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.
The petitions of Joseph E. Estrada challengingthe respondent Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo as the de jure14
President of the Republic are DISMISSED.
GONZALES V NARVASA
GONZAGA-REYES; August 14, 2000
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
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
- 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