This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
: Article XI of our present 1987 Constitution provides: ARTICLE XI Accountability of Public Officers SECTION 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. SECTION 2. The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment. SECTION 3. (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such
referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. (6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. (7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment according to law. (8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Following the above-quoted Section 8 of Article XI of the Constitution, the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment
Proceedings (House Impeachment Rules) on November 28, 2001, superseding the previous House Impeachment Rules approved by the 11th Congress. The relevant distinctions between these two Congresses' House Impeachment Rules are shown in the following tabulation:
all the Members of the House.
impeachment proceedings against such official are deemed
initiated on the day the Committee on Justice 12TH CONGRESS NEW RULES
11TH CONGRESS RULES
finds that the verified complaint and/or
RULE II INITIATING IMPEACHMENT Section 2. Mode of Initiating Impeachment. –
RULE V BAR INITIATION IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE SAME OFFICIAL Section Impeachment Proceedings Initiated. – Deemed In cases 16. – AGAINST OF
resolution against such official, as the case may be, is sufficient in
substance, or on the date the House votes to overturn or affirm the finding of the that said the
Impeachment shall be initiated only by a
and/or resolution, as the case may be, is not sufficient in substance. In cases where a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment is filed or endorsed, as the case may be, by at least onethird (1/3) of the
verified complaint for impeachment filed by any Member of the House of
where a Member of the House files a verified complaint impeachment or of a
Representatives or by any citizen upon a of by any
citizen files a verified complaint that is
Member thereof or by a verified complaint or resolution of
endorsed by a Member of the House through a resolution of
Members of the House, impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated at the time of
impeachment filed by at least one-third (1/3) of
endorsement against an impeachable officer,
such or of
On June 2, 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 this Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes." The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Rolex T. Suplico, Ronaldo B. Zamora and Didagen Piang Dilangalen, and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5, 2003 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution House Committee on Justice: first impeachment complaint was "sufficient in form," but
9 8 7 6 5
impeachment with the Secretary General.
RULE V BAR AGAINST
Section 17. Bar Against Initiation Impeachment Proceedings. – Within a period of one (1) year Of
voted to dismiss the same on October 22, 2003 for being insufficient in substance. To date, the Committee Report to this effect has not yet been sent to the House in plenary in accordance with the said Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. Four months and three weeks since the filing of the first complaint, a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it, the second impeachment complaint
IMPEACHMENT Section 14. Scope of Bar. – No impeachment proceedings initiated shall be the
impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated as provided in Section 16 hereof, no impeachment proceedings, as such,
Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr and Felix William B. Fuentebella against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. This second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a "Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House of Representatives.
same official more than once within the period of one (1) year.
can be initiated against the same official. (Italics in the original; emphasis and supplied) underscoring
Instant 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." In G.R. No. 160261, petitioner Atty. Ernesto B. Francisco, Jr., alleging that he has a duty as a
HREP adopted a Resolution, sponsored by Representative Felix William D. Fuentebella, 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)."
member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to use all available legal remedies to stop an unconstitutional impeachment, that the issues raised in his petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus are of transcendental importance, and that he "himself was a victim of the capricious and arbitrary changes in the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings introduced by the 12th Congress," posits that his right to bring an impeachment complaint against then Ombudsman Aniano Desierto had been violated due to the capricious and
43 language of the document itself in our search for its meaning. The words of the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the intent of its framers. . When they adopted subsection 2. this Court has sifted and determined them to be as follows: (1) the threshold and novel issue of whether or not the power of judicial review extends to those arising from impeachment proceedings. Finally. if not willed. 7. to comply with Article IX. They are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. to return the second impeachment complaint and/or strike it off the records of the House of Representatives. and 9 thereof be declared unconstitutional. if by any reasonable construction. (3) and (5) of the Constitution. to be considered alone. the words used in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. Sections bearing on a particular subject should be considered and interpreted together as to effectuate the whole purpose of the Constitution and one section is not to be allowed to defeat another. that is. but that is where we begin. Section 3 (2). verba legis. the two can be made to stand together. and to promulgate rules which are consistent with the Constitution.arbitrary changes in the House Impeachment Rules adopted and approved on November 28. Sections 5. in order to construe the whole as to make the words consonant to that reason and calculated to effect that purpose. These matters shall now be discussed in seriatim. (2) whether or not the essential prerequisites for the exercise of the power of judicial review have been fulfilled. The object is to ascertain the reason which induced the framers of the Constitution to enact the particular provision and the purpose sought to be accomplished thereby. and the evils. It is to be assumed that the words in which constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained. [T]he members of the Constitutional Convention could not have dedicated a provision of our Constitution merely for the benefit of one person without considering that it could also affect others. where there is ambiguity. that said provision should function to the full extent of its substance and its terms. 39 The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental principle of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it should be given effect. al. 8. this Court must necessarily turn to the Constitution itself which employs the well-settled principles of constitutional construction. A doubtful provision will be examined in the light of the history of the times. and (3) the substantive issues yet remaining. but that all the provisions bearing upon a particular subject are to be brought into view and to be so interpreted as to effectuate the great purposes of the instrument. First. and (3) this Court permanently enjoin respondent House of Representatives from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint. 6. 2001 by the House of Representatives and prays that (1) Rule V. The Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole. in construing a Constitution. sought to be prevented or remedied. ut magis valeat quam pereat. they permitted. it being essential for the rule of law to obtain that it should ever be present in the people's consciousness. 4 It is a well-established rule in constitutional construction that no one provision of the Constitution is to be separated from all the others. (2) this Court issue a writ of mandamus directing respondents House of Representatives et. should bear in mind the object sought to be accomplished by its adoption. its language as much as possible should be understood in the sense they have in common use. and the condition and circumstances under which the Constitution was framed. In resolving the intricate conflux of preliminary and substantive issues arising from the instant petitions as well as the myriad arguments and opinions presented for and against the grant of the reliefs prayed for. wherever possible. We do not of course stop there. if any. We look to the Second. Sections 16 and 17 and Rule III. but in conjunction with all other provisions of that great document. To determine the merits of the issues raised in the instant petitions. As the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer's document. not by itself alone. The Court. ratio legis est anima.
if there is also present some other ground upon which the case may be disposed of. . enunciated by US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis in Ashwander v. The Court will not 'formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied. however. nonadversary proceeding. TVA 135 as follows: . the other a question of statutory construction or general law. Thus. Mellon. In Massachusetts v. earnest and vital controversy between individuals. and as indicating the reasons for their votes. the Court will decide FRAMEWORK FOR CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION Judicial Restraint More than being clothed with authority thus. the plain meaning of the word is not found to be clear. Appeals from the highest court of a state challenging its decision of a question under the Federal Constitution are frequently dismissed because the judgment can be sustained on an independent state ground. The Court will not pass upon the validity of a statute upon complaint of one who fails to show that he is injured by its operation. even if it is vexatious. Hughes. it is a solemn duty which may not be renounced. Among the many applications of this rule. While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the constitutional convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution. rather than one which may make the words idle and nugatory. and must lean in favor of a construction which will render every word operative. resort to other aids is available. The Court will not 'anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding it. 5 In the august words of amicus curiae Father Bernas.' . this Court is duty-bound to take cognizance of the instant petitions. the court must harmonize them. This rule has found most varied application. one involving a constitutional question. a party beaten in the legislature could transfer to the courts an inquiry as to the constitutionality of the legislative act. and as a necessity in the determination of real. ." "Seven pillars" of limitations of the power of judicial review . by means of a If. declining because to decide such questions 'is legitimate only in the last resort. "jurisdiction is not just a power.In other words. 'It is not the habit of the Court to decide questions of a constitutional nature unless absolutely necessary to a decision of the case. the challenge by a public official interested only in the performance of his official duty will not be entertained . 127 only the latter. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of legislation in a friendly. the Court affirmed the dismissal of a suit brought by a citizen who sought to have the Nineteenth Amendment declared unconstitutional. 5. In Fairchild v. Thus. much less of the mass of our fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the force of fundamental law. To renounce it. . It never was the thought that. Debates in the constitutional convention "are of value as showing the views of the individual members. none is more striking than the denial of the right of challenge to one who lacks a personal or property right. if practicable. 46 friendly suit. resort thereto may be had only when other guides fail as said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear.' 2. but they give us no light as to the views of the large majority who did not talk. 45 1. if a case can be decided on either of two grounds. We think it safer to construe the constitution from what appears upon its face. the challenge of the federal Maternity Act was not entertained although made by the Commonwealth on behalf of all its citizens. would be a dereliction of duty.' 3.' 4." The proper interpretation therefore depends more on how it was understood by the people adopting it than in the framers's understanding thereof. The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although properly presented by the record. .
can be encapsulated into the following categories: 1. actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power 6 . that judgment may not be sustained on some other ground 4. When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question. 2. that the Court upholds the presumption of constitutionality.6. the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge. summarized in Ashwander v. the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity 4. 7. that there be absolute necessity of deciding a case 2. direct injury as a result of its enforcement 3. he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained. TVA from different decisions of the United States Supreme Court. the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. parallel guidelines have been adopted by this Court in the exercise of judicial review: 1. that there be actual injury sustained by the party by reason of the operation of the statute 5. or will sustain. 136 The foregoing "pillars" of limitation of judicial review. and even if a serious doubt of constitutionality is raised. that the parties are not in estoppel 6. that rules of constitutional law shall be formulated only as required by the facts of the case 3. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute at the instance of one who has availed himself of its benefits. it is a cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided (citations omitted). As stated previously.
providing that the amendments to the Constitution proposed in the aforementioned Resolutions No. must be held under such conditions — which. B. 4913. R.R. in which proposals for amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted for ratification. propose amendment and call a convention — at the same time. 1967 — will be chosen. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. G. Article VI. 2. vs.: The main facts are not disputed.J. 1967 Congress passed Republic Act No. pursuant to said Act and Resolutions. for approval by the people. must be a special election. and 2) declaring said Act unconstitutional and void. H.PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION BY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION G. in which proposals for amendment shall be submitted to the people for ratification. No. GONZALES. 1967. CONCEPCION. petitioner. L-28224 November 9. 7 No. vs. without forfeiting their respective seats in Congress. On March 16. 1. 4913. B. 1967. 2. B. Petitioner prays for judgment: 1) Restraining: (a) the Commission on Elections from enforcing Republic Act No. respondent. at the general elections which shall be held on November 14. do not exist — as to give the people a reasonable opportunity to have a fair grasp of the nature and implications of said amendments. Article VI. proposing that Section 5. No. R. and 3. 1 and 3 be submitted. 2. be amended so as to authorize Senators and members of the House of Representatives to become delegates to the aforementioned constitutional convention. allegedly. to be "elected in the general elections to be held on the second Tuesday of November. or from performing any act that will result in the holding of the plebiscite for the ratification of the constitutional amendments in the said resolutions. of the same Constitution. the convention to be composed of two (2) elective delegates from each representative district. C. No. The spirit of the Constitution demands that the election. of the Constitution of the Philippines. ISSUE: whether or not a Resolution of Congress — acting as a constituent assembly — violates the Constitution THE MERITS . calling a convention to propose amendments to said Constitution. R. 1971." and 3. BECAUSE 1. 3. b) the Director of Printing from RAMON A. not a general election. H. (Resolution of Both Houses) No. Congress may adopt either one of two alternatives propose — amendments or call a convention therefore but may not avail of both — that is to say. L-28196 November 9. in which officers of the national and local governments — such as the elections scheduled to be held on November 14. the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the following resolutions: 1. The election. petitioner. be amended so as to increase the membership of the House of Representatives from a maximum of 120 to a maximum of 180. proposing that Section 16. 1967 printing ballots.R. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. and (c) the Auditor General from passing in audit any disbursement from the appropriation of funds made in said Republic Act PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA). respondents. H. 4913. DIRECTOR OF PRINTING and AUDITOR GENERAL. No.
We — who constitute the minority — believe that Republic Act No. The measures provided by RA 4913 are adequate to comply with the constitutional requirement that proposals for amendment be "submitted to the people for their ratification. 1967. (1) that the term "election." and that said measures are manifestly sufficient. by November 14. H. if elected thereto. although the three (3) resolutions were passed on the same date. 1967. 4913 are such as to fairly apprise the people of the gist. H. No. by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. 1967. and (2) that the word used in Article V of the Constitution. from a constitutional viewpoint. There is in this provision nothing to indicate that the "election" therein referred to is a "special. 4913 satisfies such requirement and that said Act is. B. ." normally refers to the choice or selection of candidates to public office by popular vote. from a constitutional angle. B. 2 is different from that of R B. In any event. either in the Constitution. H. different sessions or different days of the same congressional session. In other words. H.Available Alternatives to Congress R. In other words. neither has any plausible reason been advanced to justify the denial of authority to adopt said resolutions on the same day. whereas R. the sufficiency or insufficiency. from 120 to 180. B. 1 and 3. The Congress in joint session assembled. Referring particularly to the contested proposals for amendment. No. . It does not negate its authority to submit proposed amendments for ratification in general elections. depends upon whether the provisions of Republic Act No. Nos. our citizenry shall have had practically eight (8) months to be informed on the amendments in question. Moreover. B. And. 2 calls for a convention in 1971. 1 and 3. H. May Constitutional Amendments Be Submitted for Ratification in a General Election? Article XV of the Constitution provides: . Nos." but "plebiscite. which is — under R. we do not find. to discharge the duties of such delegates. they were not passed at the same time. constitutional. 2. or of the same Congress to pass the same in. 1 and 3 propose amendments to the constitutional provision on Congress. so that." Would the Submission now of the Contested Amendments to the People Violate the Spirit of the Constitution? It should be noted that the contested Resolutions were approved on March 16. B. 3 — the authority given to the members of Congress to run for delegates to the Constitutional Convention and. to consider proposals for amendment to the Constitution. election. The circumstance that three previous amendments to the 8 Constitution had been submitted to the people for ratification in special elections merely shows that Congress deemed it best to do so under the circumstances then obtaining. Nos. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a contention for that purpose. the main idea or the substance of said proposals. not "election. without forfeiting their seats in Congress. No. . No. and — under R. in general. Again. or in the history thereof anything that would negate the authority of different Congresses to approve the contested Resolutions. H. concerning the grant of suffrage to women is. No. of the submission thereof for ratification to the people on November 14. H. to be submitted to the people for ratification on November 14. the amendments proposed under R. B." not a general. H. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. B. to inform the people of the amendment sought to be made. or one after the other. they were taken up and put to a vote separately. accordingly. will be submitted for ratification several years before those that may be proposed by the constitutional convention called in R. 1967. the subject-matter of R. 1 — the increase of the maximum number of seats in the House of Representatives.
Instructing Municipal Election Registrars in all Regions of the Philippines. SENATOR RAUL S. On 6 December 1996.: The heart of this controversy brought to us by way of a petition for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative under Section 2 of Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. and that he and the members of the Movement intend to exercise the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution granted under Section 2. JESUS DELFIN. Petitioners herein — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. and (b) setting the case for hearing on 12 December 1996 at 10:00 a. and Maria Isabel Ongpin — filed this special civil action for prohibition raising the following arguments: 9 . the COMELEC issued an Order 11 (a) directing Delfin "to cause the publication of the petition and the notice of hearing in three (3) daily newspapers of general circulation at his own expense" not later than 9 December 1996. JR. respondents. Modernization and Action (PIRMA). COMELEC) a "Petition to Amend the Constitution. DEMOKRASYA-IPAGTANGGOL ANG KONSTITUSYON (DIK). (MABINI). ALEXANDER PADILLA. Upon the filing of the Delfin Petition. Jesus S. and MARIA ISABEL ONGPIN. in their capacities as founding members of the People's Initiative for Reforms. the said Petition for Initiative will first be submitted to the people. in establishing signing stations at the time and on the dates designated for the purpose. According to Delfin. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. petitioners. ALBERTO PEDROSA & CARMEN PEDROSA. The Delfin Petition contained the following proposition: DO YOU APPROVE OF LIFTING THE TERM LIMITS OF ALL ELECTIVE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. and after it is signed by at least twelve per cent of the total number of registered voters in the country it will be formally filed with the COMELEC. Causing the necessary publications of said Order and the attached "Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution. petitioners-intervenors. to Lift Term Limits of Elective Officials. AND SECTION 8 OF ARTICLE X OF THE 1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION? 6 DAVIDE. private respondent Atty. and LABAN NG DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO (LABAN). Article XVII of the Constitution. INC. by People's Initiative" wherein Delfin asked the COMELEC for an order 1.R. AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE SECTIONS 4 AND 7 OF ARTICLE VI. 3. ROCO. Alexander Padilla. 2. in newspapers of general and local circulation. Delfin filed with public respondent Commission on Elections (hereafter. SECTION 4 OF ARTICLE VII. Delfin alleged in his petition that he is a founding member of the Movement for People's Initiative. 1997 MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO. Fixing the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country.m. to assist Petitioners and volunteers. No. MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR BROTHERHOOD INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM. 127325 March 19.. INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES (IBP). J. vs.PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION (initiative) G.
6735 provides for three systems of initiative. Extending or lifting of term limits constitutes a revision and is. (3) COMELEC Resolution No. therefore. The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. like the private respondents and intervenor Senator Roco. no other better way for Congress to implement the exercise of the right than through the passage of a statute or legislative act.A. 2. entitled An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and Appropriating Funds Therefor. as worded.A. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters. and on local legislation. for whatever reason. considering the absence in the law of specific provisions on the conduct of such initiative. However . the system of initiative on the Constitution under Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution is not self-executory. while the Constitution has recognized or granted that right. 6735. Stated otherwise. and if so. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. 2300 regarding the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution is valid. ISSUE (1): Whether R. on statutes. (2) It is true that R.(1) The constitutional provision on people's initiative to amend the Constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress. 6735 INTENDED TO INCLUDE THE SYSTEM OF INITIATIVE ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION. BUT IS.A. Has Congress "provided" for the implementation of the exercise of this right? Those who answer the question in the affirmative. This deliberate omission indicates that the matter of people's initiative to amend the Constitution was left to some future law. which are specifically provided for in Subtitle II and Subtitle III. UNFORTUNATELY. No such law has been passed. 10 This provision is not self-executory. it failed to provide any subtitle on initiative on the Constitution. There is. not to revision thereof. namely. indeed. R. This is the essence or rationale of the last minute amendment by the Constitutional Commission to substitute the last paragraph of Section 2 of Article XVII. INADEQUATE TO COVER THAT SYSTEM. No. initiative on the Constitution. Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution provides: Sec. proposals to AMEND — not to REVISE — the Constitution The conclusion then is inevitable that. No. of course. unlike in the other modes of initiative. 6735. ISSUE (2): Whether that portion of COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 is ultra vires insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. the people cannot exercise it if Congress. does not provide for its implementation. NO. Only Congress is authorized by the Constitution to pass the implementing law.A. whether the Act. point to us R. It was made clear during the interpellations that the aforementioned Section 2 is limited to (5) The people's initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution. since the COMELEC has no power to provide rules and regulations for the exercise of the right of initiative to amend the Constitution. outside the power of the people's initiative. was intended to include or cover initiative on amendments to the Constitution. adequately covers such initiative. . No.
inadequate. recognized and guaranteed. in all of its twenty-three sections. or resolution which only the legislative bodies of the governments of the autonomous regions. 6735. If Congress intended R. 6735 to fully provide for the implementation of the initiative on amendments to the Constitution. the Constitution" through the system of initiative. enact." Third. merely (a) mentions. Its lacunae on this substantive matter are fatal and cannot be cured by "empowering" the COMELEC "to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of [the] Act. No. No.A. As pointed out earlier. Statement and Policy. 6735 is incomplete. The said section reads: Sec. ordinance. which exclusively relates to initiative and referendum on national laws and local laws. the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution is far more important than the initiative on national and local laws. (Emphasis supplied). ordinances. approve or reject. ordinances. and that Section 5 (Requirements) restates the constitutional requirements as to the percentage of the registered voters who must submit the proposal. or Second.A. 58 . provinces. 2.A. 6735 was intended to cover initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. No. Contrary to the assertion of public respondent COMELEC. — The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose. initiative on the Constitution is confined only to proposals to AMEND. approve.A. in whole or in part. in whole or in part. ordinances. It is "national initiative. The inclusion of the word "Constitution" therein was a delayed afterthought. Section 2 of the Act does not suggest an initiative on amendments to the Constitution. No. or resolutions. no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution. That word is neither germane nor relevant to said section. or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of this Act is hereby affirmed.We agree that R." if what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a national law. and (e) provides for the date of effectivity of the approved proposition. municipalities. It is true that Section 3 (Definition of Terms) of the Act defines initiative on amendments to the Constitution and mentions it as one of the three systems of initiative. laws. the Constitution. This conspicuous silence as to the latter simply means that the main thrust of the Act is initiative and referendum on national and local laws. 6735 a full compliance with the power and duty of Congress to "provide for the implementation of the exercise of the right?" A careful scrutiny of the Act yields a negative answer. (d) reiterates the constitutional requirements as to the number of voters who should sign the petition. 11 wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned.A. (b) defines "initiative on the Constitution" and includes it in the enumeration of the three systems of initiative in Section 3. It is "local initiative" if what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a law. But unlike in the case of the other systems of initiative. and barangays can pass. (c) speaks of "plebiscite" as the process by which the proposition in an initiative on the Constitution may be approved or rejected by the people. The people are not accorded the power to "directly propose. the primacy of interest. and resolutions. enact. or reject. or a law which only Congress can pass. cities. The foregoing brings us to the conclusion that R. considering that in the order of things. They can only do so with respect to "laws. But is R. the word "Constitution" in Section 2. or hierarchy of values. First. it could have provided for a subtitle therefor. the Act does not provide for the contents of a petition for initiative on the Constitution. While the Act provides subtitles for National Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle II) and for Local Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle III). R. No. That section is silent as to amendments on the Constitution. which we quote for emphasis and clearer understanding: As to initiative on amendments to the Constitution. This classification of initiative into national and local is actually based on Section 3 of the Act.
provincial and municipal officials to be held on November 8. Resolutions 2 and 4 of the joint sessions of Congress. 1 grants such power. is not included in the general grant of legislative powers to Congress.: . the main thrust of the petition is that Organic Resolution No. It is part of the inherent powers of the people — as the repository sovereignty in a republican state. LEONARDO SIGUION REYNA. Constitution of the Philippines) Hence. not as members of Congress. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. and THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE 1971 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. Congress may propose amendments to the Constitution merely because the same explicitly Resolution No. ISSUE (1): whether or not a Resolution of Congress — acting as a constituent assembly — violates the Constitution HELD (1): Indeed. Upon these facts. (Section 1. PABLO S. for their authority does not emanate from the Constitution — they are the very source of all powers of government including the Constitution itself. ORTEGA. MARCELO B. and JUAN V. and. When acting as such. but as component elements of a constituent assembly. TRILLANA III. petitioner. RAUL S. J. the power to amend the Constitution or to propose amendments thereto The Constitutional Convention of 1971 came into being by virtue of two resolutions of the Congress of the Philippines approved in its capacity as a constituent assembly convened for the purpose of calling a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution namely. when performing the same function. CC ORGANIC RESOLUTION NO. BARREDO. Intervenors. 1971 ARTURO M. President Diosdado Macapagal. VICTOR DE LA SERNA. THE AUDITOR. called upon respondent Comelec "to help the Convention implement (the above) resolution. JOSE Y. Convention approved Organic Resolution No. FERNAN. respondents.PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION (submission) A RESOLUTION AMENDING SECTION ONE OF ARTICLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES SO AS TO LOWER THE VOTING AGE TO 18 G. the members of Congress derive their authority from the Constitution. COMELEC "RESOLVED to inform the Constitutional Convention that it will hold the plebiscite on condition. to amend their own Fundamental Law. Art. No. MANGLAPUS. JESUS G. it is said that Senators and members of the House of Representatives act. VICTOR F. 1 and the other implementing resolutions thereof subsequently approved by the Convention have no force and effect as laws in so far as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite co-incident with the elections of eight senators and all city. TOLENTINO. BARRERA. 4 merely modified the number of delegates to represent the different cities and provinces fixed originally in Resolution No 2. such as ours — to make. when exercising the same. 1971. hence. and THE CHIEF ACCOUNTANT. BORRA. XV. FERIA. 1 reading thus: . 12 . unlike the people.R. L-34150 October 16.
and the provision unequivocably says "an election" which means only one. . it follows. The same provision also as 13 amendment to the Constitution may be validly held. by a vote of threefourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. it must provide the voter not only sufficient time but ample basis for an intelligent appraisal of the nature of the amendment per se as well as its relation to the other parts of the Constitution with which it has to form a harmonious whole. It being indisputable that the amendment now proposed to be submitted to a plebiscite is only the first amendment the Convention propose 1. We are certain no one can deny that in order that a plebiscite for the ratification of an ISSUE (2): Is there any limitation or condition in Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution which is violated by the act of the Convention of calling for a plebiscite on the sole amendment contained in Organic Resolution No. as a constituent assembly. Article XV of the present Constitution which provides: ARTICLE XV — AMENDMENTS SECTION 1. amendments to the Constitution. lt says distinctly that either Congress sitting as a constituent assembly or a convention called for the purpose "may propose amendments to this Constitution. And so also. No one knows what changes in the fundamental principles of the constitution the Convention will be minded to approve." thus leaving no room for doubt as to how many "elections" or plebiscites may be held to ratify any amendment or amendments proposed by the same constituent assembly of Congress or convention. The language of the constitutional provision aforequoted is sufficiently clear. 1? HELD (2): The Court holds that there is. At the very least. when an amendment is submitted to them that is to form part of the existing constitution. we do not have any means of foreseeing whether the right to vote would be of any significant value at all. and it is the condition and limitation that all the amendments to be proposed by the same Convention must be submitted to the people in a single "election" or plebiscite. in like fashion they can study with deliberation the proposed amendment in relation to the whole existing constitution and or any of its parts and thereby arrive at an intelligent judgment as to its acceptability. No amount of rationalization can belie the fact that the current convention came into being only because it was called by a resolution of a joint session of Congress acting as a constituent assembly by authority of Section 1. that they do not have the final say on whether or not their acts are within or beyond constitutional limits. necessarily. they can examine it before casting their vote and determine for themselves from a study of the whole document the merits and demerits of all or any of its parts and of the document as a whole.Since. The Congress in joint session assembled. But the situation actually before Us is even worse. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for the purpose. when proposing. To be more specific. the members of Congress derive their authority from the Fundamental Law. definitely provides that "such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification.
pursuant to which it is this Court "entrusted exclusively with the judicial power to adjudicate with finality all justifiable disputes. No other department or agency may pass upon its judgments or declare them 'unjust' upon controlling and irresistible reasons of public policy and of sound practice. Atty LAURETA was the counsel of Illustre. 14 . 68635. This case is far from finished by a long shot. Illustre also threatened in her letter that. The SC clarified that when the minute-resolution was issued. WENCESLAO LAURETA. Illustre wrote letters to the other justices (Narvasa. Res ipsa loquitur. 1987.” She threatened that she would call for a press conference. No. but also the lack of respect for the two highest Courts of the land. Cruz). L-68635 May 14. It was also made clear that Justice Yap eventually inhibited himself from the case. that a charge of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act on the ground that a collective decision is "unjust" cannot prosper. plus the clear and extended dissertation in the same Per Curiam Resolution on the fundamental principle of separation of powers and of checks and balances. Illustre later filed a criminal complaint before the Tanodbayan. and that Justice Yap was not aware that Atty Ordonez was the opponents counsel. 1987 IN THE MATTER OF PROCEEDINGS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST ATTY. and a wanton disregard of the cardinal doctrine of independence of the Judiciary. without any copy furnished the Court.R. It was made to appear that the Justices were charged with graft and corruption. charging the Justices with knowingly rendering an unjust Minute Resolution. It was established that Justice Yap was previously a law partner of Atty. AND OF CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST EVA MARAVILLA-ILUSTRE in G. Justice Yap and Solgen Ordonez were also charged of using their influence in the First Division in rendering said Minute Resolution. The letters were referred to the SC en banc. again with more threats to “expose the kind of judicial performance readily constituting travesty of justice. that it was railroaded with such hurry beyond the limits of legal and judicial ethics. HON. Illustre claims that st it was an unjust resolution deliberately and knowingly promulgated by the 1 Division. Atty LAURETA takes exception to the accusation that he has manifested lack of respect for and exposed to public ridicule the two highest Courts of the land.SEPARATION OF POWERS G." HELD: The Court found that those letters and the charges levelled against the Justices concerned. complaining about the dismissal of the her case (a land dispute involving large estate) by a minute-resolution. conduct. nor the Justices charged. now the Solgen and counsel for the opponents. of themselves and by themselves. Still. Laureta stubbornly contends that discussions on the merits in the Court's Per Curiam PER CURIAM: Facts: Maravilla Illustre wrote to the justices of the SC. Ordonez.” Resolution are more properly addressed to the Tanodbayan.R. public and private. “there is nothing final in this world. He circulate copies of the complain to the press. that Article 204 of the Revised Penal Code has no application to the members of a collegiate Court. acts and malicious charges of Eva Maravilla Ilustre who was no longer his client when these alleged acts were done. the presiding justice then was not Justice Yap but Justice Abad Santos (who was about to retire). entitled "EVA MARAVILLA-ILUSTRE. that he has "not authorized or assisted and/or abetted and could not have prevented the contemptuous statements. Atty. a complete obliviousness to the fundamental principle of separation of powers. betray not only their malicious and contemptuous character. vs." RESOLUTION True to her threats. ET AL. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT. No. Herrera. all he did having been to call attention to errors or injustice committed in the promulgation of judgments or orders. He thus incorrigibly insists on subordinating the Judiciary to the executive notwithstanding the categorical pronouncement in the Per Curiam Resolution of March 12. Illustre’s letter basically attacks the participation of Justice Pedro Yap in the first division.
overall. The threat to bring the case to "another forum of justice" was implemented to the fun. the Court rendered a favorable judgment in the Bulletin union case last year. and conclusiveness of collegiate acts. The necessity to conduct any further evidentially hearing was obviated. The impudence and lack of respect of Atty." to "undermine the role of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of all justifiable disputes. 15 . Exposure to the glare of publicity is an occupational hazard." and to subvert public confidence in the integrity of the Courts and the Justices concerned." The malice lurking in that statement is most unbecoming of an officer of the Court and is an added reason for denying reconsideration. acts and statements. he has. Laureta for this Court again surfaces when he asserts in his Motion for Reconsideration that he "understands the cooperation" of the Bulletin Today as manifested in the serialized publication of the Per Curiam Resolution of this Court and his being subjected to a scathing editorial by the same newspaper "because after all. and in the orderly administration of justice. Besides. Atty. integrity. His apologetic stance for the "adverse publicity" generated by the filing of the charges against the Justices concerned before the Tanodbayan rings with insincerity. The complaint was calculated precisely to serve that very purpose. deliberately sought to destroy the "authenticity. he misses the heart of the matter.Nothing more needed to have been said or proven. If he has been visited with disciplinary sanctions it is because by his conduct. Laureta's protestations that he has done his best to protect and uphold the dignity of this Court are belied by environmental facts and circumstances.
questioned the legal standing of petitioners..P.P.P.. vs. ROLANDO C. M. HONORATO Y. CAGAS. ISSUE (1): WON the President has the authority to indiscriminately transfer funds from one FERNAN. Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution is readily perceivable from a mere cursory reading thereof. ROMULO. M. the Speaker. GARCIA. J. 2 The Solicitor General. D. Sec. 1177. FORM AND PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED BY THE CONSTITUTION IN APPROVING APPROPRIATIONS. Said paragraph 1 of Section 44 provides: The President shall have the authority to transfer any fund. HON. the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. M. M. to any program... there being no justiciable controversy fit for resolution or determination. and the heads of constitutional commis ions may by law be authorized to augment any item in the .P. M.P.. E. as members of the National Assembly/Batasan Pambansa assail the constitutionality of the first paragraph of Section 44 of Presidential Decree No.. MANUEL ALBA in his capacity as the MINISTER OF THE BUDGET and VICTOR MACALINGCAG in his capacity as the TREASURER OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioners. PEDRO M..P. and ROGELIO V. who filed the instant petition as concerned citizens of this country. MARCELLANA. appropriated A." department to another. the Prime Minister. HELD (1): The conflict between paragraph 1 of Section 44 of Presidential Decree No. B. as provided by PD 1177. project or activity of any department.P. M. M. M. MARCIAL. DEMETRIA. M. SANTOS. respondents.. SECTION 44 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO.P. SANCHEZ. THE THREATENED AND CONTINUING TRANSFER OF FUNDS BY THE PRESIDENT AND THE IMPLEMENTATION THEREOF BY THE BUDGET MINISTER AND THE TREASURER OF THE PHILIPPINES ARE WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF THEIR AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION. who were allegedly merely begging an advisory opinion from the Court. ALBERTO G. the constitutional provision under consideration reads as follows: appropriations.P. M. ISIDORO E..P. 16. No. CIRIACO R. MERCADO.P.P. 1177 and Section 16. 1987 DEMETRIO G. 71977 February 27. bureaus. ZAFIRO L. the President. EMIGDIO L. M. No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of C. ALFELOR. 1177 ALLOWS THE PRESIDENT TO OVERRIDE THE SAFEGUARDS. which are included in the General Appropriations Act.R. 16 for the different departments. VICTOR S. SECTION 44 OF THE SAME DECREE AMOUNTS TO AN UNDUE DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS TO THE EXECUTIVE.: Petitioners.P.P. REAL. M. RESPICIO.. bureau. DOUGLAS R.P. SECTION 44 OF THE 'BUDGET REFORM DECREE OF 1977' INFRINGES UPON THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW BY AUTHORIZING THE ILLEGAL TRANSFER OF PUBLIC MONEYS. otherwise known as the "Budget Reform Decree of 1977. M. AUGUSTO S. or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment. M. 1177 IS REPUGNANT TO THE CONSTITUTION AS IT FAILS TO SPECIFY THE OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE PROPOSED TRANSFER OF FUNDS ARE TO BE MADE. AQUINO.. for the public respodents. SECTION 44 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. ZIGA. On the other hand... ORLANDO S..G. however. OSCAR F. LINGAD.. M. offices and agencies of the Executive Department.
to afford the heads of the different branches of the government and those of the constitutional commissions considerable flexibility in the use of public funds and resources. The leeway granted was thus limited. transfer may be allowed for the purpose of augmenting an item and such transfer may be made only if there are savings from another item in the appropriation of the government branch or constitutional body. without regard as to whether or not the funds to be transferred are actually savings in the item from which the same are to be taken. without an unwarrantable assumption by that other of power which. The legislative and judicial are coordinate departments of the government.D. Cooley in his "A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations. the judiciary cannot and ought not to interfere with the former. This is the essence of judicial power conferred by the Constitution "in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law" . is paramount to that of their representatives expressed in any law Indeed.general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. it is not because the judges have any control over the legislative power. If an act of the legislature is held void." Vol. by the Constitution. The courts may declare legislative enactments unconstitutional and void in some cases. i. whenever a legislative enactment comes in conflict with it. while acting within 17 the limits of its authority. the judges claim no judicial supremacy. not to review or revise the legislative action. they only do what every private citizen may do in respect to the mandates of the courts when the judges assumed to act and to render judgments or decrees without jurisdiction. be subjected to the control or supervision of the other. the constitution allowed the enactment of a law authorizing the transfer of funds for the purpose of augmenting an item from savings in another item in the appropriation of the government branch or constitutional body concerned. The prohibition to transfer an appropriation for one item to another was explicit and categorical under the 1973 Constitution. HELD (2): Thomas M. when exercising the trust committed to it. 1177 unduly over extends the privilege granted under said Section 16. The Constitution apportions the powers of government.e. project or activity of any department. but to enforce the legislative will. bureau or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment. where the legislature or the executive branch is acting within the limits of its authority. of equal dignity. each is alike supreme in the exercise of its proper functions. as the paramount law. Boston. ISSUE (2): WON the court can interfere with the conduct of a coordinate political department in the performance of its duties. But the courts sit. and it is only where they find that the legislature has failed to keep within its constitutional limits. Paragraph 1 of Section 44 of P. No. Eight Edition. But where the legislature or the executive acts beyond the scope of its constitutional powers.. it becomes the duty of the judiciary to declare what the other branches of the government had assumed to do as void. and because the will of the people. or whether or not the transfer is for the purpose of augmenting the item to which said transfer is to be made. It empowers the President to indiscriminately transfer funds from one department. However. they must enforce the Constitution. 1. that they are at liberty to disregard its action. Little.. is not conferred upon it. and in doing so. but not because the judicial power is superior in degree or dignity to the legislative. but it does not make any one of the three departments subordinate to another. they are only the administrators of the public will. Brown and Company. "In exercising this high authority. The purpose and conditions for which funds may be transferred were specified. office or agency of the Executive Department to any program. and cannot directly or indirectly. but because the act is forbidden by the Constitution. explained: . bureau. Being required to declare what the law is in the cases which come before them. which is therein declared.
R. proclaimed the petitioner as member-elect of the National Assembly for the said district. the petitioner. that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited. for having received the most number of votes. the herein respondent Pedro Ynsua: be declared elected member of the National Assembly for the first district of Tayabas. JOSE A. passed resolution [No. Jose A. Pedro Ynsua: filed an "Answer to the Motion of Dismissal" alleging that there is no legal or constitutional provision barring the presentation of a protest against the election of a member of the National Assembly after confirmation. ISSUE: Does Supreme Court have jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the controversy upon the foregoing related facts. Jose A. but as much as it was within the power of our people. the herein petitioner. Angara. scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. 1936 (7) herein respondent. and subject to specific limitations and restrictions provided in the said instrument. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries.: (b) That the Constitution excludes from said jurisdiction the power to regulate the FACTS: (1) That in the elections of September 17. petitioner. respondents. 8] As any human production. Angara. LAUREL. No. PETITIONER contends: (a) That the Constitution confers exclusive jurisdiction upon the electoral Commission solely as regards the merits of contested elections to the National Assembly. and is the (c) that the protest in question 19 proceedings of said election contests. 1935. THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION. or that the election of said position be nullified. the petitioner took his oath of office. it does not assert any superiority accepted formula for. our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectibility. and in the affirmative. MIGUEL CASTILLO. (2) provincial board of canvassers. 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. under a system of checks and balances. J. (5) That on December 8. vs. (b) that the aforesaid resolution has for its object. the limitation of said period. ANGARA. HELD: Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction. were candidates voted for the position of member of the National Assembly for the first district of the Province of Tayabas. (4) National Assembly in session assembled. acting through their delegates to so provide. PEDRO YNSUA. . and the respondents. has established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious whole. which power has been reserved to the Legislative Department of the Government or the National Assembly. and was filed out of the prescribed period. 1935. Miguel Castillo and Dionisio Mayor. L-45081 July 15. 1935. and is supreme within its own sphere. Pedro Ynsua. and DIONISIO C. (6) That on December 20.THEORY AND JUSTIFICATION OF JUDICIAL REVIEW G. Who is to determine the nature. (3) That on November 15. allege that Resolution No. 8 of the National Assembly was adopted in the legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative to prescribe the period during which protests against the election of its members should be presented. MAYOR. 1935.
with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter. should be upheld." Summarizing. Discarding the English type and other European types of constitutional government. we conclude: (a) That the government established by the Constitution follows fundamentally the theory of separation of power into the legislative. is mere surplusage and had no effect. and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. notwithstanding the previous confirmation made by the National Assembly as aforesaid. then the resolution of December 9. by which the Electoral Commission fixed said date as the last day for filing protests against the election. returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. the resolution of the National Assembly has the effect of cutting off the power of the Electoral Commission to entertain protests against the election. if. justice or expediency of legislation. this court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject mater of the present controversy for the purpose of determining the character. reason and authority. . 1935. The judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom. scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election. Although the Electoral Commission may not be interfered with. confirmed the election of the herein petitioner to the said body. 1935. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly . this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties. and is the power and duty to see that no one branch or agency of the government transcends the Constitution. On the other hand. 1935. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. the national Assembly has by resolution (No. The Electoral Commission is not a separate department of the government. the judiciary. as contended by the respondents. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution. the framers of our constitution adopted the American type where the written constitution is interpreted and given effect by the judicial department. But. the Electoral Commission has by resolution adopted on December 9. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. (d) That judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial review in actual and appropriate cases and controversies. 1935. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. then the resolution of the Electoral Commission of December 9. as contended by the petitioner. submitted after December 3. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. it does not follow that it is beyond the reach of the constitutional mechanism 20 adopted by the people and that it is not subject to constitutional restrictions . the Electoral Commission has the sole power of regulating its proceedings to the exclusion of the National Assembly. when and while acting within the limits of its authority. which is the source of all authority. 8) of December 3. Electoral Commission is a constitutional organ. created to determine all contests relating to the election. (c) That in cases of conflict between the several departments and among the agencies thereof. If. (b) That the system of checks and balances and the overlapping of functions and duties often makes difficult the delimitation of the powers granted. and even if it were. the executive and the judicial. Even then. returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. 1935. we are clearly of the opinion that upon the admitted facts of the present case. conflicting claims of authority under the fundamental law between department powers and agencies of the government are necessarily determined by the judiciary in justifiable and appropriate cases.over the other departments. In the case at bar. fixed said date as the last day for the filing of protests against the election. Upon principle. is the only constitutional mechanism devised finally to resolve the conflict and allocate constitutional boundaries.
AFIADO.A. 133064 September 16. of a particular measure. No. not legality. 8528. Petitioners claim that under Section 10.A. in his capacity as Secretary of Budget. It amended R. and a remedy granted and sanctioned by law. MARIANO V. BALTAZAR PICIO. THE HONORABLE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF ISABELA. respondents. Among others. HON. 1987 Constitution which defines judicial power as including "the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. No. For whether or not laws passed by Congress comply with the requirements of the Constitution pose questions that this Court alone can decide. HON. and MR. 7720 in a plebiscite. 1994. 2 petitioners have the said right is a legal not a political question. Republic Act No. No. for said breach of right. BENJAMIN G. in his capacity as Secretary of Local Government. In his capacity as Executive Secretary.JUSTICIABLE AND POLITICAL QUESTIONS G. Isabela into an independent component city was signed into law. respondent provincial officials of Isabela contend that the petition raises a political question over which this Court lacks jurisdiction.R. A purely justiciable issue implies a given right. AGGABAO." It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. the people of Santiago ratified R. 8528 in a plebiscite before it can be enforced. HON. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. HON. 22 . or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. DIRIGE. SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ. ANTONIO CHUA. it changed the status of Santiago from an independent component city to a component city Petitioners assail the constitutionality of R. Clearly. petitioners. the petition at bar presents a justiciable issue. vs. 7720 which converted the municipality of Santiago. ALEXANDER AGUIRRE. HELD: This plea has long lost its appeal especially in light of Section 1 of Article VIII of the JOSE C. They alleged as ground the lack of provision in R. GIORGIDI B.A. 1 or omission violative of such right. Article X of the 1987 Constitution they have a right to approve or disapprove R. in his capacity as Provincial Administrator. an act PUNO. No. No.A. MIRANDA. 8528 submitting the law for ratification by the people of Santiago City in a proper plebiscite. 8528 was enacted. legally demandable and enforceable. It refers "to those questions which under the Constitution are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. ATTY. BABARAN and ANDRES R.A. 7720. CABUYADAO. It ought to be self-evident that whether or not On February 14. 1998. THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT. The proposition that this Court is the ultimate arbiter of the meaning and nuances of the Constitution need not be the subject of a prolix explanation. Republic Act No. No. MANUEL H." The term "political question" connotes a question of policy. 1999 In their Comment.: FACTS: On May 5. EPIMACO VELASCO. On July 4. intervenor. in his capacity as Provincial Treasurer. 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. ALFREDO S. DY. in his capacity as Governor of Isabela. 1994. J.
occupants. then President Corazon C. and utilization of minerals. the transport.O. or concessionaires are forbidden from preventing holders of mining rights from entering private lands and concession areas. 16 15 8 6 Respondents argue that the requisites for judicial inquiry have not been met and that the petition does not comply with the criteria for prohibition and mandamus. No. 21 A procedure for the The Act restricts the conditions for exploration. consider and evaluate proposals from foreign-owned corporations or investors for contracts or agreements involving assistance for large-scale exploration. sale and processing of minerals. and (4) The constitutional question is the lis mota of the case. VICTOR O. and safety and environmental protection. 4 Sultan Kudarat. 279 authorizing the DENR Secretary to accept. 26 22 quarry 23 and other 24 permits. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DENR). INC.G . 2004 Shortly before the effectivity of R. 36 35 giving the Petitioners claim that the DENR Secretary acted without or in excess of jurisdiction: FACTS: On July 25. otherwise known as the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R. 7942 to "govern the exploration. (3) The exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity. (2) A personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question. however. DIRECTOR. No. Ramos approved R. 1987. No. petitioners. 127882 January 27. RUBEN TORRES. respondents. s. development. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY.A. settlement of conflicts is likewise provided for. Ramos issued DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 7942 and DAO No. 1996. 23 58 Surface owners. INC. 19 water 17 and easement 18 rights. DENR Secretary Victor O. Aquino issued Executive Order (E.. 95-23.387 hectares of land in South Cotabato. HORACIO RAMOS. DENR fifteen days from receipt to act thereon. then President Fidel V. vs. It regulates 27 25 and promotes the development of mining communities. 96-40. MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU (MGB-DENR). this Court can exercise its power of judicial review only if the following requisites are present: (1) The existence of an actual and appropriate case. RAMOS. s. utilization and processing of all mineral resources. and WMC (PHILIPPINES). J. the President entered into an FTAA with WMCP covering 99. development. This was later repealed by DAO No. Additionally.: that the DENR stop the implementation of R.) No. No.R. HELD: REQUISITES FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW and grants them certain rights. 1995. SECRETARY. 1996 which was adopted on December 20. Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.A. 34 LA BUGAL-B'LAAN TRIBAL ASSOCIATION. 1997. and the right to possess explosives. 1995. On January 10. or on March 30. 1995. respondent WMCP argues that there has been a violation of the rule on hierarchy of courts.A. 7942." The law prescribes the qualifications of contractors including timber.A. 96-40. counsels for petitioners sent a letter to the DENR Secretary demanding DECISION CARPIO-MORALES. 20 When an issue of constitutionality is raised. . 7942. science and mining technology. On March 3. No.
standing restrictions require a partial consideration of the merits." The power of judicial review. 59 In view of the alleged impending injury. Misconstruing the application of the third requisite for judicial review – that the exercise of the review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity – WMCP points out that the petition was filed only almost two years after the execution of the FTAA. insist on the FTAA's validity.. Public respondents' contention fails. as well as other residents of areas also affected by the mining activities of WMCP. not raised at the earliest opportunity. petitioners meet this requirement. . Among them are La Bugal B'laan Tribal Association. Public respondents maintain that petitioners. No. These petitioners have standing to raise the constitutionality of the questioned FTAA as they allege a personal and substantial injury. Section 1. alleging more than a generalized grievance. Article VIII of the Constitution states that "(j)udicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. 64 65 certain parties can maintain an action. 7942 and DAO No. the question as to their validity is ripe for adjudication. Inc. 279. They thus meet the appropriate case requirement as they assert an interest adverse to that of respondents who. 96-40 likewise fulfills the requisites of justiciability.Respondents claim that the first three requisites are not present. is limited to the determination of actual cases and controversies. being strangers to the FTAA. 62 61 60 lest the decision of the court The power does not extend to hypothetical 63 questions since any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities. No. Hence. Standing because of its constitutional and public policy underpinnings . a farmers and indigenous people's cooperative organized under Philippine laws representing a community actually affected by the mining activities of WMCP. the question in standing is whether such parties have "alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. 67 66 Petitioners traverse a wide range of sectors. therefore. not conjectural or anticipatory. members of said cooperative. Although all three requirements are directed towards ensuring that only An actual case or controversy means an existing case or controversy that is appropriate or ripe for determination. "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 governmental act that is being challenged. They claim that they would suffer "irremediable displacement" 70 69 68 as a result of the implementation of the FTAA allowing WMCP to conduct mining activities in their area of residence . on the other hand. would amount to an advisory opinion. hence. 24 The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges "such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. 71 In other words. The present action is not merely one for annulment of contract but for prohibition and mandamus.O. they contend that petitioners are not real parties in interest in an action for the annulment of contract. Although these laws were not in force when the subject FTAA was entered into." Unless a person is injuriously affected in any of his constitutional rights by the operation of statute or ordinance. petitioners also have standing to assail the validity of E. he has no standing." As earlier stated. as well as broader policy concerns relating to the proper role of the judiciary in certain areas.A. The challenge against the constitutionality of R. is very different from questions relating to whether a particular plaintiff is the real party in interest or has capacity to sue. by authority of which the FTAA was executed. cannot sue either or both contracting parties to annul it.
73 A contrary rule would mean that a law. 25 . That the question of constitutionality has not been raised before is not a valid reason for refusing to allow it to be raised later.The third requisite should not be taken to mean that the question of constitutionality must be raised immediately after the execution of the state action complained of. otherwise unconstitutional. would lapse into constitutionality by the mere failure of the proper party to promptly file a case to challenge the same.
It should be understandable. because: A. with the general acquiescence of the general public and the parties concerned. the Department of Education has. 2706 as amended which provides that Act No.. "An Act making the inspection and recognition of private schools and colleges obligatory for the Secretary of Public Instruction . Petitioners obviously refer to section 3 of Act No. it is directly and necessarily involved in a justiciable controversy and is essential to the protection of the rights of the parties concerned. specially where. naturally need no relief in the form they now seek to obtain. ETC." Under its provisions.ACTUAL CASE OR CONTROVERSY (PREMATURITY) G. because all of them have permits to operate and are actually operating by virtue of their permits. the Court may refuse to consider an attack on its validity. supervised and regulated all private schools in this country apparently without audible protest. When a law has been long treated as constitutional and important rights have become dependent thereon. then. They deprive owners of schools and colleges as well as teachers and parents of liberty and property without due process of law.: The petitioning colleges and universities request that Act No.) In support of their first proposition petitioners contend that the right of a citizen to own and The Government's legal representative submitted a mimeographed memorandum contending that. BENGZON.) As a general rule. They have suffered no wrong under the terms of law—and. 2706 as amended by Act No. And they do not assert that the respondent Secretary of Education has threatened to revoke their permits. No. the constitutionality of a statute will be passed on only if. 1 26 . (2) petitioners are in estoppel to challenge the validity of the said acts. petitioners suffered no wrong—nor allege any—from the enforcement of the criticized statute. Their provisions conferring on the Secretary of Education unlimited power and discretion to prescribe rules and standards constitute an unlawful delegation of legislative power. p. that this Court should be doubly reluctant to consider petitioner's demand for avoidance of the law aforesaid. 2706 approved in 1917 is entitled.. amounts to censorship of previous restraint. a practice abhorent to our system of law and government. and to the extent that. It must be evident to any one that the power to declare a legislative enactment PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. 16. void is one which the judge. S. 1955 assert.R. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION and the BOARD OF TEXTBOOKS. 3075 and Commonwealth Act No. The Solicitor General on the other hand points out that none of the petitioners has cause to present this issue. (C. J. p. (1) the matter constitutes no justiciable controversy exhibiting unavoidable necessity of deciding the constitutional questions. 204. J. vs. and (3) the Acts are constitutionally valid. and C. S. respondents. and any law requiring previous governmental approval or permit before such person could exercise said right. for the past 37 years. petitioner. J. 180 be declared unconstitutional. L-5279 October 31. conscious of the fallability of the human judgment. B. They deprive parents of their natural rights and duty to rear their children for civic efficiency. 207. as respondents before a private school may be opened to the public it must first obtain a permit from the Secretary of Education. nay. (16 C. operate a school is guaranteed by the Constitution. will shrink from exercising in any case where he can conscientiously and with due regard to duty and official oath decline the responsibility.
. 27 . nay. It is legitimate only in the last resort. earnest.It is an established principle that to entitle a private individual immediately in danger of sustaining a direct injury as the result of that action and it is not sufficient that he has merely a general to invoke the judicial power to determine the validity of executive or legislative action he must show that he has sustained or is interest common to all members of the public. like this. however intellectually solid the problem may be. Bona fide suit. The authority to pass on the validity of statutes is incidental to the decision of such cases where conflicting claims under the Constitution and under a legislative act assailed as contrary to the Constitution are raised. Courts will not pass upon the constitutionality of a law upon the complaint of one who fails to show that he is injured by its operation. is brought for a positive purpose. Mere apprehension that the Secretary of Education might under the law withdraw the permit of one of petitioners does not constitute a justiciable controversy.—Judicial power is limited to the decision of actual cases and controversies. and vital controversy between litigants. to obtain actual and positive relief. And action. and as necessity in the determination of real. Courts do not sit to adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest therein.
AND SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF MAKATI. Suing as taxpayers. No. Article X and Section 7. 7854 is entitled.A. Taguig. 7854 as unconstitutional. they assail as unconstitutional sections 2. Teresita Abang. 118577 also assail the constitutionality of section 51. 7854. No. Camilo Santos. 1995 JUANITO MARIANO.: At bench are two (2) petitions assailing certain provisions of Republic Act No. Of the petitioners.R.. Article VI of the Constitution Petitioners stress that under these provisions.. Section 51 of R. 118627 March 7. The others are residents of Ibayo Ususan. petitioners. respondents. Article X and section 7. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. No. HON. No. including Members of the House of Representative. JEJOMAR BINAY. Frankie Cruz. No. Ligaya S.A. vs. G. 7854 on the following grounds: 1. Section 52 of R. 1995 JOHN R. No.A.G. 7854 is unconstitutional for: (a) it increased the legislative district of Makati only by special law (the Charter in violation of the constitutional provision requiring a general reapportionment law to be passed by Congress within three (3) years following the return of every census. 118577 involves a petition for prohibition and declaratory relief. 51. Article X of R. Florante Alba. HON. vs. They contend that this section collides with section 8. descriptions.A. petitioner. Jr. is a resident of Makati." 1 expressed in the title of the bill. Bautista. It was filed by petitioners Juanito Mariano. THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI. in violation of Section 8. 7854 as unconstitutional. Article X of the Constitution. 3. MUNICIPAL TREASURER. only Mariano. JR. and 52 of R. and Perfecto Alba. Valentina Pitalvero. Ricardo Pascual. Rufino Caldoza. R. THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI. G. No. and (c) the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in accord with Section 5 (3). OSMEÑA. Section 2 of R. J.A.. in violation of Section 10. 118577 March 7. respondents. in relation to Sections 7 and 450 of the Local Government Code. Metro Manila.000. THE MUNICIPAL TREASURER. with technical 28 Petitioners in G. Article VI of the Constitution for as of the latest survey (1990 census). THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Teresita Tibay. have a term of three (3) years and are prohibited from serving . No. et al. R. AND SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF MAKATI.A. No. 7854 did not properly identify the land area or territorial jurisdiction of Makati by metes and bounds. 7854 attempts to alter or restart the "three consecutive term" limit for local elective officials. No. elective local officials. Article VI of the Constitution. Jr. 2.A. No.R.R. the population of Makati stands at only 450.R. "An Act Converting the Municipality of Makati Into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as the City of Makati. (b) the increase in legislative district was not PUNO. JEJOMAR BINAY.
e. that he would be re-elected in said elections. respondent Jejomar Binay. and (4) the decision on the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. We cannot entertain this challenge to the constitutionality of section 51.for more than three (3) consecutive terms. section 51 of R. that Mayor Binay will run again in this coming mayoralty elections. who has already served for two (2) consecutive terms. Considering that these contingencies may or may not happen. (3) the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. and that he would seek reelection for the same position in the 1998 elections. (2) the question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party. The requirements before a litigant can challenge the constitutionality of a law are well delineated.A. petitioners merely pose a hypothetical issue which has yet to ripen to an actual case or controversy. They argue that by providing that the new city shall acquire a new corporate existence. No.. They are: 1) there must be an actual case or controversy. petitioners point that section 51 favors the incumbent Makati Mayor. Petitioners who are residents of Taguig (except Mariano) are not also the proper parties to raise this abstract issue. In particular. Worse. 7854 restarts the term of the present municipal elective officials of Makati and disregards the terms previously served by them. The petition is premised on the occurrence of many contingent events. 29 . i. 5 Petitioners have far from complied with these requirements. they hoist this futuristic issue in a petition for declaratory relief over which this Court has no jurisdiction.
2002. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. and CONGRESSMAN EMILIO C. CONGRESSMAN JOSE DE VENECIA in his capacity as Speaker. Chairman Benipayo for brevity. filed this petition as a taxpayer's and class suit. 2002 and should it be postponed. unfairly discriminated. petitioners received a copy of Comelec En Banc Resolution No. demanding that the SK elections be held as scheduled on May 6. RONALD ATANGAN and CLARIZA DECENA. the SK elections should be held not later than July 15.C. who are all 20 years old. AND ALL THEIR AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES. JOSEPHINE ATANGAN.R.: The Case 15 but less than 18 years of age. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. petitioner Antoniette V. the Comelec Chairman intimated that it was "operationally very difficult" to hold both elections simultaneously in May 2002. 4763 dated 11 The petition seeks to prevent the postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan ("SK" for brevity) elections originally scheduled last May 6. vs. 2002. No. Montesclaros ("Montesclaros" for brevity) sent a letter to the Comelec. 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. 152295 July 9. CONGRESSMAN AGUSTO L.A. No. Petitioners. 2002 recommending to Congress the postponement of the SK elections to November 2002 but holding the Barangay elections in May 2002 as scheduled. DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT. (2) prevent public respondents from passing laws and issuing resolutions and orders that would lower the membership age in the SK. petitioners instituted this petition to: (1) compel public respondents to hold the SK elections on May 6. CARPIO. 2002.C. ." FACTS: On February 18. J. Thus. Under the Local Government Code of 1991 (R. The petition also seeks to prevent the reduction of the age requirement for membership in the SK. 2002.G. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY of the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. MACIAS II in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee on Local Government of the House of Representatives. membership in the SK is limited to youths at least 15 but not more than 21 years old. On February 20. SENATOR FRANKLIN DRILON in his capacity as Senate President and SENATOR AQUILINO PIMENTEL in his capacity as Minority Leader of the Senate of the Philippines. 12 The Bicameral Committee's consolidated bill reset the SK and Barangay elections to July 15. 2002 SK elections and to lower the membership age in the SK to at least ANTONIETTE V. confederated and conspired" to postpone the May 6. wrote identical letters to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President 9 10 8 1 about the status of pending bills on the SK and Barangay elections. 7160). February 5. MARICEL CARANZO. and (3) compel 30 2002 and lowered the membership age in the SK to at least 15 but not more than 18 years of age. SYJOCO in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms. on their own behalf and on behalf of other youths similarly situated. unnecessarily disenfranchised. Petitioners assail the alleged conspiracy because youths at least 18 but not more than 21 years old will be "summarily and unduly dismembered. Subsequently. 2002. 2002 be postponed to a later date. Petitioners claim that they are in danger of being disqualified to vote and be voted for in the SK elections should the SK elections on May 6. In his letters. unjustly disassociated and obnoxiously disqualified from the SK organization. THE PRESIDENT OF THE PAMBANSANG KATIPUNAN NG MGA SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN. and OTHER YOUTH OF THE LAND SIMILARLY SITUATED. MONTESCLAROS. 2002 Petitioners allege that public respondents "connived. petitioners. Instead. respondents.
RA No. A proposed bill. While seeking to prevent a postponement of the May 6." (Emphasis supplied) Thus. 2002. which fixed the maximum age for membership in the SK to youths less than 18 years old. having no legal effect. To do so would destroy the delicate system of checks and balances finely crafted by the Constitution for the three coequal. With respect to the date of the SK elections. The judicial power to review the constitutionality of laws does not include the power to prescribe to Congress what laws to enact. there is no actual controversy requiring the exercise of the power of judicial review. there can be no justiciable controversy involving the constitutionality of a proposed bill. The power of judicial review cannot be exercised in vacuo. namely: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate case or controversy. there is therefore no actual controversy requiring judicial intervention. 9164. coordinate and independent branches of government. 24 The Court cannot also direct the Comelec to allow over-aged voters to vote or be voted for in an election that is limited under RA No. Congress merely restored the age requirement in PD No. 23 In the instant case. The Court cannot restrain Congress from amending or repealing laws. The Court can exercise its power of judicial review only after a law is enacted. the Court cannot exercise its power of judicial review over the internal processes or procedures of Congress. Youths from 18 to 21 years old as of 31 . 21 to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.public respondents to allow petitioners and those who have turned more than 21 years old on May 6. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting 22 The Court has also no power to dictate to Congress the object or subject of bills that Congress should enact into law. Under the separation of powers. 2002 to participate in the July 15. Petitioners' 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. Absent a clear violation of specific constitutional limitations or of constitutional rights of private parties. Under RA No. (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question. A proposed bill creates no right and imposes no duty legally enforceable by the Court. violates no constitutional right or duty. not before. A proposed bill is not subject to judicial review because it is not a law. and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota of the case. The Court has no power to compel Congress by mandamus to enact a law allowing petitioners. for the power to make laws includes the power to change the laws. 2002 SK elections. (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity. a date acceptable to petitioners. regardless of their age. 684 . The Court's Ruling The Court's power of judicial review may be exercised in constitutional cases only if all the following requisites are complied with. petitioners are nevertheless amenable to a resetting of the SK elections to any date not later than July 15. the original charter of the SK. 2002 to participate in any re-scheduled SK elections. Petitioners do not have a vested right to the permanence of the age requirement under Section 424 of the Local Government Code of 1991. the Court cannot restrain Congress from passing any law. 2002 SK elections. 9164 to youths at least 15 but less than 18 years old. 2002 SK elections. The second paragraph of Section 1. 9164 has reset the SK elections to July 15. Every law passed by Congress is always subject to amendment or repeal by Congress. A law is needed to allow all those who have turned more than 21 years old on or after May 6. Article VIII of the Constitution states – "Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. 2002. or from setting into motion the legislative mill according to its internal rules. to vote and be voted for in the July 15. 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.
as well as the implementing guidelines and procedures contained in Administrative Order Nos. 93100 June 19. INC. 9164. 17 and 32 of CARL extend agrarian reform to aquaculture lands even as Section 4. Article XIII of the Constitution limits agrarian reform only to agricultural lands. 9164. or is about to be denied some personal right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled. as distinguished from a mere expectancy or future. 26 25 ATLAS FERTILIZER CORPORATION. petitioners failed to assail any provision in RA No. respondent. or inconsequential interest. 9164. Now. 13. To grant petitioners' prayer to be allowed to vote and be voted for in the July 15. Acuna are engaged in the aquaculture industry utilizing fishponds and prawn farms. Petitioners claim that the questioned provisions of CARL violate the Constitution in the following manner: 1 3 . which reset the SK elections and reduced the age requirement for SK membership. 2002 SK elections. petitioners seek to enforce a right originally conferred by law on those who were at least 15 but not more than 21 years old.R. RESOLUTION In the instant case. No. was not yet enacted into law. vs. After the passage of RA No. petitioners have not done. and Arsenio Al.: = Petitioners Atlas Fertilizer Corporation. 2002 SK elections necessitates assailing the constitutionality of RA No. Congress will have to decide whether to enact an amendatory law.R. petitioners have ceased to be members of the SK and are no longer qualified to participate in the July 15. A party must show that he has been. RA No. This petition does not raise any constitutional issue. 2002 SK elections. At the time petitioners filed this petition. 32 2 and petitioner-in-intervention Archie's Fishpond. with the passage of RA No. Philippine Federation of Fishfarm Producers. G.May 6. The Court will not strike down a law unless its constitutionality is properly raised in an appropriate action and adequately argued ACTUAL CASE OR CONTROVERSY (MOOTNESS) G. J. 11. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM. 9164 that could be unconstitutional . Plainly. 97855 June 19. Inc. vs. petitioner. 1997 PHILIPPINE FEDERATION OF FISHFARM PRODUCERS. not judicial intervention. 1997 1. subordinate. ROMERO. Not falling within this classification. Petitioners' remedy is legislation. contingent. The new law restricts membership in the SK to this specific age group. this right is limited to those who on the date of the SK elections are at least 15 but less than 18 years old. and cannot participate in the July 15. petitioner. A party must also show that he has a real interest in the suit. petitioners no longer have a personal and substantial interest in the SK elections. Sections 3 (b). Inc. Petitioners have no personal and substantial interest in maintaining this suit. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM. They assail some provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. By "real interest" is meant a present substantial interest. 16 (d). No. 9164. This. 8 and 10 Series of 1988 issued by public respondent Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform as unconstitutional. respondent. 2002 are also no longer SK members. .
10. 6657 is hereby amended to read as follows: Sec. 7881 was approved by Congress. Article XIII of the Constitution mandate the State to respect the freedom of enterprise and the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments and to expansion and growth. Secretary of Agrarian Reform regarding the inclusion of land devoted to the raising of livestock. when they are similarly situated in violation of the constitutional guarantee of the equal protection of the laws. 3. directly and exclusively used for prawn farms and fishponds shall be exempt from the coverage of this Act: Provided. On February 20. 2. Republic Act No. The constitutionality of the above-mentioned provisions has been ruled upon in the case of Luz Farms. The issue now before this Court is the constitutionality of the same above-mentioned provisions insofar as they include in its coverage lands devoted to the aquaculture industry. That said prawn farms and fishponds have not been distributed and Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) issued to agrarian reform beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. 6657 is hereby amended to read as follows: Sec. In cases where the fishponds or prawn farms have been subjected to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. said law or act. The questioned provisions distort employment benefits and burdens in favor of aquaculture employees and against other industrial workers even as Section 1 and 3. planting of crops. and differently treat aquaculture lands and other industrial lands. Inc. unless the context indicates otherwise: (b) Agriculture. 1995. Provisions of said Act pertinent to the assailed provisions of CARL are the following: 6 4 Sec. The questioned provisions similarly treat of aquaculture lands and agriculture lands when they are differently situated. Section 10 of Republic Act No. Paragraph (b) of Republic Act No. Section 3. — xxx xxx xxx b) Private lands actually. poultry and swine in its coverage.2. growing of fruit trees. 1. including the harvesting of such farm products and other farm activities and practices performed by a farmer in conjunction with such farming operations done by persons whether natural or juridical. or commercial 33 . Agricultural Enterprise or Agricultural Activity means the cultivation of the soil. neither will it preempt the Legislative and the Executive branches of the government in correcting or clarifying. — For the purpose of this Act. Exemptions and Exclusions. by means of amendment. Article XIII of the Constitution mandate the State to promote equality in economic and employment opportunities. While the Court will not hesitate to declare a law or an act void when confronted squarely with constitutional issues. v. Definitions. particularly fishponds and prawn farms. 3. The questioned provisions deprive petitioner of its governmentinduced investments in aquaculture even as Sections 2 and 3. Sec. by voluntary offer to sell. 4.
cooperatives or associations. The foregoing provision shall not apply to agricultural lands subsequently converted to fishponds or prawn farms provided the size of the land converted does not exceed the retention limit of the landowner. Sec. Paragraph 1 is hereby amended to read as follows: Sec. the consent of the farm workers shall no longer be necessary. 34 plantations. vegetable and cutflower farms and shall cacao. 3. xxx xxx xxx Sec. subject immediate compulsory acquisition and distribution after ten (10) years from the effectivity of this Act. fruit farms. — Commercial farms. Commercial Farming. the provision of Section 32-A hereof on incentives shall apply. be coffee to and rubber or operating fishponds and prawn farms are hereby mandated to execute within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act. 4. whereby seven point five percent (7. 32-A. 6657 a section to read as follows Sec. the Government shall initiate steps necessary to acquire these lands. In order to safeguard the right of the regular fishpond or prawn farm workers under the incentive plan.farms deferment or notices of compulsory compensation for the land and the improvements thereon. however. the books of the fishpond or prawn owners shall be subject to periodic audit or inspection by certified public accountants chosen by the workers. which shall thereafter manage the said lands for the workers — beneficiaries. upon payment of just .5%) of their net profit before tax from the operation of the fishpond or prawn farms are distributed within sixty (60) days at the end of the fiscal year as compensation to regular and other pond workers in such ponds over and above the compensation they currently receive. as determined by the DAR. In the case of new farms. Incentives. when the workers or tenants do not agree to this exemption. which are private agricultural lands devoted to saltbeds. the ten-year period shall begin from the first year of commercial production and operation. — Individuals or entities owning In cases where the fishponds or prawn farms have not been subjected to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. a simple and absolute majority of the actual regular workers or tenants must consent to the exemption within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act. an incentive plan with their regular fishpond or prawn farm workers' organization. preferably in favor of organized acquisition. There shall be incorporated after Section 32 of Republic Act No. 11. During the ten-year period. orchards. Section 11. if any. the fishponds or prawn farms shall be distributed collectively to the worker — beneficiaries or tenants who shall form a cooperative or association to manage the same.
The above-mentioned provisions of R. No. In view of the foregoing. No. 35 .A. SO ORDERED. 7881. 7881 expressly state that fishponds and prawn farms are excluded from the coverage of CARL. WHEREFORE.A. the petition is hereby DISMISSED. the question concerning the constitutionality of the assailed provisions has become moot and academic with the passage of R.
Accordingly. on May 6. No. REYNALDO BERROYA. vs. respondents. 38 declaring PANFILO LACSON. No. with prayer for the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. R. No. President Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the lifting of the declaration of a "state of rebellion" in Metro Manila. Mancao. GENERAL DIOMEDIO VILLANUEVA. R. firearms. REYNALDO BERROYA. injunction. As to petitioners' claim that 36 THE LABAN NG DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO. No. mandamus. 147799 for prohibition and injunction with prayer for a writ MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO. . 147781 for mandamus and/or review of the factual basis for the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. petitioner.R. petitioners. clubs. (2) G. Secretary of National Defense. ANGELO REYES. as having no basis both in fact and in law. respondents. President Macapagal-Arroyo. and DIRECTOR GENERAL LEANDRO MENDOZA. issued Proclamation No. 147799 May 10. vs. 2001.. Lacson. bladed weapons. respondents. Aggrieved by the warrantless arrests. with prayer for a temporary restraining order filed by Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Warrantless arrests of several alleged leaders and promoters of the "rebellion" were thereafter effected. Aquino. 147781 May 10. (3) G. ---------------------------------------G. 2001. 2001 that there was a state of rebellion in the National Capital Region . and the declaration of a "state of rebellion. ET AL. J. P/DIRECTOR LEANDRO MENDOZA. MICHAEL RAY B.R. respondents. R. faced by an "angry and violent mob armed with explosives.R. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. SECRETARY HERNANDO PEREZ. 2001 of preliminary injunction and/or restraining order filed by Ronaldo A. 1 directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to suppress the rebellion in the National Capital Region . and P/SR. the instant petitions have been rendered moot and academic.G. No. All the foregoing petitions assail the declaration of a state of rebellion by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the warrantless arrests allegedly effected by virtue thereof.: On May 1. SUPT. LUMBAO. petitioner. stones and other deadly weapons" assaulting and attempting to break into Malacañang.R. ---------------------------------------G. and Cezar O. 147780 May 10. GENERAL DIOMEDIO VILLANUEVA. No. 147810 for certiorari and prohibition filed by the political party Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino. MANCAO. SECRETARY HERNANDO PEREZ. 147810 May 10. and P/SR. 2001 RONALDO A. and habeas corpus (with an urgent application for the issuance of temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction) filed by Panfilio M." which allegedly gave a semblance of legality to the arrests. ---------------------------------------G. No. 147780 for prohibition. THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES. No. AQUINO and CESAR O. SECRETARY HERNANDO PEREZ. 2001 RESOLUTION MELO. P/DIRECTOR LEANDRO MENDOZA. SUPT. petitioner. THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE. the following four related petitions were filed before the Court – (1) G. vs. Significantly. and (4) G. vs. R. Michael Ray B. Lumbao. She likewise issued General Order No.
No. 16. it is manifest that the writ is not called for since its purpose is to relieve petitioners from unlawful restraint (Ngaya-an v. p. since an individual subjected to warrantless arrest is not without adequate remedies in the ordinary course of law. for by that time any arrest would have been in pursuant of a duly issued warrant. several considerations likewise inevitably call for the dismissal of the petitions at bar. and 147799 (Lumbao Petition) that they are under imminent danger of being arrested without warrant do not justify their resort to the extraordinary remedies of mandamus and prohibition. 28. 147799. as stated in respondents' Joint Comments: [I]t is already the declared intention of the Justice Department and police authorities to obtain regular warrants of arrests from the courts for all acts committed prior to and until May 1.nêt Aside from the foregoing reasons. Such an individual may ask for a preliminary investigation under Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. The warrantless arrest feared by petitioners is. All this is without prejudice to his filing an action for damages against the arresting officer under Article 32 of the Civil Code. . Anent petitioners' allegations ex abundante ad cautelam in support of their application for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. No." Moreover.R. 147781. where he may adduce evidence in his defense. as provided under Section 5.1âwphi1. 38. Indeed. otherwise 37 and mancao pray that the "appropriate court before whom the informations against petitioners are filed be directed to desist from arraigning and proceeding with the trial of the case. 147780. Should the detention be without legal ground. In quelling or suppressing the rebellion. 200 SCRA 149 ). G. No. a person subject of a warrantless arrest must be delivered to the proper judicial authorities within the periods provided in Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.R. 147780 In connection with their alleged impending warrantless arrest. R. petitioners Lacson. 2001 which means that preliminary investigations will henceforth be conducted. the Secretary of Justice denies that it has issued a particular order to arrest specific persons in connection with the "rebellion. 147810. 18. Aquino. No. the person arrested can charge the arresting officer with arbitrary detention." He states that what is extant are general instructions to law enforcement officers and military agencies to implement Proclamation No. The prayer to set aside the same must be made in proper proceedings initiated for that purpose. And in the event that the same are later filed.R.the proclamation of a "state of rebellion" is being used by the authorities to justify warrantless arrests. Balweg. no complaints or charges have been filed against any of the petitioners for any crime. if the circumstances so warrant. G. or he may submit himself to inquest proceedings to determine whether or not he should remain under custody and correspondingly be charged in court. 147780 (Lacson Petition). 24) the arresting officer could be held liable for delay in the delivery of detained persons. No. thereby making the prayer for prohibition and mandamus improper at this time (Section 2 and 3. With this declaration. not based on the declaration of a "state of rebellion. (Comment. They are not even expressing intention to leave the country in the near future. p. Rules of Court). Further. thus. Rule 65. the authorities may only resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion. As regards petitioners' prayer that the hold departure orders issued against them be declared null and void ab initio.R. until the instant petition is finally resolved." This relief is clearly premature considering that as of this date. petitioners have a surfeit of other remedies which they can avail themselves of. a matter which remains speculative up to this very day. G. Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. petitioners' apprehensions as to warrantless arrests should be laid to rest. p. this Court cannot enjoin criminal prosecution conducted in accordance with the Rules of Court. G. it is to be noted that petitioners are not directly assailing the validity of the subject hold departure orders in their petition. Verily. G. p. 147781 (DefensorSantiago Petition).R. petitioners' contention in G. No.
R. 272). Jr. invasion or rebellion…" Thus. The rule requires that a party must show a personal stake in the outcome of the case or an injury to himself that can be redressed by a favorable decision so as to warrant an invocation of the court's jurisdiction and to justify the exercise of the court's remedial powers in his behalf ( KMU Labor Center v. To be sure. or wholly unavailable to the courts. 147810 Petitioner Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino is not a real party-in-interest. the instant petition may be considered as an action for declaratory relief. petitioner has not demonstrated any injury to itself which would justify resort to the Court. being an encroachment on the domain of the judiciary which has the constitutional prerogative to "determine or interpret" what took place on May 1. or whose legal right is under imminent threat of invasion or infringement. In many instances. On the other hand. No. Hon.R. G. No. 141284. Petitioner is a juridical person not subject to arrest. members. At best. it cannot claim to be threatened by a warrantless arrest. information necessary to arrive at such judgment might also prove unmanageable for the courts.R.22-23) G. petitioner claiming that its right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly is affected by the . 147781 The petition herein is denominated by petitioner Defensor-Santiago as one for mandamus. Mandamus will not issue unless the right to relief is clear at the time of the award (Palileo v. Section 18. Nor is it alleged that its leaders. some of which may be classified as highly confidential or affecting the security of the state. 147799 The Court. petitioner Defensor Santiago has not shown that she is in imminent danger of being arrested without a warrant. for his part. leader of the People's Movement against Poverty (PMAP). the authorities have categorically stated that petitioner will not be arrested without a warrant. Zamora. Proclamation No. in a proper case. Certain pertinent information might be difficult to 38 of this power. on-the-spot decisions may be imperatively necessary in emergency situations to avert great loss of human lives and mass destruction of property. However. he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence.G. No. No. 2000): x x x The factual necessity of calling out the armed forces is not easily quantifiable and cannot be objectively established since matters considered for satisfying the same is a combination of several factors which are not always accessible to the courts. x x x (at pp. 239 SCRA 386 ). In the exercise of the power to call. and supporters are being threatened with warrantless arrest and detention for the crime of rebellion. Here. the evidence upon which the President might decide that there is a need to call out the armed forces may be of a nature not constituting technical proof. Garcia. this is no longer feasible at this time. 38 having been lifted. the President as Commander-in-Chief has a vast intelligence network to gather information. August 15. Ruiz Castro. Thus. 85 Phil. argues that the declaration of a "state of rebellion" is violative of the doctrine of separation of powers. In point of fact. we held in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. It is basic in matters relating to petitions for mandamus that the legal right of the petitioner to the performance of a particular act which is sought to be compelled must be clear and complete..R. verify. We disagree. Besides the absence of textual standards that the court may use to judge necessity. Article VII of the Constitution expressly provides that "[t]he President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary. Every action must be brought in the name of the party whose legal right has been invaded or infringed. and that the declaration of a state of rebellion cannot be an exception to the general rule on the allocation of the governmental powers. Up to the present time. (G. 2001. may look into the sufficiency of the factual basis of the exercise Petitioner Lumbao.
and all persons acting for and in their behalf. However. and habeas corpus. this Court not having jurisdiction in the first instance over such a petition. consistent and congruent with their undertaking earlier adverted to. prohibition. representatives. respondents. in G. other public ministers and consuls. and over petitions for certiorari. 147780. mandamus. are hereby enjoined from arresting petitioners therein without the required judicial warrant for all acts committed in relation to or in connection with the may 1.R. Article VIII of the Constitution limits the original jurisdiction of the Court to cases affecting ambassadors. to consider the petition as one for declaratory relief affords little comfort to petitioner. 147781. 2001 siege of Malacañang 39 . and 147799. together with their agents.declaration of a "state of rebellion" and that said proclamation is invalid for being contrary to the Constitution. premises considered. However. the petitions are hereby DISMISSED. WHEREFORE. No. Section 5. quo warranto.
4.  In the wake of the Oakwood occupation. February 3. GENERAL NARCISO ABAYA. AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. . CELSO L. 159185. represented by REP. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE SIMEON DATUMANONG. and EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ALBERTO G. HON. 2004] AQUILINO Q. WHEREAS. these misguided elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are being supported. J. 2003. under Section 18. RENE B. 427 and General Order No. Article VII of the present Constitution. HON. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SECRETARY ANGELO REYES.: 40 No. of her powers and prerogatives which constitute the crime of rebellion punishable under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code. DECISION TINGA. GEN. EMMYLOU J. petitioner. SAMSON S. respondents. J. vs. and depriving the President of the Republic of the Philippines. February 3. 427 reads in full: PROCLAMATION NO.R.R. ROMULO. WHEREAS. 2004] REP. 2004] SANLAKAS. publicly declared withdrawal of support for. 159103. REP. CARLOS M. certain elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. and HON. SECRETARY JOSE LINA. EDWIN R. AS SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE. YUMUL-HERMIDA. 159085. LOBREGAT.R. whenever it becomes necessary. GEORGILU R. REP. February 3. vs. SECRETARY ANGELO REYES. wholly or partially. HON. Bautista. and took arms against the duly constituted Government.R. as amended. as a Member of the Senate. ROMULO. HUSSIN U.. 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 July 27. [G. No. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ALBERTO G. No. They came in the middle of the night. as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. and REP. REP. conspirators and plotters in the government service and outside the government. vs. respondents. REP. GENERAL NARCISO ABAYA. TALINO-SANTOS. JR. MITRA. AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE ARMED FORCES. GOROSPE. respondents. have seized a building in Makati City. 427 DECLARING A STATE OF REBELLION powered firearms and explosives. No. SECRETARY ALBERTO ROMULO. AMIN. and continue to rise publicly and show open hostility.V.ACTUAL CASE OR CONTROVERSY ( EXEPTION TO MOOTNESS) [G. ABRAHAM KAHLIL B. armed with high[G. petitioners. put bombs in the area. PIMENTEL. petitioners. MAPILE. represented by REP. RENATO MAGTUBO petitioners. Bewailing the corruption in the AFP.. SUPLICO. SANDOVAL and RODOLFO D. HERMOGENES EBDANE. may call out such Armed Forces to suppress the rebellion. among other things. vs. WHEREAS. ALBANO. the President issued later in the day Proclamation [G. Armed with high-powered ammunitions and explosives. REP. 2004] SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS) OFFICERS/MEMBERS namely. abetted and aided by known and unknown leaders. for the purpose of removing allegiance to the Government certain bodies of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. February 3. and PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA. ALCANTARA. the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP). et al. No. ROLEX T. the resignation of the President. Proclamation No. 159196. SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE ANGELO REYES. the soldiers demanded. acting upon the instigation and command and direction of known and unknown leaders. the President. both declaring “a state of rebellion” and calling out the Armed Forces to suppress the rebellion. JR. ED VINCENT S. SECRETARY JOSE LINA. PADILLA. DIR. PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. respondents.
under Section 18. do hereby call upon the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to suppress and quell the rebellion. 427 dated July 27. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. 41 . Article VII of the Constitution. certain elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. as amended. have seized a building in Makati City. WHEREAS. the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police were directed to suppress and quell the rebellion. and continue to rise publicly and show open hostility. I. 4 dated July 27. a state of rebellion was declared. by virtue of the powers vested in me by law. for the purpose of removing allegiance to the Government certain bodies of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. 4 is similarly worded: WHEREAS. In view of the foregoing. however. did not immediately lift the declaration of a state of rebellion and did so only on August 1. 4 DIRECTING THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE TO SUPPRESS REBELLION WHEREAS. the Oakwood occupation had ended. which was issued on the basis of Proclamation No. 2003. compelling me to declare a state of rebellion. I hereby direct the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Chief of the GENERAL ORDER NO. as the Commander-in-Chief of all Armed Forces of the Philippines. by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as President of the Republic of the Philippines and Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces of the Philippines and pursuant to Proclamation No. 2003. 2003. WHEREAS. by virtue of Proclamation No. Philippine National Police and the officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to immediately carry out the necessary and appropriate actions and measures to suppress and quell the rebellion with due regard to constitutional rights. calling out the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to immediately carry out the necessary actions and measures to suppress and quell the rebellion with due regard to constitutional rights. of the Revised Penal Code. Article VII of the present Constitution. I am issuing General Order No. THEREFORE. By the evening of July 27. and pursuant to Article VII. Section 18 of the Constitution. I. 2003. 435: DECLARING THAT THE STATE OF REBELLION HAS CEASED TO EXIST WHEREAS. and took arms against the duly constituted Government. abetted and aided by known and unknown leaders. 4 in accordance with Section 18. wholly or partially. THEREFORE. The President. publicly declared withdrawal of support for. 427 dated July 27. 2003. put bombs in the area. 427 dated July 27. through Proclamation No. armed with highpowered firearms and explosives. whenever it becomes necessary. After hours-long negotiations. 2003. may call out such Armed Forces to suppress the rebellion. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. General Order No. by virtue of General Order No.NOW. hereby confirm the existence of an actual and on-going rebellion. conspirators and plotters in the government service and outside the government. the President. and depriving the President of the Republic of the Philippines. NOW. these misguided elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are being supported. the soldiers agreed to return to barracks. of her powers and prerogatives which constitute the crime of rebellion punishable under Article 134 et seq. acting upon the instigation and command and direction of known and unknown leaders.
“‘an angry and violent mob armed with explosives. v. petitioner fears that the declaration of a state of rebellion “opens the doo r to the unconstitutional implementation of warrantless arrests” for the crime of rebellion. “Filipino citizens.  They further submit that. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. clubs. Article VII of the Constitution does not authorize the declaration of a state of rebellion. Perez and accompanying cases  precluded this Court from addressing the constitutionality of the declaration. acting pursuant to such proclamation or general order.  party-list organizations Sanlakas and Partido ng Manggagawa (PM). by virtue of the powers vested in me by law. the Solicitor General argues that the petitions have been rendered moot by the lifting of the declaration.R.). stones and other deadly weapons’ assaulted and attempted to break into Malacañang. courts do not adjudicate moot cases.  Petitioners in G. et al. they claim that Section 18. In G. Suplico et al. .”  Like Sanlakas and PM. are liable to violate the constitutional right of private citizens. 435. declaring that the state of rebellion has ceased to exist.”  Petitions were filed before this Court assailing the validity of the President’s declaration. if it is “capable of repetition yet evading review. As a rule.”  Petitioners also submit that the proclamation is a circumvention of the report requirement under the same Section 18. petitioner Senator assails the subject presidential issuances as “an unwarranted. No.  In addition. Article VI of the Constitution.R. et al. firearms. amounts to a usurpation of the power of Congress granted by Section 23 (2). confounds and misleads” because “[o]verzealous public officers. Executive Secretary. taxpayers. No. the President lifted the same. On that occasion. 427 and General Order No. powers and functions were allegedly affected by the declaration of a state of rebellion. I. Article VII.” and is actually an exercise of emergency powers. Article VII of the Constitution does not require the declaration of a state of rebellion to call out the armed forces.”  The case at bar is one such case. No.  Such exercise. judicial power being limited to the determination of “actual controversies. In the interim. et al. there exists no sufficient factual basis for the proclamation by the President of a state of rebellion for an indefinite period. 38 and General Order No.  They contend that the declaration is a “constitutional anomaly” that “confuses.WHEREAS. several petitions were filed before this Court challenging the validity of Proclamation No. the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police have effectively suppressed and quelled the rebellion.). No. 1. President Macapagal-Arroyo and Executive Secretary Romulo). NOW. has rendered the case moot. Romulo. 159085 (Sanlakas and PM v. petitioners brought suit as citizens and as Members of the House of 42 Representatives whose rights. Five days after such declaration. Executive Secretary. it is contended. bladed weapons.  Required to comment. Once before.  Petitioners do not challenge the power of the President to call out the Armed Forces. 159185 (Rep. 159196 (Pimentel v. 2001 declared a state of rebellion and called upon the AFP and the PNP to suppress the rebellion through Proclamation No.  The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that the issuance of Proclamation No. commanding the President to submit a report to Congress within 48 hours from the proclamation of martial law.) are officers/members of the Social Justice Society (SJS). however.  In G.  In G. the Solicitor General questions the standing of the petitioners to bring suit.”  In the main. the President on May 1. hereby declare that the state of rebellion has ceased to exist. contend that Section 18. THEREFORE. however.R. Hon. otherwise moot.  Finally. President of the Philippines. 159103 (SJS Officers/Members v.”  Nevertheless. illegal and abusive exercise of a martial law power that has no basis under the Constitution. that the declaration of a state of rebellion is a “superfluity. The mootness of the petitions in Lacson v. courts will decide a question. they contend that the presidential issuances cannot be construed as an exercise of emergency powers as Congress has not delegated any such power to the President.  They argue.R. 4. law professors and bar reviewers. because of the cessation of the Oakwood occupation.
mandamus. thus impa iring the lawmakers’ legislative powers. and SJS Officers/Members. this Court not having jurisdiction in the first instance over such a petition. Thus. Petitioner is a juridical person not subject to arrest. defend. and over petitions for certiorari. Nor is it alleged that its leaders. protect. it cannot claim to be threatened by a warrantless arrest. As a basic principle of the organizations and as an important plank in their programs. including political and civil rights. Perez: … petitioner has not demonstrated any injury to itself which would justify the resort to the Court. and supporters are being threatened with warrantless arrest and detention for the crime of rebellion. petitioners are committed to assert. Enriquez. especially the poor and marginalized classes and sectors of Philippine society. any member of Congress can have a resort to the courts. which can be questioned by a member of Congress. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. whose standing this Court rejected in Lacson v.] Petitioner party-list organizations claim no better right than the Laban ng Demokratikong An act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress causes a derivative but nonetheless substantial injury. Pimentel.”  Petitioners Sanlakas and PM assert that: 2. Petitioner Members of Congress claim that the declaration of a state of rebellion by the President is tantamount to an exercise of Congress’ emergency powers. interests. and Sen. other public ministers and consuls. In Philippine Constitution Association v. have no legal standing or locus standi to bring suit. and promote the rights. 3. Suplico et al. prohibition. In such a case. At best. so is the power of each member thereof. the mootness of the petitions notwithstanding. “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 governmental act that is being challenged…. Only petitioners Rep.  this Court recognized that: To the extent the powers of Congress are impaired. members. However. uphold. as Members of Congress.  . the instant petition may be considered as an action for declaratory relief. we seize this 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. Section 5 . Petitioners Sanlakas and PM. to consider the petition as one for declaratory relief affords little comfort to petitioner. quo warranto. Article VIII of the Constitution limits the original jurisdiction of the court to cases affecting ambassadors. or whose legal right is under imminent threat of invasion or infringement. 43 Pilipino. Petitioners are committed to defend and assert human rights. The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges “such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. petitioner claiming that it[‘]s right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly is affected by the declaration of a “state of rebellion” and that said proclamation is invalid for being contrary to the Constitution. and habeas corpus. and welfare of the people. Petitioners also maintain that the declaration is a subterfuge to avoid congressional scrutiny into the President’s exercise of martial law powers. since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution.  [Emphasis in the original. as a vehicle to publicly ventilate their grievances and legitimate demands and to mobilize public opinion to support the same. Members of the petitioner organizations resort to mass actions and mobilizations in the exercise of their Constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and their freedom of speech and of expression under Section 4. have standing to challenge the subject issuances.To prevent similar questions from reemerging. Every action must be brought in the name of the party whose legal rights has been invaded or infringed. of the citizens.
Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution. On the other hand. suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.” (Art. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary.Even assuming that petitioners are “people’s organizations. convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call. It is what differentiates decisionmaking in the courts from decisionmaking in the political departments of the government and bars the bringing of suits by just any party. within twenty-four hours following such proclamation That petitioner SJS officers/members are taxpayers and citizens does not necessarily endow them with standing. nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ. or suspension. the Congress may. the petitions must fail. the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies. political. and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing. 44 . voting jointly. Section 18. in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen. the sufficiency of the factual basis for the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the extension thereof. The Congress. he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence. 18. by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session.  It is true that for the purpose of exercising the calling out power the Constitution does not require the President to make a declaration of a state of rebellion. Even granting these petitioners have standing on the ground that the issues they raise are of transcendental importance. is limited by the “case and controversy” requirement of Art. even in cases involving constitutional questions. as this Court made clear in Kilosbayan v. The jurisdiction of this Court.” that their right to “effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social. Article VII provides: Sec. VIII. as the case may be. a citizen will be allowed to raise a constitutional question only when he can show that he has personally suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government. shall. The Supreme Court may review. may revoke such proclamation or suspension. XIII. A taxpayer may bring suit where the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation. Morato:  The Constitution provides that “the State shall respect the role of independent people’s organizations to enable the people to pursue and protect. when the public safety requires it. the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action. §§15-16) These provisions have not changed the traditional rule that only real parties in interest or those with standing. he may. nor authorize the conferment of the jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function. Upon the initiative of the President. if not in session. In case of invasion or rebellion. which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. and economic decision-making shall not be abridged.” this status would not vest them with the requisite personality to question the validity of the presidential issuances. This requirement lies at the very heart of the judicial function. extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress. The suspension of the privilege of the writ shall apply only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion.  Again. within the democratic framework. in the same manner. for a period not exceeding sixty days. if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it. and the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action. no such injury is alleged in this case.  No such illegal disbursement is alleged. The Congress. invasion or rebellion. their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means. may invoke the judicial power. §5.
1.” As if by exposition. . was President Andrew Jackson. Old Hickory.’” Nevertheless. namely. was the first President to champion the indissolubility of the Union by defeating South Carolina’s nullification effort. which would not occur in the instance. Chief of Foreign Relations and Chief of Public Opinion. and threatened secession if the Federal Government sought to oppose the tariff laws.. Section 1. which are drawn chiefly from the Executive Power and Commander-in-Chief provisions. . In the exercise of the latter two powers. . The Ordinance declared the Tariff Acts unconstitutional. President of the above-quoted provisions. as President not only kept faith with the people by driving the patricians from power. Technically. Commander-in-Chief.” The provisions trace their history to the Constitution of the United States..”  From the most to the least benign. Note that the Constitution vests the President not only with Commander-in-Chief powers but. as we observed in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. with Executive powers. the Constitution requires the concurrence of two conditions. Clad with the prerogatives of the office and endowed with sovereign powers.’ the President may call the armed forces ‘to prevent or suppress lawless violence. 1. . and the power to declare martial law. [Emphasis supplied. .  First to find definitive new piers for the authority of the Chief of State. the President serves as Chief of State or Chief of Government.. The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America . as the protector of the people. whose members quickly passed an Ordinance of Nullification. Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states: “The executive power shall be vested in the President…. any person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially charged within three days.S. the President might send troops into a State only if the Governor called for help to suppress an insurrection. the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Constitution granting the U. The President could also send troops to 45 . The only criterion is that ‘whenever it becomes necessary.  “[t]hese conditions are not required in the exercise of the calling out power. an actual invasion or rebellion. Section 17 of the same Article provides: “He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. first and foremost.] The above provision grants the President. from South Carolina. . His task of enforcement would not be easy. Section 2.S. is instructive. as Commander-in-Chief. Article II of which states in part: Section 1. . these are: the calling out power. as well as the presidential oath of office.  However.S. otherwise he shall be released. Article VII does not expressly prohibit the President from declaring a state of rebellion. Section 3. a “sequence” of “graduated power[s]. and that public safety requires the exercise of such power. as juxtaposed against the corresponding action of the U. Its State Legislature ordered an election for a convention. … he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…. Coming to office by virtue of a political revolution. as he was fondly called.  The Federal Tariff Acts of 1828 and 1832 that Congress enacted did not pacify the hotspurs The specific provisions of the U. Jackson. prohibited South Carolina citizens from obeying them after a certain date in 1833. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.  Jackson bided his time. [Article II – Executive Power] Recalling in historical vignettes the use by the U. ..During the suspension of the privilege of the writ.. invasion or rebellion. Zamora. President executive and commander-in-chief powers have remained in their original simple form since the Philadelphia Constitution of 1776. Supreme Court.. The Legislature then implemented the Ordinance with bristling punitive laws aimed at any who sought to pay or collect customs duties. it is equally true that Section 18.S.
State Legislatures began to adopt resolutions of agreement. the claimants contended that under international law. the Supreme Court upheld Lincoln’s right to act as he had. For leading the strikes and violating the injunction. Jackson prepared to ask Congress for a force bill. 1832. non-nullifiers and tight-rope walkers. and dared them. . would be to recapture forts. Their first service. . any destruction of or interference with property.  Later. Although his Proclamation was subsequently validated by Congress. in case of invasion. In less than two-years. or any disturbance of peaceful citizens. the grant of the power was incorporated in the 1935 Constitution.S. Supreme Court approved President Lincoln’s report to use the war powers without the benefit of Congress. the balance of the people composing this Union have a perfect right to coerce them to obedience.  In the course of time.S. . insurrection. Soon. the U. it grew into an independent power 46 according to the proclamation.” Then in a Proclamation he issued on December 10. In his Message of July 4.000 troops. He could not but perform the duty or surrender the existence of the Government . The decision was handed in the celebrated Prize Cases  which involved suits attacking the President’s right to legally institute a blockade.  Elected in 1884.  Lincoln’s Proclamation of April 15. But these laws were aimed at individual citizens. In a letter to a friend. President’s power to call out armed forces and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus without prior legislative approval.  The use of the power was put to judicial test and this Court held that the case raised a political question and said that it is beyond its province to inquire into the exercise of the power. and the President announced that the national voice from Maine on the north to Louisiana on the south had declared nullification and accession “confined to contempt and infamy. a blockade could be instituted only as a measure of war under the sovereign power of the State.see to it that the laws enacted by Congress were faithfully executed. who was the union president. the President gave the essence of his position. the . places and property. He seized upon the President’s designation by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief. to be validated by Congress when it assembled. By a 5 to 4 vote. Are you ready to incur its guilt?”  The Proclamation frightened nullifiers.  Lincoln embraced the Jackson concept of the President’s independent power and duty under his oath directly to represent and protect the people. Grover Cleveland took his ascent to the presidency to mean that it made him the trustee of all the people. called for 75. 1861. and sought some source of executive power not failed by misuse or wrecked by sabotage. as Abraham Lincoln. Since under the Constitution only Congress is exclusively empowered to declare war. or rebellion came to be recognized and accepted. issue the Emancipation Proclamation. The United States introduced the expanded presidential powers in the Philippines through the Philippine Bill of 1902. it is only that body that could impose a blockade and all prizes seized before the legislative declaration were illegal.” which he practiced during his incumbency. Lincoln declared that “the Executive found the duty of employing the war power in defense of the government forced upon him. and provided no enforcement machinery against violation by a State. He wrote: “.”  No other President entered office faced with problems so formidable. coupled it to the executive power provision — and joined them as “the war power” which authorized him to do many things beyond the competence of Congress. Debs. when a faction in a State attempts to nullify a constitutional law of Congress.” This concept began as a transition device. “disunion by armed force is treason. Guided by the maxim that “Public office is a public trust. he called upon South Carolinians to realize that there could be no peaceable interference with the execution of the laws. was convicted of contempt of court. . taking care “to avoid any devastation. Brought to the Supreme Court.”  Early in 1863. the U. The injunction banned all picketing and distribution of handbills.  under which he felt authorized to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. and restore reoccupied States. Lincoln believed the President’s power broad and that of Congress explicit and restricted. 1861. . or to destroy the Union. Cleveland sent federal troops to Illinois to quell striking railway workers who defied a court injunction. and enfeebled by personal and political handicaps so daunting.
proposed that the Philippine President was vested with residual power and that this is even greater than that of the U. “whenever wrongs complained of are such as affect the public at large.  Eventually. Cortes.” “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the Philippines. she wrote: ….  In In Re: Eugene Debs. For as the Supreme Court of the Philippines pointed out in Ocampo v. There is a unity in the executive branch absent from the two other branches of government. President. he found means other than force to end the 1902 hard-coal strike. the power of the State to intervene in and even take over the operation of vital utilities in the public interest was accepted. Thus.” The judicial powers shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as may be provided by law. Taking off from President Cleveland.” If this is true of the legislative power which is exercised by two chambers with a combined membership [at that time] of more than 120 and of the judicial power which is vested in a hierarchy of courts. He is the executive. The president is not the chief of many executives.  Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. or prevent it from taking measures therein to fully discharge those constitutional duties. so it went on. and are in respect of matters which by the Constitution are entrusted to the care of the Nation and concerning which the Nation owes the duty to all citizens of securing to them their common rights. In the Philippines. “a grant of legislative power means a grant of all the legislative power.principal issue was by what authority of the Constitution or statute had the President to send troops without the request of the Governor of the State.” ever undertook to employ was his plan to occupy and operate Pennsylvania’s coal mines under his authority as Commanderin-Chief. so that coal production would begin again.R. She attributed this distinction to the “unitary and highly centralized” nature of the Philippine government. Still. et al. It ruled that it is not the government’s province to mix in merely individual present controversies.” Elaborating on the constitutional basis for her argument.S. She noted that. which was later carried over with modifications in Section 7.S. He personifies the executive branch.  Article XIII of the 1935 Constitution. Justice Irene R. The lesson to be learned from the U.”  The most far-reaching extension of presidential power “T. this led to the incorporation of Section 6. Cabangis. Cleveland’s course had the Court’s attest. and a grant of the judicial power means a grant of all the judicial power which may be exercised under the government. constitutional history is that the Commander-in-Chief powers are broad enough as it is and become more so when taken together with the provision on executive power and the presidential oath of office.  the Supreme Court upheld the contempt conviction. “There is no counterpart of the several states of the American union which have reserved powers under the United States constitution.” he felt that the executive power “was limited only by the specific restrictions and prohibitions appearing in the Constitution. In the issue. it can equally if not more appropriately apply to the executive power which is vested in one official – the president.” These provisions not only establish a separation of powers by actual division but also confer plenary legislative. then the mere fact that the Government has no pecuniary interest in the controversy is not sufficient to exclude it from the Courts. President Theodore Roosevelt launched what political scientists dub the “stewardship theory. the plenitude of the powers of the presidency equips the occupant with the means to address exigencies or threats which undermine the very existence of government or the integrity of the State. the late Mme. The  Philippine [C]onstitution establishes the three departments of the government in this manner: “The legislative power shall be vested in a Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. executive.  Article XIV of the 1973 Constitution.” Calling himself “the steward of the people.”  Thus. or impleaded by Congress under its constitutional powers. but he had made detailed plans to use his power as Commander-in-Chief to wrest the mines from the stubborn operators. His direction of the executive branch can be more immediate and direct than 47 . In The Philippine Presidency A Study of Executive Power. and judicial powers. and thereafter in Section 18.
the United States president because he is given by express provision of the constitution control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices.  The esteemed Justice conducted her study against the backdrop of the 1935 Constitution, the framers of which, early on, arrived at a general opinion in favor of a strong Executive in the Philippines.”  Since then, reeling from the aftermath of martial law, our most recent Charter has restricted the President’s powers as Commander-in-Chief. The same, however, cannot be said of the President’s powers as Chief Executive. In her ponencia in Marcos v. Manglapus, Justice Cortes put her thesis into jurisprudence. There, the Court, by a slim 8-7 margin, upheld the President’s power to forbid the return of her exiled predecessor. The rationale for the majority’s ruling rested on the President’s … unstated residual powers which are implied from the grant of executive power and which are necessary for her to comply with her duties under the Constitution. The powers of the President are not limited to what are expressly enumerated in the article on the Executive Department and in scattered provisions of the Constitution. This is so, notwithstanding the avowed intent of the members of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 to limit the powers of the President as a reaction to the abuses under the regime of Mr. Marcos, for the result was a limitation of specific powers of the President, particularly those relating to the commander-in-chief clause, but not a diminution of the general grant of executive power.  [Underscoring supplied. Italics in the original.] Thus, the President’s authority to declare a state of rebellion springs in the main from her powers as chief executive and, at the same time, draws strength from her Commander-inChief powers. Indeed, as the Solicitor General accurately points out, statutory authority for such a declaration may be found in Section 4, Chapter 2 (Ordinance Power), Book III (Office of the President) of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, which states: SEC. 4. Proclamations. – Acts of the President fixing a date or declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, upon the existence of which the operation of a specific law or
regulation is made to depend, shall be promulgated in proclamations which shall have the force of an executive order. [Emphasis supplied.] The foregoing discussion notwithstanding, in calling out the armed forces, a declaration of a state of rebellion is an utter superfluity.  At most, it only gives notice to the nation that such a state exists and that the armed forces may be called to prevent or suppress it.  Perhaps the declaration may wreak emotional effects upon the perceived enemies of the State, even on the entire nation. But this Court’s mandate is to probe only into the legal consequences of the declaration. This Court finds that such a declaration is devoid of any legal significance. For all legal intents, the declaration is deemed not written. Should there be any “confusion” generated by the issuance of Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4, we clarify that, as the dissenters in Lacson correctly pointed out, the mere declaration of a state of rebellion cannot diminish or violate constitutionally protected rights.  Indeed, if a state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution or automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,  then it is with more reason that a simple declaration of a state of rebellion could not bring about these conditions.  At any rate, the presidential issuances themselves call for the suppression of the rebellion “with due regard to constitutional rights.” For the same reasons, apprehensions that the military and police authorities may resort to warrantless arrests are likewise unfounded. In Lacson vs. Perez, supra, majority of the Court held that “[i]n quelling or suppressing the rebellion, the authorities may only resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion, as provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court,  if the circumstances so warrant. The warrantless arrest feared by petitioners is, thus, not based on the declaration of a ‘state of rebellion.’”  In other words, a person may be subjected to a warrantless arrest for the crime of rebellion whether or not the President has declared a state of rebellion, so long as the requisites for a valid warrantless arrest are present. It is not disputed that the President has full discretionary power to call out the armed forces and to determine the necessity for the exercise of such power. While the Court may examine
whether the power was exercised within constitutional limits or in a manner constituting grave abuse of discretion, none of the petitioners here have, by way of proof, supported their assertion that the President acted without factual basis.  The argument that the declaration of a state of rebellion amounts to a declaration of martial law and, therefore, is a circumvention of the report requirement, is a leap of logic. There is no indication that military tribunals have replaced civil courts in the “theater of war” or that military authorities have taken over the functions of civil government. There is no allegation of curtailment of civil or political rights. There is no indication that the President has exercised judicial and legislative powers. In short, there is no illustration that the President has attempted to exercise or has exercised martial law powers. Nor by any stretch of the imagination can the declaration constitute an indirect exercise of emergency powers, which exercise depends upon a grant of Congress pursuant to Section 23 (2), Article VI of the Constitution: Sec. 23. (1) …. (2) In times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner
withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof. The petitions do not cite a specific instance where the President has attempted to or has exercised powers beyond her powers as Chief Executive or as Commander-in-Chief. The President, in declaring a state of rebellion and in calling out the armed forces, was merely exercising a wedding of her Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief powers. These are purely executive powers, vested on the President by Sections 1 and 18, Article VII, as opposed to the delegated legislative powers contemplated by Section 23 (2), Article VI. WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby DISMISSED.
AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., EDGARDO J. ANGARA, JUAN PONCE ENRILE, LUISA P. EJERCITO-ESTRADA, JINGGOY E. ESTRADA, PANFILO M. LACSON, ALFREDO S. LIM, JAMBY A.S. MADRIGAL, and SERGIO R. OSMEÑA III, Petitioners,
G.R. No. 164978
RAUL M. GONZALEZ, ALBERTO G. ROMULO,
Present: Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez,
RENE C. VILLA, and ARTHUR C. YAP, Respondents. October 13, 2005
The Case This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to declare unconstitutional the appointments issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (“President Arroyo”) through Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita (“Secretary Ermita”) to Florencio B. Abad, Avelino J. Cruz, Jr., Michael T.
- versus -
Corona, Carpio Morales,
Defensor, Joseph H. Durano, Raul M. Gonzalez, Alberto G. Romulo, Rene C. Villa, and Arthur C. Yap (“respondents”) as acting secretaries of their respective departments. The petition also seeks to prohibit respondents from performing the duties of department secretaries.
EXEC. SECRETARY EDUARDO R. ERMITA, FLORENCIO B. ABAD, AVELINO J. CRUZ, JR., MICHAEL T. DEFENSOR, JOSEPH H. DURANO,
Callejo, Sr., Azcuna, Tinga, Antecedent Facts Chico-Nazario, and The Senate and the House of Representatives (“Congress”) commenced their regular session Garcia, JJ. on 26 July 2004. The Commission on Appointments, composed of Senators and Representatives, was constituted on 25 August 2004.
Meanwhile. Luisa P. On 8 September 2004. Jr. you may qualify and enter upon the performance of the duties and functions of the office. Pimentel. DEPARTMENT OF (appropriate department) vice (name of person replaced). Rene C. you are hereby appointed ACTING SECRETARY. Cruz. Osmeña. Angara (“Senator Angara”). On 23 September 2004. Ejercito -Estrada (“Senator Ejercito-Estrada”). (“Senator Pimentel”). Estrada (“Senator Estrada”). Alfredo S. Yap Alberto G. you are hereby appointed SECRETARY [AD INTERIM]. Aquilino Q.S. Defensor Department Agriculture Foreign Affairs Justice Education National Defense Agrarian Reform Tourism Environment and Natural Resources Date of Appointment 15 August 2004 23 August 2004 23 August 2004 23 August 2004 23 August 2004 23 August 2004 23 August 2004 23 August 2004 Respondents took their oath of office and assumed duties as acting secretaries. Edgardo J. By virtue hereof. Panfilo M. furnishing this Office and the Civil Service Commission with copies of your oath of office. furnishing this Office and the Civil Service Commission with copies of your Oath of Office. Madrigal (“Senator Madrigal”). The appointment papers are The appointment papers are uniformly worded as follows: uniformly worded as follows: Sir: Pursuant to the provisions of existing laws. Jr. 51 Sir: Pursuant to the provisions of existing laws. Romulo Raul M. Appointee Arthur C. Juan Ponce Enrile (“Senator Enrile”). Jinggoy E. Lim (“Senator Lim”). . By virtue hereof. DEPARTMENT OF (appropriate department). Gonzalez Florencio B. and Sergio R. Abad Avelino J. you may qualify and enter upon the performance of the duties and functions of the office. President Arroyo issued appointments to respondents as acting secretaries of their respective departments. Jamby A. Congress adjourned on 22 September 2004. Durano Michael T. III (“Senator Osmeña”) (“petitioners”) filed the present petition as Senators of the Republic of the Philippines. President Arroyo issued ad interim appointments to respondents as secretaries of the departments to which they were previously appointed in an acting capacity. Villa Joseph H. Lacson (“Senator Lacson”).
Executive Secretary as basis. the functions of the Commissioner are purely executive in nature. As a rule. The powers of the Commission do not come from Congress. on the other hand. xxx The Commission on Appointments is a creature of the Preliminary Matters On the Mootness of the Petitio The Solicitor General argues that the petition is moot because President Arroyo had extended to respondents ad interim appointments on 23 September 2004 immediately after the recess of Congress. The Solicitor General further states that petitioners may not claim standing as Senators because no power of the Commission on Appointments has been “infringed upon or violated by the President. Limitations on the executive power to appoint are construed strictly against the legislature.” unconstitutional acts of the President. Although its membership is confined to members of Congress. Petitioners further contend that they possess standing because President Arroyo’s appointment of department secretaries in an acting capacity while Congress is in session impairs the powers of Congress. The Court’s Ruling The petition has no merit. The Commission on Appointments respondents as acting secretaries without the consent of the Commission on Appointments while Congress is in session. state that the Court can exercise its certiorari jurisdiction over The power to appoint is essentially executive in nature. and the legislature may not interfere with the exercise of this executive power except in those instances when the Constitution expressly allows it to interfere. On the Nature of the Power to Appoint Petitioners. However. xxx If at all. with the exception of Secretary Ermita. courts will decide a question otherwise moot if it is capable of repetition yet evading review. it is not an agent of Congress. the mootness of the petition does not bar its resolution. Petitioners cite Sanlakas v. In fact. petitioners effectively seek to oust respondents for unlawfully exercising the powers of department secretaries. However. said Commission is independent of Congress. In the present case. as an exception to the rule on mootness. xxx On Petitioners’ Standing The Solicitor General states that the present petition is a quo warranto proceeding because. Congress cannot appoint a person to an office in the guise of prescribing qualifications to that office. Neither may Congress impose on the President the duty to appoint any particular person to an office. even if the Commission on Appointments is composed of members of Congress. Hence. The question of the constitutionality of the President’s appointment of department secretaries in an acting capacity while Congress is in session will arise in every such appointment.Issue The petition questions the constitutionality of President Arroyo’s appointment of an appointive office. the Commission on Appointments as a body (rather than individual members of the Congress) may possess standing in this case. the writ of prohibition will not lie to enjoin acts already done. Thus: Constitution. but emanate directly from the Constitution. The scope of the legislature’s interference in the executive’s power to appoint is limited to the power to prescribe the qualifications to 52 does not legislate when it exercises its power to give or withhold consent to presidential appointments. thus: . the exercise of its powers is executive and not legislative.
respondents maintain that the President can issue appointments in an acting capacity to department secretaries without the consent of the Commission on Appointments even while Congress is in session. President Arroyo’s issuance of acting appointments while Congress is in session impairs no power of Congress. and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. ambassadors. by law. possess no standing in the present petition. Among the petitioners. to a vacant position of an office needing confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. other public ministers and consuls. appoint the heads of the executive departments. xxx An act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress causes a derivative but nonetheless substantial injury. 292 (“EO 292”). Chapter 2. Estrada. on the impairment of the prerogatives of members of the Commission on Appointments.To the extent that the powers of Congress are impaired. Angara. and Senator Angara. only Senators Enrile. Lim. any member of Congress can have a resort to the courts. The Congress may. only the following are members of the Commission on Appointments of the 13 Congress: Senator Enrile as Minority Floor Leader. and Senator Osmeña as members. and Madrigal. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law. it is error for petitioners to claim standing in the present case as members of Congress. Respondents point to Section 16. Paragraph 5 of Section 10 reads: 53 whether regular or acting. The President shall nominate and. unless otherwise provided by law. Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. In such a case. vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in . Considering the independence of the Commission on Appointments from Congress.” Petitioners base their argument on Section 10. Thus. Senator Lacson as Assistant Minority Floor Leader. Lacson. and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain. Ejercito-Estrada. Section 16 reads: SEC. This is in contrast to Senators Pimentel. though vigilant in protecting their perceived prerogatives as members of Congress. without first having obtained its consent. 16. who. and Petitioners further assert that “while Congress is in session. so is the power of each member thereof. Where there are more than one Undersecretary. it is only an Undersecretary who can be designated as Acting Secretary. Book IV of Executive Order No. Senator Ejercito-Estrada. the Secretary shall allocate the foregoing powers and duties among them. . 10.” In sharp contrast. The Constitutionality of President Arroyo’s Issuance of Appointments to Respondents as Acting Secretaries Petitioners contend that President Arroyo should not have appointed respondents as acting secretaries because “in case of a vacancy in the Office of a Secretary. Powers and Duties of the Undersecretary. and Osmeña have standing in the present petition.The Undersecretary shall: (5) Temporarily discharge the duties of the Secretary in the latter’s absence or inability to discharge his duties for any cause or in case of vacancy of the said office. which enumerates the powers and duties of the undersecretary. xxx th SEC. there can be no appointments. The President shall likewise make the temporary designation of Acting Secretary from among them. since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution. which can be questioned by a member of Congress. with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.
cannot impose on the President the obligation to appoint automatically the undersecretary as her temporary alter ego. In case of vacancy in an office occupied by an alter ego of the President. Book III of EO 292 read: SEC. in the courts. An alter ego. Respondents also rely on EO 292. the President must necessarily appoint an alter ego of her choice as acting secretary before the permanent appointee of her choice could assume office. the President must appoint in an acting capacity a person of her choice even while Congress is in session. the President may even . by the very nature of the office of a department secretary. SEC. 16. — The President shall exercise the power to appoint such officials as provided for in the Constitution and laws. The essence of an appointment in an acting capacity is its temporary nature. Chapter 5. shall not exceed the salary authorized by law for the position filled. (3) In no case shall a temporary designation exceed one (1) year. unless he is already in the government service in which case he shall receive only such additional compensation as. The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress. The compensation hereby authorized shall be paid out of the funds appropriated for the office or agency concerned. commissions. but practical reasons may make it expedient that the acting appointee will also be the permanent appointee. The law expressly allows the President to make such acting appointment. or boards. That person may or may not be the permanent appointee.” Thus. which devotes a chapter to the President’s power of appointment. (Emphasis supplied) 54 Petitioners and respondents maintain two diametrically opposed lines of thought. or in the heads of departments. The office of a department secretary may become vacant while Congress is in session. 17. — (1) The President may temporarily designate an officer already in the government service or any other competent person to perform the functions of an office in the executive branch.] (2) The person designated shall receive the compensation attached to the position. absence or any other cause. Congress. Chapter 5. Thus. Title I. Petitioners assert that the President cannot issue appointments in an acting capacity to department secretaries while Congress is in session because the law does not give the President such power. Congress. whether voluntary or compulsory. Power of Appointment. but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress. in the guise of prescribing qualifications to an office. Title I. cannot impose on the President who her alter ego should be. when: (a) the officer regularly appointed to the office is unable to perform his duties by reason of illness. with his existing salary. It is a stop-gap measure intended to fill an office for a limited time until the appointment of a permanent occupant to the office. Power to Issue Temporary Designation. holds a position of great trust and confidence. appointment to which is vested in him by law. agencies. Since a department secretary is the alter ego of the President.the President alone. through a law. Sections 16 and 17. or (b) there exists a vacancy[. In contrast. Section 17. Book III of EO 292 states that “[t]he President may temporarily designate an officer already in the government service or any other competent person to perform the functions of an office in the executive branch. such as the office of a department secretary. respondents insist that the President can issue such appointments because no law prohibits such appointments. whether temporary or permanent. the acting appointee to the office must necessarily have the President’s confidence.
Both of them are effective upon acceptance. Finally. they can also be a way of circumventing the need for confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. municipal ordinances. like the use of acting appointments as a way to circumvent confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Moreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection. petitioners claim that the issuance of appointments in an acting capacity is susceptible to abuse. because it only applies to appointments vested in the President by law. we find no abuse in the present case. In distinguishing ad interim appointments from appointments in an acting capacity. acting appointments are not submitted to the Commission on Appointments.appoint in an acting capacity a person not yet in the government service. However. whereas acting appointments may be extended any time there is a vacancy. way before the lapse of one year. Chapter 5. Title I. Book III of EO 292. Petitioners fail to consider that acting appointments cannot exceed one year as expressly provided in Section 17(3). Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling important offices but. if abused. as long as the President deems that person competent. Petitioners assert that Section 17 does not apply to appointments vested in the President by the Constitution. appointments in an acting capacity. 55 . implementing rules issued pursuant to law. and judicial decisions. we DISMISS the present petition for certiorari and prohibition. But ad-interim appointments are extended only during a recess of Congress. statutes or acts of Congress. Petitioners forget that Congress is not the only source of law. “Law” refers to the Constitution. a noted textbook writer on constitutional law has observed: Ad-interim appointments must be distinguished from WHEREFORE. SO ORDERED. The law has incorporated this safeguard to prevent abuses. The absence of abuse is readily apparent from President Arroyo’s issuance of ad interim appointments to respondents immediately upon the recess of Congress.
SOLER SANTOS.R.T. petitioners. 3 On the same date. SUSAN CALO MEDINA. Corazon Fiel. and/or the Executive Secretary.: All thirty-five (35) petitioners in this Special Civil Action for Prohibition and Mandamus with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction and/or Restraining Order seek to enjoin the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) from proceeding with the auction sale scheduled on 11 January 1991 by Christie's of New York of the Old Masters Paintings and 18th and 19th century silverware seized from Malacañang and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and placed in the custody of the Central Bank. The antecedents: On 9 August 1990. ROSALINDA OROSA.PROPER PARTY G. EPHRAIM SAMSON. LUCRECIA KASILAG.. his relatives and cronies.. authorized Chairman Caparas to sign the Consignment Agreement allowing Christie's of New York to auction off the subject art pieces for and in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines. requesting her for authority to sign the proposed Consignment Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines through PCGG and Christie. AMBASSADOR E. Inc. PROF. ANG KIU KOK. ARCEO. respondents. PURUGANAN. BELLOSILLO. and PAZ VETO PLANAS. LIWAYWAY A. IRMA POTENCIANO.T. Jr. STEVE SANTOS. representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. According to the agreement. Hence. or CHRISTIE'S) concerning the scheduled sale on 11 January 1991 of eighty-two (82) Old Masters Paintings and antique 56 Macaraig. and CHAIRMAN MATEO A. CATALINO MACARAIG. ADRIAN CRISTOBAL. 2 On 15 November 1990. 4 . (c) PCGG had a poor track record in asset disposal by auction in the U. CARMEN GUERRERO NAKPIL. VIRGILIO ALMARIO. Mateo A. vs. LUCRECIA R.. Domingo submitted to President Aquino the audit findings and observations of COA on the Consignment Agreement of 15 August 1990 to the effect that: (a) the authority of former PCGG Chairman Caparas to enter into the Consignment Agreement was of doubtful legality. JR. Aquino. Director of National Museum Gabriel S. FEDERICO AGUILAR ALCUAZ. MAURO MALANG. INGRID SANTAMARIA. hence. HARPER. then Chairman of PCGG. their disposal was prohibited by law. Carmen Guerrero Nakpil. LIGAYA DAVID PEREZ. this petition originally filed on 7 January 1991 by Dean Jose Joya. FLORENCIO R. HELENA BENITEZ. (b) the contract was highly disadvantageous to the government. Ricarte M. ARMIDA SIGUION REYNA. through former Executive Secretary Catalino DEAN JOSE JOYA. Puruganan. 1 On 26 October 1990. PATRICIA RUIZ. MANDY NAVASERO.. ANNA MARIA L. wrote then President Corazon C. URTULA.S. Casal issued a certification that the items subject of the Consignment Agreement did not fall within the classification of protected cultural properties and did not specifically qualify as part of the Filipino cultural heritage. KERIMA POLOTAN. PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG). PCGG through its new Chairman David M. ROMEO SALVADOR. NELSON NAVARRO. Caparas. Armida Siguion Reyna. On 14 August 1990. through Chairman Caparas. and such other property as may subsequently be identified by PCGG and accepted by CHRISTIE'S to be subject to the provisions of the agreement. On 15 August 1990. Ingrid Santamaria. BONNIE RUIZ. J. JACELA. Adrian Cristobal. Irma Potenciano. then President Aquino. the Commission on Audit (COA) through then Chairman Eufemio C. JOSEPHINE DARANG. wrote President Aquino defending the Consignment Agreement and refuting the allegations of COA Chairman Domingo. CHARITO PLANAS. and. (d) the assets subject of auction were historical relics and had cultural significance. RICARTE M. (Christie's of New York. signed the Consignment Agreement with Christie's of New York. JR. SUSANO GONZALES. PCGG. Aguilar Cruz. Ambassador E. PCGG shall consign to CHRISTIE'S for sale at public auction the eighty-two (82) Old Masters Paintings then found at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila as well as the silverware contained in seventy-one (71) cartons in the custody of the Central Bank of the Philippines. Manson and Woods International. 96541 August 24. CORAZON FIEL. Prof. 1993 silverware seized from Malacañang and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila alleged to be part of the ill-gotten wealth of the late President Marcos. No. AGUILAR CRUZ. in his official capacity. Castro. CAPARAS.
petitioners invoke this policy of the state on the protection of the arts. art has become a true expression of beauty. enrichment. Jr. Ana Maria L. (e) whether. the value of art cannot be gainsaid. the incumbent Executive Secretary. Jr. The rule is settled that no question involving the constitutionality or validity of a law or governmental act may be heard and decided by the court unless there is compliance with the legal requisites for judicial inquiry. Arceo. reflecting his deep-seated ideals. the following were joined as additional petitioners: Charito Planas. that there must be an actual case or controversy. namely: that the question must be raised by the proper party. that is the solemn duty of the state to "foster the preservation. On the other hand." And. Soler Santos. But the most important are the first two (2) requisites. Mandy Navasero. Ang Kiu Kok. Sec. the altruistic and noble purpose of the petition notwithstanding. there is that basic legal question which must first be resolved: whether the instant petition complies with the legal requisites for this Court to exercise its power of judicial review over this case. But. the sale at public auction proceeded as scheduled and the proceeds of $13. as well as troubled and turbulent years. On the first requisite. Such artistic creations give us insights into the artists' cultural heritage — the historic past of the nation and the era to which they belong — in their triumphant. For. Kerima Polotan. 14. Nelson Navarro. Ligaya David Perez. (b) whether the Old Masters Paintings and antique silverware are embraced in the phrase "cultural treasure of the nation" which is under the protection of the state pursuant to the 1987 Constitution and/or "cultural properties" contemplated under R. Jacela. that the question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. Virgilio Almario and Liwayway A. Indeed. and dynamic evolution of a Filipino national culture based on the principle of unity in diversity in a climate of free artistic and intellectual expression. However. Caparas were impleaded as additional respondents. at the same time. Susan Carlo Medina. The issues being interrelated. subject items. XIV. Ephraim Samson.302. we issued immediately our resolution denying the application for preliminary injunction to restrain the scheduled sale of the artworks on the ground that petitioners had not presented a clear legal right to a restraining order and that proper parties had not been impleaded. and. 1987 Constitution mandated in Art.A.Florencio R. we have held that one having no right or interest to protect cannot invoke 57 6 (d) whether respondent.604. On 11 January 1991. 4846. in his capacity as former Executive Secretary. Federico Aguilar Alcuaz. glorious. Petitioners raise the following issues: (a) whether petitioners have legal standing to file the instant petition. 5 proceeding. on motion of petitioners. before After the oral arguments of the parties on 9 January 1991. Rosalinda Orosa. whether the above issues warrant resolution from this Court. Lucrecia R. PCGG has complied with the due process clause and other statutory requirements for the exportation and sale of the the jurisdiction of the court as party-plaintiff in an . Patricia Ruiz. joy. Josephine Darang and Paz Veto Planas. otherwise known as "The Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act. Harper. we wish to emphasize that we admire and commend petitioners' zealous concern to keep and preserve within the country great works of art by well-known old masters. Romeo Salvador. Bonnie Ruiz. they will be discussed jointly hereunder.T." (c) whether the paintings and silverware are properties of public dominion on which can be disposed of through the joint concurrence of the President and Congress. Mauro Malang. (f) whether the petition has become moot and academic.. and Chairman Mateo A. in urging this Court to grant their petition.. and. by serving as a creative medium through which man can express his innermost thoughts and unbridled emotions while. Catalino Macaraig. It must be for this reason that the framers of the On 5 February 1991. Helena Benitez.86 were turned over to the Bureau of Treasury. Steve Santos. and life itself. Susano Gonzales. and if so. Urtula. that the decision on the constitutional or legal question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. Lucrecia Kasilag. PCGG has the jurisdiction and authority to enter into an agreement with Christie's of New York for the sale of the artworks.
these paintings and silverware were taken There are certain instances however when this Court has allowed exceptions to the rule on legal standing. as when a citizen brings a case for mandamus to procure the enforcement of a public duty for the fulfillment of a public right recognized by the Constitution.action. The Court will exercise its power of judicial review only if the case is brought before it by a party who has the legal standing to raise the constitutional or legal question. They themselves allege that the paintings were donated by private persons from different parts of the world to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila Foundation. although this action is also one of mandamus filed by concerned citizens." governing the preservation and disposition of national and important cultural properties. it does not fulfill the criteria for a mandamus suit. 11 10 from Malacañang and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and transferred to the Central Bank Museum. Similarly. petitioners are not after the fulfillment of a positive duty 58 . In Legaspi v. as alleged in the petition. Petitioners also anchor their case on the premise that the paintings and silverware are public properties collectively owned by them and by the people in general to view and enjoy as great works of art.A. 14 to 18. 4846 known as "The Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act. 12 their subsequent disposition must be raised only by the proper parties — the true owners thereof — whose authority to recover emanates from their proprietary rights which are protected by statutes and the Constitution. Marcos. 13 this Court laid down the rule that a writ of mandamus may be issued to a citizen only when the public right to be enforced and the concomitant duty of the state are unequivocably set forth in the Constitution. This is premised on Sec. or a mere incidental interest. The term "interest" is material interest. the interest of the party plaintiff must be personal and not one based on a desire to vindicate the constitutional right of some third and related party. Tantoco. Civil Service Commission. The foundation's chairman was former First Lady Imelda R. and R. any constitutional or statutory defect in their acquisition and and when a taxpayer questions the validity of a governmental act authorizing the disbursement of public funds. which is a non-profit and nonstock corporations established to promote non-Philippine arts. petitioners have been deprived of their right to public property without due process of law in violation of the Constitution. an occasion personal to them. particularly Art. Further. XIV. while its president was Bienvenido R. Rule 3. 9 8 7 Petitioners' arguments are devoid of merit. Having failed to show that they are the legal owners of the artworks or that the valued pieces have become publicly owned. of the Rules of Court which provides that every action must be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party-in-interest. the ownership of these paintings legally belongs to the foundation or corporation or the members thereof. The confiscation of these properties by the Aquino administration however should not be understood to mean that the ownership of these paintings has automatically passed on the government without complying with constitutional and statutory requirements of due process and just compensation. they have the legal personality to restrain respondents Executive Secretary and PCGG from acting contrary to their public duty to conserve the artistic creations as mandated by the 1987 Constitution. an interest in issue and to be affected by the decree. Secs. although the public has been given the opportunity to view and appreciate these paintings when they were placed on exhibit. as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved. They allege that with the unauthorized act of PCGG in selling the art pieces. petitioners do not possess any clear legal right whatsoever to question their alleged unauthorized disposition. Petitioners claim that as Filipino citizens. If these properties were already acquired by the government. taxpayers and artists deeply concerned with the preservation and protection of the country's artistic wealth. On this basis. on Arts and Culture. They lack basis in fact and in law. "Legal standing" means 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. 2. and that all persons having interest in the subject of the action and in obtaining the relief demanded shall be joined as plaintiffs. In the case at bar. When the Marcos administration was toppled by the revolutionary government. the pieces of antique silverware were given to the Marcos couple as gifts from friends and dignitaries from foreign countries on their silver wedding and anniversary. Moreover.
we need to emphasize that this Court has the discretion to take cognizance of a suit which does not satisfy the requirements of an actual case or legal standing when paramount public interest is involved. Not every action filed by a taxpayer can qualify to challenge the legality of official acts done by the government. 18 We find however that there is no such justification in the petition at bar to warrant the relaxation of the rule.A. and the Paleolithic Age. as amended by P. A taxpayer's suit can prosper only if the governmental acts being questioned involve disbursement of public funds upon the theory that the expenditure of public funds by an officer of the state for the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds. As to what kind of artistic and cultural properties are considered by the State as involving public interest which should therefore be protected. petitioners are not challenging any expenditure involving public funds but the disposition of what they allege to be public properties. Obviously. declares it to be the policy of the state to preserve and protect the important cultural properties and national cultural treasures of the nation and to safeguard their intrinsic value. 374. the case must not be moot or academic or based on extralegal or other similar considerations not cognizable by a court of justice. 15 WHEREAS. literally destroying part For a court to exercise its power of adjudication. there must be an actual case of controversy — one which involves a conflict of legal rights. inumerable sites all over the country have since been excavated for cultural relics. Neither can this petition be allowed as a taxpayer's suit. because of this the Philippines has been charged as incapable of preserving and protecting her cultural legacies. petitioners' claim for the continued enjoyment and appreciation by the public of the artworks is at most a privilege and is unenforceable as a constitutional right in this action for mandamus. that although the sale of the paintings and silver has long been consummated and the possibility of retrieving the treasure trove is nil. the issues raised in the petition have become moot and academic. an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution. however. the answer can be gleaned from reading of the reasons behind the enactment of R. moot and academic when its purpose has become stale. They submit that the resolution by the Court of the issues in this case will establish future guiding principles and doctrines on the preservation of the nation's priceless artistic and cultural possessions for the benefit of the public as a whole. yet the novelty and importance of the issues raised by the petition deserve this Court's attention.D. which may be enjoined at the request of a taxpayer. 17 16 of our historic past. representing priceless cultural treasure that properly belongs to the Filipino people as their heritage. Section 2 of R. of preserving and protecting the cultural properties of the nation. Anent the second requisite of actual controversy.required of respondent officials under the 1987 Constitution. 59 . under existing laws and regulations. What they seek is the enjoining of an official act because it is constitutionally infirmed. WHEREAS. 4846. whether government or private property. WHEREAS. the National Museum has the difficult task. WHEREAS. it is perhaps impossible now to find an area in the Philippines. 4846: WHEREAS. Since the purpose of this petition for prohibition is to enjoin respondent public officials from holding the auction sale of the artworks on a particular date — 11 January 1991 — which is long past. the commercialization of Philippine relics from the contact period.A. the Neolithic Age. has reached a point A case becomes such as the case before us. Moreover. It is worthy to note that petitioners admit that the paintings and antique silverware were acquired from private sources and not with public money. which have passed on to private hands. 14 At this point. which has not been disturbed by commercially-minded diggers and collectors. petitioners argue that this case should be resolved by this Court as an exception to the rule on moot and academic cases.
a "national cultural treasures" is a unique 20 object found locally. designation or classification. WHEREFORE. On the other hand. We agree with the certification of the Director of the Museum. with the aid of competent experts. this Court finds no compelling reason to grant the petition.perilously placing beyond reach of savants the study and reconstruction of Philippine prehistory. Clearly." "Important cultural properties" are cultural properties which have been singled out from among the innumerable cultural properties as having exceptional historical cultural significance to the Philippines but are not sufficiently outstanding to merit the classification of national cultural treasures. This Court takes note of the certification issued by the Director of the Museum that the Italian paintings and silverware subject of this petition do not constitute protected cultural properties and are not among those listed in the Cultural Properties Register of the National Museum. and WHEREAS. it is the Director of the Museum who is authorized to undertake the inventory. Under the law. of important cultural properties and national cultural treasures. registration. the petition for prohibition and mandamus is DISMISSED. the cultural properties of the nation which shall be under the protection of the state are classified as the "important cultural properties" and the "national cultural treasures. possessing outstanding historical. cultural. artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to this country and nation. any cultural property exported or sold locally must be registered with the National Museum to control the deplorable situation regarding our national cultural properties and to implement the Cultural Properties Law (emphasis supplied). Petitioners have failed to show that respondents Executive Secretary and PCGG exercised their functions with grave abuse of discretion or in excess of their jurisdiction. for lack of merit. 21 Findings of administrative officials and agencies who have acquired expertise because their jurisdiction is confined to specific matters are generally accorded not only respect but at times even finality if such findings are supported by substantial evidence and are controlling on the reviewing authorities because of their acknowledged expertise in the fields of specialization to which they are assigned. SO ORDERED. 22 60 . and that regardless of the item. 19 In view of the foregoing. it is believed that more stringent regulation on movement and a limited form of registration of important cultural properties and of designated national cultural treasures is necessary.
begins with the most oft-quoted line “Man was born free. it is relatively peaceful. This contract is constituted by two distinguishable contracts. and so on. Locke considers the State of Nature as a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one's life as one best sees fit. Because men are reasonable. He argues that humans are essentially free. and people can be expected to keep their promises. aside from being an allocation of power is also a social contract whereby the people have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common good. the Supreme Court speaking through Justice Cortes categorically opined that “the Constitution. but the “progress” of civilization has substituted subservience to others for that freedom. they must agree to establish society by collectively and reciprocally renouncing the rights they had against one another in the State of Nature. the State of Nature is a state of liberty where persons are free to pursue their own interests and plans. then society becomes possible. Manglapus. the purpose of politics is to restore freedom to us. where individual persons become a people is “the 61 . it gained revival in the works of John Rawls. In the State of Nature. the State of Nature. In the twentieth century. which is purely hypothetical according to Hobbes. they can see their way out of such a state by recognizing the laws of nature. there are limited resources. cooperate with one another. viz. The Social Contract is the most fundamental source of all that is good and that which we depend upon to live well. and recognizing the rationality of this basic precept of reason. a brief summary of the different versions of the social contract theory is in order. thereby reconciling who we truly and essentially are with how we live together. once war begins it is likely to continue. As a modern political theory. This act. Since the State of Nature lacks civil authority. So. men are naturally and exclusively self-interested. and he is everywhere in chains”. or in other words. and for this purpose. It is the state of perpetual and unavoidable war. the justification for political obligation is this: given that men are naturally self-interested. free from the interference of others. After these contracts are established. In laying down the foundation and basis for this paper.” The Social Contract Theory is nearly as old as philosophy itself. however. which by definition is more than and different from a mere aggregation of individual interests and wills. it is the view that persons’ moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement between them to form society. the social pact. In general. First. and were free in the State of Nature.: Thomas Hobbes’ Version According to Thomas Hobbes. yet they are rational. and. Hobbes concludes that the State of Nature would be unbearably brutal and he concludes that the State of Nature is the worst possible situation in which men can find themselves. and the extent to which we judge ourselves through comparisons with others. I reproduce the summaries made by the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s article on the Social Contract Theory with very slight modifications. The most basic covenant. they will choose to submit to the authority of a Sovereign in order to be able to live in a civil society. they are more or less equal to one another. And this is one of the strongest reasons that men have to abandon the State of Nature by contracting together to form civil government. since in the State of Nature there is no civil power to whom men can appeal. John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. which Hobbes argues no reasonable person could possibly prefer. Since a return to the State of Nature is neither feasible nor desirable. Second. economic and social inequalities. which is conducive to their own interests. John Locke’s Version In contrast to Hobbes’ concept of the hypothetical State of Nature. However. The situation is not. they may then kill those who would bring force against them. which show them the means by which to escape the State of Nature and create a civil society. and yet there is no power able to force men to cooperate. Given these conditions in the State of Nature. Hobbes argues for this by imagining men in their natural state. through dependence. is the agreement to come together and form a people. Being reasonable. men can be expected to construct a Social Contract that will afford them a life other than that available to them in the State of Nature. Our choice is either to abide by the terms of the contract. it has taken its full shape in the writings of the three main social contract theorists: Thomas Hobbes. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Version Rousseau for his part. and since the Law of Nature allows them to defend their own lives. a collectivity. free from interference. or return to the State of Nature. because of the Law of Nature and the restrictions that it imposes upon persons. hopeless.The Constitution as a Social Contract In Marcos v. they must imbue some one person or assembly of persons with the authority and power to enforce the initial contract.
 John Rawls’ Version Like Hobbes. and set out the limits of how we can construct society in the first place. be understood in the light of the American Constitutional tradition that has its foundation in a single codified text. aside from being an allocation of power is also a social contract whereby the people have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common good” should not be understood as a social contract between the people and the State or the Government. as a political document. the principles of justice constrain that contract. laying down the framework by which it is to be governed. A common denominator to all the above treatises on the Social Contract is that the social contract to form a civil society is a contract that is theoretically entered into between and among the people themselves. Next in this inquiry is the concept of a Constitution. However. He regards the Constitution as a document of political founding or refounding and proceeds to discuss that the term “constitution” has to do with making or establishing something. the Constitution. Rather. which they aptly named as the Constitution of the United States of America. It is therefore inaccurate or even a mistake to regard the State or the Government as a party to the social contract. and the Roman concept of constitutio stand as the distant progenitors of the modern construction of the term. it remains simply another political document unless the people choose to use it in a certain way. a plan for a way of life. Rawls belongs to the social contract tradition. may be understood in the light of the British Parliamentary tradition that had no notion that a single document could serve as a Constitution and it may. the Constitution may be considered as the Social Contract itself in the sense that is the very basis of the decision to constitute a civil society or State. Britain has taught America the core tradition of constitutionalism.S. locating sovereignty. as the summary of the political commitments and as the standard by which to assess. On the other hand. If it is to be consistent to the original thoughts and conceptions of the great social contract theorists. The social contract precedes the very existence of the State and the government. his class position or social status. It is highly abstract because rather than demonstrating that we would or even have signed to a contract to establish society. The ancient Greek notion of politeia. 62 . Manglapus that “the Constitution. establishing limits. However. Therefore. strength and the like”. and declaring certain fundamental rights and principles to be inviolable. Donald S. and describing fundamental principles. The principles of justice are more fundamental than the social contract as it has traditionally been conceived. giving it legal status. “no-one knows his place in society. Rousseau and Kant. in contrast. it instead shows us what we must be willing to accept as rational persons in order to be constrained by justice and therefore capable of living in a well ordered society. A Constitution. Rawls’ social contract takes a slightly different form from that of previous thinkers.real foundation of society”. one clarification is in order to avoid confusion or inaccuracy. develop. Rawls has constructed what is perhaps the most abstract version of a social contract theory. describing the mode or organization. the dictum in Marcos v. Rawls posits that a just social contract is that which we would agree upon if we did not know in advance where we ourselves would end up in the society that we are agreeing to. In the original position. This condition of ignorance is known as the “Original Position”. the social contract could not have had the State or the Government as a party. Lutz in his book “The Origins of American Constitutionalism” reasons that while the U. breathing life to its juridical existence. Viewed in the light of the Social Contract Theories. Having preceded the existence of the State and the government. Specifically. It does not include the State per se as a party. it must be understood as a social contract between and among the people themselves whereby they have agreed to form a State and surrendered certain powers to the State for the common good. enumerating and limiting its powers. whether embodied in a single code or scattered in numerous fundamental or organic acts. his intelligence. Constitution stands at the apex of American tradition. nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities. Locke. may be considered as the concrete manifestation or expression of the Social Contract or the decision to abandon the state of nature and organize and found a civil society or State. in the modern sense of the term. and run the political system. Rawls argues that any rational person inhabiting the original position and placing him or herself behind the veil of ignorance can discover the two principles of justice.