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Farinas v.

Executive Secretary 417 SCRA 503


Facts:
Rep. Act No. 9006 was duly signed by then Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. and then Speaker of
the House of Representatives Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. and was duly certified by the Secretary of the
Senate Lutgardo B. Barbo and the Secretary General of the House of Representatives Robert P.
Nazareno as the consolidation of House Bill No. 9000 and Senate Bill No. 1742, and finally passed by
both Houses on February 7, 2001.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Rep. Act No. 9006 into law on February 12, 2001.
Before the court is a petition to declare as unconstitutional Sec.14 of RA 9006 (The fair election act)
insofar as it expressly repeals Sec.67 of BP 881 (The Omnibus Election Code) filed by Farinas et al,
minority members of the minority bloc in the HR. Impleaded as respondents are the Executive sec,
Speaker of the House etal.

The petitioners assert that Rep. Act No. 9006 is null and void in its entirety as irregularities attended its
enactment into law. The law, not only Section 14 thereof, should be declared null and void. Even
Section 16 of the law which provides that *t+his Act shall take effect upon its approval is a violation of
the due process clause of the Constitution, as well as jurisprudence, which require publication of the law
before it becomes effective.

Invoking the enrolled bill doctrine, the respondents refute the petitioners allegations that
irregularities attended the enactment of Rep. Act No. 9006. The signatures of the Senate President
and the Speaker of the House, appearing on the bill and the certification signed by the respective
Secretaries of both houses of Congress, constitute proof beyond cavil that the bill was duly enacted into
law.

Issue:
Whether the effectivity clause which states This Act shall take effect upon its approval (Sec.16) is a
violation of the due process clause of the Constitution



HELD:
Petition was Dismissed.

The Effectivity clause (Section 16) of Rep. Act No. 9006 which provides that it shall take effect
immediately upon its approval, is defective. However, the same does not render the entire law invalid.
In Taada v. Tuvera, this Court laid down the rule:
... the clause unless it is otherwise provided refers to the date of effectivity and not to the
requirement of publication itself, which cannot in any event be omitted. This clause does not mean that
the legislator may make the law effective immediately upon approval, or on any other date without its
previous publication.
Publication is indispensable in every case, but the legislature may in its discretion provide that the usual
fifteen-period shall be shortened or extended.
Following Article 2 of the Civil Code and the doctrine enunciated in Taada, Rep. Act No. 9006,
notwithstanding its express statement, took effect fifteen days after its publication in the Official
Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.
In conclusion, it bears reiterating that one of the firmly entrenched principles in constitutional law is
that the courts do not involve themselves with nor delve into the policy or wisdom of a statute. That is
the exclusive concern of the legislative branch of the government. When the validity of a statute is
challenged on constitutional grounds, the sole function of the court is to determine whether it
transcends constitutional limitations or the limits of legislative power. No such transgression has been
shown in this case.