Article VIII Case Digest Constitutional law 1

Mendoza vs People G.R. No. 183891 October 19, 2011 Facts: Romarico Mendoza (petitioner) is a company boss/employer convicted for violating a special law known as the Social Security Condonation Law of 2009 for non-remittance of the Social Security Service (SSS) contributions to his employees. The offense is criminal in nature. Nevertheless, Mendoza admitted his fault, as he said, he acted in good faith. But still, the Court has to render judgment and apply the proper penalty how harsh it may be dura lex sed lex). The Court sentenced Mendoza to an indeterminate prison term. Considering the circumstances, the court the Court transmitted the case to the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, and RECOMMENDS the grant of executive clemency to the petitioner. Issue: Without violating the separation of powers, can the Supreme Court recommend to the President, the grant of executive clemency to a convict? Ruling: The Court the discretion to recommend to the President actions it deems appropriate but are beyond its power when it considers the penalty imposed as excessive. It is clearly stated in the Revised Penal Code which provides; ―Whenever a court has knowledge of any act which it may deem proper to repress and which is not punishable by law, it shall render the proper decision, and shall report to the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, the reasons which induce the court to believe that said act should be made the subject of legislation. In the same way, the court shall submit to the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, such statement as may be deemed proper, without suspending the execution of the sentence, when a strict enforcement of the provisions of this Code would result in the imposition of a clearly excessive penalty, taking into consideration the degree of malice and the injury caused by the offense.‖ People vs. Judge Azarraga GR No. 187117 and 187127 October 12, 2011 Facts: On 7 February 2009, petitioner filed two (2) Informations before RTC of Iloilo City against private respondent Prevendido for violation of R.A. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The cases were raffled to Branch 36, a designated special court pursuant to R.A. 9165, presided by Judge Victor E. Gelvezon but the latter inhibited himself from trying the case as Judge Galvezon had close family ties with Coreen Gemarino, the PDEA operative who conducted the entrapment operation against private respondent. The cases were then reassigned to the other special court, Branch 25, presided by Judge Evelyn E. Salao, who also inhibited herself for the reason that Coreen Gemarino was a cousin; thus, the cases were endorsed to the Office of the Executive Judge for reassignment. Citing Chap. V, Sec. 9 of A.M. No. 03-8-02-SC, Executive Judge Antonio M. Natino ordered the Clerk of Court to forward the entire records of the cases to Branch 37 presided over by public respondent, the pairing judge of Branch 36, which was the special court that originally handled the cases. Issue: Did the Supreme Court violate Sec. 90 of RA 9165 when it issued AM 03-8-02-SC, particularly Ch. 5, Sec. 9, which prescribes the manner in which the executive judge reassigns cases in instances of inhibition or disqualification of judges sitting in special courts? Ruling: No. The Supreme Court did not commit any violation of R.A. 9165 when it issued the assailed guidelines. Rather, it merely obeyed Article VIII, Sec. 5(5) of the 1987 Constitution, which mandates that the rules promulgated by the SC should provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, in conformity with the right of all persons to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies. Under R.A. 9165, Congress empowered the Supreme Court with the full discretion to designate special courts to hear, try and decide drug cases. It was precisely in the exercise of this discretionary power that the powers of the executive judge were included in Chap. V,

Sec. 9 of A.M. No. 03-8-02-SC vis-à-vis Sec. 5(5) of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. Thus, in cases of inhibition or disqualification, the executive judge is mandated to assign the drug case to a regular court in the following order: first, to the pairing judge of the special court where the case was originally assigned; and, second, if the pairing judge is likewise disqualified or has inhibited himself, then to another regular court through a raffle. Under these exceptional circumstances, the SC designated the regular court, ipso facto, as a special court – but only for that case. Being a ―designated special court,‖ it is likewise bound to follow the relevant rules in trying and deciding the drug case pursuant to R.A. 9165 Re: Entitlement to Hazard Pay of SC Medical and Dental Clinic Personnel AM No. 03-09-02-56 November 27, 2008 572 SCRA 1 Facts: The SC medical and dental services division was entitled through hazard pay through RA 7305 also known as the Magna Carta for Public Workers. This paved the way for the issuance Of Administration Circular no. 57 – 2004 which prescribed the guidelines of the grant of hazard allowance in favor of the SCMDS personnel. The circular initially classified SCMDS employees according to levels of exposure to health hazards and not on salary grades alone. But DOH abolished the classification and declared that a uniform hazard pay rate should be given without regard for the nature of the risks and hazards to which they are exposed. Thus, SMBS personnel requested that the hazard pay must be granted. Issue: Does the DBM have authority to review Supreme Court issuances relative to court personnel on matters of compensation? Ruling: The role of the DBM is ―supervisorial in nature.‖ Its man duty is to ascertain that the proposed compensation, benefits, and other incentives to be given to officials and employees adhere to the policies and guidelines issued in accordance with applicable laws. Thus, its authority to review SC issuances is relative to the court personnel on matters of compensation is very limited, circumscribed as it is by the constitution. Fiscal autonomy makes freedom from outside controls pursuant to Article VIII, Section 3.The court in its ruling has to deny the request because the subject circular cannot be amended according to the mechanism of hazard pay allocation under AO 2006 – 0011. De Castro vs. JBC (G.R. No. 191002, April 20, 2010) FACTS: This is a Motion for Reconsideration on the March 17, 2010 decision of the Court. The said decision directs the Judicial and Bar Council to resume its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill the vacancy created by the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by May 17, 2010, and to prepare the short list of nominees and submit it to the incumbent President. Movants argue that the disputed constitutional provision, Art. VII, Sec. 15 and Art. VIII, Sec. 4(1), clearly intended the ban on midnight appointments to cover the members of the Judiciary, and they contended that the principle of stare decisis is controlling, and insisted that the Court erred in disobeying or abandoning the Valenzuela ruling. ISSUE (Section 4): Did the Constitutional Commission extend to the Judiciary the ban on presidential appointments during the period stated in Sec. 15, Article VII? RULING: The Constitutional Commission did not extend to the Judiciary the ban on presidential appointments during the period stated in Sec. 15, Art. VII. The deliberations that the dissent of Justice Carpio Morales quoted from the records of the Constitutional Commission did not concern either Sec. 15, Art. VII or Sec. 4(1), Art. VIII, but only Sec. 13, Art. VII, a provision on nepotism. Election ban on appointments does not extend to the Supreme Court. The Court upheld its March 17, 2010 decision ruling that the prohibition under Art. VII, Sec. 15 of the Constitution against presidential appointments immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the term of the outgoing president does not apply to vacancies in the Supreme Court. League of Cities vs. COMELEC GR No. 176951 February 15, 2011

Facts: This is a motion for consideration of the case, League of Cities of the Phil. rep by LCP National President Jerry P. Trenas, et al. Vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 176951/G.R. No. 177499/G.R. No.178056. These cases were initiated by the consolidated petitions for prohibition filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), City of Iloilo, City of Calbayog, and Jerry P. Treñas, assailing the constitutionality of the sixteen (16) laws, each converting the municipality covered thereby into a component city (Cityhood Laws), and seeking to enjoin the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from conducting plebiscites pursuant to the subject laws. Arguing therein that a determination of the issue of constitutionality of the 16 Cityhood Laws upon a motion for reconsideration by an equally divided vote was not binding on the Court as a valid precedent, citing the separate opinion of then Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno in Lambino v. Commission on Elections. It appears that the petitioners assail the jurisdiction of the Court in promulgating the February 15, 2011 Resolution, claiming that the decision herein had long become final and executory. They state that the Court thereby violated rules of procedure, and the principles of res judicata and immutability of final judgments. Issue: Did the Supreme Court violate the rules of procedure, the principles of res judicata and immutability of final judgments? Ruling: No. The Court disagrees with the petitioners. It is worth repeating that the actions taken herein were made by the Court en banc strictly in accordance with the Rules of Court and its internal procedures. There has been no irregularity attending or tainting the proceedings. It is also relevant to state that the Court has frequently disencumbered itself under extraordinary circumstances from the shackles of technicality in order to render just and equitable relief. On whether the principle of immutability of judgments and bar by res judicata apply herein, suffice it to state that the succession of the events recounted herein indicates that the controversy about the 16 Cityhood Laws has not yet been resolved with finality. As such, the operation of the principle of immutability of judgments did not yet come into play. For the same reason is an adherence to the doctrine of res judicata not yet warranted, especially considering that the precedential ruling for this case needed to be revisited and set with certainty and finality. De Castro vs. JBC (G.R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010) FACTS: Chief Justice Renato S. Puno was to compulsorily retire by May 17, 2010 and prior to that retirement was the May 10, 2010 Presidential elections. This occurrence gave way to legal questions: 1. May the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) resume the process of screening the candidates nominated and submit the list of nominees to the incumbent President even during the period of the prohibition under Section 15, Article VII – Sec. 15, Art VII of the Constitution bans the President or Acting President from making appointments within two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety ; 2. what is the relevance of Sec. 4, Art VIII of the Constitution – Any vacancy in the SC shall be filled within 90 days from the occurrence thereof; 3. Does mandamus lie to compel the submission of the shortlist of nominees by the JBC? ISSUE (Section 5): Prior to its vacancy, does the issue of who can appoint the successor of Chief Justice Puno, present an actual controversy and, thus, ripe for adjudication? RULING: Yes. The issue presents an actual controversy and it is ripe for adjudication. Although the position is not yet vacant, the fact that the JBC began the process of nomination pursuant to its rules and practices, although it has yet to decide whether to submit the list of nominees to the incumbent outgoing President or to the next President, makes the situation ripe for judicial determination, because the next steps are the public interview of the candidates, the preparation of the short list of candidates, and the ―interview of constitutional experts, as may be needed. The ripeness of the controversy for judicial determination may not be doubted. There is no need to await the occurrence of the vacancy by May 17, 2010 in order for the principal issue to ripe for judicial determination by the Court.

Pormento v. Estrada and COMELEC G.R. No. 191988 August 31, 2010 Facts: Joseph Estrada was elected President of the Republic of the Philippines in the general elections held on May 11, 1998. He was however ousted [―resigned‖ according to the decision of the Supreme Court in Private respondent Estrada vs. Arroyo, G.R. No.

146738, March 2, 2001] from office and was not able to finish his term. He sought the presidency again in the general elections held on May 10, 2010. Petitioner Atty. Evillo C. Pormento opposed Erap‘s candidacy and filed a petition for the latter‘s disqualification, which was however denied by the COMELEC 2nd Division. His motion for reconsideration was subsequently denied by the COMELEC en banc. Petitioner filed the instant petition for certiorari on May 7, 2010. However, under the Rules of Court, the filing of such petition would not stay the execution of the judgment, final order or resolution of the COMELEC that is sought to be reviewed. Besides, petitioner did not even pray for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction. Hence, private respondent was able to participate as a candidate for the position of President in the May 10, 2010 elections where he garnered the second highest number of votes. Issue: Does the challenge on Estrada‘s qualification to run again for president an actual controversy? Ruling: NO, one of the essential requisites for the exercise of the power of judicial review, the existence of an actual case or controversy, is sorely lacking in this case.An action is considered ―moot‖ when it no longer presents a justiciable controversy because the issues involved have become academic or dead or when the matter in dispute has already been resolved and hence, one is not entitled to judicial intervention unless the issue is likely to be raised again between the parties. There is nothing for the court to resolve as the determination thereof has been overtaken by subsequent events.Assuming an actual case or controversy existed prior to the proclamation of a President who has been duly elected in the May 10, 2010 elections, the same is no longer true today. Following the results of that elections, private respondent was not elected President for the second time. Thus, any discussion of his ―reelection‖ will simply be hypothetical and speculative. It will serve no useful or practical purpose. VINUYA V. ROMULO GR 162230 APRIL 28, 2010 FACTS: Members of the MALAYA LOLAS filed to the Supreme Court a petition to compel the Philippine Government through the DOJ, DFA and OSG requesting assistance in filing their claim against the Japanese officials and military officers who ordered the establishment of the ―comfort women‖ stations in the Philippines during WWII. The officials of the Executive Department, however, declined to assist the petitioners for the reason that the individual claims of the victims for compensation had already been fully satisfied by Japan‘s compliance with the Peace Treaty between the Philippines and Japan. ISSUE: Are all cases implicating foreign relations present political questions depriving the courts the authority to construe or invalidate treaties and executive agreements? RULING: Certain types of cases are found to present political questions, one such category involves questions of foreign relations. However, not all cases implicating foreign relations present political questions and courts certainly possess the authority to construe or invalidate treaties and executive agreements. But to the questions whether the Philippine government should espouse claims of its nationals against a foreign government is a foreign relations matter, the authority for which is committed by our Constitution not to the courts but to the political branches. In this case, the Executive Department has already decided that it is to the best interest of the country to waive all claims of the nationals for reparations against Japan in the Treaty of Peace of 1951. Sana vs. CES Board G.R. No. 192926 Nov. 15, 2011 Facts: Before the Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition assailing Executive Order No. 883, series of 2010 (EO 883), which granted Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) rank to eligible lawyers in the executive branch, and a related administrative issuance, Career Executive Service Board (CESB) Resolution No. 870, for violating Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution. Issue: Does the petition assailing executive order no. 883, series of 2010 present a justiciable controversy? Ruling:

No. The factors are not obtained here. The question whether an appointment to a CESO rank of an executive official amounts to an ―appointment‖ for purposes of the constitutional ban on midnight appointment, while potentially recurring, holds no certainty of evading judicial review as the question can be decided even beyond the appointments-ban period under Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution. Indeed, petitioner does not allege to have suffered any violation of a right vested in him under EO 883. He was not among the 13 officials granted CESO ranking by President Arroyo. The CESB itself stated that ―no conferment of CESO rank was ever made by President [Arroyo] in relation to EO 883.‖ Hence, for the Court to nevertheless reach the merits of this petition and determine the constitutionality of EO 883 and CESB Resolution No. 870 despite their unquestioned repeal and the absence of any resulting prejudice to petitioner‘s rights is to depart from its constitutional role of settling ―actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.

Hda. Luisita vs. PARC G.R. No. 171101 Nov. 22, 2011

Facts: This case is a petition filed by HLI and affirming Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) Resolution No. 2005-32-01 dated December 22, 2005 and PARC Resolution No. 2006-34-01 dated May 3, 2006 with the modification that the original 6,296 qualified farmworker-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita (FWBs) shall have the option to remain as stockholders of HLI. Issue: Does the operative fact doctrine apply only to laws subsequently declared unconstitutional or unlawful, and not to executive acts subsequently declared as invalid? Ruling: The operative fact doctrine does not only apply to laws subsequently declared unconstitutional or unlawful, as it also applies to executive acts subsequently declared as invalid. The Court rejected the view that the applicability of the operative fact doctrine should be limited to statutes and rules and regulations issued by the executive department that are accorded the same status as that of a statute or those which are quasi-legislative in nature. While orders, rules and regulations issued by the President or the executive branch have fixed definitions and meaning in the Administrative Code and jurisprudence, the phrase ―executive act‖ does not h ave such specific definition under existing laws. The term ―executive act‖ is broad enough to encompass decisions of administrative bodies and agencies under the executive department which are subsequently revoked by the agency in question or nullified by the Court. Even assuming that the operative fact doctrine applies only to executive issuances like orders and rules and regulations, said principle can nonetheless be applied, by analogy, to decisions made by the President or the agencies under the executive department. This doctrine, in the interest of justice and equity, can be applied liberally and in a broad sense to encompass said decisions of the executive branch.

BOAC vs. Cadapan GR No. 184461-62 May 31, 2011 FACTS: Following the abduction of Sherlyn Cadapan (Sherlyn), Karen Empeño(Karen) and Manuel Merino (Merino) by armed men from a house in San Miguel, Hagonoy, Bulacan, spouses Asher and Erlinda Cadapan (Spouses Cadapan) and Concepcion Empeño (Empeño) filed a petition for habeas corpus before the Court, impeding then Generals Romeo Tolentino and Jovito Palparan, Lt. Col. Rogelio Boac, Arnel Enriquez and Lt. Francis Mirabelle Samson as respondents. By Resolution of the Court, a writ of habeas corpus was issued, returnable to the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals. By Return of the Writ, the respondents in the habeas corpus petition denied that Sherlyn, Karen and Merino are in the custody of the military. To the Return were attached affidavits from the respondents, except Enriquez, who all attested that they do not know Sherlyn, Karen and Merino; that they had inquired from their subordinates about the reported abduction. By Return of the Writ, the respondents in the habeas corpus petition denied that Sherlyn, Karen and Merino are in the custody of the military. To the Return were attached affidavits from the respondents, except Enriquez, who all attested that they do not know Sherlyn, Karen and Merino; that they had inquired from their subordinates about the reported abduction and disappearance of the three yielded to nothing. In reconsidering the decision on the habeas corpus case, the Court relied heavily on the testimony of Manalo. It held that there is now a clear and credible evidence that the three missing persons, (Sherlyn,

Karen and Merino), are being detained in military camps and bases under the7th Infantry Division. Being not held for a lawful cause they should immediately be released from detention. In the amparo case, the appellate court deemed it a superfluity to issue any inspection order or production order in light of the release order. As it earlier ruled in the habeas corpus case, it found that the three detainees‘ right to life, liberty and security was being violated, hence, the need to immediately release them, or cause thei r release. The appellate court went on to direct the PNP to proceed further with its investigation since there were enough leads as indicated in the records to ascertain the truth and file the appropriate charges against those responsible for the abduction and detention of the three. ISSUES Whether or not there is a need to file a motion for execution in a Habeas Corpus decision or in an Amparo case to cause the release of the aggrieved parties. RULING No. There is no need to file a motion for execution for an amparo or a habeas corpus decision. An amparo proceeding is not criminal in nature nor does it ascertain the criminal liabilities of individuals involved. Neither is it a administrative or civil suit. Rather it is a remedial measure designed to courses of action to government agencies to safeguard the constitutional right to life, liberty and security of aggrieved individuals. Contrary to the ruling of the appellate court, there is no need to file a motion for execution for an Amparo or habeas corpus decision. Since the right to life, liberty and security of a person is at stake, the proceedings should not be delayed and execution of any decision thereon must be expedited as soon as possible since any form of delay, even for a day, may jeopardize the very rights that these writs seek to immediately protect. The Solicitor General‘s argument that the Rules of Court supplement theRule on the Writ of Amparo is misplaced. The Rules of Court only find suppletory application in an Amparo proceeding if the Rules strengthen, rather than weaken, the procedural efficacy of the writ. As it is, the Rule dispenses with dilatory motions in view of the urgency in securing the life, liberty or security of the aggrieved party. Cadiz vs. Gacott GR 178941 April 27, 2011 Facts: On February 23, 2003 the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of Governors, then composed of petitioners Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz, et al, received an administrative complaint1 filed by Lilia T. Ventura and Concepcion Tabang against respondent Atty. Glenn C. Gacott for gross misconduct, deceit, and gross dishonesty. The IBP Board designated petitioner Lydia A. Navarro, also a member of the IBP as Commissioner to investigate the case. Navarro summoned the parties to a mandatory conference and required them afterwards to submit their position papers as basis for her Report and Recommendation to the IBP Board. The IBP Board adopted Navarro‘s findings but increased the recommended penalty of six months suspension from the practice of law to disbarment. On September 29, 2004, the Court remanded the case to the IBP Board for further proceedings The Court said the investigating commissioner should have subpoenaed and examined the witnesses. Navarro rendered her report based solely on the position papers and affidavits of the witnesses. Atty. Gacott filed a complaint for damages against the board‘s sitting members before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. the IBP Board raised the affirmative defense of failure of the complaint to state a cause of action and filed a motion to dismiss the case on that ground. On March 9, 2006 the trial court denied the motion, prompting the IBP Board to elevate the case to the Court of Appeals (CA) on special civil action for certiorari. But On December 29, 2006 the CA denied the petition, pointing out that the RTC did not commit grave abuse of discretion. Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in failing to rule that the Supreme Court‘s remand of the disbarment case to the IBP Board for examination of the witnesses cannot serve as basis for the latter‘s complaint for damages against the members of that board? Ruling: Atty. Gacott states in his complaint for damages before the RTC that Supreme Court‘s remand of his case to the IBP Board is an affirmation of the latter‘s arbitrary abuse of its investigatory power. The IBP Board recommended his disbarment based on the Commissioner‘s report rendered to it without the benefit of exhaustive hearing. This made its members personally liable for actual, moral, and corrective damages. Essentially, therefore, Atty. Gacott anchored his complaint for damages on the result of the Court‘s assessment of the IBP Board‘s report and recommendation and its remand of the case against him for further proceedings. The petitioner IBP Board members are correct in claiming that Atty. Gacott‘s complaint states no cause of action. The IBP Commissioner and Board of Governors in this case merely exercised delegated powers to investigate the complaint and submit their report and recommendation to the Court. They cannot be charged for honest errors committed in the performance of their quasi-judicial function with the absence of any allegation of specific factual circumstances indicating that they acted maliciously or upon illicit

consideration. WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition, SETS ASIDE the decision dated December 29, 2006 and resolution dated July 12, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP 94692, and ORDERS the complaint for damages filed by respondent Glenn C. Gacott against petitioners Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz et al. in Civil Case 4095 of the Regional Trial Court of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, DISMISSED for failure to state a cause of action. CSC vs. Andal G.R. No. 185749 December 16, 2009 Facts: Herminigildo L. Andal, respondent, holds the position of Security Guard II in the Sandiganbayan. He filed an application to take the Career Service Professional Examination-Computer Assisted Test (CSPE-CAT), was admitted to take the examination, and the result showed that he passed with the rate of 81.03%. However, when Arlene S. Vito who claimed to have been authorized by respondent to secure the results of the examination went to do so, verification and comparison of the pictures attached to the Picture Seat Plan and the identification card of Andal brought by Vito showed dissimilarity in the facial features. Civil Service Commission National Capital Region (CSC-NCR) rendered judgment finding the respondent guilty of dishonesty and imposing upon him the penalty of dismissal from the service. Aggrieved, the respondent appealed, however, it was denied. He then elevated the case to the Court of Appeals (CA), in which the CA ruled in favor of the respondent. The CSC filed a motion for reconsideration in the CA but was denied. Hence, the present petition for reversal of the decision of the CA. Issue: Does the CSC‘s disciplinary jurisdiction extend to court personnel? Ruling: The instant petition is DENIED. The Supreme Court ruled that Section 6, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution vests in the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof, thus: Sec. 6. The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof. By virtue of this power, it is only the Supreme Court that can oversee the judges‘ and court personnel‘s administrative compliance with all laws, rules and regulations. No other branch of government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers. The Supreme Court also emphasized that in case of violation of the Civil Service Law by a court personnel, the standard procedure is for the CSC to bring its complaint against a judicial employee before the Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court, for the filing of the appropriate administrative case against him. OCA vs. Judge (Uyag P.) Usman AM No. SCC-08-12 October 19, 2011 FACTS: A letter-complaint was filed before the Ombudsman requesting a lifestyle check on Judge Usman in connection with his acquisition of a brand new SUV, Kia Sorento EX, in the amount of P1.5M that he allegedly paid in cash, with a down payment of P344,200 and the remaining balance payable in 48 months with a monthly amortization of P34,844.00. The complaint further averred that respondent judge was just recently appointed as a judge and since the assumption of his post, he seldom reported for work and could not be found in the premises. His financial capacity was also questioned, since he is the sole breadwinner in the family, with 7 children, 2 of whom are college students enrolled in a private school. Respondent judge was able to answer all the allegations in the complaint, complete with substantiation requirements and OCA found it meritorious. However, OCA held the respondent judge liable for violation of Section 8 of RA 6713, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and of Section 7 of R.A. No. 3019, known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for failing to file his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN)for the years 20042008. ISSUE: Are judges required to file their Statements of Assets and Liabilities [SALN]? Can they be subjected to lifestyle check? RULING: Yes. The court found Judge Usman guilty for such violation. It is imperative that every public official or government employee must make and submit a complete disclosure of his assets, liabilities and net worth in order to suppress any questionable accumulation of wealth. This serves as the basis of the government and the people in monitoring the income and lifestyle of public officials and

employees in compliance with the constitutional policy to eradicate corruption, to promote transparency in government, and to ensure that all government employees and officials lead just and modest lives, with the end in view of curtailing and minimizing the opportunities for official corruption and maintaining a standard of honesty in the public service. In the present case, respondent clearly violated the above-quoted laws when he failed to file his SALN for the years 2004-2008. He gave no explanation as to why he failed to file his SALN for five (5) consecutive years. While every office in the government service is a public trust, no position exacts a greater demand on moral righteousness and uprightness of an individual than a seat in the Judiciary. Hence, judges are strictly mandated to abide with the law, the Code of Judicial Conduct and with existing administrative policies in order to maintain the faith of our people in the administration of justice.

CONCERNED LAWYERS OF BULACAN VS. JUDGE PORNILLOS AM. NO. RTJ-09-2183, JULY 7, 2009 FACTS: Complainants, Concerned Lawyers of Bulacan, charged respondent Judge Pornillos with having violated RA Nos. 3019 and 6713. The Canons of Judicial Conduct, the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Rules of Court, Rule 140, Sections 1, 8 (Pars. 1-4, 6-9) and 9 (Pars. 2-4) as amended by A.M. No. 01-8-10-SC [1][1] (2001). Complainants alleged that respondent judge has a notorious history of committing graft and corruption, is maintaining amorous relationship with her driver and bodyguards, borrowing money from her staff and other court officers, report to the court only twice a week, obtained loans from court personnel and lawyers during the pendency of a case. ISSUE: Will debt-condonation administratively absolved a Judge for borrowing money from lawyer-creditor who has pending case before his sala? RULING: NO. Judge Victoria Villaflor-Pornillos is found guilty of violating paragraph 7, Section 8, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court (borrowing money from a lawyer in a case pending before her court) which is also a grave misconduct constituting violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The impression that respondent would rule in favor of the complainant because the former is indebted to the latter us what the Court seeks to avoid. She is dismissed from service, with forfeiture of all retirement benefits, except acused leave credits will prejudice to re-employment in any government agency or instrumentality. Chavez vs. JBC GR No. 202242 July 17, 2012 FACTS: In 1991, instead of having only seven members, an eight member was added to the JBC as two representatives from Congress began sitting in the JBC – one from the House of Representatives and one from the Senate, with each having one-half (1/2) of a vote. Then, the JBC En Banc, in separate meetings held in 2000 and 2001, decided to allow the representatives from the Senate and the House of Representatives one full vote each. At present, Senator Francis Joseph G. Escudero and Congressman Niel C. Tupas, Jr. (respondents) simultaneously sit in the JBC as representatives of the legislature. It is this practice that petitioner has questioned in this petition. Respondents argued that the crux of the controversy is the phrase ―a representative of Congress.‖ It is their theory that the two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, are permanent and mandatory components of ―Congress,‖ such that the absence of either divests the term of its substantive meaning as expressed under the Constitution. Bicameralism, as the system of choice by the Framers, requires that both houses exercise their respective powers in the performance of its mandated duty which is to legislate. Thus, when Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Constitution speaks of ―a representative from Congress,‖ it should mean one representative each from both Houses which comprise the entire Congress. Respondents further argue that petitioner has no ―real interest‖ in questioning the constitutionality of the JBC‘s current composition. The respondents also question petitioner‘s belated filing of the petition. Issue: Whether or not the current practice of the JBC to perform its functions with eight (8) members, two (2) of whom are members of Congress, runs counter to the letter and spirit of the 1987 Constitution. Ruling:

Yes. The word ―Congress‖ used in Article VIII, Section 8(1) of the Constitution is used in its generic sense. No particular allusion whatsoever is made on whether the Senate or the House of Representatives is being referred to, but that, in either case, only a singular representative may be allowed to sit in the JBC. The seven-member composition of the JBC serves a practical purpose, that is, to provide a solution should there be a stalemate in voting. It is evident that the definition of ―Congress‖ as a bicameral body refers to its primary function in government – to legislate. In the passage of laws, the Constitution is explicit in the distinction of the role of each house in the process. The same holds true in Congress‘ non-legislative powers. An inter-play between the two houses is necessary in the realization of these powers causing a vivid dichotomy that the Court cannot simply discount. This, however, cannot be said in the case of JBC representation because no liaison between the two houses exists in the workings of the JBC. Hence, the term ―Congress‖ must be taken to mean the entire legislative departm ent. The Constitution mandates that the JBC be composed of seven (7) members only. Notwithstanding its finding of unconstitutionality in the current composition of the JBC, all its prior official actions are nonetheless valid. Under the doctrine of operative facts, actions previous to the declaration of unconstitutionality are legally recognized. They are not nullified.

MAKALINTAL VS PET G.R. No. 191618, Nov. 23, 2010 FACTS: The case at bar is an undesignated petition filed by Atty. Romulo Makalintal that questions the constitutionality of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) as an illegal and unauthorized progeny of Sec. 4, Art VII of the Constitution. He contended that the creation of a purportedly ―separate tribunal‖ complemented by a budget allocation, a seal as set of personnel and confidential employees, to effect the constitutional mandate. ISSUE: With the adoption of a separate seal, as well as the change in the nomenclature of the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices into Chairman and members of the Tribunal, etc., is the Presidential Electoral Tribunal independent and separate from the Supreme Court? RULING: In a 32-page En Banc decision penned by Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura, the court held that the PET is not a separate and distinct entity from it even though the PET has functions peculiar only to it. It declared that ―the PET was constituted in implementation of Section 4, Article VIII of the Constitution, and it faithfully complies – not unlawfully defies – the constitutional directive. The adoption of a separate seal, as well as the change in the nomenclature of the Chief Justice and the associate justices into Chairman and members of the tribunal, respectively, was designed simply to highlight the singularity and exclusivity of the Tribunal‘s functions as a special electoral court. The PET as intended by the framers of the Constitution, is to be an institution independent, but not separate, from the judicial department, i.e., the Supreme Court.

IN THE MATTER OF THE CHARGES OF PLAGIARISM AGAINST JUSTICE DEL CASTILLO (A.M. No. 10-7-17-80, October 12, 2010) FACTS: Justice Mariano del Castillo wrote the decision for the Court on the case of petitioners Isabelita. Vinuya and about 70 other elderly women all members of the Malaya Lola‘s Organization, filed with the Court, a special civil action for certiorari with application for preliminary mandatory injuction against the executive secretary, the Secretary of Forreign Affairs, the secretary of Justice, and the office of the Solicitor General. Their petition was denied. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the court‘s decision. More than 2 months later on counsel for petitioners, Atty. Roque Jr. announced in his online blog that his clients would file a supplemental petition ―detailing plagiarism committed by the Court.‖ ISSUE: Whether or not Justice Del Castillo plagiarized published works of authors Tams, Criddle-Descent, and Elllis? Whether or not Del Castillo twisted the works of these authors to make it appear that such works supported the Court‘s position in the Vinuy a decision? RULING: The Supreme Court ruled that del Castillo did not commit plagiarism because when his researcher ―cut‖ research materials from a law website and ―pasted‖ them on the decision once in manuscript, the attributions were ―accidentally deleted‖. The Supreme Court said the allegation is baseless because the lifted portions only provided background facts and that the change or ―twisting‖ or misrepresentation against him is to say the least, unkind. To be more accurate, however, SC claimed the charge is reckless and obtuse.

De Castro vs. JBC (G.R. No. 191002, April 20, 2010) FACTS: This is a Motion for Reconsideration on the March 17, 2010 decision of the Court. The said decision directs the Judicial and Bar Council to resume its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill the vacancy created by the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by May 17, 2010, and to prepare the short list of nominees and submit it to the incumbent President. Movants argue that the disputed constitutional provision, Art. VII, Sec. 15 and Art. VIII, Sec. 4(1), clearly intended the ban on midnight

appointments to cover the members of the Judiciary, and they contended that the principle of stare decisis is controlling, and insisted that the Court erred in disobeying or abandoning the Valenzuela ruling. ISSUE (Section 14): Is the Supreme Court bound and controlled by precedents? RULING: The Supreme Court, as the highest court of the land, may be guided but is not controlled by precedent. Thus, the Court is not obliged to follow blindly a particular decision that it determines, after re-examination, to call for a rectification. The adherence to precedents is strict and rigid in a common-law setting, but ours is not a common-law system; hence, judicial precedents are not always strictly and rigidly followed. A judicial pronouncement in an earlier decision may be followed as a precedent in a subsequent case only when its reasoning and justification are relevant. The Constitution itself recognizes the innate authority of the Court en banc to modify or reverse a doctrine or principle of law laid down in any decision rendered en banc or in division.

Re: Petition for Radio and Television Coverage of the Maguindanao Massacre Trial AM No. 10-11-5-SC June 14, 2011 FACTS: Petitioners seek the lifting of the absolute ban on live television and radio coverage of court proceedings of the Maguindanao Massacre. They principally urge the Court to revisit the 1991 ruling in Re: Live TV and Radio Coverage of the Hearing of President Corazon C. Aquino‘s Libel Case and the 2001 ruling in Re: Request Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial in the Sandiganbayan of the Plunder Cases Against the Former President Joseph E. Estrada which were rulings that violated the doctrine that proposed restrictions on constitutional rights that are to be narrowly construed and outright prohibition cannot stand when regulation is a viable alternative. Petitioners state that the trial cases has attracted intense media coverage due to the gruesomeness of the crime, prominence of the accused, and the number of media personnel killed. They inform that reporters are being frisked and searched for cameras, recorders, and cellular devices upon entry, and that under strict orders of the trial court against live broadcast coverage, the number of media practitioners allowed inside the courtroom has been limited to one reporter for each media institution. The record shows that NUJP Vice-Chairperson Jose Jaime Espina, by January 12, 2010 letter to Judge Solis-Reyes, requested a dialogue to discuss concerns over media coverage of the proceedings of the Maguindanao Massacre cases. Judge Solis-Reyes replied, however, that ―matters concerning media coverage should be brought to the Court‘s attention through appropriate motion. ISSUE: Can there be live broadcast by television and radio of the trial court proceedings? RULING: Yes. The Court partially granted pro hac vice (for this occasion) petitioners‘ prayer for a live broadcast of the trial court proceedings. According to the ruling penned by Conchita Carpio-Morales, the indication of ―serious risks‖ posed by live media coverage to the accused‘s right to due process, left unexplained and unexplored in the era obtaining in Aquino and Estrada, has left a blow to the exercise of press freedom and the right to public information. In this day and age, it is about time to craft a win-win situation that shall not compromise rights in the criminal administration of justice, sacrifice press freedom and allied rights, and interfere with the integrity, dignity and solemnity of judicial proceedings. Compliance with regulations, not curtailment of a right, provides a workable solution to the concerns raised in these administrative matters, while, at the same time, maintaining the same underlying principles upheld in the two aforementioned cases.

AGOY VS. ARANETA G.R. No. 196358, March 21, 2012 FACTS Agoy doubted the authenticity of the copy of the minute resolution that he received through counsel since he promptly filed a motion to rescind the same and to have his case resolved on its merits via a regular resolution or decision signed by the Justices who took part in the deliberation. In a related development, someone claiming to be Agoy‘s attorney-in-fact requested an investigation of the issuance of the resolution of June 15, 2011.

Agoy filed a motion to rescind the same or have his case resolved by the Court En Banc pursuant to Section 13 in relation to Sec. 4(3), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. Agoy reiterated his view that the Court cannot decide his petition by a minute resolution. ISSUE: Do minute resolutions of the Supreme Court comply with Sec. 14, Article VIII? Ruling: YES. With the promulgation of its Internal Rules, the Court itself has defined the instances when cases are to be adjudicated by decision, signed resolution, unsigned resolution or minute resolution.[4] Among those instances when a minute resolution shall issue is when the Court ―denies a petition filed under Rule 45 of the [Rules of Court], citing as legal basis the absence of reversible error committed in the challenged decision, resolution, or order of the court below.‖[5] The minute resolutions in this case complied with this requirement. The Court has repeatedly said that minute resolutions dismissing the actions filed before it constitute actual adjudications on the merits. Agoy questions the Court‘s act of treating his motion to rescind as a motion for reconsideration, arguing that it had no basi s for doing so. But the Court was justified in its action since his motion to rescind asked the Court to review the merits of his case again.

STRADCOM vs Laqui G.R. No. 172712 March 21, 2012 Facts: Stradcom is an IT provider contracted by LTO for various interconnectivity projects such as the LTO IT Motor Vehicle Registration System. Furthermore, LTO allows Stradcom to monopolize their operations, eliminating other IT companies. One of those eliminated is DCTECH, thus, they filed a prayer of preliminary injunction and Temporary Restraining Order against LTO in line with their operations involving STRADCOM. Judge Laqui, granted DCTECH‘s request cancelling temporarily Stradcom‘s contract. Aggrieved, Stradcom filed a petition for review on certiorari but the court declared it moot and academic. Issue: When does a case become an academic? What is its effect? What are the exceptions to the moot and academic principle? Ruling: A case becomes moot and academic when, by virtue of supervening events, there is no more actual controversy between the parties and no useful purpose can be served in passing upon the merits. Since they are constituted to pass upon substantial rights, courts of justice will not consider questions where no actual interests are involved. As an effect , courts decline jurisdiction over such cases or dismiss them on the ground of mootness. However, there are exceptions to the moot and academic principle and these are the following conditions: a) There is a grave violation of the Constitution; b) the situation is of exceptional character and paramount public interest is involved; c) the constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and d) the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.

CJ Corona vs. Senate GR No. 200242 July 17, 2012 Facts: Before this Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for immediate issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction filed by the former Chief Justice of this Court, Renato C. Corona, assailing the impeachment case initiated by the respondent Members of the House of Representatives (HOR) and trial being conducted by respondent Senate of the Philippines. The present petition was filed arguing that the Impeachment Court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it: (1) proceeded to trial on the basis of the complaint filed by respondent Representatives which complaint is constitutionally infirm and defective for lack of probable cause; (2) did not strike out the charges discussed in Art. II of the complaint which, aside from being a ―hodge-podge‖ of multiple charges, do not constitute allegations in law, much less ultimate facts, being all premised on suspicion and/or hearsay; assuming arguendo that the retention of Par. 2.3 is correct, the ruling of the Impeachment Court to retain Par. 2.3 effectively allows the introduction of evidence under Par. 2.3, as vehicle to prove Par. 2.4 and therefore its earlier resolution was nothing more than a hollow relief, bringing no real protection to petitioner; (3) allowed the presentation of evidence on charges of alleged corruption and unexplained wealth which violates petitioner‘s right to due process because first, Art. II does not mention ―graft and corruption‖ or unlawfully acquired wealth as grounds for impeachment, and second, it is clear under Sec. 2, Art. XI of the Constitution that ―graft and corruption‖ is a separate and distinct ground from ―culpable violation of the Constitution‖ and ―betrayal

of public trust‖; and (4) issued the subpoena for the production of petitioner‘s alleged bank accounts as requested by the prosecution despite the same being the result of an illegal act (―fruit of the poisonous tree‖) considering that those documents submitted by the prosecution violates the absolute confidentiality of such accounts under Sec. 8 of R.A. No. 6426 (Foreign Currency Deposits Act) which is also penalized under Sec. 10 thereof. Issue: Had the constitutional issues raised in this case been mooted out? Ruling: The impeachment trial had been concluded with the conviction of petitioner by more than the required majority vote of the SenatorJudges. Petitioner immediately accepted the verdict and without any protest vacated his office. In fact, the Judicial and Bar Council is already in the process of screening applicants and nominees, and the President of the Philippines is expected to appoint a new Chief Justice within the prescribed 90-day period from among those candidates shortlisted by the JBC. Unarguably, the constitutional issue raised by petitioner had been mooted by supervening events and his own acts. An issue or a case becomes moot and academic when it ceases to present a justiciable controversy so that a determination thereof would be without practical use and value. In such cases, there is no actual substantial relief to which the petitioner would be entitled to and which would be negated by the dismissal of the petition.

Article XV Digest Constitutional Law 1 Article XV. THE FAMILY Section 1. Filipino Family: Antionio vs Reyes, G.R. No. 155800, March 10, 2006 Facts: Petitioner and respondent met in August 1989 when petitioner was 26 years old and respondent was 36 years of age. Barely a year after their first meeting, they got married before a minister of the Gospel at the Manila City Hall, and through a subsequent church wedding at the Sta. Rosa de Lima Parish, Bagong Ilog, Pasig, Metro Manila on 6 December 1990.6 Out of their union, a child was born on 19 April 1991, who sadly died five (5) months later. On 8 March 1993, petitioner filed a petition to have his marriage to respondent declared null and void. He anchored his petition for nullity on Article 36 of the Family Code alleging that respondent was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage. He asserted that respondent‘s incapacity existed at the time their marriage was celebrated and still subsists up to the present. As manifestations of respondent‘s alleged psychological incapacity, petitioner claimed that respondent persistently lied about herself, the people around her, her occupation, income, educational attainment and other events or things. The RTC gave credence to petitioner‘s evidence and held that respondent‘s propensity to lying about almost anything−her occupation, state of health, singing abilities and her income, among others−had been duly established. According to the trial court, respondent‘s fantastic ability to invent and fabricate stories and personalit ies enabled her to live in a world of make-believe. This made her psychologically incapacitated as it rendered her incapable of giving meaning and significance to her marriage. The CA, however, reversed the decision. Issue: Had the Constitution establish the parameters of state protection to marriage , as a social institution and the foundation of family? Ruling: No. The Constitution itself does not establish the parameters of state protection to marriage as a social institution and the foundation of the family. It remains the province of the legislature to define all legal aspects of marriage and prescribe the strategy and the modalities to protect it, based on whatever socio-political influences it deems proper, and subject of course to the qualification that such legislative enactment itself adheres to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This being the case, it also falls on the legislature to put into operation the constitutional provisions that protect marriage and the family. This has been accomplished at present through the enactment of the Family Code, which defines marriage and the family, spells out the corresponding legal effects, imposes the limitations that affect married and family life, as well as prescribes the grounds for declaration of nullity and those for legal separation. While it may appear that the judicial denial of a petition for declaration of nullity is reflective of the constitutional mandate to protect marriage, such action in fact merely enforces a statutory definition of marriage, not a constitutionally ordained decree of what marriage is. Indeed, if circumstances warrant, Sections 1 and 2 of Article XV need not be the only constitutional considerations to be taken into account in resolving a petition for declaration of nullity. Section 2. Marriage: Republic vs Orbecido, G.R. No. 154380, October 5, 2005

Facts: On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros Villanueva at the UCCP in Ozamis City. Their marriage was blessed with a son and a daughter. In 1986, Cipriano‘s wife left for the US bringing along their son. A few years later, Cip riano discovered that his wife had obtained a divorce decree and then married a certain innocent Stanley. Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code. No opposition was filed. Issue: Given a valid marriage between two Filipino citizens, where one party is later naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a valid divorce decree capacitating him or her to remarry, can the Filipino spouse likewise remarry under Philippine law? Ruling: Yes. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner; and a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry. The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry. In this case, when Cipriano‘s wife was naturalized as an American citizen, there was still a valid marriage that has been celebrated between her and Cipriano. As fate would have it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently obtained a valid divorce capacitating her to remarry. Cipriano, the ―Divorced‖ Filipino spouse should be allowed to remarry. Rumbaua vs. Rumbaua, GR 166738, August 14, 2009 FACTS: The present petition traces its roots to the petitioner‘s complaint for the declaration of nullity of marriage against the respondent before the RTC, docketed as civil case np. 767. The petitioner alleged that the respondent was psychologically incapacitated to exercise the essential obligations of marriage as shown by the following circumstances: the respondent reneged on his promise to be true with her under one roof after finding work; he failed to extend financial support to her; he blamed her for his mother‘s death; he represented himself as single in his transactions; and he pretended to be working in Davao, although he was cohabiting with another woman. ISSUE: What are the definitive guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code? RULING: We laid down more definitive guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code in Republic v. CA where said: 1.) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and nullity. 2.) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be medically or clinically identified, alleged in the complaint, sufficiently proven by experts and clearly explained in the decision. 3.) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage. 4.) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable. 5.) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage. 6.) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 up to 71 of the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as Article 220, 221, and 225 of the same code in regard to parents and their children. Such non-complied marital obligations must also be stated in the petition, proven by evidence and included in the text of the decision. 7.) Interpretations given by the national appellate matrimonial tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling on decisive, should be given great respect by our courts. 8.) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the State. No decision shall be handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a certification which will be quoted in the decision, briefly stating therein his reasons for his agreement or opposition as the case may be to the petition. BOLOS VS. BOLOS, G.R. No. 186400, October 20, 2010 Facts: On July 10, 2003, petitioner Cynthia Bolos filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage to respondent Danilo Bolos under Article 36 of the Family Code. After trial on the merits, the RTC granted the petition for annulment in a Decision, dated August 2, 2006, with the following disposition: WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered declaring the marriage between petitioner CYNTHIA S. BOLOS and respondent DANILO T. BOLOS celebrated on February 14, 1980 as null and void ab initio on the ground of psychological incapacity on the part of both petitioner and respondent under Article 36 of the Family Code with all the legal consequences provided by law. A copy of said decision was received by Danilo on August 25, 2006. He timely filed the Notice of Appeal on September 11, 2006. In an order dated September 19, 2006, the RTC denied due course to the appeal for Danilo‘s failure to file the required motion for reconsideration or new trial, in violation of Section 20 of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages. On November 23, 2006, a motion to reconsider the denial of Danilo‘s appeal was likewise deni ed. On January 16, 2007, the RTC issued the order declaring its August 2, 2006 decision final and executory and granting the Motion for Entry of Judgment filed by Cynthia. Issue: a.) Does A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC to marriages before the Family Code took effect? b.) Does the break-up of families consistent with the inviolability of marriage?

Ruling: a.) The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages as contained in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC which the Court promulgated on March 15, 2003, is explicit in its scope. Section 1 of the Rule, in fact, reads: Section 1. Scope This Rule shall govern petitions for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages and annulment of voidable marriages under the Family Code of the Philippines. The coverage extends only to those marriages entered into during the effectivity of the Family Code which took effect on August 3, 1988. The rule sets a demarcation line between marriages covered by the Family Code and those solemnized under the Civil Code. b.) The 1987 Constitution recognizes marriage as an inviolable social institution. This constitutional policy is echoed in our Family Code. Article 1 thereof emphasizes its permanence and inviolability, This Court is not unmindful of the constitutional policy to protect and strengthen the family as the basic autonomous social institution and marriage as the foundation of the family. Our family law is based on the policy that marriage is not a mere contract, but a social institution in which the State is vitally interested. The State finds no stronger anchor than on good, solid and happy families. The break - up of families weakens our social and moral fabric and, hence, their preservation is not the concern alone of the family members. Aurelio vs Aurelio, G. R. No. 175367, June 6, 2011 Facts: Petitioner Danilo Aurelio and respondent Vda. Ma. Corazon Aurelio were married on March 23, 1988. They have two sons, namely: Danilo Miguel and Danilo Gabriel. On May 9, 2002, respondent filed with the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 94, a petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage. In her petition, respondent alleged that both she and petitioner were psychologically incapacitated of performing and complying with their respective essential marital obligations. In addition, respondent alleged that such state of psychological incapacity was present prior and even during the time of their marriage ceremony. Hence, respondent prays that her marriage be declared null and void under Article 36 of the Family Code. Issue: May the appearance of the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to be waived pursuant to Supreme Court Administrative Matter No. 02-11-10? Ruling: This Court, pursuant to Supreme Court Administrative Matter No. 02-11-10 has modified the Molina guidelines, particularly Section 2(d) thereof, stating that the certification of the Solicitor General required in the Molina case is dispensed with to avoid delay. Still, Article 48 of the Family Code mandates that the appearance of the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned on behalf of the State to take steps to prevent collusion between the parties and to take care that evidence is not fabricated or suppressed.

Article XIV Digest Constitutional Law 1 Article XIV. EDUCATION Section 2. Availability of Quality Education: Superintendent vs Azarcon, G.R. No. 166435, February 11, 2008 Facts: On September 20, 1990, then DECS Secretary Isidro Cariño filed various charged against those teachers who participated in the aforementioned mass action. The respondents were one of them and were later found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and were consequently dismissed. Aggrieved, respondents appealed their dismissal to the MSPB which, however, dismissed their appeal for lack of merit. Respondents elevated the MSPB decision to the CSC. Issue: Does the accessibility to quality education justify teacher‘s re-assignment? Ruling: Yes. One of the requisites for a transfer or re-assignment of public school teacher to be valid, that the transfer or reassignment has undertaken pursuant to the exigencies of service. With regard to this requisite, in Department of Education vs. CA, we held that the appointment of teachers does not refer to any particular station or school. They are not entitled to stay permanently in one station because their assignments are subject to the exigencies of the service. The exigencies of the service, as mentioned in Section 6 of RA 4670 should be viewed in the light of Section 1, Article XIV of the Constitution. The accessibility of quality education determines the exigencies of the service. Thus, assignments undertaken for purposes of improving the educational system and/or making education more accessible are valid. PTA of SMCA vs. MBTC, G.R. No. 176518, March 2, 2010 Facts: Sometime in 2001, the spouses Denivin Ilagan and Josefina Ilagan (spouses Ilagan) applied for and were granted a loan by the [Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.] in the amount of (P4,790,000.00) secured by a Real Estate Mortgage over the parcels of land. Upon default, an extrajudicial foreclosure was conducted with [Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.] being the highest bidder and for which a Certificate of Sale was issued in its favor. During the period of redemption, the respondent Bank filed an Ex-Parte Petition for Issuance

of a Writ of Possession. On June 30, 2005, the St. Mathew Christian Academy of Tarlac, Inc. filed a Petition for Injunction with Prayer for Restraining Order against the respondent Bank and the Provincial Sheriff of Tarlac. Issue: against whom is the constitutional mandate to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels directed? Were petitioners right to quality education violated? Ruling: The trial courts Order did not violate the petitioner-students right to quality education and academic freedom. The court disagrees with petitioner‘s assertion that the student‘s right to quality education and academic freedom was violated. The co nstitutional mandate to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels is directed to the State and not to the school. On this basis, the petitioner-students cannot prevent the MBTC from acquiring possession of the school premises by virtue of a validly issued writ of possession. In this case, except for their bare allegation that ―if the school will be ejected because of the writ of possession, the students will necessarily be ejected also‖ and ―thereby their learning process and other educational activities shall have been disrupted‖, petitioners miserably failed to show the relevance of the right to quality education and academic freedom to their case or how they were violated by the Order granting the writ of possession to the winning bidder in the extrajudicial foreclosure sale. Jenosa vs U.S.A, G.R. No. 172138, September 8, 2010 Facts: On 22 November 2002, some students of the University of San Agustin (Iloilo), among them petitioners Niño Carlo Jenosa, Patrick Canto, Cyndy Apalisok, Clint Eduard Vargas, and Nonell Gregory Duro (petitioner students), were caught engaging in hazing outside the school premises. During the 28 November 2002 meeting, the parties agreed that after dialogues and consultations among the school authorities, instead of the possibility of being charged and found guilty of hazing, the students who participated in the hazing incident as initiators, including petitioner students, would just transfer to another school, while those who participated as neophytes would be suspended for one month. The parents of the apprehended students including petitioners affixed their signatures to signify their conformity. In view of the agreement, the University did not anymore convene the Committee on Student Discipline (COSD) to investigate the hazing incident. The petitioners sent a letter to the University urging it not to implement the agreement. Petitioners filed a complaint for injunction and damages with the RTC, Branch 29, Iloilo City. Petitioners assailed the Principal's decision to order the immediate transfer of petitioner students as a violation of their right to due process because the COSD was not convened. Respondents filed a motion to dismiss before the CA, which the latter granted the petition for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter because of petitioners' failure to exhaust administrative remedies or for being premature. Issues: on students? Is discipline in education specifically mandated by the 1987 Constitution? Can school authorities impose discipline

Ruling: Yes. Discipline in education is specifically mandated by the 1987 Constitution which provides that all educational institutions shall "teach the rights and duties of citizenship, strengthen ethical and spiritual values, and develop moral character and personal discipline." Schools and school administrators have the authority to maintain school discipline and the right to impose appropriate and reasonable disciplinary measures. On the other hand, students have the duty and the responsibility to promote and maintain the peace and tranquility of the school by observing the rules of discipline. Section 5. Academic Freedom: Mercado vs. AMA Computer College, G.R. No. 183572, April 13, 2010 Facts: Petitioners are professors of AMACC, an educational institution engaged in computer-based education in the country, for the school year 2000-2001, AMACC implemented new faculty screening guidelines, on the Implementation of AMACC Faculty Plantilla. Under the new screening guidelines, teachers were to be hired or maintained based on extensive teaching experience, capability, potential, high academic qualifications and research background. The performance standards under the new screening guidelines were also used to determine the present faculty members‘ entitlement to salary increases. The petitioners failed to obtain a passing rating based on the performance standards; as a result, AMACC did not give them any salary increase. Issue: Does institutional academic freedom includes the right of the school or college to decide and adopt screening guidelines for its faculty? Ruling: A school enjoys academic freedom – a guarantee that enjoys protection from the Constitution. Section 5(2) Article XIV of the Constitution guarantees all institutions of higher learning academic freedom. The institutional academic freedom includes the right of the school or college to decide and adopt its aims and objectives, and to determine how these objections can best be attained, free from outside coercion or interference, save possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint. The essential freedoms subsumed in the term ―academic freedom‖ encompass the freedom of the school or college to determine for itself: (1) who may teach; (2) who may be taught; (3) how lessons shall be taught; and (4) who may be admitted to study. AMACC‘s right to academic freedom is particularly important in the present case, because of the new screening guidelines for AMACC faculty put in place for the school year 2000-2001. We agree with the CA that AMACC has the inherent right to establish high standards of competency and efficiency for its faculty members in order to achieve and maintain academic excellence. The school‘s prerogative to provide standards for its teachers and to determine whether or not these standards have been met is i n accordance with academic freedom that gives the educational institution the right to choose who should teach.

Article XIII Digest Constitutional Law 1 ARTICLE XIII: SOCIAL JUSTICE and HUMAN RIGHTS Section 2. Social Justice: Islriz Trading vs. Capada, G.R. No. 168501, Jan. 31, 2011 Facts: Respondents Efren Capada, Lauro Licup, Norberto Nigos and Godofredo Magnaye were drivers while respondents Ronnie Abel, Arnel Siberre, Edmundo Capada, Nomerlito Magnaye and Alberto Dela Vega were helpers of Islriz Trading, a gravel and sand business owned and operated by petitioner Victor Hugo Lu. Claiming that they were illegally dismissed, respondents filed a Complaint for illegal dismissal and non-payment of overtime pay, holiday pay, rest day pay, allowances and separation pay against petitioner before the Labor Arbiter. On his part, petitioner imputed abandonment of work against respondents. Labor Arbiter Gan, declared Islriz Trading guilty of illegal dismissal. Aggrieved, petitioner appealed to the NLRC which granted the appeal. The NLRC set aside the Decision of Labor Arbiter Gan. Finding that respondents‘ failure to continue working for petitioner was neither caused by termination nor abandonment of work, the NLRC ordered respondents‘ reinstatement but without back wages. Respondents averred therein that since the Decision of Labor Arbiter Gan ordered their reinstatement, a Writ of Execution was already issued for the enforcement of its reinstatement aspect as same is immediately executory even pending appeal. But this notwithstanding and despite the issuance and subsequent finality of the NLRC Resolution which likewise ordered respondents‘ reinstatement, petitioner still refused to reinstate them. Thus, respondents prayed that in view of the orders of reinstatement, a computation of the award of back wages be made. The office of the Labor Arbiter issued an undated Computation of respondents‘ accrued salaries. Upon appeal, CA dismissed the petition of the petitioners. Issue: Do the social justice principles of labor law outweigh or render inapplicable the civil law doctrine of unjust enrichment? Ruling: Yes. The Court then stressed that as opposed to Genuino v. National Labor Relations Commission (It has thus been advanced that there is no point in releasing the wages to petitioners since their dismissal was found to be valid, and to do so would constitute unjust enrichment.), the social justice principles of labor law outweigh or render inapplicable the civil law doctrine of unjust enrichment. It then went on to examine the precarious implication of the "refund doctrine" as enunciated in Genuino, thus: The "refund doctrine" easily demonstrates how a favorable decision by the Labor Arbiter could harm, more than help, a dismissed employee. The employee, to make both ends meet, would necessarily have to use up the salaries received during the pendency of the appeal, only to end up having to refund the sum in case of a final unfavorable decision. It is mirage of a stop-gap leading the employee to a risky cliff of insolvency. Advisably, the sum is better left unspent. It becomes more logical and practical for the employee to refuse payroll reinstatement and simply find work elsewhere in the interim, if any is available. Notably, the option of payroll reinstatement belongs to the employer, even if the employee is able and raring to return to work. Prior to Genuino, it is unthinkable for one to refuse payroll reinstatement. In the face of the grim possibilities, the rise of concerned employees declining payroll reinstatement is on the horizon. Further, the Genuino ruling not only disregards the social justice principles behind the rule, but also institutes a scheme unduly favorable to management. Under such scheme, the salaries dispensed pendente lite merely serve as a bond posted in installment by the employer. For in the event of a reversal of the Labor Arbiter's decision ordering reinstatement, the employer gets back the same amount without having to spend ordinarily for bond premiums. This circumvents, if not directly contradicts, the proscription that the "posting of a bond [even a cash bond] by the employer shall not stay the execution for reinstatement. Section 3. Labor: Yrasuegui vs. PAL, G.R. No. 168081, Oct. 17, 2008 569 SCRA 467 FACTS: This case portrays the peculiar story of an international flight steward who was dismissed because of his failure to adhere to the weight standards of the airline company. It is now before this court via a review on certiorari claiming that he was illegally dismissed. To buttress his stance, he argues that (1) his dismissal does not fall under 282(e) on the Labor Code; (2) continuing adherence to the weight standards of the company is not a bona fide occupational qualification; and (3) he was discriminated against because other overweight employees were promoted instead of being disciplined. Issue: Will the obesity justify employment termination? What is Meiorin Test? Is it valid and constitutional? Ruling: a reading of weight standards of PAL would lead to no other conclusion than that they constitute a continuing qualification of an employee in order to keep the job. Tersely put, an employee may be dismissed the moment he is unable to comply with his ideal weight as prescribed by the weight standards. The dismissal of the employee would thus fall under Article 282(e) of the Labor Code. The test of reasonableness of the company policy is used because it is parallel to BFOQ. BFOQ is valid "provided it reflects an inherent quality reasonably necessary for satisfactory job performance. ** In British Columbia Public Service Employee Commission (BSPSERC) v. The British Columbia Government and Service Employee's Union (BCGSEU), the Supreme Court of Canada adopted the so-called "Meiorin Test" in determining whether an employment policy is justified. Under this test, (1) the employer must show that it adopted the standard for a purpose rationally connected to the performance of the job; (2) the employer must establish that the standard is reasonably necessary to the accomplishment of that work-related purpose; and (3) the employer must establish that the standard is reasonably necessary in order to accomplish the legitimate workrelated purpose. Similarly, in Star Paper Corporation v. Simbol, this Court held that in order to justify a BFOQ, the employer must prove

that (1) the employment qualification is reasonably related to the essential operation of the job involved; and (2) that there is factual basis for believing that all or substantially all persons meeting the qualification would be unable to properly perform the duties of the job.* RC Archbishop of Caceres vs. DAR, G.R. 139285, Dec. 21, 2007 Facts: Archbishop is the registered owner of several properties in Camarines Sur, with a total area of 268.5668 hectares. Of that land, 249.0236 hectares are planted with rice and corn, while the remaining 19.5432 hectares are planted with coconut trees. In 1985, Archbishop filed with the Municipal Agrarian Reform District Office No. 19, Naga City, Camarines Sur several petitions for exemption of certain properties located in various towns of Camarines Sur from the coverage of Operation Land Transfer (OLT) under Presidential Decree No. (PD) 27. ISSUE: Can an agricultural land conditionally donated to the archbishop and held in trust and in behalf of the millions of the Filipino faithful be exempted from CARP? RULING: Archbishop cannot claim exemption in behalf of the millions of Filipino faithful, as the lands are clearly not exempt under the law. He should not fear that his followers are simply being deprived of land, as under both PD 27 and RA 6657, he is entitled to just compensation, which he may then use for the benefit of his followers. His situation is no different from other landowners affected by agrarian reform––they are somewhat deprived of their land, but it is all for a greater good. As religious leader, Archbishop can take solace in the fact that his lands are going to be awarded to those who need and can utilize them to the fullest. Apo Fruits vs. LBP, GR 164195, APRIL 5, 2011 FACTS: We resolve Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP‘s) 2nd motion for reconsideration of December 14, 2010 that addresses one resolution of October 12, 2010 and November 23, 2010. This motion prays as well for the holding of oral arguments. We likewise resolve the office of the Solicitor General‘s motion for leave to intervene and to admit motion for reconsideration-in-intervention dated February 15, 2011 in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines. Issue: Should just compensation under the agrarian reform program be differently from the just compensation in any other case of expropriation? RULING: the constitutional basis of the Agrarian Reform Program is Section 4, Article XIII of the constitution. This provision expressly provides that the taking of the land for use in the government‘s agrarian reform program is conditioned on the payment of just compensation. Nothing in the wording of this provision even remotely suggests that the just compensation required from the taking of land for the agrarian reform program should be treated any differently from the just compensation required in any other case of expropriation. The term "just compensation" is used in several parts of the Constitution, and, therefore, it must have a uniform meaning. Hda. Luisita vs. PARC, GR 171101, July 5, 2011 FACTS: In 1957, the Spanish owners of Tabacalera offered to sell Hacienda Luisita as well as their controlling interest in the sugar mill within the Hacienda, the central Azucarera de Tarlac as an inadmissible transaction. The Tarlac Development Corporation then owned and/or controlled by the Jose Cojuangco, Jr. Group, was willing to buy as agreed upon. Tadeco undertook to pay the purchase price for Hacienda Luisita in pesos, while that for the controlling interest in CAT, in US dollars. As of March 31, 1980, the Martial Law administration filed a suit before Manila RTC against Tadeco, et al, for them to surrender the Hacienda Luisita. ISSUE: Is Sec 31 f RA 6657, which permits stock transfer in lieu of outright agricultural land transfer inconsistent with the basic concept of agrarian reform ingrained in Sec4, Art XIII of the Constitution? RULING: Likewise, Sec4 of Art XIII of the Constitution makes mention of a commitment on the part of the site to pursue, by law, an agrarian reform program founded on the policy of land for the landless, but subject to such priorities as Congress may prescribe, taking into account such abstract variable as ―equity considerations.‖ The textual reference to a law and Congress necessarily impli es that the above constitutional provision is not self-executory and that legislation is needed to implement the urgently needed program of agrarian reform, and RA 6657 has been enacted pursuant to and as a mechanism to carry out the constitutional directives. Land Bank vs. Obias, G.R. 184406, March 14, 2012 Facts: Before the Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision dated 31 January 2008 and Resolution dated 8 September 2008 of the Ninth Division of the Court of Appeals (CA), vacating the Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Naga City. Pursuant to the Operation Land Transfer (OLT) Program of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27, three parcels of agricultural land located at Himaao, Pili, Camarines Sur owned by Perfecto, Nellie, O‘Fe, Gil, Edmundo and Nelly, all surnamed Obias, (landowners) were distributed to farmers-beneficiaries (farmers). As a result, the owners had to be paid just compensation for the property taken. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), using the formula under P.D. 27 and Executive Order (E.O.) 228, came up with a computation of the value of the acquired property. However, the amount was contested by the landowners as an inadequate compensation for the land. Thus they filed a complaint for determination of just compensation before the RTC of Naga City.

Issues: a.) Whether or not the provisions of DAR Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 13, as amended are mandatory insofar as the computation of interest for P.D. 27 acquired properties is concerned? b.) How should just compensation be treated viewed against the Bill of Rights and agrarian reform? Ruling: a.)Yes, they are mandatory. In their petition, LBP does not contest the valuation of the property and the amount to be paid as just compensation. It raised only the issue of ―Whether or not the provisions of DAR Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 13, series of 1994, as amended by DAR A.O. No. 2, series of 2004, as further amended by DAR A.O. No. 6, series of 2008, are mandatory insofar as the computation of interest for P.D. 27-acquired properties is concerned. b.) The landowner's right to just compensation should be balanced with agrarian reform. The purpose of agrarian laws particularly P.D. No. 27, is to emancipate the tiller of the soil from his bondage; to be lord and owner of the land he tills. Section 4, Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands subject to the payment of just compensation. Further, the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission on this subject reveal that just compensation should not do violence to the Bill of Rights, but should also not make an insurmountable obstacle to a successful agrarian reform program. Article XIV. EDUCATION Section 2. Availability of Quality Education: Superintendent vs Azarcon, G.R. No. 166435, February 11, 2008 Facts: On September 20, 1990, then DECS Secretary Isidro Cariño filed various charged against those teachers who participated in the aforementioned mass action. The respondents were one of them and were later found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and were consequently dismissed. Aggrieved, respondents appealed their dismissal to the MSPB which, however, dismissed their appeal for lack of merit. Respondents elevated the MSPB decision to the CSC. Issue: Does the accessibility to quality education justify teacher‘s re-assignment? Ruling: Yes. One of the requisites for a transfer or re-assignment of public school teacher to be valid, that the transfer or reassignment has undertaken pursuant to the exigencies of service. With regard to this requisite, in Department of Education vs. CA, we held that the appointment of teachers does not refer to any particular station or school. They are not entitled to stay permanently in one station because their assignments are subject to the exigencies of the service. The exigencies of the service, as mentioned in Section 6 of RA 4670 should be viewed in the light of Section 1, Article XIV of the Constitution. The accessibility of quality education determines the exigencies of the service. Thus, assignments undertaken for purposes of improving the educational system and/or making education more accessible are valid. PTA of SMCA vs. MBTC, G.R. No. 176518, March 2, 2010 Facts: Sometime in 2001, the spouses Denivin Ilagan and Josefina Ilagan (spouses Ilagan) applied for and were granted a loan by the [Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.] in the amount of (P4,790,000.00) secured by a Real Estate Mortgage over the parcels of land. Upon default, an extrajudicial foreclosure was conducted with [Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.] being the highest bidder and for which a Certificate of Sale was issued in its favor. During the period of redemption, the respondent Bank filed an Ex-Parte Petition for Issuance of a Writ of Possession. On June 30, 2005, the St. Mathew Christian Academy of Tarlac, Inc. filed a Petition for Injunction with Prayer for Restraining Order against the respondent Bank and the Provincial Sheriff of Tarlac. Issue: against whom is the constitutional mandate to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels directed? Were petitioners right to quality education violated? Ruling: The trial courts Order did not violate the petitioner-students right to quality education and academic freedom. The court disagrees with petitioner‘s assertion that the student‘s right to quality education and academic freedom was violated. The co nstitutional mandate to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels is directed to the State and not to the school. On this basis, the petitioner-students cannot prevent the MBTC from acquiring possession of the school premises by virtue of a validly issued writ of possession. In this case, except for their bare allegation that ―if the school will be ejected because of the writ of possession, the students will necessarily be ejected also‖ and ―thereby their learning process and other educational activities shall have been disrupted‖, petitioners miserably failed to show the relevance of the right to quality education and academic freedom to their case or how they were violated by the Order granting the writ of possession to the winning bidder in the extrajudicial foreclosure sale.

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HOME CASE DIGEST NOTES AND LEGAL FORMS COMMENTARY GUESTBOOK V AQUINO

AKBAYAN

Facts:

The signing of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) at the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Summit in Helsinki in September 2006 was hailed by both Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as a ―milestone in the continuing cooperation and collaboration, setting a new chapter of strategic partnership for mutual opportunity and growth (for both countries).‖

JPEPA which has been referred to as a ‗mega treaty‘ is a comprehensive plan for opening up of markets in goods and services a s well as removing barriers and restrictions on investments. It is a deal that encompasses even our commitments to the WTO.

The complexity of JPEPA became all the more evident at the Senate hearing conducted by the Committee on Trade and Commerce last November 2006. The committee, chaired by Senator Mar Roxas, heard differing views and perspectives on JPEPA. On one hand the committee heard Government‘s rosy projections on the economic benefits of JPEPA and on the other hand the views of environmental and trade activists who raised there very serious concerns about the country being turned into Japan‘s toxic waste basket. The discussion in the Senate showed that JPEPA is not just an issue concerning trade and economic relations with Japan but one that touches on broader national development concerns.

Issues: 1. Do the petitioners have standing to bring this action for mandamus in their capacity as citizens of the Republic, as taxpayers, and as members of the Congress

2. Can this Honorable Court exercise primary jurisdiction of this case and take cognizance of the instant petition. 3. Are the documents and information being requested in relation to the JPEPA exempted from the general rules on transparency and full public disclosure such that the Philippine government is justified in denying access thereto.

Ruling:

The Supreme Court en banc promulgated last July 16, 2008 its ruling on the case of ―Akbayan Citizens Action Party et al vs. T homas

G. Aquino et al‖ (G.R. No. 170516). The Highest Tribunal dismissed the Petition for mandamus and prohibition, which sought to compel respondents Department of Trade Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Thomas Aquino et al to furnish petitioners the full text of the JapanPhilippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) and the lists of the Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the negotiation process and all pertinent attachments and annexes thereto.

In its Decision, the Court noted that the full text of the JPEPA has been made accessible to the public since 11 September 2006, and thus the demand to be furnished with copy of the said document has become moot and academic. Notwithstanding this, however, the Court lengthily discussed the substatives issues, insofar as they impinge on petitioners' demand for access to the Philippine and Japanese offers in the course of the negotiations.

The Court held: ―Applying the principles adopted in PMPF v. Manglapus, it is clear that while the final text of the JPEPA may not be kept perpetually confidential – since there should be 'ample opportunity for discussion before [a treaty] is approved' – the offers exchanged by the parties during the negotiations continue to be privileged even after the JPEPA is published. It is reasonable to conclude that the Japenese representatives submitted their offers with the understanding that 'historic confidentiality' would govern the same. Disclosing these offers could impair the ability of the Philippines to deal not only with Japan but with other foreign governments in future negotiations.‖

It also reasoned out that opening for public scrutiny the Philippine offers in treaty negotiations would discourage future Philippine representatives from frankly expressing their views during negotiations. The Highest Tribunal recognized that treaty negotiations normally involve a process of quid pro quo, where negotiators would willingly grant concessions in an area of lesser importance in order to obtain more favorable terms in an area of greater national interest.

In the same Decision, the Court took time to address the dissent of Chief Jus tice Reynato S. Puno. It said: ―We are aware that behind the dissent of the Chief Justice lies a genuine zeal to protect our people's right to information against any abuse of executive privilege. It is a zeal that We fully share. The Court, however, in its endeavour to guard against the abuse of executive privilege, should be careful not to veer towards the opposite extreme, to the point that it would strike down as invalid even a legitimate exercis e thereof.‖

NORTH

COTABATO

VS

GRP

PANEL

Facts:

The Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement of Peace of 2001 (MOA) is assailed on its constitutionality. This document prepared by the joint efforts of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Peace Panel and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Panel, was merely a codification of consensus points reached between both parties and the aspirations of the MILF to have a Bangsamoro homeland.

Issue: When the Executive Department pronounced to abandon the MOA, is the issue of its constitutionality merely moot and academic and therefore no longer justiciable by the Court?

Ruling:

Yes. Since the MOA has not been signed, its provisions will not at all come into effect. The MOA will forever remain a draft that has never been finalized. It is now nothing more than a piece of paper, with no legal force or binding effect. It cannot be the source of, nor be capable of violating, any right. The instant Petitions, therefore, and all other oppositions to the MOA, have no more leg to stand on. They no longer present an actual case or a justiciable controversy for resolution by this Court.

An actual case or controversy exists when there is a conflict of legal rights or an assertion of opposite legal claims, which can be resolved on the basis of existing law and jurisprudence. A justiciable controversy is distinguished from a hypothetical or abstract difference or dispute, in that the former involves a definite and concrete dispute touching on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests. A justiciable controversy admits of specific relief through a decree that is conclusive in character, whereas an opinion only advises what the law would be upon a hypothetical state of facts.

The Court should not feel constrained to rule on the Petitions at bar just because of the great public interest these cases have generated. We are, after all, a court of law, and not of public opinion. The power of judicial review of this Court is for settling real and existent dispute, it is not for allaying fears or addressing public clamor. In acting on supposed abuses by other branches of government, the Court must be careful that it is not committing abuse itself by ignoring the fundamental principles of constitutional law.

TAN

VS

REPUBLIC

Facts:

Julita P. Tan, is the registered owner of a parcel of land consisting of 7,161 square meters located at the southern bank of the Zapote River in Sitio Wawa, Pulang Lupa, Las Piñas City as evidenced by a TCT. She acquired this property from the San Antonio Development Corporation (SADC) as shown by a document denominated "Irrevocable and Exclusive Special Power of Attorney" dated April 6, 2001, whereby she assumed SADC‘s "obligation of paying all imposable t axes due said land."

The Public Estates Authority (PEA) is a government-owned and controlled corporation which manages the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road(Coastal Road), also known as the R-1 Expressway.

Prior to the transfer of the property to petitioner by SADC, or on March 29, 1985, PEA wrote SADC requesting permission to enter the latter‘s property, then covered by TCT No. 439101, for the purpose of constructing thereon the southern abutment of the Zapot e Bridge at the Coastal Road. PEA also proposed to SADC to start their negotiation for its acquisition of the latter‘s property. However, they

failed

to

reach

an

agreement

for

the

past

20

years.

On October 9, 2001, the BIR informed PEA that the current zonal value of the property is P20,000.00 per square meter. In the meantime, the construction of the Coastal Road was completed. PEA has been collecting toll fees from the road users in the average amount of P1,039,404.85 per day, as shown by a document denominated "Traffic Count of the Year 2002. Despite its collection of huge toll fees, PEA continuously refuses to pay petitioner any compensation.

Issue: Whether or not the just compensation for petitioner‘s property should be based on the BIR zonal valuation in 1985 when petitioner entered the subject property.

Ruling:

The Court of Appeals, in its challenged Decision, held that PEA‘s taking of petitioner‘s property occurred in 1985. Even if P EA requested permission to enter the subject property and petitioner granted such request on condition that PEA should pay a monthly rental of P10,000.00, "it does not change the fact that there was ‗taking‘ of the property for public use." Consequently, the compensation should be computed on the basis of the zonal value of the property at that time (1985) which was P2,900.00 per square meter per letter dated July 12, 2001 of the BIR to PEA.

The Court of Appeals is wrong. PEA‘s entry into the property with the permission of SADC, its previous owner, was not for the purpose of expropriating the property. Records show and as stressed by Mr. Justice Renato C. Dacudao of the Court of Appeals in his Dissenting Opinion, SADC allowed PEA to enter the land on condition that it should pay a monthly rental of P10,000.00. Thereafter, PEA, in a letter dated May 28, 1985, requested SADC to donate or sell the land to the government. On October 22, 1985, SADC responded, offering to sell the land to PEA for P1,288,980.00, plus P400,000.00 representing the value of the improvements destroyed by PEA when it entered the property. However, since 1985 up to the present, no agreement has been reached between PEA and SADC or herein petitioner who acquired the property from the latter.

While PEA has been earning huge toll fees, it has refused to pay petitioner any compensation for the use of her property in violation of her right as an owner.The above circumstances clearly show that when PEA entered petitioner‘s land in 1985, it was not for th e purpose of expropriating it. We stress that after its entry, PEA wrote SADC requesting to donate or sell the land to the government. Indeed, there was no intention on the part of PEA to expropriate the subject property. Why did it ask permission from SADC to enter the property? Thereafter, why did it request SADC to donate or sell the land to the government? It could have simply exercised its power of eminent domain.

Section 2, Rule 67 (on Expropriation) of the same Rules provides, among others, that upon the filing of the complaint or at any time

thereafter and after due notice to the defendant, the plaintiff shall have the right to take or enter upon the possession of the real property involved if he deposits with the authorized government depositary an amount equivalent to the assessed value of the property. It bears reiterating that in Republic v. Vda. de Castellvi, we ruled that just compensation is determined as of the date of the taking of the property or the filing of the complaint, whichever came first.

We have made it clear that there was no taking of the property in 1985 by PEA for purposes of expropriation. As shown by the records, PEA filed with the RTC its petition for expropriation on September 22, 2003. The trial court, therefore, was correct in ordering respondent, through PEA, upon the filing of its complaint for expropriation, to pay petitioner just compensation on the basis of the BIR zonal valuation of the subject property at P20,000.00 per square meter.

NPC

VS

IBRAHIM

Facts:

The NPC constructed underground tunnels on the property of the respondents without their knowledge and consent and without any expropriation proceeding. It contended that it constructed an easement on the property.

Issue:

Is

there

expropriation?

Ruling:

YES. Expropriation is not limited to the acquisition of real property with a corresponding transfer of title or possession. The right-of-way easement resulting in a restriction or limitation on property rights over the land traversed by transmission lines also falls within the ambit of the term expropriation.

The manner in which the easement was created by the NPC, violated the due process rights of the owners as it was without notice and indemnity to them and did not go through proper expropriation proceedings. NPC could have, at any time, validly exercised the power of eminent domain to acquire the easement over the property as this power encompasses not only the taking or appropriation of title to

and possession of the expropriated property but likewise covers even the imposition of a mere burden upon the owner of the condemned property. (Rep. v. PLDT, 136 Phil. 20 (1969)). Significantly, though, landowners cannot be deprived of their right over their land until expropriation proceedings are instituted in court. The court must then see to it that the taking is for pubic use, that there is payment of just compensation and that there is due process of law.

In disregarding this procedure and failing to recognize the owners‘ ownership of the sub -terrain portion, NPC took a risk and exposed itself to greater liability with the passage of time. It must be emphasized that the acquisition of the easement is not without expense. The underground tunnels imposed limitations on the owners‘ use of the property for an indefinite period and deprived them of its ordinary use. The owners are clearly entitled to the payment of just compensation. Notwithstanding the fact that NPC only occupied the sub-terrain portion, it is liable to pay not merely an easement fee but rather the full compensation for the land. This is so because, the nature of the easement practically deprived the owners of its normal beneficial use. The owners, as the owners of the property thus expropriated, are entitled to a just compensation which should be neither more nor less, whenever it is possible to make the assessment, than the money equivalent of said property.

NPC contended that if ever it is liable, it should be made to pay the value of the land from the time it constructed the tunnels. Is the contention correct? Why?

No. To allow it to use the date it constructed the tunnels as the date of valuation would be grossly unfair. First, it did not enter the land under warrant or color of legal authority or with intent to expropriate the same. It did not notify the owners and wrongly assumed that it had the right to dig the tunnels under their property. Secondly, the improvements introduced in no way contributed to an increase in the value of the land. The valuation should be based at the time of the discovery of the construction of the underground tunnels .

PNOC

VS

MAGLASANG

Facts:

Petitioner insists that contrary to the findings of the two courts below, the determination of just compensation should be reckoned prior to the time of the filing of the complaint for expropriation. According to petitioner in Civil Case No. 3267-O, petitioner took possession of the land on January 1, 1992 when PNOC leased the same from its administrator as evidenced by a Lease Agreement for the period of January 1, 1992 to December 31, 1992.Thus, taking, for purposes of computing just compensation, should have been reckoned from January 1, 1992.

Ruling:

The Court rejected the State‘s contention that a lease on a year to year basis can give rise to a permanent right to occupy, since by express legal provision a lease made for a determinate time, ceases upon the day fixed, without need of a demand.Neither can it be said that the right of eminent domain may be exercised by simply leasing the premises to be expropriated.Where, as here, the owner was compensated and not deprived of the ordinary and beneficial use of his property by its being diverted to public use, there is no taking within the constitutional sense.

The time of the taking may be reckoned in 1994.For Lot 11900, on October 24, 1994, the date of the filing of the complaint although the plaintiff took possession of the property in 1991 due to a lease contract executed between plaintiff and defendant yet the intention to expropriate was manifested only upon the filing of the complaint

MACTAN

VS

URGELLO

Facts:

In 1964, respondent Milagros Urgello and the Civil Aeronautics Administration [CAA] (subsequently known as Bureau of Air Transportation [BAT], then later as the Air Transportation Office [ATO]) entered into a compromise agreement (which stemmed from an expropriation case filed by the CAA) wherein the CAA agreed to purchase Urgello‘s Lot No. 913 -E-3 for P3,105.00 to be used in the expansion of the Lahug Airport in Cebu City, subject to the resolutory condition that in the event that the Republic of the Philippines would no longer use it as an airport, its title or ownership would revert back to respondent or her heirs upon reimbursement of the purchase price of P3,105.00.

On April 27, 1966, the Mactan Airport commenced its operations and the Philippine Airlines stopped using the Lahug Airport. Filipinas Airways and Air Manila ceased too to use the Lahug Airport at the end of 1966 and thereafter used the Mactan Airport.

By letter of July 8, 1985, respondent Urgello requested the BAT for the reconveyance to her of Lot No. 913-E-3 and she tendered RPB Demand Draft No. 148284 in the amount of P3,105.00. The BAT received the draft, but it did not reconvey the lot, prompting respondent to file on August 9, 1985 a Complaint for Reconveyance with Damages against it before the RTC of Cebu City, docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-4115. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of Urgello.

On July 31, 1990, Republic Act No. 6958, the Charter of herein petitioner Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), was signed into law. R.A. 6958 created the MCIAA and transferred to it all the assets of the Lahug Airport.

Despite the judgment in CEB-4115, BAT still refused to reconvey to Urgello the property. Other cases were filed by Urgello. In one of these cases – a complaint for reconveyance with damages (docketed as CEB-19418) -- Urgello impleaded the MCIAA as one of the defendants. The trial court in this case ruled in favor of Urgello. It declared that the reconveyance of Lot No. 913-E-3 is a solidary obligation of all three (3) defendants – Department of Public Works and Highways, MCIAA, and ATO. The ruling was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The MCIAA elevated the case to the Supreme Court. MCIAA claims that since ATO never turned over Lot No. 913E-3 to it, it cannot be compelled to assume ATO‘s obligation to reconvey the same.

Issue: Has MCIAA assumed ATO‘s obligation to reconvey Lot No. 913-E-3 to Urgello by virtue of RA No. 6958?

Ruling:

Yes.

Since respondent‘s cause of action against the ATO with regard to Lot No. 913-E-3 refers to its retention of title thereto despite the occurrence of the resolutory condition stipulated in the Conditional Deed of Sale, MCIAA‘s liability would depend on whether it is ATO‘s successor-in-interest with respect to the said lot.

Section 15 of Republic Act No. 6958 is clear, however, that upon its passage, all existing airport facilities and other properties were thereby transferred to MCIAA, viz:

All existing public airport facilities, runways, lands, buildings and other properties, movable or immovable, belonging to or presently administered by the airports, and all assets, powers, rights, interest and privileges relating to airport works or air operations, including all equipment which are necessary for the operation of air navigation, aerodrome control towers, crash, fire, and rescue facilities are hereby transferred to the Authority.

Section

17

states

that:

Upon the transfer to and acceptance by the Authority of the existing physical facilities, intangible assets and completed projects

referred to in the preceding sections, all debts, liabilities, and obligations of government agencies or entities concerned in respect of such physical facilities, tangible assets and completed projects within the airports shall likewise be assumed by the Authority.

The law must not be read in truncated parts; its provisions must be read in relation to the whole law. It is [a] cardinal rule in statutory construction that a statute‘s clauses and phrases must not be taken as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part thereof must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts in order to produce a harmonious whole. Section 17 of Republic Act No. 6958 must thus be read vis a viz Section 15 as well as the other provisions of the said law.

The "airports" referred to in Section 15 are the "Lahug Air Port" in Cebu City and the "Mactan International Airport in the Province of Cebu," which belonged to the Republic of the Philippines, then under the Air Transportation Office (ATO).

It may be reasonable to assume that the term "lands" refer to "lands" in Cebu City then administered by the Lahug Air Port. This section involves a "transfer" of the "lands," among other things, to the petitioner and not just the transfer of the beneficial use thereof, with the ownership being retained by the Republic of the Philippines. This "transfer" is actually an absolute conveyance of the ownership thereof.

Thus, Republic Act No. 6958 transferred Lot No. 913-E-3 to MCIAA. MCIAA is thus bound, as ATO‘s successor-in-interest, to reconvey Lot No. 913-E-3. And it is solidarily liable with its co-petitioners to pay rentals in arrears over the said lot.

GARCIA

PADILLA

VS

ENRILE

Facts:

The records show that nine (9) of the fourteen (14) detainees herein were arrested on July 6, 1982 at about 1:45 p.m. when three (3) teams of the PC/INP of Bayombong, Nueva after securing a Search Warrant conducted a raid at the residence of Dra. Aurora Parong. Apprehended during the said raid were Dra. Aurora Parong, Benjamin Pineda, Sabino Padilla, Francisco Divinagracia, Zenaida Mallari, Letty Ballogan, Norberto Portuguese, and Mariano Soriano who were then having a conference in the dining room of Dra. Parong's residence which had been doing on since 10:00 a.m. of that same day.

The other four (4) detainees herein, namely: Imelda de los Santos, Eufronio Ortiz, Jr., Juanita Granada, and Bienvenida Garcia, were

arrested on the following day, July 7, 1982 by the same PC teams. On July 15, 1982, Tom Vasquez was arrested, and his Volkswagen car, bearing Plate No. DAP 347, was seized by the PC authorities.

The herein fourteen (14) detainees were all detained at the PC/INP Command Headquarters, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya from July 6, 1982 until their transfer on the morning of August 10, 1982 to an undisclosed place reportedly to Camp Crame, Quezon City, to Echague, Isabela, and to Tuguegarao, Cagayan.

Hence, this petition for the writ of habeas corpus and mandamus filed by Josefina Garcia-Padilla, mother of detained petitioner Sabino G. Padilla, Jr. on August 13, 1982. The mandamus aspect of the instant petition has, however, become moot and academic, and whereabouts of petitioners having already become known to petitioner Josefina Garcia-Padilla.

Ruling:

The last question relates to the legality of the Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) issued by the President on July 12, 1982, tested by the conformity of its issuance to the procedure laid down under LOI 1211, petitioners insisting that the LOI limits the authority of the President to cause the arrest and detention of persons engaged in or charged with, the crimes mentioned in Proclamation No. 2045. They contend that the procedure prescribed in the LOI not having been observed, the PCO issued thereunder did not validate the initial illegal arrest of the herein petitioners as wen as their continued detention.

By its very nature, and clearly by its language, LOI 1211 is a mere directive of the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to his subordinates or implementing officers for the ultimate objective of providing guidelines in the arrest and detention of the persons covered by Presidential Proclamation No. 2045. The purpose is "to insure protection to individual liberties without sacrificing the requirements of public order and safety and the effectiveness of the campaign against those seeking the forcible overthrow of the government and duty constituted authorities. " LOI 1211 does not, in any manner, limit the authority of the President to cause the arrest and detention of persons engaged in, or charged with the crimes or offenses mentioned in said Proclamation in that he (President) would subject himself to the superior authority of the judge who, under normal judicial processes in the prosecution of the common offenses, is the one authorized to issue a judicial warrant after a preliminary investigation is conducted with a finding of probable cause. Those who would read such an intention on the part of the President in issuing LOI 1211 seems to do so in their view that LOI forms part of the law of the land under the 1976 amendment of the Constitution. They would then contend that a PCO issued not in compliance with the provisions of the LOI would be an illegality and of no effect.

To form part of the law of the land, the decree, order or LOI must be issued by the President in the exercise of his extraordinary power of legislation as contemplated in Section 6 of the 1976 amendments to the Constitution, whenever in his judgment, there exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof, or whenever the interim Batasan Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action. There can be no pretense, much less a showing, that these conditions prompted the President to issue LOI 1211. Verily, not all LOI issued by the President should be

dignified

into

forming

part

of

the

law

of

the

land.

PENERA

VS

COMELEC

Facts:

Petitioner and private respondents were candidates for mayor of the Municipality of Sta.Monica, Surigao del Norte in the last May 2007 elections. The former filed her certificate of candidacy on the day before the prescribed campaign period. When she went to the COMELEC Office for filing she was accompanied by her partymates. Thereafter, they had a motorcade which was consist of two trucks and ten motorcycles running around the municipality convincing the residents to vote for her and the other candidates of their political party.

Due to this, private respondent filed a petition against her alleging premature campaigning as provided in the Omnibus Election Code Section 80 which says: ―Election or partisan political activity outside campaign period. --- It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or for any party, or association of persons, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period.‖ She argued that she is not guilty since she was not yet a candidate at that time and the campaign period has not yet started when the motorcade was conducted.

While the petition was pending in the COMELEC, she was voted as mayor and took her office thereafter. The COMELEC Second Division decided in favor of the complainant and found her guilty of premature campaigning. Likewise, when she appealed in the COMELEC En Banc, the previous decision was affirmed.

Subsequently, she filed with the Supreme Court which decided against her. It held that the conduct of the motorcade is a form of election campaign or partisan political activity, falling under Section 79(b)(2) of the Omnibus Election Code which says: ―[h ]olding political caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades, or other similar assemblies, for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate[.]‖Furthermore, it was held that she should vacate

the

position.

Now,

she

comes

for

a

motion

for

reconsideration

using

the

same

arguments.

Issue:

Is

Penera

guilty

of

premature

campaigning?

Ruling:

NO. Any act is lawful unless expressly declared unlawful by law. It is enough that Congress state d that ―any unlawful act or omission applicable to a candidate shall take effectonly upon the start of the campaign period.‖ So, it is lawful if done before the s tart of the campaign period. This plain language of the law need not be construed further.

Moreover, on the day of the motorcade, she was not yet a candidate for. As what was decided in the Lanot Case which says that prior to the campaign period, even if the candidate has filed his/her certificate of candidacy, he/she is not yet considered as a candidate for purposes other than the printing of ballots. Hence, she cannot be guilty of premature campaigning for in the first place there is no candidate to talk about. What she did was an exercise of her freedom of expression.

ROQUE

VS

COMELEC

Facts:

This case is a motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioners of the September 10, 2009 ruling of the Supreme Court, which denied the petition of H. Harry L. Roque, Jr., et al. for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus to nullify the contract-award of the 2010 Election Automation Project to the joint venture of Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) and Smartmatic International Corporation (Smartmatic).

In this MR, petitioners Roque, et al. are again before the Supreme Court asking that the contract award be declared null and void on the stated ground that it was made in violation of the Constitution, statutes, and jurisprudence. Intervening petitioner also interposed a similar motion, but only to pray that the Board of Election Inspectors be ordered to manually count the ballots after the printing and electronic transmission of the election returns.

Petitioners Roque, et al., as movants herein, seek a reconsideration of the September 10, 2009 Decision on the following issues or grounds:

1. The Comelec‘s public pronouncements show that there is a "high probability" that there will be failure of automated electi ons;

2.

Comelec

abdicated

its

constitutional

functions

in

favor

of

Smartmatic;

3. There is no legal framework to guide the Comelec in appreciating automated ballots in case the PCOS machines fail;

4.

Respondents

cannot

comply

with

the

requirements

of

RA

8436

for

a

source

code

review;

5. Certifications submitted by private respondents as to the successful use of the machines in elections abroad do not fulfill the requirement of Sec. 12 of RA 8436;

6. Private respondents will not be able to provide telecommunications facilities that will assure 100% communications coverage at all times during the conduct of the 2010 elections; and

7.

Subcontracting

the

manufacture

of

PCOS

machines

to

Quisdi

violates

the

Comelec‘s

bidding

rules.

Note: (This digest would only deal with the procedural aspect of the MR. Only those issues or

grounds

wherein

the

Court

made

a

ruling

re:

procedure

would

be

discussed

here.)

Issue:

Is

the

motion

for

reconsideration

meritorious?

Ruling:

No.

Upon taking a second hard look into the issues in the case at bar and the arguments earnestly pressed in the instant motions, the Court cannot grant the desired reconsideration.

Petitioners‘ threshold argument delves on possibilities, on matters that may or may not occur. The conjectural and speculative nature of the first issue raised is reflected in the very manner of its formulation and by statements, such as "the public pronouncements of public respondent COMELEC x x x clearly show that there is a high probability that there will be automated failure of elections"; "there is a high probability that the use of PCOS machines in the May 2010 elections will result in failure of elections"; "the unaddressed logistical nightmares—and the lack of contingency plans that should have been crafted as a result of a pilot test—make an automated failure of elections very probable"; and "COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it signed x x x the contract for full automation x x x despite the likelihood of a failure of elections."

Speculations and conjectures are not equivalent to proof; they have little, if any, probative value and, surely, cannot be the basis of a sound judgment.

Petitioners, to support their speculative venture vis-à-vis the possibility of Comelec going manual, have attributed certain statements to respondent Comelec Chairman Melo, citing for the purpose a news item on Inquirer.net, posted September 16, 2009.

Reacting to the attribution, however, respondents TIM and Smartmatic, in their comment, described the Melo pronouncements as made in the context of Comelec‘s contingency plan. Petitioners, however, the same respondents added, put a misleading spin to the Melo pronouncements by reproducing part of the news item, but omitting to make reference to his succeeding statements to arrive at a clearer and true picture.

Private respondents‘ observation is well-taken. Indeed, it is easy to selectively cite portions of what has been said, sometimes out of their proper context, in order to assert a misleading conclusion. The effect can be dangerous. Improper meaning may be deliberately attached to innocent views or even occasional crude comments by the simple expediency of lifting them out of context from any publication.

Petitioners‘ posture anent the third issue, i.e, there no is legal framework to guide Comelec in the appreciation of automated ballots or to govern manual count should PCOS machines fail, cannot be accorded cogency. First, it glosses over the continuity and back-up plans that would be implemented in case the PCOS machines falter during the 2010 elections. The overall fallback strategy and options to address even the worst-case scenario—the wholesale breakdown of the 80,000 needed machines nationwide and of the 2,000 reserved units—have been discussed in some detail in the Decision subject of this recourse. The Court need not belabor them again.

While a motion for reconsideration may tend to dwell on issues already resolved in the decision sought to be reconsidered —and this should not be an obstacle for a reconsideration—the hard reality is that petitioners have failed to raise matters substantially plausible or compellingly persuasive to warrant the desired course of action.

Significantly, petitioners, in support of their position on the lack-of-legal-framework issue, invoke the opinion of Associate, later Chief, Justice Artemio Panganiban in Loong v. Comelec, where he made the following observations: "Resort to manual appreciation of the ballots is precluded by the basic features of the automated election system," and "the rules laid down in the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) for the appreciation and counting of ballots cast in a manual election x x x are inappropriate, if not downright useless, to the proper appreciation and reading of the ballots used in the automated system." Without delving on its wisdom and validity, the view of Justice Panganiban thus cited came by way of a dissenting opinion. As such, it is without binding effect, a dissenting opinion being a mere expression of the individual view of a member of the Court or other collegial adjudicating body, while disagreeing with the conclusion held by the majority.

And going to another but recycled issue, petitioners would have the Court invalidate the automation contract on the ground that the certifications submitted by Smartmatic during the bidding, showing that the PCOS technology has been used in elections abroad, do not comply with Sec. 1222 of RA 8436. Presently, petitioners assert that the system certified as having been used in New York was the Dominion Image Cast, a ballot marking device.

Petitioners have obviously inserted, at this stage of the case, an entirely new factual dimension to their cause. This we cannot allow for compelling reasons. For starters, the Court cannot plausibly validate this factual assertion of petitioners. As it is, private respondents have even questioned the reliability of the website24 whence petitioners base their assertion, albeit the former, citing the same website, state that the Image Cast Precinct tabulation device refers to the Dominion‘s PCOS ma chines.

Moreover, as a matter of sound established practice, points of law, theories, issues, and arguments not raised in the original proceedings cannot be brought out on review. Basic considerations of fair play impel this rule. The imperatives of orderly, if not speedy, justice frown on a piecemeal presentation of evidence and on the practice of parties of going to trial haphazardly.

Moving still to another issue, petitioners claim that "there are very strong indications that Private Respondents will not be able to provide for telecommunication facilities for areas without these facilities." This argument, being again highly speculative, is without evidentiary value and hardly provides a ground for the Court to nullify the automation contract. Surely, a possible breach of a contractual stipulation is not a legal reason to prematurely rescind, much less annul, the contract.

Finally, petitioners argue that, based on news reports,28 the TIM-Smartmatic joint venture has entered into a new contract with Quisdi, a Shanghai-based company, to manufacture on its behalf the needed PCOS machines to fully automate the 2010 elections.29 This arrangement, petitioners aver, violates the bid rules proscribing sub-contracting of significant components of the automation project.

The argument is untenable, based as it is again on news reports. Surely, petitioners cannot expect the Court to act on unverified reports foisted on it.

BY:

MEL

LEGS

2006

Political

Law

Case

Digests

CONSTITUTIONAL

LAW

PLAIN

VIEW

DOCTRINE

UNILAB, G.R.

INC. No.

vs.

ERNESTO 163858.

ISIP

and/or June

SHALIMAR 28,

PHILIPPINES 2005

Facts: UNILAB hired a private investigator to investigate a place purported to be manufacturing fake UNILAB products, especially Revicon multivitamins. The agent took some photographs where the clandestine manufacturing operation was taking place. UNILAB then sought the help of the NBI, which thereafter filed an application for the issuance of search warrant in the RTC of Manila. After finding probable cause, the court issued a search warrant directing the police to seize ―finished or unfinished prod ucts of UNILAB, particularly REVICON multivitamins.‖ No fake Revicon was however found; instead, sealed boxes where seized, which, when opene d contained 60 ml bottles of Disudrin and 200mg tablets of Inoflox, both were brands used by UNILAB. NBI prayed that some of the sized items be turned over to the custody of the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) for examination. The court granted the motion. The respondents then filed a motion to quash the search warrant or to suppress evidence, alleging that the seized items are considered to be fruit of a poisonous tree, and therefore inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding, which the petitioners opposed alleging that the boxes of Disudrin and Inoflox were seized under the plain view doctrine. The court, however, granted the motion of the respondents.

Issue: Whether or not the seizure of the sealed boxes which, when opened, contained Disudrin syrup and Inoflox, were valid under the plain view doctrine.

Held: It is true that things not described in the warrant may be seized under the plain view doctrine. However, seized things not described in the warrant cannot be presumed as plain view. The State must adduce evidence to prove that the elements for the doctrine to apply are present, namely: (a) the executing law enforcement officer has a prior justification for an initial intrusion or otherwise properly in a position from which he can view a particular order; (b) the officer must discover incriminating evidence

inadvertently; and (c) it must be immediately apparent to the police that the items they observe may be evidence of a crime, contraband, or otherwise subject to seizure

It was thus incumbent on the NBI and the petitioner to prove that the items were seized on plain view. It is not enough that the sealed boxes were in the plain view of the NBI agents. However, the NBI failed to present any of officers who were present when the warrant was enforced to prove that the the sealed boxes was discovered inadvertently, and that such boxes and their contents were incriminating and immediately apparent. It must be stressed that only the enforcing officers had personal knowledge whether the sealed boxes and their contents thereof were incriminating and that they were immediately apparent. There is even no showing that the NBI agents knew the contents of the sealed boxes before they were opened. In sum then, the petitioner and the NBI failed to prove that the plain view doctrine applies to the seized items.

FREEDOM

OF

EXPRESSION

PEOPLE‘S G.R.

JOURNAL No.

et. 143372

al.

vs. December

FRANCIS 13,

THOENEN 2005

Facts: On 30 September 1990, a news item appeared in the People‘s Journal claiming that a certain Francis Thoenen, a Swiss na tional who allegedly shoots wayward neighbors‘ pets that he finds in his domain. It also claimed that BF Homes residents, in a letter through lawyer Atty. Efren Angara, requested for the deportation of Thoenen to prevent the recurrence of such incident in the future. Thoenen claimed that the article destroyed the respect and admiration he enjoyed in the community. He is seeking for damages. The petitioners admitted publication of the news item, ostensibly out of a ―social and moral duty to inform the public on mat ters of general interest, promote the public good and protect the moral public (sic) of the people,‖ and that the story was published in good faith and without malice.

Issue: Whether or not the news report fall under privileged communication and therefore protected by the constitutional provision on freedom of speech.

Held: The right of free speech is not absolute. Libel is not protected speech. In the instant case, even if we assume that the letter written by Atty. Angara is privileged communication, it lost its character when the matter was published in the newspaper and circulated among the general population, especially since the individual alleged to be defamed is neither a public official nor a public figure. Moreover, the news item contained falsehoods on two levels. First, the BF Homes residents did not ask for the deportation of Thoenen, more so because the letter of the Atty. Anagara was a mere request for verification of Thoenen‘s status as a foreign resident . The article is also untrue because the events she reported never happened. Worse, the main source of information, Atty. Efren Angara, apparently either does not exist, or is not a lawyer.

There is no constitutional value in false statements of fact. Neither the intentional lie nor the careless error materially advances society‘s interest in ‗uninhibited, robust, and wide-open‘ debate. Calculated falsehood falls into that class of utterances which ―are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality… The knowingly false statement and the false statement made with reckless disregard of the truth, do not enjoy constitutional protection‖

CUSTOMS

SEARCH

TOMAS G.R.

SALVADOR No.

vs.

THE 146706.

PEOPLE July

OF

THE 15,

PHILIPPINES 2005

Facts: On June 3, 1994, a Special Mission Group from the PAF Special Operations Squadron conducted routine surveillance operations at the Manila Domestic Airport to check on reports of alleged drug trafficking and smuggling being facilitated by certain PAL personnel. They were ordered to keep close watch on the second airplane, an Airbus 300 parked inside the Domestic Airport terminal. At around 11:30 that same evening, three (3) persons had boarded the Airbus 300. The team did not move, but continued its surveillance. At 12:15 a.m. the team leader reported that the three (3) persons who earlier boarded the Airbus 300 had disembarked with their abdominal areas bulging and then boarded an airplane tow truck with its lights off. At the Lima Gate of the Domestic Airport, the team blocked and stopped the tow truck. The team leader identified himself and asked the four (4) persons on board to alight, and approached Aurelio Mandin whose uniform was partly open, showing a girdle. Then, a package wrapped in brown packaging tape fell. Suspecting that the package contained smuggled items, the leader yelled to his teammates, ―Positive!‖ Thereupon, the rest of the team surrounded petitioner and his two co-accused who surrendered without a fight. The team searched their bodies and found that the three were wearing girdles beneath their uniforms, all containing packets wrapped in packaging tape. Mandin yielded five (5) packets, while petitioner and Santos had four (4) each. The team confiscated the packets and brought all the accused to the PAFSECOM Office.

Issue:

Whether

or

not

the

seized

items

are

admissible

in

evidence.

Held: Our jurisprudence provides for privileged areas where searches and seizures may lawfully be effected sans a search warrant. These recognized exceptions include: (1) search of moving vehicles; (2) search in plain view; (3) customs searches; (4) waiver or consented searches; (5) stop-and-frisk situations; and (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest.

Here, it should be noted that during the incident in question, the special mission of the PAF operatives was to conduct a surveillance operation to verify reports of drug trafficking and smuggling by certain PAL personnel in the vicinity of the airport. In other words, the search made by the PAF team on petitioner and his co-accused was in the nature of a customs search. As such, the team properly effected the search and seizure without a search warrant since it exercised police authority under the customs law. Law enforcers who are tasked to effect the enforcement of the customs and tariff laws are authorized to search and seize, without a search warrant, any article, cargo or other movable property when there is reasonable cause to suspect that the said items have been introduced into the Philippines in violation of the tariff and customs law. They may likewise conduct a warrantless search of any vehicle or person suspected of holding or conveying the said articles, as in the case at bar.

DOUBLE

JEOPARDY

MARCELO G.R.

LASOY No.

and

FELIX

BANISA, 129472.

vs.

HON. April

MONINA 12,

A.

ZENAROSA 2005

Facts: On July 2, 1996 the accused were arrested fro possession and transport of marijuana leaves (in bricks). They were charged with the violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, with the information containing the fact that they were in possession of and were transporting, selling or offering to sell 42.410 grams of dried marijuana fruiting tops. The accused was then arraigned, pleaded guilty and convicted. Subsequently they applied for probation. Thereafter the prosecutor‘s office filed two motions to admit amended information (claiming that the marijuana recovered was 42.410 kilos, not grams) and to set aside the arraignment of the accused; the accused then moved to quash the motion raising the constitutional protection against double jeopardy.

Issue:

Whether

or

not

double

jeopardy

attaches.

Held: To invoke the defense of double jeopardy, the following requisites must be present: (1) a valid complaint or information; (2) the court has jurisdiction to try the case; (3) the accused has pleaded to the charge; and (4) he has been convicted or acquitted or the case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent.

An information is valid as long as it distinctly states the statutory designation of the offense and the acts or omissions constitutive thereof. In other words, if the offense is stated in such a way that a person of ordinary intelligence may immediately know what is meant, and the court can decide the matter according to law, the inevitable conclusion is that the information is valid. The inescapable conclusion, then, is that the first information is valid inasmuch as it sufficiently alleges the manner by which the crime was committed. Verily the purpose of the law, that is, to apprise the accused of the nature of the charge against them, is reasonably complied with. Moreover, an administrative order of the Supreme Court designated Regional Trial Courts to exclusively try and decide cases o f … violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended, regardless of the quantity of the drugs involved. (PP. vs. Velasco) Therefore, the requisites of double jeopardy being present, the defense attaches.

EMINENT

DOMAIN

REPUBLIC, G.R.

as

represented No.

by

the

NIA

vs. March

CA

and 31,

FRANCISCO

DIAZ 2005

147245.

Facts: Manuel Diaz owned approximately 172 hectares of property devoted to the planting of palay. The property was located in La Fuente, Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija, and allegedly yielded between 132 to 200 cavans of palay per hectare every year. After Manuel Diaz‘s death, his son, Franciso Diaz, was appointed administrator of the property.

In 1972, the National Irrigation Administration bulldozed ten (10) hectares of the Property to build two irrigation canals. Although the canals when finished occupied only a portion of the 10 hectares, the entire area became prone to flooding two months out of every year because of the side-burrow method NIA used in the construction of the canals. NIA completed the canals without instituting expropriation proceedings or indemnifying the property‘s owners. Respondent then sought compensation from NIA for the land af fected by the canals, as well as for losses due to unrealized profits. In 1980, NIA belatedly offered to buy the portions of the Property occupied by the canals pursuant to NIA‘s expansion program. The 1980 deeds of sale were never implemented. Respondent did not receive any consideration pursuant to these deeds. On 20 August 1993, respondent, as administrator of the Property, filed an action for damages and just compensation against NIA. NIA countered that respondent‘s right to bring the action had prescribed in accordance wit h RA 3601, as amended by PD 552. NIA also argued that respondent‘s failure to pursue the implementati on of the 1980 deeds of sale

amounted

to

laches.

Issue:

Whether

or

not

prescription

or

laches

bars

the

respondent‘s

right

to

just

compensation.

Held: The principle of laches finds no application in the present case. There is nothing inequitable in giving due course to respondent‘s claim for compensation. Both equity and the law direct that a property owner should be compensated if his property is taken for public use. Eminent domain is the inherent power of a sovereign state to appropriate private property to particular uses to promote public welfare. No one questions NIA‘s authority to exercise the delegated power of eminent domain. However, the power of eminent domain is n ot limitless. NIA cannot exercise the power with wanton disregard for property righ ts. One basic limitation on the State‘s power of eminent domain is the constitutional directive that, ―private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.‖ The thirteen-year interval between the execution of the 1980 deeds of sale and the 1993 filing of the complaint does not bar the claim for compensation. This Court reiterated the long-standing rule ―that where private property is taken by the Government for public use without first acquiring title thereto either through expropriation or negotiated sale, the owner‘s action to recover the land or the value thereof does not prescribe.‖

BAIL JUDGE A.M. NAPOLEON No. INOTURAN, vs. JUDGE MANUEL May Q. 6, LIMSIACO, JR 2005

MTJ-01-1362.

Facts: Mario Balucero was charged before the RTC of Makati Branch 133, the presiding judge of which is Napoleon Inoturan, with the violation of BP 22. Balucero, however, failed to appear during arraignment despite notice. Inoturan then issued a bench warrant against him. Balucero was subsequently arrested in Bacolod City, but was released upon posting of a property bail before the MCTC of Pulupundan, Negros Occidental, which order was signed by Judge Manuel Limsiaco, Jr. The arraignment of Balucero was subsequently set, but he failed to appear notwithstanding his receipt of notices. Inoturan then ordered that the property bond be cancelled and forfeited. He then ordered Ignacio Denila, the Clerk of Court of the MCTC to forward the property bond. Unable to comply with Inoturan‘s order, Denila was cited in contempt and was detained. Denila was ordered released by Limisiaco. Upon investigation, the Office of Court Administrator found that Judge Limsiaco ordered the release of the some other accused although they did not post bail. Limsiaco was administratively charged for gross ignorance of the law and negligence in the performance of his duties.

Issue:

What

are

the

requisites

before

an

order

for

release

can

be

given

in

cases

of

bail?

Held: Bail is the security given for the release of a person in custody of the law, furnished by him or a bondsman, conditioned upon his appearance before any court as required under the conditions herein after specified. It is thus clear that without bail, an accused under detention cannot be released. As found by the investigating Judges, accused Balucero did not post bail but still respondent Judge Limsiaco ordered his release.

A person applying for bail should be in the custody of the law or otherwise deprived of liberty. Indeed, bail is unavailing with respect to an accused who has not voluntarily surrendered or has yet to be placed in legal custody. In this case, Limsiaco issued the Order for the

release of accused Balucero on November 21, 1996 or fifteen (15) days before December 6, 1996, the day he was actually arrested. Moreover, Limsiaco acted without authority in approving Balucero‘s alleged application for bail. Section 17, Rule 114 of the Rev ised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that ―if the accused is arrested in a province, city of municipality, other than where t he case is pending, bail may be filed with any Regional Trial Court of said place, or if no judge thereof is available, with any metropolitan trial judge, municipal trial judge, or municipal circuit trial judge therein.‖ Here, respondent should not have approved Balucero‘s application for bail. It is only one of the 14 Branches of the RTC in Bacolod City which has the authority to act thereon.

POLICE

POWER

LUCENA G.R.

GRAND

CENTRAL No.

TERMINAL, 148339.

INC.,

petitioner,

vs.

JAC

LINER, 23,

INC.,

respondent. 2005

February

Facts: The City of Lucena enacted an ordinance which provides, inter alia, that: all buses, mini-buses and out-of-town passenger jeepneys shall be prohibited from entering the city and are hereby directed to proceed to the common terminal, for picking-up and/or dropping of their passengers; and (b) all temporary terminals in the City of Lucena are hereby declared inoperable starting from the effectivity of this ordinance. It also provides that all jeepneys, mini-buses, and buses shall use the grand central terminal of the city. JAC Liner, Inc. assailed the city ordinance as unconstitutional on the ground that, inter alia, the same constituted an invalid exercise of police power, an undue taking of private property, and a violation of the constitutional prohibition against monopolies.

Issue: Whether or not the ordinance satisfies the requisite of valid exercise of police power, i.e. lawful subject and lawful means.

Held: The local government may be considered as having properly exercised its police power only if the following requisites are met: (1) the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require the interference of the State, and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary for the attainment of the object sought to be accomplished and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. Otherwise stated, there must be a concurrence of a lawful subject and lawful method

The questioned ordinances having been enacted with the objective of relieving traffic congestion in the City of Lucena, they involve public interest warranting the interference of the State. The first requisite for the proper exercise of police power is thus present. This leaves for determination the issue of whether the means employed by the Lucena Sangguniang Panlungsod to attain its professed objective were reasonably necessary and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. The ordinances assailed herein are characterized by overbreadth. They go beyond what is reasonably necessary to solve the traffic problem. Additionally, since the compulsory use of the terminal operated by petitioner would subject the users thereof to fees, rentals and charges, such measure is unduly oppressive, as correctly found by the appellate court. What should have been done was to determine exactly where the problem lies and then to stop it right there.

The true role of Constitutional Law is to effect an equilibrium between authority and liberty so that rights are exercised within the framework of the law and the laws are enacted with due deference to rights. It is its reasonableness, not its effectiveness, which bears upon its constitutionality. If the constitutionality of a law were measured by its effectiveness, then even tyrannical laws may be justified whenever they happen to be effective.

ADMINISTRATIVE

LAW

COMMISSION

OF

SIMPLE

NEGLIGENCE,

VIOLATION

OF

REVENUE

REGULATION

NO.

4-93

BUREAU G.R.

OF No.

INTERNAL

REVENUE, 14995,

et

al February

vs.

LILIA 26,

B.

ORGANO 2004

Facts: Respondent Lilia B. Organo is a revenue collection officer of the BIR, Revenue Region 7, Quezon City. On May 13, 1997, then BIR Commissioner Liwayway Vinsons-Chato filed with the BIR a formal administrative charge against petitioner for grave misconduct and dishonesty.

Respondent filed a verified answer, in which she admitted that she had no specific authority allowing her to receive withholding tax returns and check payments. She alleged in her counter-affidavit that her duties as collection officer consisted merely of collecting delinquent accounts and performing other tasks that her supervisor would assign to her from time to time; and that her acceptance of the withholding tax returns and check payments for transmittal to BIR-authorized banks was a mere assistance extended to taxpayers, without any consideration.

The administrative case against respondent was transferred to the Office of Ombudsman, which adopted the ―proceedings, evidence/exhibits presented at the administrative proceedings before the BIR.‖ In due course, it rendered it s decision finding respondent guilty of grave misconduct.

Issue:

Whether

or

not

respondent

is

liable

for

grave

misconduct.

Held: The Court held that by accommodating and accepting withholding tax returns and checks payments respondent disregarded as established BIR rule. Revenue Regulation No. 4-93 requires payments through the banks precisely to avoid, whenever possible, BIR employee‘s direct receipt of tax payments. Yet, respondent was not deterred from making accommodations that circumvented this provision. To compound matters, her acts were essential ingredients paving the way for the commission of fraud against, and consequent damage to, the government. Her claimed ignorance thereof cannot erase her liability. Obviously, she disregarded the established practice and rules. In the face of her silence, the fact that the checks ended up in an unauthorized BIR account eloquently speaks, at the very least, of her gross negligence in taking care of collections that should not have passed through her hands in the first place. Because of her complicity in the transgression of the cited BIR regulation as well as her gross negligence, respondent is administratively liable for simple misconduct and is suspended for six months.

POWER

OF

COA

RODOLFO G.R.

S. No.

DE

JESUS,

ET 149154,

AL.

vs. June

COMMISSION 10,

ON

AUDIT 2003

Facts: The Board of Directors (BOD) of the Catbalogan Water District granted to themselves RATA, rice allowance, productivity incentive, anniversary, and year-end bonus and cash gifts, as authorized by Resolution No. 313 of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). The COA disallowed and ordered the refund of these allowances as they are not allowed by P.D. No. 198, the Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973.

Issue: Whether COA is vested with authority to disallow release of allowance not authorized by law even if authorized by the LWUA.

Held: Art. IX, Sec. 2 D of the Constitution mandates the COA to audit all the government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC) with original charters. The COA is vested with authority to disallow illegal or irregular disbursements of government funds. A Water District is a GOCC with a special charter since it is created pursuant to special law, PD 198. The COA can disallow allowances not authorized by law, even if authorized by the LWUA.

Considering that the disallowed allowances were received in good faith, without knowledge that payment had no legal basis, the allowances need not to be refunded.

QUASI-LEGISLATIVE & QUASI-JUDICIAL POWERS; RULE ON EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES; DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY JURISDICTION;WHEN APPLICABLE

SMART G.R.

COMMUNICATIONS,

INC.

ET

AL.

V.

NATIONAL August

TELECOMMUNICATIONS 12,

COMMISSION

(NTC) 2003

151908,

Facts: The NTC issued Billing Circular 13-6-2000 which promulgated rules and regulations on the billing of telecommunications services. Petitioners filed with the RTC a petition to declare the circular as unconstitutional. A motion to dismiss was filed by the NTC on the ground of petitioner‘s to exhaust administrative remedies. The RTC denied the motion to dismiss but on certiorari, the CA reversed RTC.

Held: 1. Administrative bodies had (a) quasi-legislative or rule-making powers and (b) quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory powers. Quasi-legislative or rule-making power is the power to make rules and regulations which results in delegated legislation that is within the confines of the granting statute and the doctrine of non-delegability and separability of powers. To be valid, such rules and regulations must conform to, and be consistent with, the provisions of enabling statute.

Quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory power is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by law itself in enforcing and administering the same law. In carrying out their quasi-judicial functions, the administrative officers or bodies are required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions from them for their official action and exercise of discretion in a judicial. 2. The determination of whether a specific rule or set of rules issued by an administrative body contravenes the law or the constitution is within the judicial power as defined by the Constitution which is ― the duty of the Courts of justice to settle actual con troversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there haw been a grave abuse of

discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.‖ The N TC circular was issued pursuant to its quasi-legislative or rule-making power. Hence, the action must be filed directly with the regular courts without requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies.

3. Where the act of administrative agency was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial function, exhaustion of administrative remedy is required, before going to court.

4. The doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies only where the administrative agency exercises its quasi-judicial or adjudicatory function. Thus, in cases involving specialized disputes, the same must be referred to an administrative agency of special competence pursuant to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. This doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies where the claim requires the resolution of issues which, under a regulatory scheme, has been placed within the special competence of an administrative body. In such case, the judicial process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view.

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6770 ( THE OMBUDSMAN ACT OF 1998) PENALTIES WHICH ARE FINAL AND UNAPPEALABLE;

RENATO G.R.

HERRERA No. 155320.

v.

ELMER February

BOHOL 5,2004

Facts: Renato F. Herrera, former Director III at DAR Central Office, approved the request for shift of item number of Plaridel Elmer J. Bohol, a Senior Agrarian Reform officer at the BARIE. The shift or item number from 577-1 of Fund 108 to 562-3 of Fund 101 resulted to Bohol ontaining his salary under Fund 101. When Bohol was informed that he could not draw his salary under such item anymore because his item was recalled and was given to another person, he charged Herrera before the Office of the Ombudsman, with Grave Misconduct and/or Inefficiency and Incompetence. The Ombudsman found Renato Herrera guilty of simple misconduct and was suspended for one month without pay. Such decision was contested by Herrera and he even appealed to the CA on the ground that he did not fail to take measures to correct respondent‘s recall; but, such petition was just denied by the CA.A petition for review was raised to the SC stressing that one month suspension, as stated in the Ombudsman Act of 1998, is appealable considering that it is not among those enumerated as final and unappealable.

Issue: Whether or not the provision in R.A. No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1998, providing suspension of not more than one month‘s salary is final and unappealable.

Held: Sec. 27 of RA No. 6770 states that: ―any order, directive or decision imposing the penalty of public censure, reprimand , suspension of not more than one month‘s salary shall be final and unappealable…‖

Salary suspension is an effect of work suspension following the ―no work, no pay‖ principle. It will be the employee concerne d who will be suspended and such suspension without pay,being final, and unappealable, is clearly expressed the law. RA No. 6770, therefore, is a legal and clear basis of denying the petitioner‘s appeal.

COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY;HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OR A SUPERIOR OFFICER SHALL NOT BE CIVILLY LIABLE FOR THE WRONGFUL ACTS.OMISSION OF DUTY, NEGLIGENCE FOR MISFEASANCE OF HIS SUBORDINATE.UNLESS HE HAS

ACTUALLY AUTHORIZE BY WRITTEN ORDER OF THE SPECIFIC ACT OR MISCONDUCT COMPLAINED OF

ALBERTO G.R.

V.

REYES, No.

ET

AL.

v.

RURAL 154499,

BANK

OF

SAN

MIGUEL

(BULACAN), 27,

INC.ET.

AL,. 2004

February

Facts: In a letter dated May 19,1999, addressed to then BSP Governor Singson, RBSMI charge the petitioner with violation of RA No. 6713 ( code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees). The Monetary Board (MB) of the BSP created an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the matter.

The ensuing investigation disclosed that sometime in September 1996, RBSMI, which had a history of major violations/exceptions dating back to 1995, underwent periodic examination by the BSP. The examination team headed by Principio noted serious 20 exceptions/violations and deficiencies of RBSMI.

Through Resolution No. 96, the MB required RBSMI to submit within 15 days a written explanation with respect to the findings of the examiner. It also directed the Department of Rural Banks DRB), to verify, monitor and report to the Deputy Governor, Supervision and Examination Sector (SES) on the findings noted, until the same shall have been corrected.

Meanwhile on June 13,1997, the MB approved Resolution No. 724 ordering RBSMI to correct the major exceptions noted within 30 days from receipt of the advice, and to remit to the BSP the amount of P2,538,483.00 as fines and penalties for incurring deficiencies in reserves against deposit liabilities.

More than a year after, however, the RBSMI asked for a reconsideration of MB Resolution No. 724 insofar as the imposition of fine amounting to P P2,538,483.00.On January 21, 1999, the MB adopted Resolution No. 71, authorizing the conditional reversal of sixty of the dispute on the findings on reserve deficiency. Subsequently, on April 7, 1999, the MB approved the interim reversal of the entire amount of the penalty ―pending the outcome of the study on the legal and factual basis for the imposition of the penalty.‖ The above incidents, particularly the alleged ―brokering‖ by Reyes and the petitioners‘ ―unsupported‖ recommendation to impose a penalty of P2,538,483.00 for legal reserve deficiency, prompted the respondent to file the letter-complaint charging the petitioners with ―unprofessionalism.‖ In the Decision if March 14,2003, this Court found Deputy Governor Reyes and Director Domo-ong liable for violation of the ―standards of professionalism‖ prescribed by RA 6713in that they used the distressed financial condition of respondent RBSMI as the subj ect of a case study in one of the BSP seminars and did the ―brokering‖ of the sale of RBSMI. The Court modified the decision of the CA by reducing the penalty imposed from the a fine equivalent to six months‘salary to a fine of 2 months salary for Reyes and one m onth salary for Domo-ong.

The court exonerated petitioner Proncipio of the Administrative charges. The exoneration is subject to RBSMI‘s Motion for Par tial Reconsideration.

Issue: Whether or not the Superior officer shall not be civilly liable for the wrongful acts, omissions of duty, negligence or misfeasance of his subordinate officer.

Held: The immunity of public officers from liability for nonfeasance, negligence or omissions of duty of their official subordinate and even for the latter‘s misfeasance or positive wrong rests, according to MECHEM, ―upon obvious considerations of public policy, the necessities of the public service and the perplexities and embarrassments of a contrary doctrine.‖ These official subordinate s are

themselves public officers though of an inferior grade, and therefore directly liable in the cases in which any public officer is liable, for their own misdeeds or defaults.

Under the Admin Code of 1987, which provides that head of a department or a superior officer shall not be civilly liable for the wrongful acts, omissions of duty, negligence, misfeasance of his subordinates, unless he has actually authorized by written order the specific act or misconduct complained of.

ELECTION

LAW

RONALD P.E.T.

ALLAN

POE CASE

a.k.a.

FERNANDO No.

POE, 002.

JR.

VS. March

GLORIA

MACAPAGAL-ARROYO 29, 2005

Facts: In the 2004 election, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) was proclaimed the duly elected President of the Philippines. The secondplacer in the elections, Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), filed an election protest before the Electoral Tribunal. When the Protestant died in the course of his medical treatment, his widow, Mrs. Jesusa Sonora Poe a.k.a. Susan Roces filed a motion to intervene as a substitute for deceased protestant FPJ. She claims that there is an urgent need for her to continue and substitute for her late husband to ascertain the true and genuine will of the electorate in the interest of the Filipino people. The Protestee, GMA asserts that the widow of a deceased candidate is not the proper party to replace the deceased protestant since a public office is personal and not a property that passes on to the heirs. Protestee also contends that under the Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, only the registered candidates who obtained the 2nd and 3rd highest votes for the presidency may contest the election of the president.

Issue: May the widow substitute/intervene for the protestant who died during the pendency of the latter‘s protest case?

Held: Only the registered candidate for President or for Vice-President of the Philippines who received the second or third highest number of votes may contest the election of the President or the Vice-President, as the case may be, by filing a verified petition with the Clerk of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal within thirty (30) days after the proclamation of the winner. An election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the protestant or to the protestee, hence, substitution and intervention is allowed but only by a real party in interest. Note that Mrs. FPJ herself denies any claim to the office of President but rather stresses that it is with the ―paramount public interest‖ in mind that she desires ―to pursue the process‖ commenced by her late husban d. However, nobility of intention is not the point of reference in determining whether a person may intervene in an election protest. In such intervention, the interest which allows a person to intervene in a suit must be in the matter of litigation and of such direct and immediate character that the intervenor will either gain or lose by the effect of the judgment. In this protest, Mrs. FPJ will not immediately and directly benefit from the outcome should it be determined that the declared president did not truly get the highest number of votes.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOUNDATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL. VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, COMELEC CHAIRMAN G.R. No. BENJAMIN 159139. ABALOS, January SR., 13, ET AL. 2004

Facts: On June 7, 1995, Congress passed R.A. 8046 (An act authorizing the COMELEC to conduct a nationwide demonstration of a

computerized election system and pilot-test it in the March 1996 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and for other purposes). On December 22, 1997, Congress enacted R.A. 8436 (An act authorizing the COMELEC to use an automated election system in the May 11, 1998 national or local elections and in subsequent national and local electoral exercises, providing funds therefore and for other purposes).

On October 29, 2002, COMELEC adopted its Resolution 02-0170 a modernization program for the 2004 elections. It resolved to conduct biddings for the three phases of its Automated Election System: namely, Phase I-Voter Registration and Validation System; Phase II-Automated Counting and Canvassing System; and Phase III-Electronic Transmissions.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued EO No. 172, which allocated the sum of P 2.5 billion to fund the AES for May 10, 2004 elections. She authorized the release of an additional P 500 million, upon the request of COMELEC.

The COMELEC issued an ―Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Bid‖. There are 57 bidders who participated therein. The Bids a nd Awards Committee (BAC) found MPC and the Total Information Management Corporation (TIMC) eligible. Both were referred to Technical Working Group (TWG) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

However, the DOST said in its Report on the Evaluation of Technical Proposals on Phase II that both MPC and TIMC had obtained a number of failed marks in technical evaluation. Notwithstanding these failures, the COMELEC en banc issued Resolution No. 6074, awarding the project to MPC.

Wherefore, petitioners Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines wrote a letter to the COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos, Sr. They protested the award of the contract to respondent MPC. However in a letter-reply, the COMELEC rejected the protest.

Issue: Whether or not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in awarding the contract to MPC in violation of law and in disregard of its own bidding rules and procedure.

Held: The Court has explained that COMELEC flagrantly violated the public policy on public biddings (1) by allowing MPC/MPEI to participate in the bidding even though it was not qualified to do so; and (2) by eventually awarding the contract to MPC/MPEI. It is clear that the Commission further desecrated the law on public bidding by permitting the winning bidder to alter the subject of the contract, in effect allowing a substantive amendment without public bidding.

SPECIAL

ELECTION

ARTURO TOLENTINO AND ARTURO MOJICA VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, SENATOR RALPH RECTO AND SENATOR GREGORIO G.R. No. 148334. January 21, HONASAN 2004

Facts: Following the appointment of Senator Teofisto Guingona as Vice-President of the Philippines, the Senate on February 8, 2001 passed Resolution No. 84, calling on COMELEC to fill the vacancy through a special election to be held simultaneously with the regular elections on May 14, 2001. Twelve senators, with 6-year term each, were due to be elected in that election. The resolution further provides that the ―Senatorial candidate garnering the 13th highest number of votes shall serve only for the unexpired term of former Senator Teofisto Guingona, Jr. which ends on June 30, 2004.

On June 5, 2001, after canvassing the election results, the COMELEC proclaimed 13 candidates as the elected Senators, with the first

12 Senators to serve the unexpired term of 6 years and the 13th Senator to serve the full term of 3 years of Senator Teofisto Guingona, Jr. Gregorio Honasan ranked 13th.

Petitioners Arturo Tolentino and Arturo Mojica, as voters and taxpayers, filed the instant petition for prohibition, praying for the nullification of Resolution No. 01-005.

Issue: Whether or not the Special Election held on May 14, 2001 should be nullified: (1) for failure to give notice by the body empowered to and (2) for not following the procedure of filling up the vacancy pursuant to R.A. 6645.

Held: (1) Where the law does not fix the time and place for holding a special election but empowers some authority to fix the time and place after the happening of a condition precedent, the statutory provision on the giving of notice is considered mandatory, and failure to do so will render the election a nullity.

The test in determining the validity of a special election in relation to the failure to give notice of the special election is whether want of notice has resulted in misleading a sufficient number of voters as would change the result of special election. If the lack of official notice misled a substantial number of voters who wrongly believed that there was no special election to fill vacancy, a choice by small percentage of voters would be void.

(2) There is no basis in the petitioners‘ claim that the manner by which the COM ELEC conducted the special Senatorial election on May 14, 2001 is a nullity because the COMELEC failed to document separately the candidates and to canvass separately the votes cast for the special election. No such requirement exists in our election laws. What is mandatory under Section 2 of R.A. 6645 is that the COMELEC ―fix the date of election,‖ if necessary, and state among others, the office/s to be voted for. Significantly, the method adopted by the COMELEC in conducting the special election on May 14, 2001 merely implemented the procedure specified by the Senate in Resolution No. 84. Initially, the original draft of said resolution as introduced by Senator Francisco Tatad made no mention of the manner by which the seat vacated by former Senator Guingona would be filled. However, upon the suggestion of Senator Raul Roco, the Senate agreed to amend the resolution by providing as it now appears, that ―the senatori al cabdidate garnering the 13th highest number of votes shall serve only for the unexpired t erm of former Senator Teofisto Giongona, Jr.‖

ADMINISTRATIVE

POWERS

OF

COMELEC

BAYTAN GR No.

ET 153945.

AL. February

VS. 4,

COMELEC 2003

Facts: Reynato Baytan registered as a voter in two precincts and the COMELEC En Banc affirmed the recommendation of its Law Department to file information of double registration in violation of the Election Code. Baytan filed with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari on the grounds, among others, that there was no probable cause and that election cases must first be heard and decided by a Division before the COMELEC En Banc can assume jurisdiction.

Held: 1. It is well- settled that the finding of probable cause in the prosecution of election offenses rests in the sound discretion of the COMELEC. Generally, the Court will not interfere with such finding of the COMELEC, absent a clear showing of grave abuse of

discretion. This principle emanates from the exclusive power of the COMELEC to conduct preliminary investigation of all election investigation of all election offenses and to prosecute the same.

2. Under Sec. 2, Art. IX-C of the Constitution, the COMELEC exercises both administrative and quasi-judicial powers. The administrative powers are found in Sec 2. (1), (3) to (9) of Art IX-C. The Constitution does not provide on whether these administrative powers shall be exercised by the COMELEC en banc or in division. The COMELEC en banc therefore can act on administrative matters, and this had been the practice under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. The prosecution by the COMELEC of violations of election laws is an administrative power.

3. The exercise by the COMELEC of its quasi-judicial powers is subject to Sec.3, Art.IX-C which expressly requires that all election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies, shall be decided by the COMELEC in division, and the motion for reconsideration shall be decided by the COMELEC en banc.

IMMUNITY

FROM

CRIMINAL

LIABILITY

BAROT GR No.

VS. 149147.

COMELEC June

ET 18,

AL. 2003

Facts: In the May 14, 2001 elections Barot was proclaimed the 10th winning candidate for councilor of Tanjay City, Negros Oriental. On May 29, 2001 the Chairman of the Board of Canvassers sent a Memorandum to the COMELEC requesting for authority to correct the Certificate of Canvass and to proclaim Tabaloc, instead of Barot, as the 10th winning candidate for Councilor, by errors committed by the Board of Canvassers. The COMELEC considered the Memorandum as a petition, and after notice and hearing, granted the request. Tabaloc was proclaimed the 10th winning Councilor. Barot filed with the Supreme Court a petition for and prohibition.

Held: 1. Rule 27, Sec.5, par (b) of the COMELEC Rules provides that a petition for correction must be filed not later than five (5) days following the date of proclamation, impleading the candidates who may be adversely affected thereby. Rule 1, Sec.4 of the COMELEC Rules also provides that ―in the interest of justice and in the order to obtain speedy disposition of all matters pending bef ore the Commission, these rules or any option thereof may be suspended by the Commission.‖ The filing of the petition beyond the 5 - day period was upheld in the interest of justice, it having been clearly shown that it was Tabaloc and not Barot who was the 10th winning candidate for councilor.

2. The COMELEC had the authority to consider the Memorandum of the Chairman of the Board of Canvassers, after notice and hearing, may even motu propio correct errors committed by in the tabulation of the votes.

PRE-PROCLAMATION

CONTROVERSY

NAVARRO GR No. 150799.

VS. February 3,

COMELEC 2003

Facts: Petitioner was a candidate for Mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections and during the canvassing, he petitioned the Board of Canvassers (BOC) to exclude the election returns contained in nine (9) ballot boxes on the ground that said boxes were not secured by the required ―3 padlocks.‖ The BOC denied the petition and petitioner appealed to the COMELEC. The COMELEC en banc denied the appeal and ordered the BOC to proceed with the canvassing and proclaim the winning local candidates. Petitioner lost in the election.

Held: 1. Lack of the required number of padlocks on the ballot boxes is not a proper issue in a pre-proclamation controversy. The issues that may be raised in a pre-proclamation controversy are enumerated in Sec 243 of the Omnibus Election Code, to wit: a. b. The Illegal canvassed composition election or returns are proceeding incomplete, of contain the material board defects, and of appear canvassers; to be

tampered with or falsified, or contain discrepancies in the same returns or in other authentic copies thereof as mentioned in Sections 233, 234, 235, and 236 of this Code;

c. The election returns were prepared under duress, threats, coercion, or intimidation, or they are obviously manufactured or not authentic; and

d. When substitute or fraudulent returns in controverted polling places were canvassed, the results of which materially affected the standing This of the enumeration aggrieved candidate is or candidates. exclusive.

2. A pre-proclamation controversy is limited to an examination of the election returns on their face and the COMELEC as a general rule need not go beyond the face of the returns and investigate the alleged election irregularities. In the case of Baterina, et al. v. COMELEC, 205 SCRA 1, the following facts were shown: (a) failure to close the entries with the signatures of the election inspectors; (b) lack of inner and outer seals; (c) canvassing by the Board of copies not intended for it; (d) lack of time and date receipt by the Board of the election returns; (e) lack of signatures of petitioners‘ watchers; and (f) lack of authority of the person receiving t he election returns. It was held that while said facts may, indeed, involve violation of the rules governing the preparation and delivery of election returns for canvassing, they do not necessarily affect the authenticity and genuineness of the subject election returns as to warrant their exclusion from the canvassing. Above facts are clearly defects in form insufficient to support a conclusion that the election returns were tampered with or spurious.

3. The COMELEC en banc validly ordered the proclamation of the winning candidate even during the pendency of the appeal to the COMELEC from the BOC‘s denial of the petition for exclusion of the questioned election returns. RA 7166, Sec 20 (I) provides as follows: (i) The BOC shall not proclaim any candidate as winner unless authorized by the Commission after the latter has ruled on the objection brought to it on appeal by the losing party. Any proclamation in violation hereof shall be void ab initio, unless the contested returns will not Above-quoted adversely provision applies affect only where the the results objection deals with of a the pre-proclamation election. controversy.

IMMUNITY

FROM

CRIMINAL

LIABILITY

COMELEC GR No.s

VS. 148948 &

TAGLE, 148951, February

ET 17,

AL. 2003

Facts: In connection with the May 11, 1998 elections, candidate for Mayor Florentino A. Bautista filed a complaint against Mayor Federico Poblete et al. for vote –buying in violation of Sec 261 (a) and (b) of the Omnibus Election Code. The Information was docketed as Criminal Case No. 7034-99 of the RTC of Imus, Cavite. Subsequently, a complaint for vote-selling in violation of Sec 261 (a) of the Omnibus Election Code was filed with the Prosecutor‘s Office as witnesses in Criminal Case No. 7034 -99 and the Provincial Prosecutor in Imus, Cavite filed separate Informations for vote-selling against said witnesses. On appeal, the COMELEC en banc declared that the witnesses in Criminal Case No. 7034-99 were exempt from criminal prosecution pursuant to 4th paragraph of Sec 28, RA No. 6646, otherwise known as ―The Electoral Reforms Law of 1987‖ which grants immunity from criminal prosecution to person s who voluntarily give information and willingly testify against those liable for vote-buying or vote-selling. The Law Department of the COMELEC moved to dismiss the Informations against the said witnesses but the RTC in Imus, Cavite denied the motion to dismiss.

Held: 1. One of the effective ways of preventing the commission of vote-buying and of prosecuting those committing it is the grant of immunity from criminal liability in favor of the party whose vote was bought. Sec 28 of RA No. 6646 concludes with the following paragraph: The giver, offeror, the promissory as well as the solicitor, acceptor, recipient and conspirator referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 261 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 shall be liable as principals: Provided, that any person, otherwise guilty under said paragraphs who voluntarily gives information and willingly testifies on any violation thereof in any official investigation or proceeding shall be exempt from prosecution and punishment for the offenses with reference to which his information and testimony were given: Provided, further, that nothing herein shall exempt such person from criminal prosecution for perjury or false testimony. 2. To avoid possible fabrication of evidence against the vote-buyers, especially by the latter‘s opponents, Congress saw it fit to warn ―vote-sellers‖ who denounce the vote-buying that they could be liable for perjury or false testimony should they not tell the truth. 3. The prosecution witnesses in Criminal Case No. 7034-99 are exempt from criminal prosecution for vote-selling by virtue of the proviso in the last paragraph of Section 28, RA 6646. At the time when the complaint for vote-selling was filed with the office of the Provincial Prosecutor, the respondents had already executed sworn statements attesting to the corrupt practice of vote-buying. It cannot then be denied that they had already voluntarily given information in the vote-buying case. In fact, they willingly testified in Crim. Case No. 7034-99.

4. The COMELEC has the exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses punishable under the election laws and to prosecute the same. The Chief State Prosecutor, all Provincial and City Prosecutors, or their respective assistants are, however, given continuing authority, as deputies of the COMELEC to conduct preliminary investigation of complaints involving election offenses and to prosecute the same. This authority may be revoked or withdrawn by the COMELEC anytime whenever, in its judgment, such revocation or withdrawal is necessary to protect the integrity of the COMELEC and to promote the common good, or when it believes that the successful prosecution of the case can be done by the COMELEC. When the COMELEC nullified the resolution of the Provincial Prosecutor, it in effect withdrew the deputation granted by the COMELEC.

PREMATURE

CAMPAIGNING

PANGKAT

LAGUNA

VS.

COMELEC

ET

AL.

G.R.

No.

148075.

February

4,

2002

Facts: On January 30, 2001 then Vice Governor Teresita Lazaro succeeded to the office of the Governor of Laguna when then Gov. Jose Lina was appointed Secretary of the DILG. Upon assumption of office as Governor, Lazaro publicly declared her ―intention to run for Governor‖ in the coming May 2001 elections. Subsequently, she ordered the purchase of trophies, baske tballs, volleyballs, chessboard sets, t-shirts, medals and pins, and other sports materials worth P4.5 millions. Gov. Lazaro bidded 79 public works projects on March 28, 2001. Pangkat Laguna, a registered political party, filed a petition for disqualification of Gov. Lazaro for premature campaigning.

Held: 1. The act of Gov. Lazaro in ―ordering the purchase of various items and the consequent distribution thereof of Laguna, in line with the local government unit‘s sports and education program‖ is not elect ion campaigning or partisan political activity contemplated and explicitly prescribed under the pertinent provisions of Sec 80 of the Omnibus Election Code.

2. Evidence is wanting to sufficiently establish the allegation that public funds were released, disbursed, or expended during the 45-day prohibitive period provided under the law and implementing rules. Absent such clear and convincing proof, the factual findings of the COMELEC cannot be disturbed considering that the COMELEC is the constitutional body tasked to decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections.

PUBLIC

CORPORATION

/

PUBLIC

OFFICERS

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS; SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN; MAJORITY OF ALL THE MEMBERS REQUIRED TO CONSTITUTE QUORUM

MANUEL G.R.

ZAMORA No.

VS.

GOV. 147767.

JOSE January

CABALLERO, 14,

ET

AL. 2002

Facts: Manuel Zamora, a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Compostela Valley, filed before the RTC a petition to invalidate all acts executed and resolutions issued by the Sanggunian during its sessions held on February 8 and 26, 2001 for lack of quorum. Said sessions noted the resignation letter of Board Member Sotto, declared the entire province under a state of calamity and approved the Governor to enter into the contract with the Allado Company. Zamora, the petitioner, argued that the Sanggunian, during its February 26 session, conducted official business without a quorum since only 7 out of the 14 members were present. He further questioned the February 8 session‘s validity arguing that only 7 members were present and the failure to provide written notice to all members at least 24 hours before the holding of the special session. Respondents argued that Board Member Sotto was in the United States during such sessions and that the actual number of Board Members in the country was only 13 which, they claimed, should be the basis for the determination of a quorum. Such petition raised by Zamora was dismissed by the RTC but reversed and granted by the Supreme Court.

Issues: 1) Whether or not Section 53 (a) of the LGC provides and specifies applicable rule regarding the determination of a quorum.

2) Whether or not Sanggunian Members who are abroad should not be included in the counting of the entire Sangguniang body.

3) Whether or not the approved decisions during the sessions, alleged to be without quorum, is deemed to be valid.

Held: Section 53 (a) of the LGC states that : ―A majority of all members of the Sanggunian who have been elected and qualifie d shall constitute a quorum to transact official business.‖ Quorum is defined as the ―number of members of a body which, when legally assembled, will enable the body to transact its proper business or that number which makes a lawful body and gives it power to pass upon a law or ordinance or do any valid act.‖ When required to constitute a quorum, ―majority‖ means the number greater than half or more than half of the total.

As further stated, it requires the majority of ALL members of the Sanggunian. Quorum should, thus, be based on the total number of members regardless of whether or not a member is said to be abroad.

Therefore, in cases where decisions have been made during sessions deemed to have not met the required quorum, such sessions and decisions shall be considered void.

LOCAL

GOVERNMENT;

3-TERM

LIMIT

RAYMUNDO G.R. No.

ADORMEO 147927.

VS.

COMELEC, February 4,

ET

AL. 2002

Facts: Respondent Talaga was elected Mayor of Lucena City in 1992, re-elected in 1995, but lost to Tagarao in 1998 elections. Tagarao was recalled and in the May 12, 2000 recall elections, Talaga won and served the unexpired term of Tagarao until June 30, 2001. Talaga was candidate for Mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections, and a petition for cancellation of his certificate of candidacy was filed on the ground that he has served as Mayor for three consecutive terms.

Issue:

Whether

or

not

Talaga

has

served

as

Mayor

of

Lucena

City

for

three

consecutive

terms.

Held: The term limit for elective local officials must be taken to refer to the right to be elected as well as the right to serve in the same elective position. Consequently, it is not enough that an individual has served three consecutive terms in an elective local office. He must also have been elected to the same position for the same number of times before the disqualification can apply. In the case at bar, Talaga did not serve for 3 consecutive terms. For nearly 2 years, he was a private citizen. The continuity of his mayorship was disrupted by his defeat in the 1998 elections.

―If one is elected representative to serve the unexpired term of another, that unexpired term, no matter how short, will be considered one term for the purpose of computing the number of successive terms allowed‖—this comment of Constitutional Commissioner Fr. Bernas applies only to members of the House of Representatives. Unlike government officials, there is no recall election for members of Congress.

PUBLIC

OFFICERS;

ANTI-GRAFT

MAYOR G.R.

ALVIN No.

GARCIA

VS. 148944.

HON.

PRIMO. February

MIRA, 5,

ET

AL. 2003

Facts: City Mayor Garcia was charged by Ombudsman Special Prosecution Officer Jesus Rodrigo Tagaan for violation of the Anti-Graft Law as a result of his having entered into a contract with F.E. Zuellig for the supply of asphalt batching plant for three years. The joint affidavits of State Auditors Cabreros and Quejada alleged that petitioner entered into the contract without available funds appropriated to cover the expenditure in violation of Sections 85 and 86 of P.D. 1445 or the State Audit Code of the Phil.; that petitioner exceeded the authority granted him by the Sangguniang Panlungsod; and that the contract is manifestly disadvantageous to the City. Note however that thereafter, Special Prosecution Officer Tagaan resigned from his office and his name was withdrawn as complainant in the case. Instead of filing a counter-affidavit, Garcia filed with the Supreme Court a petition to prohibit the Ombudsman from conducting the preliminary investigation on the ground that there is no sufficient complaint.

Issue:

Whether

or

not

the

complaint/affidavits

filed

against

Garcia

is

sufficient

in

form

or

manner.

Held: For purposes of initiating a preliminary investigation before the Office of the Ombudsman, a complaint in any form or manner is sufficient. The Constitution states that the Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the government. In Almonte vs. Vasquez, 244 SCRA 286, we held that even unverified and anonymous letters may suffice to start an investigation. The Office of the Ombudsman is different from the other investigatory and prosecutory agencies of the government because those subject to its jurisdiction are public officials who, through official pressure and influence, can quash, delay, or dismiss investigations against them. The joint affidavits of State Auditors Cabreros and Quejada contain allegations specific enough for petitioner to prepare his evidence and counter-arguments. The fact that Special Prosecution Officer Tagaan already resigned from his office and that his name was withdrawn as complainant in the case is of no consequence. First, Tagaan‘s report and affidavit still form part of the records of the case. He can still be called by subpoena, if necessary. Second, Tagaan was only a nominal party whose duty as special prosecutor was to investigate the commission of crimes and file the corresponding complaint whenever warranted. Since the illegal acts committed are public offenses, the real complainant is the State, which is represented by the remaining complainants.

PUBLIC

OFFICERS;

APPOINTMENT;

CONFIRMATION

BY

COA

ATTY. G.R.

ELPIDIO No.

SORIANO

III 153881.

VS.

REUBEN March

LISTA, 24,

ET

AL. 2003

Facts: Eight officers of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) were promoted by the President to Vice Admiral, Rear Admiral, Commodore, Naval Captain, and they assumed office without confirmation by the Commission on Appointments (COA). Petitioner, as a taxpayer, filed a petition with the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of their assumption of office, which requires confirmation of the COA.

Held: Petitioner has no locus standi. A party bringing a suit challenging the constitutionality of an act or statute must show not only that

the law or act is invalid, but also that he has sustained, or is in immediate or imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way. The instant petition cannot even be classified as a taxpayer‘s suit because petitioner has no interest as such and this case does not involve the exercise by Congress of its t axing power. Pursuant to Executive Order of President Ramos, the PCG was transferred from the Department of National Defense to the Office of the President, and later to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

Posted by UNC Bar Operations Commission 2007 De Leon vs Esguerra

Facts:

Alfredo de Leon won as barangay captain and other petitioners won as councilmen of barangay dolores, taytay, rizal. On february 9, 1987, de leon received memo antedated december 1, 1986 signed by OIC Gov. Benhamin Esguerra, february 8, 1987, designating Florentino Magno, as new captain by authority of minister of local government and similar memo signed february 8, 1987, designated new councilmen.

Issue: Whether or not designation of successors is valid.

Held:

No,

memoranda

has

no

legal

effect.

1. Effectivity of memoranda should be based on the date when it was signed. So, February 8, 1987 and not December 1, 1986.

2. February 8, 1987, is within the prescribed period. But provisional constitution was no longer in efffect then because 1987 constitution has been ratified and its transitory provision, Article XVIII, sec. 27 states that all previous constitution were suspended.

3. Constitution was ratified on February 2, 1987. Thus, it was the constitution in effect. Petitioners now acquired security of tenure until fixed term of office for barangay officials has been fixed. Barangay election act is not inconsistent with constitution.

US

Vs.

Ruiz

136

SCRA

487

Facts:

The usa had a naval base in subic, zambales. The base was one of those provided in the military bases agreement between phils. and the US. Respondent alleges that it won in the bidding conducted by the US for the constrcution of wharves in said base that was

merely awarded to another group. For this reason, a suit for specific preformance was filed by him against the US.

Issue: Whether the US naval base in bidding for said contracts exercise governmental functions to be able to invoke state immunity.

Held:

The traditional role of the state immunity excempts a state from being sued in the courts of another state without its consent or waiver. This rule is necessary consequence of the principle of indepemndence and equality of states. Howecer, the rules of international law are not petrified; they are continually and evolving and because the activities of states have multiplied. It has been necessary to distinguish them between sovereign and governmental acts and private, commercial and proprietory acts. the result is that state immunity now extends only to sovereign and governmental acts.

The restrictive application of state immunity is proper only when the proceedings arise out of commercial transactions of the foreign sovereign. Its commercial activities of economic affairs. A state may be descended to the level of an individual and can thus be deemed to have tacitly given its consent to be sued. Only when it enters into business contracts. It does not apply where the conracts relates the exercise of its sovereign function. In this case, the project are integral part of the naval base which is devoted to the defense of both US and phils., indisputably, a function of the government of highest order, they are not utilized for , nor dedicated to commercial or business purposes.

Gonzales

vs.

Hechanova

9

SCRA

230

Facts:

Respondent executive secretary authorized importation of 67,000 tons of foreign rice to be purchased from private sources. Ramon A. Gonzales, a rice planter and president of ilo-ilo palay and corn planters asso., filed and averring that in making or attempting to make importation of foreign rice are acting without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction because RA 2207, explicitly prohibits the importation of rice and corn by Rice and Corn Administration or any government agency.

Issue:

Whether

an

international

agreement

may

be

invalidated

by

our

courts.

Held:

The power of judicial review is vested with the supreme court in consonace to section 2 art. VIII of the constitution. the alleged consummation of the contracts with vietnam and burma does not render this case academic. RA 2207, enjoins our government not from entering contracts for the purchase of rice, but from entering rice, except under conditions prescribed in said act.

A judicial declaration of illegality of the proposed importation would not compel our government to default in the performance of such obligations as it mat have contracted with the sellers of rice in question because aside from the fact that said obligations may be complied without importing the said commodity into the phils., the proposed importation may still be legalized by complying with the provisions of the aforementioned law.

In

Re

Garcia

2

SCRA

985

Facts:

Arturo E. Garcia,has applied for admission to the practice of law in the phils. without submitting to the required bar examinations. In his verified petition, he avers among others that he is a filipino citizen born in bacolod city of filipino parentage. He finished Bachillerato Superior in spain. He was allowed to practice law profession in spain under the provision of the treaty on academic degrees and the exercise of profession between the republic of the phils.

Issue:

Whether

treaty

can

modify

regulations

governing

admission

to

the

phil.

bar.

Held:

The court resolved to deny the petition. The provision of the treaty on academic degrees between the republic of the phils. and spanish state cannot be invoked by the applicant. said treaty was intende to govern filipino citizens desiring to practice their profession in spain. The treaty could not have been intended to modify the laws and regulations governing admission to the practice of law in the phils., for the reason the executive may not encroach upon the constitutional prerogative of the supreme court to promulgate rules for admission to the practice of the law in the phils. The power to repeal, alter or supplement such rules being reserved only to the congress of the phils.

Villavicencio

vs

Lukban

L-14639

Facts:

Justo Lukban as Manila Mayor together with the police officer, took custody of 170 women at the night of October 25 beyond the latter's consent and knowledge and thereafter were shipped to Davao City where they were signed as laborers. A writ of habeas corpus was filed against the mayor on behalf of those women. The court granted the writ, but the mayor was not able to bring any of the women before the court on the stipulated date.

Issue:

Whether

or

not

the

act

of

mayor

has

a

legal

basis.

Held:

The supreme court said that the mayor's acts were not legal. His intent of exterminating vice was commendable, but there was no law saying that he could force filipino women to change their domicile from manila to nother place. The women, said the court, although in a sense "lepers of society" were still filipino citizens and such they were entitled to the constitutional enjoyed by all other filipino citizens. The right to freedom of domicile was such a fundamental right that its suppression could considered tantamount to slavery.

The supreme court upheld the right of filipino citizens to freedom of domicile or the Liberty of abode. "Ours is a government of laws and not of men."

Posted by Rhydel's Blog

Cailles

v.

Bonifacio,

65

Phil

328

(1938)

F: This is a quo warranto petition to oust respondent Bonifacio from the office of Provincial Governor of Laguna. It is contend¬ed that at the time he filed his certificate of candidacy and was elected to office, respondent was a Captain in the Philippine Army and for this reason, is ineligible to that office.

HELD: Section 2, Art. XI of the 1935 Const. (similar to the 1987 provision) prohibits members of the Armed Forces from engaging in any partisan political activity or otherwise taking part in any election except to vote, but it does not ex vi termini grant or confer upon them the right of suffrage. As Section 431 of the Election Law, as amended disqualifies from voting only members in the active service of the Philippine Army and no claim is made that this discrimination is violative of the Constitution, it follows that the respondent, being in the reserve force, is not disqualified from voting. The respondent being a qualified elector and the possession by him of the other qualifications prescribed for an elective provincial office not being chal¬lenged, he is not ineligible to the office of provincial governor to which he has been elected.

The constitutional provision mentioned contemplates only those in the active service otherwise it would lead to widespread disqualification of the majority of the able bodied men who are part of the reserve corps of the armed forces from voting and from being voted upon.

Raison d' etre for the disqualification: Members of the armed forces are servants of the State and not the agents of any political group.

For

more

case

digests

and

law

school

notes

visit

lizajamarga.com.

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Philippine

Agila

Sattelite

Inc.

vs.

Lichauco

G.R.

No.

142362,

May

3,

2006

Constitutional

Law,

State

Immunity

Against

Suit

FACTS:

Petitioner Philippine Agila Satellite Inc. is a duly organized corporation, whose President and Chief Executive Officer is co-petitioner Michael C.U. De Guzman. PASI was established by a consortium of private telecommunications carriers which in 1994 had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the DOTC, through its then Secretary Jesus Garcia, concerning the planned launch of a Philippine-owned satellite into outer space. The Philippine government, through the DOTC, was tasked under the MOU to secure from the International Telecommunication Union the required orbital slots and frequency assignments for the Philippine satellite.

The government, together with PASI, coordinated through the International Telecommunication Union two orbital slots, designated as 161º East Longitude and 153º East Longitude, for Philippine satellites. PASI wrote then DOTC Secretary Amado S. Lagdameo, Jr., seeking for official Philippine government confirmation on the assignment of the two aforementioned Philippine orbital slots to PASI for its satellites. Secretary Lagdameo, Jr. replied in a letter confirming ―the Philippine Government‘s assignment of Philippine orbital slots 161E and 153E to PASI for its satellites.‖

PASI averred that after having secured the confirmation from the Philippine government, it proceeded with preparations for the launching, operation and management of its satellites, including the availment of loans, the increase in its capital. However, respondent Lichauco, then DOTC Undersecretary for Communications, allegedly ―embarked on a crusade to malign the name of Michael de Guzman and sabotage the business of PASI.‖

Aggrieved by Lichauco‘s actions, PASI and De Guzman instituted a civil complaint against Lichauco, by then the Acting Secreta ry of the DOTC. The complaint, alleging three causes of action, was for injunction, declaration of nullity of award, and damages.

The third cause of action, for damages, imputed several acts to Lichauco as part of her alleged ―crusade‖ to malign the name of plaintiff De Guzman and sabotage the business of PASI.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

the

suit

is

against

the

state?

HELD:

The hornbook rule is that a suit for acts done in the performance of official functions against an officer of the government by a private

citizen that would result in a charge against or financial liability to the government must be regarded as a suit against the State itself, although the latter has not been formally impleaded. However, government immunity from suit will not shield the public official being sued if the government no longer has an interest to protect in the outcome of a suit; or if the liability of the officer is personal because it arises from a tortious act in the performance of his duties.

As earlier noted, the complaint alleges three causes of action against Lichauco: one for injunction against her performing any act in relation to orbital slot 153º East Longitude; one for declaration of nullity of award, seeking to nullify the alleged award of orbital slot 153º East Longitude; and one for damages against Lichauco herself.

As stated earlier, it is when the acts done in the performance of official functions by an officer of the government will result in a charge against or financial liability to the government that the complaint must be regarded as a suit against the State itself. However, the distinction must also be raised between where the government official concerned performs an act in his/her official and jurisdictional capacity and where he performs an act that constitutes grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. In the latter case, the Constitution itself assures the availability of judicial review, and it is the official concerned who should be impleaded as the proper partydefendant or respondent.

As to the first two causes of action, the Court ruled that the defense of state immunity from suit do not apply since said causes of action cannot be properly considered as suits against the State in constitutional contemplation. These causes of action do not seek to impose a charge or financial liability against the State, but merely the nullification of state action. The prayers attached to these two causes of action are for the revocation of the Notice of Bid and the nullification of the purported award, nothing more. Had it been so that petitioner additionally sought damages in relation to said causes of action, the suit would have been considered as one against the State. Had the petitioner impleaded the DOTC itself, an unincorporated government agency, and not Lichauco herself, the suit would have been considered as one against the State. But neither circumstance obtains in this case.

The doctrine, as summarized in Shauf v. Court of Appeals states: ―While the doctrine appears to prohibit only suits against t he state without its consent, it is also applicable to complaints filed against officials of the state for acts allegedly performed by them in the discharge of their duties. The rule is that if the judgment against such officials will require the state itself to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the same, such as the appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages awarded against them, the suit must be regarded as against the state itself although it has not been formally impleaded. It must be noted, however, that the rule is not so allencompassing as to be applicable under all circumstances.‖

It is a different matter where the public official is made to account in his capacity as such for acts contrary to law and injurious to the rights of plaintiff. As was clearly set forth by Justice Zaldivar in Director of the Bureau of Telecommunications, et al. vs. Aligaen, etc., et al.: ―Inasmuch as the State authorizes only legal acts by its officers, unauthorized acts of government officials or officers are not acts of the State, and an action against the officials or officers by one whose rights have been invaded or violated by such acts, for the protection of his rights, is not a suit against the State within the rule of immunity of the State from suit. In the same tenor, it has been said that an action at law or suit in equity against a State officer or the director of a State department on the ground that, while claiming to act for the State, he violates or invades the personal and property rights or the plaintiff, under an unconstitutional act or under an

assumption of authority which he does not have, is not a suit against the State within the constitutional provision that the State may not be sued without its consent.' The rationale for this ruling is that the doctrine of state immunity cannot be used as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice.

Santiago

v.

COMELEC

G.R

No.

127325,

March

19,

1997

Constitutional

Law,

People's

Initiative,

Political

Law

FACTS:

On December 6, 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin, founding member of the Movement for People's Initiative, filed with the COMELEC a "Petition to Amend the Constitution, to Lift Term Limits of Elective Officials, by People's Initiative" citing Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution. Acting on the petition, the COMELEC set the case for hearing and directed Delfin to have the petition published. After the hearing the arguments between petitioners and opposing parties, the COMELEC directed Delfin and the oppositors to file their "memoranda and/or oppositions/memoranda" within five days. On December 18, 1996, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Alexander Padilla, and Maria Isabel Ongpin filed a special civil action for prohibition under Rule 65 raising the following arguments, among others:

1.) That the Constitution can only be amended by people‘s initiative if there is an enabling law passed by Congress, to which no such law has yet been passed; and

2.) That R.A. 6735 does not suffice as an enabling law on people‘s initiative on the Constitution, unlike in the other modes of initiative.

ISSUE:

Is

R.A.

No.

6735

sufficient

to

enable

amendment

of

the

Constitution

by

people‘s

initiative?

HELD:

NO.

R.A.

6735

is

inadequate

to

cover

the

system

of

initiative

on

amendments

to

the

Constitution.

Under the said law, initiative on the Constitution is confined only to proposals to AMEND. The people are not accorded the power to "directly propose, enact, approve, or reject, in whole or in part, the Constitution" through the system of initiative. They can only do so with respect to "laws, ordinances, or resolutions." The use of the clause "proposed laws sought to be enacted, approved or rejected, amended or repealed" denotes that R.A. No. 6735 excludes initiative on amendments to the Constitution.

Also, while the law provides subtitles for National Initiative and Referendum and for Local Initiative and Referendum, no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution. This means that the main thrust of the law is initiative and referendum on national and local laws. If R.A. No. 6735 were intended to fully provide for the implementation of the initiative on amendments to the Constitution, it could have provided for a subtitle therefor, considering that in the order of things, the primacy of interest, or hierarchy of values, the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution is far more important than the initiative on national and local laws.

While R.A. No. 6735 specially detailed the process in implementing initiative and referendum on national and local laws, it intentionally did not do so on the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution.

Osea

vs.

Ambrosio

G.R.

No.

162774,April

7,

2006

Administrative

Law

FACTS:

Petitioners contend that the breach of contract in view of respondents' failure to comply with the building plans and technical specifications of the residential dwelling involves a violation of the Civil Code which is within the jurisdiction of regular courts, and not with the HLURB whose jurisdiction covers only cases of unsound real estate business practice and those that may be included within, or is incidental to, or is a necessary consequence of its jurisdiction.

Respondents argue, on the other hand, that the HLURB has exclusive jurisdiction, it arising from contracts between the subdivision developer and the house and lot buyer or those aimed at compelling the subdivision developer to comply with its contractual and statutory obligations.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

nor

HLURB

has

jurisdiction?

HELD:

HLURB

has

jurisdiction.

P.D.

No.

957

Section

3

of

this

statute

provides:

―. . . National Housing Authority [now HLURB]. — The National Housing Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the real estate trade and business in accordance with the provisions of this Decree.‖

The need for the scope of the regulatory authority thus lodged in the HLURB is indicated in the second, third and fourth preambular

paragraphs

of

P.D.

957

which

provide:

―WHEREAS, numerous reports reveal that many real estate subdivision owners, developers, operators, and/or sellers have renege d on their representations and obligations to provide and maintain properly subdivision roads, drainage, sewerage, water systems, lighting systems, and other similar basic requirements, thus endangering the health and safety of home and lot buyers;

WHEREAS, reports of alarming magnitude also show cases of swindling and fraudulent manipulations perpetrated by unscrupulous subdivision and condominium sellers and operators, such as failure to deliver titles to the buyers or titles free from liens and encumbrances, and to pay real estate taxes, and fraudulent sales of the same subdivision lots to different innocent purchasers for value;‖

xxxxxxxxx

―WHEREAS, this state of affairs has rendered it imperative that the real estate subdivision and condominium businesses be clo sely supervised and regulated, and that penalties be imposed on fraudulent practices and manipulations committed in connection therewith.‖

The provisions of P.D No. 957 were intended to encompass all questions regarding subdivisions and condominiums. The intention was aimed at providing for an appropriate government agency, the HLURB, to which all parties aggrieved in the implementation of provisions and the enforcement of contractual rights with respect to said category of real estate may take recourse. The business of developing subdivisions and corporations being imbued with public interest and welfare, any question arising from the exercise of that prerogative should be brought to the HLURB which has the technical know-how on the matter. In the exercise of its powers, the HLURB must commonly interpret and apply contracts and determine the rights of private parties under such contracts. This ancillary power is no longer a uniquely judicial function, exercisable only by the regular courts.

As

observed

in

C.T.

Torres

Enterprises,

Inc.

v.

Hibionada:

The argument that only courts of justice can adjudicate claims resoluble under the provisions of the Civil Code is out of step with the fast-changing times. There are hundreds of administrative bodies now performing this function by virtue of a valid authorization from the legislature. This quasi-judicial function, as it is called, is exercised by them as an incident of the principal power entrusted to them of regulating certain activities falling under their particular expertise.

In the Solid Homes case for example the Court affirmed the competence of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board to award damages although this is an essentially judicial power exercisable ordinarily only by the courts of justice. This departure from the traditional allocation of governmental powers is justified by expediency, or the need of the government to respond swiftly and competently to the pressing problems of the modern world. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

Furthermore, Executive Order (EO) No. 90 series of 1986, "IDENTIFYING THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ESSENTIAL FOR THE

NATIONAL SHELTER PROGRAM AND DEFINING THEIR MANDATES, CREATING THE HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT COORDINATING COUNCIL, RATIONALIZING FUNDING SOURCES AND LENDING MECHANISMS FOR HOME MORTGAGES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," so named the HLURB to recognize its mandate and authority over the development of housing in general and low-cost housing in particular. Thus Section 1 (c) of said EO provides:

Human Settlements Regulatory Commission — The Human Settlements Regulatory Commission; renamed as the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, shall be the sole regulatory body for housing and land development. It is charged with encouraging greater private sector participation in low-cost housing through liberalization of development standards, simplification of regulations and decentralization of approvals for permits and licenses.

This Court has thus consistently held that complaints for breach of contract or specific performance with damages filed by a subdivision lot or condominium unit buyer against the owner or developer fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the HLURB.

Moreover, under the doctrine of primary administrative jurisdiction, courts cannot or will not determine a controversy where the issues for resolution demand the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge, experience, and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact.

Under the circumstances attendant to the case, the HLURB has the expertise to determine the basic technical issue of whether the alleged deviations from the building plans and the technical specifications affect the soundness and structural strength of the house. Petitioners' position that an action for damages is not incidental to or a necessary consequence of the cases within the purview of the HLURB's jurisdiction does not lie. Being the sole regulatory body for housing and land development, the HLURB will be reduced to a functionally sterile entity if, as petitioners contend, it lacks the power to settle disputes concerning land use and housing development and acquisition, including the imposition of damages if the evidence so warrants.

MIAA G.R. No.

vs. 161836,

Joaquin February 28,

Rodriguez 2006

Constitutional

Law,

Expropriation

FACTS:

Petitioner Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), a GOCC operating the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Complex, implemented expansion programs for its runway in the 70‘s. So it bought and occupied some of the properties surrounding the area through expropriation. In 1996, respondent lot owner proposed to sell to MIAA at P2,350.00 per square meter one of the lots already occupied by the expanded runway. No deal was made. So respondent Rodriguez bought the bigger lot, a portion of which was occupied by the runway, as well as all the rights to claim reasonable rents and damages for the occupation, from its owner then, Buck Estate, Inc., for P4 million.

Rodriguez demanded from the MIAA full payment for the property and back rentals for 27 years, amounting to P468.8 million. Failing to reach an agreement with MIAA, Rodriguez filed a case for accion reinvindicatoria with damages. Finding that the MIAA had illegally taken possession of the property, the trial court ruled respondent‘s favor. The Court of Appeals modified the trial court‘s d ecision, holding that Rodriguez is entitled to back rentals only from the time he became the registered owner of the property in 1996.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not Rodriguez was a buyer in bad faith, for having purchased the subject lot in a highly speculative and scheming manner, and in anticipation of a grossly disproportionate amount of profit at the expense of the Government?

2.

Whether

or

not

Rodriguez

is

entitled

to

exemplary

damages

and

attorney‘s

fees?

HELD:

The

petition

is

partly

meritorious.

There is ―taking‖ when the expropriator enters private property not only for a momentary period but for a more permanent duration, or for the purpose of devoting the property to a public use in such a manner as to oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment thereof. In this context, there was taking when the MIAA occupied a portion thereof for its expanded runway. Where actual taking was made without the benefit of expropriation proceedings, and the owner sought recovery of the possession of the property prior to the filing of expropriation proceedings, the Court has invariably ruled that it is the value of the property at the time of taking that is controlling for purposes of compensation.

Thus, in Commissioner of Public Highways v. Burgos, wherein it took the owner of a parcel of land thirty-five (35) years before she filed a case for recovery of possession taken by the local government unit for a road-right-of-way purpose, this Court held:

…there being no other legal provision cited which would justify a departure from the rule that just compensation is determine d on the basis of the value of the property at the time of the taking thereof in expropriation by the Government, not the increased value resulting from the passage of time which invariably brings unearned increment to landed properties, represents the true value to be paid as just compensation for the property taken.

The

reason

for

the

rule,

as

pointed

out

in

Republic

v.

Lara,

is

that

--

". . . (W)here property is taken ahead of the filing of the condemnation proceedings, the value thereof may be enhanced by the public purpose for which it is taken; the entry by the plaintiff upon the property may have depreciated its value thereby; or, there may have been a natural increase in the value of the property from the time the complaint is filed, due to general economic conditions. The owner of private property should be compensated only for what he actually loses.

The subject lot was occupied as a runway of the MIAA starting in 1972. Thus, the value of the lot in 1972 should serve as the basis for the award of compensation to the owner.

On actual damages for the occupation of the subject lot, undeniably, the MIAA‘s illegal occupation for more than 20 years has resulted in pecuniary loss to Rodriguez and his predecessors-in-interest. Such pecuniary loss entitles him to adequate compensation in the form of actual or compensatory damages, which in this case should be the legal interest (6%) on the value of the land at the time of taking, from said point up to full payment by the MIAA. This is based on the principle that interest runs as a matter of law and follows from the right of the landowner to be placed in as good position as money can accomplish, as of the date of the taking. Case laws ruled that the indemnity for rentals is inconsistent with a property owner‘s right to be pa id legal interest on the value of the property, for if the condemnor is to pay the compensation due to the owners from the time of the actual taking of their property, the payment of such compensation is deemed to retroact to the actual taking of the property, and hence, there is no basis for claiming rentals from the time of actual taking.

On buyer in bad faith, the point is irrelevant. Regardless of whether or not Rodriguez acted in bad faith, all that he will be entitled to is the value of the property at the time of the taking, with legal interest thereon from that point until full payment of the compensation by the MIAA. There is nothing wrongful or dishonest in expecting to profit from one‘s investment. However, Rodriguez can fault b ut only himself for taking an obvious risk in purchasing property already being used for a public purpose. To our mind, these are wanton and irresponsible acts which should be suppressed and corrected. Hence, the award of exemplary damages and attorneys fees is in order.

Gudani

vs.

Senga

G.R.

No.

170165,

August

15,

2006

Political

Law,

E.O.

464

FACTS:

Petitioners Gen. Gudani and Lieutenant Colonel Balutan are high-ranking officers of Philippine Marines assigned to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio City. Senator Biazon invited several senior officers of the military to appear at a public hearing before a Senate Committee to clarify allegations of massive cheating and the surfacing of copies of an audio excerpt purportedly of a phone conversation between the President and then Commission on Elections Commissioner Garcillano. At the time of the 2004 elections, Gen. Gudani had been designated as commander, and Col. Balutan a member , of ―Joint Task Force Ranao‖ by the AFP Southern Command. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt . Gen. Senga were among the several AFP officers also received a letter invitation from Sen. Biazon to attend the hearing. But only Gen. Gudani, and Col. Balutan attended the invitation from Sen. Biazon.

Thereafter, the Office of the Chief of Staff of the AFP issued a Memorandum addressed to Gen. Baloing. It was signed by Lt. Col. Hernando DCA Iriberri in behalf of Gen. Senga. Noting that Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan had been invited to attend the Senate Committee hearing, the Memorandum directed the two officers to attend the hearing. Conformably, Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan filed

their

respective

requests

for

travel

authority

addressed

to

the

PMA

Superintendent.

However, Gen. Senga did not attend to the requested hearing as per instruction from the President that NO AFP PERSONNEL SHALL APPEAR BEFORE ANY CONGRESSIONAL OR SENATE HEARING WITHOUT HER APPROVAL. `

While Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan had concluded their testimony, the office of Gen. Senga issued a statement which noted that the two had appeared before the Senate Committee ―in spite of the fact that a guidance has been given that a Presidential approva l should be sought prior to such an appearance;‖ that such directive was ―in keeping with the time[ -]honored principle of the Chain of Command;‖ and that the two officers ―disobeyed a legal order, in violation of A[rticles of] W[ar] 65 (Willfully Disobeying Su perior Officer), hence they will be subjected to General Court Martial proceedings x x x‖ Both Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan were likewise relieved of their assignments then.

On the very day of the hearing, the President issued Executive Order (E.O.) 464. The Office of the Solicitor General notes that the E.O. ―enjoined officials of the executive department including the military establishment from appearing in any legislative inquir y without her approval.

Now, petitioners seek the annulment of a directive from the President enjoining them and other military officers from testifying before Congress without the President‘s consent. Petitioners also pray for injunctive relief against a pending preliminary investiga tion against them, in preparation for possible court-martial proceedings, initiated within the military justice system in connection with petitioners‘ violation of the aforementioned directive.

The Court has to resolve whether petitioners may be subjected to military discipline on account of their defiance of a direct order of the AFP Chief of Staff.

ISSUE:

Whether or not E.O. 464 which provides among others that NO AFP PERSONNEL SHALL APPEAR BEFORE ANY CONGRESSIONAL OR SENATE HEARING WITHOUT HER APPROVAL is unconstitutional?

HELD:

The

Petition

is

dismissed.

Is EO 464 constitutional or not, or may the President prevent a member of the armed forces from testifying before a legislative inquiry?

Insofar as E.O. 464 compelled officials of the executive branch to seek prior presidential approval before appearing before Congress, the notion of executive control also comes into consideration. The impression is wrong. The ability of the President to require a military official to secure prior consent before appearing in Congress pertains to wholly different and independent specie of presidential

authority—the commander-in-chief powers of the President. By tradition and jurisprudence, the commander-in-chief powers of the President are not encumbered by the same degree of restriction as that which may attach to executive privilege or executive control.

We hold that the President has constitutional authority to do so, by virtue of her power as commander-in-chief, and that as a consequence a military officer who defies such injunction is liable under military justice. At the same time, we also hold that any chamber of Congress which seeks to appear before it a military officer against the consent of the President has adequate remedies under law to compel such attendance. Any military official whom Congress summons to testify before it may be compelled to do so by the President. If the President is not so inclined, the President may be commanded by judicial order to compel the attendance of the military officer. Final judicial orders have the force of the law of the land which the President has the duty to faithfully execute.

Again, let it be emphasized that the ability of the President to prevent military officers from testifying before Congress does not turn on executive privilege, but on the Chief Executive‘s power as commander-in-chief to control the actions and speech of members of the armed forces. The President‘s prerogatives as commander-in-chief are not hampered by the same limitations as in executive privilege. The commander-in-chief provision in the Constitution is denominated as Section 18, Article VII, which begins with the simple declaration that ―[t]he President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines x x x Outside explicit constitutional limitations, such as those found in Section 5, Article XVI, the commander-in-chief clause vests on the President, as commander-in-chief, absolute authority over the persons and actions of the members of the armed forces. Such authority includes the ability of the President to restrict the travel, movement and speech of military officers, activities which may otherwise be sanctioned under civilian law.

Reference to Kapunan, Jr. v. De Villa is useful in this regard. Lt. Col. Kapunan was ordered confined under ―house arrest‖ by then Chief of Staff (later President) Gen. Fidel Ramos. Kapunan was also ordered, as a condition for his house arrest, that he may not issue any press statements or give any press conference during his period of detention. The Court unanimously upheld such restrictions, noting:

―… to a certain degree, individual rights may be curtailed, because the effectiveness of the military in fulfilling its duties under the law depends to a large extent on the maintenance of discipline within its ranks. Hence, lawful orders must be followed without question and rules must be faithfully complied with, irrespective of a soldier's personal views on the matter. It is from this viewpoint that the restrictions imposed on petitioner Kapunan, an officer in the AFP, have to be considered.‖

As a general rule, it is integral to military discipline that the soldier‘s speech be with the consent and approval of the military commander. The necessity of upholding the ability to restrain speech becomes even more imperative if the soldier desires to speak freely on political matters. For there is no constitutional provision or military indoctrination will eliminate a soldier‘s ability to form a personal political opinion, yet it is vital that such opinions be kept out of the public eye. For one, political belief is a potential source of discord among people, and a military torn by political strife is incapable of fulfilling its constitutional function as protectors of the people and of the State. For another, it is ruinous to military discipline to foment an atmosphere that promotes an active dislike of or dissent against the President, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Soldiers are constitutionally obliged to obey a President they may dislike or distrust. Even petitioners are well aware that it was necessary for them to obtain permission from their superiors before they could travel to Manila to attend the Senate Hearing.

Congress holds significant control over the armed forces in matters such as budget appropriations and the approval of higher-rank promotions, yet it is on the President that the Constitution vests the title as commander-in-chief and all the prerogatives and functions appertaining to the position. Again, the exigencies of military discipline and the chain of command mandate that the Presiden t‘s ability to control the individual members of the armed forces be accorded the utmost respect. Where a military officer is torn between obeying the President and obeying the Senate, the Court will without hesitation affirm that the officer has to choose the President. After all, the Constitution prescribes that it is the President, and not the Senate, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Judicial

relief

as

remedy:

The refusal of the President to allow members of the military to appear before Congress is not absolute. Inasmuch as it is ill-advised for Congress to interfere with the President‘s power as commander-in-chief, it is similarly detrimental for the President to unduly interfere with Congress‘s right to conduct legislative inquiries. The impasse did not come to pass in this petition, since petitioners testified anyway despite the presidential prohibition. The remedy lies with the courts.

Senate affirmed both the Arnault and Bengzon rulings. It elucidated on the constitutional scope and limitations on the constitutional power of congressional inquiry. Thus, the power of inquiry, ―with process to enforce it,‖ is grounded on the necessity of inf ormation in the legislative process. If the information possessed by executive officials on the operation of their offices is necessary for wise legislation on that subject, by parity of reasoning, Congress has the right to that information and the power to compel the disclosure thereof.

It may thus be subjected to judicial review pursuant to the Court‘s certiorari powers under Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution. To avoid conflict, Congress must indicate in its invitations to the public officials concerned, or to any person for that matter, the possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry. Section 21, Article VI likewise establishes critical safeguards that proscribe the legislative power of inquiry. The provision requires that the inquiry be done in accordance with the Senate or House‘s duly p ublished rules of procedure, necessarily implying the constitutional infirmity of an inquiry conducted without duly published rules of procedure. Section 21 also mandates that the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected, an imposition that obligates Congress to adhere to the guarantees in the Bill of Rights.

In Senate, the Court ruled that the President could not impose a blanket prohibition barring executive officials from testifying before Congress without the President‘s consent notwithstanding the invocation of executive privilege to justify such prohibition. Should neither branch yield to the other branch‘s assertion, the constitutional recourse is to the courts, as the final arbiter if t he dispute. It is only the courts that can compel, with conclusiveness, attendance or non-attendance in legislative inquiries.

Courts are empowered, under the constitutional principle of judicial review, to arbitrate disputes between the legislative and executive branches of government on the proper constitutional parameters of power. By this and, if the courts so rule, the duty falls on the shoulders of the President, as commander-in-chief, to authorize the appearance of the military officers before Congress. Even if the President has earlier disagreed with the notion of officers appearing before the legislature to testify, the Chief Executive is nonetheless

obliged

to

comply

with

the

final

orders

of

the

courts.

Lastly, General Gudani argues that he can no longer fall within the jurisdiction of the court-martial, considering his retirement last 4 October 2005. He cites Article 2, Title I of Commonwealth Act No. 408, which defines persons subject to military law as, among others, ―all officers and soldiers in the active service of the [AFP],‖ and points out that he is no longer in the active service. However, an officer whose name was dropped from the roll of officers cannot be considered to be outside the jurisdiction of military authorities when military justice proceedings were initiated against him before the termination of his service. Once jurisdiction has been acquired over the officer, it continues until his case is terminated.

http://barops-philjuris.blogspot.com/2008/08/philippine-agila-sattelite-inc-vs.html Mercado vs Manzano

Facts: Petitioner Ernesto Mercado and Private respondent Eduardo Manzano are candidates for the position of Vice-Mayor of Makati City in the May, 1998 elections. Private respondent was the winner of the said election but the proclamation was suspended due to the petition of Ernesto Mamaril regarding the citizenship of private respondent. Mamaril alleged that the private respondent is not a citizen of the Philippines but of the United States. COMELEC granted the petition and disqualified the private respondent for being a dual citizen, pursuant to the Local Government code that provides that persons who possess dual citizenship are disqualified from running any public position. Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration which remained pending until after election. Petitioner sought to intervene in the case for disqualification. COMELEC reversed the decision and declared private respondent qualified to run for the position. Pursuant to the ruling of the COMELEC, the board of canvassers proclaimed private respondent as vice mayor. This petition sought the reversal of the resolution of the COMELEC and to declare the private respondent disqualified to hold the office of the vice mayor of Makati.

Issue:

Whether

or

Not

private

respondent

is

qualified

to

hold

office

as

Vice-Mayor.

Held: Dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. For instance, such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. Private respondent is considered as a dual citizen because he is born of Filipino parents but was born in San Francisco, USA. Such a person, ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. IV) of our Constitution, it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to posses dual citizenship: (1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli; (2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fa thers if by the laws of their fathers‘ country such children are citizens of that country; (3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter‘s country the former are considered citizen s, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship. Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an in dividual‘s volition.

By filing a certificate of candidacy when he ran for his present post, private respondent elected Philippine citizenship and in effect renounced his American citizenship. The filing of such certificate of candidacy sufficed to renounce his American citizenship, effectively removing any disqualification he might have as a dual citizen.

By declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen; that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country; that he will defend and support the Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and allegiance thereto and that he does so without mental reservation, private respondent has, as far as the laws of this country are concerned, effectively repudiated his American citizenship and anything which he may have said before as a dual citizen. On the other hand, private respondent‘s oath of allegiance to the Philippine, when considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood, received his education, practiced his profession as an artist, and taken part in past elections in this country, leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship.

Lambino,

et

al.

vs.

COMELEC

(G.R.

No.

174153,

25

Oct.

2006)

Facts:

On 15 February 2006, the group of Raul Lambino and Erico Aumentado (―Lambino Group‖) commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to change the 1987 Constitution. On 25 August 2006, the Lambino Group filed a petition with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their initiative petition under Section 5(b) and (c) and Section 7 of Republic Act No. 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act. The proposed changes under the petition will shift the present Bicameral-Presidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary form of government.

The Lambino Group claims that: (a) their petition had the support of 6,327,952 individuals constituting at least 12% of all registered voters, with each legislative district represented by at least 3% of its registered voters; and (b) COMELEC election registrars had verified the signatures of the 6.3 million individuals.

The COMELEC, however, denied due course to the petition for lack of an enabling law governing initiative petitions to amend the Constitution, pursuant to the Supreme Court‘s ruling in Santiago vs. Commission on Elections. The Lambino Group elevated the matter to the Supreme Court, which also threw out the petition.

Issue: Whether or not the initiative petition complies with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on direct proposal by the people? Ruling: Ratio: No.

Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution is the governing provision that allows a people‘s initiative to propose amendment s to the Constitution. While this provision does not expressly state that the petition must set forth the full text of the proposed amendments, the deliberations of the framers of our Constitution clearly show that: (a) the framers intended to adopt the relevant American jurisprudence on people‘s initiative; and (b) in particular, the people must first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they sign, and that

the

people

must

sign

on

a

petition

containing

such

full

text.

The essence of amendments ―directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition‖ is that the entire proposal on its face is a petition by the people. This means two essential elements must be present.

First, the people must author and thus sign the entire proposal. No agent or representative can sign on their behalf.

Second,

as

an

initiative

upon

a

petition,

the

proposal

must

be

embodied

in

a

petition.

These essential elements are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first shown to the people who express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition. The full text of the proposed amendments may be either written on the face of the petition, or attached to it. If so attached, the petition must state the fact of such attachment. This is an assurance that every one of the several millions of signatories to the petition had seen the full text of the proposed amendments before - not after - signing.

Moreover, ―an initiative signer must be informed at the time of signing of the nature and effect of that which is proposed‖ a nd failure to do so is ―deceptive and misleading‖ which renders the initiative void.

In the case of the Lambino Group‘s petition, there‘s not a single word, phrase, or sentence of text of the proposed changes i n the signature sheet. Neither does the signature sheet state that the text of the proposed changes is attached to it. The signature sheet merely asks a question whether the people approve a shift from the Bicameral-Presidential to the Unicameral- Parliamentary system of government. The signature sheet does not show to the people the draft of the proposed changes before they are asked to sign the signature sheet. This omission is fatal.

An initiative that gathers signatures from the people without first showing to the people the full text of the proposed amendments is most likely a deception, and can operate as a gigantic fraud on the people. That‘s why the Constitution requires that an init iative must be ―directly proposed by the people x x x in a petition‖ - meaning that the people must sign on a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. On so vital an issue as amending the nation‘s fundamental law, the writing of the text of the proposed amendments cannot be hidden from the people under a general or special power of attorney to unnamed, faceless, and unelected individuals.

Issue: Whether or not the initiative violates Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution disallowing revision through initiatives? Ruling: Ratio: Yes.

Article XVII of the Constitution speaks of three modes of amending the Constitution. The first mode is through Congress upon threefourths vote of all its Members. The second mode is through a constitutional convention. The third mode is through a people‘s initiative.

Section 1 of Article XVII, referring to the first and second modes, applies to ―any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution.‖ In

contrast, Section 2 of Article XVII, referring to the third mode, applies only to ―amendments to this Constitution.‖ This dis tinction was intentional as shown by the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. A people‘s initiative to change the Constitution applies only to an amendment of the Constitution and not to its revision. In contrast, Congress or a constitutional convention can propose both amendments and revisions to the Constitution.

Does the Lambino Group‘s initiative constitute an amendment or revision of the Constitution? Yes. By any legal test and under any jurisdiction, a shift from a Bicameral-Presidential to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system, involving the abolition of the Office of the President and the abolition of one chamber of Congress, is beyond doubt a revision, not a mere amendment.

Courts have long recognized the distinction between an amendment and a revision of a constitution. Revision broadly implies a change that alters a basic principle in the constitution, like altering the principle of separation of powers or the system of checks-and-balances. There is also revision if the change alters the substantial entirety of the constitution, as when the change affects substantial provisions of the constitution. On the other hand, amendment broadly refers to a change that adds, reduces, or deletes without altering the basic principle involved. Revision generally affects several provisions of the constitution, while amendment generally affects only the specific provision being amended.

Where the proposed change applies only to a specific provision of the Constitution without affecting any other section or article, the change may generally be considered an amendment and not a revision. For example, a change reducing the voting age from 18 years to 15 years is an amendment and not a revision. Similarly, a change reducing Filipino ownership of mass media companies from 100% to 60% is an amendment and not a revision. Also, a change requiring a college degree as an additional qualification for election to the Presidency is an amendment and not a revision.

The changes in these examples do not entail any modification of sections or articles of the Constitution other than the specific provision being amended. These changes do not also affect the structure of government or the system of checks-and-balances among or within the three branches.

However, there can be no fixed rule on whether a change is an amendment or a revision. A change in a single word of one sentence of the Constitution may be a revision and not an amendment. For example, the substitution of the word ―republican‖ with ―monarchic‖ or ―theocratic‖ in Section 1, Article II of the Constitution radically overhauls the entire structure of government and the fundamental ideological basis of the Constitution. Thus, each specific change will have to be examined case-by-case, depending on how it affects other provisions, as well as how it affects the structure of government, the carefully crafted system of checks-and-balances, and the underlying ideological basis of the existing Constitution.

Since a revision of a constitution affects basic principles, or several provisions of a constitution, a deliberative body with recorded proceedings is best suited to undertake a revision. A revision requires harmonizing not only several provisions, but also the altered principles with those that remain unaltered. Thus, constitutions normally authorize deliberative bodies like constituent assemblies or constitutional conventions to undertake revisions. On the other hand, constitutions allow people‘s initiatives, which do not have fixed and identifiable deliberative bodies or recorded proceedings, to undertake only amendments and not revisions.

In California where the initiative clause allows amendments but not revisions to the constitution just like in our Constitution, courts have developed a two-part test: the quantitative test and the qualitative test. The quantitative test asks whether the proposed change is ―so extensive in its provisions as to change directly the ‗substantial entirety‘ of the constitution by the deletion or alteratio n of numerous existing provisions.‖ The court examines only the number of provisions affected and does not consider the degree of the change.

The qualitative test inquires into the qualitative effects of the proposed change in the constitution. The main inquiry is whether the change will ―accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision.‖ Whether there is an alteration in the structure of government is a proper subject of inquiry. Thus, ―a change in the nature of [the] basic governmental plan‖ includes ―change in its fundamental framework or the fundamental powers of its Branches.‖ A change in the nature of the basic governmental plan also includes changes that ―jeopardize the traditional form of government and the system of ch eck and balances.‖

Under both the quantitative and qualitative tests, the Lambino Group‘s initiative is a revision and not merely an amendment. Quantitatively, the Lambino Group‘s proposed changes overhaul two articles - Article VI on the Legislature and Article VII on the Executive - affecting a total of 105 provisions in the entire Constitution. Qualitatively, the proposed changes alter substantially the basic plan of government, from presidential to parliamentary, and from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature.

A change in the structure of government is a revision of the Constitution, as when the three great co-equal branches of government in the present Constitution are reduced into two. This alters the separation of powers in the Constitution. A shift from the present Bicameral-Presidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system is a revision of the Constitution. Merging the legislative and executive branches is a radical change in the structure of government. The abolition alone of the Office of the President as the locus of Executive Power alters the separation of powers and thus constitutes a revision of the Constitution. Likewise, the abolition alone of one chamber of Congress alters the system of checks-and-balances within the legislature and constitutes a revision of the Constitution.

The Lambino Group theorizes that the difference between ―amendment‖ and ―revision‖ is only one of procedure, not of substance . The Lambino Group posits that when a deliberative body drafts and proposes changes to the Constitution, substantive changes are called ―revisions‖ because members of the deliberative body work full-time on the changes. The same substantive changes, when proposed through an initiative, are called ―amendments‖ because the changes are made by ordinary people who do not make an ―occupation, profession, or vocation‖ out of such endeavor. The SC, however, ruled that the express intent of the framers and the plain la nguage of the Constitution contradict the Lambino Group‘s theory. Where the intent of the framers and the langu age of the Constitution are clear and plainly stated, courts do not deviate from such categorical intent and language.

Issue: Ruling: Ratio:

Whether

or

not

a

revisit

of

Santiago

vs.

COMELEC

is

necessary? No.

The petition failed to comply with the basic requirements of Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on the conduct and scope of a

people‘s initiative to amend the Constitution. There is, therefore, no need to revisit this Court‘s ruling in Santiago declar ing RA 6735 ―incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions‖ to cover the system of initiative to amend the Constitution. An affirmation or reversal of Santiago will not change the outcome of the present petition. It‘s settled that courts will not pa ss upon the constitutionality of a statute if the case can be resolved on some other grounds.

Even assuming that RA 6735 is valid, this will not change the result here because the present petition violates Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution, which provision must first be complied with even before complying with RA 6735. Worse, the petition violates the following provisions of RA 6735:

a. Section 5(b), requiring that the people must sign the petition as signatories. The 6.3 million signatories did not sign the petition or the amended petition filed with the COMELEC. Only Attys. Lambino, Donato and Agra signed the petition and amended petition.

b. Section 10(a), providing that no petition embracing more than one subject shall be submitted to the electorate. The proposed Section 4(4) of the Transitory Provisions, mandating the interim Parliament to propose further amendments or revisions to the Constitution, is a subject matter totally unrelated to the shift in the form of government.

UB

ManaIiIi

vs.

Court

of

Appeals,

G.R.

No.

113447,

October

9,

1997

FACTS: When the Anti-Narcotics Unit received information that drug addicts were roaming the area in front of the Caloocan City cemetery, they conducted surveillance in said place and chanced upon Manalili. The officers observed Manalili to have reddish eyes and walking in a swaying manner. When they asked Manalili what he holds in his hands, the latter tried to resist. When asked for the second time, Manalili showed the wallet he was holding and allowed Patrolman Espiritu to examine the same. Espiritu found marijuana residue inside. Manalili was charged with illegal possession of marijuana. He alleged illegality of the search warrant for non-existence of probable cause.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

probable

cause

for

the

search

exists.

HELD: Yes. In the case at hand, Patrolman Espiritu and his companion observed during their surveillance that the appellant had red eyes and was wobbling like a drunk along the Caloocan City cemetery which according to the police information was popular hang-out of drug addicts. From his experience as a member of the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Caloocan City Police, such suspicious behavior was characteristic of drug addicts who were high on drugs. The policemen therefore had sufficient reason to stop petitioner to investigate if he was actually high on drugs.

Ho

and

Narciso

vs.

People,

G.R.

No.

106632

and

106678,

October9,

1997

FACTS:

A criminal complaint was filed with the Office of the Ombudsman against the petitioners, Ho and Narciso for

alleged violation of Section 3(g) of Republic Act 3019 prohibiting a public officer from entering into any contract or transaction on behalf of the government if it is manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the latter, irrespective of whether the public officer profited or will profit thereby. Consequently, the said petitioners were charged before the Sandiganbayan and a warrant of arrest was issued by the latter. Petitioners Ho and Narciso filed a Motion to Recall Warrant of Arrest/Motion for Reconsideration alleging that the Sandiganbayan, in issuing the warrant, merely relied on the information and resolution submit j ted by the Ombudsman without supporting evidence from the parties in violation of the requirements of Section 2, Article Ill of the Constitution. Respondent Sandiganbayan denied said motion via the challenged resolution, thus these petitions.

ISSUE: May a judge determine probable cause and issue warrant of arrest solely on the basis of the resolution of the prosecutor who conducted the preliminary investigation.

HELD: The petitions are meritorious. The determination of the probable cause by the prosecutor is for a purpose different from that which is to be made by the judge. Whether there is a reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and should be held for trial is what the prosecutor passes upon. The judge, on the other hand, determines whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused, i.e. whether there is a necessity for placing him under immediate custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice. Since their objectives are different, the judge cannot rely solely on the report of the prosecutor in finding probable cause to justify the issuance of a warrant of arrest. It is not required that the complete or entire records of the case during the preliminary investigation be submitted to and examined by the judge. What is required, rather, is that the judge must have sufficient supporting documents upon which to make his independent judgment or, at the very least, upon which to verify the findings of the prosecutor as to the existence of the probable cause.

Although the prosecutor enjoys the legal presumption of regularity in the performance of his functions, which in turn gives his report the presumption of accuracy, the Constitution commands the judge to personally determine the probable cause in the issuance of warrant of arrest.

People

vs.

Encinada

G.R.

No.

116720,

October

2,

1997

FACTS: An information was received that Roel Encinada would be arriving in Surigao City from Cebu City on board a vessel bringing with him marijuana; Because the information came late, the police were not able to secure a search warrant. On the day of the arrival, they deployed themselves in the different strategic points at the wharf to intercept Encinada. When they saw the accused walk down the gangplank carrying two small colored plastic baby chairs in his hand, they identified themselves as authorities and found a bulky package in between the two chairs which were stacked together and tied with a piece of string. Bolonia examined it closely and smelled the peculiar scent of marijuana by making a small tear in the cellophane cover.

The RTC of Surigao City convicted Roel Encinada of illegal transportation of prohibited drugs under Section 4 of R.A. 6425,

as amended by B.P. BIg. 179. The trial court emphasized that the accused was caught carrying marijuana in flagrante delicto. Hence, the warrantless search following his lawful arrest was valid and the marijuana was admissible in evidence.

Upon conviction he appealed arguing that the search and his arrest without a warrant would not fall under the doctrine of warrantless search as incident to lawful arrest. Further, he contended that the subject marijuana leaves is not admissible in evidence.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

the

warrantless

search

was

valid.

HELD: The conviction could have been affirmed by the Supreme Court. However, the very evidence implicating him- the prohibited drug found in his possession- cannot be used against him in this case, for that matter, in “any proceeding.” There was a violation of the constitutional right of the accused enshrined in Section 2, Article 3 of the 1 987 Constitution. Any evidence obtained in violation of this provision is legally inadmissible in evidence as a “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Even if the tip from an informant was received by Bolonia about 4:00 p.m. of May 20 in his house, there was sufficient time to secure a warrant of arrest, as the vessel was not expected to dock until 7 a.m. the following day. Administrative Order No. 13 allows applications for search warrants even after court hours.

The Court is not unmindful of the difficulties of law enforcement agencies in suppressing the illegal traffic ot dangerous drugs. However, quick solutions of crimes and apprehensions of malefactors do not justify a callous disregard of the Bill of Rights.

People

vs.

Dulay,

et.aL,

G.R.

No.

119246

FACTS: About a week prior to June 18, 1994, the Police Operatives from the drug enforcement unit of WPDC had placed under surveillance the movements and activities of appellant Leonardo Dulay on account of confidential and intelligence reports received in said unit about his drug trafficking around Bambang St., Tondo, Manila.

Around 3:00 in the morning of June 18, the police informant spotted the approaching vehicle of Dulay and immediately alerted the waiting policemen. The operatives tailed the subject jeepney and when the latter stopped, they also stopped and accosted the passengers thereof. The team inspected the cylindrical tin cans loaded in the vehicle and found out that they contained bundles of suspected dried marijuana. They seized the suspected contrabands and submitted the same to NBI for laboratory analysis. The test confirmed that the stuff were marijuana.

Upon arraignment, the appellants pleaded not guilty. At the trial, they assail the admission of the seized marijuana as evidence against them, arguing that the same was “the fruit of an illegal search conducted without any search warrant”.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

the

seized

marijuana

is

admissible

as

evidence

against

the

appellants.

HELD: The seized marijuana is admissible as evidence. The appellants are deemed to have waived their rights to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures for the following reasons: (1) they had voluntarily submitted to the search and seizure. They never protested when the authorities opened the tin cans loaded in their vehicle nor did they protested when they, together with their cargo were brought to the police station; and (2) they effectively waived their rights by their voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the trial court when they entered a plea of not guilty upon arraignment and by participating in the trial.

When one voluntarily submits to a.search or consents to have it made on his person or premises, he is precluded from later complaining thereof. The right to be secure from unreasonable search may, like every right, be waived and such waiver may be made either expressly or impliedly.

Association of Philippine Coconut Desiccators vs. Philippine Coconut Authority, G.R. No. 110526, February 10, 1998

FACTS: Challenged here is the decision of the Philippine Coconut Authority to issue permits to certain applicants for the establishment of new desiccated coconut processing plants. Petitioner Association of Philippine Coconut Desiccators alleged that said decision is beyond the power of the PCA and prayed that said administrative agency must be compelled to observe its mandatory duty under the provisions of statutes reguating the desiccated coconut industry. The PCA contended however that the petition should be denied on the ground that petitioner has a pending appeal before the Office of the President and the latter is guilty of forum-shopping and that it failed to observe the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies.

ISSUE: Whether or not the appeal to the President must be made by the petitioner before judicial review is taken.

HELD: The rule requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies before a party may seek a judicial review has obviously no application in the case at bar. The resolution in question was issued by the PCA in the exercise of its rule-making or legislative power. It is settled that only judicial review of decisions of administrative agencies made in the exercise of their quasi-judicial function is subject to the exhaustion doctrine. The exhaustion doctrine stands as a bar to an action which is not yet complete. Petition is granted.

Villaflor

Vs.

Court

Of

Appeals,

G.R..

No.

95694;

October

9,

1997

FACTS: Villaflor and Nasipit Lumber Co., Inc. entered into a contract of sale involving a parcel of land in Butuan City. Pending the negotiation of the same, the former filed a Sale Application before the Bureau of Public Lands with regard to the said property which was granted. He then executed a Deed of Relinquishment of Right in the said real property in favor of the private respondent in the amount of P 5,000.00. After staying in Indonesia for almost thirty years, the petitioner filed an action in the Bureau of Lands alleging that he was not paid by the respondent. The case was decided in favor of respondent Nasipit Lumber Co. Inc. Villaflor filed a motion for reconsideration before the Minister of Natural Resources which affirmed the appealed decision. Both the trial court and the appellate court dismissed the appeal of the petitioner. Hence, this petition for

review.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the decision of the Bureau of Lands is binding before the Supreme Court.

HELD: The petition has no support of law. In recent years, it has been the jurisprudential trend to apply the doctrine of primary jurisdiction to case involving matters that demand the special competence of administrative agencies even if the question involved is also judicial in character. It applies “where a claim is originally cognizable in the courts, and comes into play where enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which, under a regulatory scheme, have been placed within the special competence of an administrative body, in such case, the judicial process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view.‟ In cases where the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is clearly applicable, the court cannot arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy, the jurisdiction over which is initially lodged with an administrative body of special competence.

Comelec

vs.

Silva,

G.R.

No.

129417,

February

10,

1998

FACTS:

The COMELEC charged the respondents of having tampered with, in conspiracy with one another, the

certificates of canvass by increasing the votes received by then senatorial candidate Juan Ponce Enrile in certain municipalities of Bataan in the election of May 8,1995. However, the case was dismissed when Chief State Prosecutor Zuno, who had been designated by the COMELEC to prosecute the cases, filed a comment joining in private respondents request of the dismissal of the same. The COMELEC sought to appeal the dismissal of the cases to the court of Appeals by filing Notices thereof but the judges denied due course to its appeal. The sole basis for the denials was the fact that the prosecutor, whom the COMELEC had deputized to prosecute the cases, had earlier taken a contrary stand against the COMELEC. Hence, this petition for certiorari and mandamus seeking the nullification of the said orders of the lower court.

ISSUE: Whether the decision to appeal the order of dismissal is vested to the COMELEC or its designated prosecutor.

HELD: The authority to decide whether or not to appeal the dismissal belongs to the COMELEC. Art. IX-C, Section 2(6) of the Constitution expressly vests in it the power to and function to “investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses and malpractices.”

Prosecutors designated by the COMELEC to prosecute the cases act as its deputies. They derive their authority from it and not from their offices. Consequently, it was beyond the power of Chief State Prosecutor Zuno to oppose the appeal of the COMELEC. If the Chief State Prosecutor thought there was no probable cause for proceeding against the respondents, he should have discussed the matter with the COMELEC and awaited its instructions. It was, therefore, grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent judges to rely on the manifestation of Chief State Prosecutor Zuno as basis for denying due course to the notices of appeal filed by the COMELEC.

In

Re

Appointments,

Administrative

Matter

No.

98-5-01-SC,

November

9,

1998

FACTS: Referred to the Court En Banc by the Chief Justice are the appointments signed by President Fidel Ramos under date of March 30, 1998 of Hons. Valenzuela and Vallarta as judges of the RTC of Branch 62 and 24, respectively. Such appointments were done a month prior to the next presidential elections. The referral was made in view of the serious constitutional issue concerning said appointments. Attention was drawn to Sec. 15 of Art VII of the Constitution which provides that a President or Acting President shall not make appointments two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term. On the other hand, Sec. 4 of Art. VIII of the same Constitution states that any vacancies in the Supreme Court shall be filled within ninety-days from the occurrence thereof. Also pertinent is Sec. 9 of the same Art. VIII which provides that the President shall issue the appointments within ninety days from the submission of the list prepared by the Judicial Bar Council.

ISSUE: Whether or not the President may be allowed to fill vacancies in the judiciary during the period of the ban on appointments.

HELD: During the period stated in Sec. 15, Art.VII of the Constitution, the President is neither required to make appointments to the courts nor allowed to do so; and Secs. 4(1) and 9 of Art. VIII simply mean that the President is required to fill vacancies in the Courts within the time frames provided therein unless prohibited by Sec. 15 of Art. VIII. It appears that there is conflict between these provisions. To resolve the conflict, the respective reasons for the time frames for filling vacancies in the courts and restriction on the President‟s power of appointment should be considered. Thus, the former should yield to the latter. The appointments were held unjustified as tney come within the prohibition relating to appointments.

Bautista

vs.

COMELEC,

G.R.

No.

133840,

November

13,

1998

FACTS: Petitioner Cipriano “Efren” Bautista, a mayoralty candidate in Navotas petitioned the COMELEC to declare a certain Edwin “Efren Bautista, a nuisance candidate. The latter was accordingly declared a nuisance candidate by the COMELEC. However, because a motion for reconsideration was filed by Edwin Bautista, his disqualification did not become final until three clays after elections. In view thereof, the name of Edwin was excluded from the list of candidates for Mayor. But on election day, his name was included again in the list. Later that same day, such name was again stricken off the list. Thus, as per petitioner‟s request, the COMELEC ordered that the votes cast for “Efren”, “Efren Bautista”, and “Bautista” be d eclared stray votes but to segregate such stray votes into a separate improvised tally sheet in order to count the total stray votes. When the canvass of the election returns was commenced, the Municipal Board of Canvassers refused to canvass as part of the valid votes of petitioners the “stray votes” or the sepaUate tallies of votes. In view of this refusal, petitioner filed a petition with the COMELEC to declare such proceedings illegal.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

the

proceedings

of

the

Municipal

Board

of

Canvassers

is

illegal.

HELD: A stray vote is invalidated because there is no way of determining the real intention of the voter. This is, however, not the situation in the case at bar. Factual circumstances and logic dictated that the “Bautista” and “Efren‟ votes which were

mistakenly deemed as „stray votes” refer to only one candidate, herein petitioner. True it is, the disqualification of Edwin Bautista was not yet final on election day. However, it is also true that the electorate of Navotas was informed of such disqualification. The voter had constructive as well as actual knowledge of the action of the COMELEC delisting Edwin Bautista as a candidate for mayor.

Municipality

of

Paranaque

vs.

VM

Realty

Corp,

G.R.

No.

127820,

July

20,

1998

FACTS: Pursuant to Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 577, petitioner Municipality of Paranaque offered V.M. Realty Corporation to enter into a negotiated sale over the latter‟s two parcels of land. The offer was not accepted. Thus, by virtu e of another resolution, a complaint for expropriation was filed by the petitioner against the Corporation over the said land. RTC of Makati authorized the petitioner to take possession of the subject property upon deposit with its clerk of court of an amount equivalent to 15% of the land‟s fair market value based on current tax declaration.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

an

expropriation

could

be

effected

merely

by

virtue

of

a

resolution.

HELD: A local government unit can expropriate private property by virtue of an ordinance and not merely through a resolution. According to Sec. 19 of R.A. 7160, the following are the essential requisites that must concur before an LGU can exercise the power of eminent domain: 1) An “ordinance” is enacted by the local legislative council authorizing the local chief executive to exercise the power of eminent domain; 2) The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use, purpose or welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the landless; 3) The payment of just compensation; and 4) A valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner of the property but said offer was not accepted.

It is clear therefrom that the first requisite was not complied with. A municipal ordinance is different from resolution. An ordinance is a law, possesses a general and permanent character and needs a third reading but a resolution is merely a declaration of the sentiment .or opinion of a lawmaking body on a specific matter, temporary in nature and does not need a third reading, unless decided otherwise by a majority of all the Sanggunian members.

Roquero

vs.

COMELEC,

G.R.

No.

128165,

Apr11

15,

1998

FACTS: Petitioner Eduardo Roquero and private respondent Reynaldo Villano were candidates for mayor during the local elections held on May 8,1995.

On July 19,1995, the Municipal Board of Canvassers EMBC] proclaimed petitioner Roquero as the duly elected Mayor. Respondent Villano filed a motion for reconsideration to annul or suspend the proclamation. The same was denied. A petition for certiorari was also denied. A motion to reconsider such denial was also denied, copy of which was received by Villano on May

7,1996.

On May 17, 1996, Villano filed an election protest before the Malolos RIO. Petitioner Roquero however, filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the election protest was filed beyond the ten-day reglementary period for filing the same.

The

COMELEC

denied

the

motion

to

dismiss

and

ordered

the

revision

of

the

ballots.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

election

protest

of

private

respondent

Villano

was

filed

on

time.

HELD: The COMELEC, in ruling that the election protest was filed on time, merely reckoned the 10-day period from the time of the receipt of Supreme Court resolution dismissing his petition to the date when he filed his election protest [i.e from May 7 to May 17]. In computing the 10-day period, the COMELEC did not consider the running of the period from the date of proclamation of the petitioner candidate to the date the pleading was filed with the COMELEC to annul or suspend the proclamation; and from the time private respondent received the ruling of the COMELEC denying the petition, to the time he filed the petition before this Court questioning the COMELEC‟s ruling.

Under Sec. 248 of the Omnibus Election Code the filing of a petition to annul the proclamation of any candidate shall suspend the running of the period within which to file an election protest. Petitioner Roquero was proclaimed by the MBC as the duly elected mayor on July 19,1995. Five days later, or on July 24,1995, private respondent Villano filed with respondent COMELEC a pre-proclamation motion for reconsideration. Consequently, only five [5] days of the ten [10] day reglemeritary period to file an election protest remained. The ten [10] day reglementary period was suspended during the pendency of the preproclamation case in the COMELEO and in this Court, until private respondent Villano received a copy of this Court‟s Resolution denying his motion for reconsideration on May 7, 1996. Verily, on May 7,1996, the five-day remainder of the reglementary period to file an election protest resumed to run again and expired on May 12, 1996. Private respondent Villano therefore belatedly filed his election protest on May 17, 1996, five [5] days after the deadline for filing the same.

Nasipit Lumber Company, Inc. and PhiIippine Wallboard Corp. vs. National Wages and Productivity Commission, G.R.. No. 113097, April 27, 1998

FACTS: The Region X Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board issued Wage Order No. RX-01 and RX-01-A increasing the minimum wage rates in Northern Mindanao. Thereafter, petitioner applied for exemption from the said wage orders as distressed establishments. The RTWPB, on the basis of Guidelines No. 3 granted the‟application for exemption. Private reversed respondents-unions lodged an appeal with the NWPC [National Wages and Productivity Commission] which the decision of grant for

exemption. In this petition, the petitioners contended that the NWPC gravely abused its discretion in overturning the RTWPB‟s approval of their application for exemption from Wage Orders RX-01 and RX-01-A.

They argued that under Art. 122[c] of the Labor Code, RTWPB has power “to receive, process and act” on application for exemption from prescribed wage rates as may be provided by law or any wage order. They also maintained that no law

expressly

requires

the

approval

of

the

NWPC

for

the

effectivity

of

RTWPB‟s

Guideline

No.

3.

ISSUE: Whether the NWPC gravely abused its discretion when it overturned the exemption granted to the petitioners by RTWPB.

HELD: It is clear under Art. 121 of the Labor Code, powers of NWPC and Art. 122, powers of RTWPB, that the NWPC, not the RTWPB, has the power to prescribe rules and guidelines for the determination of minimum wage and productivity measures. While the RTWPB has the power to issue wage orders under Art. 122 [b] of the Labor Code, such orders are subject to the guidelines prescribed by the NWPC.

It is important to note that Guideline No. 3, the basis upbn which the grant for exemption was issued was never assented to by NWPC. The guideline therefore is inoperative and cannot be used by the RTWPB in deciding a petitioner‟s application for exemption. Under the NWPC‟s Rules of Procedure on Minimum Wage Fixing issued on June 4,1990—which was prior to the effectivity of RTWPB Guideline No. 3, an application for exemption from wage orders should be processed by the RTWPB, subject specifically to the guidelines issued by the NWPC.

Art. 122 [c] of the Labor Code cannot be construed to enable the RTWPB to decide applications for exemption on the basis of its own guidelines which were not reviewed and approved by the NWPC, for the simple reason that a statutory grant of „power” should not be extended by implication beyond what may be necessary for their just and reasonable execution. Official powers cannot be merely assumed by administrative officers, nor can they be created by the court in the exercise of their judicial functions.

Joson

vs

Torres,

G.

R..No.

131255,

May20,

1998

FACTS: Private respondents, Vice-Governor and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Nueva Ecija, filed acomplaint with the President against their governor petitioner Eduardo Nonato Joson, charging him with grave misconduct and abuse of authority. The President instructed the Secretary of DILG to conduct an investigation. Consequently, the parties submitted their position papers. On the basis of the same, the petitioner was found guilty as charged.

The petitioner contended that the denial of his motion to conduct a formal investigation violated his right to due process.

ISSUE: Whether or not in an administrative case filed against an elective official, decision may be rendered based solely on position papers.

HELD: The provisions for administrative disciplinary actions against elective local officials are markedly different from appointive officials. The jurisprudence cited by the DILG applies to appointive officials. Governor Joson cannot be held liable based only on position papers.

In the case at bar, the governor was denied of his procedural due process upon the rejection of the petitioner‟s motion to conduct a formal investigation. Section 5 of A.O. No. 23 provides that at the preliminary conference, the investigating authority shall summon the parties to consider whether they desire a formal investigation. This provision does not give the investigating authority the discretion to determine whether a formal investigation would be conducted.

The local official has the [1] the right to appear and defend himself in person or by counsel; [2] the right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him; and [3] the right to compulsory attendance of witness and the production of documentary evidence. These rights are reiterated in the Local Government Code and in A.O. No. 23.

EamigueI

vs.

Ho,

A.M.

No.

98-

1263-P.

March

6,

1998

FACTS: Edilberto Ho worked as Clerk II at the RIO, Branch 16, Naval, Biliran. He was sent a letter requesting him to report to office immediately due to voluminous work to be done; later, he was sent a memorandum requiring him to explain in writing within 72 hours why no administrative sanction should be imposed on him for his failure to report to office. Ho ignored both the letter and the memorandum. It has been found that from Dec. 15, 1995 until the early part of 1996, Ho has been absent from work without any authorization. There were also several instances when he would register on the logbook and would went out and would never return for work. Thus, an administrative complaint was filed against him for absenteeism, insubordination, misconduct and nonobservance of office directives.

Ho was found guilty of the charge,s and was meted with suspension from office for a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 1 year. On the other hand, the Office of the Court Administrator affirmed the factual findings but ordered Ho be dropped from service without prejudice.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

Ho

should

be

dismissed.

HELD: Ho‟s offense warrants his dismissal from service with forfeiture of benefits. His frequent absences without authorization prejudiced public service. Moreover, Ho is guilty not only of habitual absenteeism but also of dishonesty. The Court will not tolerate such dishonesty committed by a court employee because every official and employee of the judiciary, from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk, should be an example of integrity, uprightness, and honesty.

Ople

vs

Torres

et.al.;

G.R.

No.

127685,

July23,

1998

FACTS: Administrative Order No. 308 entitled „Adoption ot a National Computerized Identification Reference System” was issued by President Fidel V. Ramos and was published in four newspapers of general circulation. It aims to establish a decentralized Identification Reference System among the key basic services and social security providers. There shall be a Population Reference Number (PRN) for each individual and all basic and social security transactions shall be regulated by

the PRN with the use of Biometrics Technology. The funding shall be sourced from the respective budgets of the concerned agencies like GSIS, SSS, NSO and others.

Petitioner Bias Ople assailed the Administrative Order and prayed for its nullification on two important constitutional grounds: one, it is a usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate, and two, it impermissibly intrudes on our citizen‟s protected zone of privacy. The petitioner claims that AO No. 308 is not a mere administrative order but a law and hence, beyond the power of the President to issue. On the other hand, the respondents maintain that the President has merely exercised his administrative power in implementing the legislative policy of the Administrative Code of 1987 and that A.O. No. 308 is not a law for it confers no right,imposes no duty, affords no protection and creates no office.

On the right of privacy, claims that A.O. No. 308 will infringe on the people‟s right to be let alone while respondents deny such allegation.

ISSUES: Whether or not A.O. No. 308 encroaches on the law-making power of the legislative department; whether or not A.O. No. 308 infringes the people‟s right of privacy.

HELD:A.O. No. 308 involves a subject that is not appropriate to be covered by an administrative order. An administrative order is an ordinance issued by the President which relates to specific aspects in the administrative operation of government, It must be in harmony with the law and should be for the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying out the legislative policy. It cannot be simplistically argued that A.O. No. 308 merely implements the Administrative Code of 1987

for the former establishes for the first time a National Computerized Identification Reference System. Nor is it correct to argue that A.O. 308 is not a law for it confers no right, imposes no.duty, affords no protection, and creates no office. Under the assailed administrative order, a citizen cannot transact business with government agencies delivering basic services to the people without the contemplated identification card. Thus, without the ID, a citizen will have difficulty exercising his rights and enjoying his privileges. Given this reality, the contention that A.O. No. 308 gives no right and imposes no duty cannot stand.

Regarding the right of privacy, it is a right recognized and enshrined in the several provisions of our Constitution, and in our laws. Hence, it is the burden of government to show, that A.O. No. 308 is justified by some compelling state interest and that it is narrowly drawn. To note, what is not arguable is the broadness, the vagueness, the overbreadth of A.O. No 308 which if implemented will put our people‟s right to privacy in clear and present danger.

It is noteworthy that A.O. No. 308 does riot state what specific biological characteristics and what particular biometrics technology shall be used to identify people who will seek its coverage; it does not state whether encoding of data is limited to biological information alone for identification purposes; and it does not state in clear and categorical terms how theses information gathered shall be handled. The A. 0. speaks of computer linkage which will give other governmental agencies

access to the information. Yet, there are no controls to guard against leakage of information. The possibilities of abuse and misuse of the PRN, biometric and computer technology cannot be downplayed.

Dimaandal

vs.

COA,

G.R.

No.

122197,

June26,

1998

FACTS: In November 1992, Petitioner Zozimo Dimaandal was then a Supply Officer Ill when he was designated Acting Assistant Provincial Treasurer for Administration by Governor Vicente Mayo of Batangas. Pursuant to the designation, he filed a claim for the difference in salary and Representation and Transportation Allowance LRATA] of Assistant Provincial Treasurer and Supply Officer Ill for the whole year of 1993. The Provincial Auditor disallowed in audit P52,908 of the claim. What was allowed was only the amount of P8,400 which corresponds to the difference in the allowances attached to the designation and the position he occupied. The disallowance was premised on reasons that Governor Mayo is bereft of power to fill the position of Assistant Provincial Treasurer because the power rests on the Secretary of Finance; and that the designation made by Governor Mayo is temporary in nature and does not amount to the issuance of an appointment as could entitle the petitioner Dimaandal to receive the salary of the position to which he is designated. Thus, he was required to refund the amount which was disallowed.

On appeal to the Commission on Audit, the latter sustained the stand of the Provincial Auditor. It was of the view that the petitioner was merely designated as an Assistant Provincial Treasurer for Administration in addition to his regular duties and as such not entitled to an additional salary.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to the difference in salary between his regular position and the higher position to which he is designated.

HELD: Petitioner is not entitled to the difference claimed. The law applicable is RA 7160 or the Local Government Code. It did not authorize the Provincial Governor to appoint nor even designate one temporarily in cases of temporary absence or disability or a vacancy in a provincial office. That power resides in the President of the Philippines or the Secretary of Finance. The designation made by Gov. Mayo being defective, it confers no right on the part of petitioner to claim the difference in the salaries and allowances attached to the position occupied by him.

Moreover, what was extended to petitioner by Governor Mayo was merely a designation and not an appointment. Appointment is the selection by the proper authority of an individual who is to exercise the powers and functions of a given office. Designation merely connotes an imposition of additional duties, usually by law, upon a person already in the public service by virtue of an earlier appointment. Designation is simply the mere imposition of new or additional duties on the officer or employee and does not entail payment of additional benefits or grant upon the person so designated the right to claim the salary attached to the position.

Tan

vs.

People,

G.R.

No.

115507;

May

19,

1998

FACTS: Sometime in 1989, Forest guards Panadero and Rabino intercepted two dump trucks loaded with narra, tanguile and lauan lumber belonging to petitioner Tan. In both instances, no documents showing legal possession of the lumber were presented to the guards upon demand. Thus, the pieces of lumber were confiscated. Having found to have violated the provisions of PD 705 or the Forest Reform Code, the trial court convicted the accused which the CA affirmed. On appeal, petitioner averred that said law is unconstitutional for being violative of substantive due process since it penalizes failure to present certain legal documents to justify “mere possession‟ of forest products which includes, among others, firewood, bark, honey, beeswax, and even grass, shrub, flowering plant, the associated water or fish. Moreover, Tan contended that lumber is not considered timber or forest product under the Forest Reform Code. The law, he argued only provides for the prohibition of cutting, gathering and possessing timber and other forest products without licepse. Hence, the logs found in his possession were not covered by said law.

ISSUES: Whether not Forest Reform Code is unconstitutional; whether or not lumber is considered timber or forest product.

HELD: One of the essential requisites for a successful judicial inquiry into the constitutionality of a law is the existence of an actual case or controversy involving a conflict of legal rights susceptible of judicial determination. As the lower court pointed out, petitioners were not charged with the [unlawful] possession of firewood, bark, honey, beeswax, and even grass, shrub, the associated water or fish. Thus, the inclusion of any of these enumerated items is absolutely no concern to petitioner. They are not asserting a legal right for which they are entitled to a judicial determination at this time. Besides, they did not present any convincing evidence of a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution that would justify the nullification of said provision. A statute is always presumed to be constitutional. And one who attacks it on the ground of unconstitutionality must convincingly prove its invalidity.

With regard to the second issue, lumber is included in the term timber. In fact, it simply means that lumber is a processed log or processed raw material. Clearly, the Code uses the term lumber in its ordinary or common usage. Simply put, lumber is a processed log or timber. Indeed, the term „forest products‟ is broad enough to encompass lumber which, to reiterate, is manufactured timber.

Senators Miriam Santiago and Francisco Tatad vs Senators Teoifisto Guingona and MarceIo Fernan, G.R. No. 134574 November 18,

FACTS: Senator Marcelo Fernan was elected senate president over Senator Francisco Tatad by a vote of 20 to 2, respectively during the first regular session of the Eleventh Congress. Senator Tatad thereafter manifested, with the agreement of Senator Santiago that he was assuming the position of minority leader. He explained that those who voted for Senator Fernan comprised the majority while only those who voted for him, the losing nominee, belonged to the minority. No consensus was arrived at until after the Senate met in caucus in the third session day. The majority leader received a letter from the seven Lakas senators that they had elected Sen. Guingona as the minority leader. By virtue thereof, the Senate President formally recognized Sen. Guingona as the minority leader of the Senate.

The following day, Senators Santiago and Tatad filed before the Supreme Court a petition for quo warranto against Guingona and Fernan alleging, among others, that Sen. Fernan violated the Constitution in recognizing Senator Guingona as the Senate minority leader. They maintain that „majority refers to group of senators who voted for the winning senate president and those who accepted committee chairmanships while those who voted for the losing nominee and accepted no committee chairmanships comprise the minority, to whom the right to determine the minority leader belongs.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is violation of the Constitution when Sen. Fernan recognized Sen. Guingona as the minority leader.

HELD: Senator Fernan committed no violation. While the Constitution is explicit on the manner of electing a Senate President and a House Speaker, it is however silent on the manner of electing the other officers in both chambers of Congress. The method of choosing who will be such other officers is merely a derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred by the aforequoted constitutional provision. Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the Senate itself, not by the Supreme Court. To accede then to the interpretation of the petitioners would practically amount to judicial legislation, a clear breach of the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers.

Moreover, the term “majority” has been judicially defined a number of times as the number greater than half or more than half of any total. It may also refer to the group, party, faction with the larger number of votes not necessarily more than one half. Minority is a group, party or faction with a smaller number of votes or adherents than the majority.

Domingo

Ce/endro

vs.

CA,

G.R.

No.

131099,

July20,

1999

FACTS: Florencio Guevarra filed a case for unlawful detainer against Celendro before the MCTC-Lanao del Sur which ruled in favor of Guevarra. The decision was affirmed by the RTC on appeal. Celendro did not challenge this decision of the RTC. Two years later, the MCTC issued a writ of execution. Upon learning of such issuance, Celendro filed a petition before the Provincial Agrarian Adjudicatory Board (PAAB) alleging that his landholding is not part of Guevarra‟s property. PAAB rendered a judgment in favor of Celendro and reversed the MCTC and RTC decisions. PAAB‟s decision was later on affirmed by the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB).

ISSUE: Whether or not an administrative agency has the authority to review/reverse the decisions of courts.

HELD: Administrative bodies such as PAAB or DARAB cannot reverse! review a court‟s ruling that has long become final. Under the Doctrine of Conclusiveness of Judgment, which is also known as “preclusion of issues‟ or “collateral estoppel,” issues actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the same parties involving a different cause of action.

Celendro‟s recourse should have been an appeal of the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals and then, if necessary to the Supreme Court and not to a quasi-judicial body. More significantly, final judgments can “no longer be reviewed, or in any way modified directly or indirectly, by a higher court, not even by the Supreme Court, much less by any other official, branch or department of the government. This particular injunction against the administrative bodies is based on the principle of separation of powers, which presupposes mutual respect by and between the three departments of the government. The DARAB which is under the Department of Agrarian Reform in the executive branch , must accord due respect to the MCTC and the RTC, which are both instrumentalities of the judiciary.

Perfecto

A.

Yasay,

Jr.

vs

Ombudsman,

G.R.

No.

134495,

Dec.

8,1998

FACTS: SEC Chairman Perfecto Yasay, Jr. is charged with estafa before the office of the Ombudsman. Allegedly, petitioner refused to execute the contract of lease on the ground that the subject condominium units are common areas, which cannot be appropriated. Private respondent on the other hand, claimed ownership by virtue of the title issued by the Registrar of the Province of Rizal. On the basis of the evidence presented, the Ombudsman issued an order of preventive suspension for a period of 90 days against Yasay.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

the

preventive

suspension

was

proper.

HELD: Under Sec. 24, R.A. 6770, the Ombudsman may preventively suspend an employer or employee under his authority pending investigation, if in his judgment, the evidence of guilt is strong and (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression, or grave misconduct oe neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service; or (c) the respondent‟s continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him.

In the case at bar, the Ombudsman concluded that the essential elements exist. Whether the evidence of guilt is strong, is left to the determination of the Ombudsman by taking into account the evidence before him. The Court cannot substitute its own judgment for that of the Ombudsman on this matter unless there is a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion. Petitioner failed to show such grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent Ombudsman.

Santanina

Rasul

vs.

COMELEC

and

Teresa

Aquino-Oreta,

G.R.

No.

134142,

Aug24,

1999

FACTS: Private respondent Teresa Aquino-Oreta was proclaimed as the the 12 winning candidate in the May 1998 elections. Petitioner Santanina Rasul questioned the said proclamation. She argued that the COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or in excess of jurisdiction when, acting as a National Board of Canvassers, it declared that the remaining uncanvassed certificates would no longer affect the results and proceeded to proclaim the twelve (12) winning candidates. She contends that if the number of registered voters who have yet to cast their votes where special elections have been suspended is combined with the uncanvassed votes from other areas of the country, there is a possibilitythat the 12 rankin~ senatorial candidate, Teresa Aquino-Oreta could be dislodged by the l3~ placer, Roberto Pagdanganan. The petitioner submits that the inclusion of Aquino-Oreta among the winning candidates was premature and based on incomplete

canvass.

Thus,

she

filed

a

petition

for

certiorari

before

the

Supreme

Court.

ISSUE:

Whether

or

not

the

petition

for

certiorari

filed

before

the

Supreme

Court

is

proper.

HELD: Petition for certiorari is not the proper remedy for the petitioner. Inasmuch as she is contesting the proclamation of Aquino-Oreta as the 12th winning candidate, her proper recourse is to file a regular election protest which under the Constitution and the Omnibus Election Code pertains to the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

Under the Constitution, the Electoral Tribunal shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. The word “sole” therein underscore the exclusivity of the Tribunal‟s jurisdiction over election contests relating to its members.

UB

Labayen

vs

Talisay

G.

R.

No.

L-29298,

December

15,

1928

52

PHIL

440

Art.

1186.

The

condition

shall

be

deemed

fulfilled

when

the

obligor

voluntarily

prevents

its

fulfillment.

This is an action for damage in the amount of P28,620 for the alleged breach of contract to grind sugar cane in 1920-1921. The appellants are seeking for the reversal of the RTC decision, absolving defendant from liabilities and even ordered herein plaintiffappellant to pay the defendant.

Facts:

The Labayens were owners of Hacienda Dos Hermanos of Talisay, Negros Occidental and they contracted the Talisay-Silay Milling Co., Inc. to grind their sugar cane.

What was stipulated in their contract was that, defendant is to construct a railroad through the hacienda to be able to mill plaintiffs‘ sugar cane.

There were hindrances that arose. It was possible but it would be dangerous to life and property of those living there. And the construction of railroad became impossible to perform because one of the hacienda owner‘s would not gr ant permission to use his land

for

the

said

purpose.

Therefore,

the

milling

company

failed

to

grind

the

sugar

cane.

Issue:

WON

Talisay-Silay

is

liable

for

breach

of

contract.

Held: No. The defendant is not liable because one of the hacienda owner‘s would not grant him permission to construct a railroad. Construction of a railroad is the condition for Talisay-Silay to grind Labayen‘s sugar cane.

Trinidad

vs

Commission

on

Elections

and

Sunga

G.R.

No.

135716

September

23,

1999

This is a petition for certiorari questioning the Resolution of the Commission on Elections disqualifying petitioner as a mayoralty candidate in the May 1995 elections. Likewise, it seeks the review of a subsequent resolution annulling petitioner‘s proclama tion as elected mayor in the May 1998 elections.

Facts:

Petitioner Trinidad won the May 1995 elections. Private respondent Sunga filed a disqualification case against petitioner and asking the COMELEC to proclaim him as the duly elected mayor. COMELEC promulgated it decision on June 22, 1998, disqualifying Trinidad. Petitioner filed a Motion For Reconsideration claiming that he was deprived of due process. Petitioner was again proclaimed winner in the May 1998 elections. On October 13, 1998 COMELEC denied petitioner‘s MR as well as annulling his proclamation as elected mayor.

Thus

this

petition

for

certiorari.

Issues:

1) WON petitioner was deprived of due process in the proceedings before the COMELEC insofar as his disqualification under the May 8, 1995 and May 8, 1998 elections were concerned.

2) WON petitioner‘s proclamation as Mayor under the May 11, 1998 elections may be cancelled on account of the disqualification case filed against him during the May 8, 1995 elections.

3) WON private respondent, as the candidate receiving the second highest number of votes, may be proclaimed as Mayor in the event

of

petitioner‘s

disqualification.

Decision:

WHEREFORE, the petition is partly GRANTED. The Resolution of the COMELEC, dated October 13, 1998 is SET ASIDE insofar as it annuls the proclamation of petitioner as winner in the May 11, 1998 elections. Insofar as the May 8, 1995 elections is concerned, we find the issues related thereto rendered moot and academic by expiration of the term of office challenged and, accordingly, DISMISS the petition lodged in connection therewith.

Ratio

Decidendi:

1) NO. Petitioner was able to file an Answer with Counter Petition and Motion to Dismiss. He was also able to submit his counteraffidavit and sworn statements of forty-eight witnesses. He was also given a chance to explain in his Motion for Reconsideration. He was afforded an opportunity to be heard, through his pleadings, therefore, there is no denial of procedural due process.

2) NO. Petitioner cannot be disqualified from his reelection term of office. Removal cannot extend beyond the term during which the alleged misconduct was committed. If a public official is not removed before his term of office expires, he can no longer be removed if he is thereafter reelected for another term.

3) NO. As earlier decided by the Supreme Court, the candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not be proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified. That would be disenfranchising the electorate without any fault on their part and to undermine the importance and meaning of democracy and the people‘s right to elect officials of their choice.

Tolentino

and

Mojica

vs

Commission

on

Elections,

Recto

and

Honasan

G.R.

No.

148334

January

21,

2004

This is a petition for prohibition to set aside Resolution No. NBC 01-005 dated 5 June 2001 (―Resolution No. 01-005‖) and Resolution No. NBC 01-006 dated 20 July 2001 (―Resolution No. 01-006‖) of respondent Commission on Elections (―COMELEC‖). Resolution No. 01-005 proclaimed the 13 candidates elected as Senators in the 14 May 2001 elections while Resolution No. 01-006 declared ―official and Facts: final‖ the ranking of the 13 Senators proclaimed in Resolution No. 01-005.

Following the appointment of Senator Teofisto Guingona as Vice-President of the Philippines, the Senate on February 8, 2001 passed Resolution No. 84, calling on COMELEC to fill the vacancy through a special election to be held simultaneously with the regular elections on May 14, 2001. Twelve senators, with 6-year term each, were due to be elected in that election. The resolution further provides that the ―Senatorial candidate garnering the 13th highest number of votes shall serve only for the unexpired term of former Senator Teofisto Guingona, Jr. which ends on June 30, 2004.

On June 5, 2001, after canvassing the election results, the COMELEC proclaimed 13 candidates as the elected Senators, with the first 12 Senators to serve the unexpired term of 6 years and the 13th Senator to serve the full term of 3 years of Senator Teofisto Guingona, Jr. Gregorio Honasan ranked 13th.

Petitioners Arturo Tolentino and Arturo Mojica, as voters and taxpayers, filed the instant petition for prohibition, praying for the nullification of Resolution No. 01-005. They contend that COMELEC issued Resolution 01-005 without jurisdiction because: (1) it failed to notify the electorate of the position to be filled in the special election as required under Section 2 of RA 6645; (2) it failed to require senatorial candidates to indicate in their certificates of candidacy whether they seek election under the special or regular elections as allegedly required under Section 73 of BP 881; and, consequently, (3) it failed to specify in the Voters Information Sheet the candidates seeking election under the special or regular senatorial elections as purportedly required under Section 4, paragraph 4 of RA 6646. Tolentino and Mojica add that because of these omissions, COMELEC canvassed all the votes cast for the senatorial candidates in the 14 May 2001 elections without distinction such that ―there were no two separate Senate elections held simultaneously but just a single election for thirteen seats, irrespective of term.‖ Tolentino and Mojica sought the issuance of a temporary restraining order during the pendency of their petition. Without issuing any restraining order, the Supreme Court required COMELEC to Comment on the petition. Honasan questioned Tolentino‘s and Mojica‘s standing to bring the instant petition as taxpayers and voters because they do no t claim that COMELEC illegally disbursed public funds; nor claim that they sustained personal injury because of the issuance of Resolutions 01-005 and 01-006.

Issue:

WON

the

Special

Election

held

on

May

14,

2001

should

be

nullified:

(1)

for

failure

to

give

notice

by

the

body

empowered

to

and

(2)

for

not

following

the

procedure

of

filling

up

the

vacancy

pursuant

to

R.A.

6645.

Decision:

WHEREFORE,

we

DISMISS

the

petition

for

lack

of

merit.

Ratio

Decidendi:

(1) Where the law does not fix the time and place for holding a special election but empowers some authority to fix the time and place

after the happening of a condition precedent, the statutory provision on the giving of notice is considered mandatory, and failure to do so will render the election a nullity.

The test in determining the validity of a special election in relation to the failure to give notice of the special election is whether want of notice has resulted in misleading a sufficient number of voters as would change the result of special election. If the lack of official notice misled a substantial number of voters who wrongly believed that there was no special election to fill vacancy, a choice by small percentage of voters would be void.

(2) There is no basis in the petitioners‘ claim that the manner by which the COMELEC conducted the special Senatorial electio n on May 14, 2001 is a nullity because the COMELEC failed to document separately the candidates and to canvass separately the votes cast for the special election. No such requirement exists in our election laws. What is mandatory under Section 2 of R.A. 6645 is that the COMELEC ―fix the date of election,‖ if necessary, and state among others, the office/s to be voted for.

Significantly, the method adopted by the COMELEC in conducting the special election on May 14, 2001 merely implemented the procedure specified by the Senate in Resolution No. 84. Initially, the original draft of said resolution as introduced by Senator Francisco Tatad made no mention of the manner by which the seat vacated by former Senator Guingona would be filled. However, upon the suggestion of Senator Raul Roco, the Senate agreed to amend the resolution by providing as it now appears, that ―the senatorial cabdidate garnering the 13th highest number of votes shall serve only for the unexpired term of former Senator Teofisto Giong ona, Jr.‖

Taule

vs

Santos

August

12,

1991

G.

R.

No.

90336

This is a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of the resolutions of respondent Secretary dated August 4, 1989 and September 5, 1989 for being null and void.

Facts:

An election for the officers of the Federation of Associations of Barangay Council (FABC) was held on June 18, 1989 despite the absence of other members of the said council. Including Petitioner was elected as the president.

Respondent Verceles sent a letter of protest to respondent Santos, seeking its nullification in view of several flagrant irregularities in the manner it was conducted.

Petitioner denied the allegations of respondent Verceles and denouncing respondent for intervening in the said election which is a purely non-partisan affair. And requesting for his appointment as a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the province being the

duly

elected

President

of

the

FABC

in

Catanduanes.

Respondent Santos issued a resolution on August 4, 1989 nullifying the election and ordering a new one to be conducted as early as possible to be presided by the Regional Director of Region V of the Department of Local Government. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by respondent Santos in his resolution on September 5, 1989.

Thus

this

petition

before

the

Supreme

Court.

Issues:

WON the respondent Santos has jurisdiction to entertain an election protest involving the election of the officers of the FABC.

WON

the

respondent

Verceles

has

the

legal

personality

to

file

an

election

protest.

Decision:

Petition GRANTED. Assailed August 4, 1989 and September 5, 1989 resolution is SET ASIDE for having been issued in excess of jurisdiction. However, the election on June 18, 1989 is annulled. A new election of officers of the FABC be conducted immediately in accordance with the governing rules and regulations. Supplemental petition is likewise partially granted.

Ratio

Decidendi:

No. The Secretary of Local Government has no jurisdiction to entertain any protest involving the election of officers of the FABC. He is only vested with the power to promulgate rules and regulations and to exercise general supervision over the local government as provided in the Local Government Code and in the Administrative Code.

It is the exclusive original jurisdiction of the inferior to hear election protest and the COMELEC have the appellate jurisdiction over it.

2) Yes. The Governor has the personality to file the protest. Under Section 205 of the Local Government Code, the membership of the sangguniang panlalawigan consists of the governor, the vice-governor, elective members of the said sanggunian, etc. He acted as the presiding officer of the sangguniang panlalawigan. As presiding officer, he has an interest in the election of the officers of the FABC since its elected president becomes a member of the assembly. If said member assumes his place under questionable circumstances, the sanggunian may be vulnerable to attacks as to their validity or legality. Therefore, respondent governor is a proper party to question the regularity of the elections of the officers of the FABC.

The election of officers of the FABC held on June 18, 1989 is null and void for not complying with the provisions of DLG Circular No. 89-09.

DLG Circular No. 89-09 provides that ―the incumbent FABC President or the Vice-President shall preside over the reorganizational meeting, there being a quorum.‖ It is admitted that neither the incumbent FABC Presiden t nor the Vice-President presided over the meeting and elections but Alberto P. Molina, Jr., the Chairman of the Board of Election Supervisors/Consultants. Therefore, there was a clear violation of the said mandatory provision.

* Pending resolution, petitioner also filed a supplemental petition alleging that public respondent Local Government Secretary, in his memorandum dated June 7, 1990, designated Augusto Antonio, despite him being absent on said election. The Secretary of Local Government has no authority to appoint anyone who does not meet the minimum qualification to be the president of the federation of barangay councils.

Sinica

vs

Mula

and

Commission

on

Elections

In this case, assailed was the COMELEC Resolution on Oct. 6, 1998 in SPA No. 98-292, declaring the substitution of mayoralty candidate Teodoro Sinaca, Jr. by petitioner Emmanuel D. Sinaca as invalid.

Facts:

In the May 1998 elections, petitioner Emmanuel Sinica was a substitute candidate for the mayoral post of the Matugas Wing after their original candidate, Teodoro Sinica, Jr., was disqualified for being convicted of bigamy. He was proclaimed winner after the canvassing.

(Matugas Wing was a faction in the LAKAS-NUCD-UMPD party, as well as the Barbers Wing. Each faction has separate candidates for the mayoral post in the Municipality of Malimono, Surigao del Norte.)

Respondent Mula (who got Sinica, Jr. disqualified) filed a disqualification case against Emmanuel Sinica before the COMELEC. He alleged that said substitution was invalid because:

a)

Sinica

was

not

member

of

the

LAKAS

party

when

he

was

nominated

as

a

substitute;

and

b)

it

lacks

approval

of

Sen.

Barbers

as

a

joint

signatory

of

the

substitution.

The COMELEC Second Division dismissed the disqualification case. However, when respondent Mula filed a Motion for Reconsideration, COMELEC en banc set aside the resolution of the Second Division and disqualified EMMANUEL asserting that the substitution violated the provisions of Sec. 77 of the Omnibus Election Code that the substitute must belong to the same political party as the substituted candidate. Emmanuel D. Sinaca was not valid because he was an independent candidate for councilor prior to his nomination as substitute candidate in place of the withdrawing candidate who was a Lakas party member.

Therefore,

this

case

before

the

Supreme

Court.

Issue:

WON the substitution of Emmanuel Sinica was against the provisions of Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Decision:

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed resolution of 6 October 1998 of the COMELEC en banc is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and another one rendered declaring EMMANUEL SINACA as having been duly elected mayor of the Municipality of Malimono, Surigao del Norte.

Ratio

Decidendi:

NO. Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code only mandates that a substitute candidate should be a person belonging to and certified by the same political party as the candidate to be replaced.

Petitioner Emmanuel Sinaca, an independent candidate, had first withdrawn his certificate of candidacy for Sangguniang Bayan Member before he joined the LAKAS party and nominated by the LAKAS MATUGAS Wing as the substitute candidate. He had filed his certificate of candidacy and his certificate of nomination as LAKAS mayoralty candidate signed by Gov. Matugas with his written acceptance of the party‘s nomination. Therefore, he is a bona fide LAKAS member.

There is nothing in the Constitution or the statute which requires as a condition precedent that a substitute candidate must have been a member of the party concerned for a certain period of time before he can be nominated as such.

Lozano

and

Lozano-Endriano

vs

Speaker

Nograles

G.R.

No.

187883/June

16,

2009

ATTY.

OLIVER

O.

LOZANO

&

ATTY.

EVANGELINE

J.

LOZANO-ENDRIANO

vs.

SPEAKER

PROSPERO

C.

NOGRALES,

Representative,

Majority,

HR

x

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-x

G.R.

No.

187910/June

16,

2009

LOUIS ―BAROK‖ C. BIRAOGO vs. SPEAKER PROSPERO C. NOGRALES, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congress of the Philippines

These petitions prayed for the nullification of House Resolution No. 1109 entitled ―A Resolution Calling upon the Members of Congress to Convene for the Purpose of Considering Proposals to Amend or Revise the Constitution, Upon a Three-fourths Vote of All the Members of Congress‖ filed by the petitioners in their capacity as concerned citizens and taxpayers.

Facts:

Petitioners alleged that the said House Resolution is in violation of the Constitution, Section 1, Article XVII, which provides for the procedure for amending or revising the Constitution.

Issues:

1)

WON

House

Bill

1109

is

unconstitutional.

2)

WON

petitioners

have

locus

standi.

Decision:

IN

VIEW

WHEREOF,

the

petitions

are

dismissed.

Ratio

Decidendi:

1) No. Petitioners failed to prove the injury or hardship from the said House Resolution. There was no actual controversy that needs to be resolved. It states that the House of Representatives shall convene at a future time for the purpose of proposing amendments or revisions to the Constitution. No actual convention has yet transpired and no rules of procedure have yet been adopted. More importantly, no proposal has yet been made, and hence, no usurpation of power or gross abuse of discretion has yet taken place. In short, House Resolution No. 1109 involves a quintessential example of an uncertain contingent future event that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all. While the Court recognizes the potential far-reaching implications of the issue at hand, the possible consequence of House Resolution No. 1109 is yet unrealized and does not infuse petitioners with locus standi under the ―transcendental importance‖ doctrine.

2) No. petitioners have no locus standi. A taxpayer‘s suit requires that the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation. It is undisputed that there has been no allocation or disbursement of public funds in this case as of yet. To be sure, standing as a citizen has been upheld by this Court in cases where a petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental importance or when paramount public interest is involved.

Romualdez-Marcos

vs

Commission

on

Elections

G.R.

No.119976/September

18,

1995

Facts:

Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte. Private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, a candidate for the same position, filed a petition for cancellation and disqualification with the

COMELEC alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. Private respondent contended that petitioner lacked the Constitution‘s one-year residency requirement for candidates for the House of Representatives.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner has satisfied the residency requirement as mandated by Art. VI, Sec. 6 of the Constitution

Decision:

WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC‘s questioned Resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent COMELEC is hereby directed to order the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Leyte.

Ratio

Decidendi:

Yes. For election purposes, residence is used synonymously with domicile. The Court upheld the qualification of petitioner, despite her own declaration in her certificate of candidacy that she had resided in the district for only 7 months, because of the following: (a) a minor follows the domicile of her parents; Tacloban became petitioner‘s domicile of origin by operation of law when her fathe r brought the family to Leyte; (b) domicile of origin is lost only when there is actual removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention of abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one, and acts which correspond with the purpose; in the absence of clear and positive proof of the concurrence of all these, the domicile of origin should be deemed to continue; (c) the wife does not automatically gain the husband‘s domicile because the term ―residence‖ in Civil Law does not mean the same thing in Political Law; when pet itioner married President Marcos in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home, not a domicilium necessarium; (d) even assuming that she gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired the right to choose a new one only after her husband died, her acts following her return to the country clearly indicate that she chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice.

Mercado

vs

Dysangco

CIRILO

I.

MERCADO,

ARSENIO

L.

CARPIO,

A.

M.

No.

MTJ-00-1301

July

30,

2002

This is an administrative case for gross ignorance of the law or procedure and grave misconduct against Judge Dysangco in his capacity as acting judge of 2nd municipal circuit trial court of Gen. Natividad-Llanera, Nueva Ecija and Ms. Teresita S. Esteban as clerk of court, for having granted the 34 petitions for inclusion in the voters‘ list filed by one Alejandro Gonzales. Said granted petitions were supporters of Mr. Gonzales in the May 12, 1997 Barangay Elections.

Facts:

Prior to the May 12, 1997 Barangay Elections in Kabulihan, Gen. Natividad, Nueva Ecija, 48 separate petitions for inclusion in the voters‘ list were filed. Of the 48 petitions, 9 were supporters of herein complainant Cirilo M ercado and 39 were supporters of his opponent Alejandro Gonzales. Accordingly, Mercado, et al. filed an opposition to the 39 supporters of Gonzales.

During the hearings of the petitions for inclusion, only the petitioners supporting Mercado presented their evidence. Therefore, respondent judge dismissed the 39 petitions of Gonzales‘ supporters in open court.

Before the day of the barangay elections, complainants approached respondent judge and got an assurance from the said judge that he did not issue any order for the inclusion of the 39 supporters of Gonzales in the voters‘ list.

However, complainants were surprised to find out on the day of the elections that respondent judge and attested by respondent clerk of court had issued an Order directing the inclusion in the 34 supporters of Gonzales in the voters‘ list.

Thus this administrative case for grave misconduct the respondent judge for granting the 34 petitions of the supporters of Gonzales despite the fact that the 39 petitioners neither presented any evidence nor appeared in the scheduled hearings.

Respondent judge denied allegations of the complainant. He contends that he based his decision on his interviews with the petitioners. Respondent clerk of court denied any hand in the Order issued by the respondent judge for it was his own personal act.

Issue/s:

WHETHER OR NOT respondent judge is guilty OF gross ignorance of the law for granting the petitions for the inclusion in the voters‘ list which is not based on evidence.

Decision:

WHEREFORE, for gross ignorance of law or procedure and gross misconduct constituting violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, respondent Judge HECTOR F. DYSANGCO, Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija, then Acting Presiding Judge of the 2nd Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Natividad-Llanera, same province, is SUSPENDED for four (4) months without salary and other benefits. He is warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

Ratio

Decidendi:

“Section 143 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code, explicitly lays down the procedure governing petitions for inclusion, exclusion, and correction of names of voters, thus:

x

x

x

(f) The decision shall be based on the evidence presented. If the question is whether or not the voter is real or fictitious, his nonappearance on the day set for hearing shall be prima facie evidence that the registered voter is fictitious. In no case shall a decision be rendered upon a stipulation of facts.

(g)These applications shall be heard and decided without delay. The decision shall be rendered within six hours after the hearing and within ten days from the date of its filing in court. Cases appealed to the regional trial court shall be decided within ten days from receipt of the appeal in the office of the clerk of court. In any case, the court shall decide these petitions not later than the day before the election and the decision rendered thereon shall be immediately final and executory, notwithstanding the provision of Section 138 on the finality of decision”

The clear mandate of the law is for the municipal judge a) to decide the petition on the basis of the evidence presented, b) to conduct a hearing thereon, and c) to render a decision within 10 days from the filing of the petition. Respondent judge is guilty of gross ignorance of the law.

He claimed that he based his decision on the interviews that he personally did with the petitioners. But the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code was clear. Municipal judges should decide the petition on the basis of the presented evidence of which respondent judge did not do so. In fact, during the hearings of the petitions for inclusion, 39 petitioners supporting Gonzales did not even appear, so, how can they present their evidences.

Lastly, respondent judge rendered the assailed decision 2 days before the elections depriving complainants to appeal to the RTC because petitions were filed April 17, 1997 and the Order granting them was issued only on May 9, 1997. He did not even furnished a copy to the complainants. Respondent judge failed to observe the requirements of the Omnibus Election Code.

Gador

vs

Commission

on

Elections

G.R.

No.

L-52365

January

22,

1980

This petition for mandamus with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction was filed on January 21, 1980 at 4:47pm asking the Supreme Court to immediately order the respondent COMELEC to include the name his name in the list of candidates for Mayor of the City of Ozamiz.

Facts:

The petition alleges that the petitioner is a candidate for the Office of Mayor of the City of Ozamiz as Independent this coming January 30, 1980 local election. He filed his certificate of candidacy with the Election Registrar of Ozamis City on January 7, 1980 because of the news in the Bulletin Today. The said news stated that the respondent COMELEC issued a resolution for the extension of time for filing COC. However, the President denied said resolution. Therefore, respondent COMELEC informed the petitioner that his name might not be included in the list of candidates for mayor because of the said incident. Thus, this petition.

ISSUE:WON

the

certificate

of

candidacy

of

the petitioner

which

was

filed

on

January

7,

1980

is

valid.

DECISION:

WHEREFORE,

the

petition

for

mandamus

is

hereby

DISMISSED

for

lack

of

merit.

RATIO

DECIDENDI:

NO.

A

certificate

of

candidacy

filed

beyond

reglementary

period

is

void.

Section 7, Batasang Pambansa Bilang 52, provides that ―The sworn certificate of candidacy shall be filed in triplicate not la ter than January 4, 1980.‖ It is a fact admitted by the petitioner that the President had not extended the period within which to file the certificate of candidacy.

This Court is powerless to grant the remedy prayed for in the petition. Having been filed beyond January 4, 1980, the certificate of candidacy of the petitioner is void.

Quinto

vs

Commission

on

Elections

December

1,

2009

This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the COMELEC for issuing a resolution declaring appointive officials who filed their certificate of candidacy as ipso facto resigned from their positions.

Facts: In preparation for the 2010 elections, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued Resolution No. 8678 – the Guidelines on the Filing of Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) and Nomination of Official Candidates of Registered Political Parties in Connection with the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections. Sec. 4 of Resolution No. 8678 provides that ―Any person holding a public appointive office or position x x x shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy (automatic resignation) however it exempts those elected officials saying that ―Any person holding an elective office or position shall not be considered resigned upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy for the same or any other elective office or position.‖

Sec.13(par. 3) of Republic Act (―R.A.‖) No. 9369 provides: ―x x x any person holding a public appointive office or position x x x shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his/her office x x x.‖

Sec. 66 of BP Blg. 881, or the Omnibus Election Code, reads: ―x x x Any person holding a public appointive offic e or position x x x shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.‖

Petitioners were appointive officers of the government who were planning to run in the 2010 elections sought the nullification of Sec. 4(a) on the ground, among others, that it is discriminatory and violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

Issue:

WON

COMELEC

resolution

is

constitutional.

Held: No. Sec. 4(a) of the COMELEC Resolution is null and void for being violative of the equal protection clause and for being overbroad. Sec. 13(par. 3) of R.A. 9369 & Sec. 66 of the Omnibus Election Code were also declared as UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Sec. 66 of BP Blg. 881 & RA 8436 relating to the automatic resignation of elective officials upon the filing of their CoCs was repealed by R.A. 9006 (Fair Election Act). ―There was, thus, created a situation of obvious discrimination against appointive official s who were deemed ipso facto resigned from their offices upon the filing of thei r CoCs, while elective officials were not.‖

Four (4) requisites of valid classification must be complied with in order that a discriminatory governmental act may pass the constitutional norm of equal protection:

(1)

It

must

be

based

upon

substantial

distinctions;

(2)

It

must

be

germane

to

the

purposes

of

the

law.

(3)

It

must

not

be

limited

to

existing

conditions

only;

and

(4)

It

must

apply

equally

to

all

members

of

the

class.

According to the Supreme Court, the differential treatment of persons holding appointive offices as opposed to those holding elective ones is not germane to the purposes of the law.

The obvious reason for the challenged provision is to prevent the use of a governmental position to promote one‘s candidacy, or even to wield a dangerous or coercive influence on the electorate. and discipline of the public service by eliminating the danger that the discharge of official duty would be motivated by political considerations rather than the welfare of the public. The restriction is also justified by the proposition that the entry of civil servants to the electoral arena, while still in office, could result in neglect or inefficiency in the performance of duty because they would be attending to their campaign rather than to their office work.

In considering persons holding appointive positions as ipso facto resigned from their posts upon the filing of their CoCs, but not considering as resigned all other civil servants, specifically the elective ones, the law unduly discriminates against the first class. The fact alone that there is substantial distinction between those who hold appointive positions and those occupying elective posts, does

not justify such differential treatment. The classification simply fails to meet the test that it should be germane to the purposes of the law.

Dimaporo

vs

MitraOctober

15,

1991

This is a petition for review the decision of the Speaker and Secretary of the House of Representatives, excluding his name from the roll of members of the HR as pursuant to Sec. 67, Art. IX of the OEC.

Facts: Dimaporo was elected representative for the 2nd Legislative District of Lanao del Sur during the 1987 congressional elections. In Jan. 15, 1990, he filed his COC for governorship in the ARMM.

The HR Secretary and Speaker excluded his name from the roll of members of HR pursuant to Sec. 67, Art. IX of the OEC. However, he lost in the elections and wrote a letter of intent to resume performing his duties as elected member of Congress to the HR Sec. & Speaker but he was not allowed to do so.

He assailed the said provision contending that it is not applicable to those present members of the Congress.

Issue: WON Dimaporo can still be considered as a member of Congress even after he has filed for another gov‘t. post.

Held: No. In the Constitution there is a new chapter on the accountability of public officers. In the 1935 Constitution it was provided that Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees shall serve with the highest degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency and shall remain accountable to the people. Al elective public officials should honor the mandate they have gotten from the people.

If you allow a Batasan or a governor or a mayor who has mandated to serve 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 the people which was placed upon him and therefore he should be considered ipso facto resigned.

If a Batasan ―member files a certificate of candidacy, that means he does not want to serve, otherwise why should he file for an office other than the one he was elected [he mere fact therefore of filing a certificate should be considered the overt act of abandoning or relinquishing his mandate to the people and that he should therefore resign if he wants to seek another position which he feels he could be of better service.

Salcedo

II

vs

Commission

on

Elections

Aug.

16,

1999

This is a petition for certiorari seeking to reverse the earlier Resolution issued by its Second Division on August 12, 1998.

Facts: Salcedo married Celiz, marriage contract issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar of Ajuy, Iloilo. Without his first marriage having been dissolved, Salcedo married private respondent Cacao in a civil ceremony. Two days later, Ermelita Cacao contracted another marriage with a certain Jesus Aguirre, marriage certificate filed with the Office of the Civil Registrar.

Petitioner Victorino Salcedo II and private respondent Cacao Salcedo both ran for the position of mayor of the municipality of Sara, Iloilo in the May 11, 1998 elections, both of them having filed their respective certificates of candidacy. However, petitioner filed with the Comelec a petition seeking the cancellation of private respondent‘s certificate of candidacy on the ground that she had made a false representation therein by stating that her surname was ―Salcedo.‖ Petitioner contended that private respondent had no right t o use said surname because she was not legally married to Neptali Salcedo. Private respondent was proclaimed as the duly elected mayor of Sara, Iloilo.

In her answer, private respondent claimed that she had no information or knowledge at the time she married Neptali Salcedo that he was in fact already married; that, upon learning of his existing marriage, she encouraged her husband to take steps to annul his marriage with Agnes Celiz because the latter had abandoned their marital home. Neptali Salcedo filed a petition for declaration of presumptive death which was granted by the court that Neptali Salcedo and Jesus Aguirre are one and the same person; and that since 1986 up to the present she has been using the surname ―Salcedo‖ in all her personal, commercial and public transactions .

Comelec‘s Second Division ruled that since there is an existing valid marriage between Neptali Salcedo and Agnes Celiz, the subsequent marriage of the former with private respondent is null and void. Consequently, the use by private respondent of the surname ―Salcedo‖ constitutes material misrepresentation and is a ground for the cancellation of her certificate of candidacy.

However, the Comelec en banc resolution, overturned its previous resolution, ruling that private respondent‘s certificate of candidacy did not contain any material misrepresentation. A Motion for Reconsideration filed by the petitioner was affirmed by the division which gives rise to the petition to review such promulgation.

Issue: Whether or not the use by respondent of the surname ―Salcedo‖ in her certificate of candidacy constitutes material misrepresentation under Section 78 in relation to Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Held: Private respondent did not commit any material misrepresentation by the use of the surname ―Salcedo‖ in her cert ificate of candidacy.

A false representation under section 78 must consist of a ―deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which wou ld otherwise render a candidate ineligible.‖ It must be made with an intention to deceive the electorate as to one‘s qualifications for public office. The use of a surname, when not intended to mislead or deceive the public as to one‘s identity, is not within the scop e of the provision. There is absolutely no showing that the inhabitants of Sara, Iloilo were deceived by the use of such surname by private respondent. Petitioner does not allege that the electorate did not know who they were voting for when they cast their ballots in favor of ―Ermelita Cacao Salcedo‖ or that they were fooled into voting for someone else by the use of such name.

The Court AFFIRMS the en banc Resolution of the Commission on Elections denying the petition to cancel private respondent‘s certificate of candidacy.

Dumpit-Michelena

vs

Boado Nov.

17,

2005

This

is

a

petition

assailing

COMELEC

resolution

disqualifying

Dumpit

in

the

May

2004

election.

Facts: Dumpit-Michelena was a candidate for the position of mayor in the municipality of Agoo, La Union during the May 10, 2004 Synchronized National and Local Elections. Boado sought Dumpit-Michelena‘s disqualification and the denial or cancellation of her COC on the ground of material misrepresentation under Sections 74 and 78of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881.

Boado, et al. alleged that Dumpit-Michelena, the daughter of Congressman Tomas Dumpit, Sr. of the Second District of La Union, is not a resident of Agoo, La Union. Boado, et al. claimed that Dumpit-Michelena is a resident and was a registered voter of Naguilian, La Union and that Dumpit-Michelena only transferred her registration as voter to San Julian West, Agoo, La Union on October 24, 2003.

Dumpit-Michelena countered that she already acquired a new domicile in San Julian West when she purchased from her father, Congressman Dumpit, a residential lot on April 19, 2003. She even designated a caretaker of her residential house. Dumpit-Michelena presented the affidavits and certifications of her neighbors in San Julian West to prove that she actually resides in the area. COMELEC rules in favor of Boado et al. The COMELEC En Banc denied in its ruling the motion for reconsideration filed by Dumpit-Michelena.

Hence,

the

present

recourse

by

Dumpit-Michelena.

Issues: WON Dumpit-Michelena satisfied the residency requirement under the Local Government Code of 1991.

Held: Dumpit-Michelena failed to prove that she has complied with the residency requirement. The concept of residence in determining a candidate‘s qualification is already a settled matter. For election purposes, residence is used synonymously with domicile.

Romualdez-Marcos

vs

Commission

on

Elections

and

Montejo

Sept.

18,

1995

This is a petition for certiorari of the COMELEC resolution, disqualifying Imelda Marcos for allegedly not meeting the residential requirement.

Facts: Petitioner filed her COC for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte. Private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, a candidate for the same position, filed a petition for cancellation and disqualification with the COMELEC alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. Private respondent contended that petitioner lacked the Constitution‘s one -year residency requirement for candidates for the House of Representatives.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner has satisfied the residency requirement as mandated by Art. VI, Sec. 6 of the Constitution.

Held: Yes. For election purposes, residence is used synonymously with domicile. The Court upheld the qualification of petitioner, despite her own declaration in her certificate of candidacy that she had resided in the district for only 7 months, because of the following:

a) a minor follows the domicile of her parents; Tacloban became petitioner‘s domicile of origin by operation of law when her father brought the family to Leyte;

(b) domicile of origin is lost only when there is actual removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention of abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one, and acts which correspond with the purpose; in the absence of clear and positive proof of the concurrence of all these, the domicile of origin should be deemed to continue;

(c) the wife does not automatically gain the husband‘s domicile because the term ―residence‖ in Civil Law does not mean the s ame thing in Political Law; when petitioner married President Marcos in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home, not a domicilium necessarium;

(d) even assuming that she gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired the right to choose a new one only after her husband died, her acts following her return to the country clearly indicate that she chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice.

WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC‘s questioned Resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and May 2 5, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent COMELEC is hereby directed to order the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Leyte.

PNOC-EDC

vs.

NLRC,

222

SCRA

831

PNOC-EDC sought to nullify the decision of NLRC in the petition filed by Pineda declaring his dismissal from the service illegal. Petitioner argued that under the Omnibus Election Code upon filling of certificate of candidacy, Pineda was considered resigned.

Pineda invoked his right under the Court ruling in the case of Caagusan and Donato that government-owned or controlled corporations are covered by the Civil Service Law, the subsidiaries or corporate offspring are not.

NLRC ruled that PNOC are not deemed to be within the coverage of the civil service law and consequently their employees are subject to the provisions of the labor code rather than the Civil Service Law.

Issue:

WON

Sec.

66

of

OEC

extends

even

to

those

controlled

corporations.

Held: Yes. Sec. 66 of the Omnibus Election Code was intended to include all officers and employees, government-owned and controlled corporations. So, it constitutes just case for termination of employment in addition to those ser forth in the Labor Code as amended.

Petition

granted.

The

NLRC

decision

was

declared

null

and

void.

The

complaint

of

Pineda

dismissed.

Bañaga,

Jr.

vs

Commission

on

Elections

G.R.

No.

134696

July

31,

2000

This special civil action for certiorari seeks to annul the en banc resolution of public respondent Commission on Elections promulgated on June 29, 1998, in a COMELEC special action case, SPA No. 98-383.

Facts:

Petitioner Banaga, Jr. and respondent Bernabe, Jr. were both candidates for vice-mayor of the City of Parañaque in the May 1998 election. In said election, the city board of canvassers proclaimed respondent Bernabe, Jr., as the winner for having garnered 71,977 votes over petitioner Banaga, Jr.‘s 68,970 votes.

Dissatisfied with the result, petitioner filed with the COMELEC on May 1998, a Petition to Declare Failure of Elections and/or For Annulment of Elections, alleging that said election was replete with election offenses, such as vote buying and flying voters. He also alleged that numerous Election Returns pertaining to the position of Vice-Mayor in the City of Parañaque appear to be altered, falsified or fabricated.

In fact, there were people arrested who admitted the said election offenses. Therefore, the incidents were sufficient to declare a failure of elections because it cannot be considered as the true will of the people.

Petitioner Banaga, Jr. is praying that he should be adjudged as the duly elected Vice-Mayor in the City of Parañaque, during the May 1998 local elections.

Respondent COMELEC dismissed petitioner‘s suit and held that the election offenses relied upon by petitioner do not fall unde r any of the instances enumerated in Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code. The election tribunal concluded that based on the allegations of the petition, it is clear that an election took place and that it did not result in a failure to elect and therefore, cannot be viewed as an election protest.

Thus, this petition for certiorari alleging that the respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction for dismissing his petition motu propio without any basis whatsoever and without giving him the benefit of a hearing.

Issue:

WON petition to declare a failure of elections and/or for annulment of election is considered as an election protest.

WON respondent COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion in dismissing petitioners petition, in the light of petitioners foregoing contentions.

Decision:

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED. The assailed RESOLUTION of public respondent is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

Ratio

Decidendi:

No. Mr. Banaga, Jr.‘s petition docketed as SPA-98-383 before the COMELEC was a special action under the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure. An election protest is an ordinary governed by Rule 20 on ordinary actions, while a petition to declare failure of elections is covered by Rule 26 under special actions. Petitioner also did not comply with the requirements for filing an election protest such as failing to pay filing fee and cash deposits for an election protest.

No. Respondent COMELEC committed no grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the petition to declare failure of elections and/or for annulment of elections for being groundless. The petition to declare a failure of election and/or to annul election results must show on its face that the conditions necessary to declare a failure to elect are present. Respondent COMELEC only based its decision on the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code with regard to declaring a failure of election. There are three instances where a failure of election may be declared, namely:

the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes;

the election in any polling place has been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes; or

after the voting and during the preparation and transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes.

The instances being not present in the petition of Mr. Banaga, Jr. The respondent COMELEC have no other recourse but to dismiss the petition.

Mercado,

Carpio,

Soriano

and

Alejo

vs

Dysangco,

Llanera

and

Esteban

A.

M.

No.

MTJ-00-1301

July

30,

2002

This is an administrative case for grave misconduct against Judge Dysangco in his capacity as acting judge of 2nd municipal circuit trial court of Gen. Natividad-Llanera, Nueva Ecija and Ms. Teresita S. Esteban as clerk of court, for having granted the 34 petitions for inclusion in the voters‘ list filed by one Alejandro Gonzales. Said granted petitions were suppo rters of Mr. Gonzales in the May 12, 1997 Barangay Elections.

Facts:

Prior to the May 12, 1997 Barangay Elections in Kabulihan, Gen. Natividad, Nueva Ecija, 48 separate petitions for inclusion in the voters‘ list were filed. Of the 48 petitions, 9 were supporters of herein complainant Cirilo Mercado and 39 were supporters of his opponent Alejandro Gonzales. Accordingly, Mercado, et al. filed an opposition to the 39 supporters of Gonzales.

During the hearings of the petitions for inclusion, only the petitioners supporting Mercado presented their evidence. Therefore, respondent judge dismissed the 39 petitions of Gonzales‘ supporters in open court.

Before the day of the barangay elections, complainants approached respondent judge and got an assurance from the said judge that he did not issue any order for the inclusion of the 39 supporters of Gonzales in the voters‘ list.

However, complainants were surprised to find out on the day of the elections that respondent judge and attested by respondent clerk of court had issued an Order directing the inclusion in the 34 supporters of Gonzales in the voters‘ list.

Thus this administrative case for grave misconduct the respondent judge for granting the 34 petitions of the supporters of Gonzales despite the fact that the 39 petitioners neither presented any evidence nor appeared in the scheduled hearings.

Respondent judge denied allegations of the complainant. He contends that he based his decision on his interviews with the petitioners. Respondent clerk of court denied any hand in the Order issued by the respondent judge for it was his own personal act.

Issue/s:

WHETHER OR NOT petition for the inclusion in the voters‘ list should be based on the presented evidence.

Decision:

WHEREFORE, for gross ignorance of law or procedure and gross misconduct constituting violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, respondent Judge HECTOR F. DYSANGCO, Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija, then Acting Presiding Judge of the 2nd Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Natividad-Llanera, same province, is SUSPENDED for four (4) months without

salary and other benefits. He is warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

Ratio

Decidendi:

“Section 143 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code, explicitly lays down the procedure governing petitions for inclusion, exclusion, and correction of names of voters, thus:

x

x

x

(f) The decision shall be based on the evidence presented. If the question is whether or not the voter is real or fictitious, his non-appearance on the day set for hearing shall be prima facie evidence that the registered voter is fictitious. In no case shall a decision be rendered upon a stipulation of facts.

(g)These applications shall be heard and decided without delay. The decision shall be rendered within six hours after the hearing and within ten days from the date of its filing in court. Cases appealed to the regional trial court shall be decided within ten days from receipt of the appeal in the office of the clerk of court. In any case, the court shall decide these petitions not later than the day before the election and the decision rendered thereon shall be immediately final and executory, notwithstanding the provision of Section 138 on the finality of decision”

The clear mandate of the law is for the municipal judge a) to decide the petition on the basis of the evidence presented, b) to conduct a hearing thereon, and c) to render a decision within 10 days from the filing of the petition. Respondent judge is guilty for ignorance of the law.

He claimed that he based his decision on the interviews that he personally did with the petitioners. But the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code was clear. Municipal judges should decide the petition on the basis of the presented evidence of which respondent judge did not do so. In fact, during the hearings of the petitions for inclusion, 39 petitioners supporting Gonzales did not even appear, so, how can they present their evidences.

Lastly, respondent judge rendered the assailed decision 2 days before the elections depriving complainants to appeal to the RTC because petitions were filed April 17, 1997 and the Order granting them was issued only on May 9, 1997. He did not even furnished a copy to the complainants. Respondent judge failed to observe the requirements of the Omnibus Election Code.

Ma.

Armida

Perez-Ferraris

vs

Brix

Ferraris

G.R.

No.

162368

July

17,

2006

This is a petition for review on certiorari filed by petitioner Ma. Armida Perez-Ferraris of the Resolution dated June 9, 2004 denying the petition for review on certiorari of the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated April 30, 2003 and February 24, 2004, respectively, for failure of the petitioner to sufficiently show that the Court of Appeals committed any reversible error.

Facts:

Ma. Armida Perez-Ferraris filed a petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage with Brix Ferraris before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. The basis of the petition was Art. 36 or Psychological Incapacity. It appeared that Brix was suffering from epilepsy.

The Regional Trial Court of Pasig rendered a decision denying the petition – noting that epilepsy does not amount to psychological incapacity and that evidence on record was insufficient to prove infidelity. In denying petitioner‘s motion for reconsideration, the Regional Trial Court reiterated that there was no evidence that respondent is mentally or physically ill to such an extent that he could not have known the obligations of marriage, or knowing them, was not capable of assuming or performing them.

Ma. Armida appealed to the Court of Appeals – which affirmed the Regional Trial Court‘s decision. The Court of Appeals held that evidence on record failed to establish that Brix was suffering from psychological incapacity or that his defects were incurable and already present during the marriage. The Court of Appeals also found that petitioner‘s expert witness, Dr. Dayan failed to es tablish the disabling element in Brix character that incapacitated him from accepting and complying with his essential marital obligations.

Ma. Armida filed a motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals denied it. Thus, she filed a petition for review on certiorari with the Supreme Court.

Issue:

WHETHER

OR

NOT

FACTS

OF

THE

CASE

CONSTITUTE

PSYCHOLOGICAL

INCAPACITY.

Decision:

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the motion for reconsideration of the Resolution dated June 9, 2004 denying the petition for review on certiorari for failure of the petitioner to sufficiently show that the Court of Appeals committed any reversible error, is DENIED WITH FINALITY.

Ratio

Decidendi:

The Supreme Court finds respondent‘s alleged mixed personality disorder, the ―leaving-the-house‖ attitude whenever they quarreled, the violent tendencies during epileptic attacks, the sexual infidelity, the abandonment and lack of support, and his preference

to spend more time with his band mates than his family, are not rooted on some debilitating psychological condition but a mere refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

“x x x a mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise constitute psycholo gical incapacity; it is not enough to prove that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so, due to some psychological, not physical, illness.”

Republic

of

the

Philippines

vs

Court

of

Appeals

and

Molina

G.R.

No.

108763

This is a petition for review on certiorari by the Solicitor General assailing the January 25, 1993 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. CV No. 34858 which affirmed the May 14, 1991 Decision of the Regional Trial Court of La Trinidad, Benguet, declaring the respondent Roridel Olaviano Molina and Reynaldo Molina‘s marriage as void ab initio, on the ground of ―psychological incapacity‖ under Article 36 of the Family Code.

Facts:

On April 14, 1985, respondent Roridel Olaviano and Reynaldo Molina were married at the San Agustin Church, Manila and were blessed with a son by the name of Albert Andre O. Molina. After a year of the marriage, Mr. Molina, allegedly showed signs of ―immaturity and irresponsibility‖ as a husband and father, preferring to squander his money with his friends than with his family. He was also dishonesty to his wife with regard to their finances, resulting in frequent quarrels between them.

In February 1986, Mr. Molina lost his job that made Ms. Olaviano as provider of the family. A year after, Ms. Olaviano resigned from her job and proceeded to live with her parents in Baguio. After a few weeks Mr. Molina abandoned her and their child. She alleged that Mr. Molina was psychologically incapable of complying with the essential marital obligations because of his highly immature and habitually quarrelsome attitude.

Therefore, Ms. Olaviano thought it would best to have their marriage declared null and void to free them from what appeared to be an incompatible marriage from the start. Article 36 of the Family Code was the basis for her petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage to Reynaldo Molina.

Mr. Molina, in his Answer, admitted that they could no longer live together as husband and wife, but he contended that their misunderstandings and frequent quarrels were Ms. Olaviano‘s fault and not his.

On May 14, 1991, the Regional Trial Court of La Trinidad, Benguet, rendered judgment declaring the marriage void. The Solicitor General appealed to the Court of Appeals. However, the Court of Appeals denied the appeal and affirmed the RTC‘s decision. Therefore, the Solicitor General filed a petition for review on certiorari.

Issue:

WHETHER OR NOT ―OPPOSING AND CONFLICTING PERSONALITIES‖ FALL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY UNDER ARTICLE 36 OF THE FAMILY CODE.

Decision:

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The marriage of Roridel Olaviano to Reynaldo Molina subsists and remains valid.

Ratio

Decidendi:

Art. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapa-citated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.

The court reiterated the Santos vs. Court of Appeals decision with respect to ―psychological incapacity‖. The Supreme Court ruled that ―psychological incapacity should refer to no less than a mental (nor physical) incapacity . . . and that (t)here is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of ‗psychological incapacity‘ to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. This psychologic condition must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated.‖ And that it should be characterized by the gravity, judicial antecedence and incurability.

The case of Ms. Olaviano and Mr. Molina, merely shows irreconciliable differences and conflicting personalities. This does not fall within the purview of psychological incapacity. It is not enough to prove that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons – it is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so, due to some psychological illness.

In view of the foregoing, the Court promulgated the following guidelines to help the bench and the bar in the interpretation and application of Art. 36 of the Family Code. 1. the burden of proof belongs to the plaintiff; 2. the root cause of psychological incapacity must be medically or clinically identified, alleged in the complaint, sufficiently proven by expert, and clearly explained in the decision; 3. the incapacity must be proven existing at the time of the celebration of marriage; 4. the incapacity must be clinically or medically permanent or incurable; 5. such illness must be grave enough; 6. the essential marital obligation must be embraced by Articles 68 to 71 of the Family Code as regards husband and wife, and Articles 220 to 225 of the same code as regards parents and their children;

7. interpretation made by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church; and 8. the trial court must order the fiscal and the Solicitor-General to appear as counsels for the State.

Republic

of

the

Philippines

vs

Orbecido

G.

R.

No.

154380

October

5,

2005

This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision and resolution of the Regional Trial Court of Molave, Zamboaga del Sur, Branch 23, granting respondent‘s petition for authority to remarry invoking par. 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code.

Facts:

On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III and Lady Myros Villanueva were married in Lam-an, Ozamis City and were blessed with a son and a daughter. In 1986, Lady Myros left for the U. S. bringing along their son and after a few years she was naturalized as an American citizen.

Sometime in 2000, respondent Orbecido learned from his son – who was living with his wife in the States – that his wife had remarried after obtaining her divorce decree. Thereafter, he filed a petition for authority to remarry with the trial court invoking par. 2 of Art. 26 of the Family Code.

Having no opposition, on May 15, 2002, the Regional Trial Court of Zamboanga del Sur granted the petition of the respondent and allowed him to remarry.

The Solicitor General‘s motion for reconsideration was denied. In view of that, petitioner filed this petition for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Regional Trial Court. Herein petitioner raised the issue of the applicability of Art. 26 par. 2 to the instant case.

Issue:

WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT CAN REMARRY UNDER THE ARTICLE 26 OF THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

Decision:

Respondent Orbecido who has the burden of proof, failed to submit competent evidence showing his allegations that his naturalized American wife had obtained a divorce decree and had remarried. Therefore, the Petition of the Republic of the Philippines is GRANTED. The Decision and Resolution of the RTC Br. 32 of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur is hereby SET ASIDE.

Ratio

Decidendi:

“Art. 26 (2) Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under the Philippine laws.”

Article 26 par. 2 of the Family Code only applies to case where at the time of the celebration of the marriage, the parties are a Filipino citizen and a foreigner. The instant case is one where at the time the marriage was solemnized, the parties were two Filipino citizens, but later on, the wife was naturalized as an American citizen and subsequently obtained a divorce granting her capacity to remarry, and indeed she remarried an American citizen while residing in the U. S. A. Therefore, the 2nd par. of Art. 26 does not apply to the instant case.

However, the legislative intent must be taken into consideration and rule of reason must be applied. The Supreme Court ruled that par. 2 of Art. 26 should be construed and interpreted to include cases involving parties who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of then becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the marriage. To rule otherwise would be sanction absurdity and injustice. Were the interpretation of a statute according to its exact and literal import would lead to mischievous results or contravene the clear purpose of the legislature, it should be construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as necessary the letter of the law. A stature may therefore be extended to case not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long as they come within its spirits or intent.

Lansang

vs

GarciaTuesday,

December

11,

1971

42

SCRA

448

FACTS:

On August 21, 1971, at about 9 p. m., while the Liberal Party was holding a public meeting at Plaza Miranda, Manila, for the presentation of its candidates in the general elections scheduled for November 8, 1971, two hand grenades were thrown at the platform where said candidates and other persons were. As a consequence, eight persons were killed and many more were injured.

On August 23, Pres. Marcos announced the issuance of Proclamation No. 889, suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus – for the persons presently detained, as well as others who may be hereafter similarly detained for the crimes of insurrection or rebellion, and all other crimes in connection therewith.

Petitioners were arrested and detained as suspected participants and/or perpetrators of the incident. In turn, petitions for writs of habeas corpus were filed with the Supreme Court by the petitioners who were arrested and detained without a warrant.

In said petition, the petitioners assailed the validity of Proclamation No. 889 made by the President and challenged its constitutionality on the ground that it does not comply with the Constitutional requisites, more specifically in Sec. 1 (par. 14.) of Art. III, which reads:

“the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion, when public safety requires it, in any way of which events the same may be suspended wherever during such period the necessity for such suspension shall exist.‖

and

that

of

Sec.

10

(par.

1)

of

Art.

VII,

which

reads:

“The President shall be commander-in-chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and, whenever it becomes necessary, may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, insurrection, or rebellion. In case of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion or imminent danger thereof, when the public safety requires it, he may suspend the privilege of the writ of harbeas corpus, of place the Philippines or any part thereof under Martial Law.”

The respondents, on the other hand, alleged that petitioners were apprehended and detained ―on reasonable belief‖ that they had participated in the crime of insurrection or rebellion and that their continued detention is justified pursuant to the Proclamation No. 889.

On August 30, Proclamation No. 889-A amending the Proclamation No. 889, was issued by the President which reads:

“x x x insurrection or rebellion [,] and [all] other [crimes and offenses] overts acts committed by them in furtherance [or on the

occasion]

thereof[,].

[or

incident

thereto,

or

in

connection

therewith.]

On November 15, 1971, the Solicitor General filed a manifestation that nine (9) petitioners including Lansang had already been released as of November 13, 1971 while five (5) petitioners were still in their custody who were charged of violating the Anti-Subversion Act (R. A. No. 1700) respectively in the City Fiscal‘s Office of Quezon City and in the Court of First Instance of Rizal.

Those who were still detained filed their comment dated November 23, 1971 to respondents‘ manifestations, urging the court to already rule on the merits of the petitions, particularly on the constitutionality of Proc. No. 889 because its concern is public interest and civil liberties of the people. They also maintained the issue is not moot, not even to those who have been released due to the fact that as long as the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus remains suspended, those petitioners are still in danger of being arrested and detained again without valid reason. However, the Solicitor General insisted in his reply that the petitions were already moot and academic for the reason that the petitioners had already been released.

Issue/s:

whether or not the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus made by the president is valid.

whether or not the president‘s decision was final and conclusive upon the courts and all other persons.

whether

or

not

the

petitions

are

already

moot

and

academic.

Decision:

Petitions

denied.

Judgment rendered declaring that the President did not act arbitrarily in issuing Proclamation No. 889, as amended, and that the same is not unconstitutional; petitions in L-33964, L-34004, L-34039, and L-34265 dismissed; Court of First Instance of Rizal directed to act with utmost dispatch in conducting preliminary examination and/or investigation of the charges for violation of the AntiSubversion Act filed against other petitioners, and to issue warrants of arrest if probable cause is found to exist against them, or otherwise, to order their release; and parties may, by motion, seek proper relief in these proceedings if there should be undue delay in the completion of the preliminary examination and/or investigation, or the issuance of proper orders or resolutions in connection therewith.

Ratio

Decidendi:

The courts finds that the Proclamation No. 889 of the President is valid because the requisites for the suspension of writ of habeas corpus are present. That there must be ―invasion, insurrection or rebellion, imminent danger thereof‖ [Sec. 10 (par. 2) of Art. VIII of the 1935 Constitution] and public safety must require said aforementioned suspension.

That the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus by the President is justifiable due to the acts of subversion and violence committed on the August 21, 1971, by lawless elements.

Nevertheless, pursuant to the principle of the separation of power underlying our system of government, the Executive is only supreme in his own sphere. And the judiciary department has the authority to determine whether or not the legislature or the executive had gone beyond their constitutional limits. Therefore, the Supreme Court had the authority to inquire into the existence of the factual bases in the light of the requirements of the constitution. The determination of the President of the existence of such bases was neither absolute nor binding upon the courts.

As for the issue of the petitions being moot and academic, the court ruled that there was no need in settling the questions being brought up as far as the released detainees were concerned because they were already released. Nevertheless, for those still detained, the issue on their right to bail was, however, in the jurisdiction of the courts of where they were charged.

Calub

vs

Suller

[A.

C.

No.

1474

January

28,

2000]

(This

is

an

administrative

case

against

Atty.

Abraham

Suller for raping complainant

Cristino

Calub‘s

wife.)

Facts:

* In the morning of January 20, 1975, while complainant was away, respondent Atty. Suller went to the complainant‘s house to borrow a blade and because respondent was a friend of the family and a neighbor, the complainant‘s wife let him in. Thereafter, resp ondent began touching her in different parts of her body. When she protested, respondent threatened her and forced her to have sexual intercourse with him. At that moment, complainant returned home to get money to pay for real estate taxes. When he entered the house, he saw his wife and respondent having sexual intercourse on the bed. She was kicking respondent with one foot while the latter pressed on her arms and other leg, preventing her from defending herself. On. January 13, 1975, Mr. Calub file a criminal complaint for rape against Atty. Suller, thus, the case was later remanded to the Court of First Instance (RTC) of Agoo, La Union. On June 3, 1975, Cristino G. Calub filed with the Supreme Court the instant complaint for disbarment against Atty. Suller. Atty. Suller denied the accusation as a fabrication. On July 21, 1975, the Court referred the case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report, and recommendation. On January 23, 1992, the Committee issued an order terminating the proceedings and considering the case submitted for resolution as notice to complainant remained unserved while respondent failed to appear despite due notice. On March 3, 1993, the Board of Governors, Integrated Bar of the Philippines issued a resolution recommending that the disciplinary penalty of suspension from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year be meted on respondent.

Issue:

whether

or

not

respondent

lawyer

should

be

disbarred.

Ruling:

The record discloses that the Court of First Instance acquitted respondent Suller for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Such acquittal, however, is not determinative of this administrative case. The testimonies of witnesses in the criminal complaint, particularly that of the complainant suffice to show that respondent acted in a grossly reprehensible manner in having carnal knowledge of his neighbor‘s wife without her consent in her very home.

A lawyer may be disbarred or suspended for misconduct, whether in his professional or private capacity, which shows him to be wanting in moral character, in honesty, probity and good demeanor or unworthy to continue as an officer of the court.

In this case, we find that suspension for one year recommended by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines is not sufficient punishment for the immoral act of respondent. The rape of his neighbor‘s wife constituted serious moral depravity even if his guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt in the criminal prosecution for rape. He is not worthy to remain a member of the bar. The privilege to practice law is bestowed upon individuals who are competent intellectually, academically and, equally important, morally.13 ―Good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession, but it must also be possessed at all times in order to maintain one‘s good standing in that exclusive and honored fraternity.‖14

WHEREFORE, respondent Abraham A. Suller is DISBARRED from the practise of law. Let his name be stricken off the Roll of Attorneys.

Miranda

vs

Aguirre

G.R.

No.

133064

September

16,

1999

FACTS:

This is a petition for a writ of prohibition with prayer for preliminary injunction assailing the constitu-tionality of Republic Act No. 8528, converting the City of Santiago, Isabela from an independent component city to merely a component city.

On May 5, 1994, RA No. 7720 was signed into a law, which converted the municipality of Santiago, Isabela, into an independent component city.

on

July

4,

1994,

RA

No.

7720

was

approved

by

the

people

of

Santiago

in

a

plebiscite.

On February 14, 1998, RA No. 8528 was enacted and it amended RA No. 7720 that practically downgraded the City of Santiago from an independent component city to a merely component city.

Petitioners assail the constitutionality of RA No. 8528 for the lack of provision to submit the law for the approval of the people of Santiago in a proper plebiscite.

Respondents defended the constitutionality of RA No. 8528 saying that the said act merely reclassified the City of Santiago from an independent component city into a component city. It allegedly did not involve any ―creation, division, merger, abolition, or substantial alteration of boundaries of local government units,‖ therefore, a plebiscite of the people of Santiago is unnecessary. They also questioned the standing of petitioners to file the petition and argued that the petition raises a political question over which the Court lacks jurisdiction.

ISSUE/S:

WHETHER OR NOT RA NO. 8528 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR ITS FAILURE TO SUBMIT IT TO PROPER PLEBISCITE.

WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS LACKS STANDING OR PERSONALITY IN FILING THIS PETITION.

WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE PETITION AT BAR ON THE GROUND THAT IT INVOLVES A POLITICAL QUESTION.

DECISION:

Petition was GRANTED. RA No. 8528 is declared unconstitutional and the writ of prohibition is hereby issued commanding the respondents to desist from implementing the said law.

RATIO

DECIDENDI:

RA No. 8528 is declared unconstitutional because Sec. 10 of Art. X of the 1987 Constitution clearly states that: No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.

That when an amendment of the law involves creation, merger, division, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of local government units, a plebiscite in the political units directly affected is mandatory.

Petitioners are directly affected in the imple-mentation of RA No. 8528. Petitioner Miranda was the mayor of Santiago City, Afiado was the President of the Sangguniang Liga, together with 3 other petitioners were all residents and voters in the City of Santiago. It is their right to be heard in the conversion of their city thru a plebiscite to be conducted by the COMELEC. Thus, denial of their right in RA

No.

8528

gives

them

proper

standing

to

strike

down

the

law

as

unconstitutional.

Sec. 1 of Art. VIII of the Constitution states that: the judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instru-mentality of the Government.

That the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction over said petition because it involves not a political question but a justiciable issue, and of which only the court could decide whether or not a law passed by the Congress is unconstitutional.

Lansang

vs

GarciaDecember

11,

1971

Facts:

On August 21, 1971, at about 9 p. m., while the Liberal Party was holding a public meeting at Plaza Miranda, Manila, for the presentation of its candidates in the general elections scheduled for November 8, 1971, two hand grenades were thrown at the platform where said candidates and other persons were. As a consequence, eight persons were killed and many more were injured.

On August 23, Pres. Marcos announced the issuance of Proclamation No. 889, suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus – for the persons presently detained, as well as others who may be hereafter similarly detained for the crimes of insurrection or rebellion, and all other crimes in connection therewith.

Petitioners were arrested and detained as suspected participants and/or perpetrators of the preceding incident. In turn, petitions for writs of habeas corpus were filed with the Supreme Court by the petitioners being arrested and detained without a warrant.

In said petition, the petitioners assailed the validity of Proclamation No. 889 made by the President and challenged the constitutionally of Proclamation No. 889 on the basis that it does not comply with the Constitutional requisites, more specifically in Sec. 1 (par. 14.) of Art. III, which reads:

“the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall be suspended except in cases of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion, when public safety requires it, in any way of which events the same may be suspended wherever during such period the necessity for such suspension shall exist.‖

and

that

of

Sec.

10

(par.

1)

of

Art.

VII,

which

reads:

“The President shall be commander-in-chief of all armed forces of the Philippines, and whenever it becomes necessary, may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, insurrection, or rebellion. In case of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion or imminent danger thereof, when the public safety requires it, he may suspend the privilege of the writ of harbeas corpus, of place the

Philippines

or

any

part

thereof

under

Martial

Law.”

The respondents, on the other hand, alleged that petitioners were apprehended and detained ―on reasonable belief‖ that they h ad participated in the crime of insurrection or rebellion and that their continued detention is justified pursuant to the Proclamation No. 889.

On August 30, Proclamation No. 889-A amending the Proclamation No. 889, was issued by the President which reads:

“NOW, THEREFORE x x x do heredy suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus x x x for the crimes of insurrection or rebellion and other overt acts committed by them in furtherance.”

On August 31, petitioners in G. R. No. L-33965 were released by the respondents after finding that the evidence against them was insufficient.

On September 18, Proc. No. 889 was further amended by Proclamation No. 889-B lifting the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in 27 provinces, 3 sub-provinces and 19 cities.

On September 25, Proc. No. 889-C restored the privilege of the wit of habeas corpus in 14 provinces and 13 cities.

On October 4, Proc. No. 889-D likewise, lifted the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in 7 provinces and 4 cities.

Therefore, of the original number of places slapped with the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus – only 18 provinces , 2 subprovinces and 18 cities remained.

Issue/s:

whether or not the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus made by the president is valid.

whether or not the president‘s decision was final and conclusive upon the courts and all other persons.

Decision:

Petitions

denied.

Judgment rendered declaring that the President did not act arbitrarily in issuing Proclamation No. 889, as amended, and that the same is not unconstitutional; petitions in L-33964, L-34004, L-34039, and L-34265 dismissed; Court of First Instance of Rizal directed to act with utmost dispatch in conducting preliminary examination and/or investigation of the charges for violation of the Anti-Subversion Act

filed against other petitioners, and to issue warrants of arrest if probable cause is found to exist against them, or otherwise, to order their release; and parties may, by motion, seek proper relief in these proceedings if there should be undue delay in the completion of the preliminary examination and/or investigation, or the issuance of proper orders or resolutions in connection therewith.

Ratio

Decidendi:

The courts finds that the Proclamation No. 889 of the President is valid because the requisites for the suspension of writ of habeas corpus are present. That there must be ―invasion, insurrection or rebellion, imminent danger thereof‖ [Sec. 10 (par. 2) of Ar t. VIII of the 1935 Constitution] and public safety must require for aforementioned suspension.

That the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus by the President is justifiable due to the acts of subversion and violence committed preceding the August 21, 1971, by lawless elements.

Nevertheless, pursuant to the principle of the separation of power underlying our system of government, the Executive is only supreme in his own sphere. And the judiciary department is has the authority to determine whether or not the legislature or the executive had gone beyond their constitutional limits. Therefore, the Supreme Court had the authority to inquire into the existence of the factual bases in the light of the requirements of the constitution. The determination of the President of the existence of such bases was neither absolute nor binding upon the courts.

Gonzales

vs

Commission

on

Elections

G.

R.

No.

L-28196.

November

9,

1968.

FACTS:

Petitioners Gonzales and PHILCONSA filed separate petitions. A petition assailing the constitutionality of the RA No. 4913 and for prohibition with preliminary injunction to restrain COMELEC from implementing or complying with the said law. PHILCONSA also assails the Resolution by both houses No. 1 and 3 of March 16, 1967.

RA No. 4913 to be effective on June 17, 1967 is an act submitting to Filipino people for approval the amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines proposed by the Congress in R. B. H. No. 1 and 3, adopted on March 16, 1967. This act fixes the date and manner of election for the proposed amendments to be voted upon by the people, and appropriates funds for said election. On the otherhand, Resolution by Both Houses No. 1 and 3 two amendments to the Constitution: 1) to mend Sec. 5 of Art. VI, by increasing the maximum membership of the House of Representatives from 120 to 180, apportioning 160 of the said 180 seats and eliminating the provision that Congress shall by law make an apportionment within 3 years after the return of every enumeration; 2) to amend Sec. 16 of Art. VI by allowing Senators and Representatives to be delegates to a constitutional convention without forfeiting their seats.

ISSUE/S:

WHETHER

OR

NOT

RA

No.

4913

IS

UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

WHETHER

OR

NOT

R.

B.

H.

Nos.

1

AND

3

VIOLATES

THE

CONSTITUTION.

DECISION:

Petitions DENIED. The constitutionality of RA No. 4913 and R. B. H. Nos. 1 and 3 is upheld.

RATIO

DECIDENDI:

The determination of conditions under which the proposed amendments shall be submitted to the people is concededly a matter which falls within the legislative sphere.

The petitioners merely attacks the wisdom of the action taken by Congress – not the authority to take it. One seeming purpose thereof is to permit Members of Congress to run for election as delegates to the Constitutional Convention and participate in the proceedings therein, without forfeiting their seats in Congress. Whether or not this should be done is a political question, not subject to review by the courts of justice.

Angara

vs

Electoral

Commission

G.

R.

No.

L-45081

July

15,

1936

FACTS:

On Sept. 17, 1935, petitioner Angara was elected Member of the National Assembly for the first district of Tayabas. On Oct. 7, 1935, the provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed him as member-elect. On Nov. 15, 1935, he took his oath of office.

On December 3, 1935, the National Assembly passed the Resolution No. 8 confirming the election of the members and fixing December 9, 1935 as the last day for filing a protest against election of any member. The Electoral Commission adopted said

resolution

no.

On December 8, 1935, respondent Ynsua (losing candidate) filed before the Electoral Commission a ―Motion of Protest‖ against Angara.

Since the protest of Ynsua was filed on Dec. 8 or 5 days after the last day (Dec. 3) fixed by the National Assembly for the filing of protest – Angara filed a ―Motion To Dismiss the Protest.‖

The

electoral

Commission

denied

the

motion

to

dismiss.

Angara

elevated

the

case

to

the

Supreme

Court.

ISSUE/S:

1) HAS THE SUPREME COURT JURISDICTION OVER THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION AND THE SUBJECT MATTER OF CONTROVERSY UPON THE FOREGOING RELATED FACTS, AND IN AFFIRMATIVE,

2) HAS THE SAID ELECTORAL COMMISSION ACTED WITHOUT OR IN EX-CESS OF ITS JURISDICTION IN ASSUMING THE COGNIZANCE OF THE PROTEST FILED AGAINST THE ELECTION OF THE HEREIN PETITIONER NOTWITHSTANDING THE PREVIOUS CONFIRMATION OF SUCH ELECTION BY RESOLUTION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY?

RULING:

1) The Supreme Court has jurisdiction. Although the Electoral Commission may not be interfered with, when and while acting within the limits of its authority, it does not follow that it is beyond constitutional res-trictions. The Electoral Commission is not a separate department of the government, and even if it were, conflicting claims of authority under the fundamental law between department powers and agencies of the government are necessarily determined by the judiciary, and here, by the Supreme Court in justifiable and appropriate cases.

Here is an actual controversy involving a conflict of a grave constitutional nature on which the Supreme Court has the inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining the constitutional boundaries.

2) The Electoral Commission did not act without or in excess of its jurisdiction. The grant of power to the Electoral Commission to judge all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly, is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as it was originally in the legislature. The express lodging of that power in the Electoral Commission is an implied denial of the exercise of that power by the National Assembly. If we concede the power claimed in behalf of the National Assembly that said body may regulate the proceedings of the Electoral Commission and cut off the power of the commission to lay down the period within which protests should be filed, the grant of power to the commission would be ineffective. The Electoral

Commission in such case would be invested with the power to determine contested cases involving the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly but subject at all times to the regulative power of the National Assembly. Not only would the purpose of the framers of our Constitution of totally transferring this authority from the legislative body be frustrated, but a dual authority would be created with the resultant inevitable clash of powers from time to time. A sad spectacle would then be presented of the Electoral Commission retaining the bare authority of taking cognizance of cases referred to, but in reality without the necessary means to render that authority effective whenever the National Assembly has chosen to act, a situation worse than that intended to be remedied by the framers of our Constitution. The power to regulate on the part of the National Assembly in procedural matters will inevitably lead to the ultimate control by the Assembly of the entire proceedings of the Electoral Commission, and, by indirection, to the entire abrogation of the constitutional grant. It is obvious that this result should not be permitted. The creation of the Electoral Commission carried with it the power to limit the time with which protests intrusted to its cognizance should be filed. It is a settled rule of construction that where a general power is conferred or duty enjoined, every particular power necessary for the exercise of the one or the performance of the other is also conferred Therefore, the incidental power to promulgate such rules necessary for the proper exercise of its exclusive power to judge all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly, must be deemed by necessary implication to have been lodged also in the Electoral Commission.

J. Manuel Mabanag vs. Vito (GR L-1123, 5 March 1947)

Facts: Three senators and eight representatives had been proclaimed by a majority vote of the Commission on Elections as having been elected senators and representatives in the elections held on 23 April 1946. The three senators were suspended by the Senate shortly after the opening of the first session of Congress following the elections, on account of alleged irregularities in their election. The eight representatives since their election had not been allowed to sit in the lower House, except to take part in the election of the Speaker, for the same reason, although they had not been formally suspended. A resolution for their suspension had been introduced in the House of Representatives, but that resolution had not been acted upon definitely by the House when the petition for prohibition was filed. As a consequence these three senators and eight representatives did not take part in the passage of the congressional resolution, designated "Resolution of both houses proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines to be appended as an ordinance thereto," nor was their membership reckoned within the computation of the necessary three-fourths vote which is required in proposing an amendment to the Constitution. If these members of Congress had been counted, the affirmative votes in favor of the proposed amendment would have been short of the necessary three-fourths vote in either branch of Congress. The petition for prohibition sought to prevent the enforcement of said congressional resolution, as it is allegedly contrary to the Constitution. The members of the Commission on Elections, the Treasurer of the Philippines, the Auditor General, and the Director of the Bureau of Printing are made defendants. Eight senators, 17 representatives, and the presidents of the Democratic Alliance, the Popular Front and the Philippine Youth Party.

Issue: Whether the Court may inquire upon the irregularities in the approval of the resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.

Held: It is a doctrine too well established to need citation of authorities, that political questions are not within the province of the judiciary, except to the extent that power to deal with such questions has been conferred upon the courts by express constitutional or statutory provision. This doctrine is predicated on the principle of the separation of powers, a principle also too well known to require elucidation or citation of authorities. The difficulty lies in determining what matters fall within the meaning of political question. The term is not susceptible of exact definition, and precedents and authorities are not always in full harmony as to the scope of the restrictions, on this ground, on the courts to meddle with the actions of the political departments of the government. If a political question conclusively binds the judges out of respect to the political departments, a duly certified law or resolution also binds the judges under the "enrolled bill rule" born of that respect. If ratification of an amendment is a political question, a proposal which leads to ratification has to be a political question. The two steps complement each other in a scheme intended to achieve a single objective. It is to be noted that the amendatory process as provided in section I of Article XV of the Philippine Constitution "consists of (only) two distinct parts: proposal and ratification." There is no logic in attaching political character to one and withholding that character from the other. Proposal to amend the Constitution is a highly political function performed by the Congress in its sovereign legislative capacity and committed to its charge by the Constitution itself. The exercise of this power is even in dependent of any intervention by the Chief Executive. If on grounds of expediency scrupulous attention of the judiciary be needed to safeguard public interest, there is less reason for judicial inquiry into the validity of a proposal then into that of a ratification.

Planas [GR

vs. L-35925,

Commission 22

on January

Elections 1973]

Facts: On 16 March 1967, Congress of the Philippines passed Resolution 2, which was amended by Resolution 4 of said body, adopted on 17 June 1969, calling a Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines. Said Resolution 2, as amended, was implemented by RA 6132, approved on 24 August 1970, pursuant to the provisions of which the election of delegates to said Convention was held on 10 November 1970, and the 1971 Constitutional Convention began to perform its functions on 1 June 971. While the Convention was in session on 21 September 1972, the President issued Proclamation 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law. On 29 November 1972, the Convention approved its Proposed Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. The next day, 30 November 1972, the President of the Philippines issued Presidential Decree 73, "submitting to the Filipino people for ratification or rejection the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention, and appropriating funds therefor," as well as setting the plebiscite for said ratification or rejection of the Proposed Constitution on 15 January 1973. Soon after, or on 7 December 1972, Charito Planas filed, with the Supreme Court, Case GR L-35925, against the Commission on Elections, the Treasurer of the Philippines and the Auditor General, to enjoin said "respondents or their agents from implementing Presidential Decree 73, in any manner, until further orders of the Court," upon the grounds, inter alia, that said Presidential Decree "has no force and effect as law because the calling of such plebiscite, the setting of guidelines for the conduct of the same, the prescription of the ballots to be used and the question to be answered by the voters, and the appropriation of public funds for the purpose, are, by the Constitution, lodged exclusively in Congress," and "there is no proper submission to the people of said Proposed Constitution set for 15 January 1973, there being no freedom of speech, press and assembly, and there being no sufficient time to inform the people of the contents thereof." Substantially identical actions were filed. Meanwhile, or on 17 December 1972, the President had issued an order temporarily suspending the effects of Proclamation 1081, for the purpose of free and open

debate on the Proposed Constitution. On December 23, the President announced the postponement of the plebiscite for the ratification or rejection of the Proposed Constitution. No formal action to this effect was taken until 7 January 1973, when General Order 20 was issued, directing "that the plebiscite scheduled to be held on 15 January 1973, be postponed until further notice." Said General Order 20, moreover, "suspended in the meantime" the "order of 17 December 1972, temporarily suspending the effects of Proclamation 1081 for purposes of free and open debate on the proposed Constitution." In view of the events relative to the postponement of the plebiscite, the Court deemed it fit to refrain, for the time being, from deciding the cases, for neither the date nor the conditions under which said plebiscite would be held were known or announced officially. Then, again, Congress was, pursuant to the 1935 Constitution, scheduled to meet in regular session on 22 January 1973, and since the main objection to Presidential Decree 73 was that the President does not have the legislative authority to call a plebiscite and appropriate funds therefor, which Congress unquestionably could do, particularly in view of the formal postponement of the plebiscite by the President — reportedly after consultation with, among others, the leaders of Congress and the Commission on Elections — the Court deemed it more imperative to defer its final action on these cases. In the afternoon of 12 January 1973, Vidal Tan, et. al. [GR L-35948] filed an "urgent motion," praying that said case be decided "as soon as possible, preferably not later than 15 January 1973." It was alleged in said motion, "that the President subsequently announced the issuance of Presidential Decree 86 organizing the so-called Citizens Assemblies, to be consulted on certain public questions; and that thereafter it was later announced that 'the Assemblies will be asked if they favor or oppose — [1] The New Society; [2] Reforms instituted under Martial Law; [3] The holding of a plebiscite on the proposed new Constitution and when (the tentative new date given following the postponement of the plebiscite from the original date of January 15 are February 19 and March 5); [4] The opening of the regular session slated on January 22 in accordance with the existing Constitution despite Martial Law."

Issue

[1]:

Whether

the

Court

has

authority

to

pass

upon

the

validity

of

Presidential

Decree

73.

Held [1]: Presidential Decree 73 purports to have the force and effect of a legislation, so that the issue on the validity thereof is manifestly a justiciable one, on the authority, not only of a long list of cases in which the Court has passed upon the constitutionality of statutes and/or acts of the Executive, 1 but, also, of no less than that of Subdivision (1) of Section 2, Article VIII of the 1935 Constitution, which expressly provides for the authority of the Supreme Court to review cases involving said issue.

Issue [2]: Whether the President has the authority to issue PD 73 to submit to the People the Constitution proposed by the Convention.

Held [2]: As regards the authority of the President to issue Presidential Decree 73, "submitting to the Filipino people (on January 15, 1973) for ratification or rejection the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention and appropriating funds therefor," it is unnecessary, for the time being, to pass upon such question, because the plebiscite ordained in said Decree has been postponed. In any event, should the plebiscite be scheduled to be held at any time later, the proper parties may then file such action as the circumstances may justify.

Issue [3]: Whether martial law per se affects the validity of a submission to the people for ratification of specific proposals for amendment of the Constitution.

Held [3]: The matter is one intimately and necessarily related to the validity of Proclamation No. 1102 of the President of the Philippines. This question has not been explicitly raised, however, in any of the cases under consideration, said cases having been filed before the issuance of such Proclamation, although the petitioners in L-35948 maintain that the issue on the referral of the Proposed Constitution to the Citizens' Assemblies may be deemed and was raised in their Supplemental Motion of January 15, 1973. At any rate, said question has not been adequately argued by the parties in any of these cases, and it would not be proper to resolve such a transcendental question without the most thorough discussion possible under the circumstances. In fairness to the petitioners in L-35948 and considering the surrounding circumstances, that instead of dismissing the case as moot and academic, said petitioners should be given a reasonable period of time within which to move in the premises.

Held (totality): Recapitulating the views expressed by the Members of the Court, the result is this: (1) There is unanimity on the justiciable nature of the issue on the legality of Presidential Decree 73. (2) On the validity of the decree itself, Justices Makalintal, Castro, Fernando, Teehankee, Esguerra and Concepcion, or 6 Members of the Court, are of the opinion that the issue has become moot and academic, whereas Justices Barredo, Makasiar and Antonio voted to uphold the validity of said Decree. (3) On the authority of the 1971 Constitutional Convention to pass the proposed Constitution or to incorporate therein the provisions contested by the petitioners in L-35948, Justice Makalintal, Castro, Teehankee and Esguerra opine that the issue has become moot and academic. Justice Fernando, Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio and Concepcion have voted to uphold the authority of the Convention. (4) Justice Fernando, likewise, expressed the view that the 1971 Constitutional Convention had authority to continue in the performance of its functions despite the proclamation of Martial Law. In effect, Justices Barredo, Makasiar and Antonio hold the same view. (5) On the question whether the proclamation of Martial Law affected the proper submission of the proposed Constitution to a plebiscite, insofar as the freedom essential therefor is concerned, Justice Fernando is of the opinion that there is a repugnancy between the election contemplated under Art. XV of the 1935 Constitution and the existence of Martial Law, and would, therefore, grant the petitions were they not moot and academic. Justices Barredo, Antonio and Esguerra are of the opinion that that issue involves question of fact which cannot be predetermined, and that Martial Law per se does not necessarily preclude the factual possibility of adequate freedom for the purposes contemplated. (6) On Presidential Proclamation No. 1102, the following views were expressed: [a] Justices Makalintal, Castro, Fernando, Teehankee, Makasiar, Esguerra and Concepcion are of the opinion that question of validity of said Proclamation has not been properly raised before the Court, which, accordingly, should not pass upon such question. [b] Justice Barredo holds that the issue on the constitutionality of Proclamation No. 1102 has been submitted to and should be determined by the Court, and that the "purported ratification of the Proposed Constitution based on the referendum among Citizens' Assemblies falls short of being in strict conformity with the requirements of Article XV of the 1935 Constitution," but that such unfortunate drawback notwithstanding, "considering all other related relevant circumstances, the new Constitution is legally recognizable and should he recognized as legitimately in force." [c] Justice Zaldivar maintains unqualifiedly that the Proposed Constitution has not been ratified in accordance with Article XV of the 1935 Constitution, and that, accordingly, it has no force and effect whatsoever. [d] Justice Antonio feels "that the Court is not competent to act" on the issue whether the Proposed Constitution has been ratified by the people or not, "in the absence of any judicially discoverable and manageable standards," since the issue "poses a question of fact." (7) On the question whether or not these cases should be dismissed, Justices Makalintal, Castro Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio and Esguerra voted in the affirmative, for the reasons set forth in their respective opinions. Justices Fernando, Teehankee and the writer similarly voted, except as regards Case No. L-35948 as to which they voted to grant to the petitioners therein a reasonable period of time within which to file appropriate pleadings should they wish to contest the legality of Presidential Proclamation 1102. Justice Zaldivar favors the granting of said period to the

petitioners in said Case No. L-35948 for the purpose, but he believes, in effect, that the Court should go farther and decide on the merits everyone of the cases under consideration. Wherefore, all of the cases are dismissed, without special pronouncement as to costs.

Sanidad [GR

vs. L-44640,

Commission 12

on October

Elections 1976]

Facts: On 2 September 1976, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree 991 calling for a national referendum on 16 October 1976 for the Citizens Assemblies ("barangays") to resolve, among other things, the issues of martial law, the interim assembly, its replacement, the powers of such replacement, the period of its existence, the length of the period for the exercise by the President of his present powers. 20 days after or on 22 September 1976, the President issued another related decree, Presidential Decree 1031, amending the previous Presidential Decree 991, by declaring the provisions of Presidential Decree 229 providing for the manner of voting and canvass of votes in "barangays" (Citizens Assemblies) applicable to the national referendum-plebiscite of 16 October 1976. Quite relevantly, Presidential Decree 1031 repealed inter alia, Section 4, of Presidential Decree 991. On the same date of 22 September 1976, the President issued Presidential Decree 1033, stating the questions to he submitted to the people in the referendum-plebiscite on 16 October 1976. The Decree recites in its "whereas" clauses that the people's continued opposition to the convening of the interim National Assembly evinces their desire to have such body abolished and replaced thru a constitutional amendment, providing for a new interim legislative body, which will be submitted directly to the people in the referendum-plebiscite of October 16. The Commission on Elections was vested with the exclusive supervision and control of the October 1976 National Referendum-Plebiscite. On 27 September 1976, Pablo C. Sanidad and Pablito V. Sanidad, father and son, commenced L-44640 for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin the Commission on Elections from holding and conducting the Referendum Plebiscite on October 16; to declare without force and effect Presidential Decree Nos. 991 and 1033, insofar as they propose amendments to the Constitution, as well as Presidential Decree 1031, insofar as it directs the Commission on Elections to supervise, control, hold, and conduct the Referendum-Plebiscite scheduled on 16 October 1976. They contend that under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions there is no grant to the incumbent President to exercise the constituent power to propose amendments to the new Constitution. As a consequence, the Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16 has no constitutional or legal basis. On 30 September 1976, another action for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction, docketed as L-44684, was instituted by Vicente M. Guzman, a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, asserting that the power to propose amendments to, or revision of the Constitution during the transition period is expressly conferred on the interim National Assembly under action 16, Article XVII of the Constitution. Still another petition for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction was filed on 5 October 1976 by Raul M. Gonzales, his son Raul Jr., and Alfredo Salapantan, docketed as L-44714, to restrain the implementation of Presidential Decrees relative to the forthcoming ReferendumPlebiscite of October 16.

Issue:

Whether

the

President

may

call

upon

a

referendum

for

the

amendment

of

the

Constitution.

Held: Section 1 of Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution on Amendments ordains that "(1) Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by the National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members, or by a constitutional

convention. (2) The National Assembly may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional convention or, by a majority vote of all its Members, submit the question of calling such a convention to the electorate in an election." Section 2 thereof provides that "Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months a after the approval of such amendment or revision." In the present period of transition, the interim National Assembly instituted in the Transitory Provisions is conferred with that amending power. Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions reads "The interim National Assembly, upon special call by the interim Prime Minister, may, by a majority vote of all its Members, propose amendments to this Constitution. Such amendments shall take effect when ratified in accordance with Article Sixteen hereof." There are, therefore, two periods contemplated in the constitutional life of the nation, i.e., period of normalcy and period of transition. In times of normalcy, the amending process may be initiated by the proposals of the (1) regular National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members; or (2) by a Constitutional Convention called by a vote of two-thirds of all the Members of the National Assembly. However the calling of a Constitutional Convention may be submitted to the electorate in an election voted upon by a majority vote of all the members of the National Assembly. In times of transition, amendments may be proposed by a majority vote of all the Members of the interim National Assembly upon special call by the interim Prime Minister. The Court in Aquino v. COMELEC, had already settled that the incumbent President is vested with that prerogative of discretion as to when he shall initially convene the interim National Assembly. The Constitutional Convention intended to leave to the President the determination of the time when he shall initially convene the interim National Assembly, consistent with the prevailing conditions of peace and order in the country. When the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention voted on the Transitory Provisions, they were aware of the fact that under the same, the incumbent President was given the discretion as to when he could convene the interim National Assembly. The President's decision to defer the convening of the interim National Assembly soon found support from the people themselves. In the plebiscite of January 10-15, 1973, at which the ratification of the 1973 Constitution was submitted, the people voted against the convening of the interim National Assembly. In the referendum of 24 July 1973, the Citizens Assemblies ("bagangays") reiterated their sovereign will to withhold the convening of the interim National Assembly. Again, in the referendum of 27 February 1975, the proposed question of whether the interim National Assembly shall be initially convened was eliminated, because some of the members of Congress and delegates of the Constitutional Convention, who were deemed automatically members of the interim National Assembly, were against its inclusion since in that referendum of January, 1973 the people had already resolved against it. In sensu striciore, when the legislative arm of the state undertakes the proposals of amendment to a Constitution, that body is not in the usual function of lawmaking. It is not legislating when engaged in the amending process. Rather, it is exercising a peculiar power bestowed upon it by the fundamental charter itself. In the Philippines, that power is provided for in Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution (for the regular National Assembly) or in Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions (for the interim National Assembly). While ordinarily it is the business of the legislating body to legislate for the nation by virtue of constitutional conferment, amending of the Constitution is not legislative in character. In political science a distinction is made between constitutional content of an organic character and that of a legislative character. The distinction, however, is one of policy, not of law. Such being the case, approval of the President of any proposed amendment is a misnomer. The prerogative of the President to approve or disapprove applies only to the ordinary cases of legislation. The President has nothing to do with proposition or adoption of amendments to the Constitution.

Occena [GR

vs. 56350,

Commission 2

on April

Elections 1981]

Facts: The challenge in these two prohibition proceedings against the validity of three Batasang Pambansa Resolutions proposing constitutional amendments, goes further than merely assailing their alleged constitutional infirmity. Samuel Occena and Ramon A. Gonzales, both members of the Philippine Bar and former delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention that framed the present Constitution, are suing as taxpayers. The rather unorthodox aspect of these petitions is the assertion that the 1973 Constitution is not the fundamental law, the Javellana ruling to the contrary notwithstanding.

Issue: Whether the 1973 Constitution was valid, and in force and effect when the Batasang Pambansa resolutions and the present petitions were promulgated and filed, respectively.

Held: It is much too late in the day to deny the force and applicability of the 1973 Constitution. In the dispositive portion of Javellana v. The Executive Secretary, dismissing petitions for prohibition and mandamus to declare invalid its ratification, this Court stated that it did so by a vote of six to four. It then concluded: "This being the vote of the majority, there is no further judicial obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect." Such a statement served a useful purpose. It could even be said that there was a need for it. It served to clear the atmosphere. It made manifest that as of 17 January 1973, the present Constitution came into force and effect. With such a pronouncement by the Supreme Court and with the recognition of the cardinal postulate that what the Supreme Court says is not only entitled to respect but must also be obeyed, a factor for instability was removed. Thereafter, as a matter of law, all doubts were resolved. The 1973 Constitution is the fundamental law. It is as simple as that. What cannot be too strongly stressed is that the function of judicial review has both a positive and a negative aspect. As was so convincingly demonstrated by Professors Black and Murphy, the Supreme Court can check as well as legitimate. In declaring what the law is, it may not only nullify the acts of coordinate branches but may also sustain their validity. In the latter case, there is an affirmation that what was done cannot be stigmatized as constitutionally deficient. The mere dismissal of a suit of this character suffices. That is the meaning of the concluding statement in Javellana. Since then, this Court has invariably applied the present Constitution. The latest case in point is People v. Sola, promulgated barely two weeks ago. During the first year alone of the effectivity of the present Constitution, at least ten cases may be cited.

In [GR 76180,

RE 24 October

Bermudez 1986]

Facts: In a petition for declaratory relief impleading no respondents, Saturnino V. Bermudez, as a lawyer, quotes the first paragraph of Section 5 of Article XVIII of the proposed 1986 Constitution, which provides that "the six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President elected in the 7 February 1986 election is, for purposes of synchronization of elections, hereby extended to noon of 30 June 1992. The first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May 1992." Claiming that the said provision "is not clear" as to whom it refers, he then asks the Court "to declare and answer the question of the construction and definiteness as to who, among the present incumbent President Corazon Aquino and Vice President Salvador Laurel and the elected President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Vice President Arturo M. Tolentino being referred to under the said Section 5 (not 7) of Article XVIII of the Transitory Provision of the proposed 1986 Constitution refers to.

Issue:

Whether

Aquino

and

Laurel

are

the

legitimate

President

and

Vice

President

of

the

Philippines.

Held: The petition states no cause of action. Bermudez's allegation of ambiguity or vagueness of the provision is manifestly gratuitous, it being a matter of public record and common public knowledge that the Constitutional Commission refers therein to incumbent President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-President Salvador H. Laurel, and to no other persons, and provides for the extension of their term to noon of 30 June 1992 for purposes of synchronization of elections. Hence, the second paragraph of the cited section provides for the holding on the second Monday of May, 1992 of the first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under said 1986 Constitution. Mutatis mutandis, there can be no question that President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-President Salvador H. Laurel are the incumbent and legitimate President and Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. Further, the legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter. It belongs to the realm of politics where only the people of the Philippines are the judge. And the people have made the judgment; they have accepted the government of President Corazon C. Aquino which is in effective control of the entire country so that it is not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government. Moreover, the community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the present government. All the eleven members of this Court, as reorganized, have sworn to uphold the fundamental law of the Republic under her government."

Francisco (GR

vs. 160261,

House 10

of November

Representatives 2003)

Facts: On 28 November 2001, the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Porceedings, superceding the previous House Impeachment Rules approved by the 11th Congress. On 22 July 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution, which directed the Committee on Justice "to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). On 2 June 2003, former President Joseph E. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint (first impeachment complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes." The complaint was endorsed by House Representatives, and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on 5 August 2003 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. The House Committee on Justice ruled on 13 October 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was "sufficient in form," but voted to dismiss the same on 22 October 2003 for being insufficient in substance. Four months and three weeks since the filing of the first complaint or on 23 October 2003, a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it, the second impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General of the House by House Representatives against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. The second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a "Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least 1/3 of all the Members of the House of Representatives. Various petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus were filed with the Supreme Court against the House of Representatives, et. al., most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that "[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year."

Issue:

Whether

the

power

of

judicial

review

extends

to

those

arising

from

impeachment

proceedings.

Held: The Court's power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the government in Section 1, Article VIII of our present 1987 Constitution. The "moderating power" to "determine the proper allocation of powers" of the different branches of government and "to direct the course of government along constitutional channels" is inherent in all courts as a necessary consequence of the judicial power itself, which is "the power of the court to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable." As indicated in Angara v. Electoral Commission, judicial review is indeed an integral component of the delicate system of checks and balances which, together with the corollary principle of separation of powers, forms the bedrock of our republican form of government and insures that its vast powers are utilized only for the benefit of the people for which it serves. The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. It obtains not through express provision but by actual division in our Constitution. Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere. But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. And the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter, effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law, and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution.

The major difference between the judicial power of the Philippine Supreme Court and that of the U.S. Supreme Court is that while the power of judicial review is only impliedly granted to the U.S. Supreme Court and is discretionary in nature, that granted to the Philippine Supreme Court and lower courts, as expressly provided for in the Constitution, is not just a power but also a duty, and it was given an expanded definition to include the power to correct any grave abuse of discretion on the part of any government branch or instrumentality. There are also glaring distinctions between the U.S. Constitution and the Philippine Constitution with respect to the power of the House of Representatives over impeachment proceedings. While the U.S. Constitution bestows sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives without limitation, our Constitution, though vesting in the House of Representatives the exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases, provides for several limitations to the exercise of such power as embodied in Section 3(2), (3), (4) and (5), Article XI thereof. These limitations include the manner of filing, required vote to impeach, and the one year bar on the impeachment of one and the same official. The people expressed their will when they instituted the above-mentioned safeguards in the Constitution. This shows that the Constitution did not intend to leave the matter of impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress. Instead, it provided for certain well-defined limits, or "judicially discoverable standards" for determining the validity of the exercise of such discretion, through the power of judicial review. There is indeed a plethora of cases in which this Court exercised the power of judicial review over congressional action. Finally, there exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances. Verily, the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and "one section is not to be allowed to defeat another." Both are integral components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers assigned to it by the Constitution.

Montesclaros [GR

vs. 152295,

Commission 8

on July

Elections 2002]

Facts: The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is a youth organization originally established by Presidential Decree 684 as the Kabataang Barangay (KB). The KB was composed of all barangay residents who were less than 18 years old, without specifying the minimum age. The KB was organized to provide its members with the opportunity to express their views and opinions on issues of transcendental importance. The Local Government Code of 1991 renamed the KB to SK and limited SK membership to those youths ―at least 15 but not more than 21 years of age.‖ The SK remains as a youth organization in every barangay tasked to initiate programs ―to enhance the social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, moral, spiritual, and physical development of the youth.‖ The SK in ever y barangay is composed of a chairperson and 7 members, all elected by the Katipunan ng Kabataan. The Katipunan ng Kabataan in every barangay is composed of all citizens actually residing in the barangay for at least 6 months and who meet the membership age requirement. The first SK elections took place on 4 December 1992. RA 7808 reset the SK elections to the first Monday of May of 1996 and every three years thereafter. RA 7808 mandated the Comelec to supervise the conduct of the SK elections under rules the Comelec shall promulgate. Accordingly, the Comelec on 4 December 2001 issued Resolutions 4713 and 4714 to govern the SK elections on 6 May 2002. On 18 February 2002, Antoniette V.C. Montesclaros sent a letter to the Comelec, demanding that the SK elections be held as scheduled on 6 May 2002. Montesclaros also urged the Comelec to respond to her letter within 10 days upon receipt of the letter, otherwise, she will seek judicial relief. On 20 February 2002, Alfredo L. Benipayo, then Comelec Chairman, wrote identical letters to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President about the status of pending bills on the SK and Barangay elections. In his letters, the Comelec Chairman intimated that it was ―operationally very difficult‖ to hold both elections simultaneously in May 2002. Inst ead, the Comelec Chairman expressed support for the bill of Senator Franklin Drilon that proposed to hold the Barangay elections in May 2002 and postpone the SK elections to November 2002. 10 days lapsed without the Comelec responding to the letter of Montesclaros. Subsequently, Montesclaros, et. al. received a copy of Comelec En Banc Resolution 4763 dated 5 February 2002 recommending to Congress the postponement of the SK elections to November 2002 but holding the Barangay elections in May 2002 as scheduled. On 6 March 2002, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed their respective bills postponing the SK elections. On 11 March 2002, the Bicameral Conference Committee of the Senate and the House came out with a Report recommending approval of the reconciled bill consolidating Senate Bill 2050 and House Bill 4456. The Bicameral Committee‘s consolidated bill reset the SK and Barangay elections to 15 July 2002 and lowered the membership age in the SK to at least 15 but not more than 18 years of age. On 11 March 2002, Montesclaros filed the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, seeking to prevent the postponement of the SK elections originally scheduled 6 May 2002, and also to prevent the reduction of the age requirement for membership in the SK. On 11 March 2002, the Senate approved the Bicameral Committee‘s consolidated bill and on 13 March 2002, the House of Representatives approved the same. The President signed the approved bill into law on 19 March 2002.

Issue: Whether there is actual controversy in the case which seeks to prevent a postponement of the 6 May 2002 SK elections, and which seeks to prevent Congress from enacting into law a proposed bill lowering the membership age in the SK.

Held: At the outset, the Court takes judicial notice of the following events that have transpired since Montesclaros filed the petition: (1) The 6 May 2002 SK elections and 13 May 2002 Barangay elections were not held as scheduled; (2) Congress enacted RA 9164 which provides that voters and candidates for the SK elections must be ―at least 15 but less than 18 years of age on the day of the election.‖ RA 9164 also provides that there shall be a synchronized SK and Barangay elections on 15 July 2002. (3) The Comelec promulgated

Resolution 4846, the rules and regulations for the conduct of the 15 July 2002 synchronized SK and Barangay elections. The Co urt‘s power of judicial review may be exercised in constitutional cases only if all the following requisites are complied with, namely: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate case or controversy; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota of the case. Herein, there is no actual controversy requiring the exercise of the power of judicial review. While seeking to prevent a postponement of the 6 May 2002 SK elections, Montesclaros, et. al. are nevertheless amenable to a resetting of the SK elections to any date not later than 15 July 2002. RA 9164 has reset the SK elections to 15 July 2002, a date acceptable to them. With respect to the date of the SK elections, there is therefore no actual controversy requiring judicial intervention. Further, their prayer to prevent Congress from enacting into law a proposed bill lowering the membership age in the SK does not present an actual justiciable controversy. A proposed bill is not subject to judicial review because it is not a law. A proposed bill creates no right and imposes no duty legally enforceable by the Court. A proposed bill, having no legal effect, violates no constitutional right or duty. The Court has no power to declare a proposed bill constitutional or unconstitutional because that would be in the nature of rendering an advisory opinion on a proposed act of Congress. The power of judicial review cannot be exercised in vacuo. The second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution states that "Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government." Thus, there can be no justiciable controversy involving the constitutionality of a proposed bill. The Court can exercise its power of judicial review only after a law is enacted, not before. Absent a clear violation of specific constitutional limitations or of constitutional rights of private parties, the Court cannot exercise its power of judicial review over the internal processes or procedures of Congress.

Sanlakas [GR

vs. 159085,

Executive 3

Secretary February

Reyes 2004]

Facts: They came in the middle of the night. Armed with high-powered ammunitions and explosives, some three hundred junior officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stormed into the Oakwood Premiere apartments in Makati City in the wee hours of 27 July 2003. Bewailing the corruption in the AFP, the soldiers demanded, among other things, the resignation of the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP). In the wake of the Oakwood occupation, the President issued later in the day Proclamation 427 and General Order 4, both declaring ―a state of rebellion‖ and calling out the Armed Forces to suppress the rebellion. By the evening of 27 July 2003, the Oakwood occupation had ended. After hours-long negotiations, the soldiers agreed to return to barracks. The President, however, did not immediately lift the declaration of a state of rebellion and did so only on 1 August 2003, through Proclamation 435. In the interim, several petitions were filed before the Supreme Court challenging the validity of Proclamation 427 and General Order 4.

Issue:

Whether

the

petitions

have

been

rendered

moot

by

the

lifting

of

the

declaration.

Held: NO. The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that the issuance of Proclamation 435, declaring that the state of rebellion has ceased to exist, has rendered the case moot. As a rule, courts do not adjudicate moot cases, judicial power being limited to the determination of ―actual controversies.‖ Nevertheless, courts will decide a question, otherwise moot, if it is ―capable of re petition yet

evading review.‖ The present case is one such case. Once before, the President on 1 May 2001 declared a state of rebellion and called upon the AFP and the PNP to suppress the rebellion through Proclamation 38 and General Order 1. On that occasion, ―‗an angry and violent mob armed with explosives, firearms, bladed weapons, clubs, stones and other deadly we apons‘ assaulted and attempted to break into Malacañang.‖ Petitions were filed before the Supreme Court assailing the validity of the President‘s declaration. Five days after such declaration, however, the President lifted the same. The mootness of the petitions in Lacson v. Perez and accompanying cases precluded the Court from addressing the constitutionality of the declaration. To prevent similar questions from reemerging, the Supreme Court seized the opportunity to finally lay to rest the validity of the declaration of a state of rebellion in the exercise of the President‘s calling out power, the mootness of the petitions notwithstanding.

Pimentel, [GR

et 164978,

al.

vs. 13

Ermita, October

et

al. 2005]

Facts: The Senate and the House of Representatives (―Congress‖) commenced their regular session on 26 July 2004. The Commission on Appointments, composed of Senators and Representatives, was constituted on 25 August 2004. Meanwhile, President Arroyo issued appointments to Arthur C. Yap (Department of Agriculture, 15 August 2004), Alberto G. Romulo (Department of Foreign Affairs, 23 August 2004), Raul M. Gonzalez (Department of Justice, 23 August 2004), Florencio B. Abad (Department of Education, 23 August 2004), Avelino J. Cruz, Jr. (Department of National Defense, 23 August 2004), Rene C. Villa (Department of Agrarian Reform, 23 August 2004), Joseph H. Durano (Department of Tourism, 23 August 2004), and Michael T. Defensor (Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 23 August 2004) as acting secretaries of their respective departments. Defensor, et al., took their oath of office and assumed duties as acting secretaries. On 8 September 2004, Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (―Senator Pimentel‖), Edgardo J. Ang ara (―Senator Angara‖), Juan Ponce Enrile (―Senator Enrile‖), Luisa P. Ejercito-Estrada (―Senator Ejercito-Estrada‖), Jinggoy E. Estrada (―Senator Estrada‖), Panfilo M. Lacson (―Senator Lacson‖), Alfredo S. Lim (―Senator Lim‖), Jamby A.S. Madrigal (―Senator Madrigal‖), and Sergio R. Osmeña, III (―Senator Osmeña‖) filed the petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction as Senators of the Republic of the Philippines, to declare unconstitutional the appointments issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (―President Arroyo‖) through Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita (―Secretary Ermita‖). The petition also sought to prohibit Defensor et al. from performing the duties of department secretaries.

Issue: Whether the petition is moot because President Arroyo had extended to Defensor, et al., ad interim appointments on 23 September 2004 immediately after the recess of Congress.

Held: As a rule, the writ of prohibition will not lie to enjoin acts already done. However, as an exception to the rule on mootness, courts will decide a question otherwise moot if it is capable of repetition yet evading review. Herein, the mootness of the petition does not bar its resolution. The question of the constitutionality of the President‘s appointment of department secr etaries in an acting capacity while Congress is in session will arise in every such appointment.

Commission [GR

on

Human

Rights

Employees'

Association 25

(CHREA)

vs.

Commission November

on

Human

Rights 2004]

155336,

Facts: On 14 February 1998, Congress passed Republic Act 8522, otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act of 1998. It provided for Special Provisions Applicable to All Constitutional Offices Enjoying Fiscal Autonomy. The last portion of Article XXXIII covers the appropriations of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). These special provisions tackles Organizational Structure and the Use of Savings. On the strength of these special provisions, the CHR, through its then Chairperson Aurora P. Navarette-Reciña and Commissioners Nasser A. Marohomsalic, Mercedes V. Contreras, Vicente P. Sibulo, and Jorge R. Coquia, promulgated Resolution A98-047 n 04 September 1998, adopting an upgrading and reclassification scheme among selected positions in the Commission. Annexed to said resolution is the proposed creation of ten additional plantilla positions, namely: one Director IV position, with Salary Grade 28 for the Caraga Regional Office, four Security Officer II with Salary Grade 15, and five Process Servers, with Salary Grade 5 under the Office of the Commissioners. On 19 October 1998, CHR issued Resolution No. A98-055 providing for the upgrading or raising of salary grades of certain positions in the Commission. It, likewise, provided for the creation and upgrading of other positions. To support the implementation of such scheme, the CHR, in the same resolution, authorized the augmentation of a commensurate amount generated from savings under Personnel Services. By virtue of Resolution A98-062 dated 17 November 1998, the CHR ―collapsed‖ the vacant positions in the body to provide additional source of funding for said staffing modification. Among the positions collapsed were: one Attorney III, four Attorney IV, one Chemist III, three Special Investigator I, one Clerk III, and one Accounting Clerk II. The CHR forwarded said staffing modification and upgrading scheme to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) with a request for its approval, but the then DBM secretary Benjamin Diokno denied the request. In light of the DBM‘s disapproval of the proposed personnel modification scheme, the Civil Service Commission (CSC)-National Capital Region Office, through a memorandum dated 29 March 1999, recommended to the CSC-Central Office that the subject appointments be rejected owing to the DBM‘s disapproval of the plantilla reclassification. Meanwhile, the officers of the Commission on Human Rights Employees‘ Association (CHREA), in representation of the rank and file employees of the CHR, requested the CSC-Central Office to affirm the recommendation of the CSC-Regional Office. CHREA stood its ground in saying that the DBM is the only agency with appropriate authority mandated by law to evaluate and approve matters of reclassification and upgrading, as well as creation of positions. The CSC-Central Office denied CHREA‘s request in a Resolution dated 16 December 1999, and reversed the recommendation of the CSC -Regional Office that the upgrading scheme be censured. CHREA filed a motion for reconsideration, but the CSC-Central Office denied the same on 9 June 2000. Given the cacophony of judgments between the DBM and the CSC, CHREA elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the pronouncement of the CSC-Central Office and upheld the validity of the upgrading, retitling, and reclassification scheme in the CHR on the justification that such action is within the ambit of CHR‘s fiscal autonomy. The CHREA filed the petition for review.

Issue:

Whether

CHREA

is

a

proper

party

to

bring

the

suit

in

Court.

Held: It has been held in a multitude of cases that a proper party is one who has sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining an injury as a result of the act complained of. Here, CHREA, which consists of rank and file employees of CHR, protests that the upgrading and collapsing of positions benefited only a select few in the upper level positions in the Commission resulting to the demoralization of the rank and file employees. This sufficiently meets the injury test. Indeed, the CHR‘s upgrading scheme, i f found to be valid, potentially entails eating up the Commission‘s savings or that portion of its budgetary pie otherwise allocated for Personnel

Services, from which the benefits of the employees, including those in the rank and file, are derived. Further, the personality of the CHREA to file this case was recognized by the CSC when it took cognizance of the CHREA‘s request to affirm the recommendation of the CSC-National Capital Region Office. CHREA‘s personality to bring the suit was a non -issue in the Court of Appeals when it passed upon the merits of this case. Thus, neither should our hands be tied by this technical concern. Indeed, it is settled jurisprudence that an issue that was neither raised in the complaint nor in the court below cannot be raised for the first time on appeal, as to do so would be offensive to the basic rules of fair play, justice, and due process.

Automotive [GR

Industry

Workers 157509,

Alliance 18

(AIWA),

etc.

vs. January

Romulo,

et

al. 2005]

Facts: Automotive Industry Workers Alliance (AIWA) and its affiliated unions call upon the Supreme Court to exercise its power of judicial review to declare as unconstitutional an executive order assailed to be in derogation of the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers. In an original action for certiorari, they invoke their status as labor unions and as taxpayers whose rights and interests are allegedly violated and prejudiced by Executive Order 185 dated 10 March 2003 whereby administrative supervision over the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), its regional branches and all its personnel including the executive labor arbiters and labor arbiters was transferred from the NLRC Chairperson to the Secretary of Labor and Employment. In support of their position, the Unions argue that the NLRC -- created by Presidential Decree 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code, during Martial Law – was an integral part of the Department (then Ministry) of Labor and Employment (DOLE) under the administrative supervision of the Secretary of Justice. During the time of President Corazon C. Aquino, and while she was endowed with legislative functions after EDSA I, Executive Order 292 was issued whereby the NLRC became an agency attached to the DOLE for policy and program coordination and for administrative supervision. On 2 March 1989, Article 213 of the Labor Code was expressly amended by Republic Act 6715 declaring that the NLRC was to be attached to the DOLE for program and policy coordination only while the administrative supervision over the NLRC, its regional branches and personnel, was turned over to the NLRC Chairman. The subject EO 185, in authorizing the Secretary of Labor to exercise administrative supervision over the NLRC, its regional branches and personnel, allegedly reverted to the pre-RA 6715 set-up, amending the latter law which only Congress can do. Alberto Romulo (in his capacity as Executive Secretary) and Patricia Sto. Tomas (in her capacity as Secretary of Labor and Employment), as represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, opposed the petition on procedural and substantive grounds.

Issue: Whether the Unions -- which contend that they are suing for and in behalf of their members (more or less 50,000 workers) –-has the requisite standing.

Held: NO. Legal standing or locus standi is defined as a ―personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged.‖ For a citizen to have standing, he must establish that he has suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action. Herein, the Unions have not shown that they have sustained or are in danger of sustaining any personal injury attributable to the enactment of EO 185. As labor unions representing their members, it cannot be said that EO 185 will prejudice their rights and interests considering that the scope of the authority conferred upon the Secretary of Labor does not extend to the power to review, reverse, revise or modify the decisions of

the NLRC in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions. Thus, only NLRC personnel who may find themselves the subject of the Secretary of Labor‘s disciplinary authority, conferred by Section 1(d) of the subject executive order, may be said to have a di rect and specific interest in raising the substantive issue herein. Moreover, and if at all, only Congress, and not the Unions herein, can claim any injury from the alleged executive encroachment of the legislative function to amend, modify and/or repeal laws. Neither can standing be conferred on the Unions as taxpayers since they have not established disbursement of public funds in contravention of law or the Constitution. A taxpayer‘s suit is properly brought only when there is an exercise of the spending or taxing power of Congres s. EO 185 does not even require for its implementation additional appropriation. All told, if the Court was to follow the strict rule on locus standi, the petition should be forthwith dismissed on that score. The rule on standing, however, is a matter of procedure, hence, can be relaxed for nontraditional plaintiffs like ordinary citizens, taxpayers and legislators when the public interest so requires, such as when the matter is of transcendental importance, of overarching significance to society, or of paramount public interest. However, the issue posed in the present petition did not meet the exacting standard required for the Court to take the liberal approach and recognize the standing of the Unions. The subject matter of EO 185 is the grant of authority by the President to the Secretary of Labor to exercise administrative supervision over the NLRC, its regional branches and all its personnel, including the Executive Labor Arbiters and Labor Arbiters. Its impact, sans the challenge to its constitutionality, is thereby limited to the departments to which it is addressed. Considering that the governmental act being questioned has a limited reach, its impact confined to corridors of the executive department, this is not one of those exceptional occasions where the Court is justified in sweeping aside a critical procedural requirement, rooted as it is in the constitutionally enshrined principle of separation of powers.

Velarde [GR

vs. 159357,

Social 28

Justice April

Society 2004]

Facts: On 28 January 2003, the Social Justice Society (SJS) filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief (―SJS Petition‖) before the RTC Manila against Mariano ―Mike‖ Z. Velarde, together with His Eminence, Jaime Cardinal Sin, Executive Minister Eraño Manalo, Br other Eddie Villanueva and Brother Eliseo F. Soriano as co-respondents. SJS, a registered political party, sought the interpretation of several constitutional provisions, specifically on the separation of church and state; and a declaratory judgment on the constitutionality of the acts of religious leaders endorsing a candidate for an elective office, or urging or requiring the members of their flock to vote for a specified candidate. Bro. Eddie Villanueva submitted, within the original period [to file an Answer], a Motion to Dismiss. Subsequently, Executive Minister Eraño Manalo and Bro. Mike Velarde, filed their Motions to Dismiss. While His Eminence Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, filed a Comment and Bro. Eli Soriano, filed an Answer within the extended period and similarly prayed for the dismissal of the Petition. All sought the dismissal of the Petition on the common grounds that it does not state a cause of action and that there is no justiciable controversy. They were ordered to submit a pleading by way of advisement, which was closely followed by another Order denying all the Motions to Dismiss. Bro. Mike Velarde, Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Executive Minister Eraño Manalo moved to reconsider the denial. His Eminence Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, asked for extension to file memorandum. Only Bro. Eli Soriano complied with the first Order by submitting his Memorandum. The Court denied the Motions to Dismiss, and the Motions for Reconsideration filed by Bro. Mike Velarde, Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Executive Minister Eraño Manalo, which raised no new arguments other than those already considered in the motions to dismiss. After narrating the above incidents, the trial court said that it had jurisdiction over the Petition, because ―in

praying for a determination as to whether the actions imputed to the respondents are violative of Article II, Section 6 of the Fundamental Law, [the Petition] has raised only a question of law.‖ It then proceeded to a lengthy discussion of the issue raised in the Petition – the separation of church and state – even tracing, to some extent, the historical background of the principle. Through its discourse, the trial court opined at some point that the ―[e]ndorsement of specific candidates in an election to any public office is a clear violation of the separation clause.‖ After its essay on the legal issue, however, the trial court failed to include a disposi tive portion in its assailed Decision. Thus, Velarde and Soriano filed separate Motions for Reconsideration which were denied by the lower court. Velarde filed the petition for review.

Issue

[1]:

Whether

SJS

has

legal

interest

in

filing

the

Petition

for

declaratory

relief.

Held [1]: Legal standing or locus standi has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the challenged act. Interest means a material interest in issue that is affected by the questioned act or instrument, as distinguished from a mere incidental interest in the question involved. Velarde alleged that ―[i]n seeking declaratory relief as to the constitutionality of an act of a religious leader to endorse, or require the members of the religious flock to vote for a specific candidate, herein Respondent SJS has no legal interest in the controversy‖; it has failed to est ablish how the resolution of the proffered question would benefit or injure it. Parties bringing suits challenging the constitutionality of a law, an act or a statute must show ―not only that the law [or act] is invalid, but also that [they have] sustained or [are] in immediate or im minent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that [they] suffer thereby in some indefinite way.‖ They must demonstrate that they have been, or are about to be, denied some right or privilege to which they are lawfully entitled, or that they are about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of. First, parties suing as taxpayers must specifically prove that they have sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation. A taxpayer‘s action may be properly brought only when there is an exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending power. Herein, there is no allegation, whether express or implied, that taxpayers‘ money is being illegally disbursed. Second, there was no showing in t he Petition for Declaratory Relief that SJS as a political party or its members as registered voters would be adversely affected by the alleged acts of Velarde, et al., if the question at issue was not resolved. There was no allegation that SJS had suffered or would be deprived of votes due to the acts imputed to the Velarde et al.. Neither did it allege that any of its members would be denied the right of suffrage or the privilege to be voted for a public office they are seeking. Finally, the allegedly keen interest of its ―thousands of members who are citizens-taxpayers-registered voters‖ is too general and beyond the contemplation of the standards set by our jurisprudence. Not only is the presumed interest impersonal in character; it is likewise too vague, highly speculative and uncertain to satisfy the requirement of standing.

Issue [2]: Whether the constitutional issue in the SJS Petition raises an issue of transcendental significance or paramount importance to the people, so as to allow the cognizance of the Petition, even sans legal standing.

Held [2]: In not a few cases, the Court has liberalized the locus standi requirement when a petition raises an issue of transcendental significance or paramount importance to the people. Herein, the Court deemed the constitutional issue raised in the SJS Petition to be of paramount interest to the Filipino people. The issue did not simply concern a delineation of the separation between church and state, but ran smack into the governance of our country. The issue was both transcendental in importance and novel in nature, since it had

never been decided before. The Court, thus, called for Oral Argument to determine with certainty whether it could resolve the constitutional issue despite the barren allegations in the SJS Petition as well as the abbreviated proceedings in the court below. Much to its chagrin, however, counsels for the parties -- particularly for SJS -- made no satisfactory allegations or clarifications that would supply the deficiencies hereinabove discussed. Hence, even if the Court would exempt the case from the stringent locus standi requirement, such heroic effort would be futile because the transcendental issue cannot be resolved anyway.

John [GR

Hay 119775,

Peoples

Alternative 24

Coalition October

vs.

Lim 2003]

Facts: Republic Act 7227, entitled "An Act Accellerating the Convetsion of Military Reservations into other Productive uses, Creating the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for this Purpose, Providing Funds Therefor and for other purposes," otherwise known as the "Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992," was enacted on 13 March 1992. The law set out the policy of the government to accelerate the sound and balanced conversion into alternative productive uses of the former military bases under the 1947 Philippines-United States of America Military Bases Agreement, namely, the Clark and Subic military reservations as well as their extensions including the John Hay Station (Camp John Hay) in the City of Baguio. RA 7227 created the Bases Conversion and Development Authority' (BCDA), vesting it with powers pertaining to the multifarious aspects of carrying out the ultimate objective of utilizing the base areas in accordance with the declared government policy. RA 7227 likewise created the Subic Special Economic [and Free Port] Zone (Subic SEZ) the metes and bounds of which were to be delineated in a proclamation to be issued by the President of the Philippines; and granted the Subic SEZ incentives ranging from tax and duty-free importations, exemption of businesses therein from local and national taxes, to other hall-narks of a liberalized financial and business climate. RA 7227 expressly gave authority to the President to create through executive proclamation, subject to the concurrence of the local government units directly affected, other Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in the areas covered respectively by the Clark military reservation, the Wallace Air Station in San Fernando, La Union, and Camp John Hay. On 16 August 1993, BCDA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement and Escrow Agreement with Tuntex (B.V.L) Co., Ltd. (TUNTEX) and Asiaworld Internationale Group, Inc. (ASIAWORLD), private corporations registered under the laws of the British Virgin Islands, preparatory to the formation of a joint venture for the development of Poro Point in La Union and Camp John Hay as premier tourist destinations and recreation centers. 4 months later or on 16 December 16, 1993, BCDA, TUNTEX and ASIAWORLD executed a Joint Venture Agreements whereby they bound themselves to put up a joint venture company known as the Baguio International Development and Management Corporation which would lease areas within Camp John Hay and Poro Point for the purpose of turning such places into principal tourist and recreation spots, as originally envisioned by the parties under their AZemorandmn of Agreement. The Baguio City government meanwhile passed a number of resolutions in response to the actions taken by BCDA as owner and administrator of Camp John Hay. By Resolution of 29 September 1993, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Baguio City officially asked BCDA to exclude all the barangays partly or totally located within Camp John Hay from the reach or coverage of any plan or program for its development. By a subsequent Resolution dated 19 January 1994, the sanggunian sought from BCDA an abdication, waiver or quitclaim of its ownership over the home lots being occupied by residents of 9 barangays surrounding the military reservation. Still by another resolution passed on 21 February 1994, the sanggunian adopted and submitted to BCDA a 15-point concept for the development of Camp John Hay. The sanggunian's vision expressed, among other things, a kind of

development that affords protection to the environment, the making of a family-oriented type of tourist destination, priority in employment opportunities for Baguio residents and free access to the base area, guaranteed participation of the city government in the management and operation of the camp, exclusion of the previously named nine barangays from the area for development, and liability for local taxes of businesses to be established within the camp." BCDA, TUNTEX and ASIAWORLD agreed to some, but rejected or modified the other proposals of the sanggunian." They stressed the need to declare Camp John Hay a SEZ as a condition precedent to its full development in accordance with the mandate of RA 7227. On 11 May 1994, the sanggunian passed a resolution requesting the Mayor to order the determination of realty taxes which may otherwise be collected from real properties of Camp John Hay. The resolution was intended to intelligently guide the sanggunian in determining its position on whether Camp John Hay be declared a SEZ, the sanggunian being of the view that such declaration would exempt the camp's property and the economic activity therein from local or national taxation. More than a month later, however, the sanggunian passed Resolution 255, (Series of 1994)," seeking and supporting, subject to its concurrence, the issuance by then President Ramos of a presidential proclamation declaring an area of 285.1 hectares of the camp as a SEZ in accordance with the provisions of RA 7227. Together with this resolution was submitted a draft of the proposed proclamation for consideration by the President. On 5 July 1994 then President Ramos issued Proclamation 420 (series of 1994), "creating and designating a portion of the area covered by the former Camp John Hay as the John Hay Special Economic Zone pursuant to Republic Act 7227." The John Hay Peoples Alternative Coalition, et. al. filed the petition for prohibition, mandamus and declaratory relief with prayer for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction on 25 April 1995 challenging, in the main, the constitutionality or validity of Proclamation 420 as well as the legality of the Memorandum of Agreement and Joint Venture Agreement between the BCDA, and TUNTEX and ASIAWORLD.

Issue: Whether the petitioners have legal standing in filing the case questioning the validity of Presidential Proclamation 420.

Held: It is settled that when questions of constitutional significance are raised, the court can exercise its power of judicial review only if the following requisites are present: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate case; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota of the case." RA 7227 expressly requires the concurrence of the affected local government units to the creation of SEZs out of all the base areas in the country.'" The grant by the law on local government units of the right of concurrence on the bases' conversion is equivalent to vesting a legal standing on them, for it is in effect a recognition of the real interests that communities nearby or surrounding a particular base area have in its utilization. Thus, the interest of petitioners, being inhabitants of Baguio, in assailing the legality of Proclamation 420, is personal and substantial such that they have sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the government act being challenged." Theirs is a material interest, an interest in issue affected by the proclamation and not merely an interest in the question involved or an incidental interest," for what is at stake in the enforcement of Proclamation 420 is the very economic and social existence of the people of Baguio City. Moreover, Petitioners Edilberto T. Claravall and Lilia G. Yaranon were duly elected councilors of Baguio at the time, engaged in the local governance of Baguio City and whose duties included deciding for and on behalf of their constituents the question of whether to concur with the declaration of a portion of the area covered by Camp John Hay as a SEZ. Certainly then, Claravall and Yaranon, as city officials who voted against" the sanggunian Resolution No. 255 (Series of 1994) supporting the issuance of the now challenged Proclamation 420, have legal standing to bring the present petition.

Executive [GR

Secretary 131719,

vs.

The 25

Court May

of

Appeals 2004]

Facts: Republic Act 8042, otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, took effect on 15 July 1995. The Omnibus Rules and Regulations Implementing the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995 was, thereafter, published in the 7 April 1996 issue of the Manila Bulletin. However, even before the law took effect, the Asian Recruitment Council Philippine Chapter, Inc. (ARCO-Phil.) filed, on 17 July 1995, a petition for declaratory relief under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City to declare as unconstitutional Section 2, paragraph (g), Section 6, paragraphs (a) to (j), (l) and (m), Section 7, paragraphs (a) and (b), and Sections 9 and 10 of the law, with a plea for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction enjoining The Executive Secretary, the Secretary of Justice, the Secretary of Labor and Employment, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, OWWA Administrator, and POEA Administrator from enforcing the assailed provisions of the law. In a supplement to its petition, the ARCO-Phil. alleged that RA 8042 was self-executory and that no implementing rules were needed. It prayed that the court issue a temporary restraining order to enjoin the enforcement of Section 6, paragraphs (a) to (m) on illegal recruitment, Section 7 on penalties for illegal recruitment, and Section 9 on venue of criminal actions for illegal recruitments. On 1 August 1995, the trial court issued a temporary restraining order effective for a period of only 20 days therefrom. After the Executive Secretary, et al. filed their comment on the petition, the ARCO-Phil. filed an amended petition, the amendments consisting in the inclusion in the caption thereof 11 other corporations which it alleged were its members and which it represented in the suit, and a plea for a temporary restraining order enjoining the Executive Secretary, et al. from enforcing Section 6 subsection (i), Section 6 subsection (k) and paragraphs 15 and 16 thereof, Section 8, Section 10, paragraphs 1 and 2, and Sections 11 and 40 of RA 8042. Arco-Phil averred that the provisions of RA 8042 violate Section 1, Article III of the Constitution (i.e. discrimination against unskilled workers, discrimination against licensed and registered recruiters, among others) In their answer to the petition, the Executive Secretary, et al. alleged, inter alia, that (a) Acro-Phil has no cause of action for a declaratory relief; (b) the petition was premature as the rules implementing RA 8042 not having been released as yet; (c) the assailed provisions do not violate any provisions of the Constitution; and, (d) the law was approved by Congress in the exercise of the police power of the State. After the respective counsels of the parties were heard on oral arguments, the trial court issued on 21 August 1995, an order granting Acro-Phil‘s plea for a writ of preliminary injunction upon a bond of P50,000. Acro-Phil posted the requisite bond and on 24 August 1995, the trial court issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of Section 2, subsections (g) and (i, 2nd par.); Section 6, subsections (a) to (m), and pars. 15 & 16; Section 7, subsections (a) & (b); Section 8; Section 9; Section 10; pars. 1 & 2; Section 11; and Section 40 of RA 8042, pending the termination of the proceedings. The Executive Secretary, et al. filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals assailing the order and the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the trial court. They asserted that Acro-Phil is not the real party-ininterest as petitioner in the trial court, as it was inconceivable how a non-stock and non-profit corporation, could sustain direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the law. They argued that if, at all, any damage would result in the implementation of the law, it is the licensed and registered recruitment agencies and/or the unskilled Filipino migrant workers discriminated against who would sustain the said injury or damage, not Acro-Phil. On 5 December 1997, the appellate court came out with a four-page decision dismissing the petition and affirming the assailed order and writ of preliminary injunction issued by the trial court. The appellate court, likewise, denied

the Executive Secretary, et al.‘s motion for reconsideration of the said decision. They thus filed a petition for review on certiorari.

Issue:

Whether

ACRO-Phil

has

locus

standi.

Held: PARTLY YES. ACRO-Phil has locus standi to file the petition in the RTC in representation of the 11 licensed and registered recruitment agencies impleaded in the amended petition. The modern view is that an association has standing to complain of injuries to its members. This view fuses the legal identity of an association with that of its members. An association has standing to file suit for its workers despite its lack of direct interest if its members are affected by the action. An organization has standing to assert the concerns of its constituents. In Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines v. Commission on Elections, the Court held that standing jus tertii would be recognized only if it can be shown that the party suing has some substantial relation to the third party, or that the right of the third party would be diluted unless the party in court is allowed to espouse the third party‘s constitu tional claims. Herein, ACRO-Phil filed the petition for declaratory relief under Rule 64 of the Rules of Court for and in behalf of its 11 licensed and registered recruitment agencies which are its members, and which approved separate resolutions expressly authorizing ACRO-Phil to file the said suit for and in their behalf. The Court note that, under its Articles of Incorporation, ACRO-Phil was organized for the purposes inter alia of promoting and supporting the growth and development of the manpower recruitment industry, both in the local and international levels; providing, creating and exploring employment opportunities for the exclusive benefit of its general membership; enhancing and promoting the general welfare and protection of Filipino workers; and, to act as the representative of any individual, company, entity or association on matters related to the manpower recruitment industry, and to perform other acts and activities necessary to accomplish the purposes embodied therein. ACRO-Phil is, thus, the appropriate party to assert the rights of its members, because it and its members are in every practical sense identical. ACRO-Phil asserts that the assailed provisions violate the constitutional rights of its members and the officers and employees thereof. ACRO-Phil is but the medium through which its individual members seek to make more effective the expression of their voices and the redress of their grievances. However, ACROPHIL has no locus standi to file the petition for and in behalf of unskilled workers. The Court notes that it even failed to implead any unskilled workers in its petition. Furthermore, in failing to implead, as parties-petitioners, the 11 licensed and registered recruitment agencies it claimed to represent, ACRO-Phil failed to comply with Section 2 of Rule 63 of the Rules of Court. Nevertheless, since the eleven licensed and registered recruitment agencies for which ACRO-Phil filed the suit are specifically named in the petition, the amended petition is deemed amended to avoid multiplicity of suits.

Information [GR

Technology

Foundation

of

the 13

Philippines

vs.

Commission January

on

Elections 2004]

159139,

Facts: On 7 June 1995, Congress passed Republic Act 8046, which authorized Comelec to conduct a nationwide demonstration of a computerized election system and allowed the poll body to pilot-test the system in the March 1996 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). On 22 December 1997, Congress enacted Republic Act 8436 authorizing Comelec to use an automated election system (AES) for the process of voting, counting votes and canvassing/consolidating the results of the national and local elections. It also mandated the poll body to acquire automated counting machines (ACMs), computer equipment, devices and

materials; and to adopt new electoral forms and printing materials. Initially intending to implement the automation during the 11 May 1998 presidential elections, Comelec -- in its Resolution 2985 dated 9 February 1998 -- eventually decided against full national implementation and limited the automation to the ARMM. However, due to the failure of the machines to read correctly some automated ballots in one town, the poll body later ordered their manual count for the entire Province of Sulu. In the May 2001 elections, the counting and canvassing of votes for both national and local positions were also done manually, as no additional ACMs had been acquired for that electoral exercise allegedly because of time constraints. On 29 October 2002, Comelec adopted in its Resolution 020170 a modernization program for the 2004 elections. It resolved to conduct biddings for the three (3) phases of its Automated Election System; namely, Phase I - Voter Registration and Validation System; Phase II - Automated Counting and Canvassing System; and Phase III - Electronic Transmission. On 24 January 2003, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order 172, which allocated the sum of P2.5 billion to fund the AES for the 10 May 2004 elections. Upon the request of Comelec, she authorized the release of an additional P500 million. On January 28, 2003, the Commission issued an "Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Bid." On 11 February 2003, Comelec issued Resolution 5929 clarifying certain eligibility criteria for bidders and the schedule of activities for the project bidding. Out of the 57 bidders, the Bidding and Awards Committee (BAC) found the Mega Pacific Consortium (MPC) and the Total Information Management Corporation (TIMC) eligible. For technical evaluation, they were referred to the BAC‘s Technical Working Group (TWG) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). In its Report on the Evaluation of the Technical Proposals on Phase II, DOST said that both MPC and TIMC had obtained a number of failed marks in the technical evaluation. Notwithstanding these failures, Comelec en banc, on 15 April 2003, promulgated Resolution 6074 awarding the project to MPC. The Commission publicized this Resolution and the award of the project to MPC on 16 May 2003. On 29 May 2003, five individuals and entities (including the Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines, represented by its president, Alfredo M. Torres; and Ma. Corazon Akol) wrote a letter to Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. They protested the award of the Contract to MPC "due to glaring irregularities in the manner in which the bidding process had been conducted." Citing therein the noncompliance with eligibility as well as technical and procedural requirements, they sought a re-bidding. In a letter-reply dated 6 June 2003, the Comelec chairman -- speaking through Atty. Jaime Paz, his head executive assistant -- rejected the protest and declared that the award "would stand up to the strictest scrutiny." Hence, the present petition for certiorari.

Issue: Whether ITF, et. al. have the locus standi to file the case questioning the validity of the election computerization bidding.

Held: The issues central to the case are "of transcendental importance and of national interest." As alleged, Comelec‘s flawed bidd ing and questionable award of the Contract to an unqualified entity would impact directly on the success or the failure of the electoral process. Any taint on the sanctity of the ballot as the expression of the will of the people would inevitably affect their faith in the democratic system of government. Further, the award of any contract for automation involves disbursement of public funds are in gargantuan amounts; therefore, public interest requires that the laws governing the transaction must be followed strictly. Truly, our nation‘s political and economic future virtually hangs in the balance, pending the outcome of the 2004 elections. Hence, ther e can be no serious doubt that the subject matter of the case is "a matter of public concern and imbued with public interest"; in other words, it is of "paramount public interest" and "transcendental importance." This fact alone would justify relaxing the rule on legal standing, following the liberal policy of the Court whenever a case involves "an issue of overarching significance to our society." ITF, et. al.‘s legal standing should therefore be recognized and upheld. Moreover, the Court has held that taxpayers are allowed to sue when there is a claim of "illegal disbursement of public funds," or if public money is being "deflected to any improper purpose"; or when petitioner(s)

seek to restrain respondent(s) from "wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law." Herein, Ma. Corazon M. Akol, Miguel Uy, Eduardo H. Lopez, Augusto C. Lagman, Rex C. Drilon, Miguel Hilado, Ley Salcedo, and Manuel Alcuaz Jr., suing as taxpayers, assert a material interest in seeing to it that public funds are properly and lawfully used. In the Petition, they claim that the bidding was defective, the winning bidder not a qualified entity, and the award of the Contract contrary to law and regulation. Accordingly, they seek to restrain the Commission On Elections; Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr.; Comelec Bidding And Award Committee Chairman Eduardo D. Mejos And Members Gideon De Guzman, Jose F. Balbuena, Lamberto P. Llamas, And Bartolome Sinocruz Jr.; Mega Pacific eSolutions, Inc.; And Mega Pacific Consortium from implementing the Contract and, necessarily, from making any unwarranted expenditure of public funds pursuant thereto. Thus, the Court hold that ITF, et. al. possess locus standi.

Jumamil [GR

vs. 144570, 21

Café,

et September

al. 2005]

Facts: In 1989, Vivencio V. Jumamil filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Panabo, Davao del Norte a petition for declaratory relief with prayer for preliminary injunction and writ of restraining order against Mayor Jose J. Cafe and the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Panabo, Davao del Norte. He questioned the constitutionality of Municipal Resolution 7, Series of 1989 (Resolution 7). Resolution 7, enacting Appropriation Ordinance 111, provided for an initial appropriation of P765,000 for the construction of stalls around a proposed terminal fronting the Panabo Public Market which was destroyed by fire. Subsequently, the petition was amended due to the passage of Resolution 49, series of 1989 (Resolution 49), denominated as Ordinance 10, appropriating a further amount of P1,515,000 for the construction of additional stalls in the same public market. Prior to the passage of these resolutions, Mayor Cafe had already entered into contracts with those who advanced and deposited (with the municipal treasurer) from their personal funds the sum of P40,000 each. Some of the parties were close friends and/or relatives of Cafe, et al. The construction of the stalls which Jumamil sought to stop through the preliminary injunction in the RTC was nevertheless finished, rendering the prayer therefor moot and academic. The leases of the stalls were then awarded by public raffle which, however, was limited to those who had deposited P40,000 each. Thus, the petition was amended anew to include the 57 awardees of the stalls as private respondents. Jumamil alleges that Resolution Nos. 7 and 49 were unconstitutional because they were passed for the business, occupation, enjoyment and benefit of private respondents, some of which were close friends and/or relative of the mayor and the sanggunian, who deposited the amount of P40,000.00 for each stall, and with whom also the mayor had a prior contract to award the would be constructed stalls to all private respondents; that resolutions and ordinances did not provide for any notice of publication that the special privilege and unwarranted benefits conferred on the private respondents may be availed of by anybody who can deposit the amount of P40,000; and that nor there were any prior notice or publication pertaining to contracts entered into by public and private respondents for the construction of stalls to be awarded to private respondents that the same can be availed of by anybody willing to deposit P40,000.00. The Regional Trial Court dismissed Jumamil‘s petition for declaratory relief with prayer for preliminary injunction and writ of restraining order, and ordered Jumamil to pay attorney‘s fees in the amount of P1,000 to each of the 57 private respondents. On appeal, and on 24 July 2000 (CA GR CV 35082), the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Jumamil filed the petition for review on certiorari.

Issue

[1]:

Whether

Jumamil

had

the

legal

standing

to

bring

the

petition

for

declaratory

relief

Held [1]: Legal standing or locus standi is a party‘s personal and substantial interest in a case such that he has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act being challenged. It calls for more than just a generalized grievance. The term ―interest‖ means a material interest, an interest in issue affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest. Unless a person‘s constitutional rights are adversely affected by the statute or ordinance, he has no legal standing. Jumamil brought the petition in his capacity as taxpayer of the Municipality of Panabo, Davao del Norte and not in his personal capacity. He was questioning the official acts of the the mayor and the members of the Sanggunian in passing the ordinances and entering into the lease contracts with private respondents. A taxpayer need not be a party to the contract to challenge its validity. Parties suing as taxpayers must specifically prove sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation. The expenditure of public funds by an officer of the State for the purpose of executing an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds. The resolutions being assailed were appropriations ordinances. Jumamil alleged that these ordinances were ―passed for the business, occupation, enjoyment and benefit of private respondents‖ (that is, a llegedly for the private benefit of respondents) because even before they were passed, Mayor Cafe and private respondents had already entered into lease contracts for the construction and award of the market stalls. Private respondents admitted they deposited P40,000 each with the municipal treasurer, which amounts were made available to the municipality during the construction of the stalls. The deposits, however, were needed to ensure the speedy completion of the stalls after the public market was gutted by a series of fires. Thus, the award of the stalls was necessarily limited only to those who advanced their personal funds for their construction. Jumamil did not seasonably allege his interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of public funds or the specific injury to him as a result of the enforcement of the questioned resolutions and contracts. It was only in the ―Remark to Comment‖ he filed in the Supreme Court did he first assert that ―he (was) willing to engage in business and (was) interested to occupy a market stall.‖ Such claim was obviously an afterthought.

Issue

[2]:

Whether

the

rule

on

locus

standi

should

be

relaxed.

Held [2]: Objections to a taxpayer's suit for lack of sufficient personality, standing or interest are procedural matters. Considering the importance to the public of a suit assailing the constitutionality of a tax law, and in keeping with the Court's duty, specially explicated in the 1987 Constitution, to determine whether or not the other branches of the Government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and that they have not abused the discretion given to them, the Supreme Court may brush aside technicalities of procedure and take cognizance of the suit. There being no doctrinal definition of transcendental importance, the following determinants formulated by former Supreme Court Justice Florentino P. Feliciano are instructive: (1) the character of the funds or other assets involved in the case; (2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of the government; and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised. But, even if the Court disregards Jumamil‘s lack of legal standing, this petition must still fail. The subject resolutions/ordinances appropriated a total of P2,280,000 for the construction of the public market stalls. Jumamil alleged that these ordinances were discriminatory because, even prior to their enactment, a decision had already been made to award the market stalls to the private respondents who deposited P40,000 each and who were either friends or relatives of the mayor or members of the Sanggunian. Jumamil asserted that ―there (was) no publication or invitation to the public that this contract (was)

available to all who (were) interested to own a stall and (were) willing to deposit P40,000.‖ Respondents, however, counter t hat the ―public respondents‘ act of entering into this agreement was authorized by the Sangguniang Bayan of Panabo per Resolution 180 dated 10 October 1988‖ and that ―all the people interested were invited to participate in investing their savings.‖ Jumamil f ailed to prove the subject ordinances and agreements to be discriminatory. Considering that he was asking the Court to nullify the acts of the local political department of Panabo, Davao del Norte, he should have clearly established that such ordinances operated unfairly against those who were not notified and who were thus not given the opportunity to make their deposits. His unsubstantiated allegation that the public was not notified did not suffice. Furthermore, there was the time-honored presumption of regularity of official duty, absent any showing to the contrary.

Tolentino [GR

vs. 148334,

Commission 21

on January

Elections 2004]

Facts: Shortly after her succession to the Presidency in January 2001, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo nominated then Senator Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr. (―Senator Guingona‖) as Vice-President. Congress confirmed the nomination of Senator Guingona who took his oath as Vice-President on 9 February 2001. Following Senator Guingona‘s confirmation, the Senate on 8 February 2001 passed Resolution 84 certifying to the existence of a vacancy in the Senate. Resolution 84 called on COMELEC to fill the vacancy through a special election to be held simultaneously with the regular elections on 14 May 2001. Twelve Senators, with a 6-year term each, were due to be elected in that election. Resolution 84 further provided that the ―Senatorial candidate garnering the 13th highest number of votes shall serve only for the unexpired term of former Senator Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr.,‖ which ends on 30 June 2004. On 5 June 2001, after COMELEC had canvassed the election results from all the provinces but one (Lanao del Norte), COMELEC issued Resolution 01-005 provisionally proclaiming 13 candidates as the elected Senators. Resolution 01-005 also provided that ―the first twelve (12) Senators shall serve for a term of six (6) years and the thirteenth (13th) Senator shall serve the unexpired term of three (3) years of Senator Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr. who was appointed Vice-President.‖ Ralph Recto (―Recto‖) and Gregorio Honasan (―Honasan‖) ranked 12th and 13th, respectively, in Resolution 01-005. On 20 June 2001, Arturo Tolentino and Arturo Mojica, as voters and taxpayers, filed the petition for prohibition, impleading only COMELEC as respondent. Tolentino and Mojica sought to enjoin COMELEC from proclaiming with finality the candidate for Senator receiving the 13th highest number of votes as the winner in the special election for a single three-year term seat. Accordingly, Tolentino and Mojica prayed for the nullification of Resolution 01-005 in so far as it makes a proclamation to such effect. Tolentino and Mojica contend that COMELEC issued Resolution 01-005 without jurisdiction because: (1) it failed to notify the electorate of the position to be filled in the special election as required under Section 2 of RA 6645; (2) it failed to require senatorial candidates to indicate in their certificates of candidacy whether they seek election under the special or regular elections as allegedly required under Section 73 of BP 881; and, consequently, (3) it failed to specify in the Voters Information Sheet the candidates seeking election under the special or regular senatorial elections as purportedly required under Section 4, paragraph 4 of RA 6646. Tolentino and Mojica add that because of these omissions, COMELEC canvassed all the votes cast for the senatorial candidates in the 14 May 2001 elections without distinction such that ―there were no two separate Sen ate elections held simultaneously but just a single election for thirteen seats, irrespective of term.‖ To lentino and Mojica sought the issuance of a temporary restraining order during the pendency of their petition. Without issuing any restraining order, the Supreme Court required COMELEC to Comment on the petition. Honasan questioned Tolentino‘s and Mojica's standing to bring the instant

petition as taxpayers and voters because they do not claim that COMELEC illegally disbursed public funds; nor claim that they sustained personal injury because of the issuance of Resolutions 01-005 and 01-006.

Issue:

Whether

Tolentino

and

Mojica

have

standing

to

litigate.

Held: ―Legal standing‖ or locus standi refers to a personal and substantial interest in a case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury because of the challenged governmental act. The requirement of standing, which necessarily ―sharpens the presentation of issues,‖ relates to the constitutional mandate that this Court settle only actual cases or controversies. Thu s, generally, a party will be allowed to litigate only when (1) he can show that he has personally suffered some actual or threatened injury because of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action. Applied strictly, the doctrine of standing to litigate will indeed bar the present petition. In questioning, in their capacity as voters, the validity of the special election on 14 May 2001, Tolentino and Mojica assert a harm classified as a ―generalized grievance.‖ This generalized grievance is shared in substantially equal measure by a large class of voters, if not all the voters, who voted in that election. Neither have Tolentino and Mojica alleged, in their capacity as taxpayers, that the Court should give due course to the petition because in the special election held on 14 May 2001 ―tax money [was] ‗x x x extracted and spent in violation of specific constitutional protections against abuses of legislative power‘ or that there [was] misapplication of s uch funds by COMELEC or that public money [was] deflected to any improper purpose.‖ On the other hand, the Court has relaxed the requirement on st anding and exercised our discretion to give due course to voters‘ suits involving the right of suffrage. The C ourt has the discretion to take cognizance of a suit which does not satisfy the requirement of legal standing when paramount interest is involved. In not a few cases, the court has adopted a liberal attitude on the locus standi of a petitioner where the petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people. Thus, when the issues raised are of paramount importance to the public, the Court may brush aside technicalities of procedure. The Court accords the same treatment to Tolentino and Mojica in the present case in their capacity as voters since they raise important issues involving their right of suffrage, considering that the issue raised in the petition is likely to arise again.

People [GR 45685, 16

vs. November

Vera 1937]

Facts: The People of the Philippine and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), are respectively the plaintiff and the offended party, and Mariano Cu Unjieng is one of the defendants, in the criminal case entitled "The People of the Philippine Islands vs. Mariano Cu Unjieng, et al." (Criminal case 42649) of the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila and GR 41200 of the Suprme Court. Hon. Jose O. Vera, is the Judge ad interim of the seventh branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila, who heard the application of Cu Unjieng for probation in the aforesaid criminal case. The information in the said criminal case was filed with the CFI on 15 October 1931, HSBC intervening in the case as private prosecutor. After a protracted trial unparalleled in the annals of Philippine jurisprudence both in the length of time spent by the court as well as in the volume in the testimony and the bulk of the exhibits presented, the CFI, on 8 January 1934, rendered a judgment of conviction sentencing Cu Unjieng to indeterminate penalty ranging from 4 years and 2 months of prision correccional to 8 years of prision mayor, to pay the costs and with reservation of civil action to the offended party, HSBC. Upon appeal, the court, on 26 March 1935, modified the sentence to an indeterminate penalty of from 5 years and 6 months of prision

correccional to 7 years, 6 months and 27 days of prision mayor, but affirmed the judgment in all other respects. Cu Unjieng filed a motion for reconsideration and four successive motions for new trial which were denied on 17 December 1935, and final judgment was accordingly entered on 18 December 1935. Cu Unjieng thereupon sought to have the case elevated on certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States but the latter denied the petition for certiorari in November, 1936. The Supreme Court, on 24 November 1936, denied the petition subsequently filed by Cu Unjieng for leave to file a second alternative motion for reconsideration or new trial and thereafter remanded the case to the court of origin for execution of the judgment.

Cu Unjieng filed an application for probation on 27 November 1936, before the trial court, under the provisions of Act 4221 of the defunct Philippine Legislature. Cu Unjieng states in his petition, inter alia, that he is innocent of the crime of which he was convicted, that he has no criminal record and that he would observe good conduct in the future. The CFI of Manila, Judge Pedro Tuason presiding, referred the application for probation of the Insular Probation Office which recommended denial of the same 18 June 1937. Thereafter, the CFI of Manila, seventh branch, Judge Jose O. Vera presiding, set the petition for hearing on 5 April 1937. On 2 April 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed an opposition to the granting of probation to Cu Unjieng. The private prosecution also filed an opposition on 5 April 1937, alleging, among other things, that Act 4221, assuming that it has not been repealed by section 2 of Article XV of the Constitution, is nevertheless violative of section 1, subsection (1), Article III of the Constitution guaranteeing equal protection of the laws for the reason that its applicability is not uniform throughout the Islands and because section 11 of the said Act endows the provincial boards with the power to make said law effective or otherwise in their respective or otherwise in their respective provinces. The private prosecution also filed a supplementary opposition on April 19, 1937, elaborating on the alleged unconstitutionality on Act 4221, as an undue delegation of legislative power to the provincial boards of several provinces (sec. 1, Art. VI, Constitution). The City Fiscal concurred in the opposition of the private prosecution except with respect to the questions raised concerning the constitutionality of Act 4221. On 28 June 1937, Judge Jose O. Vera promulgated a resolution, concluding that Cu Unjieng "es inocente por duda racional" of the crime of which he stands convicted by the Supreme court in GR 41200, but denying the latter's petition for probation. On 3 July 1937, counsel for Cu Unjieng filed an exception to the resolution denying probation and a notice of intention to file a motion for reconsideration. An alternative motion for reconsideration or new trial was filed by counsel on 13 July 1937. This was supplemented by an additional motion for reconsideration submitted on 14 July 1937. The aforesaid motions were set for hearing on 31 July 1937, but said hearing was postponed at the petition of counsel for Cu Unjieng because a motion for leave to intervene in the case as amici curiae signed by 33 (34) attorneys had just been filed with the trial court. On 6 August 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed a motion with the trial court for the issuance of an order of execution of the judgment of this court in said case and forthwith to commit Cu Unjieng to jail in obedience to said judgment. On 10 August 1937, Judge Vera issued an order requiring all parties including the movants for intervention as amici curiae to appear before the court on 14 August 1937. On the last-mentioned date, the Fiscal of the City of Manila moved for the hearing of his motion for execution of judgment in preference to the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae but, upon objection of counsel for Cu Unjieng, he moved for the postponement of the hearing of both motions. The judge thereupon set the hearing of the motion for execution on 21 August 1937, but proceeded to consider the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae as in order. Evidence as to the circumstances under which said motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae was signed and submitted to court was to have been heard on 19 August 1937. But at this juncture, HSBC and the People came to the Supreme Court on extraordinary legal process to put an end to what they alleged was an interminable proceeding in the CFI of Manila which fostered "the campaign of the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng for delay in the execution of the sentence imposed by this Honorable Court on him, exposing the courts to criticism and ridicule because of the apparent inability of the judicial machinery to make

effective a final judgment of this court imposed on the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng." The scheduled hearing before the trial court was accordingly suspended upon the issuance of a temporary restraining order by the Supreme Court on 21 August 1937.

Issue: Whether the People of the Philippines, through the Solicitor General and Fiscal of the City of Manila, is a proper party in present case.

Held: YES. The People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is a proper party in the present proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustained, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act 4221 really violates the constitution, the People of the Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set aside. Of greater import than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state can challenge the validity of its own laws.

Arceta

vs.

Mangrobang

[GR

152895,

15

June

2004]

Facts: The City Prosecutor of Navotas, Metro Manila charged Ofelia V. Arceta with violating Batas Pambansa 22 in an Information (Criminal Case 1599-CR), alleging in an Information that on or about 16 September 1998, Arceta issued a Regional Bank check worth P740,000 (postdated 21 December 1998) to Oscar R. Castro payable in CASH, well-knowing that at the time of issue she did have sufficient funds or credit with the drawee bank for the payment, and despite receipt of notice of such dishonor, Arceta failed to pay said payee with the face amount of said check or to make arrangement for full payment thereof within 5 banking days after receiving notice. Arceta did not move to have the charge against her dismissed or the Information quashed on the ground that BP 22 was unconstitutional. She reasoned out that with the Lozano doctrine still in place, such a move would be an exercise in futility for it was highly unlikely that the trial court would grant her motion and thus go against prevailing jurisprudence. On 21 October 2002, Arceta was arraigned and pleaded ―not guilty‖ to the charge. However, she manifested that her arraignment should be without prejudice to the present petition or to any other actions she would take to suspend proceedings in the trial court. Arceta [GR 152895] then filed the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, with prayers for a temporary restraining order, assailing the constitutionality of the Bouncing Checks Law (BP 22). On the other hand, the Office of the City Prosecutor of Caloocan filed a charge sheet against Gloria S. Dy for violation of the Bouncing Checks Law (MeTC of Caloocan City, Criminal Case 212183), alleging in the Information that on or about the month of January 2000, Dy issued Prudential Bank Check 0000329230 in the amount of P2,500,000.00 dated 19 January 2000 in favor of Anita Chua well knowing at the time of issue that she has no sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment which check was subsequently dishonored for the reason ―ACCOUNT CLOSED‖ and with intent to defraud failed and still fails to pay the said complainant the amount of P2,500,000.00 despite receipt of notice from the drawee bank that said check has been dishonored and had not been paid. Like Arceta, Dy made no move to dismiss the charges against her on the ground that BP 22 was unconstitutional. Dy likewise believed that any move on her part to quash the indictment or to dismiss the charges on said ground would fail in view of the Lozano ruling. Instead, she filed a petition with the Supreme Court invoking its power of judicial review to have the said law voided for Constitutional infirmity.

Issue: Whether the Court should render BP22 unconstitutional due to the present economic and financial crisis, else due to the undue burden made upon the MeTC by bouncing checks cases.

Held: When the issue of unconstitutionality of a legislative act is raised, it is the established doctrine that the Court may exercise its power of judicial review only if the following requisites are present: (1) an actual and appropriate case and controversy exists; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question raised is the very lis mota of the case. Only when these requisites are satisfied may the Court assume jurisdiction over a question of unconstitutionality or invalidity of an act of Congress. With due regard to counsel‘s spirited advocacy in both cases, the Court was unable to agree that the said requisites have been adequately met. Nor does the Court find the constitutional question raised to be the very lis mota presented in the controversy below. Every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality, and to justify its nullification, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, and not one that is doubtful, speculative or argumentative. The Court examined the contentions of Arceta and Dy carefully; but they still have to persuade us that BP 22 by itself or in its implementation transgressed a provision of the Constitution. Even the thesis of Dy that the present economic and financial crisis should be a basis to declare the Bouncing Checks Law constitutionally infirm deserves but scant consideration. As stressed in Lozano, it is precisely during trying times that there exists a most compelling reason to strengthen faith and confidence in the financial system and any practice tending to destroy confidence in checks as currency substitutes should be deterred, to prevent havoc in the trading and financial communities. Further, while indeed the metropolitan trial courts may be burdened immensely by bouncing checks cases now, that fact is immaterial to the alleged invalidity of the law being assailed. The solution to the clogging of dockets in lower courts lies elsewhere.

Mirasol [GR

vs. 128448,

Court 1

of February

Appeals 2001]

Facts: Spouses Alejandro and Lilia Mirasol are sugarland owners and planters. In 1973-1974, they produced 70,501.08 piculs of sugar, 25,662.36 of which were assigned for export. The following crop year, their acreage planted to the same crop was lower, yielding 65,100 piculs of sugar, with 23,696.40 piculs marked for export. The Philippine National Bank (PNB) financed the Mirasols' sugar production venture for crop years, 1973-1974 and 1974-1975 under a crop loan financing scheme. Under said scheme, the Mirasols signed Credit Agreements, a Chattel Mortgage on Standing Crops, and a Real Estate Mortgage in favor of PNB. The Chattel Mortgage empowered PNB as the Mirasols' attorney-in-fact to negotiate and to sell the latter's sugar in both domestic and export markets and to apply the proceeds to the payment of their obligations to it. Exercising his law-making powers under Martial Law, then President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree 579 in November, 1974. The decree authorized the Philippine Exchange Co., Inc. (PHILEX) to purchase sugar allocated for export to the United States and to other foreign markets. The price and quantity was determined by the Sugar Quota Administration, PNB, the Department of Trade and Industry, and finally, by the Office of the President. The decree further authorized PNB to finance PHILEX's purchases. Finally, the decree directed that whatever profit PHILEX might realize from sales of sugar abroad was to be remitted to a special fund of the national government, after commissions, overhead expenses and liabilities had been deducted. The government offices and entities tasked by existing laws and administrative regulations to oversee the sugar export pegged the purchase price of export sugar in crop years 1973-1974 and 1974-1975 at P180.00 per picul.

PNB continued to finance the sugar production of the Mirasols for crop years 1975-1976 and 1976-1977. These crop loans and similar obligations were secured by real estate mortgages over several properties of the Mirasols and chattel mortgages over standing crops. Believing that the proceeds of their sugar sales to PNB, if properly accounted for, were more than enough to pay their obligations, the Mirasols asked PNB for an accounting of the proceeds of the sale of their export sugar. PNB ignored the request. Meanwhile, the Mirasols continued to avail of other loans from PNB and to make unfunded withdrawals from their current accounts with said bank. PNB then asked Mirasols to settle their due and demandable accounts. As a result of these demands for payment, the Mirasols on 4 August 1977, conveyed to PNB real properties valued at P1,410,466.00 by way of dacion en pago, leaving an unpaid overdrawn account of P1,513,347.78. On 10 August 1982, the balance of outstanding sugar crop and other loans owed by the Mirasols to PNB stood at P15,964,252.93. Despite demands, the Mirasols failed to settle said due and demandable accounts. PNB then proceeded to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgaged properties. After applying the proceeds of the auction sale of the mortgaged realties, PNB still had a deficiency claim of P12,551,252.93. The Mirasols continued to ask PNB to account for the proceeds of the sale of their export sugar for crop years 1973-1974 and 1974-1975, insisting that said proceeds, if properly liquidated, could offset their outstanding obligations with the bank. PNB remained adamant in its stance that under PD 579, there was nothing to account since under said law, all earnings from the export sales of sugar pertained to the National Government and were subject to the disposition of the President of the Philippines for public purposes. On 9 August 1979, the Mirasols filed a suit for accounting, specific performance, and damages against PNB with the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City (Civil Case 14725). On 16 June 1987, the complaint was amended to implead PHILEX as party-defendant. After trial on the merits, the trial court decided in favor of the Mirasols (1) declaring PD 579 and all circulars, as well as policies, orders and other issuances issued in furtherance thereof, unconstitutional and therefore, NULL and VOID being in gross violation of the Bill of Rights; (2) Ordering PNB and PHILEX to pay, jointly and severally, the Mirasols the whole amount corresponding to the residue of the unliquidated actual cost price of 25,662 piculs in export sugar for crop year 1973-1974 at an average price of P300.00 per picul, deducting therefrom however, the amount of P180.00 already paid in advance plus the allowable deductions in service fees and other charges; (3) and also, for PNB and PHILEX to pay, jointly and severally, the Mirasols the whole amount corresponding to the unpaid actual price of 14,596 piculs of export sugar for crop year 1974-1975 at an average rate of P214.14 per picul minus however, the sum of P180.00 per picul already paid by PNB and PHILEX in advance and the allowable deduction in service fees and other charges; and (4) directing PNB and PHILEX to pay, jointly and severally, the Mirasols the sum of P50,000.00 in moral damages and the amount of P50,000.00 as attorney's fees, plus the costs of the litigation. The same was, however, modified by a Resolution of the trial court dated 14 May 1992, which adding the following paragraph: "This decision should however, be interpreted without prejudice to whatever benefits that may have accrued in favor of the plaintiffs with the passage and approval of Republic Act 7202 otherwise known as the 'Sugar Restitution Law,' authorizing the restitution of losses suffered by the plaintiffs from Crop year 1974-1975 to Crop year 1984-1985 occasioned by the actuations of government-owned and controlled agencies." The Mirasols then filed an appeal with the appellate court (CA-GR CV 38607), faulting the trial court for not nullifying the dacion en pago and the mortgage contracts, as well as the foreclosure of their mortgaged properties, and the trial court's failure to award them the full money claims and damages sought from both PNB and PHILEX. On 22 July 1996, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court (1) declaring the dacion en pago and the foreclosure of the mortgaged properties valid; (2) ordering the PNB to render an accounting of the sugar account of the Mirasol[s] specifically stating the indebtedness of the latter to the former and the proceeds of Mirasols' 1973-1974 and 1974-1975 sugar production sold pursuant to and in accordance with PD 579 and the issuances therefrom; (3) ordering the PNB to recompute in accordance with RA 7202 Mirasols' indebtedness to it crediting to the latter payments already made as well as the auction price of their foreclosed real estate and stipulated value of their properties ceded to PNB in the dacion en

pago; and (4) whatever the result of the recomputation of Mirasols' account, the outstanding balance or the excess payment shall be governed by the pertinent provisions of RA 7202. On 28 August 1996, the Mirasols moved for reconsideration, which the appellate court denied on 23 January 1997. The Mirasols filed the petition for review on certiorari with the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether the Trial Court has jurisdiction to declare a statute unconstitutional without notice to the Solicitor General where the parties have agreed to submit such issue for the resolution of the Trial Court.

Held: It is settled that Regional Trial Courts have the authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a statute, presidential decree, or executive order. The Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law, treaty, international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation not only in this Court, but in all Regional Trial Courts. Furthermore, BP 129 grants Regional Trial Courts the authority to rule on the conformity of laws or treaties with the Constitution. However, Rule 64, Section 3 (Notice to Solicitor General) of the Rules of Court provides that "in any action which involves the validity of a statute, or executive order or regulation, the Solicitor General shall be notified by the party attacking the statute, executive order, or regulation, and shall be entitled to be heard upon such question." The purpose of the mandatory notice in Rule 64, Section 3 is to enable the Solicitor General to decide whether or not his intervention in the action assailing the validity of a law or treaty is necessary. To deny the Solicitor General such notice would be tantamount to depriving him of his day in court. The mandatory notice requirement is not limited to actions involving declaratory relief and similar remedies. The rule itself provides that such notice is required in "any action" and not just actions involving declaratory relief. Where there is no ambiguity in the words used in the rule, there is no room for construction. In all actions assailing the validity of a statute, treaty, presidential decree, order, or proclamation, notice to the Solicitor General is mandatory. Herein, the Solicitor General was never notified about Civil Case 14725. Nor did the trial court ever require him to appear in person or by a representative or to file any pleading or memorandum on the constitutionality of the assailed decree. Hence, the Court of Appeals did not err in holding that lack of the required notice made it improper for the trial court to pass upon the constitutional validity of the questioned presidential decrees.

Salonga [GR 59524,

vs. 18 February

Cruz-Pano 1985]

Facts: A rash of bombings occurred in the Metro Manila area in the months of August, September and October of 1980. On 6 September 1980, one Victor Burns Lovely, Jr., a Philippine-born American citizen from Los Angeles, California, almost killed himself and injured his younger brother, Romeo, as a result of the explosion of a small bomb inside his room at the YMCA building in Manila. Found in Lovely's possession by police and military authorities were several pictures taken sometime in May 1980 at the birthday party of former Congressman Raul Daza held at the latter's residence in a Los Angeles suburb. Jovito R. Salonga and his wife were among those whose likenesses appeared in the group pictures together with other guests, including Lovely. As a result of the serious injuries he suffered, Lovely was brought by military and police authorities to the AFP Medical Center (V. Luna Hospital) where he was place in the custody and detention of Col. Roman P. Madella, under the over-all direction of General Fabian Ver, head of the National Intelligence and Security Authority (NISA). Shortly afterwards, Mr. Lovely and his two brothers, Romeo and Baltazar Lovely where charged with subversion, illegal possession of explosives, and damage to property. On 12 September 1980, bombs once again exploded in Metro Manila including one which resulted in the death of an American lady who was shopping at Rustan's Supermarket in

Makati and others which caused injuries to a number of persons. On 20 September 1980, the President's anniversary television radio press conference was broadcast. The younger brother of Victor Lovely, Romeo, was presented during the conference. The next day, newspapers came out with almost identical headlines stating in effect that Salonga had been linked to the various bombings in Metro Manila. Meanwhile, on 25 September 1980, Lovely was taken out of the hospital's intensive care unit and transferred to the office of Col. Madella where he was held incommunicado for sometime. On the night of 4 October 1980, more bombs were reported to have exploded at 3 big hotels in Metro Manila. The bombs injured 9 people. A meeting of the General Military Council was called for 6 October 1980. On 19 October 1980, minutes after the President had finished delivering his speech before the International Conference of the American Society of Travel Agents at the Philippine International Convention Center, a small bomb exploded. Within the next 24 hours, arrest, search, and seizure orders (ASSOs) were issued against persons, including Salonga, who were apparently implicated by Victor Lovely in the series of bombings in Metro Manila. On 21 October 1980, elements of the military went to the hospital room of Salonga at the Manila Medical Center where he was confined due to his recurrent and chronic ailment of bronchial asthma and placed him under arrest. The arresting officer showed Salonga the ASSO form which however did not specify the charge or charges against him. For some time, Salonga's lawyers were not permitted to visit him in his hospital room until the Supreme Court in the case of Ordoñez v. Gen. Fabian Ver, et al., (GR 55345, 28 October 1980) issued an order directing that Salonga's right to be visited by counsel be respected. On 2 November 1980, Salonga was transferred against his objections from his hospital arrest to an isolation room without windows in an army prison camp at Fort Bonifacio, Makati. Salonga stated that he was not informed why he was transferred and detained, nor was he ever investigated or questioned by any military or civil authority. Subsequently, on 27 November 1980, Salonga was released for humanitarian reasons from military custody and placed "under house arrest in the custody of Mrs. Lydia Salonga" still without the benefit of any investigation or charges. On 10 December 1980, the Judge Advocate General sent Salonga a "Notice of Preliminary Investigation" in People v. Benigno Aquino, Jr., et al. (which included Salonga as a co-accused). Up to the time martial law was lifted on 17 January 1981, and despite assurance to the contrary, Salonga has not received any copies of the charges against him nor any copies of the so-called supporting evidence. On 9 February 1981, the records of the case were turned over by the Judge Advocate General's Office to the Ministry of Justice. On 24 February 1981, the City Fiscal filed a complaint accusing Salonga, among others of having violated RA 1700, as amended by PD 885 and BP 31 in relation to Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code. The inquest court set the preliminary investigation for 17 March 1981. On 6 March 1981, Salonga was allowed to leave the country to attend a series of church conferences and undergo comprehensive medical examinations of the heart, stomach, liver, eye and ear including a possible removal of his left eye to save his right eye. The counsel for Salonga was furnished a copy of an amended complaint signed by Gen. Prospero Olivas, dated 12 March 1981, charging Salonga, along with 39 other accused with the violation of RA 1700, as amended by PD 885, BP 31 and PD 1736. On 15 October 1981, the counsel for Salonga filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Salonga for failure of the prosecution to establish a prima facie case against him. On 2 December 1981, Judge Ernani Cruz Pano (Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch XVIII, Quezon City) denied the motion. On 4 January 1982, he issued a resolution ordering the filing of an information for violation of the Revised Anti-Subversion Act, as amended, against 40 people, including Salonga. The resolutions of the said judge dated 2 December 1981 and 4 January 1982 are the subject of the present petition for certiorari. It is the contention of Salonga that no prima facie case has been established by the prosecution to justify the filing of an information against him. He states that to sanction his further prosecution despite the lack of evidence against him would be to admit that no rule of law exists in the Philippines today.

Issue: Whether the Court may still elaborate on a decision when the lower courts have dropped the case against petitioner Salonga.

Held: The setting aside or declaring void, in proper cases, of intrusions of State authority into areas reserved by the Bill of Rights for the individual as constitutionally protected spheres where even the awesome powers of Government may not enter at will is not the totality of the Court's functions. The Court also has the duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional principles, precepts, doctrines, or rules. It has the symbolic function of educating bench and bar on the extent of protection given by constitutional guarantees. In dela Camara v. Enage (41 SCRA 1), the petitioner who questioned a P1,195,200.00 bail bond as excessive and, therefore, constitutionally void, escaped from the provincial jail while his petition was pending. The petition became moot because of his escape but we nonetheless rendered a decision. In Gonzales v. Marcos (65 SCRA 624) whether or not the Cultural Center of the Philippines could validly be created through an executive order was mooted by Presidential Decree 15, the Center's new charter pursuant to the President's legislative powers under martial law. Still, the Court discussed the constitutional mandate on the preservation and development of Filipino culture for national identity. In the habeas corpus case of Aquino, Jr., v. Enrile (59 SCRA 183), during the pendency of the case, 26 petitioners were released from custody and one withdrew his petition. The sole remaining petitioner was facing charges of murder, subversion, and illegal possession of firearms. The fact that the petition was moot and academic did not prevent the Court in the exercise of its symbolic function from promulgating one of the most voluminous decisions ever printed in the Reports. Herein, the prosecution evidence miserably fails to establish a prima facie case against Salonga, either as a co-conspirator of a destabilization plan to overthrow the government or as an officer or leader of any subversive organization. The respondents have taken the initiative of dropping the charges against Salonga. The Court reiterates the rule, however, that the Court will not validate the filing of an information based on the kind of evidence against Salonga found in the records.

Salazar [GR 81510,

vs. 14 March

Achacoso 1990]

Facts: On 21 October 1987, Rosalie Tesoro of 177 Tupaz Street, Leveriza, Pasay City, in a sworn statement filed with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) charged Hortencia Salazar of 615 R.O. Santos St., Mandaluyong, allegedly the former's manager, for withholding the former's PECC Card. On 3 November 1987, Atty. Ferdinand Marquez to whom said complaint was assigned, sent to Salazar a telegram directing the latter to directly appear before Ferdie Marquez, POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Unit 6/F, POEA Building, EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong on 6 November 1987 at 10 a.m. RE case filed against Salazar. On the same day, having ascertained that Salazar had no license to operate a recruitment agency, Administrator Tomas D. Achacoso issued his Closure and Seizure Order 1205 against Horty Salazar. On 26 January 1988, POEA Director on Licensing and Regulation Atty. Estelita B. Espiritu issued an office order designating Atty. Marquez, Atty. Jovencio Abara and Atty. Ernesto Vistro as members of a team tasked to implement Closure and Seizure Order 1205. Doing so, the group assisted by Mandaluyong policemen and mediamen Lito Castillo of the People's Journal and Ernie Baluyot of News Today proceeded to Salazar's residence. There it was found that Salazar was operating Hannalie Dance Studio. Before entering the place, the team served said Closure and Seizure order on a certain Mrs. Flora Salazar who voluntarily allowed them entry into the premises. Mrs Flora Salazar informed the team that Hannalie Dance Studio was accredited with Moreman Development (Phil.) However, when required to show credentials, she was unable to produce any. Inside the studio, the team chanced upon 12 talent performers — practicing a dance number and saw about 20 more waiting

outside. The team confiscated assorted costumes which were duly receipted for by Mrs. Asuncion Maguelan and witnessed by Mrs. Flora Salazar. On 28 January 1988, Flora Salazar filed with POEA a letter, requesting that the personal properties seized at Horty Salazar's residence be immediately returned on the ground that said seizure was contrary to law and against the will of the owner thereof. On 2 February 1988, before POEA could answer the letter, Salazar filed the petition for prohibition, contesting the validity of the power of the Secretary of Labor to issue warrants of arrest and seizure under Article 38 of the Labor Code, prohibiting illegal recruitment. On even date, POEA filed a criminal complaint against her with the Pasig Provincial Fiscal (IS-88-836).

Issue: Whether the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (or the Secretary of Labor) validly issue warrants of search and seizure (or arrest) under Article 38 of the Labor Code.

Held: Section 38, paragraph (c), of the Labor Code, as now written, was entered as an amendment by Presidential Decrees 1920 and 2018 of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, to Presidential Decree 1693, in the exercise of his legislative powers under Amendment 6 of the 1973 Constitution. Under the latter, the then Minister of Labor merely exercised recommendatory powers for the arrest and detention of any person engaged in illegal recruitment. On 1 May 1984, Mr. Marcos promulgated Presidential Decree 1920, with the avowed purpose of giving more teeth to the campaign against illegal recruitment. The Decree gave the Minister of Labor arrest and closure powers. On 26 January 1986, Mr. Marcos, promulgated Presidential Decree 2018, giving the Labor Minister search and seizure powers as well. The decrees in question stand as the dying vestiges of authoritarian rule in its twilight moments. Under the new Constitution, "no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. It is only a judge who may issue warrants of search and arrest." Mayors may not exercise this power. Neither may it be done by a mere prosecuting body. The Secretary of Labor, not being a judge, may no longer issue search or arrest warrants. Hence, the authorities must go through the judicial process. To that extent, the Court declare Article 38, paragraph (c), of the Labor Code, unconstitutional and of no force and effect. For the guidance of the bench and the bar, the COurt reaffirmed the principles that (1) Under Article III, Section 2 , of the 1987 Constitution, it is only judges, and no other, who may issue warrants of arrest and search; and (2) The exception is in cases of deportation of illegal and undesirable aliens, whom the President or the Commissioner of Immigration may order arrested, following a final order of deportation, for the purpose of deportation. Thus, the Court herein granted the petition, declaring Article 38, paragraph (c) of the Labor Code unconstitutional and null and void, and thus ordering the POEA to return all materials seized as a result of the implementation of Search and Seizure Order 1205.

Collector [GR

of L-13250,

Internal

Revenue 29

vs. October

Campos

Rueda 1971]

Facts: Doña Maria de la Estrella Soriano Vda. de Cerdeira died in Tangier (North Africa), on 2 January 1955. At the time of her demise, she was married to a Spanish Citizen and a permanent resident of Tangier from 1931 up to her death. She left properties in Tangier as well as in the Philippines. Among the properties in the Philippines are several parcels of land and many shares of stock, accounts receivable and other intangible personal properties. The real estate situated in the Philippines had a market value of P1,109,483.50 and her personal properties also in the Philippines had a value of P396,308.90. On the real estate, Antonio Campos

Rueda, as administrator of her estate, paid the sum of P111,582.00 as estate tax and the sum of P151,791.48 as inheritance tax, on the transfer of her real properties in the Philippines, but refused to pay the corresponding deficiency estate and inheritance taxes due on the transfer of her intangible personal properties, claiming that the estate is exempt from the payment of said taxes pursuant to Section 122 of the Tax Code. The Collector of Internal Revenue in a decision assessed the estate of the deceased, as deficiency estate and inheritance taxes, the sum of P161,874.95 including interest and penalties, on the transfer of intangible personal properties of Maria Cerdeira. On appeal the Court of Tax Appeals reversed the decision of the Collector, without costs. Campos Rueda elevated the case to the Supreme for review. On 30 May 1962, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for the reception of evidence or proofs on whether or not the words "bienes muebles", "movables" and "movable property" as used in the Tangier laws, include or embrace "intangible personal property", as used in the Tax Code.

On 30 October 1957, the Court of Tax Appeals reversed the action taken by the Collector of the Internal Revenue, holding that the element of reciprocity was not lacking based on copies of Tangier legislation. The CTA held that "the expression 'foreign country,' used in the last proviso of Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code, refers to a government of that foreign power which, although not an international person in the sense of international law, does not impose transfer or death upon intangible person properties of our citizens not residing therein, or whose law allows a similar exemption from such taxes. It is, therefore, not necessary that Tangier should have been recognized by our Government order to entitle the petitioner to the exemption benefits of the proviso of Section 122 of our Tax Code." The Collector appealed.

Issue: Whether Tangier qualifies as a ―foreign country‖ to which Section 122 of the Tax Code would apply.

Held: If a foreign country is to be identified with a state, it is required in line with Pound's formulation that it be a politically organized sovereign community independent of outside control bound by penalties of nationhood, legally supreme within its territory, acting through a government functioning under a regime of law. It is thus a sovereign person with the people composing it viewed as an organized corporate society under a government with the legal competence to exact obedience to its commands. It has been referred to as a body-politic organized by common consent for mutual defense and mutual safety and to promote the general welfare. Correctly has it been described by Esmein as "the juridical personification of the nation." This is to view it in the light of its historical development. The stress is on its being a nation, its people occupying a definite territory, politically organized, exercising by means of its government its sovereign will over the individuals within it and maintaining its separate international personality. Laski could speak of it then as a territorial society divided into government and subjects, claiming within its allotted area a supremacy over all other institutions. McIver similarly would point to the power entrusted to its government to maintain within its territory the conditions of a legal order and to enter into international relations. With the latter requisite satisfied, international law do not exact independence as a condition of statehood. So Hyde did opine. EHerein, even on the assumption then that Tangier is bereft of international personality, the Collector of Internal Revenue has not successfully made out a case. It bears repeating that 4 days after the filing of the present petition on 6 January 1958 in Collector of Internal Revenue v. De Lara, that Section 122 of the Tax Code does not require that the "foreign country" possess an international personality to come within its terms. Thus, the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals is affirmed.

People [GR

vs. 145951,

Sandiganbayan 12

(2nd August

Division) 2003]

Facts: Jose S. Ramiscal, Jr., Julian Alzaga, Manuel Satuito, Elizabeth Liang and Jesus Garcia were all charged with Malversation through Falsification of Public Documents before the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case 25741. The Information alleged that Ramiscal, et. al. misappropriated and converted for their personal use the amount of P250,318,200.00 from the funds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS). On 12 November 1999, Ramiscal filed with the Sandiganbayan an "Urgent Motion to Declare Nullity of Information and to Defer Issuance of Warrant of Arrest." He argued, inter alia, that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the case because the AFP-RSBS is a private entity. The said Urgent Motion was later adopted by Alzaga and Satuito. The Urgent Motion was denied by the Sandiganbayan in a Resolution promulgated on 6 January 2000. Ramiscal, et. al. filed a Motion for Reconsideration. In a Resolution issued on 12 May 2000, the Sandiganbayan sustained Ramiscal, et. al.'s contention that the AFP-RSBS is a private entity. Hence, it reconsidered its earlier Resolution and ordered the dismissal of Criminal Case 25741. Upon denial of its Motion for Reconsideration, the prosecution filed the present special civil action for certiorari with the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether the AFP-RSBS is a government-owned or controlled corporation or a private corporation and, corollarily, whether its funds are public or private.

Held: The AFP-RSBS was created by Presidential Decree 361. Its purpose and functions are akin to those of the GSIS and the SSS, as in fact it is the system that manages the retirement and pension funds of those in the military service. Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are expressly excluded from the coverage of The GSIS Act of 1997. Therefore, soldiers and military personnel, who are incidentally employees of the Government, rely on the administration of the AFP-RSBS for their retirement, pension and separation benefits. For this purpose, the law provides that the contribution by military officers and enlisted personnel to the System shall be compulsory. Its enabling law further mandates that the System shall be administered by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines through an agency, group, committee or board, which may be created and organized by him and subject to such rules and regulations governing the same as he may, subject to the approval of the Secretary of National Defense, promulgate from time to time. Moreover, the investment of funds of the System shall be decided by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the approval of the Secretary of National Defense. The funds of the AFP-RSBS, except for the initial seed money, come entirely from contributions and that no part thereof come from appropriations. While it may be true that there have been no appropriations for the contribution of funds to the AFP-RSBS, the Government is not precluded from later on adding to the funds in order to provide additional benefits to the men in uniform. The above considerations indicate that the character and operations of the AFP-RSBS are imbued with public interest. As such, we hold that the same is a government entity and its funds are in the nature of public funds.

The Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) vs. Confederation of Unions in Government Corporations [GR and L-21484, Offices 29 (CUGCO), November etc. 1969]

Facts: On 4 September 1961 a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which was to be effective for a period of 1 year from 1 July 1961, was entered into by and between the Unions and the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA). A

few months thereafter, the Unions started protesting against alleged violations and non-implementation of said agreement. Finally, on 25 October 1962 the Unions declared a strike, which was ended when the strikers voluntarily returned to work on 26 November 1962. On 30 October 1962 the Unions, together with its mother union, the Confederation of Unions in Government Corporations and Offices (CUGCO), filed a complaint with the Court of Industrial Relations against the ACCFA (Case 3450-ULP) for having allegedly committed acts of unfair labor practice, namely: violation of the CBA in order to discourage the members of the Unions in the exercise of their right to self-organization, discrimination against said members in the matter of promotions, and refusal to bargain. The ACCFA denied the charges and interposed as affirmative and special defenses lack of jurisdiction of the CIR over the case, illegality of the bargaining contract, expiration of said Contract and lack of approval by the office of the President of the fringe benefits provided for therein. Brushing aside the foregoing defenses, the CIR in its decision dated 25 March 1963 ordered the ACCFA (1) to cease and desist from committing further acts tending to discourage the members of complainant unions in the exercise of their right to self organization; (2) to comply with and implement the provision of the collective bargaining contract executed on 4 September 1961, including the payment of P30.00 a month living allowance; and (3) to bargain in good faith and expeditiously with the herein complainants. ACCFA moved to reconsider but was turned down in a resolution dated 25 April 1963 of the CIR en banc. Thereupon it brought the appeal by certiorari to the Supreme Court (GR L-21484). During the pendency of the ACCFA's case, specifically on 8 August 1963, the President of the Philippines signed into law the Agricultural Land Reform Code (Republic Act 3844), which among other things required the reorganization of the administrative machinery of the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) and changed its name to Agricultural Credit Administration (ACA). On 17 March 1964 the ACCFA Supervisors' Association and the ACCFA Workers' Association filed a petition for certification election with the Court of Industrial Relations (Case 1327-MC) praying that they be certified as the exclusive bargaining agents for the supervisors and rank-and-file employees, respectively, in the ACA. The trial Court in its order dated 30 March 1964 directed the Manager or Officer-in-Charge of the ACA to allow the posting of said order "for the information of all employees and workers thereof," and to answer the petition. In compliance therewith, the ACA, while admitting most of the allegations in the petition, denied that the Unions represented the majority of the supervisors and rank-and-file workers, respectively, in the ACA. It further alleged that the petition was premature, that the ACA was not the proper party to be notified and to answer the petition, and that the employees and supervisors could not lawfully become members of the Unions, nor be represented by them. However, in a joint manifestation of the Unions dated 7 May 1964, with the conformity of the ACA Administrator and of the Agrarian Counsel in his capacity as such and as counsel for the National Land Reform Council, it was agreed "that the union in this case represent the majority of the employees in their respective bargaining units" and that only the legal issues raised would be submitted for the resolution of the trial Court. Finding the remaining grounds for ACA's opposition to the petition to be without merit, the trial Court in its order dated 21 May 1964 certified the ACCFA Workers' Association and the ACCFA Supervisors' Association as the sole and exclusive bargaining representatives of the rank-and-file employees and supervisors, respectively, of ACA. Said order was affirmed by the CIR en banc in its resolution dated 24 August 1964. On 2 October 1964 the ACA filed in the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari with urgent motion to stay the CIR order (GR L-23605). In a resolution dated 6 October 1964, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition for 'lack of adequate allegations," but the dismissal was later reconsidered when the ACA complied with the formal requirement stated in said resolution. As prayed for, the Court ordered the CIR to stay the execution of its order of 21 May 1964.

Issue:

Whether

the

ACA

is

engaged

in

governmental

or

proprietary

functions.

Held: The ACA is a government office or agency engaged in governmental, not proprietary functions. These functions may not be

strictly what President Wilson described as "constituent" (as distinguished from "ministrant"), such as those relating to the maintenance of peace and the prevention of crime, those regulating property and property rights, those relating to the administration of justice and the determination of political duties of citizens, and those relating to national defense and foreign relations. Under this traditional classification, such constituent functions are exercised by the State as attributes of sovereignty, and not merely to promote the welfare, progress and prosperity of the people — these latter functions being ministrant, the exercise of which is optional on the part of the government. The growing complexities of modern society, however, have rendered this traditional classification of the functions of government quite unrealistic, not to say obsolete. The areas which used to be left to private enterprise and initiative and which the government was called upon to enter optionally, and only "because it was better equipped to administer for the public welfare than is any private individual or group of individuals" continue to lose their well-defined boundaries and to be absorbed within activities that the government must undertake in its sovereign capacity if it is to meet the increasing social challenges of the times. Here as almost everywhere else the tendency is undoubtedly towards a greater socialization of economic forces. Here of course this development was envisioned, indeed adopted as a national policy, by the Constitution itself in its declaration of principle concerning the promotion of social justice. It was in furtherance of such policy that the Land Reform Code was enacted and the various agencies, the ACA among them, established to carry out its purposes. There can be no dispute as to the fact that the land reform program contemplated in the said Code is beyond the capabilities of any private enterprise to translate into reality. It is a purely governmental function, no less than, say, the establishment and maintenance of public schools and public hospitals. And when, aside from the governmental objectives of the ACA, geared as they are to the implementation of the land reform program of the State, the law itself declares that the ACA is a government office, with the formulation of policies, plans and programs vested no longer in a Board of Governors, as in the case of the ACCFA, but in the National Land Reform Council, itself a government instrumentality; and that its personnel are subject to Civil Service laws and to rules of standardization with respect to positions and salaries, any vestige of doubt as to the governmental character of its functions disappears. In view of the foregoing premises, the Unions are not entitled to the certification election sought in the lower Court. Such certification is admittedly for purposes of bargaining in behalf of the employees with respect to terms and conditions of employment, including the right to strike as a coercive economic weapon, as in fact the said unions did strike in 1962 against the ACCFA (GR L-21824). This is contrary to Section 11 of Republic Act 875. With the reorganization of the ACCFA and its conversion into the ACA under the Land Reform Code and in view of the Court's ruling as to the governmental character of the functions of the ACA, the decision of the lower Court, and the resolution en banc affirming it, in the unfair labor practice case filed by the ACCFA, which decision is the subject of the present review in GR L-21484, has become moot and academic, particularly insofar as the order to bargain collectively with the Unions is concerned.

Valmonte [GR 74930,

vs. 13 February

Belmonte 1989]

Facts: Ricardo Valmonte wrote Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on 4 June 1986, requesting to be "furnished with the list of names of the opposition members of (the) Batasang Pambansa who were able to secure a clean loan of P2 million each on guaranty (sic) of Mrs. Imelda Marcos" and also to "be furnished with the certified true copies of the documents evidencing their loan. Expenses in connection herewith shall be borne by" Valmonte, et. al. Due to serious legal implications, President & General Manager Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. referred the letter to the Deputy General Counsel of the GSIS, Meynardo A. Tiro. Tiro replied that it is his opinion "that a confidential relationship exists between the GSIS and all those who borrow from it, whoever they may be; that the GSIS has a duty to its customers

to preserve this confidentiality; and that it would not be proper for the GSIS to breach this confidentiality unless so ordered by the courts." On 20 June 1986, apparently not having yet received the reply of the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) Deputy General Counsel, Valmonte wrote Belmonte another letter, saying that for failure to receive a reply "(W)e are now considering ourselves free to do whatever action necessary within the premises to pursue our desired objective in pursuance of public interest." On 26 June 1986, Ricardo Valmonte, Oswaldo Carbonell, Doy Del Castillo, Rolando Bartolome, Leo Obligar, Jun Gutierrez, Reynaldo Bagatsing, Jun "Ninoy" Alba, Percy Lapid, Rommel Corro, and Rolando Fadul filed a special civil action for mandamus with preliminary injunction invoke their right to information and pray that Belmonte be directed: (a) to furnish Valmonte, et. al. the list of the names of the Batasang Pambansa members belonging to the UNIDO and PDP-Laban who were able to secure clean loans immediately before the February 7 election thru the intercession/marginal note of the then First Lady Imelda Marcos; and/or (b) to furnish petitioners with certified true copies of the documents evidencing their respective loans; and/or (c) to allow petitioners access to the public records for the subject information.

Issue: Whether Valmonte, et. al. are entitled as citizens and taxpayers to inquire upon GSIS records on behest loans given by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos to Batasang Pambansa members belonging to the UNIDO and PDP-Laban political parties.

Held: The GSIS is a trustee of contributions from the government and its employees and the administrator of various insurance programs for the benefit of the latter. Undeniably, its funds assume a public character. More particularly, Secs. 5(b) and 46 of PD 1146, as amended (the Revised Government Service Insurance Act of 1977), provide for annual appropriations to pay the contributions, premiums, interest and other amounts payable to GSIS by the government, as employer, as well as the obligations which the Republic of the Philippines assumes or guarantees to pay. Considering the nature of its funds, the GSIS is expected to manage its resources with utmost prudence and in strict compliance with the pertinent laws or rules and regulations. Thus, one of the reasons that prompted the revision of the old GSIS law (CA 186, as amended) was the necessity "to preserve at all times the actuarial solvency of the funds administered by the Systems [Second Whereas Clause, PD 1146.] Consequently, as Feliciano Belmonte himself admits, the GSIS "is not supposed to grant 'clean loans.'" It is therefore the legitimate concern of the public to ensure that these funds are managed properly with the end in view of maximizing the benefits that accrue to the insured government employees. Moreover, the supposed borrowers were Members of the defunct Batasang Pambansa who themselves appropriated funds for the GSIS and were therefore expected to be the first to see to it that the GSIS performed its tasks with the greatest degree of fidelity and that all its transactions were above board. In sum, the public nature of the loanable funds of the GSIS and the public office held by the alleged borrowers make the information sought clearly a matter of public interest and concern. Still, Belmonte maintains that a confidential relationship exists between the GSIS and its borrowers. It is argued that a policy of confidentiality restricts the indiscriminate dissemination of information. Yet, Belmonte has failed to cite any law granting the GSIS the privilege of confidentiality as regards the documents subject of the present petition. His position is apparently based merely on considerations of policy. The judiciary does not settle policy issues. The Court can only declare what the law is, and not what the law should be. Under our system of government, policy issues are within the domain of the political branches of the government, and of the people themselves as the repository of all State power.

Co

Cham

vs.

Valdez

[GR

L-5,

17

September

1945]

Facts: On 2 January 1942, the Imperial Japanese Forces occupied the City of Manila, and on the next day their Commander in Chief proclaimed "Military Administration, under martial law over the districts occupied by the Army." In said proclamation, it was also provided that "so far as the Military Administration permits, all the laws now in force in the Commonwealth, as well as executive and judicial institutions, shall continue to be effective for the time being as in the past," and "all public officials shall remain in their present posts and carry on faithfully their duties as before." A civil government or central administrative organization under the name of "Philippine Executive Commission" was organized by Order 1 issued on 23 January 1942, by the Commander in Chief of the Japanese Forces in the Philippines, and Jorge B. Vargas, who was appointed Chairman thereof, was instructed to proceed to the immediate coordination of the existing central administrative organs and of judicial courts, based upon what had existed theretofore, with the approval of the said Commander in Chief, who was to exercise jurisdiction over judicial courts. The Chairman of the Executive Commission, as head of the central administrative organization, issued Executive Orders 1 and 4, dated January 30 and February 5, 1942, respectively, in which the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Courts of First Instance, and the justices of the peace and municipal courts under the Commonwealth were continued with the same jurisdiction, in conformity with the instructions given to the said Chairman of the Executive Commission by the Commander in Chief of Japanese Forces in the Philippines in the latter's Order 3 of 20 February 1942, concerning basic principles to be observed by the Philippine Executive Commission in exercising legislative, executive and judicial powers. Section 1 of said Order provided that "activities of the administrative organs and judicial courts in the Philippines shall be based upon the existing statutes, orders, ordinances and customs." On 14 October 1943, the so-called Republic of the Philippines was inaugurated, but no substantial change was effected thereby in the organization and jurisdiction of the different courts that functioned during the Philippine Executive Commission, and in the laws they administered and enforced. On 23 October 1944, a few days after the historic landing in Leyte, General Douglas MacArthur issued a proclamation to the People of the Philippines which declared: (1) That the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines is, subject to the supreme authority of the Government of the United States, the sole and only government having legal and valid jurisdiction over the people in areas of the Philippines free of enemy occupation and control; (2) That the laws now existing on the statute books of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto are in full force and effect and legally binding upon the people in areas of the Philippines free of enemy occupation and control; and (3) That all laws, regulations and processes of any other government in the Philippines than that of the said Commonwealth are null and void and without legal effect in areas of the Philippines free of enemy occupation and control." On 3 February 1945, the City of Manila was partially liberated and on 27 February 1945, General Douglas MacArthur, on behalf of the Government of United States, solemnly declared "the full powers and responsibilities under the Constitution restored to the Commonwealth whose seat is here reestablished as provided by law." Co Cham filed a petition for mandamus with the Supreme Court praying that Judge Arsenio Dizon, of the Court of First Instance of Manila, be ordered to continue the proceedings in civil case 3012 of said court, which were initialed under the regime of the so-called Republic of the Philippines established during the Japanese military occupation of these Islands.

Issue: Whether under the rules of international law the judicial acts and proceedings of the courts established in the Philippines under the Philippine Executive Commission and the Republic of the Philippines were good and valid and remained good and valid even after the liberation or reoccupation of the Philippines by the United States and Filipino forces.

Held: It is a legal truism in political and international law that all acts and proceedings of the legislative, executive, and judicial department of a de facto government are good and valid. The question to be determined is whether or not the governments established in these islands under the names of Philippine Executive Commission and Republic of the Philippines during the Japanese occupation or regime were de facto governments. If they were, the judicial acts and proceedings of those governments remain good and valid even after the liberation or reoccupation of the Philippines by the American and Filipino Forces. There are several kinds of de facto governments. The first, or government de facto in a proper legal sense, is that government that gets possession and control of, or usurps, by force or by the voice of the majority, the rightful legal government and maintains itself against the will of the latter. The second is that which is established and maintained by military forces who invade and occupy a territory of the enemy in the course of war, and which is denominated a government of paramount force. And the third is that established as an independent government. Herein, the Philippine Executive Commission, which was organized by Order 1, issued on 23 January 1942, by the Commander of the Japanese Forces, was a civil government established by the military forces of occupation and therefore a de facto government of the second kind. The government established over an enemy's territory during the military occupation may exercise all the powers given by the laws of war to the conqueror over the conquered, and is subject to all restrictions which that code imposes. It is of little consequence whether such government be called a military or civil government. Its character is the same and the source of its authority the same. In either case it is a government imposed by the appellants of such territory or the rest of the world, those laws alone determine the legality or illegality of its acts. The fact that the Philippines Executive Commission was a civil and not a military government and was run by Filipinos and not by Japanese nationals, is of no consequence. The so-called Republic of the Philippines, apparently established and organized as a sovereign state independent from any other government by the Filipino people, was in truth and reality, a government established by the belligerent occupant or the Japanese forces of occupation. It was of the same character as the Philippine Executive Commission, and the ultimate source of its authority was the same — the Japanese military authority and government. Japan had no legal power to grant independence to the Philippines or transfer the sovereignty of, the Filipino people, before its military occupation and possession of the Islands had matured into an absolute and permanent dominion or sovereignty by a treaty of peace or other means recognized in the law of nations. For it is a well-established doctrine in international law, recognized in Article 45 of the Hague Conventions of 1907 (which prohibits compulsion of the population of the occupied territory to swear allegiance to the hostile power), that belligerent occupation, being essentially provisional, does not serve to transfer sovereignty over the territory controlled although the de jure government is during the period of occupancy deprived of the power to exercise its rights as such. The formation of the Republic of the Philippines was a scheme contrived by Japan to delude the Filipino people into believing in the apparent magnanimity of the Japanese gesture of transferring or turning over the rights of government into the hands of Filipinos. It was established under the mistaken belief or at least the neutrality of the Filipino people in her war against the United States and other allied nations. The governments by the Philippine Executive Commission and the republic of the Philippines during the Japanese military occupation being de facto governments, it necessarily follows that the judicial acts and proceedings of the courts of justice of those governments, which are not of political complexion, were good and valid, and, by virtue of the well-known principle of postliminy (postliminium) in international law, remained good and valid after the liberation or reoccupation of the Philippines by the American and Filipino forces under the leadership of General Douglas McArthur. According to that well-known principle in international law, the fact that a territory which has been occupied by an enemy comes again into the power of its legitimate government or sovereignty, "does not, except in a very few cases, wipe out the effects of acts done by an invader, which for one reason or another it is within his competence to do. Thus judicial acts done under his control, when they are not of a political complexion, administrative acts so done, to the extent that they may take effect during the continuance of his control, and the various acts done during the same time by private

persons under the sanction of municipal law, remain good. Were it otherwise, the whole social life of a community would be paralyzed by an invasion; and as between the state and individuals the evil would be scarcely less, — it would be hard to example that payment of taxes made under duress should be ignored, and it would be contrary to the general interest that sentences passed upon criminals should be annulled by the disappearance of the intrusive government." And when the occupation and the abandonment have been each an incident of the same war as in the present case, postliminy applies, even though the occupant has acted as conqueror and for the time substituted his own sovereignty, as the Japanese intended to do apparently in granting independence to the Philippines and establishing the so-called Republic of the Philippines.

Co [GR L-5a,

Cham 16

vs. November

Valdez 1945]

Subsequent Facts: A motion for reconsideration was filed by Eusebio Valdez Tan Keh. Two attorneys at law, who were allowed to appear as amici curiae, have also presented memoranda to discuss certain points on which the dissenting opinion rely. It is contended that the military occupation of the Philippine Islands by the Japanese was not actual and effective because of the existence of guerrilla bands in barrios and mountains and even towns and villages; and consequently, no government de facto could have been validly established by the Japanese military forces in the Philippines under the precepts of the Hague Conventions and the law of nations.

Issue: Whether the presence of guerrilla bands in barrios and mountains, and even in towns of the Philippines prevent the constitution or establishment of a de facto government in the Islands

Held: The presence of guerrilla bands in barrios and mountains, and even in towns of the Philippines whenever these towns were left by Japanese garrisons or by the detachments of troops sent on patrol to these places, was not sufficient to make the military occupation ineffective nor did it cause that occupation to cease, or prevent the constitution or establishment of a de facto government in the Islands. The belligerent occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese invaders became as accomplished fact from the time General Wainwright, Commander of the American and Filipino forces in Luzon, and General Sharp, Commander of the forces in Visayas and Mindanao, surrendered and ordered the surrender of their forces to the Japanese invaders, and the Commonwealth Government had become incapable of publicly exercising its authority, and the invader had substituted his own authority for that of the legitimate government in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. But supposing arguendo that there were provinces or district in these Islands not actually and effectively occupied by the invader, or in which the latter, consequently, had not substituted his own authority for that of the invaded government, and the Commonwealth Government had continued publicly exercising its authority, there is no question as to the validity of the judicial acts and proceedings of the court functioning in said territory, under the municipal law, just as there can be no question as to the validity of the judgments and proceedings of the courts continued in the territory occupied by the belligerent occupant, under the law of nations. Further, the provisions of the Hague Conventions which imposes upon a belligerent occupant the duty to continue the courts as well as the municipal laws in force in the country unless absolutely prevented, in order to reestablish and insure "I'ordre et la vie publice," that is, the public order and safety, and the entire social and commercial life of the country, were inserted, not for the benefit of the invader, but for the protection and benefit of the people or inhabitants of the occupied territory and of

those not in the military service, in order that the ordinary pursuits and business of society may not be unnecessarily deranged. The fact that the belligerent occupant is a treacherous aggressor, as Japan was, does not, therefore, exempt it from complying with said precepts of the Hague Conventions, nor does it make null and void the judicial acts of the courts continued by the occupant in the territory occupied. To deny validity to such judicial acts would benefit the invader or aggressor, who is presumed to be intent upon causing as much harm as possible to the inhabitants or nationals of the enemy's territory, and prejudice the latter; it would cause more suffering to the conquered and assist the conqueror or invader in realizing his nefarious design; in fine, it would result in penalizing the nationals of the occupied territory, and rewarding the invader or occupant for his acts of treachery and aggression.

In [GR

RE

Habeas

Corpus

of

Harvey,

et.

al. 28

Harvey

vs.

Commissioner June

Defensor

Santiago 1988]

82544,

Facts: Andrew Harvey, John Sherman, (both Americans), and Adriaa Van Den Elshout (Dutch) were apprehended on 27 February 1988 from their respective residences at Pagsanjan, Laguna by agents of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation (CID) by virtue of Mission Orders issued by Commissioner Miriam Defensor Santiago of the CID. They were among the 22 suspected alien pedophiles who were apprehended after 3 months of close surveillance by CID agents in Pagsanjan, Laguna. 2 days after apprehension, or on 29 February 1988, 17 of the 22 arrested aliens opted for self-deportation and have left the country. One was released for lack of evidence; another was charged not for being a pedophile but for working without a valid working visa. Thus, of the original 22, only Harvey, et. al. have chosen to face deportation. Seized during their apprehension were rolls of photo negatives and photos of the suspected child prostitutes shown in salacious poses as well as boys and girls engaged in the sex act. There were also posters and other literature advertising the child prostitutes. They are presently detained at the CID Detention Center. On 4 March 1988, deportation proceedings were instituted against Harvey, et. al. for being undesirable aliens under Section 69 of the Revised Administrative Code (Deportation Case 88-13). On 14 March 1988, Harvey, et. al. filed an Urgent Petition for Release Under Bond alleging that their health was being seriously affected by their continuous detention. Upon recommendation of the Board of Commissioners for their provisional release, the Commissioner ordered the CID doctor to examine Harvey, et. al., who certified that the latter were healthy. On 22 March 1988, Harvey, et. al. filed a Petition for Bail which, however, the COmmissioner denied considering the certification by the CID physician that the accused were healthy. To avoid congestion, the Commissioner ordered Harvey, et. al.'s transfer to the CID detention cell at Fort Bonifacio, but the transfer was deferred pending trial due to the difficulty of transporting then to and from the CID where trial was on-going. On 4 April 1988, Harvey filed a Manifestation/Motion stating that he had "finally agreed to a self-deportation" and praying that he be "provisionally released for at least 15 days and placed under the custody of Atty. Asinas before he voluntarily departs the country." On 7 April 1988, the Board of Special Inquiry — III allowed provisional release of 5 days only under certain conditions. However, it appears that on the same date that the Manifestation/Motion was filed, Harvey and his co-petitioners had already filed the present petition for a writ of haeas corpus.

Issue:

Whether

the

Philippine

Government

has

the

power

to

deport

foreigners

from

its

territory.

Held: Every sovereign power has the inherent power to exclude aliens from its territory upon such grounds as it may deem proper for its self-preservation or public interest. The power to deport aliens is an act of State, an act done by or under the authority of the sovereign power. It is a police measure against undesirable aliens whose continued presence in the country is found to be injurious to

the public good and the domestic tranquility of the people. Particularly so in this case where the State has expressly committed itself to defend the right of children to assistance and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development. The Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation, in instituting deportation proceedings against Harvey, et. al., acted in the interests of the State.

Republic [GR 153883, 13

vs. January

Lim 2004]

Facts: Chule Y. Lim filed a petition for correction of entries under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Norte, Branch 4 (Sp. Proc. 4933). She claimed that she was born on 29 October 1954 in Buru-an, Iligan City. Her birth was registered in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte but the Municipal Civil Registrar of Kauswagan transferred her record of birth to Iligan City. She alleged that both her Kauswagan and Iligan City records of birth have four erroneous entries, and prays that they be corrected. The trial court then issued an Order, which found the petition to be sufficient in form and substance, setting the hearing of the case be set on 27 December 1999, and ordering the publication ofthe order in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Iligan and the Province of Lanao del Norte once a week for 3 consecutive weeks at Lim's expense. During the hearing, Lim testified that (1) her surname "Yu" was misspelled as "Yo"; (2) her father‘s name in her birth record was written as "Yo Diu To (Co Tian)" when it s hould have been "Yu Dio To (Co Tian)"; (3) her nationality was entered as Chinese when it should have been Filipino considering that her father (a Chinese) and mother (a Filipina) never got married; and (4) it was erroneously indicated in her birth certificate that she was a legitimate child when she should have been described as illegitimate considering that her parents were never married. Placida Anto, Lim‘s mother, testified that she is a Filipino citizen as her parents were both Filipinos from Camiguin. She added that she a nd her daughter‘s father were never married because the latter had a prior subsisting marriage contracted in China. In this connection, Lim presented a certification attested by officials of the local civil registries of Iligan City and Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte that there is no record of marriage between Placida Anto and Yu Dio To from 1948 to the present. The Republic, through the City Prosecutor of Iligan City, did not present any evidence although it actively participated in the proceedings by attending hearings and cross-examining respondent and her witnesses. On 22 February 2000, the trial court granted respondent‘s petition and rendered judgment directing the Civil Registrar of Iligan City to make the corrections in Lim's birth records as (1) Her family name from "YO" to "YU"; (2) H er father‘s name from "YO DIU TO (CO TIAN)" to "YU DIOTO (CO TIAN)"; (3) Her status from "legitimate" to "illegitimate" by changing "YES" to "NO" in answer to the question "LEGITIMATE?"; and, (4) Her citizenship from "Chinese" to "Filipino". The Republic of the Philippines appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the trial court‘s decision. The Republic filed the petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Issue:

Whether

Lim

is

a

Filipino

citizen.

Held: The constitutional and statutory requirements of electing Filipino citizenship in Article IV, Section 1 (3) of the 1935 Constitution (which provides that the citizenship of a legitimate child born of a Filipino mother and an alien father followed the citizenship of the father, unless, upon reaching the age of majority, the child elected Philippine citizenship), and Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 625 (which provides that legitimate children born of Filipino mothers may elect Philippine citizenship by expressing such intention "in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any officer authorized to administer oaths, and shall be filed with

the nearest civil registry. The said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Government of the Philippines") apply only to legitimate children. These do not apply in the case of Lim who was concededly an illegitimate child, considering that her Chinese father and Filipino mother were never married. As such, she was not required to comply with said constitutional and statutory requirements to become a Filipino citizen. By being an illegitimate child of a Filipino mother, Lim automatically became a Filipino upon birth. Stated differently, she is a Filipino since birth without having to elect Filipino citizenship when she reached the age of majority.

Tecson [GR

vs. 151434,

Commission 3

on March

Elections 2004]

Facts: On 31 December 2003, Ronald Allan Kelly Poe, also known as Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) Party, in the 2004 national elections. In his certificate of candidacy, FPJ, representing himself to be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, stated his name to be "Fernando Jr.," or "Ronald Allan" Poe, his date of birth to be 20 August 1939 and his place of birth to be Manila. Victorino X. Fornier, (GR 161824) initiated, on 9 January 2004, a petition (SPA 04-003) before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to cancel his certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were foreigners; his mother, Bessie Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national, being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish subject. Granting, Fornier asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have transmitted his Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien mother. Fornier based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of FPJ on two assertions: (1) Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, (2) even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of FPJ. On 23 January 2004, the COMELEC dismissed SPA 04-003 for lack of merit. 3 days later, or on 26 January 2004, Fornier filed his motion for reconsideration. The motion was denied on 6 February 2004 by the COMELEC en banc. On 10 February 2004, Fornier assailed the decision of the COMELEC before the Supreme Court conformably with Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65, of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. The petition likewise prayed for a temporary restraining order, a writ of preliminary injunction or any other resolution that would stay the finality and/or execution of the COMELEC resolutions. The other petitions, later consolidated with GR 161824, would include GR 161434 and GR 161634, both challenging the jurisdiction of the COMELEC and asserting that, under Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution, only the Supreme Court had original and exclusive jurisdiction to resolve the basic issue on the case.

Issue: Whether FPJ was a natural born citizen, so as to be allowed to run for the offcie of the President of the Philippines.

Held: Section 2, Article VII, of the 1987 Constitution expresses that "No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election." The term "natural-born citizens," is defined to include

"those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship." Herein, the date, month and year of birth of FPJ appeared to be 20 August 1939 during the regime of the 1935 Constitution. Through its history, four modes of acquiring citizenship - naturalization, jus soli, res judicata and jus sanguinis – had been in vogue. Only two, i.e., jus soli and jus sanguinis, could qualify a person to being a ―natural -born‖ citizen of the Philippines. Jus soli, per Roa vs. Collector of Customs (1912), did not last long. With the adoption of the 1935 Constitution and the reversal of Roa in Tan Chong vs. Secretary of Labor (1947), jus sanguinis or blood relationship would now become the primary basis of citizenship by birth. Considering the reservations made by the parties on the veracity of some of the entries on the birth certificate of FPJ and the marriage certificate of his parents, the only conclusions that could be drawn with some degree of certainty from the documents would be that (1) The parents of FPJ were Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley; (2) FPJ was born to them on 20 August 1939; (3) Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley were married to each other on 16 September, 1940; (4) The father of Allan F. Poe was Lorenzo Poe; and (5) At the time of his death on 11 September 1954, Lorenzo Poe was 84 years old. The marriage certificate of Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley, the birth certificate of FPJ, and the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou are documents of public record in the custody of a public officer. The documents have been submitted in evidence by both contending parties during the proceedings before the COMELEC. But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that FPJ is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code. Fornier has utterly failed to substantiate his case before the Court, notwithstanding the ample opportunity given to the parties to present their position and evidence, and to prove whether or not there has been material misrepresentation, which, as so ruled in Romualdez-Marcos vs. COMELEC, must not only be material, but also deliberate and willful. The petitions were dismissed.

Mo [GR

Ya

Lim L-21289,

Yao

vs. 4

Commissioner October

of

Immigration 1971]

Facts: On 8 February 1961, Lau Yuen Yeung applied for a passport visa to enter the Philippines as a non-immigrant. In the interrogation made in connection with her application for a temporary visitor's visa to enter the Philippines, she stated that she was a Chinese residing at Kowloon, Hongkong, and that she desired to take a pleasure trip to the Philippines to visit her greatgranduncle Lau Ching Ping for a period of one month. She was permitted to come into the Philippines on 13 March 1961, and was permitted to stay for a period of one month which would expire on 13 April 1961. On the date of her arrival, Asher Y, Cheng filed a bond in the amount of P1,000.00 to undertake, among others, that said Lau Yuen Yeung would actually depart from the Philippines on or before the expiration of her authorized period of stay in this country or within the period as in his discretion the Commissioner of Immigration or his authorized representative might properly allow. After repeated extensions, Lau Yuen Yeung was allowed to stay in the Philippines up to 13 February 1962. On 25 January 1962, she contracted marriage with Moy Ya Lim Yao alias Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim an alleged Filipino citizen. Because of the contemplated action of the Commissioner of Immigration to confiscate her bond and order her arrest and immediate deportation, after the expiration of her authorized stay, she brought an action for injunction with preliminary injunction. At the hearing which took place one and a half years after her arrival, it was admitted that Lau Yuen Yeung could not write either English or Tagalog. Except for a few words, she could not speak either English or Tagalog. She could not name any Filipino neighbor, with a Filipino name except one, Rosa. She did not know the names of her brothers-in-law, or sisters-in-law. The Court of First Instance of Manila (Civil Case 49705) denied the prayer for preliminary injunction. Moya Lim Yao and Lau Yuen Yeung appealed.

Issue: Whether Lau Yuen Yeung ipso facto became a Filipino citizen upon her marriage to a Filipino citizen.

Held: Under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, an alien woman marrying a Filipino, native born or naturalized, becomes ipso facto a Filipina provided she is not disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines under Section 4 of the same law. Likewise, an alien woman married to an alien who is subsequently naturalized here follows the Philippine citizenship of her husband the moment he takes his oath as Filipino citizen, provided that she does not suffer from any of the disqualifications under said Section 4. Whether the alien woman requires to undergo the naturalization proceedings, Section 15 is a parallel provision to Section 16. Thus, if the widow of an applicant for naturalization as Filipino, who dies during the proceedings, is not required to go through a naturalization proceedings, in order to be considered as a Filipino citizen hereof, it should follow that the wife of a living Filipino cannot be denied the same privilege. This is plain common sense and there is absolutely no evidence that the Legislature intended to treat them differently. As the laws of our country, both substantive and procedural, stand today, there is no such procedure (a substitute for naturalization proceeding to enable the alien wife of a Philippine citizen to have the matter of her own citizenship settled and established so that she may not have to be called upon to prove it everytime she has to perform an act or enter into a transaction or business or exercise a right reserved only to Filipinos), but such is no proof that the citizenship is not vested as of the date of marriage or the husband's acquisition of citizenship, as the case may be, for the truth is that the situation obtains even as to native-born Filipinos. Everytime the citizenship of a person is material or indispensible in a judicial or administrative case, Whatever the corresponding court or administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is generally not considered as res adjudicata, hence it has to be threshed out again and again as the occasion may demand. Lau Yuen Yeung, was declared to have become a Filipino citizen from and by virtue of her marriage to Moy Ya Lim Yao al as Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim, a Filipino citizen of 25 January 1962.

Altajeros [GR

vs. 163256,

Commission 10

on November

Elections 2004]

Facts: Ciceron P. Altarejos was a candidate for mayor in the Municipality of San Jacinto, Masbate in the 10 May 2004 national and local elections. On 15 January 2004, Jose Almiñe Altiche and Vernon Versoza, registered voters of San Jacinto, Masbate, filed with the COMELEC, a petition to disqualify and to deny due course or cancel the certificate of candidacy of Altajeros on the ground that he is not a Filipino citizen and that he made a false representation in his certificate of candidacy that ―[he] was not a permanent resident of or immigrant to a foreign country.‖ Almiñe, et. al. alleged that based on a letter from the Bureau of Immigration dated 25 June 2001, Altajeros was a holder of a permanent U.S. resident visa, an Alien Certificate of Registration E139507 issued on 3 November 1997, and an Immigration Certificate of Residence 320846 issued on 3 November 1997 by the Bureau of Immigration. On 26 January 2004, Altajeros filed an Answer stating, among others, that he did not commit false representation in his application for candidacy as mayor because as early as 17 December 1997, he was already issued a Certificate of Repatriation by the Special Committee on Naturalization, after he filed a petition for repatriation pursuant to Republic Act 8171. Thus, Altajeros claimed that his Filipino citizenship was already restored, and he was qualified to run as mayor in the 10 May 2004 elections. Altajeros sought the dismissal of the petition.

Atty. Zacarias C. Zaragoza, Jr., regional election director for Region V and hearing officer of the case, recommended that Altarejos be disqualified from being a candidate for the position of mayor of San Jacinto, Masbate in the 10 May 2004 national and local elections; on the ground that Altajeros failed to prove that he has fully complied with requirements of Section 2 of Republic Act 8171 to perfect his repatriation and reacquire his Filipino citizenship inasmuch as he has not submitted any document to prove that he has taken his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and that he has registered his fact of repatriation in the proper civil registry and in the Bureau of Immigration. In its Resolution promulgated on 22 March 2004, the COMELEC, First Division, adopted the findings and recommendation of Director Zaragoza. On 25 March 2004, Altajeros filed a motion for reconsideration. On 7 May 2004, the COMELEC en banc promulgated a resolution denying the motion for reconsideration for utter lack of merit. On 10 May 2004, the election day itself, Altajeros filed the petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether Altajeros is eligible to run as mayor of San Jacinto, Masbate, in light of his repatriation under RA 8171.

Held: Section 2 of Republic Act 8171 provides that "Repatriation shall be effected by taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registration in the proper civil registry and in the Bureau of Immigration. The Bureau of Immigration shall thereupon cancel the pertinent alien certificate of registration and issue the certificate of identification as Filipino citizen to the repatriated citizen." The law is clear that repatriation is effected ―by taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registration in the proper civil registry and in the Bureau of Immigration.‖ Hence, in addition to taking the O ath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, the registration of the Certificate of Repatriation in the proper civil registry and the Bureau of Immigration is a prerequisite in effecting the repatriation of a citizen. Herein, Altajeros took his Oath of Allegiance on 17 December 1997, but his Certificate of Repatriation was registered with the Civil Registry of Makati City only after 6 years or on 18 February 2004, and with the Bureau of Immigration on 1 March 2004. Altajeros, therefore, completed all the requirements of repatriation only after he filed his certificate of candidacy for a mayoralty position, but before the elections. Republic Act 8171 has impliedly repealed Presidential Decree 725. They cover the same subject matter: Providing for the repatriation of Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens and of natural-born Filipinos. The Court‘s ruling in Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections that repatriation retroacts to the date of filing of one‘s application for repatriation subsists. Accordingly, Altajeros‘s repatriation retroacted to the date he filed his application in 1997. He was, therefore, qualified to run for a mayoralty position in the government in the 10 May 2004 elections. Apparently, the COMELEC was cognizant of this fact since it did not implement the assailed Resolutions disqualifying Altajeros to run as mayor of San Jacinto, Masbate. However, considering that Altajeros failed to prove before the COMELEC that he had complied with the requirements of repatriation,as he submitted the necessary documents proving compliance with the requirements of repatriation only during his motion for reconsideration, when the COMELEC en banc could no longer consider said evidence. It is, therefore, incumbent upon candidates for an elective office, who are repatriated citizens, to be ready with sufficient evidence of their repatriation in case their Filipino citizenship is questioned to prevent a repetition of the present case.

Nessia [GR 102918,

vs. 30 March

Fermin 1993]

Facts: Jose V. Nessia filed a complaint against Jesus M. Fermin and the Municipality of Victorias, Negros Occidental for recovery of damages and reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of his official duties as the then Deputy Municipal Assessor of Victorias. The complaint theorized that Fermin deliberately ignored and caused the non-payment of the vouchers in question because Nessia defied the former's request to all municipal officials to register and vote in Victorias in the 1980 local elections. In his answer with counterclaim, Fermin disputed the allegations in the complaint and countered that the claims of Nessia could not be approved because they exceeded the budgetary appropriations therefor. On its part, Victorias concurred with the arguments of Fermin, and added that Nessia was blamable for his predicament because he neither gave Fermin the justification for drawing funds in excess of the budgetary appropriations nor amended his vouchers to conform thereto. Issues having been joined, the parties presented their evidence, except for Victorias which was declared in default for non-appearance at the pre-trial conference. On 24 April 1987, judgment was rendered by the trial court in favor of Nessia. On the basis of the evidence, the trial court found that Fermin maliciously refused to act on Nessia's vouchers, bolstered by his inaction on Nessia's follow-up letters inquiring on the status thereof. Both Nessia and Fermin elevated the case to the Court of Appeals, Nessia praying for an increase in the award of moral and exemplary damages, and Fermin seeking exoneration from liability. The Municipality of Victorias did not appeal. On 19 July 1991, the appellate court dismissed Nessia's complaint on the ground of lack of cause of action because the complaint itself as well as Nessia's own testimony admitted that Fermin acted on the vouchers as may be drawn from the allegations that Fermin denied/refused the claims. Nessia appealed.

Issue: Whether the approval of certain vouchers, which are not supported by appropriations, may be compelled by mandamus.

Held: In Baldivia v. Lota, the Supreme Court dismissed on appeal the petition to compel by mandamus approval of certain vouchers, even though the disapproval was politically motivated, on the basis that respondent Mayor was bound to disapprove vouchers not supported by appropriations. In the penultimate paragraph, We made the following pronouncement, "Indeed, respondent could have, and should have, either included the claim of petitioners herein in the general budget he is bound to submit, pursuant to section 2295 of the Revised Administrative Code, or prepared a special budget for said claim, and urged the municipal council to appropriate the sum necessary therefor. In any event, if the municipal mayor fails or refuses to make the necessary appropriation, petitioners may bring an action against the municipality for the recovery of what is due them and after securing a judgment therefor, seek a writ of mandamus against the municipal council and the municipal mayor to compel the enactment and approval of the appropriation ordinance necessary therefor." Herein, this is precisely what Nessia did; he filed a collection case to establish his claim against Fermin and the Municipality of Victorias, which Nessia satisfactorily proved.

City [GR

of 107271,

Caloocan 10

vs. September

Allarde 2003]

Facts: Sometime in 1972, Marcial Samson, City Mayor of Caloocan City, through Ordinance 1749, abolished the position of Assistant City Administrator and 17 other positions from the plantilla of the local government of Caloocan. Then Assistant City Administrator Delfina Hernandez Santiago and the 17 affected employees of the City Government assailed the legality of the abolition before the then

Court of First Instance (CFI) of Caloocan City, Branch 33. In 1973, the CFI declared the abolition illegal and ordered the reinstatement of all the dismissed employees and the payment of their back salaries and other emoluments. The City Government of Caloocan appealed to the Court of Appeals. Santiago and her co-parties moved for the dismissal of the appeal for being dilatory and frivolous but the appellate court denied their motion. Thus, they elevated the case on certiorari before the Supreme Court (GR L-39288-89, Heirs of Abelardo Palomique, et al. vs. Marcial Samson, et al.) In the Supreme Court's Resolution dated 31 January 1985, it held that the appellate court "erred in not dismissing the appeal," and "that the appeal of the City Government of Caloocan was frivolous and dilatory." In due time, the resolution lapsed into finality and entry of judgment was made on 27 February 1985.

In 1986, the City Government of Caloocan paid Santiago P75,083.37 in partial payment of her backwages, thereby leaving a balance of P530,761.91. Her co-parties were paid in full. In 1987, the City of Caloocan appropriated funds for her unpaid back salaries. This was included in Supplemental Budget 3 for the fiscal year 1987. Surprisingly, however, the City later refused to release the money to Santiago. Santiago exerted effort for the execution of the remainder of the money judgment but she met stiff opposition from the City Government of Caloocan. On 12 February 1991, Judge Mauro T. Allarde, RTC of Caloocan City, Branch 123, issued a writ of execution for the payment of the remainder of Santiago‘s back salaries and other emoluments. For the second time, the City Government o f Caloocan went up to the Court of Appeals and filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction to stop the trial court from enforcing the writ of execution. The CA dismissed the petition and affirmed the order of issuance of the writ of execution. One of the issues raised and resolved therein was the extent to which back salaries and emoluments were due to respondent Santiago. The appellate court held that she was entitled to her salaries from October, 1983 to December, 1986. For the second time, the City Government of Caloocan appealed to the Supreme Court (GR 98366, City Government of Caloocan vs. Court of Appeals, et al.) The petition was dismissed, through its Resolution of 16 May 1991, for having been filed late and for failure to show any reversible error on the part of the Court of Appeals. The resolution subsequently attained finality and the corresponding entry of judgment was made on 29 July 1991.

On motion of Santiago, Judge Mauro T. Allarde ordered the issuance of an alias writ of execution on 3 March 1992. The City Government of Caloocan moved to reconsider the order, insisting in the main that Santiago was not entitled to backwages from 1983 to 1986. The lower court denied the motion and forthwith issued the alias writ of execution. Unfazed, the City Government of Caloocan filed a motion to quash the writ, maintaining that the money judgment sought to be enforced should not have included salaries and allowances for the years 1983-1986. The trial court likewise denied the motion. On 27 July 1992, Sheriff Alberto A. Castillo levied and sold at public auction one of the motor vehicles of the City Government of Caloocan (SBH-165) for P100,000. The proceeds of the sale were turned over to Santiago in partial satisfaction of her claim, thereby leaving a balance of P439,377.14, inclusive of interest. The City of Caloocan and Norma M. Abracia filed a motion questioning the validity of the auction sale of the vehicle with plate SBH-165, and a supplemental motion maintaining that the properties of the municipality were exempt from execution. In his Order dated 1 October 1992, Judge Allarde denied both motions and directed the sheriff to levy and schedule at public auction three more vehicles of the City of Caloocan. All the vehicles, including that previously sold in the auction sale, were owned by the City and assigned for the use of Norma Abracia, Division Superintendent of Caloocan City, and other officials of the Division of City Schools.

Meanwhile, the City Government of Caloocan sought clarification from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on whether Santiago was considered to have rendered services from 1983-1986 as to be entitled to backwages for that period. In its Resolution 91-1124, the

CSC ruled in the negative. On 22 November 1991, Santiago challenged the CSC resolution before the Supreme Court (GR 102625, Santiago vs. Sto. Tomas, et al.) On 8 July 1993, the Supreme Court initially dismissed the petition for lack of merit; however, it reconsidered the dismissal of the petition in its Resolution dated 1 August 1995, this time ruling in favor of Santiago, holding that CSC Resolution 91-1124 could not set aside what had been judicially decided with finality.

On 5 October 1992, the City Council of Caloocan passed Ordinance 0134, Series of 1992, which included the amount of P439,377.14 claimed by respondent Santiago as back salaries, plus interest. Pursuant to the subject ordinance, Judge Allarde issued an order dated 10 November 1992, decreeing that the City Treasurer (of Caloocan), Norberto Azarcon be ordered to deliver to the Court within 5 days from receipt, (a) manager‘s check covering the amount of P439,378.00 representing the back salaries of Delfina H. Santiago in accordance with Ordinance 0134 S. 1992 and pursuant to the final and executory decision in these cases. Then Caloocan Mayor Macario A. Asistio, Jr., however, refused to sign the check intended as payment for Santiago‘s claims. This, despite the fact that he was one of the signatories of the ordinance authorizing such payment. On 29 April 1993, Judge Allarde issued another order directing the Acting City Mayor of Caloocan, Reynaldo O. Malonzo, to sign the check which had been pending before the Office of the Mayor since 11 December 1992. Acting City Mayor Malonzo informed the trial court that "he could not comply with the order since the subject check was not formally turned over to him by the City Mayor" who went on official leave of absence on 15 April 1993, and that "he doubted whether he had authority to sign the same." Thus, in an order dated 7 May 1993, Judge Allarde ordered Sheriff Alberto A. Castillo to immediately garnish the funds of the City Government of Caloocan corresponding to the claim of Santiago. On the same day, Sheriff Alberto A. Castillo served a copy of the Notice of Garnishment on the Philippine National Bank (PNB), Sangandaan Branch, Caloocan City. When PNB immediately notified the City of Caloocan of the Notice of Garnishment, the City Treasurer sent a letter-advice informing PNB that the order of garnishment was "illegal," with a warning that it would hold PNB liable for any damages which may be caused by the withholding of the funds of the city. PNB opted to comply with the order of Judge Allarde and released to the Sheriff a manager‘s check amounting to P439,378. After 21 long years, the claim of Santiago was finally settled in full.

On 4 June 1993, however, while the present petition was pending, the City Government of Caloocan filed yet another motion with the Supreme Court, a Motion to Declare in Contempt of Court; to Set Aside the Garnishment and Administrative Complaint against Judge Allarde, Santiago and PNB. Subsequently, the City Government of Caloocan filed a Supplemental Petition formally impleading PNB as a party-respondent in this case. The petition for certiorari is directed this time against the validity of the garnishment of the funds of the City of Caloocan, as well as the validity of the levy and sale of the motor vehicles belonging to the City of Caloocan.

Issue: Whether the funds of City of Caloocan, in PNB, may be garnished (i.e. exempt from execution), to satisfy Santiago‘s claim.

Held: Garnishment is considered a specie of attachment by means of which the plaintiff seeks to subject to his claim property of the defendant in the hands of a third person, or money owed by such third person or garnishee to the defendant. The rule is and has always been that all government funds deposited in the PNB or any other official depositary of the Philippine Government by any of its agencies or instrumentalities, whether by general or special deposit, remain government funds and may not be subject to garnishment or levy, in the absence of a corresponding appropriation as required by law. Even though the rule as to immunity of a state from suit is relaxed, the power of the courts ends when the judgment is rendered. Although the liability of the state has been judicially ascertained, the state is at liberty to determine for itself whether to pay the judgment or not, and execution cannot issue on a judgment against the

state. Such statutes do not authorize a seizure of state property to satisfy judgments recovered, and only convey an implication that the legislature will recognize such judgment as final and make provision for the satisfaction thereof. The rule is based on obvious considerations of public policy. The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law. However, the rule is not absolute and admits of a well-defined exception, that is, when there is a corresponding appropriation as required by law. Otherwise stated, the rule on the immunity of public funds from seizure or garnishment does not apply where the funds sought to be levied under execution are already allocated by law specifically for the satisfaction of the money judgment against the government. In such a case, the monetary judgment may be legally enforced by judicial processes. Herein, the City Council of Caloocan already approved and passed Ordinance 0134, Series of 1992, allocating the amount of P439,377.14 for Santiago‘s back salaries plus interest. This case, thus, fell squarely within the exception. For all intents and purposes, Ordinance 0134, Series of 1992, was the "corresponding appropriation as required by law." The sum indicated in the ordinance for Santiago were deemed automatically segregated from the other budgetary allocations of the City of Caloocan and earmarked solely for the City‘s monetary obligation to her. The judgment of the trial court could then be validly enforced against such funds.

Ocampo [GR

vs.

House 158466,

of 15

Representatives June

Electoral

Tribunal 2004]

Facts: On 23 May 2001, the Manila City Board of Canvassers proclaimed Mario B. Crespo, a.k.a. Mark Jimenez, the duly elected Congressman of the 6th District of Manila pursuant to the 14 May 2001 elections. He was credited with 32,097 votes or a margin of 768 votes over Pablo V. Ocampo who obtained 31,329 votes. On 31 May 2001, Ocampo filed with the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) an electoral protest against Crespo, impugning the election in 807 precincts in the 6th District of Manila on the following grounds: (1) misreading of votes garnered by Ocampo; (2) falsification of election returns; (3) substitution of election returns; (4) use of marked, spurious, fake and stray ballots; and (5) presence of ballots written by one person or two persons (HRET Case 01024). Ocampo prayed that a revision and appreciation of the ballots in the 807 contested precincts be conducted; and that, thereafter, he be proclaimed the duly elected Congressman of the 6th District of Manila. On 18 June 2001, Crespo filed his answer with counterprotest5 vehemently denying that he engaged in massive vote buying. After the preliminary conference between the parties on 12 July 2001, the HRET issued a Resolution6 limiting the issues to: first, whether massive vote-buying was committed by Crespo; and second, whether Ocampo can be proclaimed the duly elected Representative of the 6th District of Manila. Meanwhile, on 6 March 2003, the HRET, in HRET Cases 01-020 (Bienvenido Abante & Prudencio Jalandoni vs. Mario Crespo), and 01-023 (Rosenda Ann M. Ocampo vs. Mario Crespo), issued Resolutions declaring that Crespo is "ineligible for the Office of Representative of Sixth District of Manila for lack of residence in the district" and ordering "him to vacate his office." Crespo filed a motion for reconsideration therein but was denied. On 12 March 2003, Ocampo filed a motion to implement Section 6 of Republic Act 6646. On 26 March 2003, Crespo filed an opposition to Ocampo‘s motion to implement the said provision. On 27 March 2003, the HRET issued a Resolution holding that Cr espo was guilty of vote-buying and disqualifying him as Congressman of the 6th District of Manila. Anent the second issue of whether Ocampo can be proclaimed the duly elected Congressman, the HRET held that a second placer cannot be proclaimed the first among the remaining qualified candidates,a nd thus held the Ocampo cannot be proclaimed as the duly elected representative of the Sixth

legislative District of Manila. Ocampo filed a partial motion for reconsideration but was denied. Ocampo filed the petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court.

Issue:

Whether

Ocampo

may

be

proclaimed

the

winner

after

Crespo

was

disqualified

by

the

HRET.

Held: Section 6 of RA 6646 and section 72 of the Omnibus Election Code require a final judgment before the election for the votes of a disqualified candidate to be considered "stray." Hence, when a candidate has not yet been disqualified by final judgment during the election day and was voted for, the votes cast in his favor cannot be declared stray. To do so would amount to disenfranchising the electorate in whom sovereignty resides. The obvious rationale behind the foregoing ruling is that in voting for a candidate who has not been disqualified by final judgment during the election day, the people voted for him bona fide, without any intention to misapply their franchise, and in the honest belief that the candidate was then qualified to be the person to whom they would entrust the exercise of the powers of government. Herein, Crespo was declared disqualified almost 22 months after the 14 May 2001 elections. Obviously, the requirement of "final judgment before election" is absent. On the other hand, subsequent disqualification of a candidate who obtained the highest number of votes does not entitle the candidate who garnered the second highest number of votes to be declared the winner. This principle has been reiterated in a number the Court's decisions, such as Labo, Jr. vs. COMELEC, Abella vs. COMELEC, Benito vs. COMELEC and Domino vs. COMELEC. As a matter of fact, even as early as 1912, it was held that the candidate who lost in an election cannot be proclaimed the winner in the event that the candidate who won is found to be ineligible for the office for which he was elected. In Geronimo vs. Ramos, if the winning candidate is not qualified and cannot qualify for the office to which he was elected, a permanent vacancy is thus created. The second placer is just that, a second placer – he lost in the elections, he was repudiated by either the majority or plurality of voters. He could not be proclaimed winner as he could not be considered the first among the qualified candidates. To rule otherwise is to misconstrue the nature of the democratic electroral process and the sociological and psychological underpinnings behind voters‘ preferences. At any rate, the petition has become moot and academic. The Twelfth Congress formal ly adjourned on 11 June 2004. And on 17 May 2004, the City Board of Canvassers proclaimed Bienvenido Abante the duly elected Congressman of the Sixth District of Manila pursuant to the 10 May 2004 elections.

Pamatong [GR

vs. 161872,

Commission 13

on April

Elections 2004]

Facts: Rev. Elly Velez Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy for President on 17 December 2003. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) refused to give due course to Pamatong‘s Certificate of Candidacy in its Resolution 6558 dated 17 January 2004. The decision, however, was not unanimous since Commissioners Luzviminda G. Tancangco and Mehol K. Sadain voted to include Pamatong as they believed he had parties or movements to back up his candidacy. On 15 January 2004, Pamatong moved for reconsideration of Resolution 6558. The COMELEC, acting on Pamatong‘s Motion for Reconsideration (SPP [MP] 04 -001) and on similar motions filed by other aspirants for national elective positions, denied the same under the aegis of Omnibus Resolution 6604 dated 11 February 2004. The COMELEC declared Pamatong and 35 others nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not supported by a registered political party with a national constituency.

Commissioner Sadain maintained his vote for Pamatong. By then, Commissioner Tancangco had retired. Pamatong filed the Petition For Writ of Certiorari, seeking to reverse the resolutions which were allegedly rendered in violation of his right to "equal access to opportunities for public service" under Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, by limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties. In so doing, Pamatong argues that the COMELEC indirectly amended the constitutional provisions on the electoral process and limited the power of the sovereign people to choose their leaders. The COMELEC supposedly erred in disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates, i.e., he possesses all the constitutional and legal qualifications for the office of the president, he is capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous national organizations under his leadership, he also has the capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other countries, and he has a platform of government. Pamatong likewise attacks the validity of the form for the Certificate of Candidacy prepared by the COMELEC. Pamatong claims that the form does not provide clear and reasonable guidelines for determining the qualifications of candidates since it does not ask for the candidate‘s bi o-data and his program of government.

Issue: Whether there is a constitutional right to run for or hold public office and, particularly, to seek the presidency.

Held: There is no constitutional right to run for or hold public office and, particularly, to seek the presidency. What is recognized is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. Section 26, Article II of the Constitution neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right. There is nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort. The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution, entitled "Declaration of Principles and State Policies." The provisions under the Article are generally considered not self-executing, and there is no plausible reason for according a different treatment to the "equal access" provision. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II, the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action. The disregard of the provision does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts. An inquiry into the intent of the framers5 produces the same determination that the provision is not self-executory. The original wording of the present Section 26, Article II had read, "The State shall broaden opportunities to public office and prohibit public dynasties." Commissioner (now Chief Justice) Hilario Davide, Jr. successfully brought forth an amendment that changed the word "broaden" to the phrase "ensure equal access," and the substitution of the word "office" to "service." The provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many people as possible into public office. The approval of the "Davide amendment" indicates the design of the framers to cast the provision as simply enunciatory of a desired policy objective and not reflective of the imposition of a clear State burden. Moreover, the provision as written leaves much to be desired if it is to be regarded as the source of positive rights. It is difficult to interpret the clause as operative in the absence of legislation since its effective means and reach are not properly defined. Broadly written, the myriad of claims that can be subsumed under this rubric appear to be entirely open-ended. Words and phrases such as "equal access," "opportunities," and "public service" are susceptible to countless interpretations owing to their inherent impreciseness. Certainly, it was not the intention of the framers to inflict on the people an operative but amorphous foundation from which innately unenforceable rights may be sourced. The privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. Some valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates" and COMELEC Resolution 645210 dated 10 December 2002 outlining the instances wherein the COMELEC may motu proprio refuse to give due course to or cancel a Certificate of Candidacy. As long as the limitations apply to

everybody equally without discrimination, however, the equal access clause is not violated. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by any one who is minded to file a certificate of candidacy. Herein, there is no showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create.

Calalang [GR 47800, 2

vs. December

Williams 1940]

Facts: The National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of 17 July 1940, resolved to recommend to the Director of Public Works and to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from passing along Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmariñas Street, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Echague Street, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., from a period of one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic. The Chairman of the National Traffic Commission, on 18 July 1940, recommended to the Director of Public Works the adoption of the measure proposed in the resolution, in pursuance of the provisions of Commonwealth Act 548, which authorizes said Director of Public Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, to promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and control the use of and traffic on national roads. On 2 August 1940, the Director of Public Works, in his first indorsement to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, recommended to the latter the approval of the recommendation made by the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission, with the modification that the closing of Rizal Avenue to traffic to animal-drawn vehicles be limited to the portion thereof extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Azcarraga Street. On 10 August 1940, the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, in his second indorsement addressed to the Director of Public Works, approved the recommendation of the latter that Rosario Street and Rizal Avenue be closed to traffic of animal-drawn vehicles, between the points and during the hours as indicated, for a period of 1 year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic. The Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of Police of Manila have enforced and caused to be enforced the rules and regulations thus adopted. Maximo Calalang, in his capacity as a private citizen and as a taxpayer of Manila, brought before the Supreme court the petition for a writ of prohibition against A. D. Williams, as Chairman of the National Traffic Commission; Vicente Fragante, as Director of Public Works; Sergio Bayan, as Acting Secretary of Public Works and Communications; Eulogio Rodriguez, as Mayor of the City of Manila; and Juan Dominguez, as Acting Chief of Police of Manila.

Issue: Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the Director of Public Works infringe upon the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people.

Held: The promotion of social justice is to be achieved not through a mistaken sympathy towards any given group. Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy," but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-

constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex. Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about "the greatest good to the greatest number."

Simon [GR

vs. 100150,

Commission 5

on

Human January

Rights 1994]

Facts: A "Demolition Notice," dated 9 July 1990, signed by Carlos Quimpo in his capacity as an Executive Officer of the Quezon City Integrated Hawkers Management Council under the Office of the City Mayor, was sent to, and received by, the Roque Fermo, et. al. (being the officers and members of the North Edsa Vendors Association, Incorporated). In said notice, Fermo, et. al. were given a grace-period of 3 days (up to 12 July 1990) within which to vacate the premises of North EDSA. Prior to their receipt of the demolition notice, Fermo, et. al. were informed by Quimpo that their stalls should be removed to give way to the "People's Park". On 12 July 1990, the group, led by their President Roque Fermo, filed a letter-complaint (Pinag-samang Sinumpaang Salaysay) with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) against Brigido R. Simon, Carlos Quimpo, Carlito Abelardo, and Generoso Ocampo, asking the late CHR Chairman Mary Concepcion Bautista for a letter to be addressed to then Mayor Simon of Quezon City to stop the demolition of Fermo, et. al.'s stalls, sari-sari stores, and carinderia along North EDSA (CHR Case 90-1580). On 23 July 1990, the CHR issued an Order, directing Simon, et. al. "to desist from demolishing the stalls and shanties at North EDSA pending resolution of the vendors/squatters' complaint before the Commission" and ordering Simon, et. al. to appear before the CHR. On the basis of the sworn statements submitted by Fermo, et. al. on 31 July 1990, as well as CHR's own ocular inspection, and convinced that on 28 July 1990 Simon, et. al. carried out the demolition of Fermo, et. al.'s stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia, the CHR, in its resolution of 1 August 1990, ordered the disbursement of financial assistance of not more than P200,000.00 in favor of Fermo, et. al. to purchase light housing materials and food under the Commission's supervision and again directed Simon, et. al. to "desist from further demolition, with the warning that violation of said order would lead to a citation for contempt and arrest." A motion to dismiss, dated 10 September 1990, questioned CHR's jurisdiction. During the 12 September 1990 hearing, Simon, et. al. moved for postponement, arguing that the motion to dismiss set for 21 September 1990 had yet to be resolved, and likewise manifested that they would bring the case to the courts. In an Order, dated 25 September 1990, the CHR cited Simon, et. al. in contempt for carrying out the demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia despite the "order to desist", and it imposed a fine of P500.00 on each of them. On 1 March 1991, the CHR issued an Order, denying Simon, et.al.'s motion to dismiss and supplemental motion to dismiss. In an Order, dated 25 April 1991, Simon, et. al.'s motion for reconsideration was denied. Simon, et. al. filed the petition for prohibition, with prayer for a restraining order and preliminary injunction, questioning the extent of the authority and power of the CHR, and praying that the CHR be prohibited from further hearing and investigating CHR Case 90 —1580, entitled "Fermo, et al. vs. Quimpo, et al."

Issue: Whether the CHR has the power to issue the ―order to desist‖ against the demolition of Fermo, et. al.‘s stalls, and to cite Mayor Simon, et. al. for contempt for proceeding to demolish said stalls despite the CHR order.

Held: Section 18, Article XIII, of the 1987 Constitution, is a provision empowering the Commission on Human Rights to "investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights." Recalling the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, it is readily apparent that the delegates envisioned a Commission on Human Rights that would focus its attention to the more severe cases of human rights violations; such areas as the "(1) protection of rights of political detainees, (2) treatment of prisoners and the prevention of tortures, (3) fair and public trials, (4) cases of disappearances, (5) salvagings and hamletting, and (6) other crimes committed against the religious." While the enumeration has not likely been meant to have any preclusive effect, more than just expressing a statement of priority, it is, nonetheless, significant for the tone it has set. In any event, the delegates did not apparently take comfort in peremptorily making a conclusive delineation of the CHR's scope of investigatorial jurisdiction. They have thus seen it fit to resolve, instead, that "Congress may provide for other cases of violations of human rights that should fall within the authority of the Commission, taking into account its recommendation." Herein, there is no cavil that what are sought to be demolished are the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia, as well as temporary shanties, erected by Fermo, at. al. on a land which is planned to be developed into a "People's Park." More than that, the land adjoins the North EDSA of Quezon City which, the Court can take judicial notice of, is a busy national highway. The consequent danger to life and limb is thus to be likewise simply ignored. It is indeed paradoxical that a right which is claimed to have been violated is one that cannot, in the first place, even be invoked, if its is not, in fact, extant. Be that as it may, looking at the standards vis-a-vis the circumstances obtaining herein, the Court not prepared to conclude that the order for the demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia of Fermo, et. al. can fall within the compartment of "human rights violations involving civil and political rights" intended by the Constitution. On its contempt powers, the CHR is constitutionally authorized to "adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court." Accordingly, the CHR acted within its authority in providing in its revised rules, its power "to cite or hold any person in direct or indirect contempt, and to impose the appropriate penalties in accordance with the procedure and sanctions provided for in the Rules of Court." That power to cite for contempt, however, should be understood to apply only to violations of its adopted operational guidelines and rules of procedure essential to carry out its investigatorial powers. To exemplify, the power to cite for contempt could be exercised against persons who refuse to cooperate with the said body, or who unduly withhold relevant information, or who decline to honor summons, and the like, in pursuing its investigative work. The "order to desist" (a semantic interplay for a restraining order) herein, however, is not investigatorial in character but prescinds from an adjudicative power that it does not possess. As held in Export Processing Zone Authority vs. Commission on Human Rights, "The constitutional provision directing the CHR to 'provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection' may not be construed to confer jurisdiction on the Commission to issue a restraining order or writ of injunction for, it that were the intention, the Constitution would have expressly said so. 'Jurisdiction is conferred only by the Constitution or by law'. It is never derived by implication. Evidently, the 'preventive measures and legal aid services' mentioned in the Constitution refer to extrajudicial and judicial remedies (including a writ of preliminary injunction) which the CHR may seek from the proper courts on behalf of the victims of human rights violations. Not being a court of justice, the CHR itself has no jurisdiction to issue the writ, for a writ of preliminary injunction may only be issued `by the judge of any court in which the action is pending [within his district], or by a Justice of the Court of Appeals, or of the Supreme Court. A writ of preliminary injunction is an ancillary remedy. It is available only in a pending principal action, for the preservation or protection of the rights and interests of a party thereto, and for no other purpose."

Professional [GR

Regulation 14681,

Commission 21

(PRC)

vs. June

de

Guzman 2004]

Facts: Arlene V. De Guzman, Violeta V. Meneses, Celerina S. Navarro, Jose Ramoncito P. Navarro, Arnel V. Herrera And Geraldine Elizabeth M. Pagilagan, Elnora R. Raqueno, Marissa A. Regodon, Laura M. Santos, Karangalan D. Serrano, Danilo A. Villaver, Maria Rosario L. Leonor, Alicia S. Lizano, Maritel M. Echiverri, Bernadette T. Mendoza, Fernando F. Mandapat, Aleli A. Gollayan, Elcin C. Arriola, Herminigilda E. Conejos, Sally B. Bunagan, Rogelio B. Ancheta, Oscar H. Padua, Jr., Evelyn D. Grajo, Evelyn S. Acosta, Margarita Belinda L. Vicencio, Valentino P. Arboleda, Evelyn O. Ramos, Achilles J. Peralta, Corazon M. Cruz, Leuvina P. Chico, Joseph A. Jao, Ma. Luisa S. Gutierrez, Lydia C. Chan, Ophelia C. Hidalgo, Fernando T. Cruz, Melvin M. Usita, Rafael I. Tolentino, Grace E. Uy, Cheryl R. Triguero, Michael L. Serrano, Federico L. Castillo, Melita J. Cañedo, Samuel B. Bangoy, Bernardita B. Sy, Gloria T. Jularbal, Frederick D. Francisco, Carlos M. Bernardo, Jr., Hubert S. Nazareno, Clarissa B. Baclig, Dayminda G. Bontuyan, Bernadette H. Cabuhat, Nancy J. Chavez, Mario D. Cuaresma, Ernesto L. Cue, Evelyn C. Cundangan, Rhoneil R. Deveraturda, Derileen D. Dorado, Saibzur N. Edding, Violeta C. Felipe, Herminio V. Fernandez, Jr., Maria Victoria M. Lacsamana, Norma G. Lafavilla, Ruby B. Lantin, Ma. Eloisa Q. Mallari, Clarisa Sj. Nicolas, Percival H. Pangilinan, Arnulfo A. Salvador, Robert B. Sanchez, Merly D. Sta. Ana and Yolanda P. Unica are all graduates of the Fatima College of Medicine, Valenzuela City, Metro Manila. They passed the Physician Licensure Examination conducted in February 1993 by the Board of Medicine (Board). Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) then released their names as successful examinees in the medical licensure examination. Shortly thereafter, the Board observed that the grades of the 79 successful examinees from Fatima College in the two most difficult subjects in the medical licensure exam, Biochemistry (Bio-Chem) and Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-Gyne), were unusually and exceptionally high. 11 Fatima examinees scored 100% in Bio-Chem and 10 got 100% in OB-Gyne, another 11 got 99% in Bio-Chem, and 21 scored 99% in OB-Gyne. The Board also observed that many of those who passed from Fatima got marks of 95% or better in both subjects, and no one got a mark lower than 90%. A comparison of the performances of the candidates from other schools was made. The Board observed that strangely, the unusually high ratings were true only for Fatima College examinees. It was a record-breaking phenomenon in the history of the Physician Licensure Examination. On 7 June 1993, the Board issued Resolution 19, withholding the registration as physicians of all the examinees from the Fatima College of Medicine. The PRC asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate whether any anomaly or irregularity marred the February 1993 Physician Licensure Examination. Prior to the NBI investigation, the Board requested Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J., an expert mathematician and authority in statistics, and later president of the Ateneo de Manila University, to conduct a statistical analysis of the results in Bio-Chem and Ob-Gyne of the said examination. On 10 June 1993, Fr. Nebres submitted his report. He reported that a comparison of the scores in Bio-Chem and ObGyne, of the Fatima College examinees with those of examinees from De La Salle University and Perpetual Help College of Medicine showed that the scores of Fatima College examinees were not only incredibly high but unusually clustered close to each other. He concluded that there must be some unusual reason creating the clustering of scores in the two subjects. It must be a cause "strong enough to eliminate the normal variations that one should expect from the examinees of Fatima College in terms of talent, effort, energy, etc." For its part, the NBI found that "the questionable passing rate of Fatima examinees in the [1993] Physician Examination leads to the conclusion that the Fatima examinees gained early access to the test questions." On 5 July 1993, Arlene V. De Guzman, Violeta V. Meneses, Celerina S. Navarro, Jose Ramoncito P. Navarro, Arnel V. Herrera, and Geraldine Elizabeth M. Pagilagan filed a special civil action for mandamus, with prayer for preliminary mandatory injunction (Civil Case 93-66530) with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 52. Their petition was adopted by the other respondents as intervenors. Meanwhile, the Board issued

Resolution 26, dated 21 July 1993, charging de Guzman, et. al. with "immorality, dishonest conduct, fraud, and deceit" in connection with the Bio-Chem and Ob-Gyne examinations. It recommended that the test results of the Fatima examinees be nullified (Adminstrative Case 1687) by the PRC. On 28 July 1993, the RTC issued an Order in Civil Case 93-66530 granting the preliminary mandatory injunction sought by de Guzman, et. al.. It ordered PRC, etc. to administer the physician‘s oath to De Guzman et al ., and enter their names in the rolls of the PRC. PRC, etc/ then filed a special civil action for certiorari with the Court of Appeals to set aside the mandatory injunctive writ (CA-GR SP 31701). On 21 October 1993, the appellate court granted the petition, nullifying the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction issued by the lower court against PRC, etc. De Guzman, et al., then elevated the foregoing Decision to the Supreme Court in GR 112315. In the Supreme Court's Resolution dated 23 May 1994, it denied the petition for failure to show reversible error on the part of the appellate court.

Meanwhile, on 22 November 1993, during the pendency of the above petition, the pre-trial conference in Civil Case 93-66530 was held. Then, the parties, agreed to reduce the testimonies of their respective witnesses to sworn questions-and-answers. This was without prejudice to cross-examination by the opposing counsel.

On 13 December 1993, PRC‘s counsel failed to appear at the trial in the mistaken belief that the trial was set for December 15. The trial court then ruled that PRC, etc. waived their right to cross-examine the witnesses. On 27 January 1994, counsel for PRC, etc. filed a Manifestation and Motion stating the reasons for her non-appearance and praying that the cross-examination of the witnesses for the opposing parties be reset. The trial court denied the motion for lack of notice to adverse counsel. It also denied the Motion for Reconsideration that followed on the ground that adverse counsel was notified less than 3 days prior to the hearing. Meanwhile, to prevent the PRC and the Board from proceeding with Administrative Case 1687, De Guzman, et. al. moved for the issuance of a restraining order, which the lower court granted in its Order dated 4 April 1994. PRC, etc. then filed with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari (GR 115704), to annul the Orders of the trial court dated 13 November 1993, 28 February 1994, and 4 April 1994. The Supreme Court referred the petition to the Court of Appeals (CA-GR SP 34506). On 31 August 1994, the appellate court granted the petition for certiorari, and thus allowing the PRC, etc. to present their evidence in due course of trial, and thereafter to decide the case on the merits on the basis of the evidence of the parties. The trial was then set and notices were sent to the parties. A day before the first hearing, on 22 September 1994, PRC, etc. filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Manifestation and Motion praying for the partial reconsideration of the appellate court‘s decision in CA-GR SP 34506, for the outright dismissal of Civil Case 93-66530, and for the suspension of the proceedings. In its Order dated 23 September 1994, the trial court granted the aforesaid motion, cancelled the scheduled hearing dates, and reset the proceedings to October 21 and 28, 1994. Meanwhile, on 25 October 1994, the Court of Appeals denied the partial motion for reconsideration in CA-GR SP 34506. Thus, PRC, etc. filed with the Supreme Court a petition for review (GR 117817, entitled Professional Regulation Commission, et al. v. Court of Appeals, et al.)

On 11 November 1994, PRC's counsel failed to appear at the trial of Civil Case 93-66530. Upon motion of De Guzman, et. al., the trial court ruled that PRC, etc. waived their right to cross-examine De Guzman, et. al. Trial was reset to 28 November 1994. On 25 November 1994, PRC‘s counsel moved for the inhibition of the trial court judge for alleged partiality. On 28 November 1994, t he day the Motion to Inhibit was to be heard, PRC, etc. failed to appear. Thus, the trial court denied the Motion to Inhibit and declared Civil Case 93-66530 deemed submitted for decision. On 19 December 1994, the trial court handed down its judgment in Civil Case 9366530 in favor of De Guzman, et. al., ordering the PRC to allow De Guzman, e t. al. to take the physician‘s oath and to register them as

physicians.

As a result of these developments, PRC, etc. filed with the Supreme Court a petition for review on certiorari (GR 118437, entitled Professional Regulation Commission v. Hon. David G. Nitafan), praying inter alia, that (1) GR 118437 be consolidated with GR 117817; (2) the decision of the Court of Appeals dated 31 August 1994 in CA-GR SP 34506 be nullified for its failure to decree the dismissal of Civil Case 93-66530, and in the alternative, to set aside the decision of the trial court in Civil Case 93-66530, order the trial court judge to inhibit himself, and Civil Case 93-66530 be re-raffled to another branch.

On 26 December 1994, PRC, etc. filed their Notice of Appeal in Civil Case 93-66530, thereby elevating the case to the Court of Appeals (CA-GR SP 37283).

Meanwhile, in the Supreme Court's Resolution of 7 June 1995, GR 118437 was consolidated with GR 117817. On 9 July 1998, the Court disposed of GRs 117817 and 118437 by dismissing them for being moot. The petition in GR 118437 was likewise dismissed on the ground that there is a pending appeal before the Court of Appeals.

While CA-GR SP 37283 was awaiting disposition by the appellate court, Arnel V. Herrera, one of the original petitioners in Civil Case 93-66530, joined by 27 intervenors, manifested that they were no longer interested in proceeding with the case and moved for its dismissal. A similar manifestation and motion was later filed by 22 other intervenors. The Court of Appeals ruled that its decision in CAGR SP 37283 would not apply to them. On 16 May 2000, the Court of Appeals decided CA-GR SP 37283, affirming the decision of the lower court and dismissing the appeal. PRC, etc. filed the petition for review, seeking to nullify the 16 May 2000 decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR SP 37283.

Issue: Whether De Guzman, et. al. may compel the PRC, etc. to administer them the Hippocratic oath, even in light of unusually high scores acquired by the examinees from Fatima College.

Held: A careful reading of Section 20 of the Medical Act of 1959 discloses that the law uses the word "shall" with respect to the issuance of certificates of registration. Thus, PRC, etc. "shall sign and issue certificates of registration to those who have satisfactorily complied with the requirements of the Board." In statutory construction the term "shall" is a word of command. It is given imperative meaning. Thus, when an examinee satisfies the requirements for the grant of his physician‘s license, the Board is obliged to administer to him his oath and register him as a physician, pursuant to Section 20 and par. (1) of Section 2225 of the Medical Act of 1959. However, the surrounding circumstances in the present case call for serious inquiry concerning the satisfactory compliance with the Board requirements by De Guzman, et. al. The unusually high scores in the two most difficult subjects was phenomenal, according to Fr. Nebres, the consultant of PRC on the matter, and raised grave doubts about the integrity, if not validity, of the tests. Under the second paragraph of Section 22, the Board is vested with the power to conduct administrative investigations and "disapprove applications for examination or registration," pursuant to the objectives of RA 2382 as outlined in Section 126 thereof. Herein, after the investigation, the Board filed before the PRC, Adminstrative Case 1687 against De Guzman, et. al. to ascertain their moral and mental fitness to practice medicine, as required by Section 927 of RA 2382. Further, Section 830 of RA 2382 prescribes, among others, that a person who aspires to practice medicine in the Philippines, must have "satisfactorily passed the corresponding Board Examination."

Section 22, in turn, provides that the oath may only be administered "to physicians who qualified in the examinations." The operative word here is "satisfactorily," defined as "sufficient to meet a condition or obligation" or "capable of dispelling doubt or ignorance." Gleaned from Board Resolution 26, the licensing authority apparently did not find that De Guzman, et. al. "satisfactorily passed" the licensure examinations. The Board instead sought to nullify the examination results obtained by the latter. Thus, while it is true that this Court has upheld the constitutional right of every citizen to select a profession or course of study subject to a fair, reasonable, and equitable admission and academic requirements; like all rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter, their exercise may be so regulated pursuant to the police power of the State to safeguard health, morals, peace, education, order, safety, and general welfare of the people. Thus, persons who desire to engage in the learned professions requiring scientific or technical knowledge may be required to take an examination as a prerequisite to engaging in their chosen careers. This regulation takes particular pertinence in the field of medicine, to protect the public from the potentially deadly effects of incompetence and ignorance among those who would practice medicine. It must be stressed, nevertheless, that the power to regulate the exercise of a profession or pursuit of an occupation cannot be exercised by the State or its agents in an arbitrary, despotic, or oppressive manner. A political body that regulates the exercise of a particular privilege has the authority to both forbid and grant such privilege in accordance with certain conditions. Such conditions may not, however, require giving up ones constitutional rights as a condition to acquiring the license. Under the view that the legislature cannot validly bestow an arbitrary power to grant or refuse a license on a public agency or officer, courts will generally strike down license legislation that vests in public officials discretion to grant or refuse a license to carry on some ordinarily lawful business, profession, or activity without prescribing definite rules and conditions for the guidance of said officials in the exercise of their power. Herein, the guidelines are provided for in RA 2382, as amended, which prescribes the requirements for admission to the practice of medicine, the qualifications of candidates for the board examinations, the scope and conduct of the examinations, the grounds for denying the issuance of a physician‘s license, or revoking a license that has been issued. Verily, to be granted the privilege to practice medicine, the applicant must show that he possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications. Furthermore, it must appear that he has fully complied with all the conditions and requirements imposed by the law and the licensing authority. Should doubt taint or mar the compliance as being less than satisfactory, then the privilege will not issue. For said privilege is distinguishable from a matter of right, which may be demanded if denied. Thus, without a definite showing that the requirements and conditions have been satisfactorily met, the courts may not grant the writ of mandamus to secure said privilege without thwarting the legislative will.

Social [GR

Security

System 85279,

Employees

Association 28

(SSSEA)

vs. July

Court

of

Appeals 1989]

Facts: On 9 June 1987, the officers and members of Social Security System Employees Association (SSSEA) staged a strike and barricaded the entrances to the SSS Building, preventing non-striking employees from reporting for work and SSS members from transacting business with the SSS. The SSSEA went on strike after the SSS failed to act on the union's demands, which included: implementation of the provisions of the old SSS-SSSEA collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on check-off of union dues; payment of accrued overtime pay, night differential pay and holiday pay; conversion of temporary or contractual employees with 6 months or more of service into regular and permanent employees and their entitlement to the same salaries, allowances and benefits given to other regular employees of the SSS; and payment of the children's allowance of P30.00, and after the SSS deducted certain amounts from the salaries of the employees and allegedly committed acts of discrimination and unfair labor practices. The strike was reported by the

Social Security System (SSS) to the Public Sector Labor-Management Council, which ordered the strikers to return to work. The strikers refused to return to work. On 11 June 1987, the SSS filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a complaint for damages with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction against the SSSEA, Dionisio T. Baylon, Ramon Modesto, Juanito Madura, Reuben Zamora, Virgilio De Alday, Sergio Araneta, Placido Agustin, and Virgilio Magpayo, praying that a writ of preliminary injunction be issued to enjoin the strike and that the strikers be ordered to return to work; that SSSEA, et. al. be ordered to pay damages; and that the strike be declared illegal. On 11 June 1987, the RTC issued a temporary restraining order pending resolution of the application for a writ of preliminary injunction. In the meantime, the SSSEA, et. al. filed a motion to dismiss alleging the trial court's lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. On 22 July 1987, the court a quo denied the motion to dismiss and converted the restraining order into an injunction upon posting of a bond, after finding that the strike was illegal. As the SSSEA's motion for the reconsideration of the order was also denied on 14 August 1988, SSSEA ,et. al. filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction before the Supreme Court (GR 79577). In a resolution dated 21 October 1987, the Court, through the Third Division, resolved to refer the case to the Court of Appeals. SSSEA, et. al. filed a motion for reconsideration thereof, but during its pendency the Court of Appeals on 9 March 1988 promulgated its decision on the referred case. SSSEA, et. al. moved to recall the Court of Appeals' decision. In the meantime, the Court on 29 June 1988 denied the motion for reconsideration in GR 97577 for being moot and academic. SSSEA, et. al.'s motion to recall the decision of the Court of Appeals was also denied in view of the Supreme Court's denial of the motion for reconsideration. SSSEA filed the petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals.

Issue:

Whether

SSS

employees,

in

furtherance

of

labor

interests,

may

conduct

a

strike.

Held: The 1987 Constitution, in the Article on Social Justice and Human Rights (Art. XIII, Sec. 3), provides that the State "shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law." By itself, this provision would seem to recognize the right of all workers and employees, including those in the public sector, to strike. But the Constitution itself fails to expressly confirm this impression, for in the Sub-Article on the Civil Service Commission, it provides, after defining the scope of the civil service as "all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters," that "the right to self-organization shall not be denied to government employees." Parenthetically, the Bill of Rights also provides that "the right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not abridged" [Art. III, Sec. 8]. Thus, while there is no question that the Constitution recognizes the right of government employees to organize, it is silent as to whether such recognition also includes the right to strike. Resort to the intent of the framers of the organic law becomes helpful in understanding the meaning of these provisions. A reading of the proceedings of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution would show that in recognizing the right of government employees to organize, the commissioners intended to limit the right to the formation of unions or associations only, without including the right to strike. Statutorily, it will be recalled that the Industrial Peace Act (CA 875), which was repealed by the Labor Code (PD 442) in 1974, expressly banned strikes by employees in the Government, including instrumentalities exercising governmental functions, but excluding entities entrusted with proprietary functions. Understandably, the Labor Code is silent as to whether or not government employees may strike, for such are excluded from its coverage. But then the Civil Service Decree (PD 807), is equally silent on the matter. Thus, on 1 June 1987, to implement the constitutional guarantee of the right of government employees to organize, the President issued EO 180 which provides guidelines for the exercise of the right to organize of government employees. In Section 14 thereof, it is provided that

"the Civil Service law and rules governing concerted activities and strikes in the government service shall be observed, subject to any legislation that may be enacted by Congress." The President was apparently referring to Memorandum Circular No. 6, series of 1987 of the Civil Service Commission under date 12 April 1987 which, "prior to the enactment by Congress of applicable laws concerning strike by government employees enjoins under pain of administrative sanctions, all government officers and employees from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves, walk-outs and other forms of mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public service." The air was thus cleared of the confusion. At present, in the absence of any legislation allowing government employees to strike, recognizing their right to do so, or regulating the exercise of the right, they are prohibited from striking, by express provision of Memorandum Circular 6 and as implied in EO 180. The Court is of the considered view that the SSS employees are covered by the prohibition against strikes. Considering that under the 1987 Constitution "the civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters" and that the SSS is one such government-controlled corporation with an original charter, having been created under RA 1161, its employees are part of the civil service and are covered by the Civil Service Commission's memorandum prohibiting strikes. This being the case, the strike staged by the employees of the SSS was illegal. In fine, government employees may through their unions or associations, either petition the Congress for the betterment of the terms and conditions of employment which are within the ambit of legislation or negotiate with the appropriate government agencies for the improvement of those which are not fixed by law. If there be any unresolved grievances, the dispute may be referred to the Public Sector Labor-Management Council for appropriate action. But employees in the civil service may not resort to strikes, walkouts and other temporary work stoppages, like workers in the private sector, to pressure the Government to accede to their demands. As now provided under Sec. 4, Rule III of the Rules and Regulations to Govern the Exercise of the Right of Government Employees to Self-Organization, which took effect after the present dispute arose, "the terms and conditions of employment in the government, including any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof and government-owned and controlled corporations with original charters are governed by law and employees therein shall not strike for the purpose of securing changes thereof."

De [GR

Jesus 109023,

vs. 12

Commission August

on

Audit 1998]

Facts: Rodolfo S. de Jesus, Edelwina de Parungao, Venus M. Pozon are employees of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). Prior to 1 July 1989, they were receiving honoraria as designated members of the LWUA Board Secretariat and the PreQualification, Bids and Awards Committee. On 1 July 1989, Republic Act 6758, entitled "An Act Prescribing A Revised Compensation and Position Classification System in the Government and For Other Purposes", took effect. Section 12 of said law provides for the consolidation of allowances and additional compensation into standardized salary rates. Certain additional compensations, however, were exempted from consolidation. Section 12 (Consolidation of Allowances and Compensation), RA 6758, provides that "Allowances, except for representation and transportation allowances; clothing and laundry allowances; subsistence allowance of marine officers and allowances on board government vessels and hospital personnel; hazard pay; allowances of foreign services personnel stationed abroad; and such other additional compensation not otherwise specified herein as may be determined by the DBM, shall be deemed included in the standardized salary rates herein prescribed. Such other additional compensation, whether in cash or in kind, being

received by incumbents as of July 1, 1989 not integrated into the standardized salary rates shall continue to be authorized." To implement RA 6758, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued Corporate Compensation Circular 10 (DBM-CCC 10), discontinuing without qualification effective 1 November 1989, all allowances and fringe benefits granted on top of basic salary. Paragraph 5.6 of DBM-CCC 10 provided that "Payment of other allowances/fringe benefits and all other forms of compensation granted on top of basic salary, whether in cash or in kind . . . shall be discontinued effective 1 November 1989. Payment made for such allowances/fringe benefits after said date shall be considered as illegal disbursement of public funds." Pursuant to the said Law and Circular, Leonardo Jamoralin, as corporate auditor, disallowed on post audit, the payment of honoraria to de Jesus, et. al. Aggrieved, De Jesus, et. al. appealed to the Commission on Audit (COA), questioning the validity and enforceability of DBM-CCC 10. More specifically, they contend that DBM-CCC 10 is inconsistent with the provisions of RA 6758 (the law it is supposed to implement) and, therefore, void. And it is without force and effect because it was not published in the Official Gazette; they stressed. In its decision dated 29 January 1993, the COA upheld the validity and effectivity of DBM-CCC 10 and sanctioned the disallowance of De Jesus, et. al.'s honoraria. Undaunted, De Jesus, et. al. filed the petition with the Supreme Court.

Issue:

Whether

DBM-CCC

10

is

legally

effective

despite

its

lack

of

publication

in

the

Official

Gazette.

Held: Publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines is sine qua non to the effectiveness or enforceability of DBM-CCC 10. The applicable provision of law requiring publication in the Official Gazette is found in Article 2 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, which reads: "Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication." In Tanada v. Tuvera, 146 SCRA 453,454, the Court succinctly construed the cited provision of law in point, holding that "all statutes including those of local application and private laws, shall be published as a condition for their for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after publication unless a different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature. Covered by this rule are presidential decrees and executive orders promulgated by the President in the exercise of legislative powers wherever the same are validly delegated by the legislature or, at present, directly conferred by the Constitution. Administrative rules and regulations must also be published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation. Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating only the personnel of the administrative agency and not the public, need not be published. Neither is publication required of the so-called letters of instructions issued by administrative superiors concerning the rules or guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the performance of their duties. Accordingly, even the charter of a city must be published notwithstanding that it applies to only a portion of the national territory and directly affects only the inhabitants of that place. All presidential decrees must be published, including even, say, those naming a public place after a favored individual or exempting him from certain prohibitions or requirements. The circulars issued by the Monetary Board must be published if they are meant not merely to interpret but to 'fill in the details' of the Central Bank Act with that body is supposed to enforce." Herein, on the need for publication of subject DBM-CCC 10, publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines is required since DBM-CCC 10 is in the nature of an administrative circular the purpose of which is to enforce or implement an existing law. Stated differently, to be effective and enforceable, DBM-CCC No. must go through the requisite publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines. It is decisively clear that DBM-CCC 10, which completely disallows payment of allowances and other additional compensation to government officials and employees, starting 1 November 1989, is not a mere interpretative or internal regulation. It is something more than that as it tends to deprive government workers of their allowances and additional compensation

sorely needed to keep body and soul together. At the very least, before the said circular may be permitted to substantially reduce their income, the government officials and employees concerned should be apprised and alerted by the publication of subject circular in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines — to the end that they be given amplest opportunity to voice out whatever opposition they may have, and to ventilate their stance on the matter. This approach is more in keeping with democratic precepts and rudiments of fairness and transparency.

Roe [410 * Blackmun (J): (not 3 concur, 3 US 113, applicable concurred in

vs. 22 in separate opinions, 2 January the dissented in separate

Wade 1973] Philippines) opinions

Facts: Jane Roe (pseudonym), a single woman who was residing in Dallas County, Texas, instituted the federal action in March 1970 against the District Attorney of the county. She sought a declaratory judgment that the Texas criminal abortion statutes were unconstitutional on their face, and an injunction restraining the defendant from enforcing the statutes. Roe alleged that she was unmarried and pregnant; that she wished to terminate her pregnancy by an abortion "performed by a competent, licensed physician, under safe, clinical conditions"; that she was unable to get a "legal" abortion in Texas because her life did not appear to be threatened by the continuation of her pregnancy; and that she could not afford to travel to another jurisdiction in order to secure a legal abortion under safe conditions. She claimed that the Texas statutes were unconstitutionally vague and that they abridged her right of personal privacy, protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. By an amendment to her complaint Roe purported to sue "on behalf of herself and all other women" similarly situated. James Hubert Hallford, a licensed physician, sought and was granted leave to intervene in Roe's action. In his complaint he alleged that he had been arrested previously for violations of the Texas abortion statutes and that two such prosecutions were pending against him. He described conditions of patients who came to him seeking abortions, and he claimed that for many cases he, as a physician, was unable to determine whether they fell within or outside the exception recognized by Article 1196. He alleged that, as a consequence, the statutes were vague and uncertain, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and that they violated his own and his patients' rights to privacy in the doctor-patient relationship and his own right to practice medicine, rights he claimed were guaranteed by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. John and Mary Doe (pseudonyms), a married couple, filed a companion complaint to that of Roe. They also named the District Attorney as defendant, claimed like constitutional deprivations, and sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The Does alleged that they were a childless couple; that Mrs. Doe was suffering from a "neural-chemical" disorder; that her physician had "advised her to avoid pregnancy until such time as her condition has materially improved" (although a pregnancy at the present time would not present "a serious risk" to her life); that, pursuant to medical advice, she had discontinued use of birth control pills; and that if she should become pregnant, she would want to terminate the pregnancy by an abortion performed by a competent, licensed physician under safe, clinical conditions. By an amendment to their complaint, the Does purported to sue "on behalf of themselves and all couples similarly situated." The two actions were consolidated and heard together by a duly convened three-judge district court. The suits thus presented the situations of the pregnant single woman, the childless couple, with the wife not pregnant, and the licensed practicing physician, all joining in the attack on the Texas criminal abortion statutes. Upon the filing of affidavits, motions were made for dismissal and for

summary judgment. The court held that Roe and members of her class, and Dr. Hallford, had standing to sue and presented justiciable controversies, but that the Does had failed to allege facts sufficient to state a present controversy and did not have standing. It concluded that, with respect to the requests for a declaratory judgment, abstention was not warranted. On the merits, the District Court held that the "fundamental right of single women and married persons to choose whether to have children is protected by the Ninth Amendment, through the Fourteenth Amendment," and that the Texas criminal abortion statutes were void on their face because they were both unconstitutionally vague and constituted an overbroad infringement of Roe, et. al.'s Ninth Amendment rights. The court then held that abstention was warranted with respect to the requests for an injunction. It therefore dismissed the Does' complaint, declared the abortion statutes void, and dismissed the application for injunctive relief. Roe and Doe and the intervenor Hallford, appealed to the US Supreme Court from that part of the District Court's judgment denying the injunction. The District Attorney has purported to crossappeal from the court's grant of declaratory relief to Roe and Hallford. Both sides also have taken protective appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. That court ordered the appeals held in abeyance pending decision in the US Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether the pregnant woman has the right to terminate her pregnancy, on the basis of her right to privacy.

Held: Three reasons have been advanced to explain historically the enactment of criminal abortion laws in the 19th century and to justify their continued existence: (1) these laws were the product of a Victorian social concern to discourage illicit sexual conduct; (2) abortion being a medical procedure, where a State's real concern in enacting a criminal abortion law was to protect the pregnant woman, i.e. to restrain her from submitting to a procedure that placed her life in serious jeopardy; and (3) the State's interest - some phrase it in terms of duty - in protecting prenatal life. The last justification rests on the theory that a new human life is present from the moment of conception. The State's interest and general obligation to protect life then extends to prenatal life. Only when the life of the pregnant mother herself is at stake, balanced against the life she carries within her, should the interest of the embryo or fetus not prevail. Logically, of course, a legitimate state interest in this area need not stand or fall on acceptance of the belief that life begins at conception or at some other point prior to live birth. In assessing the State's interest, recognition may be given to the less rigid claim that as long as at least potential life is involved, the State may assert interests beyond the protection of the pregnant woman alone. On the other hand, parties challenging state abortion laws have sharply disputed the contention that a purpose of these laws, when enacted, was to protect prenatal life. Pointing to the absence of legislative history to support the contention, they claim that most state laws were designed solely to protect the woman. Because medical advances have lessened this concern, at least with respect to abortion in early pregnancy, they argue that with respect to such abortions the laws can no longer be justified by any state interest. There is some scholarly support for this view of original purpose. The few state courts called upon to interpret their laws in the late 19th and early 20th centuries did focus on the State's interest in protecting the woman's health rather than in preserving the embryo and fetus. Proponents of this view point out that in many States, including Texas, by statute or judicial interpretation, the pregnant woman herself could not be prosecuted for self-abortion or for cooperating in an abortion performed upon her by another. They claim that adoption of the "quickening" distinction through received common law and state statutes tacitly recognizes the greater health hazards inherent in late abortion and impliedly repudiates the theory that life begins at conception.

The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. This right of privacy, whether it

be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action or in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. The detriment that the State would impose upon the pregnant woman by denying this choice altogether is apparent. Specific and direct harm medically diagnosable even in early pregnancy may be involved. Maternity, or additional offspring, may force upon the woman a distressful life and future. Psychological harm may be imminent. Mental and physical health may be taxed by child care. There is also the distress, for all concerned, associated with the unwanted child, and there is the problem of bringing a child into a family already unable, psychologically and otherwise, to care for it. In other cases, the additional difficulties and continuing stigma of unwed motherhood may be involved. All these are factors the woman and her responsible physician necessarily will consider in consultation. The US Supreme Court , therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation. Federal and state courts that have recently considered abortion law challenges have reached the same conclusion. Although the results are divided, most of these courts have agreed that the right of privacy, however based, is broad enough to cover the abortion decision; that the right, nonetheless, is not absolute and is subject to some limitations; and that at some point the state interests as to protection of health, medical standards, and prenatal life, become dominant. Where certain "fundamental rights" are involved, the Court has held that regulation limiting these rights may be justified only by a "compelling state interest," and that legislative enactments must be narrowly drawn to express only the legitimate state interests at stake.

La [GR

Bugal-B'Laan 127882,

Tribal 2

Association December

vs.

Ramos 2004]

Facts: The Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus before the Court challenges the constitutionality of (1) Republic Act 7942 (The Philippine Mining Act of 1995); (2) its Implementing Rules and Regulations (DENR Administrative Order [DAO] 96-40); and (3) the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) dated 30 March 1995, executed by the government with Western Mining Corporation (Philippines), Inc. (WMCP). On 27 January 2004, the Court en banc promulgated its Decision, granting the Petition and declaring the unconstitutionality of certain provisions of RA 7942, DAO 96-40, as well as of the entire FTAA executed between the government and WMCP, mainly on the finding that FTAAs are service contracts prohibited by the 1987 Constitution. The Decision struck down the subject FTAA for being similar to service contracts,[9] which, though permitted under the 1973 Constitution, were subsequently denounced for being antithetical to the principle of sovereignty over our natural resources, because they allowed foreign control over the exploitation of our natural resources, to the prejudice of the Filipino nation. The Decision quoted several legal scholars and authors who had criticized service contracts for, inter alia, vesting in the foreign contractor exclusive management and control of the enterprise, including operation of the field in the event petroleum was discovered; control of production, expansion and development; nearly unfettered control over the disposition and sale of the products discovered/extracted; effective ownership of the natural resource at the point of extraction; and beneficial ownership of our economic resources. According to the Decision, the 1987 Constitution (Section 2 of Article XII) effectively banned such service contracts. Subsequently, Victor O. Ramos (Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR]), Horacio Ramos (Director, Mines and Geosciences Bureau [MGB-DENR]), Ruben Torres (Executive Secretary), and the WMC (Philippines) Inc. filed separate Motions for Reconsideration.

Issue: Whether the Court has a role in the exercise of the power of control over the EDU of our natural resources

Held: The Chief Executive is the official constitutionally mandated to ―enter into agreements with foreign owned corporations.‖ On the other hand, Congress may review the action of the President once it is notif ied of ―every contract entered into in accordance with this [constitutional] provision within thirty days from its execution.‖ In contrast to this express mandate of the President and C ongress in the exploration, development and utilization (EDU) of natural resources, Article XII of the Constitution is silent on the role of the judiciary. However, should the President and/or Congress gravely abuse their discretion in this regard, the courts may -- in a proper case -exercise their residual duty under Article VIII. Clearly then, the judiciary should not inordinately interfere in the exercise of this presidential power of control over the EDU of our natural resources.

Under the doctrine of separation of powers and due respect for co-equal and coordinate branches of government, the Court must restrain itself from intruding into policy matters and must allow the President and Congress maximum discretion in using the resources of our country and in securing the assistance of foreign groups to eradicate the grinding poverty of our people and answer their cry for viable employment opportunities in the country. ―The judiciary is loath to interfere with the due exercise by coequal branche s of government of their official functions.‖ As aptly spelled out seven decades ago by Justice George Malcolm, ―Just as the Supreme Court, as the guardian of constitutional rights, should not sanction usurpations by any other department of government, so should it as strictly confine its own sphere of influence to the powers express ly or by implication conferred on it by the Organic Act.‖ Let the development of the mining industry be the responsibility of the political branches of government. And let not the Court interfere inordinately and unnecessarily. The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the land. It is the repository of all the aspirations and hopes of all the people.

The Constitution should be read in broad, life-giving strokes. It should not be used to strangulate economic growth or to serve narrow, parochial interests. Rather, it should be construed to grant the President and Congress sufficient discretion and reasonable leeway to enable them to attract foreign investments and expertise, as well as to secure for our people and our posterity the blessings of prosperity and peace. The Court fully sympathize with the plight of La Bugal B‘laan and other tribal groups, and commend thei r efforts to uplift their communities. However, the Court cannot justify the invalidation of an otherwise constitutional statute along with its implementing rules, or the nullification of an otherwise legal and binding FTAA contract. The Court believes that it is not unconstitutional to allow a wide degree of discretion to the Chief Executive, given the nature and complexity of such agreements, the humongous amounts of capital and financing required for large-scale mining operations, the complicated technology needed, and the intricacies of international trade, coupled with the State‘s need to maintain flexibility in its dealings, i n order to preserve and enhance our country‘s competitiveness in world markets. On the basis of this control standard, the Court upholds the constitutionalit y of the Philippine Mining Law, its Implementing Rules and Regulations -- insofar as they relate to financial and technical agreements -- as well as the subject Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA).

Jaworski [GR

vs.

Philippine 144463,

Amusement 14

and

Gaming

Corporation January

(PAGCOR) 2004]

Facts: PAGCOR is a government owned and controlled corporation existing under PD 1869, issued on 11 July 1983 by then President Ferdinand Marcos. The PAGCOR was granted, subject to the terms and conditions established in the Decree, for a period of 25 years,

renewable for another 25 years, the rights, privileges and authority to operate and maintain gambling casinos, clubs, and other recreation or amusement places, sports, gaming pools, i.e. basketball, football, lotteries, etc. whether on land or sea, within the territorial jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines. On 31 March 1998, PAGCOR‘s board of directors approved an instrument denominated as "Grant of Authority and Agreement for the Operation of Sports Betting and Internet Gaming", which granted SAGE the authority to operate and maintain Sports Betting station in PAGCOR‘s casino locations, and Internet Gaming facilities to service local and international bettors, provided that to the satisfaction of PAGCOR, appropriate safeguards and procedures are established to ensure the integrity and fairness of the games. On 1 September 1998, PAGCOR, represented by its Chairperson, Alicia Ll. Reyes, and SAGE, represented by its Chairman of the Board, Henry Sy, Jr., and its President, Antonio D. Lacdao, executed the document. Pursuant to the authority granted by PAGCOR, SAGE commenced its operations by conducting gambling on the Internet on a trial-run basis, making pre-paid cards and redemption of winnings available at various Bingo Bonanza outlets. Senator Robert S. Jaworski, in his capacity as member of the Senate and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, files the petition for certiorari and prohibition, praying that the grant of authority by PAGCOR in favor of SAGE be nullified. He maintains that PAGCOR committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it authorized SAGE to operate gambling on the internet. He contends that PAGCOR is not authorized under its legislative franchise, P.D. 1869, to operate gambling on the internet for the simple reason that the said decree could not have possibly contemplated internet gambling since at the time of its enactment the internet was yet inexistent and gambling activities were confined exclusively to real-space. Further, he argues that the internet, being an international network of computers, necessarily transcends the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines, and the grant to SAGE of authority to operate internet gambling contravenes the limitation in PAGCOR‘s franchise.

Issue: Whether PAGCOR‘s legislative franchise include the right to vest another entity, SAGE, with the authority to operate Internet gambling.

Held: A legislative franchise is a special privilege granted by the state to corporations. It is a privilege of public concern which cannot be exercised at will and pleasure, but should be reserved for public control and administration, either by the government directly, or by public agents, under such conditions and regulations as the government may impose on them in the interest of the public. It is Congress that prescribes the conditions on which the grant of the franchise may be made. Thus the manner of granting the franchise, to whom it may be granted, the mode of conducting the business, the charter and the quality of the service to be rendered and the duty of the grantee to the public in exercising the franchise are almost always defined in clear and unequivocal language. Herein, PAGCOR has acted beyond the limits of its authority when it passed on or shared its franchise to SAGE. While PAGCOR is allowed under its charter to enter into operator‘s and/or management contracts, it is not allowed under the same charter to relinquish or share its franchise, much less grant a veritable franchise to another entity such as SAGE. PAGCOR can not delegate its power in view of the legal principle of delegata potestas delegare non potest, inasmuch as there is nothing in the charter to show that it has been expressly authorized to do so.

Conference [GR

of

Maritime

Manning 114714,

Agencies

vs.

Philippine 21

Overseas

Employment April

Administration

(POEA) 1995]

Facts: Governing Board Resolution 1, issued on 14 January 1994, amended and increased the compensation and other benefits as

specified under Part. II, Section C, paragraph 1 and Section L, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Standard Employment Contract for Seafarers, providing therein that "In case of death of the seamen during the term of his Contract, the employer shall pay his beneficiaries the Philippine Currency equivalent to the amount of US$50,000 and an additional amount of US$7,000 to each child under the age of 21 but not exceeding four children at the exchange rate prevailing during the time of payment. Where the death is caused by warlike activity while sailing within a declared warzone or war risk area, the compensation payable shall be doubled. The employer shall undertake appropriate warzone insurance coverage for this purpose." It also provided that "The maximum rate provided under Appendix I-A shall likewise be adjusted to US$50,000 regardless of rank and position of the seafarer"; that "Upon effectivity, the new compensation and other benefits herein provided shall apply to any Filipino seafarer on board any vessel, provided, that the cause of action occurs after this Resolution takes effect"; and that the "Resolution shall take effect after sixty (60) days from publication in a newspaper of general circulation." Memorandum Circular 5, issued on 19 January 1994, by POEA Administrator Felicisimo Joson and addressed to all Filipino seafarers, manning agencies, shipowners, managers and principals hiring Filipino seafarers, informed them that Governing Board Resolution 1 adjusted the rates of compensation and other benefits in Part II, Section C, paragraph 1; Section L, paragraphs 1 and 2; and Appendix 1-A of the POEA Standard Employment Contracts for Seafarers, which adjustments took effect on 20 March 1994, and that "Upon effectivity, the new compensation and other benefits . . . shall apply to any Filipino seafarer already on-board any vessel, provided, that the cause of action occurs after the said compensation and benefits take effect." The Tripartite Technical Working Group mentioned in the Resolution, was convened on 7 January 1994. The Conference of Maritime Manning Agencies, Inc., and incorporated association of licensed Filipino manning agencies, and its co-petitioners, all licensed manning agencies which hire and recruit Filipino seamen for and in behalf of their respective foreign shipowner-principals, filed the petition to annul Resolution 1, series of 1994, of the Governing Board of the POEA Memorandum Circular 5, series of 1994, on the grounds that: (1) The POEA does not have the power and authority to fix and promulgate rates affecting death and workmen's compensation of Filipino seamen working in ocean-going vessels; only Congress can; (2) Even granting that the POEA has that power, it, nevertheless, violated the standards for its exercise; (3) The resolution and the memorandum circular are unconstitutional because they violate the equal protection and non-impairment of obligation of contracts clauses of the Constitution; and (4) The resolution and the memorandum circular are not valid acts of the Governing Board because the private sector representative mandated by the law has not been appointed by the President since the creation of the POEA.

Issue: Whether the issuance of the challenged resolution and memorandum circular was a valid exercise of the POEA's rule-making authority or power of subordinate legislation.

Held: The constitutional challenge of the rule-making power of the POEA based on impermissible delegation of legislative power had been brushed aside by the Supreme Court in Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. vs. POEA. The authority to issue the regulation is clearly provided in Section 4(a) of Executive Order 797, which provides that "The governing Board of the Administration (POEA), as hereunder provided, shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to govern the exercise of the adjudicatory functions of the Administration (POEA)." Therein, it was held that similar authorization had been granted the National Seamen Board, which had itself prescribed a standard shipping contract substantially the same as the format adopted by the POEA. The principle of non-delegation of powers is applicable to all the three major powers of the Government but is especially important in the case of the legislative power because of the many instances when its delegation is permitted. The occasions are rare when executive or judicial powers have to be delegated by the authorities to which they legally pertain. In the case of legislative power, however, such occasions have become the

rule and its non-delegation the exception. The reason is the increasing complexity of the task of government and the growing inability of the legislature to cope directly with the myriad problems demanding its attention. The growth of society has ramified its activities and created peculiar and sophisticated problems that the legislature cannot be expected reasonably to comprehend. Specialization even in legislation has become necessary. To many of the problems attendant upon present-day undertakings, the legislature may not have the competence to provide the required direct and efficacious, not to say, specific solutions. These solutions may, however, be expected from its delegates, who are supposed to be experts in the particular fields assigned to them. The reason given for the delegation of legislative powers in general are particularly applicable to administrative bodies. With the proliferation of specialized activities and their attendant peculiar problems, the national legislature has found it more and more necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue to carry out the general provisions of the statute. This is called the "power of subordinate legislation." With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in a statute by "filing in" the details which the Congress may not have opportunity or competence to provide. This is effected by their promulgation of what are known as supplementary regulations. These regulations have the force and effect of law. Memorandum Circular 2 is one such administrative regulation. The power of the POEA (and before it the National Seamen Board) in requiring the model contract is not unlimited as there is a sufficient standard guiding the delegate in the exercise of the said authority. That standard is discoverable in the executive order itself which, in creating the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, mandated it to protect the rights of overseas Filipino workers to "fair and equitable employment practices." Thus, while the making of laws is a non-delegable power that pertains exclusively to Congress, nevertheless, the latter may constitutionally delegate the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given legislation and effectuate its policies, for the reason that the legislature finds it impracticable, if not impossible, to anticipate situations that may be met in carrying the law into effect. All that is required is that the regulation should be germane to the objects and purposes of the law; that the regulation be not in contradiction to but in conformity with the standards prescribed by the law. This is the principle of subordinate legislation which was discussed by the Court in People vs. Rosenthal and in Pangasinan Transportation vs. Public Service Commission. The Memorandum, strictly conforming to the sufficient and valid standard of "fair and equitable employment practices" prescribed in EO 797 can no longer be disputed.

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