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Constitutional Law I Digest

Constitutional Law I Digest

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PRELIMINARIES
ANGARA V ELECTORAL COMMISSIONABAKADA GURO V ERMITA
METHOD AND INTERPRETATION
“ORIGINAL UNDERSTANDING, LEGALREALISM, AND THE INTERPRETATION OFTHIS CONSTITUTION”
ROBERT CLINTON (1987)
“CONSTITUTIONAL EMPIRICISM: QUASI-NEUTRAL PRINCIPLES ANDCONSTITUTIONAL TRUTHS”
 TIMOTHY ZICK (2003)
 ART XVII: REMAKING THECONSTITUTION
“MALOLOS: THE CRISES OF THEREPUBLIC”
 TEODORO AGONCILLO (1997)
“FROM MCKINLEY’S INSTRUCTIONS TOTHE NEW CONSTITUTION: DOCUMENTSON THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTIONALSYSTEM”
VICENTE MENDOZA(SEE LEGAL HISTORY REVIEWER)
MABANAG V LOPEZ VITOGONZALES V COMMISSION ONELECTIONS
; November 9, 1967
TOLENTINO V COMMISSION ONELECTIONS
; October 16, 1971
PLANAS V COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
; January 22, 1973
 JAVELLANA V EXECUTIVE SECRETARY 
; March 31, 1973
SANIDAD V COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
; October 12, 1976
MITRA V COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
; April 4, 1981
LAWYERS’ LEAGUE FOR A BETTERPHILIPPINES V AQUINO
EN BANC; May 22, 1986
FACTS/ISSUES
- Petitioners questioned legitimacy of Aquinogovernment.- Her gov’t was said to be illegal since it was notestablished pursuant to 1973 Consti.- Proclamation No. 3- “…Aquino gov’t is
installed throughdirect exercise of power of the Filipino people
, indefiance of the provisions of 1973 Consti.”- April 10- Court already voted to dismiss.- April 17- Atty. Lozano withdrew petitions and said thatthey would pursue it by extra-judicial methods.
HELD
Petitions have no merit.
(1) Petitioners have
no personalit
and
no cause of action
.(2) Legitimacy of gov’t is NOT justiciable, and is apolitical question where people are the only judge.(3) People have already accepted such gov’t, which is ineffective control of the country, making it a de juregov’t.(4) Community of nations has also accepted it.(5) Eleven members of SC have sworn to uphold lawunder her gov’t.
IN RE: SATURNINO BERMUDEZ
;October 24, 1986
DE LEON V ESGUERRA
; August 31, 1987
SANTIAGO V COMMISSION ONELECTIONS
DAVIDE; March 19, 1997
FACTS
Atty. Jesus Delfin filed to the COMELEC a petition toamend the Constitution through a people’s initiative. Inhis petition, he wanted to amend Sec 4 and 7 of Article6, Sec 4 of Article 7 and Sec 8 of Article 10 in order to liftthe term limits of all elective government officials. Heasks the COMELEC to assist them in gathering thesufficient number of signatures by setting up signaturestations all over the country, as required by COMELECResolution No. 2300. The COMELEC took cognizance of their petition and set the case up for hearing. SenatorRaul Roco then filed a motion to dismiss before theCOMELEC, stating that it was not the initiatory petitionproperly cognizable before the COMELEC. Sen. MiriamDefensor Santiago, on the other hand, filed a special civilaction for prohibition, saying that RA 6735 is deficientinsofar as the initiative for amending the Constitution isconcerned. She further alleges that what the petitionersare willing to propose are not amendments, butrevisions. Thereafter, LABAN, DIK and MABINI filed theirmotions for intervention, arguing on the same points.
ISSUES
1. WON the court can take action of this case despitethere being a pending case before the COMELEC2. WON RA 6735 is an adequate enabling law forpeople’s initiative3. WON the COMELEC resolution no. 2300 is valid4. WON the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction or ingrave abuse of discretion in entertaining the Delfinpetition
HELD
1. Yes. Comelec’s failure to act on roco’s motion todismiss and its insistence to hold on to the petitionrendered ripe and viable the instant petition under sec 2rule 65 of rules of court- Case may be treated as a special civil action forcertiorari since delfin didn’t come up with the minimumnumber of signatures- Court may brush aside technicalities in cases of transcendental importance.2. No. The law is inadequate.- First, in Sec 2 of the Act (Statement and Policy), itseems that the word Constitution was a delayedafterthought. The word Constitution was neithergermane nor relevant to the said section. It only provesthat it is silent to amendments in the constitution.- Second, in the Act does not provide for the contents of a petition for initiative on the constitution.- Third, there is no separate subtitle for initiative for theConstitution.- Therefore, it seems that the main thrust of the act is oninitiative and referendum of national and local laws. Itfailed to provide for details in implementation of initiative on amendments to the Constitution.
 
- Comelec cannot be delegated power, since the law isincomplete as it fails to provides a sufficient policy andstandard for the delegated power.3. No. It only follows that since the RA 6735 isincomplete, it does not have the power to prescribe rulesand regulations on the conduct of initiative onamendments to the Constitution.4. Yes. There was insufficient number of signatures. Also,comelec acquires jurisdiction upon filing of the petition. The delfin petition was only in its initiatory pleading.
Decision
Petition granted
SEPARATE OPINIONPUNO [concur and dissent]
RA 6735 is not defective. The intent of the framers wasto provide for a law for initiative on amendments to theConstitution. (he cited the sponsorship remarks of Roco)
VITUG
 The COMELEC should have dismissed the petition, sinceit did not have the required number of signatures.
FRANCISCO [concur and dissent]
looking at the definition of terms in the said RA, the lawclearly intends to include amendments to theConstitution.
PANGANIBAN
RA 6735 is not perfect but taken together with theConstitution and COMELEC Res. No. 2300, it is sufficientto implement Constitutional initiatives.
RESOLUTION
; 
ESTRADA V DESIERTO
PUNO;
FACTS
- Nature: Writ of Preliminary Injunction againstcomplaints against him until his term is over- May 11, 1998 ~ Estrada was elected President; Arroyowas VP; some 10 million Filipinos voted for Estrada andboth Estrada and Arroyo were to serve a 6-year term.- Oct. 4, 2000 ~ Estrada's "sharp decent from power"began; Chavit Singson, Estrada's long time friend,publicly accused Estrada, Estrada's family and friends of receiving millions of pesos from jueteng lords.- Oct. 5, 2000~ Sen. Teofisto Guingona Jr. delivered aspeech entitled "I ACCUSE" wherein he accused Estradaof receiving 220 million pesos worth of jueteng moneyfrom Gov. Singson from November 1998 till August 200and obtained another 70 million peson on excise tax stillfrom Gov. Singson- The privilege speech was referred by Sen. Drilon to theBlue Ribbon Committee and the Committee on Justice for joint investigation- The House of Reps also decided to investigate theexpose of Gov. Singson.- Reps. Heherson Alvarez, Ernesto Herrera and MichaelDefensor spearheaded the move to impeach Estrada.- Oct. 11, 2000 ~ Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin issued apastoral statement asking Estrada to step down from thepresidency as he had lost the moral authority to govern- Oct. 13, 2000~ CBCP also cried out for Estrada'sresignation- Oct. 17, 2000~ Former Pres. Aquino joined the calls forresignation and former Pres. Ramos joined the chorus aswell.- But before that, on Oct 12, Arroyo already resigned asDSWD Secretary and also asked for Estrada's resignationbut Estrada really held on to his office and refused toresign. (According to J. Puno: "The heat is on.")- November ended with a "big-bang" because onNovember 13, House Speaker Manuel Villar transmittedthe Articles of Impeachment (which was based on thegrounds of bribery, graft and corruption, betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution)signed by 115 representatives to the Senate.- Nov. 20, 2000~ Senate finally opened theimpeachment trial. 21 senators took their oath as judgeswith SC Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr, presiding.- Dec. 7, 2000~ The impeachment trial started.- Dramatic point of the December hearings was thetestimony of Clarissa Ocampo, the SVP of Equitable-PCIBANK. Ocampo testified that she was one foot awayfrom Estrada when he affixed the signature "JoseVelarde" on documents involving a 500 million pesosinvestment account with their bank on Feb 4 2000.- Impeachment trial was adjourned in the spirit of Christmas and when January came, more bombshellswere exploded.> Sec. of Finance Atty. Espiritu testified that Estrada jointly owned BW Resources Corporation with Mr.Dante Tan who was facing charges of insider trading.> Jan. 16, 2001~ with a vote of 11-10, the Senator judges ruled against opening the 2
nd
envelope whichallegedly contained evidence showing that petitionerheld 3.3 billion pesos in a secret bank account underthe name "Jose Velarde."> In short, this resulted to what we know as "EDSA II"- January 19, 2001~ withdrawal of support from theArmed Forces, PNP and mass resignations ensued- Jan 20, 2001~ Estrada surrendered. At 12 nn, CJ Davideadministered the oath to Arroyo as the President of thePhilippines.> Estrada left Malacañang and issued a pressstatement saying that he now leaves MalacañangPalace for the sake of peace and in order to begin thehealing process of our nation.> He also wrote a letter saying that the VP shall be theacting president and said letter was transmitted toformer Speaker Fuentebella and Sen. Pres. Pimentel.- Jan 21, 2001~ Arroyo discharged the powers and dutiesof the Presidency. The SC issued a resolution, whichconfirmed the authority given by the 12 members of theCourt then present to the Chief Justice to administer theoath of office to GMA.- Jan. 24, 2001~ Despite the receipt of Estrada's letter,House of Reps. passed House Resolution No. 175experiencing full support to GMA's administration andalso HR no. 176- Feb 7, 2001~ Despite receipt of Estrada's letterclaiming inability, Senate passed Resolution No. 82confirming GMA's nomination of Teofisto Guingona as VPand the Senate's support of the new gov't. and also inthe same date, Senate passed Res. No. 83 recognizingthat the impeachment court is
functus offictio.
- Feb. 8, 2001~ Senate passed Res. No. 84 certifyingvacancy in the Senate.- Feb 15, 2001- CJ Davide and J. Panganiban inhibitedthemselves from participating in this case as perSaguisag's motion. They of course debunked his charge"that they have compromised their weight on one side"but nonetheless recused themselves.
ISSUES
1. WON the petitions present a justiciable controversy2. WON the petitioner resigned as president3. WON the petitioner is only temporarily unable to actas president4. WON the petitioner enjoys immunity from suit (andassuming he enjoys immunity, the extent of theimmunity)5. WON the prosecution of petitioner Estrada should beenjoined due to prejudicial publicity.
HELD
1. The Court shall consider as justiciable the issue of WON the change in the presidency was done in themanner prescribed by the 1987 Constitution.
(In this part, the ponente differentiated EDSA I from EDSA IIsaying that EDSA I was a revolution, change of  presidency was done extra-constitutionally whereasEDSA II was not a revolution, the change was done to anelement of the government only and it was done intra-constitutionally because GMA swore to uphold or protect the 1987 Constitution. Read it if u want a better understanding. Also, the Court is interpreting
 ART IIsec 1,
 
 ART VII Sec 8
and 
 ART VII Sec 11
in this caseso look at those provisions too.
 
 )
2. The Court held that resignation shall be determinedfrom the totality of prior, contemporaneous and
 
posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing amaterial relevance on the issue. (In relation to this, seeArt. VII, Section 8)3. The Court held that the question WON it may reviewand revise the decision of both Houses of Congressrecognizing GMA as the de jure President of thePhilippines is a political one.
(Congress has laid Estrada'sclaim of inability to rest because of its recognition of GMA as president. The issue is a political question and the Court cannot review Congress' decision without violating the principle of separation of powers.)
4. The Court held (shall rule) that the President enjoysimmunity only during his tenure. (Reasoning in the In Re:Bermudez case that the incumbent President is immunefrom suit or from being brought to court during hisperiod of his incumbency and tenure but not beyond.)5. The Court shall rule that to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity, there must be allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced by thebarrage of publicity.
Deicison
 The petitions of Joseph E. Estrada challengingthe respondent Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo as the de jure14
th
President of the Republic are DISMISSED.
GONZALES V NARVASA
GONZAGA-REYES; August 14, 2000
FACTS-
Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform orPCCR was created by then President Joseph Estrada onNov 26, 1998 by virtue of Executive Order No. 43 inorder to “study and recommend proposed amendmentsand/or revisions to the 1987 Constitution, and themanner of implementing the same.”> The PCCR was instructed to complete its task on orbefore June 30, 1999. On Feb 19, 1999, the Presidentissued Executive Order No. 70 which extended thetime frame of the PCCR’s work until Dec 31 1999.> The PCCR submitted its recommendations to thePresident on Dec 20, 1999 and was dissolved by thePresident on the same day.- Ramon Gonzales, in his capacity as citizen andtaxpayer, filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus,assailing the constitutionality of the creation of the PCCRon two grounds:> it is a public office which only the legislature cancreate by way of law> by creating the PCCR, the President is intervening ina process from which he is totally excluded by theConstitution, i.e. the amendment of the fundamentalcharter.- In this regard, Gonzales:> seeks to enjoin the PCCR and the presidentialconsultants, advisers and assistants from acting assuch> seeks to enjoin Exec Sec Ronaldo Zamora fromenforcing their advice and recommendations> seeks to enjoin the Commission on Audit frompassing in audit expenditures for the PCCR and thepresidential consultants, advisers and assistants> prays for an order compelling respondent Zamora tofurnish petitioner with information on certain matters.
ISSUES
1. WON the case has become moot and academic2. WON petitioner has standing as a citizen3. WON petitioner has standing as a taxpayer4. WON the President has power to create positions (70)in the Office of the President and appoint presidentialconsultants (20), advisers (22) and assistants (28)5. WON the Court may issue a writ of mandamusordering Exec Sec Ronaldo Zamora to provide petitionerwith names of executive officials holding multiplepositions in government, copies of their appointments,and a list of the recipients of luxury vehicles seized bythe Bureau of Customs and turned over to Malacañang.
HELD
1.
Ratio
An act is considered moot when it no longerpresents a justiciable controversy because the issuesinvolved have become academic or dead. It is beyondthe scope of judicial power to give advisory opinion.
Obiter 
 The case has already become moot andacademic as the PCCR has already ceased to exist. Relief prayed for by Gonzales (prohibition) is impossible togrant and is an inappropriate remedy as body sought tobe enjoined no longer exists. Any ruling regarding thePCCR would only be in the nature of an advisory opinion.2.
Ratio
A citizen has standing only if he can establishthat he has suffered some actual or threatened injury asa result of the allegedly illegal conduct of thegovernment; the injury is fairly traceable to thechallenged action; and the injury is likely to be redressedby a favorable action.
Obiter 
 The interest of a person assailing theconstitutionality of a statute must be direct andpersonal. He must be able to show that the law is invalid,but also that he has sustained or is in immediate dangerof sustaining some direct injury as a result of itsenforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby insome indefinite way.
1
3.
Ratio
A taxpayer has standing to raise aconstitutional issue when it is established that publicfunds have been disbursed in alleged contravention of the law or the Constitution, the action of which isproperly brought only when there is an exercise byCongress of its taxing or spending power.
Obiter 
Under Sec 7 of EO No 43 which created thePCCR, the amount of P3 million is “appropriated” for itsoperational expenses “to be sourced from the funds of the Office of the President.” The appropriations wereauthorized by the President, not by Congress. In fact,there was no appropriation at all since
appropriation
has
1
in Kilosbayan v Morato citing Valmonte v Phil Charity Sweepstakes Office
been defined ‘as nothing more than the legislativeauthorization prescribed by the Constitution that moneymay be paid out of the Treasury.’ The funds for the PCCRwas taken from the funds intended for the Office of thePresident, in the exercise of the Chief Executive’s powerto transfer funds pursuant to Sec 25 (5) Art VI of Constitution.4. Appointment is not synonymous with creation.- Petitioner does not have the personality to raise thisissue as he has not proven that he has sustained or is indanger of sustaining any injury as a result of theappointment, and he has not alleged the necessary factsto enable the Court to determine if he possesses ataxpayer’s interest.5. As enshrined in Sec 7 of the Bill of Rights, “the right of the people to information on matters of public concernshall be recognized. Access to official records, and todocuments, and papers pertaining to official acts,transactions, or decisions, as well as to governmentresearch data used as basis for policy development,shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitationsas may be provided by law.”- The right to information is a public right, and therequirement of personal interest is satisfied by the merefact that petitioner is a citizen and therefore part of thegeneral public which possesses the right.- “matters of public concern” is a term which“embrace(s) a broad spectrum of subjects which thepublic may want to know, either because these directlyaffect their lives, or simply because such mattersnaturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. In thefinal analysis, it is for the courts to determine in a caseto case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest orimportance, as it relates to or affects the public.”
Decision
Petition is dismissed, with the exception thatrespondent Zamora is ordered to furnish petitioner withinformation requested.
THE PHILIPPINES AS A STATE(ART I, II, IV, V)STATE DEFINED
COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE VCAMPOS RUEDA
FERNANDO; October 29, 1971
FACTS
- Collector of Internal Revenue held Antonio CamposRueda, as administrator of the estate of the late EstrellaSoriano Vda. de Cerdeira, liable for the stun of P161,974.95 as deficiency estate and inheritance taxesfor the transfer of intangible personal properties in thePhilippines, the deceased, a Spanish national having

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