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G.R. No. L-68635May 14, 1987

Maravilla Illustre wrote to the justices of the SC, complaining about the dismissal
of the her case (a land dispute involving large estate) by a minute-resolution. Illustre
claims that it was an unjust resolution deliberately and knowingly promulgated by
the 1st Division, that it was railroaded with such hurry beyond the limits of legal
and judicial ethics.
Illustre also threatened in her letter that, there is nothing final in this world. This
case is far from finished
by a long shot. She threatened that she would call for a press conference. Illustres
letter basically attacks the participation of Justice Pedro Yap in the first division.
It was established That Justice Yap was previously a law partner of Atty. Ordonez,
now the Solgen and counsel for the opponents. The letters were referred to the SC
en banc. The SC clarified that when the minute-resolution was issued,the presiding
justice then was not Justice Yap but Justice Abad Santos (who was about to retire),
and that Justice Yap was not aware that Atty Ordonez was the opponents counsel.
It was also made clear that Justice Yap eventually inhibited himself from the case.
Still, Illustre wrote letters to the other justices (Narvasa, Herrera, Cruz), again With
more threats to expos the kind of judicial performance readily constituting
travesty of justice.
True to her threats, Illustre later filed a criminal complaint before the Tanodbayan,
charging the Justices with knowingly rendering an unjust Minute Resolution. Justice
Yap and Solgen Ordonez were also charged of using their influence in the First
Division in rendering said Minute Resolution.Atty LAURETA was the counsel of
Illustre. He circulate copies of the complain to the press, without any copy furnished
the Court, nor the Justices charged. It was made to appear that the Justices were
charged with graft and corruption. The Tanodbayan dismissed the complaint. Now,
the SC is charging them with contempt. They claim that the letters were private
communication, and that they did not intend to dishonor the court.

: WON privacy of communication was violated

: The letters formed part of the judicial record and are a matter of concern for the
entire court.
There is no vindictive reprisal involved here. The Courts authority and duty under
the premises is
Unmistakable. It must act to preserve its honor and dignity from the scurrilous
attacks of an irate lawyer, mouthed by his client, and to safeguard the morals and
ethics of the legal profession.

Were not convinced that Atty Laureta had nothing to do with Ilustres letters, nor
with the complaint filed with the tanodbayan. Atty Laureta repeated disparaging
remarks such as undue influence, powerful
Influence in his pleadings. This was bolstered by the report that Laureta distributed
copies of the
Complaint to the newspaper companies in envelopes bearing his name. He was
also heard over the radio.
Lastly, as Illustres lawyer, he had control of the proceedings.SC resolutions are
beyond investigation from other departments of the government because of
separationof powers. The correctness of the SC decisions is conclusive upon
other branches of government

Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha
Brief Fact Summary. Chadha was an East Indian student who had overstayed his visa
and was deportable. The Attorney General suspended his deportation. The House
passed a resolution that Chadha should be deported because he did not meet the
hardship requirement.


Synopsis of Rule of Law. The one-house veto violated Article I, Section: 7, the
Presentment Clause, because a bill must be presented to the President to sign or
veto, and it violated Article I, Section:Section: 1 and 7, bicameralism.

Facts. Chadha challenged the constitutionality of a provision in Section 244(c)(2) of
the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizing one House of Congress, by
resolution, to invalidate the decision of the Executive Branch, pursuant to authority
delegated by Congress to the Attorney General of the United States, to allow a
particular deportable alien to remain in the United States. The Immigration
Naturalization Service (INS) suspended Chadhas deportation. A year and a half later
the House passed a resolution to veto the suspension. Because the resolution was
passed pursuant to Section 244(c)(2) it was not treated as an Article I legislative act.
As a result, it was not submitted to the Senate nor was it presented to the President
for action. Chadha appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit. The INS agreed with Chadhas position before the court of appeals and
joined him in arguing that Section 244(c)(2) was unconstitutional. The court of
appeals held that
the House was without constitutional authority to order Chadhas deportation.

Issue. Is it constitutional for Congress to statutorily authorize a one-house veto of a
decision the Attorney General made, under authority delegated to him by Congress,
to allow a particular deportable alien to remain in the United States?
Held. Chief Justice Burger opinion. No. The court of appeals decision is affirmed.
Congress first argued that Section 244(c)(2) was not severable. Therefore, if that
provision was unconstitutional than the whole statute was, and then the Attorney
General could not suspend Chadhas deportation order. He would lack standing
because he would receive no relief from an order declaring Section 244(c)(2) invalid.
The Court pointed out that Congress itself had provided for severability in Section
406 of the Act.
Even if this law or procedure were efficient, convenient and useful in facilitating
functions of government, that alone would not save it if it is contrary to the United
States Constitution. The very structure of Articles I, II, and III exemplify the concept
of separation of powers. The Framers ranked other values higher than efficiency.
They sought to define and limit the exercise of the newly created federal powers
affecting the states and the people.
The one-house veto violated Article I, Section: 7, the Presentment Clause, because a
bill must be presented to the President to sign or veto. The Presentment Clause is
an effort to check whatever propensity a particular Congress might have to enact
oppressive, improvident or ill-considered measures.
The one-house veto was unconstitutional because it violated Article I, Section:
Section: 1 and 7, Bicameralism. The Framers were trying to balance the legislative
process. The Presidents participation was to protect the Executive branch from
Congress and to protect the whole people from improvident laws. The Attorney
General is part of the executive branch. When Congress is vetoing his decision, they
are encroaching upon territory reserved for the Executive branch. Both Houses had
to vote on the bill because splitting the legislative power means it will be exercised
only after opportunity for full study and debate in separate settings.
This action was legislative in character and effect because it was to establish a
uniform rule of naturalization, it altered the legal rights, duties and relations of
persons, including the Attorney General, executive Branch officials and Chadha.

Dissent. Justice White and Justice Rehnquist dissenting.
J. White: Todays decision eliminates over 200 statutory provisions in which
Congress has reserved a legislative veto which is more efficient. The Courts
decision fails to recognize that the legislative veto is not the type of action subject
to the bicameralism and presentment requirements of Article I.

J. Rehnquist: Congress could not have intended the one-house veto provision to be
severable from the rest of the statute. They never intended to permit suspensions
of deportation unless they could retain some sort of veto.
Concurrence. Justice Powell concurring. The case should be decided on a narrower
ground. For example, Congress may not encroach the Judicial branch because it is a
judicial function to determine whether a particular person does not satisfy the
statutory criteria for permanent residence.

J. Burger presents the same argument that J. Black did in Youngstown, just because
something is useful, does not mean it is constitutional
The Court in Mistretta v. United States held that the Court would uphold statutory
provisions that to some degree commingle the functions of the branches, but that
pose no danger of either aggrandizement or encroachment.
The dissent by Justice Scalia in Mistretta stated that the Commissions guidelines are
laws, since any judge that disregards them will be reversed. Congress cannot create
an agency that has no governmental power other than to make laws, because only
Congress can make laws under the Constitution. The court upholding a pure
delegation of legislative power has encouraged Congress to delegate its lawmaking
powers frequently in the future, particularly over no-win political issues.
Congress could have said that they are giving the Attorney General a discretionary
power and because discretionary powers are really Congresss responsibility, they
are putting strings on that power. If Congress does not like what the Attorney
General does in a given case then they can override it. So, the case can either be
that Congress is giving the executive power, creating a power which would have a
life of its own, but the nature of the power is limited. Therefore they are not really
taking anything away from the Attorney General and it is not aggrandizement. If
Congress could not use a legislative veto, then they might not pass on the power at
Arnault v Nazareno G.R. No. L-3820 Digest

Arnault v Nazareno digest
G.R. No. L-3820 July 18, 1950
Ozaeta, J.:

Topic: Legislative inquiry


1. The controversy arose out of the Governments purchase of 2
estates. Petitioner was the attorney in-fact of Ernest H. Burt in the
negotiations for the purchase of the Buenavista and Tambobong
Estates by the Government of the Philippines. The purchase was
effected and the price paid for both estates was P5,000,000. The
Senate adopted Resolution No. 8 creating a Special Committee
to determine the validity of the purchase and whether the price
paid was fair and just. During the said Senate investigation,
petitioner was asked to whom a part of the purchase price, or
P440,000, was delivered. Petitioner refused to answer this
question, hence the Committee cited him in contempt for
contumacious acts and ordered his commitment to the custody of
the Sergeant at-arms of the Philippines Senate and imprisoned in
the new Bilibid Prison he reveals to the Senate or to the Special
Committee the name of the person who received the P440,000
and to answer questions pertinent thereto.


2. It turned out that the Government did not have to pay a single
centavo for the Tambobong Estate as it was already practically
owned by virtue of a deed of sale from the Philippine Trust
Company and by virtue of the recession of the contract through
which Ernest H. Burt had an interest in the estate. An intriguing
question which the committee sought to resolve was that involved
in the apparent irregularity of the Government's paying to Burt the
total sum of P1,500,000 for his alleged interest of only P20,000 in
the two estates, which he seemed to have forfeited anyway long
before October, 1949. The committee sought to determine who
were responsible for and who benefited from the transaction at
the expense of the Government.

3. Arnault testified that two checks payable to Burt aggregating
P1,500,000 were delivered to him; and that on the same
occasion he draw on said account two checks; one for P500,000,
which he transferred to the account of the Associated Agencies,
Inc., with PNB, and another for P440,000 payable to cash, which
he himself cashed.

4. Hence, this petition on following grounds:

a) Petitioner contends that the Senate has no power to punish him
for contempt for refusing to reveal the name of the person to
whom he gave the P440,000, because such information is
immaterial to, and will not serve, any intended or purported
legislation and his refusal to answer the question has not
embarrassed, obstructed, or impeded the legislative process.
b) Petitioner contended that the Senate lacks authority to
commit him for contempt for a term beyond its period of
legislative session, which ended on May 18, 1950.
c) Also contended that he would incriminate himself if he should
reveal the name of the person

ISSUE: W/N either House of Congress has the power to
punish a person not a member for contempt


Once an inquiry is admitted or established to be within the
jurisdiction of a legislative body to make, the investigating
committee has the power to require a witness to answer any
question pertinent to that inquiry, subject of course to his
constitutional right against self-incrimination. The inquiry, to be
within the jurisdiction of the legislative body to make, must be
material or necessary to the exercise of a power in it vested by
the Constitution, such as to legislate, or to expel a Member; and
every question which the investigator is empowered to coerce a
witness to answer must be material or pertinent to the subject of
the inquiry or investigation. So a witness may not be coerced to
answer a question that obviously has no relation to the subject of
the inquiry. Note that, the fact that the legislative body has
jurisdiction or the power to make the inquiry would not preclude
judicial intervention to correct a clear abuse of discretion in the
exercise of that power.

It is not necessary for the legislative body to show that every
question propounded to a witness is material to any proposed or
possible legislation; what is required is that is that it be pertinent
to the matter under inquiry.


As to the self-incrimination issue, as against witness's
inconsistent and unjustified claim to a constitutional right, is his
clear duty as a citizen to give frank, sincere, and truthful
testimony before a competent authority. The state has the right to
exact fulfillment of a citizen's obligation, consistent of course with
his right under the Constitution.

The resolution of commitment here in question was adopted by
the Senate, which is a continuing body and which does not cease
exist upon the periodical dissolution of the Congress or of the
House of Representatives. There is no limit as to time to the
Senate's power to punish for contempt in cases where that power
may constitutionally be exerted as in the present case. That
power subsists as long as the Senate, which is a continuing
body, persists in performing the particular legislative function
In November 1990, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive
Order No. 438 which imposed, in addition to any other duties,
taxes and charges imposed by law on all articles imported into
the Philippines, an additional duty of 5% ad valorem tax. This
additional duty was imposed across the board on all imported
articles, including crude oil and other oil products imported into
the Philippines. In 1991, EO 443 increased the additional duty to
9%. In the same year, EO 475 was passed reinstating the
previous 5% duty except that crude oil and other oil products
continued to be taxed at 9%. Enrique Garcia, a representative
from Bataan, avers that EO 475 and 478 are unconstitutional for
they violate Section 24 of Article VI of the Constitution which
All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase
of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall
originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the
Senate may propose or concur with amendments.
He contends that since the Constitution vests the authority to
enact revenue bills in Congress, the President may not assume
such power by issuing Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478 which
are in the nature of revenue-generating measures.

ISSUE: Whether or not EO 475 and 478 are constitutional.

HELD: Under Section 24, Article VI of the Constitution, the
enactment of appropriation, revenue and tariff bills, like all other
bills is, of course, within the province of the Legislative rather
than the Executive Department. It does not follow, however, that
therefore Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478, assuming they
may be characterized as revenue measures, are prohibited to be
exercised by the President, that they must be enacted instead by
the Congress of the Philippines.
Section 28(2) of Article VI of the Constitution provides as follows:
(2) The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix
within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and
restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export
quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts

within the framework of the national development program of the
There is thus explicit constitutional permission to Congress to
authorize the President subject to such limitations and
restrictions as [Congress] may impose to fix within specific
limits tariff rates . . . and other duties or imposts . . . . In this
case, it is the Tariff and Customs Code which authorized the
President ot issue the said EOs.

On 30July 1919, the Philippine Legislature (during special
session) passed and approved Act No. 2868 entitled An Act
Penalizing the Monopoly and Hoarding of Rice, Palay and Corn.
The said act under extraordinary circumstances authorizes the
Governor General to issue the necessary Rules and Regulations
in regulating the distribution of such products. Pursuant to this
Act, On 01 August 1919, the GG issued EO 53 which was
published on 20 August 1919. The said EO fixed the price at
which rice should be sold. On the other hand, Ang Tang Ho, a
rice dealer, voluntarily, criminally and illegally sold a ganta of rice
to Pedro Trinidad at the price of eighty centavos. The said
amount was way higher than that prescribed by the EO. The sale
was done on the 6
of August 1919. On 08 August 1919, he was
charged in violation of the said EO. He was found guilty as
charged and was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment plus a
P500.00 fine. He appealed the sentence countering that there is
an undue delegation of power to the Governor General.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is undue delegation to the Governor

HELD: Fist of, Ang Tang Hos conviction must be reversed
because he committed the act prior to the publication of the EO.
Hence, he cannot be ex post facto charged of the crime. Further,
one cannot be convicted of a violation of a law or of an order
issued pursuant to the law when both the law and the order fail to
set up an ascertainable standard of guilt. The said Act, as to the
judgment of the SC, wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly
what the standard policy should contain, so that it could be put in
use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all others
without the determination of the insurance commissioner in
respect to matters involving the exercise of a legislative discretion
that could not be delegated, and without which the act could not
possibly be put in use. The law must be complete in all its terms
and provisions when it leaves the legislative branch of the
government and nothing must be left to the judgment of the
electors or other appointee or delegate of the legislature, so that,
in form and substance, it is a law in all its details in presenti, but
which may be left to take effect in future, if necessary, upon the
ascertainment of any prescribed fact or event.


Conference of Maritime Agencies, Inc. vs. POEA


Petitioner, Conference of Maritime Manning Agencies, Inc., is
an incorporated association of licensed Filipino manning agencies, and its co-
petitioners, all licensed manning agencies who
hire and recruit Filipino seamen for and in behalf of the irrespective foreign ship-
owner-principals, seek to annul Resolution No. 01, series of 1994, of the Governing
Board of the POEA and POEA Memorandum Circular No. 05.

The petitioners contended that POEA does not have the power and authority to fix
and promulgate rates affecting death and workmen's compensation of Filipino seam
enworking in ocean-going vessels; only Congress can.

Governing Board Resolution No. 1: the POEA Governing Board resolves to amend
and increase the compensation and other benefits as specified under Part II, Section
C, paragraph 1 and Section L, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the POEA Standard
Employment Contract for Seafarers


Whether or Not the POEA can promulgate rules
by virtue of delegation of legislative power.


Yes. The constitutional challenge of the rule-making power of the POEA
based on impermissible delegation of legislative power had been, as correctly
contented by the public respondents, brushed aside by this Court in Eastern
Shipping Lines, Inc. vs. POEA.

The governing Board of the Administration (POEA) shall promulgate the necessary
rules and regulations to govern the exercise of the adjudicatory functions of the
Administration (POEA).

To many of the problems attendant upon present-day undertakings, the legislature
may not have the competence to provide the required direct and efficacious not
tosay, specific solutions. These solutions may, however, be expected from itsdelegat
es, who are supposed to be experts in the particular fields assigned to them.

While the making of laws is a non-delegable power that pertains exclusively to
Congress, nevertheless, the latter may constitutionally delegate the authority topro
mulgate rules and regulations to implement a given legislation and effectuate its
policies, for the reason that the legislature finds it impracticable, if not impossible,
to anticipate situations that may be met in carrying the law into effect. All that is
required is that the regulation should be germane to the objects and purposes of
the law; that the regulation be not in contradiction to but in conformity with the
standards prescribed by the law.

That the challenged resolution and memorandum circular, which merely further
amended the previous Memorandum Circular No. 02, strictly conform to the
sufficient and valid standard of "fair and equitable employment practices"
prescribed in E.O. No. 797 can no longer be disputed.