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Constantino v. Cuisia, G.R. No. 106064, October 13, 2005

Constantino v. Cuisia, G.R. No. 106064, October 13, 2005

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Constantino v. Cuisia, G.R. No. 106064, October 13, 2005
Constantino v. Cuisia, G.R. No. 106064, October 13, 2005

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Reginald Dwight Seguerra Florido on Oct 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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During the Aquino regime, her administration came up w/ a scheme to reduce the country’s
external debt. The solution resorted to was to incur foreign debts. Three restructuringprograms were sought to initiate the program for foreign debts
 –
they are basically buybackprograms & bond-conversion programs). Constantino as a taxpayer and in behalf of his minorchildren who are Filipino citizens, together w/ FFDC averred that the buyback and bond-conversion schemes are onerous and they do not constitute the loa
n “contract” or “guarantee”
contemplated in Sec. 20, Art. 7 of the Constitution
.
And assuming that the
 
President has suchpower unlike other powers which may be validly delegated by the President, the power to incurforeign debts is expressly reserved by the Constitution in the person of the President. Theyargue that the gravity by which the exercise of the power will affect the Filipino nation requiresthat the President alone must exercise this power. They argue that the requirement of priorconcurrence of an entity specifically named by the Constitution
 –
the Monetary Board
 –
reinforces the submission that
not respondents but the President “alone and personally” can
validly bind the country. Hence, they would like Cuisia et al to stop acting pursuant to thescheme.ISSUE: Whether or not the president can validly delegate her debt power to the respondents.HELD: There is no question that the president has borrowing powers and that the presidentmay contract or guarantee foreign loans in behalf of this country w/ prior concurrence of theMonetary Board. It makes no distinction whatsoever and the fact that a debt or a loan may beonerous is irrelevant. On the other hand, the president can delegate this power to her directsubordinates. The evident exigency of having the Secretary of Finance implement the decisionof the President to execute the debt-relief contracts is made manifest by the fact that the
process of establishing and executing a strategy for managing the government’s debt is deep
within the realm of the expertise of the Department of Finance, primed as it is to raise therequired amount of funding, achieve its risk and cost objectives, and meet any other sovereigndebt management goals. If the President were to personally exercise every aspect of theforeign borrowing power, he/she would have to pause from running the country long enoughto focus on a welter of time-consuming detailed activities
 –
the propriety of incurring/guaranteeing loans, studying and choosing among the many methods that may betaken toward this end, meeting countless times with creditor representatives to negotiate,obtaining the concurrence of the Monetary Board, explaining and defending the negotiateddeal to the public, and more often than not, flying to the agreed place of execution to sign the
 
documents. This sort of constitutional interpretation would negate the very existence of cabinet positions and the respective expertise which the holders thereof are accorded and
would unduly hamper the President’s effectivity in running the government.
The act of therespondents are not unconstitutional.ExceptionThere are certain acts which, by their very nature, cannot be validated by subsequent approvalor ratification by the President. There are certain constitutional powers and prerogatives of theChief Executive of the Nation which must be exercised by him in person and no amount of approval or ratification will validate the exercise of any of those powers by any other person.Such, for instance, in his power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and proclaim martial lawand the exercise by him of the benign prerogative of pardon (mercy).There are certain presidential powers which arise out of exceptional circumstances, and if exercised, would involve the suspension of fundamental freedoms, or at least call for thesupersedence of executive prerogatives over those exercised by co-equal branches of government. The declaration of martial law, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, andthe exercise of the pardoning power notwithstanding the judicial determination of guilt of theaccused, all fall within this special class that demands the exclusive exercise by the President of the constitutionally vested power. The list is by no means exclusive, but there must be ashowing that the executive power in question is of similar gravitas and exceptional import.
 
 En BancOctober 13, 2005SPOUSES RENATO CONSTANTINO JR. and LOURDES CONSTANTINO and Their Minor ChildrenRENATO, REDENTOR, ANNA MARIKA LISSA, NINA ELISA, and ANNA KARMINA; FREEDOM FROMDEBT COALITION; and FILOMENO STA. ANA III

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