Lambino Vs. Comelec Case Digest Lambino Vs. Comelec G.R. No. 174153 Oct.

25 2006 Facts: Petitioners (Lambino group) commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to change the 1987 constitution, they filed a petition with the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their initiative petition under RA 6735. Lambino group alleged that the petition had the support of 6M individuals fulfilling what was provided by art 17 of the constitution. Their petition changes the 1987 constitution by modifying sections 17 of Art 6 and sections 1-4 of Art 7 and by adding Art 18. the proposed changes will shift the present bicameral- presidential form of government to unicameral- parliamentary. COMELEC denied the petition due to lack of enabling law governing initiative petitions and invoked the Santiago Vs. Comelec ruling that RA 6735 is inadequate to implement the initiative petitions. Issue: Whether or Not the Lambino Group’s initiative petition complie s with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on amendments to the Constitution through a people’s initiative. Whether or Not this Court should revisit its ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735 “incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions” to implement the initiative clause on proposals to amend the Constitution. Whether or Not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the Lambino Group’s petition. Held: According to the SC the Lambino group failed to comply with the basic requirements for conducting a people’s initiative. The Court held that the COMELEC did not grave abuse of discretion on dismissing the Lambino petition. 1. The Initiative Petition Does Not Comply with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on Direct Proposal by the People The petitioners failed to show the court that the initiative signer must be informed at the time of the signing of the nature and effect, failure to do so is “deceptive and misleading” which renders the initiative void. 2. The Initiative Violates Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution Disallowing Revision through Initiatives The framers of the constitution intended a clear distinction between “amendment” and “revision, it is intended that the third mode of stated in sec 2 art 17 of the constitution may propose only amendments to the constitution. Merging of the legislative and the executive is a radical change, therefore a constitutes a revision.

Law Center and the U. .P. freedom of assembly and freedom of association are invoked to nullify the act. Comelec 27 SCRA 835 G. and elucidated that Act No.R. A Revisit of Santiago v. 1967. being debased and degraded by unrestricted campaigning. the U. He did justify its enactment however under the clear and present danger doctrine. would render the constitutional rights of petitioners meaningless and without effect. must first comply with the constitution before complying with RA 6735 Petition is dismissed. More precisely. There was the further allegation that the nomination of a candidate and the fixing of period of election campaign are matters of political expediency and convenience which only political parties can regulate or curtail by and among themselves through self-restraint or mutual understanding or agreement and that the regulation and limitation of these political matters invoking the police power. 1967. excess of partisanship and undue concentration in politics with the loss not only of efficiency in government but of lives as well. the basic liberties of free speech and free press. there being the substantive evil of elections. at the time of the filing the petition. an incumbent councilor in the 4th District of Manila and the Nacionalista Party official candidate for Vice-Mayor of Manila to which he was subsequently elected on November 11. a registered voter in the City of Manila and a political leader of his co-petitioner. Respondents contend that the act was based on the police power of the state. Gonzales Vs. COMELEC is Not Necessary Even assuming that RA 6735 is valid. Senator Lorenzo M. L-27833 April 18. The Philippine Bar Association. of assembly and of association. Petitioner Cabigao was. petitioner Gonzales. it will not change the result because the present petition violated Sec 2 Art 17 to be a valid initiative.P. is a private individual. 1969 Facts: RA 4880 which took effect on June 17.3. Tañada was asked to appear as amicus curiae. on the other hand. Women Lawyers' Circle were requested to give their opinions. prohibiting the too early nomination of candidates and limiting the period of election campaign or partisan political activity was challenged on constitutional grounds. 4880 could indeed be looked upon as a limitation on the preferred rights of speech and press. whether for national or local officials. in the absence of clear and present danger to the state. the Civil Liberties Union. Comelec Case Digest Gonzales Vs.

The challenged statute could have been more narrowly drawn and the practices prohibited more precisely delineated to satisfy the constitutional requirements as to a valid limitation under the clear and present danger doctrine. implies a right on the part of its citizens to meet peaceably for consultation in respect to public affairs and to petition for redress of grievances. As the author Tañada clearly explained. such provisions were deemed by the legislative body to be part and parcel of the necessary and appropriate response not merely to a clear and present danger but to the actual existence of a grave and substantive evil of excessive partisanship. much less denied. republican in form. As held in Cabansag v. As in the case of freedom of expression. or the holding of interviews for or against the election of any party or candidate for public office and the prohibition of the publication or distribution of campaign literature or materials. The very idea of a government. The danger to be guarded against is the 'substantive evil' sought to be prevented. then such words are punishable.Issue: Whether or Not RA 4880 unconstitutional. It provides the criterion as to what words may be publicly established. It is sufficient if the natural tendency and probable effect of the utterance be to bring about the substantive evil which the legislative body seeks to prevent. It is sufficient that such acts be advocated in general terms. It has the advantage of establishing according to the above decision a definite rule in constitutional law. dishonesty and corruption as well as violence that of late has invariably marred election campaigns and partisan political activities in this country. violence. or the undertaking of any campaign literature or propaganda for or against any candidate or party is repugnant to a constitutional command. or unlawfulness be advocated. means that the evil consequence of the comment or utterance must be extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high before the utterance can be punished. Held: Yes. this right is not to be limited. The first. against the solicitation of votes whether directly or indirectly. Fernandez there are two tests that may supply an acceptable criterion for permissible restriction on freedom of speech. The prohibition of any speeches. except on a showing of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that Congress has a right to prevent. violence. announcements or commentaries. These are the “clear and present danger” rule and the 'dangerous tendency' rule. or unlawfulness.” It is not necessary that some definite or immediate acts of force. Nor is it necessary that the language used be reasonably calculated to incite persons to acts of force. The "dangerous tendency rule" is such that “If the words uttered create a dangerous tendency which the state has a right to prevent. .

1981 FACTS: Petitioner Samuel Occena and Ramon A. because the same will be submitted to the people for ratification. the court ruled the following: 1. 15 When. 2. COMELEC SAMUEL OCCENA VS. 3 on the amendment to the Article on the Commission on Elections by a vote of 148 to 2 with 1 abstention. 1 proposing an amendment allowing a natural-born citizen of the Philippines naturalized in a foreign country to own a limited area of land for residential purposes was approved by the vote of 122 to 5. is no argument . NO. therefore. upon the call of the President and Prime Minister Ferdinand E. The fact that the present Constitution may be revised and replaced with a new one . and the National Assembly by a vote of 147 to 5 with 1 abstention.R. To dispose this contention. Once ratified by the sovereign people.OCCENA VS.) The petitioners contends that such resolution is against the constitutions in proposing amendments: ISSUE: Whether the resolutions are unconstitutional? HELD: In dismissing the petition for lack of merit.. Resolution No. The power of the Interim Batasang Pambansa to propose its amendments and how it may be exercised was validly obtained. the court held that whether the Constitutional Convention will only propose amendments to the Constitution or entirely overhaul the present Constitution and propose an entirely new Constitution based on an ideology foreign to the democratic system. 2 dealing with the Presidency. L-34150 APRIL 2. Marcos. COMELEC G. Petitioners assailed that the resolutions where so extensive in character as to amount to a revision rather than amendments. met as a constituent body it acted by virtue of such impotence. the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. there can be no debate about the validity of the new Constitution. The 1973 Constitution in its Transitory Provisions vested the Interim National Assembly with the power to propose amendments upon special call by the Prime Minister by a vote of the majority of its members to be ratified in accordance with the Article on Amendments similar with the interim and regular national assembly.. Gozales instituted a prohibiting proceedings against the validity of three batasang pambansa resolutions (Resolution No. is of no moment. and Resolution No. the Interim Batasang Pambansa.

promulgated Resolution 2167. sitting as a constituent body. by virtue of the power vested by the 1987 Constitution. The language of the Constitution supplies the answer to the above questions. . COMELEC Case Digest SANIDAD vs. to govern the conduct of the plebiscite on the said Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region.against the validity of the law because 'amendment' includes the 'revision' or total overhaul of the entire Constitution. The Comelec. no mass media columnist. It would be an indefensible proposition to assert that the three-fourth votes required when it sits as a legislative body applies as well when it has been convened as the agency through which amendments could be proposed. At any rate. The plebiscite was scheduled 30 January 1990. a newspaper columnist of “Overview” for the “Baguio Midland Courier” assailed the constitutionality of Section 19 (Prohibition on columnists." 21 The three resolutions were approved by the Interim Batasang Pambansa sitting as a constituent assembly on February 5 and 27. Further. It is thus within the 90-day period provided by the Constitution. the period required by the constitution was complied as follows: "Any amendment to. on the day before and on plebiscite day. In that capacity. 1981. can propose amendments. Sanidad. announcer or personality shall use his column or radio or television time to campaign for or against the plebiscite issues. only a majority vote is needed. the Omnibus Election Code (BP 881). commentators or announcers) of the said resolution.” Issue: Whether columnists are prohibited from expressing their opinions. That is not a requirement as far as a constitutional convention is concerned. RA 6766 and other pertinent election laws. the date of the plebiscite is set for April 7. In the Batasang Pambansa Blg. this Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or revision. during plebiscite periods. COMELEC 181 SCRA 529 Facts: On 23 October 1989. commentator. or revision of. which provides “During the plebiscite campaign period. 22. That leaves only the questions of the vote necessary to propose amendments as well as the standard for proper submission. SANIDAD vs. RA 6766 (Act providing for an organic act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region) was enacted into law. Pablito V. 1981. or should be under Comelec regulation." 3. The Interim Batasang Pambansa. whether the Constitution is merely amended in part or revised or totally changed would become immaterial the moment the same is ratified by the sovereign people.

to Lift Term Limits of Elective Officials. announcer or personality. 1976 FACTS: On 6 December 1996. Fixing the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country. L-44640 OCTOBER 12. Delfin filed with public respondent Commission on Elections a "Petition to Amend the Constitution. In fact. equal rates therefor. commentator. 2nd paragraph of RA 6646 (“a columnist. media of communication or information to the end that equal opportunity. for public information campaigns and forums among candidates are ensured. there are no candidates involved in a plebiscite. Jesus S. who is a candidate for any elective office is required to take a leave of absence from his work during the campaign period”) can be construed to mean that the Comelec has also been granted the right to supervise and regulate the exercise by media practitioners themselves of their right to expression during plebiscite periods. permits or other grants issued for the operation of transportation or other public utilities. NO. Delfin Petition) wherein Delfin asked the COMELEC for an order 1. including reasonable. by People's Initiative" (hereafter. private respondent Atty. COMELEC Case Digest SANTIAGO VS. Instructing Municipal Election Registrars in all Regions of the Philippines. Media practitioners exercising their freedom of expression during plebiscite periods are neither the franchise holders nor the candidates. in newspapers of general and local circulation.Held: Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution that what was granted to the Comelec was the power to supervise and regulate the use and enjoyment of franchises. to assist Petitioners and volunteers. Neither Article IX-C of the Constitution nor Section 11-b. and the right to reply.R. 3. time and space. COMELEC G. Therefore. Section 19 of Comelec Resolution 2167 has no statutory basis. in establishing signing stations at the time and on the dates designated for the purpose. 2. Causing the necessary publications of said Order and the attached "Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution. . SANTIAGO VS.

The Delfin Petition further alleged that the provisions sought to be amended are Sections 4 and 7 of Article VI. AND SECTION 8 OF ARTICLE X OF THE 1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION? According to Delfin. it is necessary that the time and dates to be designated for the purpose be first fixed in an order to be issued by the COMELEC. and Maria Isabel Ongpin — filed this special civil action for prohibition raising the following arguments: (1) The constitutional provision on people's initiative to amend the Constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress. No such law has been passed. be published in newspapers of general and local circulation. with the assistance of municipal election registrars. that. Alexander Padilla. Attached to the petition is a copy of a "Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution" 10 embodying the proposed amendments which consist in the deletion from the aforecited sections of the provisions concerning term limits. Senate Bill No. 8 and Section 8 of Article X 9 of the Constitution. and that to adequately inform the people of the electoral process involved. AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE SECTIONS 4 AND 7 OF ARTICLE VI.Delfin alleged in his petition that he is a founding member of the Movement for People's Initiative. that he and the members of the Movement and other volunteers intend to exercise the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution granted under Section 2. it is likewise necessary that the said order. that before the Movement and other volunteers can gather signatures. On 18 December 1996. the said Petition for Initiative will first be submitted to the people. Article XVII of the Constitution. a group of citizens desirous to avail of the system intended to institutionalize people power. 7 Section 4 of Article VII. SECTION 4 OF ARTICLE VII. and after it is signed by at least twelve per cent of the total number of registered voters in the country it will be formally filed with the COMELEC. who shall verify the signatures affixed by individual signatories. in fact. the petitioners herein — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. that the exercise of that power shall be conducted in proceedings under the control and supervision of the COMELEC. 2300. as required in COMELEC Resolution No. and with the following proposition: DO YOU APPROVE OF LIFTING THE TERM LIMITS OF ALL ELECTIVE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. as well as the Petition on which the signatures shall be affixed. under the control and supervision of the COMELEC. signature stations shall be established all over the country. 1290 entitled An Act Prescribing and Regulating Constitution .

(6) Finally. (4) COMELEC Resolution No. (5) The people's initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution. Congress has not yet appropriated funds for people's initiative. adopted on 16 January 1991 to govern "the conduct of initiative on the Constitution and initiative and referendum on national and local laws. Extending or lifting of term limits constitutes a revision and is. (3) Republic Act No. agency. since the COMELEC has no power to provide rules and regulations for the exercise of the right of initiative to amend the Constitution. which petitioner Senator Santiago filed on 24 November 1995. No. not to revision thereof. ISSUES: . and on local legislation. outside the power of the people's initiative. (2) It is true that R. is ultra vires insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. or office has realigned funds for the purpose. Former Senator Arturo Tolentino stressed this deficiency in the law in his privilege speech delivered before the Senate in 1994: "There is not a single word in that law which can be considered as implementing [the provision on constitutional initiative].Amendments by People's Initiative. neither the COMELEC nor any other government department. namely. which are specifically provided for in Subtitle II and Subtitle III. unlike in the other modes of initiative. 6735 provides for three systems of initiative. This deliberate omission indicates that the matter of people's initiative to amend the Constitution was left to some future law. Only Congress is authorized by the Constitution to pass the implementing law. 2300. Such implementing provisions have been obviously left to a separate law.A. on statutes. However. therefore. is still pending before the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments. initiative on the Constitution. it failed to provide any subtitle on initiative on the Constitution. This indicates that the Act covers only laws and not constitutional amendments because the latter take effect only upon ratification and not after publication. 6735 provides for the effectivity of the law after publication in print media.

No. whether the Act. inadequate. No. INADEQUATE TO COVER THAT SYSTEM. Curiously. and if so. while R. setting forth therein the policy to be executed. in every case of permissible delegation. 6735 is sufficient to cover the people’s initiative to propose amendments? R. 6735.A. .A. R. 6735 is incomplete. it failed. A sufficient standard is one which defines legislative policy. and Initiative and Referendum on National and Local Laws) regarding the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution is valid. to do so on the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution. 6735 exerted utmost diligence and care in providing for the details in the implementation of initiative and referendum on national and local legislation thereby giving them special attention. 2. to promulgate rules and regulations is a form of delegation of legislative authority under no.A. or implemented by the delegate. BUT IS.A. 5 above. maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. Whether R. 2300 (In re: Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct of Initiative on the Constitution. entitled An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and Appropriating Funds Therefor. NO. there must be a showing that the delegation itself is valid. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected. as worded. Whether that portion of COMELEC Resolution No. No. considering the absence in the law of specific provisions on the conduct of such initiative. and (b) fixes a standard — the limits of which are sufficiently determinate and determinable — to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. Empowering the COMELEC. or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. carried out. adequately covers such initiative. However. an administrative body exercising quasi-judicial functions. HELD: Issue 1 – Whether R. UNFORTUNATELY. It is valid only if the law (a) is complete in itself. marks its limits. No. rather intentionally. 6735 INTENDED TO INCLUDE THE SYSTEM OF INITIATIVE ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION.A. was intended to include or cover initiative on amendments to the Constitution.1.

It does not have that power under R.[2] . 01-005”) and Resolution No. 84”) certifying to the existence of a vacancy in the Senate. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. respondents. vs. 01-006 declared “official and final” the ranking of the 13 Senators proclaimed in Resolution No. Following Senator Guingona’s confirmation.A.: The Case This is a petition for prohibition to set aside Resolution No. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo nominated then Senator Teofisto T. Guingona. NBC 01-005 dated 5 June 2001 (“Resolution No. Jr. The Facts Shortly after her succession to the Presidency in January 2001. ARTURO M. Reliance on the COMELEC's power is misplaced. No. HONASAN. Resolution No. 84 (“Resolution No. Guingona. for the laws and regulations referred to therein are those promulgated by the COMELEC under (a) Section 3 of Article IX-C of the Constitution. Congress confirmed the nomination of Senator Guingona who took his oath as Vice-President on 9 February 2001.[1] Resolution No. MOJICA. Twelve Senators. 01-005 proclaimed the 13 candidates elected as Senators in the 14 May 2001 elections while Resolution No. NBC 01-006 dated 20 July 2001 (“Resolution No.. Jr. with a 6-year term each. 84 further provided that the “Senatorial candidate garnering the 13 th highest number of votes shall serve only for the unexpired term of former Senator Teofisto T. the Senate on 8 February 2001 passed Resolution No. (“Senator Guingona”) as Vice -President. 01-006”) of respondent Commission on Elections (“COMELEC”).A. No. DECISION CARPIO. TOLENTINO and ARTURO C. Issue 2 – Validity of Comelec Resolution 2300 It logically follows that the COMELEC cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the exercise of the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative. 01-005. 6735 miserably failed to satisfy both requirements in subordinate legislation. 6735. 84 called on COMELEC to fill the vacancy through a special election to be held simultaneously with the regular elections on 14 May 2001. or (b) a law where subordinate legislation is authorized and which satisfies the "completeness" and the "sufficient standard" tests. petitioners. were due to be elected in that election.Insofar as initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution is concerned. Resolution No. J.” which ends on 30 June 2004. R. SENATOR RALPH G. RECTO and SENATOR GREGORIO B. The delegation of the power to the COMELEC is then invalid.

In view of the issuance of Resolution No. COMELEC canvassed all the votes cast for the senatorial candidates in the 14 May 2001 elections without distinction such that “there were no two separate Senate elections held simultaneously but just a single election for thirteen seats. Garcia. as voters and taxpayers. [8] Petitioners point out that in those elections. On 20 June 2001. 01-005 in so far as it makes a proclamation to such effect. consequently. a special and a regular election must be distinguished in the documentation as well as in the canvassing of their results. (3) it failed to specify in the Voters Information Sheet the candidates seeking election under the special or regular senatorial elections as purportedly required under Section 4. On 20 July 2001. we required COMELEC to Comment on the petition. after COMELEC had canvassed the results from all the provinces. filed the instant petition for prohibition. Petitioners contend that COMELEC issued Resolution No. 01-006 declaring “official and final” the ranking of the 13 Senators proclaimed in Resolution No. . respectively. sought the nullification of Resolution No. in Resolution No. Petitioners accordingly filed an amended petition in which they reiterated the contentions raised in their original petition and. Petitioners sought to enjoin COMELEC from proclaiming with finality the candidate for Senator receiving the 13 th highest number of votes as the winner in the special election for a single three-year term seat. after COMELEC had canvassed the election results from all the provinces but one (Lanao del Norte). 6646”). petitioners Arturo Tolentino and Arturo Mojica (“petitioners”). [9] Petitioners sought the issuance of a temporary restraining order during the pendency of their petition. petitioners cite the special elections simultaneously held with the regular elections of 13 November 1951 and 8 November 1955 to fill the seats vacated by Senators Fernando Lopez and Carlos P. 01-005 provisionally proclaiming 13 candidates as the elected Senators.”[7] Stated otherwise. 6645 (“R.”[3] Respondents Ralph Recto (“Recto”) and Gregorio Honasan (“Honasan”) ranked 12th and 13th.A. 01-005 also provided that “the first twelve (12) Senators shall serve for a term of six (6) years and the thirteenth (13th) Senator shall serve the unexpired term of three (3) years of Senator Teofisto T. Jr. impleading only COMELEC as respondent. 6646 (“R. Guingona. No. 01 -005. The 13 Senators took their oaths of office on 23 July 2001. Resolution No. 01-006. petitioners prayed for the nullification of Resolution No. 01-005. who became Vice-Presidents during their tenures in the Senate. Accordingly. No. To support their claim. 01-006. respectively. who was appointed Vice-President. 01-005 without jurisdiction because: (1) it failed to notify the electorate of the position to be filled in the special election as required under Section 2 of Republic Act No. petitioners claim that if held simultaneously. paragraph 4 of Republic Act No. irrespective of term.[4] (2) it failed to require senatorial candidates to indicate in their certificates of candidacy whether they seek election under the special or regular elections as allegedly required under Section 73 of Batas Pambansa Blg. COMELEC also separately proclaimed the winners in each of those elections.On 5 June 2001. COMELEC separately canvassed the votes cast for the senatorial candidates running under the regular elections from the votes cast for the candidates running under the special elections.[5] and.[6] Petitioners add that because of these omissions. COMELEC issued Resolution No.A. 6645”). the Court required petitioners to file an amended petition impleading Recto and Honasan as additional respondents. in addition. Without issuing any restraining order. 881. it issued Resolution No.

The Ruling of the Court The petition has no merit. whether a special election to fill a vacant three-year term Senate seat was validly held on 14 May 2001. as the 12 th ranking Senator. (b) whether the petition is moot. contends he is not a proper party to this case because the petition only involves the validity of the proclamation of the 13th placer in the 14 May 2001 senatorial elections. The Issues The following are the issues presented for resolution: (1) Procedurally – (a) whether the petition is in fact a petition for quo warranto over which the Senate Electoral Tribunal is the sole judge. .In their Comments. and (c) whether petitioners have standing to litigate. and Recto all claim that a special election to fill the seat vacated by Senator Guingona was validly held on 14 May 2001. Honasan also claims that the petition. For his part. Recto. which seeks the nullity of his proclamation as Senator. COMELEC. (2) On the merits. is actually a quo warranto petition and the Court should dismiss the same for lack of jurisdiction. Honasan. COMELEC and Honasan further raise preliminary issues on the mootness of the petition and on petitioners’ standing to litigate.