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Nunez v Sandiganbayan 111 SCRA 433 Decree Creating Sandiganbayan is Valid FACTS: The constitutionality of the law creating

g the Sandiganbayan was questioned as being violative of (a) due process and equal protection (since private persons charged with estafa or malversation are guaranteed the right to appeal first to the CA and thereafter to the SC, while private persons charged with public officers before the Sandiganbayan are allowed only one appeal, and that is, to the SC, and (b) no ex post facto rule (since before the promulgation of PD 1606, the right to appeal to the CA, and then to the SC was already secured by Sec. 17 and 29 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.) HELD: (1) The claim that PD 1606 deprices the petitioner of the equal protection of the law is hardly convincing considering that the Decree is based on a valid classification. The Constitution provides for the creation of a special court, known as Sandiganbayan, and the rule is settled that the general guarantees of the Bills of Rights, among which are the due process and equal protection clauses, must give way to specific provisions, such as the provision on the creation of the Sandiganbayan. (2) It hardly can be argued that a particular mode of procedure provided in a statute can becom the vested right of any person. An accused has no vested right in a particular modes of procedure as in determining whether particular statutes by their operation take from an accused any right that was regarded, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, as vital for the protection of life and liberty, and which he enjoyed at the time of the commission of the offense charged against him. Would the omission of the CA as an intermediate tribunal, deprive those, like the petitioner, who are charged in the SB, of a right that is vital to the protection of their liberty? Its answer must be in the negative. The innocence of guilt of the accused is passed upon by a 3-judge division of the Sandiganbayan. Moreover, a unanimous vote is required, otherwise, the Presiding Judge designates two other Justices from among the members of the Sandiganbayan to sit temporarily in a division of 5 until a decisionis rendered with the concurrence of 3 Justices. If convicted, the accused can seek a review in the SC on a question of law or the substantiality of evidence. Petitioner makes much of the facts that there is no review by the SC of facts. What cannot be too strongly emphasized is the the SC, in determining whether to give due course to a petition for review of a decision of the Sandiganbayan, must be convinced that the constitutional presumption of innocence has been overcome. Thus, it cannot be said that there is no way of scrutinizing whether the quantum of evidence required for the conviction in criminal cases have been satisfied. Garcia v Mojica 314 SCRA 207 FACTS: On May 7, 1998 (just 4 days before the election, during which he was also reelected), petitioner, in his capacity as Cebu City mayor, signed a contract with F.E. Zuellig for the supply of asphalt to the city. The contract covers the period 1998-2001, which period was to commence on September 1998 when the first delivery should have been made by F.E. Zuellig. Sometime in March 1999, news reports came out regarding the alleged anomalous purchase of asphalt by Cebu City, through the contract signed by petitioner. This prompted the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) to conduct an inquiry into the matter. After investigation, the special prosecution offficer of the Ombudsman made a recommendation that the said inquirt be upgraded to criminal and administrative cases against petitioner and the other city officials involved. Respondent Arturo C. Mojica, Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas, approved this recommendation. Office of the Ombudsman issued the questioned preventive suspension order. The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of said order, which motion was denied.
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Petitioner is now before the SC assailing the validity of the said order. He pleads for immediate relief through the present petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. The SC directed the parties to maintain the status quo until further orders are issued. ISSUE: 1. What is the effect of the reelection of petitioner on the investigation of acts done before his reelection? Did the Ombudsman for Visayas gravely abuse his discretion in conducting the investigation of petitioner and ordering his preventive suspension? 2. Assuming that the Ombudsman properly took cognizance of the case, what law should apply to the investigation being conducted by him, the Local Government Code (R.A. 7160) or the Ombudsman Law (R.A. 6770)? Was the procedure in the law properly observed? 3. Assuming further that the Ombudsman has jurisdiction, is the preventive suspension of petitioner based on "strong evidence" as required by law? HELD:
1. The rule adopted in Pascual, qualified in Aguinaldo insofar as criminal cases are concerned, is still a

good law. Such a rule is not only founded on the theory that an official's reelection expresses the sovereign will of the electorate to forgive or condone any act or omission constituting a ground for administrative discipline which was committed during his previous term. We may add that sound policy dictates it. To rule otherwise would open the floodgates to exacerbating endless partisan contests between the reelected official and his political enemies, who may not stop hound the former during his new term with administrative cases for actsalleged to have been committed during his previous term. His second term may thus be devoted to defending himself in the said cases to the detriment of public service. Petitioner cannot anymore be held administratively liable for an act done during his previous term, that is, his signing of the contract with F.E. Zuellig. The dismissal of the administrative case should not prejudice the filing of the criminal case. No, the Ombudsman for Visayas did not commit grave abuse discretion in conducting the investigation of petitioner and ordering his preventive suspension. The Court, however, held that the respondents committed grave abuse of discretion concerning the period of preventive suspension imposed on petitioner, which is the maximum of six months, it appearing that 24 days the number of days from the date petitioner was suspended on June 25, 1999, to the date of our status quo order on July 19, 1999 were sufficient for the purpose. 2. The authority of the Ombudsman to conduct administrative investigations is mandated by no less than the Constitution. Under Article XI, Section 13[1], the Ombudsman has the power to investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient. R.A. 6770, the Ombudsman Law, further grants the Office of the Ombudsman the statutory power to conduct administrative investigations. Thus, Section 19 of said law provides: Sec. 19. Administrative Complaints. The Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating, but not limited to acts or omissions which: 1. Are contrary to law or regulation; 2. Are unreasonable, unfair, oppressive or discriminatory; 3. Are inconsistent with the general course of an agency's functions, though in accordance with law; 4. Proceed from a mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment of facts; 5. Are in the exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper purpose; or 6. Are otherwise irregular, immoral or devoid of justification. Sec. 21 of R.A. 6770 names the officials subject to the Ombudsman's disciplinary authority: Sec. 21. Officials Subject To Disciplinary Authority; Exceptions. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the
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Government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local government, government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress, and the Judiciary. Worthy of note, the power of the Office of the Ombudsman to preventively suspend an official subject to its administrative investigation is provided by specific provision of law. Under Section 24 of R.A. 6770 Sec. 24. Preventive Suspension. The Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if in his judgment the evidence of guilt is strong, and (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service; or (c) the respondent's continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months, without pay, except when the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, in which case the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided. We have previously interpreted the phrase "under his authority" to mean that the Ombudsman can preventively suspend all officials under investigation by his office, regardless of the branch of government in which they are employed, excepting of course those removable by impeachment, members of Congress and the Judiciary. 3. The determination of whether or not the evidence of guilt is strong as to warrant preventive suspension rests with the Ombudsman. The discretion as regards the period of such suspension also necessarily belongs to the Ombudsman, except that he cannot extend the period of suspension beyond that provided by law. But, in our view, both the strength of the evidence to warrant said suspension and the propriety of the length or period of suspension imposed on petitioner are properly raised in this petition for certiorari and prohibition. Defensor-Santiago v. Sandiganbayan FACTS: On May 1, 1991, petitioner was charged in a criminal case with the Sandiganbayan for violation of Sec 3(e) of RA 3019, alledgedly committed by her favoring unqualified aliens with the benefits of the Alien Legalization Program. On May 24, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the Supreme Court on the ground that the said case was intended solely to harass her as she was then a presidential candidate alleging that this was in violation of Sec 10 of Art IX-C of the Constitution which provides that bona fide candidates for any public office shall be free from any form of harassment and discrimination. The petition was dismissed on January 13, 1992. On October 16, 1992, petitioner filed a motion for inhibition of Presiding Justice Garchitorena, which motion was set for hearing on November 13, 1992. On October 27, 1992, the Sandiganbayan (First Division), of which Presiding Justice Garchitorena is a member, set the criminal case for arraignment on November 13, 1992. On November 6, 1992, petitioner moved to defer the arraignment on the grounds that there was a pending motion for inhibition, and that petitioner intended to file a motion for a bill of particulars. On November 9, 1992, the Sandiganbayan (First Division) denied the motion to defer the arraignment. On November 10, 1992, petitioner filed a motion for a bill of particulars. The motion stated that while the information alleged that petitioner had approved the application or legalization of "aliens" and gave them indirect benefits and advantages it lacked a list of the favored aliens. According to petitioner, unless she was furnished with the names and identities of the aliens, she could not properly plead and prepare for trial. On November 12, 1992 and upon motion of petitioner in G.R. No. 107598 (Miriam Defensor Santiago v. Sandiganbayan, et al.), SC directed the Sandiganbayan (First Division) to reset the arraignment to a later date and to dispose of the two incidents pending before it (Re: disqualification of Presiding Justice Garchitorena and the motion for the bill of particulars). At the hearing on November 13, 1992 on the motion for a bill of
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particulars, the prosecution stated categorically that they would file only one amended information against petitioner. However, on December 8, 1992, the prosecution filed a motion to admit the 32 Amended Informations. On March 3, 1993, Presiding Justice Garchitorena issued the questioned Resolution dated March 11, 1993, denying the motion for his disqualification. On March 14, 1993, the Sandiganbayan (First Division) promulgated a resolution, admitting the 32 Amended Informations and ordering petitioner to post the corresponding bail bonds within ten days from notice. Petitioner's arraignment on the 32 Amended Informations was set forApril 12, 1993. ISSUE: Re: Disqualification of the Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice HELD: The petition for disqualification of Presiding Justice Garchitorena is based on the publication of is letter in the July 29, 1992 issue of the Philippine Star, which to petitioner "prejudged" the validity of the information filed against her. Petitioner claims that Presiding Justice Garchitorena "cannot be expected to change the conclusions he has subconsciously drawn in his public statements . . . when he sits in judgment on the merits of the case . . ." Notwithstanding petitioner's misgiving, it should be taken into consideration that the Sandiganbayan sits in three divisions with three justices in each division. Unanimity among the three members is mandatory for arriving at any decision of a division (P.D. No. 1606, Sec. 5). The collegiate character of the Sandiganbayan thus renders baseless petitioner's fear of prejudice and bias on the part of Presiding Justice Garchitorena. Francisco v House of the Representative NOTES: Judicial Restraint. The power of judicial review includes the power of review over justiciable issues in impeachment proceedings. Judicial Supremacy. When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution. Essential Requisite for Judicial Review. 1) actual case or controversy ripe for judicial determination; 2) proper party; 3) earliest opportunity possible; 4) the issue is very lis mota. Political Question. A question of policy, it refers 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 Legislature or executive branch of the Government." It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure. ARTICLE XI Accountability of Public Officers SECTION 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. SECTION 2. The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment.
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SECTION 3. (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. (6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. (7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment according to law. (8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. FACTS: On June 2, 2003, former President Joseph E. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint ( first impeachment complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of this Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes." The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Rolex T. Suplico, Ronaldo B. Zamora and Didagen Piang Dilangalen, and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5, 2003 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution which reads: Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. The House Committee on Justice ruled on October 13, 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was "sufficient in form," but voted to dismiss the same on October 22, 2003 for being insufficient in substance. To date, the Committee Report to this effect has not yet been sent to the House in plenary in accordance with the said Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. Four months and three weeks since the filing on June 2, 2003 of the first complaint or on October 23, 2003, a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it, the second impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General of the House by Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. (First District, Tarlac) and Felix William B. Fuentebella (Third District, Camarines Sur) against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. This second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a "Resolution of
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Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House of Representatives. Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of Representatives, et. al., most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that "[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year." ISSUE: Whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3, Article XI of the Constitution; and (2) whether, as a result thereof, the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. HELD: From the records of the Constitutional Commission, to the amicus curiae briefs of two former Constitutional Commissioners, it is without a doubt that the term "to initiate" refers to the filing of the impeachment complaint coupled with Congress' taking initial action of said complaint. Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or, by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated, another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one year period. Under Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules, impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance, or (2) once the House itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House. These rules clearly contravene Section 3 (5) of Article XI since the rules give the term "initiate" a meaning different meaning from filing and referral.

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