OSMENA vs. PENDATUN Nature: Petition for declaratory relief and/or certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction.
Facts: In a privilege speech before the House of Representatives, Congressman Sergio Osmena from the 2nd District of Cebu made serious imputations of bribery1 against then President Garcia. A resolution (#59) was then passed that a special committee of 15 members to be appointed by the Speaker shall be tasked to investigate the truth of the charges against Garcia and for Osmena to substantiate his charges with evidence (i.e. papers and witnesses) and if he fails to do so, he show cause why he should not be punished by the House. However, Osmena refused to comply. He was then suspended for 15 months for disorderly behavior. Osmena then filed this petition to the Supreme Court. Issue: W/N the House had the power to discipline Osmena with suspension? Held: Whether the courts can determine whether personal attack upon the President constitutes disorderly behavior: The House is the judge of what constitutes disorderly behavior not only because the Constitution delegates it but also because this matter depends on factual circumstances of which the House knows best and cannot be presented to and adjudicated by the Courts. The courts will not assume an appellate jurisdiction, which will amount to an interference by the judicial department with the legislature. The theory of separation of powers demands a prudent refusal to interfere. Parliamentary immunity invoked by Osmena: Section 15, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution provides that for any speech or debate in Congress, Senators and Members of the House shall not be questioned in any other place. This is understood to mean that although members of Congress are exempt from prosecution or civil action for their words uttered in Congress, they can nevertheless be questioned in Congress itself. Furthermore, Rule XVII, sec. 7 of the Rules of the House recognizes the House’s power to hold a member responsible for “words spoken in debate”. Parliamentary immunity guarantees the legislator complete freedom of expression without fear of being made responsible in criminal and civil actions before the courts or any other forum outside the Congressional hall, however, it does not protect him from responsibility before the legislative body itself whenever his words and conduct are considered disorderly or unbecoming. For unparliamentary conduct, members of Congress may be censured committed to prison, suspended even expelled by the voted of their colleagues. Whether the House has lost power to question and discipline Osmena as it had taken up other business before approving Resolution No. 59: Parliamentary rules are merely procedural and may be waived or disregarded by the legislature. The courts have no concern with their observance. Ruling: The Petition is DISMISSED.
The people, Mr. President, have been hearing ugly reports that under your unpopular administration the free things they used to get from government are now at sale for premium prices. They say that even pardons are for sale, and that regardless of the gravity of a criminal case, the culprit can always be bailed out from jail as long as he can come across with a handsome dole.
the session was adjourned by Daza. In addition. A bicameral conference committee was formed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill. DE VENECIA Facts: This is a petition challenging the validity of Republic Act. Arroyo. 8240 is void as it was passed in violation of the rules of the House as mandated by Article VI. On the same day. they are judicially enforceable. the courts do not have the power to inquire into allegations that in enacting a law. In its enactment. Issue: W/N RA No. Not seeming to hear the interjections of Mr. Sec 16 (3) and consequently. no rights of private individuals are involved. 1996 to the Senate. This bill was approved on third reading on Sept 12. the established rule is that courts cannot declare an act of legislature void on account of mere compliance with rules of procedure.
. 1996 and transmitted on Sept 16. The House rules were adopted pursuant to Constitutional provisions that “each House may determine the rules of its proceedings” and therefore. 8240 is VALID.ARROYO vs. the bill was passed and signed into law. In the absence of showing that there was a violation of a constitutional provision or the rights of a private individual. a House of Congress failed to comply with its own rules. These rules may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body and the courts have no concern with their observance. Deputy Speaker Daza was asking if there were any objections. 7198. 8240 which amends provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code by imposing “sin taxes” on the manufacture and sale of beer and cigarettes. which approved it with certain amendments on third reading on Nov 17. what have been violated are parliamentary rules. violation of the House rules is a violation of the Constitution itself. Held: RA No. The law originated in the House of Representatives as HB No. No. Ruling: The Petition is DISMISSED. 1996. During the proceedings. Construction of rules become judicial in character only when they affect persons other than members of the legislative body and in this case. which are merely internal rules of procedure and not Constitutional requirements.