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Congress-Discipline, Records, Sessions,ET, COA

Congress-Discipline, Records, Sessions,ET, COA

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Alejandrino vs. Quezon [September 11, 1924]
Original Action in the Supreme Court 
Facts:
The Petitioner in this original proceeding in mandamus and injunction is JoseAlejandrino, a Senator appointed by the Governor-General to represent the 12
th
senatorial district.
February 5, 1924 – A resolution was adopted by the Philippine Senate deprivingsenator Alejandrino of all the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments of hisoffice for the period of one year from January1, 1924 having been declaredguilty of disorderly conduct and flagrant violation of the privileges of the Senatefor having treacherously assaulted Senator de Vera on the occasion of certainphrases being uttered by the latter in the course of the debate regarding thecredential of Mr. Alejandrino.Issues:1.WON a Mandamus and injunction can be issued to the respondent to recognizethe rights of the petitioner to exercise his rights as a Senator2.WON the Senate can suspend its members for a period of one year.Ratio1.No
General Rule: the writ of mandamus will not lie from one branch of thegovernment to a coordinate branch, for the very obvious reason thatneither is inferior to the other.
Mandamus will not lie against the legislative body, its members or itsofficers, to compel the performance of duties purely legislative in theircharacter which therefore pertains to their legislative functions and overwhich they have exclusive control.2.No
Organic Act authorizes the Governor-General to appoint 2 senators and 9representatives to represent the non-Christian regions in the Legislature.These senators and representatives hold office until removed by theGovernor-General. They may not be removed by the legislature.
The Senate and House of Representatives is granted the power to punishits members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of 2/3,expel an elective member.
The Constitution has purposely withheld from the Senate and House of Representatives and the Governor-General the power to suspend anappointive member.
Punishment by way of reprimand or fine vindicates the outraged dignity of the House without depriving the constituency of representation.
Expulsion when permissible vindicates the honor of the legislative bodywhile giving to the constituency an opportunity to elect anew.
Suspension deprives the electoral district of representation without thatdistrict being afforded any means by which to fill the vacancy. Bysuspension, the seat remains filed but the occupant is silenced.
Suspension for 1 year is equivalent to qualified expulsion or removalNote: Writ of mandamus cannot be issued because the SC does not possess thepower of coercion to make the Philippine Senate take any particular action.
Paredes vs. SandiganbayanCASCO Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. vs. GIMENEZ (February 28, 1963)
FACTS:
Petition for review of a decision of the Auditor General denying a claim forrefund of petitioner Casco.
Pursuant to RA 2609 “Foreign Exchange Margin Fee Law”, the Central Bank of Phil. (CBP) issued on July 1, 1959 Circular No. 95 fixing a uniform margin fee of 25% on foreign exchange transactions.
Many times between Nov & Dec 1959, Casco, (which is engaged in themanufacture of synthetic resin glues, used in bonding lumber & veneer byplywood & hardwood producers) – bought foreign exchange for the importationof urea and formaldehyde & paid the margin fee of P33, 765.42.
In May 1960, Casco made another purchase of foreign exchange & paidP6,345.72 as margin fee.
Prior thereto, petitioner had sought the refund of the first sum of P33,765.42,relying upon Resolution No. 1529 of the Monetary Board (MB) of said Bankdated Nov. 3, 1959, declaring that the
separate importation of urea and formaldehyde is exempt 
from said fee. Petitioner made a similar request forrefund of the sum of P6,345.72.
Although CBP issued the margin fee vouchers for the refund of said amounts,the Auditor of the Bank refused to pass in audit and approve said vouchersupon the ground that the
exemption granted 
by the MB
for 
 
the
 
separateimportations of urea and formaldehyde
is not in accord with the provisions of Sec. 2, par. XVIII of RA 2609.
On appeal by petitioner, Auditor General affirmed said action of the Auditor of the Bank. Hence this appeal.ISSUE: WON “urea” and “formaldehyde” are exempt by law from the payment of the aforesaid margin fee.HELD: NO, decision appealed from is affirmed.RATIO:
Sec. 2, RA 2609: “The margin established by the MB pursuant to the provisionof Sec.1 hereof shall not be imposed upon the sale of foreign exchange for theimportation of the ff: ….XVIII.
Urea formaldehyde
for the manufacture of plywood & hardboard when imported by and for the exclusive use of end-users.” 
PETITIONER: “urea formaldehyde” should be construed as “urea” 
and 
 “formaldehyde” 
However, whereas, urea & formaldehyde are the principal raw materials in themanufacture of synthetic resin glues, the Commissioner of Nat’l Institute of Science & Tech said: “Urea formaldehyde…is the synthetic resin formed as acondensation product from definite proportions of urea and formaldehyde…” 
 
Hence, “urea formaldehyde” is a
finished product 
, distinct and different from “urea” and “formaldehyde”, as separate articles used in the manufacture of thesynthetic resin “urea formaldehyde” 
THE IMPORTANT PART
: Petitioner contends that the bill approved in Congresscontained the copulative conjunction “andbetween the terms “urea” and “formaldehyde”, & that the members of Congress intended to
exempt 
“urea” & formaldehyde” 
separately 
as essential elements in the manufacture of “ureaformaldehyde”,
not the latter as a finished product,
citing statements made onthe Senate floor during the consideration of the bill therein.
SC: Said individual statements do not necessarily reflect the view of theSenate, much less do they indicate the intent of the House of Representatives.
It is well settled that the enrolled bill which uses the term “ureaformaldehyde” instead of “urea” and “formaldehyde” – is conclusive upon thecourts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress & approved bythe President.
If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certifiedby the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive – on which the Courtcannot speculate w/o jeopardizing separation of powers – the remedy is byamendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.
UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee vs. JUAN PONS, defendant-appellant
[Aug. 12, 1916]*Facts are not really important. Focus more on the issues especially issue #2.
 
 
Facts:
Gabino Beliso, Juan Pons & Jacinto Lasarte were charged w/ crime of illegalimportation of opium (Act No. 2381). Lasarte had not yet been arrested. Pons & Lasarte were both found guilty by RTC.
April 5 or 6, 19151.Spanish mail steamer Lopez y Lopez arrived in Manila fr. Spain. Among itscargo were 25 barrels manifested as wine consigned to/for Lasarte.2.Beliso, a wine merchant, delivered the shipper’s invoice & bill of landing forthe shipment to customs broker Gregorio Cansipit. These documents wereendorsed & signed by Lasarte ordering shipment’s delivery to Beliso.3.Barrels were delivered to Beliso’s warehouse in 203 Calle San Anton,Manila. Beliso signed paper acknowledging delivery.
Customs officials became suspicious because they have noticed that “wine” shipments have been consigned to persons who were not listed as merchants.They doubted nature of merchandise too. So they investigated.
April 10, 1915: they traced 25 barrels to Beliso’s warehouse. Their investigationrevealed that:1.Delivery of barrels began on morning of April 9 at around 11 am loaded onbull carts.2.Before merchandise arrived, Pons went to the warehouse & spoke w/Beliso.Pons left & afterwards barrel arrived & unloaded in Beliso’s warehouse.3.Cornelius Sese: ordered by Beliso to deliver 5 carefully selected barrels toPons at 144 Calle Gen. Solano. He did as ordered.4.Customs agents arrived on Apr 10 before office was opened & they waitedfor Beliso. They arrested Sese who was already there. They separated thebarrels from the last shipment from other merchandise in the warehouse.They learned that only 20 of the 25 were there & they learned theaforementioned facts from Sese.5.Agents + Sese went to Pons’ place. They found 5 empty barrels. Theyfound empty tins, baskets of lime & 77 TINS OF OPIUM IN ONE OF THESEBASKETS. No one was home then though they found clothing w/initials JP.They later on learned that Mariano Limjap owned house, rented by F.C.Garcia. Lease was signed FC Garcia by Pons.6.They returned to Beliso’s house & selected 3 barrels & ordered their returnto customhouse. Upon opening, they found large tins in each barrelcontaining 75 small tins of opium. Large tins were similar to those found nPons’ place.7.Beliso was arrested & confessed participation in the smuggling of opiumhowever, he claimed that those found w/Pons represented the entireimportation.8.Pons was likewise arrested. He showed officers how to open barrels & pointed to marker at the end of barrel w/c indicated that such containedopium. He further stated that he delivered 250 tins of opium from recentshipment to a Chinaman on April 10 at 7:30 am. He admitted that he & Beliso had been partners in several opium transactions. When asked reownership of the house in Gen. Solano, he claimed that he leased it, atBeliso’s suggestion, to handle prohibited drug. When asked re FC Garcia,Pons became a schizo: 1) Garcia was a tobacco merchant traveling bet.Isabela & Cagayan. 2) Garcia’s a fictitious person. 3) Garcia is a winemerchant residing in Spain who wrote him a letter asking him to rent ahouse & to retain it until he arrived in RP. Letter arrived along w/recentshipment w/c he destroyed for fear that it would compromise him. Hefurther claimed that the letter informed him that opium was coming inbarrels of wine sent to Beliso by Lasarte & that is the reason why hewanted to get barrels of wine fr Beliso (ang coherent niya noh?).
Pons’ counsel appealed RTC decision invoking Act No. 2381, claiming that underwhich Pons must be punished if found guilty. He claims that such act is null & void because it was passed after the allowable day of legislative session of PhilLegislature of 1914. Supposed last day was Feb. 28 (mandated by Gov Gen’sproclamation) & according to counsel, session was stopped at midnight & actwas passed after midnight or March 1, 1914. However, legislative journalindicates that statute was passed before midnight.
Issues & Ratio:1. WON court can take judicial notice of the journals in this case whereinthere is a dispute re last day of Legislature’s special session w/cdetermines WON Act No. 2381 became a law. - YES
Act No. 1679: Sec. Of Commission (Phil Legislature later on) shall performduties required of the Recorder of the Commission.
Rules 15 & 16, Legislative Procedure of Phil Commission (PC): duty of Sec. Tokeep a correct journal of proceedings of PC. Record proceedings briefly accurately.
P.793, Vol. 7, Commission Journal for 3
rd
Phil Legislature (PL) sessions: Journalfor Sat., Feb. 28, 1914 approved. Adjournment sine die (w/o assigning day forfurther mtg or hearing) of Commission as a Chamber of PL at the hour of midnight on motion of Commissioner Palma.
Above-mentioned journal was published in accordance w/ Act of Congressapproved July 1, 1902, sec. 7 of w/c orders publication of journal.
 
Sec. 275 of Code of Civ. Procedure: official acts of exec, legis, & judic of US & PI shall be judicially recognized by the court w/o introduction of proof. Courtmay receive evidence when it shall find necessary for its own information & may resort for its aid to appropriate books, documents or evidence.
Sec. 313, amended by Sec. 1 Act No. 2210, Code of Civ Procedure: officialdocuments may be proved as (2) proceedings of PC/any legis body or of Congress by journals of those bodies or by published statutes/resolutions or bycopies certified by clerk/sec or printed by their order. Provided that copiessigned by presiding officers & sec of said bodies will be conclusive proof of theprovisions of such Act & due enactment thereof.
US case State ex rel Herron vs. Smith: journals may be noticed by courts indetermining the ques whether a particular bill became a law or not.
1914 journals are not ambiguous or contradictory. PL was adjourned onmidnight of Feb. 28, 1914, sine die.
2. WON courts can look beyond the journal to determine the actual date of adjournment. - NO
Evidence: that w/c proves/disproves any matter in ques or to influence thebelief respecting it.
Conclusive evidence: establishes the fact as in the instance of conclusivepresumptions.
In the case at bar, two opposing evidence are presented in order to prove theenactment of Act No. 2381. Pons’ counsel relies on mere memory/recollectionof witnesses while on the other hand, legislative journals are presented, w/c areact of the Gov’t or sovereign itself.
Legislative journals are as impt as those of the judiciary. Inquiring into theirveracity even if they are clear & explicit would 1) violate the spirit & letter of the organic laws w/c brought Phil gov’t into existence, 2) invade a coordinate & independent dept of gov’t and 3) interfere w/legitimate powers & functions of the legislature.
If Pons’ counsel is correct, resultant evil might be slight compared to that of altering the probative force & charac of legislative records & thereby makingproof of legislative action depend on uncertain oral evidence, liable to loss bydeath/absence & so imperfect on account of treachery of memory. Verity & unimpeachability of legislative records have been established centuries ago inconsideration of pub policy. If we take that away for 1 purpose, it must betaken away for all & evidence of laws of state must rest upon a foundation lesscertain & durable than that afforded by law to many contracts bet privindividuals concerning comparatively trifling matters (Capito vs. Topping).
No case has shown that a court went beyond proceedings recorded in journalsto determine whether a law has been adopted. Imperative reasons of pub policyrequire that the authenticity of laws should rest upon pub memorials of themost permanent charac. Public – all are required to conform to them.Permanent – rt acquired today upon faith of what has been declared to be lawshall not be destroyed tomorrow or at some remote period of time by factsresting only in memory of individuals. (State ex rel. Herron vs. Smith)
US jurisprudence are applicable, there being no RP jurisprudence on this matter& Phil Consti is modeled after US Federal gov’t & various states. Thus, journalrecords w/c provide that legislature adjourned at midnight on Feb. 28, 1914 isrespected.(Main idea is that proof of legislative proceedings such as the enactment of lawsshould be based on recorded materials w/c come from the legislative body itself,duly signed/authenticated/certified by the officer in-charge of doing so. We cannotrely on testimonies of other people based merely on memory. This is in accordancew/public policy.)
Held: Act No. 2381 is valid. RTC decision affirmed.Astorga vs. Villegas [April 30, 1974]
Original Action in the Supreme Court. Mandamus, injunction and/or  prohibition with preliminary mandatory prohibitory injunction.
Facts:
House Bull No. 9266 which was filed in the House of Representatives passed on3
rd
reading without amendments
It was sent to the Senate for concurrence and it was referred to the appropriateSenate Committee, which recommended approval with a minor amendmentrecommended by Senator Roxas. (instead of the City Engineer it be thePresident Protempore of the Municipal Board who should succeed the Vice-Mayor in case of the latter’s incapacity to act as Mayor.)
When the bill was discussed on the Senate Floor, substantial amendments toSection 1 was introduced by Senator Tolentino, which amendments wereapproved in toto by the Senate.
May 21, 1954 – Secretary of the Senate sent a letter to the House of Representatives that the House Bill had been passed by the Senate by theSenate with amendments. Attached was a certification of the amendment,which was the one recommended by Senator Roxas, and not the Tolentinoamendments which were the ones actually approved by the Senate.
House of Representatives signified their approval.
The printed copies were then certified and attested to by the Secretaries of Senate and House of representatives and the Senate President
The bill with the Roxas amendments were signed by the president of thePhilippines and it was subsequently named RA 4065
It was later made public by Senator Tolentino that the enrolled copy of HB 9266signed into law by the President was a wrong version of the bill actually passedby the Senate and approved on the Senate Floor.
Senate President admitted the mistake in a letter to the President. As a result,the president sent a message to the presiding officer of both houses that hewas officially withdrawing his signature from HB 9266
Mayor of Manila issued circulars ordering the disregard of the provisions of RA4605. He also issued an order recalling 5 members of the city police who hadbeen assigned to the Vice-Mayor presumably under the authority of RA 4065.
Vice Mayor Astorga filed this petition with the court.
Respondents contends that RAA 4065 never became law since it was not the billactually passed by the Senate, and that the entries in the journal of that bodyand not the enrolled bill itself should be decisive in the resolution of the issue.Issue:1.WON the attestation of the presiding officers of Congress is conclusive proof of a bill’s due enactment.2.WON RA 4065 can be considered as valid in the absence of the attestationrequiredHeld

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