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37290126 Planas vs COMELEC Digest

37290126 Planas vs COMELEC Digest

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Published by: Rhen Retoriano Barrios on Jun 22, 2013
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Planas vs. Commission on Elections[GR L-35925, 22 January 1973]; also Sanidad vs.Comelec [GR L-35929], Roxas vs. Comelec [GR L-35940], Monteclaro vs. Comelec [GR L-35941],Ordonez vs. National Treasurer of the Philippines[GR L-35942], Tan vs. Comelec [GR L-35948],Diokno vs. Comelec [GR L-35953], Jimenez vs.Comelec [GR L-35961], Gonzales vs. Comelec[GR L-35965], and Hidalgo vs. Comelec [GR L-35979]Second Division, Concepcion (J): 3 concur, 3concur in separate opinions, 1 concurs asrecapitulated, 1 dissents in separate opinion, 2filed separate opinionsFacts: On 16 March 1967, Congress of thePhilippines passed Resolution 2, which wasamended by Resolution 4 of said body, adoptedon 17 June 1969, calling a Convention to proposeamendments to the Constitution of thePhilippines. Said Resolution 2, as amended, wasimplemented by RA 6132, approved on 24August 1970, pursuant to the provisions of whichthe election of delegates to said Convention washeld on 10 November 1970, and the 1971Constitutional Convention began to perform itsfunctions on 1 June 1971. While the Conventionwas in session on 21 September 1972, thePresident issued Proclamation 1081 placing the
 
entire Philippines under Martial Law. On 29November 1972, the Convention approved itsProposed Constitution of the Republic of thePhilippines. The next day, 30 November 1972,the President of the Philippines issuedPresidential Decree 73, "submitting to theFilipino people for ratification or rejection theConstitution of the Republic of the Philippinesproposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention,and appropriating funds therefor," as well assetting the plebiscite for said ratification orrejection of the Proposed Constitution on 15 January 1973. Soon after, or on 7 December1972, Charito Planas filed, with the SupremeCourt, Case GR L-35925, against the Commissionon Elections, the Treasurer of the Philippines andthe Auditor General, to enjoin said "respondentsor their agents from implementing PresidentialDecree 73, in any manner, until further orders of the Court," upon the grounds, inter alia, that saidPresidential Decree "has no force and effect aslaw because the calling of such plebiscite, thesetting of guidelines for the conduct of the same,the prescription of the ballots to be used and thequestion to be answered by the voters, and theappropriation of public funds for the purpose,are, by the Constitution, lodged exclusively inCongress," and "there is no proper submission tothe people of said Proposed Constitution set for
 
15 January 1973, there being no freedom of speech, press and assembly, and there being nosufficient time to inform the people of thecontents thereof." Substantially identical actionswere filed. Meanwhile, or on 17 December 1972,the President had issued an order temporarilysuspending the effects of Proclamation 1081, forthe purpose of free and open debate on theProposed Constitution. On December 23, thePresident announced the postponement of theplebiscite for the ratification or rejection of theProposed Constitution. No formal action to thiseffect was taken until 7 January 1973, whenGeneral Order 20 was issued, directing "that theplebiscite scheduled to be held on 15 January1973, be postponed until further notice." SaidGeneral Order 20, moreover, "suspended in themeantime" the "order of 17 December 1972,temporarily suspending the effects of Proclamation 1081 for purposes of free and opendebate on the proposed Constitution." In view of the events relative to the postponement of theplebiscite, the Court deemed it fit to refrain, forthe time being, from deciding the cases, forneither the date nor the conditions under whichsaid plebiscite would be held were known orannounced officially. Then, again, Congress was,pursuant to the 1935 Constitution, scheduled tomeet in regular session on 22 January 1973, and

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