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Feb. 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

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.

Pobre vs Sen. Santiago

Pobre asks that disbarment proceedings or other disciplinary actions be taken against Sen. Santiago on
her speech she delivered in the discharge of her duty as member of the Congress on the Senate floor
insulting the Judicial Bar Council and Chief Justice Panganiban.

Was the speech of Sen. Santiago within constitutional bounds of freedom of speech?

Yes. Although she has not categorically denied making such statements, she has unequivocally said
making them as part of her privilege speech. For the above reasons, the plea of Senator Santiago for the
dismissal of the complaint for disbarment or disciplinary action is well taken. Indeed, her privilege
speech is not actionable criminally or in a disciplinary proceeding under the Rules of Court.
The Court, however, wishes to express its deep concern about the language Senator Santiago, a member
of the Bar, used in her speech and its effect on the administration of justice. To the Court, the lady
senator has undoubtedly crossed the limits of decency and good professional conduct. It is at once
apparent that her statements in question were intemperate and highly improper in substance.

G.R. No. 167173 December 27 2007STANDARD CHARTERED BANK (PhilippineBranch), PAUL SIMON
Petitioners, vs.
Before us is a Petition for Prohibition (WithPrayer for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or
Injunction) dated and filed on March 11, 2005 by petitioners against respondent Senate Committeeon
Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, asrepresented by Edgardo Angara.Petitioner SCB is a bank
instituted inEngland. Petitioners are Executive officers of said.Respondent is is one of the permanent
committees of the Senate of the Philippines. The petition seeks theissuance of a temporary restraining
order (TRO) toenjoin respondent from (1) proceeding with its inquiry pursuant to Philippine Senate (P.S.)
Resolution No.166; (2) compelling petitioners who are officers of petitioner SCB-Philippines to attend
and testify beforeany further hearing to be conducted by respondent, particularly that set on March 15,
2005; and (3)enforcing any hold-departure order (HDO) and/or putting the petitioners on the Watch
List. It also praysthat judgment be rendered (1) annulling the subpoenaead testificandum and duces
tecum issued to petitioners,and (2) prohibiting the respondent from compelling petitioners to appear
and testify in the inquiry beingconducted pursuant to P.S. Resolution No. 166.Senator Juan Ponce Enrile,
ViceChairperson of respondent, delivered a privilegespeech entitled Arrogance of Wealthbefore
theSenate based on a letter from Atty. Mark R. Bocobodenouncing SCB-Philippines for selling
unregisteredforeign securities in violation of the SecuritiesRegulation Code (R.A. No. 8799) and urging
theSenate to immediately conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, to prevent the occurrence of a similar
fraudulent activity in the future. Upon motion of Senator Francis Pangilinan, the speech was referred
torespondent. Prior to the privilege speech, Senator Enrile had introduced P.S. Resolution No. 166,
Acting on the referral, respondent, throughits Chairperson, Senator Edgardo J. Angara, set theinitial
hearing on February 28, 2005 to investigate, inaid of legislation, the subject matter of the speech
andresolution filed by Senator Enrile.Respondent invited petitioners to attend thehearing, requesting
them to submit their written position paper. Petitioners, through counsel, submittedto respondent a
letter dated February 24, 2005 presenting their position, particularly stressing thatthere were cases
pending in court allegedly involvingthe same issues subject of the legislative inquiry,thereby posing a
challenge to the jurisdiction of respondent to continue with the inquiry.On February 28, 2005,
respondentcommenced the investigation. Senator Enrile inquiredwho among those invited as resource
persons were present and who were absent. Thereafter, Senator Enrile moved that subpoenae be issued
to those whodid not attend the hearing and that the Senate requestthe Department of Justice, through
the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, to issue an HDO againstthem and/or include them in the
Bureaus Watch List.Senator Juan Flavier seconded the motion and themotion was
approved.Respondent then proceeded with theinvestigation proper. Towards the end of the hearing,
petitioners, through counsel, made an OpeningStatement that brought to the attention of
respondentthe lack of proper authorization from affected clientsfor the bank to make disclosures of
their accounts andthe lack of copies of the accusing documentsmentioned in Senator Enrile's privilege
speech, andreiterated that there were pending court casesregarding the alleged sale in the Philippines
by SCB-Philippines of unregistered foreign securities.
petitioners claim that since the issue of whether or not SCB-Philippines illegally sold unregisteredforeign
securities is already preempted by the courtsthat took cognizance of the foregoing cases,
therespondent, by this investigation, would encroachupon the judicial powers vested solely in these
Contention is UNTENABLE.P.S. Resolution No. 166 is explicit on thesubject and nature of the inquiry to
be (and already being) conducted by the respondent Committee, asfound in the last three
clauses thereof.The unmistakable objective of theinvestigation, as set forth in the said
resolution,exposes the error in petitioners allegation that theinquiry, as initiated in a privilege speech
by the verysame Senator Enrile, was simply to denounce theillegal practice committed by a foreign
bank in sellingunregistered foreign securities x x x. This fallacy ismade more glaring when we consider
that, at theconclusion of his privilege speech, Senator Enrileurged the Senate
to immediately conduct aninquiry, in aid of legislation, so as to prevent theoccurrence of a similar
fraudulent activity in thefuture
.Indeed, the mere filing of a criminal or anadministrative complaint before a court or a quasi- judicial
body should not automatically bar the conduct

Standard Chartered Bank (Philippine Branch), et al. vs. Senate Committee on Banks, Financial
Institutions and Currencies (G.R. No. 167173, 27 December 2007).

In 2005, Senator Enrile, the Vice Chairperson of Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and
Currencies, delivered a privilege speech entitled Arrogance of Wealth before the Senate denouncing
Standard Chartered Bank (SCB)-Philippines for selling unregistered foreign securities in violation of the
Securities Regulation Code (R.A. No. 8799) and urging the Senate to immediately conduct an inquiry, in
aid of legislation, to prevent the occurrence of a similar fraudulent activity in the future. Prior to the
privilege speech, Senator Enrile had introduced a Resolution directing the Committee on Banks,
Financial Institutions and Currencies, to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the illegal sale of
unregistered and high-risk securities by Standard Chartered Bank, which resulted in billions of pesos of
losses to the investing public.

The Committee thereafter conducted hearings and invited the petitioners, among others, requesting
them to submit their written position paper. Petitioners submitted a letter stressing that there were
cases pending in court allegedly involving the same issues. In the petition that reached the SC,
petitioners argue, among others, that the Senate has no jurisdiction to conduct the inquiry because its
subject matter is the very same subject matter of pending cases (three cases with the Court of Appeals,
a civil case with the Regional Trial Court, two criminal cases with the Metropolitan Trial Court, and a
criminal complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor). Citing Bengzon, they claim that since the issue
of whether or not SCB-Philippines illegally sold unregistered foreign securities is already preempted by
the courts that took cognizance of the foregoing cases, the respondent, by this investigation, would
encroach upon the judicial powers vested solely in these courts.

The SC ruled that Bengzon does not apply squarely to the case. It is true that in Bengzon, the Court
declared that the issue to be investigated was one over which jurisdiction had already been acquired by
the Sandiganbayan, and to allow the [Senate Blue Ribbon] Committee to investigate the matter would
create the possibility of conflicting judgments; and that the inquiry into the same justiciable controversy
would be an encroachment on the exclusive domain of judicial jurisdiction that had set in much earlier.

To the extent that there are a number of cases already pending in various courts and administrative
bodies involving the petitioners, relative to the alleged sale of unregistered foreign securities, there is a
resemblance between this case and Bengzon. However, the similarity ends there.

Central to the Courts ruling in Bengzon that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee was without any
constitutional mooring to conduct the legislative investigation was the Courts determination that the
intended inquiry was not in aid of legislation. (See also the Primer on Separation of Powers, Inquiry in
Aid of Legislation). The Court found that the speech of Senator Enrile, which sought such investigation
contained no suggestion of any contemplated legislation; it merely called upon the Senate to look into
possible violations of Section 5, Republic Act No. 3019. Thus, the Court held that the requested probe
failed to comply with a fundamental requirement of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution, which

The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries
in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons
appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.

Unfortunately for the petitioners, this distinguishing factual milieu in Bengzon does not obtain in their
case. The Resolution filed by Senator Enrile is explicit on the subject and nature of the inquiry to be (and
already being) conducted by the respondent Committee.

The unmistakable objective of the investigation, as set forth in the said resolution, exposes the error in
petitioners allegation that the inquiry, as initiated in a privilege speech by the very same Senator Enrile,
was simply to denounce the illegal practice committed by a foreign bank in selling unregistered foreign
securities x x x. This fallacy is made more glaring when we consider that, at the conclusion of his
privilege speech, Senator Enrile urged the Senate to immediately conduct an inquiry, in aid of
legislation, so as to prevent the occurrence of a similar fraudulent activity in the future.

Indeed, the mere filing of a criminal or an administrative complaint before a court or a quasi-judicial
body should not automatically bar the conduct of legislative investigation. Otherwise, it would be
extremely easy to subvert any intended inquiry by Congress through the convenient ploy of instituting a
criminal or an administrative complaint. Surely, the exercise of sovereign legislative authority, of which
the power of legislative inquiry is an essential component, cannot be made subordinate to a criminal or
an administrative investigation.

Akbayan vs Aquino July 16 2008

Petition for mandamus and prohibition was filed by the petitioners, as congresspersons, citizens and
taxpayers, requesting respondents to submit to them the full text of the Japan-Philippines Economic
Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

Petitioner emphasize that the refusal of the government to disclose the said agreement violates there
right to information on matters of public concern and of public interest. That the non-disclosure of the
same documents undermines their right to effective and reasonable participation in all levels of social,
political and economic decision making.

Respondent herein invoke executive privilege. They relied on the ground that the matter sought involves
a diplomatic negotiation then in progress, thus constituting an exception to the right to information and
the policy of full disclosure of matters that are of public concern like the JPEPA. That diplomatic
negotiation are covered by the doctrine of executive privilege.

Whether or not the petition has been entirely rendered moot and academic because of the subsequent
event that occurred?

Whether the information sought by the petitioners are of public concern and are still covered by the
doctrine of executive privilege?

On the first issue, the Supreme Court ruled that t]he principal relief petitioners are praying for is the
disclosure of the contents of the JPEPA prior to its finalization between the two States parties, public
disclosure of the text of the JPEPA after its signing by the President, during the pendency of the present
petition, has been largely rendered moot and academic.
The text of the JPEPA having then been made accessible to the public, the petition has become moot
and academic to the extent that it seeks the disclosure of the full text thereof.
The petition is not entirely moot, however, because petitioners seek to obtain, not merely the text of
the JPEPA, but also the Philippine and Japanese offers in the course of the negotiations.

Moving on to the second issue, The Supreme Court Ruled that Diplomatic negotiations, therefore, are
recognized as privileged in this jurisdiction, the JPEPA negotiations constituting no exception. It bears
emphasis, however, that such privilege is only presumptive. For as Senate v. Ermita holds, recognizing a
type of information as privileged does not mean that it will be considered privileged in all instances.
Only after a consideration of the context in which the claim is made may it be determined if there is a
public interest that calls for the disclosure of the desired information, strong enough to overcome its
traditionally privileged status.
The court adopted also the doctrine in PMPF v. Manglapus, Wherein petitioners were seeking
information from the Presidents representatives on the state of the then on-going negotiations of the
RP-US Military Bases Agreement. The Court denied the petition, stressing that secrecy of negotiations
with foreign countries is not violative of the constitutional provisions of freedom of speech or of the
press nor of the freedom of access to information.

495 SCRA 170 Political Law Constitutional Law Legislative Branch Question Hour
Constitutionality of E.O. 464
In 2005, scandals involving anomalous transactions about the North Rail Project as well as the Garci
tapes surfaced. This prompted the Senate to conduct a public hearing to investigate the said anomalies
particularly the alleged overpricing in the NRP. The investigating Senate committee issued invitations to
certain department heads and military officials to speak before the committee as resource persons.
Ermita submitted that he and some of the department heads cannot attend the said hearing due to
pressing matters that need immediate attention. AFP Chief of Staff Senga likewise sent a similar letter.
Drilon, the senate president, excepted the said requests for they were sent belatedly and arrangements
were already made and scheduled. Subsequently, GMA issued EO 464 which took effect immediately.
EO 464 basically prohibited Department heads, Senior officials of executive departments who in the
judgment of the department heads are covered by the executive privilege; Generals and flag officers of
the Armed Forces of the Philippines and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of Staff are
covered by the executive privilege; Philippine National Police (PNP) officers with rank of chief
superintendent or higher and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of the PNP are
covered by the executive privilege; Senior national security officials who in the judgment of the National
Security Adviser are covered by the executive privilege; and Such other officers as may be determined
by the President, from appearing in such hearings conducted by Congress without first securing the
presidents approval.
The department heads and the military officers who were invited by the Senate committee then invoked
EO 464 to except themselves. Despite EO 464, the scheduled hearing proceeded with only 2 military
personnel attending. For defying President Arroyos order barring military personnel from testifying
before legislative inquiries without her approval, Brig. Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan were relieved from
their military posts and were made to face court martial proceedings. EO 464s constitutionality was
assailed for it is alleged that it infringes on the rights and duties of Congress to conduct investigation in
aid of legislation and conduct oversight functions in the implementation of laws.
ISSUE: Whether or not EO 464 is constitutional.
HELD: The SC ruled that EO 464 is constitutional in part. To determine the validity of the provisions of EO
464, the SC sought to distinguish Section 21 from Section 22 of Art 6 of the 1987 Constitution. The
Congress power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution.
Although there is no provision in the Constitution expressly investing either House of Congress with
power to make investigations and exact testimony to the end that it may exercise its legislative
functions advisedly and effectively, such power is so far incidental to the legislative function as to be
implied. In other words, the power of inquiry with process to enforce it is an essential and
appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively
in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or
change; and where the legislative body does not itself possess the requisite information which is not
infrequently true recourse must be had to others who do possess it.
Section 22 on the other hand provides for the Question Hour. The Question Hour is closely related with
the legislative power, and it is precisely as a complement to or a supplement of the Legislative Inquiry.
The appearance of the members of Cabinet would be very, very essential not only in the application of
check and balance but also, in effect, in aid of legislation. Section 22 refers only to Question Hour,
whereas, Section 21 would refer specifically to inquiries in aid of legislation, under which anybody for
that matter, may be summoned and if he refuses, he can be held in contempt of the House. A distinction
was thus made between inquiries in aid of legislation and the question hour. While attendance was
meant to be discretionary in the question hour, it was compulsory in inquiries in aid of legislation.
Sections 21 and 22, therefore, while closely related and complementary to each other, should not be
considered as pertaining to the same power of Congress. One specifically relates to the power to
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation, the aim of which is to elicit information that may be used for
legislation, while the other pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective of which is
to obtain information in pursuit of Congress oversight function. Ultimately, the power of Congress to
compel the appearance of executive officials under Section 21 and the lack of it under Section 22 find
their basis in the principle of separation of powers.

While the executive branch is a co-equal branch of the legislature, it cannot frustrate the power of
Congress to legislate by refusing to comply with its demands for information. When Congress exercises
its power of inquiry, the only way for department heads to exempt themselves therefrom is by a valid
claim of privilege. They are not exempt by the mere fact that they are department heads. Only one
executive official may be exempted from this power the President on whom executive power is
vested, hence, beyond the reach of Congress except through the power of impeachment. It is based on
her being the highest official of the executive branch, and the due respect accorded to a co-equal
branch of government which is sanctioned by a long-standing custom. The requirement then to secure
presidential consent under Section 1, limited as it is only to appearances in the question hour, is valid on
its face. For under Section 22, Article VI of the Constitution, the appearance of department heads in the
question hour is discretionary on their part. Section 1 cannot, however, be applied to appearances of
department heads in inquiries in aid of legislation. Congress is not bound in such instances to respect
the refusal of the department head to appear in such inquiry, unless a valid claim of privilege is
subsequently made, either by the President herself or by the Executive Secretary.

When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how department heads are implementing the statutes
which it has issued, its right to such information is not as imperative as that of the President to whom,
as Chief Executive, such department heads must give a report of their performance as a matter of duty.
In such instances, Section 22, in keeping with the separation of powers, states that Congress may only
request their appearance. Nonetheless, when the inquiry in which Congress requires their appearance is
in aid of legislation under Section 21, the appearance is mandatory for the same reasons stated in
Gudani vs. Senga G.R. No. 170165 August 15, 2006
Facts of the case:

Senator Biazon invited senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) including General
Gudani to appear before a public hearing in the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security
wherein Hello Garci controversy of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo emerged. Upon the discretion of
the President, AFP Chief of Staff Senga issued a memorandum prohibiting General Gudani and company
from appearing before the Senate Committee without Presidental approval. However, General Gudani
and Col. Batulan still attended the said committee in compliance with Senator Biazon.


Whether or not the President can prevent military officers from testifying at a legislative inquiry.


The President has a constitutional authority to prohibit members of the AFP from attending a Senate
hearing by virtue of her power as a commander-in-chief. This is under her prerogative as the highest
official of the AFP. Note that it is not an invocation of her executive privilege, but on the Chief
Executive's power to control the actions and speech of the members of the AFP. Non compliance of the
military subordinates would violate the principle that "the civilian authority is supreme over the military

Commission on Elections vs. Quijano-PadillaCase No. 36 / ConstiLaw Batch 4
Nature of the Case:
Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the TRC of Quezon City.
Congress enacted RA 8189 or the Voters Registration Act of 1996, thisprovided for the modernization
and computerization of the voters registration list, andappropriated funds therefor. Pursuant to the
said RA, COMELEC promulgated aResolution approving the Voters Registration and Identification
Project (VRIS) whichenvisions a computerized database system for the May 2004 elections.
COMELECissued invitations for bid and it was awarded to PHOTOKINA Marketing Corporation,which
received the highest total weighted score and declared winning bidder. (BIDwas 6.58 B Pesos).
HOWEVER, RA 8760 provided that the budget appropriated byCongress for the COMELECs
modernization project was only 1B and actual availablefunds under Certificate of Availability of Funds
(CAF) was 1.2B. PHOTOKINArequested the execution of the contract, but to no avail. PHOTOKINA filed a
petitionwith the RTC and was granted, it directed the Commissioners to resume negotiationsto
formalize the execution of the contract for the VRIS project. COMELEC filed acomplaint against
respondent judge.
May a successful bidder compel a government agency to formalize a contractwith it notwithstanding
that its bid exceeds the amount appropriated by Congress for the project?
PHOTOKINA cannot compel COMELEC. Petition is GRANTED, RESOLUTIONissued by Judge Padilla are SET
Enshrined in the 1987 Constitution is the mandate that no money shall be paidout of the Treasury
except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. In theexecution of government contracts the
precise import of this constitutional restriction isto require the various agencies to limit their
expenditures within the appropriationsmade by law for each fiscal year.Complementary to the
constitutional injuction are the provisions (section 46 and 47,chapter of EO 292 or Administrative Code
of 1987) which pertinent provisions read:Section 47. xxxno contract involving the expenditure of public
funds by anygovernment agency shall be entered into or authorized unless the proper accountingofficial
of the agency concerned shall have certified to the officer entering into theobligation that funds have
been duly appropriated for the purpose and that the amountnecessary to cover the proposed contract
for the current calendar year is available for expenditure on account thereof xxxQuite evident from the
tenor of the language of the law that the existence of appropriations and the availability of funds are
indispensable pre-requisites to or conditions sine qua non for the execution of government contracts.
The obvious intentis to impose such conditions as a priori requisites to the validity of the
proposedcontract.Court held in Metropolitan case that the effect of an unqualified acceptance of
theoffer or proposal of the bidder is to perfect a contract, upon notice of the award to thebidder
HOWEVER, such statement would be inconsequential in a government wherethe acceptance referred to
is yet to meet certain conditions. To hold otherwise is toallow a public officer to execute a binding
contract that would obligate the governmentin an amount in excess of the appropriations for the
purpose for which the contractwas attempted to be made.Clearly the amount appropriated is
insufficient to cover the cost of the entire VRISproject. There is no way that the COMELEC could enter
into a contract withPHOTOKINA whose accepted bid was way beyond the amount appropriated by
lawfor the project.The contract, as expressly declared by law, is inexistent and void ab initio.
Proposedcontract is without force and effect from the very beginning, as if it had never beenentered