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COMELEC 181 SCRA 529 Facts: On 23 October 1989, RA 6766 (Act providing for an organic act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region) was enacted into law. The plebiscite was scheduled 30 January 1990. The Comelec, by virtue of the power vested by the 1987 Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code (BP 881), RA 6766 and other pertinent election laws, promulgated Resolution 2167, to govern the conduct of the plebiscite on the said Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region. Pablito V. Sanidad, a newspaper columnist of “Overview” for the “Baguio Midland Courier” assailed the constitutionality of Section 19 (Prohibition on columnists, commentators or announcers) of the said resolution, which provides “During the plebiscite campaign period, on the day before and on plebiscite day, no mass media columnist, commentator, announcer or personality shall use his column or radio or television time to campaign for or against the plebiscite issues.” Issue: Whether columnists are prohibited from expressing their opinions, or should be under Comelec regulation, during plebiscite periods. Held: Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution that what was granted to the Comelec was the power to supervise and regulate the use and enjoyment of franchises, permits or other grants issued for the operation of transportation or other public utilities, media of communication or information to the end that equal opportunity, time and space, and the right to reply, including reasonable, equal rates therefor, for public information campaigns and forums among candidates are ensured. Neither Article IX-C of the Constitution nor Section 11-b, 2nd paragraph of RA 6646 (“a columnist, commentator, announcer or personality, who is a candidate for any elective office is required to take a leave of absence from his work during the campaign period”) can be construed to mean that the Comelec has also been granted the right to supervise and regulate the exercise by media practitioners themselves of their right to expression during plebiscite periods. Media practitioners exercising their freedom of expression during plebiscite periods are neither the franchise holders nor the candidates. In fact, there are no candidates involved in a plebiscite. Therefore, Section 19 of Comelec Resolution 2167 has no statutory basis. DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. 127325 - March 19, 1997) Facts: Private respondent Atyy,. Jesus Delfin, president of People’s Private initiative for Reforms,Modernization and Action (PIRMA), filed with COMELEC a petition to amend the constitution to lift the term limits of elective officials, through People’s Initiative. He based this petition on Article XVII, Sec. 2of the 1987 Constitution, which provides for the right of the people to exercise the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution. Subsequently the COMELEC issued an order directing thepublication of the petition and of the notice of hearing and thereafter set the case for hearing. At the hearing, Senator Roco, the IBP, DemokrasyaIpagtanggol ang Konstitusyon, Public Interest LawCenter, and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino appeared as intervenors-oppositors. Senator Roco fileda motion to dismiss the Delfin petition on the ground that one which is cognizable by the COMELEC.The petitioners herein Senator Santiago, Alexander Padilla, and Isabel Ongpin filed this civil action for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court against COMELEC and the Delfin petition rising the several arguments, such as the following: (1) The constitutional provision on people’s initiative to amend the constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress. No such law has been passed; (2) The people’s initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution, not to revision thereof. Lifting of the term limits constitutes a revision, therefore it is outside the power of people’s initiative. The Supreme Court granted the Motions for Intervention. Issue :Whether or not Sec. 2, Art. XVII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision.(2) Whether or not COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 regarding the conduct of initiative on
GALILEO BRION. However.) 9206 or the General Appropriations Act for 2004 (GAA of 2004). RUDEGELIO TACORDA. Art XVII of the Constitution is not self executory. MARIA LUZ ARZAGAMENDOZA. Board of Consultants. the constitutional guarantee of equal access to opportunities for public service. ROGELIO KARAGDAG.”8 and. impermissible and must be considered nothing less than malfeasance. “It is. JR. SEC OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT Leave a comment LAWYERS AGAINST MONOPOLY AND POVERTY (LAMP).A. No. ANATALIA BUENAVENTURA. select and identify programs and projects to be funded out of PDAF. It does not empower individual Members of Congress to propose. PEDRO CASTILLO. TERESITA SANTOS. is void. . and prohibiting political dynasties. CEFERINO PADUA. ANTONIO P. MARIO REYES.R. a non-legislative function devoid of constitutional sanction. GREGELY FULTON ACOSTA. thus. considering the absence in the law of specific provisions onthe conduct of such initiative. JUSTICE ABRAHAM SARMIENTO. RESPONDENT’S POSITION: the perceptions of LAMP on the implementation of PDAF must not be based on mere speculations circulated in the news media preaching the evils of pork barrel. According to LAMP. EMMANUEL SANTOS. the Members of Congress in effect intrude into an executive function. and BARTOLOME FERNANDEZ. SEN.. as it would affect other provisions of the Constitution such as the synchronization of elections. ALBERTO ABELEDA. and THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE and the SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES in representation of the Members of the Congress G. THE TREASURER OF THE PHILIPPINES. Ruling : Sec. without implementing legislation the same cannot operate. spending funds for their chosen projects.. prohibits an automatic or direct allocation of lump sums to individual senators and congressmen for the funding of projects. AQUILINO PIMENTEL III. the issue of whether or notthe petition is a revision or amendment has become academic. ELEAZAR ANGELES. vs. ALFREDO DE GUZMAN. this situation runs afoul against the principle of separation of powers because in receiving and. AQUILINO PIMENTEL. thereafter. THE SECRETARY OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT. April 24. JR. the above provision is silent and. LAMP VS. Further. NAPOLEON CORONADO.(3) Whether the lifting of term limits of elective officials would constitute a revision or an amendment of the Constitution. ROMEO ECHAUZ. Although the Constitution has recognized or granted the right. 2300 which prescribes rules and regulations on the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. the people cannot exercise it if Congress does not provide for its implementation. SECRETARY GEN. cannot be delegated (potestas delegata non delegari potest). in fact. Members. The lifting of the term limits was held to be that of a revision. The delegation of the power to the COMELEC being invalid. ROLANDO ARZAGA. 2012 FACTS: For consideration of the Court is an original action for certiorari assailing the constitutionality and legality of the implementation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as provided for in Republic Act (R. economic or social monopoly in the country. The portion of COMELEC Resolution No. therefore. JR. LEO LUIS MENDOZA. considering the Court’s decision in the above Issue. therefore.amendments to the Constitution is valid. For LAMP. a group of lawyers who have banded together with a mission of dismantling all forms of political. 164987. the latter cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the exercise of the right to people’s initiative. PAREDES. A revision cannot be done by initiative. It has been an established rule that what has been delegated.. VICTOR AVECILLA. Petitioner Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty(LAMP). JR. EFREN CARAG. the authority to propose and select projects does not pertain to legislation. THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT. 2. represented by its Chairman and counsel.
The list submitted by the Members of Congress is endorsed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the DBM. real or substantial controversy before the Court. The ramification of issues involving the unconstitutional spending of PDAF deserves the consideration of the Court. LOCUS STANDI: The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges “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.” The petition is miserably wanting in this regard. No convincing proof was presented showing that. the Court does not lose sight of the presumption of validity accorded to statutory acts of Congress. who actually spend them according to their sole discretion. and 2) whether or not the implementation of PDAF by the Members of Congress is unconstitutional and illegal. the sufficient interest preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation required in taxpayers’ suits is established. in the claim that PDAF funds have been illegally disbursed and wasted through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. to exercise the spending per se of the budget.ISSUES: 1) whether or not the mandatory requisites for the exercise of judicial review are met in this case. which reviews and determines whether such list of projects submitted are consistent with the guidelines and the priorities set by the Executive. breach of the Constitution. there must be a clear and unequivocal. the Court is of the view that the petition poses issues impressed with paramount public interest. the petitioner contested the implementation of an alleged unconstitutional statute. LAMP should be allowed to sue. the Court must sustain legislation because “to invalidate [a law] based on x x x baseless supposition is an affront to the wisdom not only of the legislature that passed it but also of the executive which approved it. indeed. In this case. The petition complains of illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation and this is sufficient reason to say that there indeed exists a definite.”33 This demonstrates the power given to the President to execute appropriation laws and therefore. warranting the assumption of jurisdiction over the petition. The Court rules in the negative. as citizens and taxpayers. PORK BARREL: The Members of Congress are then requested by the President to recommend projects and programs which may be funded from the PDAF. To justify the nullification of the law or its implementation. II. Here. Devoid of any pertinent evidentiary support that illegal misuse of PDAF in the form of kickbacks has become a common exercise of unscrupulous Members of Congress. Thus. not a doubtful. In determining whether or not a statute is unconstitutional. A question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. As applied to this case. Lastly. the petition is seriously wanting in establishing that individual Members . the Court cannot indulge the petitioner’s request for rejection of a law which is outwardly legal and capable of lawful enforcement. In case of doubt in the sufficiency of proof establishing unconstitutionality. HELD: I. concrete. there were direct releases of funds to the Members of Congress.
(3) (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity. So long as there is no showing of a direct participation of legislators in the actual spending of the budget. the constitutional boundaries between the Executive and the Legislative in the budgetary process remain intact. (2) (2) the person challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance. otherwise stated.of Congress receive and thereafter spend funds out of PDAF. _______________ NOTES: POWER OF JUDICIAL REVIEW: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power. or will sustain. he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained. and . direct injury as a result of its enforcement.
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