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Congress - Compo, Qualif, Term, Elect, Salaries, Priv, Disqu

Congress - Compo, Qualif, Term, Elect, Salaries, Priv, Disqu

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Dimaporo vs. Mitra [October 15, 1991]Petition to review the decision of the Speaker and Secretary of the Houseof Representatives
Ponente: J. Davide Jr.Facts:
Mohamad Ali Dimaporo was elected Representative for the SecondLegilative District of Lanao del Sur during the 1987 congressional elections.
January 15, 1990 – Dimaporo filed a certificate of candidacy for theposition of Governor of the ARMM.
Secretary and speaker of the house excluded the name of Dimaporo fromthe Roll of Members of the House of Representatives pursuant to section67, art IX of the omnibus election code.
Dimaporo lost the election and he expressed in a letter his intention toresume performing his duties and function as an elected member of theCongress. Unfortunately, he was not able to regain his seat in Congress.
Dimaporo is contending that he did not lose his seat as a Congressmanbecause sec. 67 of art. IX of BP Blg 881 is not operative under the presentConstitution, being contrary thereto, and therefore not applicable to thepresent members of Congress.
Grounds by which a term may be shortened.
Holding any other office or employment in the government or anysubdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof 
Expulsion as a disciplinary action for disorderly behaviour
Disqualification as determined by resolution of the electoraltribunal in an election contest
Voluntary renunciation of officeIssue: WON Dimaporo can still be considered as a member of Congress even afterhe has filed for another government position.Held: NoRatio:
In the constitution there is a new chapter on the accountability of publicofficers. In the 1935 Constitution it was provided that Public office is apublic trust. Public officers and employees shall serve with the highestdegree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency and shall remainaccountable to the people. All elective public officials should honor themandate they have gotten from the people.
If you allow a Batasan or a governor or a mayor who has mandated toserve for 6 years to file for an office other that the one he was elected to,then, that clearly shows that he did not intend to serve the mandate of thepeople which was placed upon him and therefore he should be consideredipso facto resigned.
If a Batsasan Member files a certificate of candidacy, that means he doesnot want to serve, otherwise, why should he file for an office other than theone he was elected? The mere fact therefore of filing a certificate shouldbe considered the overt act of abandoning or relinquishing his mandate tothe people and that he should therefore resign if he wants to seek anotherposition which he feels he could be of better service.
Contention that BP Blg. 881 is not explicitly provided for in the Constitutionas a mode of shortening the tenure of office of members of the Congressdoes not exclude its application.
Enactment of legislation is presumed to be constitutional unless there is aclear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a doubtful andargumentative implication. A doubt, even if well-founded, does not suffice.
Monroy vs. CA – forfeiture is automatic and permanently effective upon thefiling of the certificate of candidacy for another office. Only the momentand act of filing are considered. Once the certificate is filed, the seat if forever forfeited and nothing save a new election or appointment canrestore the ousted official.
Mariano, Jr. vs. COMELEC
Petitions to declare certain provisions of RA 7854 unconstitutional [March 7, 1995]
RA 7854 is entitled An Act Converting the Municipality of Makati Into a HighlyUrbanized City to be known as the City of Makati.
Assailed provisions:1.Sec. 2 – states that City of Makati shall comprise the present territory of the Municipality of Makati. Such is w/o prejudice to resolution byappropriate agency/forum of existing boundary disputes or cases involvingquestions of territorial jurisdiction bet Makati & adjoining LGUs.2.Sec. 51 – Officials of City of Makati: officials of municipality will continue asofficials of the City until such time that a new election is held & dulyelected officials will be qualified to assume office. Provided that the newcity will acquire new corporate existence. Appointive officials will likewisebe absorbed.3.Sec. 52 – Creation of two legislative districts & COMELEC tasked toimplement such at the next national elections.
GR No. 118577:Petitioners pray for prohibition & declaratory relief. They filedcase in their capacity as taxpayers. Only one petitioner is a resident of Makatiwhereas the others are residents of Taguig. They assail:1.Sec. 2 for violating Sec. 10, Art. X of Consti in relation to Sec. 7 & 450of the Loc Gov’t Code in not properly identifying land area/territorial jurisdiction of Makati by metes & bounds.2.Sec. 51 for violating Sec. 8, Art. X and Sec. 7, Art. VI of the Consti inattempting to alter or restart the 3-consecutive term limit for locelective officials.3.Sec. 52 because: a) increased legislative district of Makati by special lawviolating Consti provision requiring gen reapportionment law to bepassed by congress w/in 3 yrs following return of every census; b)increase in legislative district was not expressed in bill’s title; c) it’s notin accord w/Sec.5(3), Art. VI of Consti because as of latest survey (1990census) pop of Makati is only 450,000.
GR No. 118627: Filed by John Osmena in his capacity as senator, taxpayer & concerned citizen. He assails Sec. 52 on same grounds as above.
Issues & Ratio:1. WON Sec. 2 is unconstitutional. - NO
True that territorial boundaries must be clear because they define the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of a loc.gov’t. Uncertainty will sow costly conflicts in
the exercise of governmental powers. However, petitioner failed to show thatdelineation of land area of proposed City of Makati will create confusion as to itsboundary. Delineation did not change even by an inch the land previouslycovered by the municipality.
It will be shown that boundary was not defined by metes & bounds due toterritorial dispute bet Makati & Taguig re Fort Bonifacio w/c was still underCourt litigation. Out of respect to a co-equal dept, legislators felt that courtshould be left to decide dispute. They didn’t want to foreclose dispute bymaking a legislative finding of fact w/c could decide dispute.
Existence of a boundary dispute does not per se present an insurmountabledifficulty w/c will prevent Congress from defining w/reasonable certitude theterritorial jurisdiction of a LGU. Maintaining existing boundaries was an act of fairness.
Requirement on metes & bounds is merely a tool in establishing a LGU. So longas the territorial jurisdiction may be reasonably ascertained by referring tocommon boundaries w/neighboring municipalities, legislative intent behind lawhas been sufficiently served. Strict interpretation would defeat purpose of thelaw w/c is to empower LGUs & give them their rightful due to make the LGUmore responsive to the needs of their constituents. Invalidating RA 7854merely on this ground would serve letter of the law but defeat its spirit.
2. WON Sec. 51 is unconstitutional – CAN’T BE DECIDED.
Petitioners claim that this violates Sec. 8, Art. X (term of office of elective locofficials except brgy officials: 3 yrs & can’t serve for more than 3 consecutiveterms) and Sec. 7, Art. VI (mems of House of Reps: 3 yrs & not more than 3consecutive terms). They claim that by acquiring a new corporate existence, RA7854 restarts term of present municipal elective officials & disregards termspreviously served. Meaning, municipal officials will be entitled to another 3-consecutive terms. They further claim that such has been conveniently craftedto suit political ambitions of respondent Makati Mayor Binay.
Court can’t decide on this matter because petitioners failed to complyw/requirements before a litigant can challenge constitutionality of a law (actualcase/controversy, locus standi, raised at earliest possible opportunity, lis mota).
Petition premised on contingencies w/c pose hypothetical issues w/c still needto ripen to an actual case or controversy. Taguig residents are not properparties either.
Court has no jurisdiction over declaratory relief on futuristic issues.
3. WON Sec. 52 is unconstitutional - NO
Tobias vs Abalos: reapportionment of legislative districts may be made thruspecial law such as charter of new city. Consti provides that Congress shall becomposed of not more than 250 mems unless otherwise fixed by law w/c doesnot preclude Congress from increasing its membership by passing a law otherthan a gen. Reapportionment law.
To hold that such can only be done thru a gen reapportionment law wouldcreate an inequitable situation where new city/province created by Congresswill be denied legislative representation until such time a reapportionmentoccurs. Such will deprive people a particle of their sovereignty. Note thatsovereignty is indivisible.
Sec. 5(3), Art. VI of Consti provides that city w/population of at least 250k shallhave at least one rep. And since 1990 census already showed that Makati had450k residents, then RA 7854 is not violative of the Consti for it has metminimum population requirement of 250k.
Tobias vs. Abalos: Court favors liberal construction of the one title-one subj ruleso as not to impede legislation. Consti doesn’t command that the title of the lawshould exactly mirror, fully index or completely catalogue all its details.Sufficient for title to express gen subj & that all provisions are germane to thatsubj.
Held: Case dismissed for lack of merit.
Agapito A.
Aquino v. COMELEC
,MOVE MAKATI, MATEO BEDON & JUANITO ICARO (1995)Special Civil Action in SC. Certiorari.FACTS:On March 20 ’95, petitioner Aquino filed his Cert of Candidacy for the position of REPRESENTATIVE for the new 2
Legislative District of Makati City. The info heprovided are as follows:
Residence: Palm Village Mkt
Residence in the constituency where he seeks to be elected immediatelypreceding the election:
 ____Years and 10 Months
Eligible for office, obligation assumed voluntarilyOn April 24 ’95, MOVE Mkt, a duly-registered political party, & Bedon, Chairman of LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP of Brgy Cembo, Mkt filed a petition to
Aquino on theground that
the latter lacked the residence qualification
as a candidate for
w/c under Sec 6 Art VI of the 1987 Consti should be for a period
notless than 1 yr
immediately preceding the May 8, 1995 elections. Petition wasassigned to the 2
Division of COMELEC.The next day, Aquino filed another cert of candidacy amending the previous. Thistime he stated that he had resided in the said constituency for
1 yr & 13 days
.In May 2, a hearing was conducted and petitioner presented as evidence a leasecontract between himself and Leonor Feliciano for 2yrs and 2 affidavits (Feliciano’s & one Galamay).In May 6, a Resolution was promulgated by COMELEC wherefore it resolved todismiss the petition for disqualification & declares Aquino eligible to run for office.In May 7, the respondents filed a motion for reconsideration.On May 8, 1995, elections were held. In Mkt, 3 candidates vied for thecongressional seat in the 2
District. Petitioner ranked 1
w/ 38,547 votes againstclose contender Agusto Syjuco w/ 35,910 votes.In May 10, respondents filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and an UrgentMotion
 Ad Cautelum
to suspend proclamation of petitioner.In May 15, COMELEC issued an Order suspending the petitioner Aquino’sproclamation. It held that pursuant to provisions of Sec 6 of RA No 6646, the Bd of Canvassers of Mkt is directed to complete the canvassing of election return of the2
suspend the proclamation
of Aquino should he obtain the winningnumber of votes until Motion for Reconsideration has been resolved by COMELEC.
In June 2, petitioner filed a motion to lift order of suspension of proclamation.COMELEC ruled to proceed promulgation and allow the parties to be heard. Afterthe hearing, it held that Aquino is ineligible and thus disqualified as candidate forlack of constitutional qualification of residence. Bd of Canvassers shall immediatelyreconvene and determine the winner out of the remaining qualified candidates.ISSUES & RATIO:1.WON COMELEC has no jurisdiction to determine & adjudge disqualificationinvolving congressional candidates after the May 8 elections as suchdetermination is reserved to the Hse of Reps Electoral Tribunal.
Sec 17 of Art VI of Consti states:The Senate & Hse of Reps shall have an Electoral Tribunal w/c shall be thesole judge of all contests relation to the election, return & qualifications of their respective
.Petitioner confuses the distinction between an
unproclaimed candidate
and amember of the House. Obtaining the highest number of votes in an electiondoes not automatically vest the position in the winning candidate. Clearly, theHRET assumes jurisdiction only when candidates become members of eitherHouse.2.Assuming COMELEC has jurisdiction, WON such jurisdiction ceased after theelections and remedies are to be brought to another forum (i.e. HRET) acdg toDec 17 Art VI of Consti
Under Sec 6 of RA 6646, COMELEC is empowered to continue to hear anddecide questions relating to qualifications of candidates. A disqualification caseagainst a candidate is allowed to continue even after the election and it doesnot oust the COMELEC of its jurisdiction. In the event that the challengedcandidate obtains the highest number of votes, the disqualification case basedon ineligibility will not be terminated when the evidence of guilt is strong.3.WON COMELEC’s finding of non-compliance w/ the residency requirement iscontrary to evidence
As found by the COMELEC, petitioner was a resident of Concepcion, Tarlac for52 yrs immediately preceding the election. He is also a registered voter of thesame district and his parents’ birthplace is also that. It is clear that hisdomicile of origin or record up to the filing of his 2
cert of candidacy wasConcepcion, Tarlac.
The Constitution when it speaks of residence synonymously refers to domicilefor the purposes of election law. The candidate must indicate his
asthe place where he considers his permanent home and where he, no matterwhere he may be found at any given time, eventually intends to return andremain. The
is to exclude strangers or newcomers unfamiliar w/ theconditions and needs of the community from taking advantage of favorablecircumstances existing in that community for electoral gain. The essence of representation is to place through the assent of voters those most cognizantand sensitive to the needs of a particular district.
In his leasing the Mkt property instead of buying one does not engender thekind of permanency required to prove abandonment of one’s original domicileesp since he leased it only for a period of 2 yrs. It should be further noted thatpetitioner was previously disqualified from running in the Senate because of theconstitutional 2-term limit and had to shop around for a place where he couldrun for public office.
The absence of clean and positive proof showing a successful abandonment of domicile (1), the lack of identification w/ the area (2) and the suspiciouscircumstances of the lease agreement (3) all belie the petitioner’s claim of residency.
WON COMELEC failed to appreciate the legal impossibility of enforcing the 1 yrresidency requirement of congressional candidates in
newly created political districts
w/c were only existing for less than a yr (4 mos) at the tine of theelection
NO! A new political district is not created out of thin air. It is carved out frompart of a real and existing geographic area, in this case the old Municipality of Manila.5.WON COMELEC in ordering the Bd of Canvassers to determine the winner out of the remaining candidates disregarded the doctrine “a second place candidate ora person who was repudiated by the electorate is a loser and cannot beproclaimed as substitute winner.” 
No. The rule is
the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to bedeclared elected. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office
. (Abella v. COMELEC, Topacio v. Paredes)
The disqualified candidate is no candidate at all and is not a candidate in theeyes of the law (Ticson v. COMELEC).
Public elective offices are filled by those who have received the highest numberof votes cast in an election. No one can be declared elected and no measurecan be declared carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality of thelegal votes cast in the elections (Geronimo v. Ramos).
The more logical and democratic view must be upheld. The runner-up cannotbe deemed as the winner for this clearly represents a minority view. This wouldnegate the possibility that theoretically, if the 2
placer receives even just 1vote, he can win.HELD: Affirm COMELEC’s declaration of petitioner’s Ineligibility for he lacks the 1 yrresidence in the district mandated by the 1987 Consti.A democratic govt is necessarily a govt of laws. In a republican govt, those laws arethemselves obtained by the people. Through their representatives, they dictate thequalifications necessary for service in govt positions. Not even the will of a majorityor plurality of voters would substitute for a requirement mandated by thefundamental law itself.
Martinez vs. Morfe [March 24, 1972]Original Action in the SC. Certiorari and Habeas Corpus
Ponente: J. FernandoFacts:
What is the scope to be accorded to the constitutional immunity of senatorsand representatives from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of 

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