. There ought to
be an actual and substantial controversy admitting of specific relief through a decree conclusive in nature, as
distinguished from an opinion advising what the law would be upon a hypothetical state of facts. Corollary to
the requirement of an actual case or controversy is the requirement of ripeness. A question is ripe for
139

adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. For
a case to be considered ripe for adjudication, it is a prerequisite that something has then been accomplished or
performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture, and the petitioner must allege the
existence of an immediate or threatened injury to himself as a result of the challenged action. He must show
that he has sustained or is immediately in danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of the act
complained of

Facial Challenge: A facial challenge, also known as a First Amendment Challenge, is one that is launched to
assail the validity of statutes concerning not only protected speech, but also all other rights in the First
Amendment. These include religious freedom, freedom of the press, and the right of the people to peaceably
assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. After all, the fundamental right to
religious freedom, freedom of the press and peaceful assembly are but component rights of the right to ones
freedom of expression, as they are modes which ones thoughts are externalized.

Locus Standi: Locus standi or legal standing is defined as a personal and substantial interest in a case such
that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the challenged governmental act. It
requires a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure the concrete adverseness which
sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult
constitutional questions.

Transcendental Importance: the Court leans on the doctrine that the rule on standing is a matter of
procedure, hence, can be relaxed for non-traditional plaintiffs like ordinary citizens, taxpayers, and legislators
when the public interest so requires, such as when the matter is of transcendental importance, of overreaching
significance to society, or of paramount public interest.

One Subject-One Title: The one title-one subject rule does not require the Congress to employ in the title of
the enactment language of such precision as to mirror, fully index or catalogue all the contents and the minute
details therein. The rule is sufficiently complied with if the title is comprehensive enough as to include the
general object which the statute seeks to effect, and where, as here, the persons interested are informed of the
nature, scope and consequences of the proposed law and its operation. Moreover, this Court has invariably
adopted a liberal rather than technical construction of the rule so as not to cripple or impede legislation. The
one subject/one title rule expresses the principle that the title of a law must not be so uncertain that the
average person reading it would not be informed of the purpose of the enactment or put on inquiry as to its
contents, or which is misleading, either in referring to or indicating one subject where another or different one is
really embraced in the act, or in omitting any expression or indication of the real subject or scope of the act.

Declaration of Unconstitutionality: Orthodox view: An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it
imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as
though it had never been passed. Modern view: Under this view, the court in passing upon the question of
constitutionality does not annul or repeal the statute if it finds it in conflict with the Constitution. It simply refuses
to recognize it and determines the rights of the parties just as if such statute had no existence. But certain legal
effects of the statute prior to its declaration of unconstitutionality may be recognized. Requisites for partial
unconstitutionality: (1) The Legislature must be willing to retain the valid portion(s), usually shown by the
presence of a separability clause in the law; and (2) The valid portion can stand independently as law.

Ruling/s:

SUBSTANTIAL

Majority of the Members of the Court believe that the question of when life begins is a scientific and medical
issue that should not be decided, at this stage, without proper hearing and evidence. However, they agreed
that individual Members could express their own views on this matter.
140

Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution states: The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect
and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother
and the life of the unborn from conception.

In its plain and ordinary meaning (a canon in statutory construction), the traditional meaning of conception
according to reputable dictionaries cited by the ponente is that life begins at fertilization. Medical sources also
support the view that conception begins at fertilization.

The framers of the Constitution also intended for (a) conception to refer to the moment of fertilization and (b)
the protection of the unborn child upon fertilization. In addition, they did not intend to ban all contraceptives for
being unconstitutional; only those that kill or destroy the fertilized ovum would be prohibited. Contraceptives
that actually prevent the union of the male sperm and female ovum, and those that similarly take action before
fertilization should be deemed non-abortive, and thus constitutionally permissible.

The intent of the framers of the Constitution for protecting the life of the unborn child was to prevent the
Legislature from passing a measure prevent abortion. The Court cannot interpret this otherwise. The RH Law
is in line with this intent and actually prohibits abortion. By using the word or in defining abortifacient (Section
4(a)), the RH Law prohibits not only drugs or devices that prevent implantation but also those that induce
abortion and induce the destruction of a fetus inside the mothers womb. The RH Law recognizes that the
fertilized ovum already has life and that the State has a bounded duty to protect it.

However, the authors of the IRR gravely abused their office when they redefined the meaning of abortifacient
by using the term primarily. Recognizing as abortifacients only those that primarily induce abortion or the
destruction of a fetus inside the mothers womb or the prevention of the fertilized ovum to reach and be
implanted in the mothers womb (Sec. 3.01(a) of the IRR) would pave the way for the approval of
contraceptives that may harm or destroy the life of the unborn from conception/fertilization. This violates
Section 12, Article II of the Constitution. For the same reason, the definition of contraceptives under the IRR
(Sec 3.01(j)), which also uses the term primarily, must be struck down.

The RH Law does not intend to do away with RA 4729 (1966). With RA 4729 in place, the Court believes
adequate safeguards exist to ensure that only safe contraceptives are made available to the public. In fulfilling
its mandate under Sec. 10 of the RH Law, the DOH must keep in mind the provisions of RA 4729: the
contraceptives it will procure shall be from a duly licensed drug store or pharmaceutical company and that the
actual distribution of these contraceptive drugs and devices will be done following a prescription of a qualified
medical practitioner.
Meanwhile, the requirement of Section 9 of the RH Law is to be considered mandatory only after these
devices and materials have been tested, evaluated and approved by the FDA. Congress cannot determine that
contraceptives are safe, legal, non-abortificient and effective.

The Court cannot determine whether or not the use of contraceptives or participation in support of modern RH
measures (a) is moral from a religious standpoint; or, (b) right or wrong according to ones dogma or belief.
However, the Court has the authority to determine whether or not the RH Law contravenes the Constitutional
guarantee of religious freedom.
The State may pursue its legitimate secular objectives without being dictated upon the policies of any one
religion. To allow religious sects to dictate policy or restrict other groups would violate Article III, Section 5 of
the Constitution or the Establishment Clause. This would cause the State to adhere to a particular religion, and
thus, establishes a state religion. Thus, the State can enhance its population control program through the RH
Law even if the promotion of contraceptive use is contrary to the religious beliefs of e.g. the petitioners.

Section 23A (2)(i) of the RH Law, which permits RH procedures even with only the consent of the spouse
undergoing the provision (disregarding spousal content), intrudes into martial privacy and autonomy and goes
against the constitutional safeguards for the family as the basic social institution. Particularly, Section 3, Article
XV of the Constitution mandates the State to defend: (a) the right of spouses to found a family in accordance
with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood and (b) the right of families or
141

family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them.
The RH Law cannot infringe upon this mutual decision-making, and endanger the institutions of marriage and
the family.
The exclusion of parental consent in cases where a minor undergoing a procedure is already a parent or has
had a miscarriage (Section 7 of the RH Law) is also anti-family and violates Article II, Section 12 of the
Constitution, which states: The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for
civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government. In
addition, the portion of Section 23(a)(ii) which reads in the case of minors, the written consent of parents or
legal guardian or, in their absence, persons exercising parental authority or next-of-kin shall be required only in
elective surgical procedures is invalid as it denies the right of parental authority in cases where what is
involved is non-surgical procedures.

However, a minor may receive information (as opposed to procedures) about family planning services. Parents
are not deprived of parental guidance and control over their minor child in this situation and may assist her in
deciding whether to accept or reject the information received. In addition, an exception may be made in life-
threatening procedures.

The Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of Section 14 of the RH Law, which mandates the State to
provide Age-and Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. Although educators might raise
their objection to their participation in the RH education program, the Court reserves its judgment should an
actual case be filed before it.
Any attack on its constitutionality is premature because the Department of Education has not yet formulated a
curriculum on age-appropriate reproductive health education.

Section 12, Article II of the Constitution places more importance on the role of parents in the development of
their children with the use of the term primary. The right of parents in upbringing their youth is superior to that
of the State.

The provisions of Section 14 of the RH Law and corresponding provisions of the IRR supplement (rather than
supplant) the right and duties of the parents in the moral development of their children.

By incorporating parent-teacher-community associations, school officials, and other interest groups in


developing the mandatory RH program, it could very well be said that the program will be in line with the
religious beliefs of the petitioners.

The RH Law does not violate the due process clause of the Constitution as the definitions of several terms as
observed by the petitioners are not vague.
The definition of private health care service provider must be seen in relation to Section 4(n) of the RH Law
which defines a public health service provider. The private health care institution cited under Section 7
should be seen as synonymous to private health care service provider.

The terms service and methods are also broad enough to include providing of information and rendering of
medical procedures. Thus, hospitals operated by religious groups are exempted from rendering RH service
and modern family planning methods (as provided for by Section 7 of the RH Law) as well as from giving RH
information and procedures.

The RH Law also defines incorrect information. Used together in relation to Section 23 (a)(1), the terms
incorrect and knowingly connote a sense of malice and ill motive to mislead or misrepresent the public as to
the nature and effect of programs and services on reproductive health.

To provide that the poor are to be given priority in the governments RH program is not a violation of the equal
protection clause. In fact, it is pursuant to Section 11, Article XIII of the Constitution, which states that the State
shall prioritize the needs of the underprivileged, sick elderly, disabled, women, and children and that it shall
endeavor to provide medical care to paupers.
142

The RH Law does not only seek to target the poor to reduce their number, since Section 7 of the RH Law
prioritizes poor and marginalized couples who are suffering from fertility issues and desire to have children. In
addition, the RH Law does not prescribe the number of children a couple may have and does not impose
conditions upon couples who intend to have children. The RH Law only seeks to provide priority to the poor.

The exclusion of private educational institutions from the mandatory RH education program under Section 14 is
valid. There is a need to recognize the academic freedom of private educational institutions especially with
respect to religious instruction and to consider their sensitivity towards the teaching of reproductive health
education

The requirement under Sec. 17 of the RH Law for private and non-government health care service providers to
render 48 hours of pro bonoRH services does not amount to involuntary servitude, for two reasons. First, the
practice of medicine is undeniably imbued with public interest that it is both the power and a duty of the State
to control and regulate it in order to protect and promote the public welfare. Second, Section 17 only
encourages private and non-government RH service providers to render pro bono Besides the PhilHealth
accreditation, no penalty is imposed should they do otherwise.
However, conscientious objectors are exempt from Sec. 17 as long as their religious beliefs do not allow them
to render RH service, pro bono or otherwise

PROCEDURAL

In this case, the Court is of the view that an actual case or controversy exists and that the same is ripe for
judicial determination. Considering that the RH Law and its implementing rules have already taken effect and
that budgetary measures to carry out the law have already been passed, it is evident that the subject petitions
present a justiciable controversy. As stated earlier, when an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged
to have infringed the Constitution, it not only becomes a right, but also a duty of the Judiciary to settle the
dispute.
Moreover, the petitioners have shown that the case is so because medical practitioners or medical providers
are in danger of being criminally prosecuted under the RH Law for vague violations thereof, particularly public
health officers who are threatened to be dismissed from the service with forfeiture of retirement and other
benefits. They must, at least, be heard on the matter now.

In this jurisdiction, the application of doctrines originating from the U.S. has been generally maintained, albeit
with some modifications. While the Court has withheld the application of facial challenges to strictly penal
statues, it has expanded its scope to cover statutes not only regulating free speech, but also those involving
religious freedom, and other fundamental rights. The underlying reason for this modification is simple. For
unlike its counterpart in the U.S., this Court, under its expanded jurisdiction, is mandated by the Fundamental
Law not only to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, but
also to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. Verily, the framers of Our
Constitution envisioned a proactive Judiciary, ever vigilant with its duty to maintain the supremacy of the
Constitution.
Consequently, considering that the foregoing petitions have seriously alleged that the constitutional human
rights to life, speech and religion and other fundamental rights mentioned above have been violated by the
assailed legislation, the Court has authority to take cognizance of these kindred petitions and to determine if
the RH Law can indeed pass constitutional scrutiny. To dismiss these petitions on the simple expedient that
there exist no actual case or controversy, would diminish this Court as a reactive branch of government, acting
only when the Fundamental Law has been transgressed, to the detriment of the Filipino people.

Even if the constitutionality of the RH Law may not be assailed through an as-applied challenge, still, the
Court has time and again acted liberally on the locus standi requirement. It has accorded certain individuals
standing to sue, not otherwise directly injured or with material interest affected by a Government act, provided
a constitutional issue of transcendental importance is invoked. The rule on locus standi is, after all, a
143

procedural technicality which the Court has, on more than one occasion, waived or relaxed, thus allowing non-
traditional plaintiffs, such as concerned citizens, taxpayers, voters or legislators, to sue in the public interest,
albeit they may not have been directly injured by the operation of a law or any other government act.
The present action cannot be properly treated as a petition for prohibition, the transcendental importance of the
issues involved in this case warrants that the Court set aside the technical defects and take primary jurisdiction
over the petition at bar. One cannot deny that the issues raised herein have potentially pervasive influence on
the social and moral well being of this nation, specially the youth; hence, their proper and just determination is
an imperative need. This is in accordance with the well-entrenched principle that rules of procedure are not
inflexible tools designed to hinder or delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice. Their
strict and rigid application, which would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate, rather than promote
substantial justice, must always be eschewed.

Most of the petitions are praying for injunctive reliefs and so the Court would just consider them as petitions for
prohibition under Rule 65, over which it has original jurisdiction. Where the case has far-reaching implications
and prays for injunctive reliefs, the Court may consider them as petitions for prohibition under Rule 65.
The RH Law does not violate the one subject/one bill rule. In this case, a textual analysis of the various
provisions of the law shows that both reproductive health and responsible parenthood are interrelated and
germane to the overriding objective to control the population growth. As expressed in the first paragraph of
Section 2 of the RH Law:
SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. The State recognizes and guarantees the human rights of all persons including
their right to equality and nondiscrimination of these rights, the right to sustainable human development, the
right to health which includes reproductive health, the right to education and information, and the right to
choose and make decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions, ethics, cultural
beliefs, and the demands of responsible parenthood.

Considering the close intimacy between reproductive health and responsible parenthood which bears to the
attainment of the goal of achieving sustainable human development as stated under its terms, the Court finds
no reason to believe that Congress intentionally sought to deceive the public as to the contents of the assailed
legislation.

Accordingly, the Court declares R.A. No. 10354 as NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL except with respect to the
following provisions which are declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL:

1) Section 7 and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they: a) require private health facilities
and non-maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group to refer patients,
not in an emergency or life-threatening case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to another health facility
which is conveniently accessible; and b) allow minor-parents or minors who have suffered a miscarriage
access to modem methods of family planning without written consent from their parents or guardian/s;

2) Section 23(a)(l) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5 .24 thereof, insofar as
they punish any healthcare service provider who fails and or refuses to disseminate information regarding
programs and services on reproductive health regardless of his or her religious beliefs.

3) Section 23(a)(2)(i) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they allow a married individual,
not in an emergency or life-threatening case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to undergo reproductive
health procedures without the consent of the spouse;

4) Section 23(a)(2)(ii) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they limit the requirement of
parental consent only to elective surgical procedures.

5) Section 23(a)(3) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5.24 thereof, insofar as
they punish any healthcare service provider who fails and/or refuses to refer a patient not in an emergency or
life-threatening case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to another health care service provider within
the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible regardless of his or her religious beliefs;
144

6) Section 23(b) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5 .24 thereof, insofar as
they punish any public officer who refuses to support reproductive health programs or shall do any act that
hinders the full implementation of a reproductive health program, regardless of his or her religious beliefs;

7) Section 17 and the corresponding prov1s10n in the RH-IRR regarding the rendering of pro bona
reproductive health service in so far as they affect the conscientious objector in securing PhilHealth
accreditation; and

8) Section 3.0l(a) and Section 3.01 G) of the RH-IRR, which added the qualifier primarily in defining
abortifacients and contraceptives, as they are ultra vires and, therefore, null and void for contravening Section
4(a) of the RH Law and violating Section 12, Article II of the Constitution.

Three readings on separate days


Section 26 (2) No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on
separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days
before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a
public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the
vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.

Abas Kida v. Senate, G.R. No. 196271, 18 October 2011


THE FACTS

Several laws pertaining to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were enacted by Congress.
Republic Act (RA) No. 6734 is the organic act that established the ARMM and scheduled the first regular
elections for the ARMM regional officials. RA No. 9054 amended the ARMM Charter and reset the regular
elections for the ARMM regional officials to the second Monday of September 2001. RA No. 9140 further reset
the first regular elections to November 26, 2001. RA No. 9333 reset for the third time the ARMM regional
elections to the 2nd Monday of August 2005 and on the same date every 3 years thereafter.

Pursuant to RA No. 9333, the next ARMM regional elections should have been held on August 8, 2011.
COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had accepted certificates of candidacies for the
various regional offices to be elected. But on June 30, 2011, RA No. 10153 was enacted, resetting the next
ARMM regular elections to May 2013 to coincide with the regular national and local elections of the country.

In these consolidated petitions filed directly with the Supreme Court, the petitioners assailed the
constitutionality of RA No. 10153.

II. THE ISSUES:

1. Does the 1987 Constitution mandate the synchronization of elections [including the ARMM elections]?
2. Does the passage of RA No. 10153 violate the three-readings-on-separate-days rule under Section 26(2),
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution?
3. Is the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs constitutional?

III. THE RULING

[The Supreme Court] DISMISSED the petitions and UPHELD the constitutionality of RA No. 10153 in toto.]
145

1. YES, the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections.

While the Constitution does not expressly state that Congress has to synchronize national and local elections,
the clear intent towards this objective can be gleaned from the Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the
Constitution, which show the extent to which the Constitutional Commission, by deliberately making
adjustments to the terms of the incumbent officials, sought to attain synchronization of elections. The
Constitutional Commission exchanges, read with the provisions of the Transitory Provisions of the Constitution,
all serve as patent indicators of the constitutional mandate to hold synchronized national and local elections,
starting the second Monday of May 1992 and for all the following elections.

In this case, the ARMM elections, although called regional elections, should be included among the elections
to be synchronized as it is a local election based on the wording and structure of the Constitution.

Thus, it is clear from the foregoing that the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections,
including the ARMM elections.

2. NO, the passage of RA No. 10153 DOES NOT violate the three-readings-on-separate-days requirement in
Section 26(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

The general rule that before bills passed by either the House or the Senate can become laws they must pass
through three readings on separate days, is subject to the EXCEPTION when the President certifies to the
necessity of the bills immediate enactment. The Court, in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, explained the
effect of the Presidents certification of necessity in the following manner:

The presidential certification dispensed with the requirement not only of printing but also that of reading the bill
on separate days. The phrase "except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate
enactment, etc." in Art. VI, Section 26[2] qualifies the two stated conditions before a bill can become a law: [i]
the bill has passed three readings on separate days and [ii] it has been printed in its final form and distributed
three days before it is finally approved.

In the present case, the records show that the President wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
to certify the necessity of the immediate enactment of a law synchronizing the ARMM elections with the
national and local elections. Following our Tolentino ruling, the Presidents certification exempted both the
House and the Senate from having to comply with the three separate readings requirement.

3. YES, the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs in the ARMM is constitutional

[During the oral arguments, the Court identified the three options open to Congress in order to resolve the
problem on who should sit as ARMM officials in the interim [in order to achieve synchronization in the 2013
elections]: (1) allow the [incumbent] elective officials in the ARMM to remain in office in a hold over capacity
until those elected in the synchronized elections assume office; (2) hold special elections in the ARMM, with
the terms of those elected to expire when those elected in the [2013] synchronized elections assume office; or
(3) authorize the President to appoint OICs, [their respective terms to last also until those elected in the 2013
synchronized elections assume office.]

3.1. 1st option: Holdover is unconstitutional since it would extend the terms of office of the incumbent ARMM
officials

We rule out the [hold over] option since it violates Section 8, Article X of the Constitution. This provision states:

Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by
law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. [emphases
ours]
146

Since elective ARMM officials are local officials, they are covered and bound by the three-year term limit
prescribed by the Constitution; they cannot extend their term through a holdover. xxx.

If it will be claimed that the holdover period is effectively another term mandated by Congress, the net result is
for Congress to create a new term and to appoint the occupant for the new term. This view like the extension
of the elective term is constitutionally infirm because Congress cannot do indirectly what it cannot do directly,
i.e., to act in a way that would effectively extend the term of the incumbents. Indeed, if acts that cannot be
legally done directly can be done indirectly, then all laws would be illusory. Congress cannot also create a new
term and effectively appoint the occupant of the position for the new term. This is effectively an act of
appointment by Congress and an unconstitutional intrusion into the constitutional appointment power of the
President. Hence, holdover whichever way it is viewed is a constitutionally infirm option that Congress
could not have undertaken.

Even assuming that holdover is constitutionally permissible, and there had been statutory basis for it (namely
Section 7, Article VII of RA No. 9054) in the past, we have to remember that the rule of holdover can only apply
as an available option where no express or implied legislative intent to the contrary exists; it cannot apply
where such contrary intent is evident.

Congress, in passing RA No. 10153, made it explicitly clear that it had the intention of suppressing the
holdover rule that prevailed under RA No. 9054 by completely removing this provision. The deletion is a policy
decision that is wholly within the discretion of Congress to make in the exercise of its plenary legislative
powers; this Court cannot pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation, except where
an attendant unconstitutionality or grave abuse of discretion results.

3.2. 2nd option: Calling special elections is unconstitutional since COMELEC, on its own, has no authority to
order special elections.

The power to fix the date of elections is essentially legislative in nature. [N]o elections may be held on any
other date for the positions of President, Vice President, Members of Congress and local officials, except when
so provided by another Act of Congress, or upon orders of a body or officer to whom Congress may have
delegated either the power or the authority to ascertain or fill in the details in the execution of that power.

Notably, Congress has acted on the ARMM elections by postponing the scheduled August 2011 elections and
setting another date May 13, 2011 for regional elections synchronized with the presidential, congressional
and other local elections. By so doing, Congress itself has made a policy decision in the exercise of its
legislative wisdom that it shall not call special elections as an adjustment measure in synchronizing the ARMM
elections with the other elections.

After Congress has so acted, neither the Executive nor the Judiciary can act to the contrary by ordering special
elections instead at the call of the COMELEC. This Court, particularly, cannot make this call without thereby
supplanting the legislative decision and effectively legislating. To be sure, the Court is not without the power to
declare an act of Congress null and void for being unconstitutional or for having been exercised in grave abuse
of discretion. But our power rests on very narrow ground and is merely to annul a contravening act of
Congress; it is not to supplant the decision of Congress nor to mandate what Congress itself should have done
in the exercise of its legislative powers.

Thus, in the same way that the term of elective ARMM officials cannot be extended through a holdover, the
term cannot be shortened by putting an expiration date earlier than the three (3) years that the Constitution
itself commands. This is what will happen a term of less than two years if a call for special elections shall
prevail. In sum, while synchronization is achieved, the result is at the cost of a violation of an express provision
of the Constitution.

3.3. 3rd option: Grant to the President of the power to appoint ARMM OICs in the interim is valid.
147

The above considerations leave only Congress chosen interim measure RA No. 10153 and the appointment
by the President of OICs to govern the ARMM during the pre-synchronization period pursuant to Sections 3, 4
and 5 of this law as the only measure that Congress can make. This choice itself, however, should be
examined for any attendant constitutional infirmity.

At the outset, the power to appoint is essentially executive in nature, and the limitations on or qualifications to
the exercise of this power should be strictly construed; these limitations or qualifications must be clearly stated
in order to be recognized. The appointing power is embodied in Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution,
which states:

Section 16. The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint
the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls or officers of the
armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in
him in this Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not
otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may,
by law, vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads
of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards. [emphasis ours]

This provision classifies into four groups the officers that the President can appoint. These are:

First, the heads of the executive departments; ambassadors; other public ministers and consuls; officers of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, from the rank of colonel or naval captain; and other officers whose
appointments are vested in the President in this Constitution;
Second, all other officers of the government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law;
Third, those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint; and
Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone.

Since the Presidents authority to appoint OICs emanates from RA No. 10153, it falls under the third group of
officials that the President can appoint pursuant to Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution. Thus, the assailed
law facially rests on clear constitutional basis.

If at all, the gravest challenge posed by the petitions to the authority to appoint OICs under Section 3 of RA No.
10153 is the assertion that the Constitution requires that the ARMM executive and legislative officials to be
elective and representative of the constituent political units. This requirement indeed is an express limitation
whose non-observance in the assailed law leaves the appointment of OICs constitutionally defective.

After fully examining the issue, we hold that this alleged constitutional problem is more apparent than real and
becomes very real only if RA No. 10153 were to be mistakenly read as a law that changes the elective and
representative character of ARMM positions. RA No. 10153, however, does not in any way amend what the
organic law of the ARMM (RA No. 9054) sets outs in terms of structure of governance. What RA No. 10153 in
fact only does is to appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor
and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said
offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office. This
power is far different from appointing elective ARMM officials for the abbreviated term ending on the
assumption to office of the officials elected in the May 2013 elections.

[T]he legal reality is that RA No. 10153 did not amend RA No. 9054. RA No. 10153, in fact, provides only for
synchronization of elections and for the interim measures that must in the meanwhile prevail. And this is how
RA No. 10153 should be read in the manner it was written and based on its unambiguous facial terms. Aside
from its order for synchronization, it is purely and simply an interim measure responding to the adjustments
that the synchronization requires.
148

Enrolled bill doctrine

Astorga v. Villegas, 56 SCRA 714


Enrolled Bill Doctrine: As the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled
Act in the custody of the Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, of the President of the Senate, and of the Chief Executive, carries, on its face, a solemn
assurance by the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty
of enacting and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress.
Approval of Congress, not signatures of the officers, is essential
When courts may turn to the journal: Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently
there being no enrolled bill to speak of, the entries in the journal should be consulted.

FACTS:

House Bill No. 9266, a bill of local application, was filed in the House of Representatives and then sent to the
Senate for reading. During discussion at the Senate, Senator Tolentino and Senator Roxas recommended
amendments thereto. Despite the fact that it was the Tolentino amendment that was approved and the Roxas
amendment not even appearing in the journal, when Senate sent its certification of amendment to the House,
only the Roxas amendment was included, not the Tolentino amendment. Nevertheless, the House approved
the same. Printed copies were then certified and attested by the Secretary of the House of Reps, the Speaker,
the Secretary of the Senate and the Senate President, and sent to the President of the Philippines who thereby
approved the same. The Bill thus was passed as RA 4065. However, when the error was discovered, both the
Senate President and the Chief Executive withdrew their signatures.

ISSUES:
Whether or not RA 4065 was passed into law
Whether or not the entries in the journal should prevail over the enrolled bill

RULING:

Rationale of the Enrolled Bill Theory

The rationale of the enrolled bill theory is set forth in the said case of Field vs. Clark as follows:

The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, by the President of the Senate, in open
session, of an enrolled bill, is an official attestation by the two houses of such bill as one that has passed
Congress. It is a declaration by the two houses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a bill,
thus attested, has received, in due form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is
delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be
presented to him. And when a bill, thus attested, receives his approval, and is deposited in the public archives,
its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be deemed complete and unimpeachable. As the
President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the
Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the
President of the Senate, and of the President of the United States, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by
the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of enacting
and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and independent
departments requires the judicial department to act upon that assurance, and to accept, as having passed
Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the courts to determine, when the question
properly arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution.
149

It may be noted that the enrolled bill theory is based mainly on "the respect due to coequal and independent
departments," which requires the judicial department "to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills
authenticated in the manner stated." Thus it has also been stated in other cases that if the attestation is absent
and the same is not required for the validity of a statute, the courts may resort to the journals and other records
of Congress for proof of its due enactment. This was the logical conclusion reached in a number of decisions,
although they are silent as to whether the journals may still be resorted to if the attestation of the presiding
officers is present.

Approval of Congress, not signatures of the officers, is essential

As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosanct in the certification made by the presiding
officers. It is merely a mode of authentication. The lawmaking process in Congress ends when the bill is
approved by both Houses, and the certification does not add to the validity of the bill or cure any defect already
present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and not the signatures of the presiding
officers that is essential.

When courts may turn to the journal

Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently there being no enrolled bill to speak of,
what evidence is there to determine whether or not the bill had been duly enacted? In such a case the entries
in the journal should be consulted.

The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution requires it.
While it is true that the journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risks of misprinting and other errors,
the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266
signed by the Chief Executive was the same text passed by both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts
and circumstances of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the Senate journal for the purpose. The
journal discloses that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the
Senate but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him. This Court is not
asked to incorporate such amendments into the alleged law, which admittedly is a risky undertaking, but to
declare that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not become law. This We do, as indeed both the
President of the Senate and the Chief Executive did, when they withdrew their signatures therein. In the face of
the manifest error committed and subsequently rectified by the President of the Senate and by the Chief
Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding such rectification and holding that the
erroneous bill has become law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences
not intended by the law-making body.

Philippine Judges Association v. Prado, 227 SCRA 703


Bill of Rights Equal Protection Franking Privilege of the Judiciary

Section 35 of Republic Act No. 7354 authorized the Philippine Postal Corporation (PPC) to withdraw franking
privileges from certain government agencies. Franking privilege is a privilege granted to certain agencies to
make use of the Philippine postal service free of charge.

In 1992, a study came about where it was determined that the bulk of the expenditure of the postal service
comes from the judiciarys use of the postal service (issuance of court processes). Hence, the postal service
recommended that the franking privilege be withdrawn from the judiciary. AS a result, the PPC issued a
circular withdrawing the said franking privilege.

The Philippine Judges Association (PJA) assailed the circular and questioned the validity of Section 35 of RA
7354. PJA claimed that the said provision is violative of the equal protection clause.
150

ISSUE: Whether or not the withdrawal of the franking privilege from the judiciary is valid.

HELD: No. The Supreme Court ruled that there is a violation of the equal protection clause. The judiciary
needs the franking privilege so badly as it is vital to its operation. Evident to that need is the high expense
allotted to the judiciarys franking needs. The Postmaster cannot be sustained in contending that the removal
of the franking privilege from the judiciary is in order to cut expenditure. This is untenable for if the Postmaster
would intend to cut expenditure by removing the franking privilege of the judiciary, then they should have
removed the franking privilege all at once from all the other departments. If the problem is the loss of revenues
from the franking privilege, the remedy is to withdraw it altogether from all agencies of the government,
including those who do not need it. The problem is not solved by retaining it for some and withdrawing it from
others, especially where there is no substantial distinction between those favored, which may or may not need
it at all, and the Judiciary, which definitely needs it. The problem is not solved by violating the Constitution.

The equal protection clause does not require the universal application of the laws on all persons or things
without distinction (it is true that the postmaster withdraw the franking privileges from other agencies of the
government but still, the judiciary is different because its operation largely relies on the mailing of court
processes). This might in fact sometimes result in unequal protection, as where, for example, a law prohibiting
mature books to all persons, regardless of age, would benefit the morals of the youth but violate the liberty of
adults. What the clause requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. By
classification is meant the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain particulars and different
from all others in these same particulars.

In lumping the Judiciary with the other offices from which the franking privilege has been withdrawn, Sec 35
has placed the courts of justice in a category to which it does not belong. If it recognizes the need of the
President of the Philippines and the members of Congress for the franking privilege, there is no reason why it
should not recognize a similar and in fact greater need on the part of the Judiciary for such privilege.

Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, G.R. No. 11545, 30 October 1995


Facts:
The value-added tax (VAT) is levied on the sale, barter or exchange of goods and properties as well as on the
sale or exchange of services. RA 7716 seeks to widen the tax base of the existing VAT system and enhance
its administration by amending the National Internal Revenue Code. There are various suits challenging the
constitutionality of RA 7716 on various grounds.

One contention is that RA 7716 did not originate exclusively in the House of Representatives as required by
Art. VI, Sec. 24 of the Constitution, because it is in fact the result of the consolidation of 2 distinct bills, H. No.
11197 and S. No. 1630. There is also a contention that S. No. 1630 did not pass 3 readings as required by the
Constitution.

Issue:Whether or not RA 7716 violates Art. VI, Secs. 24 and 26(2) ofthe Constitution

Held:
The argument that RA 7716 did not originate exclusively in the House of Representatives as required by Art.
VI, Sec. 24 of the Constitution will not bear analysis. To begin with, it is not the law but the revenue bill which is
required by the Constitution to originate exclusively in the House of Representatives. To insist that a revenue
statute and not only the bill which initiated the legislative process culminating in the enactment of the law must
substantially be the same as the House bill would be to deny the Senates power not only to concur with
amendments but also to propose amendments. Indeed, what the Constitution simply means is that the initiative
for filing revenue, tariff or tax bills, bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of local
application must come from the House of Representatives on the theory that, elected as they are from the
districts, the members of the House can be expected to be more sensitive to the local needs and problems.
151

Nor does the Constitution prohibit the filing in the Senate of a substitute bill in anticipation of its receipt of the
bill from the House, so long as action by the Senate as a body is withheld pending receipt of the House bill.

The next argument of the petitioners was that S. No. 1630 did not pass 3 readings on separate days as
required by the Constitution because the second and third readings were done on the same day. But this was
because the President had certified S. No. 1630 as urgent. The presidential certification dispensed with the
requirement not only of printing but also that of reading the bill on separate days. That upon the certification of
a billby the President the requirement of 3 readings on separate days and of printing and distribution can be
dispensed with is supported by the weight of legislative practice.

CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION in ARROYO V. DE VENECIA GR NO. 166715, 14 August 2008

PUNO, J.:

I concur in the result. I do appreciate the fine legal disquisition of Mr. Justice Mendoza to justify the dismissal of
the case at bar. Nevertheless, I have to express my views on the alleged non-justiciability of the issue posed
by the petitioner as well as the applicability of the archaic enroll bill doctrine in light of what I perceive as new
wrinkles in our law brought about by the 1987 Constitution and the winds of changing time.

With due respect, I do not agree that the issues posed by the petitioner are non-justiciable. Nor do I agree that
we will trivialize the principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over the case at bar. Even in the
United States, the principle of separation of power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the
interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of procedure by legislators.

Rightly, the ponencial uses the 1891 case of US v. Ballin,[1] as a window to review the issues before the Court.
It is in Ballin where the US Supreme Court first defined the boundaries of the power of the judiciary to review
congressional rules.[2] It held:

xxx

The Constitution, in the same section, provides, that each house may determine the rules of its proceedings. It
appears that in pursuance of this authority the House had, prior to that day, passed this as one of its rules:

Rule XV

3. On the demand of any member, or at the suggestion of the Speaker, the names of member, or at the
suggestion of the Speaker, the names of members sufficient to make a quorum in the hall of the House who do
not vote shall be noted by the clerk and recorded in the journal, and reported to the Speaker with the names of
the members voting, and be counted and announced in determining the presence of a quorum to do business.
(House Journal, 230, Feb. 14, 1890)

The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. The question, therefore, is as to the validity of this
rule, and not what methods the Speaker may of his own motion resort to for determining the presence of a
quorum, nor what matters the Speaker or clerk may of their own volition place upon the journal. Neither do the
advantages or disadvantages, the wisdom or folly, of such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration.
With the courts the question is only one of power. The Constitution empowers each house to determine its
rules of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and
there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceedings established by the rule and
the result which is sought to be attained. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the
determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be better,
more accurate, or even more just. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a different one has been
prescribed and in force for a length of time. The power to make rules is not one which ones exercised is
152

exhausted. It is a continuous power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and within the limitations
suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal.

Ballin, clearly confirmed the jurisdiction of courts to pass upon the validity of congressional rules, i.e., whether
they are constitutional. Rule XV was examined by the Court and it was found to satisfy the test: (1) that it did
not ignore any constitutional restraint; (2) it did not violate any fundamental right; and (3) its method has a
reasonable relationship with the result sought to be attained. By examining Rule XV, the Court did not allow its
jurisdiction to be defeated by the mere invocation of the principle of separation of powers.

Ballin was followed in 1932 by the case of US v. Smith.[3] In Smith, the meaning of sections 3 and 4 of Rule
XXXVIII of the US senate was in issue, viz:

xxx

3. When a nomination is confirmed or rejected, any Senator voting in the majority may move for a
reconsideration on the same day on which the vote was taken, or on either of the next two days of actual
executive session of the Senate; but if a notification of the confirmation or rejection of a nomination shall have
been sent to the President before the expiration of the time within which a motion to reconsider may be made,
the motion to reconsider shall be accompanied by a motion to request the President to return such notification
to the Senate. Any motion to reconsider that vote on a nomination may be laid on the table without prejudice to
the nomination, and shall be a final disposition of such motion.

4. Nominations confirmed or rejected by the Senate shall not be returned by the Secretary to the President
until the expiration of the time limited for making a motion to reconsider the same, or while a motion to
reconsider is pending, unless otherwise ordered by the Senate.

It appears that the nomination of Mr. Smith as member of the Federal Power Commission has been confirmed
by the US Senate. The resolution of confirmation was sent to the US President who then signed the
appointment of Mr. Smith. The Senate, however, reconsidered the confirmation of Mr. Smith and requested the
President to return its resolution of confirmation. The President refused. A petition for quo warrnto was filed
against Mr. Smith. The Court, speaking thru Mr. Justice Brandeis, assumed jurisdiction over the dispute relying
on Ballin. It exercised jurisdiction although the question primarily at issue relates to the construction of the
dispute relying on Ballin. It exercised jurisdiction although the question primarily at issue relates to the
construction of the applicable rules, not to their constitutionality. Significantly, the Court rejected the Senate
interpretation of its own rules even while it held that it must be accorded the most sympathetic consideration.

xxx

Sixth. To place upon the standing rules of the Senate a construction different from that adopted by the Senate
itself when the present case was under debate is a serious and delicate exercise of judicial power. The
Constitution commits to the Senate the power to make its own rule; and it is not the function of the Court to say
that another rule would be better. A rule designed to ensure due deliberation in the performance of the vital
function of advising and consenting to nominations for public office, moreover, should receive from the Court
the most sympathetic consideration. But the reasons, above stated, against the Senates construction seem to
us compelling. We are confirmed in the view we have taken by the fact, since the attempted reconsideration of
Smiths confirmation, the Senate itself seems uniformly to have treated the ordering of immediate notification to
the President as tantamount to authorizing him to proceed to perfect the appointment.

Smith, of course, involves the right of a third person and its ruling falls within the test spelled out in Ballin.

Smith was followed by the 1948 case of Christoffel v. United States.[4] Christoffel testified before the
Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representive. He denied he was a communist and was
charged with perjury in a regular court. He adduced evidence during the trial that the committee had no
153

quorum when the perjurious statement was given. Nonetheless, he was convicted in view of the judges charge
to the members of the jury that to find Christoffel guilty, they had to find beyond a reasonable doubt that

xxx

x x x the defendant Christoffel appeared before a quorum of at least thirteen members of the said Committee,
and that at least that number must have been actually and physically present if such a Committee so met, that
is, if thirteen members did meet at the beginning of the afternoon session of March 1, 1947, and thereafter
during the progress of the hearing some of them left temporarily or otherwise and no question was raised as to
the lack of quorum, then the fact that the majority did not remain there would not affect, for the purposes of this
case, the existence of that the Committee as a competent tribunal provided that before the oath was
administered and before the testimony of the defendant was given there were present as many as 13 members
of that Committee at the beginning of the afternoon session .

Christoffel objected to the charge on the ground that it allowed the jury to assume there was a continuous
quorum simply because it was present at the start of the meeting of the Committee. Under the House rules, a
quorum once established is presumed to continue until the lack of quorum is raised. Again, the court assumed
jurisdiction over the case. A majority of the Court, with Mr. Justice Murphy, as ponente, defined the issue as
what rules the House had established and whether they have been followed. It held:

xxx

Congressional practice in the transaction of ordinary legislative business is of course none of our concern, and
by the same token the considerations which may lead Congress as a matter of legislative practice to treat as
valid the conduct of its committees do not control the issue before us. The question is neither what rules
Congress may establish for its own governance, not whether presumptions of continuity may protect the
validity of its legislative conduct. The question is rather what rules the House has established and whether they
have been followed. It of course has the power to define what tribunal is competent to exact testimony and the
conditions that establish its competency to do so. The heart of this case is that by the charge that was given it
was allowed to assume that the conditions of competency were satisfied even though the basis in fact was not
established in the face of a possible finding that the facts contradicted the assumption.

We are measuring a conviction of crime by the statute which defined it. As a consequence of this conviction,
petitioner was sentenced to imprisonment for a term or two to six years. An essential part of a procedure which
can be said fairly to inflict such a punishment is that all the elements of the crime charged shall be proved
beyond reasonable doubt. An element of the crime charged in the instant indictment is the presence of a
complete tribunal, and the trial court proper so instructed the jury. The House insist that to be such a tribunal a
committee must consist of quorum, and we agree with the trial courts charge that to convict, the jury had to be
satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that there were actually and physically present a majority of the
committee.

Then to charge, however, that such requirement is satisfied by a finding that there was a majority present two
or three hours before the defendant offered his testimony, in the face of evidence indicating the contrary, is to
rule as a matter of law that a quorum need to be present when the offense is committed. This is not only
seems to us contrary to the rules and practice of the Congress but denies petitioner a fundamental right. That
right is that he be convicted of crime only on proof of all elements of the crime charged against him. A tribunal
that is not competent is no tribunal, and it unthinkable that such a body can be an instrument of criminal
conviction.

The minority complained that the House has adopted the rule and practice that a quorum once established is
presumed continue unless until a point of no quorum is raised. By this decision, the Court , in effect, invalidates
the rule x x x. The minority view commanded only the vote of three (3) justices.
154

The US Supreme Court pursued the same line in 1963 in deciding the case of Yellin v. United States.[5] Yellin
was indicted on five counts of willfully refusing to answer questions put to him by a sub-committee of the
House Committee on Un-American Activities. He was convicted by the District Court of contempt of Congress
on four counts. The conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the 7th circuit. On certiorari, he
assailed his conviction on the ground that the Committee illegally denied his request to be heard in executive
session. He alleged there was a violation of Committee Rule IV which provides that if a majority of Committee
or sub-committee, duly appointed as provided by the rules of the House of Representatives, believes that the
interrogation of a witness in a public hearing might endanger national security or unjustly injure his reputation,
or the reputation of other individuals, the Committee shall interrogate such witness in an executive session for
the purpose of determining the necessity or admissibility of conducting such interrogation thereafter in a public
hearing. In a 5-4 decision, the Court, speaking thru Mr. Chief Justice Warren, held:

xxx

Yellin should be permitted the same opportunity for judicial review when he discovers at trial that his rights
have been violated. This is especially so when the Committees practice leads witnesses to misplaced reliance
upon its rules. When reading a copy of the committees rules, which must be distributed to every witness under
Rule XVII, the witness reasonable expectation is that the Committee actually does what it purports to do,
adhere to its own rules. To foreclose a defense based upon those rules, simply because the witness was
deceived by the Committees appearance of regularity, is not fair. The committee prepared the groundwork for
prosecution in Yellins case meticulously. It is not too exacting to require that the Committee be equally
meticulous in obeying its own rules.

It additionally bears stressing that the United States, the judiciary has pruned the political thicket. In the
benchmark case of Baker v. Carr,[6] the US Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction to hear a petition for re-
apportiontment of the Tennessee legislature ruling that the political question doctrine, a tool for maintenance of
government order, will not be so applied as to promote only disorder and that the courts cannot reject as no
law suit, a bonafide controversy as to whether some action denominated political exceeds constitutional
authority.

In the Philippine setting, there is a more compelling reason for courts to categorically reject the political
question defense when its interposition will cover up abuse of power. For section 1, Article VIII of our
Constitution was intentionally cobbled to empower courts x x x to determine whether or not there has been a
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the government. This power is new and was not granted to our courts in the 1935 and 1972
Constitutions. It was not also xeroxed from the US Constitution or any foreign state constitution. The CONCOM
granted this enormous power to our courts in view of our experience under martial law where abusive
exercises of state power were shielded from judicial scrutiny by the misuse of the political question doctrine.
Led by the eminent former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, the CONCOM expanded and sharpened the
checking powers of the judiciary vis--vis the Executive and the Legislative departments of government. In
cases involving the proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, it is now
beyond dubeity that the government can no longer invoke the political question defense. Section 18 of Article
VII completely eliminated this defense when it provided:

xxx

The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual
basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of the extension thereof,
and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing.

A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the
civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and
agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege or the
writ.
155

The CONCOM did not only outlaw the use of the political question defense in national security cases. To a
great degree, it diminished its use as a shield to protect other abuses of government by allowing courts to
penetrate the shield with the new power to review acts of any branch or instrumentality of the government x x x
to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction. In Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance,[7] I posited the following postulates:

xxx

Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law.

Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government.

Former Chief Justice Roberto R. Concepcion, the sponsor of this provision in the Constitutional Commission
explained the sense and the reach of judicial power a s follows:

xxx

x x x In other words, the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or
any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute an
abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass
judgment on matters of this nature.

This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1, which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the
duty to settle matters of this nature, by claiming that such matters constitute political question.

The Constitution cannot be any clearer. What it granted to this court is not a mere power which it can decline to
exercise. Precisely to deter this disinclination, the Constitution imposed it as a duty of this Court to strike down
any act of a branch or instrumentality of government or any of its officials done with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Rightly or wrongly, the Constitution has elongated the checking
powers of this Court against the other branches of government despite their more democratic character, the
President and the legislators being elected by the people.

It is however, theorized that this provision is nothing new. I beg to disagree for the view misses the significant
changes made in our constitutional canvass to cure the legal deficiencies we discovered during martial law.
One of the areas radically change by the framers of the 1987 Constitution is the imbalance of power between
and among the three great branches of our government the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary. To
upgrade the powers of the Judiciary, the Constitutional Commission strengthened some more the
independence of courts. Thus, it further protected the security of tenure of the members of the Judiciary by
providing No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its
Members. It is also guaranteed fiscal autonomy to the Judiciary.

More, it depoliticalized appointments in the judiciary by creating the Judicial and Bar Council which was tasked
with screening the list of prospective appointees to the judiciary. The power of confirming appointments to the
judiciary was also taken away from Congress. The President was likewise given specific time to fill up
vacancies in the judiciary ninety (90) days from the occurrence of the vacancy in case of the Supreme Court
and ninety (90) days from the submission of the list of recommendees by the Judicial and Bar Council in case
of vacancies in the lower courts. To further insulate appointments in the judiciary from the virus of politics, the
Supreme Court was given the power to appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with
the Civil Service Law. And to make the separation of the judiciary from other branches of government more
156

watertight, it prohibited members of the judiciary to be x x x designated to any agency performing quasi judicial
or administrative functions. While the Constitution strengthened the sinews of the Supreme Court, it reduced
the powers of the two other branches of the government, especially the Executive. Notable powers of the
President clipped by the Constitution is his power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and to proclaim martial
law. The exercise of this power is now subject to revocation by Congress. Likewise, the sufficiency of the
factual basis for the exercise of said power may be reviewed by this Court in an appropriate proceeding filed by
any citizen.

The provision defining judicial power as including the duty of the courts of justice to determine whether or not
there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
branch or instrumentality of the Government constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the Constitutional
Commission to upgrade the powers of this court vis--vis the other branches of the government. This provision
was dictated by our experience under martial law which taught us that a stronger and more independent
judiciary is needed to abort abuses in government. x x x.

xxx

In sum, I submit that in imposing to this Court the duty to annul acts of government committed with grave
abuse of discretion, the new Constitution transformed this Court from passivity to activism. This transformation,
dictated by our distinct experience as a nation, is not merely evolutionary but revolutionary. Under the 1935
and 1973 Constitutions, this Court approached constitutional violations by initially determining what it cannot
do; under the 1987 Constitution, there is a shift in stress this Court is mandated to approach constitutional
violations not by finding out what it should do but what it must do. The Court must discharge this solemn duty
by not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present.

I urge my brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this new constitutional provision as the
case at bar once more calls us to define the parameters of our power to review violations of the rules of the
House. We will not be true to our trust as the last bulwark against government abuses if we refuse to exercise
this new power or if we wield it with timidity. To be sure, it is this exceeding timidity to unsheath the judicial
sword that has increasingly emboldened other branches of government to denigrate, if not defy, orders of our
courts. In Tolentino,[8] I endorsed the view of former Senator Salonga that this novel provision stretching the
latitude of judicial power is distinctly Filipino and its interpretation should not be depreciated by undue reliance
on inapplicable foreign jurisprudence. In resolving the case at bar, the lessons or our own history should
provide us the light and not the experience of foreigners.

II

Again with due respect, I dissent from the majority insofar as it relied on the enrolled bill doctrine to justify the
dismissal of the petition at bar.

An enrolled bill is one which has been duly introduced, finally enacted by both Houses, signed by the proper
officers of each House and approved by the President. [9] It is a declaration by the two Houses, through their
presiding officers, to the President that a bill, thus attested has received in due the sanction of the legislative
branch of the government, and that it is delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all
bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him.

The enrolled bill originated in England where there is no written Constitution controlling the legislative branch of
the government, and the acts of Parliament, being regarded in their nature as judicial as emanating from the
highest tribunal in the land are placed on the same footing and regarded with the same veneration as the
judgment of the courts which cannot be collaterally attacked.[10] In England, the conclusiveness of the bill was
premised on the rationale that an act of parliament thus made is the exercise the highest authority that this
kingdom acknowledges upon earth. And it cannot be altered, amended, dispensed with, suspended or
repealed, but in the same forms and by the same authority of parliament; for it is a maxim in law that requires
the same strength to dissolve as to create an obligation.[11]
157

Over the years, the enrolled bill theory has undergone important mutations. Some jurisdictions have adopted
the modified entry or affirmative contradiction rule. Under this rule, the presumption in favor of the enrolled bill
is not conclusive. The rule concedes validity to the enrolled bill unless there affirmatively appears in the
journals of the legislature a statement that there has not been compliance with one or more of the
constitutional requirements.[12] Other jurisdiction have adopted the Extrinsic Evidence Rule which holds that
an enrolled bill is only prima facie evidence that it has been regularly enacted. The prima facie presumption,
however, can be destroyed by clear satisfactory and convincing evidence that the constitutional requirements
enacting a law have been violated. For this purpose, journals and other extrinsic evidence are allowed to be
received.[13] Some limit the use of extrinsic evidence to issues of fraud or mistakes.[14]

These variants developed after a re-examination of the rationale of the enrolled bill. The modern rationale for
the enrolled bill theory was spelled out in Field v. Clark,[15] viz.:

xxx

The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, by the President of the Senate, in open
session, of an enrolled bill, is an official attestation by the two houses of such bill as one that has passed
Congress. It is a declaration by the two Houses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a bill,
thus attested, has received, in due form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is
delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be
presented to him. And when a bill, thus attested, receives his approval, and is deposited in the public archives,
its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be deemed complete and unimpeachable. As the
President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the
Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the
President of the Senate and of the President of the United States, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by
the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of enacting
and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and independent
departments requires the judicial department to act upon the assurance, to accept, as having passed
Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the courts to determine, when the question
properly arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution.

The principle of separation of powers is thus the principal prop of the enrolled bill doctrine. The doctrine is also
justified as a rule of convenience. Supposedly, it avoids difficult questions of evidence.[16] It is also believed
that it will prevent the filing of too many cases which will cast a cloud of uncertainty on laws passed by the
legislature. As explained in Ex Pacte Wren[17] if the validity of every act published as law is to be tested by
examining its history, as shown by the journals of the two houses of the legislature, there will be an amount of
litigation, difficulty, and painful uncertainty appalling in its contemplation, and multiplying a hundredfold the
alleged uncertainty of the law. The conclusiveness of the enrolled bill is also justified on the ground that
journals and other extrinsic evidence are conducive to mistake, if not fraud.

These justifications for the enrolled bill theory have been rejected in various jurisdictions in the United States.
In his Dissenting Opinion in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, and its companion cases,[18] Mr. Justice
Regalado cited some of the leading American cases which discussed the reason for the withering, if not
demise of the enrolled bill theory, viz:

xxx

Even in the land of its source, the so-called conclusive presumption of validity originally attributed to that
doctrine has long been revisited and qualified, if not altogether rejected. On the competency of judicial inquiry,
it has been held that (u)nder the enrolled bill rule by which an enrolled bill is sole expository of its contents and
conclusive evidence of its existence and valid enactment, it is nevertheless competent for courts to inquire as
to what prerequisites are fixed by the Constitution of which journals of respective houses of Legislature are
required to furnish the evidence.
158

In fact, in Gwynn vs. Hardee, etc. et al., the Supreme Court of Florida declared:

(1) While the presumption is that the enrolled bill, as signed by the legislative offices and filed with the
secretary of state, is the bill as it passed, yet this presumption is not conclusive, and when it is shown from the
legislative journals that a bill though engrossed and enrolled, and signed by the legislative officers contains
provisions that have not passed both houses, such provisions will be held spurious and not a part of the law.
As was said by Mr. Justice Cockrell in the case of Wade vs. Atlantic Lumber Co., 51 Fla. 628, text 633, 41 So.
72, 73:

This Court is firmly committed to the holding that when the journals speak they control, and against such proof
the enrolled bills not conclusive.

More enlightening and apropos to the present controversy is the decision promulgated on May 13, 1980 by the
Supreme Court of Kentucky in D & W Auto Supply, et al. vs. Department of Revenue, et al., pertinent excerpts
wherefrom are extensively reproduced hereunder.

x x x In arriving at our decision we must, perforce, reconsider the validity of a long line of decisions of this court
which created and nurtured the so-called enrolled bill doctrine.

xxx

[1] Section 46 of the Kentucky Constitution sets out certain procedures that the legislature must follow before a
bill can be considered for final passage. x x x.

xxx

x x x Under the enrolled bill doctrine as it now exists in Kentucky, a court may not look behind such a bill,
enrolled and certified by the appropriate officers, to determine if there are necessary defects.

xxx

x x x In Lafferty, passage of the law in question violated this provision, yet the bill was properly enrolled and
approved by the governor. In declining to look behind the law to determine the propriety of its enactment, the
court enunciated three reasons for adopting the enrolled bill rule. First, the court was reluctant to scrutinize the
process of the legislature, an equal branch of government. Second, reasons of convenience prevailed, which
discouraged requiring the legislature to preserve its records and anticipated considerable compels litigation if
the court ruled otherwise. Third, the court acknowledged the poor record-keeping abilities of the General
Assembly and expressed a preference for accepting the final bill as enrolled, rather than opening up the
records of the legislature. x x x.

xxx

Nowhere has the rule been adopted without reason, or as a result of judicial whim. There are four historical
bases for the doctrine. (1) An enrolled bill was a record and, as such was not subject to attack at common law.
(2) Since the legislature is one of the three branches of government, the courts, being coequal, must indulge in
every presumption that legislative acts are valid. (3) When the rule was originally formulated, record-keeping of
the legislatures was so inadequate that a balancing of equities required that the final act, enrolled bill, be given
efficacy. (4) There were theories of convenience as expressed by the Kentucky court in Lafferty.

The rule is not uninanimous in the several states, however and it has not been without critics. From an
examination of cases and treaties, we can summarize the criticism as follows: (1) Artificial presumptions,
especially conclusive ones, are not favored. (2) Such a rule frequently (as in the present case) produces
results which do not accord with facts or constitutional provisions. (3) The rule is conducive to fraud, forgery,
159

corruption and other wrongdoings. (4) Modern automatic and electronic record-keeping devices now used by
legislatures remove one of the original reasons for the rule. (5) The rule disregards the primary obligation of the
courts to seek the truth and to provide a remedy for a wrong committed by any branch of government. In light
of these considerations we are convinced that the time has come to re-examine the enrolled bill doctrine.

[2] This court is not unmindful of the admonition of the doctrine of stare decisis. The maxim is Stare decisis et
non quieta movere, which simply suggests that we stand by precedents and to disturb settled points of law. Yet
this rule is not inflexible, nor is it of such a nature as to require perpetuation or error or logic. As we stated in
Daniels Admr v. Hoofnel, 287 Ky 834, 155 S.W.2d 469, 471-72 (1941).

The force of the rule depends upon the nature of the question to be decided and the extent of the disturbance
of rights and practices which a change in the interpretation of the law or the course of judicial opinions may
create. Cogent considerations are whether there is clear error and urgent reasons for neither justice not wisdon
requires a court to go from one doubtful rule to another, and whether or not the evils of the principle that has
been followed will be more injurious than can possibly result from a change.

Certainly, when a theory supporting a rule of law is not grounded on facts, or upon sound logic, or is unjust, or
has been discredited by actual experience, it should be discarded, and with it the rule it supports.

[3] It is clear to us that the major premises of the Lafferty decision, the poor record-keeping of the legislature,
has disappeared. Modern equipment and technology are the rule in recor-keeping by our General Assembly.
Tape recorders, electric typewriters, duplicating machines, recording equipment, printing presses, computers,
electronic voting machines, and the like remove all doubts and fears as to the ability of the General Assembly
to keep accurate and readily accessible records.

It is also apparent that the convenience rule is not appropriate in todays modern and developing judicial
philosophy. The fact that the number and complexity of lawsuit may increase is not persuasive if one is mindful
that the overriding purpose of our judicial system is to discover the truth and see that justice is done. The
existence of difficulties and complexities should not deter this pursuit and we reject any doctrine or
presumption that so provides.

Lastly, we address the premise that the equality of the various branches of government requires that we shut
our eyes to constitutional failing and other errors of our copartners in government. We simply do not agree.
Section 26 of the Kentucky Constitution provides that any law contrary to the constitution is void. The proper
exercise of judicial authority requires us to recognize any law which is unconstitutional and to declare it void.
Without elaborating the point, we believe that under section 228 of the Kentucky Constitution it is our obligation
to support the Constitution of the commonwealth. We are sworn to see that violations of the constitution by any
person, corporation, state agency or branch or government are brought to light and corrected. To countenance
an artificial rule of law that silences our voices when confronted with violations of our constitution is not
acceptable to this court.

We believe that a more reasonable rule is the one which Professor Sutherland describes as the extrinsic
evidence. x x x. Under this approach there is a prima facie presumption that an enrolled bill is valid, but such
presumption may be overcome by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence establishing that constitutional
requirements have not been met.

We therefore overrule Lafferty v. Huffman and all other cases following the so-called enrolled bill doctrine, to
the extent that there is no longer a conclusive presumption that an enrolled bill is valid. x x x.

Clearly, the enrolled bill doctrine no longer enjoys its once unassailable respectability in United States.
Sutherland reveals that starting in the 1940s, x x x the tendency seems to be toward the abandonment of the
conclusive presumption rule and the adoption of the third rule leaving only a prima facie presumption of validity
which may be attacked by any authoritative source of information.[19]
160

It is high time we re-examine our preference for the enrolled bill doctrine. It was in the 1947 case of Mabanag
v. Lopez Vito,[20] that this Court, with three (3) justices dissenting, first embraced the rule that a duly
authenticated bill or resolution imports absolute verity and is binding on the courts. In 1963, we firmed up this
ruling in Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez,[21] thus:

xxx

Hence, urea formaldehyde is clearly a finished product which is patently distinct and different from urea and
formaldehyde, as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as urea
formaldehyde. Petitioner contends, however, that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative
conjunction and between the term urea and formaldehyde and that the members of Congress intended to
exempt urea and formaldehyde separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin glue
called urea formaldehyde, not the latte as a finished product, citing in support of this view the statements made
on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members thereof. But said
individual statements do not necessarily reflect the view of the Senate. Much less do they indicate the intent of
the House of Representatives (see Song Kiat Chocolate Factory vs. Central Bank, 54 Off Gaz. 615; Mayor
Motors Inc. vs. Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue, L-15000 [March 29, 1961]; Manila Jockey Club, Inc.
vs. Games and Amusement Board, L-12727 [February 19, 1960]). Furthermore, it is well settled that enrolled
bill which used the term urea formaldehyde instead of urea and formaldehyde conclusive upon the court as
regards to the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the President (Primicias vs.
Paredes, 61 Phil. 118, 120; Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs. Comm. on Elections, L-18684,
Sept. 14, 1961). If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of
Congress and approved by the Executive on which we cannot speculate without jeopardizing the principle of
separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system the remedy is by
amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.

In the 1969 case of Morales v. Subido,[22] we reiterated our fidelity to the enrolled bill doctrine, viz:

x x x. We cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover what really happened. The respect due to the other
branches of the Government demands that we act upon the faith and credit of what the officers of the said
branches attest to as the official acts of their respective departments. Otherwise we would be cast in the
uneviable and unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the labyrinth of law-
making, with consequent impairment of the integrity of the legislative process. The investigation which the
petitioner would like this Court to make can be better done in Congress. After all, House cleaning the
immediate and imperative need for which seems to be suggested by the petitioner can best be effected by the
occupants thereof. Expressed elsewise, this is a matter worthy of the attention not of an Oliver Wendell
Holmes but of a Sherlock Holmes.

Significantly, however, Morales diluted the conclusiveness rule of the enrolled bill doctrine. The ponencia
stressed:

By what we have essayed above we are not of course to be understood as holding that in all cases the
journals must yield to the enrolled bill. To be sure there are certain matters which the Constitution expressly
requires must be entered on the journal of each house. To what extent the validity of a legislative act may be
affected by a failure to have such matters entered on the journal, is a question which we do not now decide. All
we hold is that with respect to matters not expressly required to be entered on the journal, the enrolled bill
prevails in the event of any discrepancy.

In the 1974 case of Astorga v. Villegas,[23] we further diluted the enrolled bill doctrine when we refused to
apply it after the Senate President declared his signature on the bill was invalid. We ruled:

xxx
161

Petitioners argument that the attestation of the presiding offices of Congress is conclusive proof of a bills due
enactment, required, it is said, by the respect due to a co-equal department of the government, is neutralized in
this case by the fact that the Senate President declared his signature on the bill to be invalid and issued a
subsequent clarification that the invalidation for his signature meant that the bill he had signed had never been
approved by the Senate. Obviously this declaration should be accorded even greater respect than the
attestation it invalidated, which it did for a reason that is undisputed in fact and indisputable in logic.

As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosant in the certification made by the presiding
officers. It is merely a mode of authentication. The law-making process in Congress ends when the bill is
approved by both Houses, and the certification does not add to the validity of the bill or cure any defect already
present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and not the signatures of the presiding
officers that is essential. Thus the (1935) Constitution says that [e]very bill passed by the Congress shall,
before it becomes law, be presented to the President. In Brown vs. Morris, supra, the Supreme Court of
Missouri, interpreting a similar provision in the State Constitution, said that the same makes it clear that the
indispensable step is the final passage and it follows that if a bill, otherwise fully enacted as a law, is not
attested by the presiding officer, the proof that it has passed both houses will satisfy the constitutional
requirement.

Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not mandatory but argues that the disclaimer thereof by the
Senate President, granting it to have been validly made, would only mean that there was no attestation at all,
but would not affect the validity of the statute. Hence, it is pointed out, Republic Act No. 4065 would remain
valid and binding. This argument begs the issued. It would limit the courts inquiry to the presence or absence
of the attestation and to the effect of its absence upon the validity of the statute. The inquiry, however, goes
farther. Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently there being no enrolled bill to
speak of, what evidence is there to determine whether or not the bill had been duly enacted. In such a case the
entries in the journal should be consulted.

The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record the Constitution requires it.
While it is true that the journal is not authenticated and subject to the risk of misprinting and the errors, the
point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266
signed by the Chief Executive wa the same test passed by both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts
and circumstance of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the Senate journal for the purpose. The
journal disclosed that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the
Senate but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him. This Court is not
asked to incorporated such amendments into the alleged law, which admittedly is a risky undertaking, but to
declare that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not become a law. This We do, as indeed both the
President of the Senate and the Chief Executive did, when they withdrew their signatures therein. In the face of
the manifest error committed and subsequently rectified by the President of the Senate and by the Chief
Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding such rectification and holding that the
erroneous bill has become a law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous
consequences not intended by the law-making body.

In 1993, the enrolled bill doctrine was again used as secondary rationale in the case of Philippine Judges
Association v. Prado,[24] In this case, the judges claimed that the pertinent part of section 35 of R.A. No. 7354
repealing the franking privilege of the judiciary appeared only in the Conference Committee Report. In rejecting
this contention, this Court ruled:

While it is true that a conference committee is the mechanism for compromising differences between the
Senate and the House, it is not limited in its jurisdiction to this question. Its broader function described thus:

A conference committee may deal generally with the subject matter or it may be limited to resolving the precise
differences between two houses. Even where the conference committee is not by rule limited in its jurisdiction,
legislative custom severely limits the freedom with which new subject matter can be inserted into the
conference bill. But occasionally a conference committee produces unexpected results, results beyond it
162

mandate. These excursions occur even where the rules impose strict limitations on conference committee
jurisdiction. This is symptomatic of the authoritarian power of conference committee (Davies, Legislative Law
and Process: In a Nutshell, 1986 Ed., p. 81).

It is matter of record that the conference Committee Report on the bill in question was returned to and duly
approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Thereafter, the bill was enrolled with its
certification by Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales and Speaker Ramon V. Mitra of the House of
Representatives as having duly passed by both House of Congress. It was then presented to and approved by
the President Corazon C. Aquino on April 3, 1992.

Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court may not require beyond the certification of the approval
of a bill from the presiding officers of Congress. Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez laid down the rule
that the enrolled bill is conclusive upon the Judiciary (except in matters that have to be entered in the journals
are themselves also binding on the Supreme Court, as we held in the old (but stills valid) case of U.S. vs.
Pons, where we explained the reason thus:

To inquire into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine legislature when they are, as we have said, clear
and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine
Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and independent department of the
Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature.

Applying these principles, we shall decline to look into the petitioners charges that the amendment was made
upon the last reading of the bill that eventually became R.A. No. 7354 and that copies thereof in its final form
were not distributed among the members of each House. Both the enrolled bill and the legislative journals
certify that the measure was duly enacted i.e., in accordance with the Article VI, Sec. 26(2) of the Constitution.
We are bound by such official assurances from a coordinate department of the government, to which we owe,
at the very least, a becoming courtesy.

Finally in 1994 came the case of Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, et al. and its companion cases.[25]
Involved in the case was the constitutionality of R.A. No. 7716, otherwise known as the Expanded Value
Added Tax Law. The majority[26] partly relied on the enrolled bill doctrine in dismissing challenges to the
constitutionality of R.A. No. 7716. It held:

xxx

Fourth. Whatever doubts there may be as to the formal validity of Republic Act No. 7716 must be resolved in
its favor. Our cases manifest firm adherence to the rule that an enrolled copy of a bill is conclusive not only of
its provisions but also of its due enactment. Not even claims that a proposed constitutional amendment was
invalid because the requisite votes for its approval had not been obtained or that certain provision of a statute
had been smuggled in the printing of the bill have moved or persuaded us to look behind the proceedings of a
coequal branch of the government. There is no reason now to depart from this rule.

No claim is here made that the enrolled bill rule is absolute. In fact in one case we went behind and enrolled bill
and consulted the Journal to determine whether certain provision of a statute had been approved by the
Senate in view of the fact the President of the Senate himself, who had signed the enrolled bill, admitted a
mistake and withdrew his signature, so that in effect there was no longer an enrolled bill to consider.

But where allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed have
more basis that another allegation that the Conference Committee surreptitiously inserted provisions into a bill
which it had prepared, we should decline the invitation to go behind the enrolled copy of the bill. To disregard
the enrolled bill rule in such cases would be to disregard the respect due to the other two departments of our
government.
163

These case show that we have not blindly accepted the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill. Even in Tolentino,
Mr. Justice Mendoza was cautious enough to hold that no claim is here made that the enrolled bill is absolute. I
respectfully submit that it is now time for the Court to make a definitive pronouncement that we no longer give
our unqualified support to the enrolled bill doctrine. There are compelling reasons for this suggested change in
stance. For one, the enrolled bill is appropriate only in England where it originated because in England there is
no written Constitution and the Parliament is supreme. For another, many of the courts in the United States
have broken away from the rigidity and unrealism for the enrolled bill in light of contemporary developments in
lawmaking.[27] And more important, our uncritical adherence to the enrolled bill is inconsistent with our
Constitution, laws and rules. In Mabanag,[28] we relied on section 313 of the Old Code of Civil Procedure as
amended by Act no. 2210 as a principal reason in embracing the enrolled bill. This section, however has long
been repealed by our Rules of Court. A half glance at our Rules will show that its section on conclusive
presumption does not carry the conclusive presumption we give to an enrolled bill. But this is not all. The
conclusiveness of an enrolled bill which all too often results in the suppression of truth cannot be justified under
the 1987 Constitution. The Preamble of our Constitution demands that we live not only under a rule of law but
also a regime of truth. Our Constitution also adopted a national policy[29] requiring full public disclosure of all
state transactions involving public interest. Any rule which will defeat this policy on transparency ought to be
disfavored. And to implement these policies, this Court was given the power to pry open and to strike down any
act of any branch or instrumentality of government if it amounts to grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
or excess of jurisdiction. It is time to bury the enrolled bill for its fiction of conclusiveness shuts off truth in many
litigations. We cannot dispense justice based on fiction for the search for justice is the search for truth. I submit
that giving an enrolled bill a mere prima facie presumption of correctness will facilitate our task of dispensing
justice based on truth.

III

In sum, I respectfully submit that the Court has jurisdiction over the petition at bar and the issues posed by
petitioner are justiciable. Nonetheless, I do not find any grave abuse of discretion committed by the public
respondents to justify granting said petition. As the ponencia points out, the petition merely involves the
complaints that petitioner was prevented from raising the question of quorum. The petition does not concern
violation of any rule mandated by the Constitution. Nor does it involve the right of a non-member of the House
which requires constitutional protection. The rules on how to question the existence of a quorum are
procedural in character. They are malleable by nature for they were drafted to help the House enact laws. As
well stated, these rules are servants, not masters of the House. Their observance or non-observance is a
matter of judgment call on the part of our legislators and it is not the business of the Court to reverse this
judgment when untainted by grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

Summary of Legislative Process

The following is a summary of how a bill becomes a law:

Filing/Calendaring for First Reading

A bill is filed in the Office of the Secretary where it is given a corresponding number and calendared for First Reading.

First Reading

Its title, bill number, and authors name are read on the floor, after which it is referred to the proper committee.

Committee Hearings/Report

Committee conducts hearings and consultation meetings. It then either approves the proposed bill without an
amendment, approves it with changes, or recommends substitution or consolidation with similar bills filed.
164

Calendaring for Second Reading

The Committee Report with its approved bill version is submitted to the Committee on Rules for calendaring for
Second Reading.

Second Reading

Bill author delivers sponsorship speech on the floor. Senators engage in debate, interpellation, turno en contra, and
rebuttal to highlight the pros and cons of the bill. A period of amendments incorporates necessary changes in the bill
proposed by the committee or introduced by the Senators themselves on the floor.

Voting on Second Reading

Senators vote on the second reading version of the bill. If approved, the bill is calendared for third reading.

Voting on Third Reading

Printed copies of the bills final version are distributed to the Senators. This time, only the title of the bill is read on
the floor. Nominal voting is held. If passed, the approved Senate bill is referred to the House of Representatives for
concurrence.

At the House of Representatives

The Lower Chamber follows the same procedures (First Reading, Second Reading and Third Reading).

Back to the Senate

If the House-approved version is compatible with that of the Senates, the final versions enrolled form is printed. If
there are certain differences, a Bicameral Conference Committee is called to reconcile conflicting provisions of both
versions of the Senate and of the House of Representatives. Conference committee submits report on the reconciled
version of the bill, duly approved by both chambers. The Senate prints the reconciled version in its enrolled form.

Submission to Malacaang

Final enrolled form is submitted to Malacaang. The President either signs it into law, or vetoes and sends it back to
the Senate with veto message.

AbakadaGuro Party-list v. Purisima, G.R. No. 166715, 14 August 2008


ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST (formerly AASJS)1 OFFICERS/MEMBERS SAMSON S. ALCANTARA, ED
VINCENT S. ALBANO, ROMEO R. ROBISO, RENE B. GOROSPE and EDWIN R. SANDOVAL, petitioners,
vs.
HON. CESAR V. PURISIMA, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance, HON. GUILLERMO L. PARAYNO, JR.,
in his capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and HON. ALBERTO D. LINA, in his
Capacity as Commissioner of Bureau of Customs, respondents.

Facts: Sometime in 2005 RA 9335, also known as the attrition act, was instituted. This law imposed a system
of rewards and punishment upon government officials who belonged to the BOC and the BIR. The main gist of
the law was that officials belonging to these departments would be rewarded for collections in excess of the set
quotas, and punished by dismissal if unable to reach the same quotas. AGPL contests the constitutionality of
the law, claiming among many other alleged negative effects, that it will encourage the public officials of both
these departments to become mercenaries and lead them away from the proper performance of their duties.
165

Issue: Will the regularity of the performance of the duties of the officials of the BIR and BOC be cast into doubt
as a result of this law?

Held: Public officers enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties. This presumption
necessarily obtains in favor of BIR and BOC officials and employees. RA 9335 operates on the basis thereof
and reinforces it by providing a system of rewards and sanctions for the purpose of encouraging the officials
and employees of the BIR and the BOC to exceed their revenue targets and optimize their revenue-generation
capability and collection.15

The presumption is disputable but proof to the contrary is required to rebut it. It cannot be overturned by mere
conjecture or denied in advance (as petitioners would have the Court do) specially in this case where it is an
underlying principle to advance a declared public policy.

Petitioners claim that the implementation of RA 9335 will turn BIR and BOC officials and employees into
"bounty hunters and mercenaries" is not only without any factual and legal basis; it is also purely speculative.

A law enacted by Congress enjoys the strong presumption of constitutionality. To justify its nullification, there
must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a doubtful and equivocal one.16 To invalidate
RA 9335 based on petitioners baseless supposition is an affront to the wisdom not only of the legislature that
passed it but also of the executive which approved it.

Public service is its own reward. Nevertheless, public officers may by law be rewarded for exemplary and
exceptional performance. A system of incentives for exceeding the set expectations of a public office is not
anathema to the concept of public accountability. In fact, it recognizes and reinforces dedication to duty,
industry, efficiency and loyalty to public service of deserving government personnel.

Bills that must originate from the HoR


ART. VI Section 24. All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of public debt, bills of
local application, and private bills shall originate EXCLUSIVELY in the the HOR, but the Senate may propose
or concur with amendments.

Bills that must originate exclusively in the House of Representatives

1. Appropriation bills;
2. Revenue bills;
3. Tariff bills;
4. Bills authorizing increase of the public debt;
5. Bills of local application; and
6. Private bills.

However, the Senate may propose or concur with amendments to these bills.

Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, G.R. No. 11545, 30 October 1995


Tolentino et al is questioning the constitutionality of RA 7716 otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added
Tax (EVAT) Law. Tolentino averred that this revenue bill did not exclusively originate from the House of
Representatives as required by Section 24, Article 6 of the Constitution. Even though RA 7716 originated as
HB 11197 and that it passed the 3 readings in the HoR, the same did not complete the 3 readings in Senate for
after the 1st reading it was referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee thereafter Senate passed its own
version known as Senate Bill 1630. Tolentino averred that what Senate could have done is amend HB 11197
166

by striking out its text and substituting it w/ the text of SB 1630 in that way the bill remains a House Bill and the
Senate version just becomes the text (only the text) of the HB. Tolentino and co-petitioner Roco [however]
even signed the said Senate Bill.

ISSUE: Whether or not EVAT originated in the HoR.

HELD: By a 9-6 vote, the SC rejected the challenge, holding that such consolidation was consistent with the
power of the Senate to propose or concur with amendments to the version originated in the HoR. What the
Constitution simply means, according to the 9 justices, is that the initiative must come from the HoR. Note also
that there were several instances before where Senate passed its own version rather than having the HoR
version as far as revenue and other such bills are concerned. This practice of amendment by substitution has
always been accepted. The proposition of Tolentino concerns a mere matter of form. There is no showing that
it would make a significant difference if Senate were to adopt his over what has been done.

Item Veto/Doctrine of Inappropriate Provisions


Doctrine of inappropriate provision. [It deals with] item provisions [in a budget bill] that are to be treated as
items for the Presidents veto power. [Dean Tupaz, 24 Hours Before the Bar (1st Ed. 2005), p. 133].

A provision that is constitutionally inappropriate for an appropriation bill may be singled out for veto even if it is
not an appropriation or revenue item. (Gonzales v. Macaraig)

Reason for the Doctrine: The intent behind the doctrine is to prevent the legislature from forcing the
government to veto an entire appropriation law thereby paralyzing government.

Inappropriate Provisions
- Repeal of laws. Repeal of laws should not be done in appropriation act but in a separate law (PHILCONSA v.
Enriquez) (use this doctrine carefully)

Gonzales v. Macaraig, G.R. No. 87636, 19 November 1990


Facts:
December 16, 1988 Congress passed House Bill No. 19186 (GAB of Fiscal Year 1989) which
eliminated or decreased certain items included in the proposed budget submitted by the president

December 29, 1988 President signed bill into law (RA 6688) but vetoed 7 special provisions and Sec
55, a general provision.

February 2, 1989 Senate passed Res. No. 381 Senate as an institution decided to contest the
constitutionality of the veto of the president of SEC 55 only.

April 11, 1989 this petition was filed

January 19, 1990 filed motion for leave to file and to admit supplemental petition same issues but
included SEC 16 of House Bill 26934 (Gab for FY 1990 or RA 6831)

SEC. 55 disallows the president and heads of several department to augment any item in the GAB
thereby violation CONSTI ART VI SEC 25 (5) (page 459)

SEC 16 of the GAB of 1990 provides for the same and the reason for veto remains the same with the
additional legal basis of violation of PD 1177 SEC 44 and 45 as amended by RA 6670 that authorizes
the president and the heads of depts. To use saving to augment any item of appropriations in the exec
branch of government (page 460)
167

ISSUE: Whether or not the veto by the President of SEC 55 of GAB for FY 1989 and SEC 16 of GAB for FY
1990 is unconstitutional.

HELD:
The veto is CONSTITUTIONAL. Although the petitioners contend that the veto exceeded the mandate of the
line-veto power of the president because SEC 55 and SEC 16 are provisions the court held that inappropriate
provisions can be treated as items (Henry v. Edwards) and therefore can be vetoed validly by the president.
Furthermore inappropriate provisions must be struck down because they contravene the constitution because
it limits the power of the executive to augment appropriations (ART VI SEC 25 PAR 5.)

The provisions are inappropriate because


They do not relate to particular or distinctive appropriations
Disapproved or reduces items are nowhere to be found on the face of the bill
It is more of an expression of policy than an appropriation

Court also said that to make the GAB veto-proof would be logrolling on the part of the legislative the subject
matter of the provisions should be dealt with in separate and complete legislation but because they are aware
that it would be NOT passed in that manner they attempt hide it in the GAB

If the legislature really believes that the exercise of veto is really invalid then congress SHOULD resort to their
constitutionally vested power to override the veto. (ART VI SEC 21 PAR 1)
DECISION: Veto UPHELD. Petition DISMISSED.

Non-legislative powers
Non-Lawmaking Powers.
Aside from lawmaking, Congress performs non-lawmaking functions, such as initiation and holding of
impeachment (Art. XI, Sec. 2), acting as a constituent assembly (Article XVII, Sec. 1), declaration of existence
of war (Art. VI, Sec. 1), approval of Presidential appointments through the Commission on Appointments (Art.
VI, Sec. 17), and deciding election cases involving its members (Art. VI, Sec. 16).
Informing powers
The President shall address the Congres at the opening of its regular session. He may also appear before it at
any other time.

Impeachment
The Impeachment Process
Section 1, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution declares that Public office is a public trust. Public officers and
employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity,
loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. These words echo loud and
clear today as our countrys leaders find themselves at the brink of conducting this constitutional process.

Impeachment has been defined as a national inquest into the conduct of public men. It is a necessary
safeguard to ensure that public officers have the moral fitness and integrity to fulfill their mandate. The
provisions on impeachment are enshrined in Article XI of the 1987 Constitution.

WHO MAY BE IMPEACHED

Under the Constitution only the following public officers may be impeached: The President, Vice-President, the
Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman. This
list of officers is exclusive. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by
law, but not by impeachment.

GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT


168

The grounds for impeachment are: culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption,
other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. These grounds are exclusive and offenses not falling within these
parameters shall not be sufficient for impeachment purposes.

PROCESS AT THE HOUSE

The process begins at the House of Representatives, which has the exclusive power to initiate all cases of
impeachment. A verified complaint must be filed by either a Member of the House of Representatives or by any
citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. Once the verified complaint has been filed it
shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper Committee within
three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall
submit its report to the House
within sixty session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be
calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. In the committee
hearings, a vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a
favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary resolution. The
vote of each Member shall be recorded.

If however, the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members
of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith
proceed.

TRIAL AT THE SENATE

The Senate has the sole power of sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that
purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. No
person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.

CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTION

The person impeached shall be removed from office and shall be disqualified to hold any office under the
Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial,
and punishment according to law. It is clear that the liability does not end at the Senate, the person impeached
shall also be held for appropriate action as a result of his illegal and improper acts.

In addition, a limitation is set where no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official
more than once within a period of one year.

Gutierrez v. House Committee on Justice, G.R. No. 193459, 15 February 2011


MA. MERCEDITAS N. GUTIERREZ Petitioner, v. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON
JUSTICE, RISA HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL, DANILO D. LIM, FELIPE PESTA, EVELYN PESTA, RENATO M.
REYES, JR., SECRETARY GENERAL OF BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (BAYAN); MOTHER MARY
JOHN MANANZAN, CO-CHAIRPERSON OF PAGBABAGO; DANILO RAMOS, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF
KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP); ATTY. EDRE OLALIA, ACTING SECRETARY GENERAL
OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLE'S LAWYERS (NUPL); FERDINAND R. GAITE, CHAIRPERSON,
CONFEDERATION FOR UNITY, RECOGNITION AND ADVANCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
(COURAGE); and JAMES TERRY RIDON OF THE LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS (LFS), Respondents.

FELICIANO BELMONTE, JR.,Respondent-Intervenor.

CARPIO MORALES,J.:
169

FACTS:

For resolution is petitioners "Motion for Reconsideration.

To argue, as petitioner does, that there never was a simultaneous referral of two impeachment complaints as
they were actually referred to the committee "separately, one after the other"is to dismantle her own
interpretation ofFranciscothat the one-year bar is to be reckoned from the filing of the impeachment complaint.
Petitioners Motion concedesthat theFranciscodoctrine on the initiation of an impeachment proceeding includes
the Houses initial action on the complaint. By recognizing the legal import of a referral, petitioner abandons her
earlier claim thatper Franciscoan impeachment proceeding is initiated by the mere filing of an impeachment
complaint.

Having uprooted her reliance on theFranciscocase in propping her position that the initiation of an
impeachment proceeding must be reckoned from the filing of the complaint, petitioner insists on actual initiation
and not "constructive initiation by legal fiction" as averred by Justice Adolfo Azcuna in his separate opinion
inFrancisco.

In Justice Azcunas opinion which concurred with the majority, what he similarly found untenable was the
stretching of the reckoning point of initiation to the time that the Committee on Justice (the Committee) report
reaches the floor of the House.Notably, the provisions of the Impeachment Rules of the 12th Congress that
were successfully challenged inFranciscoprovided that an impeachment proceeding was to be "deemed
initiated" upon the Committees finding of sufficiency of substance or upon the Houses affirmance or
overturning of the Committees finding,which was clearly referred to as the instances "presumably for internal
purposes of the House, as to the timing of some of its internal action on certain relevant matters."Definitely,
"constructive initiation by legal fiction" didnotrefer to the aspects of filing and referral in the regular course of
impeachment, for this was precisely the gist ofFranciscoin pronouncing what initiation means.

The Court adhered to theFrancisco-ordained balance in the tug-of-war between those who want tostretchand
those who want toshrinkthe term "initiate," either of which could disrupt the provisions congruency to the
rationale of the constitutional provision. Petitioners imputation that the Courts Decision presents a sharp
deviation fromFranciscoas it defers the operability of the one-year bar rule rings hollow.

Petitioner urges that the word "initiate" must be read in its plain, ordinary and technical meaning, for it is
contrary to reason, logic and common sense to reckon the beginning or start of the initiation process from its
end or conclusion.

Petitioner would have been correct had the subject constitutional provision been worded as "no initiation
processof the impeachment proceedingshall be commencedagainst the same official more than once within a
period of one year," in which case the reckoning would literally point to the "start of the beginning." To
immediately reckon the initiation to what petitioner herself concedes as the start of the initiation process is to
countenance a raw or half-baked initiation.

In re-affirming what the phrase "no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated" means, the Court closely
appliedFranciscoon what comprises or completes the initiation phase. Nothing can be more unequivocal or
well-defined than the elucidation offiling-and-referralinFrancisco. Petitioner must come to terms with her denial
of the exact terms ofFrancisco.

Petitioner posits that referral is not an integral or indispensable part of the initiation of impeachment
proceedings, in case of a direct filing of a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment by at least one-third
of all the Members of the House.

ISSUE: Whether the period of one year to file impeachment complaint is mandatory.

HELD: The decision is sustained


170

POLITICAL LAW impeachment

The House cannot indeed refuse to refer an impeachment complaint that is filed without a subsisting bar. To
refer an impeachment complaint within an existing one-year bar, however, is to commit the apparently
unconstitutional act of initiating a second impeachment proceeding, which may be struck down under Rule 65
for grave abuse of discretion. It bears recalling that the one-year bar rule itself is a constitutional limitation on
the Houses power or function to refer a complaint.

Tackling on the House floor in its order of business a clearly constitutionally-prohibited second impeachment
complaint on the matter of whether to make the appropriate referral goes precisely into the propriety of the
referral and not on the merits of the complaint. The House needs only to ascertain the existence or expiry of
the constitutional ban of one year, without any regard to the claims set forth in the complaint.

To petitioner, the intervening days from the filing of the complaint to whatever completes the initiation of an
impeachment proceeding is immaterial in mitigating the influx of successive complaints since allowing multiple
impeachment charges would result to the same harassment and oppression. She particularly cites
Constitutional Commissioner Ricardo Romulos concerns on the amount of time spent if "multiple impeachment
charges"are allowed. She fails, however, to establish whether Commissioner Romulo limited or quantified his
reference to not more than one complaint or charge.

In sum, the Court did not deviate from, as it did apply the twin rule of filing andreferral in the present case, with
Franciscoas the guiding light. Petitioner refuses to see the other half of that light, however.

The Constitution clearly gives the House a wide discretion on how to effectively promulgate its Impeachment
Rules. It is not for this Court to tell a co-equal branch of government on how to do so when such prerogative is
lodged exclusively with it.

Still, petitioner argues that the Court erred when it ruled that "to require publication of the House Impeachment
Rules would only delay the impeachment proceedings and cause the House of Representatives to violate
constitutionally mandated periods" She insists that the Committee, after publishing the Impeachment Rules,
would still have a remainder of 45 days out of the 60-day period within which to finish its business.

Indubitably, an impeachment is not a judicial proceeding, but rather a political exercise. Petitioner thus cannot
demand that the Court apply the stringent standards it asks of justices and judges when it comes to inhibition
from hearing cases. Incidentally, the Impeachment Rules do not provide for any provision regarding the
inhibition of the Committee chairperson or any member from participating in an impeachment proceeding. The
Committee may thus direct any question of partiality towards the concerned member only. And any decision on
the matter of inhibition must be respected, and it is not for this Court to interfere with that decision.

Except for the constitutionally mandated periods, the pacing or alleged precipitate haste with which the
impeachment proceeding against petitioner is conducted is beyond the Courts control. Again, impeachment is
a highly politicized intramural that gives the House ample leg room to operate, subject only to the
constitutionally imposed limits.And beyond these, the Court is duty-bound to respect the discretion of a co-
equal branch of government on matters which would effectively carry out its constitutional mandate.

DENIED FOR BEING BEREFT OF MERIT.

Corona v. Senate of the Philippines sitting as an Impeachment Court, G.R. No. 200242, 17 July 2012
Facts:
Before this Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for immediate issuance of temporary
restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction filed by the former Chief Justice of this Court, Renato
C. Corona, assailing the impeachment case initiated by the respondent Members of the House of
171

Representatives (HOR) and trial being conducted by respondent Senate of thePhilippines.The present petition
was filed arguing that the Impeachment Court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction when it: (1) proceeded to trial on the basis of the complaint filed by respondent
Representatives which complaint is constitutionally infirm and defective for lack of probable cause; (2) did not
strike out the charges discussed in Art. II of the complaintwhich, aside from being a hodgepodge of multiple
charges, do not constitute allegations in law, much less ultimate facts, being allpremised on suspicion and/or
hearsay; assuming arguendo that the retention of Par. 2.3 is correct, the ruling of the Impeachment Court to
retain Par. 2.3 effectively allows the introduction of evidence under Par. 2.3, as vehicle to prove Par. 2.4 and
therefore its earlier resolution was nothing more than a hollow relief, bringing no real protection to petitioner;
(3) allowed the presentation of evidence oncharges of alleged corruption and unexplained wealth which
violates petitioners right to due process because first, Art. IIdoes notmention graft and corruption or
unlawfully acquired wealth as grounds for impeachment, and second, it is clear under Sec. 2, Art. XIof the
Constitution that graft and corruption is a separate and distinct ground from culpable violation of the
Constitution and betrayalof public trust; and (4) issued the subpoena for the production of petitioners
alleged bank accounts as requested by the prosecution despite the same being the result of an illegal act
(fruit of the poisonous tree) considering that those documents submitted by the prosecution violates the
absolute confidentiality of such accounts under Sec. 8 of R.A. No. 6426 (Foreign Currency Deposits Act) which
is also penalized under Sec. 10 thereof.

Issue:
Had the constitutional issues raised in this case been mooted out?

Ruling:
The impeachment trial had been concluded with the conviction of petitioner by more than the required majority
vote of the Senator-Judges. Petitioner immediately accepted the verdict and without any protest vacated his
office. In fact, the Judicial and Bar Council is already in the process of screening applicants and nominees, and
the President of the Philippines is expected to appoint a new Chief Justice within the prescribed 90-day period
from among those candidates shortlisted by the JBC. Unarguably, the constitutional issue raised by petitioner
had been mooted by supervening events and his own acts. An issue or a case becomes moot and academic
when it ceases to present a justiciable controversy so that a determination thereof would be without practical
use and value. In such cases, there is no actual substantial relief to which the petitioner would be entitled to
and which would be negated by the dismissal of the petition.

Francisco v. NagmamalasakitnamgaManananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc., G.R. No.


160261, 10 November 2003
Facts:
On 28 November 2001, The 12th congress adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in
Impeachment Proceedings superceding the rules that were approved by the 11th congress.
On 22 July 2002, The House of representatives adopted a resolution which directed the Committee on
Justice to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation with regard to the manner of disbursement and
expenditures by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund.
On 2 June 2003, Former President Estrada filed the first impeachment complaint against Chief Justice
Hilario Davide and seven associate justices of the Supreme Court for culpable violation of the
Constitution and betrayal of public trust and other high crimes.
The complaint was endorsed by the House of Representatives.
On 5 August 2003, the complaint was referred to the House Committee on Justice in accordance with
Section 3(2) or Article XI of the
On 13 October 2003, the Committee on Justice ruled that the complaint was sufficient in form. However
On 22 October 2003, the Committee voted to dismiss for being insufficient in substance
On 23 October 2003, a second impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General of the
House by the House of Representatives against Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.
The 2nd impeachment complaint was founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry by above
mentioned house resolution
172

The 2nd impeachment complaint was signed by 1/3 of all the members of the House of Representatives
Various petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus were filed with the Supreme Court against
the House of Representatives, et. al., most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second
impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the
Constitution that "No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than
once within a period of one year."

Issue:
Whether or not the Supreme Court has the power to exercise judicial review to determine if the second
impeachment filed against Chief Justice Davide is valid.
On the petitions filed against the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide, will it
have any merit?

Held:
To determine the merits of the case, The courts must turn to the constitutions itself which uses well
settled principle of constitutional construction which is Verba Legis or Letter of the law, the words used
in the constitutions must be given their ordinary meaning , Legis est anima or the reason of the law,
the words of the constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the intent of the framers and last,
the constitution should be read as a whole and one section should not be allowed to defeat another.
The Supreme Court may exercise their power of Judicial Review for they maintain the idea of Checks
and Balances in the Republic.
173

IV. Executive Department


Qualification for Philippine President and Vice-President:
1. natural born citizen of the Philippines
2. registered voter
3. able to read and write
4. at least 40 years of age on the day of election
5. resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding the election.

Poe-Llamanzares v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 221697-221700, 08 March 2016

Facts:
In her COC for presidency for the May 2016 elections, Grace Poe declared that she is a natural-born citizen
and that her residence in the Philippines up to the day before 9 May 2016 would be 10 years and 11 months
counted from 24 May 2005.

May 24, 2005 was the day she came to the Philippines after deciding to stay in the PH for good. Before that
however, and even afterwards, she has been going to and fro between US and Philippines. She was born in
1968, found as newborn infant in Iloilo, and was legally adopted. She immigrated to the US in 1991 and was
naturalized as American citizen in 2001. On July 18, 2006, the BI granted her petition declaring that she had
reacquired her Filipino citizenship under RA 9225. She registered as a voter and obtained a new Philippine
passport. In 2010, before assuming her post as an appointed chairperson of the MTRCB, she renounced her
American citizenship to satisfy the RA 9225 requirement . From then on, she stopped using her American
passport.

Petitions were filed before the COMELEC to deny or cancel her candidacy on the ground particularly, among
others, that she cannot be considered a natural-born Filipino citizen since she cannot prove that her biological
parents or either of them were Filipinos. The COMELEC en banc cancelled her candidacy on the ground that
she is in want of citizenship and residence requirements, and that she committed material misrepresentations
in her COC.

On certiorari, the SC reversed the ruling and held (9-6 votes) that Poe is qualified as a candidate for
Presidency. Three justices, however, abstained to vote on the natural-born citizenship issue.

Issue 1: W/N the COMELEC has jurisdiction to rule on the issue of qualifications of candidates (Read Dissent)

Held:

No. Article IX-C, Sec 2 of the Constitution provides for the powers and functions of the COMELEC, and
deciding on the qualifications or lack thereof of a candidate is not one among them.

In contrast, the Constitution provides that only the SET and HRET tribunals have sole jurisdiction over the
election contests, returns, and qualifications of their respective members, whereas over the President and Vice
President, only the SC en banc has sole jurisdiction. As for the qualifications of candidates for such positions,
the Constitution is silent. There is simply no authorized proceeding in determining the ineligibility of candidates
before elections. Such lack of provision cannot be supplied by a mere rule, and for the COMELEC to
assimilate grounds for ineligibility into grounds for disqualification in Rule 25 in its rules of procedures would be
contrary to the intent of the Constitution.

Hence, the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it decided on the qualification issue of Grace
as a candidate in the same case for cancellation of her COC.

Issue 2: W/N Grace Poe-Llamanzares is a natural-born Filipino citizen (Read Dissent)


174

Held:

Yes, Grace Poe might be and is considerably a natural-born Filipino. For that, she satisfies one of the
constitutional requirements that only natural-born Filipinos may run for presidency.

First, there is a high probability that Grace Poes parents are Filipinos. Her physical features are typical of
Filipinos. The fact that she was abandoned as an infant in a municipality where the population of the
Philippines is overwhelmingly Filipinos such that there would be more than 99% chance that a child born in
such province is a Filipino is also a circumstantial evidence of her parents nationality. That probability and the
evidence on which it is based are admissible under Rule 128, Section 4 of the Revised Rules on Evidence. To
assume otherwise is to accept the absurd, if not the virtually impossible, as the norm.

Second, by votes of 7-5, the SC pronounced that foundlings are as a class, natural-born citizens. This is
based on the finding that the deliberations of the 1934 Constitutional Convention show that the framers
intended foundlings to be covered by the enumeration. While the 1935 Constitutions enumeration is silent as
to foundlings, there is no restrictive language which would definitely exclude foundlings either. Because of
silence and ambiguity in the enumeration with respect to foundlings, the SC felt the need to examine the intent
of the framers.

Third, that foundlings are automatically conferred with natural-born citizenship is supported by treaties and the
general principles of international law. Although the Philippines is not a signatory to some of these treaties, it
adheres to the customary rule to presume foundlings as having born of the country in which the foundling is
found.

Issue 3: W/N Grace Poe satisfies the 10-year residency requirement

Held:

Yes. Grace Poe satisfied the requirements of animus manendi coupled with animus revertendi in acquiring a
new domicile.

Grace Poes domicile had been timely changed as of May 24, 2005, and not on July 18, 2006 when her
application under RA 9225 was approved by the BI. COMELECs reliance on cases which decree that an
aliens stay in the country cannot be counted unless she acquires a permanent resident visa or reacquires her
Filipino citizenship is without merit. Such cases are different from the circumstances in this case, in which
Grace Poe presented an overwhelming evidence of her actual stay and intent to abandon permanently her
domicile in the US. Coupled with her eventual application to reacquire Philippine citizenship and her familys
actual continuous stay in the Philippines over the years, it is clear that when Grace Poe returned on May 24,
2005, it was for good.

Issue 4: W/N the Grace Poes candidacy should be denied or cancelled for committing material
misrepresentations in her COC

Held:

No. The COMELEC cannot cancel her COC on the ground that she misrepresented facts as to her citizenship
and residency because such facts refer to grounds for ineligibility in which the COMELEC has no jurisdiction to
decide upon. Only when there is a prior authority finding that a candidate is suffering from a disqualification
provided by law or the Constitution that the COMELEC may deny due course or cancel her candidacy on
ground of false representations regarding her qualifications.
175

In this case, by authority of the Supreme Court Grace Poe is now pronounced qualified as a candidate for the
presidency. Hence, there cannot be any false representations in her COC regarding her citizenship and
residency.

Presidential Immunity
It is interesting to note that the 1987 Constitution does not provide for presidential immunity from suit. Unlike
congressional immunity, presidential immunity is not expressly stated nor prescribed by the Constitution. Basis
for the immunity is only found in jurisprudence, both in the U.S. and the Philippines, which, by virtue of Article 8
of the Civil Code, forms a part of the legal system of the Philippines.

The rationale for the grant to the President of the privilege of immunity from suit is to assure the exercise of
Presidential duties and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief
Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holders time, also demands
undivided attention. But this privilege of immunity from suit, pertains to the President by virtue of the office and
may be invoked only by the holder of the office; not by any other person in the Presidents behalf. Thus, an
accused in a criminal case in which the President is complainant cannot raise the presidential privilege as a
defense to prevent the case from proceeding against such accused.

Soliven v. Makasiar,G.R. No. 82585 November 14, 1988


This case is a PETITION for certiorari and prohibition to review the decision of the Regional Trial Court of
Manila

FACTS: In these consolidated cases, three principal issues were raised: (1) whether or not petitioners were
denied due process when informations for libel were filed against them although the finding of the existence of
a prima facie case was still under review by the Secretary of Justice and, subsequently, by the President; and
(2) whether or not the constitutional rights of Beltran were violated when respondent RTC judge issued a
warrant for his arrest without personally examining the complainant and the witnesses, if any, to determine
probable cause. Subsequent events have rendered the first issue moot and academic. On March 30, 1988, the
Secretary of Justice denied petitioners motion for reconsideration and upheld the resolution of the
Undersecretary of Justice sustaining the City Fiscals finding of a prima facie case against petitioners. A
second motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Beltran was denied by the Secretary of Justice on April 7,
1988. On appeal, the President, through the Executive Secretary, affirmed the resolution of the Secretary of
Justice on May 2, 1988. The motion for reconsideration was denied by the Executive Secretary on May 16,
1988. With these developments, petitioners contention that they have been denied the administrativeremedies
available under the law has lost factual support.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the petitioners were denied due process when information for libel were filed against them
although the finding of the existence of a prima facie case was still under review by the Secretary of Justice
and, subsequently by the President

2. Whether or not the constitutional rights of Beltran (petitioner) were violated when respondent RTC judge
issued a warrant for his arrest without personally examining the complainant and the witnesses, if any, to
determine probable clause

3. Whether or not the President of the Philippines, under the Constitution, may initiate criminal proceedings
against the petitioners through filing of a complaint-affidavit

DECISION:
176

Finding no grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction on the part of the public
respondents, the Court Resolved to DISMISS the petitions.

The Order to maintain the status quo contained in the Resolution of the Court en banc is LIFTED.

RATIO:

Background of the first issue


MARCH 30, 1988: Secretary of Justice denied petitioners motion for reconsideration
APRIL 7, 1988: A second motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Beltran was denied by the Secretary of
Justice
MAY 2, 1988: On appeal, the President, through Executive Secretary, affirmed the resolution of the Secretary
of Justice
MAY 16, 1988: Motion for reconsideration was denied by the Executive Secretary

Petitioner Beltran alleges that he has been denied due process of law.

This is negated by the fact that instead of submitting his counter-affidavits, he filed a Motion to Declare
Proceedings Closed, in effect, waiving his right to refute the complaint by filing counter-affidavits.
Due process of law does not require that the respondent in a criminal case actually file his counter-affidavits
before the preliminary investigation is deemed completed. All that is required is that the respondent be given
the opportunity to submit counter-affidavits if he is so minded.

Second issue
This calls for an interpretation of the constitutional provision on the issuance of warrants of arrest:

Art. III, Sec.2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no
search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the
judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Petitioner Beltran is convinced that the Constitution requires the judge to personally examine the complainant
and his witness in his determination of probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrests.

However, what the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to
satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause. In doing so, the judge is not required to personally examine
the complainant and his witness.
Following the established doctrine of procedure, the judge shall:

(1) Personally evaluate the report and supporting documents submitted by the fiscal regarding the existence of
probable cause (and on the basis, thereof, issue a warrant of arrest); or

(2) If on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may disregard the fiscals report and require the
submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the evidence of
probable cause.

Third issue
Petitioner Beltran contends that proceedings ensue by virtue of the Presidents filing of her complaint-affidavit,
she may subsequently have to be a witness for the prosecution, bringing her under the trial courts jurisdiction.
This would in an indirect way defeat her privilege of immunity from suit, as by testifying on the witness stand,
she would be exposing herself to possible contempt of court or perjury.
177

This privilege of immunity from suit, pertains to the President by virtue of the office and may be invoked only by
the holder of the office; not by any other person in the Presidents behalf.
The choice of whether to exercise the privilege or to waive is solely the Presidents prerogative. It is a decision
that cannot be assumed and imposed by any other person (And there is nothing in our laws that would prevent
the President from waiving the privilege).
Additional Issue:
Beltran contends that he could not be held liable for libel because of the privileged character of the publication.
He also says that to allow the libel case to proceed would produce a chilling effect on press freedom.

Court reiterates that it is not a trier of facts And Court finds no basis at this stage to rule on the chilling effect
point.

Estrada v. Desierto, G.R. Nos. 146710-15, 02 March 2001


FACTS:
It began in October 2000 when allegations of wrong doings involving bribe-taking, illegal gambling, and other
forms of corruption were made against Estrada before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. On November 13,
2000, Estrada was impeached by the Hor and, on December 7, impeachment proceedings were begun in the
Senate during which more serious allegations of graft and corruption against Estrada were made and were
only stopped on January 16, 2001 when 11 senators, sympathetic to the President, succeeded in suppressing
damaging evidence against Estrada. As a result, the impeachment trial was thrown into an uproar as the entire
prosecution panel walked out and Senate President Pimentel resigned after casting his vote against Estrada.

On January 19, PNP and the AFP also withdrew their support for Estrada and joined the crowd at EDSA
Shrine. Estrada called for a snap presidential election to be held concurrently with congressional and local
elections on May 14, 2001. He added that he will not run in this election. On January 20, SC declared that the
seat of presidency was vacant, saying that Estrada constructively resigned his post. At noon, Arroyo took her
oath of office in the presence of the crowd at EDSA as the 14th President. Estrada and his family later left
Malacaang Palace. Erap, after his fall, filed petition for prohibition with prayer for WPI. It sought to enjoin the
respondent Ombudsman from conducting any further proceedings in cases filed against him not until his term
as president ends. He also prayed for judgment confirming Estrada to be the lawful and incumbent President
of the Republic of the Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office.

ISSUE(S):
1. WoN the petition presents a justiciable controversy.
2. WoN Estrada resigned as President.
3. WoN Arroyo is only an acting President.
4. WoN the President enjoys immunity from suit.
5. WoN the prosecution of Estrada should be enjoined due to prejudicial publicity.

RULING:

1. Political questions- "to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in
their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative
or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of
a particular measure."
178

Legal distinction between EDSA People Power I EDSA People Power II:

EDSA I EDSA II

exercise of people power of freedom of speech and


freedom of assemblyto petition the government for
exercise of the people power of revolution which redress of grievances which only affected the office of the
overthrew the whole government. President.
extra constitutional and the legitimacy of the new
government that resulted from it cannot be the subject of intra constitutional and the resignation of the sitting
judicial review President that it caused and the succession of the Vice
President as President are subject to judicial review.
presented a political question; involves legal questions.

The cases at bar pose legal and not political questions. The principal issues for resolution require the proper
interpretation of certain provisions in the 1987 Constitution: Sec 1 of Art II, and Sec 8 of Art VII, and the
allocation of governmental powers under Sec 11 of Art VII. The issues likewise call for a ruling on the scope of
presidential immunity from suit. They also involve the correct calibration of the right of petitioner against
prejudicial publicity.

2. Elements of valid resignation: (a)an intent to resign and (b) acts of relinquishment. Both were present when
President Estrada left the Palace.
Totality of prior contemporaneous posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing material relevant
issuesPresident Estrada is deemed to have resigned constructive resignation.
SC declared that the resignation of President Estrada could not be doubted as confirmed by his leaving
Malacaan Palace. In the press release containing his final statement:
1. He acknowledged the oath-taking of the respondent as President;
2. He emphasized he was leaving the Palace for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process
(he did not say that he was leaving due to any kind of disability and that he was going to reassume the
Presidency as soon as the disability disappears);
3. He expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them as President (without doubt
referring to the past opportunity);
4. He assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come in the same service of the
country;
5. He called on his supporters to join him in promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and
solidarity.
Intent to resignmust be accompanied by act of relinquishmentact or omission before, during and after
January 20, 2001.

3. The Congress passed House Resolution No. 176 expressly stating its support to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
as President of the Republic of the Philippines and subsequently passed H.R. 178 confirms the nomination of
Teofisto T. Guingona Jr. As Vice President. Senate passed HR No. 83 declaring the Impeachment Courts as
Functius Officio and has been terminated. It is clear is that both houses of Congress recognized Arroyo as the
President. Implicitly clear in that recognition is the premise that the inability of Estrada is no longer temporary
as the Congress has clearly rejected his claim of inability.
The Court therefore cannot exercise its judicial power for this is political in nature and addressed solely to
Congress by constitutional fiat. In fine, even if Estrada can prove that he did not resign, still, he cannot
successfully claim that he is a President on leave on the ground that he is merely unable to govern temporarily.
That claim has been laid to rest by Congress and the decision that Arroyo is the de jure, president made by a
co-equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by this Court.
179

4. The cases filed against Estrada are criminal in character. They involve plunder, bribery and graft and
corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes, especially plunder which carries the death
penalty, be covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of a non-sitting president. He cannot cite any decision of
this Court licensing the President to commit criminal acts and wrapping him with post-tenure immunity from
liability. The rule is that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts
illegally is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any trespasser.

5. No. Case law will tell us that a right to a fair trial and the free press are incompatible. Also, since our justice
system does not use the jury system, the judge, who is a learned and legally enlightened individual, cannot be
easily manipulated by mere publicity. The Court also said that Estrada did not present enough evidence to
show that the publicity given the trial has influenced the judge so as to render the judge unable to perform.
Finally, the Court said that the cases against Estrada were still undergoing preliminary investigation, so the
publicity of the case would really have no permanent effect on the judge and that the prosecutor should be
more concerned with justice and less with prosecution.

Lozada v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. Nos. 184379-80, 24 April 2012


Summary: Lozada was issued a subpoena by Senate with regards to the NBN-ZTE scandal. He did not
appear during the hearing and instead flew to London on official business. Upon his return, he was escorted
by several men and was told by Sec. Atienza that Atienza was talking to ES and Mam, whom Lozada
assumed to be ES Recto and the President. Lozada was brought to LSGH where he was purportedly harassed
and threatened by the police. His brother filed for a writ of amparo. The court held that the Writ of Amparo was
properly denied by the CA because the petitioners failed to meet the threshold of substantial evidence and that
they failed to prove the existence of a continuing threat.

facts of the case


The instant Petition stems from the alleged corruption scandal precipitated by a transaction between the
Philippine government, represented by the National Broadband Network (NBN), and ZTE Corporation, a
Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. Former NEDA Secretary Neri sought the services of
Lozada as an unofficial consultant in the ZTE-NBN deal. The latter avers that during the course of his
engagement, he discovered several anomalies in the said transaction involving certain public officials. These
events impelled the Senate of the Philippines Blue Ribbon Committee to conduct an investigation thereon, for
which it issued a subpoena directing Lozada to appear and testify on 30 January 2008.
Lozada did not appear at the Blue Ribbon Committee. DENR Sec. Atienza announced that Lozada was in an
official trip to London. Because of this, Senate issued an order (1) citing Lozada in contempt; (2) ordering his
arrest and detention; (3) directing the sergeant-at-arms to implement such order and make a return.
Lozada asked Sec. Atienza if he can go back to the Philippines. Upon approval, he informed his family that he
would be arriving in Manila, Feb 5 at 4 pm.
In his petition, Lozada claims that upon disembarking, several men held his arms and took his bag. He
allegedly insisted on joining his family but realized that it would be wiser to go with the men when he heard
them say in their handheld radio [H]wag kayong dumaan diyan sir nandyan ang mga taga senado.
Lozada asked to go to the comfort room and while there, called his brother, Arturo and informed him of his
situation. He observed that there were several cars tailing their car. Sec. Atienza called him and assured him
that he was with government people and that Sec. Atienza would confer with ES and Mam. Lozada surmised
them to be ES Ermita and the President. He was also told to pacify his wife, Violeta, who was making public
statements asking for her husbands return. Along the way, the men asked Lozada to draft an antedated letter
requesting police protection. Lozada asked to be brought to his home in Pasig, but was refused due to security
risks. They stopped at Outback restaurant to meet with Atty. Antonio Bautista and Col. Mascarinas, Lozada
claimed that he was made to fill in the blanks of an affidavit. He was then brought to LSGH per his request. He
observed that policemen, purportedly restraining his liberty and threatening the security of his, his family and
the LS brothers, guarded the perimeter of LSGH.
On Feb 6, Col. Mascarinas supposedly brought Lozada to the office of Atty. Bautista to finalize and sign an
affidavit. On the same day his wife petitioned for Habeas Corpus and his brother petitioned for a Writ of
180

Amparo with the Supreme Court, and prayed for the issuance of (a) the writ of amparo; (b) a Temporary
Protection Order (TPO); and (c) Inspection and Production Orders as regards documents related to the
authority ordering custody over Lozada, as well as any other document that would show responsibility for his
alleged abduction.
Lozada alleged that he was made to sign a letter requesting police protection. On 7 February 2008, Lozada
decided to hold a press conference and contact the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, who served the warrant of
arrest on him. He claimed that after his press conference and testimony in the Senate, he and his family were
since then harassed, stalked and threatened.
Respondents: Lozada had knowledge and control of what happened from the time of his arrival, he voluntarily
entrusted himself to their company and was never deprived of his liberty and that since Feb 8, Lozada has
been in the custody of the Senate.
CAs decisions:
1. Habeas Corpus case moot.
2. Denied issuance of Subpoena Ad Testificandum and Presentation of Hostile Witnesses and Adverse Parties
irrelevant to Amparo Case, to require them to testify would be a fishing expedition.
3. Dropped Pres. Arroyo as a respondent because she enjoys immunity from suit as president.
4. Dismissed Writ of Amparo. Petitioners unable to prove through substantial evidence that respondents
violated Lozadas right to life, liberty and security.

issue
Whether circumstances are adequately alleged and proven by petitioner Lozada to entitle him to the protection
of the writ of amparo? NO.

ratio

Definition: Writ of Amparo (courts lecture)


The writ of amparo is an independent and summary remedy that provides rapid judicial relief to protect the
peoples right to life, liberty and security. Having been originally intended as a response to the alarming cases
of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the country, it serves both preventive and curative roles
to address the said human rights violations. It is preventive in that it breaks the expectation of impunity in the
commission of these offenses, and it is curative in that it facilitates the subsequent punishment of perpetrators
by inevitably leading to subsequent investigation and action.
As it stands, the writ of amparo is confined only to cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances,
or to threats thereof. Considering that this remedy is aimed at addressing these serious violations of or threats
to the right to life, liberty and security, it cannot be issued on amorphous and uncertain grounds, or in cases
where the alleged threat has ceased and is no longer imminent or continuing. Instead, it must be granted
judiciously so as not to dilute the extraordinary and remedial character of the writ, thus: The privilege of the writ
of amparo is envisioned basically to protect and guarantee the rights to life, liberty, and security of persons,
free from fears and threats that vitiate the quality of this life. It is an extraordinary writ conceptualized and
adopted in light of and in response to the prevalence of extra-legal killings and enforced disappearances.
Accordingly, the remedy ought to be resorted to and granted judiciously, lest the ideal sought by the Amparo
Rule be diluted and undermined by the indiscriminate filing of amparo petitions for purposes less than the
desire to secure amparo reliefs and protection and/or on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations.

Writ of Amparo Denied


In cases where the violation of the right to life, liberty or security has already ceased, it is necessary for the
petitioner in an amparo action to prove the existence of a continuing threat.
In the present case, the totality of the evidence adduced by petitioners failed to meet the threshold of
substantial evidence. Sifting through all the evidence and allegations presented, the crux of the case boils
down to assessing the veracity and credibility of the parties diverging claims as to what actually transpired on
5-6 February 2008. In this regard, this Court is in agreement with the factual findings of the CA to the extent
that Lozada was not illegally deprived of his liberty from the point when he disembarked from the aircraft up to
the time he was led to the departure area of the airport, as he voluntarily submitted himself to the custody of
respondents.
181

He was able to go to the mens bathroom and call his brother


He was avoiding the people from the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, detour appears to explain
why they did not get out at the arrival area, where [Lozada] could have passed through immigration so
that his passport could be properly stamped
No evidence on record that Lozada struggled or made an outcry for help
He testified that nobody held, shouted, or was hostile to him
He knew and agreed with the plan that he would be fetched at the airport because at that time, it was
his decision not to testify before the Senate
it must be emphasized that if Lozada had in fact been illegally restrained, so much so that his right to
liberty and security had been violated, the acts that manifested this restraint had already ceased and
has consequently rendered the grant of the privilege of the writ of amparo moot.
The supposed announcement of General Razon over the radio that [Lozada] was in the custody of the
PNP can neither be construed as a threat to [Lozadas] life, liberty and security. Certainly, no person in
his right mind would make that kind of media announcement if his intent was indeed to threaten
somebodys life, liberty and security
Presence of armed men riding in motorcycle passing outside the LSGH premises where he and his
family are staying and by alleged threats of armed men around him at places where he went to. Again,
these alleged threats were not proven by any evidence at all, as having originated from any of the
respondents
Installation of the surveillance camera at the De La Salle and at St. Scholastica as indirect threat to his
right to life, liberty and security. He claims that these are spy cameras. However, save for [Lozadas]
self-serving claim, he simply failed to prove that they were installed or ordered installed by the
respondents for the purpose of threatening his right to life, liberty and security
No evidence on record that the bomb threats were made by the respondents or done upon their
instigation.
He did not ascertain from the Bureau of Immigration whether his name was actually in the official watch
list of the Bureau
[Lozada] himself testified that he does not know whether the respondents or any of the respondents
ordered the filing of these frivolous cases against him. In any event, said purported cases are to be
determined based on their own merits and are clearly beyond the realm of the instant amparo petition
filed against the respondents
The failure to establish that the public official observed extraordinary diligence in the performance of
duty does not result in the automatic grant of the privilege of the amparo writ. It does not relieve the
petitioner from establishing his or her claim by substantial evidence (Yano v. Sanchez)

Sec. 22 of the Amparo Rule proscribes the filing of an amparo petition should a criminal action have, in the
meanwhile, been commenced.
Sec. 23, on the other hand, provides that when the criminal suit is filed subsequent to a petition for amparo, the
petition shall be consolidated with the criminal action where the Amparo Rule shall nonetheless govern the
disposition of the relief under the Rule.

In Rubrico v. Arroyo the Court interprets the above sections as follows: (1) the consolidation of the probe and
fact-finding aspects of the instant petition with the investigation of the criminal complaint before the OMB; and
(2) the incorporation in the same criminal complaint of the allegations in this petition bearing on the threats to
the right to security. Withal, the OMB should be furnished copies of the investigation reports to aid that body in
its own investigation and eventual resolution of OMB-P-C-O7-0602-E. Then, too, the OMB shall be given easy
access to all pertinent documents and evidence, if any, adduced before the CA. Necessarily, Lourdes, as
complainant in OMB-P-C-O7-0602-E, should be allowed, if so minded, to amend her basic criminal complaint if
the consolidation of cases is to be fully effective.

APPLIED: if the Complaint filed before the DOJ had already progressed into a criminal case, then the latter
action can more adequately dispose of the allegations made by petitioners. After all, one of the ultimate
objectives of the writ of amparo as a curative remedy is to facilitate the subsequent punishment of perpetrators.
On the other hand, if there is no actual criminal case lodged before the courts, then the denial of the Petition is
182

without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate administrative, civil or criminal case, if applicable, against those
individuals whom Lozada deems to have unduly restrained his liberty.

No basis for interim reliefs since writ of amparo denied


In Yano v. Sanchez, this court declined to grant the prayer for the issuance of a TPO, as well as Inspection and
Production Orders, upon a finding that the implicated public officials were not accountable for the
disappearance subject of that case. Analogously, it would be incongruous to grant herein petitioners prayer for
a TPO and Inspection and Production Orders and at the same time rule that there no longer exists any
imminent or continuing threat to Lozadas right to life, liberty and security. Thus, there is no basis on which a
prayer for the issuance of these interim reliefs can be anchored.

Denial of the issuance of a subpoena ad testificandum proper - for a subpoena to issue, it must first appear
that the person or documents sought to be presented are prima facie relevant to the issue subject of the
controversy
CA correctly denied petitioners Motion for the Issuance of Subpoena Ad Testificandum on the ground that the
testimonies of the witnesses sought to be presented during trial were prima facie irrelevant to the issues of the
case. The court has repeatedly reminded the parties, in the course of the proceedings, that the instant Amparo
Petition does not involve the investigation of the ZTE-NBN contract.

President Arroyo was not proven to be involved in the alleged violation of life, liberty and security of Lozada
President Arroyos term as president has ended, therefore she no longer enjoys immunity, but an examination
of Petitioners evidence reveals their failure to sufficiently establish any unlawful act or omission on her part
that violated, or threatened with violation, the right to life, liberty and security of Lozada. Except for the bare
claims that: (a) Sec. Atienza mentioned a certain Ma[a]m, whom Lozada speculated to have referred to her,
and (b) Sec. Defensor told Lozada that the President was hurting from all the media frenzy, there is nothing
in the records that would sufficiently establish the link of former President Arroyo to the events that transpired
on 5-6 February 2010, as well as to the subsequent threats that Lozada and his family purportedly received.

In the Matter of the Petition for the Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data in favor of Noriel H.
Rodriguez, G.R. Nos. 191805 and 193160, 15 November 2011
Command responsibility. One of the issues raised in this case was whether or not the President, as
commander-in-chief of the military, can be held responsible or accountable for extrajudicial killings and
enforced disappearances. The Supreme Court held that the President may be held responsible or
accountable. To hold someone liable under the doctrine of command responsibility, the following elements
must obtain: (a) the existence of a superior-subordinate relationship between the accused as superior and the
perpetrator of the crime as his subordinate; (b) the superior knew or had reason to know that the crime was
about to be or had been committed; and (c) the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures
to prevent the criminal acts or punish the perpetrators thereof. The President, being the commander-in-chief of
all armed forces, necessarily possesses control over the military that qualifies him as a superior within the
purview of the command responsibility doctrine. On the issue of knowledge, it must be pointed out that
although international tribunals apply a strict standard of knowledge, i.e., actual knowledge, the same may
nonetheless be established through circumstantial evidence. In the Philippines, a more liberal view is adopted
and superiors may be charged with constructive knowledge. Knowledge of the commission of irregularities,
crimes or offenses is presumed when: (a) the acts are widespread within the government officials area of
jurisdiction; (b) the acts have been repeatedly or regularly committed within his area of responsibility; or (c)
members of his immediate staff or office personnel are involved. As to the issue of failure to prevent or punish,
it is important to note that as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the President has the power to
effectively command, control and discipline the military. The Supreme Court held, however, that aside from
Rodriguezs general averments, there is no piece of evidence that could establish former President Arroyos
responsibility or accountability for his abduction. Neither was there even a clear attempt to show that she
should have known about the violation of his right to life, liberty or security, or that she had failed to investigate,
punish or prevent it. In the Matter of the Petition for the Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data in favor of Noriel H.
183

Rodriguez; Noriel H. Rodriguez vs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al., G.R. No. 191805 & G.R. No. 193160.
November 15, 2011.

Presidential immunity from suit; non-sitting president. The Court of Appeals found respondents in G.R.
No. 191805 with the exception of Calog, Palacpac or Harry to be accountable for the violations of
Rodriguezs right to life, liberty and security committed by the 17th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division of the
Philippine Army. It, however, dismissed the petition with respect to former President Arroyo on account of her
presidential immunity from suit. Regarding this issue, the Supreme Court held that a non-sitting President
does not enjoy immunity from suit, even for acts committed during the latters tenure. Thus, the rationale for
the CAs dropping of the case against former President Arroyo no longer exists in the present case. It will be
anomalous to hold that immunity is an inoculation from liability for unlawful acts and omissions. The rule is that
unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally is not acting as such
but stands in the same footing as any other trespasser. The intent of the framers of the Constitution is clear
that the immunity of the president from suit is concurrent only with his tenure and not his term. Applying the
foregoing rationale to this case, it is clear that former President Arroyo cannot use the presidential immunity
from suit to shield herself from judicial scrutiny that would assess whether, within the context of amparo
proceedings, she was responsible or accountable for the abduction of Rodriguez. In the Matter of the Petition
for the Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data in favor of Noriel H. Rodriguez; Noriel H. Rodriguez vs. Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo, et al., G.R. No. 191805 & G.R. No. 193160. November 15, 2011.

Executive Privilege
Executive privilege refers to the power of the President to withhold confidential information from the other
branches of the Government and the public. Among these types of information covered by the privilege are:
(i) conversations and correspondence between the President and the public
officials (covered by E.O. 464);
(ii) military, diplomatic, and other national security matters which in the interest of
national security should not be divulged;
(iii) information between inter-government agencies prior to the conclusion of
treaties and executive agreements;
(iv) discussion in close-door Cabinet meetings; and
(v) matters affecting national security and public order.

These types of information are closed or withheld from the other branches and the public because they are
crucial for the exercise of executive functions and to prevent the potential harm resulting from the disclosure of
the same. Thus, the President and the Cabinet Members, for instance, can invoke executive privilege even in
the Congress during legislative investigations.

Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, G.R. No. 180643,
04 September 2008

FACTS: On April 21, 2007, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) entered into a
contract with Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) for the supply of equipment and services for
the National Broadband Network (NBN) Project in the amount of U.S. $ 329,481,290 (approximately P16 Billion
Pesos). The Project was to be financed by the Peoples Republic of China.

The Senate passed various resolutions relative to the NBN deal. In the September 18, 2007 hearing Jose de
Venecia III testified that several high executive officials and power brokers were using their influence to push
the approval of the NBN Project by the NEDA.

Neri, the head of NEDA, was then invited to testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon. He appeared in one hearing
wherein he was interrogated for 11 hrs and during which he admitted that Abalos of COMELEC tried to bribe
184

him with P200M in exchange for his approval of the NBN project. He further narrated that he informed
President Arroyo about the bribery attempt and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe.

However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project, petitioner refused to answer,
invoking executive privilege. In particular, he refused to answer the questions on:
a. whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project,
b. whether or not she directed him to prioritize it, and
c. whether or not she directed him to approve.

He later refused to attend the other hearings and Ermita sent a letter to the senate averring that the
communications between GMA and Neri are privileged and that the jurisprudence laid down in Senate vs
Ermita be applied. He was cited in contempt of respondent committees and an order for his arrest and
detention until such time that he would appear and give his testimony.

ISSUE:
Are the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions covered by executive privilege?

HELD:

The communications are covered by executive privilege

The revocation of EO 464 (advised executive officials and employees to follow and abide by the Constitution,
existing laws and jurisprudence, including, among others, the case of Senate v. Ermita when they are invited to
legislative inquiries in aid of legislation.), does not in any way diminish the concept of executive privilege. This
is because this concept has Constitutional underpinnings.

The claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where the subject of inquiry relates to a power
textually committed by the Constitution to the President, such as the area of military and foreign relations.
Under our Constitution, the President is the repository of the commander-in-chief, appointing, pardoning, and
diplomatic powers. Consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers, the information relating to these
powers may enjoy greater confidentiality than others.
Several jurisprudence cited provide the elements of presidential communications privilege:
1) The protected communication must relate to a quintessential and non-delegable presidential power.
2) The communication must be authored or solicited and received by a close advisor of the President or the
President himself. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in operational proximity with the President.

3) The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be overcome by a showing
of adequate need, such that the information sought likely contains important evidence and by the
unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority.

In the case at bar, Executive Secretary Ermita premised his claim of executive privilege on the ground that the
communications elicited by the three (3) questions fall under conversation and correspondence between the
President and public officials necessary in her executive and policy decision-making process and, that the
information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the Peoples
Republic of China. Simply put, the bases are presidential communications privilege and executive privilege on
matters relating to diplomacy or foreign relations.

Using the above elements, we are convinced that, indeed, the communications elicited by the three (3)
questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege. First, the communications relate to a
quintessential and non-delegable power of the President, i.e. the power to enter into an executive agreement
with other countries. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence
of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine jurisprudence. Second, the communications
are received by a close advisor of the President. Under the operational proximity test, petitioner can be
considered a close advisor, being a member of President Arroyos cabinet. And third, there is no adequate
185

showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the unavailability of the
information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority.

Respondent Committees further contend that the grant of petitioners claim of executive privilege violates the
constitutional provisions on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern.50 We might
have agreed with such contention if petitioner did not appear before them at all. But petitioner made himself
available to them during the September 26 hearing, where he was questioned for eleven (11) hours. Not only
that, he expressly manifested his willingness to answer more questions from the Senators, with the exception
only of those covered by his claim of executive privilege.

The right to public information, like any other right, is subject to limitation. Section 7 of Article III provides:
The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official
records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to
government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such
limitations as may be provided by law.

Senate v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, 20 April 2006


FACTS:
This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition proffer that the President has abused power by issuing E.O. 464
Ensuring Observance of the Principles of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule on Executive Privilege
and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation Under the
Constitution, and for Other Purposes. Petitioners pray for its declaration as null and void for being
unconstitutional.
In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate Committees,
conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the attendance of officials and
employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices including those employed in Government Owned
and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police
(PNP).
The Committee of the Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department for them to
appear as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project, others on the issues of massive
election fraud in the Philippine elections, wire tapping, and the role of military in the so-called Gloriagate
Scandal.
Said officials were not able to attend due to lack of consent from the President as provided by E.O. 464,
Section 3 which requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the
President prior to appearing before either house of Congress.

ISSUE:
Is Section 3 of E.O. 464, which requires all the public officials, enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the
consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress, valid and constitutional?

RULING:
No. The enumeration in Section 2 (b) of E.O. 464 is broad and is covered by the executive privilege. The
doctrine of executive privilege is premised on the fact that certain information must, as a matter of necessity,
be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest. The privilege being, by definition, an exemption from the
obligation to disclose information, in this case to Congress, the necessity must be of such high degree as to
outweigh the public interest in enforcing that obligation in a particular case.
Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid of
legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must so
assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.
The infirm provisions of E.O. 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade congressional requests for
information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or proffering its reasons therefor. By the mere
expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is
frustrated.
186

AKBAYAN v. Aquino, G.R. No. 170516, 16 July 2008


FACTS:
Petition for mandamus and prohibition was filed by the petitioners, as congresspersons, citizens and
taxpayers, requesting respondents to submit to them the full text of the Japan-Philippines Economic
Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

Petitioner emphasize that the refusal of the government to disclose the said agreement violates there right to
information on matters of public concern and of public interest. That the non-disclosure of the same documents
undermines their right to effective and reasonable participation in all levels of social, political and economic
decision making.

Respondent herein invoke executive privilege. They relied on the ground that the matter sought involves a
diplomatic negotiation then in progress, thus constituting an exception to the right to information and the policy
of full disclosure of matters that are of public concern like the JPEPA. That diplomatic negotiation are covered
by the doctrine of executive privilege.

Issue:
Whether or not the petition has been entirely rendered moot and academic because of the subsequent event
that occurred?

Whether the information sought by the petitioners are of public concern and are still covered by the doctrine of
executive privilege?

Held:
On the first issue, the Supreme Court ruled that t]he principal relief petitioners are praying for is the disclosure
of the contents of the JPEPA prior to its finalization between the two States parties, public disclosure of the
text of the JPEPA after its signing by the President, during the pendency of the present petition, has been
largely rendered moot and academic.
The text of the JPEPA having then been made accessible to the public, the petition has become moot and
academic to the extent that it seeks the disclosure of the full text thereof.
The petition is not entirely moot, however, because petitioners seek to obtain, not merely the text of the
JPEPA, but also the Philippine and Japanese offers in the course of the negotiations.

Moving on to the second issue, The Supreme Court Ruled that Diplomatic negotiations, therefore, are
recognized as privileged in this jurisdiction, the JPEPA negotiations constituting no exception. It bears
emphasis, however, that such privilege is only presumptive. For as Senate v. Ermita holds, recognizing a type
of information as privileged does not mean that it will be considered privileged in all instances. Only after a
consideration of the context in which the claim is made may it be determined if there is a public interest that
calls for the disclosure of the desired information, strong enough to overcome its traditionally privileged status.
The court adopted also the doctrine in PMPF v. Manglapus, Wherein petitioners were seeking information from
the Presidents representatives on the state of the then on-going negotiations of the RP-US Military Bases
Agreement. The Court denied the petition, stressing that secrecy of negotiations with foreign countries is not
violative of the constitutional provisions of freedom of speech or of the press nor of the freedom of access to
information.

Executive Powers
The President of the Philippines has the mandate of control over all the executive departments, bureaus, and
offices. This includes restructuring, reconfiguring, and appointments of their respective officials. The
Administrative Code also provides for the President to be responsible for the abovementioned offices strict
implementation of laws.
187

The Powers Of The President Of The Philippines


1. Executive power 7. Borrowing power
2. Power of appointment 8. Diplomatic power
3. Power if removal 9. Budgetary power
4. Power of control 10. Informing power
5. Military powers 11. Other powers
6. Pardoning power

Residual Powers
As declared by the Supreme Court, the residual power it is the power borne by the Presidents duty to preserve
and defend the Constitution. It may also be viewed as a power implicit in the Presidents duty to take care that
the laws are faithfully executed. (Marcos v. Manglapus, 177 SCRA 668)

Suarez (2015) cited Hyman where the latter advanced the view that an allowance of discretionary power is
unavoidable and is best lodged in the President.

This power has been further enunciated by the Supreme Court where it stated that The Presidents power to
conduct investigations to aid him in ensuring the faithful execution of laws in this case, fundamental laws on
public accountability and transparency is inherent in the Presidents powers as the Chief Executive. Thus,
the Executive Department is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are faithfully executed. (Biraogo et
al. vs. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, G.R. Nos. 192935 and 193036, December 7, 2010).

As Nolledo (1993) explains: The President is enjoined to do justice to every man. The President must
consecrate himself to the service of the Nation. He holds the highest position within the gift of his people, the
latter trusting that he is offering himself to the service of the whole nation, not to the service of himself or those
close to him. In no case must the President violate the sacred duties of being the Head of State and
Government. His service belongs to the people. He holds the highest and exalted position of the land as a
trust. If he becomes unworthy of that trust, he must resign because he becomes a disgrace to the presidency.

In the exercise of the power to enforce and administer laws, the President of the Philippines assumes a
plenitude of authority. This corresponding awesome responsibility makes him the most influential person in
the land. In the hands of a Magsaysay or Quezon, it can be an instrument to uplift a common man; in the
hands of a Marcos, it can deprave and pervert it into a bludgeon of oppression. Indeed, the impact of the
Presidency upon the nation is tremendous. (Cruz, 1991).

Can the residual powers of the President of the Republic of the Philippines be the subject of abuse?
A study was conducted on how the Presidents "implied" and "residual" powers can be constitutionally
questioned. First, the President can issue executive orders without prior legislative sanction; Second, the
President can unilaterally reorganize government agencies without regard for the functional objectives and
constitutional independence of other institutions; Third, the President can control appointments to key public
offices originally intended to counterbalance executive authority; Fourth, the President can largely sought to
insulate himself/herself from accountability for impasses that resulted from institutional deadlocks which
himself/herself has created; Fifth, the President can withhold funds already appropriated when revenues are
scarce; Sixth, the President can control the national budget and delay the release of the local government
units just share in the national taxes (Internal Revenue Allotment or IRA) to use the same as a political
leverage to attract potential allies and pressure local opponents.

The residual power of the President of the Philippines can result to a strong President but a weaker legislature
and judiciary. The system may suffer from limited or ineffective constitutional checks on the Executive branch.
The President may often aggrandize his/her power by referring to the separation of powers to justify assertions
of authority and to avoid oversight from other branches or governmental bodies.
188

In the case of Romulo L. Neri vs. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations et
al. (En Banc), G.R. No. 180643, September 4, 2008, Romulo Neri, the Secretary of the National Economic
Development Authority (NEDA), testified before the Senate that he was offered a bribe to endorse a particular
procurement contract. When Senators asked about the President's involvement in approving the contract, Neri
invoked the executive privilege afforded to him by E.O. No. 464. After the Senate ordered his arrest for
refusing to answer its questions, Neri filed a petition with the Supreme Court. The Court upheld the claim of
executive privilege.

In this case, the Supreme Court relied on a conception of broad residual executive power to justify the
expansion of the privilege, even against constitutional rights to public information.

Marcos v. Manglapus, G.R. No. 88211, 27 October 1989


FACTS:
Former President Marcos, after his and his family spent three year exile in Hawaii, USA, sought to return to the
Philippines. The call is about to request of Marcos family to order the respondents to issue travel order to them
and to enjoin the petition of the President's decision to bar their return to the Philippines.

ISSUE:
Whether or not, in the exercise of the powers granted by the Constitution, the President may prohibit the
Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.

RULING:
Yes
According to Section 1, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution: "The executive power shall be vested in the
President of the Philippines." The phrase, however, does not define what is meant by executive power
although the same article tackles on exercises of certain powers by the President such as appointing power
during recess of the Congress (S.16), control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices (Section
17), power to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by
final judgment (Section 19), treaty making power (Section 21), borrowing power (Section 20), budgetary power
(Section 22), informing power (Section 23).
The Constitution may have grant powers to the President, it cannot be said to be limited only to the specific
powers enumerated in the Constitution. Whatever power inherent in the government that is neither legislative
nor judicial has to be executive.

Malaria Employees and Workers Association of the Philippines, Inc. v. Romulo, G.R. No. 160093,
31 July 2007
Doctrine: The President has the authority to carry out a reorganization of the Department of Health under the
Constitution and statutes. This authority is an adjunct of his power of control under Art. VII, Sections 1 and 17,
of the Constitution. While the power to abolish an office is generally lodged in the legislature, the
authority of the President to reorganize the executive branch, which may incidentally include such
abolition, is permissible under present laws.

The President must exercise good faith in carrying out the reorganization of any branch or agency of the
executive department. Reorganization is effected in good faith if it is for the purpose of economy or to make
bureaucracy more efficient. R.A. No. 6656 provides for the circumstances which may be considered as
evidence of bad faith in the removal of civil service employees made as a result of reorganization, to wit: (a)
where there is a significant increase in the number of positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or
agency concerned; (b) where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same functions is
created; (c) where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of status of appointment,
performance and merit; (d) where there is a classification of offices in the department or agency concerned and
the reclassified offices perform substantially the same functions as the original offices; and (e) where the
removal violates the order of separation.
189

Full Text:
At bar is a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 65475
dated September 12, 2003 which upheld the validity of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 102,[1] the law Redirecting
the Functions and Operations of the Department of Health. Then President Joseph E. Estrada issued E.O. No.
102 on May 24, 1999 pursuant to Section 20, Chapter 7, Title I, Book III of E.O. No. 292, otherwise known as
the Administrative Code of 1987, and Sections 78 and 80 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8522, also known as the
General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 1998. E.O. No. 102 provided for structural changes and redirected the
functions and operations of the Department of Health.

On October 19, 1999, the President issued E.O. No. 165 Directing the Formulation of an Institutional
Strengthening and Streamlining Program for the Executive Branch which created the Presidential Committee
on Executive Governance (PCEG) composed of the Executive Secretary as chair and the Secretary of the
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as co-chair.

The DBM, on July 8, 2000, issued the Notice of Organization, Staffing and Compensation Action (NOSCA). On
July 17, 2000, the PCEG likewise issued Memorandum Circular (M.C.) No. 62, entitled Implementing Executive
Order No. 102, Series of 1999 Redirecting the Functions and Operations of the Department of Health.[2] M.C.
No. 62 directed the rationalization and streamlining of the said Department.
On July 24, 2000, the Secretary of Health issued Department Memorandum No. 136, Series of 2000, ordering
the Undersecretary, Assistant Secretaries, Bureau or Service Directors and Program Managers of the
Department of Health to direct all employees under their respective offices to accomplish and submit the
Personal Information Sheet due to the approval of the Department of Health Rationalization and Streamlining
Plan.
On July 28, 2000, the Secretary of Health again issued Department Circular No. 221, Series of 2000, stating
that the Department will start implementing the Rationalization and Streamlining Plan by a process of selection,
placement or matching of personnel to the approved organizational chart and the list of the approved plantilla
items.[3] The Secretary also issued Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 94, Series of 2000, which set the
implementing guidelines for the restructuring process on personnel selection and placement, retirement and/or
voluntary resignation. A.O. No. 94 outlined the general guidelines for the selection and placement of
employees adopting the procedures and standards set forth in R.A. No. 6656[4] or the Rules on Governmental
Reorganization, Civil Service Rules and Regulations, Sections 76 to 78 of the GAA for the Year 2000, and
Section 42 of E.O. No. 292.

On August 29, 2000, the Secretary of Health issued Department Memorandum No. 157, Series of 2000, viz.:

Pursuant to the Notice of Organization, Staffing and Compensation Action (NOSCA) approved by the DBM on
8 July 2000 and Memorandum Circular No. 62 issued by the Presidential Committee on Effective Governance
(PCEG) on 17 July 2000, Implementing E.O. 102 dated 24 May 1999, the following approved Placement List of
DOH Personnel is hereby disseminated for your information and guidance.

All personnel are hereby directed to report to their new assignments on or before 2 October 2000 pending
processing of new appointments, required clearances and other pertinent documents.

All Heads of Office/Unit in the Department of Health are hereby directed to facilitate the implementation of E.O.
102, to include[,] among others, the transfer or movement of personnel, properties, records and documents to
appropriate office/unit and device other necessary means to minimize disruption of office functions and delivery
of health services.

Appeals, oversights, issues and concerns of personnel related to this Placement List shall be made in writing
using the Appeals Form (available at the Administrative Service) addressed to the Appeals Committee chaired
by Dr. Gerardo Bayugo. All Appeals Forms shall be submitted to the Re-Engineering Secretariat xxx not later
than 18 September 2000. [5]
Petitioner Malaria Employees and Workers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MEWAP) is a union of affected
employees in the Malaria Control Service of the Department of Health. MEWAP filed a complaint, docketed as
190

Civil Case No. 00-98793, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila seeking to nullify Department Memorandum
No. 157, the NOSCA and the Placement List of Department of Health Personnel and other issuances
implementing E.O. No. 102.

On May 2, 2001, while the civil case was pending at the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 22, petitioners
filed with this Court a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Petitioners sought to nullify
E.O. No. 102 for being issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction as it
allegedly violates certain provisions of E.O. No. 292 and R.A. No. 8522. The petition was referred to the Court
of Appeals which dismissed the same in its assailed Decision. Hence, this appeal where petitioners ask for a
re-examination of the pertinent pronouncements of this Court that uphold the authority of the President to
reorganize a department, bureau or office in the executive department. Petitioners raise the following issues,
viz.:
1. WHETHER SECTIONS 78 AND 80 OF THE GENERAL PROVISION OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8522,
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION[S] ACT OF 1998[,] EMPOWER FORMER
PRESIDENT JOSEPH E. ESTRADA TO REORGANIZE STRUCTURALLY AND FUNCTIONALLY THE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.

2. WHETHER SECTION 20, CHAPTER I, TITLE I, BOOK III OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1987
PROVIDES LEGAL BASIS IN REORGANIZING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.

(A) WHETHER PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1416, AS AMENDED BY PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1772,
HAS BEEN REPEALED.

3. WHETHER THE PRESIDENT HAS AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 17, ARTICLE VIII OF THE
CONSTITUTION TO EFFECT A REORGANIZATION OF A DEPARTMENT UNDER THE EXECUTIVE
BRANCH.

4. WHETHER THERE HAS BEEN ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF


JURISDICTION ON THE PART OF FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH E. ESTRADA IN ISSUING EXECUTIVE
ORDER NO. 102, REDIRECTING THE FUNCTIONS AND OPERATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH.

5. WHETHER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 102 IS NULL AND VOID.[6]

We deny the petition.

The President has the authority to carry out a reorganization of the Department of Health under the
Constitution and statutory laws. This authority is an adjunct of his power of control under Article VII, Sections 1
and 17 of the 1987 Constitution, viz.:
Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines.

Section 17. The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus and offices. He shall
ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.

In Canonizado v. Aguirre,[7] we held that reorganization involves the reduction of personnel, consolidation of
offices, or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of functions. It alters the existing structure of
government offices or units therein, including the lines of control, authority and responsibility between them.[8]
While the power to abolish an office is generally lodged with the legislature, the authority of the President to
reorganize the executive branch, which may include such abolition, is permissible under our present laws, viz.:
The general rule has always been that the power to abolish a public office is lodged with the legislature. This
proceeds from the legal precept that the power to create includes the power to destroy. A public office is either
created by the Constitution, by statute, or by authority of law. Thus, except where the office was created by the
Constitution itself, it may be abolished by the same legislature that brought it into existence.
191

The exception, however, is that as far as bureaus, agencies or offices in the executive department are
concerned, the Presidents power of control may justify him to inactivate the functions of a particular office, or
certain laws may grant him the broad authority to carry out reorganization measures.[9]

The Presidents power to reorganize the executive branch is also an exercise of his residual powers under
Section 20, Title I, Book III of E.O. No. 292 which grants the President broad organization powers to implement
reorganization measures, viz.:
SEC. 20. Residual Powers. Unless Congress provides otherwise, the President shall exercise such other
powers and functions vested in the President which are provided for under the laws and which are not
specifically enumerated above, or which are not delegated by the President in accordance with law.[10]

We explained the nature of the Presidents residual powers under this section in the case of Larin v. Executive
Secretary, [11] viz.:

This provision speaks of such other powers vested in the President under the law. What law then gives him the
power to reorganize? It is Presidential Decree No. 1772 which amended Presidential Decree No. 1416. These
decrees expressly grant the President of the Philippines the continuing authority to reorganize the national
government, which includes the power to group, consolidate bureaus and agencies, to abolish offices, to
transfer functions, to create and classify functions, services and activities and to standardize salaries and
materials. The validity of these two decrees [is] unquestionable. The 1987 Constitution clearly provides that all
laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instructions and other executive issuances not
inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked. So far, there is
yet no law amending or repealing said decrees.[12]

The pertinent provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1416, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1772,
clearly support the Presidents continuing power to reorganize the executive branch, viz.:

1. The President of the Philippines shall have continuing authority to reorganize the National Government. In
exercising this authority, the President shall be guided by generally acceptable principles of good government
and responsive national development, including but not limited to the following guidelines for a more efficient,
effective, economical and development-oriented governmental framework:

xxx

b) Abolish departments, offices, agencies or functions which may not be necessary, or create those which are
necessary, for the efficient conduct of government functions, services and activities;

c) Transfer functions, appropriations, equipment, properties, records and personnel from one department,
bureau, office, agency or instrumentality to another;

d) Create, classify, combine, split, and abolish positions;

e) Standardize salaries, materials, and equipment;

f) Create, abolish, group, consolidate, merge, or integrate entities, agencies, instrumentalities, and units of the
National Government, as well as expand, amend, change, or otherwise modify their powers, functions, and
authorities, including, with respect to government-owned or controlled corporations, their corporate life,
capitalization, and other relevant aspects of their charters;
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g) Take such other related actions as may be necessary to carry out the purposes and objectives of this
Decree.

Petitioners argue that the residual powers of the President under Section 20, Title I, Book III of E.O. No. 292
refer only to the Office of the President and not to the departments, bureaus or offices within the executive
branch. They invoke Section 31, Chapter 10, Title III, Book III of the same law, viz.:

Section 31. Continuing Authority of the President to Reorganize his Office. The President, subject to the policy
in the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have continuing
authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office of the President. x x x

The interpretation of petitioners is illogically restrictive and lacks legal basis. The residual powers granted to
the President under Section 20, Title I, Book III are too broad to be construed as having a sole application to
the Office of the President. As correctly stated by respondents, there is nothing in E.O. No. 292 which provides
that the continuing authority should apply only to the Office of the President.[13] If such was the intent of the
law, the same should have been expressly stated. To adopt the argument of petitioners would result to two
conflicting provisions in one statute. It is a basic canon of statutory construction that in interpreting a statute,
care should be taken that every part thereof be given effect, on the theory that it was enacted as an integrated
measure and not as a hodge-podge of conflicting provisions. The rule is that a construction that would render a
provision inoperative should be avoided; instead, apparently inconsistent provisions should be reconciled
whenever possible as parts of a coordinated and harmonious whole.[14]

In fact, as pointed out by respondents, the Presidents power to reorganize the executive department even finds
further basis under Sections 78 and 80 of R.A. No. 8522, viz.:[15]

Section 78. Organizational Changes Unless otherwise provided by law or directed by the President of the
Philippines, no organizational unit or changes in key positions in any department or agency shall be authorized
in their respective organizational structure and funded from appropriations provided by this Act.
Section 80. Scaling Down and Phase-out of Activities of Agencies within the Executive Branch The heads of
departments, bureaus, offices and agencies are hereby directed to identify their respective activities which are
no longer essential in the delivery of public services and which may be scaled down, phased-out or abolished
subject to Civil Service rules and regulations. Said activities shall be reported to the Office of the President
through the Department of Budget and Management and to the Chairman, Committee on Appropriations of the
House of Representatives and the Chairman, Committee on Finance of the Senate. Actual scaling down,
phase-out or abolition of the activities shall be effected pursuant to Circulars or Orders issued for the purpose
by the Office of the President.

Petitioners contend that Section 78 refers only to changes in organizational units or key positions in any
department or agency, while Section 80 refers merely to scaling down and phasing out of activities within the
executive department. They argue that neither section authorizes reorganization. Thus, the realignment of the
appropriations to implement the reorganization of the Department of Health under E.O. No. 102 is illegal.
Again, petitioners construction of the law is unduly restrictive. This Court has consistently held in Larin[16] and
Buklod ng Kawanihang EIIB v. Zamora[17] that the corresponding pertinent provisions in the GAA in these
subject cases authorize the President to effect organizational changes in the department or agency concerned.

Be that as it may, the President must exercise good faith in carrying out the reorganization of any branch or
agency of the executive department. Reorganization is effected in good faith if it is for the purpose of economy
or to make bureaucracy more efficient.[18] R.A. No. 6656[19] provides for the circumstances which may be
considered as evidence of bad faith in the removal of civil service employees made as a result of
reorganization, to wit: (a) where there is a significant increase in the number of positions in the new staffing
pattern of the department or agency concerned; (b) where an office is abolished and another performing
substantially the same functions is created; (c) where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms
of status of appointment, performance and merit; (d) where there is a classification of offices in the department
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or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the same functions as the original
offices; and (e) where the removal violates the order of separation.

We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals that the President did not commit bad faith in the questioned
reorganization, viz.:

In this particular case, there is no showing that the reorganization undertaking in the [Department of Health]
had violated this requirement, nor [are] there adequate allegations to that effect. It is only alleged that the
petitioners were directly affected by the reorganization ordered under E.O. [No.] 102. Absent is any showing
that bad faith attended the actual implementation of the said presidential issuance.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP
No. 65475 dated September 12, 2003 is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners. SO ORDERED.

Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 159085, 03 February 2004


FACTS: On July 27, 2003, some 300 junior officers and enlisted men of AFP, armed with ammunitions and
explosives, stormed into Oakwood apartments in Makati, demanding the resignation of the President, the
Defense Secretary, and the PNP Chief.

Later that day, the President issued Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4 both declaring a state of
rebellion and calling out the AFP to suppress the rebellion.

The Oakwood occupation ended in the evening after negotiations. The President, however, did not
immediately lift the declaration of a state of rebellion and did so only on August 1, 2003. During that time,
several search and recovery operations were conducted.

PARTIES
Sanlakas and Partido ng Manggagawa. Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution does not require the
declaration of a state of rebellion to call out the armed forces. There is no sufficient factual basis for the
proclamation by the President of a state of rebellion for an indefinite period.

Social Justice Society. The declaration is a constitutional anomaly that may confuse overzealous public officers
to violate the constitutional rights of citizens. The President circumvented the report requirement in Section 18,
Article VII of the Constitution. Presidential issuances cannot be construed as an exercise of emergency powers
as Congress has not delegated any such power to the President.

Rep. Rolex Suplico. Prerogatives of the legislature were affected. The declaration is a superfluity and is
actually an exercise of emergency powers and therefore usurpation of the power of Congress in Section 23 (2)
Article 6 of the Constitution.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel. The issuances are unwarranted, illegal, and abusive exercise of martial law powers
that has no constitutional basis.

Solicitor-General. The controversy has been rendered moot by the lifting of the declaration. The petitioners
have no legal standing.

ISSUE/RULING/RATIO
1. WON the issue is justiciable given the mootness of the issue.
Yes. Although the question has been rendered moot, the Court may exercise judicial review if it is
capable of repetition yet evading review.
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2. WON the petitioners have legal standing.


Only the legislators have legal standing because the issuances allegedly injured (substantially) the
institution of the Congress. Sanlakas, PM, and SJS were unable to fulfill the direct injury test.

3. WON the issuances are constitutional.


Yes. The President, in declaring a state of rebellion and in calling out the armed forces, was merely
exercising chief executive and commander-in-chief powers provided by the Constitution.

Besides, the proclamation is devoid of any legal significance as it only gives notice that such state
exists. Further, a declaration of a state of rebellion does not amount to a declaration of martial law.
Lastly, proof that the issuances are without factual bases is lacking.

SEPARATE OPINIONS
Vitug (concurs). Even with the issuances, constitution is still in force. Violation of rights is therefore not justified
by the proclamation.

Panganiban (concurs). The petitions may be dismissed on the basis of mootness alone. The petitioners have
not shown the exemption to mootness (that the party raising it in a proper case has been and/or continue to be
prejudiced or damaged as a direct result of their issuance).

Ynares-Santiago (dissents). The rebellion ended in the evening. No warrantless arrest should have been
allowed after that. The declaration, in its duration, gave legal cover to such warrantless arrests even when the
rebellion had ceased. The issuances are null and void, so are the arrests made after the rebellion.

Sandoval-Gutierrez (dissents). The power to declare a state of rebellion is nowhere to be found in the
constitution, and therefore not subject to clear legal restraints. It is martial law without declaration to that effect
and without observing proper procedure. If the goal is to call out the armed forces, it is unnecessary

Power of Appointment
Appointment may be defined as the selection, by the authority vested with the power, of an individual who is to
exercise the functions of a given office. (Cruz, 2002).

Under the Constitution, the President is authorized to appoint, with the consent of the Commission on
Appointment, the following:
heads of the executive departments;
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;
officers of the armed forces from the rank of the colonel or naval captain;
other officers whose appointments are vested in him by the Constitution;
all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided by law; and
those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint.

Permanent or Temporary.
Appointment may be permanent or temporary. It is permanent when the person appointed possesses the
required eligibility of the post and is thus protected by the constitutional provision on security of tenure.
Temporary appointment, on the other hand, is given to a person without the required eligibility, and thus can be
removed from the office without the necessity of just cause or a valid investigation. Temporary appointments
rest on the understanding that the person will be replaced at any time a final choice shall have been made by
the President of who shall occupy the post.

Appointment vs. Designation


Designation is different from appointment. Although designation may be loosely defined as an appointment
because it also involves the naming of a particular person to a specified public office, the latter simply means
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the imposition of additional duties, usually by law, on a person already in the public service. For example, the
chairman of the Board of Investments is, by designation, a member of the National Economic Development
Council. (ibid).

Regular or Ad Interim
A regular appoinment is made during the legislative session. It is made only after the nomination is confirmed
by the Commission on Appointment (CA) and once confirmed by the CA, continues until the end of the term of
the appointee.
An ad interim appointment is made when the Congress is in recess. It does not wait for the confirmation of the
Commission on Appointment but such appointment ceases to be valid if disapproved by the CA or upon the
next adjournment of the Congress. This kind of appointment is intended to prevent a hiatus in the discharge of
official duties.

Limitations
1. Congress may prescribe qualifications for public office.
2. Certain appointments are subject to approval of the Commission on Appointments.
3. The Judiciary may annul appointments made by the President if the appointee has not been validly
confirmed or does not possess the required qualifications.
4. Appointments to public office cannot be forced upon any citizen except for purposes of the defense of
the State.
5. Appointments extended by an acting President shall remain effective unless revoked by the elected
President within ninety days from his assumption of office.
6. Appointment is prohibited two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the
president or acting president except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued
vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. (midnight appointment)

The Removal Power


From having the power of appointment, comes the removal power. The President may remove his appointtees,
especially the members of the Cabinet or other executive officials whose term of office is determined at his
pleasure.

Not all appointees however can be removed by the President since the Constitution prescribes certain
methods for the separation from the public service. For example, the justices of the Supreme Court, members
of the Constitutional Commissions, the Ombudsman, although appointed by the President may only be
removed thru impeachment. Judges of the Supreme Court are not within the ambit of the removal power of the
President, but rather of the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court.

Abas Kida v. Senate,G.R. Nos. 196271, 197221, 197280, 197282, 197392 & 197454, 18 October 2011

FACTS:Several laws pertaining to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were enacted by
Congress. Republic Act (RA) No. 6734 is the organic act that established the ARMM and scheduled the first
regular elections for the ARMM regional officials. RA No. 9054 amended the ARMM Charter and reset the
regular elections for the ARMM regional officials to the second Monday of September 2001. RA No. 9140
further reset the first regular elections to November 26, 2001. RA No. 9333 reset for the third time the ARMM
regional elections to the 2nd Monday of August 2005 and on the same date every 3 years thereafter.

Pursuant to RA No. 9333, the next ARMM regional elections should have been held on August 8, 2011.
COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had accepted certificates of candidacies for the
various regional offices to be elected. But on June 30, 2011, RA No. 10153 was enacted, resetting the next
ARMM regular elections to May 2013 to coincide with the regular national and local elections of the country.
196

In these consolidated petitions filed directly with the Supreme Court, the petitioners assailed the
constitutionality of RA No. 10153.

Issue: Is the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs constitutional?
Ruling: YES, the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs in the ARMM is constitutional

[During the oral arguments, the Court identified the three options open to Congress in order to resolve the
problem on who should sit as ARMM officials in the interim [in order to achieve synchronization in the 2013
elections]: (1) allow the [incumbent] elective officials in the ARMM to remain in office in a hold over capacity until
those elected in the synchronized elections assume office; (2) hold special elections in the ARMM, with the terms
of those elected to expire when those elected in the [2013] synchronized elections assume office; or (3) authorize
the President to appoint OICs, [their respective terms to last also until those elected in the 2013 synchronized
elections assume office.]

1st option: Holdover is unconstitutional since it would extend the terms of office of the incumbent ARMM
officials

We rule out the [hold over] option since it violates Section 8, Article X of the Constitution. This provision
states:

Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by
law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. [emphases ours]

Since elective ARMM officials are local officials, they are covered and bound by the three-year term limit
prescribed by the Constitution; they cannot extend their term through a holdover. xxx.

If it will be claimed that the holdover period is effectively another term mandated by Congress, the net result
is for Congress to create a new term and to appoint the occupant for the new term. This view like the extension of
the elective term is constitutionally infirm because Congress cannot do indirectly what it cannot do directly, i.e., to
act in a way that would effectively extend the term of the incumbents. Indeed, if acts that cannot be legally done
directly can be done indirectly, then all laws would be illusory. Congress cannot also create a new term and
effectively appoint the occupant of the position for the new term. This is effectively an act of appointment by
Congress and an unconstitutional intrusion into the constitutional appointment power of the President. Hence,
holdover whichever way it is viewed is a constitutionally infirm option that Congress could not have undertaken.

Even assuming that holdover is constitutionally permissible, and there had been statutory basis for it
(namely Section 7, Article VII of RA No. 9054) in the past, we have to remember that the rule of holdover can only
apply as an available option where no express or implied legislative intent to the contrary exists; it cannot apply
where such contrary intent is evident.

Congress, in passing RA No. 10153, made it explicitly clear that it had the intention of suppressing the
holdover rule that prevailed under RA No. 9054 by completely removing this provision. The deletion is a policy
decision that is wholly within the discretion of Congress to make in the exercise of its plenary legislative powers; this
Court cannot pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation, except where an attendant
unconstitutionality or grave abuse of discretion results.

2nd option: Calling special elections is unconstitutional since COMELEC, on its own, has no authority to order
special elections.

The power to fix the date of elections is essentially legislative in nature. [N]o elections may be held on any
other date for the positions of President, Vice President, Members of Congress and local officials, except when so
provided by another Act of Congress, or upon orders of a body or officer to whom Congress may have delegated
either the power or the authority to ascertain or fill in the details in the execution of that power.

Notably, Congress has acted on the ARMM elections by postponing the scheduled August 2011 elections
and setting another date May 13, 2011 for regional elections synchronized with the presidential, congressional
and other local elections. By so doing, Congress itself has made a policy decision in the exercise of its legislative
197

wisdom that it shall not call special elections as an adjustment measure in synchronizing the ARMM elections with
the other elections.

After Congress has so acted, neither the Executive nor the Judiciary can act to the contrary by ordering
special elections instead at the call of the COMELEC. This Court, particularly, cannot make this call without thereby
supplanting the legislative decision and effectively legislating. To be sure, the Court is not without the power to
declare an act of Congress null and void for being unconstitutional or for having been exercised in grave abuse of
discretion. But our power rests on very narrow ground and is merely to annul a contravening act of Congress; it is
not to supplant the decision of Congress nor to mandate what Congress itself should have done in the exercise of its
legislative powers.

Thus, in the same way that the term of elective ARMM officials cannot be extended through a holdover, the
term cannot be shortened by putting an expiration date earlier than the three (3) years that the Constitution itself
commands. This is what will happen a term of less than two years if a call for special elections shall prevail. In
sum, while synchronization is achieved, the result is at the cost of a violation of an express provision of the
Constitution.

3rd option: Grant to the President of the power to appoint ARMM OICs in the interim is valid.

The above considerations leave only Congress chosen interim measure RA No. 10153 and the
appointment by the President of OICs to govern the ARMM during the pre-synchronization period pursuant to
Sections 3, 4 and 5 of this law as the only measure that Congress can make. This choice itself, however, should
be examined for any attendant constitutional infirmity.

At the outset, the power to appoint is essentially executive in nature, and the limitations on or qualifications
to the exercise of this power should be strictly construed; these limitations or qualifications must be clearly stated in
order to be recognized. The appointing power is embodied in Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, which states:

Section 16. The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the
heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls or officers of the armed forces from
the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall
also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those
whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers lower in
rank in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards. [emphasis
ours]

This provision classifies into four groups the officers that the President can appoint. These are:

First, the heads of the executive departments; ambassadors; other public ministers and consuls; officers of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, from the rank of colonel or naval captain; and other officers whose appointments are
vested in the President in this Constitution;
Second, all other officers of the government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law;
Third, those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint; and
Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone.

Since the Presidents authority to appoint OICs emanates from RA No. 10153, it falls under the third group
of officials that the President can appoint pursuant to Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution. Thus, the assailed
law facially rests on clear constitutional basis.

If at all, the gravest challenge posed by the petitions to the authority to appoint OICs under Section 3 of RA
No. 10153 is the assertion that the Constitution requires that the ARMM executive and legislative officials to be
elective and representative of the constituent political units. This requirement indeed is an express limitation whose
non-observance in the assailed law leaves the appointment of OICs constitutionally defective.

After fully examining the issue, we hold that this alleged constitutional problem is more apparent than real
and becomes very real only if RA No. 10153 were to be mistakenly read as a law that changes the elective and
representative character of ARMM positions. RA No. 10153, however, does not in any way amend what the organic
law of the ARMM (RA No. 9054) sets outs in terms of structure of governance. What RA No. 10153 in fact only
198

does is to appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor and Members
of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials
duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office. This power is far different from
appointing elective ARMM officials for the abbreviated term ending on the assumption to office of the officials
elected in the May 2013 elections.

[T]he legal reality is that RA No. 10153 did not amend RA No. 9054. RA No. 10153, in fact, provides only for
synchronization of elections and for the interim measures that must in the meanwhile prevail. And this is how RA
No. 10153 should be read in the manner it was written and based on its unambiguous facial terms. Aside from its
order for synchronization, it is purely and simply an interim measure responding to the adjustments that the
synchronization requires.

Velicaria-Gerafil v. Office of the President, G.R. No. 203372, 16 June 2015 (news article)
The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the Executive Order issued by President Benigno Aquino III against
the midnight appointments made by his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In the matter of Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil vs Office of the President, Dindo Venturanza vs the Office of the
President, Irma Villanueva and Francisca Rosqueta vs Court of Appeals and Office of the President and Edie
Tamondong vs Court of Appeals and Executive Secretary, the Court voting 8-6 dismissed the petition and
declared as null and void the appointments of petitioners to the post they occupied, high courts Information
Chief Atty. Theodore Te said at a press conference.

The high court said Executive Order No. 2 issued by Aquino is constitutional in its entirety, especially as to its
definition of midnight appointments and its recall, revocation and withdrawal of midnight appointments.

EO No. 2, which was issued on Aug. 4, 2011, recalled, withdrew and revoked about 800 appointments made
by Arroyo two months before the 2010 elections.

Among these appointments are of that of the petitioners.


Velicaria-Garafil was appointed State Solicitor II at the Office of the Solicitor General while Venturanza was
appointed as city prosecutor of Quezon City. On the other hand, Villanueva was appointed as Administrator for
Visayas of the Board of Administrators of the Cooperative Development Authority while Rosqueta was named
Commissioner of the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples. Tamondong was appointed member of the
Board of Directors of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

Under Section 15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, two months immediately before the next presidential
elections and up to the end of his term, a President or acting President shall not make appointments, except
temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service
or endanger public safety.

For purposes of the 2010 polls, the high court said the cut-off date for valid appointments was March 10, 2010
while March 11, 2010 was the reference date for midnight appointments.
About the petitioners, the high court said they failed to provide proof showing that their appointments were
made prior to March 11, 2010.

The petitioners have failed to show their compliance with all four elements of a valid appointment. They
cannot prove with certainty that their appointment papers have indeed been issued before the period covered
by the appointment ban, the high court said.
The high court also took note of the fact that petitioners themselves admitted that they took their oaths of office
during the period of the appointment ban.
199

Matibag v. Benipayo, G.R. No. 149036, 02 April 2002

FACTS:
COMELEC en banc appointed petitioner as Acting Director IV of the EID. Such appointment was renewed in
temporary capacity twice, first by Chairperson Demetrio and then by Commissioner Javier. Later, PGMA
appointed, ad interim, Benipayo as COMELEC Chairman, and Borra and Tuason as COMELEC
Commissioners, each for a term of 7 yrs. The three took their oaths of office and assumed their positions.
However, since the Commission on Appointments did not act on said appointments, PGMA renewed the ad
interim appointments.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the assumption of office by Benipayo, Borra and Tuason on the basis of the ad interim
appointments issued by the President amounts to a temporary appointment prohibited by Sec. 1(2), Art. IX-C
Assuming that the first ad interim appointments and the first assumption of office by Benipayo, Borra and
Tuason are legal, whether or not the renewal of their ad interim appointments and subsequent assumption of
office to the same positions violate the prohibition on reappointment under Sec. 1(2), Art. IX-C

RULING:

Nature of an Ad Interim Appointment


An ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect immediately and can no longer
be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office. The fact that is subject to
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments does not alter its permanent character. The Constitution
itself makes an ad interim appointment permanent in character by making it effective until disapproved by the
Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress. The second paragraph of Sec.16,
Art.VII of the Constitution provides as follows:

The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, whether
voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the Commission on
Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress.

Thus, the ad interim appointment remains effective until such disapproval or next adjournment, signifying that it
can no longer be withdrawn or revoked by the President. xxx

...the term ad interim appointment means a permanent appointment made by the President in the
meantime that Congress is in recess. It does not mean a temporary appointment that can be withdrawn or
revoked at any time. The term, although not found in the text of the Constitution, has acquired a definite legal
meaning under Philippine jurisprudence.

Rights of an Ad Interim Appointee


An ad interim appointee who has qualified and assumed office becomes at that moment a government
employee and therefore part of the civil service. He enjoys the constitution protection that [n]o officer or
employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law. Thus, an ad
interim appointment becomes complete and irrevocable once the appointee has qualified into office. The
withdrawal or revocation of an ad interim appointment is possible only if it is communicated to the appointee
before the moment he qualifies, and any withdrawal or revocation thereafter is tantamount to removal from
office. Once an appointee has qualified, he acquires a legal right to the office which is protected not only by
statute but also by the Constitution. He can only be removed for cause, after notice and hearing, consistent
with the requirements of due process.

How Ad Interim Appointment is Terminated


An ad interim appointment can be terminated for two causes specified in the Constitution. The first cause is the
disapproval of his ad interim appointment by the Commission on Appointments. The second cause is the
adjournment of Congress without the Commission on Appointments acting on his appointment. These two
200

causes are resolutory conditions expressly imposed by the Constitution on all ad interim appointments. These
resolutory conditions constitute, in effect, a Sword of Damocles over the heads of ad interim appointees. No
one, however, can complain because it is the Constitution itself that places the Sword of Damocles over the
heads of the ad interim appointees.

Ad Interim Appointment vs. Temporary Appointment


While an ad interim appointment is permanent and irrevocable except as provided by law, an appointment or
designation in a temporary or acting capacity can be withdrawn or revoked at the pleasure of the appointing
power. A temporary or acting appointee does not enjoy any security of tenure, no matter how briefly. This is the
kind of appointment that the Constitution prohibits the President from making to the three independent
constitutional commissions, including the COMELEC xxx

Was the renewal of appointment valid?


There is no dispute that an ad interim appointee disapproved by the Commission on Appointments can no
longer be extended a new appointment. The disapproval is a final decision of the Commission on
Appointments in the exercise of its checking power on the appointing authority of the President. The
disapproval is a decision on the merits, being a refusal by the Commission on Appointments to give its consent
after deliberating on the qualifications of the appointee. Since the Constitution does not provide for any appeal
from such decision, the disapproval is final and binding on the appointee as well as on the appointing power. In
this instance, the President can no longer renew the appointment not because of the constitutional prohibition
on reappointment, but because of a final decision by the Commission on Appointments to withhold its consent
to the appointment.

An ad interim appointment that is by-passed because of lack of time or failure of the Commission on
Appointments to organize is another matter. A by-passed appointment is one that has not been finally acted
upon on the merits by the Commission on Appointments at the close of the session of Congress. There is no
final decision by the Commission on Appointments to give or withhold its consent to the appointment as
required by the Constitution. Absent such decision, the President is free to renew the ad interim appointment of
a by-passed appointee xxx

The prohibition on reappointment in Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution applies neither to
disapproved nor by-passed ad interim appointments. A disapproved ad interim appointment cannot be revived
by another ad interim appointment because the disapproval is final under Section 16, Article VII of the
Constitution, and not because a reappointment is prohibited under Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the
Constitution. A by-passed ad interim appointment can be revived by a new ad interim appointment because
there is no final disapproval under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, and such new appointment will not
result in the appointee serving beyond the fixed term of seven years.

Sarmiento III v. Mison, G.R. No. 79974, 17 December 1987

FACTS:
Respondent Salvador Mison was appointed as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs by then President
(Corazon) Aquino. The said appointment made by the President is being questioned by petitioner Ulpiano
Sarmiento III and Juanito Arcilla who are both taxpayers, members of the bar, and both Constitutional law
professors, stating that the said appointment is not valid since the appointment was not submitted to the
Commission On Appointment (COA) for approval. Under the Constitution, the appointments made for the
"Heads of Bureau" requires the confirmation from COA.

ISSUE:
WHETHER OR NOT the appointment made by the President without the confirmation from COA is valid.
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HELD:
Yes, under the 1987 Constitution, Heads of Bureau are removed from the list of officers that needed
confirmation from the Commission On Appointment. It enumerated the four (4) groups whom the President
shall appoint:

Heads of the Executive Departments, Ambassadors, other public minister or consuls, Officers of the Armed
Forces from the rank of Colonel or Naval Captain, and Other officers whose appointments are vested in him in
him in this Constitution;
The above-mentioned circumstance is the only instance where the appointment made by the President that
requires approval from the COA and the following instances are those which does not require approval from
COA:
All other Officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided by law;
Those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint; and
Officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone.

Pimentel v. Ermita, G.R. No. 164978, 13 October 2005


Facts: President Arroyo issued appointments to respondents as acting secretaries of their respective
departments without the consent of the Commission on Appointments, while Congress is in their regular
session.

Subsequently after the Congress had adjourned, President Arroyo issued ad interim appointments to
respondents as secretaries of the departments to which they were previously appointed in an acting capacity.

Petitioners senators assailing the constitutionality of the appointments, assert that while Congress is in
session, there can be no appointments, whether regular or acting, to a vacant position of an office needing
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, without first having obtained its consent.

Respondent secretaries maintain that the President can issue appointments in an acting capacity to
department secretaries without the consent of the Commission on Appointments even while Congress is in
session.

EO 292, which devotes a chapter to the Presidents power of appointment. Sections 16 and 17, Chapter 5,
Title I, Book III of EO 292 read:

SEC. 16. Power of Appointment. The President shall exercise the power to appoint such officials as
provided for in the Constitution and laws.

SEC. 17. Power to Issue Temporary Designation. (1) The President may temporarily designate an officer
already in the government service or any other competent person to perform the functions of an office in the
executive branch, appointment to which is vested in him by law, when: (a) the officer regularly appointed to the
office is unable to perform his duties by reason of illness, absence or any other cause; or (b) there exists a
vacancy[.]

Issue: WON the President can issue appointments in an acting capacity to department secretaries while
Congress is in session.

Held: Yes. The essence of an appointment in an acting capacity is its temporary nature. It is a stop-gap
measure intended to fill an office for a limited time until the appointment of a permanent occupant to the office.
In case of vacancy in an office occupied by an alter ego of the President, such as the office of a department
secretary, the President must necessarily appoint an alter ego of her choice as acting secretary before the
permanent appointee of her choice could assume office.
202

The office of a department secretary may become vacant while Congress is in session. Since a department
secretary is the alter ego of the President, the acting appointee to the office must necessarily have the
Presidents confidence. Thus, by the very nature of the office of a department secretary, the President must
appoint in an acting capacity a person of her choice even while Congress is in session.

Ad interim appointments and acting appointments are both effective upon acceptance. But ad-interim
appointments are extended only during a recess of Congress, whereas acting appointments may be extended
any time there is a vacancy. Moreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to the Commission on
Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting appointments are not submitted to the Commission on
Appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling important offices but, if abused, they can
also be a way of circumventing the need for confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

The absence of abuse is readily apparent from President Arroyos issuance of ad interim appointments to
respondents immediately upon the recess of Congress, way before the lapse of one year.

Note: Can Congress impose the automatic appointment of the undersecretary?

Congress, through a law, cannot impose on the President the obligation to appoint automatically the
undersecretary as her temporary alter ego.

The power to appoint is essentially executive in nature, and the legislature may not interfere with the exercise
of this executive power except in those instances when the Constitution expressly allows it to interfere.
Limitations on the executive power to appoint are construed strictly against the legislature. The scope of the
legislatures interference in the executives power to appoint is limited to the power to prescribe the
qualifications to an appointive office. Congress cannot appoint a person to an office in the guise of prescribing
qualifications to that office. Neither may Congress impose on the President the duty to appoint any particular
person to an office.

De Castro v. JBC, G.R. No. 191002, 17 March 2010


Facts:
This is a Motion for Reconsideration on the March 17, 2010 decision of the Court. The said decision directs the
Judicial and Bar Council to resume its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill the vacancy created
by the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by May 17, 2010, and to prepare the short list
of nominees and submit it to the incumbent President. Movants argue that the disputed constitutional provision,
Art. VII, Sec. 15 and Art. VIII, Sec. 4(1), clearly intended the ban on midnight appointments to cover the
members of the Judiciary, and they contended that the principle of stare decisis is controlling, and insisted that
the Court erred in disobeying or abandoning the Valenzuela ruling.

ISSUE (Section 4):


Did the Constitutional Commission extend to the Judiciary the ban on presidential appointments during the
period stated in Sec. 15, Article VII?

RULING:
The Constitutional Commission did not extend to the Judiciary the ban on presidential appointments during the
period stated in Sec. 15, Art. VII. The deliberations that the dissent of Justice Carpio Morales quoted from the
records of the Constitutional Commission did not concern either Sec. 15, Art. VII or Sec. 4(1), Art. VIII, but only
Sec. 13, Art. VII, a provision on nepotism.
Election ban on appointments does not extend to the Supreme Court. The Court upheld its March 17, 2010
decision ruling that the prohibition under Art. VII, Sec. 15 of the Constitution against presidential appointments
immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the term of the outgoing president does
not apply to vacancies in the Supreme Court.
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In Re Valenzuela, A.M. No. 98-5-01-SC, 09 November 1998


Facts: Referred to the Court en banc are the appointments signed by the President dated March 30, 1998 of
Hon. Mateo Valenzuela and Hon. Placido Vallarta as judges of the RTC of Bago City and Cabanatuan City,
respectively. These appointments appear prima facie, at least, to be expressly prohibited by Sec. 15, Art. VII of
the Constitution. The said constitutional provision prohibits the President from making any appointments two
months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, except temporary
appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or
endanger public safety.

Issue: Whether or not, during the period of the ban on appointments imposed by Sec. 15, Art. VII of the
Constitution, the President is nonetheless required to fill vacancies in the judiciary, in view of Secs. 4 (1) and 9
of Art. VIII

Held: During the period stated in Sec. 15, Art. VII of the Constitution two months immediately before the next
presidential elections and up to the end of his term the President is neither required to make appointments to
the courts nor allowed to do so; and that Secs. 4(1) and 9 of Art. VIII simply mean that the President is required
to fill vacancies in the courts within the time frames provided therein unless prohibited by Sec. 15 of Art. VII.
This prohibition on appointments comes into effect once every 6 years.

The appointments of Valenzuela and Vallarta were unquestionably made during the period of the ban. They
come within the operation of the prohibition relating to appointments. While the filling of vacancies in the
judiciary is undoubtedly in the public interest, there is no showing in this case of any compelling reason to
justify the making of the appointments during the period of the ban.

Power of Control and Supervision


Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution mandates that the President shall have the control of all the executive
departments, bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.

Control is defined as the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer
had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter. It
includes the authority to order the doing of an act by a subordinate or to undo such act or to assume a power
directly vested in him by law. (Cruz, 2002).

The control power of the President is directly derived from the Constitution. Thus, any law that will limit the
exercise of his control power is invalid. The members of the Cabinet as his alter ego are under the full control
of the President. He may appoint them as he sees fit, shuffle them at pleasure, and replace them in his
discretion without any legal inhibition whatsoever. (ibid).

Control vs. Supervision


Control is different from supervision. To supervise is to oversee that subordinate officers perform their duties. If
the subordinates fail or neglect to fulfill them, then the officer may take such action or steps as prescribed by
law to make them perform these duties.

The "take-care" clause


The President is considered as the Law Enforcer. He is to enforce the Constitution, statutes, judicial decisions,
administrative rules and regulations and municipal ordinances, as well as treaties entered into by the
government. The President cannot choose what he just would like to enforce or what he deemed lawful. He is
to execute and implement all laws unless it is declared unconstitutional by the judiciary.
204

Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, G.R. No. 192935, 07 December 2010

FACT:
E.O No. 1 establishing the Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) of 2010 was signed by President Aquino. The
said PTC is a mere branch formed under the Office of the President tasked to investigate reports of graft and
corruption committed by third-level public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and
accessories during the previous administration and submit their findings and recommendations to the
President, Congress and the Ombudsman. However, PTC is not a quasi-judicial body, it cannot adjudicate,
arbitrate, resolve, settle or render awards in disputes between parties. Its job is to investigate, collect and
asses evidences gathered and make recommendations. It has subpoena powers but it has no power to cite
people in contempt or even arrest. It cannot determine for such facts if probable cause exist as to warrant the
filing of an information in our courts of law.

Petitioners contends the Constitutionality of the E.O. on the grounds that.

It violates separation of powers as it arrogates the power of Congress to create a public office and appropriate
funds for its operation;
The provisions of Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the Administrative Code of 1987 cannot legitimize E.O.
No. 1 because the delegated authority of the President to structurally reorganize the Office of the President to
achieve economy, simplicity, and efficiency does not include the power to create an entirely new office was
inexistent like the Truth Commission;
The E.O illegally amended the Constitution when it made the Truth Commission and vesting it the power
duplicating and even exceeding those of the Office of the Ombudsman and the DOJ.
It violates the equal protection clause

ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT the said E.O is unconstitutional.

RULING:
Yes, E.O No. 1 should be struck down as it is violative of the equal protection clause. The Chief Executives
power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot be doubted. Having been constitutionally granted
full control of the Executive Department, to which respondents belong, the President has the obligation to
ensure that all executive officials and employees faithfully comply with the law. With AO 298 as mandate, the
legality of the investigation is sustained. Such validity is not affected by the fact that the investigating team and
the PCAGC had the same composition, or that the former used the offices and facilities of the latter in
conducting the inquiry.

Carpio v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 96409, 14 February 1992


FACTS: RA 6975 was passed in 1990. The act entitled AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE PHILIPPINE
NATIONAL POLICE UNDER A REORGANIZED DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. Carpio, as a member of the bar and a defender of the
Constitution, assailed the constitutionality of the said law for he figured that it only interferes with the control
power of the president. He advances the view that RA 6975 weakened the National Police Commission by
limiting its power to administrative control over the PNP thus, control remained with the Department
Secretary under whom both the NPC and the PNP were placed.

Issue: Whether or not the president abdicated its control power over the PNP and NPC by virtue of RA 6975

Held:
The President has control of all executive departments, bureaus, and offices. This presidential power of
control over the executive branch of government extends over all executive officers from Cabinet Secretary to
the lowliest clerk. Equally well accepted, as a corollary rule to the control powers of the President, is the
205

Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency. As the President cannot be expected to exercise his control powers all
at the same time and in person, he will have to delegate some of them to his Cabinet members.

Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single executive, all executive and
administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the heads of the various executive
departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive
is required by the Constitution or law to act in person on the exigencies of the situation demand that he act
personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and
through the executive departments, and the acts of the Secretaries of such departments, performed and
promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive
presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive.

Thus, and in short, the Presidents power of control is directly exercised by him over the members of the
Cabinet who, in turn, and by his authority, control the bureaus and other offices under their respective
jurisdictions in the executive department.

Additionally, the circumstance that the NAPOLCOM and the PNP are placed under the reorganized DILG is
merely an administrative realignment that would bolster a system of coordination and cooperation among the
citizenry, local executives and the integrated law enforcement agencies and public safety agencies created
under the assailed Act, the funding of the PNP being in large part subsidized by the national government.
Anak Mindanao Party-List Group v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 166052 29 August
2007
Funa v. Chairman of CSC, G.R. No. 191672, 25 November 2014
Villafuerte v. Robredo, G.R. No. 195390, 10 December 2014

Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency


Manalang-Demigillo v. TIDCORP, G.R. No. 168613, 05 March 2013
Manubay v. Garilao, G.R. No. 140717, 16 April 2009

Military Powers
Gudani v. Senga, G.R. No. 170165, 15 August 2006
IBP v. Zamora, G.R. No. 141284, 15 August 2000
Fortun v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No. 190293, 20 March 2012
Lagman v. Medialdea, G.R. No. 231658, 04 July 2017

Pardoning Powers
Risos-Vidal v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206666, 21 January 2015
Kapunan v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 148213-17, 13 March 2009
Magdalo Para saPagbabago v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190793, 19 June 2012

Diplomatic Powers
Saguisag v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 212426, 12 January 2016
Vinuya v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 162230, 28 April 2010
Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204605, 19 July 2016
Bayan Muna v. Romulo, G.R. No. 159618, 01 February 2011

Budgetary Powers
Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, 01 July 2014
Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, 03 February 2015

Veto Powers

Emergency Powers
Kulayan v. Tan, G.R. No. 187298, 03 July 2012
206

Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 159085, 03 February 2004


David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396, 03 May 2006

V. Judiciary

Judicial Power

Power of Judicial Review; Requisites

Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, 204957, 204988, 205003, 205043, 205138, 205478,
205491, 205720, 206355, 207111, 207172 & 207563, 08 April 2014
Saguisag v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 212426, 12 January 2016

Expanded Concept
Diocese of Bacolod v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 205728, 21 January 2015
Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, 01 July 2014

Operative Fact Doctrine


CIR v. San Roque Power Corporation, G.R. No. 187485, 08 October 2013
Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, 01 July 2014

Moot and Academic Questions


Carpio v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 183102, 27 February 2013
Philippine Savings Bank v. Senate Impeachment Court, G.R. No. 200238, November 20, 2012

Political Questions
Diocese of Bacolod v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 205728, 21 January 2015
Belgica v. Ochoa, G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493 and 209251, 19 November 2013

Safeguards of Judicial Independence

Fiscal Autonomy
Re: COA Opinion on the Computation of the Appraised Value of the Properties Purchased by the
Retired Chief/Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, A.M. No. 11-7-10-SC, 31 July 2012
IN THE MATTER OF: SAVE THE SUPREME COURT JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE AND FISCAL
AUTONOMY MOVEMENT VS. ABOLITION OF JUDICIARY DEVELOPMENT FUND (JDF) AND
REDUCTION OF FISCAL AUTONOMY, UDK-15143, 21 January 2015

En Banc and Division Cases

Rule-Making Powers of the Supreme Court

Baguio Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative v. Cabato-Cortes, G.R. No. 165922


IN RE: EXEMPTION OF THE NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION FROM PAYMENT OF
FILING/ DOCKET FEES, A.M. NO. 05-10-20-SC, 10 March 2010

Administrative Supervision over Lower Courts

CIRCULAR NO. 30-91, 30 September 1991

Original and appellate jurisdiction

VI. Constitutional Commission


207

(To be discussed in relation to other subjects)