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Digest Author: Ross

Philconsa v Enriquez Petition: certiorari, prohibition, mandamus Petitioner: Philconsa, 16 members of the Senate, FDC Respondent: Sec. Enriquez of the DBM Ponente: Quiason Date: Aug. 19, 1994 Facts: Case at bar is consolidation of 5 cases relating to claims of authority between the Legislative and Executive on the General Appropriations Act of 1994 GAB of 1994 was passed on December 17, 1993; said bill fixed the budget of the government for the following fiscal year. On December 30, President FVR signed the bill into law (turning it to RA 7663). FVR delivered Veto Address on the same day. Petitioners (claiming to have standing as taxpayers and/or legislators) primarily assail the constitutionality of: 1) conditions imposed by the President in some of the items in the budget, and 2) the veto made by FVR on the appropriation for debt service. Particular items/special provisions were on: 1) debt servicing 2) revolving fund for State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) 3) road maintenance by the DPWH 3) purchase of military equipment & medicines 4) AFP pension fund 5) CAFGU deactivation (specific items tackled in the ratio) Pertinent laws/provisions: Sec. 24 & 25, Art. VI pertaining to appropriation bills Sec. 27 (2), Art. VI Presidential power to veto items in money bills Issues: 1. WON petitioners have standing 2. WON veto of special provision for debt ceiling is constitutional 3. WON vetoes and conditions set by the President on particular items are constitutional Ruling: 1. YES 2. YES 3. (See ratio regarding the validity of the particular vetoed items) Ratio Decidendi: 1. Case at bar concerns appropriation of national budget, taxpayer suit stands. Legislators likewise granted standing because the petition touches on the legislative power on appropriation as stated in the Constitution. 2. Debt Servicing was one of the special provisions in the GAA (Guingona Jr. v Carague explains why Congress was allowed to appropriate so much for this item). The President vetoed said special provision, without vetoing the amount set aside by Congress (around 86B pesos). The Court relied on the ruling in Gonzales v Macaraig Jr. that defined inappropriate provisions, which introduced items that are more appropriate to be tackled in a separate legislation. Moreover, the vetoed provision on debt servicing appeared to be an attempt to repeal PD 1177 (Foreign Borrowing Act) and EO 292. Repeal should be made in another law and not in the GAA. Inclusion of debt servicing policy in the GAA was out of place and was clearly an attempt to log-roll legislation; Court sustained the veto since the provision was inappropriate anyway and the action was part of the executives prerogative/presumption that the President will execute the law faithfully. 3. A) on SUCs: Petitioners argue that the Presidents veto of the provision that gave SUCs revolving funds was a grave abuse of discretion, since other govt. agencies were allowed to retain theirs. Court said that

Digest Author: Ross


agencies such as the Natl. Stud Farm (lol), which had a revolving fund as per the GAA, have already been enjoying such as privilege by operation of other laws. Veto valid. B) on 70/30 division for road maintenance: the GAA as crafted by Congress laid down explicitly that only 30% of costs for road maintenance should be contracted out to the private sector. The provision is in consonance with Sec. 25(2), Art. VI of the Constitution and is not an inappropriate provision which can be vetoed. If the President wished to veto this portion, he would have to veto the entire GAA. Veto invalid. C) on medicine purchases by AFP: President vetoed the provision in light of the Generics Drugs Law. Court said that Congress inserted this item in the GAA to ensure compliance of procurement of medicines for the AFP with the National Drug Policy of the DOH. FVR vetoed w/ the belief that it is more appropriate to have a transition period for the AFPs medicine procurement system to comply w/ Generics Act. Court did not find this reasoning valid enough to justify the veto. Veto invalid. D) on military equipment: Congress legislated that modernization fund for AFP will not be released w/o Table of Organization and Equipment (I suppose a budget plan) to be duly reviewed and approved by the legislature. This amounted to a legislative veto. The Executive asserted that this violated certain contractual obligations, hence its rejection of the provision. Court found said provisions to be inappropriate in character also. Veto valid. E) on AFP pension: provision allowed for money to be re-appropriated by AFP. Violated Secs. 25(5), 29(1), Art. VI. Veto valid. F) on deactivation of CAFGUs: Congress in effect legislated that CAFGUs (vigilantes created by Cory heh) will be deactivated and shall receive benefits, by providing in the GAA of 1994 that CAFGUs were to receive a separation pay. President vetoed as he saw the measure as premature due to ongoing operations of said units in the field. Petitioners claim that by vetoing, the President disregarded the deactivation requirement (and the appropriation of funds thereof). This was an act of impoundment or refusal to tap into appropriations made by Congress; it is in effect an implied veto. Likewise, the subject matter should be tackled in another law, as it appeared to repeal PD 1597 and RA 6758 (again, inappropriate to be placed in an appropriations bill.) Veto valid. G) on SC, CHR, etc: President set conditions on the appropriations for certain items. Presidents creation of guidelines on what Congress has legislated is part of his executive power. Dispostion: Petitions (except those pertaining to debt servicing) dismissed. Principles: Appropriation law (dynamic between Legislative and Executive, w/ emphasis on veto power)