EN BANC [G.R. No. 127325. March 19, 1997] MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ALEXANDER PADILLA a ! MARIA ISA"EL ONGPIN, petitioners, vs.

#OMMISSION ON ELE#TIONS, $ES%S DELFIN, AL"ERTO PEDROSA & #ARMEN PEDROSA, ' (h)'r ca*ac'(')+ a+ ,o- !' . /)/0)r+ o, (h) P)o*1)2+ I '('a('3) ,or R),or/+, Mo!)r '4a('o a ! Ac('o 5PIRMA6, respondents, SENATOR RA%L S. RO#O, DEMO7RAS8A9 IPAGTANGGOL ANG 7ONSTIT%S8ON 5DI76, MO:EMENT OF ATTORNE8S FOR "ROT;ER;OOD INTEGRIT8 AND NATIONALISM, IN#. 5MA"INI6, INTEGRATED "AR OF T;E P;ILIPPINES 5I"P6 a ! LA"AN NG DEMO7RATI7ONG PILIPINO 5LA"AN6, petitionersintervenors. DE#ISION DA:IDE, $R., J.< The heart of this controversy brought to us by way of a petition for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative under ection ! of Article "#$$ of the %&'( Constitution) *ndoubtedly+ this demands special attention+ as this system of initiative was un,nown to the people of this country+ e-cept perhaps to a few scholars+ before the drafting of the %&'( Constitution) The %&'6 Constitutional Commission itself+ through the original proponent .%/ and the main sponsor.!/ of the proposed Article on Amendments or Revision of the Constitution+ characteri0ed this system as 1innovative2) .3/ $ndeed it is+ for both under the %&35 and %&(3 Constitutions+ only two methods of proposing amendments to+ or revision of+ the Constitution were recogni0ed+ viz.+ 4%5 by Congress upon a vote of three6fourths of all its members and 4!5 by a constitutional convention).7/ 8or this and the other reasons hereafter discussed+ we resolved to give due course to this petition) 9n 6 :ecember %&&6+ private respondent Atty) ;esus ) :elfin filed with public respondent Commission on Elections 4hereafter+ C9<E=EC5 a 1>etition to Amend the Constitution+ to =ift Term =imits of Elective 9fficials+ by >eople?s $nitiative2 4hereafter+ :elfin >etition5 .5/ wherein :elfin as,ed the C9<E=EC for an order %) 8i-ing the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country@ !) Causing the necessary publications of said 9rder and the attached 1>etition for $nitiative on the %&'( Constitution+ in newspapers of general and local circulation@ 3) $nstructing <unicipal Election Registrars in all Regions of the >hilippines+ to assist >etitioners and volunteers+ in establishing signing stations at the time and on the dates designated for the purpose) :elfin alleged in his petition that he is a founding member of the <ovement for >eople?s $nitiative+ .6/ a group of citi0ens desirous to avail of the system intended to institutionali0e people power@ that he and the members of the <ovement and other volunteers intend to e-ercise the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution granted under ection !+ Article "#$$ of the Constitution@ that the e-ercise of that power shall be conducted in proceedings under the control and supervision of the C9<E=EC@ that+ as reAuired in C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB+ signature stations shall be established all over the country+ with the assistance of municipal election registrars+ who shall verify the signatures affi-ed by individual signatories@ that before the <ovement and other volunteers can gather signatures+ it is necessary that the time and dates to be designated for the purpose be first fi-ed in an order to be issued by the C9<E=EC@ and that to adeAuately inform the people of the electoral process involved+ it is li,ewise necessary that the said order+ as well as the >etition on which the signatures shall be affi-ed+ be published in newspapers of general and local circulation+ under the control and supervision of the C9<E=EC) The :elfin >etition further alleged that the provisions sought to be amended are ections 7 and ( of Article #$+.(/ ection 7 of Article #$$+ .'/ and ection ' of Article " .&/ of the Constitution) Attached to the petition is a copy of a 1>etition for $nitiative on the %&'( Constitution2 .%B/ embodying the proposed amendments which consist in the deletion from the aforecited sections of the provisions concerning term limits+ and with the following propositionC

%!/ enator Roco+ on that same day+ filed a <otion to :ismiss the :elfin >etition on the ground that it is not the initiatory petition properly cogni0able by the C9<E=EC) After hearing their arguments+ the C9<E=EC directed :elfin and the oppositors to file their 1memoranda andJor oppositionsJmemoranda2 within five days) . which petitioner enator antiago filed on !7 November %&&5+ is still pending before the enate Committee on Constitutional Amendments) 4!5 $t is true that R)A) No) 6(35 provides for three systems of initiative+ namely+ initiative on the Constitution+ on statutes+ and on local legislation) Fowever+ it failed to provide any subtitle on initiative on the Constitution+ unli.the provision on constitutional initiative/) uch implementing provisions have been obviously left to a separate law)2 435 Republic Act No) 6(35 provides for the effectivity of the law after publication in print media) This indicates that the Act covers only laws and not constitutional amendments because the latter ta.rati.anuary %&&% to govern 1the conduct of initiative on the Constitution and initiative and referendum on national and local laws+ is ultra vires insofar asinitiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned+ since the C9<E=EC has no power to provide rules and regulations for the e-ercise of the right of initiative to amend the Constitution) 9nly Congress is authori0ed by the Constitution to pass the implementing law) 455The people?s initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution+ not to revision thereof) E-tending or lifting of term limits constitutes a revision and is+ therefore+ outside the power of the people?s initiative) .%%/ 4a5 directing :elfin 1to cause the publication of the petition+ together with the attached >etition for $nitiative on the %&'( Constitution 4including the proposal+ proposed constitutional amendment+ and the signature form5+ and the notice of hearing in three 435 daily newspapers of general circulation at his own e-pense2 not later than & :ecember %&&6@ and 4b5 setting the case for hearing on %! :ecember %&&6 at %BCBB a)m) At the hearing of the :elfin >etition on %! :ecember %&&6+ the following appearedC :elfin and Atty) >ete H) Huadra@ representatives of the >eople?s $nitiative for Reforms+ <oderni0ation and Action 4>$R<A5@ intervenor6oppositor enator Raul ) Roco+ together with his two other lawyers@ and representatives of+ or counsel for+ the $ntegrated Bar of the >hilippines 4$B>5+ :emo.1 SANTIAGO : #OMELE# :9 D9* A>>R9#E 98 =$8T$NE TFE TER< =$<$T 98 A== E=ECT$#E E9#ERN<ENT 988$C$A= + A<EN:$NE 89R TFE >*R>9 E ECT$9N 7 AN: ( 98 ART$C=E #$+ ECT$9N 7 98 ART$C=E #$$+ AN: ECT$9N ' 98 ART$C=E " 98 TFE %&'( >F$=$>>$NE C9N T$T*T$9NG According to :elfin+ the said >etition for $nitiative will first be submitted to the people+ and after it is signed by at least twelve per cent of the total number of registered voters in the country it will be formally filed with the C9<E=EC) *pon the filing of the :elfin >etition+ which was forthwith given the number *N: &66B3( 4$N$T$AT$#E5+ the C9<E=EC+ through its Chairman+ issued an 9rder .rasya6$pagtanggol ang Ionstitusyon 4:$I5+ >ublic $nterest =aw Center+ and =aban ng :emo.e effect only upon ratification and not after publication) 475 C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB+ adopted on %6 .%3/ 9n %' :ecember %&&6+ the petitioners herein 66 enator <iriam :efensor antiago+ Ale-ander >adilla+ and <aria $sabel 9ngpin 66 filed this special civil action for prohibition raising the following argumentsC 4%5 The constitutional provision on people?s initiative to amend the Constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress) No such law has been passed@ in fact+ enate Bill No) %!&B entitled An Act Prescribing and Regulating Constitutional Amendments by People’s Initiative.e in the other modes of initiative+ which are specifically provided for in ubtitle $$ and ubtitle $$$) This deliberate omission indicates that the matter of people?s initiative to amend the Constitution was left to some future law) 8ormer enator Arturo Tolentino stressed this deficiency in the law in his privilege speech delivered before the enate in %&&7C 1There is not a single word in that law which can be considered as implementing .ong >ilipino 4=ABAN5) .

E)R) N9) %!57%6@ 7) RE>) ACT N9) 6(35 A>>R9#E: 9N A*E* T 7+ %&'& $ TFE ENAB=$NE =AL $<>=E<ENT$NE TFE >9LER 98 >E9>=E $N$T$AT$#E T9 >R9>9 E A<EN:<ENT T9 TFE C9N T$T*T$9N) ENAT9R :E8EN 9R6 ANT$AE9? ENATE B$== N9) %!&B $ A :*>=$CAT$9N 98 LFAT ARE A=REA:D >R9#$:E: 89R $N RE>) ACT N9) 6(35@ 5) C9<E=EC RE 9=*T$9N N9) !3BB >R9<*=EATE: 9N . "# A%. C$!"%"C. "# A%.465 8inally+ Congress has not yet appropriated funds for people?s initiative@ neither the C9<E=EC nor any other government department+ agency+ or office has realigned funds for the purpose) To Kustify their recourse to us via the special civil action for prohibition+ the petitioners allege that in the event the C9<E=EC grants the :elfin >etition+ the people?s initiative spearheaded by >$R<A would entail e-penses to the national treasury for general re6registration of voters amounting to at least >%'B million+ not to mention the millions of additional pesos in e-penses which would be incurred in the conduct of the initiative itself) Fence+ the transcendental importance to the public and the nation of the issues raised demands that this petition for prohibition be settled promptly and definitely+ brushing aside technicalities of procedure and calling for the admission of a ta-payer?s and legislator?s suit) .*:$C$9* =D >R9<*=EAT$NE E*$:E=$NE AN: R*=E 89R B9TF NAT$9NA= AN: =9CA= * E+ $N $<>=E<ENT$NE 98 TFE E =AL )2 6) E#EN ENAT9R :E8EN 9R6 ANT$AE9? ENATE B$== N9) %!&B C9NTA$N A >R9#$ $9N :E=EEAT$NE T9 TFE C9<E=EC TFE >9LER T9 1>R9<*=EATE *CF R*=E AN: REE*=AT$9N A <AD BE NECE ARD T9 CARRD 9*T TFE >*R>9 E 98 TF$ ACT)2 4 EC) %!+ )B) N9) %!&B+ ENC=9 E: A ANNE" E+ >ET$T$9N5@ () TFE =$8T$NE 98 TFE =$<$TAT$9N 9N TFE TER< 98 988$CE 98 E=ECT$#E 988$C$A= >R9#$:E: *N:ER TFE %&'( C9N T$T*T$9N $ N9T A 1RE#$ $9N2 98 TFE C9N T$T*T$9N) $T $ 9N=D AN A<EN:<ENT) 1A<EN:<ENT EN#$ AEE AN A=TERAT$9N 98 9NE 9R A 8EL >EC$8$C >R9#$ $9N 98 TFE C9N T$T*T$9N) RE#$ $9N C9NTE<>=ATE A RE6E"A<$NAT$9N 98 TFE .*R$ :$CT$9N2 *>FE=: BD TFE F9N9RAB=E C9*RT $N $T RECENT E>TE<BER !6+ %&&6 :EC$ $9N $N TFE CA E 98 SUBIC BA !"#R$P$%I#A& AU#'$RI# (S.%7/ Besides+ there is no other plain+ speedy+ and adeAuate remedy in the ordinary course of law) 9n %& :ecember %&&6+ this Court 4a5 reAuired the respondents to comment on the petition within a non6e-tendible period of ten days from notice@ and 4b5 issued a temporary restraining order+ effective immediately and continuing until further orders+ enKoining public respondent C9<E=EC from proceeding with the :elfin >etition+ and private respondents Alberto and Carmen >edrosa from conducting a signature drive for people?s initiative to amend the Constitution) 9n ! .%5/ on the petition) They argue therein thatC %) $T $ N9T TR*E TFAT 1$T L9*=: ENTA$= E">EN E T9 TFE NAT$9NA= TREA *RD 89R EENERA= REE$ TRAT$9N 98 #9TER A<9*NT$NE T9 AT =EA T >E 9 C 9NE F*N:RE: E$EFTD <$==$9N 4>%'B+BBB+BBB)BB52 $8 TFE 1C9<E=EC ERANT TFE >ET$T$9N 8$=E: BD RE >9N:ENT :E=8$N BE89RE TFE C9<E=EC)2 !) N9T A $NE=E CENTA#9 L9*=: BE >ENT BD TFE NAT$9NA= E9#ERN<ENT $8 TFE C9<E=EC ERANT TFE >ET$T$9N 98 RE >9N:ENT :E=8$N) A== E">EN E $N TFE $ENAT*RE EATFER$NE ARE A== 89R TFE ACC9*NT 98 RE >9N:ENT :E=8$N AN: F$ #9=*NTEER >ER TFE$R >R9ERA< 98 ACT$#$T$E AN: E">EN:$T*RE *B<$TTE: T9 TFE C9<E=EC) TFE E T$<ATE: C9 T 98 TFE :A$=D >ER :$E< 98 TFE *>ER#$ $NE CF99= TEACFER $N TFE $ENAT*RE EATFER$NE T9 BE :E>9 $TE: and T9 BE >A$: BD :E=8$N AN: F$ #9=*NTEER $ >!+5(%+ !BB)BB@ 3) TFE >EN:$NE >ET$T$9N BE89RE TFE C9<E=EC $ 9N=D 9N TFE $ENAT*RE EATFER$NE LF$CF BD =AL C9<E=EC $ :*TD B9*N: 1T9 *>ER#$ E C=9 E=D2 >*R *ANT T9 $T 1$N$T$AT9RD .AN*ARD %6+ %&&% >*R *ANT T9 RE>) ACT 6(35 LA *>FE=: BD TFE F9N9RAB=E C9*RT $N TFE RECENT E>TE<BER !6+ %&&6 :EC$ $9N $N TFE CA E 98 SUBIC BA !"#R$P$%I#A& AU#'$RI# (S. C$!"%"C.anuary %&&(+ private respondents+ through Atty Huadra+ filed their Comment . E)R) N9) %!57%6 LFERE TFE F9N9RAB=E C9*RT A$:C 1TFE C9<<$ $9N 9N E=ECT$9N CAN :9 N9 =E BD EA 9NAB=D AN: .

)5) Also on ! .ed pertinent provisions of the law when he claimed that nothing therein was provided for initiative on the Constitution. reaction to a draft M>etition for $nitiative on the %&'( Constitution? ))) which is not formally filed yet)2 Lhat he filed on 6 :ecember %&&6 was an 1$nitiatory >leading2 or 1$nitiatory >etition+2 which was legally necessary to start the signature campaign to amend the Constitution or to put the movement to gather signatures under C9<E=EC power and function) 9n the substantive allegations of the petitioners+ :elfin maintains as followsC 4%5 Contrary to the claim of the petitioners+ there is a law+ R)A) No) 6(35+ which governs the conduct of initiative to amend the Constitution) The absence therein of a subtitle for such initiative is not fatal+ since subtitles are not reAuirements for the validity or sufficiency of laws) 4!5 ection &4b5 of R)A) No) 6(35 specifically provides that the proposition in an initiative to amend the Constitution approved by the maKority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as of the day of the plebiscite) 435 The claim that C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB is ultra vires is contradicted by 4a5 ection !+ Article $"6 C of the Constitution+ which grants the C9<E=EC the power to enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election+ plebiscite+ initiative+ referendum+ and recall@ and 4b5 ection !B of R)A) 6(35+ which empowers the C9<E=EC to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act) 475 The proposed initiative does not involve a revision of+ but mere amendment to+ the Constitution because it see.ewise+ its ection 5 repeatedly mentionsinitiative on the Constitution) 4!5 A separate subtitle on initiative on the Constitution is not necessary in R)A) No) 6(35 because+ being national in scope+ that system of initiative is deemed included in the subtitle on National $nitiative and Referendum@ and enator Tolentino simply overloo.anuary %&&(+ this Court 4a5 confirmed nunc pro tunc the temporary restraining order@ 4b5 noted the aforementioned Comments and the <otion to =ift Temporary Restraining 9rder filed by private respondents through Atty) Huadra+ as well as the latter?s <anifestation stating that he is the counsel for private respondents Alberto and Carmen >edrosa only and the Comment he filed was for the >edrosas@ and 4c5 granted the <otion for $ntervention filed on 6 . to ree-amine or overhaul the entire document) As to the public e-penditures for registration of voters+ :elfin considers petitioners? estimate of >%'B million as unreliable+ for only the C9<E=EC can give the e-act figure) Besides+ if there will be a plebiscite it will be simultaneous with the %&&( Barangay Elections) $n any event+ fund reAuirements for initiative will be a priority government e-pense because it will be for the e-ercise of the sovereign power of the people) $n the Comment.anuary %&&(+ the 9ffice of the olicitor Eeneral contends thatC 4%5 R)A) No) 6(35 deals with+ inter alia+ people?s initiative to amend the Constitution) $ts ection ! on tatement of >olicy e-plicitly affirms+ recogni0es+ and guarantees that power@ and its ection 3+ which enumerates the three systems of initiative+ includes initiative on the Constitution and defines the same as the power to propose amendments to the Constitution) =i.ENT$RE :9C*<ENT T9 :ETER<$NE F9L AN: T9 LFAT E"TENT $T F9*=: BE A=TERE:)2 4>>) 7%!67%3+ !N:) E:) %&&!+ %B&( >F$=) C9N T$T*T$9N+ BD . C$!"%"C ) 9n %7 .%(/ for the public respondent C9<E=EC+ filed also on ! .anuary %&&(@ and 4d5 set the case for hearing on !3 .s to alter only a few specific provisions of the Constitution+ or more specifically+ only those which lay term limits) $t does not see.anuary %&&( by enator Raul Roco and allowed him to file his >etition in $ntervention not later than !B .ing power of the C9<E=EC to implement the provisions of R)A) No) 6(35 was in fact upheld by this Court in Subic Bay !etropolitan Aut)ority vs.anuary %&&(+ private respondent :elfin filed in his own behalf a Comment .9AH*$N E) BERNA + ).%6/ which starts off with an assertion that the instant petition is a 1.nee6Ker.anuary %&&( at &C3B a)m) . 435 enate Bill No) %!&B is neither a competent nor a material proof that R)A) No) 6(35 does not deal with initiative on the Constitution) 475 E-tension of term limits of elected officials constitutes a mere amendment to the Constitution+ not a revision thereof) 455 C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB was validly issued under ection !B of R)A) No) 6(35 and under the 9mnibus Election Code) The rule6ma.

Ipagtanggol ang -onstitusyon 4:$I5 and the <ovement of Attorneys for Brotherhood $ntegrity and Nationalism+ $nc) 4<AB$N$5+ filed a <otion for $ntervention) Attached to the motion was their >etition in $ntervention+ which was later replaced by an Amended >etition in $ntervention wherein they contend thatC 4%5 The :elfin proposal does not involve a mere amendment to+ but a revision of+ the Constitution because+ in the words of 8r) .!%/ Fe avers that R)A) No) 6(35 is the enabling law that implements the people?s right to initiate constitutional amendments) This law is a consolidation of enate Bill No) %( and Fouse Bill No) !%5B5@ he co6authored the Fouse Bill and even delivered a sponsorship speech thereon) Fe li.oaAuin Bernas+ ).e cogni0ance of the :elfin >etition and to order its publication because the said petition is not the initiatory pleading contemplated under the Constitution+ Republic Act No) 6(35+ and C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB) Lhat vests Kurisdiction upon the C9<E=EC in an initiative on the Constitution is the filing of a petition for initiative which is signed by the reAuired number of registered voters) Fe also submits that the proponents of a constitutional amendment cannot avail of the authority and resources of the C9<E=EC to assist them is securing the reAuired number of signatures+ as the C9<E=EC?s role in an initiative on the Constitution is limited to the determination of the sufficiency of the initiative petition and the call and supervision of a plebiscite+ if warranted) 9n !B . position that may be availed of by the people only if they are dissatisfied with the performance of their elective officials+ but not as a premium for good performance) .ewise submits that the C9<E=EC was empowered under ection !B of that law to promulgate C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB) Nevertheless+ he contends that the respondent Commission is without Kurisdiction to ta. the concentration of political and economic powers in the hands of a few+ and to promote effective proper empowerment for participation in policy and decision6ma.)+ .9n %( .anuary %&&(+ =ABAN filed a <otion for =eave to $ntervene) The following day+ the $B> filed a <otion for $ntervention to which it attached a >etition in $ntervention raising the following argumentsC .%&/ A revision cannot be done by initiative which+ by e-press provision of ection ! of Article "#$$ of the Constitution+ is limited to amendments) 4!5 The prohibition against reelection of the >resident and the limits provided for all other national and local elective officials are based on the philosophy of governance+ 1to open up the political arena to as many as there are 8ilipinos Aualified to handle the demands of leadership+ to brea.ing for the common good2@ hence+ to remove the term limits is to negate and nullify the noble vision of the %&'( Constitution) 435 The :elfin proposal runs counter to the purpose of initiative+ particularly in a conflict6of6interest situation) Initiative is intended as a fallbac.anuary %&&(+ the *emo+rasya.%'/ it would involve a change from a political philosophy that reKects unlimited tenure to one that accepts unlimited tenure@ and although the change might appear to be an isolated one+ it can affect other provisions+ such as+ on synchroni0ation of elections and on the tate policy of guaranteeing eAual access to opportunities for public service and prohibiting political dynasties) .!B/ 475 R)A) No) 6(35 is deficient and inadeAuate in itself to be called the enabling law that implements the people?s initiative on amendments to the Constitution) $t fails to state 4a5 the proper parties who may file the petition+ 4b5 the appropriate agency before whom the petition is to be filed+ 4c5 the contents of the petition+ 4d5 the publication of the same+ 4e5 the ways and means of gathering the signatures of the voters nationwide and 3N per legislative district+ 4f5 the proper parties who may oppose or Auestion the veracity of the signatures+ 4g5 the role of the C9<E=EC in the verification of the signatures and the sufficiency of the petition+ 4h5 the appeal from any decision of the C9<E=EC+ 4$5 the holding of a plebiscite+ and 4g5 the appropriation of funds for such people?s initiative) Accordingly+ there being no enabling law+ the C9<E=EC has no Kurisdiction to hear :elfin?s petition) 455 The deficiency of R)A) No) 6(35 cannot be rectified or remedied by C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB+ since the C9<E=EC is without authority to legislate the procedure for a people?s initiative under ection ! of Article "#$$ of the Constitution) That function e-clusively pertains to Congress) ection !B of R)A) No) 6(35 does not constitute a legal basis for the Resolution+ as the former does not set a sufficient standard for a valid delegation of power) 9n !B .anuary %&&(+ enator Raul Roco filed his >etition in $ntervention) .

e up the fifth issue which appears to pose a preKudicial procedural Auestion) .!3/ The parties thereafter filed+ in due time+ their separate memoranda).s+ in effect a revision of the Constitution+ which can be proposed only by Congress or a constitutional convention). !) Lhether that portion of C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB 4$n reC Rules and Regulations Eoverning the Conduct of $nitiative on the Constitution+ and $nitiative and Referendum on National and =ocal =aws5 regarding the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution is valid+ considering the absence in the law of specific provisions on the conduct of such initiative) 3) Lhether the lifting of term limits of elective national and local officials+ as proposed in the draft 1>etition for $nitiative on the %&'( Constitution+2 would constitute a revision of+ or an amendment to+ the Constitution) 7) Lhether the C9<E=EC can ta.ournal and the Record of the Fouse of Representatives relating to the deliberations of Fouse Bill No) !%5B5+ as well as the transcripts of stenographic notes on the proceedings of the Bicameral Conference Committee+ Committee on uffrage and Electoral Reforms+ of 6 .e cogni0ance of the petition when there is a pending case before the C9<E=EC) After hearing them on the issues+ we reAuired the parties to submit simultaneously their respective memoranda within twenty days and reAuested intervenor enator Roco to submit copies of the deliberations on Fouse Bill No) !%5B5) 9n !( .4%5 Congress has failed to enact an enabling law mandated under ection !+ Article "#$$ of the %&'( Constitution) 4!5 C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB cannot substitute for the reAuired implementing law on the initiative to amend the Constitution) 435 The >etition for $nitiative suffers from a fatal defect in that it does not have the reAuired number of signatures) 475 The petition see.!!/ 9n !% .anuary %&&(+ enator Roco submitted copies of portions of both the . of Kurisdiction) 9n !' .anuary %&&(+ =ABAN filed its >etition in $ntervention wherein it adopts the allegations and arguments in the main >etition) $t further submits that the C9<E=EC should have dismissed the :elfin >etition for failure to state a sufficient cause of action and that the Commission?s failure or refusal to do so constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to lac.anuary %&&(+ the parties argued on the following pivotal issues+ which the Court formulated in light of the allegations and arguments raised in the pleadings so far filedC %) Lhether R)A) No) 6(35+ entitled An Act >roviding for a ystem of $nitiative and Referendum and Appropriating 8unds Therefor+ was intended to include or cover initiative on amendments to the Constitution@ and if so+ whether the Act+ as worded+ adeAuately covers such initiative.une %&'& on Fouse Bill No) !%5B5 and enate Bill No) %() >rivate respondents Alberto and Carmen >edrosa filed their Consolidated Comments on the >etitions in $ntervention of enator Roco+ :$I and <AB$N$+ and $B>) .!7/ As we stated in the beginning+ we resolved to give due course to this special civil action) 8or a more logical discussion of the formulated issues+ we shall first ta.anuary %&&(+ we promulgated a Resolution 4a5 granting the <otions for $ntervention filed by the :$I and <AB$N$ and by the $B>+ as well as the <otion for =eave to $ntervene filed by =ABAN@ 4b5 admitting the Amended >etition in $ntervention of :$I and <AB$N$+ and the >etitions in $ntervention of enator Roco and of the $B>@ 4c5 reAuiring the respondents to file within a none-tendible period of five days their Consolidated Comments on the aforesaid >etitions in $ntervention@ and 4d5 reAuiring =ABAN to file its >etition in $ntervention within a none-tendible period of three days from notice+ and the respondents to comment thereon within a none-tendible period of five days from receipt of the said >etition in $ntervention) At the hearing of the case on !3 .e cogni0ance of+ or has Kurisdiction over+ a petition solely intended to obtain an order 4a5 fi-ing the time and dates for signature gathering@ 4b5 instructing municipal election officers to assist :elfinOs movement and volunteers in establishing signature stations@ and 4c5 directing or causing the publication of+ inter alia+ the unsigned proposed >etition for $nitiative on the %&'( Constitution) 5) Lhether it is proper for the upreme Court to ta.

1. /uingona.E PENDEN#8 IN T.e.E #OMELE# OF T.+ whether it is proper for this Court to ta.e cogni0ance of this special civil action when there is a pending case before the C9<E=EC) The petitioners provide an affirmative answer) ThusC !') The Comelec has no Kurisdiction to ta.E INSTANT PETITION IS :IA"LE DESPITE T.!'/ . 0r.!6/ The C9<E=EC made no ruling thereon evidently because after having heard the arguments of :elfin and the oppositors at the hearing on %! :ecember %&&6+ it reAuired them to submit within five days their memoranda or oppositionsJmemoranda) . E-cept for the petitioners and intervenor Roco+ the parties paid no serious attention to the fifth issue+ i.e cogni0ance of the petition filed by private respondent :elfin) This being so+ it becomes imperative to stop the Comelec from proceeding any further+ and under the Rules of Court+ Rule 65+ ection !+ a petition for prohibition is the proper remedy) !&) The writ of prohibition is an e-traordinary Kudicial writ issuing out of a court of superior Kurisdiction and directed to an inferior court+ for the purpose of preventing the inferior tribunal from usurping a Kurisdiction with which it is not legally vested) 4 People v. supra)+ p) '75) $n this case the writ is an urgent necessity+ in view of the highly divisive and adverse environmental conseAuences on the body politic of the Auestioned Comelec order) The conseAuent climate of legal confusion and political instability begs for Kudicial statesmanship) 3B) $n the final analysis+ when the system of constitutional law is threatened by the political ambitions of man+ only the upreme Court can save a nation in peril and uphold the paramount maKesty of the Constitution).E DELFIN PETITION.I T.!5/ $t must be recalled that intervenor Roco filed with the C9<E=EC a motion to dismiss the :elfin >etition on the ground that the C9<E=EC has no Kurisdiction or authority to entertain the petition) .or pro)ibition) 66 Lhere the proceedings of any tribunal+ corporation+ board+ or person+ whether e-ercising functions Kudicial or ministerial+ are without or in e-cess of its or his Kurisdiction+ or with grave abuse of discretion+ and there is no appeal or any other plain+ speedy and adeAuate remedy in the ordinary course of law+ a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court alleging the facts with certainty and praying that Kudgment be rendered commanding the defendant to desist from further proceedings in the action or matter specified therein) $t must also be noted that intervenor Roco claims that the C9<E=EC has no Kurisdiction over the :elfin >etition because the said petition is not supported by the reAuired minimum number of signatures of registered voters) =ABAN also asserts that the C9<E=EC gravely abused its discretion in refusing to dismiss the :elfin >etition+ which does not contain the reAuired number of signatures) $n light of these claims+ the instant case may li. Inc. v.!(/ Earlier+ or specifically on 6 :ecember %&&6+ it practically gave due course to the :elfin >etition by ordering :elfin to cause the publication of the petition+ together with the attached >etition for $nitiative+ the signature form+ and the notice of hearing@ and by setting the case for hearing) The C9<E=EC?s failure to act on Roco?s motion to dismiss and its insistence to hold on to the petition rendered ripe and viable the instant petition under ection ! of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court+ which providesC EC) !) Petition . (era.ewise be treated as a special civil action for certiorari under ection $ of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court) $n any event+ as correctly pointed out by intervenor Roco in his <emorandum+ this Court may brush aside technicalities of procedure in cases of transcendental importance) As we stated in -ilosbayan.

s appearing in the original Committee Report No) () . ection ! of Article "#$$ of the Constitution providesC EC) !) Amendments to this Constitution may li.oaAuin Bernas+ a member of the %&'6 Constitutional Commission+ statedC Lithout implementing legislation ection ! cannot operate) Thus+ although this mode of amending the Constitution is a mode of amendment which bypasses congressional action+ in the last analysis it still is dependent on congressional action) Bluntly stated+ the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative would remain entombed in the cold niche of the Constitution until Congress provides for its implementation) tated otherwise+ while the Constitution has recogni0ed or granted that right+ the people cannot e-ercise it if Congress+ for whatever reason+ does not provide for its implementation) This system of initiative was originally included in ection % of the draft Article on Amendment or Revision proposed by the Committee on Amendments and Transitory >rovisions of the %&'6 Constitutional Commission in its Committee Report No) ( 4>roposed Resolution No) 33!5) . =735 INTENDED TO IN#L%DE T.3%/ After several interpellations+ but before the period of amendments+ the Committee submitted a new formulation of the concept of initiative which it denominated as ection !@ thusC <R) *AREQ) Than.AT S8STEM. "mergency Po2ers Cases+ this Court brushed aside this technicality because 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) II R)A.E #ONSTIT%TION. NO. you+ <adam >resident) <ay we respectfully call attention of the <embers of the Commission that pursuant to the mandate given to us last night+ we submitted this afternoon a complete Committee Report No) ( which embodies the proposed provision governing the matter of initiative) This is now covered by ection ! of the complete committee report) Lith the permission of the <embers+ may $ Auote ection !C 1The people may+ after five years from the date of the last plebiscite held+ directly propose amendments to this Constitution thru initiative upon petition of at least ten percent of the registered voters)2 This completes the blan. %NFORT%NATEL8.A party?s standing before this Court is a procedural technicality which it may+ in the e-ercise of its discretion+ set aside in view of the importance of issues raised) $n the landmar. INADE>%ATE TO #O:ER T.ewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters+ of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein) No amendment under this section shall be authori0ed within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter) The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the e-ercise of this right) This provision is not self6e-ecutory) $n his boo. "%T IS.3!/ .!&/ .E S8STEM OF INITIATI:E ON AMENDMENTS TO T.3B/ That section reads as followsC ECT$9N %) Any amendment to+ or revision of+ this Constitution may be proposedC 4a5 by the National Assembly upon a vote of three6fourths of all its members@ or 4b5 by a constitutional convention@ or 4c5 directly by the people themselves thru initiative as provided for in Article PPPP ection PPPP of the Constitution).+.

of the legislature rather than of the peopleG :oes this provision e-clude that possibilityG <R) *AREQ) No+ it does not e-clude that possibility because even the legislature itself as a body could propose that amendment+ maybe individually or collectively+ if it fails to muster the three6fourths vote in order to constitute itself as a constituent assembly and submit that proposal to the people for ratification through the process of an initiative) --< ) AH*$N9) :o $ understand from the sponsor that the intention in the proposal is to vest constituent power in the people to amend the ConstitutionG <R) *AREQ) That is absolutely correct+ <adam >resident) < ) AH*$N9) $ fully concur with the underlying precept of the proposal in terms of institutionali0ing popular participation in the drafting of the Constitution or in the amendment thereof+ but $ would have a lot of difficulties in terms of accepting the draft of ection !+ as written) Lould the sponsor agree with me that in the hierarchy of legal mandate+ constituent power has primacy over all other legal mandatesG <R) *AREQ) The Commissioner is right+ <adam >resident) < ) AH*$N9) And would the sponsor agree with me that in the hierarchy of legal values+ the Constitution is source of all legal mandates and that therefore we reAuire a great deal of circumspection in the drafting and in the amendments of the ConstitutionG <R) *AREQ) That proposition is nondebatable) < ) AH*$N9) uch that in order to underscore the primacy of constituent power we have a separate article in the constitution that would specifically cover the process and the modes of amending the ConstitutionG <R) *AREQ) That is right+ <adam >resident) < ) AH*$N9) Therefore+ is the sponsor inclined+ as the provisions are drafted now+ to again concede to the legislature the process or the reAuirement of determining the mechanics of amending the Constitution by peopleOs initiativeG <R) *AREQ) The matter of implementing this could very well be placed in the hands of the National Assembly+ not unless we can incorporate into this provision the mechanics that would adeAuately cover all the conceivable situations).The interpellations on legislature) ThusC ection ! showed that the details for carrying out ection ! are left to the 8R) BERNA ) <adam >resident+ Kust two simple+ clarificatory Auestions) 8irst+ on ection % on the matter of initiative upon petition of at least %B percent+ there are no details in the provision on how to carry this out) :o we understand+ therefore+ that we are leaving this matter to the legislatureG <R) *AREQ) That is right+ <adam >resident) 8R) BERNA ) And do we also understand+ therefore+ that for as long as the legislature does not pass the necessary implementing law on this+ this will not operateG <R) *AREQ) That matter was also ta.en up during the committee hearing+ especially with respect to the budget appropriations which would have to be legislated so that the plebiscite could be called) Le deemed it best that this matter be left to the legislature) The Eentleman is right) $n any event+ as envisioned+ no amendment through the power of initiative can be called until after five years from the date of the ratification of this Constitution) Therefore+ the first amendment that could be proposed through the e-ercise of this initiative power would be after five years) $t is reasonably e-pected that within that five6 year period+ the National Assembly can come up with the appropriate rules governing the e-ercise of this power) 8R) BERNA ) ince the matter is left to the legislature 6 the details on how this is to be carried out 6 is it possible that+ in effect+ what will be presented to the people for ratification is the wor.33/ .

ing another body to set the proposition in proper form) <R) :A#$:E) The Commissioner is correct) $n other words+ the implementation of this particular right would be subKect to legislation+ provided the legislature cannot determine anymore the percentage of the reAuirement) .$t was made clear during the interpellations that the aforementioned ection ! is limited to proposals to A<EN: 66 not to RE#$ E 66 the Constitution@ thusC <R) *AREQ) ))) This proposal was suggested on the theory that this matter of initiative+ which came about because of the e-traordinary developments this year+ has to be separated from the traditional modes of amending the Constitution as embodied in ection %) The committee members felt that this system of initiative should not e-tend to the revision of the entire Constitution+ so we removed it from the operation of ection % of the proposed Article on Amendment or Revision) . you <adam >resident) $ propose to substitute the entire ection ! with the followingC --<R) :A#$:E) <adam >resident+ $ have modified the proposed amendment after ta.ing into account the modifications submitted by the sponsor himself and the honorable Commissioners Euingona+ <onsod+ Rama+ 9ple+ de los Reyes and Romulo) The modified amendment in substitution of the proposed ection ! will now read as followsC R ECT$9N !) 66 A<EN:<ENT T9 TF$ C9N T$T*T$9N <AD =$IEL$ E BE :$RECT=D >R9>9 E: BD TFE >E9>=E TFR9*EF $N$T$AT$#E *>9N A >ET$T$9N 98 AT =EA T TLE=#E >ERCENT 98 TFE T9TA= N*<BER 98 REE$ TERE: #9TER + 98 LF$CF E#ERD =EE$ =AT$#E :$ TR$CT <* T BE RE>RE ENTE: BD AT =EA T TFREE >ERCENT 98 TFE REE$ TERE: #9TER TFERE98) N9 A<EN:<ENT *N:ER TF$ ECT$9N FA== BE A*TF9R$QE: L$TF$N 8$#E DEAR 89==9L$NE TFE RAT$8$CAT$9N 98 TF$ C9N T$T*T$9N N9R 98TENER TFAN 9NCE E#ERD 8$#E DEAR TFEREA8TER) TFE NAT$9NA= A E<B=D FA== BD =AL >R9#$:E 89R TFE $<>=E<ENTAT$9N 98 TFE E"ERC$ E 98 TF$ R$EFT) <R) *AREQ) <adam >resident+ considering that the proposed amendment is reflective of the sense contained in ection ! of our completed Committee Report No) (+ we accept the proposed amendment) .37/ --< ) AH*$N9) $n which case+ $ am seriously bothered by providing this process of initiative as a separate section in the Article on Amendment) Lould the sponsor be amenable to accepting an amendment in terms of realigning ection ! as another subparagraph 4c5 of ection %+ instead of setting it up as another separate section as if it were a self6e-ecuting provisionG <R) *AREQ) Le would be amenable e-cept that+ as we clarified a while ago+ this process of initiative is limited to the matter of amendment and should not e-pand into a revision which contemplates a total overhaul of the Constitution) That was the sense that was conveyed by the Committee) < ) AH*$N9) $n other words+ the Committee was attempting to distinguish the coverage of modes 4a5 and 4b5 in ection % to include the process of revision@ whereas the process of initiation to amend+ which is given to the public+ would only apply to amendmentsG <R) *AREQ)That is right) Those were the terms envisioned in the Committee).36/ The interpellations which ensued on the proposed modified amendment to ection ! clearly showed that it was a legislative act which must implement the e-ercise of the right) ThusC <R) R9<*=9) *nder Commissioner :avideOs amendment+ is it possible for the legislature to set forth certain procedures to carry out the initiative)))G <R) :A#$:E) $t can) --<R) R9<*=9) But the Commissioner?s amendment does not prevent the legislature from as.r)+ which the Committee accepted) ThusC <R) :A#$:E) Than.35/ Amendments to the proposed ection ! were thereafter introduced by then Commissioner Filario E) :avide+ .

77/ This amendment was approved and is the te-t of the present second paragraph of ection !) The conclusion then is inevitable that+ indeed+ the system of initiative on the Constitution under ection ! of Article "#$$ of the Constitution is not self6e-ecutory) .3(/ Commissioner :avide also reaffirmed that his modified amendment strictly confines initiative to A<EN:<ENT to 66 N9T RE#$ $9N of 66 the Constitution) ThusC <R) :A#$:E) Lith pleasure+ <adam >resident) <R) <AA<B9NE) <y first AuestionC Commissioner :avideOs proposed amendment on line % refers to Ramendment)R :oes it not cover the word RrevisionR as defined by Commissioner >adilla when he made the distinction between the words RamendmentsR and RrevisionRG <R) :A#$:E) No+ it does not+ because RamendmentsR and RrevisionR should be covered by ection %) o insofar as initiative is concerned+ it can only relate to RamendmentsR not Rrevision)R .73/ shall provide for the implementation of the e-ercise of this right).uly %&'6).<R) R9<*=9) But the procedures+ including the determination of the proper form for submission to the people+ may be subKect to legislation) <R) :A#$:E) As long as it will not destroy the substantive right to initiate) $n other words+ none of the procedures to be proposed by the legislative body must diminish or impair the right conceded here) <R) R9<*=9) $n that provision of the Constitution can the procedures which $ have discussed be legislatedG <R) :A#$:E) Des).e up the Article on the =egislative or on the National Assembly on plenary sessions).7!/ Fowever+ the Committee on tyle recommended that the approved ection ! be amended by changing 1percent2 to 1per centum2 and 1thereof2 to 1therein2 and deleting the phrase 1by law2 in the second paragraph so that said paragraph readsC The Congress. you <adam >resident) ection !+ as amended+ reads as followsC RA<EN:<ENT T9 TF$ C9N T$T*T$9N <AD =$IEL$ E BE :$RECT=D >R9>9 E: BD TFE >E9>=E TFR9*EF $N$T$AT$#E *>9N A >ET$T$9N 98 AT =EA T TLE=#E >ERCENT 98 TFE T9TA= N*<BER 98 REE$ TERE: #9TER + 98 LF$CF E#ERD =EE$ =AT$#E :$ TR$CT <* T BE RE>RE ENTE: BD AT =EA T TFREE >ERCENT 98 TFE REE$ TERE: #9TER TFERE98) N9 A<EN:<ENT *N:ER TF$ ECT$9N FA== BE A*TF9R$QE: L$TF$N 8$#E DEAR 89==9L$NE TFE RAT$8$CAT$9N 98 TF$ C9N T$T*T$9N N9R 98TENER TFAN 9NCE E#ERD 8$#E DEAR TFEREA8TER) TFE NAT$9NA= A E<B=D E"ERC$ E 98 TF$ R$EFT).3&/ The :avide modified amendments to ection ! were subKected to amendments+ and the final version+ which the Commission approved by a vote of 3% in favor and 3 against+ reads as followsC <R) :A#$:E) Than.7B/ FA== BD =AL >R9#$:E 89R TFE $<>=E<ENTAT$9N 98 TFE The entire proposed Article on Amendments or Revisions was approved on second reading on & .7%/ Thereafter+ upon his motion for reconsideration+ Commissioner Eascon was allowed to introduce an amendment to ection ! which+ nevertheless+ was withdrawn) $n view thereof+ the Article was again approved on econd and Third Readings on % August %&'6) .3'/ Commissioner :avide further emphasi0ed that the process of proposing amendments through initiative must be more rigorous and difficult than the initiative on legislation) ThusC <R) :A#$:E) A distinction has to be made that under this proposal+ what is involved is an amendment to the Constitution) To amend a Constitution would ordinarily reAuire a proposal by the National Assembly by a vote of three6fourths@ and to call a constitutional convention would reAuire a higher number) <oreover+ Kust to submit the issue of calling a constitutional convention+ a maKority of the National Assembly is reAuired+ the import being that the process of amendment must be made more rigorous and difficult than probably initiating an ordinary legislation or putting an end to a law proposed by the National Assembly by way of a referendum) $ cannot agree to reducing the reAuirement approved by the Committee on the =egislative because it would reAuire another voting by the Committee+ and the voting as precisely based on a reAuirement of %B percent) >erhaps+ $ might present such a proposal+ by way of an amendment+ when the Commission shall ta.

e in the case of the other systems of initiative+ the Act does not provide for the contents of a petition for initiative on the Constitution) ection 5+ paragraph 4c5 reAuires+ among other things+ statement of the proposed law sought to be enacted+ approved or reKected+ amended or repealed+ as the .75/ shall by law provide for the implementation of the e-ercise of this right) The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the e-ercise of this right) This substitute amendment was an investiture on Congress of a power to provide for the rules implementing the e-ercise of the right) The 1rules2 means 1the details on how .7&/ solely dealt with initiative and referendum concerning ordinances or resolutions of local government units) The Bicameral Conference Committee consolidated enate Bill No) %( and Fouse Bill No) !%5B5 into a draft bill+ which was subseAuently approved on ' .7'/ which dealt with the subKect matter of Fouse Bill No) 7&(+ as well as with initiative and referendum under ection 3 of Article " 4=ocal Eovernment5 and initiative provided for in ection ! of Article "#$$ of the Constitution) enate Bill No) %(.5%/ This approved bill is now R)A) No) 6(35) But is R)A) No) 6(35 a full compliance with the power and duty of Congress to 1provide for the implementation of the e-ercise of the rightG2 A careful scrutiny of the Act yields a negative answer) 8irst) Contrary to the assertion of public respondent C9<E=EC+ ection ! of the Act does not suggest an initiative on amendments to the Constitution) The said section readsC ECT$9N !) Statement and Policy) 66 The power of the people under a system of initiative and referendum to directly propose+ enact+ approve or reKect+ in whole or in part+ the Constitution+ laws+ ordinances+ or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the reAuirements of this Act is hereby affirmed+ recogni0ed and guaranteed) 4*nderscoring supplied5) The inclusion of the word 1Constitution2 therein was a delayed afterthought) That word is neither germane nor relevant to said section+ which e-clusively relates to initiative and referendum on national laws and local laws+ ordinances+ and resolutions) That section is silent as to amendments on the Constitution) As pointed out earlier+ initiative on the Constitution is confined only to proposals to A<EN:) The people are not accorded the power to 1directly propose+ enact+ approve+ or reKect+ in whole or in part+ the Constitution2 through the system of initiative) They can only do so with respect to 1laws+ ordinances+ or resolutions)2 The foregoing conclusion is further buttressed by the fact that this section was lifted from ection % of enate Bill No) %(+ which solely referred to a statement of policy on local initiative and referendum and appropriately used the phrases 1propose and enact+2 1approve or reKect2 and 1in whole or in part)2 .76/ Le agree that R)A) No) 6(35 was+ as its history reveals+ intended to cover initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution) The Act is a consolidation of Fouse Bill No) !%5B5 and enate Bill No) %() The former was prepared by the Committee on uffrage and Electoral Reforms of the Fouse of Representatives on the basis of two Fouse Bills referred to it+ viz.7(/ which dealt with the initiative and referendum mentioned in ections % and 3! of Article #$ of the Constitution@ and 4b5 Fouse Bill No) &''+.+ 4a5 Fouse Bill No) 7&(+.the right/ is to be carried out)2.e the private respondents and intervenor enator Roco+ point to us R)A) No) 6(35) There is+ of course+ no other better way for Congress to implement the e-ercise of the right than through the passage of a statute or legislative act) This is the essence or rationale of the last minute amendment by the Constitutional Commission to substitute the last paragraph of ection ! of Article "#$$ then readingC The Congress.5B/ and by the Fouse of Representatives).5!/ econd) $t is true that ection 3 4:efinition of Terms5 of the Act defines initiative on amendments to the Constitution and mentions it as one of the three systems of initiative+ and that ection 5 4ReAuirements5 restates the constitutional reAuirements as to the percentage of the registered voters who must submit the proposal) But unli.Fas Congress 1provided2 for the implementation of the e-ercise of this rightG Those who answer the Auestion in the affirmative+ li.une %&'& by the enate.

terms 66 --There are three 435 systems of initiative+ namelyC a)% $nitiative on the Constitution which refers to a petition proposing amendments to the Constitution@ a)! $nitiative on tatutes which refers to a petition proposing to enact a national legislation@ and a)3 $nitiative on local legislation which refers to a petition proposing to enact a regional+ provincial+ city+ municipal+ or barangay law+ resolution or ordinance) 4*nderscoring supplied5) Fence+ to complete the classification under subtitles there should have been a subtitle on initiative on amendments to the Constitution).inition o.53/ A further e-amination of the Act even reveals that the subtitling is not accurate) >rovisions not germane to the subtitle on National $nitiative and Referendum are placed therein+ li.case may be) $t does not include+ as among the contents of the petition+ the provisions of the Constitution sought to be amended+ in the case of initiative on the Constitution) aid paragraph 4c5 reads in full as followsC 4c5 The petition shall state the followingC c)% contents or te-t of the proposed law sought to be enacted+ approved or reKected+ amended or repealed+ as the case may be@ c)! the proposition@ c)3 the reason or reasons therefor@ c)7 that it is not one of the e-ceptions provided therein@ c)5 signatures of the petitioners or registered voters@ and c)6 an abstract or summary proposition is not more than one hundred 4%BB5 words which shall be legibly written or printed at the top of every page of the petition) 4*nderscoring supplied5) The use of the clause 1proposed laws sought to be enacted+ approved or reKected+ amended or repealed2 only strengthens the conclusion that ection !+ Auoted earlier+ e-cludes initiative on amendments to the Constitution) Third) Lhile the Act provides subtitles for National $nitiative and Referendum 4 ubtitle $$5 and for =ocal $nitiative and Referendum 4 ubtitle $$$5+ no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution) This conspicuous silence as to the latter simply means that the main thrust of the Act is initiative and referendum on national and local laws) $f Congress intended R)A) No) 6(35 to fully provide for the implementation of the initiative on amendments to the Constitution+ it could have provided for a subtitle therefor+ considering that in the order of things+ the primacy of interest+ or hierarchy of values+ the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution is far more important than the initiative on national and local laws) Le cannot accept the argument that the initiative on amendments to the Constitution is subsumed under the subtitle on National $nitiative and Referendum because it is national in scope) 9ur reading of ubtitle $$ 4National $nitiative and Referendum5 and ubtitle $$$ 4=ocal $nitiative and Referendum5 leaves no room for doubt that the classification is not based on the scope of the initiative involved+ but on its nature and c)aracter) $t is 1national initiative+2 if what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a national law+ or a law which only Congress can pass) $t is 1local initiative2 if what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a law+ ordinance+ or resolution which only the legislative bodies of the governments of the autonomous regions+ provinces+ cities+ municipalities+ and barangays can pass) This classification of initiative into national and local is actually based on ection 3 of the Act+ which we Auote for emphasis and clearer understandingC EC) 3) *e.e 4%5 paragraphs 4b5 and 4c5 of ection &+ which readsC 4b5 The proposition in an initiative on the Constitution approved by the maKority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as to the day of the plebiscite) 4c5 A national or local initiative proposition approved by maKority of the votes cast in an election called for the purpose shall become effective fifteen 4%55 days after certification and proclamation of the Commission) 4*nderscoring supplied5) .

5 The limitations on local initiative@ and 4l5 The limitations upon local legislative bodies) .55/ As regards local initiative+ the Act provides for the followingC 4a5 The preliminary reAuirement as to the number of signatures of registered voters for the petition@ 4b5 The submission of the petition to the local legislative body concerned@ 4c5 The effect of the legislative body?s failure to favorably act thereon+ and the invocation of the power of initiative as a conseAuence thereof@ 4d5 The formulation of the proposition@ 4e5 The period within which to gather the signatures@ 4f5 The persons before whom the petition shall be signed@ 4g5 The issuance of a certification by the C9<E=EC through its official in the local government unit concerned as to whether the reAuired number of signatures have been obtained@ 4h5 The setting of a date by the C9<E=EC for the submission of the proposition to the registered voters for their approval+ which must be within the period specified therein@ 4i5 The issuance of a certification of the result@ 4K5 The date of effectivity of the approved proposition@ 4.s of 1plebiscite2 as the process by which the proposition in an initiative on the Constitution may be approved or reKected by the people@ 4d5 reiterates the constitutional reAuirements as to the number of voters who should sign the petition@ and 4e5 provides for the date of effectivity of the approved proposition) There was+ therefore+ an obvious downgrading of the more important or the paramount system of initiative) R)A) No) 6(35 thus delivered a humiliating blow to the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution by merely paying it a reluctant lip service) .5'/ .4!5 that portion of ection %% 4$ndirect $nitiative5 referring to indirect initiative with the legislative bodies of local governments@ thusC EC) %%) Indirect Initiative) 66 Any duly accredited people?s organi0ation+ as defined by law+ may file a petition for indirect initiative with the Fouse of Representatives+ and other legislative bodies)))) and 435 ection %! on Appeal+ since it applies to decisions of the C9<E=EC on the findings of sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition for initiative or referendum+ which could be petitions for both national and local initiative and referendum) *pon the other hand+ ection %' on 1Authority of Courts2 under subtitle $$$ on =ocal $nitiative and Referendum is misplaced+. Courts) 66 Nothing in this Act shall prevent or preclude the proper courts from declaring null and void any proposition approved pursuant to this Act for violation of the Constitution or want of capacity of the local legislative body to enact the said measure) Curiously+ too+ while R)A) No) 6(35 e-erted 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+ it failed+ rather intentionally+ to do so on the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution) Anent the initiative on national legislation+ the Act provides for the followingC 4a5 The reAuired percentage of registered voters to sign the petition and the contents of the petition@ 4b5 The conduct and date of the initiative@ 4c5 The submission to the electorate of the proposition and the reAuired number of votes for its approval@ 4d5 The certification by the C9<E=EC of the approval of the proposition@ 4e5 The publication of the approved proposition in the 9fficial Ea0ette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the >hilippines@ and 4f5 The effects of the approval or reKection of the proposition) .56/ *pon the other hand+ as to initiative on amendments to the Constitution+ R)A) No) 6(35+ in all of its twenty6three sections+ merely 4a5 mentions+ the word 1Constitution2 in ection !@ 4b5 defines 1initiative on the Constitution2 and includes it in the enumeration of the three systems of initiative in ection 3@ 4c5 spea.57/ since the provision therein applies to both national and local initiative and referendum) $t readsC EC) %') Aut)ority o.the/ Act) .5(/ The foregoing brings us to the conclusion that R)A) No) 6(35 is incomplete+ inadeAuate+ or wanting in essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned) $ts lacunae on this substantive matter are fatal and cannot be cured by 1empowering2 the C9<E=EC 1to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of .

6%/ A sufficient standard is one which defines legislative policy+ mar.63/ 4!5 to issue through its Election Records and tatistics 9ffice a certificate on the total number of registered voters in each legislative district@ .6!/ $nsofar as initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution is concerned+ R)A) No) 6(35 miserably failed to satisfy both reAuirements in subordinate legislation) The delegation of the power to the C9<E=EC is then invalid) III C9<E=EC RE 9=*T$9N N9) !3BB+ $N 98AR A $T >RE CR$BE R*=E REE*=AT$9N 9N TFE C9N:*CT 98 $N$T$AT$#E 9N A<EN:<ENT T9 C9N T$T*T$9N+ $ #9$:) AN: TFE $t logically follows that the C9<E=EC cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the e-ercise of the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative) $t does not have that power under R)A) No) 6(35) Reliance on the C9<E=EC?s power under ection !4%5 of Article $"6C of the Constitution is misplaced+ for the laws and regulations referred to therein are those promulgated by the C9<E=EC under 4a5 ection 3 of Article $"6C of the Constitution+ or 4b5 a law where subordinate legislation is authori0ed and which satisfies the 1completeness2 and the 1sufficient standard2 tests) I: C9<E=EC ACTE: L$TF9*T .6B/ Empowering the C9<E=EC+ an administrative body e-ercising Auasi6Kudicial functions+ to promulgate rules and regulations is a form of delegation of legislative authority under no) 5 above) Fowever+ in every case of permissible delegation+ there must be a showing that the delegation itself is valid) $t is valid only if the law 4a5 is complete in itself+ setting forth therein the policy to be e-ecuted+ carried out+ or implemented by the delegate@ and 4b5 fi-es a standard 66 the limits of which are sufficiently determinate and determinable 66 to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions) .s its limits+ maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it) $t indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected).5&/ The recogni0ed e-ceptions to the rule are as followsC 4%5 :elegation of tariff powers to the >resident under ection !'4!5 of Article #$ of the Constitution@ 4!5 :elegation of emergency powers to the >resident under ection !34!5 of Article #$ of the Constitution@ 435 :elegation to the people at large@ 475 :elegation to local governments@ and 455 :elegation to administrative bodies) .65/ and 475 to verify+ through its election registrars+ the signatures on the .*R$ :$CT$9N 9R L$TF ERA#E AB* E 98 :$ CRET$9N $N ENTERTA$N$NE TFE :E=8$N >ET$T$9N) Even if it be conceded e3 gratia that R)A) No) 6(35 is a full compliance with the power of Congress to implement the right to initiate constitutional amendments+ or that it has validly vested upon the C9<E=EC the power of subordinate legislation and that C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB is valid+ the C9<E=EC acted without Kurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in entertaining the :elfin >etition) *nder ection ! of Article "#$$ of the Constitution and ection 54b5 of R)A) No) 6(35+ a petition for initiative on the Constitution must be signed by at least %!N of the total number of registered voters of which every legislative district is represented by at least 3N of the registered voters therein) The :elfin >etition does not contain signatures of the reAuired number of voters) :elfin himself admits that he has not yet gathered signatures and that the purpose of his petition is primarily to obtain assistance in his drive to gather signatures) Lithout the reAuired signatures+ the petition cannot be deemed validly initiated) The C9<E=EC acAuires Kurisdiction over a petition for initiative only after its filing) The petition then is the initiatory pleading) Nothing before its filing is cogni0able by the C9<E=EC+ sitting en banc) The only participation of the C9<E=EC or its personnel before the filing of such petition are 4%5 to prescribe the form of the petition@.67/ 435 to assist+ through its election registrars+ in the establishment of signature stations@.The rule is that what has been delegated+ cannot be delegated or as e-pressed in a =atin ma-imC potestas delegata non delegari potest ).

. no part@ related to a co6petitioner and co6counsel of the petitioners) !elo and !endoza. 'ermosisima. Romero.-apunan.EREFORE. 0. 00.. concur. Regalado..et number) Fence+ the said petition was merely entered as *N:+ meaning+ undoc. 00. (itug. Kudgment is hreby rendered a5 ERANT$NE the instant petition@ b5 :EC=AR$NE R)A) No) 6(35 inadeAuate to cover the system of initiative on amendments to the Constitution+ and to have failed to provide sufficient standard for subordinate legislation@ c5 :EC=AR$NE void those parts of Resolutions No) !3BB of the Commission on Elections prescribing rules and regulations on the conduct of initiative or amendments to the Constitution@ and d5 9R:ER$NE the Commission on Elections to forthwith :$ <$ the :E=8$N petition 4*N:6&66B3(5) The Temporary Restraining 9rder issued on %' :ecember %&&6 is made permanent as against the Commission on Elections+ but is =$8TE: against private respondents) Resolution on the matter of contempt is hereby reserved) SO ORDERED.ustices >uno+ 8rancisco and >anganiban) Puno.0.. 00.. 0r.basis of the registry list of voters+ voters? affidavits+ and voters? identification cards used in the immediately preceding election). Bellosillo. 4rancisco and Panganiban. Padilla.ept in the cold@ it should be given flesh and blood+ energy and strength) Congress should not tarry any longer in complying with the constitutional mandate to provide for the implementation of the right of the people under that system) ?.66/ ince the :elfin >etition is not the initiatory petition under R)A) No) 6(35 and C9<E=EC Resolution No) !3BB+ it cannot be entertained or given cogni0ance of by the C9<E=EC) The latter .new that the petition does not fall under any of the actions or proceedings under the C9<E=EC Rules of >rocedure or under Resolution No) !3BB+ for which reason it did not assign to the petition a doc. .. and #orres 0r. too. Koins the separate+ concurring opinions of .eted) That petition was nothing more than a mere scrap of paper+ which should not have been dignified by the 9rder of 6 :ecember %&&6+ the hearing on %! :ecember %&&6+ and the order directing :elfin and the oppositors to file their memoranda or oppositions) $n so dignifying it+ the C9<E=EC acted without Kurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion and merely wasted its time+ energy+ and resources) The foregoing considered+ further discussion on the issue of whether the proposal to lift the term limits of the elective national and local officials is anamendment to+ and not a revision of+ the Constitution is rendered unnecessary+ if not academic) #ON#L%SION This petition must then be granted+ and the C9<E=EC should be permanently enKoined from entertaining or ta. C.ing cogni0ance of any petition for initiative on amendments on the Constitution until a sufficient law shall have been validly enacted to provide for the implementation of the system) Le feel+ however+ that the system of initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution should no longer be . &arvasa. has separate opinions) .