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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1

FILE No. 8

VI. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

a. PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT

i) Qualifications (Sections 2 and 3)

Section 2. No person may be elected President unless he is a


natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter,
able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day
of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least
ten years immediately preceding such election.

Section 3. There shall be a Vice-President who shall have the


same qualifications and term of office and be elected with,
and in the same manner, as the President. He may be
removed from office in the same manner as the President.

The Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the


Cabinet. Such appointment requires no confirmation.

President Vice President

At least 40 years old on the day of At least 40 years old on the day
election of election
Natural-born citizen of the Natural-born citizen of the
Philippines Philippines

Able to read and write Able to read and write

Register voter Register voter

Resident of the Philippines for at Resident of the Philippines for at


least 10 years immediately least 10 years immediately
preceding the election preceding the election

Term of 6 years Term of 6 years

Unless otherwise provided by law, Unless otherwise provided by


term of office commence at noon law, term of office commence at
of June 30 next following the noon of June 30 next following
election the election

Single term only; not eligible for Term limitation: 2 successive


any re-election terms.
Any person who has succeeded as
President, and served as such for
more than 4 years shall NOT be
qualified for election to the same
office at any time.

CASES

• Section 2, Article VII, of the 1987 Constitution expresses: "No


person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born
citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and
write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a
resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately
preceding such election."

The term "natural-born citizens," is defined to include "those who


are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform
any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship." The
date, month and year of birth of FPJ appeared to be 20 August
1939 during the regime of the 1935 Constitution. Through its
history, four modes of acquiring citizenship - naturalization, jus
soli, res judicata and jus sanguinis[28] – had been in vogue. Only
two, i.e., jus soli and jus sanguinis, could qualify a person to being
a “natural-born” citizen of the Philippines. With the adoption of
the 1935 Constitution and the reversal of Roa in Tan Chong vs.
Secretary of Labor (1947), jus sanguinis or blood relationship
would now become the primary basis of citizenship by birth.

“Section 1, Article III, 1935 Constitution. The following are citizens


of the Philippines -
“(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of
the adoption of this Constitution
“(2) Those born in the Philippines Islands of foreign parents who,
before the adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to
public office in the Philippine Islands.
“(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines.
“(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and
upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship.
“(5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.” (Tecson vs.
COMELEC, GR 161434, March 3, 2004).

ii) Election and Term of Office (Sections 4 and 5)

Section 4. The President and the Vice-President shall be


elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years
which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next
following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the
same date, six years thereafter. The President shall not be
eligible for any re-election. No person who has succeeded as
President and has served as such for more than four years
shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.

No Vice-President shall serve for more than two successive


terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of
time shall not be considered as an interruption in the
continuity of the service for the full term for which he was
elected.

Unless otherwise provided by law, the regular election for


President and Vice-President shall be held on the second
Monday of May.

The returns of every election for President and Vice-


President, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each
province or city, shall be transmitted to the Congress,
directed to the President of the Senate. Upon receipt of the
certificates of canvass, the President of the Senate shall, not
later than thirty days after the day of the election, open all
the certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House
of Representatives in joint public session, and the Congress,
upon determination of the authenticity and due execution
thereof in the manner provided by law, canvass the votes.

The person having the highest number of votes shall be


proclaimed elected, but in case two or more shall have an
equal and highest number of votes, one of them shall
forthwith be chosen by the vote of a majority of all the
Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately.

The Congress shall promulgate its rules for the canvassing of


the certificates.

The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of


all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may
promulgate its rules for the purpose.

Section 5. Before they enter on the execution of their office,


the President, the Vice-President, or the Acting President
shall take the following oath or affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully and


conscientiously fulfill my duties as President [or Vice-
President or Acting President] of the Philippines, preserve
and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to
every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the
Nation. So help me God." [In case of affirmation, last
sentence will be omitted].

1. Regular – second Monday of May, every six years;

2. Special

Requisites:

a. death, permanent disability, removal from office or


resignation of both the President and the Vice President.

b. vacancies occur more than eighteen months before the next


regular presidential election;
c. a law passed by Congress calling for a special election to
elect a President and Vice President to be held not earlier than
45 days nor later than 60 days from the time of such call (Sec.
10, Art VII).

- Congress as canvassing board


- Supreme Court as Electoral Tribunal

CASES
• The term of office of the Senators who would be elected would
be six years, to commence at noon on the thirtieth day of June
next following their election and to end at noon of 30 June 2001.
Protestant Santiago filed a certificate of candidacy for Senator in
the 8 May 1995 election, campaigned for such office, and
submitted herself to be voted upon. She filed her certificate of
candidacy for the Senate without any qualification, condition, or
reservation. In so doing, she entered into a political contract with
the electorate that if elected, she would assume the office of
Senator, discharge its functions and serve her constituency as
such for the term for which she was elected. The term of office of
the Senators elected in the 8 May 1995 election is six years, the
first three of which coincides with the last three years of the term
of the President elected in the 11 May 1992 synchronized
elections. The latter would be Protestant Santiago's term if she
would succeed in proving in the instant protest. that she was the
true winner in the 1992 elections.In assuming the office of Senator
then, the Protestant has effectively abandoned or withdrawn this
protest. Such abandonment or withdrawal operates to render
moot the instant protest. Another reason why this case should
now be dismissed is the fact that the Protestant has decided to
waive the revision of the remaining unrevised ballots from 4,017
precincts out of the 17,527 precincts of the designated three pilot
areas. This is an unabashed reversal from her original stand in her
Motion and Manifestation dated 18 October 1993. Until the
present, however, the Protestant has not informed the Tribunal
whether after the completion of the revision of the ballots from
her pilot areas, she still intends to present evidence in connection
therewith. This failure then, is nothing short of a manifest
indication that she no longer intends to do so. All told, a dismissal
of this election protest is inevitable (Defensor-Santiago vs. Ramos, PET
Case No. 001, Feb. 13, 1996).

iii) Privileges (Section 6)

Section 6. The President shall have an official residence. The


salaries of the President and Vice-President shall be
determined by law and shall not be decreased during their
tenure. No increase in said compensation shall take effect
until after the expiration of the term of the incumbent during
which such increase was approved. They shall not receive
during their tenure any other emolument from the
Government or any other source.
 Official residence

 Salary

 Official salaries are determines by law.


 Salaries cannot be decreased during the TENURE of the President
and the Vice-President
 Increases take effect only after the expiration of the TERM of the
incumbent during which the increase was approved.
 Prohibited from receiving any other emolument from the
government of any other source during their TENURE.

 Presidential Immunity

CASES

• It is elementary that incumbent Presidents are immune from


suit or from being brought to court during the period of their
incumbency and tenure (In re: Bermudez, 145 SCRA 160).

• The rationale for the grant to the President of the privilege of


immunity from suit is to assure the exercise of Presidential duties
and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering
that being the Chief Executive of the Government is a job that,
aside from requiring all of the office-holder's time, also demands
undivided attention. But this privilege of immunity from suit,
pertains to the President by virtue of the office and may be
invoked only by the holder of the office; not by any other person
in the President's behalf Thus, an accused in a criminal case in
which the President is complainant cannot raise the presidential
privilege as a defense to prevent the case from proceeding
against such accused. Moreover, there is nothing in our laws that
would prevent the President from waiving the privilege. Thus, if so
minded the President may shed the protection afforded by the
privilege and submit to the court's jurisdiction. The choice of
whether to exercise the privilege or to waive it is solely the
President's prerogative. It is a decision that cannot be assumed
and imposed by any other person (Beltran vs. Makasiar, 167 SCRA 393).

• Issue: Is the President's right to safeguard certain information,


using his "executive privilege" confidentiality power, entirely
immune from judicial review? No. The Court held that neither the
doctrine of separation of powers, nor the generalized need for
confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can
sustain an absolute, unqualified, presidential privilege. The Court
granted that there was a limited executive privilege in areas of
military or diplomatic affairs, but gave preference to "the
fundamental demands of due process of law in the fair
administration of justice." Therefore, the president must obey the
subpoena and produce the tapes and documents. Nixon resigned
shortly after the release of the tapes (US vs. Nixon, 418 US 683, 41
L.Ed. 2D 1039).

• The President's absolute immunity is a functionally mandated


incident of his unique office, rooted in the constitutional tradition
of the separation of powers and supported by the Nation's history.
Because of the singular importance of the President's duties,
diversion of his energies by concern with private lawsuits would
raise unique risks to the effective functioning of government.
While the separation-of-powers doctrine does not bar every
exercise of jurisdiction over the President, a court, before
exercising jurisdiction, must balance the constitutional weight of
the interest to be served against the dangers of intrusion on the
authority and functions of the Executive Branch. The exercise of
jurisdiction is not warranted in the case of merely private suits for
damages based on a President's official acts. Pp. 748-754.

• The President's absolute immunity extends to all acts within the


"outer perimeter" of his duties of office. A rule of absolute
immunity for the President does not leave the Nation without
sufficient protection against his misconduct. There remains the
constitutional remedy of impeachment, as well as the deterrent
effects of constant scrutiny by the press and vigilant oversight by
Congress. Other incentives to avoid misconduct may include a
desire to earn reelection, the need to maintain prestige as an
element of Presidential influence, and a President's traditional
concern for his historical stature (Nixon vs. Fitzgerald, 457 US 731).

• The court explained that the President, like other officials, is


subject to the same laws that apply to all citizens, that no case
had been found in which an official was granted immunity from
suit for his unofficial acts, and that the rationale for official
immunity is inapposite where only personal, private conduct by a
President is at issue. Moreover, immunities for acts clearly within
official capacity are grounded in the nature of the function
performed, not the identity of the actor who performed it. The
separation of powers doctrine does not require federal courts to
stay all private actions against the President until he leaves office.
Even accepting the unique importance of the Presidency in the
constitutional scheme, it does not follow that that doctrine would
be violated by allowing this action to proceed. The doctrine
provides a self executing safeguard against the encroachment or
aggrandizement of one of the three co equal branches of
Government at the expense of another (Clinton vs. Jones, 520 US 681,
May 27, 1997).

• Incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being


brought to court during the period of their incumbency and
tenure" but not beyond. Considering the peculiar circumstance
that the impeachment process against the petitioner has been
aborted and thereafter he lost the presidency, petitioner Estrada
cannot demand as a condition sine qua non to his criminal
prosecution before the Ombudsman that he be convicted in the
impeachment proceedings. As to the scope of immunity that can
be claimed by petitioner as a non-sitting President. The cases filed
against petitioner Estrada are criminal in character. They involve
plunder, bribery and graft and corruption. By no stretch of the
imagination can these crimes, especially plunder which carries the
death penalty, be covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of a
non-sitting president. Petitioner cannot cite any decision of this
Court licensing the President to commit criminal acts and
wrapping him with post-tenure immunity from liability. It will be
anomalous to hold that immunity is an inoculation from liability for
unlawful acts and conditions. The rule is that unlawful acts of
public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts
illegally is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as
any trespasser (Estrada vs. Arroyo, GR 146738, March 2, 2001).

• Section 3 (7) of Article XI of the Constitution conveys two


uncomplicated ideas: first, it tells us that judgment in
impeachment cases has a limited reach. . .i.e., it cannot extend
further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any
office under the Republic of the Philippines, and second, it tells us
the consequence of the limited reach of a judgment in
impeachment proceedings considering its nature, i.e., that the
party convicted shall still be liable and subject to prosecution, trial
and punishment according to law. No amount of manipulation will
justify petitioner’s non sequitur submission that the provision
requires that his conviction in the impeachment proceedings is a
condition sine qua non to his prosecution, trial and punishment for
the offenses he is now facing before the respondent Ombudsman.
Petitioner contends that the private and public prosecutors’ walk
out from the impeachment proceedings “should be considered
failure to prosecute... amounts to an acquittal for purposes of
applying the rule against double jeopardy.” However, the Court
rules that without ruling on the nature of impeachment
proceedings, it rejects petitioner’s submission. Double jeopardy
attaches only: (1) upon a valid complaint; (2) before a competent
court; (3) after arraignment; (4) when a valid plea has been
entered; and (5) when the defendant was acquitted or convicted
or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the
express consent of the accused. Assuming arguendo that the first
four requisites of double jeopardy were complied with, petitioner
failed to satisfy the fifth requisite for he was not acquitted nor was
the impeachment proceeding dismissed without his express
consent. Petitioner stubbornly clings to the contention that he is
entitled to absolute immunity from suit, and oes a step further
and avers that even a non-sitting President enjoys immunity from
suit during his term of office. Petitioner, however, fails to
distinguish between term and tenure. The term means the time
during which the officer may claim to hold the office as of right,
and fixes the interval after which the several incumbents shall
succeed one another. The tenure represents the term during
which the incumbent actually holds office. The tenure may be
shorter than the term for reasons within or beyond the power of
the incumbent. From the deliberations, the intent of the framers is
clear that the immunity of the president from suit is concurrent
only with his tenure and not his term (Estrada vs. Arroyo, GR 146738,
Motion for Recon., April 3, 2001).

iv)Prohibitions and inhibitions (Section 13)

Section 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the


Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not, unless
otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office
or employment during their tenure. They shall not, during
said tenure, directly or indirectly, practice any other
profession, participate in any business, or be financially
interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special
privilege granted by the Government or any subdivision,
agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-
owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They
shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their
office.

Prohibited from:

 Holding any office or employment during their tenure, UNLESS:


otherwise provided in the Constitution (e.g. VP can be appointed a
Cabinet Member, Sec. of Justice sits on Judicial and Bar Council); or
the positions are ex-officio and they do not receive any salary of
other emoluments therefore (e.g. Sec. of Finance is head of
Monetary Board).

 Practicing, directly or indirectly, any other profession during


their tenure;

 Participating in any business;

 Being financially interested in any contract with, or in any


franchise, or special privilege granted by the government or any
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including GOCC’s or
their subsidiaries.

v) Presidential Succession (Section 7,8,9,10 and


12)

Section 7. The President-elect and the Vice President-elect


shall assume office at the beginning of their terms.

If the President-elect fails to qualify, the Vice President-elect


shall act as President until the President-elect shall have
qualified.

If a President shall not have been chosen, the Vice President-


elect shall act as President until a President shall have been
chosen and qualified.

If at the beginning of the term of the President, the


President-elect shall have died or shall have become
permanently disabled, the Vice President-elect shall become
President.

Where no President and Vice-President shall have been


chosen or shall have qualified, or where both shall have died
or become permanently disabled, the President of the Senate
or, in case of his inability, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, shall act as President until a President or a
Vice-President shall have been chosen and qualified.

The Congress shall, by law, provide for the manner in which


one who is to act as President shall be selected until a
President or a Vice-President shall have qualified, in case of
death, permanent disability, or inability of the officials
mentioned in the next preceding paragraph.

Section 8. In case of death, permanent disability, removal


from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-
President shall become the President to serve the unexpired
term. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from
office, or resignation of both the President and Vice-
President, the President of the Senate or, in case of his
inability, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall
then act as President until the President or Vice-President
shall have been elected and qualified.

The Congress shall, by law, provide who shall serve as


President in case of death, permanent disability, or
resignation of the Acting President. He shall serve until the
President or the Vice-President shall have been elected and
qualified, and be subject to the same restrictions of powers
and disqualifications as the Acting President.

Section 9. Whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the


Vice-President during the term for which he was elected, the
President shall nominate a Vice-President from among the
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives
who shall assume office upon confirmation by a majority vote
of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting
separately.

Section 10. The Congress shall, at ten o'clock in the morning


of the third day after the vacancy in the offices of the
President and Vice-President occurs, convene in accordance
with its rules without need of a call and within seven days,
enact a law calling for a special election to elect a President
and a Vice-President to be held not earlier than forty-five
days nor later than sixty days from the time of such call. The
bill calling such special election shall be deemed certified
under paragraph 2, Section 26, Article V1 of this Constitution
and shall become law upon its approval on third reading by
the Congress. Appropriations for the special election shall be
charged against any current appropriations and shall be
exempt from the requirements of paragraph 4, Section 25,
Article V1 of this Constitution. The convening of the Congress
cannot be suspended nor the special election postponed. No
special election shall be called if the vacancy occurs within
eighteen months before the date of the next presidential
election.
Section 12. In case of serious illness of the President, the
public shall be informed of the state of his health. The
members of the Cabinet in charge of national security and
foreign relations and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines, shall not be denied access to the President
during such illness.

1. Vacancies at the beginning of the term.

Vacancy Successor
President-elect fails to qualify or VP-elect will be Acting President
to be chosen until someone is qualified /
chosen as President.
President-elect dies or is VP becomes President.
permanently disabled.
Both President and VP-elect are 1) Senate President or
not chosen or do not qualify or 2) In case of his inability, the
both die, or both become Speaker of the House shall act as
permanently disabled. President until a President or a VP
shall have been chosen and
qualified. In case of death or
disability of (1) and (2) Congress
shall determine, by law, who will
be the acting President.

2. Vacancies after the office is initially filled:

Vacancy Successor
President dies, is permanently Vice-President becomes President
disabled, is impeached, or for the unexpired term.
resigns.
Both President and Vice- 1. Senate President or
President die, become 2. In case of his inability, the
permanently disabled, are Speaker of the House shall act
impeached, or resign. as President until the President
or VP shall have been elected
and qualified.

3. Vacancy in office of Vice-President during the term


for which he was elected:
a) President will nominate new VP from any member of either House
of Congress.
b) Nominee shall assume office upon confirmation by majority vote of
ALL members of both Houses, voting separately. (Nominee forfeits
seat in Congress).
4. Election of President and Vice-President after
vacancy during term.
a) Congress shall convene 3 days after the vacancy
in the office of both the President and the VP,
without need of a call. The convening o
Congress cannot be suspended.
b) Within 7 days after convening, Congress shall
enact a law calling for a special election to elect
a President and a VP. The special election
cannot be postponed.
c) The special election shall be held not earlier than
45 days not later than 60 days from the time of
the enactment of the law.
d) The 3 readings for the special law need not be
held on separate days.
e) The law shall be deemed enacted upon its
approval on third reading.
BUT: No special election shall be called if the vacancy occurs
within 18 months before the date of the next presidential election.

5. Temporary Disability of the President: The


temporary inability of the President to discharge his
duties may be raised in either of two ways:
a) By the President himself, when he sends a
written declaration to the Senate President and
the Speaker of the House. In this case, the Vice-
President will be Acting President until the
President transmits a written declaration to the
contrary.
b) When a majority of the Cabinet members
transmit to the Senate President and the
Speaker their written declaration.
i. The VP will immediately be Acting
President.
ii. BUT: If the President transmits a written
declaration that he is not disabled, he
reassumes his position.
iii. If within 5 days after the President re-
assumes his position, the majority of
the Cabinet retransmits their written
declaration, Congress shall decide the
issue. In the event, Congress shall
reconvene within 48 hours if it is not in
session, without need of a call.
iv. Within 10 days after Congress is required
to assemble, or 12 days if Congress is
not in session, a 2/3 majority of both
Houses, voting separately, is needed to
find the President temporarily disabled,
in which case, the VP will be Acting
President.

6. Presidential illness:
a) If the President is seriously ill, the public must be
informed thereof.
b) Even during such illness, the National Security
Adviser, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and the
Chief of Staff of the AFP re entitled to access to
the President.

vi)Removal of the President

CASES

• Petitioner denies he resigned as President or that he suffers


from a permanent disability. Hence, he submits that the office of
the President was not vacant when respondent Arroyo took her
oath as President. The issue then is whether the petitioner
resigned as President or should be considered resigned as of
January 20, 2001 when respondent took her oath as the 14 th
President of the Public. Resignation is not a high level legal
abstraction. It is a factual question and its elements are beyond
quibble: there must be an intent to resign and the intent must be
coupled by acts of relinquishment.78 The validity of a resignation is
not government by any formal requirement as to form. It can be
oral. It can be written. It can be express. It can be implied. As long
as the resignation is clear, it must be given legal effect. n sum,
we hold that the resignation of the petitioner cannot be doubted.
It was confirmed by his leaving Malacanang. In the press release
containing his final statement, (1) he acknowledged the oath-
taking of the respondent as President of the Republic albeit with
reservation about its legality; (2) he emphasized he was leaving
the Palace, the seat of the presidency, for the sake of peace and
in order to begin the healing process of our nation. He did not say
he was leaving the Palace due to any kind inability and that he
was going to re-assume the presidency as soon as the disability
disappears: (3) he expressed his gratitude to the people for the
opportunity to serve them. Without doubt, he was referring to the
past opportunity given him to serve the people as President (4) he
assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may
come ahead in the same service of our country. Petitioner's
reference is to a future challenge after occupying the office of the
president which he has given up; and (5) he called on his
supporters to join him in the promotion of a constructive national
spirit of reconciliation and solidarity. Certainly, the national spirit
of reconciliation and solidarity could not be attained if he did not
give up the presidency. The press release was petitioner's
valedictory, his final act of farewell. His presidency is now in the
part tense (Estrada vs. Arroyo, GR 146738, March 2, 2001).

• Congress has the ultimate authority under the Constitution to


determine whether the President is incapable of performing his
functions in the manner provided for in section 11 of Article VII.
The recognition of respondent Arroyo as our de jure president
made by Congress is unquestionably a political judgment. It is
significant that House Resolution No. 176 cited as the bases of its
judgment such factors as the “people’s loss of confidence on the
ability of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada to effectively
govern” and the “members of the international community had
extended their recognition of Her Excellency, Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo as President of the Republic of the Philippines” and it has a
constitutional duty “of fealty to the supreme will of the people x x
x.” This political judgment may be right or wrong but Congress is
answerable only to the people for its judgment. Its wisdom is fit
to be debated before the tribunal of the people and not before a
court of justice. Needles to state, the doctrine of separation of
power constitutes an inseparable bar against this court’s
interposition of its power of judicial review to review the judgment
of Congress rejecting petitioner’s claim that he is still the
President, albeit on leave and that respondent Arroyo is merely an
acting President (Estrada vs. Arroyo, GR 146738, Motion for Recon., April 3,
2001).

b. PRESIDENTIAL POWERS

i) Executive Power

 Power to enforce and administer laws.

 President shall have control of all


executive departments, bureaus
and offices. He shall ensure that
laws are faithfully executed (Sec.
17, Art. VII).

Section 17. The President shall have control of all the


executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure
that the laws be faithfully executed.

 Until and unless a law is declared


unconstitutional, the President
has a duty to execute it
regardless of his doubts as to its
validity (faithful execution clause)
(Sec.1 and 17, Art. VII).

Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in the


President of the Philippines.

CASES

• The Organic Act vests "the supreme executive power" in the


Governor- General of the Philippine Islands. In addition to
specified functions,he is given "general supervision and control of
all the departments and bureaus of the government of the
Philippine Islands as far as is not inconsistent with the provisions
of this act. "He is also made "responsible for the faithful execution
of the laws of the Philippine Islands and of the United States
operative within Philippine Islands."The authority of the Governor-
General is made secure by the important proviso "that all
executive functions of Government must be directly under the
Governor-General or within one of the executive departments
under the supervision and control of the Governor-General.
"(Organic Act, secs. 21, 22.) By the Administrative Code, "the
Governor-General, as chief Executive of the Islands, is charged
with the executive control of the Philippine Government, to be
exercised in person or through the Secretaries of Departments, or
other proper agency, according to law." It may finally be inferred
from the books that the appointment of public officials is generally
looked upon as properly an executive function. The power of
appointment can hardly be considered a legislative power.
Appointments may be made by the Legislature of the courts, but
when so made be taken as an incident to the discharge of
functions properly within their respective spheres. The Organic
Act of August 29, 1916, included what follows on the subject of
appointments. The governor-General "shall, unless otherwise
herein provided, appoint, by and with the consent of the Philippine
Senate, such officers as may now be appointed by the Governor-
General,or such as he is authorized by law to appoint." (Organic
Act, sec. 21.) The exception to the general grant is that the
Philippine Legislature "shall provide for the appointment and
removal of the heads of the executive departments by the
Governor-General." (Organic Act, sec. 22.) Each House of the
Philippine Legislature may also elect a presiding officer, a clerk, a
sergeant at arms, and such other officers and assistants as may
be required. (Organic Act, sec. 18.) The Philippine Legislature is
authorized to choose two Resident commissioners to the United
States. (Organic Act, sec. 20.)

The Administrative Code provides the following: "In addition to his


general supervisory authority, the Governor-General shall have
such specific powers and duties as are expressly conferred or
imposed onhim by law and also, in particular, the powers and
duties set forth," including th special powers and duties "(a) To
nominate and appoint officials, conformably to law, to positions in
the service of the Government of the Philippine Islands. (b) To
remove officials from office conformably to law and to declare
vacant the offices held by such removed officials. For disloyalty to
the Government of theUnited States, the Governor-General may
at any time remove a personfrom any position of trust or authority
under the Government of the Philippine Islands." (Sec. 64 [a], [b].)
The Administrative Code lists the officers appointable by the
Governor-General (Sec. 66.) (Springer vs. Government, 50 Phil 259).

• Article VII of the Constitution begins in its section 1 with the


declaration the "The Executive power shall be vested in a
President of the Philippines." All executive authority is thus vested
in him, and upon him devolves the constitutional duty of seeing
that the laws are "faithfully executed." (Art. VII, sec. 11, subsec. 1,
last clause.) In the fulfillment of this duty which he cannot evade,
he is granted specific and express powers and functions. (Art. VII,
sec. 11.) In addition to these specific and express powers and
functions, he may also exercise those necessarily implied and
included in them. The National Assembly may not enact laws
which either expressly or impliedly diminish the authority
conferred upon the President of the Constitution. The Constitution
provides that the President "shall have control of all the executive
departments, bureaus, and offices" (Art. VII, sec. 11 [1], first
clause) and shall "exercise general supervision over all location
governments as may be provided by law" (Ibid, second clause).
This power of control and supervision is an important
constitutional grant. The President in the exercise of the executive
power under the Constitution may act through the heads of the
executive departments. The heads of the executive departments
are his authorized assistants and agents in the performance of his
executive duties, and their official acts, promulgated in the
regular course of business, are presumptively his acts. The power
of removal which the President may exercise directly and the
practical necessities of efficient government brought about by
administrative centralization easily make the President the head
of the administration. Independently of any statutory provision
authorizing the President to conduct an investigation of the nature
involved in this proceeding, and in view of the nature and
character of the executive authority with which the President of
the Philippines is invested, the constitutional grant to him of
power to exercise general supervision over all local governments
and to take care that the laws be faithfully executed must be
construed to authorized him to order an investigation of the act or
conduct of the petitioner herein. Supervision is not a meaningless
thing. It is an active power. It is certainly not without limitation,
but it at least implies authority to inquire into facts and conditions
in order to render the power real and effective. If supervision is to
be conscientious and rational, and not automatic and brutal, it
must be founded upon a knowledge of actual facts and conditions
disclosed after careful study and investigation (Planas vs. Gil, 67 Phil
259).

• The President has the exclusive power to remove executive


branch officials, and does not need the approval of the Senate or
any other legislative body. Chief Justice William Howard Taft,
writing for the Court, noted that the Constitution does mention the
appointment of officials, but is silent on their dismissal. An
examination of the notes of the Constitutional Convention,
however, showed that this silence was intentional: the Convention
did discuss the dismissal of executive-branch staff, and believed it
was implicit in the Constitution that the President did hold the
exclusive power to remove his staff, whose existence was an
extension of the President's own authority (Myers, Administratrix vs.
US, 272 US 52).

ii) Legislative Powers

CASES

• Proclamation No. 1716 was issued by the late President


Ferdinand E. Marcos on February 17, 1978 in the due exercise of
legislative power vested upon him by Amendment No. 6
introduced in 1976. Being a valid act of legislation, said
Proclamation may only be amended by an equally valid act of
legislation. Proclamation No. 164 is obviously not a valid act of
legislation. After the so-called bloodless revolution of February
1986, President Corazon Aquino took the reigns of power under a
revolutionary government. On March 24, 1986, she issued her
historic Proclamation No. 3, promulgating the Provisional
Constitution, or more popularly referred to as the Freedom
Constitution. Under Article II, Section 1 of the Freedom
Constitution, the President shall continue to exercise legislative
power until a legislature is elected and convened under a new
constitution. Then came the ratification of the draft constitution,
to be known later as the 1987 Constitution. When Congress was
convened on July 26, 1987, President Aquino lost this legislative
power under the Freedom Constitution. Proclamation No. 164,
amending Proclamation No. 1716 was issued on October 6, 1987
when legislative power was already solely on Congress. Because
this unauthorized act by the then president constitutes a direct
derogation of the most basic principle in the separation of powers
between the three branches of government enshrined in our
Constitution, we cannot simply close our eyes and rely upon the
principle of the presumption of validity of a law. There is a long
standing principle that every statute is presumed to be valid.
However, this rests upon the premise that the statute was duly
enacted by legislature. This presumption cannot apply when there
is clear usurpation of legislative power by the executive branch
(Municipality of San Juan vs. CA, Sept. 29, 1997).

• Petitioner claims that A.O. No. 308 is not a mere administrative


order but a law and hence, beyond the power of the President to
issue. While Congress is vested with the power to enact laws, the
President executes the laws. The executive power is vested in the
President. It is generally defined as the power to enforce and
administer the laws. It is the power of carrying the laws into
practical operation and enforcing their due observance. Thus, he
is granted administrative power over bureaus and offices under
his control to enable him to discharge his duties effectively.
Administrative power is concerned with the work of applying
policies and enforcing orders as determined by proper
governmental organs. 21 It enables the President to fix a uniform
standard of administrative efficiency and check the official
conduct of his agents. 22 To this end, he can issue administrative
orders, rules and regulations. Prescinding from these precepts,
we hold that A.O. No. 308 involves a subject that is not
appropriate to be covered by an administrative order. An
administrative order is an ordinance issued by the President
which relates to specific aspects in the administrative operation of
government. It must be in harmony with the law and should be for
the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying out the
legislative policy (Ople vs. Torres, GR 127685, July 23, 1998).

iii)Residual Powers

 Whatever is not judicial, whatever is not


legislative is residual power exercised
by the President (Marcos v. Manglapus,
178 SCRA 760)

CASES

• As stated above, the Constitution provides that "[t]he executive


power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines." [Art. VII,
Sec. 1]. However, it does not define what is meant by "executive
power" although in the same article it touches on the exercise of
certain powers by the President, i.e., the power of control over all
executive departments, bureaus and offices, the power to execute
the laws, the appointing power, the powers under the
commander-in-chief clause, the power to grant reprieves,
commutations and pardons, the power to grant amnesty with the
concurrence of Congress, the power to contract or guarantee
foreign loans, the power to enter into treaties or international
agreements, the power to submit the budget to Congress, and the
power to address Congress [Art. VII, Secs. 14-23].

The inevitable question then arises: by enumerating certain


powers of the President did the framers of the Constitution intend
that the President shall exercise those specific powers and no
other? Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot be said to
be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the
Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the
sum of specific powers so enumerated.

Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to allow
the Marcoses to return to the Philippines, the President is, under
the Constitution, constrained to consider these basic principles in
arriving at a decision. More than that, having sworn to defend and
uphold the Constitution, the President has the obligation under
the Constitution to protect the people, promote their welfare and
advance the national interest.
To the President, the problem is one of balancing the general
welfare and the common good against the exercise of rights of
certain individuals. The power involved is the President's residual
power to protect the general welfare of the people. It is founded
on the duty of the President, as steward of the people. To
paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, it is not only the power of the
President but also his duty to do anything not forbidden by the
Constitution or the laws that the needs of the nation demand. It is
a power borne by the President's duty to preserve and defend the
Constitution. It also may be viewed as a power implicit in the
President's duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed
[see Hyman, The American President, where the author advances
the view that an allowance of discretionary power is unavoidable
in any government and is best lodged in the President (Marcos vs.
Manglapus, 177 SCRA 668).

 Power to Determine National


Policy

CASES

• To avert a nationwide strike of steel workers in April 1952,


which he believed would jeopardize national defense, the
President issued an Executive Order directing the Secretary of
Commerce to seize and operate most of the steel mills. Under
prior decisions of this Court, there is doubt as to the right to
recover in the Court of Claims on account of properties unlawfully
taken by government officials for public use. The Court held that
the Executive Order was not authorized by the Constitution or
laws of the United States, and it cannot stand. There is no statute
which expressly or impliedly authorizes the President to take
possession of this property as he did here. In its consideration of
the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947, Congress refused to authorize
governmental seizures of property as a method of preventing
work stoppages and settling labor disputes. Authority of the
President to issue such an order in the circumstances of this case
cannot be implied from the aggregate of his powers under Article
II of the Constitution. The Order cannot properly be sustained as
an exercise of the President's military power as Commander in
Chief of the Armed Forces. Nor can the Order be sustained
because of the several provisions of Article II which grant
executive power to the President. The power here sought to be
exercised is the lawmaking power, which the Constitution vests in
the Congress alone, in both good and bad times. Even if it be true
that other Presidents have taken possession of private business
enterprises without congressional authority in order to settle labor
disputes, Congress has not thereby lost its exclusive constitutional
authority to make the laws necessary and proper to carry out all
powers vested by the Constitution "in the Government of the
United States, or any Department or Officer thereof (Youngstown Co.
vs. Sawyer, 343 US 579 ).”

 Prosecution of Crimes

CASES

• Petitioner's argument lacks appeal for it lies on the faulty


assumption that the decision whom to prosecute is a judicial
function, the sole prerogative of courts and beyond executive and
legislative interference. In truth, the prosecution of crimes
appertains to the executive department of government whose
principal power and responsibility is to see that our laws are
faithfully executed. A necessary component of this power to
execute our laws is the right to prosecute their violators. The right
to prosecute vests the prosecutor with a wide range of discretion
the discretion of whether, what and whom to charge, the exercise
of which depends on a smorgasbord of factors which are best
appreciated by prosecutors. We thus hold that it is not
constitutionally impermissible for Congress to enact R.A. No. 6981
vesting in the Department of Justice the power to determine who
can qualify as a witness in the program and who shall be granted
immunity from prosecution. Section 9 of Rule 119 does not
support the proposition that the power to choose who shall be a
state witness is an inherent judicial prerogative. Under this
provision, the court, is given the power to discharge a state
witness only because it has already acquired jurisdiction over the
crime and the accused. The discharge of an accused is part of the
exercise of jurisdiction but is not a recognition of an inherent
judicial function. Moreover, the Rules of Court have never been
interpreted to be beyond change by legislation designed to
improve the administration of our justice system (Webb vs. De Leon,
247 SCRA 652).