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People vs. Jalosjos G.R. No.

132875-76, February 3, 2000 Facts: The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress who is confined at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense on the basis of popular sovereignty and the need for his constituents to be represented. Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as member of House of Representatives Held: Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, inspite of its importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law. The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives arises from a provision of the Constitution. The privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment, implication or equitable considerations. The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Sec. 11, Art. VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than six years is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. To allow accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings for 5 days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system.

Jimenez vs. Cabangbang G.R. No. L-15905, August 3, 1966 Facts: Defendant Cabangbang was a member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of its Committee on National Defense. He wrote an open letter to the President and caused its publication in several newspapers of general circulation exposing the allegedly operational plans by some ambitious AFP officers regarding a massive political build-up of then Secretary of National Defense, Jesus Vargas, to prepare him to become a candidate for President in 1961. Issue: Whether or not the publication in question is a privileged communication Held: The determination of the issue depends on whether or not the publication falls within the purview of the phrase speech or debate in Congress as used in Art. VI, Sec. 15 (now Sec. 11). Said expression refers to utterances made by Congressmen in the performance of their official functions, such as speeches delivered, statements made, or votes cast in the halls of Congress, while the same is in session, as well as bills introduced in Congress, whether the same is in session or not, and other acts performed by Congressmen, either in Congress or outside the premises housing its offices, in the official discharge of their duties as members of Congress and of Congressional Committees duly authorized to perform its functions as such, at the time of the performance of the acts in question. The publication involved in this case does not belong to this category. It was an open letter to the President, when Congress presumably was not in session, and defendant caused said letter to be published in several newspapers of general circulation. In causing the communication to be so published, he was not performing his official duty, either as a member of the Congress or as officer of any committee thereof. Hence, said communication is not absolutely privileged. Aguinaldo vs. Santos Facts: Aguinaldo was the duly elected Governor of the province of Cagayan. After the December 1989 coup dtat was crushed, DILG Secretary Santos sent a telegram & letter to Governor Aguinaldo requiring him to show cause why he should not be suspended or removed from office for disloyalty to the Republic. A sworn complaint was also filed by Mayors of several municipalities in Cagayan against Aguinaldo for acts committed during the coup. Aguinaldo denied being privy to the planning of the coup or actively participating in its execution, though he admitted that he was sympathetic to the cause of the rebel soldiers.

The Secretary suspended petitioner from office for 60 days from notice, pending the outcome of the formal investigation. Later, the Secretary rendered a decision finding petition guilty as charged and ordering his removal from office. Vice-Governor Vargas was installed as Governor. Aguinaldo appealed. Aguinaldo filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary mandatory injunction and/or restraining order with the SC, assailing the decision of respondent Secretary of Local Government. Petitioner argued that: (1) that the power of respondent Secretary to suspend or remove local government official under Section 60, Chapter IV of B.P. Blg. 337 was repealed by the 1987 Constitution; (2) that since respondent Secretary no longer has power to suspend or remove petitioner, the former could not appoint respondent Melvin Vargas as Governor; and (3) the alleged act of disloyalty committed by petitioner should be proved by proof beyond reasonable doubt, and not be a mere preponderance of evidence, because it is an act punishable as rebellion under the Revised Penal Code. While the case was pending before the SC, Aguinaldo filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of Governor of Cagayan. Three petitions for disqualification were filed against him on the ground that he had been removed from office. The Comelec granted the petition. Later, this was reversed on the ground that the decision of the Secretary has not yet attained finality and is still pending review with the Court. As Aguinaldo won by a landslide margin in the elections, the resolution paved the way for his eventual proclamation as Governor of Cagayan. Issues: 1. WON petitioner's re-election to the position of Governor of Cagayan has rendered the administration case moot and academic 2. WON the Secretary has the power to suspend or remove local government officials as alter ego of the President 3. WON proof beyond reasonable doubt is required before petitioner could be removed from office. Held: 1. Yes. Aguinaldos re-election to the position of Governor of Cagayan has rendered the administrative case pending moot and academic. It appears that after the canvassing of votes, petitioner garnered the most number of votes among the candidates for governor of Cagayan province. The rule is that a public official cannot be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor. The foregoing rule, however, finds no application to criminal cases pending against petitioner for acts he may have committed during the failed coup. 2. Yes. The power of the Secretary to remove local government officials is anchored on both the Constitution and a statutory grant from the legislative branch. The constitutional basis is provided by Articles VII (17) and X (4) of the 1987 Constitution which vest in the President the power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices and the power of general supervision over local governments. It is a constitutional doctrine that the acts of the department head are presumptively the acts of the President unless expressly rejected by him. Furthermore, it cannot be said that BP337 was repealed by the effectivity of the present Constitution as both the 1973 and 1987 Constitution grants to the legislature the power and authority to enact a local government code, which provides for the manner of removal of local government officials. Moreover, in Bagabuyo et al. vs. Davide, Jr., et al., this court had the occasion to state that B.P. Blg. 337 remained in force despite the effectivity of the present Constitution, until such time as the proposed Local Government Code of 1991 is approved. The power of the DILG secretary to remove local elective government officials is found in Secs. 60 and 61 of BP 337. 3. No. Petitioner is not being prosecuted criminally, but administratively where the quantum of proof required is only substantial evidence. (Aguinaldo vs. Santos, G.R. No. 94115, August 21, 1992 Daza v Singson G.R. No. 86344. December 21, 1989. Facts: On September 16, 1988, the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino was reorganized, resulting in a political realignment in the House of Representatives. Twenty four members of the Liberal Party formally resigned from that party and joined the LDP, thereby swelling its number to 159 and correspondingly reducing their former party to only 17 members.

On December 5, 1988, the chamber elected a new set of representatives consisting of the original members except the petitioner and including therein respondent Luis C. Singson as the additional member from the LDP. The petitioner came to this Court on January 13, 1989, to challenge his removal from the Commission on Appointments and the assumption of his seat by the respondent. Briefly stated, the contention of the petitioner is that he cannot be removed from the Commission on Appointments because his election thereto is permanent under the doctrine announced in Cunanan v. Tan. For his part, the respondent argues that the question raised by the petitioner is political in nature and so beyond the jurisdiction of this Court. He also maintains that he has been improperly impleaded, the real party respondent being the House of Representatives which changed its representation in the Commission on Appointments and removed the petitioner. Finally, he stresses that nowhere in the Constitution is it required that the political party be registered to be entitled to proportional representation in the Commission on Appointments. Issue: Whether petitioners removal is unconstitutional; Whether the election of Sen. Cuenco and Delgado to the Electoral Tribunal is unconstitutional; Held: WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The temporary restraining order dated January 13, 1989, is LIFTED. The Court holds that the respondent has been validly elected as a member of the Commission on Appointments and is entitled to assume his seat in that body pursuant to Article VI, Section 18, of the Constitution. No pronouncement as to costs. Ratio: If by reason of successful election protests against members of a House, or of their expulsion from the political party to which they belonged and/or of their affiliation with another political party, the ratio in the representation of the political parties in the House is materially changed, the House is clothed with authority to declare vacant the necessary number of seats in the Commission on Appointments held by members of said House belonging to the political party adversely affected by the change and then fill said vacancies in conformity with the Constitution . Coseteng v Mitra G.R. No. 86649 G.R. No. 86649 July 12, 1990 Topic: Commission on Appointments Facts: 1. The congressional elections of May 11, 1987 resulted in the election to the House of the candidates of diverse political parties such as the PDP-Laban, Lakas ng Bansa (LB), Liberal Party (LP), NP-Unido, Kilusan ng Bagong Lipunan (KBL), Panaghiusa, Kababaihan Para sa Inang Bayan (KAIBA), and some independents. Petitioner Anna Dominique M.L. Coseteng was the only candidate elected under the banner of KAIBA.

2. Then, House , upon nomination by the Majority Floor Leader, Cong. Francisco Sumulong, elected from the Coalesced Majority, eleven (11) out of twelve (12) congressmen to represent the House in the Commission on Appointments (CA).

3. Upon nomination of the Minority Floor Leader, the House elected Honorable Roque Ablan, Jr., KBL, as the 12 CA member, representing the Coalesced Minority in the House.


4. A year later, the LDP was organized as a political party. As 158 out of 202 members of the House affiliated with it the House committees, including the House representation in the CA, had to be reorganized to conform with the new political alignments.

5. Petitioner Coseteng wrote a letter to Speaker Ramon Mitra requesting that as representative of KAIBA, she be appointed as a member of the CA and HRET. Her request was endorsed by nine (9) congressmen. After the reorganization, Congressman Ablan, KBL, was retained as the 12th member representing the House minority.

6. Hence the petition of for Extraordinary legal writs by Coseteng to declare as null and void the election of respondent Ablan, Verano-Yap, Romero, Cuenco, Mercado, Bandon, Cabochan, Imperial, Lobregat, Beltran, Locsin, and Singson, as members of the Commission on Appointments, to enjoin them from acting as such and to enjoin also the other respondents from recognizing them as members of the Commission on Appointments on the theory that their election to that Commission violated the constitutional mandate of proportional representation on following grounds:

a. the New Majority (158 LDP members out of the 202 members of the House) is entitled to only nine (9) seats out of the twelve to be filled by the House; b. the members representing the political parties, or coalitions thereof, must be nominated by their respective political parties or coalitions; c. the nomination and election of respondent Verano-Yap by the respondents as representative of the minority was clearly invalid; and d. that similarly invalid was the retention of respondent Ablan as Minority member in the Commission because he was neither nominated nor elected as such by the minority party or parties in the House. 7. Petitioner Coseteng further alleged that she is qualified to sit in the CA as a representative of the Minority because she has the support of nine (9) other congressmen and congresswomen of the Minority .

8. Respondents contention was that: (1) that the legality of the reorganization of the CA is a political question, hence, outside the jurisdiction of this Court to decide, and (2) that in any case, the reorganization was "strictly in consonance with Section 18, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution" i.e., on the basis of proportional representation of the political parties, considering the majority coalition "as a form of a political party" ISSUE: W/N the members of the House in the Commission on Appointments were chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties therein as provided in Section 18, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution YES. 1. The Court held that the petition should be dismissed, not because it raises a political question, (which it does not), but because the revision of the House representation in the CA is based on proportional representation of the political parties therein as provided in Section 18, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. Moreover, there is no merit in the petitioner's contention that the House members in the CA should have been nominated and elected by their respective political parties, as they were nominated by their respective floor leaders in the House. They were elected by the House (not by their party) in accordance with the Constitution. The validity of their election to the Commission on Appointments eleven (11) from the Coalesced Majority and one from the minority is unassailable. 2. There are 160 members of the LDP in the House. They represent 79% of the House membership (which may be rounded out to 80%). Eighty percent (80%) of 12 members in the Commission on Appointments would equal 9.6 members, which may be rounded out to ten (10) members from the LDP. The remaining two seats were apportioned to the LP (respondent Lorna VeranoYap) as the next largest party in the Coalesced Majority and the KBL (respondent Roque Ablan) as the principal opposition party in the House. There is no doubt that this apportionment of the House membership in the Commission on Appointments was done "on the basis of proportional representation of the political parties therein.

3. The other political parties or groups in the House, such as petitioner's KAIBA (which is presumably a member also of the Coalesced Majority), are bound by the majority's choices. Even if KAIBA were to be considered as an opposition party, its lone member (petitioner Coseteng) represents only .4% or less than 1% of the House membership, hence, she is not entitled to one of the 12 House seats in the Commission on Appointments. To be able to claim proportional membership in the Commission on Appointments, a political party should represent at least 8.4% of the House membership, i.e., it should have been able to elect at least 17 congressmen or congresswomen. 4. The indorsements of the nine (9) congressmen and congresswomen in favor of the petitioner's election to the Commission are inconsequential because they are not members of her party and they signed identical indorsements in favor of her rival, respondent Congresswoman Verano-Yap.

Guingona, Jr. vs. Gonzales G.R. No. 106971, March 1, 1993 Facts: The mathematical representation of each of the political parties represented in the Senate for the Commission on Appointments (CA) is as follows: LDP7.5; LP-PDP-LABAN--.5; NPC2.5; LAKAS-NUCD1.5. The LDP majority in the Senate converted a fractional half membership into a whole membership of one Senator by adding one-half or .5 to 7.5 to be able to elect respondent Senator Romulo. In so doing, one other partys fractional membership was correspondingly reduced leaving the latters representation in the CA to less than their proportional representation in the Senate. Issue: Whether or not there is a violation of Art. VI, Sec. 18 Held: The respondents claim to membership in the CA by nomination and election of the LDP majority in the Senate is not in accordance with Sec. 18 of Art. VI of the Constitution and therefore violative of the same because it is not in compliance with the requirement that 12 senators shall be elected on the basis of proportional representation of the political parties represented therein. To disturb the resulting fractional membership of the political parties in the CA by adding together 2 halves to make a whole is a breach of the rule on proportional representation because it will give the LDP an added member in the CA by utilizing the fractional membership of the minority political party, who is deprived of half a representation. The provision of Sec. 18 on proportional representation is mandatory in character and does not leave any discretion to the majority party in the Senate to disobey or disregard the rule on proportional representation. The Constitution does not require that the full complement of 12 senators be elected to the membership in the CA before it can discharge its functions and that it is not mandatory to elect 12 senators to the CA. The overriding directive of Art. VI, Sec. 18 is that there must be a proportional representation of the political parties in the membership of the CA and that the specification of 12 members to constitute its membership is merely an indication of the maximum complement allowable under the Constitution. The act of filling up the membership thereof cannot disregard the mandate of proportional representation of the parties even if it results in fractional membership in unusual situations. Even if the composition of the CA is fixed by the Constitution, it can perform its functions even if not fully constituted, so long as it has the required quorum. Codilla vs. de Venecia G.R. no. 150605, Dec. 10, 2002

If the validity of the proclamation is the core issue of the disqualification case, the proclamation of the candidate cannot divest Comelec en banc of its jurisdiction to review its validity Ministerial duty of the House to administer oath of office to the winning candidate

FACTS: Codilla, then sitting as Mayor of Ormoc City, and Locsin, the incumbent Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte, were candidates for the position of Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte. A petition for disqualification was filed against Codilla for violating Sec. 68(a) of the Omnibus Election Code, alleging that he used the equipment and vehicles owned by the City Government of Ormoc to extract, haul and distribute gravel and sand to the residents of Kananga and Matag-ob, Leyte, for the purpose of inducing, influencing or corrupting them to vote for him. At the time of the elections on May 14, 2001, the disqualification case was still pending so Codill as name remained in the list of candidates and was voted for. In fact, he garnered the highest number of votes. However, his proclamation as winner was suspended by order of the Comelec. After hearing of his disqualification case, he was found guilty and ordered disqualified. Codillas votes being considered stray, Locsin was thus proclaimed as the duly elected Representative and subsequently took h er oath of office. Codilla then filed a timely Motion for Reconsideration with the Comelec and also sought t he annulment of Locsins proclamation. ISSUES: Whether or not Comelec has jurisdiction to annul the proclamation of a Representative Whether or not it is a ministerial duty of the House to recognize Codilla as the legally elected Representative

RULING: First. The validity of the respondents proclamation was a core issue in the Motion for Reconsideration seasonably filed by t he petitioner. xxx Since the petitioner seasonably filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order of the Second Division suspending his proclamation and disqualifying him, the COMELEC en banc was not divested of its jurisdiction to review the validity of the said Order of the Second Division. The said Order of the Second Division was yet unenforceable as it has not attained finality; the timely filing of the motion for reconsideration suspends its execution. It cannot, thus, be used as the basis for the assumption in office of the respondent as the duly elected Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte. Second. It is the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) which has no jurisdiction in the instant case. xxx (a)The issue on the validity of the Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division has not yet been resolved by the COMELEC en banc. To stress again, at the time of the proclamation of respondent Locsin, the validity of the Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division was seasonably challenged by the petitioner in his Motion for Reconsideration. The issue was still within the exclusive jurisdiction of the COMELEC en banc to resolve. Hence, the HRET cannot assume jurisdiction over the matter. In Puzon vs. Cua, even the HRET ruled that the doctrinal ruling that once a proclamation has been made and a candidate -elect has assumed office, it is this Tribunal that has jurisdiction over an election contest involving members of the House of Representatives, could not have been immediately applicable due to the issue regarding the validity of the very COMELEC pronouncements themselves. This is because the HRET has no jurisdiction to review resolutions or decisions of the COMELEC, whether issued by a division or en banc.

(b)The instant case does not involve the election and qualification of respondent Locsin. xxx A petition for quo warranto may be filed only on the grounds of ineligibility and disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines. In the case at bar, neither the eligibility of the respondent Locsin nor her loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines is in question. There is no issue that she was qualified to run, and if she won, to assume office. A petition for quo warranto in the HRET is directed against one who has been duly elected and proclaimed for having obtained the highest number of votes but whose eligibility is in question at the time of such proclamation. It is evident that respondent Locsin cannot be the subject of quo warranto proceeding in the HRET. She lost the elections to the petitioner by a wide margin. Her proclamation was a patent nullity. Her premature assumption to office as Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte was void from the beginning. It is the height of absurdity for the respondent, as a loser, to tell petitioner Codilla, Sr., the winner, to unseat her via a quo warranto proceeding. Ministerial duty of the House to administer the oath of office of a winning but nevertheless unproclaimed candidate Under Rule 65, section 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, any person may file a verified petition for mandamus when any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. For a petition for mandamus to prosper, it must be shown that the subject of the petition for mandamus is a ministerial act or duty, and not purely discretionary on the part of the board, officer or person, and that the petitioner has a well-defined, clear and certain right to warrant the grant thereof. The distinction between a ministerial and discretionary act is well delineated. A purely ministerial act or duty is one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority, without regard to or the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done. If the law imposes a duty upon a public officer and gives him the right to decide how or when the duty shall be performed, such duty is discretionary and not ministerial. The duty is ministerial only when the discharge of the same requires neither the exercise of official discretion or judgment. In the case at bar, the administration of oath and the registration of the petitioner in the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives representing the 4th legislative district of Leyte is no longer a matter of discretion on the part of the public respondents. The facts are settled and beyond dispute: petitioner garnered 71,350 votes as against respondent Locsin who only got 53, 447 votes in the May 14, 2001 elections. The COMELEC Second Division initially ordered the proclamation of respondent Locsin; on Motion for Reconsideration the COMELEC en banc set aside the order of its Second Division and ordered the proclamation of the petitioner. The Decision of the COMELEC en banc has not been challenged before this Court by respondent Locsin and said Decision has become final and executory. In sum, the issue of who is the rightful Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte has been finally settled by the COMELEC en banc, the constitutional body with jurisdiction on the matter. The rule of law demands that its Decision be obeyed by all officials of the land. There is no alternative to the rule of law except the reign of chaos and confusion.

Pimentel, et al. v. House of Representives Electoral Tribunal GR 141489, November 29, 2002 Pimentel, et al. v. Commission on Appointments GR 141490 Facts: On 3 March 1995, the Party-List System Act took effect. On 11 May 1998, in accordance with the Party-List System Act, national elections were held which included, for the first time, the election through popular vote of party-list groups and organizations whose nominees would become members of the House. Proclaimed winners were 14 party-list representatives from 13 organizations, including Melvyn D. Eballe, Leonardo Q. Montemayor, Cresente C. Paez, Loretta Ann P. Rosales and Patricia M. Sarenas from party-list groups Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives[5] (APEC), Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang Bukid at Mangingisda (ABA), NATCO Network Party (COOP-NATCCO), Akbayan! Citizens Action Party (AKBAYAN), and Abanse! Pinay (ABANSE). Due to the votes it garnered, APEC was able to send 2 representatives to the House, while the 12 other party-list groups had one representative each. Also elected were district representatives belonging to various political parties. Subsequently, the House constituted its HRET and CA contingent by electing its representatives to these two constitutional bodies. In practice, the procedure involves the nomination by the political parties of House members who are to occupy seats in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and the Commission on Appointments (CA). From available records, it does not appear that after the 11 May 1998 elections the party-list groups in the House nominated any of their representatives to the HRET or the CA. As of the date of filing of the present petitions for prohibition and mandamus with prayer for writ of preliminary injunction, the House contingents to the HRET and the CA were composed solely of district representatives belonging to the different political parties. On 18 January 2000, Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. wrote two letters addressed to then Senate President Blas F. Ople, as Chairman of the CA, and to Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Jose A. R. Melo (now retired), as Chairman of the HRET. The letters requested Senate President Ople and Justice Melo to cause the restructuring of the CA and the HRET, respectively, to include party-list representatives to conform to Sections 17 and 18, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. In its meeting of 20 January 2000, the HRET resolved to direct the Secretary of the Tribunal to refer Senator Pimentels letter to t he Secretary-General of the House of Representatives. On the same day, HRET Secretary Daisy B. Panga-Vega, in an Indorsement of even date, referred the letter to House of Representatives Secretary General Roberto P. Nazareno. On 2 February 2000, Eballe, et al. filed with this Court their Petitions for Prohibition, Mandamus and Preliminary Injunction (with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order) against the HRET, its Chairman and Members, and against the CA, its Chairman and Members. They contend that, under the Constitution and the Party-List System Act, party-list representatives should have 1.2 or at least 1 seat in the HRET, and 2.4 seats in the CA. They charge that the HRET, CA, et al. committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing to act positively on the letter of Senator Pimentel. In its Resolution of 8 February 2000, the Court en banc directed the consolidation of GR 141490 with GR 141489. On 11 February 2000, Eballe et al. filed in both cases a motion to amend their petitions to implead then Speaker Manuel B. Villar, Jr. as an additional respondent, in his capacity as Speaker of the House and as one of the members of the CA. The Court granted both motions and admitted the amended petitions. Senator Pimentel filed the present petitions on the strength of his oath to protect, defend and uphold the Constitution and in his capacity as taxpayer and as a member of the CA. He was joined by 5 party -list representatives from APEC, ABA, ABANSE, AKBAYAN and COOP-NATCCO as co-petitioners. Issue: [1] Whether the present composition of the House Electoral Tribunal violates the constitutional requirement of proportional representation because there are no party-list representatives in the HRET. [2]: Whether the refusal of the HRET and the CA to reconstitute themselves to include party-list representatives constitutes grave abuse of discretion. Held: [1] NO. The Constitution expressly grants to the House of Representatives the prerogative, within constitutionally defined limits, to choose from among its district and party-list representatives those who may occupy the seats allotted to the House in the HRET and the CA. Section 18, Article VI of the Constitution explicitly confers on the Senate and on the House the authority to elect among their members those who would fill the 12 seats for Senators and 12 seats for House members in the Commission on Appointments. Under Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution, each chamber of Congress exercises the power to choose, within constitutionally defined limits, who among th eir members would occupy the allotted 6 seats of each chambers respective electoral tribunal. These constitutional provisions are reiterated in Rules 3 and 4 (a) of the 1998 Rules of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. The discretion of the House to choose its members to the HRET and the CA is not absolute, being subject to the mandatory constitutional rule on proportional representation.[26] However, under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court may not interfere with the exercise by the House of this constitutionally mandated duty, absent a clear violation of the Constitution or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.*27+ Otherwise, the doctrine of separation of powers calls for each branch of government to be left alone to discharge its duties as it sees fit.[28] Neither can the Court speculate on what action the House may take if party-list representatives are duly nominated for membership in the HRET and the CA.

The petitions are bereft of any allegation that respondents prevented the party-list groups in the House from participating in the election of members of the HRET and the CA. Neither does it appear that after the 11 May 1998 elections, the House barred the party-list representatives from seeking membership in the HRET or the CA. Rather, it appears from the available facts that the partylist groups in the House at that time simply refrained from participating in the election process. The party-list representatives did not designate their nominees even up to the time they filed the petitions, with the predictable result that the House did not consider any party-list representative for election to the HRET or the CA. As the primary recourse of the party-list representatives lies with the House of Representatives, the Court cannot resolve the issues presented by petitioners at this time. [2]: There is no grave abuse in the action or lack of action by the HRET and the CA in response to the letters of Senator Pimentel. Under Sections 17 and 18 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and their internal rules, the HRET and the CA are bereft of any power to reconstitute themselves. Co v. HRET (Re: Citizenship issue only) [consti1]

Co v. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representative ANTONIO Y. CO, petitioner, vs. ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND JOSE ONG, JR., respondents. En Banc Doctrine: citizenship Date: July 30, 1991 Ponente: Justice Gutierrez Jr. Facts: The petitioners come to this Court asking for the setting aside and reversal of a decision of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET). The HRET declared that respondent Jose Ong, Jr. is a natural born Filipino citizen and a resident of Laoang, Northern Samar for voting purposes. On May 11, 1987, the congressional election for the second district of Northern Samar was held. Among the candidates who vied for the position of representative in the second legislative district of Northern Samar are the petitioners, Sixto Balinquit and Antonio Co and the private respondent, Jose Ong, Jr. Respondent Ong was proclaimed the duly elected representative of the second district of Northern Samar. The petitioners filed election protests against the private respondent premised on the following grounds: o 1)Jose Ong, Jr. is not a natural born citizen of the Philippines; and o 2)Jose Ong, Jr. is not a resident of the second district of Northern Samar. The HRET in its decision dated November 6, 1989, found for the private respondent. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the petitioners on November 12, 1989. This was, however, denied by the HRET in its resolution dated February 22, 1989. Hence, these petitions for certiorari.

Issue: WON Jose Ong, Jr. is a natural born citizen of the Philippines. Held: Yes. Petitions are dismissed. Ratio: o The records show that in the year 1895, Ong Te (Jose Ong's grandfather), arrived in the Philippines from China. Ong Te established his residence in the municipality of Laoang, Samar on land which he bought from the fruits of hard work. As a resident of Laoang, Ong Te was able to obtain a certificate of residence from the then Spanish colonial administration. The father of the private respondent, Jose Ong Chuan was born in China in 1905. He was brought by Ong Te to Samar in the year 1915. Jose Ong Chuan spent his childhood in the province of Samar.

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o o o

As Jose Ong Chuan grew older in the rural and seaside community of Laoang, he absorbed Filipino cultural values and practices. He was baptized into Christianity. As the years passed, Jose Ong Chuan met a natural born-Filipino, Agripina Lao. The two fell in love and, thereafter, got married in 1932 according to Catholic faith and practice. The couple bore eight children, one of whom is the Jose Ong who was born in 1948. Jose Ong Chuan never emigrated from this country. He decided to put up a hardware store and shared and survived the vicissitudes of life in Samar. The business prospered. Expansion became inevitable. As a result, a branch was set-up in Binondo, Manila. In the meantime, Jose Ong Chuan, unsure of his legal status and in an unequivocal affirmation of where he cast his life and family, filed with the Court of First Instance of Samar an application for naturalization on February 15, 1954. On April 28, 1955, the CFI of Samar, after trial, declared Jose Ong Chuan a Filipino citizen. On May 15, 1957, the Court of First Instance of Samar issued an order declaring the decision of April 28, 1955 as final and executory and that Jose Ong Chuan may already take his Oath of Allegiance. Pursuant to said order, Jose Ong Chuan took his Oath of Allegiance; correspondingly, a certificate of naturalization was issued to him. During this time, Jose Ong (private respondent) was 9 years old, finishing his elementary education in the province of Samar.

There is nothing in the records to differentiate him from other Filipinos insofar as the customs and practices of the local populace were concerned. o o After completing his elementary education, the private respondent, in search for better education, went to Manila in order to acquire his secondary and college education. Jose Ong graduated from college, and thereafter took and passed the CPA Board Examinations. Since employment opportunities were better in Manila, the respondent looked for work here. He found a job in the Central Bank of the Philippines as an examiner. Later, however, he worked in the hardware business of his family in Manila. In 1971, his elder brother, Emil, was elected as a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. His status as a natural born citizen was challenged. Parenthetically, the Convention which in drafting the Constitution removed the unequal treatment given to derived citizenship on the basis of the mother's citizenship formally and solemnly declared Emil Ong, respondent's full brother, as a natural born Filipino. The Constitutional Convention had to be aware of the meaning of natural born citizenship since it was precisely amending the article on this subject. The pertinent portions of the Constitution found in Article IV read:

1. 2. 3. 4.

SECTION 1, the following are citizens of the Philippines:

Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the Constitution; Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines; Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and Those who are naturalized in accordance with law. SECTION 2, Natural-born Citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph 3 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens.

The Court interprets Section 1, Paragraph 3 above as applying not only to those who elect Philippine citizenship after February 2, 1987 but also to those who, having been born of Filipino mothers, elected citizenship before that date. The provision in question was enacted to correct the anomalous situation where one born of a Filipino father and an alien mother was automatically granted the status of a natural-born citizen while one born of a Filipino mother and an alien father would still have to elect Philippine citizenship. If one so elected, he was not, under earlier laws, conferred the status of a natural-born Election becomes material because Section 2 of Article IV of the Constitution accords natural born status to children born of Filipino mothers before January 17, 1973, if they elect citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.

o o

To expect the respondent to have formally or in writing elected citizenship when he came of age is to ask for the unnatural and unnecessary. He was already a citizen. Not only was his mother a natural born citizen but his father had been naturalized when the respondent was only nine (9) years old. He could not have divined when he came of age that in 1973 and 1987 the Constitution would be amended to require him to have filed a sworn statement in 1969 electing citizenship inspite of his already having been a citizen since 1957. In 1969, election through a sworn statement would have been an unusual and unnecessary procedure for one who had been a citizen since he was nine years old In Re: Florencio Mallare: the Court held that the exercise of the right of suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship The private respondent did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. He has established his life here in the Philippines.

Petitioners alleged that Jose Ong Chuan was not validly a naturalized citizen because of his premature taking of the oath of citizenship. o SC: The Court cannot go into the collateral procedure of stripping respondents father of his citizenship after his death. An attack on a persons citizenship may only be done through a direct action for its nullity, therefore, to ask the Court to declare the grant of Philippine citizenship to respondents father as null and void would run against the principle of due process because he has already been laid to rest Political Law Inhibition in the Senate Electoral Tribunal On 9 Oct 1987, the Abbas et al filed before the SET an election contest docketed against 22 candidates of the LABAN coalition who were proclaimed senators-elect in the May 11, 1987 congressional elections by the COMELEC. The SET was at the time composed of three (3) Justices of the Supreme Court and six (6) Senators. Abbas later on filed for the disqualification of the 6 senator members from partaking in the said election protest on the ground that all of them are interested parties to said case. Abbas argue that considerations of public policy and the norms of fair play and due process imperatively require the mass disqualification sought. To accommodate the proposed disqualification, Abbas suggested the following amendment: Tribunals Rules (Section 24) - requiring the concurrence of five (5) members for the adoption of resolutions of whatever nature - is a proviso that where more than four (4) members are disqualified, the remaining members shall constitute a quorum, if not less than three (3) including one (1) Justice, and may adopt resolutions by majority vote with no abstentions. Obviously tailored to fit the situation created by the petition for disqualification, this would, in the context of that situation, leave the resolution of the contest to the only three Members who would remain, all Justices of this Court, whose disqualification is not sought. ISSUE: Whether or not Abbas proposal could be given due weight. HELD: The most fundamental objection to such proposal lies in the plain terms and intent of the Constitution itself which, in its Article VI, Section 17, creates the Senate Electoral Tribunal, ordains its composition and defines its jurisdiction and powers. Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman. It is quite clear that in providing for a SET to be staffed by both Justices of the SC and Members of the Senate, the Constitution intended that both those judicial and legislative components commonly share the duty and authority of deciding all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of Senators. The legislative component herein cannot be totally excluded from participation in the resolution of senatorial election contests, without doing violence to the spirit and intent of the Constitution. It is not to be misunderstood in saying that no Senator-Member of the SET may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any case before said Tribunal. Every Member of the Tribunal may, as his conscience dictates, refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and impartial judgment.

What SC is saying is that in the light of the Constitution, the SET cannot legally function as such; absent its entire membership of Senators and that no amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of valid adjudication of a senatorial election contest. Angara vs. Electoral Tribunal Facts: Angara was elected representative of Tayabas, Quezon and was already proclaimed a member of the National Assembly when Ynsua protested to the ELECOM. Angara filed a motion to dismiss the protest but since his motion was denied by the ELECOM, he filed an original action in the SC questioning the jurisdiction of the ELECOM to hear the protest of Ynsua, provided that ELECOM was under the National Assembly which already proclaimed him as its member as the elected representative of Tayabas, Quezon. Issue: Whether or not the Supreme Court could take cognizance of the case and has jurisdiction over the ELECOM Held: Yes. When there is an actual case or controversy, the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral constituent units thereof. [based on the powers vested by foreign constitutions to the Judiciary] The judiciary has judicial power, and included in this power is judicial review. The Court has the discretion whether or not to exercise this power. Hence, it produced standards for justiciability. Standards: [1] actual controversy [2] lis mota of the case [3] legal standing of the parties [4] not moot and academic [5] not a political question [6] ripeness Taada v. Cuenco G.R. No. L-10520 February 28, 1957 Concepcion, J. Facts: Petitioner Lorenzo M. Taada is a member of the Senate of the Philippines, and President of the Citizens Party, whereas petitioner Diosdado Macapagal, a member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, was one of the official candidates of the Liberal Party for the Senate, at the General elections held in November, 1955, in which Pacita Madrigal Warns, Lorenzo Sumulong, Quintin Paredes, Francisco Rodrigo, Pedro Sabido, Claro M. Recto, Domocao Alonto and Decoroso Rosales, were proclaimed elected. Subsequently, the elections of this Senators-elect-who eventually assumed their respective seats in the Senatewas contested by petitioner Macapagal, together with Camilo Osias, Geronima Pecson, Macario Peralta, Enrique Magalona, Pio Pedrosa and William Chiongbian-who had, also, run for the Senate, in said election-in Senate Electoral Case No. 4, now pending before the Senate Electoral Tribunal. The Senate, in its session of February 22, 1956, upon nomination of Senator Cipriano Primicias, on behalf of the Nacionalista Party, chose Senators Jose P. Laurel, Fernando Lopez and Cipriano Primicias, as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Upon nomination of petitioner Senator Taada, on behalf of the Citizens Party, said petitioner was next chosen by the Senate as member of said Tribunal. Then, upon nomination of Senator Primicias on behalf of the Committee on Rules of the Senate, and over the objections of Senators Taada and Sumulong, the Senate choose respondents Senators Mariano J. Cuenco and Francisco A. Delgado as members of the same Electoral Tribunal. Subsequently, the Chairman of the latter appointed: (1) Alfredo Cruz and Catalina Cayetano, as technical assistant and private secretary, respectively, to Senator Cuenco, as supposed member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, upon his recommendation of said respondent; and (2) Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes, as technical

assistant and private secretary, respectively to Senator Delgado, as supposed member of said Electoral Tribunal, and upon his recommendation. Soon, thereafter, Senator Lorenzo M. Taada and Congressman Diosdado Macapagal instituted the case at bar against Senators Cuenco and Delgado, and said Alfredo Cruz, Catalina Cayetano, Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes, as well as Fernando Hipolito, in his capacity as Cashier and Disbursing Officer of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Petitioners allege that on February 22, 1956, as well as at present, the Senate consists of 23 Senators who belong to the Nacionalista Party, and one (1) Senator-namely, petitioner, Lorenzo M. Taada-belonging to the Citizens Party; that the Committee on Rules for the Senate, in nominating Senators Cuenco and Delgado, and the Senate, in choosing these respondents, as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, had acted absolutely without power or color of authority and in clear violation .. of Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution; that in assuming membership in the Senate Electoral Tribunal, by taking the corresponding oath of office therefor, said respondents had acted absolutely without color of appointment or authority and are unlawfully, and in violation of the Constitution, usurping, intruding into and exercising the powers of members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal; that, consequently, the appointments of respondents, Cruz, Cayetano, Serapio and Reyes, as technical assistants and private secretaries to Senators Cuenco and Delgado-who caused said appointments to be made-as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, are unlawful and void; and that Senators Cuenco and Delgado are threatening and are about to take cognizance of Electoral Case No. 4 of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, as allege d members thereof, in nullification of the rights of petitioner Lorenzo M. Taada, both as a Senator belonging to the Citizens Party and as representative of the Citizens Party in the Senate Electoral Tribunal, and in deprivation of the constitutional rights of petitioner Diosdado Macapagal and his co-protestants to have their election protest tried and decided-by an Electoral Tribunal composed of not more than three (3) senators chosen by the Senate upon nomination of the party having the largest number of votes in the Senate and not more than the (3) Senators upon nomination of the Party having the second largest number of votes therein, together, three (3) Justice of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, instead of by an Electoral Tribunal packed with five members belonging to the Nacionalista Party, which is the rival party of the Liberal Party, to which the Petitioner Diosdado Macapagal and his co-protestants in Electoral Case No. 4 belong, the said five (5) Nacionalista Senators having been nominated and chosen in the manner alleged hereinabove. Issue: whether the case at bar raises merely a political question, not one justiciable in nature Held: No. The phrase political question is frequently used to designate all questions that lie outside the scope of the judicial questions, which under the constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. What is generally meant, when it is, said that a question is political, and not judicial, is that it is a matter which, is to be exercised by the people in their primary political capacity, or that it has been specifically delegated to some other department or particular officer of the government, with discretionary power to act. Legislature may in its discretion determine whether it will pass a law or submit a proposed constitutional amendment to the people. The courts have no judicial control over such matters, not merely because they involve political question, but because they are matters which the people have by the Constitution delegated to the Legislature. The Governor may exercise the powers delegated to him, free from judicial control, so long as he observes the laws and acts within the limits of the power conferred. His discretionary acts cannot be controllable, not primarily because they are of a political nature, but because the Constitution and laws have placed the particular matter under his control. But every officer under a constitutional government must act according to law and subject him to the restraining and controlling power of the people, acting through the courts, as well as through the executive or the Legislature. In short, the term political question connotes, in legal parlance, what it means in ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. It refers to those questions which, under the Constitution , are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure. Such is not the nature of the question for determination in the present case. Here, we are called upon to decide whether the election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado, by the Senate, as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, upon nomination by Senator Primicias-a member and spokesman of the party having the largest number of votes in the Senate-on behalf of its Committee on Rules, contravenes the constitutional mandate that said members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal shall be chosen upon nomination .. of the party having the second largest number of votes in the Senate, and hence, is null and void. This is not a

political question. The Senate is not clothed with full discretionary authority in the choice of members of th e Senate Electoral Tribunal. The exercise of its power thereon is subject to constitutional limitations which are claimed to be mandatory in nature. It is clearly within the legitimate prove of the judicial department to pass upon the validity the proceedings in connection therewith. Issue: Is the election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado, by the Senate, as members of the Electoral Tribunal, valid and lawful? (Petitioners maintain that the nomination and election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado-who belong to the Nacionalista Party-as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, are null and void and have been made without power or color of authority, for, after the nomination by said party, and the election by the Senate, of Senators Laurel, Lopez and Primicias, as members of said Tribunal, the other Senators, who shall be members thereof, must necessarily be nominated by the party having the second largest number of votes in the Senate, and such party is, admittedly, the Citizens Party, to which Senator Taada belongs and which he represents.) Held: No. The main objective of the framers of our Constitution in providing for the establishment, first, of an Electoral Commission, 8 and then 9 of one Electoral Tribunal for each House of Congress, was to insure the exercise of judicial impartiality in the disposition of election contests affecting members of the lawmaking body. To achieve this purpose, two devices were resorted to, namely: (a) the party having the largest number of votes, and the party having the second largest number of votes, in the National Assembly or in each House of Congress, were given the same number of representatives in the Electoral Commission or Tribunal, so that they may realize that partisan considerations could not control the adjudication of said cases, and thus be induced to act with greater impartiality; and (b) the Supreme Court was given in said body the same number of representatives as each one of said political parties, so that the influence of the former may be decisive and endow said Commission or Tribunal with judicial temper. The framers intended to prevent the majority party from controlling the Electoral Tribunals, and that the structure thereof is founded upon the equilibrium between the majority and the minority parties therein, with the Justices of the Supreme Court, who are members of said Tribunals, holding the resulting balance of power. The procedure prescribed in said provision for the selection of members of the Electoral Tribunals is vital to the role they are called upon to play. it constitutes the essence of said Tribunals. Hence, compliance with said procedure is mandatory, and acts performed in violation thereof are null and void. It is true that the application of the foregoing criterion would limit the membership of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, in the case at bar, to seven (7), instead of nine (9), members; but, it is conceded that the present composition of the Senate was not foreseen by the framers of our Constitution. Furthermore, the spirit of the law prevails over its letter, and the solution herein adopted maintains the spirit of the Constitution, for partisan considerations cannot be decisive in a tribunal consisting of three (3) Justices of the Supreme Court, three (3) members nominated by the majority party and either one (1) or two (2) members nominated by the party having the second largest number of votes in the House concerned. Upon the other hand, what would be the result of respondents contentio n if upheld? Owing to the fact that the Citizens Party has only one member in the Upper House, Senator Taada felt he should nominate, for the Senate Electoral Tribunal, only said member of the Citizens Party. The same is, thus, numerically handicapped, vis-a-vis the majority party, in said Tribunal. Obviously, Senator Taada did not nominate other two Senators, because, otherwise, he would worsen the already disadvantageous position, therein, of the Citizens Party. Indeed, by the aforementioned nomination and election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado, if the same were sanctioned, the Nacionalista Party would have five (5) members in the Senate Electoral Tribunal, as against one (1) member of the Citizens Party and three members of the Supreme Court. With the absolute majority thereby attained by the majority party in said Tribunal, the philosophy underlying the same would be entirely upset. The equilibrium between the political parties therein would be destroyed. What is worst, the decisive moderating role of the Justices of the Supreme Court would be wiped out, and, in lieu thereof, the door would be thrown wide open for the predominance of political considerations in the determination of election protests pending before said Tribunal, which is precisely what the fathers of our Constitution earnestly strove to forestall. In view of the foregoing, we hold that the Senate may not elect, as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, those Senators who have not been nominated by the political parties specified in the Constitution; that the party having the largest number of votes in the Senate may nominate not more than three (3) members thereof to said Electoral Tribunal; that the party having the second largest number of votes in the Senate has the exclusive right to nominate the other three (3) Senators who shall sit as members in the Electoral Tribunal; that neither these three (3) Senators, nor any of them, may be nominated by a person or party other than the one having the second largest number of votes in the Senate or its representative therein; that the Committee

on Rules for the Senate has no standing to validly make such nomination and that the nomination of Senators Cuenco and Delgado by Senator Primicias, and the election of said respondents by the Senate, as members of said Tribunal, are null and void ab initio. Arroyo vs. De Venecia G.R. No. 127255, August 14, 1997 Facts: A petition was filed challenging the validity of RA 8240, which amends certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code. Petitioners, who are members of the House of Representatives, charged that there is violation of the rules of the House which petitioners claim are constitutionally-mandated so that their violation is tantamount to a violation of the Constitution. The law originated in the House of Representatives. The Senate approved it with certain amendments. A bicameral conference committee was formed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill. The bicameral committee submitted its report to the House. During the interpellations, Rep. Arroyo made an interruption and moved to adjourn for lack of quorum. But after a roll call, the Chair declared the presence of a quorum. The interpellation then proceeded. After Rep. Arroyos interpellation of the sponsor of the committee report, Majority Leader Albano moved for the approval and ratificatio n of the conference committee report. The Chair called out for objections to the motion. Then the Chair declared: There being none, approved. At the same time the Chair was saying this, Rep. Arroyo was asking, What is thatMr. Speaker? The Chair and Rep. Arroyo were talking simultaneously. Thus, although Rep. Arroyo subsequently objected to the Majority Leaders motion, the approval of the conference committee report had by then already been declared by the Chair. On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate and certified by the respective secretaries of both Houses of Congress. The enrolled bill was signed into law by President Ramos.

Issue: Whether or not RA 8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of the rules of the House Held: Rules of each House of Congress are hardly permanent in character. They are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them as they are primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have no concern with their observance. They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to conform to them does not have the effect of nullifying the act taken if the requisite number of members has agreed to a particular measure. But this is subject to qualification. Where the construction to be given to a rule affects person other than members of the legislative body, the question presented is necessarily judicial in character. Even its validity is open to question in a case where private rights are involved. In the case, no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a member who, instead of seeking redress in the House, chose to transfer the dispute to the Court. The matter complained of concerns a matter of internal procedure of the House with which the Court should not be concerned. The claim is not that there was no quorum but only that Rep. Arroyo was effectively prevented from questioning the presence of a quorum. Rep. Arroyos earlier motion to adjourn for lack of quorum had already been defeated, as the roll call established the existence of a quorum. The question of quorum cannot be raised repeatedly especially when the quorum is obviously present for the purpose of delaying the business of the House. Morales vs Subido Political Law Journals vs Enrolled Bill : Morales has served as captain in the police department of a city for at least three years but does not possess a bachelors degree, is qualified for appointment as chief of police. Morales wa s the chief of detective bureau of the Manila Police Department and holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. He began his career in 1934 as patrolman and gradually rose to his present position. Upon the resignation of the former Chief , Morales was designated acting chief of police of Manila and, at the same time, given a provisional appointment to the same position by the mayor of Manila. Subido approved the designation of the petitioner but rejected his appointment for failure to meet the minimum education al and civil service eligibility requirements for the said position. Instead, the respondent certified other persons as qualified for the post. Subido invoked Section 10 of the Police Act of 1966, which Section reads:

Minimum qualification for appointment as Chief of Police Agency. No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelors degree from a recognized institution of learning and has served either in the Armed Forces of th e Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation, or has served as chief of police with exemplary record, or has served in the police department of any city with rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years; or any high school graduate who has served as officer in the Armed Forces for at least eight years with the rank of captain and/or higher. Nowhere in the above provision is it provided that a person who has served the police department of a city can be qualifi ed for said office. Morales however argued that when the said act was being deliberated upon, the approved version was actually the following: No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelors degree and has served either in the Ar med Forces of the Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation or police department of any city and has held the rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years or any high school graduate who has served the police department of a city or who has served as officer of the Armed Forces for at least 8 years with the rank of captain and/or higher. Morales argued that the above version was the one which was actually approved by Congress but when the bill emerged from the conference committee the only change made in the provision was the insertion of the phrase or has served as chief of police with exemplary record. Morales went on to support his case by producing copies of certified photostatic copy of a memorandum which according to him was signed by an employee in the Senate bill division, and can be found attached to the page proofs of the then bill being deliberated upon. ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must look upon the history of the bill, thereby inquiring upon the journals, to look searchingly into the matter. HELD: The enrolled Act in the office of the legislative secretary of the President of the Philippines shows that Section 10 is exactly as it is in the statute as officially published in slip form by the Bureau of Printing. The SC cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover what really happened. The respect due to the other branches of the Government demands that the SC act upon the faith and credit of what the officers of the said branches attest to as the official acts of their respective departments. Otherwise the SC would be cast in the unenviable and unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the labyrinth of lawmaking, with consequent impairment of the integrity of the legislative process. The SC is not of course to be understood as holding that in all cases the journals must yield to the enrolled bill. To be sure there are certain matters which the Constitution expressly requires must be entered on the journal of each house. To what extent the validity of a legislative act may be affected by a failure to have such matters entered on the journal, is a question which the SC can decide upon but is not currently being confronted in the case at bar hence the SC does not now decide. All the SC holds is that with respect to matters not expressly required to be entered on the journal, the enrolled bill prevails in the event of any discrepancy. Astorga vs. Villegas G.R. No. L-23475, April 30, 1974 Facts: House Bill No. 9266, a bill of local application filed in the House of Representatives, was passed on third reading without amendments. But when the bill was discussed in the Senate, substantial amendments were introduced by Senator Tolentino. Those amendments were approved in toto by the Senate. There was also an amendment recommended by Senator Roxas but this does not appear in the journal of the Senate proceedings as having been acted upon. The House of Representatives thereafter signified its approval of H.B.9266 containing the amendments recommended by Senator Roxas and not the Tolentino amendments which were the ones actually approved by the Senate. The printed copies of the bill were then certified and attested by the Secretary of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate and the Senate President. Then the President affixed his signature thereto by way of approval. The bill became RA 4065. Senator Tolentino issued a press statement that the enrolled copy of H.B. 9266 signed into law by the President was a wrong version of the bill actually passed by the Senate because it did not embody the amendments introduced by him and approved on the Senate floor. As a consequence, the Senate President invalidated his signature on the bill. Thereafter, the President withdrew his signature on H.B. 9266. Issue: Whether or not the enrolled bill doctrine should be adhered to

Held: The enrolled bill theory is based mainly on the respect due to coequal and independent departments, which requires the judicial department to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the right manner. Petitioners argument that the attestation of the presiding officers of Congress is conclusive proof of a bills due enactment, required, it is said, by the respect due to a co-equal department of the government, is neutralized by the fact that the Senate President declared his signature on the bill to be invalid and issued a subsequent clarification that the invalidation of his signature meant that the bill he had signed had never been approved by the Senate. Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently there being no enrolled bill to speak of, the entries in the journal should be consulted. The journal discloses that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him. The Court declares that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not become a law.

United States vs Juan Pons Political Law Journal Conclusiveness of the Journals Pons and Gabino Beliso were trading partners. On 5 Apr 1914, the steamer Lopez y Lopez arrived at Manila from Spain and it contained 25 barrels of wine. The said barrels of wine were delivered to Beliso. Beliso subsequently delivered 5 barrels to P ons house. On the other hand, the customs authorities noticed that the said 25 barrels listed as wine on record were not delivered to any listed merchant (Beliso not being one). And so the customs officers conducted an investigation thereby discovering that the 25 barrels of wine actually contained tins of opium. Since the ct of trading and dealing opium is against Act 2381, Pons and Beliso were charged for illegally and fraudulently importing and introducing such contraband material to the Philippines. Pons appealed the sentence arguing that Act 2381 was not approved while the Philippine Commission (Congress) was not in session. He said that his witnesses claim that the said law was passed/approved on 01 March 1914 while the special session of the Commission was adjourned at 12MN on 28 Feb 1914. Since this is the case, Act 2381 should be null and void. ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must go beyond the recitals of the Journals to determine if Act 2381 was indeed made a as law on 28 Feb 1914. HELD: The SC looked into the Journals to ascertain the date of adjournment but the SC refused to go beyond the recitals in the legislative Journals. The said Journals are conclusive on the Court and to inquire into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine Legislature, when they are, as the SC have said, clear and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and the spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and independent department of the Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature. Pons witnesses cannot be given due weight against the conclusiveness of the Journals which is an act of the legislature. The journals say that the Legislature adjourned at 12 midnight on February 28, 1914. This settles the question, and the court did not err in declining to go behind these journals. The SC passed upon the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill in this particular case. In case of conflict between the journal and the enrolled bill, which shall prevail? In CASCO PHIL. VS. GIMENEZ, 7 SCRA 347, it was held by the Supreme Court that The enrolled bill prevails over the journal. If the enrolled bill provides that it is urea formaldehyde is the one exempt from tax, and not urea and formaldehyde which appears in the journal which was really approved, the former prevails and only CURATIVE LEGISLATION COULD CHANGE THE SAME, NOT JUDICIAL LEGISLATION. However, if the President of the Philippines, Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives withdraw their signatures as a result of an anomaly surrounding the printing of the final copy of the bill, then, the journal will prevail since what is left is no longer considered an enrolled bill. (NOTE, however, that the journal prevails over the enrolled bill on all matters required to be entered in the journals, like yeas and nays on the final reading of a bill or on any question at the request of 1/5 of the members present. [Justice Isagani Cruz])

Casco Philippine Chemical V Gimenez FACTS: This is a petition for review of a decision of the Auditor General denying a claim for refund of petitioner Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. The Central Bank issued Circulars fixing a uniform margin fee of 25% on foreign exchange transactions. The bank also issued memorandum establishing the procedure for the applications for exemption from the payment of said fee as provided by RA 2609. CASCO is a manufacturing firm engaged in the making of plywood and other similar items wherein one of their production inputs is UREA and FORMALDEHYDE. In two of their import transactions, they paid the required margin fee. In both of their transactions, they filed a request of refund to the Central Bank and the CB issued the vouchers but was refused by the Auditor of the Bank. The refusal was also affirmed by the Auditor General. The refusal was based on the fact that the separate importation of UREA and FORMALDEHYDE is not in accord with the provisions of RA#2609. ISSUES: Whether or not the separate importation of UREA and FORMALDEHYDE is allowed under RA#2609. HELD: The National Institute of Science and Technology defines UREA FORMALDEHYDE as Urea formaldehyde is not a chemical solution. It is the synthetic resin formed as a condensation product from definite proportions of urea and formaldehyde under certain conditions relating to temperature, acidity, and time of reaction. This produce when applied in water solution and extended with inexpensive fillers constitutes a fairly low cost adhesive for use in the manufacture of plywood. Hence, urea formaldehyde is clearly a finished product, which is patently distinct and different from urea and formaldehyde, as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as urea formaldehyde . If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive on which we cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree. Decision appealed from is hereby affirmed, with cost against the petitioner.