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VARGAS V.

RILLORAZA Power of Congress to Define, Prescribe & Apportion the Courts Jurisdiction Facts: In 1948, Vargas was charged for treason. He was charged before the Peoples Court presided over by Judge Rilloraza et al. The Peoples Court was created by CA 682 or the Peoples Court Act. Its main purpose was to charge treason cases and that it would be the final arbiter of such cases. The Peoples Court would be composed of justices of the SC with the exclusion of SC justices who were members of the Philippine Executive Commission during the Japanese occupation. It was deemed by the law that since those justices who worked with the PEC during the Japanese occupation and that they worked for the Japanese in one way or the other, they would have to be disqualified from ruling the treason cases. Vargas assailed such law asserting that such law created 2 Supreme Courts; that it also modified the constitutional provision on the membership of the SC; that it also violated the SCs power to promulgate its own rules. The Sol-Gen denied all allegations. ISSUE: Whether or not Congress can validly enact a law modifying the SCs original jurisdiction. HELD: Treason is a criminal case punishable by death or life imprisonment. As such, the SC has original jurisdiction over it as provided in Article 8 of the Constitution. Any treason case may be appealed before the SC and Congress may not validly enact a law depriving the SC of its original jurisdiction nor may it deprive the SC of its appellate jurisdiction. Further, the creation of the Peoples Court as the final arbiter of treason cases involving such acts done during the Japanese occupation has created another supreme court composed SC justices and some CA justices not otherwise disqualified. Such is a violation of the constitution. CA 682 is repugnant to the Constitution and the SC held it to be inoperative and the Peoples Court was rescinded. The jurisdiction of the SC may only be exercised by the Chief Justice and Associate Justices appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, sitting in banc or in division, and in cases like those involving treason they must sit in banc. If, according to section 4 of said Article VIII, "the Supreme Court shall be composed" of the Chief Justice and Associate Justices therein referred to, its jurisdiction can only be exercised by it as thus composed. To disqualify any of these constitutional component members of the Court particularly, as in the instant case, a majority of them in a treason case, is nothing short of pro tanto depriving the Court itself of its jurisdiction as established by the fundamental law. Disqualification of a judge is a deprivation of his judicial power.

De la Llana vs. Alba Facts: De la Llana, et al. filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and/or for Prohibition (considered by this Court as an action for prohibition), seeking to enjoin the Minister of the Budget, the Chairman of the Commission on Audit, and the Minister of Justice from taking any action implementing Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. BP 129 mandates that Justices and judges of inferior courts from the Court of Appeals to municipal circuit courts, except the occupants of the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals, unless appointed to the inferior courts established by such Act, would be considered separated from the judiciary. It is the termination of their incumbency that for petitioners justifies a suit of this character, it being alleged that thereby the security of tenure provision of the Constitution has been ignored and disregarded. Issue: Whether the abolition of the existing inferior courts collides with the security of tenure enjoyed by incumbent Justices and judges Under Article X, Section 7 of the Constitution. Held: The Batasang Pambansa is expressly vested with the authority to reorganize inferior courts and in the process to abolish existing ones. The termination of office of their occupants, as a necessary consequence of such abolition, is hardly distinguishable from the practical standpoint from removal, a power that is now vested in the Supreme Court. Removal is, of course, to be distinguished from termination by virtue of the abolition of the office. There can be no tenure to a non-existent office. After the abolition, there is in law no occupant. In case of removal, there is an office with an occupant who would thereby lose his position. It is in that sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of security of tenure does not arise. Nonetheless, for the incumbents of inferior courts abolished, the effect is one of separation. As to its effect, no distinction exists between removal and the abolition of the office. Realistically, it is devoid of significance. He ceases to be a member of the judiciary. In the implementation of the assailed legislation, therefore, it would be in accordance with accepted principles of constitutional construction that as far as incumbent justices and judges are concerned, the Supreme Court be consulted and that its view be accorded the fullest consideration. No fear need be entertained that there is a failure to accord respect to the basic principle that the Supreme Court does not render advisory opinions. No question of law is involved. If such were the case, certainly the Supreme Court could not have its say prior to the action taken by either of the two departments. Even then, it could do so but only by way of deciding a case where the matter has been put in issue. Neither is there any intrusion into who shall be appointed to the vacant positions created by the

reorganization. That remains in the hands of the Executive to whom it properly belongs. There is no departure therefore from the tried and tested ways of judicial power. Rather what is sought to be achieved by this liberal interpretation is to preclude any plausibility to the charge that in the exercise of the conceded power of reorganizing the inferior courts, the power of removal of the present incumbents vested in this Tribunal is ignored or disregarded. The challenged Act would thus be free from any unconstitutional taint, even one not readily discernible except to those predisposed to view it with distrust. Moreover, such a construction would be in accordance with the basic principle that in the choice of alternatives between one which would save and another which would invalidate a statute, the former is to be preferred. There is an obvious way to do so. The principle that the Constitution enters into and forms part of every act to avoid any unconstitutional taint must be applied. Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 could stand the most rigorous test of constitutionality. Further, it is of the essence of constitutionalism to assure that neither agency is precluded from acting within the boundaries of its conceded competence. That is why it has long been well-settled under the constitutional system we have adopted that the Supreme Court cannot, whenever appropriate, avoid the task of reconciliation. It is a cardinal article of faith of our constitutional regime that it is the people who are endowed with rights, to secure which a government is instituted. Acting as it does through public officials, it has to grant them either expressly or impliedly certain powers. Those they exercise not for their own benefit but for the body politic. The Constitution does not speak in the language of ambiguity: "A public office is a public trust." That is more than a moral adjuration. It is a legal imperative. The law may vest in a public official certain rights. It does so to enable them to perform his functions and fulfill his responsibilities more efficiently. It is from that standpoint that the security of tenure provision to assure judicial independence is to be viewed. There is no reason to assume that the failure of this suit to annul BP 129 would be attended with deleterious consequences to the administration of justice. It does not follow that the abolition in good faith of the existing inferior courts except the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals and the creation of new ones will result in a judiciary unable or unwilling to discharge with independence its solemn duty or one recreant to the trust reposed in it. Nor should there be any fear that less than good faith will attend the exercise of the appointing power vested in the Executive. It cannot be denied that an independent and efficient judiciary is something to the credit of any administration. Well and truly has it been said that the fundamental principle of separation of powers assumes, and justifiably so, that the three departments are as one in their determination to pursue the ideals and aspirations and to fulfill the hopes of the sovereign people as expressed in the Constitution. Air France v Carrascoso Nature: Petition for Review by Certiorari of a decision of CA FACTS:

Rafael Carrascoso was one of the 28 Filipino pilgrims who left Manila for Lourdes. He had a first class round trip ticket from Manila to ROME. However, when the plane was in Bangkok, the Manager forced him to vacate his first class seat because a white man had a better right to the seat. Carrascoso filed complaint for damages. ISSUE: won damages may be recovered on the basis of expulsion HELD: Yes Ratio: The contract of air carriage generates a relation attended with public duty. Passengers should be protected and insured a pleasant trip Wrongful expulsion is a violation of public duty by the air carrier a quasi delict. Damages are proper. Doubt WON ticket was confirmed as first class is immaterial as claim is based on the wrongful expulsion itself. PEOPLE VS. LIZADA Facts: Freedie Lizada was accused of raping his step daughter Analia Orilloso in four instances in their house in Tondo, Manila, sometime in August 1998, on or about Nov. 5, 1998, on or about Oct. 22, 1998 and on or about September 15, 1998. Physical examination showed no extragenital physical injuries. Hymen intact. Issue: WON Nov. 5, 1998 is consummated rape? Held: No. Attempted rape only 1. No proof of introduction of penis into pudendum of childs vagina 2. Not act of lasciviousness, Lewd is obsecene, lustful, indecent, lecherous 3. RPC Art. 6 attempted is based on 4 elements (reyes) 4. Not preparatory (devise means or measure to accomplish desired end). Attempt should be equivocal. No need to complete all acts just need to start act w/ causal relation to intended crime. 5. Acts must be directly related to consummation of act and ascertainable from facts (People v. Lamahang) 6. Accused had intended to have carnal knowledge of complainant. Acts not preparatory, he commenced execution but failed to finish due to presence of 3rd party, not spontaneous desistance.

Velarde vs. Social Justice Society FACTS: The Petition prayed for the resolution of the question "whether or not the act of a religious leader like any of herein respondents, in endorsing the candidacy of a candidate for elective office or in urging or requiring the members of his flock to vote for a specified candidate, is violative of the letter or spirit of the constitutional provisions .They alleged that the questioned Decision did not contain a statement of facts and a dispositive portion. ISSUE: What is the standard form of a Decision? Did the challenge Decision comply with the aforesaid form? RULING: The decision shall be in writing, personally and directly prepared by the judge, stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based, signed by the issuing magistrate, and filed with the clerk of court. In general, the essential parts of a good decision consist of the following: (1) statement of the case; (2) statement of facts; (3) issues or assignment of errors; (4) court ruling, in which each issue is, as a rule, separately considered and resolved; and, finally, (5) dispositive portion. The ponente may also opt to include an introduction or a prologue as well as an epilogue, especially in cases in which controversial or novel issues are involved. No. Counsel for SJS has utterly failed to convince the Court that there are enough factual and legal bases to resolve the paramount issue. On the other hand, the Office of the Solicitor General has sided with petitioner insofar as there are no facts supporting the SJS Petition and the assailed Decision. The Petition failed to state directly the ultimate facts that it relied upon for its claim. During the Oral Argument, counsel for SJS candidly admitted that there were no factual allegations in its Petition for Declaratory Relief. Neither were there factual findings in the assailed Decision. At best, SJS merely asked the trial court to answer a hypothetical question. In effect, it merely sought an advisory opinion, the rendition of which was beyond the courts constitutional mandate and jurisdiction. Indeed, the assailed Decision was rendered in clear violation of the Constitution, because it made no findings of facts and final disposition.