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AQUINO vs COMELEC, 248 SCRA 400
AQUINO vs COMELEC
248 SCRA 400

Facts:
On 20 March 1995, Agapito A. Aquino filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative for the new
Second Legislative District of Makati City. In his certificate of candidacy, Aquino stated that he was a resident of the
aforementioned district for 10 months. Faced with a petition for disqualification, he amended the entry on his
residency in his certificate of candidacy to 1 year and 13 days. The Commission on Elections dismissed the petition
on 6 May and allowed Aquino to run in the election of 8 May. Aquino won. Acting on a motion for reconsideration on
the above dismissal, the Commission on Election later issued an order suspending the proclamation of Aquino until
the Commission resolved the issue. On 2 June, the Commission on Elections found Aquino ineligible and disqualified
for the elective office for lack of constitutional qualification of residence.

Issue:
Whether “residency” in the certificate of candidacy actually connotes “domicile” to warrant the disqualification of
Aquino from the position in the electoral district.

Held:
The place “where a party actually or constructively has his permanent home,” where he, no matter where he may be
found at any given time, eventually intends to return and remain, i.e., his domicile, is that to which the Constitution
refers when it speaks of residence for the purposes of election law. The purpose is to exclude strangers or
newcomers unfamiliar with the conditions and needs of the community from taking advantage of favorable
circumstances existing in that community for electoral gain. Aquino‟s certificate of candidacy in a previous (1992)
election indicates that he was a resident and a registered voter of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac for more than 52
years prior to that election. Aquino‟s connection to the Second District of Makati City is an alleged lease agreement of
a condominium unit in the area. The intention not to establish a permanent home in Makati City is evident in his
leasing a condominium unit instead of buying one. The short length of time he claims to be a resident of Makati (and
the fact of his stated domicile in Tarlac and his claims of other residences in Metro Manila) indicate that his sole
purpose in transferring his physical residence is not to acquire a new, residence or domicile but only to qualify as a
candidate for Representative fo the Second District of Makati City. Aquino was thus rightfully disqualified by the
Commission on Elections.




COQUILLA VS COMELEC

FACTS:
Coquilla was born on 1938 of Filipino parents in Oras, Eastern Samar. He grew up and resided there until 1965,
when he was subsequently naturalized as a U.S. citizen after joining the US Navy. In 1998, he came to the
Philippines and took out a residence certificate, although he continued making several trips to the United States.

Coquilla eventually applied for repatriation under R.A. No. 8171 which was approved. On November 10, 2000, he
took his oath as a citizen of the Philippines.

On November 21, 2000, he applied for registration as a voter of Butunga, Oras, Eastern Samar which was approved
in 2001. On February 27, 2001, he filed his certificate of candidacy stating that he had been a resident of Oras,
Eastern Samar for 2 years.

Incumbent mayor Alvarez, who was running for re-election sought to cancel Coquilla‟s certificate of candidacy on the
ground that his statement as to the two year residency in Oras was a material misrepresentation as he only resided
therein for 6 months after his oath as a citizen.

Before the COMELEC could render a decision, elections commenced and Coquilla was proclaimed the winner. On
July 19, 2001, COMELEC granted Alvarez‟ petition and ordered the cancellation of petitioner‟s certificate of
candidacy.

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ISSUE:
Whether or not Coquilla had been a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar at least on year before the elections held on
May 14, 2001 as what he represented in his COC.

RULING:
No. The statement in petitioner‟s certificate of candidacy that he had been a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar for “two
years” at the time he filed such certificate is not true. The question is whether the COMELEC was justified in ordering
the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy for this reason. Petitioner made a false representation of a material fact
in his certificate of candidacy, thus rendering such certificate liable to cancellation. In the case at bar, what is
involved is a false statement concerning a candidate‟s qualification for an office for which he filed the certificate of
candidacy. This is a misrepresentation of a material fact justifying the cancellation of petitioner‟s certificate of
candidacy. The cancellation of petitioner‟s certificate of candidacy in this case is thus fully justified.





Article VI, Sec. 9 (Special Election)TOLENTINO v. COMELECGR 1488334 (01/21/04)Facts:

Pres. GMA, after her succession to the presidency in 2001, nominated Senator Guingona as Vice-President, thus,
leaving a vacancy in the Senate. The Senate passed Res. 84 calling on COMELEC to fill the said vacancy through a
special election to be held SIMULTANEOUSLY with the regular elections on May the same year. 12 senators each
with a 6-yr term were to be elected. Res. 84 provided that the candidate with the 13
th
highest number of votes shall
serve for the unexpired term of former Sen.Guingona (3 years). Gregorio Honasan ranked 13
th
in the polls.
COMELEC issued Res. 01-005 provisionally proclaimingthe 12 senators (with 6-yr terms) and the 13
th
senator (for
the unexpired term). Petitioners (Tolentino and Mojica) filed a petition for prohibition against COMELEC, enjoining
themfrom the final proclamation the 13
th
senator, and prayed for the nullification of Res. 01-005.
Issues:
1. Procedural: WON petition is actually for quo warranto to be decided by the Senate Electoral tribunal (and not the
SC)2. On the merits: WON the special election was held validly:

a. WON Comelec‟s failure to give notice as to the time of the special election negate thecalling of said election
b. WON Comelec‟s failure to give notice of office to be filled and the manner of determining the winner misled
voters
c. WON separate canvassing and documentation for the special election was required



Held:
1. No. The petitioner does not seek to determine Honasan‟s right in the exercise of his office in the Senate.
What the petitioners allege is COMELEC‟s failure to comply with certain requirements pertaining to the
conduct of the special election. Hence, the court has jurisdiction.

2. Yes. Special election was held validly. Hence, petition has no merit.

a. No. Sec. 2 of RA 6645 (which was passed to implement art 6, sec. 9 of the constitution),EXPRESSLY
PROVIDES that in case of a vacancy in the Senate, the special election shall be held simultaneously
with the next succeeding regular election. In a special election, the rule is that if a statute expressly
provides that an election to fill the vacancy shall be held at the next regular election, the statute FIXES
the date, hence, the election is NOT INVALIDATED by the fact that the body charged by law with the
duty (in this case, COMELEC) failed to do so. (as opposed to if the law does not fix the time and place
but empowers some authority to fix those, the statutory provision on the giving of notice is considered
mandatory and failure to do so will make election void) The law then charges the voters with knowledge
of the statutory notice and COMELEC‟s failure to give additional notice does not negate the election.

b. No. The test in determining the validity of a special election in relation to the failure to give notice is
whether the lack of notice resulted in misleading a sufficient number of voters. The petitioners were not
able to prove that COMELEC‟s failure to give the notice misled a sufficient number of voters as would
change the result of the vote.

c. No. No such requirements exist. What is mandatory under RA 6645 is for COMELEC to fix the date if
necessary and state the office/s to be voted for. The method adopted by COMELEC merely
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implemented RA No.84 that “the senatorial candidate garnering the 13
th
highest number of votes shall
serve only for the unexpired term of former Sen. Guingona” (an amendment introduced by Sen. Roco)


Defensor-Santiago vs. Guingona G.R. No. 134577, November 18, 1998


Facts: During the first regular session of the eleventh Congress, Senator Fernan was declared the duly elected
President of the Senate by a vote of 20 to 2. Senator Tatad manifested that, with the agreement of Senator Santiago,
allegedly the only other member of the minority, he was assuming the position of minority leader. He explained that
those who had voted for Senator Fernan comprised the majority, while only those who had voted for him, the losing
nominee, belonged to the minority. Senator Flavier manifested that the senators belonging to the Lakas-NUCD-
UMDP Party numbering 7 and, thus, also a minority had chosen Senator Guingona as the minority leader. Thereafter,
the majority leader informed the body that he was in receipt of a letter signed by the 7 Lakas-NUCD-UMDP senators,
stating that they had elected Senator Guingona as the minority leader. By virtue thereof, the Senate President
formally recognized Senator Guingona as the minority leader of the Senate. Senators Santiago and Tatad filed a
petition for quo warranto, alleging that Senator Guingona had been usurping, unlawfully holding and exercising the
position of Senate minority leader, a position that, according to them, rightfully belonged to Senator Tatad.


Issues:
(1) Whether or not the Court has jurisdiction over the petition
(2) Whether or not there is an actual violation of the Constitution


Held: Regarding the first issue, jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is determined by the allegations of the
complaint or petition, regardless of whether the petitioner is entitled to the relief asserted. In light of the allegations of
the petitioners, it is clear that the Court has jurisdiction over the petition. It is well within the power and jurisdiction of
the Court to inquire whether indeed the Senate or its officials committed a violation of the Constitution or gravely
abused their discretion in the exercise of their functions and prerogatives.

However, the interpretation proposed by petitioners finds no clear support from the Constitution, the laws, the Rules
of the Senate or even from practices of the Upper House. The term “majority,” when referring to a certain number out
of a total or aggregate, it simply means the number greater than half or more than half of any total. In effect, while the
Constitution mandates that the President of the Senate must be elected by a number constituting more than one half
of all the members thereof, it does not provide that the members who will not vote for him shall ipso facto constitute
the minority, who could thereby elect the minority leader. No law or regulation states that the defeated candidate shall
automatically become the minority leader.

While the Constitution is explicit in the manner of electing a Senate President and a House Speaker, it is, however,
dead silent on the manner of selecting the other officers in both chambers of Congress. All that the Charter says
under Art. VI, Sec. 16(1) is that “each House shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary.” The
method of choosing who will be such other officers is merely a derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred
by the said constitutional provision. Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the Senate itself, not by the
Court.

People vs jalosjos

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 Houseof Representatives

Held:
Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, in spite of its importance, the privileges
and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law. The immunity from arrest or
detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives arises from a provision of the Constitution. The
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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-
appellant‟s status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system



TRILLANES vs PIMENTEL Case Digest

All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is
strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be
provided by law.

FACTS: On July 27, 2003, more than 300 heavily armed soldiers led by junior officers of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) stormed into the Oakwood Premier Apartments in Makati City and publicly demanded the
resignation of the President and key national officials. After a series of negotiations, military soldiers surrendered that
evening.

In the aftermath of such event dubbed as the Oakwood Incident, petitioner Antonio F. Trillanes IV was charged with
coup d‟état before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. Four years later, Trillanes remained in detention and won a
seat in the Senate. Before starting his term, Trillanes filed with RTC an Omnibus Motion for Leave of Court to be
Allowed to Attend Senate Sessions and Related Requests.

Trillanes requested to be allowed to attend senate sessions and fulfill his functions as senator. The RTC however
denied his motion. Thus, he filed Petition for Certiorari with the Supreme Court to set aside orders of the RTC.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not Trillanes„ case is different from that of the Jalosjos case
2. Whether or not Trillanes„ election as senator provides legal justification to allow him to work and
serve his mandate as senator
3. Whether or not there are enough precedents that allows for a liberal treatment of detention
prisoners who are held without bail
HELD:

No distinction between Trillanes’ case and that of Jalosjos case

The distinctions cited by petitioner were not elemental in the pronouncement in Jalosjos that election to Congress is
not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement as the functions and duties of the office are not substantial
distinctions which lift one from the class of prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted in liberty of
movement.

The Constitution provides: All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when
evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance
as may be provided by law. The Rules also state that no person charged with a capital offense, or an offense
punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, shall be admitted to bail when evidence of guilt is strong,
regardless of the stage of the criminal action. That the cited provisions apply equally to rape and coup d‟état cases,
both being punishable by reclusion perpetua, is beyond cavil. Within the class of offenses covered by the stated
range of imposable penalties, there is clearly no distinction as to the political complexion of or moral turpitude
involved in the crime charged.

In the present case, it is uncontroverted that petitioner's application for bail and for release on recognizance was
denied. The determination that the evidence of guilt is strong, whether ascertained in a hearing of an application for
bail or imported from a trial court's judgment of conviction, justifies the detention of an accused as a valid curtailment
of his right to provisional liberty. This accentuates the proviso that the denial of the right to bail in such cases is
"regardless of the stage of the criminal action."
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Such justification for confinement with its underlying rationale of public self-defense applies equally to detention
prisoners like Trillanes or convicted prisoners-appellants like Jalosjos. The Court in People v. Hon. Maceda said that
all prisoners whether under preventive detention or serving final sentence can not practice their profession nor
engage in any business or occupation, or hold office, elective or appointive, while in detention. This is a necessary
consequence of arrest and detention.

Trillanes’ election as Senator not a legislative justification to allow him to serve his mandate

The case against Trillanes is not administrative in nature. And there is no "prior term" to speak of. In a plethora of
cases, the Court categorically held that the doctrine of condonation does not apply to criminal cases. Election, or
more precisely, re-election to office, does not obliterate a criminal charge. Petitioner's electoral victory only signifies
pertinently that when the voters elected him to the Senate, "they did so with full awareness of the limitations on his
freedom of action [and] x x x with the knowledge that he could achieve only such legislative results which he could
accomplish within the confines of prison.

It is opportune to wipe out the lingering misimpression that the call of duty conferred by the voice of the people is
louder than the litany of lawful restraints articulated in the Constitution and echoed by jurisprudence. The apparent
discord may be harmonized by the overarching tenet that the mandate of the people yields to the Constitution which
the people themselves ordained to govern all under the rule of law. The performance of legitimate and even essential
duties by public officers has never been an excuse to free a person validly in prison. The duties imposed by the
"mandate of the people" are multifarious. The accused-appellant asserts that the duty to legislate ranks highest in the
hierarchy of government. The accused-appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives, not to
mention the 24 membersof the Senate, charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to function well in
the physical absence of one or a few of its members. x x x Never has the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into
a different classification from those others who are validly restrained by law.

Trillanes’ case fails to compare with the species of allowable leaves

Emergency or compelling temporary leaves from imprisonment are allowed to all prisoners, at the discretion of the
authorities or upon court orders. That this discretion was gravely abused, petitioner failed to establish. In fact, the trial
court previously allowed petitioner to register as a voter in December 2006, file his certificate of candidacy in
February 2007, cast his vote on May 14, 2007, be proclaimed as senator-elect, and take his oath of office on June
29, 2007. In a seeming attempt to bind or twist the hands of the trial court lest it be accused of taking a complete turn-
around, petitioner largely banks on these prior grants to him and insists on unending concessions and blanket
authorizations.








OSMENA vs. PENDATUN


Nature: Petition for declaratory relief and/or certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction.

Facts:
In a privilege speech before the House of Representatives, Congressman Sergio Osmena from the 2nd District of Cebu made serious
imputations of bribery against then President Garcia. A resolution (#59) was then passed that a special committee of 15members to be
appointed by the Speaker shall be tasked to investigate the truth of the charges against Garcia and for Osmena to substantiate his charges with
evidence (i.e. papers and witnesses) and if he fails to do so, he show cause why he should not be punished by the House. However, Osmena
refused to comply. He was then suspended for 15 months for disorderly behavior. Osmena then filed this petition to the Supreme Court.
Issue: W/N the House had the power to discipline Osmena with suspension?

Held:
Whether the courts can determine whether personal attack upon the President constitutes disorderly behavior: The House is the judge of what
constitutes disorderly behavior not only because the Constitution delegates it but also because this matter depends on factual circumstances of
which the House knows best and cannot be presented to and adjudicated by the Courts. The courts will not assume an appellate jurisdiction,
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which will amount to an interference by the judicial department with the legislature. The theory of separation of powers demands a prudent
refusal to interfere.
Parliamentary immunity invoked by Osmena:
Section 15, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution provides that for any speech or debate in Congress, Senators and Members of the House shall
not be questioned in any other place. This is understood to mean that although members of Congress are exempt from prosecution or civil
action for their words uttered in Congress, they can nevertheless be questioned in Congress itself. Furthermore, Rule XVII, sec. 7 of the Rules of
the House recognizes the House‟s power to hold amember responsible for “words spoken in debate”. Parliamentary immunity guarantees the
legislator complete freedom of expression without fear of being made responsible in criminal and civil actions before the courts or any other
forum outside the Congressional hall, however, it does not protect him from responsibility before the legislative body itself whenever his words
and conduct are considered disorderly or unbecoming. For un parliamentary conduct, members of Congress may be censured committed to
prison, suspended even expelled by the voted of their colleagues.
Whether the House has lost power to question and discipline Osmena as it had taken up other business before approving Resolution No. 59:
Parliamentary rules are merely procedural and may be waived or disregarded by the legislature. The courts have no concern with their
observance.

Ruling: The Petition is DISMISSED.



Dante Liban, et al. v. Richard Gordon, G.R. No. 175352, January 18, 2011

R E S O L U T I O N


LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:

I. THE FACTS

Petitioners Liban, et al., who were officers of the Board of Directors of the Quezon City Red Cross Chapter, filed with
the Supreme Court what they styled as “Petition to Declare Richard J. Gordon as Having Forfeited His Seat in the
Senate” against respondent Gordon, who was elected Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Board
of Governors during his incumbency as Senator.

Petitioners alleged that by accepting the chairmanship of the PNRC Board of Governors, respondent Gordon ceased
to be a member of the Senate pursuant to Sec. 13, Article VI of the Constitution, which provides that “[n]o Senator . . .
may hold any other office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof,
including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his
seat.” Petitioners cited the case of Camporedondo vs. NLRC, G.R. No. 129049, decided August 6, 1999,

which held
that the PNRC is a GOCC, in supporting their argument that respondent Gordon automatically forfeited his seat in the
Senate when he accepted and held the position of Chairman of the PNRC Board of Governors.

Formerly, in its Decision dated July 15, 2009, the Court, voting 7-5,[1] held thatthe office of the PNRC Chairman is
NOT a government office or an office in a GOCC for purposes of the prohibition in Sec. 13, Article VI of the 1987
Constitution. The PNRC Chairman is elected by the PNRC Board of Governors; he is not appointed by the President
or by any subordinate government official. Moreover, the PNRC is NOT a GOCC because it is a privately-owned,
privately-funded, and privately-run charitable organization and because it is controlled by a Board of Governors four-
fifths of which are private sector individuals. Therefore, respondent Gordon did not forfeit his legislative seat when he
was elected as PNRC Chairman during his incumbency as Senator.

The Court however held further that the PNRC Charter, R.A. 95, as amended by PD 1264 and 1643, is void insofar
as it creates the PNRC as a private corporation since Section 7, Article XIV of the 1935 Constitution
states that “[t]he Congress shall not, except by general law, provide for the formation, organization, or regulation of
private corporations, unless such corporations are owned or controlled by the Government or any subdivision or
instrumentality thereof.” The Court thus directed the PNRC to incorporate under the Corporation Code and register
with the Securities and Exchange Commission if it wants to be a private corporation. The fallo of the Decision read:

WHEREFORE, we declare that the office of the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross is not a government
office or an office in a government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Section 13,
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. We also declare that Sections 1, 2, 3, 4(a), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 of the
Charter of the Philippine National Red Cross, or Republic Act No. 95, as amended by Presidential Decree Nos. 1264
and 1643, are VOID because they create the PNRC as a private corporation or grant it corporate powers.

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Respondent Gordon filed a Motion for Clarification and/or for Reconsideration of the Decision. The PNRC likewise
moved to intervene and filed its own Motion for Partial Reconsideration. They basically questioned the second part of
the Decision with regard to the pronouncement on the nature of the PNRC and the constitutionality of some
provisions of the PNRC Charter.


II. THE ISSUE

Was it correct for the Court to have passed upon and decided on the issue of the constitutionality of the PNRC
charter? Corollarily: What is the nature of the PNRC?


III. THE RULING

[The Court GRANTED reconsideration and MODIFIED the dispositive portion of the Decision by deleting the second
sentence thereof.]

NO, it was not correct for the Court to have decided on the constitutional issue because it was not the very lis mota of
the case. The PNRC is sui generis in nature; it is neither strictly a GOCC nor a private corporation.

The issue of constitutionality of R.A. No. 95 was not raised by the parties, and was not among the issues defined in
the body of the Decision; thus, it was not the very lis mota of the case. We have reiterated the rule as to when the
Court will consider the issue of constitutionality in Alvarez v. PICOP Resources, Inc., thus:

This Court will not touch the issue of unconstitutionality unless it is the very lis mota. It is a well-established rule that a
court should not pass upon a constitutional question and decide a law to be unconstitutional or invalid, unless such
question is raised by the parties and that when it is raised, if the record also presents some other ground upon which
the court may [rest] its judgment, that course will be adopted and the constitutional question will be left for
consideration until such question will be unavoidable.

[T]his Court should not have declared void certain sections of . . . the PNRC Charter. Instead, the Court should have
exercised judicial restraint on this matter, especially since there was some other ground upon which the Court could
have based its judgment. Furthermore, the PNRC, the entity most adversely affected by this declaration of
unconstitutionality, which was not even originally a party to this case, was being compelled, as a consequence of the
Decision, to suddenly reorganize and incorporate under the Corporation Code, after more than sixty (60) years of
existence in this country.

Since its enactment, the PNRC Charter was amended several times, particularly on June 11, 1953, August 16, 1971,
December 15, 1977, and October 1, 1979, by virtue of R.A. No. 855, R.A. No. 6373, P.D. No. 1264, and P.D. No.
1643, respectively. The passage of several laws relating to the PNRC‟s corporate existence notwithstanding the
effectivity of the constitutional proscription on the creation of private corporations by law is a recognition that the
PNRC is not strictly in the nature of a private corporation contemplated by the aforesaid constitutional ban.

A closer look at the nature of the PNRC would show that there is none like it[,] not just in terms of structure, but also
in terms of history, public service and official status accorded to it by the State and
the international community. There is merit in PNRC‟s contention that its structure is sui generis. It is in recognition of
this sui generis character of the PNRC that R.A. No. 95 has remained valid and effective from the time of its
enactment in March 22, 1947 under the 1935 Constitution and during the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution and the
1987 Constitution. The PNRC Charter and its amendatory laws have not been questioned or challenged on
constitutional grounds, not even in this case before the Court now.

[T]his Court [must] recognize the country‟s adherence to the Geneva Convention and respect the unique status of the
PNRC in consonance with its treaty obligations. The Geneva Convention has the force and effect of law. Under the
Constitution, the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the
land. This constitutional provision must be reconciled and harmonized with Article XII, Section 16 of the Constitution,
instead of using the latter to negate the former. By requiring the PNRC to organize under the Corporation Code just
like any other private corporation, the Decision of July 15, 2009 lost sight of the PNRC‟s special status under
international humanitarian law and as an auxiliary of the State, designated to assist it in discharging its obligations
under the Geneva Conventions.

The PNRC, as a National Society of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, can neither “be
classified as an instrumentality of the State, so as not to lose its character of neutrality” as well as its independence,
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nor strictly as a private corporation since it is regulated by international humanitarian law and is treated as
an auxiliary of the State.

Although [the PNRC] is neither a subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the government, nor a GOCC or a
subsidiary thereof . . . so much so that respondent, under the Decision, was correctly allowed to hold his position as
Chairman thereof concurrently while he served as a Senator, such a conclusion does not ipso facto imply that the
PNRC is a “private corporation” within the contemplation of the provision of the Constitution, that must be organized
under the Corporation Code. [T]he sui generis character of PNRC requires us to approach controversies involving
the PNRC on a case-to-case basis.

In sum, the PNRC enjoys a special status as an important ally and auxiliary of the government in the humanitarian
field in accordance with its commitments under international law. This Court cannot all of a sudden refuse to
recognize its existence, especially since the issue of the constitutionality of the PNRC Charter was never raised by
the parties. It bears emphasizing that the PNRC has responded to almost all national disasters since 1947, and is
widely known to provide a substantial portion of the country‟s blood requirements. Its humanitarian work is
unparalleled. The Court should not shake its existence to the core in an untimely and drastic manner that would not
only have negative consequences to those who depend on it in times of disaster and armed hostilities but also have
adverse effects on the image of the Philippines in the international community. The sections of the PNRC Charter that
were declared void must therefore stay.

[Thus, R.A. No. 95 remains valid and constitutional in its entirety. The Court MODIFIED the dispositive portion of the
Decision by deleting the second sentence, to now read as follows:

WHEREFORE, we declare that the office of the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross is not a government
office or an office in a government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Section 13,
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.]


[1] Concurring with Justice Antonio Carpio, who wrote the Decision, were then-Chief Justice Puno and Associate
Justices Quisumbing, Carpio Morales, Chico–Nazario, Velasco, and Leonardo-de Castro. Joining Associate Justice
Nachura in his Dissenting Opinion were Associate Justices Ynares-Santiago, Brion, Peralta, and Bersamin. Then-
Justice [now Chief Justice] Corona took no part.



Arroyo vs. De Venecia G.R. No. 127255, August 14, 1997
Sunday, January 25, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: A petition was filed challenging the validity of RA 8240, which amends certain provisions of the National
Internal Revenue Code. Petitioners, who are members of the House of Representatives, charged that there is
violation of the rules of the House which petitioners claim are constitutionally-mandated so that their violation is
tantamount to a violation of the Constitution.

The law originated in the House of Representatives. The Senate approved it with certain amendments. A bicameral
conference committee was formed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the
bill. The bicameral committee submitted its report to the House. During the interpellations, Rep. Arroyo made an
interruption and moved to adjourn for lack of quorum. But after a roll call, the Chair declared the presence of a
quorum. The interpellation then proceeded. After Rep. Arroyo‟s interpellation of the sponsor of the committee report,
Majority Leader Albano moved for the approval and ratification of the conference committee report. The Chair called
out for objections to the motion. Then the Chair declared: “There being none, approved.” At the same time the Chair
was saying this, Rep. Arroyo was asking, “What is that…Mr. Speaker?” The Chair and Rep. Arroyo were talking
simultaneously. Thus, although Rep. Arroyo subsequently objected to the Majority Leader‟s motion, the approval of
the conference committee report had by then already been declared by the Chair.

On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the
Senate and certified by the respective secretaries of both Houses of Congress. The enrolled bill was signed into law
by President Ramos.


Issue: Whether or not RA 8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of the rules of the House

9


Held:
Rules of each House of Congress are hardly permanent in character. They are subject to revocation, modification or
waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them as they are primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have no concern
with their observance. They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to
conform to them does not have the effect of nullifying the act taken if the requisite number of members has agreed to
a particular measure. But this is subject to qualification. Where the construction to be given to a rule affects person
other than members of the legislative body, the question presented is necessarily judicial in character. Even its
validity is open to question in a case where private rights are involved.

In the case, no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a member who, instead of seeking redress
in the House, chose to transfer the dispute to the Court.

The matter complained of concerns a matter of internal procedure of the House with which the Court should not be
concerned. The claim is not that there was no quorum but only that Rep. Arroyo was effectively prevented from
questioning the presence of a quorum. Rep. Arroyo‟s earlier motion to adjourn for lack of quorum had already been
defeated, as the roll call established the existence of a quorum. The question of quorum cannot be raised repeatedly
especially when the quorum is obviously present for the purpose of delaying the business of the House.