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OUTLINE OF NOTES & CASES IN POLITICAL LAW May 2010 Edition

by:

ATTY. LARRY D. GACAYAN Professor (Constitutional Law Review, Constitutional Law I & II) COLLEGE OF LAW UNIVERSITY OF THE CORDILLERAS

PRE-BAR REVIEWER

CPRS PRE-BAR REVIEW CENTER (Cagayan de Oro City, Zamboanga City, Iloilo City and Davao City)

EXCELLENT PRE-BAR REVIEW CENTER (General Santos City, Baguio City and Tacloban City)

POWERHAUS PRE-BAR REVIEW CENTER (Santiago City and Tagbilaran City)

COSMOPOLITAN BAR REVIEW CENTER (Baguio City)

PART I DEFINITIONS AND CONCEPTS

1. Define: a. Political Lawis that branch of public law which deals with the organization and operations of the governmental organs of the State and defines the relations of the State with the inhabitants of its territory. (PEOPLE VS. PERFECTO, 43 Phil. 887) b. c. d. e. f. g. h. Constitutional Law Constitution Administrative Law Law of Public Officers Law on Public Corporations Election Law Distinction between Political Law and Constitutional Law

2. Read: MACARIOLA VS. JUDGE ASUNCION, 114 SCRA 77 The provision in the Code of Commerce (Made effective in the Philippines in 1887) which prohibits judges, justices, etc., (public officers) from engaging in business within the territorial jurisdiction of their courts is political in nature and therefore, said provision was

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deemed abrogated when there was a change of sovereignty from Spain to the United States at the turn of the century. Political laws are deemed abrogated if there is a change of sovereignty and unless re-enacted under the new sovereign, the same is without force and effect. 3. The Supremacy of the Constitution Read: 1. MUTUC VS. COMELEC, 36 SCRA 228 2. MANILA PRINCE HOTEL VS. GSIS, 267 SCRA 408 A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance and administration of a nation. It is supreme, imperious, absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which it emanates. It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of the nation. It prescribes the permanent framework of a system of government, assigns to the different departments their respective powers and duties, and establishes certain fixed principles on which government is founded. The fundamental conception in other words is that it is a supreme law to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights must be determined and all public authority administered. Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the constitution that law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private persons for private purposes is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract. Admittedly, some constitutions are merely declarations of policies and principles. Their provisions command the legislature to enact laws and carry out the purposes of the framers who merely establish an outline of government providing for the different departments of the governmental machinery and securing certain fundamental and inalienable rights of citizens. A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision, which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. 4. Kinds of Constitution a) written or unwritten b) rigid and flexible c) cumulative or conventional 5. AMENDMENT OR REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION (Art. XVII) Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by: [1] The Congress upon a vote of of all its Members; or [2] A constitutional Convention. Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least 12% of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voter therein. No amendment under this Section shall be authorized within five (5) years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. Section 3. The Congress, by a vote of 2/3 of all its members, cal a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention. Section 4. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision. Any amendment under Section 2 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than ninety days after the certification by the COMELEC of the sufficiency of the petition. (2007 Bar Question in Political Law: Question: May Congress by votes of all its members (whether voting jointly or separately) AMEND any provision of the Constitution? Answer: No. It can only propose amendments by votes of all its members. A provision is amended only after it was ratified by majority of the votes cast during the plebiscite called to amend or reject the proposed amendments) NOTE: Amendments to, or revision of the Constitution is VALID only when approved by a majority of the votes cast during the plebiscite, not by the votes of the Members of Congress. 2. Read: R.A. 6735 Requisites for a valid peoples initiative to amend the Constitution; distinctions between amendment and revision. RAUL L. LAMBINO and ERICO B. AUMENTADO , together with 6,327,952 registered voters vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006, 505 SCRA 160 Carpio, J. Facts:

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Petitioners filed a Petition for Initiative and Referendum with the COMELEC to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution, particularly Articles VI and VII to replace the present Presidential-Bicameral system of government to Parliamentary-Unicameral system using Section 2, Art. XVII of the Constitution. Petitioners claim that their petition was signed by 6,327,952 million voters all over the country and the same constitutes over 12% of all the registered voters in the entire country and that more than 3% of the registered voters in every legislative district signed the same in accordance with Section 2, Art. XVII of the Constitution. The petition to change the Constitution involves sections 1-7 of Article VI; Sections 1-4 of Article VII and an Article XVII entitled Transitory Provisions. The petitioners prayed with the COMELEC that after due publication of their Petition, the COMELEC should submit the following proposition in a plebiscite for the voters ratification: DO YOU APPROVE THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLES VI AND VII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION, CHANGING THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL BICAMERAL TO A UNICAMERAL-PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM, AND PROVIDING ARTICLE XVIII AS TRANSITORY PROVISIONS FOR THE ORDERLY SHIFT FROM ONE SYSTEM TO THE OTHER? The COMELEC dismissed the petition citing MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC, 270 SCRA 106 where it was held that: RA 6735 intended to include the System of Initiative on Amendments to the Constitution, but is, unfortunately, Inadequate to cover that system under Section 2, Art. XVII of the Constitution. x x x . The foregoing brings us to the conclusion that RA 6735 is incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. 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 the purposes of this act. Considering the said dismissal, petitioners elevated the matter to the Supreme Court on Certiorari and Mandamus alleging rave abuse of discretion and to set aside the COMELEC Decision and to compel the latter to give due course to their initiative petition. THE ISSUES: 1. 2. 3. WHETHER THE LAMBINO GROUPS PETITION COMPLIES WITH SECTION 2, ARTICLE XVII OF THE CONSTITUTION ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION THROUGH PEOPLES INITIATIVE; WHETHER THE COURT SHOULD REVISIT ITS RULING IN DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC, DECLARING THAT RA NO. 6735 INCOMPLETE, INADEQUATE OR WANTING IN ESSENTIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE INITIATIVE CLAUSE ON PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION; and WHETHER THE COMELEC COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN DENYING DUE COURSE TO THE LAMBINO GROUPS PETITION.

H E L D: There is no merit to the petition. The Lambino group miserably failed to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution for conducting a peoples initiative. Thus, there is even no need to revisit Santiago, as the present petition warrants dismissal based alone on the Lambino Groups glaring failure to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution. As such, there is likewise no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC. Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution is the governing constitutional provision that allows a peoples initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. This Section provides: Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of registered voters of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein. The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention vividly explain the meaning of the amendment directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition. Thus: MR. RODRIGO: Let us look at the mechanics. Let us say some voters want to propose a constitutional amendment. IS THE DRAFT OF THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT READY TO BE SHOWN TO THE PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARE ASKED TO SIGN? MR. SUAREZ. That can be reasonably assumed, Madam President. MR. RODRIGO: What does the sponsor mean? The draft is ready and shown to them before they sign? Now, who prepares the draft? MR. SUAREZ: The people themselves, Madam PresidentAs it is envisioned, any Filipino can prepare that proposal and pass it around for signature. Clearly, the framers of the Constitution intended that the draft of the proposed constitutional amendment should be ready and shown to the people before they sign such proposal. The framers plainly stated that before they sign there is already a draft shown to them. The framers also envisioned that the people should sign on the proposal itself because the proponents must prepare the proposal and pass it around for signature. The essence of amendments directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition IS THAT THE ENTIRE PROPOSAL ON ITS FACE IS A PETITION BY THE PEOPLE. This means two (2) essential elements must be present: 1. 2. The people must author and must sign the entire proposal. No agent or representative can sign for and on their behalf; As an initiative upon a petition, THE PROPOSAL MUST BE EMBODIED IN A PETITION.

These essential elements are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first shown to the people who will express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition. Thus, an amendment is DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE THROUGH INITIATIVE UPON A PETIITON ONLY IF THE PEOPLE SIGN ON A PETITION THAT OCNTAINS THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS. The petitioners bear the burden of proving that they complied with the constitutional requirements in gathering the signatures---that the petition contained, or incorporated by attachment, the full text of the proposed amendments.

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The Lambino Group did not attach to their present petition a copy of the document containing the proposed amendments and as such, the people signed initiative petition without knowing the actual amendments proposed in the said initiative. Instead , the alleged 6.3 million people who signed the petition had to rely the representations of Atty. Lambino. Clearly, Atty. Lambino and his group deceived the 6.3 million signatories, and even the entire nation. 2. A peoples initiative to change the Constitution applies only to an amendment of the Constitution and not to its revision. In contrast, Congress and a Constitutional Convention can propose both amendments and revisions to the Constitution. This is clear under Section 1 of Art. XVII of the Constitution. Where the intent and language of the Constitution under Section 2 of Art. XVIII clearly withhold from the people the power to propose revisions to the Constitution, the people cannot propose revisions even as they are empowered to propose amendments. The two are distinguished as follows: Revision is the alterations of the different portions of the entire document [Constitution]. It may result in the rewriting whether the whole constitution, or the greater portion of it, or perhaps some of its important provisions. But whatever results the revision may produce, the factor that characterizes it as an act of revision is the original intention and plan authorized to be carried out. That intention and plan must contemplate a consideration of all the provisions of the Constitution to determine which one should be altered or suppressed or whether the whole document should be replaced with an entirely new one. Amendment of the Constitution, on the other hand, envisages a change or only a few specific provisions. The intention of an act to amend is not to consider the advisability of changing the entire constitution or of considering that possibility. The intention rather is to improve specific parts of the existing constitution or to add to it provisions deemed essential on account of changed conditions or to suppress portions of it that seem obsolete, or dangerous, or misleading in their effect. (NOTE: On November 20, 2006, the Supreme Court in its Resolution of the Motion for Reconsideration of Lambino, while it denied the Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit insofar as they want the peoples initiative petition to be presented to the people in a plebiscite, it held that ten (10) members voted to declare that RA No. 6735 IS COMPLETE AND ADEQUATE and therefore, peoples initiative may be availed of by the people provided they shall comply with the strict requirements of Section 2, Art. XVII that the proposed amendments/s to the Constitution must be indicated in the petition itself signed by the people.) MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO, et al. Vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 127325, March 19, 1997 & June 10, 1997 RA 6735 intended to include the System of Initiative on Amendments to the Constitution, but is, unfortunately, Inadequate to cover that system. Section 2 Art. XVII is not self-executory and unless Congress provides for its implementation , it would remain in the cold niche of the Constitution. RA 6735 in all its 23 sections mentions the word Constitution only in section 2 and Section 3 as compared to the initiative on statutes and local legislation. The foregoing brings us to the conclusion that RA 6735 is incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. 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 the purposes of this act. Enumerate the steps to be followed and the requisites to be met in order that the people may proposed the amendments, repeal, amend or enact a law or provision of the Constitution. 3. Distinguish Revision from amendment of the Constitution. Revision is the alterations of the different portions of the entire document [Constitution]. It may result in the rewriting whether the whole constitution, or the greater portion of it, or perhaps some of its important provisions. But whatever results the revision may produce, the factor that characterizes it as an act of revision is the original intention and plan authorized to be carried out. That intention and plan must contemplate a consideration of all the provisions of the Constitution to determine which one should be altered or suppressed or whether the whole document should be replaced with an entirely new one. Amendment of the Constitution, on the other hand, envisages a change or only a few specific provisions. The intention of an act to amend is not to consider the advisability of changing the entire constitution or of considering that possibility. The intention rather is to improve specific parts of the existing constitution or to add to it provisions deemed essential on account of changed conditions or to suppress portions of it that seem obsolete, or dangerous, or misleading in their effect. (SINCO, Vicente, PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW) 4. Read: a) MABANAG vs. LOPEZ VITO, 78 Phil. 1 b) GONZALES vs. COMELEC, 21 SCRA 774 There is no prohibition for Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution and at the same time call for the convening of a Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution. The word or in the provision Congress, upon a vote of of all its members; OR [2] A constitutional Convention under Section 1, Art. XVII also means AND. c) TOLENTINO vs. COMELEC, 41 SCRA 702 Doctrine of Proper Submission means all the proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be presented to the people for the ratification or rejection at the same time, not piecemeal. d) SANIDAD vs. COMELEC, 73 SCRA 333 e) ALMARIO vs. ALBA, 127 SCRA 69 If the question regarding the proposed amendment to the Constitution deals with its necessity, expediency or wisdom, the same is political in nature and beyond the power of the courts to decide. f) MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC, 270 ACRA 106

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PART II PREAMBLE 1. Purpose and Effect of a Preamble. WE, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution. 2. AGLIPAY VS. RUIZ, 64 Phil. 201 It is almost trite to say now that in this country we enjoy both religious and civil freedom. All the officers of the Government, from the highest to the lowest, in taking their oath to support and defend the constitution, bind themselves to recognize and respect the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, with its inherent limitations and recognized implications. It should be stated that what is guaranteed by our Constitution is religious liberty, not mere religious toleration. Religious freedom, however, as a constitutional mandate is not inhibition of profound reverence for religion and is not denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a profession of faith to an active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator is recognized. And, in so far as it instills into the minds the purest principles of morality, its influence is deeply felt and highly appreciated. When the Filipino people, in the preamble of their Constitution, implored "the aid of Divine Providence, in order to establish a government that shall embody their ideals, conserve and develop the patrimony of the nation, promote the general welfare, and secure to themselves and their posterity the blessings of independence under a regime of justice, liberty and democracy," they thereby manifested reliance upon Him who guides the destinies of men and nations. The elevating influence of religion in human society is recognized here as elsewhere. In fact, certain general concessions are indiscriminately accorded to religious sects and denominations. PART III ARTICLE I - THE NATIONAL TERRITORY Section 1. The national territory comprises the Philippine Archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines. 1. What is the most significant change in this Article, compared with those of the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions? 2. What is the archipelago theory or archipelagic doctrine? 3. Methods used in fixing the baseline from which the territorial belt is measured: a. The normal baseline method b. The straight baseline method 4. Read: The Law of the Sea: Its major implications to the Philippines, by Justice Jorge R. Coquia, p. 31, Philippine Law Gazette, Vol. 8, No.1. 5. R.A. 3046 R.A. 5446 6. Definitions: a. Territorial sea b. Internal or inland waters c. high seas or international seas d. sea-bed e. sub-soil f. Insular shelves g. other submarine areas 7. Reason and effect of having an Article on the National Territory. 8. Read: 1) Presidential Decree No. 1596 - June 11, Territory) 1978 (Making the Kalayaan Island Group [Freedomland] as part of the Philippine

2) Presidential Decree No. 1599 - June 11, 1978 (Declaring the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines which is 200 nautical miles from its baseline)

PART IV ARTICLE II. DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES

Section 1. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. a. The basic principles underlying the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions.

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b.Manifestations of a republican state. c. Define "state" COLLECTOR VS. CAMPOS RUEDA, 42 SCRA 23 d. Elements of a state. Define each: 1. people 2. territory 3. sovereignty 4. government e. Different meanings of the word people as used 1. as inhabitants (Art. XIII, Sec. 1; Art. III, Sec. 2); 2. as citizens (Preamble; Art. II, Sec. 1 & 4; Art. III, Sec. 7); 3. as voters (Art. VII, Sec. 4) f. presidential & parliamentary forms of government Read: 1. FREE TELEPHONE WORKERS UNION VS. OPLE, 108 SCRA 757 The government of the Philippines under the 1973 Constitution is essentially presidential with parliamentary features. 2. LEGASPI VS. SEC. OF FINANCE, 115 SCRA 418 The form of government is essentially parliamentary with presidential features. g. Two-fold function of the government. Read: 1)BACANI VS. NACOCO, 100 Phil. 468 (Ministrant [merely directory] and Constituent [Mandatory] Functions) 2) ACCFA VS. CUGCO, 30 SCRA 649 Due to complexities of the changing society, the two-fold function of the government as classified by President Wilson is no longer relevant. h. Parents Patriae Read: 1) GOVT. VS. MONTE DE PIEDAD, 35 Phil 738 2) CABANAS VS. PILAPIL, 58 SCRA 94 i. De jure govt.? De facto govt.? Read: 1. AQUINO VS. COMELEC, 62 SCRA 275 (on the de jure aspect) 2. In Re: SATURNINO BERMUDEZ, 145 SCRA 160 A government formed as a result of a peoples revolution, is considered de jure if it is already accepted by the family of nations or other countries like the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, and others. 3. Estrada vs. Macapagal & Desierto, infra. j. The three (3) kinds of de facto government? Read: CO KIM CHAM VS. VALDEZ TAN KEH, 75 Phil. 113 There are several kinds of de facto governments. a. b. c. The first, or government de facto in a proper legal sense, is that government that gets possession and control of, or usurps, by force or by the voice of the majority, the rightful legal governments and maintains itself against the will of the latter, such as the government of England under the Commonwealth, first by Parliament and later by Cromwell as Protector. The second is that which is established and maintained by military forces who invade and occupy a territory of the enemy in the course of war, and which is denominated a government of paramount force, as the cases of Castine, in Maine, which was reduced to British possession in the war of 1812, and Tampico, Mexico, occupied during the war with Mexico, by the troops of the United States. And the third is that established as an independent government by the inhabitants of a country who rise in insurrection against the parent state of such as the government of the Southern Confederacy in revolt not concerned in the present case with the first kind, but only with the second and third kinds of de facto governments. "But there is another description of government, called also by publicists a government de facto, but which might, perhaps, be more aptly denominated a government of paramount force. Its distinguishing characteristics are (1), that its existence is maintained by active military power with the territories, and against the rightful authority of an established and lawful government; and in the constitution:

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(2), that while it exists it necessarily be obeyed in civil matters by private citizens who, by acts of obedience rendered in submission to such force, do not become responsible, or wrongdoers, for those acts, though not warranted by the laws of the rightful government. On the other hand, laws of a political nature or affecting political relations, such as, among others, the right of assembly, the right to bear arms, the freedom of the press, and the right to travel freely in the territory occupied, are considered as suspended or in abeyance during the military occupation. Although the local and civil administration of justice is suspended as a matter of course as soon as a country is militarily occupied, it is not usual for the invader to take the whole administration into his own hands. In practice, the local ordinary tribunals are authorized to continue administering justice; and judges and other judicial officers are kept in their posts if they accept the authority of the belligerent occupant or are required to continue in their positions under the supervision of the military or civil authorities appointed, by the Commander in Chief of the occupant. These principles and practice have the sanction of all publicists who have considered the subject, and have been asserted by the Supreme Court and applied by the President of the United States. The doctrine upon this subject is thus summed up by Halleck, in his work on International Law (Vol. 2, p. 444): "The right of one belligerent to occupy and govern the territory of the enemy while in its military possession, is one of the incidents of war, and flows directly from the right to conquer. We, therefore, do not look to the Constitution or political institutions of the conqueror, for authority to establish a government for the territory of the enemy in his possession, during its military occupation, nor for the rules by which the powers of such government are regulated and limited. Such authority and such rules are derived directly from the laws war, as established by the usage of the of the world, and confirmed by the writings of publicists and decisions of courts in fine, from the law of nations. . . . The municipal laws of a conquered territory, or the laws which regulate private rights, continue in force during military occupation, excepts so far as they are suspended or changed by the acts of conqueror. . . . He, nevertheless, has all the powers of a de facto government, and can at his pleasure either change the existing laws or make new ones." The governments by the Philippine Executive Commission and the Republic of the Philippines during the Japanese military occupation being de facto governments, it necessarily follows that the judicial acts and proceedings of the courts of justice of those governments, which are not of a political complexion, were good and valid, and, by virtue of the well-known principle of postliminy (postliminium ) in international law, remained good and valid after the liberation or reoccupation of the Philippines by the American and Filipino forces under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur. According to that well-known principle in international law, the fact that a territory which has been occupied by an enemy comes again into the power of its legitimate government of sovereignty, "does not, except in a very few cases, wipe out the effects of acts done by an invader, which for one reason or another it is within his competence to do. Thus judicial acts done under his control, when they are not of a political complexion, administrative acts so done, to the extent that they take effect during the continuance of his control, and the various acts done during the same time by private persons under the sanction of municipal law, remain good. Were it otherwise, the whole social life of a community would be paralyzed by an invasion; and as between the state and the individuals the evil would be scarcely less, it would be hard for example that payment of taxes made under duress should be ignored, and it would be contrary to the general interest that the sentences passed upon criminals should be annulled by the disappearance of the intrusive government ." (Hall, International Law, 7th ed., p. 518.) And when the occupation and the abandonment have been each an incident of the same war as in the present case, postliminy applies, even though the occupant has acted as conqueror and for the time substituted his own sovereignty as the Japanese intended to do apparently in granting independence to the Philippines and establishing the so-called Republic of the Philippines. (Taylor, International Law, p. 615.) l. Sovereignty: 1. legal 2. political m. The doctrine of sovereignty as auto-limitation? Read: 1. REAGAN VS. COMMISIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, 30 SCRA 968

"By the Agreement, it should be noted, the Philippine Government merely consents that the United States exercise jurisdiction in certain cases. The consent was given purely as a matter of comity, courtesy, or expediency. The Philippine Government has not abdicated its sovereignty over the bases as part of the Philippine territory or divested itself completely of jurisdiction over offenses committed therein. Under the terms of the treaty, the United States Government has prior or preferential but not exclusive jurisdiction of such offenses. The Philippine Government retains not only jurisdictional rights not granted, but also all such ceded rights as the United States Military authorities for reasons of their own decline to make use of. The first proposition is implied from the fact of Philippine sovereignty over the bases; the second from the express provisions of the treaty." "Nothing is better settled than that the Philippines being independent and sovereign, its authority may be exercised over its entire domain. There is no portion thereof that is beyond its power. Within its limits, its decrees are supreme, its commands paramount. Its laws govern therein, and everyone to whom it applies must submit to its terms. That is the extent of its jurisdiction, both territorial and personal. Necessarily, likewise, it has to be exclusive. If it were not thus, there is a diminution of sovereignty." Then came this paragraph dealing with the principle of auto-limitation: " It is to be admitted any state may, by its consent, express or implied, submit to a restriction of its sovereign rights. There may thus be a curtailment of what otherwise is a power plenary in character. That is the concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation, which, in the succinct language of Jellinek, "is the property of a state-force due to which it has the exclusive capacity of legal self-determination and self-restriction ." A state then, if it chooses to, may refrain from the exercise of what otherwise is illimitable competence." The opinion was at pains to point out though that even then, there is at the most diminution of jurisdictional rights, not its disappearance. 2. PEOPLE VS. GOZO, 53 SCRA 476 3. COMMISSIONER VS. ROBERTSON, 143 SCRA 397 Salaries of American employees in the US Bases in the Philippines are not subject to tax by the Philippine Government because that is what is provided for the RP US Military Basis Agreement. 2. Section 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national police, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity among all nations. a. difference between aggressive & defensive war b. Read: 1. MEJOFF VS. DIRECTOR OF PRISONS, 90 Phil. 70

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The Philippines adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since it is a generally accepted principle of international law. As such, it should be applied to illegal aliens like the petitioner so that it would be a violation of the said international law to detain him for an unreasonable length of time since no vessel from his country is willing to take him. "The meaning of "reasonable time" depends upon the circumstances, specially the difficulties of obtaining a passport, the availability of transportation, the diplomatic arrangements concerned and the efforts displayed to send the deportee away. Considering that this Government desires to expel the alien, and does not relish keeping him at the people's expense, we must presume it is making efforts to carry out the decree of exclusion by the highest officer of the land. On top of this presumption assurances were made during the oral argument that the Government is really trying to expedite the expulsion of this petitioner. On the other hand, the record fails to show how long he has been under confinement since the last time he was apprehended. Neither does he indicate neglected opportunities to send him abroad. And unless it is shown that the deportee is being indefinitely imprisoned under the pretense of awaiting a chance for deportation 3 or unless the Government admits that it can not deport him or unless the detainee is being held for too long a period our courts will not interfere. 2. KURODA VS. JALANDONI, 83 Phil 171

Petitioner argues that respondent Military Commission has no Jurisdiction to try petitioner for acts committed in violation of the Hague Convention on Rules and Regulations covering Land Warfare and the Geneva Convention because the Philippines is not a signatory to the first and signed the second only in 1947. It cannot be denied that the rules and regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions form, part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principals of international law. In facts these rules and principles were accepted by the two belligerent nation the United State and Japan who were signatories to the two Convention, Such rule and principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying them for our Constitution has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope and is not confined to the recognition of rule and principle of international law as continued inn treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a signatory. Furthermore when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed the Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound together with the United States and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in the treaties between the belligerent countries. These rights and obligation were not erased by our assumption of full sovereignty. If at all our emergency as a free state entitles us to enforce the right on our own of trying and punishing those who committed crimes against crimes against our people. In this connection it is well to remember what we have said in the case of Laurel vs. Misa (76 Phil., 372): 3. 4. SALONGA VS. HERMOSO, 97 SCRA 121 AGUSTIN VS. EDU, 88 SCRA 195 The Geneva Convention on Road Signs and Signals, is also considered part of the law of the Philippines since the same is a generally accepted principle of international law in accordance with the Incorporation clause of the Constitution. 5. REYES VS. BAGATSING,125 SCRA 553

Respondent Mayor posed the issue of the applicability of Ordinance No. 7295 of the City of Manila prohibiting the holding or staging of rallies or demonstrations within a radius of five hundred (500) feet from any foreign mission or chancery and for other purposes. It is to be admitted that it finds support In the previously quoted Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. There was no showing, however, that the distance between the chancery and the embassy gate is less than 500 feet. Even if it could be shown that such a condition is satisfied. it does not follow that respondent Mayor could legally act the way he did. The validity of his denial of the permit sought could still be challenged. It could be argued that a case of unconstitutional application of such ordinance to the exercise of the right of peaceable assembly presents itself. As in this case there was no proof that the distance is less than 500 feet, the need to pass on that issue was obviated, Should it come, then the qualification and observation of Justices Makasiar and Plana certainly cannot be summarily brushed aside. The high estate accorded the rights to free speech and peaceable assembly demands nothing less. Without saying that the Ordinance is obnoxious per se to the constitution, it cannot be validly invoked whenever its application would collide with a constitutionally guaranteed right such as freedom of assembly and/or expression, as in the case at bar, regardless of whether the chancery of any foreign embassy is beyond or within 500 feet from the situs of the rally or demonstration. Section 3. Civilian authority is, at all times supreme over the military. The armed forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory. See also: Art. VII, Sec. 18 Art. XVI, Sec. 5 (2) Art. XVI, Sec. 5 (4) Section 4. The prime duty of the government is to serve and protect the people. The Government may call upon the people to defend the State and in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal and military service. Read: 1. PEOPLE VS. LAGMAN, 66 Phil. 13

The appellants argument that he does not want to join the armed forces because he does not want to kill or be killed and that he has no military inclination is not acceptable because it is his obligation to join the armed forces in connection with the defense of the State provision of the Constitution. 2. PEOPLE VS. MANAYAO, 78 Phil. 721 3. PD1706, August 8, 1980 4. Exec. Order No. 264

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Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy. Section 6. The separation of church and State shall be inviolable. Read: 1) PAMIL VS. TELERON, 86 SCRA 413 2) GERMAN VS. BARANGAN, 135 SCRA 514 (NOTE: Read the dissenting opinions in both cases) 3) Other provisions: Other provisions on church & state: 1. ART. III, Sec. 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. NO RELIGIOUS TEST SHALL BE REQUIRED FOR THE EXERCISE OF CIVIL OR POLITICAL RIGHTS. ART. VI, Sec. 28 (3). Charitable institutions, churches, mosques, non-profit cemeteriesactually, directly and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation. ART. VI, Sec. 29 .(2). No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, for the benefit, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination or religion, except when such priest, minister.. is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium. ART. IX, C, 2(5). Religious denominations and sects shall not be registeredas political parties. (NOTE: Religious organizations are also prohibited ion connection with sectoral representatives under Art. VI) ART. XIV, Sec. 3(3). At the option in writing by parents, religion shall be allowed to be taught to their children in elementary and high schools within the regular class hours by instructors designated or approved by religious authorities to which said children belong, without additional cost to the government.

2. 3.

4. 5.

Sections 7. The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination, Section 8. The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory. 1. 2. meaning of "nuclear-free" Philippines; . Art. XVIII, Secs. 4 & 25

Sections 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.. Section 10. The state shall promote social justice in all phases of national development. Section 11. The state values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights. a. Read together with entire provisions of Article XIII Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civil efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support the support of the government. NOTE: Father Bernas opines that this provision does not take a stand on divorce. As such, a Divorce Law to be passed by Congress may or may not be unconstitutional. But definitely, a law allowing abortion , other than therapeutic, is unconstitutional. 1. Read together with the entire provisions of Article XV. a) 2. Read: GINSBERG VS. NEW YORK, 390 US 629 (1969) A law prohibiting the sale of girlie magazines [bold?) is constitutional and does not violate the above provision. This is so because parents could buy said magazines for their children if they believe the same is already suitable to the understanding of their child. This is in accordance with this provision which states that the parents have the natural and primary right in rearing their child for civic efficiency b) MEYER VS. NEBRASKA, 260 US 260 (1922) c) PIERCE VS. SOCIETY OF SISTERS, 268 US 510 (1925) A law requiring small kids to be enrolled in public schools only is unconstitutional since it interferes with the right of parents in rearing their children. They have the right to choose which school is best suited for the development of their children without interference from the State. d) PACU VS. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, 97 Phil. 806 e) CABANAS VS. PILAPIL, 58 SCRA 94

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Section 13. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs. Read: 1) PD 684 2) PD 935 3) PD 1102 4) PD 603; see the objectives of the law Sections 14. The State recognizes the role of women in nation building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of men and women. Section 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them. Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. Section 17. The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote human liberation and development. 1) Read together with Article XIV Read : VILLEGAS VS. SUBIDO, 109 SCRA 1 OPOSA VS. FACTORAN, July 30, 1993; In a broader sense, this petition bears upon the right of Filipinos to a balanced and healthful ecology which the petitioners dramatically associate with the twin concepts of "inter-generational responsibility" and "inter-generational justice." Specifically, it touches on the issue of whether the said petitioners have a cause of action to "prevent the misappropriation or impairment" of Philippine rainforests and "arrest the unabated hemorrhage of the country's vital life support systems and continued rape of Mother Earth." The minors-petitioners have the personality to sue since the case deals with the timber licensing agreements entered into by the government which if not stopped would be prejudicial to their future. This is so because the DENR holds in trust for the benefit of plaintiff minors and succeeding generations the natural resources of the country. The subject matter of the complaint is of common and general interest not just to several, but to all citizens of the Philippines. Consequently, since the parties are so numerous, it, becomes impracticable, if not totally impossible, to bring all of them before the court. We likewise declare that the plaintiffs therein are numerous and representative enough to ensure the full protection of all concerned interests. Hence, all the requisites for the filing of a valid class suit under Section 12, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court are present both in the said civil case and in the instant petition, the latter being but an incident to the former. Their personality to sue in behalf of the succeeding generations can only be based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. Such a right, as hereinafter expounded, considers the "rhythm and harmony of nature." Nature means the created world in its entirety. 9 Such rhythm and harmony indispensably include, inter alia, the judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the country's forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore areas and other natural resources to the end that their exploration, development and utilization be equitably accessible to the present as well as future generations. Needless to say, every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony for the full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, the minors' assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come. The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental legal right the right to a balanced and healthful ecology which, for the first time in our nation's constitutional history, is solemnly incorporated in the fundamental law. Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides: Sec. 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. This right unites with the right to health which is provided for in the preceding section of the same article: Sec. 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them. While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of Principles and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right belongs to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation aptly and fittingly stressed by the petitioners the advancement of which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions. As a matter of fact, these basic rights need not even be written in the Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the inception of humankind. If they are now explicitly mentioned in the fundamental charter, it is because of the well-founded fear of its framers that unless the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing importance and imposing upon the state a solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day would not be too far when all else would be lost not only for the present generation, but also for those to come generations which stand to inherit nothing but parched earth incapable of sustaining life. The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment. As a matter of logic, by finding petitioners' cause of action as anchored on a legal right comprised in the constitutional statements above noted, the Court is in effect saying that Section 15 (and Section 16) of Article II of the Constitution are self-executing and judicially enforceable even in their present form. The implications of this doctrine will have to be explored in future cases; those implications are too large and far-reaching in nature even to be hinted at here. Section 18. The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare. 1) Read together with Section 3, Article XIII, 1987 Constitution.

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2) Compare it with Section 9, Article II, 1973 Constitution. 3) Read: a. VICTORIANO VS. ELIZALDE POPE WORKERS UNION, 59 SCRA 54 The right to religion prevails over contractual or legal rights. As such, an Iglesia Ni Kristo member may refuse to join a Union and despite the fact that there is a closed shop agreement in the establishment where he was employed, his employment could not be validly terminated for his non-membership in the majority union therein. Section 19. The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.

See Art. XII Section 20. The State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed investments. a. Do we practice the free enterprise system in the Philippines or is it the welfare state concept? Distinguish the two. b. Read: ACCFA VS. CUGCO, 30 SCRA 649 (Note: Read the separate opinion of former Chief Justice ENRIQUE FERNANDO only)

The Philippines never practiced the free enterprise system. It is the welfare-state concept which is being followed as shown by the constitutional provision on agrarian reform, housing, protection to labor (NOTE, however, that the 1987 Constitution have provisions which provide for free enterprise) PHILIPPINE COCONUT DESICCATORS VS. PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY, 286 SCRA 109 Mendoza, J. The Philippine Constitutions, starting from the 1935 document, HAVE REPUDIATED laissez faire (or the doctrine of free enterprise) as an economic principle, and although the present Constitution enshrines free enterprise as a policy, it nevertheless reserves to the government the power to intervene whenever necessary to promote the general welfare. As such, free enterprise does not call for the removal of protective regulations for the benefit of the general public. This is so because under Art. XII, Sections 6 and 9, it is very clear that the government reserves the power to intervene whenever necessary to promote the general welfare and when the public interest so requires.

Section 21. The State shall promote comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform. a. Read together with Secs. 4-10, Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution b. Read PD 27 - as to the extent of land reform under the MARCOS regime c. Read RA 3844 & 6389, as amended - THE CODE OF AGRARIAN REFORMS OF THE PHILIPPINES (Read the policy of the state on this matter) d .Read the COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM LAW, RA No. 6657 as signed into law by the President on June 7, 1988. e. Read: Association of Small Landowners vs. Hon. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, July 14, 1989 Sections 22. The State recognizes and promotes the right of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development. To be discussed later with Art. X, Secs. 1521.

Other provisions on indigenous cultural communities: 1. Art. VI, Sec. 5(2) 2. Art. X, Secs. 15 - 21 3. Art. XII, Sec. 5 4. Art. XIII, Sec. 6 5. Art. XIV, Sec. 17 6. Art. XVI, Sec. 12 Section 23. The State shall encourage non-governmental, community based, or sectoral organizations that promote the welfare of the nation. Section 24. The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building. Section 25. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments. a. Define "autonomy" b. See Art. X

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Read the 1991 New Local Government Code and enumerate its provisions evidencing "autonomy" to local government units. Section 26. The State guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law. Section 27. The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption. To be discussed under Article XI. a. Please see RA 3019, The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended by RA 3047, PD 77 and BP 195.. b. PD 749, July 18, 1975, which grants immunity from prosecution to givers of bribes and other gifts and to their accomplices in bribery other than graft cases against public officers. c. RA 1379. Forfeiture in favor of the State any property found to have been illegally acquired by a public officer or employee. Section 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

Power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation; Public disclosure of government transactions CAMILO L. SABIO vs. GORDON, G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006, 504 SCRA 704 Sandoval-Gutierrez, J. The Facts: On February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution No. 455 (Senate Res. No. 455), 1[4] directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. The pertinent portions of the Resolution read: WHEREAS, in the last quarter of 2005, the representation and entertainment expense of the PHC skyrocketed to P4.3 million, as compared to the previous years mere P106 thousand; WHEREAS, some board members established wholly owned PHC subsidiary called Telecommunications Center, Inc. (TCI), where PHC funds are allegedly siphoned; in 18 months, over P73 million had been allegedly advanced to TCI without any accountability report given to PHC and PHILCOMSAT; WHEREAS, the Philippine Star, in its 12 February 2002 issue reported that the executive committee of Philcomsat has precipitately released P265 million and granted P125 million loan to a relative of an executive committee member; to date there have been no payments given, subjecting the company to an estimated interest income loss of P11.25 million in 2004; WHEREFORE, be it resolved that the proper Senate Committee shall conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation, on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and Philcomsat Holdings Corporations (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in the operations by their respective board of directors. On May 8, 2006, Chief of Staff Rio C. Inocencio, under the authority of Senator Richard J. Gordon, wrote Chairman Camilo L. Sabio of the PCGG, one of the herein petitioners, inviting him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. The purpose of the public meeting was to deliberate on Senate Res. No. 455.2[6] On May 9, 2006, Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment. 3[7] At the same time, he invoked Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 earlier quoted. On August 10, 2006, Senator Gordon issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum,4[8] approved by Senate President Manuel Villar, requiring Chairman Sabio and PCGG Commissioners Ricardo Abcede, Nicasio Conti, Tereso Javier and Narciso Nario to appear in the public hearing scheduled on August 23, 2006 and testify on what they know relative to the matters specified in Senate Res. No. 455. All were disregarded by the petitioners. On September 12, 2006, at around 10:45 a.m., Major General Balajadia arrested Chairman Sabio in his office at IRC Building, No. 82 EDSA, Mandaluyong City and brought him to the Senate premises where he was detained. Hence, Chairman Sabio filed with the Supreme Court a petition for habeas corpus against the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services, their Chairmen, Senators Richard Gordon and Joker P. Arroyo and Members. The case was docketed as G.R. No. 174340. Chairman Sabio, Commissioners Abcede, Conti, Nario, and Javier; and the PCGGs nominees Andal and Jalandoni alleged: first, respondent Senate Committees disregarded Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 without any justifiable reason; second, the inquiries conducted by respondent Senate Committees are not in aid of legislation; third, the inquiries were conducted in the absence of duly published Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation ; and fourth, respondent Senate Committees are not vested with the power of contempt. In their Consolidated Comment, the above-named respondents countered: first, the issues raised in the petitions involve political questions over which this Court has no jurisdiction; second, Section 4(b) has been repealed by the Constitution; third, respondent Senate Committees are vested with contempt power; fourth, Senates Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation have been duly published; fifth, respondents have not violated any civil right of the individual petitioners, such as their (a) right to privacy; and (b) right against self-incrimination; and sixth, the inquiry does not constitute undue encroachment into justiciable controversies. I S S U E:

1[4] 2[6] 3[7] 4[8]

Annex E of the Petition in G.R. No. 174318. Annex F of the Petition in G.R. No. 174318. Annex G of the Petition in G.R. No. 174318. Annex A of the Petition in G.R. No. 174318.

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Is Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 repealed by the 1987 Constitution? Is its implementation wherein the petitioners are exempt from appearing in investigations involving their transactions violates Section 28, Art. II of the Constitution? HELD: Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1, which limits the power of legislative inquiry by exempting all PCGG members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding provides: No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance. Said provision of EO No. 1 violates Section 28, Art. II of the Constitution which mandates that Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. Read together with Section 7, Article III, Sec. 20, Art. VI and Section 1, Art. XI of the 1987 Constitution. PART V ARTICLE VI - THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum. a. Define legislative power - Basic concepts of the grant of legislative power: 1. it cannot pass irrepealable laws 2. principle of separation of powers 3. non-delegability of legislative powers - reason for principle that the legislature cannot pass irrepeablable laws - Separation of Powers Read: a. ANGARA VS. ELECTORAL COMMISSION, 63 Phil. 139 b. PLANAS VS. GIL, 67 Phil. 62 c. LUZON STEVEDORING VS. SSS, 34 SCRA 178 d. GARCIA VS. MACARAIG, 39 SCRA 106 e. Bondoc vs. HRET, Sept. 26, 1991 f. DEFENSOR SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC, 270 SCRA 106 b. Nature of legislative power c. What are the limitations to the grant of legislative powers to the legislature? d. Explain the doctrine of non-delegation power. e. Permissive delegation of legislative power. 1) Sec. 23 (2) of Article VI (Emergency powers to the President in case of war or other national emergency, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as Congress may provide, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by Resolution of Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof. 2) Sec. 28 (2) of Article VI. The Congress may by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the government. 3) - Other exceptions: traditional Delegation to local governments The reason behind this delegation is because the local government is deemed to know better the needs of the people therein. a. See Section 5 of Article X b. Read: aa. RUBI VS. PROVINCIAL BOARD, 39 Phil. 660 bb. PEOPLE VS. VERA, 65 Phil 56 A law delegating to the local government units the power to fund the salary of probation officers in their area is unconstitutional for violation of the equal protection of the laws. In areas where there is a probation officer because the local government unit appropriated an amount for his salaries, convicts may avail of probation while in places where no funds were set aside for probation officers, convicts therein could not apply for probation. d. Reason for the delegation 4) Delegation of Rule-making power to administrative bodies 5) Delegation to the People (Section 2, Art. XVII of the Constitution and Section 32, Article VI---The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress of local legislative body after the registration of a petition thereof signed by at least 10% of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voters thereof. f. Delegation of rule-making power to administrative bodies.

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1) What is the completeness test? The sufficiency of standard test? Read: 1. PELAEZ VS. AUDITOR GENERAL, 15 SCRA 569 During the period from September 4 to October 29, 1964 the President of the Philippines, purporting to act pursuant to Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code, issued Executive Orders Nos. 93 to 121, 124 and 126 to 129; creating thirty-three (33) municipalities The third paragraph of Section 3 of Republic Act No. 2370, reads: Barrios shall not be created or their boundaries altered nor their names changed except under the provisions of this Act or by Act of Congress. Pursuant to the first two (2) paragraphs of the same Section 3: All barrios existing at the time of the passage of this Act shall come under the provisions hereof. Upon petition of a majority of the voters in the areas affected, a new barrio may be created or the name of an existing one may be changed by the provincial board of the province, upon recommendation of the council of the municipality or municipalities in which the proposed barrio is stipulated. The recommendation of the municipal council shall be embodied in a resolution approved by at least two-thirds of the entire membership of the said council: Provided, however, That no new barrio may be created if its population is less than five hundred persons. Hence, since January 1, 1960, when Republic Act No. 2370 became effective, barrios may "not be created or their boundaries altered nor their names changed" except by Act of Congress or of the corresponding provincial board "upon petition of a majority of the voters in the areas affected" and the "recommendation of the council of the municipality or municipalities in which the proposed barrio is situated." Petitioner argues, accordingly: "If the President, under this new law, cannot even create a barrio, can he create a municipality which is composed of several barrios, since barrios are units of municipalities?" Moreover, section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code, upon which the disputed executive orders are based, provides: The (Governor-General) President of the Philippines may by executive order define the boundary, or boundaries, of any province, subprovince, municipality, [township] municipal district, or other political subdivision, and increase or diminish the territory comprised therein, may divide any province into one or more subprovinces, separate any political division other than a province, into such portions as may be required, merge any of such subdivisions or portions with another, name any new subdivision so created, and may change the seat of government within any subdivision to such place therein as the public welfare may require: Provided, That the authorization of the (Philippine Legislature) Congress of the Philippines shall first be obtained whenever the boundary of any province or subprovince is to be defined or any province is to be divided into one or more subprovinces. When action by the (Governor-General) President of the Philippines in accordance herewith makes necessary a change of the territory under the jurisdiction of any administrative officer or any judicial officer, the (Governor-General) President of the Philippines, with the recommendation and advice of the head of the Department having executive control of such officer, shall redistrict the territory of the several officers affected and assign such officers to the new districts so formed. Respondent alleges that the power of the President to create municipalities under this section does not amount to an undue delegation of legislative power, relying upon Municipality of Cardona vs. Municipality of Binagonan (36 Phil. 547), which, he claims, has settled it. Such claim is untenable, for said case involved, not the creation of a new municipality, but a mere transfer of territory from an already existing municipality (Cardona) to another municipality (Binagonan), likewise, existing at the time of and prior to said transfer (See Gov't of the P.I. ex rel. Municipality of Cardona vs. Municipality, of Binagonan [34 Phil. 518, 519-5201) in consequence of the fixing and definition, pursuant to Act No. 1748, of the common boundaries of two municipalities. It is obvious, however, that, whereas the power to fix such common boundary, in order to avoid or settle conflicts of jurisdiction between adjoining municipalities, may partake of an administrative nature involving, as it does, the adoption of means and ways to carry into effect the law creating said municipalities the authority to create municipal corporations is essentially legislative in nature. Although 1a Congress may delegate to another branch of the Government the power to fill in the details in the execution, enforcement or administration of a law, it is essential, to forestall a violation of the principle of separation of powers, that said law: (a) be complete in itself it must set forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate and (b) fix a standard the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. Indeed, without a statutory declaration of policy, the delegate would in effect, make or formulate such policy, which is the essence of every law; and, without the aforementioned standard, there would be no means to determine, with reasonable certainty, whether the delegate has acted within or beyond the scope of his authority. Hence, he could thereby arrogate upon himself the power, not only to make the law, but, also and this is worse to unmake it, by adopting measures inconsistent with the end sought to be attained by the Act of Congress, thus nullifying the principle of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances, and, consequently, undermining the very foundation of our Republican system. Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not meet these well settled requirements for a valid delegation of the power to fix the details in the enforcement of a law. It does not enunciate any policy to be carried out or implemented by the President. Neither does it give a standard sufficiently precise to avoid the evil effects above referred to. In this connection, we do not overlook the fact that, under the last clause of the first sentence of Section 68, the President: ... may change the seat of the government within any subdivision to such place therein as the public welfare may require. At any rate, the conclusion would be the same, insofar as the case at bar is concerned, even if we assumed that the phrase "as the public welfare may require," in said Section 68, qualifies all other clauses thereof. It is true that in Calalang vs. Williams (70 Phil. 726) and People vs. Rosenthal (68 Phil. 328), this Court had upheld "public welfare" and "public interest," respectively, as sufficient standards for a valid delegation of the authority to execute the law. But, the doctrine laid down in these cases as all judicial pronouncements must be construed in relation to the specific facts and issues involved therein, outside of which they do not constitute precedents and have no binding effect. The law construed in the Calalang case conferred upon the Director of Public Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, the power to issue rules and regulations to promote safe transit upon national roads

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and streets. Upon the other hand, the Rosenthal case referred to the authority of the Insular Treasurer, under Act No. 2581, to issue and cancel certificates or permits for the sale of speculative securities. Both cases involved grants to administrative officers of powers related to the exercise of their administrative functions, calling for the determination of questions of fact. 2 3. . TUPAS VS. OPLE, 137 SCRA 108 (Most representative) US VS. ANG TANG HO, 43 Phil. 1

At its special session of 1919, the Philippine Legislature passed Act No. 2868, entitled "An Act penalizing the monopoly and holding of, and speculation in, palay, rice, and corn under extraordinary circumstances, regulating the distribution and sale thereof, and authorizing the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, to issue the necessary rules and regulations therefor, and making an appropriation for this purpose," the material provisions of which are as follows: Section 1. The Governor-General is hereby authorized, whenever, for any cause, conditions arise resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate, with the consent of the Council of State, temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the purpose of this Act, to wit: (a) To prevent the monopoly and hoarding of, and speculation in, palay, rice or corn. August 1, 1919, the Governor-General issued a proclamation fixing the price at which rice should be sold. August 8, 1919, a complaint was filed against the defendant, Ang Tang Ho, charging him with the sale of rice at an excessive price as follows: The undersigned accuses Ang Tang Ho of a violation of Executive Order No. 53 of the Governor-General of the Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, in relation with the provisions of sections 1, 2 and 4 of Act No. 2868, committed as follows: That on or about the 6th day of August, 1919, in the city of Manila, Philippine Islands, the said Ang Tang Ho, voluntarily, illegally and criminally sold to Pedro Trinidad, one ganta of rice at the price of eighty centavos (P.80), which is a price greater than that fixed by Executive Order No. 53 of the Governor-General of the Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, under the authority of section 1 of Act No. 2868. Contrary to law. Upon this charge, he was tried, found guilty and sentenced to five months' imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500, from which he appealed to this court, claiming that the lower court erred in finding Executive Order No. 53 of 1919, to be of any force and effect, in finding the accused guilty of the offense charged, and in imposing the sentence. The official records show that the Act was to take effect on its approval; that it was approved July 30, 1919; that the Governor-General issued his proclamation on the 1st of August, 1919; and that the law was first published on the 13th of August, 1919; and that the proclamation itself was first published on the 20th of August, 1919. The question here involves an analysis and construction of Act No. 2868, in so far as it authorizes the Governor-General to fix the price at which rice should be sold. It will be noted that section 1 authorizes the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, for any cause resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the purposes of the Act. By its very terms, the promulgation of temporary rules and emergency measures is left to the discretion of the Governor-General. The Legislature does not undertake to specify or define under what conditions or for what reasons the Governor-General shall issue the proclamation, but says that it may be issued "for any cause," and leaves the question as to what is "any cause" to the discretion of the Governor-General. The Act also says: "For any cause, conditions arise resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn." The Legislature does not specify or define what is "an extraordinary rise." That is also left to the discretion of the Governor-General. The Act also says that the Governor-General, "with the consent of the Council of State," is authorized to issue and promulgate "temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the purposes of this Act." It does not specify or define what is a temporary rule or an emergency measure, or how long such temporary rules or emergency measures shall remain in force and effect, or when they shall take effect. That is to say, the Legislature itself has not in any manner specified or defined any basis for the order, but has left it to the sole judgment and discretion of the Governor-General to say what is or what is not "a cause," and what is or what is not "an extraordinary rise in the price of rice," and as to what is a temporary rule or an emergency measure for the carrying out the purposes of the Act. Under this state of facts, if the law is valid and the Governor-General issues a proclamation fixing the minimum price at which rice should be sold, any dealer who, with or without notice, sells rice at a higher price, is a criminal. There may not have been any cause, and the price may not have been extraordinary, and there may not have been an emergency, but, if the Governor-General found the existence of such facts and issued a proclamation, and rice is sold at any higher price, the seller commits a crime. By the organic law of the Philippine Islands and the Constitution of the United States all powers are vested in the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. It is the duty of the Legislature to make the law; of the Executive to execute the law; and of the Judiciary to construe the law. The Legislature has no authority to execute or construe the law, the Executive has no authority to make or construe the law, and the Judiciary has no power to make or execute the law. Subject to the Constitution only, the power of each branch is supreme within its own jurisdiction, and it is for the Judiciary only to say when any Act of the Legislature is or is not constitutional. Assuming, without deciding, that the Legislature itself has the power to fix the price at which rice is to be sold, can it delegate that power to another, and, if so, was that power legally delegated by Act No. 2868? In other words, does the Act delegate legislative power to the GovernorGeneral? By the Organic Law, all Legislative power is vested in the Legislature, and the power conferred upon the Legislature to make laws cannot be delegated to the Governor-General, or any one else. The Legislature cannot delegate the legislative power to enact any law. If Act no 2868 is a law unto itself and within itself, and it does nothing more than to authorize the Governor-General to make rules and regulations to carry the law into effect, then the Legislature itself created the law. There is no delegation of power and it is valid. On the other hand, if the Act within itself does not define crime, and is not a law, and some legislative act remains to be done to make it a law or a crime, the doing of which is vested in the Governor-General, then the Act is a delegation of legislative power, is unconstitutional and void. The act, in our judgment, wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy should contain, so that it could be put in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all others, without the determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to maters involving the exercise of a legislative discretion that could not be delegated, and without which the act could not possibly be put in use as an act in conformity to which all fire insurance policies were required to be issued. The result of all the cases on this subject is that a law must be complete, in all its terms and provisions, when it leaves the legislative branch of the government, and nothing must be left to the judgment of the electors or other appointee or delegate of the legislature, so that, in form and substance, it is a law in all its details in presenti, but which may be left to take effect in futuro, if necessary, upon the ascertainment of any prescribed fact or event. 4. TIO VS. VIDEOGRAM REGULATORY BOARD, 151 SCRA 208 5. FREE TELEPHONE WORKERS UNION, 108 SCRA 757 (Affecting National interest)

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6. PHILCOMSAT VS. ALCUAZ, December 18, 1989 Fundamental is the rule that delegation of legislative power may be sustained only upon the ground that some standard for its exercise is provided and that the legislature in making the delegation has prescribed the manner of the exercise of the delegated power. Therefore, when the administrative agency concerned, respondent NTC in this case, establishes a rate, its act must both be non- confiscatory and must have been established in the manner prescribed by the legislature; otherwise, in the absence of a fixed standard, the delegation of power becomes unconstitutional. In case of a delegation of rate-fixing power, the only standard which the legislature is required to prescribe for the guidance of the administrative authority is that the rate be reasonable and just. However, it has been held that even in the absence of an express requirement as to reasonableness, this standard may be implied. It becomes important then to ascertain the nature of the power delegated to respondent NTC and the manner required by the statute for the lawful exercise thereof. Pursuant to Executive Orders Nos. 546 and 196, respondent NTC is empowered, among others, to determine and prescribe rates pertinent to the operation of public service communications which necessarily include the power to promulgate rules and regulations in connection therewith. And, under Section 15(g) of Executive Order No. 546, respondent NTC should be guided by the requirements of public safety, public interest and reasonable feasibility of maintaining effective competition of private entities in communications and broadcasting facilities. Likewise, in Section 6(d) thereof, which provides for the creation of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications with control and supervision over respondent NTC, it is specifically provided that the national economic viability of the entire network or components of the communications systems contemplated therein should be maintained at reasonable rates. II. On another tack, petitioner submits that the questioned order violates procedural due process because it was issued motu proprio, without notice to petitioner and without the benefit of a hearing. Petitioner laments that said order was based merely on an "initial evaluation," which is a unilateral evaluation, but had petitioner been given an opportunity to present its side before the order in question was issued, the confiscatory nature of the rate reduction and the consequent deterioration of the public service could have been shown and demonstrated to respondents. Petitioner argues that the function involved in the rate fixing-power of NTC is adjudicatory and hence quasi-judicial, not quasi- legislative; thus, notice and hearing are necessary and the absence thereof results in a violation of due process.

Respondents admit that the application of a policy like the fixing of rates as exercised by administrative bodies is quasi-judicial rather than quasi-legislative: that where the function of the administrative agency is legislative, notice and hearing are not required, but where an order applies to a named person, as in the instant case, the function involved is adjudicatory. Nonetheless, they insist that under the facts obtaining the order in question need not be preceded by a hearing, not because it was issued pursuant to respondent NTC's legislative function but because the assailed order is merely interlocutory, it being an incident in the ongoing proceedings on petitioner's application for a certificate of public convenience; and that petitioner is not the only primary source of data or information since respondent is currently engaged in a continuing review of the rates charged. We find merit in petitioner's contention. In Vigan Electric Light Co., Inc. vs. Public Service Commission, we made a categorical classification as to when the rate-filing power of administrative bodies is quasi-judicial and when it is legislative, thus: Moreover, although the rule-making power and even the power to fix rates- when such rules and/or rates are meant to apply to all enterprises of a given kind throughout the Philippines-may partake of a legislative character, such is not the nature of the order complained of. Indeed, the same applies exclusively to petitioner herein. What is more, it is predicated upon the finding of fact-based upon a report submitted by the General Auditing Office-that petitioner is making a profit of more than 12% of its invested capital, which is denied by petitioner. Obviously, the latter is entitled to cross-examine the maker of said report, and to introduce evidence to disprove the contents thereof and/or explain or complement the same, as well as to refute the conclusion drawn therefrom by the respondent. In other words, in making said finding of fact, respondent performed a function partaking of a quasi-judicial character, the valid exercise of which demands previous notice and hearing. This rule was further explained in the subsequent case of The Central Bank of the Philippines vs. Cloribel, et al. to wit: It is also clear from the authorities that where the function of the administrative body is legislative, notice of hearing is not required by due process of law (See Oppenheimer, Administrative Law, 2 Md. L.R. 185, 204, supra, where it is said: 'If the nature of the administrative agency is essentially legislative, the requirements of notice and hearing are not necessary. The validity of a rule of future action which affects a group, if vested rights of liberty or property are not involved, is not determined according to the same rules which apply in the case of the direct application of a policy to a specific individual) ... It is said in 73 C.J.S. Public Administrative Bodies and Procedure, sec. 130, pages 452 and 453: 'Aside from statute, the necessity of notice and hearing in an administrative proceeding depends on the character of the proceeding and the circumstances involved. In so far as generalization is possible in view of the great variety of administrative proceedings, it may be stated as a general rule that notice and hearing are not essential to the validity of administrative action where the administrative body acts in the exercise of executive, administrative, or legislative functions; but where a public administrative body acts in a judicial or quasi-judicial matter, and its acts are particular and immediate rather than general and prospective, the person whose rights or property may be affected by the action is entitled to notice and hearing. The order in question which was issued by respondent Alcuaz no doubt contains all the attributes of a quasi-judicial adjudication. Foremost is the fact that said order pertains exclusively to petitioner and to no other. Further, it is premised on a finding of fact, although patently superficial, that there is merit in a reduction of some of the rates charged- based on an initial evaluation of petitioner's financial statements-without affording petitioner the benefit of an explanation as to what particular aspect or aspects of the financial statements warranted a corresponding rate reduction. No rationalization was offered nor were the attending contingencies, if any, discussed, which prompted respondents to impose as much as a fifteen percent (15%) rate reduction. It is not far-fetched to assume that petitioner could be in a better position to rationalize its rates vis-a-vis the viability of its business requirements. The rates it charges result from an exhaustive and detailed study it conducts of the multi-faceted intricacies attendant to a public service undertaking of such nature and magnitude. We are, therefore, inclined to lend greater credence to petitioner's ratiocination that an immediate reduction in its rates would adversely affect its operations and the quality of its service to the public considering the maintenance requirements, the projects it still has to undertake and the financial outlay involved. Notably, petitioner was not even afforded the opportunity to cross-examine the inspector who issued the report on which respondent NTC based its questioned order. At any rate, there remains the categorical admission made by respondent NTC that the questioned order was issued pursuant to its quasi-judicial functions. It, however, insists that notice and hearing are not necessary since the assailed order is merely incidental to the entire proceedings and, therefore, temporary in nature. This postulate is bereft of merit.

17
g. May rules and regulations promulgated by administrative bodies/agencies have the force of law? penal law? In order to be considered as one with the force and effect of a penal law, what conditions must concur? See U.S. vs. GRIMMAUD, 220 U.S. 506 (1911) or the 1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION - a reviewer - Primer by FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, 1987 edition. 5. PEO. VS. ROSENTHAL, 68 Phil. 328 6. US VS. BARRIAS, 11 Phil. 327 7. VILLEGAS VS. HIU CHIONG TSAI PAO HO, 86 SCRA 270 h. Delegation to the people. See Section 2(1) of Art. XVII. i. Classify the membership of the legislative department. j. Manner of election and selection 1) Read again TUPAS VS. OPLE, 137 SCRA 108 Sections 2. The Senate shall be composed of twenty-four Senators who shall be elected at large by the qualified voters of the Philippines, as may be provided for by law. Section 3. No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, and, on the day of the election, is at least 35 years of age, able to read and write, a registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than 2 years immediately preceding the day of the election. Section 4. The term of office of the Senators shall be six years and shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the 30th day of June next following their election. No Senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. Qualifications, term of office, etc., of a senator or member of the House of Representatives. Drug-testing requirement on all candidates before their certificates of candidacy will be admitted by the COMELEC, unconstitutional. SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS) DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD and PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (PDEA), ATTY. MANUEL J. LASERNA, JR vs. DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD and PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR. Vsa. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 161658, November 3, 2008 VELASCO, JR., J.: In these kindred petitions, the constitutionality of Section 36 of Republic Act No. (RA) 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, insofar as it requires mandatory drug testing of [1]candidates for public office, [2]students of secondary and tertiary schools, [3]officers and employees of public and private offices, and[4] persons charged before the prosecutors office with certain offenses, among other personalities, is put in issue. As far as pertinent, the challenged section reads as follows: SEC. 36. Authorized Drug Testing.Authorized drug testing shall be done by any government forensic laboratories or by any of the drug testing laboratories accredited and monitored by the DOH to safeguard the quality of the test results. x x x The drug testing shall employ, among others, two (2) testing methods, the screening test which will determine the positive result as well as the type of drug used and the confirmatory test which will confirm a positive screening test. x x x The following shall be subjected to undergo drug testing: xxxx (c) Students of secondary and tertiary schools.Students of secondary and tertiary schools shall, pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the schools student handbook and with notice to the parents, undergo a random drug testing x x x; (d) Officers and employees of public and private offices.Officers and employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, shall be subjected to undergo a random drug test as contained in the companys work rules and regulations, x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace. Any officer or employee found positive for use of dangerous drugs shall be dealt with administratively which shall be a ground for suspension or termination, subject to the provisions of Article 282 of the Labor Code and pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law; xxxx (f) All persons charged before the prosecutors office with a criminal offense having an imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day shall undergo a mandatory drug test; (g) All candidates for public office whether appointed or elected both in the national or local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test. In addition to the above stated penalties in this Section, those found to be positive for dangerous drugs use shall be subject to the provisions of Section 15 of this Act. G.R. No. 161658 (Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. v. Commission on Elections)

18
On December 23, 2003, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued Resolution No. 6486, prescribing the rules and regulations on the mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10, 2004 synchronized national and local elections. The pertinent portions of the said resolution read as follows: WHEREAS, Section 36 (g) of Republic Act No. 9165 provides: SEC. 36. Authorized Drug Testing.x x x xxxx (g) All candidates for public office x x x both in the national or local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test. WHEREAS, Section 1, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution provides that public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency; WHEREAS, by requiring candidates to undergo mandatory drug test, the public will know the quality of candidates they are electing and they will be assured that only those who can serve with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency would be elected x x x. NOW THEREFORE, The [COMELEC], pursuant to the authority vested in it under the Constitution, Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (Omnibus Election Code), [RA] 9165 and other election laws, RESOLVED to promulgate, as it hereby promulgates, the following rules and regulations on the conduct of mandatory drug testing to candidates for public office[:] SECTION 1. Coverage.All candidates for public office, both national and local, in the May 10, 2004 Synchronized National and Local Elections shall undergo mandatory drug test in government forensic laboratories or any drug testing laboratories monitored and accredited by the Department of Health. SEC. 3. x x x On March 25, 2004, in addition to the drug certificates filed with their respective offices, the Comelec Offices and employees concerned shall submit to the Law Department two (2) separate lists of candidates. The first list shall consist of those candidates who complied with the mandatory drug test while the second list shall consist of those candidates who failed to comply x x x. SEC. 4. Preparation and publication of names of candidates.Before the start of the campaign period, the [COMELEC] shall prepare two separate lists of candidates. The first list shall consist of those candidates who complied with the mandatory drug test while the second list shall consist of those candidates who failed to comply with said drug test. x x x SEC. 5. Effect of failure to undergo mandatory drug test and file drug test certificate .No person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory drug test and filed with the offices enumerated under Section 2 hereof the drug test certificate herein required. (Emphasis supplied.) Petitioner Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., a senator of the Republic and a candidate for re-election in the May 10, 2004 elections, 5[1] filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65. In it, he seeks (1) to nullify Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 dated December 23, 2003 for being unconstitutional in that they impose a qualification for candidates for senators in addition to those already provided for in the 1987 Constitution; and (2) to enjoin the COMELEC from implementing Resolution No. 6486. Pimentel invokes as legal basis for his petition Sec. 3, Article VI of the Constitution, which states: SECTION 3. No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, and, on the day of the election, is at least thirty-five years of age, able to read and write, a registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election. According to Pimentel, the Constitution only prescribes a maximum of five (5) qualifications for one to be a candidate for, elected to, and be a member of the Senate. He says that both the Congress and COMELEC, by requiring, via RA 9165 and Resolution No. 6486, a senatorial aspirant, among other candidates, to undergo a mandatory drug test, create an additional qualification that all candidates for senator must first be certified as drug free. He adds that there is no provision in the Constitution authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to expand the qualification requirements of candidates for senator. G.R. No. 157870 (Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) In its Petition for Prohibition under Rule 65, petitioner Social Justice Society (SJS), a registered political party, seeks to prohibit the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) from enforcing paragraphs (c), (d), (f), and (g) of Sec. 36 of RA 9165 on the ground that they are constitutionally infirm. For one, the provisions constitute undue delegation of legislative power when they give unbridled discretion to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug testing. For another, the provisions trench in the equal protection clause inasmuch as they can be used to harass a student or an employee deemed undesirable. And for a third, a persons constitutional right against unreasonable searches is also breached by said provisions. G.R. No. 158633 (Atty. Manuel J. Laserna, Jr. v. Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) Petitioner Atty. Manuel J. Laserna, Jr., as citizen and taxpayer, also seeks in his Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 that Sec. 36(c), (d), (f), and (g) of RA 9165 be struck down as unconstitutional for infringing on the constitutional right to privacy, the right against unreasonable search and seizure, and the right against self-incrimination, and for being contrary to the due process and equal protection guarantees. The Issue on Locus Standi

[1]

Re-elected as senator in the 2004 elections.

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First off, we shall address the justiciability of the cases at bench and the matter of the standing of petitioners SJS and Laserna to sue. As respondents DDB and PDEA assert, SJS and Laserna failed to allege any incident amounting to a violation of the constitutional rights mentioned in their separate petitions.6[2] It is basic that the power of judicial review can only be exercised in connection with a bona fide controversy which involves the statute sought to be reviewed.7[3] But even with the presence of an actual case or controversy, the Court may refuse to exercise judicial review unless the constitutional question is brought before it by a party having the requisite standing to challenge it. 8[4] To have standing, one must establish that he or she has suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action.9[5] The rule on standing, however, is a matter of procedure; hence, it can be relaxed for non-traditional plaintiffs, like ordinary citizens, taxpayers, and legislators when the public interest so requires, such as when the matter is of transcendental importance, of overarching significance to society, or of paramount public interest.10[6] There is no doubt that Pimentel, as senator of the Philippines and candidate for the May 10, 2004 elections, possesses the requisite standing since he has substantial interests in the subject matter of the petition, among other preliminary considerations. Regarding SJS and Laserna, this Court is wont to relax the rule on locus standi owing primarily to the transcendental importance and the paramount public interest involved in the enforcement of Sec. 36 of RA 9165. The Consolidated Issues The principal issues before us are as follows: (1) Do Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 impose an additional qualification for candidates for senator? Corollarily, can Congress enact a law prescribing qualifications for candidates for senator in addition to those laid down by the Constitution? and (2) Are paragraphs (c), (d), (f), and (g) of Sec. 36, RA 9165 unconstitutional? Specifically, do these paragraphs violate the right to privacy, the right against unreasonable searches and seizure, and the equal protection clause? Or do they constitute undue delegation of legislative power? Pimentel Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. 36[g] of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486) In essence, Pimentel claims that Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 illegally impose an additional qualification on candidates for senator. He points out that, subject to the provisions on nuisance candidates, a candidate for senator needs only to meet the qualifications laid down in Sec. 3, Art. VI of the Constitution, to wit: (1) citizenship, (2) voter registration, (3) literacy, (4) age, and (5) residency. Beyond these stated qualification requirements, candidates for senator need not possess any other qualification to run for senator and be voted upon and elected as member of the Senate. The Congress cannot validly amend or otherwise modify these qualification standards, as it cannot disregard, evade, or weaken the force of a constitutional mandate, 11[7] or alter or enlarge the Constitution. Pimentels contention is well-taken. Accordingly, Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 should be, as it is hereby declared as, unconstitutional. It is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution, that issuance is null and void and has no effect. The Constitution is the basic law to which all laws must conform; no act shall be valid if it conflicts with the Constitution. 12[8] In the discharge of their defined functions, the three departments of government have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands of the Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed.13[9] Congress inherent legislative powers, broad as they may be, are subject to certain limitations. As early as 1927, in Government v. Springer, the Court has defined, in the abstract, the limits on legislative power in the following wise: Someone has said that the powers of the legislative department of the Government, like the boundaries of the ocean, are unlimited. In constitutional governments, however, as well as governments acting under delegated authority, the powers of each of the departments x x x are limited and confined within the four walls of the constitution or the charter, and each department can only exercise such powers as are necessarily implied from the given powers. The Constitution is the shore of legislative authority against which the waves of legislative enactment may dash, but over which it cannot leap.14[10] Thus, legislative power remains limited in the sense that it is subject to substantive and constitutional limitations which circumscribe both the exercise of the power itself and the allowable subjects of legislation. 15[11] The substantive constitutional limitations are chiefly found in the Bill of Rights16[12] and other provisions, such as Sec. 3, Art. VI of the Constitution prescribing the qualifications of candidates for senators. In the same vein, the COMELEC cannot, in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws or promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. 36(g), validly impose qualifications on candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot require a candidate for senator to meet such additional qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is also without such power. The right of a citizen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated by unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the Constitution.17[13]

6 7

Rollo (G.R. No. 158633), pp. 184-185. Dumlao v. COMELEC, No. L-52245, January 22, 1980, 95 SCRA 392, 401. 8 [4] Bernas, THE 1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES: A COMMENTARY 939 (2003). 9 [5] Gonzales v. Narvasa, G.R. No. 140835, August 14, 2000, 337 SCRA 733, 740. 10 [6] Tatad v. Secretary of the Department of Energy, G.R. Nos. 124360 & 127867, November 5, 1997, 281 SCRA 330, 349; De Guia v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 104712, May 6, 1992, 208 SCRA 420, 422. 11 [7] Palmer v. Board of Education, 276 NY 222 11 NE 2d 887. 12 [8] Cruz, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 4 (2000). 13 [9] Mutuc v. Commission on Elections, No. L-32717, November 26, 1970, 36 SCRA 228, 234. 14 [10] 50 Phil. 259, 309 (1927). 15 [11] J. Bernas, S.J., THE 1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES: A COMMENTARY 604 (1996). 16 [12] Id. 17 [13] See concurring opinion in Go v. Commision on Elections, G.R. No. 147741, May 10, 2001, 357 SCRA 739, 753.
[3]

[2]

20
Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165, as sought to be implemented by the assailed COMELEC resolution, effectively enlarges the qualification requirements enumerated in the Sec. 3, Art. VI of the Constitution. As couched, said Sec. 36(g) unmistakably requires a candidate for senator to be certified illegal-drug clean, obviously as a pre-condition to the validity of a certificate of candidacy for senator or, with like effect, a condition sine qua non to be voted upon and, if proper, be proclaimed as senator-elect . The COMELEC resolution completes the chain with the proviso that [n]o person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory drug test. Viewed, therefore, in its proper context, Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and the implementing COMELEC Resolution add another qualification layer to what the 1987 Constitution, at the minimum, requires for membership in the Senate. Whether or not the drug-free bar set up under the challenged provision is to be hurdled before or after election is really of no moment, as getting elected would be of little value if one cannot assume office for non-compliance with the drug-testing requirement. It ought to be made abundantly clear, however, that the unconstitutionality of Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 is rooted on its having infringed the constitutional provision defining the qualification or eligibility requirements for one aspiring to run for and serve as senator. SJS Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. 36[c], [d], [f], and [g] of RA 9165) The drug test prescribed under Sec. 36(c), (d), and (f) of RA 9165 for secondary and tertiary level students and public and private employees, while mandatory, is a random and suspicionless arrangement. The objective is to stamp out illegal drug and safeguard in the process the well being of [the] citizenry, particularly the youth, from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs. This statutory purpose, per the policy-declaration portion of the law, can be achieved via the pursuit by the state of an intensive and unrelenting campaign against the trafficking and use of dangerous drugs x x x through an integrated system of planning, implementation and enforcement of anti-drug abuse policies, programs and projects. 18[14] The primary legislative intent is not criminal prosecution, as those found positive for illegal drug use as a result of this random testing are not necessarily treated as criminals. They may even be exempt from criminal liability should the illegal drug user consent to undergo rehabilitation. Secs. 54 and 55 of RA 9165 are clear on this point: Sec. 54. Voluntary Submission of a Drug Dependent to Confinement, Treatment and Rehabilitation.A drug dependent or any person who violates Section 15 of this Act may, by himself/herself or through his/her parent, [close relatives] x x x apply to the Board x x x for treatment and rehabilitation of the drug dependency. Upon such application, the Board shall bring forth the matter to the Court which shall order that the applicant be examined for drug dependency. If the examination x x x results in the certification that the applicant is a drug dependent, he/she shall be ordered by the Court to undergo treatment and rehabilitation in a Center designated by the Board x x x. xxxx Sec. 55. Exemption from the Criminal Liability Under the Voluntary Submission Program .A drug dependent under the voluntary submission program, who is finally discharged from confinement, shall be exempt from the criminal liability under Section 15 of this Act subject to the following conditions: xxxx School children, the US Supreme Court noted, are most vulnerable to the physical, psychological, and addictive effects of drugs. Maturing nervous systems of the young are more critically impaired by intoxicants and are more inclined to drug dependency. Their recovery is also at a depressingly low rate.19[15] The right to privacy has been accorded recognition in this jurisdiction as a facet of the right protected by the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure20[16] under Sec. 2, Art. III 21[17] of the Constitution. But while the right to privacy has long come into its own, this case appears to be the first time that the validity of a state-decreed search or intrusion through the medium of mandatory random drug testing among students and employees is, in this jurisdiction, made the focal point. Thus, the issue tendered in these proceedings is veritably one of first impression. US jurisprudence is, however, a rich source of persuasive jurisprudence. With respect to random drug testing among school children, we turn to the teachings of Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton (Vernonia) and Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County, et al. v. Earls, et al. (Board of Education),22[18] both fairly pertinent US Supreme Court-decided cases involving the constitutionality of governmental search. In Vernonia, school administrators in Vernonia, Oregon wanted to address the drug menace in their respective institutions following the discovery of frequent drug use by school athletes. After consultation with the parents, they required random urinalysis drug testing for the schools athletes. James Acton, a high school student, was denied participation in the football program after he refused to undertake the urinalysis drug testing. Acton forthwith sued, claiming that the schools drug testing policy violated, inter alia, the Fourth Amendment23[19] of the US Constitution. The US Supreme Court, in fashioning a solution to the issues raised in Vernonia, considered the following: (1) schools stand in loco parentis over their students; (2) school children, while not shedding their constitutional rights at the school gate, have less privacy rights; (3) athletes have less privacy rights than non-athletes since the former observe communal undress before and after sports events; (4) by joining the sports activity, the athletes voluntarily subjected themselves to a higher degree of school supervision and regulation; (5) requiring urine samples does not invade a students privacy since a student need not undress for this kind of drug testing; and (6) there is need for the drug testing because of the dangerous effects of illegal drugs on the young. The US Supreme Court held that the policy constituted reasonable search under the Fourth24[20] and 14th Amendments and declared the random drug-testing policy constitutional. RA 9165, Sec. 2. Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646 (1995), 661. 20 [16] Ople v. Torres, G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998, 293 SCRA 141, 169; citing Morfe v. Mutuc, No. L-20387, January 31, 1968, 22 SCRA 424, 444-445. 21 [17] Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized. 22 [18] 536 U.S. 822 (2002); cited in 2 Bernas, CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL DEMANDS 224-227 (2004). 23 [19] The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
19 [15]

18[14]

21
In Board of Education, the Board of Education of a school in Tecumseh, Oklahoma required a drug test for high school students desiring to join extra-curricular activities. Lindsay Earls, a member of the show choir, marching band, and academic team declined to undergo a drug test and averred that the drug-testing policy made to apply to non-athletes violated the Fourth and 14th Amendments. As Earls argued, unlike athletes who routinely undergo physical examinations and undress before their peers in locker rooms, non-athletes are entitled to more privacy. The US Supreme Court, citing Vernonia, upheld the constitutionality of drug testing even among non-athletes on the basis of the schools custodial responsibility and authority. In so ruling, said court made no distinction between a non-athlete and an athlete. It ratiocinated that schools and teachers act in place of the parents with a similar interest and duty of safeguarding the health of the students. And in holding that the school could implement its random drug-testing policy, the Court hinted that such a test was a kind of search in which even a reasonable parent might need to engage. In sum, what can reasonably be deduced from the above two cases and applied to this jurisdiction are: (1) schools and their administrators stand in loco parentis with respect to their students; (2) minor students have contextually fewer rights than an adult, and are subject to the custody and supervision of their parents, guardians, and schools; (3) schools, acting in loco parentis, have a duty to safeguard the health and well-being of their students and may adopt such measures as may reasonably be necessary to discharge such duty; and (4) schools have the right to impose conditions on applicants for admission that are fair, just, and non-discriminatory. Guided by Vernonia and Board of Education, the Court is of the view and so holds that the provisions of RA 9165 requiring mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing of students are constitutional. Indeed, it is within the prerogative of educational institutions to require, as a condition for admission, compliance with reasonable school rules and regulations and policies. To be sure, the right to enroll is not absolute; it is subject to fair, reasonable, and equitable requirements. The Court can take judicial notice of the proliferation of prohibited drugs in the country that threatens the well-being of the people, 25[21] particularly the youth and school children who usually end up as victims. Accordingly, and until a more effective method is conceptualized and put in motion, a random drug testing of students in secondary and tertiary schools is not only acceptable but may even be necessary if the safety and interest of the student population, doubtless a legitimate concern of the government, are to be promoted and protected. To borrow from Vernonia, [d]eterring drug use by our Nations schoolchildren is as important as enhancing efficient enforcement of the Nations laws against the importation of drugs; the necessity for the State to act is magnified by the fact that the effects of a drug-infested school are visited not just upon the users, but upon the entire student body and faculty. 26[22] Needless to stress, the random testing scheme provided under the law argues against the idea that the testing aims to incriminate unsuspecting individual students. Just as in the case of secondary and tertiary level students, the mandatory but random drug test prescribed by Sec. 36 of RA 9165 for officers and employees of public and private offices is justifiable, albeit not exactly for the same reason. The Court notes in this regard that petitioner SJS, other than saying that subjecting almost everybody to drug testing, without probable cause, is unreasonable, an unwarranted intrusion of the individual right to privacy,27[23] has failed to show how the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing under Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165 violates the right to privacy and constitutes unlawful and/or unconsented search under Art. III, Secs. 1 and 2 of the Constitution. 28[24] Petitioner Lasernas lament is just as simplistic, sweeping, and gratuitous and does not merit serious consideration. Consider what he wrote without elaboration: The US Supreme Court and US Circuit Courts of Appeals have made various rulings on the constitutionality of mandatory drug tests in the school and the workplaces. The US courts have been consistent in their rulings that the mandatory drug tests violate a citizens constitutional right to privacy and right against unreasonable search and seizure. They are quoted extensively hereinbelow.29[25] The essence of privacy is the right to be left alone. 30[26] In context, the right to privacy means the right to be free from unwarranted exploitation of ones person or from intrusion into ones private activities in such a way as to cause humiliation to a persons ordinary sensibilities. 31[27] And while there has been general agreement as to the basic function of the guarantee against unwarranted search, translation of the abstract prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures into workable broad guidelines for the decision of particular cases is a difficult task, to borrow from C. Camara v. Municipal Court.32[28] Authorities are agreed though that the right to privacy yields to certain paramount rights of the public and defers to the states exercise of police power.33[29] As the warrantless clause of Sec. 2, Art III of the Constitution is couched and as has been held, reasonableness is the touchstone of the validity of a government search or intrusion. 34[30] And whether a search at issue hews to the reasonableness standard is judged by the balancing of the government-mandated intrusion on the individuals privacy interest against the promotion of some compelling state interest.35[31] In the criminal context, reasonableness requires showing of probable cause to be personally determined by a judge. Given that the drug-testing policy for employeesand students for that matterunder RA 9165 is in the nature of administrative search needing what was referred to in Vernonia as swift and informal disciplinary procedures, the probable-cause standard is not required or even practicable. Be that as it may, the review should focus on the reasonableness of the challenged administrative search in question.

24

The Fourth Amendment is almost similar to Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution, except that the latter limited the determination of probable cause to a judge after an examination under oath of the complainant and his witnesses. Hence, pronouncements of the US Federal Supreme Court and State Appellate Court may be considered doctrinal in this jurisdiction, unless they are manifestly contrary to our Constitution. See Herrera, HANDBOOK ON ARREST, SEARCH AND SEIZURE 8 (2003). 25 [21] Tolentino v. Alconcel, No. L-63400, March 18, 1983, 121 SCRA 92, 95-96. 26 [22] Rollo (G.R. No. 158633), p. 204, respondents Consolidated Memorandum. 27 [23] Rollo (G.R. No. 157870), p. 10. 28 [24] Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized. 29 [25] Rollo (G.R. No. 158633), p. 9. 30[26] Ople, supra note 16, at 153; citing Cooley on Torts, Sec. 135, Vol. 1, 4th ed., [1932]. 31 [27] 62 Am. Jur. 2d, Privacy, Sec. 1. 32 [28] 387 U.S. 523; cited in 2 Bernas, supra note 18, at 232. 33 [29] 62 Am. Jur. 2d, Privacy, Sec. 17. 34[30] Vernonia & Board of Education, supra notes 15 & 18. 35 [31] Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives Assn., 489 U.S. 602, 619 (1989); cited in Vernonia, supra.

[20]

22
The first factor to consider in the matter of reasonableness is the nature of the privacy interest upon which the drug testing, which effects a search within the meaning of Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution, intrudes. In this case, the office or workplace serves as the backdrop for the analysis of the privacy expectation of the employees and the reasonableness of drug testing requirement. The employees privacy interest in an office is to a large extent circumscribed by the companys work policies, the collective bargaining agreement, if any, entered into by management and the bargaining unit, and the inherent right of the employer to maintain discipline and efficiency in the workplace. Their privacy expectation in a regulated office environment is, in fine, reduced; and a degree of impingement upon such privacy has been upheld. Just as defining as the first factor is the character of the intrusion authorized by the challenged law. Reduced to a question form, is the scope of the search or intrusion clearly set forth, or, as formulated in Ople v. Torres, is the enabling law authorizing a search narrowly drawn or narrowly focused?36[32] The poser should be answered in the affirmative. For one, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR), as couched, contain provisions specifically directed towards preventing a situation that would unduly embarrass the employees or place them under a humiliating experience. While every officer and employee in a private establishment is under the law deemed forewarned that he or she may be a possible subject of a drug test, nobody is really singled out in advance for drug testing. The goal is to discourage drug use by not telling in advance anyone when and who is to be tested. And as may be observed, Sec. 36(d) of RA 9165 itself prescribes what, in Ople, is a narrowing ingredient by providing that the employees concerned shall be subjected to random drug test as contained in the companys work rules and regulations x x x for purposes of reducing the risk in the work place. For another, the random drug testing shall be undertaken under conditions calculated to protect as much as possible the employees privacy and dignity. As to the mechanics of the test, the law specifies that the procedure shall employ two testing methods, i.e., the screening test and the confirmatory test, doubtless to ensure as much as possible the trustworthiness of the results. But the more important consideration lies in the fact that the test shall be conducted by trained professionals in access-controlled laboratories monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) to safeguard against results tampering and to ensure an accurate chain of custody. 37[33] In addition, the IRR issued by the DOH provides that access to the drug results shall be on the need to know basis; 38[34] that the drug test result and the records shall be [kept] confidential subject to the usual accepted practices to protect the confidentiality of the test results. 39[35] Notably, RA 9165 does not oblige the employer concerned to report to the prosecuting agencies any information or evidence relating to the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act received as a result of the operation of the drug testing. All told, therefore, the intrusion into the employees privacy, under RA 9165, is accompanied by proper safeguards, particularly against embarrassing leakages of test results, and is relatively minimal. To reiterate, RA 9165 was enacted as a measure to stamp out illegal drug in the country and thus protect the well-being of the citizens, especially the youth, from the deleterious effects of dangerous drugs. The law intends to achieve this through the medium, among others, of promoting and resolutely pursuing a national drug abuse policy in the workplace via a mandatory random drug test.40[36] To the Court, the need for drug testing to at least minimize illegal drug use is substantial enough to override the individuals privacy interest under the premises. The Court can consider that the illegal drug menace cuts across gender, age group, and social- economic lines. And it may not be amiss to state that the sale, manufacture, or trafficking of illegal drugs, with their ready market, would be an investors dream were it not for the illegal and immoral components of any of such activities. The drug problem has hardly abated since the martial law public execution of a notorious drug trafficker. The state can no longer assume a laid back stance with respect to this modern-day scourge. Drug enforcement agencies perceive a mandatory random drug test to be an effective way of preventing and deterring drug use among employees in private offices, the threat of detection by random testing being higher than other modes. The Court holds that the chosen method is a reasonable and enough means to lick the problem. Taking into account the foregoing factors, i.e., the reduced expectation of privacy on the part of the employees, the compelling state concern likely to be met by the search, and the well-defined limits set forth in the law to properly guide authorities in the conduct of the random testing, we hold that the challenged drug test requirement is, under the limited context of the case, reasonable and, ergo, constitutional. Like their counterparts in the private sector, government officials and employees also labor under reasonable supervision and restrictions imposed by the Civil Service law and other laws on public officers, all enacted to promote a high standard of ethics in the public service.41[37] And if RA 9165 passes the norm of reasonableness for private employees, the more reason that it should pass the test for civil servants, who, by constitutional command, are required to be accountable at all times to the people and to serve them with utmost responsibility and efficiency.42[38] Petitioner SJS next posture that Sec. 36 of RA 9165 is objectionable on the ground of undue delegation of power hardly commends itself for concurrence. Contrary to its position, the provision in question is not so extensively drawn as to give unbridled options to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug testing. Sec. 36 expressly provides how drug testing for students of secondary and tertiary schools and officers/employees of public/private offices should be conducted. It enumerates the persons who shall undergo drug testing. In the case of students, the testing shall be in accordance with the school rules as contained in the student handbook and with notice to parents. On the part of officers/employees, the testing shall take into account the companys work rules. In either case, the random procedure shall be observed, meaning that the persons to be subjected to drug test shall be picked by chance or in an unplanned way. And in all cases, safeguards against misusing and compromising the confidentiality of the test results are established. Lest it be overlooked, Sec. 94 of RA 9165 charges the DDB to issue, in consultation with the DOH, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, and Department of Labor and Employment, among other agencies, the IRR necessary to enforce the law. In net effect then, the participation of schools and offices in the drug testing scheme shall always be subject to the IRR of RA 9165. It is, therefore, incorrect to say that schools and employers have unchecked discretion to determine how often, under what conditions, and where the drug tests shall be conducted.

36 37

Supra note 16, at 166 & 169. Under Sec. 7 [3] of the DOH IRR Governing Licensing and Accreditation of Drug Laboratories, a laboratory is required to use documented chain of custody procedures to maintain control and custody of specimens. 38 [34] DOH IRR Governing Licensing and Accreditation of Drug Laboratories, Sec. 7 [10.3] provides that the original copy of the test results form shall be given to the client/donor, copy furnished the DOH and the requesting agency. 39 [35] Id., Sec. 7 [10.4]. 40 [36] Secs. 47 and 48 of RA 9165 charge the Department of Labor and Employment with the duty to develop and promote a national drug prevention program and the necessary guidelines in the work place, which shall include a mandatory drafting and adoption of policies to achieve a drug-free workplace. 41[37] CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, Sec. 2. 42 [38] CONSTITUTION, Art. XI, Sec. 1.
[33]

[32]

23
The validity of delegating legislative power is now a quiet area in the constitutional landscape. 43[39] In the face of the increasing complexity of the task of the government and the increasing inability of the legislature to cope directly with the many problems demanding its attention, resort to delegation of power, or entrusting to administrative agencies the power of subordinate legislation, has become imperative, as here. Laserna Petition (Constitutionality of Sec. 36[c], [d], [f], and [g] of RA 9165) Unlike the situation covered by Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165, the Court finds no valid justification for mandatory drug testing for persons accused of crimes. In the case of students, the constitutional viability of the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing for students emanates primarily from the waiver by the students of their right to privacy when they seek entry to the school, and from their voluntarily submitting their persons to the parental authority of school authorities. In the case of private and public employees, the constitutional soundness of the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug testing proceeds from the reasonableness of the drug test policy and requirement. We find the situation entirely different in the case of persons charged before the public prosecutors office with criminal offenses punishable with six (6) years and one (1) day imprisonment. The operative concepts in the mandatory drug testing are randomness and suspicionless. In the case of persons charged with a crime before the prosecutors office, a mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicionless. The ideas of randomness and being suspicionless are antithetical to their being made defendants in a criminal complaint. They are not randomly picked; neither are they beyond suspicion. When persons suspected of committing a crime are charged, they are singled out and are impleaded against their will. The persons thus charged, by the bare fact of being haled before the prosecutors office and peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing, if that be the case, do not necessarily consent to the procedure, let alone waive their right to privacy. 44[40] To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is a blatant attempt to harness a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution, contrary to the stated objectives of RA 9165. Drug testing in this case would violate a persons right to privacy guaranteed under Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution. Worse still, the accused persons are veritably forced to incriminate themselves. WHEREFORE, the Court resolves to GRANT the petition in G.R. No. 161658 and declares Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 as UNCONSTITUTIONAL; and to PARTIALLY GRANT the petition in G.R. Nos. 157870 and 158633 by declaring Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165 CONSTITUTIONAL, but declaring its Sec. 36(f) UNCONSTITUTIONAL. All concerned agencies are, accordingly, permanently enjoined from implementing Sec. 36(f) and (g) of RA 9165. No costs. Sections 5. [1] The House of representatives shall be composed of not more than 250 members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations. [2] The party-list representatives shall constitute 20% of the total number of representatives including those under the partylist. For three (3) consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women youth, and such other sectors, as may be provided by law, except the religious sector. [3] Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least one hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative. [4] Within 3 years following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on standards provided in this section Re-apportionment of a single legislative district to make it two (2) like Cagayan de Oro City. Must there be a plebiscite first before a law adding another legislative district to a city or province as a result of increase in its income and population is considered valid and enforceable? Is Section 10, Art. X of the Constitution applicable in the creation of additional legislative districts?

ROGELIO BAGABUYO VS. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176970, December 8, 2008 Before us is the petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus,45[1] with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction, filed by Rogelio Bagabuyo ( petitioner) to prevent the Commission on Elections ( COMELEC) from implementing Resolution No. 7837 on the ground that Republic Act No. 937146[2] the law that Resolution No. 7837 implements is unconstitutional. BACKGROUND FACTS On October 10, 2006, Cagayan de Oros then Congressman Constantino G. Jaraula filed and sponsored House Bill No. 5859: An Act Providing for the Apportionment of the Lone Legislative District of the City of Cagayan De Oro. 47[3] This law eventually became Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9371.48[4] It increased Cagayan de Oros legislative district from one to two. For the election of May 2007, Cagayan de Oros voters would be classified as belonging to either the first or the second district, depending on their place of residence. The constituents of each district would elect their own representative to Congress as well as eight members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod. Section 1 of R.A. No. 9371 apportioned the Citys barangays as follows: Legislative Districts The lone legislative district of the City of Cagayan De Oro is hereby apportioned to commence in the next national elections after the effectivity of this Act. Henceforth, barangays Bonbon, Bayabas, Kauswagan, Carmen, Patag, Bulua, Iponan,
43 44 [39] [40]

Tatad, supra note 6, at 351. Leona Pasion Viuda de Garcia v. Locsin, 65 Phil. 689, 695 (1938); citing Cooley, CONST. LIM. 630 (8th ed.).

45 [1] 46 [2] 47 48

Under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. An Act Providing for the Apportionment of the Lone Legislative District of the City of Cagayan De Oro. [3] Rollo, p. 214. [4] Id., p. 25.

24
Baikingon, San Simon, Pagatpat, Canitoan, Balulang, Lumbia, Pagalungan, Tagpangi, Taglimao, Tuburan, Pigsag-an, Tumpagon, Bayanga, Mambuaya, Dansulihon, Tignapoloan and Bisigan shall comprise the first district while barangays Macabalan, Puntod, Consolacion, Camaman-an, Nazareth, Macasandig, Indahag, Lapasan, Gusa, Cugman, FS Catanico, Tablon, Agusan, Puerto, Bugo, and Balubal and all urban barangays from Barangay 1 to Barangay 40 shall comprise the second district.49[5] On March 13, 2007, the COMELEC en Banc promulgated Resolution No. 783750[6] implementing R.A. No. 9371. Petitioner Rogelio Bagabuyo filed the present petition against the COMELEC on March 27, 2007. 51[7] On 10 April 2008, the petitioner amended the petition to include the following as respondents: Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita; the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management; the Chairman of the Commission on Audit; the Mayor and the members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Cagayan de Oro City; and its Board of Canvassers.52[8] In asking for the nullification of R.A. No. 9371 and Resolution No. 7837 on constitutional grounds, the petitioner argued that the COMELEC cannot implement R.A. No. 9371 without providing for the rules, regulations and guidelines for the conduct of a plebiscite which is indispensable for the division or conversion of a local government unit. He prayed for the issuance of an order directing the respondents to cease and desist from implementing R.A. No. 9371 and COMELEC Resolution No. 7837, and to revert instead to COMELEC Resolution No. 7801 which provided for a single legislative district for Cagayan de Oro. Since the Court did not grant the petitioners prayer for a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction, the May 14 National and Local Elections proceeded according to R.A. No. 9371 and Resolution No. 7837. The respondents Comment on the petition, filed through the Office of the Solicitor General, argued that: 1) the petitioner did not respect the hierarchy of courts, as the Regional Trial Court ( RTC) is vested with concurrent jurisdiction over cases assailing the constitutionality of a statute; 2) R.A. No. 9371 merely increased the representation of Cagayan de Oro City in the House of Representatives and Sangguniang Panglungsod pursuant to Section 5, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution; 3) the criteria established under Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution only apply when there is a creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of a province, city, municipality, or barangay; in this case, no such creation, division, merger, abolition or alteration of boundaries of a local government unit took place; and 4) R.A. No. 9371 did not bring about any change in Cagayan de Oros territory, population and income classification; hence, no plebiscite is required. The petitioner argued in his reply that: 1) pursuant to the Courts ruling in Del Mar v. PAGCOR,53[9] the Court may take cognizance of this petition if compelling reasons, or the nature and importance of the issues raised, warrant the immediate exercise of its jurisdiction; 2) Cagayan de Oro Citys reapportionment under R.A. No. 9371 falls within the meaning of creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of cities under Section 10, Article X of the Constitution; 3) the creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of local government units involve a common denominator the material change in the political and economic rights of the local government units directly affected, as well as of the people therein; 4) a voters sovereign power to decide on who should be elected as the entire citys Congressman was arbitrarily reduced by at least one half because the questioned law and resolution only allowed him to vote and be voted for in the district designated by the COMELEC; 5) a voter was also arbitrarily denied his right to elect the Congressman and the members of the city council for the other legislative district, and 6) government funds were illegally disbursed without prior approval by the sovereign electorate of Cagayan De Oro City.54[10] THE ISSUES The core issues, based on the petition and the parties memoranda, can be limited to the following contentious points: 1) 2) 3) Did the petitioner violate the hierarchy of courts rule; if so, should the instant petition be dismissed on this ground? Does R.A. No. 9371 merely provide for the legislative reapportionment of Cagayan de Oro City, or does it involve the division and conversion of a local government unit? Does R.A. No. 9371 violate the equality of representation doctrine? OUR RULING Except for the issue of the hierarchy of courts rule, we find the petition totally without merit. The hierarchy of courts principle. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.55[11] It was pursuant to this original jurisdiction that the petitioner filed the present petition. While this jurisdiction is shared with the Court of Appeals 56[12] and the RTCs,57[13] a direct invocation of the Supreme Courts jurisdiction is allowed only when there are special and important reasons therefor, clearly and especially set out in the petition. Reasons of practicality, dictated by an increasingly overcrowded docket and the need to prioritize in favor of matters within our exclusive jurisdiction, justify the existence of this rule otherwise known as the principle of hierarchy of courts. More generally stated, the principle requires that recourse must first be made to the lower-ranked court exercising concurrent jurisdiction with a higher court.58[14] Among the cases we have considered sufficiently special and important to be exceptions to the rule, are petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and quo warranto against our nations lawmakers when the validity of their enactments is assailed. 59[15] The present petition
49 [5] 50 [6] 51 [7] 52 [8]

Id., p. 25. Id., pp. 23-24. Id., pp. 3-22. Id., pp. 60-93

53 [9]
54 [10] 55 [11] 56 [12] 57

G.R. No. 138298, November 29, 2000, 346 SCRA 485.


Rollo, pp. 123-148.

CONSTITUTION, Article VIII, Section 5(1). Sec. 9 (1), B.P. Blg. 129. [13] Sec. 21 (1), B.P. Blg. 129.

58 [14] 59 [15]

See: People v. Cuaresma, G.R. No. 67787, April 18, 1989, 172 SCRA 415. Santiago v. Guingona, Jr., G.R. No. 134577, November 18, 1998, 298 SCRA 756.

25
is of this nature; its subject matter and the nature of the issues raised among them, whether legislative reapportionment involves a division of Cagayan de Oro City as a local government unit are reasons enough for considering it an exception to the principle of hierarchy of courts. Additionally, the petition assails as well a resolution of the COMELEC en banc issued to implement the legislative apportionment that R.A. No. 9371 decrees. As an action against a COMELEC en banc resolution, the case falls under Rule 64 of the Rules of Court that in turn requires a review by this Court via a Rule 65 petition for certiorari.60[16] For these reasons, we do not see the principle of hierarchy of courts to be a stumbling block in our consideration of the present case. The Plebiscite Requirement. The petitioner insists that R.A. No. 9371 converts and divides the City of Cagayan de Oro as a local government unit, and does not merely provide for the Citys legislative apportionment. This argument essentially proceeds from a misunderstanding of the constitutional concepts of apportionment of legislative districts and division of local government units. Legislative apportionment is defined by Blacks Law Dictionary as the determination of the number of representatives which a State, county or other subdivision may send to a legislative body. 61[17] It is the allocation of seats in a legislative body in proportion to the population; the drawing of voting district lines so as to equalize population and voting power among the districts. 62[18] Reapportionment, on the other hand, is the realignment or change in legislative districts brought about by changes in population and mandated by the constitutional requirement of equality of representation.63[19] Article VI (entitled Legislative Department) of the 1987 Constitution lays down the rules on legislative apportionment under its Section 5 which provides: Sec. 5(1). (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred fifty members unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations. xxx (3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, continuous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative. (4) Within three years following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. Separately from the legislative districts that legal apportionment or reapportionment speaks of, are the local government units (historically and generically referred to as municipal corporations) that the Constitution itself classified into provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays.64[20] In its strict and proper sense, a municipality has been defined as a body politic and corporate constituted by the incorporation of the inhabitants of a city or town for the purpose of local government thereof. 65[21] The creation, division, merger, abolition or alteration of boundary of local government units, i.e., of provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays, are covered by the Article on Local Government (Article X). Section 10 of this Article provides: No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political unit directly affected. Under both Article VI, Section 5, and Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution, the authority to act has been vested in the Legislature. The Legislature undertakes the apportionment and reapportionment of legislative districts,66[22] and likewise acts on local government units by setting the standards for their creation, division, merger, abolition and alteration of boundaries and by actually creating, dividing, merging, abolishing local government units and altering their boundaries through legislation. Other than this, not much commonality exists between the two provisions since they are inherently different although they interface and relate with one another. The concern that leaps from the text of Article VI, Section 5 is political representation and the means to make a legislative district sufficiently represented so that the people can be effectively heard. As above stated, the aim of legislative apportionment is to equalize population and voting power among districts.67[23] Hence, emphasis is given to the number of people represented; the uniform and progressive ratio to be observed among the representative districts; and accessibility and commonality of interests in terms of each district being, as far as practicable, continuous, compact and adjacent territory. In terms of the people represented, every city with at least 250,000 people and every province (irrespective of population) is entitled to one representative. In this sense, legislative districts, on the one hand, and provinces and cities, on the other, relate and interface with each other. To ensure continued adherence to the required standards of apportionment, Section 5(4) specifically mandates reapportionment as soon as the given standards are met. In contrast with the equal representation objective of Article VI, Section 5, Article X, Section 10 expressly speaks of how local government units may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered. Its concern is the commencement, the termination, and the modification of local government units corporate existence and territorial coverage; and it speaks of two specific standards that must be observed in implementing this concern, namely, the criteria established in the local government code and the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. Under the Local Government Code (R.A. No. 7160) passed in 1991, the criteria of income, population and land area are specified as verifiable indicators of viability and capacity to provide services.68[24] The division or merger of existing units must comply with the same requirements (since a new local government unit will come into being), provided that a division shall not reduce the income, population, or land area of the unit affected to less than the minimum requirement prescribed in the Code.69[25]
60 [16]
61 [17] 62 63 64 65 66 67

See: Bautista v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 154796-97, October 23, 2003, 414 SCRA 299. Blacks Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, p. 91. [18] Clapp, James E., Dictionary of Law (2000), p. 33. [19] Blacks Law Dictionary, supra note 17, p. 1137. [20] CONSTITUTION, Art. X, Sec. 1. [21] Martin, Public Corporations, Revised 1983 Edition, p. 5. [22] Article VI, Section 5; Montejo v. COMELEC, 312 Phil. 492 (1995). [23] Supra note 18. Section 7, Local Government Code. CONSTITUTION, Art. X, Sec. 10.

68 [24] 69 [25]

26
A pronounced distinction between Article VI, Section 5 and, Article X, Section 10 is on the requirement of a plebiscite. The Constitution and the Local Government Code expressly require a plebiscite to carry out any creation, division, merger, abolition or alteration of boundary of a local government unit.70[26] In contrast, no plebiscite requirement exists under the apportionment or reapportionment provision. In Tobias v. Abalos,71[27] a case that arose from the division of the congressional district formerly covering San Juan and Mandaluyong into separate districts, we confirmed this distinction and the fact that no plebiscite is needed in a legislative reapportionment. The plebiscite issue came up because one was ordered and held for Mandaluyong in the course of its conversion into a highly urbanized city, while none was held for San Juan. In explaining why this happened, the Court ruled that no plebiscite was necessary for San Juan because the objective of the plebiscite was the conversion of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city as required by Article X, Section 10 the Local Government Code; the creation of a new legislative district only followed as a consequence. In other words, the apportionment alone and by itself did not call for a plebiscite, so that none was needed for San Juan where only a reapportionment took place. The need for a plebiscite under Article X, Section 10 and the lack of requirement for one under Article VI, Section 5 can best be appreciated by a consideration of the historical roots of these two provisions, the nature of the concepts they embody as heretofore discussed, and their areas of application. A Bit of History. In Macias v. COMELEC,72[28] we first jurisprudentially acknowledged the American roots of our apportionment provision, noting its roots from the fourteenth Amendment73[29] of the U.S. Constitution and from the constitutions of some American states. The Philippine Organic Act of 1902 created the Philippine Assembly, 74[30] the body that acted as the lower house of the bicameral legislature under the Americans, with the Philippine Commission acting as the upper house. While the members of the Philippine Commission were appointed by the U.S. President with the conformity of the U.S. Senate, the members of the Philippine Assembly were elected by representative districts previously delineated under the Philippine Organic Act of 1902 pursuant to the mandate to apportion the seats of the Philippine Assembly among the provinces as nearly as practicable according to population. Thus, legislative apportionment first started in our country. The Jones Law or the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 maintained the apportionment provision, dividing the country into 12 senate districts and 90 representative districts electing one delegate each to the House of Representatives. Section 16 of the Act specifically vested the Philippine Legislature with the authority to redistrict the Philippine Islands. Under the 1935 Constitution, Article VI, Section 5 retained the concept of legislative apportionment together with district as the basic unit of apportionment; the concern was equality of representation . . . as an essential feature of republican institutions as expressed in the leading case of Macias v. COMELEC.75[31] The case ruled that inequality of representation is a justiciable, not a political issue, which ruling was reiterated in Montejo v. COMELEC.76[32] Notably, no issue regarding the holding of a plebiscite ever came up in these cases and the others that followed, as no plebiscite was required. Article VIII, Section 2 of the 1973 Constitution retained the concept of equal representation in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio with each district being, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. This formulation was essentially carried over to the 1987 Constitution, distinguished only from the previous one by the presence of party-list representatives. In neither Constitution was a plebiscite required. The need for a plebiscite in the creation, division, merger, or abolition of local government units was not constitutionally enshrined until the 1973 Constitution. However, as early as 1959, R.A. No. 226477[33] required, in the creation of barrios by Provincial Boards, that the creation and definition of boundaries be upon petition of a majority of the voters in the areas affected. In 1961, the Charter of the City of Caloocan (R.A. No. 3278) carried this further by requiring that the Act shall take effect after a majority of voters of the Municipality of Caloocan vote in favor of the conversion of their municipality into a city in a plebiscite. This was followed up to 1972 by other legislative enactments requiring a plebiscite as a condition for the creation and conversion of local government units as well as the transfer of sitios from one legislative unit to another.78[34] In 1973, the plebiscite requirement was accorded constitutional status. Under these separate historical tracks, it can be seen that the holding of a plebiscite was never a requirement in legislative apportionment or reapportionment. After it became constitutionally entrenched, a plebiscite was also always identified with the creation, division, merger, abolition and alteration of boundaries of local government units, never with the concept of legislative apportionment. Nature and Areas of Application. The legislative district that Article VI, Section 5 speaks of may, in a sense, be called a political unit because it is the basis for the election of a member of the House of Representatives and members of the local legislative body. It is not, however, a political subdivision through
70 [26]

SEC. 10. Plebiscite Requirement. - No creation, division, merger, abolition, or substantial alteration of boundaries of local government units shall take effect unless approved by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose in the political unit or units directly affected. Said plebiscite shall be conducted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of effectivity of the law or ordinance effecting such action, unless said law or ordinance fixes another date.
G.R. No. 114783, December 8, 1994, 239 SCRA 106. G.R. No. L-18684, September 14, 1961, 113 Phil. 1 (1961).

71 [27] 72 [28]

73 [29]

The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides the basis for the requirement of an equitable apportionment scheme. See generally, Colegrove v. Green, 328 U.S. 549, cited in Macias v. COMELEC, supra note 28.
People v. Santiago, 43 Phil 120 (1922). Supra note 28. G.R. No. 118702, March 16, 1995.

74 [30] 75 [31] 76 [32]

77 [33]

An Act Amending the Laws Governing Local Governments by Increasing their Autonomy and Reorganizing Provincial Governments. 78 [34] A plebiscite was a conditio sine qua non in the creation of municipal corporations including, but not limited to, the following: 1) the City of Angeles, R.A. 3700; 2) the Municipality of Pio Duran in the Province of Albay, R.A. 3817; 3) the Provinces of Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Western Samar, R.A. 4221; 4) the Provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur, R.A. 4979. The prior approval of a majority of the qualified voters of certain sitios of the Municipality of Anilao was also required before the transfer of the same sitios to the Municipality of Banate under R.A. 4614 took effect.

27
which functions of government are carried out. It can more appropriately be described as a representative unit that may or may not encompass the whole of a city or a province, but unlike the latter, it is not a corporate unit. Not being a corporate unit, a district does not act for and in behalf of the people comprising the district; it merely delineates the areas occupied by the people who will choose a representative in their national affairs. Unlike a province, which has a governor; a city or a municipality, which has a mayor; and a barangay, which has a punong barangay, a district does not have its own chief executive. The role of the congressman that it elects is to ensure that the voice of the people of the district is heard in Congress, not to oversee the affairs of the legislative district. Not being a corporate unit also signifies that it has no legal personality that must be created or dissolved and has no capacity to act. Hence, there is no need for any plebiscite in the creation, dissolution or any other similar action on a legislative district. The local government units, on the other hand, are political and corporate units. They are the territorial and political subdivisions of the state.79[35] They possess legal personality on the authority of the Constitution and by action of the Legislature. The Constitution defines them as entities that Congress can, by law, create, divide, abolish, merge; or whose boundaries can be altered based on standards again established by both the Constitution and the Legislature. 80[36] A local government units corporate existence begins upon the election and qualification of its chief executive and a majority of the members of its Sanggunian.81[37] As a political subdivision, a local government unit is an instrumentality of the state in carrying out the functions of government. 82[38] As a corporate entity with a distinct and separate juridical personality from the State, it exercises special functions for the sole benefit of its constituents. It acts as an agency of the community in the administration of local affairs83[39] and the mediums through which the people act in their corporate capacity on local concerns. 84[40] In light of these roles, the Constitution saw it fit to expressly secure the consent of the people affected by the creation, division, merger, abolition or alteration of boundaries of local government units through a plebiscite. These considerations clearly show the distinctions between a legislative apportionment or reapportionment and the division of a local government unit. Historically and by its intrinsic nature, a legislative apportionment does not mean, and does not even imply, a division of a local government unit where the apportionment takes place. Thus, the plebiscite requirement that applies to the division of a province, city, municipality or barangay under the Local Government Code should not apply to and be a requisite for the validity of a legislative apportionment or reapportionment. R.A. No. 9371 and COMELEC Res. No. 7837 R.A. No. 9371 is, on its face, purely and simply a reapportionment legislation passed in accordance with the authority granted to Congress under Article VI, Section 5(4) of the Constitution. Its core provision Section 1 provides: SECTION 1. Legislative Districts. The lone legislative district of the City of Cagayan de Oro is hereby apportioned to commence in the next national elections after the effectivity of this Act. Henceforth, barangays Bonbon, Bayabas, Kauswagan, Carmen, Patag, Bulua, Iponan, Baikingon, San Simon, Pagatpat, Canitoan, Balulang, Lumbia, Pagalungan, Tagpangi, Taglimao, Tuburan, Pigsag-an, Tumpagon, Bayanga, Mambuaya, Dansulihon, Tignapoloan and Bisigan shall comprise the first district while barangays Macabalan, Puntod, Consolacion, Camaman-an, Nazareth, Macansandig, Indahag, Lapasan, Gusa, Cugman, FS Catanico, Tablon, Agusan, Puerto, Bugo and Balubal and all urban barangays from Barangay 1 to Barangay 40 shall comprise the second district. Under these wordings, no division of Cagayan de Oro City as a political and corporate entity takes place or is mandated. Cagayan de Oro City politically remains a single unit and its administration is not divided along territorial lines. Its territory remains completely whole and intact; there is only the addition of another legislative district and the delineation of the city into two districts for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives. Thus, Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution does not come into play and no plebiscite is necessary to validly apportion Cagayan de Oro City into two districts. Admittedly, the legislative reapportionment carries effects beyond the creation of another congressional district in the city by providing, as reflected in COMELEC Resolution No. 7837, for additional Sangguniang Panglunsod seats to be voted for along the lines of the congressional apportionment made. The effect on the Sangguniang Panglunsod, however, is not directly traceable to R.A. No. 9371 but to another law R.A. No. 663685[41] whose Section 3 provides: SECTION 3. Other Cities. The provision of any law to the contrary notwithstanding the City of Cebu, City of Davao, and any other city with more than one representative district shall have eight (8) councilors for each district who shall be residents thereof to be elected by the qualified voters therein, provided that the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Bacolod, Iloilo and other cities comprising a representative district shall have twelve (12) councilors each and all other cities shall have ten (10) councilors each to be elected at large by the qualified voters of the said cities: Provided, That in no case shall the present number of councilors according to their charters be reduced. However, neither does this law have the effect of dividing the City of Cagayan de Oro into two political and corporate units and territories. Rather than divide the city either territorially or as a corporate entity, the effect is merely to enhance voter representation by giving each city voter more and greater say, both in Congress and in the Sangguniang Panglunsod. To illustrate this effect, before the reapportionment, Cagayan de Oro had only one congressman and 12 city council members citywide for its population of approximately 500,000.86[42] By having two legislative districts, each of them with one congressman, Cagayan de Oro now effectively has two congressmen, each one representing 250,000 of the citys population. In terms of services for city residents, this easily means better access to their congressman since each one now services only 250,000 constituents as against the 500,000 he used to represent. The same goes true for the Sangguniang Panglungsod with its ranks increased from 12 to 16 since each legislative district now has 8 councilors. In representation terms, the fewer constituents represented translate to a greater voice for each individual city resident in Congress and in the Sanggunian; each congressman and each councilor represents both a smaller area and fewer
79 [35] 80 [36] 81

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Bel-Air Village Association, Inc ., G.R. No. 135962, March 27, 2000, 328 SCRA 836. CONSTITUTION, Article X, Secs. 3 and 10; Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., The Local Government Code of 1991: The Key to National Development , p. 5. [37] Sec. 14, Local Government Code. Lidasan v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. L-28089 October 25, 1967, 21 SCRA 496. Ibid. Section 15 of the Local Government Code provides: Political and Corporate Nature of Local Government Units. - Every local government unit created or recognized under this Code is a body politic and corporate endowed with powers to be exercised by it in conformity with law. As such, it shall exercise powers as a political subdivision of the national government and as a corporate entity representing the inhabitants of its territory. [41] Enacted into law on November 6, 1987. [42] As provided by COMELEC Res. No. 7801 that COMELEC Res. No. 7837 superseded.

82 [38] 83 [39]
84 [40]

85 86

28
constituents whose fewer numbers are now concentrated in each representative. The City, for its part, now has twice the number of congressmen speaking for it and voting in the halls of Congress. Since the total number of congressmen in the country has not increased to the point of doubling its numbers, the presence of two congressman (instead of one) from the same city cannot but be a quantitative and proportional improvement in the representation of Cagayan de Oro City in Congress. Equality of representation. The petitioner argues that the distribution of the legislative districts is unequal. District 1 has only 93,719 registered voters while District 2 has 127,071. District 1 is composed mostly of rural barangays while District 2 is composed mostly of urban barangays.87[43] Thus, R.A. No. 9371 violates the principle of equality of representation. A clarification must be made. The law clearly provides that the basis for districting shall be the number of the inhabitants of a city or a province, not the number of registered voters therein. We settled this very same question in Herrera v. COMELEC88[44] when we interpreted a provision in R.A. No. 7166 and COMELEC Resolution No. 2313 that applied to the Province of Guimaras. We categorically ruled that the basis for districting is the number of inhabitants of the Province of Guimaras by municipality based on the official 1995 Census of Population as certified to by Tomas P. Africa, Administrator of the National Statistics Office. The petitioner, unfortunately, did not provide information about the actual population of Cagayan de Oro City. However, we take judicial notice of the August 2007 census of the National Statistics Office which shows that barangays comprising Cagayan de Oros first district have a total population of 254,644, while the second district has 299,322 residents. Undeniably, these figures show a disparity in the population sizes of the districts.89[45] The Constitution, however, does not require mathematical exactitude or rigid equality as a standard in gauging equality of representation.90[46] In fact, for cities, all it asks is that each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand shall have one representative, while ensuring representation for every province regardless of the size of its population. To ensure quality representation through commonality of interests and ease of access by the representative to the constituents, all that the Constitution requires is that every legislative district should comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Thus, the Constitution leaves the local government units as they are found and does not require their division, merger or transfer to satisfy the numerical standard it imposes. Its requirements are satisfied despite some numerical disparity if the units are contiguous, compact and adjacent as far as practicable. The petitioners contention that there is a resulting inequality in the division of Cagayan de Oro City into two districts because the barangays in the first district are mostly rural barangays while the second district is mostly urban, is largely unsubstantiated. But even if backed up by proper proof, we cannot question the division on the basis of the difference in the barangays levels of development or developmental focus as these are not part of the constitutional standards for legislative apportionment or reapportionment. What the components of the two districts of Cagayan de Oro would be is a matter for the lawmakers to determine as a matter of policy. In the absence of any grave abuse of discretion or violation of the established legal parameters, this Court cannot intrude into the wisdom of these policies.91[47] Creation of legislative district of Malolos City, Bulacan; not valid if the 250,000 population is not met

VICTORINO B. ALDABA, CARLO JOLETTE S. FAJARDO, JULIO G. MORADA, and COMELEC, G.R No. 188078, January 25, 2010 CARPIO, J.:

MINERVA ALDABA MORADA VS.

This is an original action for Prohibition to declare unconstitutional Republic Act No. 9591 (RA 9591), creating a legislative district for the city of Malolos, Bulacan, for violating the minimum population requirement for the creation of a legislative district in a city. Before 1 May 2009, the province of Bulacan was represented in Congress through four legislative districts. The First Legislative District comprised of the city of Malolos and the municipalities of Hagonoy, Calumpit, Pulilan, Bulacan, and Paombong. On 1 May 2009, RA 9591 lapsed into law, amending Malolos City Charter, by creating a separate legislative district for the city. At the time the legislative bills for RA 9591 were filed in Congress in 2007, namely, House Bill No. 3162 (later converted to House Bill No. 3693) and Senate Bill No. 1986, the population of Malolos City was 223,069. The population of Malolos City on 1 May 2009 is a contested fact but there is no dispute that House Bill No. 3693 relied on an undated certification issued by a Regional Director of the National Statistics Office (NSO) that the projected population of the Municipality of Malolos will be 254,030 by the year 2010 using the population growth rate of 3.78 between 1995 to 2000. Petitioners, taxpayers, registered voters and residents of Malolos City, filed this petition contending that RA 9591 is unconstitutional for failing to meet the minimum population threshold of 250,000 for a city to merit representation in Congress as provided under Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. In its Comment to the petition, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) contended that Congress use of projected population is nonjusticiable as it involves a determination on the wisdom of the standard adopted by the legislature to determine compliance with [a constitutional requirement. HELD:
87 [43] 88 [44] 89 [45]

Rollo, p. 71.
G.R. No. 131499, November 17, 1999, 318 SCRA 337.

Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of August 1, 2007 <http://www.census.gov.ph/data/sectordata/2007/region%2010.pdf>, last accessed November 5, 2008. 90 [46] Harlan, dissenting opinion in Baker v. Carr, 369 U. S. 186 citing Allied Stores of Ohio v. Bowers, 358 U.S. 522 and McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Equal Protection Clause does not demand of legislation finicky or exact conformity to abstract correlation xxx. The Constitution is satisfied if a legislature responds to the practical living facts with which it deals. Through what precise points in a field of many competing pressures a legislature might most suitably have drawn its lines is not a question for judicial re-examination. It is enough to satisfy the Constitution that in drawing them the principle of reason has not been disregarded. And what degree of uniformity reason demands of a statute is, of course, a function of the complexity of the needs which the statute seeks to accommodate.
91 [47]

Tobias v. Abalos, G.R. No. L-114783, December 8, 1994, 239 SCRA 106.

29
We grant the petition and declare RA 9591 unconstitutional for being violative of Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution The 1987 Constitution requires that for a city to have a legislative district, the city must have a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand.92[5] The only issue here is whether the City of Malolos has a population of at least 250,000, whether actual or projected, for the purpose of creating a legislative district for the City of Malolos in time for the 10 May 2010 elections. If not, then RA 9591 creating a legislative district in the City of Malolos is unconstitutional. House Bill No. 3693 cites the undated Certification of Regional Director Alberto N. Miranda of Region III of the National Statistics Office (NSO) as authority that the population of the City of Malolos will be 254,030 by the year 2010 . The Certification states that the population of Malolos, Bulacan as of May 1, 2000 is 175,291. The Certification further states that it was issued upon the request of Mayor Danilo A. Domingo of the City of Malolos in connection with the proposed creation of Malolos City as a lone congressional district of the Province of Bulacan . The Certification of Regional Director Miranda, which is based on demographic projections, is without legal effect because Regional Director Miranda has no basis and no authority to issue the Certification. The Certification is also void on its face because based on its own growth rate assumption, the population of Malolos will be less than 250,000 in the year 2010. In addition, intercensal demographic projections cannot be made for the entire year. In any event, a city whose population has increased to 250,000 is entitled to have a legislative district only in the immediately following election after the attainment of the 250,000 population. First, certifications on demographic projections can be issued only if such projections are declared official by the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB). Second, certifications based on demographic projections can be issued only by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer. Third, intercensal population projections must be as of the middle of every year. Section 6 of Executive Order No. 135 dated 6 November 1993 issued by President Fidel V. Ramos provides: SECTION 6. Guidelines on the Issuance of Certification of Population sizes Pursuant to Section 7, 386, 442, 450, 452, and 461 of the New Local Government Code. (a) (b) The National Statistics Office shall issue certification on data that it has collected and processed as well as on statistics that it has estimated. For census years, certification on population size will be based on actual population census counts; while for the intercensal years, the certification will be made on the basis of a set of demographic projections or estimates declared official by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). Certification of population census counts will be made as of the census reference date, such as May 1, 1990, while those of intercensal population estimates will be as of middle of every year. Certification of population size based on projections may specify the range within which the true count is deemed likely to fall. The range will correspond to the official low and high population projections. The smallest geographic area for which a certification on population size may be issued will be the barangay for census population counts, and the city or municipality for intercensal estimates. If an LGU wants to conduct its own population census, during offcensus years, approval must be sought from the NSCB and the conduct must be under the technical supervision of NSO from planning to data processing. Certifications of population size based on published census results shall be issued by the Provincial Census Officers or by the Regional Census Officers. Certifications based on projections or estimates, however, will be issued by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer. (Emphasis supplied)

(c) (d) (e)

(f)

The Certification of Regional Director Miranda does not state that the demographic projections he certified have been declared official by the NSCB. The records of this case do not also show that the Certification of Regional Director Miranda is based on demographic projections declared official by the NSCB. The Certification, which states that the population of Malolos will be 254,030 by the year 2010, violates the requirement that intercensal demographic projections shall be as of the middle of every year. In addition, there is no showing that Regional Director Miranda has been designated by the NSO Administrator as a certifying officer for demographic projections in Region III. In the absence of such official designation, only the certification of the NSO Administrator can be given credence by this Court. Moreover, the Certification states that the total population of Malolos, Bulacan as of May 1, 2000 is 175,291. The Certification also states that the population growth rate of Malolos is 3.78% per year between 1995 and 2000. Based on a growth rate of 3.78% per year, the population of Malolos of 175,291 in 2000 will grow to only 241,550 in 2010. Also, the 2007 Census places the population of Malolos at 223,069 as of 1 August 2007. 93[9] Based on a growth rate of 3.78%, the population of Malolos will grow to only 248,365 as of 1 August 2010. Even if the growth rate is compounded yearly, the population of Malolos of 223,069 as of 1 August 2007 will grow to only 249,333 as of 1 August 2010.

92

[5]

Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides: Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative. (Emphasis supplied) Moreover, Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution provides: Any province that may be created, or any city whose population may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least one Member or such number of members as it may be entitled to on the basis of the number of its inhabitants and according to the standards set forth in paragraph (3), Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution. xxx. (Emphasis supplied)

93[9]

Annex F of Petition, which is a copy of the 2007 Census from the National Statistics Office.

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All these conflict with what the Certification states that the population of Malolos will be 254,030 by the year 2010. Based on the Certifications own growth rate assumption, the population of Malolos will be less than 250,000 before the 10 May 2010 elections. Incidentally, the NSO has no published population projections for individual municipalities or cities but only for entire regions and provinces. A city that has attained a population of 250,000 is entitled to a legislative district only in the immediately following election. In short, a city must first attain the 250,000 population, and thereafter, in the immediately following election, such city shall have a district representative. There is no showing in the present case that the City of Malolos has attained or will attain a population of 250,000, whether actual or projected, before the 10 May 2010 elections. Clearly, there is no official record that the population of the City of Malolos will be at least 250,000, actual or projected, prior to the 10 May 2010 elections, the immediately following election after the supposed attainment of such population. Thus, the City of Malolos is not qualified to have a legislative district of its own under Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. We DECLARE Republic Act No. 9591 UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being violative of Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. Creation of a legislative district in Camarines Sur with less than 250,000 population, valid SEN. BENIGNO AQUINO III & MAYOR JESSE ROBREDO VS. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189793, April 7, 2010 PEREZ, J.: In this original action, petitioners Senator Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and Mayor Jesse Robredo, as public officers, taxpayers and citizens, seek the nullification as unconstitutional of Republic Act No. 9716, entitled An Act Reapportioning the Composition of the First (1st) and Second (2nd) Legislative Districts in the Province of Camarines Sur and Thereby Creating a New Legislative District From Such Reapportionment. Petitioners consequently pray that the respondent Commission on Elections be restrained from making any issuances and from taking any steps relative to the implementation of Republic Act No. 9716. Republic Act No. 9716 originated from House Bill No. 4264, and was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on 12 October 2009. It took effect on 31 October 2009, or fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Manila Standard, a newspaper of general circulation. In substance, the said law created an additional legislative district for the Province of Camarines Sur by reconfiguring the existing first and second legislative districts of the province. Prior to Republic Act No. 9716, the Province of Camarines Sur was estimated to have a population of 1,693,821, distributed among four (4) legislative districts in this wise: District Municipalities/Cities Population Del Gallego Ragay Lupi Sipocot Cabusao Libmanan Minalabac Pamplona Pasacao San Fernando

1st District

417,304

2nd District

Gainza Milaor Naga Pili Ocampo Caramoan Garchitorena Goa Lagonoy Presentacion

Canaman Camaligan Magarao Bombon Calabanga Sangay San Jose Tigaon Tinamba Siruma

474,899

3rd District

372,548

4th District

Iriga Baao Balatan Bato

Buhi Bula Nabua

429,070

Following the enactment of Republic Act No. 9716, the first and second districts of Camarines Sur were reconfigured in order to create an additional legislative district for the province. Hence, the first district municipalities of Libmanan, Minalabac, Pamplona, Pasacao, and San Fernando were combined with the second district municipalities of Milaor and Gainza to form a new second legislative district. The following table illustrates the reapportionment made by Republic Act No. 9716: District Municipalities/Cities Population Del Gallego Ragay Lupi Sipocot Cabusao

1st District

176,383

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2nd District Libmanan Minalabac Pamplona Pasacao San Fernando Gainza Milaor 276,777

3rd District (formerly 2nd District)

Naga Pili Ocampo Canaman

Camaligan Magarao Bombon Calabanga

439,043

4th District (formerly 3rd District)

Caramoan Garchitorena Goa Lagonoy Presentacion

Sangay San Jose Tigaon Tinamba Siruma Buhi Bula Nabua

372,548

Iriga 5th District (formerly 4th Baao District) Balatan Bato

429,070

Petitioner Aquino III was one of two senators who voted against the approval of the Bill by the Senate. His co-petitioner, Robredo, is the Mayor of Naga City, which was a part of the former second district from which the municipalities of Gainza and Milaor were taken for inclusion in the new second district. No other local executive joined the two; neither did the representatives of the former third and fourth districts of the province. Petitioners contend that the reapportionment introduced by Republic Act No. 9716, runs afoul of the explicit constitutional standard that requires a minimum population of two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) for the creation of a legislative district. The petitioners claim that the reconfiguration by Republic Act No. 9716 of the first and second districts of Camarines Sur is unconstitutional, because the proposed first district will end up with a population of less than 250,000 or only 176,383. Petitioners rely on Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution as basis for the cited 250,000 minimum population standard. The provision reads: Article VI Section 5. (1) x x x x (3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative . The petitioners posit that the 250,000 figure appearing in the above-cited provision is the minimum population requirement for the creation of a legislative district. The petitioners theorize that, save in the case of a newly created province, each legislative district created by Congress must be supported by a minimum population of at least 250,000 in order to be valid. Under this view, existing legislative districts may be reapportioned and severed to form new districts, provided each resulting district will represent a population of at least 250,000. On the other hand, if the reapportionment would result in the creation of a legislative seat representing a populace of less than 250,000 inhabitants, the reapportionment must be stricken down as invalid for non-compliance with the minimum population requirement. In support of their theory, the petitioners point to what they claim is the intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution to adopt a population minimum of 250,000 in the creation of additional legislative seats. The petitioners argue that when the Constitutional Commission fixed the original number of district seats in the House of Representatives to two hundred (200), they took into account the projected national population of fifty five million (55,000,000) for the year 1986. According to the petitioners, 55 million people represented by 200 district representatives translates to roughly 250,000 people for every one (1) representative. Thus, the 250,000 population requirement found in Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution is actually based on the population constant used by the Constitutional Commission in distributing the initial 200 legislative seats. By way of summary, the petitioners claim that: 1. Republic Act 9716 is unconstitutional because the newly apportioned first district of Camarines Sur failed to meet the population requirement for the creation of the legislative district as explicitly provided in Article VI, Section 5, Paragraphs (1) and (3) of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended thereto; and 2. Republic Act 9716 violates the principle of proportional representation as provided in Article VI, Section 5 paragraphs (1), (3) and (4) of the Constitution. The provision subject of this case states: Article VI Section 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations. (2) x x x x (3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative.

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(4) Within three years following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. On the other hand, the respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General, call attention to an apparent distinction between cities and provinces drawn by Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. The respondents concede the existence of a 250,000 population condition, but argue that a plain and simple reading of the questioned provision will show that the same has no application with respect to the creation of legislative districts in provinces. Rather, the 250,000 minimum population is only a requirement for the creation of a legislative district in a city. HELD: On the procedural aspect, the respondents assert that by choosing to avail themselves of the remedies of Certiorari and Prohibition, the petitioners have committed a fatal procedural lapse. No evidence that they will be injured by the implementation of the law. The Supreme Court has, on more than one occasion, tempered the application of procedural rules, as well as relaxed the requirement of locus standi whenever confronted with an important issue of overreaching significance to society. Hence, in Del Mar v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Jaworski v. PAGCOR, this Court sanctioned momentary deviation from the principle of the hierarchy of courts, and took original cognizance of cases raising issues of paramount public importance. The Jaworski case ratiocinates: Granting arguendo that the present action cannot be properly treated as a petition for prohibition, the transcendental importance of the issues involved in this case warrants that we set aside the technical defects and take primary jurisdiction over the petition at bar. One cannot deny that the issues raised herein have potentially pervasive influence on the social and moral well being of this nation, specially the youth; hence, their proper and just determination is an imperative need. This is in accordance with the wellentrenched principle that rules of procedure are not inflexible tools designed to hinder or delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice. Their strict and rigid application, which would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate, rather than promote substantial justice, must always be eschewed. (Emphasis supplied) Anent the locus standi requirement, this Court has already uniformly ruled in Kilosbayan v. Guingona, Tatad v. Executive Secretary, Chavez v. Public Estates Authority and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan v. Zamora, just to name a few, that absence of direct injury on the part of the party seeking judicial review may be excused when the latter is able to craft an issue of transcendental importance. In Lim v. Executive Secretary, this Court held that in cases of transcendental importance, the cases must be settled promptly and definitely, and so, the standing requirements may be relaxed. This liberal stance has been echoed in the more recent decision on Chavez v. Gonzales. We go directly to the determination of whether or not a population of 250,000 is an indispensable constitutional requirement for the creation of a new legislative district in a province. There is no specific provision in the Constitution that fixes a 250,000 minimum population that must compose a legislative district. As already mentioned, the petitioners rely on the second sentence of Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, coupled with what they perceive to be the intent of the framers of the Constitution to adopt a minimum population of 250,000 for each legislative district. The second sentence of Section 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution, succinctly provides: Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative. The provision draws a plain and clear distinction between the entitlement of a city to a district on one hand, and the entitlement of a province to a district on the other. For while a province is entitled to at least a representative, with nothing mentioned about population, a city must first meet a population minimum of 250,000 in order to be similarly entitled. The use by the subject provision of a comma to separate the phrase each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand from the phrase or each province point to no other conclusion than that the 250,000 minimum population is only required for a city, but not for a province. Plainly read, Section 5(3) of the Constitution requires a 250,000 minimum population only for a city to be entitled to a representative, but not so for a province. The 250,000 minimum population requirement for legislative districts in cities was, in turn, the subject of interpretation by this Court in Mariano, Jr. v. COMELEC. In Mariano, the issue presented was the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 7854, which was the law that converted the Municipality of Makati into a Highly Urbanized City. As it happened, Republic Act No. 7854 created an additional legislative district for Makati, which at that time was a lone district. The petitioners in that case argued that the creation of an additional district would violate Section 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution, because the resulting districts would be supported by a population of less than 250,000, considering that Makati had a total population of only 450,000. The Supreme Court sustained the constitutionality of the law and the validity of the newly created district, explaining the operation of the Constitutional phrase each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, to wit: Petitioners cannot insist that the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in accord with section 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution for as of the latest survey (1990 census), the population of Makati stands at only four hundred fifty thousand (450,000). Said section provides, inter alia, that a city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) shall have at least one representative. Even granting that the population of Makati as of the 1990 census stood at four hundred fifty thousand (450,000), its legislative district may still be increased since it has met the minimum population requirement of two hundred fifty thousand (250,000). In fact, Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution provides that a city whose population has increased to more than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) shall be entitled to at least one congressional representative . (Emphasis supplied) The Mariano case limited the application of the 250,000 minimum population requirement for cities only to its initial legislative district. In other words, while Section 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution requires a city to have a minimum population of 250,000 to be entitled to a representative, it does not have to increase its population by another 250,000 to be entitled to an additional district. There is no reason why the Mariano case, which involves the creation of an additional district within a city, should not be applied to additional districts in provinces. Indeed, if an additional legislative district created within a city is not required to represent a population of at least 250,000 in order to be valid, neither should such be needed for an additional district in a province, considering moreover that a province is entitled to an initial seat by the mere fact of its creation and regardless of its population. Consistent with Mariano and with the framer deliberations on district apportionment, we stated in Bagabuyo v. COMELEC that x x x Undeniably, these figures show a disparity in the population sizes of the districts. The Constitution, however, does not require mathematical exactitude or rigid equality as a standard in gauging equality of representation . x x x. To ensure quality representation through commonality of interests and ease of access by the representative to the constituents, all that the Constitution requires is that every legislative district should comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. (Emphasis supplied). WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED. Republic Act No. 9716 entitled An Act Reapportioning the Composition of the First (1 st) and Second (2nd) Legislative Districts in the Province of Camarines Sur and Thereby Creating a New Legislative District From Such Reapportionment is a VALID LAW. DISSENTING OPINION CARPIO, J.:

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The majority opinion wreaks havoc on the bedrock principle of our democratic and republican State that all votes are equal. Instead, the majority opinion introduces the Orwellian concept that some votes are more equal than others. The majority opinion allows, for the first time under the 1987 Constitution, voters in a legislative district created by Congress to send one representative to Congress even if the district has a population of only 176,383. In sharp contrast, all other legislative districts created by Congress send one representative each because they all meet the minimum population requirement of 250,000. The assailed Republic Act No. 9716 (RA 9716) is unconstitutional for being utterly repugnant to the clear and precise standards prescribed in Section 5, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution for the creation of legislative districts. Section 5(4) of Article VI mandates that Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards fixed in Section 5. These constitutional standards, as far as population is concerned, are: (1) proportional representation; (2) minimum population of 250,000 per legislative district; (3) progressive ratio in the increase of legislative districts as the population base increases; and (4) uniformity in apportionment of legislative districts in provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area. The assailed RA 9716 grossly violates these constitutional standards. There was never any debate in the design of our government that the members of the House of Representatives, just like the members of the Senate, represent people not provinces, cities, or any other political unit . The only difference is that the members of the Senate represent the people at large while the members of the House represent the people in legislative districts. Thus, population or the number of inhabitants in a district is the essential measure of representation in the House of Representatives . Section 5(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, just like in the previous Constitutions, could not be any clearer: The House of Representatives shall be composed of x x x members, x x x, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio x x x. (Emphasis supplied) Section 5(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution is even more precise by providing that the Members of the House shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio x x x. The phrase as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective inhabitants in the 1935 Constitution has been changed in the 1987 Constitution to the more precise in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio x x x. The addition of the phrase on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio was meant to stress that the rule on proportional representation shall apply uniformly in the apportionment of every legislative district. The phrase in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants , which precedes the phrase provinces, cities and the Metropolitan Manila area, means that legislative districts in provinces, cities and the Metropolitan Manila area shall be apportioned according to proportional representation or equal representation for equal numbers of people . Thus, there shall be one legislative district for every given number of people, whether inhabiting in provinces, cities or the Metropolitan Manila area. The phrase on the basis of a uniform x x x ratio means that the ratio of one legislative district for every given number of people shall be applied uniformly in all apportionments, whether in provinces, cities or the Metropolitan Manila area. Section 5(3) of Article VI mandates that [e]ach city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand x x x shall have at least one representative. Consequently, a population of 250,000 serves as the default minimum population applicable to every legislative district following the rule on uniformity in the apportionment of legislative districts, whether in provinces, cities or in the Metropolitan Manila area. The phrase progressive ratio means that the number of legislative districts shall increase as the number of the population increases, whether in provinces, cities or the Metropolitan Manila area. Thus, a province shall have one legislative district if it has a population of 250,000, and two legislative districts if it has 500,000. This insures that proportional representation is maintained if there are increases in the population of a province, city, or the Metropolitan Manila area. This is what is meant by a progressive ratio in the apportionment of legislative districts, a ratio that must also be uniformly applied. The Constitution itself provides the standards against which reapportionment laws like RA 9716 will be tested, following its command that Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section, referring to Section 5, Article VI. These standards relate to first, population, and second, territory. Section 5 admits of no other standards. On population, the standards of the 1987 Constitution have four elements. First is the rule on proportional representation, which is the universal standard in direct representation in legislatures. Second is the rule on a minimum population of 250,000 per legislative district, which was not present in our previous Constitutions. Third is the rule on progressive ratio, which means that the number of legislative districts shall increase as the number of the population increases in accordance with the rule on proportional representation. Fourth is the rule on uniformity, which requires that the first three rules shall apply uniformly in all apportionments in provinces, cities and the Metropolitan Manila area. The Constitution and the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution fixes the minimum population of a legislative district at 250,000. Although textually relating to cities, this minimum population requirement applies equally to legislative districts apportioned in provinces and the Metropolitan Manila area because of the constitutional command that legislative districts [shall be] apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. To reiterate, the Constitution commands that this rule on uniformity shall apply to legislative districts in provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area . Otherwise, districts apportioned in provinces, if freed from the minimum population requirement, will have constituencies two, four, ten times lower than in districts apportioned in cities, violating the constitutional command that apportionment shall be based on a uniform ratio in provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area. In short, the constitutional standards in the apportionment of legislative districts under Section 5 of Article VI, as far as population is concerned, are: (1) proportional representation; (2) a minimum population of at least two hundred fifty thousand per legislative district; (3) progressive ratio in the increase of legislative districts as the population base increases; and (4) uniformity in the apportionment of legislative districts in provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area. RA 9716 grossly malapportions Camarines Surs proposed five legislative districts by flouting the standards of proportional representation among legislative districts and the minimum population per legislative district. Based on the 2007 census, the proposed First District under RA 9716 will have a population of only 176,383, which is 29% below the constitutional minimum population of 250,000 per legislative district . In contrast, the remaining four proposed districts have populations way above the minimum with the highest at 439,043 (proposed Third District), lowest at 276,777 (proposed Second District) and an average of 379,359. Indeed, the disparity is so high that three of the proposed districts (Third, Fourth, and Fifth Districts) have populations more than double that of the proposed First District. This results in wide variances among the districts populations. Still using the 2007 census, the ideal per district population for Camarines Sur is 338,764. The populations of the proposed districts swing from this ideal by a high of positive 29.6% (Third District) to a low of negative 47.9% (First District). This means that the smallest proposed district (First District) is underpopulated by nearly 50% of the ideal and the biggest proposed district (Third District) is overpopulated by nearly 30% of the ideal. The resulting vote undervaluation (for voters in the disfavored districts) and vote overvaluation (for voters in the First District) fails even the most liberal application of the constitutional standards. Votes in the proposed First District are overvalued by more than 200% compared to votes from the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Districts and by more than 60% compared to votes in the Second District. Conversely, votes from the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Districts are undervalued by more than 200% compared to votes in the First District while those in the Second District suffer more than 60% undervaluation. Proportional representation in redistricting does not mean exact numbers of population, to the last digit, for every legislative district. However, under the assailed RA 9716, the variances swing from negative 47.9% to positive 29.6%. Under any redistricting yardstick, such variances are grossly anomalous and destructive of the

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concept of proportional representation. In the United States, the Supreme Court there ruled that a variance of even less than 1% is unconstitutional in the absence of proof of a good faith effort to achieve a mathematically exact apportionment. Equally important, RA 9716 violates the minimum population requirement of 250,000 in creating the proposed First District, which will have a population of only 176,383. The minimum population of 250,000 per legislative district admits of no variance and must be complied with to the last digit. The Constitution mandates a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand for a legislative district in a city, and under the principle of uniform and progressive ratio, for every legislative district in provinces and in the Metropolitan Manila area. The directive in Section 5(3) of Article VI that each province, shall have at least one representative means only that when a province is created, a legislative district must also be created with it. Can this district have a population below 250,000? To answer in the affirmative is to ignore the constitutional mandate that districts in provinces be apportioned in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. That the Constitution never meant to exclude provinces from the requirement of proportional representation is evident in the opening provision of Section 5(1), which states: The House of Representatives shall be composed of x x x members, x x x, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio x x x. (Boldfacing and underscoring supplied) In short, the Constitution clearly mandates that the creation of legislative districts in provinces, cities and the Metropolitan Manila area must comply with proportional representation, on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. In contrast, Congress enacted RA 9716 in the exercise of its legislative powers under the 1987 Constitution and subject to the reapportionment standards in Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution . Congress is strictly bound by the reapportionment standards in Section 5, unlike the Constitutional Commission which could create one-time exceptions subject to ratification by the sovereign people. Until it enacted RA 9716, Congress never deviated from the minimum population requirement of 250,000 in creating a legislative district. Thus, in Republic Act No. 7854 (RA 7854) which doubled the legislative districts in Makati City, the Court in Mariano v. COMELEC took note of the certification by the National Statistics Office that at the time of the enactment of RA 7854, the population of Makati City was 508,174, entitling it to two representatives. Similarly, in Republic Act No. 9371 (RA 9371) which also doubled the legislative districts in Cagayan de Oro City, the two districts created complied with the minimum population of 250,000 (254,644 and 299,322, respectively) , as the Court noted in Bagabuyo v. COMELEC. Contrary to the assertion of the majority opinion, neither Mariano v. COMELEC nor Bagabuyo v. COMELEC supports the claim that Congress can create a legislative district with a population of less than 250,000. On the contrary, these cases confirm that every legislative district must have a minimum population of 250,000. Only very recently, this Court in Aldaba v. COMELEC struck down a law creating a legislative district in the City of Malolos, which has a population just short of the 250,000 minimum requirement. Whether the group of gays, lesbians, etc., are considered marginalized groups and may be allowed as a party list group. ANG LADLAD LGBT PARTY VS. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190582, April 8, 2010 DEL CASTILLO, J.: This is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, with an application for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction, filed by Ang Ladlad LGBT Party (Ang Ladlad) against the Resolutions of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) dated November 11, 2009 (the First Assailed Resolution) and December 16, 2009 (the Second Assailed Resolution) in SPP No. 09-228 (PL) (collectively, the Assailed Resolutions). The case has its roots in the COMELECs refusal to accredit Ang Ladlad as a party-list organization under Republic Act (RA) No. 7941, otherwise known as the Party-List System Act. Ang Ladlad is an organization composed of men and women who identify themselves as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or trans-gendered individuals (LGBTs). Incorporated in 2003, Ang Ladlad first applied for registration with the COMELEC in 2006. The application for accreditation was denied on the ground that the organization had no substantial membership base. On August 17, 2009, Ang Ladlad again filed a Petition for registration with the COMELEC. Before the COMELEC, petitioner argued that the LGBT community is a marginalized and under-represented sector that is particularly disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation and gender identity; that LGBTs are victims of exclusion, discrimination, and violence; that because of negative societal attitudes, LGBTs are constrained to hide their sexual orientation; and that Ang Ladlad complied with the 8-point guidelines enunciated by this Court in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. Commission on Elections . Ang Ladlad laid out its national membership base consisting of individual members and organizational supporters, and outlined its platform of governance. On November 11, 2009, after admitting the petitioners evidence, the COMELEC (Second Division) dismissed the Petition on moral grounds, stating that: x x x This Petition is dismissible on moral grounds. Petitioner defines the Filipino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community, thus: x x x a marginalized and under-represented sector that is particularly disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. and proceeded to define sexual orientation as that which: x x x refers to a persons capacity for profound emotional, affectional and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual relations with, individuals of a different gender, of the same gender, or more than one gender. This definition of the LGBT sector makes it crystal clear that petitioner tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs. The ANG LADLAD apparently advocates sexual immorality as indicated in the Petitions par. 6F: Consensual partnerships or relationships by gays and lesbians who are already of age. It is further indicated in par. 24 of the Petition which waves for the record: In 2007, Men Having Sex with Men or MSMs in the Philippines were estimated as 670,000 (Genesis 19 is the history of Sodom and Gomorrah). Laws are deemed incorporated in every contract, permit, license, relationship, or accreditation. Hence, pertinent provisions of the Civil Code and the Revised Penal Code are deemed part of the requirement to be complied with for accreditation. ANG LADLAD collides with Article 695 of the Civil Code which defines nuisance as Any act, omission, establishment, business, condition of property, or anything else which x x x (3) shocks, defies; or disregards decency or morality x x x It also collides with Article 1306 of the Civil Code: The contracting parties may establish such stipulations, clauses, terms and conditions as they may deem convenient, provided they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy. Art 1409 of the Civil Code provides that Contracts whose cause, object or purpose is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy are inexistent and void from the beginning. Finally to safeguard the morality of the Filipino community, the Revised Penal Code, as amended, penalizes Immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows as follows: Art. 201. Immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows. The penalty of prision mayor or a fine ranging from six thousand to twelve thousand pesos, or both such imprisonment and fine, shall be imposed upon: 1. Those who shall publicly expound or proclaim doctrines openly contrary to public morals;

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When Ang Ladlad sought reconsideration to the COMELEC EN BANC, three commissioners voted to overturn the First Assailed Resolution (Commissioners Gregorio Y. Larrazabal, Rene V. Sarmiento, and Armando Velasco), while three commissioners voted to deny Ang Ladlads Motion for Reconsideration (Commissioners Nicodemo T. Ferrer, Lucenito N. Tagle, and Elias R. Yusoph). The COMELEC Chairman, breaking the tie and speaking for the majority in his Separate Opinion, upheld the First Assailed Resolution, stating that: Ladlad is applying for accreditation as a sectoral party in the party-list system. Even assuming that it has properly proven its under-representation and marginalization, it cannot be said that Ladlads expressed sexual orientations per se would benefit the nation as a whole. Section 2 of the party-list law unequivocally states that the purpose of the party-list system of electing congressional representatives is to enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and under-represented sectors, organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to become members of the House of Representatives. If entry into the party-list system would depend only on the ability of an organization to represent its constituencies, then all representative organizations would have found themselves into the party-list race. But that is not the intention of the framers of the law. The party-list system is not a tool to advocate tolerance and acceptance of misunderstood persons or groups of persons. Rather, the party-list system is a tool for the realization of aspirations of marginalized individuals whose interests are also the nations only that their interests have not been brought to the attention of the nation because of their under representation. Until the time comes when Ladlad is able to justify that having mixed sexual orientations and transgender identities is beneficial to the nation, its application for accreditation under the party-list system will remain just that. Thus, even if societys understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of LGBTs is elevated, there can be no denying that Ladlad constituencies are still males and females, and they will remain either male or female protected by the same Bill of Rights that applies to all citizens alike. The COMELEC likewise used the Holy Bible and the Koran in denying Ladlads application. On January 4, 2010, Ang Ladlad filed this Petition, praying that the Court annul the Assailed Resolutions and direct the COMELEC to grant Ang Ladlads application for accreditation. Ang Ladlad also sought the issuance ex parte of a preliminary mandatory injunction against the COMELEC, which had previously announced that it would begin printing the final ballots for the May 2010 elections by January 25, 2010. On January 6, 2010, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG was ordered to file its Comment on behalf of COMELEC not later than 12:00 noon of January 11, 2010. Instead of filing a Comment, however, the OSG filed a Motion for Extension, requesting that it be given until January 16, 2010 to Comment. Somewhat surprisingly, the OSG later filed a Comment in support of petitioners application. Thus, in order to give COMELEC the opportunity to fully ventilate its position, we required it to file its own comment. The COMELEC, through its Law Department, filed its Comment on February 2, 2010. In the meantime, due to the urgency of the petition, a temporary restraining order was issued on January 12, 2010, effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court, directing the COMELEC to cease and desist from implementing the Assailed Resolutions. Also, on January 13, 2010, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) filed a Motion to Intervene or to Appear as Amicus Curiae, attaching thereto its Comment-in-Intervention. The CHR opined that the denial of Ang Ladlads petition on moral grounds violated the standards and principles of the Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). On January 19, 2010, we granted the CHRs motion to intervene. HELD: We grant the petition. Compliance with the Requirements of the Constitution and Republic Act No. 7941 The COMELEC denied Ang Ladlads application for registration on the ground that the LGBT sector is neither enumerated in the Constitution and RA 7941, nor is it associated with or related to any of the sectors in the enumeration. Respondent mistakenly opines that our ruling in Ang Bagong Bayani stands for the proposition that only those sectors specifically enumerated in the law or related to said sectors (labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals) may be registered under the party-list system. As we explicitly ruled in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. Commission on Elections, the enumeration of marginalized and under-represented sectors is not exclusive . The crucial element is not whether a sector is specifically enumerated, but whether a particular organization complies with the requirements of the Constitution and RA 7941. A cursory perusal of Ang Ladlads initial petition shows that it never claimed to exist in each province of the Philippines. Rather, petitioner alleged that the LGBT community in the Philippines was estimated to constitute at least 670,000 persons; that it had 16,100 affiliates and members around the country, and 4,044 members in its electronic discussion group. Ang Ladlad also represented itself to be a national LGBT umbrella organization with affiliates around the Philippines composed of the following LGBT networks: Abra Gay Association Aklan Butterfly Brigade (ABB) Aklan Albay Gay Association Arts Center of Cabanatuan City Nueva Ecija Boys Legion Metro Manila Cagayan de Oro People Like Us (CDO PLUS) Cant Live in the Closet, Inc. (CLIC) Metro Manila Cebu Pride Cebu City Circle of Friends Dipolog Gay Association Zamboanga del Norte Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Youth Association (GABAY) Gay and Lesbian Activists Network for Gender Equality (GALANG) Metro Manila Gay Mens Support Group (GMSG) Metro Manila Gay United for Peace and Solidarity (GUPS) Lanao del Norte Iloilo City Gay Association Iloilo City Kabulig Writers Group Camarines Sur Lesbian Advocates Philippines, Inc. (LEAP) LUMINA Baguio City Marikina Gay Association Metro Manila Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Metro Manila Naga City Gay Association Naga City ONE BACARDI Order of St. Aelred (OSAe) Metro Manila PUP LAKAN RADAR PRIDEWEAR Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights), Inc. Metro Manila San Jose del Monte Gay Association Bulacan Sining Kayumanggi Royal Family Rizal Society of Transexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) Metro Manila Soul Jive Antipolo, Rizal The Link Davao City

Tayabas Gay Association Quezon Womens Bisexual Network Metro Manila Zamboanga Gay Association Zamboanga City Against this backdrop, we find that Ang Ladlad has sufficiently demonstrated its compliance with the legal requirements for accreditation. Indeed, aside from COMELECs moral objection and the belated allegation of non-existence, nowhere in the records has the respondent ever found/ruled that Ang Ladlad is not qualified to register as a party-list organization under any of the requisites under RA 7941 or the guidelines in Ang Bagong Bayani. The difference, COMELEC claims, lies in Ang Ladlads morality, or lack thereof. Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5 that [n]o law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. At bottom, what our non-establishment clause calls for is government neutrality in religious matters. Clearly, governmental reliance on religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of neutrality. We thus find that it was grave violation of the non-establishment clause for the COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang Ladlad. Rather than relying on religious belief, the legitimacy of the Assailed Resolutions should depend, instead, on whether the COMELEC is able to advance some justification for its rulings beyond mere conformity to religious doctrine. Otherwise stated, government must act for secular purposes and in ways that have primarily secular effects. As we held in Estrada v. Escritor: x x x The morality referred to in the law is public and necessarily secular, not religious as the dissent of Mr. Justice Carpio holds. "Religious teachings as expressed in public debate may influence the civil public order but public moral disputes may be resolved only on grounds articulable in secular terms." Otherwise, if government relies upon religious beliefs in formulating public policies and morals, the resulting policies and morals would require conformity to what some might regard as religious programs or agenda. The non-believers would therefore be compelled to conform to a standard of conduct buttressed by a religious belief, i.e., to a "compelled religion," anathema to religious freedom. Likewise, if government based its actions upon religious beliefs, it would tacitly approve or endorse that belief and thereby also tacitly disapprove contrary religious or non-religious views that would not support the policy. As a result, government will not provide full religious freedom for all its citizens, or even make it appear that those whose beliefs are disapproved are second-class citizens. We are not blind to the fact that, through the years, homosexual conduct, and perhaps homosexuals themselves, have borne the brunt of societal disapproval. It is not difficult to imagine the reasons behind this censure religious beliefs, convictions about the preservation of marriage, family, and procreation, even dislike or distrust of homosexuals themselves and their perceived lifestyle. Nonetheless, we recall that the Philippines has not seen fit to criminalize homosexual conduct. Evidently, therefore, these generally accepted public morals have not been convincingly transplanted into the realm of law. The Assailed Resolutions have not identified any specific overt immoral act performed by Ang Ladlad. Even the OSG agrees that there should have been a finding by the COMELEC that the groups members have committed or are committing immoral acts. The OSG argues: x x x A person may be sexually attracted to a person of the same gender, of a different gender, or more than one gender, but mere attraction does not translate to immoral acts. There is a great divide between thought and action. Reduction ad absurdum. If immoral thoughts could be penalized, COMELEC would have its hands full of disqualification cases against both the straights and the gays. Certainly this is not the intendment of the law. Respondent has failed to explain what societal ills are sought to be prevented, or why special protection is required for the youth. Neither has the COMELEC condescended to justify its position that petitioners admission into the party-list system would be so harmful as to irreparably damage the moral fabric of society. We, of course, do not suggest that the state is wholly without authority to regulate matters concerning morality, sexuality, and sexual relations, and we recognize that the government will and should continue to restrict behavior considered detrimental to society. Nonetheless, we cannot countenance advocates who, undoubtedly with the loftiest of intentions, situate morality on one end of an argument or another, without bothering to go through the rigors of legal reasoning and explanation. In this, the notion of morality is robbed of all value. Clearly then, the bare invocation of morality will not remove an issue from our scrutiny. We also find the COMELECs reference to purported violations of our penal and civil laws flimsy, at best; disingenuous, at worst. Article 694 of the Civil Code defines a nuisance as any act, omission, establishment, condition of property, or anything else which shocks, defies, or disregards decency or morality, the remedies for which are a prosecution under the Revised Penal Code or any local ordinance, a civil action, or abatement without judicial proceedings. A violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code, on the other hand, requires proof beyond reasonable doubt to support a criminal conviction. It hardly needs to be emphasized that mere allegation of violation of laws is not proof, and a mere blanket invocation of public morals cannot replace the institution of civil or criminal proceedings and a judicial determination of liability or culpability. As such, we hold that moral disapproval, without more, is not a sufficient governmental interest to justify exclusion of homosexuals from participation in the party-list system. The denial of Ang Ladlads registration on purely moral grounds amounts more to a statement of dislike and disapproval of homosexuals, rather than a tool to further any substantial public interest. Respondents blanket justifications give rise to the inevitable conclusion that the COMELEC targets homosexuals themselves as a class, not because of any particular morally reprehensible act. It is this selective targeting that implicates our equal protection clause. Equal Protection Despite the absolutism of Article III, Section 1 of our Constitution, which provides nor shall any person be denied equal protection of the laws , courts have never interpreted the provision as an absolute prohibition on classification. Equality, said Aristotle, consists in the same treatment of similar persons. The equal protection clause guarantees that no person or class of persons shall be deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place and in like circumstances. Recent jurisprudence has affirmed that if a law neither burdens a fundamental right nor targets a suspect class, we will uphold the classification as long as it bears a rational relationship to some legitimate government end. In Central Bank Employees Association, Inc. v. Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas, we declared that [i]n our jurisdiction, the standard of analysis of equal protection challenges x x x have followed the rational basis test, coupled with a deferential attitude to legislative classifications and a reluctance to invalidate a law unless there is a showing of a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. The COMELEC posits that the majority of the Philippine population considers homosexual conduct as immoral and unacceptable, and this constitutes sufficient reason to disqualify the petitioner. Unfortunately for the respondent, the Philippine electorate has expressed no such belief. No law exists to criminalize homosexual behavior or expressions or parties about homosexual behavior. Indeed, even if we were to assume that public opinion is as the COMELEC describes it, the asserted state interest here that is, moral disapproval of an unpopular minority is not a legitimate state interest that is sufficient to satisfy rational basis review under the equal protection clause. The COMELECs differentiation, and its unsubstantiated claim that Ang Ladlad cannot contribute to the formulation of legislation that would benefit the nation, furthers no legitimate state interest other than disapproval of or dislike for a disfavored group. It bears stressing that our finding that COMELECs act of differentiating LGBTs from heterosexuals insofar as the party-list system is concerned does not imply that any other law distinguishing between heterosexuals and homosexuals under different circumstances would similarly fail. We disagree with the OSGs position that homosexuals are a class in themselves for the purposes of the equal protection clause. We are not prepared to single out homosexuals as a separate class meriting special or differentiated treatment. We have not received sufficient evidence to this effect, and it is simply unnecessary to make such a ruling today. Petitioner itself has merely demanded that it be recognized under the same basis as all other groups similarly situated, and that the COMELEC made an unwarranted and impermissible classification not justified by the circumstances of the case. Freedom of Expression and Association Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, and this freedom applies not only to those that are favorably received but also to those that offend, shock, or disturb. Any restriction imposed in this sphere must be proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued. Absent any compelling state interest, it is not for the COMELEC or this Court to impose its views on the populace. Otherwise stated, the COMELEC is certainly not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one.

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This position gains even more force if one considers that homosexual conduct is not illegal in this country. It follows that both expressions concerning ones homosexuality and the activity of forming a political association that supports LGBT individuals are protected as well. Other jurisdictions have gone so far as to categorically rule that even overwhelming public perception that homosexual conduct violates public morality does not justify criminalizing same-sex conduct. European and United Nations judicial decisions have ruled in favor of gay rights claimants on both privacy and equality grounds, citing general privacy and equal protection provisions in foreign and international texts. To the extent that there is much to learn from other jurisdictions that have reflected on the issues we face here, such jurisprudence is certainly illuminating. These foreign authorities, while not formally binding on Philippine courts, may nevertheless have persuasive influence on the Courts analysis. In the area of freedom of expression, for instance, United States courts have ruled that existing free speech doctrines protect gay and lesbian rights to expressive conduct. In order to justify the prohibition of a particular expression of opinion, public institutions must show that their actions were caused by something more than a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint. With respect to freedom of association for the advancement of ideas and beliefs, in Europe, with its vibrant human rights tradition, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has repeatedly stated that a political party may campaign for a change in the law or the constitutional structures of a state if it uses legal and democratic means and the changes it proposes are consistent with democratic principles. The ECHR has emphasized that political ideas that challenge the existing order and whose realization is advocated by peaceful means must be afforded a proper opportunity of expression through the exercise of the right of association, even if such ideas may seem shocking or unacceptable to the authorities or the majority of the population. A political group should not be hindered solely because it seeks to publicly debate controversial political issues in order to find solutions capable of satisfying everyone concerned. Only if a political party incites violence or puts forward policies that are incompatible with democracy does it fall outside the protection of the freedom of association guarantee. We do not doubt that a number of our citizens may believe that homosexual conduct is distasteful, offensive, or even defiant. They are entitled to hold and express that view. On the other hand, LGBTs and their supporters, in all likelihood, believe with equal fervor that relationships between individuals of the same sex are morally equivalent to heterosexual relationships. They, too, are entitled to hold and express that view. However, as far as this Court is concerned, our democracy precludes using the religious or moral views of one part of the community to exclude from consideration the values of other members of the community. Of course, none of this suggests the impending arrival of a golden age for gay rights litigants. It well may be that this Decision will only serve to highlight the discrepancy between the rigid constitutional analysis of this Court and the more complex moral sentiments of Filipinos. We do not suggest that public opinion, even at its most liberal, reflect a clear-cut strong consensus favorable to gay rights claims and we neither attempt nor expect to affect individual perceptions of homosexuality through this Decision. WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby GRANTED. Formula in determining the party-list representatives Is the 20% ceiling mandatory? (Veterans vs. COMELEC Formula abandoned)

BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FOR NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY (BANAT) ELECTIONS , G.R. No. 179271, May 2009 CARPIO, J.: The Case

- versus -COMMISSION ON

Petitioner in G.R. No. 179271 Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) in a petition for certiorari and mandamus,94[1] assails the Resolution95[2] promulgated on 3 August 2007 by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in NBC No. 07-041 (PL). The COMELECs resolution in NBC No. 07-041 (PL) approved the recommendation of Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig, Head of the National Board of Canvassers (NBC) Legal Group, to deny the petition of BANAT for being moot. BANAT filed before the COMELEC En Banc, acting as NBC, a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution. The following are intervenors in G.R. No. 179271: Arts Business and Science Professionals (ABS), Aangat Tayo (AT), and Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc. (Senior Citizens). Petitioners in G.R. No. 179295 Bayan Muna, Abono, and Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher) in a petition for certiorari with mandamus and prohibition, 96[3] assails NBC Resolution No. 07-6097[4] promulgated on 9 July 2007. NBC No. 07-60 made a partial proclamation of parties, organizations and coalitions that obtained at least two percent of the total votes cast under the Party-List System. The COMELEC announced that, upon completion of the canvass of the party-list results, it would determine the total number of seats of each winning party, organization, or coalition in accordance with Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC98[5] (Veterans). Estrella DL Santos, in her capacity as President and First Nominee of the Veterans Freedom Party, filed a motion to intervene in both G.R. Nos. 179271 and 179295. The Facts The 14 May 2007 elections included the elections for the party-list representatives. The COMELEC counted 15,950,900 votes cast for 93 parties under the Party-List System.99[6] On 27 June 2002, BANAT filed a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution , docketed as NBC No. 07-041 (PL) before the NBC. BANAT filed its petition because [t]he Chairman and the Members of the [COMELEC] have recently been quoted in the national papers that the [COMELEC] is duty bound to and shall implement the Veterans ruling, that is, would apply the Panganiban formula in allocating party-list seats. 100[7] There were no intervenors in BANATs petition before the NBC. BANAT filed a memorandum on 19 July 2007. On 9 July 2007, the COMELEC, sitting as the NBC, promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-60. NBC Resolution No. 07-60 proclaimed thirteen (13) parties as winners in the party-list elections, namely: Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (BUHAY), Bayan Muna, Citizens Battle
94 95 96 97 98 99 100

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Against Corruption (CIBAC), Gabrielas Women Party (Gabriela), Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC), A Teacher, Akbayan! Citizens Action Party (AKBAYAN), Alagad, Luzon Farmers Party (BUTIL), Cooperative-Natco Network Party (COOPNATCCO), Anak Pawis, Alliance of Rural Concerns (ARC), and Abono. We quote NBC Resolution No. 07-60 in its entirety below: WHEREAS, the Commission on Elections sitting en banc as National Board of Canvassers, thru its Sub-Committee for Party-List, as of 03 July 2007, had officially canvassed, in open and public proceedings, a total of fifteen million two hundred eighty three thousand six hundred fifty-nine (15,283,659) votes under the Party-List System of Representation, in connection with the National and Local Elections conducted last 14 May 2007; WHEREAS, the study conducted by the Legal and Tabulation Groups of the National Board of Canvassers reveals that the projected/maximum total party-list votes cannot go any higher than sixteen million seven hundred twenty three thousand one hundred twenty-one (16,723,121) votes given the following statistical data: Projected/Maximum Party-List Votes for May 2007 Elections i. Total party-list votes already canvassed/tabulated ii. Total party-list votes remaining uncanvassed/ untabulated (i.e. canvass deferred) iii. Maximum party-list votes (based on 100% outcome) from areas not yet submitted for canvass (Bogo, Cebu; Bais City; Pantar, Lanao del Norte; and Pagalungan, Maguindanao) 102,430 Maximum Total Party-List Votes WHEREAS, Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7941 (Party-List System Act) provides in part: The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each: provided, that those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes: provided, finally, that each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats. WHEREAS, for the 2007 Elections, based on the above projected total of party-list votes, the presumptive two percent (2%) threshold can be pegged at three hundred thirty four thousand four hundred sixty-two (334,462) votes; WHEREAS, the Supreme Court, in Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) versus COMELEC , reiterated its ruling in Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC adopting a formula for the additional seats of each party, organization or coalition receving more than the required two percent (2%) votes, stating that the same shall be determined only after all party-list ballots have been completely canvassed; WHEREAS, the parties, organizations, and coalitions that have thus far garnered at least three hundred thirty four thousand four hundred sixty-two (334,462) votes are as follows: RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 BUHAY BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD BUTIL COOP-NATCO BATAS ANAK PAWIS ARC ABONO PARTY/ORGANIZATION/ COALITION VOTES RECEIVED 1,163,218 972,730 760,260 610,451 538,971 476,036 470,872 423,076 405,052 390,029 386,361 376,036 338,194 337,046 16,723,121 15,283,659 1,337,032

WHEREAS, except for Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS), against which an URGENT PETITION FOR CANCELLATION/REMOVAL OF REGISTRATION AND DISQUALIFICATION OF PARTY-LIST NOMINEE (With Prayer for the Issuance of Restraining Order) has been filed before the Commission, docketed as SPC No. 07-250, all the parties, organizations and coalitions included in the aforementioned list are therefore entitled to at least one seat under the party-list system of representation in the meantime. NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Executive Order No. 144, Republic Act Nos. 6646, 7166, 7941, and other election laws, the Commission on Elections, sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers, hereby RESOLVES to PARTIALLY PROCLAIM, subject to certain conditions set forth below, the following parties, organizations and coalitions participating under the Party-List System:

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1Buhay Hayaan Yumabong 2Bayan Muna 3Citizens Battle Against Corruption 4Gabriela Womens Party 5Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives 6Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms, Inc. 7Akbayan! Citizens Action Party 8Alagad 9Luzon Farmers Party 10 Cooperative-Natco Network Party 11 Anak Pawis 12 Alliance of Rural Concerns 13 Abono BUHAY BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER

AKBAYAN ALAGAD BUTIL COOP-NATCCO ANAKPAWIS ARC ABONO

This is without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties, organizations, or coalitions which may later on be established to have obtained at least two percent (2%) of the total actual votes cast under the Party-List System. The total number of seats of each winning party, organization or coalition shall be determined pursuant to Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC formula upon completion of the canvass of the party-list results. The proclamation of Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS) is hereby deferred until final resolution of SPC No. 07-250, in order not to render the proceedings therein moot and academic. Finally, all proclamation of the nominees of concerned parties, organizations and coalitions with pending disputes shall likewise be held in abeyance until final resolution of their respective cases. Let the Clerk of the Commission implement this Resolution, furnishing a copy thereof to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. SO ORDERED.101[8] (Emphasis in the original) Pursuant to NBC Resolution No. 07-60, the COMELEC, acting as NBC, promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-72, which declared the additional seats allocated to the appropriate parties. We quote from the COMELECs interpretation of the Veterans formula as found in NBC Resolution No. 07-72: WHEREAS, on July 9, 2007, the Commission on Elections sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers proclaimed thirteen (13) qualified parties, organization[s] and coalitions based on the presumptive two percent (2%) threshold of 334,462 votes from the projected maximum total number of party-list votes of 16,723,121, and were thus given one (1) guaranteed party-list seat each; WHEREAS, per Report of the Tabulation Group and Supervisory Committee of the National Board of Canvassers, the projected maximum total party-list votes, as of July 11, 2007, based on the votes actually canvassed, votes canvassed but not included in Report No. 29, votes received but uncanvassed, and maximum votes expected for Pantar, Lanao del Norte, is 16,261,369; and that the projected maximum total votes for the thirteen (13) qualified parties, organizations and coalition[s] are as follows: Party-List 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 BUHAY BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD BUTIL COOP-NATCO ANAKPAWIS ARC ABONO Projected total number of votes 1,178,747 977,476 755,964 621,718 622,489 492,369 462,674 423,190 409,298 412,920 370,165 375,846 340,151

WHEREAS, based on the above Report, Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay) obtained the highest number of votes among the thirteen (13) qualified parties, organizations and coalitions, making it the first party in accordance with Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC, reiterated in Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) versus COMELEC;
101

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WHEREAS, qualified parties, organizations and coalitions participating under the party-list system of representation that have obtained one guaranteed (1) seat may be entitled to an additional seat or seats based on the formula prescribed by the Supreme Court in Veterans; WHEREAS, in determining the additional seats for the first party, the correct formula as expressed in Veterans, is: Number of votes of first party --------------------= Total votes for party-list system Proportion of votes of first party relative to total votes for party-list system

wherein the proportion of votes received by the first party (without rounding off) shall entitle it to additional seats: Proportion of votes received by the first party Equal to or at least 6% Equal to or greater than 4% but less than 6% Less than 4% Additional seats Two (2) additional seats One (1) additional seat No additional seat

WHEREAS, applying the above formula, Buhay obtained the following percentage: 1,178,747 - - - - - - - - = 0.07248 or 7.2% 16,261,369 which entitles it to two (2) additional seats. WHEREAS, in determining the additional seats for the other qualified parties, organizations and coalitions, the correct formula as expressed in Veterans and reiterated in CIBAC is, as follows: No. of votes of concerned party ------------------x No. of votes of first party No. of additional seats allocated to first party

Additional seats for a concerned party

WHEREAS, applying the above formula, the results are as follows: Party List BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD BUTIL COOP-NATCO ANAKPAWIS ARC ABONO Percentage 1.65 1.28 1.05 1.05 0.83 0.78 0.71 0.69 0.69 0.62 0.63 0.57 Additional Seat 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

NOW THEREFORE, by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution, Omnibus Election Code, Executive Order No. 144, Republic Act Nos. 6646, 7166, 7941 and other elections laws, the Commission on Elections en banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, hereby RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to proclaim the following parties, organizations or coalitions as entitled to additional seats, to wit:

Party List BUHAY BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC

Additional Seats 2 1 1 1 1

This is without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties, organizations or coalitions which may later on be established to have

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obtained at least two per cent (2%) of the total votes cast under the party-list system to entitle them to one (1) guaranteed seat, or to the appropriate percentage of votes to entitle them to one (1) additional seat. Finally, all proclamation of the nominees of concerned parties, organizations and coalitions with pending disputes shall likewise be held in abeyance until final resolution of their respective cases. Let the National Board of Canvassers Secretariat implement this Resolution, furnishing a copy hereof to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. SO ORDERED.102[9] Acting on BANATs petition, the NBC promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-88 on 3 August 2007, which reads as follows: This pertains to the Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution filed by the Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT). Acting on the foregoing Petition of the Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) party-list, Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig, Head, National Board of Canvassers Legal Group submitted his comments/observations and recommendation thereon [NBC 07-041 (PL)], which reads: COMMENTS / OBSERVATIONS: Petitioner Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT), in its Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution prayed for the following reliefs, to wit: 1. 2. That the full number -- twenty percent (20%) -- of Party-List representatives as mandated by Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution shall be proclaimed. Paragraph (b), Section 11 of RA 7941 which prescribes the 2% threshold votes, should be harmonized with Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution and with Section 12 of the same RA 7941 in that it should be applicable only to the first party-list representative seats to be allotted on the basis of their initial/first ranking. The 3-seat limit prescribed by RA 7941 shall be applied; and Initially, all party-list groups shall be given the number of seats corresponding to every 2% of the votes they received and the additional seats shall be allocated in accordance with Section 12 of RA 7941, that is, in proportion to the percentage of votes obtained by each party-list group in relation to the total nationwide votes cast in the party-list election, after deducting the corresponding votes of those which were allotted seats under the 2% threshold rule. In fine, the formula/procedure prescribed in the ALLOCATION OF PARTY-LIST SEATS, ANNEX A of COMELEC RESOLUTION 2847 dated 25 June 1996, shall be used for [the] purpose of determining how many seats shall be proclaimed, which party-list groups are entitled to representative seats and how many of their nominees shall seat [sic]. In the alternative, to declare as unconstitutional Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7941 and that the procedure in allocating seats for party-list representative prescribed by Section 12 of RA 7941 shall be followed.

3. 4.

5.

RECOMMENDATION: The petition of BANAT is now moot and academic. The Commission En Banc in NBC Resolution No. 07-60 promulgated July 9, 2007 re In the Matter of the Canvass of Votes and Partial Proclamation of the Parties, Organizations and Coalitions Participating Under the Party-List System During the May 14, 2007 National and Local Elections resolved among others that the total number of seats of each winning party, organization or coalition shall be determined pursuant to the Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC formula upon completion of the canvass of the party-list results. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the National Board of Canvassers RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to approve and adopt the recommendation of Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig, Head, NBC Legal Group, to DENY the herein petition of BANAT for being moot and academic. Let the Supervisory Committee implement this resolution. SO ORDERED.103[10] BANAT filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the ruling in NBC Resolution No. 07-88. BANAT did not file a motion for reconsideration of NBC Resolution No. 07-88. On 9 July 2007, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked the COMELEC, acting as NBC, to reconsider its decision to use the Veterans formula as stated in its NBC Resolution No. 07-60 because the Veterans formula is violative of the Constitution and of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A. No. 7941). On the same day, the COMELEC denied reconsideration during the proceedings of the NBC.104[11] Aside from the thirteen party-list organizations proclaimed on 9 July 2007, the COMELEC proclaimed three other party-list organizations as qualified parties entitled to one guaranteed seat under the Party-List System: Agricultural Sector Alliance of the

102 103 104

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Philippines, Inc. (AGAP),105[12] Anak Mindanao (AMIN),106[13] and An Waray.107[14] Per the certification108[15] by COMELEC, the following party-list organizations have been proclaimed as of 19 May 2008: Party-List Buhay Bayan Muna CIBAC Gabriela APEC A Teacher Akbayan Alagad Butil 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Abono AGAP AMIN Coop-Natco [sic] Anak Pawis ARC No. of Seat(s) 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

The proclamation of Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS), against which an Urgent Petition for Cancellation/Removal of Registration and Disqualification of Party-list Nominee (with Prayer for the Issuance of Restraining Order) has been filed before the COMELEC, was deferred pending final resolution of SPC No. 07-250. Issues BANAT brought the following issues before this Court: 1. 2. 3. 4. Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives or is it merely a ceiling? Is the three-seat limit provided in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 provided in Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution mandatory constitutional? same Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional?

Is the two percent threshold and qualifier votes prescribed by the How shall the party-list representatives be allocated?109[16]

Bayan Muna, A Teacher, and Abono, on the other hand, raised the following issues in their petition: I. Respondent Commission on Elections, acting as National Board of Canvassers, committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-60 to implement the First-Party Rule in the allocation of seats to qualified party-list organizations as said rule: A. B. Party 2. 3. RA C. of II. Violates the constitutional principle of proportional Violates the provisions of RA 7941 particularly: 1. The 2-4-6 Formula used by the First Party Rule in violates the principle of proportional representation The use of two formulas in the allocation of another for the qualifying parties, violates Section The proportional relationships under the First Party 7941; allocating additional seats for the First under RA 7941. additional seats, one for the First Party and 11(b) of RA 7941. Rule are different from those required under party-list system as provided for under the same case representation.

Violates the Four Inviolable Parameters of the Philippine Veterans Federation Party, et al. v. COMELEC.

Presuming that the Commission on Elections did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it implemented the First-Party Rule in the allocation of seats to qualified party-list organizations, the same being merely in consonance with the ruling in Veterans Federations Party, et al. v. COMELEC, the instant Petition is a justiciable case as the issues involved herein are constitutional in nature, involving the correct interpretation and implementation of RA 7941, and are of transcendental importance to our nation.110[17]
105 106 107 108 109 110

43
Considering the allegations in the petitions and the comments of the parties in these cases, we defined the following issues in our advisory for the oral arguments set on 22 April 2008: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely a ceiling? Is the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? Is the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 to qualify for one seat constitutional? How shall the party-list representative seats be allocated? Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties from participating in the party-list elections? If not, can the major parties be barred from participating in the party-list elections?111[18] The Ruling of the Court The petitions have partial merit. We maintain that a Philippine-style party-list election has at least four inviolable parameters as clearly stated in Veterans. For easy reference, these are: First, the twenty percent allocation the combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the House of Representatives, including those elected under the party list; Second, the two percent threshold only those parties garnering a minimum of two percent of the total valid votes cast for the partylist system are qualified to have a seat in the House of Representatives; Third, the three-seat limit each qualified party, regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of three seats; that is, one qualifying and two additional seats; Fourth, proportional representation the additional seats which a qualified party is entitled to shall be computed in proportion to their total number of votes.112[19] However, because the formula in Veterans has flaws in its mathematical interpretation of the term proportional representation, this Court is compelled to revisit the formula for the allocation of additional seats to party-list organizations. Number of Party-List Representatives: The Formula Mandated by the Constitution Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution provides: Section 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations. (2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector. The first paragraph of Section 11 of R.A. No. 7941 reads: Section 11. Number of Party-List Representatives. The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum (20%) of the total number of the members of the House of Representatives including those under the party-list. xxx Section 5(1), Article VI of the Constitution states that the House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law. The House of Representatives shall be composed of district representatives and party-list representatives. The Constitution allows the legislature to modify the number of the members of the House of Representatives. Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution, on the other hand, states the ratio of party-list representatives to the total number of representatives. We compute the number of seats available to party-list representatives from the number of legislative districts. On this point, we do not deviate from the first formula in Veterans, thus: Number of seats available to legislative districts .80 Number of seats available to party-list representatives political

x .20 =

This formula allows for the corresponding increase in the number of seats available for party-list representatives whenever a legislative district is created by law. Since the 14th Congress of the Philippines has 220 district representatives, there are 55 seats available to party-list representatives.

111 112

44
220 .80 After prescribing the ratio of the number of party-list representatives to the total number of representatives, the Constitution left the manner of allocating the seats available to party-list representatives to the wisdom of the legislature. Allocation of Seats for Party-List Representatives: The Statutory Limits Presented by the Two Percent Threshold and the Three-Seat Cap All parties agree on the formula to determine the maximum number of seats reserved under the Party-List System, as well as on the formula to determine the guaranteed seats to party-list candidates garnering at least two-percent of the total party-list votes. However, there are numerous interpretations of the provisions of R.A. No. 7941 on the allocation of additional seats under the Party-List System. Veterans produced the First Party Rule,113[20] and Justice Vicente V. Mendozas dissent in Veterans presented Germanys Niemeyer formula114[21] as an alternative. The Constitution left to Congress the determination of the manner of allocating the seats for party-list representatives. Congress enacted R.A. No. 7941, paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 11 and Section 12 of which provide: Section 11. Number of Party-List Representatives. x x x In determining the allocation of seats for the second vote,115[22] the following procedure shall be observed: (a) (b) The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections. The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each: Provided, That those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes: Provided, finally, That each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats. Section 12. Procedure in Allocating Seats for Party-List Representatives . The COMELEC shall tally all the votes for the parties, organizations, or coalitions on a nationwide basis, rank them according to the number of votes received and allocate party-list representatives proportionately according to the percentage of votes obtained by each party, organization, or coalition as against the total nationwide votes cast for the party-list system. (Emphasis supplied) In G.R. No. 179271, BANAT presents two interpretations through three formulas to allocate party-list representative seats. The first interpretation allegedly harmonizes the provisions of Section 11(b) on the 2% requirement with Section 12 of R.A. No. 7941. BANAT described this procedure as follows: (a) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty percent (20%) of the total Members of the House of Representatives including those from the party-list groups as prescribed by Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution, Section 11 (1 st par.) of RA 7941 and Comelec Resolution No. 2847 dated 25 June 1996. Since there are 220 District Representatives in the 14 th Congress, there shall be 55 PartyList Representatives. All seats shall have to be proclaimed. All party-list groups shall initially be allotted one (1) seat for every two per centum (2%) of the total party-list votes they obtained; provided, that no party-list groups shall have more than three (3) seats (Section 11, RA 7941). The remaining seats shall, after deducting the seats obtained by the party-list groups under the immediately preceding paragraph and after deducting from their total the votes corresponding to those seats, the remaining seats shall be allotted proportionately to all the party-list groups which have not secured the maximum three (3) seats under the 2% threshold rule, in accordance with Section 12 of RA 7941.116[23] x .20 = 55

(b) (c)

Forty-four (44) party-list seats will be awarded under BANATs first interpretation. The second interpretation presented by BANAT assumes that the 2% vote requirement is declared unconstitutional, and apportions the seats for party-list representatives by following Section 12 of R.A. No. 7941. BANAT states that the COMELEC: (a) (b) (c) shall tally all the votes for the parties, organizations, or coalitions on a nationwide basis; rank them according to the number of votes received; and, allocate party-list representatives proportionately according to the percentage of votes obtained by each party, organization or coalition as against the total nationwide votes cast for the party-list system.117[24]

BANAT used two formulas to obtain the same results: one is based on the proportional percentage of the votes received by each party as against the total nationwide party-list votes, and the other is by making the votes of a party-list with a median percentage of votes as the divisor in computing the allocation of seats. 118[25] Thirty-four (34) party-list seats will be awarded under BANATs second interpretation. In G.R. No. 179295, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher criticize both the COMELECs original 2-4-6 formula and the Veterans
113 114 115 116 117 118

45
formula for systematically preventing all the party-list seats from being filled up. They claim that both formulas do not factor in the total number of seats alloted for the entire Party-List System. Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher reject the three-seat cap, but accept the 2% threshold. After determining the qualified parties, a second percentage is generated by dividing the votes of a qualified party by the total votes of all qualified parties only. The number of seats allocated to a qualified party is computed by multiplying the total partylist seats available with the second percentage. There will be a first round of seat allocation, limited to using the whole integers as the equivalent of the number of seats allocated to the concerned party-list. After all the qualified parties are given their seats, a second round of seat allocation is conducted. The fractions, or remainders, from the whole integers are ranked from highest to lowest and the remaining seats on the basis of this ranking are allocated until all the seats are filled up.119[26] We examine what R.A. No. 7941 prescribes to allocate seats for party-list representatives. Section 11(a) of R.A. No. 7941 prescribes the ranking of the participating parties from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections. Table 1. Ranking of the participating parties from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes garnered during the elections.120[27]

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Party BUHAY

Votes Garnered Rank 1,169,234 979,039 755,686 621,171 619,657 490,379 466,112 423,149 409,883 409,160 385,810 374,288 370,261 339,990 338,185 328,724 321,503 310,889 300,923 245,382 235,086 228,999 228,637 218,818 217,822 213,058 197,872 196,266 188,521 177,028 170,531 169,801 166,747 164,980 162,647 155,920 KALAHI 48 APOI 49 50

Party

Votes Garnered 88,868 79,386 78,541 78,424 77,327 75,200 74,686 71,544 62,220 60,993 58,717 57,872 57,012 55,846 54,751 54,522 51,722 50,837 50,478 46,612 45,624 43,062 42,282 36,512 34,835 34,098 33,938 33,903 33,691 32,896 32,255 29,130 26,271 25,781 22,946 20,744

BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD COOP-NATCCO BUTIL BATAS ARC ANAKPAWIS ABONO AMIN AGAP AN WARAY YACAP FPJPM UNI-MAD ABS KAKUSA KABATAAN ABA-AKO ALIF SENIOR CITIZENS AT VFP ANAD BANAT ANG KASANGGA BANTAY ABAKADA 1-UTAK TUCP COCOFED

AHONBAYAN 51 BIGKIS 52 PMAP 53 AKAPIN 54 PBA 55 GRECON 56 BTM 57 A 58 SMILE NELFFI 59 AKSA 60 BAGO 61 BANDILA 62 AHON 63 ASAHAN 64 MO AGBIAG! 65 66 BAHANDI 67 ADD 68 AMANG 69 ABAY 70 PARAK BABAE 71 KA 72 ASAP 73 PEP 74 ABA 75 ILONGGO VENDORS 76 ADD-TRIBAL 77 ALMANA 78 AANGAT 79 KA PILIPINO AAPS 80 HAPI 81 AAWAS 82 83

119 120

46
37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 AGHAM ANAK ABANSE! PINAY PM AVE SUARA ASSALAM DIWA ANC SANLAKAS ABC 146,032 141,817 130,356 119,054 110,769 110,732 110,440 107,021 99,636 97,375 90,058 84 AGING 85 PINOY APO 86 BIYAYANG 87 BUKID ATS 88 UMDJ 89 BUKLOD 90 FILIPINA LYPAD 91 AA-KASOSYO 92 KASAPI 93 TOTAL 16,916 16,729 16,421 16,241 14,161 9,445 8,915 8,471 8,406 6,221 15,950,900

The first clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 states that parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each. This clause guarantees a seat to the two-percenters. In Table 2 below, we use the first 20 party-list candidates for illustration purposes. The percentage of votes garnered by each party is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party by 15,950,900, the total number of votes cast for all party-list candidates. Table 2. The first 20 party-list candidates and their respective percentage of votes garnered over the total votes for the party-list.121[28] Votes Garnered over Votes Garnered Total Votes forGuaranteed Seat Party-List, in % 1,169,234 979,039 755,686 621,171 619,657 490,379 466,112 423,149 409,883 409,160
122[29]

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Party BUHAY BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD COOP-NATCCO BUTIL BATAS ARC ANAKPAWIS ABONO AMIN AGAP AN WARAY

7.33% 6.14% 4.74% 3.89% 3.88% 3.07% 2.92% 2.65% 2.57% 2.57% 2.42% 2.35% 2.32% 2.13% 2.12% 2.06% 2.02% 1.95% 1.89% 1.54%

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 17 0 0 0

385,810 374,288 370,261 339,990 338,185 328,724 321,503 Total 310,889 300,923 245,382

YACAP FPJPM UNI-MAD

From Table 2 above, we see that only 17 party-list candidates received at least 2% from the total number of votes cast for party-list candidates. The 17 qualified party-list candidates, or the two-percenters, are the party-list candidates that are entitled to one seat each, or the guaranteed seat. In this first round of seat allocation, we distributed 17 guaranteed seats. The second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 provides that those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes . This is where petitioners and intervenors problem with the formula in Veterans lies. Veterans interprets the clause in proportion to their total number of votes to be in proportion to the votes of the first party. This interpretation is contrary to the express language of R.A. No. 7941. We rule that, in computing the allocation of additional seats, the continued operation of the two percent threshold for the distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 is unconstitutional. This Court finds that the two percent threshold makes it mathematically impossible to achieve the maximum number of available party list seats when the number of available party list seats exceeds 50. The continued operation of the two percent threshold in the distribution of the additional seats frustrates the attainment of the permissive ceiling that 20% of the members of the House of Representatives shall consist of party-list representatives.

121 122

47
To illustrate: There are 55 available party-list seats. Suppose there are 50 million votes cast for the 100 participants in the party list elections. A party that has two percent of the votes cast, or one million votes, gets a guaranteed seat. Let us further assume that the first 50 parties all get one million votes. Only 50 parties get a seat despite the availability of 55 seats. Because of the operation of the two percent threshold, this situation will repeat itself even if we increase the available party-list seats to 60 seats and even if we increase the votes cast to 100 million. Thus, even if the maximum number of parties get two percent of the votes for every party, it is always impossible for the number of occupied party-list seats to exceed 50 seats as long as the two percent threshold is present. We therefore strike down the two percent threshold only in relation to the distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941. The two percent threshold presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution and prevents the attainment of the broadest possible representation of party, sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives.123[30] In determining the allocation of seats for party-list representatives under Section 11 of R.A. No. 7941, the following procedure shall be observed: The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections. The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each. Those garnering sufficient number of votes, according to the ranking in paragraph 1, shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes until all the additional seats are allocated. Each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats. In computing the additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no longer be included because they have already been allocated, at one seat each, to every two-percenter. Thus, the remaining available seats for allocation as additional seats are the maximum seats reserved under the Party List System less the guaranteed seats. Fractional seats are disregarded in the absence of a provision in R.A. No. 7941 allowing for a rounding off of fractional seats. In declaring the two percent threshold unconstitutional, we do not limit our allocation of additional seats in Table 3 below to the twopercenters. The percentage of votes garnered by each party-list candidate is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party by 15,950,900, the total number of votes cast for party-list candidates. There are two steps in the second round of seat allocation. First, the percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats, 38, which is the difference between the 55 maximum seats reserved under the Party-List System and the 17 guaranteed seats of the two-percenters. The whole integer of the product of the percentage and of the remaining available seats corresponds to a partys share in the remaining available seats. Second, we assign one party-list seat to each of the parties next in rank until all available seats are completely distributed. We distributed all of the remaining 38 seats in the second round of seat allocation. Finally, we apply the three-seat cap to determine the number of seats each qualified party-list candidate is entitled. Thus: Table 3. Distribution of Available Party-List Seats

Rank

Party

Votes Garnered Guaranteed Seat over Total Votes for Party List, Votes Garnered in % (First Round) (A) (B) 7.33% 6.14% 4.74% 3.89% 3.88% 3.07% 2.92% 2.65% 2.57% 2.57% 2.42% 2.35% 2.32% 2.13% 2.12%

Additional (B) plus (C), in Applying the Seats whole three seat integers cap

(Second Round) (C) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2.79 2.33 1.80 1.48 1.48 1.17 1.11 1.01 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 (D) 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 (E) N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
124[31]

BUHAY BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A Teacher AKBAYAN ALAGAD COOPNATCCO BUTIL BATAS ARC ANAKPAWIS ABONO AMIN

1,169,234 979,039 755,686 621,171 619,657 490,379 466,112 423,149 409,883 409,160 385,810 374,288 370,261 339,990 338,185

10 11 12 13 14 15
123 124

48
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 AGAP AN WARAY YACAP FPJPM UNI-MAD ABS KAKUSA KABATAAN ABA-AKO ALIF SENIOR CITIZENS AT VFP ANAD BANAT ANG KASANGG A BANTAY ABAKADA 1-UTAK TUCP COCOFED 328,724 321,503 310,889 300,923 245,382 235,086 228,999 228,637 218,818 217,822 213,058 197,872 196,266 188,521 177,028 170,531 2.06% 2.02% 1.95% 1.89% 1.54% 1.47% 1.44% 1.43% 1.37% 1.37% 1.34% 1.24% 1.23% 1.18% 1.11% 1.07% 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A.

32 33 34 35 36 Total

169,801 166,747 164,980 162,647 155,920

1.06% 1.05% 1.03% 1.02% 0.98%

0 0 0 0 0 17

1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 55

N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A.

Applying the procedure of seat allocation as illustrated in Table 3 above, there are 55 party-list representatives from the 36 winning party-list organizations. All 55 available party-list seats are filled. The additional seats allocated to the parties with sufficient number of votes for one whole seat, in no case to exceed a total of three seats for each party, are shown in column (D). Participation of Major Political Parties in Party-List Elections The Constitutional Commission adopted a multi-party system that allowed all political parties to participate in the party-list elections. The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission clearly bear this out, thus: MR. MONSOD. Madam President, I just want to say that we suggested or proposed the party list system because we wanted to open up the political system to a pluralistic society through a multiparty system. x x x We are for opening up the system, and we would like very much for the sectors to be there. That is why one of the ways to do that is to put a ceiling on the number of representatives from any single party that can sit within the 50 allocated under the party list system . x x x. xxx MR. MONSOD. Madam President, the candidacy for the 198 seats is not limited to political parties. My question is this: Are we going to classify for example Christian Democrats and Social Democrats as political parties? Can they run under the party list concept or must they be under the district legislation side of it only? MR. VILLACORTA. In reply to that query, I think these parties that the Commissioner mentioned can field candidates for the Senate as well as for the House of Representatives. Likewise, they can also field sectoral candidates for the 20 percent or 30 percent, whichever is adopted, of the seats that we are allocating under the party list system . MR. MONSOD. In other words, the Christian Democrats can field district candidates and can also participate in the party list system? MR. VILLACORTA. Why not? When they come to the party list system, they will be fielding only sectoral candidates. MR. MONSOD. May I be clarified on that? Can UNIDO participate in the party list system? MR. VILLACORTA. Yes, why not? For as long as they field candidates who come from the different marginalized sectors that we shall designate in this Constitution. MR. MONSOD. Suppose Senator Taada wants to run under BAYAN group and says that he represents the farmers, would he qualify? MR. VILLACORTA. No, Senator Taada would not qualify. MR. MONSOD. But UNIDO can field candidates under the party list system and say Juan dela Cruz is a farmer. Who would pass on whether he is a farmer or not? MR. TADEO. Kay Commissioner Monsod, gusto ko lamang linawin ito. Political parties, particularly minority political parties, are not prohibited to participate in the party list election if they can prove that they are also organized along sectoral lines.

49
MR. MONSOD. What the Commissioner is saying is that all political parties can participate because it is precisely the contention of political parties that they represent the broad base of citizens and that all sectors are represented in them. Would the Commissioner agree? MR. TADEO. Ang punto lamang namin, pag pinayagan mo ang UNIDO na isang political party, it will dominate the party list at mawawalang saysay din yung sector. Lalamunin mismo ng political parties ang party list system. Gusto ko lamang bigyan ng diin ang reserve. Hindi ito reserve seat sa marginalized sectors. Kung titingnan natin itong 198 seats, reserved din ito sa political parties. MR. MONSOD. Hindi po reserved iyon kasi anybody can run there. But my question to Commissioner Villacorta and probably also to Commissioner Tadeo is that under this system, would UNIDO be banned from running under the party list system? MR. VILLACORTA. No, as I said, UNIDO may field sectoral candidates. On that condition alone, UNIDO may be allowed to register for the party list system. MR. MONSOD. May I inquire from Commissioner Tadeo if he shares that answer? MR. TADEO. The same. MR. VILLACORTA. Puwede po ang UNIDO, pero sa sectoral lines. xxxx MR. OPLE. x x x In my opinion, this will also create the stimulus for political parties and mass organizations to seek common ground. For example, we have the PDP-Laban and the UNIDO. I see no reason why they should not be able to make common goals with mass organizations so that the very leadership of these parties can be transformed through the participation of mass organizations. And if this is true of the administration parties, this will be true of others like the Partido ng Bayan which is now being formed. There is no question that they will be attractive to many mass organizations. In the opposition parties to which we belong, there will be a stimulus for us to contact mass organizations so that with their participation, the policies of such parties can be radically transformed because this amendment will create conditions that will challenge both the mass organizations and the political parties to come together. And the party list system is certainly available, although it is open to all the parties. It is understood that the parties will enter in the roll of the COMELEC the names of representatives of mass organizations affiliated with them. So that we may, in time, develop this excellent system that they have in Europe where labor organizations and cooperatives, for example, distribute themselves either in the Social Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Party in Germany, and their very presence there has a transforming effect upon the philosophies and the leadership of those parties. It is also a fact well known to all that in the United States, the AFL-CIO always vote with the Democratic Party. But the businessmen, most of them, always vote with the Republican Party, meaning that there is no reason at all why political parties and mass organizations should not combine, reenforce, influence and interact with each other so that the very objectives that we set in this Constitution for sectoral representation are achieved in a wider, more lasting, and more institutionalized way. Therefore, I support this [MonsodVillacorta] amendment. It installs sectoral representation as a constitutional gift, but at the same time, it challenges the sector to rise to the majesty of being elected representatives later on through a party list system; and even beyond that, to become actual political parties capable of contesting political power in the wider constitutional arena for major political parties. x x x 125[32] (Emphasis supplied) R.A. No. 7941 provided the details for the concepts put forward by the Constitutional Commission. Section 3 of R.A. No. 7941 reads: Definition of Terms. (a) The party-list system is a mechanism of proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives from national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). Component parties or organizations of a coalition may participate independently provided the coalition of which they form part does not participate in the party-list system. (b) A party means either a political party or a sectoral party or a coalition of parties. (c) A political party refers to an organized group of citizens advocating an ideology or platform, principles and policies for the general conduct of government and which, as the most immediate means of securing their adoption, regularly nominates and supports certain of its leaders and members as candidates for public office. It is a national party when its constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the regions. It is a regional party when its constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the cities and provinces comprising the region. (d) A sectoral party refers to an organized group of citizens belonging to any of the sectors enumerated in Section 5 hereof whose principal advocacy pertains to the special interests and concerns of their sector, (e) A sectoral organization refers to a group of citizens or a coalition of groups of citizens who share similar physical attributes or characteristics, employment, interests or concerns. (f) A coalition refers to an aggrupation of duly registered national, regional, sectoral parties or organizations for political and/or election purposes. Congress, in enacting R.A. No. 7941, put the three-seat cap to prevent any party from dominating the party-list elections. Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 prohibits major political parties from participating in the party-list system. On the contrary, the framers of the Constitution clearly intended the major political parties to participate in party-list elections through their sectoral wings. In fact, the members of the Constitutional Commission voted down, 19-22, any permanent sectoral seats, and in the alternative the reservation of the party-list system to the sectoral groups. 126[33] In defining a party that participates in party-list elections as either a political party or a sectoral party, R.A. No. 7941 also clearly intended that major political parties will participate in the party-list elections. Excluding the major political parties in party-list elections is manifestly against the Constitution, the intent of the
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Constitutional Commission, and R.A. No. 7941. This Court cannot engage in socio-political engineering and judicially legislate the exclusion of major political parties from the party-list elections in patent violation of the Constitution and the law. Read together, R.A. No. 7941 and the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission state that major political parties are allowed to establish, or form coalitions with, sectoral organizations for electoral or political purposes. There should not be a problem if, for example, the Liberal Party participates in the party-list election through the Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas (KALIPI), its sectoral youth wing. The other major political parties can thus organize, or affiliate with, their chosen sector or sectors. To further illustrate, the Nacionalista Party can establish a fisherfolk wing to participate in the party-list election, and this fisherfolk wing can field its fisherfolk nominees. Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI) can do the same for the urban poor. The qualifications of party-list nominees are prescribed in Section 9 of R.A. No. 7941: Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. No person shall be nominated as party-list representative unless he is a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, a resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the elections, able to read and write, bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election, and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the election. In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any youth sectoral representative who attains the age of thirty (30) during his term shall be allowed to continue until the expiration of his term. Under Section 9 of R.A. No. 7941, it is not necessary that the party-list organizations nominee wallow in poverty, destitution and infirmity127[34] as there is no financial status required in the law. It is enough that the nominee of the sectoral party/organization/coalition belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors,128[35] that is, if the nominee represents the fisherfolk, he or she must be a fisherfolk, or if the nominee represents the senior citizens, he or she must be a senior citizen. Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 mandates the filling-up of the entire 20% allocation of party-list representatives found in the Constitution. The Constitution, in paragraph 1, Section 5 of Article VI, left the determination of the number of the members of the House of Representatives to Congress: The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, x x x. The 20% allocation of party-list representatives is merely a ceiling; party-list representatives cannot be more than 20% of the members of the House of Representatives. However, we cannot allow the continued existence of a provision in the law which will systematically prevent the constitutionally allocated 20% party-list representatives from being filled. The three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of seats that a qualified party-list organization may occupy, remains a valid statutory device that prevents any party from dominating the party-list elections. Seats for party-list representatives shall thus be allocated in accordance with the procedure used in Table 3 above. However, by a vote of 8-7, the Court decided to continue the ruling in Veterans disallowing major political parties from participating in the party-list elections, directly or indirectly. Those who voted to continue disallowing major political parties from the party-list elections joined Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno in his separate opinion. On the formula to allocate party-list seats, the Court is unanimous in concurring with this ponencia. WHEREFORE, we PARTIALLY GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the Resolution of the COMELEC dated 3 August 2007 in NBC No. 07-041 (PL) as well as the Resolution dated 9 July 2007 in NBC No. 07-60. We declare unconstitutional the two percent threshold in the distribution of additional party-list seats. The allocation of additional seats under the Party-List System shall be in accordance with the procedure used in Table 3 of this Decision. Major political parties are disallowed from participating in party-list elections. This Decision is immediately executory. No pronouncement as to costs. POWER OF THE COMELEC TO RESOLVE LEADERSHIP DISPUTES OF PARTY-LIST DR. HANS CHRISTIAN M. SENERIS VS. COMELEC, G.R. No. 178678, April 16, 2009 VELASCO, JR., J.: The Undisputed Facts In 1999, private respondent Robles was elected president and chairperson of BUHAY, a party-list group duly registered with COMELEC. 129[3] The constitution of BUHAY provides for a three-year term for all its party officers, without re-election. 130[4] BUHAY participated in the 2001 and 2004 elections, with Robles as its president. All the required Manifestations of Desire to Participate in the said electoral exercises, including the Certificates of Nomination of representatives, carried the signature of Robles as president of BUHAY. 131[5] On January 26, 2007, in connection with the May 2007 elections, BUHAY again filed a Manifestation of its Desire to Participate in the Party-List System of Representation.132[6] As in the past two elections, the manifestation to participate bore the signature of Robles as BUHAY president. On March 29, 2007, Robles signed and filed a Certificate of Nomination of BUHAYs nominees for the 2007 elections containing the following names: (i) Rene M. Velarde, (ii) Ma. Carissa Coscolluela, (iii) William Irwin C. Tieng, (iv) Melchor R. Monsod, and (v) Teresita B. Villarama. Earlier, however, or on March 27, 2007, petitioner Hans Christian Seeres, holding himself up as acting president and secretary-general of BUHAY, also filed a Certificate of Nomination with the COMELEC, nominating: (i) himself, (ii) Hermenegildo C. Dumlao, (iii) Antonio R. Bautista, (iv) Victor Pablo C. Trinidad, and (v) Eduardo C. Solangon, Jr.133[7]

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Consequently, on April 17, 2007, Seeres filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Deny Due Course to Certificates of Nomination. 134[8] In it, petitioner Seeres alleged that he was the acting president and secretary-general of BUHAY, having assumed that position since August 17, 2004 when Robles vacated the position. Pushing the point, Seeres would claim that the nominations made by Robles were, for lack of authority, null and void owing to the expiration of the latters term as party president. Furthermore, Seeres asserted that Robles was, under the Constitution, 135[9] disqualified from being an officer of any political party, the latter being the Acting Administrator of the Light Railway Transport Authority (LRTA), a government-controlled corporation. Robles, so Seeres would charge, was into a partisan political activity which civil service members, like the former, were enjoined from engaging in. On May 10, 2007, the National Council of BUHAY adopted a resolution 136[10] expelling Seeres as party member for his act of submitting a Certificate of Nomination for the party. The resolution reads in part: WHEREAS, Hans Christian M. Seeres, without authority from the National Council, caused the filing of his Certificate of Nomination with the Comelec last 27 March 2007. WHEREAS, Hans Christian M. Seeres, again without authority from the National Council, listed in his Certificate of Nomination names of persons who are not even members of the Buhay party. WHEREAS, Hans Christian M. Seeres, knowing fully well that the National Council had previously approved the following as its official nominees, to wit x x x to the 2007 Party-List elections; and that Mr. Melquiades A. Robles was authorized to sign and submit the partys Certificate of Nomination with the Comelec; and, with evident premeditation to put the party to public ridicule and with scheming intention to create confusion, still proceeded with the filing of his unauthorized certificate of nomination even nomination persons who are not members of Buhay. WHEREAS, Hans Christian M. Seeres, in view of the foregoing, underwent Party Discipline process pursuant to Article VII of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Party. xxxx WHEREAS, after a careful examination of the [evidence] on his case, the National Council found Hans Christian M. Seeres to have committed acts in violation of the constitution and by-laws of the party and decided to expel him as a member of the party. NOW THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED as it is hereby RESOLVED that the National Council has decided to expel Hans M. Seeres as a member of the party effective close of business hour of 10 May 2007. BE IT RESOLVED FURTHER, that all rights and privileges pertaining to the membership of Hans M. Seeres with the party are consequently cancelled. BE IT RESOLVED FURTHER, that the President and Chairman of the National Council of Buhay, Mr. Melquiades A. Robles, is hereby authorized to cause the necessary filing of whatever documents/letters before the House of Representatives and/or to any other entity/agency/person to remove/drop Mr. Seeres name in the roll of members in the said lower house. 137[11] Later developments saw Robles filing a petition praying for the recognition of Jose D. Villanueva as the new representative of BUHAY in the House of Representatives for the remaining term until June 30, 2007. 138[12] Attached to the petition was a copy of the expelling resolution adverted to. Additionally, Robles also filed on the same day an Urgent Motion to Declare Null and Void the Certificate of Nomination and Certificates of Acceptance filed by Hans Christian M. Seeres, Hermenegildo Dumlao, Antonio R. Bautista, Victor Pablo Trinidad and Eduardo Solangon, Jr.139[13] On July 9 and July 18, 2007, respectively, the COMELEC issued two resolutions proclaiming BUHAY as a winning party-list organization for the May 2007 elections entitled to three (3) House seats.140[14] This was followed by the issuance on July 19, 2007 by the en banc COMELEC of Resolution E.M. No. 07-043 recognizing and declaring Robles as the president of BUHAY and, as such, was the one duly authorized to sign documents in behalf of the party particularly the Manifestation to participate in the party-list system of representation and the Certification of Nomination of its nominees. 141[15] Explaining its action, COMELEC stated that since no party election was held to replace Robles as party president, then he was holding the position in a hold-over capacity.142[16] The COMELEC disposed of the partisan political activity issue with the terse observation that Seeres arguments on the applicability to Robles of the prohibition on partisan political activity were unconvincing. 143[17] The dispositive portion of the COMELEC Resolution reads: WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Commission (En Banc) hereby recognizes Melquiades A. Robles as the duly authorized representative of Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay) and to act for and in its behalf pursuant to its Constitution and By-Laws. SO ORDERED.144[18] On July 20, 2007, the first three (3) listed nominees of BUHAY for the May 2007 elections, as per the Certificate of Nomination filed by Robles, namely Rene M. Velarde, Ma. Carissa Coscolluela, and William Irwin C. Tieng, took their oaths of office as BUHAY party-list
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representatives in the current Congress.145[19] Accordingly, on September 3, 2007, the COMELEC, sitting as National Board of Canvassers, issued a Certificate of Proclamation to BUHAY and its nominees as representatives to the House of Representatives.146[20] Aggrieved, petitioner filed the instant petition. The Issue Whether or not the COMELEC acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing its challenged Resolution dated June 19, 2007, which declared respondent Robles as the duly authorized representative of BUHAY, and there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law except the instant petition. HELD: The petition should be dismissed for lack of merit. Petition for Certiorari Is an Improper Remedy A crucial matter in this recourse is whether the petition for certiorari filed by Seeres is the proper remedy. A special civil action for certiorari may be availed of when the tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction and there is no appeal or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the purpose of annulling the proceeding.147[21] It is the proper remedy to question any final order, ruling and decision of the COMELEC rendered in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. 148[22] For certiorari to prosper, however, there must be a showing that the COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion and that there is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. In the present case, a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law was available to Seeres. The 1987 Constitution cannot be more explicit in this regard. Its Article VI, Section 17 states: Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of their respective Members. x x x This constitutional provision is reiterated in Rule 14 of the 1991 Revised Rules of the Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives, to wit: RULE 14. Jurisdiction.The Tribunal shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the Members of the House of Representatives. In Lazatin v. House Electoral Tribunal, the Court elucidated on the import of the word sole in Art. VI, Sec. 17 of the Constitution, thus: The use of the word sole emphasizes the exclusive character of the jurisdiction conferred. The exercise of the power by the Electoral Commission under the 1935 Constitution has been described as intended to be as complete and unimpaired as if it had remained originally in the legislature. Earlier, this grant of power to the legislature was characterized by Justice Malcolm as full, clear and complete. Under the amended 1935 Constitution, the power was unqualifiedly reposed upon the Electoral Tribunal and it remained as full, clear and complete as that previously granted the legislature and the Electoral Commission. The same may be said with regard to the jurisdiction of the Electoral Tribunals under the 1987 Constitution.149[23] Then came Rasul v. COMELEC and Aquino-Oreta, in which the Court again stressed that the word sole in Sec. 17, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution and Sec. 250 of the Omnibus Election Code underscore the exclusivity of the Tribunals jurisdiction over election contests relating to its members.150[24] The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunals (HRETs) sole and exclusive jurisdiction over contests relative to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives begins only after a candidate has become a member of the House of Representatives.151[25] Thus, once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, COMELECs jurisdiction over elections relating to the election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins.152[26] It is undisputed that the COMELEC, sitting as National Board of Canvassers, proclaimed BUHAY as a winning party-list organization for the May 14, 2007 elections, entitled to three (3) seats in the House of Representatives. 153[27] The proclamation came in the form of two Resolutions dated July 9, 2007 and July 18, 2007, 154[28] respectively. Said resolutions are official proclamations of COMELEC considering it is BUHAY that ran for election as party-list organization and not the BUHAY nominees. The following day, on July 19, 2007, the COMELEC issued the assailed resolution declaring Melquiades A. Robles as the duly authorized representative of Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay) and to act in its behalf pursuant to its Constitution and By-Laws. COMELEC affirmed that his Certificate of Nomination was a valid one as it ruled that Robles is the President of Buhay Party-List and therefore duly authorized to sign documents in behalf of the party particularly the Manifestation to participate in the pary-list system of representation and the Certificate of Nomination of its nominees.155[29] The September 3, 2007 proclamation merely confirmed the
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challenged July 19, 2007 Resolution. The July 19, 2007 Resolution coupled with the July 9, 2007 and July 18, 2007 proclamations vested the Robles nominees the right to represent BUHAY as its sectoral representatives. Consequently, the first three (3) nominees in the Certificate of Nomination submitted by Robles then took their oaths of office before the Chief Justice on July 20, 2007 and have since then exercised their duties and functions as BUHAY Party-List representatives in the current Congress. Without a doubt, at the time Seeres filed this petition before this Court on July 23, 2007, the right of the nominees as party-list representatives had been recognized and declared in the July 19, 2007 Resolution and the nominees had taken their oath and already assumed their offices in the House of Representatives. As such, the proper recourse would have been to file a petition for quo warranto before the HRET within ten (10) days from receipt of the July 19, 2007 Resolution and not a petition for certiorari before this Court.156[30] Since Seeres failed to file a petition for quo warranto before the HRET within 10 days from receipt of the July 19, 2007 Resolution declaring the validity of Robles Certificate of Nomination, said Resolution of the COMELEC has already become final and executory. Thus, this petition has now become moot and can be dismissed outright. And even if we entertain the instant special civil action, still, petitioners postulations are bereft of merit. Act of Nominating Is Not Partisan Political Activity Petitioner Seeres contends that Robles, acting as BUHAY President and nominating officer, as well as being the Administrator of the LRTA, was engaging in electioneering or partisan political campaign. He bases his argument on the Constitution, which prohibits any officer or employee in the civil service from engaging, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign. 157[31] He also cites Sec. 4 of the Civil Service Law which provides that no officer or employee in the Civil Service x x x shall engage in any partisan political activity. Lastly, he mentions Sec. 26(i) of the Omnibus Election Code which makes it an election offense for any officer in the civil service to directly or indirectly x x x engage in any partisan political activity. This contention lacks basis and is far from being persuasive. The terms electioneering and partisan political activity have well-established meanings in the Omnibus Election Code, to wit: Section 79. x x x (b) The term election campaign or partisan political activity refers to an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office which shall include: (1) Forming organizations, associations, clubs, committees, or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign for or against a candidate; (2) Holding political caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades, or other similar assemblies, for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate; (3) Making speeches, announcements or commentaries, or holding interviews for or against the election of any candidate for public office; (4) Publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate; or (5) Directly or indirectly soliciting votes, pledges or support for or against a candidate. The foregoing enumerated acts if performed for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nominations for candidacy to a public office by a political party, agreement, or coalition of parties shall not be considered as election campaign or partisan election activity. Public expression of opinions or discussions of probable issues in a forthcoming election or on attributes of or criticisms against probable candidates proposed to be nominated in a forth coming political party convention shall not be construed as part of any election campaign or partisan political activity contemplated under this Article. (Emphasis supplied.) Guided by the above perspective, Robles act of submitting a nomination list for BUHAY cannot, without more, be considered electioneering or partisan political activity within the context of the Election Code. First of all, petitioner did not aver that Robles committed any of the five (5) acts defined in the aforequoted Sec. 79(b) of the Code, let alone adduce proof to show the fact of commission. Second, even if Robles performed any of the previously mentioned acts, Sec. 79 of the Code is nonetheless unequivocal that if the same is done only for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nominations for candidacy to a public office by a political party, agreement, or coalition of parties, it is not considered as a prohibited electioneering or partisan election activity. From this provision, one can conclude that as long as the acts embraced under Sec. 79 pertain to or are in connection with the nomination of a candidate by a party or organization, then such are treated as internal matters and cannot be considered as electioneering or partisan political activity. The twin acts of signing and filing a Certificate of Nomination are purely internal processes of the party or organization and are not designed to enable or ensure the victory of the candidate in the elections. The act of Robles of submitting the certificate nominating Velarde and others was merely in compliance with the COMELEC requirements for nomination of party-list representatives and, hence, cannot be treated as electioneering or partisan political activity proscribed under by Sec. 2(4) of Art. IX(B) of the Constitution for civil servants. Moreover, despite the fact that Robles is a nominating officer, as well as Chief of the LRTA, petitioner was unable to cite any legal provision that prohibits his concurrent positions of LRTA President and acting president of a party-list organization or that bars him from nominating. Last but not least, the nomination of Velarde, Coscolluela, Tieng, Monsod, and Villarama to the 2007 party-list elections was, in the final analysis, an act of the National Council of BUHAY. Robles role in the nominating process was limited to signing, on behalf of BUHAY, and submitting the partys Certificate of Nomination to the COMELEC. 158[32] The act of nominating BUHAYs representatives was veritably a direct and official act of the National Council of BUHAY and not Robles. Be that as it may, it is irrelevant who among
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BUHAYs officials signs the Certificate of Nomination, as long as the signatory was so authorized by BUHAY. The alleged disqualification of Robles as nominating officer is indeed a non-issue and does not affect the act of the National Council of nominating Velarde and others. Hence, the Certificate of Nomination, albeit signed by Robles, is still the product of a valid and legal act of the National Council of BUHAY. Robles connection with LRTA could not really be considered as a factor invalidating the nomination process. Hold-Over Principle Applies Petitioner Seeres further maintains that at the time the Certificate of Nomination was submitted, Robles term as President of BUHAY had already expired, thus effectively nullifying the Certificate of Nomination and the nomination process. Again, petitioners contention is untenable. As a general rule, officers and directors of a corporation hold over after the expiration of their terms until such time as their successors are elected or appointed. 159[33] Sec. 23 of the Corporation Code contains a provision to this effect, thus: Section 23. The board of directors or trustees.Unless otherwise provided in this Code, the corporate powers of all corporations formed under this Code shall be exercised, all business conducted and all property of such corporations controlled and held by the board of directors or trustees to be elected from among the holders of stocks, or where there is no stock, from among the members of the corporation, who shall hold office for one (1) year until their successors are elected and qualified. The holdover doctrine has, to be sure, a purpose which is at once legal as it is practical. It accords validity to what would otherwise be deemed as dubious corporate acts and gives continuity to a corporate enterprise in its relation to outsiders. 160[34] This is the analogical situation obtaining in the present case. The voting members of BUHAY duly elected Robles as party President in October 1999. And although his regular term as such President expired in October 2002, 161[35] no election was held to replace him and the other original set of officers.162[36] Further, the constitution and by-laws of BUHAY do not expressly or impliedly prohibit a hold-over situation. As such, since no successor was ever elected or qualified, Robles remained the President of BUHAY in a hold-over capacity. Authorities are almost unanimous that one who continues with the discharge of the functions of an office after the expiration of his or her legal termno successor having, in the meantime, been appointed or chosenis commonly regarded as a de facto officer, even where no provision is made by law for his holding over and there is nothing to indicate the contrary. 163[37] By fiction of law, the acts of such de facto officer are considered valid and effective.164[38] So it must be for the acts of Robles while serving as a hold-over Buhay President. Among these acts was the submission of the nomination certificate for the May 14, 2007 elections. As a final consideration, it bears to state that petitioner is estopped from questioning the authority of Robles as President of BUHAY. As a principle of equity rooted on natural justice, the bar of estoppel precludes a person from going back on his own acts and representations to the prejudice of another whom he has led to rely upon them.165[39] Again, it cannot be denied that Robles, as BUHAY President, signed all manifestations of the partys desire to participate in the 2001 and 2004 elections, as well as all Certificates of Nomination.166[40] In fact, the corresponding certificate for the 2004 elections included petitioner as one of the nominees. During this time, Robles term as President had already expired, and yet, petitioner never questioned Robles authority to sign the Certificate of Nomination. As a matter of fact, petitioner even benefited from the nomination, because he earned a seat in the House of Representatives as a result of the partys success. 167[41] Clearly, petitioner cannot now be heard to argue that Robles term as president of BUHAY has long since expired, and that his act of submitting the Certificate of Nomination and the manifestation to participate in the 2007 elections is null and void. He is already precluded from doing so. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. Resolution E.M. No. 07-043 of the COMELEC dated July 19, 2007 is AFFIRMED. No costs. Section 6. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least 25 years of age, able to read and write, and except the party-list representatives, a registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than 1 year immediately preceding the day of the election. Read: Residence requirement for members of the House of Representatives. REP. DANILO RAMON FERNANDEZ VS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL and JESUS VICENTE, G.R. No. 187478, December 21, 2009 Petitioner filed for candidacy as Representative of the First Legislative District of the Province of Laguna in the May 14, 2007 elections. In his Certificate of Candidacy (COC), he indicated his complete/exact address as No. 13 Maharlika St., Villa Toledo Subdivision, Barangay Balibago, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna (alleged Sta. Rosa residence). Private respondent Jesus L. Vicente (private respondent) filed a Petition to Deny Due Course to and/or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy and Petition for Disqualification before the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor of Laguna. This was forwarded to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and docketed therein as SPA No. 07-046 (PES). Private respondent sought the cancellation of petitioners COC and the latters disqualification as a candidate on the ground of an alleged material misrepresentation in his COC regarding his place of residence, because during past elections, he had declared Pagsanjan, Laguna as his address, and Pagsanjan was located in the Fourth Legislative District of the Province of Laguna. Private respondent likewise claimed that petitioner maintained another house in Cabuyao, Laguna, which was also outside the First District. The COMELEC (First Division) dismissed said petition for lack of merit.
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Petitioner was proclaimed as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Laguna on June 27, 2007, having garnered a total of 95,927 votes, winning by a margin of 35,000 votes over the nearest candidate. On July 5, 2007, private respondent filed a petition for quo warranto before the HRET, docketed as HRET CASE No. 07-034, praying that petitioner be declared ineligible to hold office as a Member of the House of Representatives representing the First Legislative District of the Province of Laguna, and that petitioners election and proclamation be annulled and declared null and void. Private respondents main ground for the quo warranto petition was that petitioner lacked the required one-year residency requirement provided under Article VI, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution. In support of his petition, private respondent argued that petitioner falsely declared under oath: (1) his alleged Sta. Rosa residence; (2) the period of his residence in the legislative district before May 14, 2007, which he indicated as one year and two months; and (3) his eligibility for the office where he was seeking to be elected. Private respondent presented the testimony of a certain Atty. Noel T. Tiampong, who stated that petitioner is not from the alleged Sta. Rosa residence but a resident of Barangay Pulo, Cabuyao, Laguna; as well as the respective testimonies of Barangay Balibago Health Workers who attested that they rarely, if ever, saw respondent in the leased premises at the alleged Sta. Rosa residence; and other witnesses who testified that contrary to the misrepresentations of petitioner, he is not a resident of the alleged Sta. Rosa residence. A witness testified that petitioner attempted to coerce some of the other witnesses to recant their declarations and change their affidavits. Finally, private respondent presented as witness the lawyer who notarized the Contract of Lease dated March 8, 2007 between petitioner as lessee and Bienvenido G. Asuncion as lessor. Petitioner, as respondent in HRET Case No. 07-034, presented as his witnesses residents of Villa de Toledo who testified that they had seen respondent and his family residing in their locality, as well as Bienvenido G. Asuncion who testified that petitioner is the lessee in Unit No. 13 Block 1 Lot I, Maharlika St., Villa de Toledo Subdivision, Brgy. Balibago, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna. Petitioner likewise presented Mr. Joseph Wade, President of South Point Homeowners Association of Cabuyao, Laguna, as well as Engr. Larry E. Castro (Castro), who testified that since February 2006 up to the present, petitioner had no longer been residing in his property located at Block 28, Lot 18, South Point Subdivision, Cabuyao, Laguna, and that said property was being offered for sale and temporarily being used by Castro, together with some security men of petitioner and employees of Rafters Music Lounge owned by petitioner. Petitioner testified that he had been a resident of Sta. Rosa even before February 2006; that he owned property in another Sta. Rosa subdivision (Bel-Air); that he and his wife had put up a business therein, the RAFTERS restaurant/ bar; and that he had prior residence in another place also at Sta. Rosa as early as 2001. Since the HRET ruled in favor of private respondent, this petition was filed before us. In petitioners assignment of errors, he alleges that the HRET grievously erred and committed grave abuse of discretion: 1. 2. 3. 4. In not placing on the quo warranto petitioner Jesus L. Vicente the burden of proving that then respondent (now petitioner) Fernandez is not a qualified candidate for Representative of the First District of the Province of Laguna; When it disregarded the ruling of a co-equal tribunal in SPA No. 07-046; When it added a property qualification to a Member of Congress; When it determined that the petitioner failed to comply with the one (1) year residency requirement based on the contract of lease;

On the first assignment of error, petitioner questions the following pronouncement of the HRET in its decision: In the case before us, petitioner has clearly asserted, and respondent does not deny, that his domicile of origin is Pagsanjan in the Fourth District of Laguna. Hence, the burden is now on respondent to prove that he has abandoned his domicile of origin, or since his birth, where he formerly ran for provincial Board Member of Laguna in 1998, for Vice-Governor of Laguna in 2001 and for Governor of Laguna in 2004. In all his Certificates of Candidacy when he ran for these positions, he indicated under oath that his domicile or permanent residence was in Pagsanjan in the Fourth District of Laguna, not in the First District where he later ran in the last elections. Petitioner avers that private respondent failed to establish his claim and to adduce evidence sufficient to overcome petitioners eligibility to be a candidate for Representative of the First District of Laguna. On the second assignment of error, petitioner submits that the HRET should have been guided and/or cautioned by the COMELECs dispositions in SPA No. 07-046, wherein he was adjudged as qualified to run for the position of Congressman of the First District of Laguna by an agency tasked by law and the Constitution to ascertain the qualifications of candidates before election. Petitioner claims that the HRET should have respected the findings of the COMELEC and should have discreetly denied the petition. On the third assignment of error, petitioner argues that under Article V, Section 1, of the 1987 Constitution, any citizen of the Philippines who is a qualified voter may likewise, if so qualified under the appertaining law and the constitution, be able to run and be voted for as a candidate for public office. Petitioner alleges that in the questioned Decision, the HRET added a new qualification requirement for candidates seeking election to the position of Member of the House of Representatives, and that is, they must be real property owners in the legislative district where they seek election. On the fourth assignment of error, petitioner addresses private respondents arguments against the contract of lease that he presented as part of the proof of his compliance with the residency requirement. Petitioner asserts that the nomenclature used by contracting parties to describe a contract does not determine its nature, but the decisive factor is the intention of the parties to a contract as shown by their conduct, words, actions, and deeds prior to, during and after executing the agreement. Petitioner claims that he has presented ample proof of his residency in terms of evidence more numerous and bearing more weight and credibility than those of private respondent. He proceeds to highlight some of the evidence he offered in the quo warranto case that allegedly prove that his transfer of residence and intention to reside in Sta. Rosa were proven by his stay in Villa de Toledo, to wit: (1) even earlier than 2006, he had purchased a house and lot in Bel-Air Subdivision in Sta. Rosa which he rented out because he was not yet staying there at that time; (2) he sent his children to schools in Sta. Rosa as early as 2002; and (3) he and his wife established a restaurant business there in 2003. Petitioner contends that when he and his family moved to Sta. Rosa by initially renting a townhouse in Villa de Toledo, it cannot be said that he did this only in order to run for election in the First Legislative District. As regards the alleged infirmities characterizing the execution of the contract of lease and the renewal of said contract of lease, petitioner contends that these are not material since the lessor, Bienvenido Asuncion, affirmed his stay in his townhouse; the neighbors and other barangay personalities confirmed his and his familys stay in their area; and petitioner has continued actual residence in Sta. Rosa from early 2006 to the present. Petitioner claims that all these prove that he had effectively changed his residence and could therefore likewise transfer his voters registration from Pagsanjan to Sta. Rosa under Sec. 12 of R.A. No. 8189. Petitioner also alleges that he had become qualified to seek elective office in his new place of residence and registration as a voter. To further prove that he has made Sta. Rosa his domicile of choice from early 2006 to the present, petitioner points out that he and his wife had purchased a lot in the same area, Villa de Toledo, on April 21, 2007, built a house thereon, and moved in said house with their family. Regarding the non-notarization of the contract of lease raised by private respondent, petitioner avers that this does not necessarily nullify nor render the parties transaction void ab initio. HELD: The issues for determination are: (1) whether the HRET had jurisdiction over the case; and (2) whether petitioner sufficiently complied with the one-year residency requirement to be a Member of the House of Representatives, as provided in the 1987 Constitution. The first issue is procedural and involves the jurisdiction of the HRET vis--vis that of the COMELEC in cases involving the qualification of Members of the House of Representatives. Petitioner suggests that the matters raised in HRET Case No. 07-034 were already passed upon by the COMELEC in SPA No. 07-046 (PES), thus the HRET should have dismissed the case for forum-shopping.

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We do not agree. The 1987 Constitution explicitly provides under Article VI, Section 17 thereof that the HRET and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) shall be the sole judges of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. The authority conferred upon the Electoral Tribunal is full, clear and complete. The use of the word sole emphasizes the exclusivity of the jurisdiction of these Tribunals, which is conferred upon the HRET and the SET after elections and the proclamation of the winning candidates. A candidate who has not been proclaimed and who has not taken his oath of office cannot be said to be a member of the House of Representatives. Thus, private respondent correctly pointed out that a petition for quo warranto is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the HRET, and cannot be considered forum shopping even if, as in this case, the COMELEC had already passed upon in administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings the issue of the qualification of the Member of the House of Representatives while the latter was still a candidate. Anent the second issue pertaining to petitioners compliance with the residency requirement for Members of the House of Representatives, after studying the evidence submitted by the parties, we find for petitioner, taking into account our ruling in Frivaldo v. COMELEC, which reads in part: This Court has time and again liberally and equitably construed the electoral laws of our country to give fullest effect to the manifest will of our people, for in case of doubt, political laws must be interpreted to give life and spirit to the popular mandate freely expressed through the ballot. Otherwise stated, legal niceties and technicalities cannot stand in the way of the sovereign will. xxx (Emphasis supplied) For the foregoing reason, the Court must exercise utmost caution before disqualifying a winning candidate, shown to be the clear choice of the constituents that he wishes to represent in Congress. The qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives are found in Article VI, Section 6 of the Constitution , which provides: Section 6. No person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least twenty-five years of age, able to read and write, and, except the party-list representatives, a registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election. (Emphasis supplied) We find the interpretation of the HRET of the residency requirement under the Constitution to be overly restrictive and unwarranted under the factual circumstances of this case. The evidence presented by private respondent before the HRET hardly suffices to prove that petitioner failed to comply with the oneyear residency requirement under the Constitution. Private respondents documentary evidence to disqualify petitioner mainly consisted of (a) petitioners certificates of candidacy (COCs) for various positions in 1998, 2001 and 2004, which all indicated his residence as Pagsanjan, Laguna within the Fourth District of said province; (b) his application for a drivers license in August 2005 that indicated Pagsanjan, Laguna as his residence; and (c) the statement in his COCs including his 2007 COC for Congressman for the First District of Laguna that his place of birth was Pagsanjan, Laguna. The only thing these pieces of documentary evidence prove is that petitioners domicile of origin was Pagsanjan, Laguna and it remained his domicile up to 2005, at the latest. On the other hand, what petitioner asserted in his 2007 COC is that he had been a resident of Sta. Rosa, Laguna in the First District of Laguna as of February 2006 and respondents evidence failed contradict that claim. If it is true that petitioner and his family had been living in Sta. Rosa, Laguna as of February 2006 with the intent to reside therein permanently, that would more than fulfill the requirement that petitioner be a resident of the district where he was a candidate for at least one year before election day, which in this case was May 14, 2007. In order to buttress his claim that he and his family actually resided in Sta. Rosa, Laguna beginning at least in February 2006, petitioners evidence included, among others: (a) original and extended lease contracts for a townhouse in Villa de Toledo, Barangay Balibago, Sta. Rosa, Laguna; (b) certification issued by the President of the Villa de Toledo Homeowners Association, Inc, that petitioner has been a resident of said Subdivision since February 2006; (c) affidavits of petitioners neighbors in Villa de Toledo attesting that petitioner has been a resident of said subdivision since February 2006; (d) certification of the barangay chairman of Barangay Balibago, Sta. Rosa, Laguna that petitioner is a resident of Villa de Toledo within the said barangay; (e) certificates of attendance of petitioners children in schools located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna since 2005; and (f) DTI certificates of business issued in the name of petitioner and his wife to show that they own and operate businesses in Sta. Rosa, Laguna since 2003. The fact that a few barangay health workers attested that they had failed to see petitioner whenever they allegedly made the rounds in Villa de Toledo is of no moment, especially considering that there were witnesses (including petitioners neighbors in Villa de Toledo) that were in turn presented by petitioner to prove that he was actually a resident of Villa de Toledo, in the address he stated in his COC. The law does not require a person to be in his home twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven days a week, in order to fulfill the residency requirement. It may be that whenever these health workers do their rounds petitioner was out of the house to attend to his own employment or business. It is not amiss to note that even these barangay health workers, with the exception of one, confirm seeing petitioners wife at the address stated in petitioners 2007 COC. Indeed, these health workers testimonies do not conclusively prove that petitioner did not in fact reside in Villa de Toledo for at least the year before election day. Neither do we find anything wrong if petitioner sometimes transacted business or received visitors in his Cabuyao house, instead of the alleged Sta. Rosa residence, as there is nothing in the residency requirement for candidates that prohibits them from owning property and exercising their rights of ownership thereto in other places aside from the address they had indicated as their place of residence in their COC. As regards the weight to be given the contract of lease vis--vis petitioners previous COCs, we find Perez v. COMELEC to be instructive in this case, and quote the pertinent portions of the decision below: In the case at bar, the COMELEC found that private respondent changed his residence from Gattaran to Tuguegarao, the capital of Cagayan, in July 1990 on the basis of the following: (1) the affidavit of Engineer Alfredo Ablaza, the owner of the residential apartment at 13-E Magallanes St., Tuguegarao, Cagayan, where private respondent had lived in 1990; (2) the contract of lease between private respondent, as lessee, and Tomas T. Decena, as lessor, of a residential apartment at Kamias St., Tanza, Tuguegarao, Cagayan, for the period July 1, 1995 to June 30, 1996; (3) the marriage certificate, dated January 18, 1998, between private respondent and Lerma Dumaguit; (4) the certificate of live birth of private respondent's second daughter; and (5) various letters addressed to private respondent and his family, which all show that private respondent was a resident of Tuguegarao, Cagayan for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the elections on May 11, 1998. There is thus substantial evidence supporting the finding that private respondent had been a resident of the Third District of Cagayan and there is nothing in the record to detract from the merit of this factual finding. Petitioner contends that the fact that private respondent was a resident of Gattaran, at least until June 22, 1997, is shown by the following documentary evidence in the record, to wit: (1) his certificates of candidacy for governor of Cagayan in the 1988, 1992 and 1995 elections; (2) his voter's registration records, the latest of which was made on June 22, 1997; and (3) the fact that private respondent voted in Gattaran, Cagayan, in the elections of 1987, 1988, 1992 and 1995. The contention is without merit. The fact that a person is registered as a voter in one district is not proof that he is not domiciled in another district. Thus, in Faypon v. Quirino, this Court held that the registration of a voter in a place other than his residence of origin is not sufficient to consider him to have abandoned or lost his residence.

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Nor is it of much importance that in his certificates of candidacy for provincial governor in the elections of 1988, 1992, and 1995, private respondent stated that he was a resident of Gattaran. Under the law, what is required for the election of governor is residency in the province, not in any district or municipality, one year before the election. Moreover, as this Court said in Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC: It is the fact of residence, not a statement in a certificate of candidacy, which ought to be decisive in determining whether or not an individual has satisfied the constitution's residency qualification requirement. The said statement becomes material only when there is or appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible. In this case, although private respondent declared in his certificates of candidacy prior to the May 11, 1998 elections that he was a resident of Gattaran, Cagayan, the fact is that he was actually a resident of the Third District not just for one (1) year prior to the May 11, 1998 elections but for more than seven (7) years since July 1990. His claim that he had been a resident of Tuguegarao since July 1990 is credible considering that he was governor from 1988 to 1998 and, therefore, it would be convenient for him to maintain his residence in Tuguegarao, which is the capital of the province of Cagayan. As always, the polestar of adjudication in cases of this nature is Gallego v. Vera, in which this Court held: "[W]hen the evidence on the alleged lack of residence qualification is weak or inconclusive and it clearly appears, as in the instant case, that the purpose of the law would not be thwarted by upholding the right to the office, the will of the electorate should be respected." In this case, considering the purpose of the residency requirement, i.e., to ensure that the person elected is familiar with the needs and problems of his constituency, there can be no doubt that private respondent is qualified, having been governor of the entire province of Cagayan for ten years immediately before his election as Representative of that province's Third District. Thus, in the case above, the Court found that the affidavit of the lessor and the contract of lease were sufficient proof that private respondent therein had changed his residence. In the case now before us, although private respondent raised alleged formal defects in the contract of lease, the lessor himself testified that as far as he was concerned, he and petitioner had a valid contract and he confirmed that petitioner and his family are the occupants of the leased premises. Petitioner correctly pointed out that the lack of proper notarization does not necessarily nullify nor render the parties transaction void ab initio. In Mallari v. Alsol, we found a contract of lease to be valid despite the non-appearance of one of the parties before a notary public, and ruled in this wise: Notarization converts a private document into a public document. However, the non-appearance of the parties before the notary public who notarized the document does not necessarily nullify nor render the parties' transaction void ab initio. Thus: . . . Article 1358 of the New Civil Code on the necessity of a public document is only for convenience, not for validity or enforceability. Failure to follow the proper form does not invalidate a contract. Where a contract is not in the form prescribed by law, the parties can merely compel each other to observe that form, once the contract has been perfected. This is consistent with the basic principle that contracts are obligatory in whatever form they may have been entered into, provided all essential requisites are present. Hence, the Lease Contract is valid despite Mayor Perez's failure to appear before the notary public. The HRET puts undue emphasis on the fact that petitioner is only leasing a townhouse in Sta. Rosa while he owns houses in Pagsanjan and Cabuyao. His ownership of properties in other places has been taken to mean that petitioner did not intend to make Sta. Rosa his permanent residence or that he had not abandoned his domicile of origin. Although it is true that the latest acquired abode is not necessarily the domicile of choice of a candidate, there is nothing in the Constitution or our election laws which require a congressional candidate to sell a previously acquired home in one district and buy a new one in the place where he seeks to run in order to qualify for a congressional seat in that other district. Neither do we see the fact that petitioner was only leasing a residence in Sta. Rosa at the time of his candidacy as a barrier for him to run in that district. Certainly, the Constitution does not require a congressional candidate to be a property owner in the district where he seeks to run but only that he resides in that district for at least a year prior to election day. To use ownership of property in the district as the determinative indicium of permanence of domicile or residence implies that only the landed can establish compliance with the residency requirement. This Court would be, in effect, imposing a property requirement to the right to hold public office, which property requirement would be unconstitutional. This case must be distinguished from Aquino v. COMELEC and Domino v. COMELEC, where the disqualified candidate was shown to be merely leasing a residence in the place where he sought to run for office. In Aquino and Domino, there appeared to be no other material reason for the candidate to lease residential property in the place where he filed his COC, except to fulfill the residency requirement under election laws. In the case at bar, there are real and substantial reasons for petitioner to establish Sta. Rosa as his domicile of choice and abandon his domicile of origin and/or any other previous domicile. To begin with, petitioner and his wife have owned and operated businesses in Sta. Rosa since 2003. Their children have attended schools in Sta. Rosa at least since 2005. Although ownership of property should never be considered a requirement for any candidacy, petitioner had sufficiently confirmed his intention to permanently reside in Sta. Rosa by purchasing residential properties in that city even prior to the May 2007 election, as evidenced by certificates of title issued in the name of petitioner and his wife. One of these properties is a residence in Bel-Air, Sta. Rosa which petitioner acquired even before 2006 but which petitioner had been leasing out. He claims that he rented out this property because prior to 2006 he had not decided to permanently reside in Sta. Rosa. This could explain why in early 2006 petitioner had to rent a townhouse in Villa de Toledo his BelAir residence was occupied by a tenant. The relatively short period of the lease was also adequately explained by petitioner they rented a townhouse while they were in the process of building their own house in Sta. Rosa. True enough, petitioner and his spouse subsequently purchased a lot also in Villa de Toledo in April 2007, about a month before election day, where they have constructed a home for their familys use as a residence. In all, petitioner had adequately shown that his transfer of residence to Sta. Rosa was bona fide and was not merely for complying with the residency requirement under election laws. It was incumbent upon private respondent to prove his assertion that petitioner is indeed disqualified from holding his congressional seat. Private respondents burden of proof was not only to establish that petitioners domicile of origin is different from Sta. Rosa but also that petitioners domicile for the one year prior to election day continued to be Pagsanjan, Laguna which was petitioners domicile of origin or that petitioner had chosen a domicile other than Sta. Rosa, Laguna for that same period. In other words, to prove petitioners disqualification, the relevant period is the one year period prior to election day. It would be absurd to rule that the petitioner in a quo warranto suit only needs to prove that the candidate had some other previous domicile, regardless of how remote in time from election day that previous domicile was established, and then the candidate would already have the burden to prove abandonment of that previous domicile. It is the burden of the petitioner in a quo warranto case to first prove the very fact of disqualification before the candidate should even be called upon to defend himself with countervailing evidence. In our considered view, private respondent failed to discharge his burden of proof. Petitioners COCs for previous elections and his 2005 application for a drivers license only proved that his domicile of origin was Pagsanjan, Laguna and it remained to be so up to 2005. Affidavits/testimonies of respondents witnesses, at most, tended to prove that petitioner was on several instances found in his house in Cabuyao, Laguna, which was not even his domicile of origin. Cabuyao, Laguna is in the Second District of Laguna while petitioners domicile of origin, Pagsanjan, is in the Fourth District of Laguna. Based on private respondents own documentary submissions, Cabuyao was never even stated as a domicile or residence in any of the petitioners COCs. Moreover, owning an abode in Cabuyao where petitioner is occasionally found did not prove that Cabuyao is petitioners real domicile. Indeed, disregarding Cabuyao as petitioners domicile would be consistent with the established principle that physical presence in a place sans the intent to

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permanently reside therein is insufficient to establish domicile. Neither did private respondents submissions refute petitioners evidence that since February 2006 petitioner has chosen Sta. Rosa as his domicile. To summarize, private respondents own evidence did not categorically establish where petitioners domicile is nor did said evidence conclusively prove that for the year prior to the May 14, 2007 petitioner had a domicile other than where he actually resided, i.e. Sta. Rosa, Laguna. To be sure, Gallego v. Vera decreed that: We might add that the manifest intent of the law in fixing a residence qualification is to exclude a stranger or newcomer, unacquainted with the conditions and needs of a community and not identified with the latter, from an elective office to serve that community; and when the evidence on the alleged lack of residence qualification is weak or inconclusive and it clearly appears, as in the instant case, that the purpose of the law would not be thwarted by upholding the right to the office, the will of the electorate should be respected. xxx xxx xxx (Emphasis supplied) Frivaldo likewise prescribed that: xxx xxx xxx To successfully challenge a winning candidate's qualifications, the petitioner must clearly demonstrate that the ineligibility is so patently antagonistic to constitutional and legal principles that overriding such ineligibility and thereby giving effect to the apparent will of the people, would ultimately create greater prejudice to the very democratic institutions and juristic traditions that our Constitution and laws so zealously protect and promote. xxx xxx xxx (Emphasis supplied) In Torayno, the Court had the occasion to say that: The Constitution and the law requires residence as a qualification for seeking and holding elective public office, in order to give candidates the opportunity to be familiar with the needs, difficulties, aspirations, potentials for growth and all matters vital to the welfare of their constituencies; likewise, it enables the electorate to evaluate the office seekers' qualifications and fitness for the job they aspire for. xxx xxx xxx Recently, in Japzon v. COMELEC, the Court, citing Papandayan, Jr. v. COMELEC, said: In Papandayan, Jr. v. Commission on Elections, the Court provided a summation of the different principles and concepts in jurisprudence relating to the residency qualification for elective local officials. Pertinent portions of the ratio in Papandayan are reproduced below: Our decisions have applied certain tests and concepts in resolving the issue of whether or not a candidate has complied with the residency requirement for elective positions. The principle of animus revertendi has been used to determine whether a candidate has an "intention to return" to the place where he seeks to be elected. Corollary to this is a determination whether there has been an "abandonment" of his former residence which signifies an intention to depart therefrom. In Caasi v. Court of Appeals, this Court set aside the appealed orders of the COMELEC and the Court of Appeals and annulled the election of the respondent as Municipal Mayor of Bolinao, Pangasinan on the ground that respondent's immigration to the United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. Being a green card holder, which was proof that he was a permanent resident or immigrant of the United States, and in the absence of any waiver of his status as such before he ran for election on January 18, 1988, respondent was held to be disqualified under 68 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines (Batas Pambansa Blg. 881). In Co v. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives, respondent Jose Ong, Jr. was proclaimed the duly elected representative of the 2nd District of Northern Samar. The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) upheld his election against claims that he was not a natural born Filipino citizen and a resident of Laoang, Northern Samar. In sustaining the ruling of the HRET, this Court, citing Faypon v. Quirino, applied the concept of animus revertendi or "intent to return", stating that his absence from his residence in order to pursue studies or practice his profession as a certified public accountant in Manila or his registration as a voter other than in the place where he was elected did not constitute loss of residence. The fact that respondent made periodical journeys to his home province in Laoag revealed that he always had animus revertendi. In Abella v. Commission on Elections and Larrazabal v. Commission on Elections, it was explained that the determination of a person's legal residence or domicile largely depends upon the intention that may be inferred from his acts, activities, and utterances. In that case, petitioner Adelina Larrazabal, who had obtained the highest number of votes in the local elections of February 1, 1988 and who had thus been proclaimed as the duly elected governor, was disqualified by the COMELEC for lack of residence and registration qualifications, not being a resident nor a registered voter of Kananga, Leyte. The COMELEC ruled that the attempt of petitioner Larrazabal to change her residence one year before the election by registering at Kananga, Leyte to qualify her to run for the position of governor of the province of Leyte was proof that she considered herself a resident of Ormoc City. This Court affirmed the ruling of the COMELEC and held that petitioner Larrazabal had established her residence in Ormoc City, not in Kananga, Leyte, from 1975 up to the time that she ran for the position of Provincial Governor of Leyte on February 1, 1988. There was no evidence to show that she and her husband maintained separate residences, i.e., she at Kananga, Leyte and her husband at Ormoc City. The fact that she occasionally visited Kananga, Leyte through the years did not signify an intention to continue her residence after leaving that place. In Romualdez v. RTC, Br. 7, Tacloban City, the Court held that "domicile" and "residence" are synonymous. The term "residence", as used in the election law, imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. "Domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent for business or pleasure, or for like reasons, one intends to return. In that case, petitioner Philip G. Romualdez established his residence during the early 1980's in Barangay Malbog, Tolosa, Leyte. It was held that the sudden departure from the country of petitioner, because of the EDSA People's Power Revolution of 1986, to go into self-exile in the United States until favorable conditions had been established, was not voluntary so as to constitute an abandonment of residence. The Court explained that in order to acquire a new domicile by choice, there must concur (1) residence or bodily presence in the new locality, (2) an intention to remain there, and (3) an intention to abandon the old domicile. There must be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi. The purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time; the change of residence must be voluntary; and the residence at the place chosen for the new domicile must be actual. Ultimately, the Court recapitulates in Papandayan, Jr. that it is the fact of residence that is the decisive factor in determining whether or not an individual has satisfied the residency qualification requirement. We do not doubt that the residency requirement is a means to prevent a stranger or newcomer from holding office on the assumption that such stranger or newcomer would be insufficiently acquainted with the needs of his prospective constituents. However, it is appropriate to point out at this juncture that aside from petitioners actual, physical presence in Sta. Rosa for more than a year prior to election day, he has demonstrated that he has substantial ties to Sta. Rosa and the First District of Laguna for an even longer period than that. Petitioner has business interests in Sta. Rosa comprised of restaurants and a residential property for lease. Petitioner has two children studying in Sta. Rosa schools even before 2006. These circumstances provided petitioner with material reasons to frequently visit the area and eventually take up residence in the said district. Significantly, petitioner previously served as Board Member and ViceGovernor for the Province of Laguna, of which the First District and Sta. Rosa are a part. It stands to reason that in his previous elected positions petitioner has acquired knowledge of the needs and aspirations of the residents of the First District who were among his constituents. Simply put, petitioner could not be considered a stranger to the community which he sought to represent and that evil that the residency requirement was designed to prevent is not present in this case. We take this occasion to reiterate our ruling in Sinaca v. Mula, to wit: [When] a candidate has received popular mandate, overwhelmingly and clearly expressed, all possible doubts should be resolved in favor of the candidate's eligibility for to rule otherwise is to defeat the will of the people. Above and beyond all, the determination of the true will of the electorate should be paramount. It is their voice, not ours or of anyone else, that must prevail. This, in essence, is the democracy we continue to hold sacred. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby GRANTED.

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Meaning of natural born ANTONIO BENGSON III VS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL and TEODORO CRUZ, 357 SCRA 545 Rep. Act No. 2630 Sec. 1. Any person who had lost his Philippine Citizenship by rendering service to, or accepting commission in, the Armed Forces of the United States, or after separation from the Armed Forces of the United states, acquired US citizenship, MAY REACQUIRE PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP BY TAKING AN OATH OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND REGISTERING THE SAME WITH THE LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRY IN THE PLACE WHERE HE RESIDES OR LAST RESIDED IN THE PHILIPPINES. The said Oath of allegiance shall contain a renunciation of any other citizenship. 1. Section 2, Article IV, 1987 Philippine Constitution

Section 2. Natural born citizens are those citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform an act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine Citizenship in accordance with par. 3 * , Section 1 shall be deemed natural born citizens. OCAMPO VS. HOUSE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL and MARIO CRESPO, a.k.a. MARK JIMENEZ, June 15, 2004 Who takes the place of the winning candidate as a Member of the House of Representatives who was disqualified after he was proclaimed as such? Facts: The petitioner and Mark Jimenez were candidates for Congressman of the 6 th District of manila for the May 14, 2001 elections. Mark Jimenez won over the petitioner with 32,097 votes as against petitioners 31,329 votes. Petitioner filed an electoral protest before the HRET based on the following grounds: 1] misreading of ballots; 2] falsification of election returns; 3]substitution of election returns; 4] use of marked, spurious fake and stray ballots; and 5] presence of ballots written by one or two persons. On March 6, 2003, the HRET issued its Decision in the case of ABANTE, ET AL. VS. MARI CRESPO, a.k.a. MARK JIMENEZ, et al., declaring Mark Jimenez ineligible for the Office of Representative of Sixth District of Manila for lack of residence in the District. Mark Jimenez filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied. As a result of said disqualification of Jimenez, the petitioner claimed that all the votes cast for the former should not be counted and since he garnered the second highest number of votes, he should be declared winner in the May 14, 2001 elections and be proclaimed the duly elected Congressman of the 6th District of manila. Issues: 1. 2. Held: 1. There must be a final judgment disqualifying a candidate in order that the votes of a disqualified candidate can be considered stray. This final judgment must be rendered BEFORE THE ELECTION. This was the ruling in the case of CODILLA VS. DE VENECIA. Hence, when a candidate has not been disqualified by final judgment during the election day he was voted for, the votes cast in his favor cannot be declared stray. To do so would amount to disenfranchising the electorate in whom sovereignty resides. The reason behind this is that the people voted for him bona fide and in the honest belief that the candidate was then qualified to be the person to whom they would entrust the exercise of the powers of government. The subsequent disqualification of a candidate who obtained the highest number of votes does not entitle the second placer to be declared the winner. The said principle was laid down as early as 1912 and reiterated in the cases of LABO VS. COMELEC, ABELLA VS. COMELEC and DOMINO VS. COMELEC. Are the votes of Mark Jimenez stray votes and should not be counted? Whether the petitioner as second places should be proclaimed winner since the winner was disqualified?

2.

(Note, however, that if the disqualification became FINAL before election day but still, the voters elected him, said votes are considered stray votes and the second placer will be declared the winner) Section 7. The members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of 3 years which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the 30th day of June next following their election. No member of the House of Representative shall serve for a period of more than 3 consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. Section 8. Unless otherwise provided by law, the regular election of the Senators and the Members of the House of Representatives shall be held on the second Monday of May. a. On the manner of nomination and appointment of Sectoral representatives to the Hose of Representatives. September 4, 1989

Read: 1. Exec. Order No. 198, June 18, 1987 2.. DELES VS. COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS, b. On gerrymandering
*

Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.

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Read: CENIZA vs. COMELEC, 95 SCRA 763 Section 9. In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of Representatives, a special election may be called to fill such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law, but the Senator or Member of the House of representatives thus elected shall serve only the unexpired term. Read: 1. LOZADA vs. COMELEC, 120 SCRA 337 COMELEC cannot call a special election (for the legislative districts whose Congressmen resigned or died while in office) without a law passed by Congress appropriating funds for the said purpose. 2. RA 6645-RE: Filling up of Congress Vacancy, December 28, 1987 5. Section 10. The salaries of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall be determined by law. No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the members of the Senate and the House of representatives approving such increase. a. How much is the present salary of the members of Congress? P204,000.00 [P17,000.00 per month] as per Section 17, Art. XVIII of the Constitution. The Presidents salary is P300,000.00 per annum, while the VP, Speaker, Senate President and Chief Justice is P240,000.00 per annum. The Chairman of the Constitutional Commissions salary is P204,000.00 and the members, P180,000.00 per annum. b. Read: 1. 2. 3. Section 17, Article 18) (P300,000.00 for the President; P240,000.00 for VP, Senate President; Speaker; Chief Justice; P204,000.00 for Senators, Representatives, Chairmen of CC; P180,000.00 for members of the Constitutional Commissions) PHILCONSA VS. JIMENEZ, 15 SCRA 479; LIGOT VS. MATHAY, 56 SCRA 823

Section 11. A Senator or Member of the House of representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than 6 years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof. a. Privilege from arrest Read: Martinez vs. Morfe,

b. Freedom of Speech and debate Read: 1) OSMENA VS. PENDATUN, 109 Phil. 863 2) JIMENEZ VS. CABANGBANG, 17 SCRA 876 Section 12. All members of the Senate and the House of Representatives shall, upon assumption of office, make a full disclosure of their financial and business interests. They shall notify the House concerned of a potential conflict of interest that may arise from the filing of a proposed legislation of which they are authors. Section 13. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other office or employment in the government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned and controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his seat. Neither shall he be appointed to any office which may have been created or the emoluments thereof increased during the term for which he was elected. Read: 1) ADAZA vs. PACANA, 135 SCRA 431 After taking his oath as a member of the Batasang Pambansa (Congress), he is deemed to have resigned his position as Governor of Misamis Oriental because as a legislator, he is not allowed to hold any other office in the government. 2) PUNZALAN vs. MENDOZA, 140 SCRA 153

A provincial governor who took his oath as a member of the Batasang Pambansa as appointed member for being a member of the Cabinet is allowed to return to his former position as Governor if he resigns from the Batasan. This is so because he was just an appointed member as distinguished from the Adaza Case. (Note: It appears that an appointed member of the Batasan is placed in a better position than the elected members) 3) Compare with Section 10, Art. VIII of the 1973 Constitution Section 14. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may personally appear as counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial bodies and other administrative bodies. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract with, or any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including any government owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office. He shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the government for his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of his office . Read: 1) VILLEGAS vs. LEGASPI, 113 SCRA 39 2) PUYAT vs. DE GUZMAN, 113 SCRA 31 What could not be done directly could not likewise be done indirectly. So a member of Congress who is a stockholder of the corporation involved in a case is not allowed to appear under the guise that he is appearing as such, not as counsel for the corporation.

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Sections 15. The Congress shall convene once every year on the 4 th Monday of July for its regular season, unless a different date is fixed by law, and shall continue to be in session for such number of days as it may determine until 30 days before the opening of its next regular session, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. The President may call a special session at any time. Section 16. [1] The Senate shall elect its President and the House of Representatives, its Speaker, by a majority vote of all its respective members. Each house shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary. [2] A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner, and under such penalties, as such House may provide. [3] Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of 2/3 of all its members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall mot exceed sixty days. NOTE: In the cases of:

1. 2.

MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO VS. SANDIGANBAYAN; and REP. CEFERINO PAREDES VS. SANDIGANBAYAN,

-the Supreme Court held that a member of Congress may also be suspended by the Sandiganbayan in accordance with Section 13 of RA 3019. This preventive suspension applies to all public officials, including members of Congress. Otherwise, the same will be considered class legislation (there will be violation of the equal protection clause) if Senators and Congressmen who commit the same is exempt from the preventive suspension imposed therein. But the Order of Suspension from the court shall be given to the Speaker or Senate President for his/her implementation. Other than the foregoing, a member of Congress can be suspended by the Congress itself. [4] Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in its judgment, affect national security; and the yeas and nays on any question shall, at the request of one fifth of the members present, be entered in the journal. Each House shall also keep a record of its proceedings. [Neither House during the sessions of the Congress, shall without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any place than that which the 2 Houses shall be sitting. Read: 1) AVELINO vs. CUENCO, 83 Phil. 17, Read also the motion for reconsideration dated March 14, 1949 2) Disciplinary measures on erring members Read: OSMENA vs. PENDATUN, 109 Phil. 863 3) Dual purpose for keeping a journal 4) Journal entry and enrolled bill theories; which is conclusive over the other? Read: U.S. vs. PONS, 34 Phil. 729 The journal prevails over extraneous evidence like accounts of newspaper journalists and reporters as to what the proceedings all about. b. MABANAG vs. LOPEZ VITO, 78 Phil. 1 CASCO PHIL. VS. GIMENEZ, 7 SCRA 347 The enrolled bill prevails over the journal. If the enrolled bill provides that it is urea formaldehyde is the one exempt from tax, and not urea and formaldehyde which appears in the journal which was really approved, the former prevails and only CURATIVE LEGISLATION COULD CHANGE THE SAME, NOT JUDICIAL LEGISLATION. d. MORALES vs. SUBIDO, 27 Phil. 131 e. ASTORGA vs. VILLEGAS, 56 SCRA 714 (NOTE: The journal prevails over the enrolled bill on all matters required to be entered in the journals, like yeas and nays on the final reading of a bill or on any question at the request of 1/5 of the members present. ) 5) Differentiate a "regular" from a "special" session. 11. Section 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all election contests relating to election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. Each Electoral tribunal shall be composed of 9 members, 3 of whom shall be justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief justice, and the remaining six shall be members of the Senate or House of Representatives as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the partylist system represented therein. The senior justice in the Electoral tribunal shall be its Chairman.

The HRET has jurisdiction over qualifications of party-list groups.

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DARYL GRACE ABAYON VS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL, ET AL., AND JOVITO PALPARAN VS. HRET, ET AL., G.R. NO. 189466, FEBRUARY 11, 2010 These two cases are about the authority of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) to pass upon the eligibilities of the nominees of the party-list groups that won seats in the lower house of Congress. The Facts and the Case In G.R. 189466, petitioner Daryl Grace J. Abayon is the first nominee of the Aangat Tayo party-list organization that won a seat in the House of Representatives during the 2007 elections. Respondents Perfecto C. Lucaban, Jr., Ronyl S. Dela Cruz, and Agustin C. Doroga, all registered voters, filed a petition for quo warranto with respondent HRET against Aangat Tayo and its nominee, petitioner Abayon, in HRET Case 07-041. They claimed that Aangat Tayo was not eligible for a party-list seat in the House of Representatives, since it did not represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors. Respondent Lucaban and the others with him further pointed out that petitioner Abayon herself was not qualified to sit in the House as a party-list nominee since she did not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, she being the wife of an incumbent congressional district representative. She moreover lost her bid as party-list representative of the party-list organization called An Waray in the immediately preceding elections of May 10, 2004. Petitioner Abayon countered that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) had already confirmed the status of Aangat Tayo as a national multi-sectoral party-list organization representing the workers, women, youth, urban poor, and elderly and that she belonged to the women sector. Abayon also claimed that although she was the second nominee of An Waray party-list organization during the 2004 elections, she could not be regarded as having lost a bid for an elective office. Finally, petitioner Abayon pointed out that respondent HRET had no jurisdiction over the petition for quo warranto since respondent Lucaban and the others with him collaterally attacked the registration of Aangat Tayo as a party-list organization, a matter that fell within the jurisdiction of the COMELEC. It was Aangat Tayo that was taking a seat in the House of Representatives, and not Abayon who was just its nominee. All questions involving her eligibility as first nominee, said Abayon, were internal concerns of Aangat Tayo. On July 16, 2009 respondent HRET issued an order, dismissing the petition as against Aangat Tayo but upholding its jurisdiction over the qualifications of petitioner Abayon. The latter moved for reconsideration but the HRET denied the same on September 17, 2009, prompting Abayon to file the present petition for special civil action of certiorari. In G.R. 189506, petitioner Jovito S. Palparan, Jr. is the first nominee of the Bantay party-list group that won a seat in the 2007 elections for the members of the House of Representatives. Respondents Reynaldo Lesaca, Jr., Cristina Palabay, Renato M. Reyes, Jr., Erlinda Cadapan, Antonio Flores, and Joselito Ustarez are members of some other party-list groups. Shortly after the elections, respondent Lesaca and the others with him filed with respondent HRET a petition for quo warranto against Bantay and its nominee, petitioner Palparan, in HRET Case 07-040. Lesaca and the others alleged that Palparan was ineligible to sit in the House of Representatives as party-list nominee because he did not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors that Bantay represented, namely, the victims of communist rebels, Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGUs), former rebels, and security guards. Lesaca and the others said that Palparan committed gross human rights violations against marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations. Petitioner Palparan countered that the HRET had no jurisdiction over his person since it was actually the party-list Bantay, not he, that was elected to and assumed membership in the House of Representatives. Palparan claimed that he was just Bantays nominee. Consequently, any question involving his eligibility as first nominee was an internal concern of Bantay. Such question must be brought, he said, before that party-list group, not before the HRET. On July 23, 2009 respondent HRET issued an order dismissing the petition against Bantay for the reason that the issue of the ineligibility or qualification of the party-list group fell within the jurisdiction of the COMELEC pursuant to the Party-List System Act. HRET, however, defended its jurisdiction over the question of petitioner Palparans qualifications. Palparan moved for reconsideration but the HRET denied it by a resolution dated September 10, 2009, hence, the recourse to this Court through this petition for special civil action of certiorari and prohibition. The Issue Presented The common issue presented in these two cases is: Whether or not respondent HRET has jurisdiction over the question of qualifications of petitioners Abayon and Palparan as nominees of Aangat Tayo and Bantay party-list organizations, respectively, who took the seats at the House of Representatives that such organizations won in the 2007 elections. The Courts Ruling Petitioners Abayon and Palparan have a common theory: Republic Act (R.A.) 7941, the Party-List System Act, vests in the COMELEC the authority to determine which parties or organizations have the qualifications to seek party-list seats in the House of Representatives during the elections. Indeed, the HRET dismissed the petitions for quo warranto filed with it insofar as they sought the disqualifications of Aangat Tayo and Bantay. Since petitioners Abayon and Palparan were not elected into office but were chosen by their respective organizations under their internal rules, the HRET has no jurisdiction to inquire into and adjudicate their qualifications as nominees. But, although it is the party-list organization that is voted for in the elections, it is not the organization that sits as and becomes a member of the House of Representatives. Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution, identifies who the members of that House are: Sec. 5. (1). The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party -list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations. (Underscoring supplied) Clearly, the members of the House of Representatives are of two kinds: members x x x who shall be elected from legislative districts and those who x x x shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations. This means that, from the Constitutions point of view, it is the party-list representatives who are elected into office, not their parties or organizations. These representatives are elected, however, through that peculiar party-list system that the Constitution authorized and that Congress by law established where the voters cast their votes for the organizations or parties to which such party-list representatives belong. Once elected, both the district representatives and the party-list representatives are treated in like manner. They have the same deliberative rights, salaries, and emoluments. They can participate in the making of laws that will directly benefit their legislative districts or sectors. They are also subject to the same term limitation of three years for a maximum of three consecutive terms. It may not be amiss to point out that the Party-List System Act itself recognizes party-list nominees as members of the House of Representatives, thus: Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. - The State shall promote proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives through a party-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof, which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to become members of the House of Representatives. Towards this end, the State shall develop and guarantee a full, free and open party system in order to attain the broadest possible representation of party, sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives by enhancing their

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chances to compete for and win seats in the legislature, and shall provide the simplest scheme possible. (Underscoring supplied) As this Court also held in Bantay Republic Act or BA-RA 7941 v. Commission on Elections , a party-list representative is in every sense an elected member of the House of Representatives. Although the vote cast in a party-list election is a vote for a party, such vote, in the end, would be a vote for its nominees, who, in appropriate cases, would eventually sit in the House of Representatives. Both the Constitution and the Party-List System Act set the qualifications and grounds for disqualification of party-list nominees. Section 9 of R.A. 7941, echoing the Constitution, states: Sec. 9. Qualification of Party-List Nominees. No person shall be nominated as party-list representative unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, a resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election, able to read and write, bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election, and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the election. In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any youth sectoral representative who attains the age of thirty (30) during his term shall be allowed to continue until the expiration of his term. In the cases before the Court, those who challenged the qualifications of petitioners Abayon and Palparan claim that the two do not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors that they ought to represent. The Party-List System Act provides that a nominee must be a bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent. It is for the HRET to interpret the meaning of this particular qualification of a nomineethe need for him or her to be a bona fide member or a representative of his party-list organizationin the context of the facts that characterize petitioners Abayon and Palparans relation to Aangat Tayo and Bantay, respectively, and the marginalized and underrepresented interests that they presumably embody. Petitioners Abayon and Palparan of course point out that the authority to determine the qualifications of a party-list nominee belongs to the party or organization that nominated him. This is true, initially. The right to examine the fitness of aspiring nominees and, eventually, to choose five from among them after all belongs to the party or organization that nominates them. But where an allegation is made that the party or organization had chosen and allowed a disqualified nominee to become its party-list representative in the lower House and enjoy the secured tenure that goes with the position, the resolution of the dispute is taken out of its hand. What is inevitable is that Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution provides that the HRET shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to, among other things, the qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives. Since, as pointed out above, party-list nominees are elected members of the House of Representatives no less than the district representatives are, the HRET has jurisdiction to hear and pass upon their qualifications. By analogy with the cases of district representatives, once the party or organization of the party-list nominee has been proclaimed and the nominee has taken his oath and assumed office as member of the House of Representatives, the COMELECs jurisdiction over election contests relating to his qualifications ends and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins. The Court holds that respondent HRET did not gravely abuse its discretion when it dismissed the petitions for quo warranto against Aangat Tayo party-list and Bantay party-list but upheld its jurisdiction over the question of the qualifications of petitioners Abayon and Palparan.

Jurisdiction of the Electoral Tribunals viz-a-viz the COMELEC to determine the qualifications of Members of Congress before and after proclamation. JOCELYN SY LIMKAICHONG VS. COMELEC, G.R. No. 178831-32, April 1, 2009 Once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal begins over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications, and mere allegation as to the invalidity of her proclamation does not divest the Electoral Tribunal of its jurisdiction. At the core of these contentious consolidated petitions are: ( 1) the Joint Resolution168[1] of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Second Division dated May 17, 2007, disqualifying Jocelyn D. Sy Limkaichong (Limkaichong) from running as a congressional candidate for the First District of Negros Oriental; (2) the COMELEC En Banc Resolution169[2] dated June 29, 2007, affirming her disqualification; and (3) the COMELEC En Banc Resolution170[3] dated August 16, 2007, resolving that all pending incidents relating to her qualifications should now be determined by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET). The facts are uncontroverted. On March 26, 2007, Limkaichong filed with the COMELEC her Certificate of Candidacy 171[4] (COC) for the position of Representative of the First District of Negros Oriental. In the following weeks, two (2) petitions for her disqualification were instituted before the COMELEC by concerned citizens coming from her locality. On April 4, 2007, Napoleon Camero, a registered voter of La Libertad, Negros Oriental, filed the petition for her disqualification on the ground that she lacked the citizenship requirement of a Member of the House of Representatives. The petition, which was docketed as SPA No. (PES) A07-006, 172[5] alleged that she is not a natural-born Filipino because her parents were Chinese citizens at the time of her birth. On April 11, 2007, Renald F. Villando, also a registered voter of the same locality, filed the second petition on the same ground of citizenship, docketed as SPA (PES) No. A07-007. 173[6] He claimed that when Limkaichong was born, her parents were still Chinese citizens as the proceedings for the naturalization of Julio Ong Sy, her father, never attained finality due to procedural and substantial defects. Both petitions prayed for the cancellation of Limkaichong's COC and for the COMELEC to strike out her name from the list of qualified candidates for the Representative of the First District of Negros Oriental. In her separate Answers174[7] to the petitions, Limkaichong claimed that she is a natural-born Filipino since she was born to a naturalized Filipino father and a natural-born Filipino mother, who had reacquired her status as such due to her husband's naturalization. Thus, at the time of her birth on November 9, 1959, nineteen (19) days had already passed after her father took his Oath of Allegiance on October 21, 1959 and after he was issued a Certificate of Naturalization on the same day. She contended that
168[1] 169[2] 170[3] 171[4] 172[5] 173[6] 174[7]

Rollo (G.R. Nos. 178831-32), pp. 24-36. Id. at 53-66. Id. at 181-183. Id. at 74. Id. at 75-77. Id. at 82-87. Id. at 100-144.

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the COMELEC should dismiss the petitions outright for lack of cause of action. Citing Salcedo II v. Commission on Elections, ] she averred that a petition filed before an election, questioning the qualification of a candidate, should be based on Section 78 in relation to Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC and not under Sections 68 and 74 thereof in relation to Section 1 Rule 25 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure and Section 5 paragraph C (3.a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 7800. She also contended that the petitions were dismissible on the ground that they were in the nature of a collateral attack on her and her fathers citizenships, in contravention of the well-established rule that attack on one's citizenship may only be made through a direct action for its nullity. The COMELEC consolidated the two (2) petitions and re-docketed them as SPA Nos. 07-247175[17] and 07-248,176[18] entitled IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO DISQUALIFY JOCELYN SY LIMKAICHONG FROM HER CANDIDACY AS FIRST DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE OF NEGROS ORIENTAL (herein referred to as the disqualification cases), which remained pending on May 14, 2007, when the National and Local Elections were conducted. After the casting, counting and canvassing of votes in the said elections, Limkaichong emerged as the winner with 65,708 votes177[19] or by a margin of 7,746 votes over another congressional candidate, Olivia Paras178[20] (Paras), who obtained 57,962. On May 15, 2007, Paras filed with the COMELEC a Very Urgent Motion for Leave to Intervene and to Suspend the Proclamation of Jocelyn Sy Limkaichong as Winning Candidate of the First District of Negros Oriental .179[21] In a Joint Resolution180[22] dated May 17, 2007, the COMELEC Second Division granted the petitions in the disqualification cases, disqualified Limkaichong as a candidate for Representative of the First District of Negros Oriental, directed the Provincial Supervisor of the COMELEC to strike out her name from the list of eligible candidates, and for the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) to suspend her proclamation. The PBOC received the Joint Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division on the evening of May 17, 2007, and accordingly suspended the proclamation of Limkaichong.181[24] The following day, or on May 18, 2007, the COMELEC En Banc issued Resolution No. 8062182[25] adopting the policy-guidelines of not suspending the proclamation of winning candidates with pending disqualification cases which shall be without prejudice to the continuation of the hearing and resolution of the involved cases. On May 20, 2007, Limkaichong filed with the COMELEC a Motion for Reconsideration of the Joint Resolution of May 17, 2007 and Urgent Motion to Lift the Order Suspending Proclamation .183[26] On May 22, 2007, Limkaichong filed another motion for the lifting of the directive suspending her proclamation, insisting that she should be proclaimed as the winner in the congressional race pursuant to COMELEC Resolution No. 8062. 184[27] On same date, Villando, one of the petitioners in the disqualification cases, filed an Urgent Manifestation Clarifying COMELEC Resolution No. 8062 with Motion ,185 [28] praying that the COMELEC should not lift the suspension of Limkaichongs proclamation. On May 25, 2007, the PBOC, in compliance with COMELEC Resolution No. 8062, reconvened and proclaimed Limkaichong as the duly elected Member of the House of Representatives for the First District of Negros Oriental.186[29] Thereafter, or on May 30, 2007, Paras filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Nullify and/or Annul the Proclamation of Jocelyn SyLimkaichong as First District Representative of Negros Oriental in relation to the May 17, 2007 Joint Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division,187[30] stating, among others, that Limkaichong's proclamation violated the earlier order of the COMELEC Second Division suspending her proclamation. The petition, docketed as SPC No. 07-211, was dismissed by the COMELEC First Division,188[31] ratiocinating that the disqualification cases were not yet final when Limkaichong was proclaimed. Accordingly, her proclamation which was valid or legal, effectively divested the COMELEC of its jurisdiction over the cases. The COMELEC First Division explained its ruling in this wise:

175[17] 176[18]

Entitled Napoleon Camero, Petitioner, versus Jocelyn S. Limkaichong, Respondent. Entitled Renald F. Villando, Petitioner, versus Jocelyn S. Limkaichong, Respondent. 177[19] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 178831-32), p. 152. 178[20] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 179132-33), p. 103. 179[21] Id. at 135-141. 180[22] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 178831-32), pp. 24-35. The per curiam Joint Resolution was unanimously signed by Commissioners Florentino A. Tuason, Jr. (ret.), Rene V. Sarmiento and Nicodemo T. Ferrer. 181[24] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 179132-33), pp. 168-169, 201. 182[25] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 178831-32), pp. 145-146. The resolution is entitled In the Matter of Adopting the Following Policy-Guidelines on: 1) the Proclamation of Winning Candidates with Pending Disqualification Cases; 2) Suspension of Canvassing and/or Proclamation; and 3) Transfer of Canvassing Venue, the pertinent portion of which is quoted as follows: The Commission, in upholding the sovereign will of the people and in the interest of justice and fair play, RESOLVED as it hereby RESOLVES, to adopt the following policy-guidelines in connection with the May 14, 2007 National and Local Elections: 1) No suspension of proclamation of winning candidates with pending disqualification cases There shall be no suspension of proclamation of winning candidates with pending disqualification cases before or after elections, involving issues of citizenship, non-residency, not being a registered voter, nuisance candidate, and/or violation of the election laws under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code, Fair Elections Act and other related election laws. This policy however shall be without prejudice to the continuation of the hearing and resolution of the involved cases.
183[26] 184[27]

Rollo (G.R. No. 179132-33), pp. 37-52 Id. at 147-149. 185[28] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 179132-33), pp. 158-162. 186[29] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 178831-32), p. 152. 187[30] Rollo (G.R. No. 179132-33), pp. 165-192. 188[31] Id at 328-334. The Resolution was penned by the late Commissioner Romeo A. Brawner and concurred in by Commissioner Resurreccion Z. Borra (ret.).

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The Commission has made its intention in issuing Resolution No. 8062 very clear in that there shall be no suspension of proclamation of winning candidates with pending disqualification cases involving, among others, issues of citizenship . As the disqualification cases involving Limkaichong were still pending reconsideration by the en banc, the underlying policy which gave rise to the issuance of the Resolution: to respect the will of the Filipino electorate, applies to the suspension of proclamation of the winning congressional candidate for the First District of Negros Oriental. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is dismissed. SO ORDERED. (Emphasis ours) Dissatisfied, Paras moved for the reconsideration of the above Resolution.189[32] Meanwhile, in a Resolution190[33] dated June 29, 2007, the COMELEC En Banc, in an equally divided vote of 3:3, denied Limkaichongs motion for reconsideration of the Joint Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division in the disqualification cases. On July 3, 2007, Limkaichong filed in the disqualification cases against her a Manifestation and Motion for Clarification and/or To Declare the Petitions as Dismissed in Accordance with Section 6, Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure .191[35] She contended that, with her proclamation, her having taken her oath of office and her assumption of the position, the COMELEC was divested of jurisdiction to hear the disqualification cases. She further contended that, following Section 6, 192[36] Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the disqualification cases would have to be reheard, and if on rehearing, no decision would be reached, the action or proceedings should be dismissed, because the COMELEC En Banc was equally divided in opinion when it resolved her motion for reconsideration. On an even date, Paras wrote the House of Representatives informing it of the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated June 29, 2007 upholding the Joint Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division dated May 17, 2007, which disqualified Limkaichong as a congressional candidate.193[37] In the interim, then Speaker of the House of Representatives Jose de Venecia, Jr. (De Venecia) allowed Limkaichong to officially assume the office as a Member of the House of Representatives on July 23, 2007, as shown in the Journal of the House of Representatives.194[38] Despite Limkaichongs repeated pleas for the resolution of her manifestation and motion for clarification, 195[39] the COMELEC did not resolve the same. Hence, on August 1, 2007, she filed with this Court a Petition for Certiorari196[40] under Rule 65, in relation to Rule 64 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure docketed as G.R. Nos. 178831-32 praying for the annulment of the May 17, 2007 Joint Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division and the June 29, 2007 Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc in the disqualification cases for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. She averred that since she was already proclaimed on May 25, 2007 as Representative of the First District of Negros Oriental, had assumed office on June 30, 2007, and had started to perform her duties and functions as such, the COMELEC had lost its jurisdiction and it is now the HRET which has jurisdiction over any issue involving her qualifications for the said office. On August 16, 2007, the COMELEC En Banc ruled on Limkaichongs manifestation and motion for clarification, 197[41] with the following disquisition: In view of the proclamation of Limkaichong and her subsequent assumption of office on June 30, 2007, this Commission rules that all pending incidents relating to the qualifications of Limkaichong should now be determined by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal in accordance with the above-quoted provision of the Constitution. WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Commission resolved, as it hereby resolves, that all pending incidents relating to the qualifications of Jocelyn S. Limkaichong as Member of the House of Representatives should now be determined by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. SO ORDERED. (Emphasis ours) On August 24, 2007, Louis Biraogo (Biraogo), as a citizen and a taxpayer, filed with the Court a Petition for Prohibition and Injunction with Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order 198[42] under Section 2, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, docketed as G.R. No. 179120, seeking to enjoin and permanently prohibit: (a) De Venecia from allowing Limkaichong to sit in the House of Representatives and participate in all its official activities; and (b) Limkaichong from holding office as its Member.199[43]
189[32]

Id. at 215-236. The COMELEC First Division denied Paras motion on January 28, 2008 through an Omnibus Order. ( Rollo [G.R. Nos. 178831-32], pp. 463-467.) 190[33] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 178831-32), pp. 53-66. In the per curiam Resolution, then COMELEC Chairman Benjamin A. Abalos, Sr., Commissioners Rene V. Sarmiento and Nicodemo T. Ferrer voted for the denial of Limkaichongs motion. The late Commissioner Romeo A. Brawner (also a former Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals) wrote a dissenting opinion, which was concurred with by retired Commissioners Resurreccion Z. Borra and Florentino A. Tuason, Jr., to the effect that Limkaichongs motion should be dismissed by the COMELEC for lack of jurisdiction. 191[35] Id. at 159-163. 192[36] Section 6, Rule 18, COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides: SEC. 6. Procedure if Opinion is Equally Divided. - When the Commission en banc is equally divided in opinion, or the necessary majority cannot be had, the case shall be reheard, and if on rehearing no decision is reached, the action or proceeding shall be dismissed if originally commenced in the Commission; in appealed cases, the judgment or order appealed from shall stand affirmed; and in all incidental matters, the petition or motion shall be denied. 193[37] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 179132-33), pp. 213-214. 194[38] Id. at 238-256. 195[39] Rollo (G.R. Nos. 178831-32), pp. 166-171. On July 5, 2007, Limkaichong filed an Urgent Motion to Resolve the Manifestation and Motion for Clarification. On July 11, 2007, she filed a Second Motion to Resolve said manifestation and motion. 196[40] Id. at 3-20. 197[41] Id. at 181-183. 198[42] Rollo (G.R. No. 179120), pp. 3-21. 199[43] Id. at 19-20.

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Meanwhile, on August 28, 2007, Paras has instituted before the Court a Petition for Quo Warranto, Prohibition and Mandamus with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction 200[44] under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, docketed as G.R. Nos. 179132-33, seeking, among others, the ouster of Limkaichong from the House of Representatives on account of her disqualification and for the holding of special elections to fill the vacancy created by such.201[45] On even date, the COMELEC Second Division promulgated a Resolution 202[46] denying Villando's motion to suspend the proclamation of Limkaichong, which denial was affirmed by the COMELEC En Banc in a Resolution203[47] dated February 1, 2008. On September 5, 2008, Villando also filed with this Court a Petition for Certiorari and Injunction with Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order204[48] under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, docketed as G.R. Nos. 179240-41, contending, among others, that the COMELEC En Banc gravely abused its discretion in issuing the August 16, 2007 Resolution 205[49] because it still acted on Limchaikongs manifestation and motion for clarification, notwithstanding that the same was not set for hearing and considering that its June 29, 2007 Resolution had already become final and executory. As the four (4) petitions are interrelated, the Court resolved to consolidate them in its Resolutions dated September 4 and 11, 2007. The Court heard the parties in oral argument on August 26, 2008, during which the following issues were tackled: 1.Whether the proclamation of Limkaichong by the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Negros Oriental is valid; 2.Whether said proclamation divested the Commission on Elections of jurisdiction to resolve the issue of Limkaichong's citizenship; 3.Whether the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal shall assume jurisdiction, in lieu of the COMELEC, over the issue of Limkaichong's citizenship; 4. 5. Whether the COMELEC Second Division and the COMELEC En Banc correctly ruled that Limkaichong is disqualified from running as a Member of the House of Representatives on the ground that she is not a natural-born citizen; Whether the COMELEC disqualification of Limkaichong is final and 6. Whether the Speaker of the House of Representatives may be duties as a Member of the House of Representatives. executory; and, compelled to prohibit Limkaichong from assuming her

On same day, the Court required the parties to simultaneously file within twenty (20) days their respective memoranda, after which the petitions shall be deemed submitted for resolution, with or without the memoranda. Section 6, Article VI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides for the qualification of a Member of the House of Representatives, thus: Section 6. No person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least twenty-five years of age, able to read and write, and, except the party-list representatives, a registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election. When Limkaichong filed her COC, she stated therein that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen. It was not true, according to the petitioners in the disqualification cases, because her father remained a Chinese citizen at the time of her birth. The COMELEC Second Division has sided with Camero and Villando, and disqualified Limkaichong to run as a congressional candidate in the First District of Negros Oriental for having failed to comply with the citizenship requirement. Accordingly, her proclamation was ordered suspended notwithstanding that she obtained the highest number of votes during the elections. Nonetheless, she was proclaimed by the PBOC pursuant to the policy guidelines of COMELEC En Banc Resolution No. 8062, and she has since assumed her position and performed her functions as a Member of the House of Representatives. I Whether Limkaichongs proclamation was valid. The proclamation of Limkaichong was valid. The COMELEC Second Division rendered its Joint Resolution dated May 17, 2007. On May 20, 2007, Limkaichong timely filed with the COMELEC En Banc her motion for reconsideration as well as for the lifting of the incorporated directive suspending her proclamation. The filing of the motion for reconsideration effectively suspended the execution of the May 17, 2007 Joint Resolution .206[50] Since the execution of the May 17, 2007 Joint Resolution was suspended, there was no impediment to the valid proclamation of Limkaichong as the winner. Section 2, Rule 19 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides: Sec. 2. Period for Filing Motions for Reconsideration. A motion to reconsider a decision, resolution, order or ruling of a Division shall be filed within five (5) days from the promulgation thereof. Such motion, if not pro forma, suspends the execution for implementation of the decision, resolution, order and ruling . In G.R. Nos. 179132-33, Paras, however, maintained that Limkaichong was a Chinese citizen who was disqualified to run as a congressional candidate by way of a final judgment of the COMELEC. With that, her proclamation was questionable and the same was done in open defiance of the Joint Resolution dated May 17, 2007 of the COMELEC Second Division. She also stressed that Limkaichong's proclamation was procedurally defective, it appearing that one of the PBOC members was not present on May 25, 2007, and that it took place in a restaurant and not at the provincial capitol. Finally, she argued that Limkaichongs proclamation was void in accordance with the Court's pronouncement in the case of Codilla v. De Venecia.207[51]

200[44] 201[45] 202[46] 203[47] 204[48] 205[49] 206[50] 207[51]

Rollo (G.R. Nos. 179132-33), pp. 3-70. Id. at 69-70. Rollo (G.R. Nos. 178831-32), pp. 468-470. Id. at 471-481. Rollo (G.R. Nos. 179240-41), pp. 3-28. Supra note 41. COMELEC Rules of Procedure, Rule 19, Sec. 2. 442 Phil. 139 (2002).

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The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed its Comment on the petition of Paras, expressing its support for the position taken by the latter. A perusal of the arguments advanced by Paras and the OSG does not sway the Court to rule against the validity of Limkaichongs proclamation. No less than the COMELEC First Division has sustained the validity of her proclamation when it dismissed, by way of a Resolution dated June 29, 2007, the petition filed by Paras to nullify the proclamation. Not only that. The COMELEC First Division has also adopted Limkaichongs argument that following her valid proclamation, the COMELECs jurisdiction over the disqualification cases has ceased and that the same should be threshed out in the proper proceedings filed before the HRET. Notably, the dismissal of Paras petition was affirmed by the COMELEC in its Omnibus Order dated January 28, 2008. In addition, the validity of Limkaichong's proclamation is in accordance with COMELEC En Banc Resolution No. 8062. The disqualification cases filed against her remained pending as a result of her timely motion for reconsideration. Villando (in G.R. Nos. 179240-41), however, maintained that Resolution No. 8062 is invalid; hence, it could not be used as basis to validate Limkaichong's proclamation. He argued that it must be published since it is a policy-guideline in the exercise of the COMELECs rule-making power. As such, it cannot supersede the Joint Resolution of the Second Division which was rendered pursuant to the COMELECs quasijudicial power. His argument is specious. Resolution No. 8062 is not only a policy- guideline. It is also an administrative interpretation of the two (2) provisions of the 1987 Constitution, namely: (i) Section 17, 208[52] Article VI (ii); Section 2(2), 209[53] Article IX-C; Section 6210[54] of R.A. 6646; and Sections 241211[55] and 243,212[56] Article XX of the OEC. As such, it does not have to comply with the due process requirement. The term administrative connotes or pertains to administration, especially management, as by managing or conducting, directing or superintending, the execution, application, or conduct of persons or things. It does not entail an opportunity to be heard, the production and weighing of evidence, and a decision or resolution thereon.213[57] This is to be distinguished from quasi-judicial function, a term which applies, among others, to the action or discretion of public administrative officers or bodies, who are required to investigate facts, or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw conclusions from them, as a basis for their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature.214[58] Resolution No. 8062 is a valid exercise of the COMELECs constitutionally mandated power to promulgate its own rules of procedure relative to the conduct of the elections.215[59] In adopting such policy-guidelines for the May 14, 2007 National and Local Elections, the COMELEC had in mind the objective of upholding the sovereign will of the people and in the interest of justice and fair play. Accordingly, those candidates whose disqualification cases are still pending at the time of the elections, should they obtain the highest number of votes from the electorate, shall be proclaimed but that their proclamation shall be without prejudice to the continuation of the hearing and resolution of the involved cases. Whereas, in this case, the COMELEC Second Division having failed to act on the disqualification cases against Limkaichong until after the conduct of the elections, with her obtaining the highest number of votes from the electorate, her proclamation was properly effected by the PBOC pursuant to Resolution No. 8062.

Section 17, Article VI, 1987 Constitution provides: Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The senior justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman. 209[53] Section 2(2), Article IX-C, 1987 Constitution provides: Sec. 2. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: xxxx (2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective, regional, provincial, and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction. Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not appealable. 210[54] Section 6, RA 6646, otherwise known as An Act Introducing Additional Reforms in the Electoral System and for other Purposes, states: SEC. 6. Effect of Disqualification Case. - Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry or protest and, upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of guilt is strong. 211[55] Section 241 of the OEC provides: SEC. 241. Definition. - A pre-proclamation controversy refers to any question pertaining to or affecting the proceedings of the board of canvassers which may be raised by any candidate or by any registered political party or coalition of political parties before the board or directly with the Commission, or any matter raised under Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of election returns. 212[56] Section 243 of the OEC provides: SEC. 243. Issues that may be raised in pre-proclamation controversy . - The following shall be proper issues that may be raised in pre-proclamation controversy: (a) Illegal composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers. (b) The canvassed election returns are incomplete, contain material defects, appear to be tampered with or falsified, or contain discrepancies in the same returns or in other authentic copies thereof as mentioned in Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 of this Code. (c) The election returns were prepared under duress, threats, coercion, or intimidation, or they are obviously manufactured or not authentic; and (d) When the substitute or fraudulent returns in controverted polling places were canvassed, the results of which materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate or candidates. 213[57] Villarosa v. Commission on Elections and Atty. Dan Restor , 377 Phil. 497, 506 (1999), citing the Concurring Opinion of Justice Antonio in University of Nueva Caceres v. Martinez, 56 SCRA 148 (1974). 214[58] Id. at 507, citing Midland Insurance Corporation, 143 SCRA 458 (1986). 215[59] Section 3, Article IX-C, 1987 Constitution provides: Sec. 3. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All such election cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the Commission en banc.

208[52]

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The Court has held in the case of Planas v. COMELEC,216[60] that at the time of the proclamation of Defensor, the respondent therein who garnered the highest number of votes, the Division Resolution invalidating his certificate of candidacy was not yet final. As such, his proclamation was valid or legal, as he had at that point in time remained qualified. Limkaichongs situation is no different from that of Defensor, the former having been disqualified by a Division Resolution on the basis of her not being a natural-born Filipino citizen. When she was proclaimed by the PBOC, she was the winner during the elections for obtaining the highest number of votes, and at that time, the Division Resolution disqualifying her has not yet became final as a result of the motion for reconsideration. II Whether, upon Limkaichong's proclamation, the HRET, instead of the COMELEC, should assume jurisdiction over the disqualification cases. In her petition (G.R. Nos. 178831-32), Limkaichong argued that her proclamation on May 25, 2007 by the PBOC divested the COMELEC of its jurisdiction over all issues relating to her qualifications, and that jurisdiction now lies with the HRET. Biraogo, on the other hand, believed otherwise. He argued (in G.R. No. 179120) that the issue concerning Limkaichongs disqualification is still within the exclusive jurisdiction of the COMELEC En Banc to resolve because when Limkaichong was proclaimed on May 25, 2007, the matter was still pending resolution before the COMELEC En Banc. We do not agree. The Court has invariably held that once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, the COMELEC's jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET's own jurisdiction begins .217[61] It follows then that the proclamation of a winning candidate divests the COMELEC of its jurisdiction over matters pending before it at the time of the proclamation. The party questioning his qualification should now present his case in a proper proceeding before the HRET, the constitutionally mandated tribunal to hear and decide a case involving a Member of the House of Representatives with respect to the latter's election, returns and qualifications. The use of the word sole in Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution and in Section 250 218[62] of the OEC underscores the exclusivity of the Electoral Tribunals' jurisdiction over election contests relating to its members.219[63] Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides: Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members . Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman. Corollary thereto is Rule 14 of the 1998 Rules of the HRET, as amended, which states: RULE 14. Jurisdiction. - The Tribunal is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the Members of the House of Representatives. The COMELEC En Banc, in its Resolution dated August 16, 2007, had given paramount consideration to the two (2) aforementioned provisions when it stated that: In view of the proclamation of Limkaichong and her subsequent assumption of office on June 30, 2007, this Commission rules that all pending incidents relating to the qualifications of Limkaichong should now be determined by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal in accordance with the above-quoted provision of the Constitution. WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Commission resolved, as it hereby resolves, that all pending incidents relating to the qualifications of Jocelyn S. Limkaichong as Member of the House of Representatives should now be determined by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. SO ORDERED. (Emphasis supplied) Worth citing also is the ratiocination of the COMELEC First Division when it dismissed the petition of Paras seeking the nullity of Limkaichong's proclamation, thus: The present situation is similar not to the factual circumstances of Codilla, which Paras invokes, but rather to that in Planas which adheres to the general rule giving jurisdiction to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. As at the time of Limkaichong's proclamation, her disqualification was not yet final, her proclamation was valid or legal. This Commission no longer has jurisdiction over the case. This, notwithstanding the Second Division's directive suspending Limkaichong's proclamation. The Commission has made its intention in issuing Resolution No. 8062 very clear in that there shall be no suspension of proclamation of winning candidates with pending disqualification cases, involving, among others, issues of citizenship. As the
216[60]

G.R. No. 167594, March 10, 2006, 484 SCRA 529, 537 .

217[61]

Vinzons-Chato v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 172131, April 2, 2007, 520 SCRA 166, 179, citing Aggabao v. Commission on Elections, 449 SCRA 400, 404-405 (2005); Guerrero v. Commission on Elections, 391 Phil. 344, 352 (2000). 218[62] SEC. 250. Election contests for Batasang Pambansa, regional, provincial and city offices . - A sworn petition contesting the election of any Member of the Batasang Pambansa or any regional, provincial or city official shall be filed with the Commission by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election. 219[63] Vinzons-Chato v. Commission on Elections, supra note 61, at 178, citing Rasul v. Commission on Elections, 371 Phil. 760, 766 (1999).

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disqualification cases involving Limkaichong were still pending reconsideration by the En Banc, the underlying policy which gave rise to the issuance of the resolution: to respect the will of the Filipino electorate, applies to the suspension of proclamation of the winning Congressional candidate for the First District of Negros Oriental. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED. SO ORDERED. Petitioners (in G.R. Nos. 179120, 179132-33, and 179240-41) steadfastly maintained that Limkaichongs proclamation was tainted with irregularity, which will effectively prevent the HRET from acquiring jurisdiction. The fact that the proclamation of the winning candidate, as in this case, was alleged to have been tainted with irregularity does not divest the HRET of its jurisdiction.220[64] The Court has shed light on this in the case of Vinzons-Chato,221[65] to the effect that: In the present case, it is not disputed that respondent Unico has already been proclaimed and taken his oath of office as a Member of the House of Representatives (Thirteenth Congress); hence, the COMELEC correctly ruled that it had already lost jurisdiction over petitioner Chato's petition. The issues raised by petitioner Chato essentially relate to the canvassing of returns and alleged invalidity of respondent Unico's proclamation. These are matters that are best addressed to the sound judgment and discretion of the HRET. Significantly, the allegation that respondent Unico's proclamation is null and void does not divest the HRET of its jurisdiction: x x x [I]n an electoral contest where the validity of the proclamation of a winning candidate who has taken his oath of office and assumed his post as congressman is raised, that issue is best addressed to the HRET. The reason for this ruling is self-evident, for it avoids duplicity of proceedings and a clash of jurisdiction between constitutional bodies, with due regard to the people's mandate. Further, for the Court to take cognizance of petitioner Chato's election protest against respondent Unico would be to usurp the constitutionally mandated functions of the HRET. In fine, any allegations as to the invalidity of the proclamation will not prevent the HRET from assuming jurisdiction over all matters essential to a members qualification to sit in the House of Representatives. The 1998 HRET Rules, as amended, provide for the manner of filing either an election protest or a petition for quo warranto against a Member of the House of Representatives, to wit: Rule 16. Election protest. -- A verified petition contesting the election of any Member of the House of Representatives shall be filed by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within ten (10) days after the proclamation of the winner. The party filing the protest shall be designated as the protestant while the adverse party shall be known as the protestee. xxx Rule 17. Quo Warranto. -- A verified petition for quo warranto contesting the election of a Member of the House of Representatives on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall be filed by any voter within ten (10) days after the proclamation of the winner. The party filing the petition shall be designated as the petitioner while the adverse party shall be known as the respondent. xxx Rule 19. Periods Non-Extendible. -- The ten-day period mentioned in Rules 16 and 17 is jurisdictional and cannot be extended. Accordingly, after the proclamation of the winning candidate in the congressional elections, the remedy of those who may assail ones eligibility/ineligibility/qualification/disqualification is to file before the HRET a petition for an election protest, or a petition for quo warranto, within the period provided by the HRET Rules. In Pangilinan v. Commission on Elections,222[66] we ruled that where the candidate has already been proclaimed winner in the congressional elections, the remedy of petitioner is to file an electoral protest with the Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives. The PBOC proclaimed Limkaichong as the winner on May 25, 2007. Thus, petitioners (in G.R. Nos. 179120, 179132-33, and 17924041) should have filed either an election protest or petition for quo warranto within ten days from May 25, 2007. But they did not. In fact, to date, no petition of protest or petition for quo warranto has been filed with the HRET. Verily, the ten-day prescriptive period for initiating a contest against Limkaichong has long expired. However, the said ten-day prescriptive period under the 1998 HRET Rules does not apply to disqualification cases based on citizenship. Under the 1987 Constitution, Members of the House of Representatives must be natural-born citizens not only at the time of their election but during their entire tenure . Being a continuing requirement, one who assails a member's citizenship or lack of it may still question the same at any time, the ten-day prescriptive period notwithstanding. In Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections,223[67] the Court held that: The argument that the petition filed with the Commission on Elections should be dismissed for tardiness is not well-taken. The herein private respondents are seeking to prevent Frivaldo from continuing to discharge his office as governor because he is disqualified from doing so as a foreigner. Qualifications for public office are continuing requirements and must be possessed not only at the time of appointment or election or assumption of office but during the officers entire tenure. Once any of the required qualifications is lost, his title may be seasonably challenged. If, say, a female legislator were to marry a foreigner during her term and by her act or omission acquires his nationality, would she have the right to remain in office simply because the challenge to her title may not longer be made within ten days from her proclamation ? x x x
220[64] 221[65] 222[66] 223[67]

Lazatin v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. L-80007, January 25, 1988, 157 SCRA 337, 338. Supra note 61, at 180. G.R. No. 105278, November 18, 1993, 228 SCRA 36, 44. G.R. No. 87193, June 23, 1989, 174 SCRA 245. (Emphasis supplied)

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This Court will not permit the anomaly of a person sitting as provincial governor in this country while owing exclusive allegiance to another country. The fact that he was elected by the people of Sorsogon does not excuse this patent violation of the salutary rule limiting public office and employment only to the citizens of this country. The qualifications prescribed for elective office cannot be erased by the electorate alone. The will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed, as in this case, that the candidate was qualified. Obviously, this rule requires strict application when the deficiency is lack of citizenship. If a person seeks to serve in the Republic of the Philippines, he must owe his total loyalty to this country alone, abjuring and renouncing all fealty to any other state. However, in assailing the citizenship of the father, the proper proceeding should be in accordance with Section 18 of Commonwealth Act No. 473 which provides that: Sec. 18. Cancellation of Naturalization Certificate Issued : - Upon motion made in the proper proceedings by the Solicitor General or his representative, or by the proper provincial fiscal, the competent judge may cancel the naturalization certificate issued and its registration in the Civil Register: 1. 2. If it is shown that said naturalization certificate was obtained fraudulently or illegally; If the person naturalized shall, within five years next following the issuance of said naturalization certificate, return to his native country or to some foreign country and establish his permanent residence there: Provided, That the fact of the person naturalized remaining more than one year in his native country or the country of his former nationality, or two years in any other foreign country, shall be considered as prima facie evidence of his intention of taking up his permanent residence in the same: If the petition was made on an invalid declaration of intention; If it is shown that the minor children of the person naturalized failed to graduate from a public or private high schools recognized by the Office of Private Education [now Bureau of Private Schools] of the Philippines, where Philippine history, government or civics are taught as part of the school curriculum, through the fault of their parents either by neglecting to support them or by transferring them to another school or schools. A certified copy of the decree canceling the naturalization certificate shall be forwarded by the Clerk of Court of the Department of Interior [now Office of the President] and the Bureau of Justice [now Office of the Solicitor General]; If it is shown that the naturalized citizen has allowed himself to be used as a dummy in violation of the constitutional or legal provisions requiring Philippine citizenship as a requisite for the exercise, use or enjoyment of a right, franchise or privilege. (Emphasis supplied)

3. 4.

5.

Clearly, under law and jurisprudence, it is the State, through its representatives designated by statute, that may question the illegally or invalidly procured certificate of naturalization in the appropriate denaturalization proceedings. It is plainly not a matter that may be raised by private persons in an election case involving the naturalized citizens descendant. III Whether the COMELEC Second Division and the COMELEC En Banc correctly disqualified Limkaichong on the ground that she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen. In resolving the disqualification cases, the COMELEC Second Division relied on the entries in the docket book of the OSG,224[69] the only remaining record of the naturalization proceedings,225[70] and ruled on the basis thereof that the naturalization proceedings of Julio Ong Sy, Limkaichongs father, in Special Case No. 1043, were null and void. The COMELEC Second Division adopted Villando and Cameros arguments that the OSG was deprived of its participation in the said case for it was not furnished copies of the following: (a) the July 9, 1957 Order of the Court of First Instance (CFI) granting the petition for naturalization; and (b) the September 21, 1959 Order of the CFI declaring Julio Ong Sy a Filipino citizen. Thus, when the latter took his oath of allegiance on October 21, 1959, it was exactly 30 days after his declaration as a naturalized Filipino, or one day short of the reglementary period required under Sections 11 and 12 of Commonwealth Act No. 473. Such defects were fatal to the naturalization proceedings of Julio Ong Sy and prevented the same from gaining finality. The COMELEC Second Division concluded that since Julio Ong Sy did not acquire Philippine citizenship through the said naturalization proceedings, it follows that Limkaichong remains a Chinese national and is disqualified to run as candidate and be elected as a Member of the House of Representatives. We cannot resolve the matter of Limkaichongs citizenship as the same should have been challenged in appropriate proceedings as earlier stated. IV Whether the COMELEC's disqualification of Limkaichong is final and executory. In resolving this issue, pertinent is the provision of Section 13(b), Rule 18 of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure: Sec. 13. Finality of Decisions or Resolutions. x x x (b) In Special Actions and Special Cases, a decision or resolution of the Commission en banc shall become final and executory after five (5) days from its promulgation unless restrained by the Supreme Court. In his Memorandum dated June 27, 2008, Biraogo stated that the Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc in the disqualification cases became final and executory after five (5) days from its promulgation and that the same was not restrained by this Court pursuant to Section 13(b), Rule 18 of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure. He averred that since Limkaichong received a copy of the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated June 29, 2007 on July 3, 2007, she had until July 8, 2007 within which to obtain a restraining order from the Court to prevent the same from becoming final and executory. However, she did not do anything to that effect. Biraogo also averred that Limkaichong is guilty of forum shopping; hence, her petition must be dismissed by the Court. Instead of asking the Court for what Biraogo opined as a restraining order, Limkaichong filed with this Court, on August 1, 2007, her petition for certiorari assailing the said COMELEC En Banc Resolution pursuant to Section 2,226[71] Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, postulating that she had thirty (30) days from July 4, 2007 within which to file the petition, or until August 3,
224[69] 225[70]

Rollo p. 97. Id. at 172 and 175.

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2007. She cited Section 7, Article IX of the 1987 Constitution, which prescribes the power of this Court to review decisions of the COMELEC,227[72] thus: SEC. 7. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. In his Comment on the petition, Villando prayed for the outright dismissal of Limkaichongs petition as (a) it was filed beyond the reglementary period; (b) Limkaichong engaged in prohibited forum shopping; and (c) Limkaichong admitted that the issues raised have become moot and academic. He also sought to declare Limkaichong in contempt of court for forum shopping. The COMELEC, through the OSG, also filed its Comment, praying for the denial of Limkaichong's petition and its dismissal for being moot, contending that: (a) the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated August 16, 2007 has rendered the instant petition moot and academic; and (b) Limkaichong knowingly and intentionally engaged in forum shopping. The OSG argued that, without waiting for the resolution of her Motion for Clarification and two (2) successive motions to resolve said motions which are pending before the COMELEC En Banc, Limkaichong filed the present petition to question the Joint Resolution dated May 17, 2007 of the COMELEC Second Division, which issues were pending before the COMELEC En Banc. Her act of seeking relief from this Court while there were several other incidents pending before the COMELEC, the final resolution in either one of which will amount to res judicata in the other, clearly showed forum shopping on her part. In her Reply to the above Comments, Limkaichong countered that she did not engage in forum shopping, for had she waited for the COMELEC to rule on her manifestation and other motions, it would have resulted in the expiration of the reglementary period for filing a petition for certiorari before the Court. The May 17, 2007 Joint Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division disqualifying Limkaichong and suspending her proclamation cannot yet be implemented considering that she timely filed a motion for reconsideration. Thus, pursuant to Section 13(c), Rule 18 and Section 2 Rule 19 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the Joint Resolution has not yet attained finality for it to be implemented. Notably, the seeming impropriety of the Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc dated June 29, 2007 has since been remedied by the promulgation of its Resolution dated August 16, 2007, recognizing that it no longer has jurisdiction over the disqualification cases following the valid proclamation of Limkaichong and her assumption of office as a Member of the House of Representatives. V Whether the Speaker of the House of Representatives may be compelled to prohibit Limkaichong from assuming her duties as a Member of the House of Representatives. Biraogo's contention was that De Venecia228[73] should be stopped from entering Limkaichong's name in the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives because he has no power to allow an alien to sit and continue to sit therein as it would amount to an unlawful exercise of his legal authority. Moreover, Biraogo opposes Limkaichongs assumption of office in the House of Representatives since she is not qualified to sit therein, being a Chinese citizen and, thus, disqualified by virtue of a final and executory judgment of the COMELEC En Banc. He relied on the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated June 29, 2007, which affirmed the COMELEC Second Division Joint Resolution dated May 17, 2007 disqualifying Limkaichong from holding public office. He contended that the said Resolution dated June 29, 2007 is already final and executory; hence, it should be respected pursuant to the principle of res judicata. De Venecia, on the other hand, argued that he should not be faulted for honoring the proclamation of Limkaichong, because it had the hallmarks of regularity, and he had no power to exclude any Member of the House of Representatives motu proprio. In their Comment on the petition, respondents De Venecia, et al., contended that the enrollment of a Member in the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives and his/her recognition as such becomes the ministerial duty of the Secretary General and the House of Representatives upon presentation by such Member of a valid Certificate of Proclamation and Oath of Office . Respondent Nograles, as De Venecia's, substitute, filed a Memorandum dated July 16, 2008 stating that under the circumstances, the House of Representatives, and its officials, are without recourse except to honor the validity of the proclamation of Limkaichong until the same is canceled, revoked or nullified, and to continue to recognize her as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Negros Oriental until it is ordered by this Court, as it was in Codilla, to recognize somebody else. He went on to state that after assumption by the Memberelect, or having acquired a presumptively valid title to the office, the House of Representatives cannot, motu proprio, cancel, revoke, withdraw any recognition given to a sitting Member or to remove his name from its roll, as such would amount to a removal of such Member from his office without due process of law. Verily, it is only after a determination by the appropriate tribunal (as in this case, the HRET), pursuant to a final and executory order, that the Member does not have a right to the office ( i.e., not being a duly elected Member), that the House of Representatives is directed to exclude the said Member. Their contentions are meritorious. The unseating of a Member of the House of Representatives should be exercised with great caution and after the proper proceedings for the ouster has been validly completed. For to arbitrarily unseat someone, who obtained the highest number of votes in the elections, and during the pendency of the proceedings determining ones qualification or disqualification, would amount to disenfranchising the electorate in whom sovereignty resides.229[74]
226[71]

Section 2. Mode of review. - A judgment or final order or resolution of the Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit may be brought by the aggrieved party to the Supreme Court on certiorari under Rule 65, except as hereinafter provided. 227[72] Soriano, Jr. v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 164496-505, April 2, 2007, 520 SCRA 80, 107, citing Reyes v. RTC of Oriental Mindoro, 313 Phil. 727, 734 (1995).

228[73]

When Speaker Jose De Venecia, Jr. was replaced by Speaker Prospero Nograles, petitioner Biraogo filed with the Court a Respectful Manifestation with Motion to Replace Respondent Jose De Venecia, Jr. with Prospero C. Nograles, praying that the latter will replace the former as party-respondent in G.R. No. 179120, which the Court granted in its Resolution dated April 1, 2008. 229[74] See Codilla v. De Venecia, 442 Phil. 139 (2002).

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WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition in G.R. Nos. 178831-32 is GRANTED and the Joint Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division dated May 17, 2007 in SPA Nos. 07-247 and 07-248 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. All the other petitions ( G.R. Nos. 179120, 179132-33, 179240-41) are hereby DISMISSED. Read: 1) LAZATIN VS. COMELEC, G.R. No. 80007, January 25, 1988 2) FIRDAUSI ABBAS, ET AL. VS. THE SENATE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL, October 27, 1988 3)ENRILE VS. COMELEC & SANCHEZ; ENRILE VS. COMELEC & RAZUL AND SANCHEZ VS. COMELEC, Aug. 12, 1987, 153 SCRA 57 4. BONDOC VS. HRET, supra 10. Section 18. There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of the Senate President, as ex-oficio chairman, 12 senators and 12 members of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The chairman of the commission shall not vote, except in case of a tie. The commission shall act on all appointments submitted to it within 30 session days of the Congress from their submission. The Commission shall rule by a majority of all the members. Read: 1. RAUL DAZA VS. LUIS SINGSON, December 21, 1989

If the changes (which are permanent) in the political party affiliations of the members of Congress is substantial so as to dramatically decrease the membership of one party while reducing the other, the number of representatives of the different parties in the Commission on Appointments may also be changed in proportion to their actual memberships. (NOTE: In Cunanan vs. Tan, the membership of the Senators was only temporary so as not to result in the change of membership in the Commission on Appointments) 2. GUINGONA VS. GONZALES, October 20, 1992

Since 12 Senators are members of the Commission on Appointments, in addition to the Senate President as the head thereof, every two (2) Senators are entitled to one (1) representative in the Commission. Parties, however, are not allowed to round off their members, I.e., 7 Senators are entitled to 3 representatives in the Commission on Appointments, not 4 since 7/2 is only 3.5. Further, there is nothing in the Constitution which requires that there must be 24 members of the Commission. If the different parties do not coalesce, then the possibility that the total number of Senators in the CA is less than 12 is indeed a reality. (Example: Lakas--13 Senators; LDP---11 Senators. In this case, Lakas is entitled to 6 members in the CA (13/2= 6.5) while LBP would have 5 members (11/2= 5.5) 3. GUINGONA S. GONZALES, March 1, 1993 (Resolution of the Motion for Reconsideration of the October 20, 1992 Decision) To be discussed later together with Sec. 16, Art. VII. 12-a. Section 19. The electoral tribunals and the Commission on Appointments shall be constituted within 30 days after the Senate and the House of Representatives shall have been organized with the election of the President and the Speaker. The Commission on Appointments shall meet only while the Congress is in session, at the call of its Chairman or a majority of all its members, to discharge such powers and functions as are herein conferred upon it. 13. Sec. 20. The records and books of accounts of the Congress shall be preserved and be open to the public in accordance with law, and such books shall be audited by the Commission on Audit which shall publish annually an itemized list of amounts paid to and expenses incurred for each member. 14. Section 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. Read: 1) ARNAULT vs. NAZARENO, 87 Phil. 29

A witness who refuses to answer a query by the Committee may be detained during the term of the members imposing said penalty but the detention should not be too long as to violate the witness right to due process of law. Congress must have a duly published Rules; otherwise, the Senate or the House of Representatives could not investigate in aid of legislation. VIRGILLO GARCILLANO VS. HOUSE OF REEPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEES ON PUBLIC INFORMATION ET AL, December 23, 2008 More than three years ago, tapes ostensibly containing a wiretapped conversation purportedly between the President of the Philippines and a high-ranking official of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) surfaced. They captured unprecedented public attention and thrust the country into a controversy that placed the legitimacy of the present administration on the line, and resulted in the near-collapse of the Arroyo government. The tapes, notoriously referred to as the Hello Garci tapes, allegedly contained the Presidents instructions to COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano to manipulate in her favor results of the 2004 presidential elections. These recordings were to become the subject of heated legislative hearings conducted separately by committees of both Houses of Congress.230[1] In the House of Representatives (House), on June 8, 2005, then Minority Floor Leader Francis G. Escudero delivered a privilege speech, Tale of Two Tapes, and set in motion a congressional investigation jointly conducted by the Committees on Public Information, Public Order and Safety, National Defense and Security, Information and Communications Technology, and Suffrage and Electoral Reforms (respondent House Committees). During the inquiry, several versions of the wiretapped conversation emerged. But on July 5, 2005,
230[1]

Rollo (G.R. No. 179275), p. 168.

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National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Reynaldo Wycoco, Atty. Alan Paguia and the lawyer of former NBI Deputy Director Samuel Ong submitted to the respondent House Committees seven alleged original tape recordings of the supposed three-hour taped conversation. After prolonged and impassioned debate by the committee members on the admissibility and authenticity of the recordings, the tapes were eventually played in the chambers of the House.231[2] On August 3, 2005, the respondent House Committees decided to suspend the hearings indefinitely. Nevertheless, they decided to prepare committee reports based on the said recordings and the testimonies of the resource persons.232[3] Alarmed by these developments, petitioner Virgilio O. Garcillano (Garcillano) filed with this Court a Petition for Prohibition and Injunction, with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction 233[4] docketed as G.R. No. 170338. He prayed that the respondent House Committees be restrained from using these tape recordings of the illegally obtained wiretapped conversations in their committee reports and for any other purpose. He further implored that the said recordings and any reference thereto be ordered stricken off the records of the inquiry, and the respondent House Committees directed to desist from further using the recordings in any of the House proceedings.234[5] Without reaching its denouement, the House discussion and debates on the Garci tapes abruptly stopped. After more than two years of quiescence, Senator Panfilo Lacson roused the slumbering issue with a privilege speech, The Lighthouse That Brought Darkness. In his discourse, Senator Lacson promised to provide the public the whole unvarnished truth the whats, whens, wheres, whos and whys of the alleged wiretap, and sought an inquiry into the perceived willingness of telecommunications providers to participate in nefarious wiretapping activities. On motion of Senator Francis Pangilinan, Senator Lacsons speech was referred to the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, chaired by Senator Rodolfo Biazon, who had previously filed two bills235[6] seeking to regulate the sale, purchase and use of wiretapping equipment and to prohibit the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from performing electoral duties.236[7] In the Senates plenary session the following day, a lengthy debate ensued when Senator Richard Gordon aired his concern on the possible transgression of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 4200 237[8] if the body were to conduct a legislative inquiry on the matter. On August 28, 2007, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago delivered a privilege speech, articulating her considered view that the Constitution absolutely bans the use, possession, replay or communication of the contents of the Hello Garci tapes. However, she recommended a legislative investigation into the role of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP), the Philippine National Police or other government entities in the alleged illegal wiretapping of public officials.238[9] On September 6, 2007, petitioners Santiago Ranada and Oswaldo Agcaoili, retired justices of the Court of Appeals, filed before this Court a Petition for Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction, 239[10] docketed as G.R. No. 179275, seeking to bar the Senate from conducting its scheduled legislative inquiry. They argued in the main that the intended legislative inquiry violates R.A. No. 4200 and Section 3, Article III of the Constitution.240[11] As the Court did not issue an injunctive writ, the Senate proceeded with its public hearings on the Hello Garci tapes on September 7, 241[12] 17242[13] and October 1,243[14] 2007. Intervening as respondents,244[15] Senators Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., Benigno Noynoy C. Aquino, Rodolfo G. Biazon, Panfilo M. Lacson, Loren B. Legarda, M.A. Jamby A.S. Madrigal and Antonio F. Trillanes filed their Comment245[16] on the petition on September 25, 2007. The Court subsequently heard the case on oral argument.246[17] On October 26, 2007, Maj. Lindsay Rex Sagge, a member of the ISAFP and one of the resource persons summoned by the Senate to appear and testify at its hearings, moved to intervene as petitioner in G.R. No. 179275.247[18] On November 20, 2007, the Court resolved to consolidate G.R. Nos. 170338 and 179275.248[19] It may be noted that while both petitions involve the Hello Garci recordings, they have different objectivesthe first is poised at preventing the playing of the tapes in the House and their subsequent inclusion in the committee reports, and the second seeks to prohibit and stop the conduct of the Senate inquiry on the wiretapped conversation.

231[2] 232[3] 233[4] 234[5] 235[6] 236[7] 237[8] 238[9] 239[10] 240[11] 241[12] 242[13] 243[14] 244[15] 245[16] 246[17]

Rollo (G.R. No. 170338), pp. 7-9. Id. at 9. Id. at 1-38. Id. at 36-38. Rollo (G.R. No. 179275), pp. 215-220. Id. at 169. An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of the Privacy of Communications and for Other Purposes. Rollo (G.R. No. 179275), pp. 169-170. Id. at 3-17. Id. at 7-13. Id. at 24. Id. at 44. Memorandum of Respondents-Intervenors, p. 6. Rollo (G.R. No. 179275), pp. 68-70. Id. at 71-90. Id. at 62. The Court identified the following issues for discussion in the October 2, 2007 Oral Argument:
Whether the petitioners have locus standi to bring this suit. Whether the Rules of Procedure of the Senate and the Senate Committees governing the conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation have been published, in accordance with Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution. Corollarily: Whether these Rules must be published by every Congress. What mode/s of publication will comply with the constitutional requirement.

247[18] 248[19]

Whether the inquiry, which is centered on the so-called Garci tapes, violates Section 3, Article III of the Constitution and/or Republic Act No. 4200. (Id. at 66.) Motion for Leave to Intervene and Petition-in-Intervention filed on October 26, 2007. Resolution dated November 20, 2007.

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The Court dismisses the first petition, G.R. No. 170338, and grants the second, G.R. No. 179275. -IBefore delving into the merits of the case, the Court shall first resolve the issue on the parties standing, argued at length in their pleadings. In Tolentino v. COMELEC,249[20] we explained that [l]egal standing or locus standi refers to a personal and substantial interest in a case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury because of the challenged governmental act x x x, thus, generally, a party will be allowed to litigate only when (1) he can show that he has personally suffered some actual or threatened injury because of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action.250[21] The gist of the question of standing is whether a party has 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.251[22] However, considering that locus standi is a mere procedural technicality, the Court, in recent cases, has relaxed the stringent direct injury test. David v. Macapagal-Arroyo252[23] articulates that a liberal policy has been observed, allowing ordinary citizens, members of Congress, and civic organizations to prosecute actions involving the constitutionality or validity of laws, regulations and rulings. 253[24] The fairly recent Chavez v. Gonzales254[25] even permitted a non-member of the broadcast media, who failed to allege a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy, to challenge the acts of the Secretary of Justice and the National Telecommunications Commission. The majority, in the said case, echoed the current policy that this Court has repeatedly and consistently refused to wield procedural barriers as impediments to its addressing and resolving serious legal questions that greatly impact on public interest, in keeping with the Courts duty under the 1987 Constitution to determine whether or not other branches of government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws, and that they have not abused the discretion given to them.255[26] In G.R. No. 170338, petitioner Garcillano justifies his standing to initiate the petition by alleging that he is the person alluded to in the Hello Garci tapes. Further, his was publicly identified by the members of the respondent committees as one of the voices in the recordings.256[27] Obviously, therefore, petitioner Garcillano stands to be directly injured by the House committees actions and charges of electoral fraud. The Court recognizes his standing to institute the petition for prohibition. In G.R. No. 179275, petitioners Ranada and Agcaoili justify their standing by alleging that they are concerned citizens, taxpayers, and members of the IBP. They are of the firm conviction that any attempt to use the Hello Garci tapes will further divide the country. They wish to see the legal and proper use of public funds that will necessarily be defrayed in the ensuing public hearings. They are worried by the continuous violation of the laws and individual rights, and the blatant attempt to abuse constitutional processes through the conduct of legislative inquiries purportedly in aid of legislation.257[28] Intervenor Sagge alleges violation of his right to due process considering that he is summoned to attend the Senate hearings without being apprised not only of his rights therein through the publication of the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation, but also of the intended legislation which underpins the investigation. He further intervenes as a taxpayer bewailing the useless and wasteful expenditure of public funds involved in the conduct of the questioned hearings.258[29] Given that petitioners Ranada and Agcaoili allege an interest in the execution of the laws and that intervenor Sagge asserts his constitutional right to due process,259[30] they satisfy the requisite personal stake in the outcome of the controversy by merely being citizens of the Republic. Following the Courts ruling in Francisco, Jr. v. The House of Representatives ,260[31] we find sufficient petitioners Ranadas and Agcaoilis and intervenor Sagges allegation that the continuous conduct by the Senate of the questioned legislative inquiry will necessarily involve the expenditure of public funds.261[32] It should be noted that in Francisco, rights personal to then Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. had been injured by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives, yet the Court granted standing to the petitioners therein for, as in this case, they invariably invoked the vindication of their own rightsas taxpayers, members of Congress, citizens, individually or in a class suit, and members of the bar and of the legal professionwhich were also supposedly violated by the therein assailed unconstitutional acts.262[33] Likewise, a reading of the petition in G.R. No. 179275 shows that the petitioners and intervenor Sagge advance constitutional issues which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents. The issues are of transcendental and paramount importance not only to the public but also to the Bench and the Bar, and should be resolved for the guidance of all.263[34] Thus, in the exercise of its sound discretion and given the liberal attitude it has shown in prior cases climaxing in the more recent case of Chavez, the Court recognizes the legal standing of petitioners Ranada and Agcaoili and intervenor Sagge. - II 249[20] 250[21] 251[22] 252[23] 253[24] 254[25] 255[26] 256[27] 257[28] 258[29] 259[30] 260[31] 261[32] 262[33] 263[34]

465 Phil. 385, 402 (2004). Tolentino v. Commission on Elections, id. Province of Batangas v. Romulo, G.R. No. 152774, May 27, 2004, 429 SCRA 736, 755. G.R. Nos. 171396, 171409, 171485, 171483, 171400, 171489 and 171424, May 3, 2006, 489 SCRA 160. David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, id. at 218. G.R. No. 168338, February 15, 2008, 545 SCRA 441. Id. Reply in G.R. No. 170338, pp. 36-37. Rollo (G.R. No. 179275), p. 4. Petition-in-Intervention, p. 3. David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, supra note 23, at 223. 460 Phil. 830 (2003). Francisco, Jr. v. The House of Representatives, id. at 897. Francisco, Jr. v. The House of Representatives, supra note 31, at 895. Kilosbayan, Inc. v. Guingona, Jr., G.R. No. 113375, May 5, 1994, 232 SCRA 110, 139.

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The Court, however, dismisses G.R. No. 170338 for being moot and academic. Repeatedly stressed in our prior decisions is the principle that the exercise by this Court of judicial power is limited to the determination and resolution of actual cases and controversies. 264[35] By actual cases, we mean existing conflicts appropriate or ripe for judicial determination, not conjectural or anticipatory, for otherwise the decision of the Court will amount to an advisory opinion. The power of judicial inquiry does not extend to hypothetical questions because any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities.265[36] Neither will the Court determine a moot question in a case in which no practical relief can be granted. A case becomes moot when its purpose has become stale.266[37] It is unnecessary to indulge in academic discussion of a case presenting a moot question as a judgment thereon cannot have any practical legal effect or, in the nature of things, cannot be enforced.267[38] In G.R. No. 170338, petitioner Garcillano implores from the Court, as aforementioned, the issuance of an injunctive writ to prohibit the respondent House Committees from playing the tape recordings and from including the same in their committee report. He likewise prays that the said tapes be stricken off the records of the House proceedings. But the Court notes that the recordings were already played in the House and heard by its members. 268[39] There is also the widely publicized fact that the committee reports on the Hello Garci inquiry were completed and submitted to the House in plenary by the respondent committees. 269[40] Having been overtaken by these events, the Garcillano petition has to be dismissed for being moot and academic. After all, prohibition is a preventive remedy to restrain the doing of an act about to be done, and not intended to provide a remedy for an act already accomplished.270[41] - III As to the petition in G.R. No. 179275, the Court grants the same. The Senate cannot be allowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned legislative inquiry without duly published rules of procedure, in clear derogation of the constitutional requirement. Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that [t]he Senate or the House of Representatives, or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure . The requisite of publication of the rules is intended to satisfy the basic requirements of due process. 271[42] Publication is indeed imperative, for it will be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law or rule of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.272[43] What constitutes publication is set forth in Article 2 of the Civil Code, which provides that [l]aws shall take effect after 15 days following the completion of their publication either in the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.273[44] The respondents in G.R. No. 179275 admit in their pleadings and even on oral argument that the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation had been published in newspapers of general circulation only in 1995 and in 2006.274[45] With respect to the present Senate of the 14th Congress, however, of which the term of half of its members commenced on June 30, 2007, no effort was undertaken for the publication of these rules when they first opened their session. Recently, the Court had occasion to rule on this very same question. In Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations,275[46] we said: Fourth, we find merit in the argument of the OSG that respondent Committees likewise violated Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution, requiring that the inquiry be in accordance with the duly published rules of procedure. We quote the OSGs explanation: The phrase duly published rules of procedure requires the Senate of every Congress to publish its rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation because every Senate is distinct from the one before it or after it. Since Senatorial elections are held every three (3) years for one-half of the Senates membership, the composition of the Senate also changes by the end of each term. Each Senate may thus enact a different set of rules as it may deem fit. Not having published its Rules of Procedure, the subject hearings in aid of legislation conducted by the 14th Senate, are therefore, procedurally infirm. Justice Antonio T. Carpio, in his Dissenting and Concurring Opinion, reinforces this ruling with the following rationalization: The present Senate under the 1987 Constitution is no longer a continuing legislative body. The present Senate has twenty-four members, twelve of whom are elected every three years for a term of six years each. Thus, the term of twelve Senators expires every three years, leaving less than a majority of Senators to continue into the next Congress . The 1987 Constitution, like the 1935 Constitution, requires a majority of Senators to constitute a quorum to do business. Applying the same reasoning in Arnault v. Nazareno, the Senate under the 1987 Constitution is not a continuing body because less than majority of the Senators continue into the next Congress. The consequence is that the Rules of Procedure must be republished by the Senate after every expiry of the term of twelve Senators.276[47] The subject was explained with greater lucidity in our Resolution277[48] (On the Motion for Reconsideration) in the same case, viz.:

264[35]

Dumlao v. COMELEC, 184 Phil. 369, 377 (1980). This case explains the standards that have to be followed in the exercise of the power of judicial review, namely: (1) the existence of an appropriate case; (2) an interest personal and substantial by the party raising the constitutional question; (3) the plea that the function be exercised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the necessity that the constitutional question be passed upon in order to decide the case. 265[36] La Bugal-Blaan Tribal Association, Inc. v. Ramos, 465 Phil. 860, 889-890 (2004). 266[37] Rufino v. Endriga, G.R. Nos. 139554 and 139565, July 21, 2006, 496 SCRA 13, 46. 267[38] Lanuza, Jr. v. Yuchengco, G.R. No. 157033, March 28, 2005, 454 SCRA 130, 138. 268[39] Rollo (G.R. No. 170338), p. 9. 269[40] See news article Separate findings, no closure by Michael Lim Umbac published in The Philippine Daily Inquirer on March 29, 2006; News item 5 House committees in Garci probe file report on Monday published in The Manila Bulletin on March 25, 2006. 270[41] Simon, Jr. v. Commission on Human Rights, G.R. No. 100150, January 5, 1994, 229 SCRA 117, 135-136; Agustin v. De la Fuente, 84 Phil. 515, 517 (1949). 271[42] Bernas, The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, A Commentary, 1996 ed., p. 679. 272[43] Taada v. Tuvera, 220 Phil. 422, 432-433 (1985). 273[44] As amended on June 18, 1987 by Executive Order No. 200 entitled Providing for the Publication of Laws Either in the Official Gazette or in a Newspaper of General Circulation in the Philippines as a Requirement for their Effectivity. 274[45] Rollo (G.R. No. 179275), p. 179; Memorandum of Respondents-Intervenors, pp. 9-10. 275[46] G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008, 549 SCRA 77, 135-136. 276[47] Id. at 297-298. 277[48] Dated September 4, 2008.

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On the nature of the Senate as a continuing body, this Court sees fit to issue a clarification. Certainly, there is no debate that the Senate as an institution is continuing, as it is not dissolved as an entity with each national election or change in the composition of its members. However, in the conduct of its day-to-day business the Senate of each Congress acts separately and independently of the Senate of the Congress before it. The Rules of the Senate itself confirms this when it states: RULE XLIV UNFINISHED BUSINESS SEC. 123. Unfinished business at the end of the session shall be taken up at the next session in the same status. All pending matters and proceedings shall terminate upon the expiration of one (1) Congress , but may be taken by the succeeding Congress as if present for the first time. Undeniably from the foregoing, all pending matters and proceedings, i.e., unpassed bills and even legislative investigations, of the Senate of a particular Congress are considered terminated upon the expiration of that Congress and it is merely optional on the Senate of the succeeding Congress to take up such unfinished matters, not in the same status, but as if presented for the first time. The logic and practicality of such a rule is readily apparent considering that the Senate of the succeeding Congress (which will typically have a different composition as that of the previous Congress) should not be bound by the acts and deliberations of the Senate of which they had no part. If the Senate is a continuing body even with respect to the conduct of its business, then pending matters will not be deemed terminated with the expiration of one Congress but will, as a matter of course, continue into the next Congress with the same status. This dichotomy of the continuity of the Senate as an institution and of the opposite nature of the conduct of its business is reflected in its Rules. The Rules of the Senate (i.e. the Senates main rules of procedure) states: RULE LI AMENDMENTS TO, OR REVISIONS OF, THE RULES SEC. 136. At the start of each session in which the Senators elected in the preceding elections shall begin their term of office, the President may endorse the Rules to the appropriate committee for amendment or revision. The Rules may also be amended by means of a motion which should be presented at least one day before its consideration, and the vote of the majority of the Senators present in the session shall be required for its approval. RULE LII DATE OF TAKING EFFECT SEC. 137. These Rules shall take effect on the date of their adoption and shall remain in force until they are amended or repealed. Section 136 of the Senate Rules quoted above takes into account the new composition of the Senate after an election and the possibility of the amendment or revision of the Rules at the start of each session in which the newly elected Senators shall begin their term. However, it is evident that the Senate has determined that its main rules are intended to be valid from the date of their adoption until they are amended or repealed. Such language is conspicuously absent from the Rules. The Rules simply state (t)hese Rules shall take effect seven (7) days after publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation. The latter does not explicitly provide for the continued effectivity of such rules until they are amended or repealed. In view of the difference in the language of the two sets of Senate rules, it cannot be presumed that the Rules (on legislative inquiries) would continue into the next Congress. The Senate of the next Congress may easily adopt different rules for its legislative inquiries which come within the rule on unfinished business. The language of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution requiring that the inquiry be conducted in accordance with the duly published rules of procedure is categorical. It is incumbent upon the Senate to publish the rules for its legislative inquiries in each Congress or otherwise make the published rules clearly state that the same shall be effective in subsequent Congresses or until they are amended or repealed to sufficiently put public on notice. If it was the intention of the Senate for its present rules on legislative inquiries to be effective even in the next Congress, it could have easily adopted the same language it had used in its main rules regarding effectivity. Respondents justify their non-observance of the constitutionally mandated publication by arguing that the rules have never been amended since 1995 and, despite that, they are published in booklet form available to anyone for free, and accessible to the public at the Senates internet web page.278[49] The Court does not agree. The absence of any amendment to the rules cannot justify the Senates defiance of the clear and unambiguous language of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution. The organic law instructs, without more, that the Senate or its committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation only in accordance with duly published rules of procedure, and does not make any distinction whether or not these rules have undergone amendments or revision. The constitutional mandate to publish the said rules prevails over any custom, practice or tradition followed by the Senate. Justice Carpios response to the same argument raised by the respondents is illuminating: The publication of the Rules of Procedure in the website of the Senate, or in pamphlet form available at the Senate, is not sufficient under the Taada v. Tuvera ruling which requires publication either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. The Rules of Procedure even provide that the rules shall take effect seven (7) days after publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation, precluding any other form of publication. Publication in accordance with Taada is mandatory to comply with the due process requirement because the Rules of Procedure put a persons liberty at risk. A person who violates the Rules of Procedure could be arrested and detained by the Senate.

278[49]

TSN, Oral Arguments, March 4, 2008, (G.R. No. 179275), pp. 413-414.

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The invocation by the respondents of the provisions of R.A. No. 8792, 279[50] otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, to support their claim of valid publication through the internet is all the more incorrect. R.A. 8792 considers an electronic data message or an electronic document as the functional equivalent of a written document only for evidentiary purposes.280[51] In other words, the law merely recognizes the admissibility in evidence (for their being the original) of electronic data messages and/or electronic documents.281[52] It does not make the internet a medium for publishing laws, rules and regulations . Given this discussion, the respondent Senate Committees, therefore, could not, in violation of the Constitution, use its unpublished rules in the legislative inquiry subject of these consolidated cases. The conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation by the Senate has to be deferred until it shall have caused the publication of the rules, because it can do so only in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. Very recently, the Senate caused the publication of the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation in the October 31, 2008 issues of Manila Bulletin and Malaya. While we take judicial notice of this fact, the recent publication does not cure the infirmity of the inquiry sought to be prohibited by the instant petitions. Insofar as the consolidated cases are concerned, the legislative investigation subject thereof still could not be undertaken by the respondent Senate Committees, because no published rules governed it, in clear contravention of the Constitution. With the foregoing disquisition, the Court finds it unnecessary to discuss the other issues raised in the consolidated petitions. WHEREFORE, the petition in G.R. No. 170338 is DISMISSED, and the petition in G.R. No. 179275 is GRANTED. Let a writ of prohibition be issued enjoining the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines and/or any of its committees from conducting any inquiry in aid of legislation centered on the Hello Garci tapes. MAY THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS IN AID OF LEGISLATION FOR AN ALLEGED ILLEGAL ACTS COMMITTED BY POLICE GENERALS IN MOSCOW, RUSSIA WHICH IS OUTSIDE THE PHILIPPINES?

SPOUSES PNP DIRECTOR ELISEO DE LA PAZ & MARIA FE DE LA PAZ VS. SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, G.R. No. 184849, February 13, 2009 This is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition282[1] under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed on October 28, 2008 by petitioners-spouses General (Ret.) Eliseo D. dela Paz (Gen. Dela Paz) and Mrs. Maria Fe C. dela Paz (Mrs. Dela Paz) assailing, allegedly for having been rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the orders of respondent Senate Foreign Relations Committee (respondent Committee), through its Chairperson, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago (Senator Santiago), (1) denying petitioners Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoenae and (2) commanding respondent Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Jose Balajadia, Jr. (Balajadia) to immediately arrest petitioners during the Senate committee hearing last October 23, 2008. The petition thus prays that respondent Committee be enjoined from conducting its hearings involving petitioners, and to enjoin Balajadia from implementing the verbal arrest order against them. The antecedents are as follow On October 6, 2008, a Philippine delegation of eight (8) senior Philippine National Police (PNP) officers arrived in Moscow, Russia to attend the 77th General Assembly Session of the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO)-INTERPOL in St. Petersburg from October 6-10, 2008. With the delegation was Gen. Dela Paz, then comptroller and special disbursing officer of the PNP. Gen. Dela Paz, however, was to retire from the PNP on October 9, 2008.
279[50]

Entitled An Act Providing for the Recognition and Use of Electronic Commercial and Non-Commercial Transactions and Documents, Penalties for Unlawful Use Thereof and For Other Purposes, approved on June 14, 2000.
280[51] 281[52]

MCC Industrial Sales Corporation v. Ssangyong Corporation , G.R. No. 170633, October 15, 2007, 536 SCRA 408. (Emphasis supplied.)

Sections 6, 7 and 10 of R.A. No. 8792 read: Sec. 6. Legal Recognition of Data Messages. - Information shall not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely on the grounds that it is in the data message purporting to give rise to such legal effect, or that it is merely referred to in that electronic data message. Sec. 7. Legal Recognition of Electronic Documents. Electronic documents shall have the legal effect, validity or enforceability as any other document or legal writing, and (a) Where the law requires a document to be in writing, that requirement is met by an electronic document if the said electronic document maintains its integrity and reliability, and can be authenticated so as to be usable for subsequent reference, in that (i) The electronic document has remained complete and unaltered, apart from the addition of any endorsement and any authorized change, or any change which arises in the normal course of communication, storage and display; and (ii) The electronic document is reliable in the light of the purpose for which it was generated and in the light of all the relevant circumstances. (b) Paragraph (a) applies whether the requirement therein is in the form of an obligation or whether the law simply provides consequences for the document not being presented or retained in its original form. (c) Where the law requires that a document be presented or retained in its original form, that requirement is met by an electronic document if (i) There exists a reliable assurance as to the integrity of the document from the time when it was first generated in its final form; and (ii) That document is capable of being displayed to the person to whom it is to be presented: Provided, That no provision of this Act shall apply to vary any and all requirements of existing laws on formalities required in the execution of documents for their validity. For evidentiary purposes, an electronic document shall be the functional equivalent of a written document under existing laws. This Act does not modify any statutory rule relating to the admissibility of electronic data messages or electronic documents, except the rules relating to authentication and best evidence. Sec. 10. Original Documents. (1) Where the law requires information to be presented or retained in its original form, that requirement is met by an electronic data message or electronic document if: The integrity of the information from the time when it was first generated in its final form, as an electronic data message or electronic document is shown by evidence aliunde or otherwise; and Where it is required that information be presented, that the information is capable of being displayed to the person to whom it is to be presented. Paragraph (1) applies whether the requirement therein is in the form of an obligation or whether the law simply provides consequences for the information not being presented or retained in its original form. For the purposes of subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1): the criteria for assessing integrity shall be whether the information has remained complete and unaltered, apart from the addition of any endorsement and any change which arises in the normal course of communication, storage and display; and the standard of reliability required shall be assessed in the light of the purpose for which the information was generated and in the light of all relevant circumstances.
282[1]

Rollo, pp. 3-21.

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On October 11, 2008, Gen. Dela Paz was apprehended by the local authorities at the Moscow airport departure area for failure to declare in written form the 105,000 euros [approximately P6,930,000.00] found in his luggage. In addition, he was also found to have in his possession 45,000 euros (roughly equivalent to P2,970,000.00). Petitioners were detained in Moscow for questioning. After a few days, Gen. Dela Paz and the PNP delegation were allowed to return to the Philippines, but the Russian government confiscated the euros. On October 21, 2008, Gen. Dela Paz arrived in Manila, a few days after Mrs. Dela Paz. Awaiting them were subpoenae earlier issued by respondent Committee for the investigation it was to conduct on the Moscow incident on October 23, 2008. On October 23, 2008, respondent Committee held its first hearing. Instead of attending the hearing, petitioners filed with respondent Committee a pleading denominated Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoena.283[2] Senator Santiago emphatically defended respondent Committees jurisdiction and commanded Balajadia to arrest petitioners. Hence, this Petition. Petitioners argue that respondent Committee is devoid of any jurisdiction to investigate the Moscow incident as the matter does not involve state to state relations as provided in paragraph 12, Section 13, Rule 10 of the Senate Rules of Procedure (Senate Rules). They further claim that respondent Committee violated the same Senate Rules when it issued the warrant of arrest without the required signatures of the majority of the members of respondent Committee. They likewise assail the very same Senate Rules because the same were not published as required by the Constitution, and thus, cannot be used as the basis of any investigation involving them relative to the Moscow incident. Respondent Committee filed its Comment284[3] on January 22, 2009. The petition must inevitably fail. First. Section 16(3), Article VI of the Philippine Constitution states: Each House shall determine the rules of its proceedings. This provision has been traditionally construed as a grant of full discretionary authority to the Houses of Congress in the formulation, adoption and promulgation of its own rules. As such, the exercise of this power is generally exempt from judicial supervision and interference, except on a clear showing of such arbitrary and improvident use of the power as will constitute a denial of due process.285[4] The challenge to the jurisdiction of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, raised by petitioner in the case at bench, in effect, asks this Court to inquire into a matter that is within the full discretion of the Senate. The issue partakes of the nature of a political question that, in Taada v. Cuenco,286[5] was characterized as a question which, under the Constitution, is to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. Further, pursuant to this constitutional grant of virtually unrestricted authority to determine its own rules, the Senate is at liberty to alter or modify these rules at any time it may see fit, subject only to the imperatives of quorum, voting and publication. Thus, it is not for this Court to intervene in what is clearly a question of policy, an issue dependent upon the wisdom, not the legality, of the Senates action. Second. Even if it is within our power to inquire into the validity of the exercise of jurisdiction over the petitioners by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we are convinced that respondent Committee has acted within the proper sphere of its authority. Paragraph 12, Section 13, Rule 10 of the Senate Rules provides: 12) Committee on Foreign Relations. Fifteen (15) members. All matters relating to the relations of the Philippines with other nations generally; diplomatic and consular services; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations; the United Nations Organization and its agencies; multi-lateral organizations, all international agreements, obligations and contracts; and overseas Filipinos. A reading of the above provision unmistakably shows that the investigation of the Moscow incident involving petitioners is well within the respondent Committees jurisdiction. The Moscow incident could create ripples in the relations between the Philippines and Russia . Gen. Dela Paz went to Moscow in an official capacity, as a member of the Philippine delegation to the INTERPOL Conference in St. Petersburg, carrying a huge amount of public money ostensibly to cover the expenses to be incurred by the delegation. For his failure to comply with immigration and currency laws, the Russian government confiscated the money in his possession and detained him and other members of the delegation in Moscow. Furthermore, the matter affects Philippine international obligations. We take judicial notice of the fact that the Philippines is a state-party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. The two conventions contain provisions dealing with the movement of considerable foreign currency across borders. 287[6]
283[2] 284[3]

Id. at 28. Id. at 126-137.

285[4] 286[5]

See Morrero v. Bocar, 37 O.G. 445. 100 Phil. 101 (1957). 287[6] Art. 14(2) of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption provides State parties shall consider implementing feasible measures to detect and monitor the movement of cash and appropriate negotiable instruments across their borders, subject to safeguards to ensure proper use of information and without impeding in any way the movement of legitimate capital. Such measures may include a requirement that individuals and businesses report the cross border transfer of substantial quantities of cash and appropriate negotiable instruments. The United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime provides Art. 7(1), Each State Party: (a) Shall institute a comprehensive domestic and regulatory and supervisory regime for banks and non-bank financial institutions and, where appropriate, other bodies particularly susceptible to money-laundering , within its competence, in order to deter and detect all

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The Moscow incident would reflect on our countrys compliance with the obligations required of state-parties under these conventions. Thus, the respondent Committee can properly inquire into this matter, particularly as to the source and purpose of the funds discovered in Moscow as this would involve the Philippines commitments under these conventions. Third. The Philippine Senate has decided that the legislative inquiry will be jointly conducted by the respondent Committee and the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon Committee). Pursuant to paragraph 36, Section 13, Rule 10 of the Senate Rules, the Blue Ribbon Committee may conduct investigations on all matters relating to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance in office by officers and employees of the government, its branches, agencies, subdivisions and instrumentalities, and on any matter of public interest on its own initiative or brought to its attention by any of its members. It is, thus, beyond cavil that the Blue Ribbon Committee can investigate Gen. Dela Paz, a retired PNP general and member of the official PNP delegation to the INTERPOL Conference in Russia, who had with him millions which may have been sourced from public funds. Fourth. Subsequent to Senator Santiagos verbal command to Balajadia to arrest petitioners, the Philippine Senate issued a formal written Order288[7] of arrest, signed by ten (10) senators, with the Senate President himself approving it, in accordance with the Senate Rules. Fifth. The Philippine Senate has already published its Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation in two newspapers of general circulation.289[8] Sixth. The arrest order issued against the petitioners has been rendered ineffectual. In the legislative inquiry held on November 15, 2008, jointly by the respondent Committee and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Gen. Dela Paz voluntarily appeared and answered the questions propounded by the Committee members. Having submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the Senate Committees, there was no longer any necessity to implement the order of arrest. Furthermore, in the same hearing, Senator Santiago granted the motion of Gen. Dela Paz to dispense with the presence of Mrs. Dela Paz for humanitarian considerations. 290[9] Consequently, the order for her arrest was effectively withdrawn. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit and for being moot and academic. Power of Congress to conduct investigation in aid of legislation; distinguish said power with its power to call department secretaries, etc., during question hour SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON, ET AL., VS. EXEC. SEC. EDUARDO ERMITA, ET AL., G.R. No. 16977, April 20, 2006 CARPIO MORALES, J.: The Facts: In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate Committees, conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the attendance of officials and employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices including those employed in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP). On September 21 to 23, 2005, the Committee of the Senate as a whole issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department for them to appear on September 29, 2005 as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project of the North Luzon Railways Corporation with the China National Machinery and Equipment Group (hereinafter North Rail Project). The public hearing was sparked by a privilege speech of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile urging the Senate to investigate the alleged overpricing and other unlawful provisions of the contract covering the North Rail Project. The Senate Committee on National Defense and Security likewise issued invitations dated September 22, 2005 to the following officials of the AFP: the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, Lt. Gen. Hermogenes C. Esperon; Inspector General of the AFP Vice Admiral Mateo M. Mayuga; Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence of the AFP Rear Admiral Tirso R. Danga; Chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP Brig. Gen. Marlu Q. Quevedo; Assistant Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Brig. Gen. Francisco V. Gudani; and Assistant Commandant, Corps of Cadets of the PMA, Col. Alexander F. Balutan, for them to attend as resource persons in a public hearing scheduled on September 28, 2005 on the following: (1) Privilege Speech of Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr., delivered on June 6, 2005 entitled Bunye has Provided Smoking Gun or has Opened a Can of Worms that Show Massive Electoral Fraud in the Presidential Election of May 2005; (2) Privilege Speech of Senator Jinggoy E. Estrada delivered on July 26, 2005 entitled The Philippines as the Wire-Tapping Capital of the World; (3) Privilege Speech of Senator Rodolfo Biazon delivered on August 1, 2005 entitled Clear and Present Danger; (4) Senate Resolution No. 285 filed by Senator Maria Ana Consuelo Madrigal Resolution Directing the Committee on National Defense and Security to Conduct an Inquiry, in Aid of Legislation, and in the National Interest, on the Role of the Military in the So-called Gloriagate Scandal; and (5) Senate Resolution No. 295 filed by Senator Biazon Resolution Directing the Committee on National Defense and Security to Conduct an Inquiry, in Aid of Legislation, on the Wire-Tapping of the President of the Philippines. Also invited to the above-said hearing scheduled on September 28 2005 was the AFP Chief of Staff, General Generoso S. Senga who, by letter dated September 27, 2005, requested for its postponement due to a pressing operational situation that demands [his] utmost personal attention while some of the invited AFP officers are currently attending to other urgent operational matters.

forms of money-laundering, which regime shall emphasize requirements for customer identification, record-keeping and the reporting of suspicious transactions; Art. 7(2): State Parties shall consider implementing feasible measures to detect and monitor the movement of cash and appropriate negotiable instruments across their borders, subject to safeguards to ensure proper use of information and without impeding in any way the movement of legitimate capital. Such measures may include a requirement that individuals and businesses report the cross-border transfer of substantial quantities of cash and appropriate negotiable instruments. (Underscoring supplied.) 288[7] Rollo, pp. 138-139. 289[8] Publication was made in the October 31, 2008 issues of the Manila Daily Bulletin and the Malaya. 290[9] Rollo, p. 143.

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On September 28, 2005, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon received from Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita a letter 291 dated September 27, 2005 respectfully request[ing] for the postponement of the hearing [regarding the NorthRail project] to which various officials of the Executive Department have been invited in order to afford said officials ample time and opportunity to study and prepare for the various issues so that they may better enlighten the Senate Committee on its investigation. Senate President Drilon, however, wrote 292 Executive Secretary Ermita that the Senators are unable to accede to [his request] as it was sent belatedly and [a]ll preparations and arrangements as well as notices to all resource persons were completed [the previous] week. Senate President Drilon likewise received on September 28, 2005 a letter from the President of the North Luzon Railways Corporation Jose L. Cortes, Jr. requesting that the hearing on the NorthRail project be postponed or cancelled until a copy of the report of the UP Law Center on the contract agreements relative to the project had been secured. On September 28, 2005, the President of the Philippines issued E.O. 464, ENSURING OBSERVANCE OF THE PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS, ADHERENCE TO THE RULE ON EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND RESPECT FOR THE RIGHTS OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS APPEARING IN LEGISLATIVE INQUIRIES IN AID OF LEGISLATION UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, which, pursuant to Section 6 thereof, took effect immediately. The salient provisions of the Order are as follows: SECTION 1. Appearance by Heads of Departments Before Congress. In accordance with Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution and to implement the Constitutional provisions on the separation of powers between co-equal branches of the government, all heads of departments of the Executive Branch of the government shall secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either House of Congress. When the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall only be conducted in executive session. SECTION. 2. Nature, Scope and Coverage of Executive Privilege. (a) Nature and Scope. - The rule of confidentiality based on executive privilege is fundamental to the operation of government and rooted in the separation of powers under the Constitution ( Almonte vs. Vasquez, G.R. No. 95367, 23 May 1995). Further, Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees provides that Public Officials and Employees shall not use or divulge confidential or classified information officially known to them by reason of their office and not made available to the public to prejudice the public interest. Executive privilege covers all confidential or classified information between the President and the public officers covered by this executive order, including: 1. Conversations and correspondence between the President and the public official covered by this executive order ( Almonte vs. Vasquez G.R. No. 95367, 23 May 1995; Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, G.R. No. 133250, 9 July 2002); 2. Military, diplomatic and other national security matters which in the interest of national security should not be divulged ( Almonte vs. Vasquez, G.R. No. 95367, 23 May 1995; Chavez v. Presidential Commission on Good Government, G.R. No. 130716, 9 December 1998). 3. Information between inter-government agencies prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements (Chavez v. Presidential Commission on Good Government, G.R. No. 130716, 9 December 1998); 4. Discussion in close-door Cabinet meetings (Chavez v. Presidential Commission on Good Government , G.R. No. 130716, 9 December 1998); 5. Matters affecting national security and public order (Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, G.R. No. 133250, 9 July 2002). (b) Who are covered. The following are covered by this executive order: 1. Senior officials of executive departments who in the judgment of the department heads are covered by the executive privilege; 2. Generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of Staff are covered by the executive privilege; 3. Philippine National Police (PNP) officers with rank of chief superintendent or higher and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of the PNP are covered by the executive privilege; 4. Senior national security officials who in the judgment of the National Security Adviser are covered by the executive privilege; and 5. Such other officers as may be determined by the President. SECTION 3. Appearance of Other Public Officials Before Congress. All public officials enumerated in Section 2 (b) hereof shall secure prior consent of the President prior to appearing before either House of Congress to ensure the observance of the principle of separation of powers, adherence to the rule on executive privilege and respect for the rights of public officials appearing in inquiries in aid of legislation. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) A transparent government is one of the hallmarks of a truly republican state. Even in the early history of republican thought, however, it has been recognized that the head of government may keep certain information confidential in pursuit of the public interest. Explaining the reason for vesting executive power in only one magistrate, a distinguished delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention said: Decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch will generally characterize the proceedings of one man, in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number; and in proportion as the number is increased, these qualities will be diminished. Considering that no member of the executive department would want to appear in the above Senate investigations in aid of legislation by virtue of Proc. No. 464, the petitioners filed the present petitions to declare the same unconstitutional because the President abused her powers in issuing Executive Order No. 464. I S S U E S: 1. Whether E.O. 464 contravenes the power of inquiry vested in Congress; 2. Whether E.O. 464 violates the right of the people to information on matters of public concern; and 3. Whether respondents have committed grave abuse of discretion when they implemented E.O. 464 prior to its publication in a newspaper of general circulation. H E L D: Before proceeding to resolve the issue of the constitutionality of E.O. 464, ascertainment of whether the requisites for a valid exercise of the Courts power of judicial review are present is in order.
291 292

Annex B, id. at 52. Annex C, id. at 53.

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Like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have standing to challenge the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.293 Invoking this Courts ruling in National Economic Protectionism Association v. Ongpin 294 and Valmonte v. Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office,295 respondents assert that to be considered a proper party, one must have a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that he has sustained or will sustain direct injury due to the enforcement of E.O. 464.296 The Supreme Court, however, held that when suing as a citizen, the interest of the petitioner in assailing the constitutionality of laws, presidential decrees, orders, and other regulations, must be direct and personal. In Franciso v. House of Representatives,297 this Court held that when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right, the mere fact that he is a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest. I The Congress power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution which reads: SECTION 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. (Underscoring supplied) The 1935 Constitution did not contain a similar provision. Nonetheless, in Arnault v. Nazareno,298 a case decided in 1950 under that Constitution, the Court already recognized that the power of inquiry is inherent in the power to legislate. Arnault involved a Senate investigation of the reportedly anomalous purchase of the Buenavista and Tambobong Estates by the Rural Progress Administration. Arnault, who was considered a leading witness in the controversy, was called to testify thereon by the Senate. On account of his refusal to answer the questions of the senators on an important point, he was, by resolution of the Senate, detained for contempt. Upholding the Senates power to punish Arnault for contempt, this Court held: Although there is no provision in the Constitution expressly investing either House of Congress with power to make investigations and exact testimony to the end that it may exercise its legislative functions advisedly and effectively, such power is so far incidental to the legislative function as to be implied. In other words, the power of inquiry with process to enforce it is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change; and where the legislative body does not itself possess the requisite information which is not infrequently true recourse must be had to others who do possess it. Experience has shown that mere requests for such information are often unavailing, and also that information which is volunteered is not always accurate or complete; so some means of compulsion is essential to obtain what is needed.299 . . . (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) That this power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive branch may be deduced from the same case. The power of inquiry, the Court therein ruled, is co-extensive with the power to legislate. 300 The matters which may be a proper subject of legislation and those which may be a proper subject of investigation are one. It follows that the operation of government, being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for investigation. Since Congress has authority to inquire into the operations of the executive branch, it would be incongruous to hold that the power of inquiry does not extend to executive officials who are the most familiar with and informed on executive operations. As discussed in Arnault, the power of inquiry, with process to enforce it, is grounded on the necessity of information in the legislative process. If the information possessed by executive officials on the operation of their offices is necessary for wise legislation on that subject, by parity of reasoning, Congress has the right to that information and the power to compel the disclosure thereof. For one, as noted in Bengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee,301 the inquiry itself might not properly be in aid of legislation, and thus beyond the constitutional power of Congress. Such inquiry could not usurp judicial functions. Parenthetically, one possible way for Congress to avoid such a result as occurred in Bengzon is to indicate in its invitations to the public officials concerned, or to any person for that matter, the possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry. Given such statement in its invitations, along with the usual indication of the subject of inquiry and the questions relative to and in furtherance thereof, there would be less room for speculation on the part of the person invited on whether the inquiry is in aid of legislation. Section 21, Article VI likewise establishes crucial safeguards that proscribe the legislative power of inquiry. The provision requires that the inquiry be done in accordance with the Senate or Houses duly published rules of procedure, necessarily implying the constitutional infirmity of an inquiry conducted without duly published rules of procedure. Section 21 also mandates that the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected, an imposition that obligates Congress to adhere to the guarantees in the Bill of Rights. A distinction was thus made between inquiries in aid of legislation and the question hour. While attendance was meant to be discretionary in the question hour, it was compulsory in inquiries in aid of legislation. Sections 21 and 22, therefore, while closely related and complementary to each other, should not be considered as pertaining to the same power of Congress. One specifically relates to the power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation, the aim of which is to elicit

293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301

Francisco v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 160261, November 10, 2003, 415 SCRA 44, 133. G.R. No. 67752, April 10, 1989, 171 SCRA 657. G.R. No. 78716, September 22, 1987 (res). Rollo (G.R. No. 169777), p. 117. Supra note 39 at 136. 87 Phil. 29 (1950). Supra at 45, citing McGrain v. Daugherty 273 US 135, 47 S. Ct. 319, 71 L.Ed. 580, 50 A.L.R. 1 (1927). Id. at 46. G.R. 89914, Nov. 20, 1991, 203 SCRA 767.

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information that may be used for legislation, while the other pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective of which is to obtain information in pursuit of Congress oversight function. When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how department heads are implementing the statutes which it has issued, its right to such information is not as imperative as that of the President to whom, as Chief Executive, such department heads must give a report of their performance as a matter of duty. In such instances, Section 22, in keeping with the separation of powers, states that Congress may only request their appearance. Nonetheless, when the inquiry in which Congress requires their appearance is in aid of legislation under Section 21, the appearance is mandatory for the same reasons stated in Arnault.302 In fine, the oversight function of Congress may be facilitated by compulsory process only to the extent that it is performed in pursuit of legislation. This is consistent with the intent discerned from the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. Ultimately, the power of Congress to compel the appearance of executive officials under Section 21 and the lack of it under Section 22 find their basis in the principle of separation of powers. While the executive branch is a co-equal branch of the legislature, it cannot frustrate the power of Congress to legislate by refusing to comply with its demands for information. When Congress exercises its power of inquiry, the only way for department heads to exempt themselves therefrom is by a valid claim of privilege. They are not exempt by the mere fact that they are department heads. Only one executive official may be exempted from this power the President on whom executive power is vested, hence, beyond the reach of Congress except through the power of impeachment. Section 1, in view of its specific reference to Section 22 of Article VI of the Constitution and the absence of any reference to inquiries in aid of legislation, must be construed as limited in its application to appearances of department heads in the question hour is therefore CONSTITUTIONAL. It is different insofar as Sections 2 and 3 are concerned. Section 3 of E.O. 464 requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress. The enumeration is broad. It covers all senior officials of executive departments, all officers of the AFP and the PNP, and all senior national security officials who, in the judgment of the heads of offices designated in the same section (i.e. department heads, Chief of Staff of the AFP, Chief of the PNP, and the National Security Adviser), are covered by the executive privilege. The enumeration also includes such other officers as may be determined by the President. Given the title of Section 2 Nature, Scope and Coverage of Executive Privilege , it is evident that under the rule of ejusdem generis, the determination by the President under this provision is intended to be based on a similar finding of coverage under executive privilege. While there is no Philippine case that directly addresses the issue of whether executive privilege may be invoked against Congress, it is gathered from Chavez v. PEA that certain information in the possession of the executive may validly be claimed as privileged even against Congress. Thus, the case holds: There is no claim by PEA that the information demanded by petitioner is privileged information rooted in the separation of powers. The information does not cover Presidential conversations, correspondences, or discussions during closed-door Cabinet meetings which, like internal-deliberations of the Supreme Court and other collegiate courts, or executive sessions of either house of Congress, are recognized as confidential. This kind of information cannot be pried open by a co-equal branch of government. A frank exchange of exploratory ideas and assessments, free from the glare of publicity and pressure by interested parties, is essential to protect the independence of decision-making of those tasked to exercise Presidential, Legislative and Judicial power. This is not the situation in the instant case.303 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) The claim of privilege under Section 3 of E.O. 464 in relation to Section 2(b) is thus invalid per se. It is not asserted. It is merely implied. Instead of providing precise and certain reasons for the claim, it merely invokes E.O. 464, coupled with an announcement that the President has not given her consent. It is woefully insufficient for Congress to determine whether the withholding of information is justified under the circumstances of each case. It severely frustrates the power of inquiry of Congress. In fine, Section 3 and Section 2(b) of E.O. 464 must be invalidated. 2 E.O 464 likewise violates the constitutional provision on the right to information on matters of public concern. There are clear distinctions between the right of Congress to information which underlies the power of inquiry and the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. For one, the demand of a citizen for the production of documents pursuant to his right to information does not have the same obligatory force as a subpoena duces tecum issued by Congress. Neither does the right to information grant a citizen the power to exact testimony from government officials. These powers belong only to Congress and not to an individual citizen. To the extent that investigations in aid of legislation are generally conducted in public, however, any executive issuance tending to unduly limit disclosures of information in such investigations necessarily deprives the people of information which, being presumed to be in aid of legislation, is presumed to be a matter of public concern. The citizens are thereby denied access to information which they can use in formulating their own opinions on the matter before Congress opinions which they can then communicate to their representatives and other government officials through the various legal means allowed by their freedom of expression. Thus holds Valmonte v. Belmonte: It is in the interest of the State that the channels for free political discussion be maintained to the end that the government may perceive and be responsive to the peoples will. Yet, this open dialogue can be effective only to the extent that the citizenry is informed and thus able to formulate its will intelligently. Only when the participants in the discussion are aware of the issues and have access to information relating thereto can such bear fruit.304 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) The impairment of the right of the people to information as a consequence of E.O. 464 is, therefore, in the sense explained above, just as direct as its violation of the legislatures power of inquiry. 3
302 303 304

Supra. Supra note 82 at 189. G.R. No. 74930, February 13, 1989, 170 SCRA 256.

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The implementation of Proc. 464 before it was published in the Official Gazette as illegal. Due process thus requires that the people should have been apprised of this issuance before it was implemented. This is clear from the doctrine laid down in the case of TANADA VS. TUVERA. WHEREFORE, the petitions are PARTLY GRANTED. Sections 2(b) and 3 of Executive Order No. 464 (series of 2005), ENSURING OBSERVANCE OF THE PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS, ADHERENCE TO THE RULE ON EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND RESPECT FOR THE RIGHTS OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS APPEARING IN LEGISLATIVE INQUIRIES IN AID OF LEGISLATION UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, are declared VOID. Bengzon, Jr. vs. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Nov. 20, 1991 This is a petition for prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or injunctive relief, to enjoin the respondent Senate Blue Ribbon committee from requiring the petitioners to testify and produce evidence at its inquiry into the alleged sale of the equity of Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez to the Lopa Group in thirty-six (36) or thirty-nine (39) corporations. Coming to the specific issues raised in this case, petitioners contend that (1) the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's inquiry has no valid legislative purpose, i.e., it is not done in aid of legislation; (2) the sale or disposition of hte Romualdez corporations is a "purely private transaction" which is beyond the power of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to inquire into; and (3) the inquiry violates their right to due process. The 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. 1Thus, Section 21, Article VI thereof provides: The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committee may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. The power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is not, therefore, absolute or unlimited. Its exercise is circumscribed by the afore-quoted provision of the Constitution. Thus, as provided therein, the investigation must be "in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure" and that "the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected." It follows then that the rights of persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected, including the right to due process and the right not to be compelled to testify against one's self. The power to conduct formal inquiries or investigations in specifically provided for in Sec. 1 of the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation. Such inquiries may refer to the implementation or re-examination of any law or in connection with any proposed legislation or the formulation of future legislation. They may also extend to any and all matters vested by the Constitution in Congress and/or in the Seante alone. As held in Jean L. Arnault vs. Leon Nazareno, et al., 16 the inquiry, to be within the jurisdiction of the legislative body making it, must be material or necessary to the exercise of a power in it vested by the Constitution, such as to legislate or to expel a member. Under Sec. 4 of the aforementioned Rules, the Senate may refer to any committee or committees any speech or resolution filed by any Senator which in its judgment requires an appropriate inquiry in aid of legislation. In order therefore to ascertain the character or nature of an inquiry, resort must be had to the speech or resolution under which such an inquiry is proposed to be made. A perusal of the speech of Senator Enrile reveals that he (Senator Enrile) made a statement which was published in various newspapers on 2 September 1988 accusing Mr. Ricardo "Baby" Lopa of "having taken over the FMMC Group of Companies." As a consequence thereof, Mr. Lopa wrote a letter to Senator Enrile on 4 September 1988 categorically denying that he had "taken over " the FMMC Group of Companies; that former PCGG Chairman Ramon Diaz himself categorically stated in a telecast interview by Mr. Luis Beltran on Channel 7 on 31 August 1988 that there has been no takeover by him (Lopa); and that theses repeated allegations of a "takeover" on his (Lopa's) part of FMMC are baseless as they are malicious. The Lopa reply prompted Senator Enrile, during the session of the Senate on 13 September 1988, to avail of the privilege hour, 17 so that he could repond to the said Lopa letter, and also to vindicate his reputation as a Member of the Senate of the Philippines, considering the claim of Mr. Lopa that his (Enrile's) charges that he (Lopa) had taken over the FMMC Group of Companies are "baseless" and "malicious." Thus, in his speech, 18 Senator Enrile said, among others, as follows: It appeals, therefore, that the contemplated inquiry by respondent Committee is not really "in aid of legislation" because it is not related to a purpose within the jurisdiction of Congress, since the aim of the investigation is to find out whether or not the relatives of the President or Mr. Ricardo Lopa had violated Section 5 RA No. 3019, the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act", a matter that appears more within the province of the courts rather than of the legislature. Besides, the Court may take judicial notice that Mr. Ricardo Lopa died during the pendency of this case. In John T. Watkins vs. United States, 20 it was held : ... The power of congress to conduct investigations in inherent in the legislative process. That power is broad. it encompasses inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws as well as proposed, or possibly needed statutes. It includes surveys of defects in our social, economic, or political system for the purpose of enabling Congress to remedy them. It comprehends probes into departments of the Federal Government to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste. But broad as is this power of inquiry, it is not unlimited. There is no general authority to expose the private affairs of individuals without justification in terms of the functions of congress. This was freely conceded by Solicitor General in his argument in this case. Nor is the Congress a law enforcement or trial agency. These are functions of the executive and judicial departments of government. No inquiry is an end in itself; it must be related to and in furtherance of a legitimate task of Congress. Investigations conducted solely for the personal aggrandizement of the investigators or to "punish" those investigated are indefensible. (emphasis supplied) Broad as it is, the power is not, however, without limitations. Since congress may only investigate into those areas in which it may potentially legislate or appropriate, it cannot inquire into matters which are within the exclusive province of one of the other branches of the government. Lacking the judicial power given to the Judiciary, it cannot inquire into mattes that are exclusively the concern of the Judiciary. Neither can it supplant the Executive in what exclusively belongs to the Executive. ... Moreover, this right of the accused is extended to respondents in administrative investigations but only if they partake of the nature of a criminal proceeding or analogous to a criminal proceeding. In Galman vs. Pamaran, 26 the Court reiterated the doctrine in Cabal vs. Kapuanan (6 SCRA 1059) to illustrate the right of witnesses to invoke the right against self-incrimination not only in criminal proceedings but also in all other types of suit

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We do not here modify these doctrines. If we presently rule that petitioners may not be compelled by the respondent Committee to appear, testify and produce evidence before it, it is only because we hold that the questioned inquiry is not in aid of legislation and, if pursued, would be violative of the principle of separation of powers between the legislative and the judicial departments of government, ordained by the Constitution. Investigation in aid of legislation; Executive Privilege ROMULO L. NERI VS. SENATE COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS AND INVESTIGATIONS, SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND COMMERCE, AND SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY, G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008 LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J. (En Banc) THE FACTS: On April 21, 2007, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) entered into a contract with Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) for the supply of equipment and services for the National Broadband Network (NBN) Project in the amount of U.S. $ 329,481,290 (approximately P16 Billion Pesos). The Project was to be financed by the Peoples Republic of China. In connection with this NBN Project, various Resolutions were introduced in the Senate. At the same time, the investigation was claimed to be relevant to the consideration of three (3) pending bills in the Senate. Respondent Committees initiated the investigation by sending invitations to certain personalities and cabinet officials involved in the NBN Project. Petitioner was among those invited. He was summoned to appear and testify on September 18, 20, and 26 and October 25, 2007. However, he attended only the September 26 hearing, claiming he was out of town during the other dates. In the September 18, 2007 hearing, businessman Jose de Venecia III testified that several high executive officials and power brokers were using their influence to push the approval of the NBN Project by the NEDA. It appeared that the Project was initially approved as a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project but, on March 29, 2007, the NEDA acquiesced to convert it into a government-to-government project, to be financed through a loan from the Chinese Government. On September 26, 2007, petitioner testified before respondent Committees for eleven (11) hours. He disclosed that then Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Benjamin Abalos offered him P200 Million in exchange for his approval of the NBN Project. He further narrated that he informed President Arroyo about the bribery attempt and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe. However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project, petitioner refused to answer, invoking executive privilege. In particular, he refused to answer the questions on (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project, 305[6] (b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it,306[7] and (c) whether or not she directed him to approve.307[8] Unrelenting, respondent Committees issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum to petitioner, requiring him to appear and testify on November 20, 2007. However, in the Letter dated November 15, 2007, Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita requested respondent Committees to dispense with petitioners testimony on the ground of executive privilege. The pertinent portion of the letter reads: With reference to the subpoena ad testificandum issued to Secretary Romulo Neri to appear and testify again on 20 November 2007 before the Joint Committees you chair, it will be recalled that Sec. Neri had already testified and exhaustively discussed the ZTE / NBN project, including his conversation with the President thereon last 26 September 2007. Asked to elaborate further on his conversation with the President, Sec. Neri asked for time to consult with his superiors in line with the ruling of the Supreme Court in Senate v. Ermita, 488 SCRA 1 (2006). Specifically, Sec. Neri sought guidance on the possible invocation of executive privilege on the following questions, to wit:

a) b) c)

Whether the President followed up the (NBN) project? Were you dictated to prioritize the ZTE? Whether the President said to go ahead and approve the project after being told about the alleged bribe? Following the ruling in Senate v. Ermita, the foregoing questions fall under conversations and correspondence between the President and public officials which are considered executive privilege ( Almonte v. Vasquez, G.R. 95637, 23 May 1995; Chavez v. PEA, G.R. 133250, July 9, 2002). The context in which executive privilege is being invoked is that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the Peoples Republic of China. In light of the above considerations, this Office is constrained to invoke the settled doctrine of executive privilege as refined in Senate v. Ermita, and has advised Secretary Neri accordingly. On November 20, 2007, petitioner did not appear before respondent Committees. Thus, on November 22, 2007, the latter issued the show cause Letter requiring him to explain why he should not be cited in contempt. The Letter reads:

Since you have failed to appear in the said hearing, the Committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), Trade and Commerce and National Defense and Security require you to show cause why you should not be cited in contempt under Section 6, Article 6 of the Rules of the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon). The Senate expects your explanation on or before 2 December 2007.
305[6] 306[7] 307[8]

Transcript of the September 26, 2007 Hearing of the respondent Committees, pp.91-92. Id., pp. 114-115. Id., pp. 276-277.

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On November 29, 2007, petitioner replied to respondent Committees, manifesting that it was not his intention to ignore the Senate hearing and that he thought the only remaining questions were those he claimed to be covered by executive privilege, thus: It was not my intention to snub the last Senate hearing. In fact, I have cooperated with the task of the Senate in its inquiry in aid of legislation as shown by my almost 11 hours stay during the hearing on 26 September 2007. During said hearing, I answered all the questions that were asked of me, save for those which I thought was covered by executive privilege, and which was confirmed by the Executive Secretary in his Letter 15 November 2007. In good faith, after that exhaustive testimony, I thought that what remained were only the three questions, where the Executive Secretary claimed executive privilege. Hence, his request that my presence be dispensed with. In addition, petitioner submitted a letter prepared by his counsel, Atty. Antonio R. Bautista, stating, among others that: (1) his (petitioner) nonappearance was upon the order of the President; and (2) his conversation with President Arroyo dealt with delicate and sensitive national security and diplomatic matters relating to the impact of the bribery scandal involving high government officials and the possible loss of confidence of foreign investors and lenders in the Philippines. The letter ended with a reiteration of petitioners request that he be furnished in advance as to what else he needs to clarify so that he may adequately prepare for the hearing. On December 7, 2007, petitioner filed with this Court the present petition for certiorari assailing the show cause Letter dated November 22, 2007. Respondent Committees found petitioners explanations unsatisfactory. Without responding to his request for advance notice of the matters that he should still clarify, they issued the Order dated January 30, 2008, citing him in contempt of respondent Committees and ordering his arrest and detention at the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms until such time that he would appear and give his testimony. The said Order states: ORDER For failure to appear and testify in the Committees hearing on Tuesday, September 18, 2007; Thursday, September 20, 2007; Thursday, October 25, 2007; and Tuesday, November 20, 2007, despite personal notice and Subpoenas Ad Testificandum sent to and received by him, which thereby delays, impedes and obstructs, as it has in fact delayed, impeded and obstructed the inquiry into the subject reported irregularities, AND for failure to explain satisfactorily why he should not be cited for contempt (Neri letter of 29 November 2007), herein attached) ROMULO L. NERI is hereby cited in contempt of this (sic) Committees and ordered arrested and detained in the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms until such time that he will appear and give his testimony. The Sergeant-At-Arms is hereby directed to carry out and implement this Order and make a return hereof within twenty four (24) hours from its enforcement. On the same date, petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the above Order. 308[9] He insisted that he has not shown any contemptible conduct worthy of contempt and arrest. He emphasized his willingness to testify on new matters, however, respondent Committees did not respond to his request for advance notice of questions. He also mentioned the petition for certiorari he filed on December 7, 2007. According to him, this should restrain respondent Committees from enforcing the show cause Letter through the issuance of declaration of contempt and arrest. In view of respondent Committees issuance of the contempt Order, petitioner filed on February 1, 2008 a Supplemental Petition for Certiorari (With Urgent Application for TRO/Preliminary Injunction), seeking to restrain the implementation of the said contempt Order. On February 5, 2008, the Court issued a Status Quo Ante Order (a) enjoining respondent Committees from implementing their contempt Order, (b) requiring the parties to observe the status quo prevailing prior to the issuance of the assailed order, and (c) requiring respondent Committees to file their comment. Petitioner contends that respondent Committees show cause Letter and contempt Order were issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. He stresses that his conversations with President Arroyo are candid discussions meant to explore options in making policy decisions . According to him, these discussions dwelt on the impact of the bribery scandal involving high government officials on the countrys diplomatic relations and economic and military affairs and the possible loss of confidence of foreign investors and lenders in the Philippines . He also emphasizes that his claim of executive privilege is upon the order of the President and within the parameters laid down in Senate v. Ermita309[10] and United States v. Reynolds.310[11] Lastly, he argues that he is precluded from disclosing communications made to him in official confidence under Section 7311[12] of Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise known as Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and Section 24312[13] (e) of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Respondent Committees assert the contrary. They argue that (1) petitioners testimony is material and pertinent in the investigation conducted in aid of legislation; (2) there is no valid justification for petitioner to claim executive privilege; (3) there is no abuse of their authority to order petitioners arrest; and (4) petitioner has not come to court with clean hands. I S S U E S: 1. What communications between the President and petitioner Neri are covered by the principle of executive privilege?
308 309

See Letter dated January 30, 2008. 488 SCRA 1 (2006). 310 [11] 345 U.S. 1 (1953). 311[12] Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. In addition to acts and omissions of public officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful: x x x (c) Disclosure and/or misuse of confidential information. Public officials and employees shall not use or divulge, confidential or classified information officially known to them by reason of their office and not made available to the public, either: (1) To further their private interests, or give undue advantage to anyone; or (2) To prejudice the public interest. 312[13] SEC. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication . The following persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases. (e) A public officer cannot be examined during his term of office or afterwards, as to communications made to him in official confidence, when the court finds that the public interest would suffer by disclosure.
[10]

[9]

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1.a Did Executive Secretary Ermita correctly invoke the principle of executive privilege, by order of the President, to cover (i) conversations of the President in the exercise of her executive and policy decision-making and (ii) information, which might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the Peoples Republic of China? 1.b. Did petitioner Neri correctly invoke executive privilege to avoid testifying on his conversations with the President on the NBN contract on his assertions that the said conversations dealt with delicate and sensitive national security and diplomatic matters relating to the impact of bribery scandal involving high government officials and the possible loss of confidence of foreign investors and lenders in the Philippines x x x within the principles laid down in Senate v. Ermita (488 SCRA 1 [2006])? 1.c Will the claim of executive privilege in this case violate the following provisions of the Constitution: Sec. 28, Art. II (Full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest)

Sec. 7, Art. III (The right of the people to information on matters of public concern) Sec. 1, Art. XI (Public office is a public trust) Sec. 17, Art. VII (The President shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed) and the due process clause and the principle of separation of powers? 2. 3. What is the proper procedure to be followed in invoking executive privilege? Did the Senate Committees gravely abuse their discretion in ordering the arrest of petitioner for non-compliance with the subpoena?

H E L D: At the core of this controversy are the two (2) crucial queries, to wit: First, are the communications elicited by the subject three (3) questions covered by executive privilege? And second, did respondent Committees commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the contempt Order? There is merit in the petition. At the outset, a glimpse at the landmark case of Senate v. Ermita313[18] becomes imperative. Senate draws in bold strokes the distinction between the legislative and oversight powers of the Congress, as embodied under Sections 21 and 22, respectively, of Article VI of the Constitution, to wit: SECTION 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. SECTION 22. The heads of department may upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the request of either House, or as the rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three days before their scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but may cover matters related thereto. When the security of the state or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall be conducted in executive session. Senate cautions that while the above provisions are closely related and complementary to each other, they should not be considered as pertaining to the same power of Congress. Section 21 relates to the power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. Its aim is to elicit information that may be used for legislation. On the other hand, Section 22 pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective of which is to obtain information in pursuit of Congress oversight function. 314[19] Simply stated, while both powers allow Congress or any of its committees to conduct inquiry, their objectives are different. This distinction gives birth to another distinction with regard to the use of compulsory process. Unlike in Section 21, Congress cannot compel the appearance of executive officials under Section 22. The Courts pronouncement in Senate v. Ermita315[20] is clear: When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how department heads are implementing the statutes which it has issued, its right to such information is not as imperative as that of the President to whom, as Chief Executive, such department heads must give a report of their performance as a matter of duty. In such instances, Section 22, in keeping with the separation of powers, states that Congress may only request their appearance. Nonetheless, when the inquiry in which Congress requires their appearance is in aid of legislation under Section 21, the appearance is mandatory for the same reasons stated in Arnault. I The Communications Elicited by the Three (3) Questions are Covered by Executive Privilege We start with the basic premises where the parties have conceded. The power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is broad. This is based on the proposition that a legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change.316[21] Inevitably, adjunct thereto is the compulsory process to enforce it. But, the power, broad as it is, has limitations. To be valid, it is imperative that it is done in accordance with the Senate or House duly published rules of procedure and that the rights of the persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries be respected.

313 314 315 316


[21]

[18] [19] [20]

Supra. Ibid. Ibid. Arnault v. Nazareno, 87 Phil 32 (1950)

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The power extends even to executive officials and the only way for them to be exempted is through a valid claim of executive privilege. 317[22] This directs us to the consideration of the question -- is there a recognized claim of executive privilege despite the revocation of E.O. 464? AThere is a Recognized Claim of Executive Privilege Despite the Revocation of E.O. 464 At this juncture, it must be stressed that the revocation of E.O. 464 does not in any way diminish our concept of executive privilege. This is because this concept has Constitutional underpinnings. Unlike the United States which has further accorded the concept with statutory status by enacting the Freedom of Information Act318[23] and the Federal Advisory Committee Act,319[24] the Philippines has retained its constitutional origination, occasionally interpreted only by this Court in various cases. The most recent of these is the case of Senate v. Ermita where this Court declared unconstitutional substantial portions of E.O. 464. In this regard, it is worthy to note that Executive Ermitas Letter dated November 15, 2007 limits its bases for the claim of executive privilege to Senate v. Ermita, Almonte v. Vasquez,320[25] and Chavez v. PEA.321[26] There was never a mention of E.O. 464. While these cases, especially Senate v. Ermita,322[27] have comprehensively discussed the concept of executive privilege, we deem it imperative to explore it once more in view of the clamor for this Court to clearly define the communications covered by executive privilege. The Nixon and post-Watergate cases established the broad contours of the presidential communications privilege.323[28] In United States v. Nixon,324[29] the U.S. Court recognized a great public interest in preserving the confidentiality of conversations that take place in the Presidents performance of his official duties. It thus considered presidential communications as presumptively privileged. Apparently, the presumption is founded on the Presidents generalized interest in confidentiality. The privilege is said to be necessary to guarantee the candor of presidential advisors and to provide the President and those who assist him with freedom to explore alternatives in the process of shaping policies and making decisions and to do so in a way many would be unwilling to express except privately. In In Re: Sealed Case,325[30] the U.S. Court of Appeals delved deeper. It ruled that there are two (2) kinds of executive privilege; one is the presidential communications privilege and, the other is the deliberative process privilege. The former pertains to communications, documents or other materials that reflect presidential decision-making and deliberations and that the President believes should remain confidential. The latter includes advisory opinions, recommendations and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated. Accordingly, they are characterized by marked distinctions. Presidential communications privilege applies to decision-making of the President while, the deliberative process privilege, to decision-making of executive officials . The first is rooted in the constitutional principle of separation of power and the Presidents unique constitutional role; the second on common law privilege. Unlike the deliberative process privilege, the presidential communications privilege applies to documents in their entirety, and covers final and post-decisional materials as well as pre-deliberative ones 326[31] As a consequence, congressional or judicial negation of the presidential communications privilege is always subject to greater scrutiny than denial of the deliberative process privilege. Turning on who are the officials covered by the presidential communications privilege, In Re: Sealed Case confines the privilege only to White House Staff that has operational proximity to direct presidential decision-making. Thus, the privilege is meant to encompass only those functions that form the core of presidential authority, involving what the court characterized as quintessential and non-delegable Presidential power, such as commander-in-chief power, appointment and removal power, the power to grant pardons and reprieves, the sole-authority to receive ambassadors and other public officers, the power to negotiate treaties, etc.327[32] Majority of the above jurisprudence have found their way in our jurisdiction. In Chavez v. PCGG328[38], this Court held that there is a governmental privilege against public disclosure with respect to state secrets regarding military, diplomatic and other security matters. In Chavez v. PEA,329[39] there is also a recognition of the confidentiality of Presidential conversations, correspondences, and discussions in closed-door Cabinet meetings. In Senate v. Ermita, the concept of presidential communications privilege is fully discussed. As may be gleaned from the above discussion, the claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where the subject of inquiry relates to a power textually committed by the Constitution to the President, such as the area of military and foreign relations. Under our Constitution, the President is the repository of the commander-in-chief,330[40] appointing,331[41] pardoning,332[42] and diplomatic333[43] powers. Consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers, the information relating to these powers may enjoy greater confidentiality than others.
317 318[23] 319 320[25] 321 322[27] 323
[26] [24]

[22]

324[29] 325[30] 326[31] 327[32]

Senate v. Ermita, p. 58. 5 U.S. C. 552 51 U.S. C. app. 433 Phil. 506 (2002). G.R. No. 130716, December 9, 1998, (360 SCRA 132 ). Supra. [28] CRS Report for Congress, Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law, Practice and Recent Developments at p. 2. 418 U.S. 683. In Re: Sealed Case No. 96-3124, June 17, 1997. Id. CRS Report for Congress, Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law, Practice and Recent Developments at pp. 18[38]

19.
328 329[39] 330 331 332 333
[40] [41] [42] [43]

360 Phil. 133 (1998). Supra. Section 18, Article VII. Section 16, Article VII. Section 19, Article VII. Section 20 and 21, Article VII.

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The above cases, especially, Nixon, In Re Sealed Case and Judicial Watch, somehow provide the elements of presidential communications privilege, to wit: 1) The protected communication must relate to a quintessential and non-delegable presidential power. 2) 3) The communication must be authored or solicited and received by a close advisor of the President or the President himself. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in operational proximity with the President. The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be overcome by a showing of adequate need, such that the information sought likely contains important evidence and by the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority.334[44] In the case at bar, Executive Secretary Ermita premised his claim of executive privilege on the ground that the communications elicited by the three (3) questions fall under conversation and correspondence between the President and public officials necessary in her executive and policy decision-making process and, that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the Peoples Republic of China. Simply put, the bases are presidential communications privilege and executive privilege on matters relating to diplomacy or foreign relations. Using the above elements, we are convinced that, indeed, the communications elicited by the three (3) questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege. First, the communications relate to a quintessential and non-delegable power of the President, i.e. the power to enter into an executive agreement with other countries. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine jurisprudence. 335[45] Second, the communications are received by a close advisor of the President. Under the operational proximity test, petitioner can be considered a close advisor, being a member of President Arroyos cabinet. And third, there is no adequate showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority. The third element deserves a lengthy discussion. United States v. Nixon held that a claim of executive privilege is subject to balancing against other interest. In other words, confidentiality in executive privilege is not absolutely protected by the Constitution. The U.S. Court held: [N]either the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. The foregoing is consistent with the earlier case of Nixon v. Sirica,336[46] where it was held that presidential communications are presumptively privileged and that the presumption can be overcome only by mere showing of public need by the branch seeking access to conversations. The courts are enjoined to resolve the competing interests of the political branches of the government in the manner that preserves the essential functions of each Branch. 337[47] Here, the record is bereft of any categorical explanation from respondent Committees to show a compelling or citical need for the answers to the three (3) questions in the enactment of a law. Instead, the questions veer more towards the exercise of the legislative oversight function under Section 22 of Article VI rather than Section 21 of the same Article. Senate v. Ermita ruled that the the oversight function of Congress may be facilitated by compulsory process only to the extent that it is performed in pursuit of legislation. It is conceded that it is difficult to draw the line between an inquiry in aid of legislation and an inquiry in the exercise of oversight function of Congress. In this regard, much will depend on the content of the questions and the manner the inquiry is conducted. Respondent Committees argue that a claim of executive privilege does not guard against a possible disclosure of a crime or wrongdoing. We see no dispute on this. It is settled in United States v. Nixon338[48] that demonstrated, specific need for evidence in pending criminal trial outweighs the Presidents generalized interest in confidentiality. However, the present cases distinction with the Nixon case is very evident. In Nixon, there is a pending criminal proceeding where the information is requested and it is the demands of due process of law and the fair administration of criminal justice that the information be disclosed. This is the reason why the U.S. Court was quick to limit the scope of its decision. It stressed that it is not concerned here with the balance between the Presidents generalized interest in confidentiality x x x and congressional demands for information. Unlike in Nixon, the information here is elicited, not in a criminal proceeding, but in a legislative inquiry. In this regard, Senate v. Ermita stressed that the validity of the claim of executive privilege depends not only on the ground invoked but, also, on the procedural setting or the context in which the claim is made. Furthermore, in Nixon, the President did not interpose any claim of need to protect military, diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets. In the present case, Executive Secretary Ermita categorically claims executive privilege on the grounds of presidential communications privilege in relation to her executive and policy decision-making process and diplomatic secrets. Respondent Committees further contend that the grant of petitioners claim of executive privilege violates the constitutional provisions on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. 339[50] We might have agreed with such contention if petitioner did not appear before them at all. But petitioner made himself available to them during the September 26 hearing, where he was questioned for eleven (11) hours. Not only that, he expressly manifested his willingness to answer more questions from the Senators, with the exception only of those covered by his claim of executive privilege. The right to public information, like any other right, is subject to limitation. Section 7 of Article III provides: The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. The provision itself expressly provides the limitation, i.e. as of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6713,340[51] Article 229341[52] of the may be provided by law . Some of these laws are Section 7 Revised Penal Code, Section 3 (k) 342[53] of R.A. No.

334[44] 335[45] 336 337[47] 338 339


[48]

CRS Report for Congress, Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law Practice and Recent Developments, supra.. Bernas, S.J., The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, A Commentary, 2003 Ed. p. 903. [46] 159 U.S. App. DC. 58, 487 F. 2d 700 (D.C. Cir. 1973). U.S. v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) Supra. [50] Citing Section 7, Article 3 of the Constitution.

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3019, and Section 24(e) 343[54] of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. These are in addition to what our body of jurisprudence classifies as confidential344[55] and what our Constitution considers as belonging to the larger concept of executive privilege. Clearly, there is a recognized public interest in the confidentiality of certain information. We find the information subject of this case belonging to such kind. More than anything else, though, the right of Congress or any of its Committees to obtain information in aid of legislation cannot be equated with the peoples right to public information. The former cannot claim that every legislative inquiry is an exercise of the peoples right to information. The distinction between such rights is laid down in Senate v. Ermita: There are, it bears noting, clear distinctions between the right of Congress to information which underlies the power of inquiry and the right of people to information on matters of public concern. For one, the demand of a citizen for the production of documents pursuant to his right to information does not have the same obligatory force as a subpoena duces tecum issued by Congress. Neither does the right to information grant a citizen the power to exact testimony from government officials. These powers belong only to Congress, not to an individual citizen. Thus, while Congress is composed of representatives elected by the people, it does not follow, except in a highly qualified sense, that in every exercise of its power of inquiry, the people are exercising their right to information. The members of respondent Committees should not invoke as justification in their exercise of power a right properly belonging to the people in general. This is because when they discharge their power, they do so as public officials and members of Congress. Be that as it may, the right to information must be balanced with and should give way, in appropriate cases, to constitutional precepts particularly those pertaining to delicate interplay of executive-legislative powers and privileges which is the subject of careful review by numerous decided cases. B- The Claim of Executive Privilege is Properly Invoked We now proceed to the issue -- whether the claim is properly invoked by the President. Jurisprudence teaches that for the claim to be properly invoked, there must be a formal claim of privilege, lodged by the head of the department which has control over the matter.345[56] A formal and proper claim of executive privilege requires a precise and certain reason for preserving their confidentiality.346[57] The Letter dated November 17, 2007 of Executive Secretary Ermita satisfies the requirement. It serves as the formal claim of privilege. There, he expressly states that this Office is constrained to invoke the settled doctrine of executive privilege as refined in Senate v. Ermita, and has advised Secretary Neri accordingly . Obviously, he is referring to the Office of the President. That is more than enough compliance. In Senate v. Ermita, a less categorical letter was even adjudged to be sufficient. With regard to the existence of precise and certain reason, we find the grounds relied upon by Executive Secretary Ermita specific enough so as not to leave respondent Committees in the dark on how the requested information could be classified as privileged. The case of Senate v. Ermita only requires that an allegation be made whether the information demanded involves military or diplomatic secrets, closed-door Cabinet meetings, etc. The particular ground must only be specified. The enumeration is not even intended to be comprehensive.347[58] The following statement of grounds satisfies the requirement: The context in which executive privilege is being invoked is that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the Peoples Republic of China. Given the confidential nature in which these information were conveyed to the President, he cannot provide the Committee any further details of these conversations, without disclosing the very thing the privilege is
340[51]

Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. In addition to acts and omissions of public officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful: x x x ( c) Disclosure and/or misuse of confidential information. - Public officials and employees shall not use or divulge, confidential or classified information officially known to them by reason of their office and not made available to the public, either: To further their private interests, or give undue advantage to anyone; or To prejudice the public interest. 341[52] Article 229. Revelation of secrets by an officer. Any public officer who shall reveal any secret known to him by reason of his official capacity, or shall wrongfully deliver papers or copies of papers of which he may have charge and which should not be published, shall suffer the penalties of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, perpetual special disqualification and a fine not exceeding 2,000 pesos if the revelation of such secrets or the delivery of such papers shall have caused serious damage to the public interest; otherwise, the penalties of prision correccional in its minimum period, temporary special disqualification and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed. 342 [53] Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: (k) Divulging valuable information of a confidential character, acquired by his office or by him on account of his official position to unauthorized persons, or releasing such information in advance of its authorized release date. 343[54] Sec. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communications. The following persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following case: x x x (a) A public officer cannot be examined during his term of office or afterwards, as to communications made to him in official confidence, when the court finds that the public interest would suffer by the disclosure. 344[55] In Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, supra., the Supreme Court recognized matters which the Court has long considered as confidential such as information on military and diplomatic secrets, information affecting national security, and information on investigations of crimes by law enforcement agencies before the prosecution of the accused. It also stated that presidential conversations, correspondences, or discussions during close-door cabinet meetings which, like internal deliberations of the Supreme Court or other collegiate courts, or executive sessions of either House of Congress, are recognized as confidential. Such information cannot be pried-open by a co-equal branch of government. 345 [56] United States v. Reynolds, supra.. 346 [57] Unites States v. Article of Drug, 43 F.R.D. at 190. 347[58] Senate v. Ermita, supra., p. 63.

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designed to protect. At any rate, as held further in Senate v. Ermita, 348[59] the Congress must not require the executive to state the reasons for the claim with such particularity as to compel disclosure of the information which the privilege is meant to protect. This is a matter of respect to a coordinate and co-equal department. II Respondent Committees Committed Grave Abuse of Discretion in Issuing the Contempt Order It must be reiterated that when respondent Committees issued the show cause Letter dated November 22, 2007, petitioner replied immediately, manifesting that it was not his intention to ignore the Senate hearing and that he thought the only remaining questions were the three (3) questions he claimed to be covered by executive privilege. In addition thereto, he submitted Atty. Bautistas letter, stating that his non-appearance was upon the order of the President and specifying the reasons why his conversations with President Arroyo are covered by executive privilege. Both correspondences include an expression of his willingness to testify again, provided he be furnished in advance copies of the questions. Without responding to his request for advance list of questions, respondent Committees issued the Order dated January 30, 2008, citing him in contempt of respondent Committees and ordering his arrest and detention at the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms until such time that he would appear and give his testimony. Thereupon, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, informing respondent Committees that he had filed the present petition for certiorari. Respondent Committees committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the contempt Order in view of five (5) reasons. First, there being a legitimate claim of executive privilege, the issuance of the contempt Order suffers from constitutional infirmity. Second, respondent Committees did not comply with the requirement laid down in Senate v. Ermita that the invitations should contain the possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry, along with the usual indication of the subject of inquiry and the questions relative to and in furtherance thereof. Compliance with this requirement is imperative, both under Sections 21 and 22 of Article VI of the Constitution. This must be so to ensure that the rights of both persons appearing in or affected by such inquiry are respected as mandated by said Section 21 and by virtue of the express language of Section 22. Unfortunately, despite petitioners repeated demands, respondent Committees did not send him an advance list of questions. Third, a reading of the transcript of respondent Committees January 30, 2008 proceeding reveals that only a minority of the members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee was present during the deliberation. 349[61] Section 18 of the Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation provides that: The Committee, by a vote of majority of all its members, may punish for contempt any witness before it who disobeys any order of the Committee or refuses to be sworn or to testify or to answer proper questions by the Committee or any of its members. Clearly, the needed vote is a majority of all the members of the Committee. Apparently, members who did not actually participate in the deliberation were made to sign the contempt Order. Thus, there is a cloud of doubt as to the validity of the contempt Order dated January 30, 2008. Fourth, we find merit in the argument of the OSG that respondent Committees likewise violated Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution, requiring that the inquiry be in accordance with the duly published rules of procedure . We quote the OSGs explanation: The phrase duly published rules of procedure requires the Senate of every Congress to publish its rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation because every Senate is distinct from the one before it or after it. Since Senatorial elections are held every three (3) years for one-half of the Senates membership, the composition of the Senate also changes by the end of each term. Each Senate may thus enact a different set of rules as it may deem fit. Not having published its Rules of Procedure, the subject hearings in aid of legislation conducted by the 14th Senate, are therefore, procedurally infirm. And fifth, respondent Committees issuance of the contempt Order is arbitrary and precipitate. It must be pointed out that respondent Committees did not first pass upon the claim of executive privilege and inform petitioner of their ruling. Instead, they curtly dismissed his explanation as unsatisfactory and simultaneously issued the Order citing him in contempt and ordering his immediate arrest and detention. A fact worth highlighting is that petitioner is not an unwilling witness . He manifested several times his readiness to testify before respondent Committees. He refused to answer the three (3) questions because he was ordered by the President to claim executive privilege. It behooves respondent Committees to first rule on the claim of executive privilege and inform petitioner of their finding thereon, instead of peremptorily dismissing his explanation as unsatisfactory. Undoubtedly, respondent Committees actions constitute grave abuse of discretion for being arbitrary and for denying petitioner due process of law. The same quality afflicted their conduct when they (a) disregarded petitioners motion for reconsideration alleging that he had filed the present petition before this Court and (b) ignored petitioners repeated request for an advance list of questions, if there be any aside from the three (3) questions as to which he claimed to be covered by executive privilege. Even the courts are repeatedly advised to exercise the power of contempt judiciously and sparingly with utmost self-restraint with the end in view of utilizing the same for correction and preservation of the dignity of the court, not for retaliation or vindication. 350[63] Respondent Committees should have exercised the same restraint, after all petitioner is not even an ordinary witness. He holds a high position in a co-equal branch of government. In this regard, it is important to mention that many incidents of judicial review could have been avoided if powers are discharged with circumspection and deference. Concomitant with the doctrine of separation of powers is the mandate to observe respect to a co-equal branch of the government. In this present crusade to search for truth, we should turn to the fundamental constitutional principles which underlie our tripartite system of government, where the Legislature enacts the law, the Judiciary interprets it and the Executive implements it. They are considered separate, co-equal, coordinate and supreme within their respective spheres but, imbued with a system of checks and
348 349[61] 350
[63] [59]

Id., citing U.S. v. Reynolds, 345 U.S. 1, 73 S. Ct. 528, 97 L. Ed. 727, 32 A.L. R. 2d 382 (1953). Trancript of the January 30, 2008 proceedings, p. 29. Rodriguez v. Judge Bonifacio, A.M. No. RTJ-99-1510, November 6, 2000, 344 SCRA 519.

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balances to prevent unwarranted exercise of power. The Courts mandate is to preserve these constitutional principles at all times to keep the political branches of government within constitutional bounds in the exercise of their respective powers and prerogatives, even if it be in the search for truth. This is the only way we can preserve the stability of our democratic institutions and uphold the Rule of Law. The respondents-Committees were therefore stopped from calling the petitioner and ask the three(3) questions mentioned above in connection with his conversations with the President being covered by the executive privilege rule. Power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation; Right to Privacy; Public disclosure of government transactions; right to information on matters of public concern; accountability of public officers; and right against self-incrimination; CAMILO L. SABIO vs. GORDON, G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006, 504 SCRA 704 Sandoval-Gutierrez, J. The Facts: On February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution No. 455 (Senate Res. No. 455), 351[4] directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. On May 8, 2006, Chief of Staff Rio C. Inocencio, under the authority of Senator Richard J. Gordon, wrote Chairman Camilo L. Sabio of the PCGG, one of the herein petitioners, inviting him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. The purpose of the public meeting was to deliberate on Senate Res. No. 455.352[6] On May 9, 2006, Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment. 353[7] At the same time, he invoked Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 earlier quoted. Unconvinced with the above Compliance and Explanation, the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and the Committee on Public Services issued an Order354[13] directing Major General Jose Balajadia (Ret.), Senate Sergeant-At-Arms, to place Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners under arrest for contempt of the Senate. The Order bears the approval of Senate President Villar and the majority of the Committees members. On September 12, 2006, at around 10:45 a.m., Major General Balajadia arrested Chairman Sabio in his office at IRC Building, No. 82 EDSA, Mandaluyong City and brought him to the Senate premises where he was detained. Hence, this petition. I S S U E: Crucial to the resolution of the present petitions is the fundamental issue of whether Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 is repealed by the 1987 Constitution. On this lone issue hinges the merit of the contention of Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners that their refusal to appear before respondent Senate Committees is justified. Ranged against it is Article VI, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution granting respondent Senate Committees the power of legislative inquiry. It reads: The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. On the other arm of the scale is Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1 limiting such power of legislative inquiry by exempting all PCGG members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding, thus: No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance. The Congress power of inquiry has been recognized in foreign jurisdictions long before it reached our shores through McGrain v. Daugherty,355[15] cited in Arnault v. Nazareno.356[16] In those earlier days, American courts considered the power of inquiry as inherent in the power to legislate. In Arnault, the Supreme Court adhered to a similar theory. Citing McGrain, it recognized that the power of inquiry is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function, thus: Although there is no provision in the Constitution expressly investing either House of Congress with power to make investigations and exact testimony to the end that it may exercise its legislative functions advisedly and effectively, such power is so far incidental to the legislative function as to be implied. In other words, the power of inquiry with process to enforce it is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change; and where the legislation body does not itself possess the requisite information which is not infrequently true recourse must be had to others who possess it. Dispelling any doubt as to the Philippine Congress power of inquiry, provisions on such power made their maiden appearance in Article VIII, Section 12 of the 1973 Constitution. 357[18] Then came the 1987 Constitution incorporating the present Article VI, Section 12. What was therefore implicit under the 1935 Constitution, as influenced by American jurisprudence, became explicit under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions.358[19] Notably, the 1987 Constitution recognizes the power of investigation, not just of Congress, but also of any of its committee. This is significant because it constitutes a direct conferral of investigatory power upon the committees and it means that the mechanisms which the Houses can take in order to effectively perform its investigative function are also available to the committees.359[20] It can be said that the Congress power of inquiry has gained more solid existence and expansive construal. The Courts high regard to such power is rendered more evident in Senate v. Ermita,360[21] where it categorically ruled that the power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive branch. Verily, the Court reinforced the doctrine in Arnault that the operation of
351[4] 352[6] 353[7] 354[13] 355[15] 356[16] 357[18] 358[19] 359[20]

Annex E of the Petition in G.R. No. 174318. Annex F of the Petition in G.R. No. 174318. Annex G of the Petition in G.R. No. 174318. Annex D of the petition in G.R. No. 174318. 273 U.S. 135, 47 S. Ct. 319, 71 L. Ed. 580, 50 A.L.R. 1 (1927). No. L- 3820, 87 Phil. 29 (1950). Puno, Lecture on Legislative Investigations and the Right to Privacy, at p. 22. Bernas S.J., The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, 2003 Ed. at p.737. Bernas S.J., The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, 2003 Ed. at p.739.

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government, being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for investigation and that the power of inquiry is co-extensive with the power to legislate. Considering these jurisprudential instructions, Section 4(b) is directly repugnant with Article VI, Section 21. Section 4(b) exempts the PCGG members and staff from the Congress power of inquiry. This cannot be countenanced. Nowhere in the Constitution is any provision granting such exemption. The Congress power of inquiry, being broad, encompasses everything that concerns the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes.361[22] It even extends to government agencies created by Congress and officers whose positions are within the power of Congress to regulate or even abolish. 362[23] PCGG belongs to this class. Certainly, a mere provision of law cannot pose a limitation to the broad power of Congress, in the absence of any constitutional basis. Furthermore, Section 4(b) is also inconsistent with Article XI, Section 1 of the Constitution stating that: 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. The provision presupposes that since an incumbent of a public office is invested with certain powers and charged with certain duties pertinent to sovereignty, the powers so delegated to the officer are held in trust for the people and are to be exercised in behalf of the government or of all citizens who may need the intervention of the officers . Such trust extends to all matters within the range of duties pertaining to the office. In other words, public officers are but the servants of the people, and not their rulers.363[24] Section 4(b), being in the nature of an immunity, is inconsistent with the principle of public accountability. It places the PCGG members and staff beyond the reach of courts, Congress and other administrative bodies. Instead of encouraging public accountability, the same provision only institutionalizes irresponsibility and non-accountability. In Presidential Commission on Good Government v. Pea,364[25] Justice Florentino P. Feliciano characterized as obiter the portion of the majority opinion barring, on the basis of Sections 4(a) and (b) of E.O. No. 1, a civil case for damages filed against the PCGG and its Commissioners. He eloquently opined: The above underscored portions are, it is respectfully submitted, clearly obiter. It is important to make clear that the Court is not here interpreting, much less upholding as valid and constitutional, the literal terms of Section 4 (a), (b) of Executive Order No.1. If Section 4 (a) were given its literal import as immunizing the PCGG or any member thereof from civil liability for anything done or omitted in the discharge of the task contemplated by this Order, the constitutionality of Section 4 (a) would, in my submission, be open to most serious doubt. For so viewed, Section 4 (a) would institutionalize the irresponsibility and non-accountability of members and staff of the PCGG, a notion that is clearly repugnant to both the 1973 and 1987 Constitution and a privileged status not claimed by any other official of the Republic under the 1987 Constitution. x x x. x x x It would seem constitutionally offensive to suppose that a member or staff member of the PCGG could not be required to testify before the Sandiganbayan or that such members were exempted from complying with orders of this Court. Chavez v. Sandiganbayan365[26] reiterates the same view. Indeed, Section 4(b) has been frowned upon by this Court even before the filing of the present petitions. NEGROS ORIENTAL II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE VS. SANGGUNIANG PANGLUNGSOD OF DUMAGUETE CITY, G.R. No. 72492, Nov. 5, 1987, 155 SCRA 421 Petitioners contend that the respondent Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dumaguete is bereft of the power to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, nor the power to order the arrest of witnesses who fail to obey its subpoena. It is further argued that assuming the power to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses to be lodged in said body, it cannot be exercised in the investigation of matters affecting the terms and conditions of the franchise granted to NORECO II which are beyond the jurisdiction of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. Respondents, for their part, claim that inherent in the legislative functions performed by the respondent Sangguniang Panlungsod is the power to conduct investigations in aid of legislation and with it, the power to punish for contempt in inquiries on matters within its jurisdiction (Rollo, p. 46). It is also the position of the respondents that the contempt power, if not expressly granted, is necessarily implied from the powers granted the Sangguniang Panlungsod (Rollo, pp. 48-49). Furthermore, the respondents assert that an inquiry into the installation or use of inefficient power lines and its effect on the power consumption cost on the part of Dumaguete residents is well-within the jurisdiction of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and its committees. 1. A line should be drawn between the powers of Congress as the repository of the legislative power under the Constitution, and those that may be exercised by the legislative bodies of local government unit, e.g. the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dumaguete which, as mere creatures of law, possess delegated legislative power. While the Constitution does not expressly vest Congress with the power to punish non-members for legislative contempt, the power has nevertheless been invoked by the legislative body as a means of preserving its authority and dignity (Arnault v. Nazareno, 87 Phil. 29 [1950]); Amault v. Balagtas, 97 Phil. 358 [1955]), in the same way that courts wield an inherent power to "enforce their authority, preserve their integrity, maintain their dignity, and ensure the effectiveness of the administration of justice." (Commissioner v. Cloribel, 127 Phil. 716, 723 [1967]; In re Kelly 35 Phil. 944 950 [1916], and other cases). The exercise by Congress of this awesome power was questioned for the first time in the leading case of Arnault v. Nazareno, (87 Phil. 29 [1950]) where this Court held that the legislative body indeed possessed the contempt power.

But no person can be punished for contumacy as a witness before either House, unless his testimony is required in a matter into which that House has jurisdiction to inquire. (Kilbourn vs. Thompson, 26, L.ed., 377.) The principle that Congress or any of its bodies has the power to punish recalcitrant witnesses is founded upon reason and policy. Said power must be considered implied or incidental to the exercise of legislative power. How could a legislative body obtain the knowledge and information on which to base intended legislation if it cannot require and compel the disclosure of such knowledge and information, if it is impotent to punish a defiance of its power and authority? When the framers of the Constitution adopted the principle of separation of powers, making each branch supreme within the real of its respective authority, it must have intended each department's authority to be full and complete, independently of the other's authority or power. And how could the authority and power become complete if for every act of refusal every act of defiance, every act of contumacy against it, the legislative body must resort to the judicial department
360[21] 361[22] 362[23] 363[24] 364[25] 365[26]

G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006. Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178 (1957), pp. 194-195. Senate v. Ermita, Id. De Leon, De Leon, Jr. The Law on Public Officers and Election Law, p. 2. No. L-77663, April 12, 1988, 159 SCRA 558. 193 SCRA 282 (1991).

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for the appropriate remedy, because it is impotent by itself to punish or deal therewith, with the affronts committed against its authority or dignity. . . (Arnault v. Balagtas, L-6749, July 30, 1955; 97 Phil. 358, 370 [1955]). The aforequoted pronouncements in the two Arnault cases, supra, broke ground in what was then an unexplored area of jurisprudence, and succeeded in supplying the raison d' etre of this power of Congress even in the absence of express constitutional grant. Whether or not the reasons for upholding the existence of said power in Congress may be applied mutatis mutandis to a questioned exercise of the power of contempt by the respondent committee of a city council is the threshold issue in the present controversy. 3. The exercise by the legislature of the contempt power is a matter of self-preservation as that branch of the government vested with the legislative power, independently of the judicial branch, asserts its authority and punishes contempts thereof. The contempt power of the legislature is, therefore, sui generis, and local legislative bodies cannot correctly claim to possess it for the same reasons that the national legislature does. The power attaches not to the discharge of legislative functions per se but to the character of the legislature as one of the three independent and coordinate branches of government. The same thing cannot be said of local legislative bodies which are creations of law. To begin with, there is no express provision either in the 1973 Constitution or in the Local Government Code (Batas Pambansa Blg. 337) granting local legislative bodies, the power to subpoena witnesses and the power to punish non-members for contempt. Absent a constitutional or legal provision for the exercise of these powers, the only possible justification for the issuance of a subpoena and for the punishment of non-members for contumacious behaviour would be for said power to be deemed implied in the statutory grant of delegated legislative power. But, the contempt power and the subpoena power partake of a judicial nature. They cannot be implied in the grant of legislative power. Neither can they exist as mere incidents of the performance of legislative functions. To allow local legislative bodies or administrative agencies to exercise these powers without express statutory basis would run afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers. These cannot be presumed to exist in favor of the latter and must be considered as an exception to Sec. 4 of B.P. 337 which provides for liberal rules of interpretation in favor of local autonomy. Since the existence of the contempt power in conjunction with the subpoena power in any government body inevitably poses a potential derogation of individual rights, i.e. compulsion of testimony and punishment for refusal to testify, the law cannot be liberally construed to have impliedly granted such powers to local legislative bodies. It cannot be lightly presumed that the sovereign people, the ultimate source of all government powers, have reposed these powers in all government agencies. The intention of the sovereign people, through their representatives in the legislature, to share these unique and awesome powers with the local legislative bodies must therefore clearly appear in pertinent legislation. There being no provision in the Local Government Code explicitly granting local legislative bodies, the power to issue compulsory process and the power to punish for contempt, the Sanggunian Panlungsod of Dumaguete is devoid of power to punish the petitioners Torres and Umbac for contempt. The Ad-Hoc Committee of said legislative body has even less basis to claim that it can exercise these powers. Sections 22. The heads of departments may upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the request of either House, as the Rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the HR at least 3 days before their scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but may not cover matter matters related thereto. When the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall be conducted in executive session. Section 23 [1] The Congress, by a vote of 2/3 of both Houses in a joint session assembled, voting separately, shall have the sole power to declare the existence of a state of war. [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 a resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof. a. Note the limitations and restrictions for the delegation. b. Note also that it could be withdrawn by mere resolution. c. What is referred to by the phrase "next adjournment?" d. Read: 1) ARANETA VS. DINGLASAN, 84 Phil. 369 - the first emergency powers cases 2) RODRIGUEZ VS. GELLA, 92 Phil. 603 - the second emergency powers cases. 3) Republic Act No. 6826, Dec.20, 1989 which grants emergency powers to President Aquino. Sections 24. All appropriations, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments. NOTE: In Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance, the Supreme Court held that the E-VAT Law is constitutional even if the same was the VERSION which came from the Senate, not from the House of Representatives. This is so because the Senate is allowed to propose amendments to bills which must exclusively originate from the House of Representatives. Section 25 [1] The Congress may not increase the appropriation recommended by the President for the operation of the government as specified in the budget. The form, content, and manner of preparation of the budget shall be prescribed by law. [2 No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general appropriations bill unless it relates specifically to some particular appropriation therein. Any provision or enactment shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation to which it relates. [3] The procedure in approving appropriations for the Congress shall strictly follow the procedure for approving appropriations for other departments and agencies.

4.

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[4] A special appropriations bill shall specify the purpose for which it is intended, and shall be supported by funds actually available as certified by the national treasurer, or to be raised by a corresponding revenue proposal therein. [5] No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the house of Representatives, the Chief justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of the constitutional commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. [6] Discretionary funds appropriated for particular officials shall be disbursed only for the purposes to be supported by appropriate vouchers and subject to such guidelines as may be prescribed by law. [7] If, by the end of any fiscal year, the Congress shall have failed to pass the general appropriations bill for the ensuing fiscal year, the general appropriations law for the preceding year shall be deemed reenacted and shall remain in force and effect until the general appropriations bill is passed by the Congress. Read: DEMETRIA vs. ALBA, 148 SCRA 208 Section 26. [1] Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof. [2] No bill shall be passed unless it has passed 3 readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its members 3 days before its passage, except when the President certifies as to its necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of the bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal. Read: 1) TIO VS. VIDEOGRAM REGULATORY BOARD, 151 SCRA 208 2) DE LA CRUZ VS. PARAS, 123 SCRA 569 3) INSULAR LUMBER VS. CTA, 104 SCRA 710 2) LIDASAN VS. COMELEC, 21 SCRA 496 The case questions the law entitled "An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton in the Province of Lanao del Sur", but which includes barrios located in another province Cotabato to be spared from attack planted upon the constitutional mandate that "No bill which may be enacted into law shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in the title of the bill"? Doubtless, as the statute stands, twelve barrios in two municipalities in the province of Cotabato are transferred to the province of Lanao del Sur. This brought about a change in the boundaries of the two provinces. Apprised of this development, on September 7, 1967, the Office of the President, through the Assistant Executive Secretary, recommended to Comelec that the operation of the statute be suspended until "clarified by correcting legislation." Comelec, by resolution of September 20, 1967, stood by its own interpretation, declared that the statute "should be implemented unless declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court." It may be well to state, right at the outset, that the constitutional provision contains dual limitations upon legislative power. First. Congress is to refrain from conglomeration, under one statute, of heterogeneous subjects. Second. The title of the bill is to be couched in a language sufficient to notify the legislators and the public and those concerned of the import of the single subject thereof. Of relevance here is the second directive. The subject of the statute must be "expressed in the title" of the bill. This constitutional requirement "breathes the spirit of command." Compliance is imperative, given the fact that the Constitution does not exact of Congress the obligation to read during its deliberations the entire text of the bill. In fact, in the case of House Bill 1247, which became Republic Act 4790, only its title was read from its introduction to its final approval in the House of Representatives where the bill, being of local application, originated. Of course, the Constitution does not require Congress to employ in the title of an enactment, language of such precision as to mirror, fully index or catalogue all the contents and the minute details therein. It suffices if the title should serve the purpose of the constitutional demand that it inform the legislators, the persons interested in the subject of the bill, and the public, of the nature, scope and consequences of the proposed law and its operation. And this, to lead them to inquire into the body of the bill, study and discuss the same, take appropriate action thereon, and, thus, prevent surprise or fraud upon the legislators. The test of the sufficiency of a title is whether or not it is misleading; and, which technical accuracy is not essential, and the subject need not be stated in express terms where it is clearly inferable from the details set forth, a title which is so uncertain that the average person reading it would not be informed of the purpose of the enactment or put on inquiry as to its contents, or which is misleading, either in referring to or indicating one subject where another or different one is really embraced in the act, or in omitting any expression or indication of the real subject or scope of the act, is bad. In determining sufficiency of particular title its substance rather than its form should be considered, and the purpose of the constitutional requirement, of giving notice to all persons interested, should be kept in mind by the court. With the foregoing principles at hand, we take a hard look at the disputed statute. The title "An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton, in the Province of Lanao del Sur" 8 projects the impression that solely the province of Lanao del Sur is affected by the creation of Dianaton. Not the slightest intimation is there that communities in the adjacent province of Cotabato are incorporated in this new Lanao del Sur town. The phrase "in the Province of Lanao del Sur," read without subtlety or contortion, makes the title misleading, deceptive. For, the known fact is that the legislation has a two-pronged purpose combined in one statute: (1) it creates the municipality of Dianaton purportedly from twenty-one barrios in the towns of Butig and Balabagan, both in the province of Lanao del Sur; and (2) it also dismembers two municipalities in Cotabato, a province different from Lanao del Sur. The baneful effect of the defective title here presented is not so difficult to perceive. Such title did not inform the members of Congress as to the full impact of the law; it did not apprise the people in the towns of Buldon and Parang in Cotabato and in the province of Cotabato itself that part of their territory is being taken away from their towns and province and added to the adjacent Province of Lanao del Sur; it kept the public in the dark as to what towns and provinces were actually affected by the bill. These are the pressures which heavily weigh against the constitutionality of Republic Act 4790. 5) ALALAYAN VS. NAPOCOR, 24 SCRA 172

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6) 7) 17. CORDERO VS. CABATUANDO, 6 SCRA 418 TATAD VS. SECRETARY OF ENERGY, November 5, 1997, 281 SCRA 330 Section 27. [1] Every bill passed by Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President. If he approves the same, he shall sign it, otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the House where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such consideration , 2/3 of all the members of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections , to the other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by 2/3 of all the members of that House, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the votes of each house shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the members voting for or against shall be entered in its journal. The President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within 30 days after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as if he signed it. [2] The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an appropriation, revenue or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object. 1) Read: a. BENGZON VS. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, 62 Phil. 912 b. BOLINAO ELECTRONICS VS. VALENCIA, 11 SCRA 486 c. NEPTALI GONZALES VS. MACARAIG, November 19, 1990 Section 55 of the Appropriations Act of 1989 (Section 55 [FY '89] hereinafter), which was vetoed by the President, reads: SEC. 55. Prohibition Against the Restoration or Increase of Recommended Appropriations Disapproved and /or Reduced by Congress: No item of appropriation recommended by the President in the Budget submitted to Congress pursuant to Article VII, Section 22 of the Constitution which has been disapproved or reduced in this Act shall be restored or increased by the use of appropriations authorized for other purposes by augmentation. An item of appropriation for any purpose recommended by the President in the Budget shall be deemed to have been disapproved by Congress if no corresponding appropriation for the specific purpose is provided in this Act. We quote below the reason for the Presidential veto: The provision violates Section 25 (5) of Article VI of the Constitution. If allowed, this Section would nullify not only the constitutional and statutory authority of the President, but also that of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Heads of Constitutional Commissions, to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriation. A careful review of the legislative action on the budget as submitted shows that in almost all cases, the budgets of agencies as recommended by the President, as well as those of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Constitutional Commissions, have been reduced. An unwanted consequence of this provision is the inability of the President, the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions to augment any item of appropriation of their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations even in cases of calamity or in the event of urgent need to accelerate the implementation of essential public services and infrastructure projects. I am vetoing this provision for the reason that it violates Section 25 (5) of Article VI of the Constitution in relation to Sections 44 and 45 of P.D. No. 1177 as amended by R.A. No. 6670 which authorizes the President to use savings to augment any item of appropriations in the Executive Branch of the Government. The fundamental issue raised is whether or not the veto by the President of Section 55 of the 1989 Appropriations Bill (Section 55 FY'89), and subsequently of its counterpart Section 16 of the 1990 Appropriations Bill (Section 16 FY'90), is unconstitutional and without effect. The focal issue for resolution is whether or not the President exceeded the item veto power accorded by the Constitution. Or differently put, has the President the power to veto "provisions" of an Appropriations Bill? Petitioners contend that Section 55 FY '89) and Section 16 (FY'90) are provisions and not items and are, therefore, outside the scope of the item veto power of the President. The veto power of the President is expressed in Article VI, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution reading, in full, as follows: Sec. 27. (2) The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object.

Paragraph (1) refers to the general veto power of the President and if exercised would result in the veto of the entire bill, as a general rule. Paragraph (2) is what is referred to as the item veto power or the line-veto power. It allows the exercise of the veto over a particular item or items in an appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill. As specified, the President may not veto less than all of an item of an Appropriations Bill. In other words, the power given the Executive to disapprove any item or items in an Appropriations Bill does not grant the authority to veto a part of an item and to approve the remaining portion of the same item. It is to be noted that the counterpart provision in the 1987 Constitution (Article VI, Section 27 [2], supra), is a verbatim reproduction except for the public official concerned. In other words, also eliminated has been any reference to the veto of a provision. The vital question is: should this exclusion be interpreted to mean as a disallowance of the power to veto a provision, as petitioners urge? The terms item and provision in budgetary legislation and practice are concededly different. An item in a bill refers to the particulars, the details, the distinct and severable parts . . . of the bill (Bengzon, supra, at 916). It is an indivisible sum of money dedicated to a stated purpose (Commonwealth v. Dodson, 11 S.E., 2d 120, 124, 125, etc., 176 Va. 281). The United States Supreme Court, in the case of Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice (299 U.S. 410, 414, 57 S.Ct 252, 81 L. Ed., 312) declared "that an 'item' of an appropriation bill obviously means an item which in itself is a specific appropriation of money, not some general provision of law, which happens to be put into an appropriation bill." It is our considered opinion that, notwithstanding the elimination in Article VI, Section 27 (2) of the 1987 Constitution of any reference to the veto of a provision, the extent of the President's veto power as previously defined by the 1935 Constitution has not changed. This is because the eliminated proviso merely pronounces the basic principle that a distinct and severable part of a bill may be the subject of a separate veto (Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice, 62 Phil., 912, 916 (1926); 2 BERNAS, Joaquin, S.J., The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, 1st ed., 154-155, [1988]).

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The restrictive interpretation urged by petitioners that the President may not veto a provision without vetoing the entire bill not only disregards the basic principle that a distinct and severable part of a bill may be the subject of a separate veto but also overlooks the Constitutional mandate that any provision in the general appropriations bill shall relate specifically to some particular appropriation therein and that any such provision shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation to which it relates (1987 Constitution, Article VI, Section 25 [2]). In other words, in the true sense of the term, a provision in an Appropriations Bill is limited in its operation to some particular appropriation to which it relates, and does not relate to the entire bill. But even assuming arguendo that provisions are beyond the executive power to veto, we are of the opinion that Section 55 (FY '89) and Section 16 (FY '90) are not provisions in the budgetary sense of the term. Article VI, Section 25 (2) of the 1987 Constitution provides: Sec. 25 (2) No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general appropriations bill unless it relates specifically to some particular appropriation therein. Any such provision or enactment shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation to which it relates. Explicit is the requirement that a provision in the Appropriations Bill should relate specifically to some "particular appropriation" therein. The challenged "provisions" fall short of this requirement. Firstly, the vetoed "provisions" do not relate to any particular or distinctive appropriation. They apply generally to all items disapproved or reduced by Congress in the Appropriations Bill. Secondly, the disapproved or reduced items are nowhere to be found on the face of the Bill. To discover them, resort will have to be made to the original recommendations made by the President and to the source indicated by petitioners themselves, i.e., the "Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office" (Annex B-1 and B-2, Petition). Thirdly, the vetoed Sections are more of an expression of Congressional policy in respect of augmentation from savings rather than a budgetary appropriation. Consequently, Section 55 (FY '89) and Section 16 (FY '90) although labelled as "provisions," are actually inappropriate provisions that should be treated as items for the purpose of the President's veto power. (Henry v. Edwards [1977] 346 S Rep. 2d, 157-158). Just as the President may not use his item-veto to usurp constitutional powers conferred on the legislature, neither can the legislature deprive the Governor of the constitutional powers conferred on him as chief executive officer of the state by including in a general appropriation bill matters more properly enacted in separate legislation. The Governor's constitutional power to veto bills of general legislation ... cannot be abridged by the careful placement of such measures in a general appropriation bill, thereby forcing the Governor to choose between approving unacceptable substantive legislation or vetoing "items" of expenditure essential to the operation of government. The legislature cannot by location ot a bill give it immunity from executive veto. Nor it circumvent the Governor's veto power over substantive legislation by artfully drafting general law measures so that they appear to be true conditions or limitations on an item of appropriation. Otherwise, the legislature would be permitted to impair the constitutional responsibilities and functions of a coequal branch of government in contravention of the separation of powers doctrine ... We are no more willing to allow the legislature to use its appropriation power to infringe on the Governor's constitutional right to veto matters of substantive legislation than we are to allow the Governor to encroach on the constitutional powers of the legislature. In order to avoid this result, we hold that, when the legislature inserts inappropriate provisions in a general appropriation bill, such provisions must be treated as items for purposes of the Governor's item veto power over general appropriation bills. Petitioners maintain, however, that Congress is free to impose conditions in an Appropriations Bill and where conditions are attached, the veto power does not carry with it the power to strike them out, citing Commonwealth v. Dodson (11 SE 2d 130, supra) and Bolinao Electronics Corporation v. Valencia (No. L-20740, June 30, 1964, 11 SCRA 486). In other words, their theory is that Section 55 (FY'89) and Section 16 (FY'90) are such conditions/restrictions and thus beyond the veto power. There can be no denying that inherent in the power of appropriation is the power to specify how money shall be spent; and that in addition to distinct "items" of appropriation, the Legislature may include in Appropriation Bills qualifications, conditions, limitations or restrictions on expenditure of funds. Settled also is the rule that the Executive is not allowed to veto a condition or proviso of an appropriation while allowing the appropriation itself to stand (Fairfield v. Foster, supra, at 320). That was also the ruling in Bolinao, supra, which held that the veto of a condition in an Appropriations Bill which did not include a veto of the items to which the condition related was deemed invalid and without effect whatsoever. The Power of augmentation and The Validity of the Veto The President promptly vetoed Section 55 (FY'89) and Section 16 (FY'90) because they nullify the authority of the Chief Executive and heads of different branches of government to augment any item in the General Appropriations Law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations, as guaranteed by Article VI, Section 25 (5) of the Constitution. Said provision reads: Sec. 25. (5) No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. (Emphasis ours). If, indeed, the Legislature believed that the exercise of the veto powers by the Executive were unconstitutional, the remedy laid down by the Constitution is crystal clear. A Presidential veto may be overriden by the votes of two-thirds of members of Congress (1987 Constitution, Article VI, Section 27[l], supra). But Congress made no attempt to override the Presidential veto. Petitioners' argument that the veto is ineffectual so that there is "nothing to override" (citing Bolinao) has lost force and effect with the executive veto having been herein upheld. e. BENGZON VS. DRILON, April 15, 1992

In the case at bar, the veto of these specific provisions in the General Appropriations Act is tantamount to dictating to the Judiciary how its funds should be utilized, which is clearly repugnant to fiscal autonomy. The freedom of the Chief Justice to make adjustments in the utilization of the funds appropriated for the expenditures of the judiciary, including the use of any savings from any particular item to cover deficits or shortages in other items of the Judiciary is withheld. Pursuant to the Constitutional mandate, the Judiciary must enjoy freedom in the disposition of the funds allocated to it in the appropriations law. It knows its priorities just as it is aware of the fiscal restraints. The Chief Justice must be given a free hand on how to augment appropriations where augmentation is needed. Furthermore, in the case of Gonzales v. Macaraig (191 SCRA 452 [1990]), the Court upheld the authority of the President and other key officials to augment any item or any appropriation from savings in the interest of expediency and efficiency. The Court stated that: There should be no question, therefore, that statutory authority has, in fact, been granted. And once given, the heads of the different branches of the Government and those of the Constitutional Commissions are afforded considerable flexibility in the use of public funds and resources (Demetria v. Alba, supra). The doctrine of separation of powers is in no way endangered because the transfer is made within a department (or branch of government) and not from one department (branch) to another.

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The Constitution, particularly Article VI, Section 25(5) also provides: Sec. 25. (5) No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations. In the instant case, the vetoed provisions which relate to the use of savings for augmenting items for the payment of the pension differentials, among others, are clearly in consonance with the abovestated pronouncements of the Court. The veto impairs the power of the Chief Justice to augment other items in the Judiciary's appropriation, in contravention of the constitutional provision on "fiscal autonomy." III Finally, it can not be denied that the retired Justices have a vested right to the accrued pensions due them pursuant to RA 1797. The right to a public pension is of statutory origin and statutes dealing with pensions have been enacted by practically all the states in the United States (State ex rel. Murray v, Riley, 44 Del 505, 62 A2d 236), and presumably in most countries of the world. Statutory provisions for the support of Judges or Justices on retirement are founded on services rendered to the state. Where a judge has complied with the statutory prerequisite for retirement with pay, his right to retire and draw salary becomes vested and may not, thereafter, be revoked or impaired. (Gay v. Whitehurst, 44 So ad 430) Thus, in the Philippines, a number of retirement laws have been enacted, the purpose of which is to entice competent men and women to enter the government service and to permit them to retire therefrom with relative security, not only those who have retained their vigor but, more so, those who have been incapacitated by illness or accident. (In re: Amount of the Monthly Pension of Judges and Justices Starting From the Sixth Year of their Retirement and After the Expiration of the Initial Five-year Period of Retirement, (190 SCRA 315 [1990]). As early as 1953, Rep. Act No. 910 was enacted to grant pensions to retired Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. This was amended by RA 1797 which provided for an automatic adjustment of the pension rates. Through the years, laws were enacted and jurisprudence expounded to afford retirees better benefits. P.D. No. 1438, for one, was promulgated on June 10, 1978 amending RA 910 providing that the lump sum of 5 years gratuity to which the retired Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals were entitled was to be computed on the basis of the highest monthly aggregate of transportation, living and representation allowances each Justice was receiving on the date of his resignation. The Supreme Court in a resolution dated October 4, 1990, stated that this law on gratuities covers the monthly pensions of retired Judges and Justices which should include the highest monthly aggregate of transportation, living and representation allowances the retiree was receiving on the date of retirement. (In Re: Amount of the Monthly Pension of Judges and Justices, supra) The rationale behind the veto which implies that Justices and Constitutional officers are unduly favored is, again, a misimpression. Immediately, we can state that retired Armed Forces officers and enlisted men number in the tens of thousands while retired Justices are so few they can be immediately identified. Justices retire at age 70 while military men retire at a much younger age some retired Generals left the military at age 50 or earlier. Yet the benefits in Rep. Act No. 1797 are made to apply equally to both groups. Any ideas arising from an alleged violation of the equal protection clause should first be directed to retirees in the military or civil service where the reason for the retirement provision is not based on indubitable and constitutionally sanctioned grounds, not to a handful of retired Justices whose retirement pensions are founded on constitutional reasons. The provisions regarding retirement pensions of justices arise from the package of protections given by the Constitution to guarantee and preserve the independence of the Judiciary. The Constitution expressly vests the power of judicial review in this Court. Any institution given the power to declare, in proper cases, that act of both the President and Congress are unconstitutional needs a high degree of independence in the exercise of its functions. Our jurisdiction may not be reduced by Congress. Neither may it be increased without our advice and concurrence. Justices may not be removed until they reach age 70 except through impeachment. All courts and court personnel are under the administrative supervision of the Supreme Court. The President may not appoint any Judge or Justice unless he or she has been nominated by the Judicial and Bar Council which, in turn, is under the Supreme Court's supervision. Our salaries may not be decreased during our continuance in office. We cannot be designated to any agency performing administrative or quasi-judicial functions. We are specifically given fiscal autonomy. The Judiciary is not only independent of, but also co-equal and coordinate with the Executive and Legislative Departments. (Article VIII and section 30, Article VI, Constitution) Any argument which seeks to remove special privileges given by law to former Justices of this Court and the ground that there should be no "grant of distinct privileges" or "preferential treatment" to retired Justices ignores these provisions of the Constitution and, in effect, asks that these Constitutional provisions on special protections for the Judiciary be repealed. The integrity of our entire constitutional system is premised to a large extent on the independence of the Judiciary. All these provisions are intended to preserve that independence. So are the laws on retirement benefits of Justices. One last point. The Office of the Solicitor General argues that: . . . Moreover, by granting these benefits to retired Justices implies that public funds, raised from taxes on other citizens, will be paid off to select individuals who are already leading private lives and have ceased performing public service. Said the United States Supreme Court, speaking through Mr. Justice Miller: "To lay with one hand the power of the government on the property of the citizen, and with the other to bestow upon favored individuals . . . is nonetheless a robbery because it is done under the forms of law . . ." (Law Association V. Topeka, 20 Wall. 655) (Comment, p. 16) The above arguments are not only specious, impolite and offensive; they certainly are unbecoming of an office whose top officials are supposed to be, under their charter, learned in the law. Chief Justice Cesar Bengzon and Chief Justice Querube Makalintal, Justices J.B.L. Reyes, Cecilia Muoz Palma, Efren Plana, Vicente Abad Santos, and, in fact, all retired Justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals may no longer be in the active service. Still, the Solicitor General and all lawyers under him who represent the government before the two courts and whose predecessors themselves appeared before these retirees, should show some continuing esteem and good manners toward these Justices who are now in the evening of their years.

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All that the retirees ask is to be given the benefits granted by law. To characterize them as engaging in "robbery" is intemperate, abrasive, and disrespectful more so because the argument is unfounded. If the Comment is characteristic of OSG pleadings today, then we are sorry to state that the then quality of research in that institution has severely deteriorated. In the first place, the citation of the case is, wrong. The title is not LAW Association v. Topeka but Citizen's Savings and Loan Association of Cleveland, Ohio v. Topeka City (20 Wall. 655; 87 U.S. 729; 22 Law. Ed. 455 [1874]. Second, the case involved the validity of a statute authorizing cities and counties to issue bonds for the purpose of building bridges, waterpower, and other public works to aid private railroads improve their services. The law was declared void on the ground that the right of a municipality to impose a tax cannot be used for private interests. The case was decided in 1874. The world has turned over more than 40,000 times since that ancient period. Public use is now equated with public interest. Public money may now be used for slum clearance, low-cost housing, squatter resettlement, urban and agrarian reform where only private persons are the immediate beneficiaries. What was "robbery" in 1874 is now called "social justice." There is nothing about retirement benefits in the cited case. Obviously, the OSG lawyers cited from an old textbook or encyclopedia which could not even spell "loan" correctly. Good lawyers are expected to go to primary sources and to use only relevant citations. The Court has been deluged with letters and petitions by former colleagues in the Judiciary requesting adjustments in their pensions just so they would be able to cope with the everyday living expenses not to mention the high cost of medical bills that old age entails. As Justice Cruz aptly stated in Teodoro J. Santiago v. COA, (G.R. No. 92284, July 12, 1991); Retirement laws should be interpreted liberally in favor of the retiree because their intention is to provide for his sustenance, and hopefully even comfort, when he no longer has the stamina to continue earning his livelihood. After devoting the best years of his life to the public service, he deserves the appreciation of a grateful government as best concretely expressed in a generous retirement gratuity commensurate with the value and length of his services. That generosity is the least he should expect now that his work is done and his youth is gone. Even as he feels the weariness in his bones and glimpses the approach of the lengthening shadows, he should be able to luxuriate in the thought that he did his task well, and was rewarded for it. For as long as these retired Justices are entitled under laws which continue to be effective, the government can not deprive them of their vested right to the payment of their pensions. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The questioned veto is SET ASIDE as illegal and unconstitutional. The vetoed provisions of the 1992 Appropriations Act are declared valid and subsisting. The respondents are ordered to automatically and regularly release pursuant to the grant of fiscal autonomy the funds appropriated for the subject pensions as well as the other appropriations for the Judiciary. The resolution in Administrative Matter No. 91-8-225-CA dated November 28, 1991 is likewise ordered to be implemented as promulgated. 2) What is a "pocket veto?" 3) What are the three ways by which a bill becomes a law? 3. PHILCONSA VS. ENRIQUEZ, 235 SCRA 506 What is the so-called executive impoundment? It means that although an item of appropriation is not vetoed by the President, he however refuses for whatever reason, to spend funds made possible by Congress. It is the failure to spend or obligate budget authority of any type. Proponents of impoundment have invoked at least three (3) principal sources of authority of the President. [1] authority to impound given to him by Congress, either expressly or impliedly; [2] the executive power drawn from his power as Commander-in-chief; and [3] the Faithful execution clause of the Constitution. Note that in this case the SC held that the Countryside Development Fund (CDF) of Congressmen and Senators is CONSTITUTIONAL because the same is set aside for infrastructure, purchase of ambulances and computers and other priority projects and activities, and credit facilities to qualified beneficiaries as proposed and identified by said Senators and Congressmen. 18. Section 28. [1] The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation. [2] The Congress, may by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the government. [3] Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation. [4] No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of all the members of the Congress. Section 29. (1) No money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid or employeddirectly or indirectly for the benefit, use, or support of any sect, denomination, or system of religionexcept when such preacher, priest is assigned to the AFP, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium. All money collected on any tax for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only. If the purpose for which a special fund was created has been fulfilled or abandoned, the balance, if any, shall be transferred to the general funds of the Government. Read: 1. Garcia vs. Executive Sec., 211 SCRA 219 1-a) PEPSI COLA VS. THE CITY OF BUTUAN, 24 SCRA 789 2) PROVINCE OF ABRA VS. HERNANDO, 107 SCRA 104 3) APOSTOLIC PREFECT OF BAGUIO VS. TREASURER, 71 Phil. 547 4) PASCUAL VS. SECRETARY OF PUBLIC WORKS, 110 Phil. 331

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3) 4) AGLIPAY VS. RUIZ, 64 Phil. 201 MANUEL ALBA VS. PEREZ, G.R. No. 65917, Sept. 24, 1987

Respondent Dr. Francisco A. Perez was named outstanding Health Worker for 1980 by the Ministry of Health on January 22, 1981. Being such an awardee, Dr. Perez was granted by the Ministry of Health a two-step salary increase in accordance with the merit increase program as enunciated in Letter of Instructions (LOI) No. 562. Thereafter, the Ministry of Health requested the Sangguniang Panglunsod of San Pablo City, which is paying Dr. Perez' salary in full to appropriate the amount corresponding to the merit increase in its current budget. For lack of legal basis, the Bureau of Local Government opposed the proposed merit increase because the provisions of LOI No. 562 apply only to officials/employees in the national government, and consequently, awardee Dr. Perez was not entitled thereto, since he is an employee of the local government as provided for in the charter of San Pablo City. This prompted Dr. Perez to request the Ministry of Health to make the corresponding allocation to issue a notice of salary adjustment effective January 1, 1981. The Minister of Justice, upon a query made by the Ministry of Health, in his Opinion No. 177, Series of 1981, dated November 20, 1981, acknowledged that the merit increase program applies only to the officials/employees of the national government but declared Dr. Perez as one such official or employee and concluded that the Ministry of Health should pay the merit increase to him. Relying on such opinion, the Ministry of Health issued to respondent Dr. Perez on December 1, 1981 a notice of salary adjustment which release of the amount was denied by the Office of the Budget and Management which insisted that the awardee is an employee of the local or city government who is not covered by the merit increase program. Dr. Perez made his appeal therefrom to the Ministry of Health who forwarded it, recommending favorable action thereon to the Office of the President of the Philippines. The latter referred the appeal to the Minister of the Budget who affirmed his earlier decision of disallowing the merit increase and reiterating the same reasons. A petition for mandamus to compel the Office of the Budget and Management to pay the merit increase was filed by Dr. Perez before the lower court which granted the aforementioned favorable decision, subject matter of the present petition for review on certiorari before Us by petitioners arguing that: 1. The position of private respondent as the City Health Officer of San Pablo City is embraced in Sec. 7 of Pres. Decree (P.D.) No. 1136 which states among other things that the salary plan provided for in Sec. 8 of the same decree shall cover the City Officer, among other officials, whose salary shall be paid out of city funds and therefore a local government employee whose position does not appear in the list of national government employees defined under another law (P.D. 985). The constitution provides that no money shag be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. Since there is no such appropriation, the Minister of the Budget cannot be compelled to release the amount for the payment of the merit salary increase because such allocation entails the exercise of judgment and discretion of the Minister of the Budget which cannot be controlled by mandamus. The decision declaring respondent Dr. Perez as an employee of the national government would have far reaching effects such that all other city health officers and local officials similarly situated would also be so entitled to an personal benefits given to national employee. Dr. Perez's exemplary accomplishment which merited for him the grant to a two-step increase must yield to the overriding economic consideration of availability of funds which the government must set aside for the purpose.

2.

3.

We do not agree with the arguments set down by petitioners. Private respondent invites Our attention to the City Charter of San Pablo City (CA #5201, Sec. 87, May 7, 1940) more specifically, Art. IV thereof, which provides that the position of a City Health Officer is not included among the heads of the regular departments of the city but included among the national officials performing municipal functions under the direct control of the Health Minister and not the city mayor as provided for in Art. XIV of the same charter. Such principle is reiterated in the Decentralization Act of 1967 which shows that the appointing authority is the Health Minister and not the local officials. Petitioner Minister of the Budget admitted thru the testimony of its representative, Alice S. Torres, chief of the Compensation and Position Classification and a specialist thereon that the City Health Officer is under the administrative and technical supervision of the Ministry of Health (p. 69, tsn, June 16, 1983, p. 72, Rollo). Be it noted that, Section 7 of PD 1136 relied upon by petitioners provides that the basic salary of the City Health Officer is paid from city funds. However, the last paragraph of the same Sec. 7, excludes the city health officer from the classification of local government official as can be gathered from the phrase "... except those occupied by (a) officials whose compensation is fixed in the constitution, Presidential Decrees and other laws and (b) officials and employees who are under the direct supervision and control of the National Government or its agencies and who are paid wholly or partially from national funds." Provincial and city health officers are all considered national government officials irrespective of the source of funds of their salary because the preservation of health is a national service. Also their positions are partially funded by the national government. Some are receiving one-half of their salary from the national funds and the other one-half from local funds. We cannot likewise ignore the opinions of the Ministry of Justice cited by private respondent to wit: 1) Opinion No. 26, Series of 1976 which categorically rules that "Officials and employees of provincial and city health offices render service as officials and employees of the Bureau of Health (Ministry of Health) and they are for that reason not local but national officials under the direct supervision and control of the Ministry of Health; 2) Opinion No. 177, Series of 1981, which is specific and definitive that the private respondent is a national government employee and the Ministry of Health should pay the merit increase awarded to him. In this 1981 opinion, it was explained in detail how the said funds corresponding to his merit increase could be legally disbursed contrary to the unfounded speculations expressed by the petitioners. Lastly, there is no basis in petitioner's allegations that they cannot be compelled by mandamus as the appropriation is not authorized by law and it is discretionary on the part of the Ministry of the Budget whether or not to allocate. Respondent Dr. Perez has been proven to be a national government official, hence covered by the merit promotion plan of the government more particularly the Health Ministry wherein private respondent is its lone beneficiary for the year 1980 in Region IV. It thus becomes the ministerial duty of the Budget Minister to approve the request for allotment. Having failed to do so, he could be compelled by mandamus. 19. Section 30. No law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in the Constitution without its advice and concurrence. TERESITA FABIAN VS. HONORABLE ANIANO DESIERTO, G.R. No. 129742, September 16, 1998) Regalado, J. Section 27 of RA 6770 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989 provides: In all administrative disciplinary cases, orders, directives or decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman may be appealed to the Supreme Court by filing a petition for Certiorari within 10 days from receipt of the written notice of the order, directive or decision or denial of the Motion for Reconsideration in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court

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Issue: Is Section 27 of RA 6770 constitutional? Held: Section 27 of RA 6770 is unconstitutional since it increases the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court without its advice and consent as provided under Section 30, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. As explained in FIRST LEPANTO CERAMICS INC. VS. CA, 237 SCRA 519, the aforesaid constitutional provision was intended to give the Supreme Court a measure of control over cases placed under its appellate jurisdiction. Otherwise, the enactment of legislation enlarging its appellate jurisdiction would unnecessarily burden the Court. Appeal of cases decided by the Office of the Ombudsman covered by Section 27 of RA 6770 shall be filed with the Court of Appeals. Read: 20. MANUEL ALBA VS. PEREZ, G.R. No. 65917, Sept. 24, 1987

Sections 32. The Congress, shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any law or part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a petition therefore signed by at least 10% of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voters thereof. Read again RA 6735 & SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC & PIRMA PART VII ARTICLE VII - THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines. 1. a. Define executive power b. May the President refuse to enforce a law on the ground that in his opinion it is unconstitutional? No. Otherwise, he will be violating the doctrine of separation of powers because by doing so, he will be arrogating unto himself the power to interpret the law, not merely to implement it. Read: 1) L.S. MOON & CO. VS. HARRISON, 43 Phil.38 2) GOV'T. VS. SPRINGER, 50 Phil. 529, read also the separate opinion. 3) VALLEY TRADING VS. CFI, 171 SCRA 501 What is the extent of the executive or administrative orders that may be issued by the President as the Chief Executive, under the Administrative Code of 1987? BLAS OPLE VS. RUBEN TORRES, ET AL. G.R. No. 127685, July 23, 1998 Puno, J. Facts: On December 12, 1996, then President FIDEL V. RAMOS issued Administrative Order No. 308 entitled ADOPTION OF A NATIONAL COMPUTERIZED IDENTIFICATION REFERENCE SYSTEM. The AO seeks to have all Filipino citizens and foreign residents to have a Population Reference Number (PRN) generated by the National Statistics Office (NSO) through the use of BIOMETRICS TECHNOLOGY . The AO was questioned by Senator Ople on the following grounds: 1. 2. 3. Held: 1. The AO establishes a system of identification that is all-encompassing in scope, affects the life and liberty of every Filipino citizens and foreign residents and therefore, it is supposed to be a law passed by Congress that implements it, not by an Administrative Order issued by the President. Administrative Power, which is supposed to be exercised by the President, is concerned with the work of applying policies and enforcing orders as determined by proper governmental organs. It enables the President to fix a uniform standard of administrative efficiency and check the official conduct of his agents. Prescinding from the foregoing precepts, AO 308 involves a subject that is not appropriate to be covered by an Administrative Order. An administrative order is an ordinance issued by the President which relates to specific aspects in the administrative operation of the government. It must be in harmony with the law and should be for the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying out the legislative policy. The subject of AO 308 therefore is beyond the power of the President to issue and it is a usurpation of legislative power. The AO likewise violates the right to privacy since its main purpose is to provide a common reference number to establish a linkage among concerned agencies through the use of BIOMETRICS TECHNOLOGY. Biometry is the science of the application of The establishment of the PRN without any law is an unconstitutional usurpation of the legislative powers of the Congress of the Philippines; The appropriation of public funds for the implementation of the said AO is unconstitutional since Congress has the exclusive authority to appropriate funds for such expenditure; and The AO violates the citizens right to privacy protected by the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.

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statistical methods to biological facts; a mathematical analysis of a biological data. It is the confirmation of an individuals identity through a fingerprint, retinal scan, hand geometry or facial features. Through the PRN, the government offices has the chance of building a huge and formidable information base through the electronic linkage of the files of every citizen. The data, however, may be gathered for gainful and useful government purposes; but the existence of this vast reservoir of personal information constitutes a covert invitation to misuse, a temptation that may be too great for some of our authorities to resist. Further, the AO does not even tells us in clear and unequivocal terms how these informations gathered shall be handled. It does not provide who shall control and access the data and under what circumstances and for what purpose. These factors are essential to safeguard the privacy and guaranty the integrity of the information. The computer linkage gives other government agencies access to the information. YET, THERE ARE NO CONTROLS TO GUARD AGAINST LEAKAGE OF INFORMATIONS. WHEN THE ACCESS CODE OF THE CONTROL PROGRAMS OF THE PARTICULAR COMPUTER SYSTEM IS BROKEN, AN INTRUDER, WITHOUT FEAR OF SANCTION OR PENALTY, CAN MAKE USE OF THE DATA FOR WHATEVER PURPOSE, OR WORSE, MANIPULATE THE DATA STORED WITHIN THE SYSTEM. AO No. 308 is unconstitutional since it falls short of assuring that personal information gathered about our people will be used only for specified purposes thereby violating the citizens right to privacy. Sections 2. No person shall be elected President unless he is a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years o f age on the day of the election, and a resident o f the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding the election. Section 3. There shall be a Vice President who shall have the same qualifications and term of office and be elected with and in the same manner as the President. He may be removed from Office in the same manner as the President. The Vice President may be appointed as a Member of the cabinet. Such appointment requires no confirmation. Note: Section 13, Art. VII. The President, Vice President, the members of the cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure Section 8, Article VIII. The Judicial and Bar Council-----Secretary of Justice.. Section 2, Article XI. The President, VP, 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. Section 4. The President and the Vice President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the 30th day of June next following their election and shall end at noon of the same date six years thereafter. The President shall not be eligible for any reelection. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than 4 years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time. No Vive President shall serve for more than 2 successive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of the service for the full term for which he was elected. The returns of every election for President and Vice President duly certified by the Board of canvassers of each province or city shall be transmitted to the congress. The candidate having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected, but in case two or more shall have an equal number of votes, one of them shall forthwith be chosen by the vote of a majority of all the members of both Houses of Congress voting separately. Section 5Oath Section 6. ResidenceSalary may not be decreasednot increased until after the expiration of his termsshall not received any other emolument from the government of from any source during their tenure. Section 7. ..shall assume office at the beginning of their terms. P & VP not qualified, the Senate President shall act as President or the Speaker, if SP is not yet qualified.. Congress shall pass a law if the SP & Speaker are not qualified to act as President Section 9. VP is vacant, the President shall nominate from the Senate of HR and who shall become VP upon confirmation of majority vote of the members of the Senate & H of R voting separately. Section 10. In case of vacancy in the office of the President and VP, Congress shall convene on the 3 rd day after the vacancy to enact a law calling for special election to be held not later than 60 daysthe law is deemed certified under Section 26, par. 2 of Art. VI and shall become a law upon 3rd reading.. Special elections cannot be postponed but no special election if the vacancy occurs within 18 months before the next presidential election. Section 11. When President transmits to Congress his written declaration of inability to perform his duties, the VP shall be acting President until the President transmits another declaration to the contrary. When majority of the members of the cabinet transmit to the Senate President a written declaration that the President is unable to perform his duties, the VP shall act as the President. If the President transmits to the SP his declaration that there is no disability, he shall reassume his post but if the majority of all the members of the Cabinet still insists that the President is unable to discharge his powers, CONGRESS SHALL DECIDE THE ISSUE. IT MUST CONVENE WITHIN 48 HOURS if not in session without need of a call. If 2/3 of both Houses, voting separately, determines that the President is unable to discharge his powers, the VP shall act as President. Otherwise, the President shall continue exercising his powers and duties of his office. Section 12. In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health. The members of the cabinet in charge of national security and foreign relations and the Chief of the AFP shall not be denied access to the President. a. Qualifications, disqualifications, term of office, etc., of the President and Vice-President.

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b. See: Sec. 17 of Art. XVIII. c. Read: PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION VS. COMELEC, 140 SCRA 453 (The snap presidential election case)

3. Sections 7-12 a. Note the order of succession to the office of the President and Vice President b. Query: Is President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a de jure or a de facto President? If de jure, how did she succeed? Resignation or permanent disability of former President Estrada? JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA VS. DESIERTO, G.R. Nos. 146710-15 and 146738, March 2, 2001 Puno, J [En Banc] F A C T S: 1. On 13 November 2000, the Speaker of the House of Representatives transmitted to the Senate the Articles of Impeachment charging petitioner Joseph Estrada with bribery, graft and corruption, betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution. The impeachment of petitioner resulted from disclosures made by Ilocos Sur Governor, Luis Chavit Singson in October, 2000 that petitioner had received payments from illegal jueteng operations and excise taxes;

The impeachment trial began on 07 December 2000. A highlight of the December 2000 hearings was the testimony of CLARISSA OCAMPO of the Equitable PCI Bank that she witnessed petitioner affixing the signature of JOSE VELARDE on bank documents involving a P500 M investment agreement; 2. On 16 January 2001, the issue of whether or not to open what has been dubbed as the Second Envelope arose before the impeachment court. The envelope allegedly contained proof that petitioner held P3.3 B in a secret bank account under the name JOSE VELARDE. The motion to open the said envelope was struck down by the senator-judges by a vote of 11-10. The public and private prosecutors walked out of the trial to protect the ruling. Hours after the controversial ruling, the public began to rally at the EDSA SHRINE; the rally continued in the following days; On January 17, 2001, the public prosecutors tendered their collective resignation to the Speaker. They also filed a Manifestation of WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE with the Impeachment Court. Thereafter, Senator Roco moved for the indefinite postponement of the impeachment proceedings. Chief Justice Davide granted the same; In the afternoon of 19 January, 2001, the Chief of Staff of the AFP withdrew his support to President Estrada. The same is true with the PNP Chief and majority of the members of the Estrada Cabinet; In early hours of 20 January 2001, negotiations for the peaceful and orderly transfer of power began between petitioners representatives and that of respondent GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, then Vice President. Later in the morning, Arroyo reportedly requested the Chief Justice to administer her oath. The letter, sent through fax was quoted thus by Justice Vitug in his concurring opinion, as follows:

3.

4. 5.

The undersigned respectfully informs this Honorable Court that Joseph Ejercito Estrada is permanently incapable of performing the duties of his office resulting in his permanent disability to govern and serve his unexpired term. Almost all of his cabinet members have resigned and the Philippine National Police have withdrawn their support for Joseph Ejercito Estrada. Civil society has likewise refused to recognize him as President. In view of this, I am assuming the position of the President of the Philippines. Accordingly, I would like to take my oath as President of the Republic before the Honorable Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. today, 20 January 2001, 12:00 noon at EDSA SHRINE, Quezon City, Metro Manila. May I have the honor to invite the members of the Honorable Court to attend the oath-taking. 6. At 12 noon, Arroyo was sworn in by Chief Justice Davide as the 14 th President of the Republic of the Philippines. At 2:30 p.m., petitioner and his family left Malacanang Palace. Petitioner issued the following statement:

At 12 oclock noon today, Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath as President of the Republic of the Philippines. While along with many other legal minds of our country, I have strong and serious doubts about the legality and constitutionality of her Proclamation as President, I do not wish to be a factor that will prevent the restoration of unity and order in our civil society. It is for this reason that I now leave Malacanang Palace, the seat of the Presidency of this country, for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation. I leave the palace of our people with gratitude for the opportunities given to me for service to our people. I will not shirk from any future challenges that may come ahead in the same service of our country. I call all my supporters and followers to join me in the promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity. May the Almighty bless our country and beloved people. Mabuhay (Sgd.) Joseph Ejercito Estrada 7. Petitioner also sent copies of the following letter to the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives on 20 January 2001. The copy for the House Speaker was sent at 8:30 a.m.. Another copy was transmitted to the Senate President and received only at 9:00 p.m.

Sir:

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By virtue of the provisions of Section 11, Art. VII of the Constitution, I am hereby transmitting this declaration that I am unable to exercise the powers and duties of my office. By operation of law and the Constitution, the Vice President shall be Acting President. (Sgd.) Joseph Ejercito Estrada 8. Prior to the events of January, 2001, 6 cases had been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman Aniano Desierto. A special panel was created to investigate these cases. On January 22, 2001, petitioner was directed to file his counter-affidavit and affidavit of his witnesses; On February 5, 2001, petitioner filed these cases to prohibit the respondent from investigating the charges of plunder, bribery and graft and corruption on the ground that he is immune from suit; On February 6, 2001, the petitioner filed the petition docketed as GR No. 146738 for quo warranto against Arroyo praying that he be declared the lawful President of the Philippines and respondent GMA merely as acting President on account of his temporary disability. I S S U E S: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. DO THE CASES AT BAR INVOLVE A POLITICAL QUESTION AND ARE BEYOND THE JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE? DID PETITIONER ESTRADA RESIGN AS PRESIDENT? IS THE PETITIONER TEMPORARILY UNABLE TO ACT AS PRESIDENT? DOES THE PETITIONER ENJOY IMMUNITY FROM SUIT? IF SO, TO WHAT EXTENT? SHOULD THE PROSECUTION OF ESTRADA BE ENJOINED DUE TO PREJUDICIAL PUBLICITY? H E L D: I No, the cases do not involve political question. In Tanada vs. Cuenco, 103 Phil. 1051 [1957], it was held that political questions refer to those questions which, under the Constitution are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative and executive branches of the government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not the legality of a particular measure. The 1987 Constitution narrowed the reach of the political question doctrine when it expanded the power of judicial review of the court, not only to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, but also 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 government. IN support of the contention that the cases involve political questions, the respondents cited the cases of LAWYER' LEAGE FOR A BETTER PHILIPPINES VS. PRESIDENT CORAZON AQUINO, May 22, 1986 and related cases. The court pointed out that in those cases, it held that the government of President Aquino was the result of a successful but peaceful revolution by the Filipino people. The Freedom Constitution itself declared that the Aquino government was installed through the direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people in defiance of the 1973 Constitution, as amended. IN contrast, the Arroyo government is not revolutionary in character. The oath of President Arroyo took at the EDSA Shrine is an oath under the 1987 Constitution where she swore to preserve and defend the 1987 Constitution. The EDSA 1 that installed President Aquino and EDSA II which installed Arroyo are different because the first involves the exercise of the people power of revolution which overthrew the whole government. EDSA II is an exercise of people power of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to petition the government for redress of grievances which only affected the Office of the President. EDSA I is extra constitutional and the legitimacy of the new government that resulted from it cannot be the subject of judicial review, but EDSA II is intra constitutional and the resignation of the sitting President that it caused and the succession of the Vice President as President are subject to judicial review. EDSA I presented a political question, EDSA II involves legal questions. Therefore, the present cases involve legal questions requiring the proper interpretation of provisions of the 1987 Constitution on the scope of presidential immunity from suit and the correct calibration of the right of petitioner against prejudicial publicity. II Using the totality test, the SC held that petitioner Estrada resigned as President. Resignation is not a high level abstraction. It is a factual question and its elements are beyond quibble: there must be an intent to resign and the intent must be coupled by acts of relinquishment. The validity of a resignation is not governed by any formal requirement as to form. It can be written. It can be express. It can be implied. As long as the resignation is clear, it must be given legal effect. Since Estrada did not write a letter of resignation before evacuating the Malacanang Palace on January 20, 2001, the determination of whether he resigned should be based on his acts and omission before, during and after 20 January 2001. THIS IS THE TOTALITY TEST, THE TOTALITY OF PRIOR, CONTEMPORANEOUS AND POSTERIOR FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE BEARING MATERIAL RELEVANCE TO THE ISSUE. The diary of former Executive Secretary Angara as serialized in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on February 4-6, 2001 gives an authoritative window on the state of mind of the petitioner. These are: a. b. c. d. On January 19, 2001 at the height of the EDSA protest, Estrada called for a snap presidential election in May 2001 and made it on record that he will not be a candidate. It is an indication that he had given up the presidency even at that time since his term is supposed to be up to 2004; Estrada did not object to the suggestion that he consider a dignified exit and that he be allowed to go abroad with enough funds; Estradas statement that he was guaranteed by Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes that he would be given a 5-day grace period in the palace which shows that he had reconciled himself to the reality that he had to resign; During the negotiations between the Estrada and Arroyo groups in the early morning of January 20, 2001, the resignation of the petitioner was treated as a fact;

9. 10.

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e. f. During the 1st round of negotiations, Estrada said Pagod na pagod na ako. Ayoko masyado nang masakit. Pagod na ako sa red tape, intriga. The court held that this was a high grade evidence that he had resigned. The SC held that ayoko na are words of resignation. The Presidents act of leaving the palace on January 20, 2001 confirmed his resignation. Petitioners press release, his final act and farewell, acknowledged the oath-taking of Arroyo as President, his reservation about its legality. He said he was leaving the palace for the sake of peace and order. He did not say that he was leaving as a result of a disability and was going to re-assume the presidency as soon as the disability appears III NO. The court held that the petitioner has in fact resigned and his claim of inability was laid to rest by Congress. The decision that respondent Arroyo is the de jure President, made by a co-equal branch of the government, cannot be reviewed by the Court. Both Houses of Congress had recognized that Arroyo is the President when they passed Resolution expressing their support to the administration of Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President of the Philippines which was passed on January 24, 2001; another resolution dated January 24, 2001 expressing full support to the assumption into office by VP Arroyo as President of the Philippines; and the Resolution dated February 7, 2001 confirming President Arroyos nomination of Senator Teopisto Guingona, Jr. as Vice President of the Philippines. Both Houses also sent bills for the New President (GMA) to sign into law. Therefore, the Court has no jurisdiction to review the claim of temporary disability and could not revise the decision of Congress recognizing Arroyo as President without transgressing the principle of separation of powers. IV NO. As a non-sitting President, Estrada enjoys no immunity from the criminal charges of plunder, bribery and graft and corruption filed against him. Likewise, the argument that he should first be convicted in the impeachment proceedings before he could be charged criminally is without merit since the impeachment court has adjourned indefinitely insofar as the case against him is concerned. To follow his line of argument would put a perpetual bar against his prosecution. In fact, the Constitutional Commission in its deliberations show that even if the case against an impeachable officer has become moot as a result of his resignation, the proper criminal and civil cases may be filed against him. Also, as held in RE: SATURNINO BERMUDEZ, 145 SCRA 160, an incumbent President is immune from suit or from being brought to court BUT NOT BEYOND. In NIXON VS. FITSGERALD, 457 US 731, the US Supreme Court held that the immunity of the President from civil damages covers only official acts. In the 1997 case of CLINTON VS. JONES, 520 US 681, the US Supreme Court held that the presidents immunity from suits for money damages arising out of official acts is inapplicable to unofficial conduct. Finally, the constitutional provision that a public office is a public trust would be devalued if we sustain petitioners claim that a nonsitting President enjoys immunity from suit for criminal acts committed during his incumbency. V NO. The SC held that the evidence presented by the petitioner is insufficient for the Court to rule that the preliminary investigation by respondent Desierto be enjoined. The claim of the petitioner, based on news reports, that the Ombudsman had prejudged his case is not sufficient ground to stop the investigation. As held in MARTELINO VS. ALEJANDRO, 32 SCRA 106, to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity, there must be an actual prejudice---there must be allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced. The accuracy of the reports cited by the petitioner could not be the subject of judicial notice since the Ombudsman is entitled to the presumption of good faith and regularity in the performance of official duty. (NOTE: On April 7, 2001, the Motion for Reconsideration of Estrada of the above decision was denied for lack of merit.) 4. Section 13. The President, VP, Members of the Cabinet or their assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure.. They shall not during their tenure, directly or indirectly practice any profession, participate in any business or be financially interested in any contract withthe government or any government owned or controlled corporation or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office. Read: 1. PUNZALAN VS. MENDOZA, 140 SCRA 153 2. ADAZA VS. PACANA, 135 SCRA 431 3. Opinion No. 155, Series of 1988 by the Secretary of Justice 4. Executive Order No. 284 5. Civil Liberties Union vs. Exec. Sec., February 22, 1991 DENNIS FUNA VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, G.R. No. 184740, February 11, 2010 VILLARAMA, JR., J.: This is a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction, to declare as unconstitutional the designation of respondent Undersecretary Maria Elena H. Bautista as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). FACTS: On October 4, 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed respondent Maria Elena H. Bautista (Bautista) as Undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), vice Agustin R. Bengzon. Bautista was designated as Undersecretary for Maritime Transport of the department under Special Order No. 2006-171 dated October 23, 2006. On September 1, 2008, following the resignation of then MARINA Administrator Vicente T. Suazo, Jr., Bautista was designated as Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Office of the Administrator, MARINA, in concurrent capacity as DOTC Undersecretary.

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On October 21, 2008, Dennis A. B. Funa in his capacity as taxpayer, concerned citizen and lawyer, filed the instant petition challenging the constitutionality of Bautistas appointment/designation, which is proscribed by the prohibition on the President, VicePresident, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies and assistants to hold any other office or employment. On January 5, 2009, during the pendency of this petition, Bautista was appointed Administrator of the MARINA vice Vicente T. Suazo, Jr. and she assumed her duties and responsibilities as such on February 2, 2009. ISSUE: Whether or not Bautistas concurrent positions as DOTC Undersecretary and MARINA OIC is in violation of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. HELD: The petition is meritorious. On petitioners personality to sue as a mere taxpayer: The courts power of judicial review, like almost all other powers conferred by the Constitution, is subject to several limitations, namely: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have standing to challenge; he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that he has sustained or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. Respondents assert that the second requisite is absent in this case. Generally, a party will be allowed to litigate only when (1) he can show that he has personally suffered some actual or threatened injury because of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action. The question on 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. In David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, summarizing the rules culled from jurisprudence, we held that taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, and legislators may be accorded standing to sue, provided that the following requirements are met: (1) cases involve constitutional issues; (2) for taxpayers, there must be a claim of illegal disbursement of public funds or that the tax measure is unconstitutional; (3) for voters, there must be a showing of obvious interest in the validity of the election law in question; (4) for concerned citizens, there must be a showing that the issues raised are of transcendental importance which must be settled early; and (5) for legislators, there must be a claim that the official action complained of infringes upon their prerogatives as legislators. [EMPHASIS SUPPLIED.] Petitioner having alleged a grave violation of the constitutional prohibition against Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants holding two (2) or more positions in government, the fact that he filed this suit as a concerned citizen sufficiently confers him with standing to sue for redress of such illegal act by public officials. The other objection raised by the respondent is that the resolution of this case had been overtaken by events considering the effectivity of respondent Bautistas appointment as MARINA Administrator effective February 2, 2009 and her relinquishment of her former position as DOTC Undersecretary for Maritime Transport. A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of mootness. However, as we held in Public Interest Center, Inc. v. Elma, supervening events, whether intended or accidental, cannot prevent the Court from rendering a decision if there is a grave violation of the Constitution. Even in cases where supervening events had made the cases moot, this Court did not hesitate to resolve the legal or constitutional issues raised to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, bar, and public. Undersecretary Bautistas designation as MARINA OIC falls under the stricter prohibition under Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. Resolution of the present controversy hinges on the correct application of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides: SEC. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including governmentowned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office. On the other hand, Section 7, paragraph (2), Article IX-B reads: SEC. 7. x x x Unless otherwise allowed by law or the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. In Civil Liberties Union, a constitutional challenge was brought before this Court to nullify EO No. 284 issued by then President Corazon C. Aquino on July 25, 1987, which included Members of the Cabinet, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries in its provisions limiting to two (2) the positions that appointive officials of the Executive Department may hold in government and government corporations. Interpreting the above provisions in the light of the history and times and the conditions and circumstances under which the Constitution was framed, this Court struck down as unconstitutional said executive issuance, saying that it actually allows them to hold multiple offices or employment in direct contravention of the express mandate of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution prohibiting them from doing so, unless otherwise provided in the 1987 Constitution itself. Noting that the prohibition imposed on the President and his official family is all-embracing, the disqualification was held to be absolute, as the holding of any other office is not qualified by the phrase in the Government unlike in Section 13, Article VI prohibiting Senators and Members of the House of Representatives from holding any other office or employment in the Government; and when compared with other officials and employees such as members of the armed forces and civil service employees, we concluded thus: These sweeping, all-embracing prohibitions imposed on the President and his official family, which prohibitions are not similarly imposed on other public officials or employees such as the Members of Congress, members of the civil service in general and members of the armed forces, are proof of the intent of the 1987 Constitution to treat the President and his official family as a class by itself and to impose upon said class stricter prohibitions. Such intent of the 1986 Constitutional Commission to be stricter with the President and his official family was also succinctly articulated by Commissioner Vicente Foz after Commissioner Regalado Maambong noted during the floor deliberations and debate that there was no symmetry between the Civil Service prohibitions, originally found in the General Provisions and the anticipated report on the Executive Department. Commissioner Foz Commented, We actually have to be stricter with the President and the members of the Cabinet because they exercise more powers and, therefore, more checks and restraints on them are called for because there is more possibility of abuse in their case.

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Thus, while all other appointive officials in the civil service are allowed to hold other office or employment in the government during their tenure when such is allowed by law or by the primary functions of their positions, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only when expressly authorized by the Constitution itself. In other words, Section 7, Article IX-B is meant to lay down the general rule applicable to all elective and appointive public officials and employees, while Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the exception applicable only to the President, the Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants. xxxx Since the evident purpose of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is to impose a stricter prohibition on the President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants with respect to holding multiple offices or employment in the government during their tenure, the exception to this prohibition must be read with equal severity. On its face, the language of Section 13, Article VII is prohibitory so that it must be understood as intended to be a positive and unequivocal negation of the privilege of holding multiple government offices or employment. Verily, wherever the language used in the constitution is prohibitory, it is to be understood as intended to be a positive and unequivocal negation. The phrase unless otherwise provided in this Constitution must be given a literal interpretation to refer only to those particular instances cited in the Constitution itself, to wit: the Vice-President being appointed as a member of the Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as President in those instances provided under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3), Article VII; and, the Secretary of Justice being ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII. [EMPHASIS SUPPLIED.] Respondent Bautista being then the appointed Undersecretary of DOTC, she was thus covered by the stricter prohibition under Section 13, Article VII and consequently she cannot invoke the exception provided in Section 7, paragraph 2, Article IX-B where holding another office is allowed by law or the primary functions of the position. Neither was she designated OIC of MARINA in an ex-officio capacity, which is the exception recognized in Civil Liberties Union. The prohibition against holding dual or multiple offices or employment under Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution was held inapplicable to posts occupied by the Executive officials specified therein, without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law and as required by the primary functions of said office. The reason is that these posts do not comprise any other office within the contemplation of the constitutional prohibition but are properly an imposition of additional duties and functions on said officials. Apart from their bare assertion that respondent Bautista did not receive any compensation when she was OIC of MARINA, respondents failed to demonstrate clearly that her designation as such OIC was in an ex-officio capacity as required by the primary functions of her office as DOTC Undersecretary for Maritime Transport. Given the vast responsibilities and scope of administration of the Authority, we are hardly persuaded by respondents submission that respondent Bautistas designation as OIC of MARINA was merely an imposition of additional duties related to her primary position as DOTC Undersecretary for Maritime Transport. It appears that the DOTC Undersecretary for Maritime Transport is not even a member of the Maritime Industry Board, which includes the DOTC Secretary as Chairman, the MARINA Administrator as Vice-Chairman, and the following as members: Executive Secretary (Office of the President), Philippine Ports Authority General Manager, Department of National Defense Secretary, Development Bank of the Philippines General Manager, and the Department of Trade and Industry Secretary. Finally, the Court similarly finds respondents theory that being just a designation, and temporary at that, respondent Bautista was never really appointed as OIC Administrator of MARINA, untenable. In Binamira v. Garrucho, Jr., we distinguished between the terms appointment and designation, as follows: Appointment may be defined as the selection, by the authority vested with the power, of an individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office. When completed, usually with its confirmation, the appointment results in security of tenure for the person chosen unless he is replaceable at pleasure because of the nature of his office. Designation, on the other hand, connotes merely the imposition by law of additional duties on an incumbent official, as where, in the case before us, the Secretary of Tourism is designated Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Tourism Authority, or where, under the Constitution, three Justices of the Supreme Court are designated by the Chief Justice to sit in the Electoral Tribunal of the Senate or the House of Representatives. It is said that appointment is essentially executive while designation is legislative in nature. Designation may also be loosely defined as an appointment because it likewise involves the naming of a particular person to a specified public office. That is the common understanding of the term. However, where the person is merely designated and not appointed, the implication is that he shall hold the office only in a temporary capacity and may be replaced at will by the appointing authority. In this sense, the designation is considered only an acting or temporary appointment, which does not confer security of tenure on the person named. [EMPHASIS SUPPLIED.] Clearly, respondents reliance on the foregoing definitions is misplaced considering that the above-cited case addressed the issue of whether petitioner therein acquired valid title to the disputed position and so had the right to security of tenure. It must be stressed though that while the designation was in the nature of an acting and temporary capacity, the words hold the office were employed. Such holding of office pertains to both appointment and designation because the appointee or designate performs the duties and functions of the office. The 1987 Constitution in prohibiting dual or multiple offices, as well as incompatible offices, refers to the holding of the office, and not to the nature of the appointment or designation, words which were not even found in Section 13, Article VII nor in Section 7, paragraph 2, Article IX-B. To hold an office means to possess or occupy the same, or to be in possession and administration, which implies nothing less than the actual discharge of the functions and duties of the office. The disqualification laid down in Section 13, Article VII is aimed at preventing the concentration of powers in the Executive Department officials, specifically the President, Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet and their deputies and assistants. Civil Liberties Union traced the history of the times and the conditions under which the Constitution was framed, and construed the Constitution consistent with the object sought to be accomplished by adoption of such provision, and the evils sought to be avoided or remedied. We recalled the practice, during the Marcos regime, of designating members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants as members of the governing bodies or boards of various government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations. This practice of holding multiple offices or positions in the government led to abuses by unscrupulous public officials, who took advantage of this scheme for purposes of self-enrichment. The blatant betrayal of public trust evolved into one of the serious causes of discontent with the Marcos regime. It was therefore quite inevitable and in consonance with the overwhelming sentiment of the people that the 1986 Constitutional Commission would draft into the proposed Constitution the provisions under consideration, which were envisioned to remedy, if not correct, the evils that flow from the holding of multiple governmental offices and employment. Our declaration in that case cannot be more explicit: But what is indeed significant is the fact that although Section 7, Article IX-B already contains a blanket prohibition against the holding of multiple offices or employment in the government subsuming both elective and appointive public officials, the Constitutional Commission should see it fit to formulate another provision, Sec. 13, Article VII, specifically prohibiting the President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants from holding any other office or employment during their tenure, unless otherwise provided in the Constitution itself. Evidently, from this move as well as in the different phraseologies of the constitutional provisions in question, the intent of the framers of the Constitution was to impose a stricter prohibition on the President and his official family in so far as holding other offices or employment in the government or elsewhere is concerned. [EMPHASIS SUPPLIED.] Such laudable intent of the law will be defeated and rendered sterile if we are to adopt the semantics of respondents. It would open the veritable floodgates of circumvention of an important constitutional disqualification of officials in the Executive Department and of limitations on the Presidents power of appointment in the guise of temporary designations of Cabinet Members, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries as officers-in-charge of government agencies, instrumentalities, or government-owned or controlled corporations.

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As to respondents contention that the concurrent positions of DOTC Undersecretary for Maritime Transport and MARINA OIC Administrator are not incompatible offices, we find no necessity for delving into this matter. Incompatibility of offices is irrelevant in this case, unlike in the case of PCGG Chairman Magdangal Elma in Public Interest Center, Inc. v. Elma. Therein we held that Section 13, Article VII is not applicable to the PCGG Chairman or to the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, as he is not a cabinet member, undersecretary or assistant secretary. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The designation of respondent Ma. Elena H. Bautista as Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Administrator, Maritime Industry Authority, in a concurrent capacity with her position as DOTC Undersecretary for Maritime Transport, is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being violative of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution and therefore, NULL and VOID. Sections 14 Appointments extended by an Acting President shall remain effective, unless revoked by the elected President within 90 days from his assumption of office. Section 15. Two months immediately before the next presidential election and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. (NOTE: Section 9, Article VIII. The President shall issue the appointments within 90 days from the submission of the list) Read: 1) AYTONA VS. CASTILLO, 4 SCRA 1 2) PAMANTASAN VS. IAC, 140 SCRA 22 3) IN RE: JUDGE VALLARTA and JUDGE VALENZUELA ARTURO DE CASTRO VS. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL, G.R. No. 191032, March 17, 2010 BERSAMIN, J.: ISSUES: May the incumbent President appoint the successor of Chief Justice Reynato Puno when he retires on May 17, 2010, considering that Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department) of the Constitution prohibits the President or Acting President from making appointments within two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term , except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety? What is the relevance of Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial Department) of the Constitution, which provides that any vacancy in the Supreme Court shall be filled within 90 days from the occurrence thereof, to the matter of the appointment of his successor? May the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) resume the process of screening the candidates nominated or being considered to succeed Chief Justice Puno, and submit the list of nominees to the incumbent President even during the period of the prohibition under Section 15, Article VII? Does mandamus lie to compel the submission of the shortlist of nominees by the JBC? The main question presented in all the filings herein because it involves two seemingly conflicting provisions of the Constitution imperatively demands the attention and resolution of this Court, the only authority that can resolve the question definitively and finally. The imperative demand rests on the ever-present need, first, to safeguard the independence, reputation, and integrity of the entire Judiciary, particularly this Court, an institution that has been unnecessarily dragged into the harsh polemics brought on by the controversy; second, to settle once and for all the doubt about an outgoing Presidents power to appoint to the Judiciary within the long period starting two months before the presidential elections until the end of the presidential term; and third, to set a definite guideline for the JBC to follow in the discharge of its primary office of screening and nominating qualified persons for appointment to the Judiciary. HELD: a. On the personality to sue of petitioners: The Court rules that the petitioners have each demonstrated adequate interest in the outcome of the controversy as to vest them with the requisite locus standi. The issues before us are of transcendental importance to the people as a whole, and to the petitioners in particular. Indeed, the issues affect everyone (including the petitioners), regardless of ones personal interest in life, because they concern that great doubt about the authority of the incumbent President to appoint not only the successor of the retiring incumbent Chief Justice, but also others who may serve in the Judiciary, which already suffers from a far too great number of vacancies in the ranks of trial judges throughout the country. Yet, if any doubt still lingers about the locus standi of any petitioner, we dispel the doubt now in order to remove any obstacle or obstruction to the resolution of the essential issue squarely presented herein. We are not to shirk from discharging our solemn duty by reason alone of an obstacle more technical than otherwise. In Agan, Jr. v. Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc., we pointed out: Standing is a peculiar concept in constitutional law because in some cases, suits are not brought by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of a law or any other government act but by concerned citizens, taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public interest. But even if, strictly speaking, the petitioners are not covered by the definition, it is still within the wide discretion of the Court to waive the requirement and so remove the impediment to its addressing and resolving the serious constitutional questions raised. b. Prohibition under Section 15, Article VII does not apply to appointments to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court or to other appointments to the Judiciary Two constitutional provisions are seemingly in conflict. The first, Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department), provides: Section 15. Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. The other, Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial Department), states: Section 4. (1). The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in division of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof. In the consolidated petitions, the petitioners, with the exception of Soriano, Tolentino and Inting, submit that the incumbent President can appoint the successor of Chief Justice Puno upon his retirement on May 17, 2010, on the ground that the prohibition against presidential appointments under Section 15, Article VII does not extend to appointments in the Judiciary. The Court agrees with the submission. First. The records of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission reveal that the framers devoted time to meticulously drafting, styling, and arranging the Constitution. Such meticulousness indicates that the organization and arrangement of the provisions of the Constitution were not arbitrarily or whimsically done by the framers, but purposely made to reflect their intention and manifest their vision of what the Constitution should contain. The Constitution consists of 18 Articles, three of which embody the allocation of the awesome powers of government among the three great departments, the Legislative (Article VI), the Executive (Article VII), and the Judicial Departments (Article VIII). The arrangement was a true recognition of the principle of separation of powers that underlies the political structure, as Constitutional Commissioner Adolfo S. Azcuna (later a worthy member of the Court) explained in his sponsorship speech:

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We have in the political part of this Constitution opted for the separation of powers in government because we believe that the only way to protect freedom and liberty is to separate and divide the awesome powers of government. Hence, we return to the separation of powers doctrine and the legislative, executive and judicial departments. As can be seen, Article VII is devoted to the Executive Department, and, among others, it lists the powers vested by the Constitution in the President. The presidential power of appointment is dealt with in Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Article. Article VIII is dedicated to the Judicial Department and defines the duties and qualifications of Members of the Supreme Court, among others. Section 4(1) and Section 9 of this Article are the provisions specifically providing for the appointment of Supreme Court Justices. In particular, Section 9 states that the appointment of Supreme Court Justices can only be made by the President upon the submission of a list of at least three nominees by the JBC; Section 4(1) of the Article mandates the President to fill the vacancy within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy. Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. They could not have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article VII as being equally applicable to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such specification was not done only reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President making appointments within two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the Presidents or Acting Presidents term does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court. Although Valenzuela came to hold that the prohibition covered even judicial appointments, it cannot be disputed that the Valenzuela dictum did not firmly rest on the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. Thereby, the confirmation made to the JBC by then Senior Associate Justice Florenz D. Regalado of this Court, a former member of the Constitutional Commission, about the prohibition not being intended to apply to the appointments to the Judiciary, which confirmation Valenzuela even expressly mentioned, should prevail. Relevantly, Valenzuela adverted to the intent of the framers in the genesis of Section 4 (1), Article VIII, viz: V . Intent of the Constitutional Commission The journal of the Commission which drew up the present Constitution discloses that the original proposal was to have an eleven-member Supreme Court. Commissioner Eulogio Lerum wanted to increase the number of Justices to fifteen. He also wished to ensure that that number would not be reduced for any appreciable length of time (even only temporarily), and to this end proposed that any vacancy must be filled within two months from the date that the vacancy occurs. His proposal to have a 15-member Court was not initially adopted. Persisting however in his desire to make certain that the size of the Court would not be decreased for any substantial period as a result of vacancies, Lerum proposed the insertion in the provision (anent the Courts membership) of the same mandate that IN CASE OF ANY VACANCY, THE SAME SHALL BE FILLED WITHIN TWO MONTHS FROM OCCURRENCE THEREOF. He later agreed to suggestions to make the period three, instead of two, months. As thus amended, the proposal was approved. As it turned out, however, the Commission ultimately agreed on a fifteen-member Court. Thus it was that the section fixing the composition of the Supreme Court came to include a command to fill up any vacancy therein within 90 days from its occurrence . In this connection, it may be pointed out that that instruction that any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days (in the last sentence of Section 4 (1) of Article VIII) contrasts with the prohibition in Section 15, Article VII, which is couched in stronger negative language - that a President or Acting President shall not make appointments The commission later approved a proposal of Commissioner Hilario G. Davide, Jr. (now a Member of this Court) to add to what is now Section 9 of Article VIII, the following paragraph: WITH RESPECT TO LOWER COURTS, THE PRESIDENT SHALL ISSUE THE APPOINTMENT WITHIN NINETY DAYS FROM THE SUBMISSION OF THE LIST (of nominees by the Judicial and Bar Council to the President). Davide stated that his purpose was to provide a uniform rule for lower courts. According to him, the 90-day period should be counted from submission of the list of nominees to the President in view of the possibility that the President might reject the list submitted to him and the JBC thus need more time to submit a new one. On the other hand, Section 15, Article VII - which in effect deprives the President of his appointing power two months immediately before the next presidential elections up to the end of his term - was approved without discussion. However, the reference to the records of the Constitutional Commission did not advance or support the result in Valenzuela. Far to the contrary, the records disclosed the express intent of the framers to enshrine in the Constitution, upon the initiative of Commissioner Eulogio Lerum, a command [to the President] to fill up any vacancy therein within 90 days from its occurrence, which even Valenzuela conceded. The exchanges during deliberations of the Constitutional Commission on October 8, 1986 further show that the filling of a vacancy in the Supreme Court within the 90-day period was a true mandate for the President, viz: MR. DE CASTRO. I understand that our justices now in the Supreme Court, together with the Chief Justice, are only 11. MR. CONCEPCION. Yes. MR. DE CASTRO. And the second sentence of this subsection reads: Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof. MR. CONCEPCION. That is right. MR. DE CASTRO. Is this now a mandate to the executive to fill the vacancy? MR. CONCEPCION. That is right. That is borne out of the fact that in the past 30 years, seldom has the Court had a complete complement. Moreover, the usage in Section 4(1), Article VIII of the word shall an imperative, operating to impose a duty that may be enforced should not be disregarded. Thereby, Sections 4(1) imposes on the President the imperative duty to make an appointment of a Member of the Supreme Court within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy. The failure by the President to do so will be a clear disobedience to the Constitution. The 90-day limitation fixed in Section 4(1), Article VIII for the President to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court was undoubtedly a special provision to establish a definite mandate for the President as the appointing power, and cannot be defeated by mere judicial interpretation in Valenzuela to the effect that Section 15, Article VII prevailed because it was couched in stronger negative language. Such interpretation even turned out to be conjectural, in light of the records of the Constitutional Commissions deliberations on Section 4 (1), Article VIII. How Valenzuela justified its pronouncement and result is hardly warranted. According to an authority on statutory construction: xxx the court should seek to avoid any conflict in the provisions of the statute by endeavoring to harmonize and reconcile every part so that each shall be effective. It is not easy to draft a statute, or any other writing for that matter, which may not in some manner contain conflicting provisions. But what appears to the reader to be a conflict may not have seemed so to the drafter. Undoubtedly, each provision was inserted for a definite reason. Often by considering the enactment in its entirety, what appears to be on its face a conflict may be cleared up and the provisions reconciled.

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Consequently, that construction which will leave every word operative will be favored over one which leaves some word or provision meaningless because of inconsistency. But a word should not be given effect, if to do so gives the statute a meaning contrary to the intent of the legislature. On the other hand, if full effect cannot be given to the words of a statute, they must be made effective as far as possible. Nor should the provisions of a statute which are inconsistent be harmonized at a sacrifice of the legislative intention. It may be that two provisions are irreconcilable; if so, the one which expresses the intent of the law-makers should control. And the arbitrary rule has been frequently announced that where there is an irreconcilable conflict between the different provisions of a statute, the provision last in order of position will prevail, since it is the latest expression of the legislative will. Obviously, the rule is subject to deserved criticism. It is seldom applied, and probably then only where an irreconcilable conflict exists between different sections of the same act, and after all other means of ascertaining the meaning of the legislature have been exhausted. Where the conflict is between two statutes, more may be said in favor of the rules application, largely because of the principle of implied repeal. In this connection, PHILCONSAs urging of a revisit and a review of Valenzuela is timely and appropriate. Valenzuela arbitrarily ignored the express intent of the Constitutional Commission to have Section 4 (1), Article VIII stand independently of any other provision, least of all one found in Article VII. It further ignored that the two provisions had no irreconcilable conflict, regardless of Section 15, Article VII being couched in the negative. As judges, we are not to unduly interpret, and should not accept an interpretation that defeats the intent of the framers. Consequently, prohibiting the incumbent President from appointing a Chief Justice on the premise that Section 15, Article VII extends to appointments in the Judiciary cannot be sustained. A misinterpretation like Valenzuela should not be allowed to last after its false premises have been exposed. It will not do to merely distinguish Valenzuela from these cases, for the result to be reached herein is entirely incompatible with what Valenzuela decreed. Consequently, Valenzuela now deserves to be quickly sent to the dustbin of the unworthy and forgettable. We reverse Valenzuela. Second. Section 15, Article VII does not apply as well to all other appointments in the Judiciary. There is no question that one of the reasons underlying the adoption of Section 15 as part of Article VII was to eliminate midnight appointments from being made by an outgoing Chief Executive in the mold of the appointments dealt with in the leading case of Aytona v. Castillo. In fact, in Valenzuela, the Court so observed, stating that: xxx it appears that Section 15, Article VII is directed against two types of appointments: (1) those made for buying votes and (2) those made for partisan considerations. The first refers to those appointments made within the two months preceding a Presidential election and are similar to those which are declared election offenses in the Omnibus Election Code, viz.: xxx The second type of appointments prohibited by Section 15, Article VII consists of the so-called midnight appointments. In Aytona v. Castillo, it was held that after the proclamation of Diosdado Macapagal as duly elected President, President Carlos P. Garcia, who was defeated in his bid for reelection, became no more than a caretaker administrator whose duty was to prepare for the orderly transfer of authority to the incoming President. Said the Court: The filling up of vacancies in important positions, if few, and so spaced as to afford some assurance of deliberate action and careful consideration of the need for the appointment and appointee's qualifications may undoubtedly be permitted. But the issuance of 350 appointments in one night and the planned induction of almost all of them in a few hours before the inauguration of the new President may, with some reason, be regarded by the latter as an abuse of Presidential prerogatives, the steps taken being apparently a mere partisan effort to fill all vacant positions irrespective of fitness and other conditions, and thereby to deprive the new administration of an opportunity to make the corresponding appointments . As indicated, the Court recognized that there may well be appointments to important positions which have to be made even after the proclamation of the new President. Such appointments, so long as they are few and so spaced as to afford some assurance of deliberate action and careful consideration of the need for the appointment and the appointees qualifications, can be made by the outgoing President. Accordingly, several appointments made by President Garcia, which were shown to have been well considered, were upheld. Section 15, Article VII has a broader scope than the Aytona ruling. It may not unreasonably be deemed to contemplate not only midnight appointments those made obviously for partisan reasons as shown by their number and the time of their making but also appointments presumed made for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the Presidential election. On the other hand, the exception in the same Section 15 of Article VII allowing appointments to be made during the period of the ban therein provided is much narrower than that recognized in Aytona. The exception allows only the making of temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. Obviously, the article greatly restricts the appointing power of the President during the period of the ban. Considering the respective reasons for the time frames for filling vacancies in the courts and the restriction on the President's power of appointment, it is this Courts view that, as a general proposition, in case of conflict, the former should yield to the latter. Surely, the prevention of vote-buying and similar evils outweighs the need for avoiding delays in filling up of court vacancies or the disposition of some cases. Temporary vacancies can abide the period of the ban which, incidentally and as earlier pointed out, comes to exist only once in every six years. Moreover, those occurring in the lower courts can be filled temporarily by designation. But prohibited appointments are long-lasting and permanent in their effects. They may, as earlier pointed out, in fact influence the results of elections and, for that reason, their making is considered an election offense. Given the background and rationale for the prohibition in Section 15, Article VII, we have no doubt that the Constitutional Commission confined the prohibition to appointments made in the Executive Department. The framers did not need to extend the prohibition to appointments in the Judiciary, because their establishment of the JBC and their subjecting the nomination and screening of candidates for judicial positions to the unhurried and deliberate prior process of the JBC ensured that there would no longer be midnight appointments to the Judiciary. If midnight appointments in the mold of Aytona were made in haste and with irregularities, or made by an outgoing Chief Executive in the last days of his administration out of a desire to subvert the policies of the incoming President or for partisanship, the appointments to the Judiciary made after the establishment of the JBC would not be suffering from such defects because of the JBCs prior processing of candidates. Indeed, it is axiomatic in statutory construction that the ascertainment of the purpose of the enactment is a step in the process of ascertaining the intent or meaning of the enactment, because the reason for the enactment must necessarily shed considerable light on the law of the statute, i.e., the intent; hence, the enactment should be construed with reference to its intended scope and purpose, and the court should seek to carry out this purpose rather than to defeat it. Also, the intervention of the JBC eliminates the danger that appointments to the Judiciary can be made for the purpose of buying votes in a coming presidential election, or of satisfying partisan considerations. The experience from the time of the establishment of the JBC shows that even candidates for judicial positions at any level backed by people influential with the President could not always be assured of being recommended for the consideration of the President, because they first had to undergo the vetting of the JBC and

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pass muster there. Indeed, the creation of the JBC was precisely intended to de-politicize the Judiciary by doing away with the intervention of the Commission on Appointments. This insulating process was absent from the Aytona midnight appointment. Third. As earlier stated, the non-applicability of Section 15, Article VII to appointments in the Judiciary was confirmed by then Senior Associate Justice Regalado to the JBC itself when it met on March 9, 1998 to discuss the question raised by some sectors about the constitutionality of xxx appointments to the Court of Appeals in light of the forthcoming presidential elections. He assured that on the basis of the (Constitutional) Commissions records, the election ban had no application to appointments to the Court of Appeals. This confirmation was accepted by the JBC, which then submitted to the President for consideration the nominations for the eight vacancies in the Court of Appeals. The fault of Valenzuela was that it accorded no weight and due consideration to the confirmation of Justice Regalado. Valenzuela was weak, because it relied on interpretation to determine the intent of the framers rather than on the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. Much of the unfounded doubt about the Presidents power to appoint during the period of prohibition in Section 15, Article VII could have been dispelled since its promulgation on November 9, 1998, had Valenzuela properly acknowledged and relied on the confirmation of a distinguished member of the Constitutional Commission like Justice Regalado. Fourth. Of the 23 sections in Article VII, three (i.e., Section 14, Section15, and Section 16) concern the appointing powers of the President. Section 14 speaks of the power of the succeeding President to revoke appointments made by an Acting President, and evidently refers only to appointments in the Executive Department. It has no application to appointments in the Judiciary, because temporary or acting appointments can only undermine the independence of the Judiciary due to their being revocable at will. The letter and spirit of the Constitution safeguard that independence. Also, there is no law in the books that authorizes the revocation of appointments in the Judiciary. Prior to their mandatory retirement or resignation, judges of the first and second level courts and the Justices of the third level courts may only be removed for cause, but the Members of the Supreme Court may be removed only by impeachment. Section 14, Section 15, and Section 16 are obviously of the same character, in that they affect the power of the President to appoint. The fact that Section 14 and Section 16 refer only to appointments within the Executive Department renders conclusive that Section 15 also applies only to the Executive Department. This conclusion is consistent with the rule that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to the context , i.e. that every part must be considered together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. It is absurd to assume that the framers deliberately situated Section 15 between Section 14 and Section 16, if they intended Section 15 to cover all kinds of presidential appointments. If that was their intention in respect of appointments to the Judiciary, the framers, if only to be clear, would have easily and surely inserted a similar prohibition in Article VIII, most likely within Section 4 (1) thereof. Fifth. To hold like the Court did in Valenzuela that Section 15 extends to appointments to the Judiciary further undermines the intent of the Constitution of ensuring the independence of the Judicial Department from the Executive and Legislative Departments. Such a holding will tie the Judiciary and the Supreme Court to the fortunes or misfortunes of political leaders vying for the Presidency in a presidential election. Consequently, the wisdom of having the new President, instead of the current incumbent President, appoint the next Chief Justice is itself suspect, and cannot ensure judicial independence, because the appointee can also become beholden to the appointing authority. In contrast, the appointment by the incumbent President does not run the same risk of compromising judicial independence, precisely because her term will end by June 30, 2010. Sixth. The argument has been raised to the effect that there will be no need for the incumbent President to appoint during the prohibition period the successor of Chief Justice Puno within the context of Section 4 (1), Article VIII, because anyway there will still be about 45 days of the 90 days mandated in Section 4(1), Article VIII remaining. The argument is flawed, because it is focused only on the coming vacancy occurring from Chief Justice Punos retirement by May 17, 2010. It ignores the need to apply Section 4(1) to every situation of a vacancy in the Supreme Court. The argument also rests on the fallacious assumption that there will still be time remaining in the 90-day period under Section 4(1), Article VIII. The fallacy is easily demonstrable, as the OSG has shown in its comment. Section 4 (3), Article VII requires the regular elections to be held on the second Monday of May, letting the elections fall on May 8, at the earliest, or May 14, at the latest. If the regular presidential elections are held on May 8, the period of the prohibition is 115 days. If such elections are held on May 14, the period of the prohibition is 109 days. Either period of the prohibition is longer than the full mandatory 90-day period to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court. The result is that there are at least 19 occasions (i.e., the difference between the shortest possible period of the ban of 109 days and the 90-day mandatory period for appointments) in which the outgoing President would be in no position to comply with the constitutional duty to fill up a vacancy in the Supreme Court. It is safe to assume that the framers of the Constitution could not have intended such an absurdity. In fact, in their deliberations on the mandatory period for the appointment of Supreme Court Justices under Section 4 (1), Article VIII, the framers neither discussed, nor mentioned, nor referred to the ban against midnight appointments under Section 15, Article VII, or its effects on the 90-day period, or vice versa. They did not need to, because they never intended Section 15, Article VII to apply to a vacancy in the Supreme Court, or in any of the lower courts. Seventh. As a matter of fact, in an extreme case, we can even raise a doubt on whether a JBC list is necessary at all for the President any President to appoint a Chief Justice if the appointee is to come from the ranks of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court. Sec. 9, Article VIII says: xxx. The Members of the Supreme Court xxx shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for any vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation. xxx The provision clearly refers to an appointee coming into the Supreme Court from the outside, that is, a non-member of the Court aspiring to become one. It speaks of candidates for the Supreme Court, not of those who are already members or sitting justices of the Court, all of whom have previously been vetted by the JBC. Can the President, therefore, appoint any of the incumbent Justices of the Court as Chief Justice? The question is not squarely before us at the moment, but it should lend itself to a deeper analysis if and when circumstances permit. It should be a good issue for the proposed Constitutional Convention to consider in the light of Senate President Juan Ponce Enriles statement that the President can appoint the Chief Justice from among the sitting justices of the Court even without a JBC list. The Decision therefore Grants the petition in A.M. No. 10-2-5-SC and, accordingly, directs the Judicial and Bar Council: (a) To resume its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill the vacancy to be created by the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by May 17, 2010; (b) To prepare the short list of nominees for the position of Chief Justice; (c) To submit to the incumbent President the short list of nominees for the position of Chief Justice on or before May 17, 2010; and (d) To continue its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill other vacancies in the Judiciary and submit to the President the short list of nominees corresponding thereto in accordance with this decision. (NOTE: On April 20, 2010, the Supreme Court, with the same 9-1-2-3 [ 9 Allowing the President to appoint; 1 dissenting; 2 for dismissal of the petitions for being premature and 3 took no part] DENIED the Motion for Reconsideration for the reversal of the above Decision filed by the PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION and others)

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6. Section 16. The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers of the government whose appointments are not otherwise provided by law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, whether voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress. a. Read:

Temporary Appointments for members of the Cabinet; Ad interim appointments. SEN. AQUILINO PIMENTEL, et al., vs. EXEC. SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, et al., 472 SCRA 587 Carpio, J. Facts: 1. 2. a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. 3. On July 26, 2004, Congress commenced its Regular Session. On August 25, 2004, the Commission on appointments was constituted; While Congress was in session, the President issued appointments as Acting Secretaries to the following: Arthur Yap to the Department of Agriculture; Alberto Romulo to the Department of Foreign affairs; Raul Gonzales to the Department of Justice; Florencio Abad to the Department of Education; Avelino Cruz, Jr. to the Department of National Defense; Rene Villa to the Department of Agrarian Reform; Joseph Durano to the Department of Tourism; and Michael Defensor to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. On September 8, 2004, the petitioners questioned said appointments as Acting Secretary as UNCONSTITUTIONAL since Congress was in session and it was an act of circumventing the power of the Commission on Appointments confirm the said appointments. They claimed that while Congress is in session, there can be no appointments, whether regular or acting, to a vacant position of an office needing confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, without first having obtained its consent. On September 22, 2004, Congress adjourned its session; On September 23, 2004, the president issued ad-interim appointments to the above-named appointees to the departments to which they were previously appointed in an acting capacity; Thereafter, the respondents moved for the dismissal of this case on the ground that it is now moot and academic considering the issuance of ad-interim appointments and subsequent submission of the appointments of the above-named members of the cabinet to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation.

4. 5. 6.

I s s u e s: 1. 2. 3. Shall the case be dismissed since it is already moot and academic? Do all the petitioners have the personality to sue? Were the temporary appointments made while Congress was in session to positions subject of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments unconstitutional?

H e l d: 1. While it is a rule that courts should not decide moot cases, the courts, as an exception, will rule on it if it is capable of repetition yet evading review (TOLENTINO VS. COMELEC, 420 SCRA 438; ACOP VS. SECRETARY GUINGONA, 383 SCRA 577; VIOLA VS. HON. ALUNAN III, 277 SCRA 409; ALUNAN III VS. MIRASOL, 276 SCRA 501). Only those members of the Commission on Appointments have the personality to sue and not the other petitioners who are not. While it was held in SANLAKAS VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, 421 SCRA 656 that members of Congress have the personality to sue if the Presidents act has the effect of impairing the powers of Congress, the same is not applicable in this case. This is so because the Commission on Appointments is independent from Congress itself. President Arroyos issuance of acting appointments while Congress is in session impairs no power of Congress. The temporary appointments are valid. 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. The essence of an appointment in an acting capacity is its temporary nature. 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. In case of vacancy in an office occupied by an alter ego of the President, such as the office of a department secretary, the President must necessarily appoint an alter ego of her choice as acting secretary before the permanent appointee of her choice could assume office. Congress, through a law cannot impose on the President the obligation of automatically appointing the Undersecretary as her alter ego. He must be of the Presidents confidence and provided that the temporary appointment does not exceed one (1) year.

2.

3.

There is a need to distinguish ad interim appointments and appointments in an acting capacity. While both are effective upon acceptance, ad interim appointments are extended only during the recess of Congress, whereas acting appointments may be extended any time that there is a vacancy. Moreover, ad interim appointments are submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting appointments are not submitted to the Commission on appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily circumventing the need of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. 1. CALDERON VS. CARALE, April 23, 11992 1-a) ULPIANO SARMIENTO III VS. SALVADOR MISON, G.R. No. 79774, Dec. 17, 1987, 156 SCRA 549 2. MARY CONCEPCION-BAUTISTA VS. THE COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS, April, 13,1989 2-A TERESITA DELES, ET AL. VS. COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS, September 4, 1989 3 RAFAEL VS. EMBROIDERY AND APPAREL CONTROL BOARD, 21 SCRA 336

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4 5 6 OLIVEROS-TORRE VS. BAYOT, 58 SCRA 272; . TARROSA VS. SINGSON, May 25, 1994; NIERE VS. CFI, 54 SCRA 165 b. Distinguish adjournment from recess. c. Differentiate the status of an appointment made by the President while Congress is in session compared to that when it is in recess. 7. Section 17, The President shall have control of all the executive departments , bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. Presidents Control over the executive department; usurpation of legislative powers and infringement on the citizens right to privacy KILUSANG MAYO UNO VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, ET AL., April 19, 2006 & June 20, 2006 BAYAN MUNA VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, ET AL., April 19, 2006 & June 20, 2006 Carpio, J. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation No. 420 that mandates the Adoption of a Unified, Multi-purpose Identification System by all Government Agencies in the Executive Department. This is so despite the fact that the Supreme Court held in an En Banc decision in 1998 OPLE VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY RUBEN TORRES Administrative Order No. 308[National computerized Identification Reference System] issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos that the same is unconstitutional because a national ID card system requires legislation because it creates a new national data collection and card issuance system, where none existed before. The Supreme Court likewise held that EO 308 as unconstitutional for it violates the citizens right to privacy. Based on the Ople ruling, the petitioners claimed that Proclamation No. 420 is unconstitutional on two (2) grounds: a. b. Held: 1. The issuance by the President of Proclamation No. 420 is not a usurpation of legislative powers. This is so because EO 420 applies only to government entities that already maintain ID systems and issue ID cards pursuant to their regular functionsand does not grant such government entities any power that they do not already posses under existing laws. It is not similar to AO 308 because it does not create a notional ID system since it the same applies only to the executive branch of the government, including government owned and controlled corporations but not the judiciary nor the independent constitutional commissions. This only shows that EO 420 does not establish a national ID system because legislation is needed to establish a single ID system which is compulsory to all branches of the government. EO 420 makes existing sectoral card systems of the government entities like the GSIS, SSS, Philhealth and Land Transportation Office less costly, more efficient, reliable and user-friendly to the public. Finally, the issuance of Proclamation No. 420 is a proper subject of executive issuance under the President constitutional power of control over government entities in the executive department as well as under the Presidents constitutional duty to ensure that laws are faithfully executed. The said Executive Order No. 420 does not violate the citizens right to privacy since it does not require all the citizens to be issued a national ID as what happened in AO 308. Only those dealing or employed with the said government entities who are required to provide the required information for the issuance of the said ID. a. Distinguish the power of control over the power of supervision b. Read: 1. Santos vs. Exec. Sec., April 10, 1992 1-a. Maceda vs. Macaraig, Jr., 197 SCRA 771 1-b. Echeche vs. CA, 198 SCRA 577 The act of the Executive Secretary in reversing the decision of the Secretary of the DENR allowing the payment of the backwages of petitioner is considered an act of the President and therefore valid in accordance with the doctrine of qualified political agency. 1-c. Ganzon vs. CA, 200 SCRA 271 The petitions of Mayor Ganzon originated from a series of administrative complaints, ten in number, filed against him by various city officials sometime in 1988, on various charges, among them, abuse of authority, oppression, grave misconduct, disgraceful and immoral conduct, intimidation, culpable violation of the Constitution, and arbitrary detention. 1 The personalities involved are Joceleehn Cabaluna, a clerk at the city health office; Salvador Cabaluna, her husband; Dr. Felicidad Ortigoza, Assistant City Health Officer; Mansueto Malabor, Vice-Mayor; Rolando Dabao, Dan Dalido, German Gonzales, Larry Ong, and Eduardo Pefia Redondo members of the Sangguniang Panglunsod; and Pancho Erbite, a barangay tanod. Another administrative case was filed by Pancho Erbite, a barangay tanod, appointed by former mayor Rosa O. Caram. On March 13, 1988, without the benefit of charges filed against him and no warrant of arrest was issued, Erbite was arrested and detained at the City Jail of Iloilo City upon orders of petitioner. In jail, he was allegedly mauled by other detainees thereby causing injuries He was released only the following day. Finding probable grounds and reasons, the respondent issued a preventive suspension order on August 11, 1988 to last until October 11,1988 for a period of sixty (60) days. Then the next investigation was set on September 21, 1988 and the petitioner again asked for a postponement to September 26,1988. On September 26, 1988, the complainants and petitioner were present, together with their respective counsel. The petitioner sought for a postponement which was denied. In these hearings which were held in Mala the petitioner testified in Adm. Case No. C-10298 and 10299. He was again ordered suspended. usurpation of legislative powers; and it infringes on the citizens right to privacy

2.

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We come to the core question: Whether or not the Secretary of Local Government, as the President's alter ego, can suspend and/or remove local officials. It is the petitioners' argument that the 1987 Constitution no longer allows the President, as the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions did, to exercise the power of suspension and/or removal over local officials. According to both petitioners, the Constitution is meant, first, to strengthen self-rule by local government units and second, by deleting the phrase 21 as may be provided by law to strip the President of the power of control over local governments. It is a view, so they contend, that finds support in the debates of the Constitutional Commission. The provision in question reads as follows: Sec. 4. The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments. Provinces with respect to component cities and municipalities, and cities and municipalities with respect to component barangays shall ensure that the acts of their component units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions. It modifies a counterpart provision appearing in the 1935 Constitution, which we quote: Sec. 10. The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, or offices, exercise general supervision over all Local governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed. The petitioners submit that the deletion (of "as may be provided by law") is significant, as their argument goes, since: (1) the power of the President is "provided by law" and (2) hence, no law may provide for it any longer. It is to be noted that in meting out the suspensions under question, the Secretary of Local Government acted in consonance with the specific legal provisions of Batas Blg. 337, the Local Government Code, we quote: Sec. 62. Notice of Hearing. Within seven days after the complaint is filed, the Minister of local Government, or the sanggunian concerned, as the case may be, shall require the respondent to submit his verified answer within seven days from receipt of said complaint, and commence the hearing and investigation of the case within ten days after receipt of such answer of the respondent. No investigation shall be held within ninety days immediately prior to an election, and no preventive suspension shall be imposed with the said period. If preventive suspension has been imposed prior to the aforesaid period, the preventive suspension shall be lifted. Sec. 63. Preventive Suspension. (1) Preventive suspension may be imposed by the Minister of Local Government if the respondent is a provincial or city official, by the provincial governor if the respondent is an elective municipal official, or by the city or municipal mayor if the respondent is an elective barangay official. The issue, as the Court understands it, consists of three questions: (1) Did the 1987 Constitution, in deleting the phrase "as may be provided by law" intend to divest the President of the power to investigate, suspend, discipline, and/or remove local officials? (2) Has the Constitution repealed Sections 62 and 63 of the Local Government Code? (3) What is the significance of the change in the constitutional language? It is the considered opinion of the Court that notwithstanding the change in the constitutional language, the charter did not intend to divest the legislature of its right or the President of her prerogative as conferred by existing legislation to provide administrative sanctions against local officials. It is our opinion that the omission (of "as may be provided by law") signifies nothing more than to underscore local governments' autonomy from congress and to break Congress' "control" over local government affairs. The Constitution did not, however, intend, for the sake of local autonomy, to deprive the legislature of all authority over municipal corporations, in particular, concerning discipline. The petitioners are under the impression that the Constitution has left the President mere supervisory powers, which supposedly excludes the power of investigation, and denied her control, which allegedly embraces disciplinary authority. It is a mistaken impression because legally, "supervision" is not incompatible with disciplinary authority as this Court has held It is true that in the case of Mondano vs. Silvosa, 51 Off. Gaz., No. 6 p. 2884, this Court had occasion to discuss the scope and extent of the power of supervision by the President over local government officials in contrast to the power of control given to him over executive officials of our government wherein it was emphasized that the two terms, control and supervision, are two different things which differ one from the other in meaning and extent. Thus in that case the Court has made the following digression: "In administration law supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify of set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter." But from this pronouncement it cannot be reasonably inferred that the power of supervision of the President over local government officials does not include the power of investigation when in his opinion the good of the public service so requires, as postulated in Section 64(c) of the Revised Administrative Code. ... xxx xxx xxx

"Control" has been defined as "the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for test of the latter." 36 "Supervision" on the other hand means "overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. 37 As we held, 38 however, "investigating" is not inconsistent with "overseeing", although it is a lesser power than "altering". The impression is apparently exacerbated by the Court's pronouncements in at least three cases, Lacson v. Roque, 39 Hebron v. Reyes, 40 and Mondano v. Silvosa, 41 and possibly, a fourth one, Pelaez v. Auditor General.42 In Lacson, this Court said that the President enjoyed no control powers but only supervision "as may be provided by law," 43 a rule we reiterated in Hebron, and Mondano. In Pelaez, we stated that the President "may not . . . suspend an elective official of a regular municipality or take any disciplinary action against him, except on appeal from a decision of the corresponding provincial board." 44 However, neither Lacson nor Hebron nor Mondano categorically banned the Chief Executive from exercising acts of disciplinary authority because she did not exercise control powers, but because no law allowed her to exercise disciplinary authority. Thus, according to Lacson: The contention that the President has inherent power to remove or suspend municipal officers is without doubt not well taken. Removal and suspension of public officers are always controlled by the particular law applicable and its proper construction subject to constitutional limitations. In Hebron we stated: Accordingly, when the procedure for the suspension of an officer is specified by law, the same must be deemed mandatory and adhered to strictly, in the absence of express or clear provision to the contrary-which does not et with respect to municipal officers ...

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In Mondano, the Court held: ... The Congress has expressly and specifically lodged the provincial supervision over municipal officials in the provincial governor who is authorized to "receive and investigate complaints made under oath against municipal officers for neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or other form of maladministration of office, and conviction by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude." And if the charges are serious, "he shall submit written charges touching the matter to the provincial board, furnishing a copy of such charges to the accused either personally or by registered mail, and he may in such case suspend the officer (not being the municipal treasurer) pending action by the board, if in his opinion the charge by one affecting the official integrity of the officer in question." Section 86 of the Revised Administration Code adds nothing to the power of supervision to be exercised by the Department Head over the administration of ... municipalities ... . If it be construed that it does and such additional power is the same authority as that vested in the Department Head by section 79(c) of the Revised Administrative Code, then such additional power must be deemed to have been abrogated by Section 110(l), Article VII of the Constitution. The Court does not believe that the petitioners can rightfully point to the debates of the Constitutional Commission to defeat the President's powers. The Court believes that the deliberations are by themselves inconclusive, because although Commissioner Jose Nolledo would exclude the power of removal from the President, Commissioner Blas Ople would not. The Court is consequently reluctant to say that the new Constitution has repealed the Local Government Code, Batas Blg. 37. As we said, "supervision" and "removal" are not incompatible terms and one may stand with the other notwithstanding the stronger expression of local autonomy under the new Charter. We have indeed held that in spite of the approval of the Charter, Batas Blg. 337 is still in force and effect. As the Constitution itself declares, local autonomy means "a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization." NOTE: The successive suspensions of the Mayor, however, was declared invalid by the Supreme Court. 1-d) MONDANO VS. SILVOSA, 97 Phil. 143 The petitioner is the duly elected and qualified mayor of the municipality of Mainit, province of Surigao. On 27 February 1954 Consolacion Vda. de Mosende filed a sworn complaint with the Presidential Complaints and Action Committee accusing him of (1) rape committed on her daughter Caridad Mosende; and (2) concubinage for cohabiting with her daughter in a place other than the conjugal dwelling. On 6 March the Assistant Executive Secretary indorsed the complaint to the respondent provincial governor for immediate investigation, appropriate action and report. On 10 April the petitioner appeared before the provincial governor in obedience to his summons and was served with a copy of the complaint filed by the provincial governor with provincial board. On the same day, the provincial governor issued Administrative Order No. 8 suspending the petitioner from office. Thereafter, the Provincial Board proceeded to hear the charges preferred against the petitioner over his objection. The Constitution provides: "The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, or offices, exercise general supervision over all local governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Under this constitutional provision the President has been invested with the power of control of all the executive departments, bureaus, or offices, but not of all local governments over which he has been granted only the power of general supervision as may be provided by law. The Department head as agent of the President has direct control and supervision over all bureaus and offices under his jurisdiction as provided for in section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code, but he does not have the same control of local governments as that exercised by him over bureaus and offices under his jurisdiction. Likewise, his authority to order the investigation of any act or conduct of any person in the service of any bureau or office under his department is confined to bureaus or offices under his jurisdiction and does not extend to local governments over which, as already stated, the President exercises only general supervision as may be provided by law. If the provisions of section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code are to be construed as conferring upon the corresponding department head direct control, direction, and supervision over all local governments and that for the reason he may order the investigation of an official of a local government for malfeasance in office, such interpretation would be contrary to the provisions of paragraph 1, section 10, Article VII, of the Constitution. If "general supervision over all local governments" is to be construed as the same power granted to the Department Head in section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code, then there would no longer be a distinction or difference between the power of control and that of supervision. In administrative law supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter. Such is the import of the provisions of section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code and 37 of Act No. 4007. The Congress has expressly and specifically lodged the provincial supervision over municipal officials in the provincial governor who is authorized to "receive and investigate complaints made under oath against municipal officers for neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or other form of maladministration of office, and conviction by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude." 2 And if the charges are serious, "he shall submit written charges touching the matter to the provincial board, furnishing a copy of such charges to the accused either personally or by registered mail, and he may in such case suspend the officer (not being the municipal treasurer) pending action by the board, if in his opinion the charge be one affecting the official integrity of the officer in question." 3 Section 86 of the Revised Administrative Code adds nothing to the power of supervision to be exercised by the Department Head over the administration of . . . municipalities . . .. If it be construed that it does and such additional power is the same authority as that vested in the Department Head by section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code, then such additional power must be deemed to have been abrogated by section 10 (1), Article VII, of the Constitution.

In Lacson vs. Roque, 49 Off. Gaz. 93, this Court held that the power of the President to remove officials from office as provided for in section 64 (b) of the Revised Administrative Code must be done "conformably to law;" and only for disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines he "may at any time remove a person from any position of trust or authority under the Government of the (Philippine Islands) Philippines." Again, this power of removal must be exercised conformably to law. In the indorsement to the provincial governor the Assistant Executive Secretary requested immediate investigation, appropriate action and report on the complaint indorsed to him, and called his attention to section 2193 of the Revised Administrative Code which provides for the institution of judicial proceedings by the provincial fiscal upon direction of the provincial governor. If the indorsement of the Assistant Executive Secretary be taken as a designation of the provincial governor to investigate the petitioner, then he would only be acting as agent of the Executive, but the investigation to be conducted by him would not be that which is provided for in sections 2188, 2189 and 2190 of the Revised Administrative Code. The charges preferred against the respondent are not malfeasances or any of those enumerated or specified in section 2188 of the Revised Administrative Code, because rape and concubinage have nothing to do with the performance of his duties as mayor nor do they constitute or involve" neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or any other form of

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maladministration of office." True, they may involve moral turpitude, but before the provincial governor and board may act and proceed in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Administrative Code referred to, a conviction by final judgment must precede the filing by the provincial governor of charges and trial by the provincial board. Even the provincial fiscal cannot file an information for rape without a sworn complaint of the offended party who is 28 years of age and the crime of concubinage cannot be prosecuted but upon sworn complaint of the offended spouse. 4 The charges preferred against the petitioner, municipal mayor of Mainit, province of Surigao, not being those or any of those specified in section 2188 of the Revised Administrative Code, the investigation of such charges by the provincial board is unauthorized and illegal. The suspension of the petitioner as mayor of the municipality of Mainit is, consequently, unlawful and without authority of law. 1-e. Carpio vs. Exec. Sec., 206 SCRA 290 1-f. Malayan vs. CA, 213 SCRA 640 LACSON-MAGALLANES VS. PANO, 21 SCRA 895 The President shall have control of the ministries. (1973 Constitution, Art. VII)

6.

Sec. 10.

Control means "the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify, or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter." (Hebron vs. Reyes, 104 Phil. 175) The President can, by virtue of his power of control, review, modify, alter or nullify any action, or decision of his subordinate in the executive departments, bureaus or offices under him. (Oliveros-Torre vs. Bayot, 58 SCRA 272; Ang-Angco vs. Castillo, et al., 118 Phil. 1468). He can exercise this power motu proprio without need of any appeal from any party. (Oliveros-Torre vs. Bayot, supra). The President is not expected to perform in person an the multifarious executive and administrative functions. The Office of the Executive Secretary is an auxillary unit which assists the President. Under our constitutional set-up, the Executive Secretary acts for and in behalf of the President: and by authority of the President, he has undisputed jurisdiction to affirm, modify, or even reverse any order of the Secretary of Natural Resources and other Cabinet Secretaries. Where the Executive Secretary acts "by authority of the President" his decision is that of the President. (Lacson-Magallanes Co., Inc. vs. Pano, 21 SCRA 895). 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) LACSON VS. ROQUE, 92 Phil. 456 VILLALUZ VS. ZALDIVAR, 15 SCRA 710 VILLENA VS. SECRETARY OF INTERIOR, 67 Phil. 451 ALAJAR VS. ALBA, 100 Phil. 683 FREE TELEPHONE WORKERS UNION VS. OPLE, 108 SCRA 757 OLIVEROS TORRE VS. BAYOT, 58 SCRA 272

c. What is the doctrine of Qualified Political agency? (see the separate opinion of Former Chief Justice FERNANDO in the LACSONMAGALLANES VS. PANO CASE) d. Powers which must be exercised personally by the President and could and could not be delegated to any cabinet member? Doctrine of qualified political agency; personality to sue; when the said doctrine does not apply CONSTANTINO and the FREEDOM FROM DEBT COALITION VS. CUISIA, et al., 472 SCRA 505 Tinga, J. F a c t s: The petition seeks to stop the respondents from executing additional debt-relief contracts or foreign borrowings in connection with the Philippine Comprehensive Financing Program for 1992 and to compel the Secretary of Justice to institute criminal and administrative cases against respondents. The respondents negotiated with the foreign commercial bank creditors a multi-option financing package in connection with the countrys foreign debt. This includes a cash buyback of portions of the Philippine foreign debt at a discount. The second option allows creditors to convert existing Philippine debt instruments into bonds or securities. Petitioners characterize the Financing Program as beyond the powers of the President under Section 20, Article VII of the Constitution. I s s u e s: 1. 2. Do the petitioners have the personality to sue? May the respondents contract and guarantee foreign loans on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines? Stated otherwise, may the President delegate such power to her subordinates?

H e l d: 1. The petitioners as tax payers have the personality to sue. They are suing as citizens of the Philippines and a s taxpayers. The recent trend on locus standi has veered towards a liberal treatment in taxpayers suits. In Tatad vs. Garcia, Jr. [243 SCRA 436] the supreme Court held that taxpayers are allowed to question contracts entered into by the national government or government owned and controlled corporations ALLEGEDLY IN CONTRAVENTION OF LAW. The petitioners claim that the President alone and personally can validly bind the country in contracting foreign debt under Section 20 , Article VII of the Constitution. The contention is without merit. The Secretary of Finance, as alter ego of the President regarding the sound and efficient management of the financial resources of the government, has the power to implement the policy which was publicly expressed by the president herself. This is in connection with the doctrine of qualified political agency. While there are instances where the President must act personally and not through his secretaries like the suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, proclamation of martial law or pardoning power [Villena vs. Secretary of Interior, 67 Phil. 451], negotiation with foreign creditors may be done by the Secretary of Finance or the Governor of Central Bank.

2.

The petition was therefore dismissed. 7. Section 18. The President shall be the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of invasion or

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rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding 60 days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. Within 48 hours from the proclamation of martial law or suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress voting jointly, , by a vote of at least a majority of all its members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it. The Congress, if not in session, shall, within 24 hours following such proclamation or suspension, convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call. The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ or the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within 30 days from its filing. A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ. 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. During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, any person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially charged within 3 days, otherwise, he shall be released. a. Take special notice of the grounds for the suspension of the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus declaration of Martial Law. b. Compare it with the provisions of the 1935 and 1973 Constitution on this subject. What are the restrictions imposed on the President in the exercise of such emergency powers? What are the effects of exercises of emergency powers to the judicial system? Commander-in-chief provision; Legal standing to question a presidential proclamation; moot and academic cases when courts still has to decide it; state of rebellion and state of national emergency distinguished PROF. RANDOLF S. DAVID*, LORENZO TAADA III, RONALD LLAMAS, H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., JOEL RUIZ BUTUYAN, ROGER R. RAYEL, GARY S. MALLARI, ROMEL REGALADO BAGARES, CHRISTOPHER F.C. BOLASTIG VS. GLORIA MACAPAGALARROYO, AS PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, HON. AVELINO CRUZ II, SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, GENERAL GENEROSO SENGA, CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, DIRECTOR GENERAL ARTURO LOMIBAO, CHIEF, PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, NIEZ CACHO-OLIVARES AND TRIBUNE PUBLISHING CO., INC., G.R. No. 171396 May 3, 2006 - versus HONORABLE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA AND HONORABLE DIRECTOR GENERAL ARTURO C. LOMIBAO, SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.: The cases: These seven (7) consolidated petitions for certiorari and prohibition allege that in issuing Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 (PP 1017) and General Order No. 5 (G.O. No. 5), President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo committed grave abuse of discretion. Petitioners contend that respondent officials of the Government, in their professed efforts to defend and preserve democratic institutions, are actually trampling upon the very freedom guaranteed and protected by the Constitution. Hence, such issuances are void for being unconstitutional. The Facts: On February 24, 2006, as the nation celebrated the 20 th Anniversary of the Edsa People Power I, President Arroyo issued PP 1017 declaring a state of national emergency, thus: NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which states that: The President. . . whenever it becomes necessary, . . . may call out (the) armed forces to prevent or suppress. . .rebellion. . ., and in my capacity as their Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction; and as provided in Section 17, Article 12 of the Constitution do hereby declare a State of National Emergency. She cited the following facts as bases: WHEREAS, over these past months, elements in the political opposition have conspired with authoritarians of the extreme Left represented by the NDF-CPP-NPA and the extreme Right, represented by military adventurists the historical enemies of the democratic Philippine State who are now in a tactical alliance and engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy, over a broad front, to bring down the duly constituted Government elected in May 2004; WHEREAS, these conspirators have repeatedly tried to bring down the President;
*

Consolidated with six (6) other Petitions

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WHEREAS, the claims of these elements have been recklessly magnified by certain segments of the national media; WHEREAS, this series of actions is hurting the Philippine State by obstructing governance including hindering the growth of the economy and sabotaging the peoples confidence in government and their faith in the future of this country; WHEREAS, these actions are adversely affecting the economy; WHEREAS, these activities give totalitarian forces of both the extreme Left and extreme Right the opening to intensify their avowed aims to bring down the democratic Philippine State; WHEREAS, Article 2, Section 4 of the our Constitution makes the defense and preservation of the democratic institutions and the State the primary duty of Government; WHEREAS, the activities above-described, their consequences, ramifications and collateral effects constitute a clear and present danger to the safety and the integrity of the Philippine State and of the Filipino people; On the same day, the President issued G. O. No. 5 implementing PP 1017, thus: WHEREAS, over these past months, elements in the political opposition have conspired with authoritarians of the extreme Left, represented by the NDF-CPP-NPA and the extreme Right, represented by military adventurists - the historical enemies of the democratic Philippine State and who are now in a tactical alliance and engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy, over a broad front, to bring down the duly-constituted Government elected in May 2004; WHEREAS, these conspirators have repeatedly tried to bring down our republican government; WHEREAS, the claims of these elements have been recklessly magnified by certain segments of the national media; WHEREAS, these series of actions is hurting the Philippine State by obstructing governance, including hindering the growth of the economy and sabotaging the peoples confidence in the government and their faith in the future of this country; WHEREAS, these actions are adversely affecting the economy; WHEREAS, these activities give totalitarian forces; of both the extreme Left and extreme Right the opening to intensify their avowed aims to bring down the democratic Philippine State; WHEREAS, Article 2, Section 4 of our Constitution makes the defense and preservation of the democratic institutions and the State the primary duty of Government; WHEREAS, the activities above-described, their consequences, ramifications and collateral effects constitute a clear and present danger to the safety and the integrity of the Philippine State and of the Filipino people; WHEREAS, Proclamation 1017 date February 24, 2006 has been issued declaring a State of National Emergency; NOW, THEREFORE, I GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, by virtue of the powers vested in me under the Constitution as President of the Republic of the Philippines, and Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1017 dated February 24, 2006, do hereby call upon the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), to prevent and suppress acts of terrorism and lawless violence in the country; I hereby direct the Chief of Staff of the AFP and the Chief of the PNP, as well as the officers and men of the AFP and PNP, to immediately carry out the necessary and appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of terrorism and lawless violence. On March 3, 2006, exactly one week after the declaration of a state of national emergency and after all these petitions had been filed, the President lifted PP 1017. She issued Proclamation No. 1021 which reads: WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 18, Article VII and Section 17, Article XII of the Constitution, Proclamation No. 1017 dated February 24, 2006, was issued declaring a state of national emergency; WHEREAS, by virtue of General Order No.5 and No.6 dated February 24, 2006, which were issued on the basis of Proclamation No. 1017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), were directed to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent and suppress all form of lawless violence as well as any act of rebellion and to undertake such action as may be necessary; WHEREAS, the AFP and PNP have effectively prevented, suppressed and quelled the acts lawless violence and rebellion; NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, hereby declare that the state of national emergency has ceased to exist. Immediately, the Office of the President announced the cancellation of all programs and activities related to the 20 th anniversary celebration of Edsa People Power I; and revoked the permits to hold rallies issued earlier by the local governments. Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales stated that political rallies, which to the Presidents mind were organized for purposes of destabilization, are cancelled. Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor announced that warrantless arrests and take-over of facilities, including media, can already be implemented.366 Undeterred by the announcements that rallies and public assemblies would not be allowed, groups of protesters (members of Kilusang Mayo Uno [KMU] and National Federation of Labor Unions- Kilusang Mayo Uno [NAFLU-KMU]), marched from various parts of Metro Manila with the intention of converging at the EDSA shrine. Those who were already near the EDSA site were violently dispersed by huge clusters of anti-riot police. The well-trained policemen used truncheons, big fiber glass shields, water cannons, and tear gas to stop and break up the marching groups, and scatter the massed participants. The same police action was used against the protesters
366

Petition in G.R. No. 171396, p. 5.

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marching forward to Cubao, Quezon City and to the corner of Santolan Street and EDSA. That same evening, hundreds of riot policemen broke up an EDSA celebration rally held along Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas Street in Makati City.367 According to petitioner Kilusang Mayo Uno, the police cited PP 1017 as the ground for the dispersal of their assemblies. During the dispersal of the rallyists along EDSA, police arrested (without warrant) petitioner Randolf S. David, a professor at the University of the Philippines and newspaper columnist. Also arrested was his companion, Ronald Llamas, president of party-list Akbayan. At around 12:20 in the early morning of February 25, 2006, operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the PNP, on the basis of PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5, raided the Daily Tribune offices in Manila. The raiding team confiscated news stories by reporters, documents, pictures, and mock-ups of the Saturday issue. Policemen from Camp Crame in Quezon City were stationed inside the editorial and business offices of the newspaper; while policemen from the Manila Police District were stationed outside the building.368 A few minutes after the search and seizure at the Daily Tribune offices, the police surrounded the premises of another pro-opposition paper, Malaya, and its sister publication, the tabloid Abante. The raid, according to Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor, is meant to show a strong presence, to tell media outlets not to connive or do anything that would help the rebels in bringing down this government. The PNP warned that it would take over any media organization that would not follow standards set by the government during the state of national emergency. Director General Lomibao stated that if they do not follow the standards and the standards are - if they would contribute to instability in the government, or if they do not subscribe to what is in General Order No. 5 and Proc. No. 1017 we will recommend a takeover. National Telecommunications Commissioner Ronald Solis urged television and radio networks to cooperate with the government for the duration of the state of national emergency. He asked for balanced reporting from broadcasters when covering the events surrounding the coup attempt foiled by the government. He warned that his agency will not hesitate to recommend the closure of any broadcast outfit that violates rules set out for media coverage when the national security is threatened.369 Also, on February 25, 2006, the police arrested Congressman Crispin Beltran, representing the Anakpawis Party and Chairman of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), while leaving his farmhouse in Bulacan. The police showed a warrant for his arrest dated 1985. Beltrans lawyer explained that the warrant, which stemmed from a case of inciting to rebellion filed during the Marcos regime, had long been quashed. Beltran, however, is not a party in any of these petitions. When members of petitioner KMU went to Camp Crame to visit Beltran, they were told they could not be admitted because of PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5. Two members were arrested and detained, while the rest were dispersed by the police. Retired Major General Ramon Montao, former head of the Philippine Constabulary, was arrested while with his wife and golfmates at the Orchard Golf and Country Club in Dasmarias, Cavite. Attempts were made to arrest Anakpawis Representative Satur Ocampo, Representative Rafael Mariano, Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casio and Gabriela Representative Liza Maza. Bayan Muna Representative Josel Virador was arrested at the PAL Ticket Office in Davao City. Later, he was turned over to the custody of the House of Representatives where the Batasan 5 decided to stay indefinitely. Hence, these Petitions. I s s u e s: A. PROCEDURAL: 1) 2) Whether the issuance of PP 1021 renders the petitions moot and academic. Whether petitioners in 171485 (Escudero et al.), G.R. Nos. 171400 (ALGI), 171483 (KMU et al.), 171489 (Cadiz et al.), and 171424 (Legarda) have legal standing. B. SUBSTANTIVE: 1) Whether the Supreme Court can review the factual bases of PP 1017. 2) Whether PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 are unconstitutional. a. Facial Challenge b. Constitutional Basis c. As Applied Challenge 1. PROCEDURAL

IMoot and Academic Principle Courts may exercise the power of judicial review only when the following requisites are present: first, there must be an actual case or controversy; second, petitioners have to raise a question of unconstitutionality; third, the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and fourth, the decision of the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. Respondents maintain that the first and second requisites are absent, hence, we shall limit our discussion thereon. An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal right, an opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution. It is definite and concrete, touching the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interest; a real and substantial controversy admitting of specific relief. The Solicitor General refutes the existence of such actual case or controversy, contending that the present petitions were rendered moot and academic by President Arroyos issuance of PP 1021. Such contention lacks merit. A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, 370 so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case371 or dismiss it on ground of mootness. The Court holds that President Arroyos issuance of PP 1021 did not render the present petitions moot and academic. During the eight (8) days that PP 1017 was operative, the police officers, according to petitioners, committed illegal acts in implementing it. Are PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 constitutional or valid? Do they justify these alleged illegal acts? These are the vital issues that must be resolved in the present petitions. It must be stressed that an unconstitutional act is not a law, it confers no rights, it imposes no duties, it affords no protection; it is in legal contemplation, inoperative. The moot and academic principle is not a magical formula that can automatically dissuade the courts in resolving a case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if: first, there is a grave violation of the Constitution (Province of Batangas vs. Romulo, .R. No. 152774, May 27, 2004, 429 SCRA 736). second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved (Lacson vs. Perez, G.R. No. 147780, May 10, 2001, 357 SCRA 756);
367

Police action in various parts of Metro Manila and the reactions of the huge crowds being dispersed were broadcast as breaking news by the major television stations of this country. Petition in G.R. No. 171400, p. 11. Ibid. Province of Batangas v. Romulo, G.R. No. 152774, May 27, 2004, 429 SCRA 736. Royal Cargo Corporation v. Civil Aeronautics Board, G.R. Nos. 103055-56, January 26, 2004, 421 SCRA 21; Vda. De Dabao v. Court of Appeals, supra.

368 369 370 371

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third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public (Province of Batangas vs. Romulo); and fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review ( Albaa v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 163302, July 23, 2004, 435 SCRA 98, Acop v. Guingona, Jr., G.R. No. 134855, July 2, 2002, 383 SCRA 577, Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 159085, February 3, 2004, 421 SCRA 656. ) All the foregoing exceptions are present here and justify this Courts assumption of jurisdiction over the instant petitions. Petitioners alleged that the issuance of PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 violates the Constitution. There is no question that the issues being raised affect the publics interest, involving as they do the peoples basic rights to freedom of expression, of assembly and of the press. Moreover, the Court has the duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional precepts, doctrines or rules. It has the symbolic function of educating the bench and the bar, and in the present petitions, the military and the police, on the extent of the protection given by constitutional guarantees.372 And lastly, respondents contested actions are capable of repetition. Certainly, the petitions are subject to judicial review. II- Legal Standing In view of the number of petitioners suing in various personalities, the Court deems it imperative to have a more than passing discussion on legal standing or locus standi. Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question. 373 In private suits, standing is governed by the real-parties-in interest rule as contained in Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. It provides that every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest. Accordingly, the real-party-in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. 374 Succinctly put, the plaintiffs standing is based on his own right to the relief sought. The difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff who asserts a public right in assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does so as a representative of the general public. He may be a person who is affected no differently from any other person. He could be suing as a stranger, or in the category of a citizen, or taxpayer. In either case, he has to adequately show that he is entitled to seek judicial protection. In other words, he has to make out a sufficient interest in the vindication of the public order and the securing of relief as a citizen or taxpayer. Case law in most jurisdictions now allows both citizen and taxpayer standing in public actions. The distinction was first laid down in Beauchamp v. Silk,375 where it was held that the plaintiff in a taxpayers suit is in a different category from the plaintiff in a citizens suit. In the former, the plaintiff is affected by the expenditure of public funds, while in the latter, he is but the mere instrument of the public concern. As held by the New York Supreme Court in People ex rel Case v. Collins:376 In matter of mere public right, howeverthe people are the real partiesIt is at least the right, if not the duty, of every citizen to interfere and see that a public offence be properly pursued and punished, and that a public grievance be remedied. With respect to taxpayers suits, Terr v. Jordan377 held that the right of a citizen and a taxpayer to maintain an action in courts to restrain the unlawful use of public funds to his injury cannot be denied. However, to prevent just about any person from seeking judicial interference in any official policy or act with which he disagreed with, and thus hinders the activities of governmental agencies engaged in public service, the United State Supreme Court laid down the more stringent direct injury test in Ex Parte Levitt,378 later reaffirmed in Tileston v. Ullman.379 The same Court ruled that for a private individual to invoke the judicial power to determine the validity of an executive or legislative action, he must show that he has sustained a direct injury as a result of that action, and it is not sufficient that he has a general interest common to all members of the public. This Court adopted the direct injury test in our jurisdiction. In People v. Vera,380 it held that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result . The Vera doctrine was upheld in a litany of cases, such as, Custodio v. President of the Senate,381 Manila Race Horse Trainers Association v. De la Fuente,382 Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works383 and Anti-Chinese League of the Philippines v. Felix.384 However, being a mere procedural technicality, the requirement of locus standi may be waived by the Court in the exercise of its discretion. This was done in the 1949 Emergency Powers Cases, Araneta v. Dinglasan,385 where the transcendental importance of the cases prompted the Court to act liberally. Such liberality was neither a rarity nor accidental. In Aquino v. Comelec,386 this Court resolved to pass upon the issues raised due to the far-reaching implications of the petition notwithstanding its categorical statement that petitioner therein had no personality to file the suit. Indeed, there is a chain of cases where this liberal policy has been observed, allowing ordinary citizens, members of Congress, and civic organizations to prosecute actions involving the constitutionality or validity of laws, regulations and rulings.387
372

Salonga v. Cruz Pao, et al., No. L- 59524, February 18, 1985, 134 SCRA 438. Blacks Law Dictionary, 6th Ed. 1991, p. 941. Salonga v. Warner Barnes & Co., 88 Phil. 125 (1951). 275 Ky 91, 120 SW2d 765 (1938). 19 Wend. 56 (1837). 232 NC 48, 59 SE2d 359 (1950). 302 U.S. 633. 318 U.S. 446. 65 Phil. 56 (1937). G.R. No. 117, November 7, 1945 (Unreported). G.R. No. 2947, January 11, 1959 (Unreported). 110 Phil. 331 (1960). 77 Phil. 1012 (1947). 84 Phil. 368 (1949) The Court held: Above all, the transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure. L-No. 40004, January 31, 1975, 62 SCRA 275. Taada v. Tuvera, G.R. No. 63915, April 24, 1985, 136 SCRA 27, where the Court held that where the question is one of public duty and the enforcement of a public right, the people are the real party in interest, and it is sufficient that the petitioner is a citizen interested in the execution of the law; Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission , G.R. No. 72119, May 29, 1987, 150 SCRA 530, where the Court held that in cases involving an assertion of a public right, the requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen and part of the general public which possesses the right.

373
374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385

386

387

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Thus, the Court has adopted a rule that even where the petitioners have failed to show direct injury, they have been allowed to sue under the principle of transcendental importance. Pertinent are the following cases: (1) Chavez v. Public Estates Authority,388 where the Court ruled that the enforcement of the constitutional right to information and the equitable diffusion of natural resources are matters of transcendental importance which clothe the petitioner with locus standi; (2) Bagong Alyansang Makabayan v. Zamora,389 wherein the Court held that given the transcendental importance of the issues involved, the Court may relax the standing requirements and allow the suit to prosper despite the lack of direct injury to the parties seeking judicial review of the Visiting Forces Agreement; (3) Lim v. Executive Secretary,390 while the Court noted that the petitioners may not file suit in their capacity as taxpayers absent a showing that Balikatan 02-01 involves the exercise of Congress taxing or spending powers, it reiterated its ruling in Bagong Alyansang Makabayan v. Zamora,391 that in cases of transcendental importance, the cases must be settled promptly and definitely and standing requirements may be relaxed. By way of summary, the following rules may be culled from the cases decided by this Court. Taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, and legislators may be accorded standing to sue, provided that the following requirements are met: 1. the cases involve constitutional issues; 2. for taxpayers, there must be a claim of illegal disbursement of public funds or that the tax measure is unconstitutional; 3. for voters, there must be a showing of obvious interest in the validity of the election law in question; 4. for concerned citizens, there must be a showing that the issues raised are of transcendental importance which must be settled early; and 5. for legislators, there must be a claim that the official action complained of infringes upon their prerogatives as legislators. Significantly, recent decisions show a certain toughening in the Courts attitude toward legal standing. In Kilosbayan, Inc. v. Morato,392 the Court ruled that the status of Kilosbayan as a peoples organization does not give it the requisite personality to question the validity of the on-line lottery contract, more so where it does not raise any issue of constitutionality. Moreover, it cannot sue as a taxpayer absent any allegation that public funds are being misused. Nor can it sue as a concerned citizen as it does not allege any specific injury it has suffered. In Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines, Inc. v. Comelec ,393 the Court reiterated the direct injury test with respect to concerned citizens cases involving constitutional issues. It held that there must be a showing that the citizen personally suffered some actual or threatened injury arising from the alleged illegal official act. In Lacson v. Perez,394 the Court ruled that one of the petitioners, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), is not a real party-in-interest as it had not demonstrated any injury to itself or to its leaders, members or supporters. In Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary,395 the Court ruled that only the petitioners who are members of Congress have standing to sue, as they claim that the Presidents declaration of a state of rebellion is a usurpation of the emergency powers of Congress, thus impairing their legislative powers. As to petitioners Sanlakas, Partido Manggagawa, and Social Justice Society , the Court declared them to be devoid of standing, equating them with the LDP in Lacson. Now, the application of the above principles to the present petitions. The locus standi of petitioners in G.R. No. 171396, particularly David and Llamas, is beyond doubt. The same holds true with petitioners in G.R. No. 171409, Cacho-Olivares and Tribune Publishing Co. Inc. They alleged direct injury resulting from illegal arrest and unlawful search committed by police operatives pursuant to PP 1017. Rightly so, the Solicitor General does not question their legal standing. It must always be borne in mind that the question of locus standi is but corollary to the bigger question of proper exercise of judicial power. This is the underlying legal tenet of the liberality doctrine on legal standing. It cannot be doubted that the validity of PP No. 1017 and G.O. No. 5 is a judicial question which is of paramount importance to the Filipino people. To paraphrase Justice Laurel, the whole of Philippine society now waits with bated breath the ruling of this Court on this very critical matter. The petitions thus call for the application of the transcendental importance doctrine, a relaxation of the standing requirements for the petitioners in the PP 1017 cases. This Court holds that all the petitioners herein have locus standi.

Kapatiran ng mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas, Inc. v. Tan , L. No. 81311, June 30, 1988, 163 SCRA 371, where the Court held that objections to taxpayers lack of personality to sue may be disregarded in determining the validity of the VAT law; Albano v. Reyes, G.R. No. 83551, July 11, 1989, 175 SCRA 264, where the Court held that while no expenditure of public funds was involved under the questioned contract, nonetheless considering its important role in the economic development of the country and the magnitude of the financial consideration involved, public interest was definitely involved and this clothed petitioner with the legal personality under the disclosure provision of the Constitution to question it. Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Sec. of Agrarian Reform, G.R. No. 78742, July 14, 1989, 175 SCRA 343, where the Court ruled that while petitioners are strictly speaking, not covered by the definition of a proper party, nonetheless, it has the discretion to waive the requirement, in determining the validity of the implementation of the CARP. Gonzales v. Macaraig, Jr ., G.R. No. 87636, November 19, 1990, 191 SCRA 452, where the Court held that it enjoys the open discretion to entertain taxpayers suit or not and that a member of the Senate has the requisite personality to bring a suit where a constitutional issue is raised. Maceda v. Macaraig, Jr., G.R. No. 88291, May 31, 1991, 197 SCRA 771, where the Court held that petitioner as a taxpayer, has the personality to file the instant petition, as the issues involved, pertains to illegal expenditure of public money; Osmea v. Comelec , G.R. No. 100318, 100308, 100417,100420, July 30, 1991, 199 SCRA 750, where the Court held that where serious constitutional questions are involved, the transcendental importance to the public of the cases involved demands that they be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside technicalities of procedures; De Guia v. Comelec , G.R. No. 104712, May 6, 1992, 208 SCRA 420, where the Court held that the importance of the issues involved concerning as it does the political exercise of qualified voters affected by the apportionment, necessitates the brushing aside of the procedural requirement of locus standi.
388 389
390

G.R. No. 133250, July 9, 2002, 384 SCRA 152. G.R. Nos. 138570, 138572, 138587, 138680, 138698, October 10, 2000, 342 SCRA 449. G.R. No. 151445, April 11, 2002, 380 SCRA 739. Supra.

391

392 393 394 395

G.R. No. 118910, November 16, 1995, 250 SCRA 130. G.R. No. 132922, April 21, 1998, 289 SCRA 337. G.R. No. 147780, 147781, 147799, 147810, May 10, 2001, 357 SCRA 756. G.R. No. 159085, February 3, 2004, 421 SCRA 656.

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Incidentally, it is not proper to implead President Arroyo as respondent. Settled is the doctrine that the President, during his tenure of office or actual incumbency,396 may not be sued in any civil or criminal case, and there is no need to provide for it in the Constitution or law. It will degrade the dignity of the high office of the President, the Head of State, if he can be dragged into court litigations while serving as such. However, this does not mean that the President is not accountable to anyone. Like any other official, he remains accountable to the people397 but he may be removed from office only in the mode provided by law and that is by impeachment.398 B. SUBSTANTIVE I. Review of Factual Bases The issue of whether the Court may review the factual bases of the Presidents exercise of his Commander-in-Chief power has reached its distilled point - from the indulgent days of Barcelon v. Baker and Montenegro v. Castaneda to the volatile era of Lansang v. Garcia, Aquino, Jr. v. Enrile, and Garcia-Padilla v. Enrile. The tug-of-war always cuts across the line defining political questions, particularly those questions in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. Barcelon and Montenegro were in unison in declaring that the authority to decide whether an exigency has arisen belongs to the President and his decision is final and conclusive on the courts. Lansang took the opposite view. There, the members of the Court were unanimous in the conviction that the Court has the authority to inquire into the existence of factual bases in order to determine their constitutional sufficiency. From the principle of separation of powers, it shifted the focus to the system of checks and balances, under which the President is supreme, x x x only if and when he acts within the sphere allotted to him by the Basic Law, and the authority to determine whether or not he has so acted is vested in the Judicial Department, which in this respect, is, in turn, constitutionally supreme. In 1973, the unanimous Court of Lansang was divided in Aquino v. Enrile. There, the Court was almost evenly divided on the issue of whether the validity of the imposition of Martial Law is a political or justiciable question. Then came Garcia-Padilla v. Enrile which greatly diluted Lansang. It declared that there is a need to re-examine the latter case, ratiocinating that in times of war or national emergency, the President must be given absolute control for the very life of the nation and the government is in great peril. The President, it intoned, is answerable only to his conscience, the People, and God. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora -- a recent case most pertinent to these cases at bar -- echoed a principle similar to Lansang. While the Court considered the Presidents calling-out power as a discretionary power solely vested in his wisdom, it stressed that this does not prevent an examination of whether such power was exercised within permissible constitutional limits or whether it was exercised in a manner constituting grave abuse of discretion. This ruling is mainly a result of the Courts reliance on Section 1, Article VIII of 1987 Constitution which fortifies the authority of the courts to determine in an appropriate action the validity of the acts of the political departments. Under the new definition of judicial power, the courts are authorized not only to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, but also 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. The latter part of the authority represents a broadening of judicial power to enable the courts of justice to review what was before a forbidden territory, to wit, the discretion of the political departments of the government. It speaks of judicial prerogative not only in terms of power but also of duty. As to how the Court may inquire into the Presidents exercise of power, Lansang adopted the test that judicial inquiry can go no further than to satisfy the Court not that the Presidents decision is correct, but that the President did not act arbitrarily. Thus, the standard laid down is not correctness, but arbitrariness. In Integrated Bar of the Philippines , this Court further ruled that it is incumbent upon the petitioner to show that the Presidents decision is totally bereft of factual basis and that if he fails, by way of proof, to support his assertion, then this Court cannot undertake an independent investigation beyond the pleadings. Petitioners failed to show that President Arroyos exercise of the calling-out power, by issuing PP 1017, is totally bereft of factual basis. A reading of the Solicitor Generals Consolidated Comment and Memorandum shows a detailed narration of the events leading to the issuance of PP 1017, with supporting reports forming part of the records. Mentioned are the escape of the Magdalo Group, their audacious threat of the Magdalo D-Day, the defections in the military, particularly in the Philippine Marines, and the reproving statements from the communist leaders. There was also the Minutes of the Intelligence Report and Security Group of the Philippine Army showing the growing alliance between the NPA and the military. Petitioners presented nothing to refute such events. Thus, absent any contrary allegations, the Court is convinced that the President was justified in issuing PP 1017 calling for military aid. Indeed, judging the seriousness of the incidents, President Arroyo was not expected to simply fold her arms and do nothing to prevent or suppress what she believed was lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. However, the exercise of such power or duty must not stifle liberty. II. Constitutionality of PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 The operative portion of PP 1017 may be divided into three important provisions, thus: First provision: by virtue of the power vested upon me by Section 18, Artilce VII do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well any act of insurrection or rebellion Second provision: and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction; Third provision: as provided in Section 17, Article XII of the Constitution do hereby declare a State of National Emergency. First Provision: Calling-out Power

The first provision pertains to the Presidents calling-out power. In Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary (G.R. No. 159085, February 3, 2004, 421 SCRA 656) this Court, through Mr. Justice Dante O. Tinga, held that Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution reproduced as follows:
396

From the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, the intent of the framers is clear that the immunity of the President from suit is concurrent only with his tenure and not his term. (De Leon, Philippine Constitutional Law, Vol. 2, 2004 Ed., p. 302). Section 1, Article XI of the Constitution provides: 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.

397
398

Ibid., Sec. 2.

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Sec. 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it. grants the President, as Commander-in-Chief, a sequence of graduated powers. From the most to the least benign, these are: the callingout power, the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and the power to declare Martial Law. Citing Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora,399 the Court ruled that the only criterion for the exercise of the calling-out power is that whenever it becomes necessary, the President may call the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. Are these conditions present in the instant cases? As stated earlier, considering the circumstances then prevailing, President Arroyo found it necessary to issue PP 1017. Owing to her Offices vast intelligence network, she is in the best position to determine the actual condition of the country. Under the calling-out power, the President may summon the armed forces to aid him in suppressing lawless violence, invasion and rebellion. This involves ordinary police action. But every act that goes beyond the Presidents calling-out power is considered illegal or ultra vires. For this reason, a President must be careful in the exercise of his powers. He cannot invoke a greater power when he wishes to act under a lesser power. There lies the wisdom of our Constitution, the greater the power, the greater are the limitations. It is pertinent to state, however, that there is a distinction between the Presidents authority to declare a state of rebellion (in Sanlakas) and the authority to proclaim a state of national emergency. While President Arroyos authority to declare a state of rebellion emanates from her powers as Chief Executive, the statutory authority cited in Sanlakas was Section 4, Chapter 2, Book II of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, which provides: 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. President Arroyos declaration of a state of rebellion was merely an act declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, a declaration allowed under Section 4 cited above. Such declaration, in the words of Sanlakas, is harmless, without legal significance, and deemed not written. In these cases, PP 1017 is more than that. In declaring a state of national emergency, President Arroyo did not only rely on Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, a provision calling on the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. She also relied on Section 17, Article XII, a provision on the States extraordinary power to take over privatelyowned public utility and business affected with public interest. Indeed, PP 1017 calls for the exercise of an awesome power. Obviously, such Proclamation cannot be deemed harmless, without legal significance, or not written, as in the case of Sanlakas. Second Provision: Take Care Power The second provision pertains to the power of the President to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. This is based on Section 17, Article VII which reads: SEC. 17. The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. As the Executive in whom the executive power is vested,400 the primary function of the President is to enforce the laws as well as to formulate policies to be embodied in existing laws. He sees to it that all laws are enforced by the officials and employees of his department. Before assuming office, he is required to take an oath or affirmation to the effect that as President of the Philippines, he will, among others, execute its laws. 401 In the exercise of such function, the President, if needed, may employ the powers attached to his office as the Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces of the country, 402 including the Philippine National Police403 under the Department of Interior and Local Government.404 Petitioners, especially Representatives Francis Joseph G. Escudero, Satur Ocampo, Rafael Mariano, Teodoro Casio, Liza Maza, and Josel Virador argue that PP 1017 is unconstitutional as it arrogated upon President Arroyo the power to enact laws and decrees in violation of Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution, which vests the power to enact laws in Congress. They assail the clause to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction. Petitioners contention is understandable. A reading of PP 1017 operative clause shows that it was lifted 405 from Former President Marcos Proclamation No. 1081, which partly reads: NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Article VII, Section 10, Paragraph (2) of the Constitution, do hereby place the entire Philippines as defined in Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution under
399 400 401
402

Supra. Section 1, Article VII of the Constitution. Section 5, Article VII of the Constitution. Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution.

403

Section 6, Article XVI of the Constitution.


404

See Republic Act No. 6975.


405

Ironically, even the 7th Whereas Clause of PP 1017 which states that Article 2, Section 4 of our Constitution makes the defense and preservation of the democratic institutions and the State the primary duty of Government replicates more closely Section 2, Article 2 of the 1973 Constitution than Section 4, Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that, [t[he prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people.

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martial law and, in my capacity as their Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction. We all know that it was PP 1081 which granted President Marcos legislative power. Its enabling clause states: to enforce obedience to all the laws and decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction. Upon the other hand, the enabling clause of PP 1017 issued by President Arroyo is: to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction. Is it within the domain of President Arroyo to promulgate decrees? PP 1017 states in part: to enforce obedience to all the laws and decrees x x x promulgated by me personally or upon my direction. President Arroyos ordinance power is limited to executive orders, proclamations, administrative orders, etc. She cannot issue decrees similar to those issued by Former President Marcos under PP 1081. Presidential Decrees are laws which are of the same category and binding force as statutes because they were issued by the President in the exercise of his legislative power during the period of Martial Law under the 1973 Constitution.406 This Court rules that the assailed PP 1017 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants President Arroyo the authority to promulgate decrees. Legislative power is peculiarly within the province of the Legislature. Section 1, Article VI categorically states that [t]he legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives . To be sure, neither Martial Law nor a state of rebellion nor a state of emergency can justify President Arroyos exercise of legislative power by issuing decrees. Can President Arroyo enforce obedience to all decrees and laws through the military? As this Court stated earlier, President Arroyo has no authority to enact decrees. It follows that these decrees are void and, therefore, cannot be enforced. With respect to laws, she cannot call the military to enforce or implement certain laws, such as customs laws, laws governing family and property relations, laws on obligations and contracts and the like. She can only order the military, under PP 1017, to enforce laws pertinent to its duty to suppress lawless violence. Third Provision: Power to Take Over The pertinent provision of PP 1017 states: x x x and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders, and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction; and as provided in Section 17, Article XII of the Constitution do hereby declare a state of national emergency. The import of this provision is that President Arroyo, during the state of national emergency under PP 1017, can call the military not only to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees x x x but also to act pursuant to the provision of Section 17, Article XII which reads: Sec. 17. In times of national emergency, when the public interest so requires, the State may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest. During the existence of the state of national emergency, PP 1017 purports to grant the President, without any authority or delegation from Congress, to take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest. This provision was first introduced in the 1973 Constitution, as a product of the martial law thinking of the 1971 Constitutional Convention. 407 In effect at the time of its approval was President Marcos Letter of Instruction No. 2 dated September 22, 1972 instructing the Secretary of National Defense to take over the management, control and operation of the Manila Electric Company, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority, the Philippine National Railways, the Philippine Air Lines, Air Manila (and) Filipinas Orient Airways . . . for the successful prosecution by the Government of its effort to contain, solve and end the present national emergency. Petitioners, particularly the members of the House of Representatives, claim that President Arroyos inclusion of Section 17, Article XII in PP 1017 is an encroachment on the legislatures emergency powers. A distinction must be drawn between the Presidents authority to declare a state of national emergency and to exercise emergency powers. To the first, as elucidated by the Court, Section 18, Article VII grants the President such power, hence, no legitimate constitutional objection can be raised. But to the second, manifold constitutional issues arise. Section 23, Article VI of the Constitution reads: SEC. 23. (1) The Congress, by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses in joint session assembled, voting separately, shall have the sole power to declare the existence of a state of war. (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. It may be pointed out that the second paragraph of the above provision refers not only to war but also to other national emergency. If the intention of the Framers of our Constitution was to withhold from the President the authority to declare a state of national emergency pursuant to Section 18, Article VII (calling-out power) and grant it to Congress (like the declaration of the existence of a state of war), then the Framers could have provided so. Clearly, they did not intend that Congress should first authorize the President before he can declare a state of national emergency. The logical conclusion then is that President Arroyo could validly declare the existence of a state of national emergency even in the absence of a Congressional enactment.

406

Agpalo, Statutory Construction, Fourth Edition, 1998, p. 1, citing Legaspi v. Ministry of Finance, 115 SCRA 418 (1982); Garcia-Padilla v. Ponce-Enrile, supra. Aquino v. Commission on Election, supra. Section 17, Article XIV of the 1973 Constitution reads: In times of national emergency when the public interest so requires, the State may temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest.

407

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But the exercise of emergency powers, such as the taking over of privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest, is a different matter. This requires a delegation from Congress. Courts have often said that constitutional provisions in pari materia are to be construed together. Otherwise stated, different clauses, sections, and provisions of a constitution which relate to the same subject matter will be construed together and considered in the light of each other.408 Considering that Section 17 of Article XII and Section 23 of Article VI, previously quoted, relate to national emergencies, they must be read together to determine the limitation of the exercise of emergency powers. Generally, Congress is the repository of emergency powers. This is evident in the tenor of Section 23 (2), Article VI authorizing it to delegate such powers to the President. Certainly, a body cannot delegate a power not reposed upon it. However, knowing that during grave emergencies, it may not be possible or practicable for Congress to meet and exercise its powers, the Framers of our Constitution deemed it wise to allow Congress to grant emergency powers to the President, subject to certain conditions, thus: (1) There must be a war or other emergency. (2) The delegation must be for a limited period only. (3) The delegation must be subject to such restrictions as the Congress may prescribe. (4) The emergency powers must be exercised to carry out a national policy declared by Congress.409 Following our interpretation of Section 17, Article XII, invoked by President Arroyo in issuing PP 1017, this Court rules that such Proclamation does not authorize her during the emergency to temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest without authority from Congress. Let it be emphasized that while the President alone can declare a state of national emergency, however, without legislation, he has no power to take over privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest. The President cannot decide whether exceptional circumstances exist warranting the take over of privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest. Nor can he determine when such exceptional circumstances have ceased. Likewise, without legislation, the President has no power to point out the types of businesses affected with public interest that should be taken over. In short, the President has no absolute authority to exercise all the powers of the State under Section 17, Article VII in the absence of an emergency powers act passed by Congress. WHEREFORE, the Petitions are partly granted. The Court rules that PP 1017 is CONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it constitutes a call by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless violence. However, the provisions of PP 1017 commanding the AFP to enforce laws not related to lawless violence, as well as decrees promulgated by the President, are declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL. In addition, the provision in PP 1017 declaring national emergency under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution is CONSTITUTIONAL, but such declaration does not authorize the President to take over privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest without prior legislation. The warrantless arrest of Randolf S. David and Ronald Llamas; the dispersal and warrantless arrest of the KMU and NAFLU-KMU members during their rallies, in the absence of proof that these petitioners were committing acts constituting lawless violence, invasion or rebellion and violating BP 880; the imposition of standards on media or any form of prior restraint on the press, as well as the warrantless search of the Tribune offices and whimsical seizure of its articles for publication and other materials, are declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL. 1) Read: 2) The Habeas Corpus Cases a. BARCELON VS. BAKER, 5 Phil. 87 (1905) b. MONTENEGRO VS. CASTANEDA, 91 Phil. 882 (1952) c. LANSANG VS. GARCIA, 42 SCRA 448 d. GARCIA-PADILLA VS. PONCE ENRILE, 121 SCRA 472 April 20, 1983 e. MORALES VS. JUAN PONCE ENRILE, 121 SCRA 472 April 26, 1983 f. OLAGUER VS. MILITARY COMMISSION, G.R. No. 54558, May 22, 1987 g. ROLANDO ABADILLA VS. GEN. RAMOS, 156 SCRA 97 h. JUAN PONCE ENRILE VS. JUDGE SALAZAR, June 5, 1990 i. People vs. Donato, 198 SCRA 120 2) The Martial Law cases a. AQUINO VS. ENRILE, 59 SCRA 183 b. AQUINO VS. MILITARY COMMISSION, 63 SCRA 546 c. GUMAUA VS. ESPINO, 96 SCRA 402 d. LEGASPI VS. MINISTER 115 SCRA 418 (on the possible options available to the president in case of lawful violence) 8. Section 19. Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment. He shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the members of Congress. a. Define: reprieve, commutation, pardon, amnesty b. See Article IX-C, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution and Article 5 of the Revised Penal (Act 386) Section 5, Art. IX-C. No pardon, amnesty, parole, or suspension of sentence for violation of election laws, rules and regulations shall be granted by the President without the favorable recommendation of the Commission. c. Read: 1) BARRIOQUINTO VS. FERNANDEZ, 82 Phil. 642
408 409

Antieau, Constitutional Construction, 1982, p.21. Cruz, Philippine Political Law, 1998, p. 94.

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Amnesty must be distinguished from pardon. [1] Pardon is granted by the Chief Executive and as such it is a private act which must be pleaded and proved by the person pardoned, because the courts take no notice thereof; while amnesty by Proclamation of the Chief Executive with the concurrence of Congress, and it is a public act of which the courts should take judicial notice. [2] Pardon is granted to one after conviction (of ordinary crimes) ; while amnesty is granted to classes of persons or communities who may be guilty of political offenses, generally before or after the institution of the criminal prosecution and sometimes after conviction. [3] Pardon looks forward and relieves the offender from the consequences of an offense of which he has been convicted, that is, it abolished or forgives the punishment, and for that reason it does ""nor work the restoration of the rights to hold public office, or the right of suffrage, unless such rights be expressly restored by the terms of the pardon," and it "in no case exempts the culprit from the payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon him by the sentence" article 36, Revised Penal Code). while amnesty looks backward and abolishes and puts into oblivion the offense itself, it so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged that the person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense. (section 10[6], Article VII, Philippine Constitution; State vs. Blalock, 62 N.C., 242, 247; In re Briggs, 135 N.C., 118; 47 S.E. 402., 403; Ex parte Law, 35 GA., 285, 296; State ex rel AnheuserBusch Brewing Ass'n. vs. Eby, 170 Mo., 497; 71 S.W 52, 61; Burdick vs United States, N.Y., 35 S. Ct., 267; 271; 236 U.S., 79; 59 Law. ed., 476.) [4] Pardon is complete with the act of the President while Amnesty is valid only with the concurrence of the majority of the members of all the members of Congress. 2) VERA VS. PEOPLE, 7 SCRA 152 Before one may validly apply for executive clemency (pardon or amnesty) he MUST ADMIT HAVING COMMITTED THE ACTS WHICH RESULTED IN HIS IMPRISONMENT. 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) CRISTOBAL VS. LABRADOR, 71 Phil. 34 PEOPLE VS. JOSE, 75 Phil. 612 5) PELOBELO VS. PALATINO, 72 Phil. 441 PEOPLE VS. PASILAN, 14 SCRA 694 LEGASPI VS. MINISTER, 115 SCRA 418 MONSANTO VS. FACTORAN,February, 1989

The principal question raised in this petition for review is whether or not a public officer, who has been granted an absolute pardon by the Chief Executive, is entitled to reinstatement to her former position without need of a New appointment. In a decision rendered on March 25, 1983, the Sandiganbayan convicted petitioner Salvacion A. Monsanto (then assistant treasurer of Calbayog City) and three other accused, of the complex crime of estafa thru falsification of public documents and sentenced them to imprisonment of four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day of prision correccional as minimum, to ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as maximum, and to pay a fine of P3,500. They were further ordered to jointly and severally indemnify the government in the sum of P4,892.50 representing the balance of the amount defrauded and to pay the costs proportionately. Petitioner Monsanto appealed her conviction to this Court which subsequently affirmed the same. She then filed a motion for reconsideration but while said motion was pending, she was extended on December 17, 1984 by then President Marcos absolute pardon which she accepted on December 21, 1984. By reason of said pardon, petitioner wrote the Calbayog City treasurer requesting that she be restored to her former post as assistant city treasurer since the same was still vacant. Petitioner's letter-request was referred to the Ministry of Finance for resolution in view of the provision of the Local Government Code transferring the power of appointment of treasurers from the city governments to the said Ministry. In its 4th Indorsement dated March 1, 1985, the Finance Ministry ruled that petitioner may be reinstated to her position without the necessity of a new appointment not earlier than the date she was extended the absolute pardon. It also directed the city treasurer to see to it that the amount of P4,892.50 which the Sandiganbayan had required to be indemnified in favor of the government as well as the costs of the litigation, be satisfied. Seeking reconsideration of the foregoing ruling, petitioner wrote the Ministry on April 17, 1985 stressing that the full pardon bestowed on her has wiped out the crime which implies that her service in the government has never been interrupted and therefore the date of her reinstatement should correspond to the date of her preventive suspension which is August 1, 1982; that she is entitled to backpay for the entire period of her suspension; and that she should not be required to pay the proportionate share of the amount of P4,892.50. 2 The Ministry of Finance, however, referred petitioner's letter to the Office of the President for further review and action. On April 15, 1986, said Office, through Deputy Executive Secretary Fulgenio S. Factoran, Jr. held: We disagree with both the Ministry of Finance and the petitioner because, as borne out by the records, petitioner was convicted of the crime for which she was accused. In line with the government's crusade to restore absolute honesty in public service, this Office adopts, as a juridical guide (Miranda v. Imperial, 77 Phil. 1966), the Resolution of the Sandiganbayan, 2nd Division, in People v. Lising, Crim. Case No. 6675, October 4, 1985, that acquittal, not absolute pardon, of a former public officer is the only ground for reinstatement to his former position and entitlement to payment of his salaries, benefits and emoluments due to him during the period of his suspension pendente lite. n fact, in such a situation, the former public official must secure a reappointment before he can reassume his former position. ... Anent the civil liability of Monsanto, the Revised Penal Code expressly provides that "a pardon shall in no case exempt the culprit from payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon him by the sentence." (Sec. 36, par. 2). IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, this Office holds that Salvacion A. Monsanto is not entitled to an automatic reinstatement on the basis of the absolute pardon granted her but must secure an appointment to her former position and that, notwithstanding said absolute pardon, she is liable for the civil liability concomitant to her previous conviction.

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Her subsequent motion for reconsideration having been denied, petitioner filed the present petition in her behalf We gave due course on October 13, 1987. Petitioner's basic theory is that the general rules on pardon cannot apply to her case by reason of the fact that she was extended executive clemency while her conviction was still pending appeal in this Court. There having been no final judgment of conviction, her employment therefore as assistant city treasurer could not be said to have been terminated or forfeited. In other words, without that final judgment of conviction, the accessory penalty of forfeiture of office did not attach and the status of her employment remained "suspended." More importantly, when pardon was issued before the final verdict of guilt, it was an acquittal because there was no offense to speak of. In effect, the President has declared her not guilty of the crime charged and has accordingly dismissed the same. It is well to remember that petitioner had been convicted of the complex crime of estafa thru falsification of public documents and sentenced to imprisonment of four years, two months and one day of prision correccional as minimum, to ten years and one day of prision mayor as maximum. The penalty of prision mayor carries the accessory penalties of temporary absolute disqualification and perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage, enforceable during the term of the principal penalty. Temporary absolute disqualification bars the convict from public office or employment, such disqualification to last during the term of the sentence. Even if the offender be pardoned, as to the principal penalty, the accessory penalties remain unless the same have been expressly remitted by the pardon. The penalty of prision correccional carries, as one of its accessory penalties, suspension from public office. The propositions earlier advanced by petitioner reveal her inadequate understanding of the nature of pardon and its legal consequences. This is not totally unexpected considering that the authorities on the subject have not been wholly consistent particularly in describing the effects of pardon. The benign mercy of pardon is of British origin, conceived to temper the gravity of the King's wrath. But Philippine jurisprudence on the subject has been largely influenced by American case law. Pardon is defined as "an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed. It is the private, though official act of the executive magistrate, delivered to the individual for whose benefit it is intended, and not communicated officially to the Court. ... A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance." At the time the antecedents of the present case took place, the pardoning power was governed by the 1973 Constitution as amended in the April 7, 1981 plebiscite. The pertinent provision reads: The President may, except in cases of impeachment, grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, remit fines and forfeitures, and with the concurrence of the Batasang Pambansa, grant amnesty. The 1981 amendments had deleted the earlier rule that clemency could be extended only upon final conviction, implying that clemency could be given even before conviction. Thus, petitioner's unconditional pardon was granted even as her appeal was pending in the High Court. It is worth mentioning that under the 1987 Constitution, the former limitation of final conviction was restored. But be that as it may, it is our view that in the present case, it is not material when the pardon was bestowed, whether before or after conviction, for the result would still be the same. Having accepted the pardon, petitioner is deemed to have abandoned her appeal and her unreversed conviction by the Sandiganbayan assumed the character of finality. Having disposed of that preliminary point, we proceed to discuss the effects of a full and absolute pardon in relation to the decisive question of whether or not the plenary pardon had the effect of removing the disqualifications prescribed by the Revised Penal Code. In Pelobello v. Palatino, We find a reiteration of the stand consistently adopted by the courts on the various consequences of pardon: "... we adopt the broad view expressed in Cristobal v. Labrador, G.R. No. 47941, December 7, 1940, that subject to the limitations imposed by the Constitution, the pardoning power cannot be restricted or controlled by legislative action; that an absolute pardon not only blots out the crime committed but removes all disabilities resulting from the conviction. ... (W)e are of the opinion that the better view in the light of the constitutional grant in this jurisdiction is not to unnecessarily restrict or impair the power of the Chief Executive who, after an inquiry into the environmental facts, should be at liberty to atone the rigidity of the law to the extent of relieving completely the party ... concerned from the accessory and resultant disabilities of criminal conviction. A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilt of the offender; and when the pardon is full, it releases the punishment and blots out of existence the guilt, so that in the eye of the law the offender is as innocent as if he had never committed the offense. If granted before conviction, it prevents any of the penalties and disabilities, consequent upon conviction, from attaching; if granted after conviction, it removes the penalties and disabilities and restores him to all his civil rights; it makes him, as it were, a new man, and gives him a new credit and capacity. Such generalities have not been universally accepted, recognized or approved. The modern trend of authorities now rejects the unduly broad language of the Garland case (reputed to be perhaps the most extreme statement which has been made on the effects of a pardon). To our mind, this is the more realistic approach. While a pardon has generally been regarded as blotting out the existence of guilt so that in the eye of the law the offender is as innocent as though he never committed the offense, it does not operate for all purposes. The very essence of a pardon is forgiveness or remission of guilt. Pardon implies guilt. It does not erase the fact of the commission of the crime and the conviction thereof. It does not wash out the moral stain. It involves forgiveness and not forgetfulness. The better considered cases regard full pardon (at least one not based on the offender's innocence) as relieving the party from all the punitive consequences of his criminal act, including the disqualifications or disabilities based on the finding of guilt. But it relieves him from nothing more. "To say, however, that the offender is a "new man", and "as innocent as if he had never committed the offense;" is to ignore the difference between the crime and the criminal. A person adjudged guilty of an offense is a convicted criminal, though pardoned; he may be deserving of punishment, though left unpunished; and the law may regard him as more dangerous to society than one never found guilty of crime, though it places no restraints upon him following his conviction." A pardon looks to the future. It is not retrospective. It makes no amends for the past. It affords no relief for what has been suffered by the offender. It does not impose upon the government any obligation to make reparation for what has been suffered. "Since the offense has been established by judicial proceedings, that which has been done or suffered while they were in force is presumed to have been rightfully done and justly suffered, and no satisfaction for it can be required." This would explain why petitioner, though pardoned, cannot be entitled to receive backpay for lost earnings and benefits. Finally, petitioner has sought exemption from the payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon her by the sentence. The Court cannot oblige her. Civil liability arising from crime is governed by the Revised Penal Code. It subsists notwithstanding service of sentence, or for any reason the sentence is not served by pardon, amnesty or commutation of sentence. Petitioner's civil liability may only be extinguished

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by the same causes recognized in the Civil Code, namely: payment, loss of the thing due, remission of the debt, merger of the rights of creditor and debtor, compensation and novation . 9. Lllamas vs. Exec. Sec. Orbos, Oct. 15, 1991 The case before Us calls for a determination of whether or not the President of the Philippines has the power to grant executive clemency in administrative cases. In connection therewith, two important questions are also put in issue, namely, whether or not the grant of executive clemency and the reason therefore, are political questions beyond judicial review, and whether or not the questioned act was characterized by grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Petitioner Rodolfo D. Llamas is the incumbent Vice-Governor of the Province of Tarlac and, on March 1, 1991 he assumed, by virtue of a decision of the Office of the President, the governorship (p. 1, Petition). Private respondent Mariano Un Ocampo III is the incumbent Governor of the Province of Tarlac and was suspended from office for a period of 90 days. Public respondent Oscar Orbos was the Executive Secretary at the time of the filing of this petition and is being impleaded herein in that official capacity for having issued, by authority of the President, the assailed Resolution granting executive clemency to respondent governor. By virtue of the aforequoted Resolution, respondent governor reassumed the governorship of the province, allegedly without any notification made to the petitioner. Petitioner posits that the issuance by public respondent of the May 15, 1991 Resolution was "whimsical, capricious and despotic, and constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting lack of jurisdiction," (p. 6, petition) basically on the ground th executive clemency could be granted by the President only in criminal cases as there is nothing in the statute books or even in the Constitution which allows the grant thereof in administrative cases. Petitioner also contends that since respondent governor refused to recognize his suspension (having reassumed the governorship in gross defiance of the suspension order), executive clemency cannot apply to him; that his rights to due process were violated because the grant of executive clemency was so sudden that he was not even notified thereof; and that despite a finding by public respondent of impropriety in the loan transaction entered into by respondent governor, the former failed to justify the reduction of the penalty of suspension on the latter. Petitioner further alleges that the executive clemency granted by public respondent was "the product of a hocus-pocus strategy" (p. 1, Manifestation with Motion, etc.) because there was allegedly no real petition for the grant of executive clemency filed by respondent governor. Batas Pambansa Blg. 337 provides: Sec. 63. Preventive Suspension. (1) Preventive suspension may be imposed by the Minister of Local Government if the respondent is a provincial or city official, ... (2) Preventive suspension may be imposed at any time after the issues are joined, when there is reasonable ground to believe that the respondent has committed the act or acts complained of, when the evidence of culpability is strong, when the gravity of the offense s warrants, or when the continuance in office of the respondent coul influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity the records and other evidence. In all cases, preventive suspension shall not extend beyond sixty days after the start of said suspension. (3) At the expiration of sixty days, the suspended official shall be deemed reinstated in office without prejudice to the continuation the proceedings against him until its termination. (Emphasis supplied)

Let us first deal with the issue on jurisdiction. Respondent govemor avers that since under the Constitution discretionary authority is granted to the President on the exercise of executive clemency, the same constitutes a political question which is beyond judicial review. Such a rule does not hold true in the case at bar. While it is true that courts cannot inquire into the manner in which the President's discretionary powers are exercised or into the wisdom for its exercise, it is also a settled rule that when the issue involved concerns the validity of such discretionary powers or whether said powers are within the limits prescribed by the Constitution, We will not decline to exercise our power of judicial review. And such review does not constitute a modification or correction of the act of the President, nor does it constitute interference with the functions of the President. In this connection, the case of Tanada and Macapagal vs. Cuenco, et al., 103 Phil. 1051, is very enlightening, and We quote: Elsewhere in this treatise the well-known and well-established principle is considered that it is not within the province of the courts to pass judgment upon the policy of legislative or executive action. Where, therefore, discretionary powers are granted by the Constitution or by statute, the manner in which those powers are exercised is not subject to judicial review. The courts, therefore, concern themselves only with the question as to the existence and extent of these discretionary powers. As distinguished from the judicial, the legislative and executive departments are spoken of as the political departments of government because in very many cases their action is necessarily dictated by considerations of public or political policy. These considerations of public or political policy of course will not permit the legislature to violate constitutional provisions, or the executive to exercise authority not granted him by the Constitution or by statute, but, within these limits, they do permit the departments, separately or together, to recognize that a certain set of facts exists or that a given status exists, and these determinations, together with the consequences that flow therefrom, may not be traversed in the courts. (Willoughby on the Constitution of the United States, Vol. 3, p. 1326). In the case at bar, the nature of the question for determination is not purely political. Here, we are called upon to decide whether under the Constitution the President may grant executive clemency in administrative cases. We must not overlook the fact that the exercise by the President of her power of executive clemency is subject to constitutional limitations. We will merely check whether the particular measure in question has been in accordance with law. In so doing, We will not concern ourselves with the reasons or motives which actuate the President as such is clearly beyond our power of judicial review. Petitioner's main argument is that the President may grant executive clemency only in criminal cases, based on Article VII, Section 19 of the Constitution which reads: Sec. 19. Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise pro vided in this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment. He shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the members of the Congress. (Emphasis supplied) According to the petitioner, the qualifying phrase "after conviction by final judgment" applies solely to criminal cases, and no other law allows the grant of executive clemency or pardon to anyone who has been "convicted in an administrative case," allegedly because the word "conviction" refers only to criminal cases (par. 22-b, c, d, Petition). Petitioner, however, describes in his very own words, respondent governor as one who has been "convicted in an administrative case" (par. 22-a, petition). Thus, petitioner concedes that the word

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"conviction" may be used either in a criminal case or in an administrative case. In Layno, Sr. vs. Sandiganbayan, 136 SCRA 536, We ruled: For misfeasance or malfeasance ... any [elective official] could ... be proceeded against administratively or ... criminally. In either case, his culpability must be established ... Moreover, applying the doctrine "Ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos distinguire debemos," We cannot sustain petitioner's view. In other words, if the law does not distinguish, so We must no distinguish. The Constitution does not distinguish between which cases executive clemency may be exercised by the President, with the sole exclusion of impeachment cases. By the same token, if executive clemency may be exercised only in criminal cases, it would indeed be unnecessary to provide for the exclusion of impeachment cases from the coverage of Article VII, Section 19 of the Constitution. Following petitioner's proposed interpretation, cases of impeachment are automatically excluded inasmuch as the same do not necessarily involve criminal offenses. In the same vein, We do not clearly see any valid and convincing reason why the President cannot grant executive clemency in administrative cases. It is Our considered view that if the President can grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures in criminal cases, with much more reason can she grant executive clemency in administrative cases, which are clearly less serious than criminal offenses. A number of laws impliedly or expressly recognize or support the exercise of the executive clemency in administrative cases. d. Is breach of the condition of pardon subject to judicial review? Read: TORRES VS. GONZALES, 152 SCRA 272 On 18 April 1979, a conditional pardon was granted to the petitioner by the President of the Philippines on condition that petitioner would "not again violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines. Should this condition be violated, he will be proceeded against in the manner prescribed by law." Petitioner accepted the conditional pardon and was consequently released from confinement. On 21 May 1986, the Board of Pardons and Parole (the "Board") resolved to recommend to the President the cancellation of the conditional pardon granted to the petitioner. In making its recommendation to the President, the Board relied upon the decisions of this Court in Tesoro vs. Director of Prisons (68 Phil. 154 [1939]) and Espuelas vs. Provincial Warden of Bohol (108 Phil. 356 [1960]). The evidence before the Board showed that on 22 March 1982 and 24 June 1982, petitioner had been charged with twenty counts of estafa in Criminal Cases Nos. Q-19672 and Q-20756, which cases were then (on 21 May 1986) pending trial before the Regional Trial Court of Rizal (Quezon City). The record before the Board also showed that on 26 June 1985, petitioner had been convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Rizal (Quezon City) of the crime of sedition in Criminal Case No. Q-22926; this conviction was then pending appeal before the Intermediate Appellate Court. The Board also had before it a letter report dated 14 January 1986 from the National Bureau of Investigation ("NBI"), addressed to the Board, on the petitioner. Per this letter, the records of the NBI showed that a long list of charges had been brought against the petitioner during the last twenty years for a wide assortment of crimes including estafa, other forms of swindling, grave threats, grave coercion, illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives, malicious mischief, violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, and violation of Presidential Decree No. 772 (interfering with police functions). Some of these charges were Identified in the NBI report as having been dismissed. The NBI report did not purport to be a status report on each of the charges there listed and Identified. On 8 September 1986, the President cancelled the conditional pardon of the petitioner. On 10 October 1986, the respondent Minister of Justice issued "by authority of the President" an Order of Arrest and Recommitment against petitioner. The petitioner was accordingly arrested and confined in Muntinlupa to serve the unexpired portion of his sentence. Petitioner now impugns the validity of the Order of Arrest and Recommitment. He claims that he did not violate his conditional pardon since he has not been convicted by final judgment of the twenty (20) counts of estafa charged in Criminal Cases Nos. Q-19672 and Q-20756 nor of the crime of sedition in Criminal Case No. Q-22926. 3 Petitioner also contends that he was not given an opportunity to be heard before he was arrested and recommitted to prison, and accordingly claims he has been deprived of his rights under the due process clause of the Constitution. The issue that confronts us therefore is whether or not conviction of a crime by final judgment of a court is necessary before the petitioner can be validly rearrested and recommitted for violation of the terms of his conditional pardon and accordingly to serve the balance of his original sentence. This issue is not novel. It has been raised before this Court three times in the past. This Court was first faced with this issue in Tesoro Director of Prison. Tesoro, who had been convicted of the crime of falsification of public documents, was granted a parole by the then Governor-General. One of the conditions of the parole required the parolee "not [to] commit any other crime and [to] conduct himself in an orderly manner." Two years after the grant of parole, Tesoro was charged before the Justice of the Peace Court of San Juan, Rizal, with the crime of adultery said to have been committed with the wife of Tesoro's brother-in-law. The fiscal filed with the Court of First Instance the corresponding information which, however, was dismissed for non-appearance of the complainant. The complainant then went before the Board of Indeterminate Sentence and charged Tesoro with violation of the conditions of his parole. After investigation by the parole officer, and on the basis of his report, the Board recommended to the President of the Philippines the arrest and recommitment of the petitioner. Tesoro contended, among other things, that a "judicial pronouncement to the effect that he has committed a crime" is necessary before he could properly be adjudged as having violated his conditional parole. Addressing this point, this Court, speaking through then Mr. Justice Moran, held that the determination of whether the conditions of Tesoro's parole had been breached rested exclusively in the sound judgment of the Governor-General and that such determination would not be reviewed by the courts. As Tesoro had consented to place his liberty on parole upon the judgment of the power that had granted it, we held that "he [could not] invoke the aid of the courts, however erroneous the findings may be upon which his recommitment was ordered." Thus, this Court held that by accepting the terms under which the parole had been granted, Tesoro had in effect agreed that the Governor-General's determination (rather than that of the regular courts of law) that he had breached one of the conditions of his parole by committing adultery while he was conditionally at liberty, was binding and conclusive upon him. In Sales vs. Director of Prisons, the petitioner had been convicted of the crime of frustrated murder. After serving a little more than two years of his sentence, he was given a conditional pardon by the President of the Philippines, "the condition being that he shall not again violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines and that, should this condition be violated, he shall be proceeded against in the manner prescribed by law." 8 Eight years after the grant of his conditional pardon, Sales was convicted of estafa and sentenced to three months and eleven days of arresto mayor. He was thereupon recommitted to prison to serve the unexpired portion of his original sentence. Sales raised before this Court two principal contentions. Firstly, he argued that Section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code had been repealed by Article 159 of the Revised Penal Code. He contended, secondly, that Section 64 (i) was in any case repugnant to the

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due process clause of the Constitution (Article III [1], 1935 Constitution). This Court, through Mr. Justice Ozaeta speaking for the majority, rejected both contentions of Sales. In Espuelas vs. Provincial Warden of Bohol, the petitioner had been convicted of the crime of inciting to sedition. While serving his sentence, he was granted by the President a conditional pardon "on condition that he shall not again violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines." Espuelas accepted the conditional pardon and was released from confinement. Sometime thereafter, he was convicted by the Justice of the Peace Court in Tagbilaran, Bohol, of the crime of usurpation of authority. He appealed to the Court of First Instance. Upon motion of the provincial fiscal, the Court of First Instance dismissed the case provisionally, an important prosecution witness not having been available on the day set for trial. A few months later, upon recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Parole, the President ordered his recommitment to prison to serve the unexpired period of his original sentence. The status of our case law on the matter under consideration may be summed up in the following propositions: 1. 2. The grant of pardon and the determination of the terms and conditions of a conditional pardon are purely executive acts which are not subject to judicial scrutiny. The determination of the occurrence of a breach of a condition of a pardon, and the proper consequences of such breach, may be either a purely executive act, not subject to judicial scrutiny under Section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code; or it may be a judicial act consisting of trial for and conviction of violation of a conditional pardon under Article 159 of the Revised Penal Code. Where the President opts to proceed under Section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code, no judicial pronouncement of guilt of a subsequent crime is necessary, much less conviction therefor by final judgment of a court, in order that a convict may be recommended for the violation of his conditional pardon. Because due process is not semper et unique judicial process, and because the conditionally pardoned convict had already been accorded judicial due process in his trial and conviction for the offense for which he was conditionally pardoned, Section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code is not afflicted with a constitutional vice.

3.

CRUZ, J., dissenting: The petitioner challenges his recommitment, claiming he has not violated the condition of his pardon "that he shall not again violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines." The government bases its stand on the case of Espuelas v. Provincial Warden of Bohol, 108 Phil. 353, where it was held, in connection with a similar condition, that mere commission of a crime, as determined by the President, was sufficient to justify recommitment. Conviction was considered not necessary. I would grant the petition. There is no question that the petitioner is facing a long list of criminal charges, but that certainly is not the issue. The point is that, as many as such charges may be, none of them so far has resulted in a final conviction, without which he cannot be recommitted under the condition of his pardon. Mere accusation is not synonymous with guilt. (People v. Dramayo, 42 SCRA 59). A prima facie case only justifies the filing of the corresponding information, but proof beyond reasonable doubt is still necessary for conviction. Manifestly, an allegation merely accuses the defendant of a crime: it is the conviction that makes him a criminal. In other words, a person is considered to have committed a crime only if he is convicted thereof, and this is done not by his accuser but by the judge. That this conviction must be pronounced by the judge and no other is too obvious a proposition to be disputed. The executive can only allege the commission of crime and thereafter try to prove it through indubitable evidence. If the prosecution succeeds, the court will then affirm the allegation of commission in a judgment of conviction. e. Amnesty to rebels Read: Proclamation No. 80, February 28, 1987 10. Sections 20. The President may contract or guarantee foreign loans on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines with the prior concurrence of the Monetary Board, and subject to such limitations as may be provided for by law. The Monetary Board shall, within 30 days from the end of every quarter of the calendar year, submit to the Congress a complete report of its decisions on applications for loans to be contracted or guaranteed by the government or government owned and controlled corporations which would have the effect of increasing the foreign debt, and containing other matters as may be provided for by law. Section 21. No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least 2/3 of all the members of the Senate. (NOTE: Please see Section 25, Art. 18. After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the USA concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.) Is the visiting forces agreement between the Philippines and the UNITED STATES void and unconstitutional? Is it a self-executing treaty that can be implemented without ratification by the US Senate though ratified by the Philippine Senate? SUZETTE NICOLAS y SOMBILON, vs. ALBERTO ROMULO, in his capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs; RAUL GONZALEZ, in his capacity as Secretary of Justice; EDUARDO ERMITA, in his capacity as Executive Secretary; RONALDO PUNO, in his capacity as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government; SERGIO APOSTOL, in his capacity as Presidential Legal Counsel; and L/CPL. DANIEL SMITH, G.R. No. 175888, February 11, 2009 AZCUNA, J.: The facts are not disputed. Respondent Lance Corporal (L/CPL) Daniel Smith is a member of the United States Armed Forces. He was charged with the crime of rape committed against a Filipina, petitioner herein, sometime on November 1, 2005, as follows:

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The undersigned accused LCpl. Daniel Smith, Ssgt. Chad Brian Carpentier, Dominic Duplantis, Keith Silkwood and Timoteo L. Soriano, Jr. of the crime of Rape under Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act 8353, upon a complaint under oath filed by Suzette S. Nicolas, which is attached hereto and made an integral part hereof as Annex A, committed as follows: That on or about the First (1 st) day of November 2005, inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accuseds (sic), being then members of the United States Marine Corps, except Timoteo L. Soriano, Jr., conspiring, confederating together and mutually helping one another, with lewd design and by means of force, threat and intimidation, with abuse of superior strength and taking advantage of the intoxication of the victim, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously sexually abuse and have sexual intercourse with or carnal knowledge of one Suzette S. Nicolas, a 22-year old unmarried woman inside a Starex Van with Plate No. WKF-162, owned by Starways Travel and Tours, with Office address at 8900 P. Victor St., Guadalupe, Makati City, and driven by accused Timoteo L. Soriano, Jr., against the will and consent of the said Suzette S. Nicolas, to her damage and prejudice. CONTRARY TO LAW.410[1] Pursuant to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States, entered into on February 10, 1998, the United States, at its request, was granted custody of defendant Smith pending the proceedings. During the trial, which was transferred from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Zambales to the RTC of Makati for security reasons, the United States Government faithfully complied with its undertaking to bring defendant Smith to the trial court every time his presence was required. On December 4, 2006, the RTC of Makati, following the end of the trial, rendered its Decision, finding defendant Smith guilty, thus: WHEREFORE, premises considered, for failure of the prosecution to adduce sufficient evidence against accused S/SGT. CHAD BRIAN CARPENTER, L/CPL. KEITH SILKWOOD AND L/CPL. DOMINIC DUPLANTIS, all of the US Marine Corps assigned at the USS Essex, are hereby ACQUITTED to the crime charged. The prosecution having presented sufficient evidence against accused L/CPL. DANIEL J. SMITH, also of the US Marine Corps at the USS Essex, this Court hereby finds him GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT of the crime of RAPE defined under Article 266-A, paragraph 1 (a) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 8353, and, in accordance with Article 266-B, first paragraph thereof, hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua together with the accessory penalties provided for under Article 41 of the same Code. Pursuant to Article V, paragraph No. 10, of the Visiting Forces Agreement entered into by the Philippines and the United States, accused L/CPL. DANIEL J. SMITH shall serve his sentence in the facilities that shall, thereafter, be agreed upon by appropriate Philippine and United States authorities. Pending agreement on such facilities, accused L/CPL. DANIEL J. SMITH is hereby temporarily committed to the Makati City Jail. Accused L/CPL. DANIEL J. SMITH is further sentenced to indemnify complainant SUZETTE S. NICOLAS in the amount of P50,000.00 as compensatory damages plus P50,000.00 as moral damages. As a result, the Makati court ordered Smith detained at the Makati jail until further orders. On December 29, 2006, however, defendant Smith was taken out of the Makati jail by a contingent of Philippine law enforcement agents, purportedly acting under orders of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and brought to a facility for detention under the control of the United States government, provided for under new agreements between the Philippines and the United States, referred to as the Romulo-Kenney Agreement of December 19, 2006 which states: The Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the United States of America agree that, in accordance with the Visiting Forces Agreement signed between our two nations, Lance Corporal Daniel J. Smith, United States Marine Corps, be returned to U.S. military custody at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. (Sgd.) KRISTIE A. KENNEY (Sgd.) ALBERTO G. ROMULO Representative of the United States Representative of the Republic of America of the Philippines DATE: 12-19-06 DATE: December 19, 2006__

and the Romulo-Kenney Agreement of December 22, 2006 which states: The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines and the Embassy of the United States of America agree that, in accordance with the Visiting Forces Agreement signed between the two nations, upon transfer of Lance Corporal Daniel J. Smith, United States Marine Corps, from the Makati City Jail, he will be detained at the first floor, Rowe (JUSMAG) Building, U.S. Embassy Compound in a room of approximately 10 x 12 square feet. He will be guarded round the clock by U.S. military personnel. The Philippine police and jail authorities, under the direct supervision of the Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will have access to the place of detention to ensure the United States is in compliance with the terms of the VFA. The matter was brought before the Court of Appeals which decided on January 2, 2007, as follows: WHEREFORE, all the foregoing considered, we resolved to DISMISS the petition for having become moot.411[3] Hence, the present actions. HELD: Petitioners contend that the Philippines should have custody of defendant L/CPL Smith because, first of all, the VFA is void and unconstitutional.
410[1] 411[3]

Annex B of RTC Decision, CA rollo, p. 45. Rollo, pp. 90-127.

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This issue had been raised before, and this Court resolved in favor of the constitutionality of the VFA. This was in Bayan v. Zamora,412[4] brought by Bayan, one of petitioners in the present cases. Against the barriers of res judicata vis--vis Bayan, and stare decisis vis--vis all the parties, the reversal of the previous ruling is sought on the ground that the issue is of primordial importance, involving the sovereignty of the Republic, as well as a specific mandate of the Constitution. The provision of the Constitution is Art. XVIII, Sec. 25 which states: Sec. 25. After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Philippines and the United States of America concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State. The reason for this provision lies in history and the Philippine experience in regard to the United States military bases in the country. It will be recalled that under the Philippine Bill of 1902, which laid the basis for the Philippine Commonwealth and, eventually, for the recognition of independence, the United States agreed to cede to the Philippines all the territory it acquired from Spain under the Treaty of Paris, plus a few islands later added to its realm, except certain naval ports and/or military bases and facilities, which the United States retained for itself. This is noteworthy, because what this means is that Clark and Subic and the other places in the Philippines covered by the RP-US Military Bases Agreement of 1947 were not Philippine territory, as they were excluded from the cession and retained by the US. Accordingly, the Philippines had no jurisdiction over these bases except to the extent allowed by the United States. Furthermore, the RP-US Military Bases Agreement was never advised for ratification by the United States Senate, a disparity in treatment, because the Philippines regarded it as a treaty and had it concurred in by our Senate. Subsequently, the United States agreed to turn over these bases to the Philippines; and with the expiration of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement in 1991, the territory covered by these bases were finally ceded to the Philippines. To prevent a recurrence of this experience, the provision in question was adopted in the 1987 Constitution. The provision is thus designed to ensure that any agreement allowing the presence of foreign military bases, troops or facilities in Philippine territory shall be equally binding on the Philippines and the foreign sovereign State involved. The idea is to prevent a recurrence of the situation in which the terms and conditions governing the presence of foreign armed forces in our territory were binding upon us but not upon the foreign State. Applying the provision to the situation involved in these cases, the question is whether or not the presence of US Armed Forces in Philippine territory pursuant to the VFA is allowed under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate xxx and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State. This Court finds that it is, for two reasons. First, as held in Bayan v. Zamora,413[5] the VFA was duly concurred in by the Philippine Senate and has been recognized as a treaty by the United States as attested and certified by the duly authorized representative of the United States government. The fact that the VFA was not submitted for advice and consent of the United States Senate does not detract from its status as a binding international agreement or treaty recognized by the said State. For this is a matter of internal United States law. Notice can be taken of the internationally known practice by the United States of submitting to its Senate for advice and consent agreements that are policymaking in nature, whereas those that carry out or further implement these policymaking agreements are merely submitted to Congress, under the provisions of the so-called CaseZablocki Act, within sixty days from ratification.414[6] The second reason has to do with the relation between the VFA and the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty of August 30, 1951. This earlier agreement was signed and duly ratified with the concurrence of both the Philippine Senate and the United States Senate. The RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty states:415[7] MUTUAL DEFENSE TREATY BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Signed at Washington, August 30, 1951. The Parties of this Treaty Reaffirming their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments, and desiring to strengthen the fabric of peace in the Pacific area. Recalling with mutual pride the historic relationship which brought their two peoples together in a common bond of sympathy and mutual ideals to fight side-by-side against imperialist aggression during the last war.

412[4] 413[5] 414

G.R. No. 138570, October 10, 2000, 342 SCRA 449. Supra, note 4. [6] The Case-Zablocki Act, 1 U.S.C. 112b (a) (1976 ed., Supp IV). See also Weinberger v. Rossi, 456 U.S. 25 (1982), in which the U.S. Supreme Court sustained recognition as a treaty of agreements not concurred in by the U.S. Senate.
[7]

415

The RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. on August 30, 1951. Its ratification was advised by the US Senate on March 20, 1952, and the US President ratified the Treaty on April 15, 1952. The Treaty was concurred in by the RP Senate, S.R. No. 84, May 12, 1952. The Philippine instrument of ratification was signed by the RP President on August 27, 1952. The Agreement entered into force on August 27, 1952 upon the exchange of ratification between the Parties. This Agreement is published in II DFA TS No. 1, p. 13; 177 UNTS, p. 133; 3 UST 3847-3952. The RP Presidential proclamation of the Agreement, Proc. No. 341, S. 1952, is published in 48 O.G. 4224 (Aug. 1952).

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Desiring to declare publicly and formally their sense of unity and their common determination to defend themselves against external armed attack, so that no potential aggressor could be under the illusion that either of them stands alone in the Pacific area. Desiring further to strengthen their present efforts for collective defense for the preservation of peace and security pending the development of a more comprehensive system of regional security in the Pacific area. Agreeing that nothing in this present instrument shall be considered or interpreted as in any way or sense altering or diminishing any existing agreements or understandings between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America. Have agreed as follows: ARTICLE I. The parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered and to refrain in their international relation from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. ARTICLE II. In order more effectively to achieve the objective of this Treaty, the Parties separately and jointly by self-help and mutual aid will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack. ARTICLE III. The Parties, through their Foreign Ministers or their deputies, will consult together from time to time regarding the implementation of this Treaty and whenever in the opinion of either of them the territorial integrity, political independence or security of either of the Parties is threatened by external armed attack in the Pacific. ARTICLE IV. Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes. Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall be immediately reported to the Security Council of the United Nations. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security. ARTICLE V. For the purpose of Article IV, an armed attack on either of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the Parties, or on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific Ocean, its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific. ARTICLE VI. This Treaty does not affect and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations of the Parties under the Charter of the United Nations or the responsibility of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security. ARTICLE VII. This Treaty shall be ratified by the Republic of the Philippines and the United Nations of America in accordance with their respective constitutional processes and will come into force when instruments of ratification thereof have been exchanged by them at Manila. ARTICLE VIII. This Treaty shall remain in force indefinitely. Either Party may terminate it one year after notice has been given to the other party. IN WITHNESS WHEREOF the undersigned Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty. DONE in duplicate at Washington this thirtieth day of August, 1951. For the Republic of the Philippines: (Sgd.) CARLOS P. ROMULO (Sgd.) JOAQUIN M. ELIZALDE (Sgd.) VICENTE J. FRANCISCO (Sgd.) DIOSDADO MACAPAGAL For the United States of America: (Sgd.) DEAN ACHESON (Sgd.) JOHN FOSTER DULLES (Sgd.) TOM CONNALLY (Sgd.) ALEXANDER WILEY416[8] Clearly, therefore, joint RP-US military exercises for the purpose of developing the capability to resist an armed attack fall squarely under the provisions of the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty. The VFA, which is the instrument agreed upon to provide for the joint RP-US military exercises, is simply an implementing agreement to the main RP-US Military Defense Treaty. The Preamble of the VFA states: The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, Reaffirming their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to strengthen international and regional security in the Pacific area; Reaffirming their obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty of August 30, 1951 ; Noting that from time to time elements of the United States armed forces may visit the Republic of the Philippines ; Considering that cooperation between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines promotes their common security interests; Recognizing the desirability of defining the treatment of United States personnel visiting the Republic of the Philippines;
416[8]

Emphasis supplied.

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Have agreed as follows:417[9] Accordingly, as an implementing agreement of the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty, it was not necessary to submit the VFA to the US Senate for advice and consent, but merely to the US Congress under the CaseZablocki Act within 60 days of its ratification. It is for this reason that the US has certified that it recognizes the VFA as a binding international agreement, i.e., a treaty, and this substantially complies with the requirements of Art. XVIII, Sec. 25 of our Constitution.418[10] The provision of Art. XVIII, Sec. 25 of the Constitution, is complied with by virtue of the fact that the presence of the US Armed Forces through the VFA is a presence allowed under the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty. Since the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty itself has been ratified and concurred in by both the Philippine Senate and the US Senate, there is no violation of the Constitutional provision resulting from such presence. The VFA being a valid and binding agreement, the parties are required as a matter of international law to abide by its terms and provisions. The VFA provides that in cases of offenses committed by the members of the US Armed Forces in the Philippines, the following rules apply: Article V Criminal Jurisdiction xxx 6. The custody of any United States personnel over whom the Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately reside with United States military authorities, if they so request, from the commission of the offense until completion of all judicial proceedings. United States military authorities shall, upon formal notification by the Philippine authorities and without delay, make such personnel available to those authorities in time for any investigative or judicial proceedings relating to the offense with which the person has been charged. In extraordinary cases, the Philippine Government shall present its position to the United States Government regarding custody, which the United States Government shall take into full account. In the event Philippine judicial proceedings are not completed within one year, the United States shall be relieved of any obligations under this paragraph. The one year period will not include the time necessary to appeal. Also, the one year period will not include any time during which scheduled trial procedures are delayed because United States authorities, after timely notification by Philippine authorities to arrange for the presence of the accused, fail to do so. Petitioners contend that these undertakings violate another provision of the Constitution, namely, that providing for the exclusive power of this Court to adopt rules of procedure for all courts in the Philippines (Art. VIII, Sec. 5[5]). They argue that to allow the transfer of custody of an accused to a foreign power is to provide for a different rule of procedure for that accused, which also violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution (Art. III, Sec. 1.). Again, this Court finds no violation of the Constitution. The equal protection clause is not violated, because there is a substantial basis for a different treatment of a member of a foreign military armed forces allowed to enter our territory and all other accused.419[11] The rule in international law is that a foreign armed forces allowed to enter ones territory is immune from local jurisdiction, except to the extent agreed upon. The Status of Forces Agreements involving foreign military units around the world vary in terms and conditions, according to the situation of the parties involved, and reflect their bargaining power. But the principle remains, i.e., the receiving State can exercise jurisdiction over the forces of the sending State only to the extent agreed upon by the parties.420[12] As a result, the situation involved is not one in which the power of this Court to adopt rules of procedure is curtailed or violated, but rather one in which, as is normally encountered around the world, the laws (including rules of procedure) of one State do not extend or apply except to the extent agreed upon to subjects of another State due to the recognition of extraterritorial immunity given to such bodies as visiting foreign armed forces. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits such agreements recognizing immunity from jurisdiction or some aspects of jurisdiction (such as custody), in relation to long-recognized subjects of such immunity like Heads of State, diplomats and members of the armed forces contingents of a foreign State allowed to enter another States territory. On the contrary, the Constitution states that the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. (Art. II, Sec. 2). Applying, however, the provisions of VFA, the Court finds that there is a different treatment when it comes to detention as against custody. The moment the accused has to be detained, e.g., after conviction, the rule that governs is the following provision of the VFA: Article V Criminal Jurisdiction xxx Sec. 10. The confinement or detention by Philippine authorities of United States personnel shall be carried out in facilities agreed on by appropriate Philippines and United States authorities. United States personnel serving sentences in the Philippines shall have the right to visits and material assistance. It is clear that the parties to the VFA recognized the difference between custody during the trial and detention after conviction, because they provided for a specific arrangement to cover detention. And this specific arrangement clearly states not only that the detention shall be carried out in facilities agreed on by authorities of both parties, but also that the detention shall be by Philippine authorities. Therefore, the Romulo-Kenney Agreements of December 19 and 22, 2006, which are agreements on the detention of the accused in the United States Embassy, are not in accord with the VFA itself because such detention is not by Philippine authorities. Respondents should therefore comply with the VFA and negotiate with representatives of the United States towards an agreement on detention facilities under Philippine authorities as mandated by Art. V, Sec. 10 of the VFA.
417[9] 418[10] 419 420[12]

Emphasis supplied. See Letter of Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard quoted in Bayan, 342 SCRA 449, 491. [11] See, the summation of the rule on equal protection in ISAGANI A. CRUZ, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, pp. 123-139 (2007), and the authorities cited therein. See Dieter Fleck, Ed., The HANDBOOK OF THE LAW OF VISITING FORCES , Oxford: 2001.

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Next, the Court addresses the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court in Medellin v. Texas ( 552 US ___ No. 06-984, March 25, 2008), which held that treaties entered into by the United States are not automatically part of their domestic law unless these treaties are self-executing or there is an implementing legislation to make them enforceable. On February 3, 2009, the Court issued a Resolution, thus: G.R. No. 175888 (Suzette Nicolas y Sombilon v. Alberto Romulo, et al.); G.R. No. 176051 (Jovito R. Salonga, et al. v. Daniel Smith, et al.); and G.R. No. 176222 (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan [BAYAN], et al. v. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al.). The parties, including the Solicitor General, are required to submit within three (3) days a Comment/Manifestation on the following points: 1. What is the implication on the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement of the recent US Supreme Court decision in Jose Ernesto Medellin v. Texas, dated March 25, 2008, to the effect that treaty stipulations that are not self-executory can only be enforced pursuant to legislation to carry them into effect; and that, while treaties may comprise international commitments, they are not domestic law unless Congress has enacted implementing statutes or the treaty itself conveys an intention that it be self-executory and is ratified on these terms? Whether the VFA is enforceable in the US as domestic law, either because it is self-executory or because there exists legislation to implement it. Whether the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty of August 30, 1951 was concurred in by the US Senate and, if so, is there proof of the US Senate advice and consent resolution? Peralta, J., no part.

2. 3.

After deliberation, the Court holds, on these points, as follows: First, the VFA is a self-executing Agreement, as that term is defined in Medellin itself, because the parties intend its provisions to be enforceable, precisely because the Agreement is intended to carry out obligations and undertakings under the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty. As a matter of fact, the VFA has been implemented and executed, with the US faithfully complying with its obligation to produce L/CPL Smith before the court during the trial. Secondly, the VFA is covered by implementing legislation, namely, the Case-Zablocki Act, USC Sec. 112(b), inasmuch as it is the very purpose and intent of the US Congress that executive agreements registered under this Act within 60 days from their ratification be immediately implemented. The parties to these present cases do not question the fact that the VFA has been registered under the Case-Zablocki Act. In sum, therefore, the VFA differs from the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the Avena decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), subject matter of the Medellin decision. The Convention and the ICJ decision are not self-executing and are not registrable under the Case-Zablocki Act, and thus lack legislative implementing authority. Finally, the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty was advised and consented to by the US Senate on March 20, 1952, as reflected in the US Congressional Record, 82nd Congress, Second Session, Vol. 98 Part 2, pp. 2594-2595. The framers of the Constitution were aware that the application of international law in domestic courts varies from country to country. As Ward N. Ferdinandusse states in his Treatise, DIRECT APPLICATION OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW IN NATIONAL COURTS, some countries require legislation whereas others do not. It was not the intention of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, in adopting Article XVIII, Sec. 25, to require the other contracting State to convert their system to achieve alignment and parity with ours. It was simply required that the treaty be recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State. With that, it becomes for both parties a binding international obligation and the enforcement of that obligation is left to the normal recourse and processes under international law. Furthermore, as held by the US Supreme Court in Weinberger v. Rossi,421[13] an executive agreement is a treaty within the meaning of that word in international law and constitutes enforceable domestic law vis--vis the United States. Thus, the US Supreme Court in Weinberger enforced the provisions of the executive agreement granting preferential employment to Filipinos in the US Bases here. Accordingly, there are three types of treaties in the American system: 1. 2. 3. Art. II, Sec. 2 treaties These are advised and consented to by the US Senate in accordance with Art. II, Sec. 2 of the US Constitution. ExecutiveCongressional Agreements: These are joint agreements of the President and Congress and need not be submitted to the Senate. Sole Executive Agreements. These are agreements entered into by the President. They are to be submitted to Congress within sixty (60) days of ratification under the provisions of the Case-Zablocki Act, after which they are recognized by the Congress and may be implemented.

As regards the implementation of the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty, military aid or assistance has been given under it and this can only be done through implementing legislation. The VFA itself is another form of implementation of its provisions. WHEREFORE, the petitions are PARTLY GRANTED, and the Court of Appeals Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 97212 dated January 2, 2007 is MODIFIED. The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States, entered into on February 10, 1998, is UPHELD as constitutional, but the Romulo-Kenney Agreements of December 19 and 22, 2006 are DECLARED not in accordance with the VFA , and respondent Secretary of Foreign Affairs is hereby ordered to forthwith negotiate with the United States representatives for the appropriate agreement on detention facilities under Philippine authorities as provided in Art. V, Sec. 10 of the VFA, pending which the status quo shall be maintained until further orders by this Court. The Court of Appeals is hereby directed to resolve without delay the related matters pending therein, namely, the petition for contempt and the appeal of L/CPL Daniel Smith from the judgment of conviction.
421[13]

Supra, Note 6.

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Section 22. The President shall submit to the Congress within 30 days from the opening of every regular session, as the basis of the general appropriations bill, a budget of expenditures and sources of financing, including receipts from existing and proposed revenue measures. Section 23. The President shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session. He may also appear before it at any other time. Read: Distinctions between Treaty and executive agreements. 1) GONZALES VS. HECHANOVA, 9 SCRA 280 2) TAN SIN VS. DEPORTATION BOARD, 104 Phil. 868 3) COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS VS. EASTERN, 3 SCRA 351 4. Ichong vs. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155 11. Under the present Constitution, is the president immune from suit in relation to acts performed by him or by his subordinates by virtue of his specific orders during his tenure considering that the immunity from suit provision under the 1973 Constitution was already deleted? Read: 1) Section 17, Article VII of the 1973 Constitution with the 1984 amendments. 2) HIDALGO VS. MARCOS, 80 SCRA 538 3) CARILLO VS. MARCOS, April 6, 1981 4. MAXIMO SOLIVEN VS. JUDGE MAKASIAR, Nov. 15, 1988 PART VIII ARTICLE VIII - THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT 1. Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such other courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. a. What is judicial power? Read: Badua vs. CBA, February 14, 1991 b. Restrictions to the exercise of judicial power Political question doctrine Read: 1) JAVELLANA VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, 50 SCRA 30 2) DE LA LLANA VS. ALBA, 112 SCRA 294 3) ALMARIO VS. ALBA, 127 SCRA 69 ( When the question deals with the necessity, expediency and wisdom of a particuar act, the same is political and not justiciable) 4. Read again ENRILE VS. JUDGE SALAZAR, June 5, 1990 b-1. Definition of political question Read: 1. Sanidad vs. Comelec, 73 SCRA 333 Political questions are neatly associated with the wisdom, not the legality of a particular act. Where the vortex of the controversy refers to the legality or validity of the contested act, the matter is definitely justiciable or nonpolitical) Javellana vs. Exec. Secretary, 50 SCRA 30 Tanada vs. Cuenco, 103 Phil. (Political questions are questions to be answered by the people in their sovereign capacity or in regard to which full discretionary authority is vested to the executive or legislative branch of the government) 4. Gonzales vs. COMELEC, 21 SCRA 774 (When the crux of the problem deals with the validity of an act, it is justiciable) c. Cases on judicial power in general 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 4. LOPEZ VS. ROXAS, 17 SCRA 756 SANTIAGO VS. BAUTISTA, 32 SCRA 188 RADIOWEALTH VS. AGRACADA, 86 Phil. 429 NOBLEJAS VS. TEEHANKEE, 23 SCRA 405 LINA VS. PURISIMA, 82 SCRA 244 GARCIA VS. MACARAIG,39 SCRA 106

2. 3.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section 5 hereof. No law shall be passed reorganizing the judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its members.

3. Section 3. The judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for the judiciary may not be reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous year and, after approval, shall be automatically and regularly released. 4. Section 4. (1) The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and 14 associate justices. It may sit en banc or discretion, in divisions of 3, 5 or seven members. Any vacancy shall be filled within 90 days from the occurrence thereof. in its

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(2) All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement, or law, which shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc, including those involving the constitutionality, application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations, shall be decided with the concurrence of a majority of the members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon. (Read together with Section 10, Art. X) LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. COMELEC, ET AL., GR NO. 176951 , December 21, 2009

VELASCO, JR. J.: The consolidated petitions for prohibition commenced by the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), City of Iloilo, City of Calbayog, and Jerry P. Treas assail the constitutionality of the sixteen (16) laws, each converting the municipality covered thereby into a city (cityhood laws, hereinafter) and seek to enjoin the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from conducting plebiscites pursuant to subject laws. By Decision dated November 18, 2008, the Court en banc, by a 6-5 vote, granted the petitions and nullified the sixteen (16) cityhood laws for being violative of the Constitution, specifically its Section 10, Article X and the equal protection clause. Subsequently, respondent local government units (LGUs) moved for reconsideration, raising, as one of the issues, the validity of the factual premises not contained in the pleadings of the parties, let alone established, which became the bases of the Decision subject of reconsideration. By Resolution of March 31, 2009, a divided Court denied the motion for reconsideration. A second motion for reconsideration followed in which respondent LGUs prayed as follows: WHEREFORE, respondents respectfully pray that the Honorable Court reconsider its Resolution dated March 31, 2009, in so far as it denies for lack of merit respondents Motion for Reconsideration dated December 9, 2008 and in lieu thereof, considering that new and meritorious arguments are raised by respondents Motion for Reconsideration dated December 9, 2008 to grant afore-mentioned Motion for Reconsideration dated December 9, 2008 and dismiss the Petitions For Prohibition in the instant case. Per Resolution dated April 28, 2009, the Court, voting 6-6, disposed of the motion as follows: By a vote of 6-6, the Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of 31 March 2009 is DENIED for lack of merit. The motion is denied since there is no majority that voted to overturn the Resolution of 31 March 2009. The Second Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision of 18 November 2008 is DENIED for being a prohibited pleading, and the Motion for Leave to Admit Attached Petition in Intervention x x x filed by counsel for Ludivina T. Mas, et al. are also DENIED. No further pleadings shall be entertained. Let entry of judgment be made in due course . x x x On May 14, 2009, respondent LGUs filed a Motion to Amend the Resolution of April 28, 2009 by Declaring Instead that Respondents Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of March 31, 2009 and Motion for Leave to File and to Admit Attached Second Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision Dated November 18, 2008 Remain Unresolved and to Conduct Further Proceedings Thereon. Per its Resolution of June 2, 2009, the Court declared the May 14, 2009 motion adverted to as expunged in light of the entry of judgment made on May 21, 2009. Justice Leonardo-De Castro, however, taking common cause with Justice Bersamin to grant the motion for reconsideration of the April 28, 2009 Resolution and to recall the entry of judgment, stated the observation, and with reason, that the entry was effected before the Court could act on the aforesaid motion which was filed within the 15-day period counted from receipt of the April 28, 2009 Resolution. Forthwith, respondent LGUs filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of June 2, 2009 to which some of the petitioners and petitioners-in-intervention filed their respective comments. The Court will now rule on this incident. But first, we set and underscore some basic premises: (1) The initial motion to reconsider the November 18, 2008 Decision, as Justice Leonardo-De Castro noted, indeed raised new and substantial issues, inclusive of the matter of the correctness of the factual premises upon which the said decision was predicated. The 6-6 vote on the motion for reconsideration per the Resolution of March 31, 2009, which denied the motion on the sole ground that the basic issues have already been passed upon reflected a divided Court on the issue of whether or not the underlying Decision of November 18, 2008 had indeed passed upon the basic issues raised in the motion for reconsideration of the said decision; (2) The aforesaid May 14, 2009 Motion to Amend Resolution of April 28, 2009 was precipitated by the tie vote which served as basis for the issuance of said resolution. This May 14, 2009 motionwhich mainly argued that a tie vote is inadequate to declare a law unconstitutional remains unresolved; and (3) Pursuant to Sec. 4(2), Art. VIII of the Constitution, all cases involving the constitutionality of a law shall be heard by the Court en banc and decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon. The basic issue tendered in this motion for reconsideration of the June 2, 2009 Resolution boils down to whether or not the required vote set forth in the aforesaid Sec. 4(2), Art. VIII is limited only to the initial vote on the petition or also to the subsequent voting on the motion for reconsideration where the Court is called upon and actually votes on the constitutionality of a law or like issuances. Or, as applied to this case, would a minute resolution dismissing, on a tie vote, a motion for reconsideration on the sole stated groundthat the basic issues have already been passed suffice to hurdle the voting requirement required for a declaration of the unconstitutionality of the cityhood laws in question? The 6-6 vote on the motion to reconsider the Resolution of March 31, 2009, which denied the initial motion on the sole ground that the basic issues had already been passed upon betrayed an evenly divided Court on the issue of whether or not the underlying Decision of November 18, 2008 had indeed passed upon the issues raised in the motion for reconsideration of the said decision. But at the end of the day, the single issue that matters and the vote that really counts really turn on the constitutionality of the cityhood laws. And be it remembered that the inconclusive 6-6 tie vote reflected in the April 28, 2009 Resolution was the last vote on the issue of whether or not the cityhood laws infringe the Constitution. Accordingly, the motions of the respondent LGUs, in light of the 6-6 vote, should be deliberated anew until the required concurrence on the issue of the validity or invalidity of the laws in question is, on the merits, secured. It ought to be clear that a deadlocked vote does not reflect the majority of the Members contemplated in Sec. 4 (2) of Art. VIII of the Constitution, which requires that: All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement, or law shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc, x x x shall be decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon. (Emphasis added.) Webster defines majority as a number greater than half of a total. In plain language, this means 50% plus one. In Lambino v. Commission on Elections, Justice, now Chief Justice, Puno, in a separate opinion, expressed the view that a deadlocked vote of six (6) is not a majority and a non-majority cannot write a rule with precedential value. As may be noted, the aforequoted Sec. 4 of Art. VIII, as couched, exacts a majority vote in the determination of a case involving the constitutionality of a statute, without distinguishing whether such determination is made on the main petition or thereafter on a motion for reconsideration. This is as it should be, for, to borrow from the late Justice Ricardo J. Francisco: x x x [E]ven assuming x x x that

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the constitutional requirement on the concurrence of the majority was initially reached in the x x x ponencia, the same is inconclusive as it was still open for review by way of a motion for reconsideration. To be sure, the Court has taken stock of the rule on a tie-vote situation, i.e., Sec. 7, Rule 56 and the complementary A.M. No. 99-1-09- SC, respectively, providing that: SEC. 7. Procedure if opinion is equally divided . Where the court en banc is equally divided in opinion, or the necessary majority cannot be had, the case shall again be deliberated on, and if after such deliberation no decision is reached, the original action commenced in the court shall be dismissed; in appealed cases, the judgment or order appealed from shall stand affirmed; and on all incidental matters, the petition or motion shall be denied. A.M. No. 99-1-09-SC x x x A motion for reconsideration of a decision or resolution of the Court En Banc or of a Division may be granted upon a vote of a majority of the En Banc or of a Division, as the case may be, who actually took part in the deliberation of the motion. If the voting results in a tie, the motion for reconsideration is deemed denied. But since the instant cases fall under Sec. 4 (2), Art. VIII of the Constitution, the aforequoted provisions ought to be applied in conjunction with the prescription of the Constitution that the cases shall be decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the instant cases and voted thereon. To repeat, the last vote on the issue of the constitutionality of the cityhood bills is that reflected in the April 28, 2009 Resolutiona 6-6 deadlock. On the postulate then that first, the finality of the November 18, 2008 Decision has yet to set in, the issuance of the precipitate entry of judgment notwithstanding, and second, the deadlocked vote on the second motion for reconsideration did not definitely settle the constitutionality of the cityhood laws, the Court is inclined to take another hard look at the underlying decision. Without belaboring in their smallest details the arguments for and against the procedural dimension of this disposition, it bears to stress that the Court has the power to suspend its own rules when the ends of justice would be served thereby. In the performance of their duties, courts should not be shackled by stringent rules which would result in manifest injustice. Rules of procedure are only tools crafted to facilitate the attainment of justice. Their strict and rigid application must be eschewed, if they result in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice. Substantial rights must not be prejudiced by a rigid and technical application of the rules in the altar of expediency. When a case is impressed with public interest, a relaxation of the application of the rules is in order. Time and again, this Court has suspended its own rules or excepted a particular case from their operation whenever the higher interests of justice so require. While perhaps not on all fours with the case, because it involved a purely business transaction, what the Court said in Chuidian v. Sandiganbayan is most apropos: To reiterate what the Court has said in Ginete vs. Court of Appeals and other cases, the rules of procedure should be viewed as mere instruments designed to facilitate the attainment of justice. They are not to be applied with severity and rigidity when such application would clearly defeat the very rationale for their conception and existence. Even the Rules of Court reflects this principle. The power to suspend or even disregard rules, inclusive of the one-motion rule, can be so pervasive and compelling as to alter even that which this Court has already declared to be final. The peculiarities of this case impel us to do so now. The Court, by a vote of 6-4, grants the respondent LGUs motion for reconsideration of the Resolution of June 2, 2009, as well as their May 14, 2009 motion to consider the second motion for reconsideration of the November 18, 2008 Decision unresolved, and also grants said second motion for reconsideration. This brings us to the substantive aspect of the case. The Undisputed Factual Antecedents in Brief During the 11th Congress, fifty-seven (57) cityhood bills were filed before the House of Representatives. Of the fifty-seven (57), thirty-three (33) eventually became laws. The twenty-four (24) other bills were not acted upon. Later developments saw the introduction in the Senate of Senate Bill (S. Bill) No. 2157 to amend Sec. 450 of Republic Act No. (RA) 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991. The proposed amendment sought to increase the income requirement to qualify for conversion into a city from PhP 20 million average annual income to PhP 100 million locally generated income. In March 2001, S. Bill No. 2157 was signed into law as RA 9009 to take effect on June 30, 2001. As thus amended by RA 9009, Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991 now provides that [a] municipality x x x may be converted into a component city if it has a [certified] locally generated average annual income x x x of at least [PhP 100 million] for the last two (2) consecutive years based on 2000 constant prices. After the effectivity of RA 9009, the Lower House of the 12th Congress adopted in July 2001 House (H.) Joint Resolution No. 29 which, as its title indicated, sought to exempt from the income requirement prescribed in RA 9009 the 24 municipalities whose conversions into cities were not acted upon during the previous Congress. The 12th Congress ended without the Senate approving H. Joint Resolution No. 29. Then came the 13th Congress (July 2004 to June 2007), which saw the House of Representatives re-adopting H. Joint Resolution No. 29 as H. Joint Resolution No. 1 and forwarding it to the Senate for approval. The Senate, however, again failed to approve the joint resolution. During the Senate session held on November 6, 2006, Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. asserted that passing H. Resolution No. 1 would, in net effect, allow a wholesale exemption from the income requirement imposed under RA 9009 on the municipalities. For this reason, he suggested the filing by the House of Representatives of individual bills to pave the way for the municipalities to become cities and then forwarding them to the Senate for proper action. Heeding the advice, sixteen (16) municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors, individual cityhood bills. Common to all 16 measures was a provision exempting the municipality covered from the PhP 100 million income requirement. As of June 7, 2007, both Houses of Congress had approved the individual cityhood bills, all of which eventually lapsed into law on various dates. Each cityhood law directs the COMELEC, within thirty (30) days from its approval, to hold a plebiscite to determine whether the voters approve of the conversion. As earlier stated, the instant petitions seek to declare the cityhood laws unconstitutional for violation of Sec. 10, Art. X of the Constitution, as well as for violation of the equal-protection clause. The wholesale conversion of municipalities into cities, the petitioners bemoan, will reduce the share of existing cities in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), since more cities will partake of the internal revenue set aside for all cities under Sec. 285 of the LGC of 1991. The Issues In the main, the issues to which all others must yield pivot on whether or not the cityhood laws violate (1) Sec. 10. Art. X of the Constitution and (2) the equal protection clause. In the November 18, 2008 Decision granting the petitions, Justice Antonio T. Carpio, for the Court, resolved the twin posers in the affirmative and accordingly declared the cityhood laws unconstitutional, deviating as they do from the uniform and non-discriminatory income criterion prescribed by the LGC of 1991. In so doing, the ponencia veritably agreed with the petitioners that the Constitution, in clear and unambiguous language, requires that all the criteria for the creation of a city shall be embodied and written in the LGC, and not in any other law. After a circumspect reflection, the Court is disposed to reconsider. Petitioners threshold posture, characterized by a strained interpretation of the Constitution, if accorded cogency, would veritably curtail and cripple Congress valid exercise of its authority to create political subdivisions. By constitutional design and as a matter of long-established principle, the power to create political subdivisions or LGUs is essentially legislative in character. But even without any constitutional grant, Congress can, by law, create, divide, merge, or altogether abolish or

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alter the boundaries of a province, city, or municipality. We said as much in the fairly recent case, Sema v. CIMELEC. The 1987 Constitution, under its Art. X, Sec. 10, nonetheless provides for the creation of LGUs, thus: Section 10. No province, city, municipality, or barangay shall be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. (Emphasis supplied.) As may be noted, the afore-quoted provision specifically provides for the creation of political subdivisions in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code , subject to the approval of the voters in the unit concerned. The criteria referred to are the verifiable indicators of viability, i.e., area, population, and income, now set forth in Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991, as amended by RA 9009. The petitioners would parlay the thesis that these indicators or criteria must be written only in the LGC and not in any other statute. Doubtless, the code they are referring to is the LGC of 1991. Pushing their point, they conclude that the cityhood laws that exempted the respondent LGUs from the income standard spelled out in the amendatory RA 9009 offend the Constitution. The supposedly infringed Art. X, Sec. 10 is not a new constitutional provision. Save for the use of the term barrio in lieu of barangay, may be instead of shall, the change of the phrase unit or units to political unit and the addition of the modifier directly to the word affected, the aforesaid provision is a substantial reproduction of Art. XI, Sec. 3 of the 1973 Constitution, which reads: Section 3. No province, city, municipality, or barrio may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the unit or units affected. (Emphasis supplied.) It bears notice, however, that the code similarly referred to in the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions is clearly but a law Congress enacted. This is consistent with the aforementioned plenary power of Congress to create political units. Necessarily, since Congress wields the vast poser of creating political subdivisions, surely it can exercise the lesser authority of requiring a set of criteria, standards, or ascertainable indicators of viability for their creation. Thus, the only conceivable reason why the Constitution employs the clause in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code is to lay stress that it is Congress alone, and no other, which can impose the criteria. The eminent constitutionalist, Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., in his treatise on Constitutional Law, specifically on the subject provision, explains: Prior to 1965, there was a certain lack of clarity with regard to the power to create, divide, merge, dissolve, or change the boundaries of municipal corporations. The extent to which the executive may share in this power was obscured by Cardona v. Municipality of Binangonan. Pelaez v. Auditor General subsequently clarified the Cardona case when the Supreme Court said that the authority to create municipal corporations is essentially legislative in nature. Pelaez, however, conceded that the power to fix such common boundary, in order to avoid or settle conflicts of jurisdiction between adjoining municipalities, may partake of an administrative natureinvolving as it does, the adoption of means and ways to carry into effect the law creating said municipalities. Pelaez was silent about division, merger, and dissolution of municipal corporations. But since division in effect creates a new municipality, and both dissolution and merger in effect abolish a legal creation, it may fairly be inferred that these acts are also legislative in nature. Section 10 [Art. X of the 1987 Constitution], which is a legacy from the 1973 Constitution, goes further than the doctrine in the Pelaez case. It not only makes creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of provinces, cities, municipalities x x x subject to criteria established in the local government code, thereby declaring these actions properly legislative , but it also makes creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. x x x (Emphasis added.) It remains to be observed at this juncture that when the 1987 Constitution speaks of the LGC, the reference cannot be to any specific statute or codification of laws, let alone the LGC of 1991. Be it noted that at the time of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, Batas Pambansa Blg. (BP) 337, the then LGC, was still in effect. Accordingly, had the framers of the 1987 Constitution intended to isolate the embodiment of the criteria only in the LGC, then they would have actually referred to BP 337. Also, they would then not have provided for the enactment by Congress of a new LGC, as they did in Art. X, Sec. 3 of the Constitution. Consistent with its plenary legislative power on the matter, Congress can, via either a consolidated set of laws or a much simpler, singlesubject enactment, impose the said verifiable criteria of viability. These criteria need not be embodied in the local government code, albeit this code is the ideal repository to ensure, as much as possible, the element of uniformity. Congress can even, after making a codification, enact an amendatory law, adding to the existing layers of indicators earlier codified, just as efficaciously as it may reduce the same. In this case, the amendatory RA 9009 upped the already codified income requirement from PhP 20 million to PhP 100 million. At the end of the day, the passage of amendatory laws is no different from the enactment of laws, i.e., the cityhood laws specifically exempting a particular political subdivision from the criteria earlier mentioned. Congress, in enacting the exempting law/s, effectively decreased the already codified indicators. Petitioners theory that Congress must provide the criteria solely in the LGC and not in any other law strikes the Court as illogical. For if we pursue their contention to its logical conclusion, then RA 9009 embodying the new and increased income criterion would, in a way, also suffer the vice of unconstitutionality. It is startling, however, that petitioners do not question the constitutionality of RA 9009, as they in fact use said law as an argument for the alleged unconstitutionality of the cityhood laws. Exemption from Republic Act No. 9009. The City of x x x shall be exempted from the income requirement prescribed under Republic Act No. 9009. In any event, petitioners constitutional objection would still be untenable even if we were to assume purely ex hypothesi the correctness of their underlying thesis, viz: that the conversion of a municipality to a city shall be in accordance with, among other things, the income criterion set forth in the LGC of 1991, and in no other; otherwise, the conversion is invalid. We shall explain. Looking at the circumstances behind the enactment of the laws subject of contention, the Court finds that the LGC-amending RA 9009, no less, intended the LGUs covered by the cityhood laws to be exempt from the PhP 100 million income criterion. In other words, the cityhood laws, which merely carried out the intent of RA 9009, adhered, in the final analysis, to the criteria established in the Local Government Code, pursuant to Sec. 10, Art. X of the 1987 Constitution. We shall now proceed to discuss this exemption angle. Among the criteria established in the LGC pursuant to Sec.10, Art. X of the 1987 Constitution are those detailed in Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991 under the heading Requisites for Creation. The section sets the minimum income qualifying bar before a municipality or a cluster of barangays may be considered for cityhood. Originally, Sec. 164 of BP 337 imposed an average regular annual income of at least ten million pesos for the last three consecutive years as a minimum income standard for a municipal-to-city conversion. The LGC that BP 337 established was superseded by the LGC of 1991 whose then Sec. 450 provided that [a] municipality or cluster of barangays may be converted into a component city if it has an average annual income, x x x of at least twenty million pesos (P20,000,000.00) for at least two (2) consecutive years based on 1991 constant prices x x x. RA 9009 in turn amended said Sec. 450 by further increasing the income requirement to PhP 100 million, thus: Section 450. Requisites for Creation. (a) A municipality or a cluster of barangays may be converted into a component city if it has a locally generated average annual income, as certified by the Department of Finance, of at least One Hundred Million Pesos (P100,000,000.00) for the last two (2) consecutive years based on 2000 constant prices, and if it has either of the following requisites: xxxx

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(c) The average annual income shall include the income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of special funds, transfers, and non-recurring income. (Emphasis supplied.) The rationale behind the enactment of RA 9009 to amend Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991 can reasonably be deduced from Senator Pimentels sponsorship speech on S. Bill No. 2157. Of particular significance is his statement regarding the basis for the proposed increase from PhP 20 million to PhP 100 million in the income requirement for municipalities wanting to be converted into cities, viz: Senator Pimentel. Mr. President, I would have wanted this bill to be included in the whole set of proposed amendments that we have introduced to precisely amend the [LGC]. However, it is a fact that there is a mad rush of municipalities wanting to be converted into cities. Whereas in 1991, when the [LGC] was approved, there were only 60 cities, today the number has increased to 85 cities, with 41 more municipalities applying for conversion x x x. At the rate we are going, I am apprehensive that before long this nation will be a nation of all cities and no municipalities. It is for that reason, Mr. President, that we are proposing among other things, that the financial requirement, which, under the [LGC], is fixed at P20 million, be raised to P100 million to enable a municipality to have the right to be converted into a city, and the P100 million should be sourced from locally generated funds. Congress to be sure knew, when RA 9009 was being deliberated upon, of the pendency of several bills on cityhood, wherein the applying municipalities were qualified under the then obtaining PhP 20 million-income threshold. These included respondent LGUs. Given the foregoing perspective, it is not amiss to state that the basis for the inclusion of the exemption clause of the cityhood laws is the clear-cut intent of Congress of not according retroactive effect to RA 9009. Not only do the congressional records bear the legislative intent of exempting the cityhood laws from the income requirement of PhP 100 million. Congress has now made its intention to exempt express in the challenged cityhood laws. It is contended that the deliberations on the cityhood bills and the covering joint resolution were undertaken in the 11 th and/or the 12th Congress. Accordingly, so the argument goes, such deliberations, more particularly those on the unapproved resolution exempting from RA 9009 certain municipalities, are without significance and would not qualify as extrinsic aids in construing the cityhood laws that were passed during the 13th Congress, Congress not being a continuing body. The argument is specious and glosses over the reality that the cityhood billswhich were already being deliberated upon even perhaps before the conception of RA 9009were again being considered during the 13th Congress after being tossed around in the two previous Congresses. And specific reference to the cityhood bills was also made during the deliberations on RA 9009. At the end of the day, it is really immaterial if Congress is not a continuing legislative body. What is important is that the debates, deliberations, and proceedings of Congress and the steps taken in the enactment of the law, in this case the cityhood laws in relation to RA 9009 or vice versa, were part of its legislative history and may be consulted, if appropriate, as aids in the interpretation of the law. And of course the earlier cited Drilon-Pimentel exchange on whether or not the 16 municipalities in question would be covered by RA 9009 is another vital link to the historical chain of the cityhood bills. This and other proceedings on the bills are spread in the Congressional journals, which cannot be conveniently reduced to pure rhetoric without meaning whatsoever, on the simplistic and non-sequitur pretext that Congress is not a continuing body and that unfinished business in either chamber is deemed terminated at the end of the term of Congress. This brings us to the challenge to the constitutionality of cityhood laws on equal protection grounds. To the petitioners, the cityhood laws, by granting special treatment to respondent municipalities/LGUs by way of exemption from the standard PhP 100 million minimum income requirement, violate Sec.1, Art. III of the Constitution, which in part provides that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. Petitioners challenge is not well taken. At its most basic, the equal protection clause proscribes undue favor as well as hostile discrimination. Hence, a law need not operate with equal force on all persons or things to be conformable with Sec. 1, Art. III of the Constitution. The equal protection guarantee is embraced in the broader and elastic concept of due process, every unfair discrimination being an offense against the requirements of justice and fair play. It has nonetheless come as a separate clause in Sec. 1, Art. III of the Constitution to provide for a more specific protection against any undue discrimination or antagonism from government. Arbitrariness in general may be assailed on the basis of the due process clause. But if a particular challenged act partakes of an unwarranted partiality or prejudice, the sharper weapon to cut it down is the equal protection clause. This constitutional protection extends to all persons, natural or artificial, within the territorial jurisdiction. Artificial persons, as the respondent LGUs herein, are, however, entitled to protection only insofar as their property is concerned. As a matter of settled legal principle, the fundamental right of equal protection does not require absolute equality. It is enough that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights or privileges conferred and responsibilities or obligations imposed. The equal protection clause does not preclude the state from recognizing and acting upon factual differences between individuals and classes. It recognizes that inherent in the right to legislate is the right to classify, necessarily implying that the equality guaranteed is not violated by a legislation based on reasonable classification. Classification, to be reasonable, must (1) rest on substantial distinctions; (2) be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class. The Court finds that all these requisites have been met by the laws challenged as arbitrary and discriminatory under the equal protection clause. As things stand, the favorable treatment accorded the sixteen (16) municipalities by the cityhood laws rests on substantial distinction. Indeed, respondent LGUs, which are subjected only to the erstwhile PhP 20 million income criterion instead of the stringent income requirement prescribed in RA 9009, are substantially different from other municipalities desirous to be cities. Looking back, we note that respondent LGUs had pending cityhood bills before the passage of RA 9009. There lies part of the tipping difference. And years before the enactment of the amendatory RA 9009, respondents LGUs had already met the income criterion exacted for cityhood under the LGC of 1991. Due to extraneous circumstances, however, the bills for their conversion remained unacted upon by Congress. As aptly observed by then Senator, now Manila Mayor, Alfredo Lim in his speech sponsoring H. Joint Resolution No. 1, or the cityhood bills, respondent LGUs saw themselves confronted with the changing of the rules in the middle of the game. The classification is also germane to the purpose of the law. The exemption of respondent LGUs/municipalities from the PhP 100 million income requirement was meant to reduce the inequality occasioned by the passage of the amendatory RA 9009. From another perspective, the exemption was unquestionably designed to insure that fairness and justice would be accorded respondent LGUs. Let it be noted that what were then the cityhood bills covering respondent LGUs were part and parcel of the original 57 conversion bills filed in the 11th Congress, 33 of those became laws before the adjournment of that Congress. The then bills of the challenged cityhood laws were not acted upon due, inter alia, to the impeachment of then President Estrada, the related jueteng scandal investigations conducted before, and the EDSA events that followed the aborted impeachment. In summary: (1) Congress did not intend the increased income requirement in RA 9009 to apply to the cityhood bills which became the cityhood laws in question. In other words, Congress intended the subject cityhood laws to be exempted from the income requirement of PhP 100 million prescribed by RA 9009; (2) The cityhood laws merely carry out the intent of RA 9009, now Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991, to exempt respondent LGUs from the PhP 100 million income requirement; (3) The deliberations of the 11th or 12th Congress on unapproved bills or resolutions are extrinsic aids in interpreting a law passed in the 13th Congress. It is really immaterial if Congress is not a continuing body. The hearings and deliberations during the 11 th and 12th Congress may still be used as extrinsic reference inasmuch as the same cityhood bills which were filed before the passage of RA 9009 were being considered during the 13th Congress. Courts may fall back on the history of a law, as here, as extrinsic aid of statutory construction if the literal application of the law results in absurdity or injustice.

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(4) The exemption accorded the 16 municipalities is based on the fact that each had pending cityhood bills long before the enactment of RA 9009 that substantially distinguish them from other municipalities aiming for cityhood. On top of this, each of the 16 also met the PhP 20 million income level exacted under the original Sec. 450 of the 1991 LGC. WHEREFORE, respondent LGUs Motion for Reconsideration dated June 2, 2009, their Motion to Amend the Resolution of April 28, 2009 by Declaring Instead that Respondents Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of March 31, 2009 and Motion for Leave to File and to Admit Attached Second Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision Dated November 18, 2008 Remain Unresolved and to Conduct Further Proceedings, dated May 14, 2009, and their second Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision dated November 18, 2008 are GRANTED. The June 2, 2009, the March 31, 2009, and April 31, 2009 Resolutions are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The entry of judgment made on May 21, 2009 must accordingly be RECALLED. The instant consolidated petitions and petitions-in-intervention are DISMISSED. The cityhood laws, namely Republic Act Nos. 9389, 9390, 9391, 9392, 9393, 9394, 9398, 9404, 9405, 9407, 9408, 9409, 9434, 9435, 9436, and 9491 are declared VALID and CONSTITUTIONAL. (3) Cases or matters heard by a divisions hall be decided or resolved with the concurrence of a majority of the members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon, and in no case, without the concurrence of at least 3 of such members. When the required number is not obtained, the case shall be decided en banc: Provided, that no doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court en banc or in division may be modified or reversed except by the court sitting en banc. Read: 1) VARGAS VS. RILLORAZA, 80 Phil. 297 2) VIR-JEN SHIPPING VS. NLRC, 125 SCRA 577 3. JANDUSAY VS. CA, 172 SCRA 376 To be decided by the Supreme Court en banc 1. 2. 3. 4. 4. (1) (2) (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (3) (4) (5) Involving the constitutionality of any law, treaty, etc.; When there is conflict of the decisions of 2 or more divisions of the Supreme Court; When a case is referred to by the division to the banc and the same was accepted by the latter; In death penalty cases; Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus. Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in: All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question; All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto; All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue; All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher; All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved. Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other stations as public interest may require. Such temporary assignment shall not exceed 6 months without the consent of the judge concerned. Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice. Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading , practice , and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court. Appoint all officials and employees of the judiciary in accordance with the civil service law.

(6)

(READ: Maniago vs. CA, 253 SCRA on the limitation of the Rulesnot to diminish, increase or modify substantive rights. a. What is the power of judicial review? What are its requisites? DISOMANGCOP VS. HON. SIMEON DATUMANONG, 444 SCRA 203 Requisites for the exercise of judicial power. The following are the requisites for the exercise of judicial power: a. b. c. d. e. There must be before the court a case calling for the exercise of judicial review; The question before the court must be ripe for judicial adjudication; The person challenging the validity of the act must have standing to challenge; The question of constitutionality must have been raised at the earliest opportunity; and The issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. - Distinguish judicial power from judicial r