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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

SUPREME COURT
Manila
Spouses PNP Director ELISEO D.
DELA PAZ (Ret.) and MARIA FE
C. DELA PAZ
Petitioner,
-versus-

G.R. No. _______________
(For: Petition for Certiorari
and Prohibition with Prayer for
Preliminary Injunction
and Temporary Restraining Order)

SENATE
COMMITTEE
ON
FOREIGN RELATIONS and the
SENATE SERGEANT AT ARMS
JOSE BALAJADIA, JR.
Respondents.
x------------------------------------------x

PETITION FOR CERTIORARI
AND PROHIBITION
--------------------------------------------

Petitioners, SPOUSES PNP DIRECTOR (RET.) ELISEO DELA PAZ and
MARIA FE DELA PAZ, by counsel, respectfully state:

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

This case concerns the much publicized incident in Moscow, Russia, involving
petitioner Gen. dela Paz, a former Comptroller of the PNP who, on his way home from a
conference, was temporarily held by Russian customs officials for failing to declare an
amount equivalent to 105,000 euros.

Petitioners were held for violation of a local

customs law which limited the amount of cash that foreigners were allowed to bring
during their travel to 10,000 US dollars or its equivalent.

Upon his return to the Philippines, petitioners, along with the other members of
his group, were summoned to appear and testify at a hearing called by Mme. Senator
Miriam Defensor Santiago, in her capacity as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee (the “Committee”).

The day before the appointed hearing, however, petitioners learned about Rule X,
Section 13(12) of the Senate Rules which clearly spelled out the jurisdiction of its
Committee on Foreign Relations, to wit:
(12) Committee on Foreign Relations. - Fifteen (15) members. All matters
relating to the relations of the Philippines with other nations generally;
diplomatic and consular services; the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations; the United Nations Organization and its agencies; multi-lateral
organizations; all international agreements, obligations and contracts; and
overseas Filipinos. (underscoring ours)

Now realizing that the jurisdiction of the Committee was merely limited to
matters that involve state to state relations, and not ordinary infractions of local laws
committed by our citizens in foreign countries, petitioners sent counsel to the hearing to
file a “Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoenae” (the “Challenge”)
dated 23 October 2008 and excused themselves from attending the hearing. Petitioners,
however, pledged to attend any other Senate inquiry as long as it is conducted by the
appropriate committee.

As newspaper and television accounts would have it, and also the Transcript of
Stenographic Notes would show1 Santiago blew her top and summarily dismissed
petitioners’ Challenge. Thus, in grave abuse of discretion, Sen. Santiago insisted on her
committee’s jurisdiction to hear the case and proceeded to hurl baseless accusations and
insults not only against petitioner General dela Paz but also against all those present at the
hearing, notably DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno and PNP Chief Jesus Versoza.

1

Page 4 of the October 23, 2008 hearing at 10:05 a.m Transcript of Stenographic Notes

2

Worse, in grave and patent abuse of her discretion and authority, devoid of any
jurisdiction, and without even waiting for the concurrence of the other members of the
committee, Sen. Santiago ordered the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms, the Hon. Jose Balajadia,
Jr., to arrest the petitioners and to bring them before her, “now, if possible.”

With all due respect, petitioners respectfully submit that the respondent
Committee totally DISREGARDED their rights to due process when, on SEVERAL
INSTANCES:

(1) It insisted in PROCEEDING AND ASSUMING JURISDICTION over a matter
which is no longer covered by the authority granted by the Senate’s own rules;
(2) It disregarded this Honorable Court’s pronouncements in Senate v. Ermita2 in
failing to inform petitioners about THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION THAT
MAY HAVE PROMPTED THE RESPONDENT COMMITTEE’S INQUIRY;
(3) It ordered, upon the decision of the Committee Chair alone, the immediate arrest
of the petitioners, in patent violation of the committee's own rules which provide
THAT A VOTE OF THE MAJORITY OF THE COMMITTEE IS NEEDED to
exercise CONTEMPT POWERS and issue WARRANTS OF ARREST. In this
case, even assuming that it has the requisite jurisdiction over the case, it is
necessary for the Committee to secure the signatures of at least 8 of its 15
members for the valid issuance of a warrant of arrest.

“Beyond debate, the fundamental law prohibits deprivation of liberty without
due process of law. Comparatively speaking, the Court has on many occasions required
judges to comply strictly with the due process requirements on issuing warrants of arrest,
failure of which has resulted in the voiding of the warrants. The denial of a person’s
fundamental right to due process amounts to the illegality of the proceedings against him.
The doctrine consistently adhered to by the Supreme Court is that a denial of due process
2

488 SCRA 1

3

suffices to cast on the official act taken by whichever branch of the government the
impress of nullity, the fundamental right to due process being a cornerstone of our legal
system. The right to due process is a cardinal and primary right which must be respected
in all proceedings.”3

NATURE OF THE ACTION

This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for preliminary
injunction and temporary restraining order, filed pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court,
which seeks to:

A. ANNUL AND SET ASIDE the Orders given in open session by the Hon. Sen. Miriam
Defensor Santiago, in her capacity as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
in grave abuse and in excess of her jurisdiction, during the hearing last 23 October 2008:

1. Summarily denying and dismissing petitioner Gen. dela Paz’s
“Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoenae”; and
2. Ordering the issuance of a warrant of arrest and the immediate arrest
and production of petitioners before her;

B. PROHIBIT (a) the respondent Senate Foreign Relations Committee from proceeding
with its hearings and conducting its inquiries on this case, and (b) the respondent
Sergeant of Arms, the Hon. Jose Balajadia, Jr., from enforcing any warrant of arrest that
may have been ordered issued by the Committee to compel the attendance of petitioners
at any of its hearings.

3

Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers & Investigations (Blue Ribbon),
G.R. No. 180643, September 4, 2008.

4

In support of his petition, and as proof of the questioned orders herein, petitioners
respectfully enclose as Annex “A” certified true copies of the transcripts of stenographic
notes taken during the proceedings held last 23 October 2008.

At the time of the filing of this Petition, the issuance of the warrant of arrest
against petitioners appears impending, with pronouncements made by the Committee to
the media that all that is being awaited is the signature of the Senate President, Manuel B.
Villar. Thus, petitioners herein likewise seeks the issuance of a preliminary injunction and
temporary restraining order against the respondents directing that the proceedings against
them in the subject case cease while the instant petition is under consideration.

TIMELINESS OF THE PETITION
The dates material to the timeliness of this petition are as follows:

1.01 Petitioners received a copy of a Subpoena dated 21 October 2008, Annexes “B”
and “C”, requiring them to appear and testify at the hearing on 23 October 2008 to be
conducted by the respondent Committee.

1.02 On 23 October 2008, on the date of the hearing, petitioner Gen. dela Paz filed a
“Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoenae”. A copy of the Challenge is
enclosed and made an integral part hereof as Annex “D”

1.03 Sen. Santiago, in her capacity as Chair of the Committee, in grave abuse of
discretion, and in excess of her jurisdiction, summarily denied petitioner’s Challenge to
Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoenae and thereupon ordered the Arrest of the
Petitioners. A copy of the transcript of stenographic notes taken during the proceedings,
attesting to the issuance of the questioned orders, is attached and made an integral part hereof
as Annex “A”.

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1.04 As the issue here involves a denial of petitioner’s substantive and procedural
rights to due process, the filing of a Motion for Reconsideration was no longer deemed
necessary.4 Besides, right after the denial of petitioner’s Challenge, Sen. Santiago suggested
to counsel that he can appeal her ruling directly to the Supreme Court.5

1.05. As the filing of this Petition, the Warrant of Arrest is yet to be issued but
appears to be impending, awaiting the signature of the Senate President, Manuel B. Villar

Hence, this petition.

THE PARTIES

Petitioners Spouses PNP Director (Ret.) ELISEO DELA PAZ and MARIA FE
DELA PAZ, are both of legal age, Filipinos, and with residence address at c/o Camp
Crame, Quezon City. Petitioner Gen. dela Paz is a recently retired Director of the
Philippine National Police who has served his country without taint and blemish for all
the years that he had been protecting and enforcing the laws of the land. Petitioners may
be served with summons and other processes of the Honorable Court through undersigned
counsel, the MALAYA, SANCHEZ, AÑOVER, AÑOVER and SIMPAO LAW OFFICE,
with address at Suite 422 Chateau Verde Condo. Valle Verde I, Brgy. Ugong, 1604 Pasig
City.

Respondent Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is one among many
committees of the Senate of the Philippines, and is being chaired by Sen. Miriam
Defensor Santiago. Pursuant to its own rules, the Committee on Foreign Relations is
composed of fifteen (15) members.

4
5

Abraham vs. NLRC 353 SCRA p. 739
Page 4, TSN, Oct. 23, 2008, Annex “A”

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Respondent Jose Balajadia is the Sergeant At Arms of the Senate who is tasked to
serve the Arrest Warrant upon petitioners.

Respondents may be served with summons and other processes of the Honorable
Court at the Committee on Foreign Relations, Senate of the Philippines, GSIS Building,
Financial Center, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

ANTECEDENT PROCEEDINGS AND
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS

1.01 On 4 September 2008, a PNP delegation composed of eight (8) senior PNP
officers were given authority by Secretary of DILG, Ronaldo V. Puno to travel on official
mission to attend the 77th General Assembly Session of International Criminal Police
Organization (ICPO)-INTERPOL in Saint Petersburg, Russia from 6-11 October 2008.

1.02 Petitioner Gen. dela Paz brought along with him as “Contingency fund”, the
amount of Six Million Nine Hundred Thirty Thousand Pesos (P6,930,000.00) which was
subsequently changed to One Hundred Five Thousand Euros (₤105,000).

The

contingency fund was cash advanced from PNP funds by Police Director Dela Paz in his
capacity as Special Disbursing Officer (SDO) of the PNP delegation while traveling to
Saint Petersburg, Russia and vice-versa.

1.03 The PNP delegation arrived in St. Petersburg via Hongkong and Moscow on
October 6, 2008.

The personal belongings and foreign currencies brought by the

delegation were not inspected at the port of entry in Moscow. Thereafter, the delegation
attended the General Assembly Session of ICPO-Interpol until 8 October 2008.

1.04 On 9 October 2008, while the group was already at the departure area of the
Moscow International Airport, petitioners were held for questioning by Russian

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authorities regarding the foreign currencies they were carrying which reportedly exceeded
the currency limit of the said country.

1.04 Upon petitioner Gen. dela Paz’s submission to the Russian authorities of
pertinent documents showing that the money he was carrying was the contingency fund of
the PNP delegation, petitioners were ordered released. Upon agreement with the Russian
customs officials, the contingency fund will be wired back to the Philippines and will be
returned to the PNP’s coffers.

1.06 The said contingency fund will be liquidated by petitioner Gen. dela Paz in
accordance with existing accounting and auditing rules and regulation within one month
from his arrival in the country.

1.07

Even before formal investigations could even begin, certain malicious

insinuations and derogatory conclusions, not only against petitioner Gen. dela Paz but
against the other convention delegates and the leadership as well of the PNP and of the
Department of the Interior and Local Government, had already come out in public.

1.08 Initial media reports bared that petitioner Gen. dela Paz will be invited to a
Senate hearing to shed light on the issue.

However, petitioner Gen. dela Paz was

surprised to receive a subpoena (Annex “B”) on 22 October 2008 demanding that he
appear and submit all documents pertinent to the official trip the very next day, on 23
October 2008. It is noteworthy that the subpoena did not state any legislative purpose or
any intended legislation, which is a requirement which the Senate has imposed upon
itself, pursuant to the case of Neri case, supra.

1.09 Worse, it pained petitioner Gen. dela Paz to find out that even his wife was
not spared as she herself has been issued a subpoena to testify in the Senate hearing

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conducted in 23 October 2008. Attached hereto as Annexes “B” and “C” are copies of
the Subpoena dated 21 October 2008 issued for her.

1.10 On 22 October 2008, petitioner Gen. dela Paz voluntary appeared before the
Office of the Ombudsman and assured them of his full cooperation in any investigation
that the said office will be undertaking.

1.11 On 23 October 2008, the date of the Senate hearing, petitioner Gen. dela Paz
filed before the respondent Committee a “Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash
Subpoenae”.

However, as discussed above, Senator Santiago, in grave abuse of

discretion and in ignoring the SCOPE OF THE JURISDICTION of her Committee and
the INTERNAL RULES governing inquiries in aid of legislation, DENIED and
DISMISSED the Challenge.

1.12 Moreover, the respondent Senator failed to observe the standards of due
process when she ordered respondent Balajadia to arrest petitioners and instantly bring
them before the Committee if possible.

1.13 Hence, this Petition.

GROUNDS FOR THE ALLOWANCE
OF THE PETITION

I.
THE RESPONDENT COMMITTEE COMMITTED
GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO
LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT
INSISTED IN PROCEEDING WITH THE HEARING
DESPITE THE FACT THAT ITS OWN RULES
SHOW THAT IT IS DEVOID OF ANY
JURISDICTION TO HEAR MATTERS THAT DO
NOT INVOLVE STATE TO STATE RELATIONS.

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II.
ASSUMING
THAT
THE
RESPONDENT
COMMITTEE HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE
MATTER, IT STILL COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE
OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN THEY CAUSED
THE ISSUANCE OF THE ARREST WARRANT IN
CONTRAVENTION OF INTERNAL RULES OF THE
SENATE WHICH REQUIRE THE SIGNATURES OF
THE MAJORITY OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE
COMMITTEE.
III.
THE RESPONDENTS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE
OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN THEY
CONDUCTED THE PROCEEDINGS ACCORDING
TO
“SENATE
RULES
OF
PROCEDURE
GOVERNING
INQUIRIES
IN
AID
OF
LEGISLATION” WHICH THEY HAVE FAILED TO
PUBLISH, AS REQUIRED BY SENATE VS.
ERMITA6.

ARGUMENTS/DISCUSSIONS

I The respondent committee
committed
grave
abuse
of
discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction when it
insisted in proceeding with the
hearing despite the fact that its
own rules show that it is devoid of
any jurisdiction to hear matters
that do not involve state to state
relations.
---------------------------------------------

2.01 Under Rule X, Section 13(12), the specific powers and duties of the
Committee on Foreign Relations are clearly spelled out, to wit:
(12) Committee on Foreign Relations. - Fifteen (15) members. All matters
relating to the relations of the Philippines with other nations generally;
diplomatic and consular services; the Association of Southeast Asian
6

488 SCRA 1

10

Nations; the United Nations Organization and its agencies; multi-lateral
organizations; all international agreements, obligations and contracts; and
overseas Filipinos.

It is clear, therefore, that only matters that concern “relations of the Philippines
with other nations”, or “state to state” relations, fall within the jurisdiction of the
respondent Committee.

Ordinary day to day occurrences which do not involve the

relations of the Philippines with other countries do not, and should not, fall within the
jurisdiction of the Committee.

This particular case, therefore, which merely involves an infraction of a local law
committed by a Filipino citizen abroad, does not fall within the ambit of the phrase “state
to state” relations. To hold otherwise would lead to the absurd interpretation that all
infractions committed by Filipinos abroad would all impact on the foreign relations that
the Philippines has with that country which would always compel the respondent
Committee to look into.

To illustrate our point, it would appear from all indications that the incident in
Moscow will not disrupt or even alter the present state of foreign relations that the
Philippines presently has with Russia. Petitioners doubt that it was ever the intention of
the respondent Committee to review its foreign relations with Russia, whatever the results
of its investigation would be. The state of our foreign relations with Russia was never an
issue or a concern in this inquiry.

2.02 Clearly, therefore, the respondent Committee has no jurisdiction to conduct
any legislative inquiry on the subject of its subpoena. Lacking jurisdiction on the subject
matter, it has no power to issue any invitation, notices, more so the subpoenae subject of

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this challenge and motion. Thus, the subject subpoenae must be quashed for having been
issued without authority.

2.03 Petitioners also hasten to add that the procedures on the need to indicate in
the subpoena the proposed legislation that prompted the inquiry was likewise not
followed. These are rooted on fairness and due process, as required by this Honorable
Court in the Neri case, infra.

II. Assuming that the respondent
Committee has jurisdiction over
the matter, the Arrest Warrant
was issued in contravention of
internal rules of the Senate which
require the signatures of the
majority of all the members of the
committee.
--------------------------------------------

3.01 The proceedings initiated by the Committee on Foreign Relations were
attended only by the following Senator Committee Members: Committee Chairman
Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Mar Roxas, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Aquilino Pimentel. It is
beyond question that such an attendance does not constitute a QUORUM to exercise
contempt powers as required by their Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of
Legislation, specifically Sec 18 which reads:
“The Committee, by a vote of majority of all its members, may punish for
contempt any witness before it who disobey any order of the Committee or
refuses to be sworn or to testify or to answer proper questions by the
Committee or any of its members.”

3.02 The leading case on the issue of Quorum and the legality of its acts was
clearly ruled upon by the Court in the case of Neri v. Senate Committee on
Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, Senate Committee on Trade
and Commerce, and Senate Committee on National Defense and Security GR No.

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180643 March 25, 2008. The Court ruled that “(C)learly, the needed vote is a majority
of all the members of the Committee.” In this case, the challenged Order of Arrest was
ordered to be issued ONLY by the Committee Chair herself. Thus, there is a cloud of
doubt as to the validity of the Order given in open session last 23 October 2008 ordering
the arrest of petitioners. In the Neri case, the relevant portion on the issue on quorum
reads:
“THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. CAYETANO, A). For clarification.
x x x The Chair will call either a caucus or will ask the
Committee on Rules if there is a problem. Meaning, if we do not
have the sufficient numbers. But if we have a sufficient number,
we will just hold a caucus to be able to implement that right away
because…Again, our Rules provide that any one held in contempt
and ordered arrested, need the concurrence of a majority of all
members of the said committee and we have three committees
conducting this.
So thank you very much to the members…
SEN. PIMENTEL. Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. CAYETANO,A). May I recognize the
Minority Leader and give him the floor, Senator Pimentel.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Mr. Chairman, there is no problem, I think,
with consulting the other committees. But I am of the opinion that
the Blue Ribbon Committee is the lead committee, and therefore, it
should have preference in enforcing its own decisions. Meaning to
say, it is not something that is subject to consultation with other
committees. I am not sure that is the right interpretation. I think
that once we decide here, we enforce what we decide, because
otherwise, before we know it, our determination is watered down
by delay and, you know, the so-called “consultation” that
inevitably will have to take place if we follow the premise that has
been explained.
So my suggestion, Mr. Chairman, is the Blue Ribbon Committee
should not forget it’s the lead committee here, and therefore, the
will of the lead committee prevails over all the other, you, know
reservations that other committees might have who are only
secondary or even tertiary committees, Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. CAYETANO, A.) Thank you very
much to the Minority Leader. And I agree with the wisdom of his
statements. I was merely mentioning that under Section 6 of the
Rules of the Committee and under Section 6, “The Committee by a
vote of a majority of all its members may punish for contempt any
witness before it who disobeys any order of the Committee.”
So the Blue Ribbon Committee is more than willing to take that
responsibility. But we only have six members here today, I am the
seventh as chair and so we have not met that number. So I am

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merely stating that, sir, that when we will prepare the
documentation, if a majority of all members sign and I am
following the Sabio v. Gordon rule wherein I do believe, if I am
not mistaken, Chairman Gordon prepared the documentation and
then either in caucus or in session asked the other members to
sign. And once the signatures are obtained, solely for the purpose
that Secretary Neri or Mr. Lozada will not be able to legally
question our subpoena as being insufficient in accordance with
law.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Mr. Chairman, the caution that the chair is
suggesting is very well-taken. But I’d like to advert to the fact that
the quorum of the committee is only two as far as I remember.
Any two-member senators attending a Senate committee hearing
provide that quorum, and therefore there is more than a quorum
demanded by our Rules as far as we are concerned now, and acting
as Blue Ribbon Committee, as Senator Enrile pointed out. In any
event, the signatures that will follow by the additional members
will only tend to strengthen the determination of this Committee to
put its foot forward – put down on what is happening in this
country, Mr. Chairman, because it really looks terrible if the
primary Committee of the Senate, which is the Blue ribbon
Committee, cannot even sanction people who openly defy, you
know, the summons of this Committee. I know that the Chair is
going through an agonizing moment here. I know that. But
nonetheless, I think we have to uphold, you know, the institution
that we are representing because the alternative will be a disaster
for all of us, Mr. Chairman. So having said that, I’d like to
reiterate my point.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. CAYETANO, A.) First of all, I agree
100 percent with the intentions of the Minority Leader. But let me
very respectfully disagree with the legal requirements. Because,
yes, we can have a hearing if we are only two but both under
section 18 of the Rules of the Senate and under Section 6 of the
Rules of the Blue Ribbon Committee, there is a need for a majority
of all members if it is a case of contempt and arrest. So, I am
simply trying to avoid the court rebuking the Committee, which
will instead of strengthening will weaken us. But I do agree, Mr.
Minority Leader, that we should push for this and show the
executive branch that the well-decided – the issue has been decided
upon the Sabio versus Gordon case. And it’s very clear that we
are all allowed to call witnesses. And if they refuse or they
disobey not only can we cite them in contempt and have them
arrested. x x x [62]
Even the courts are repeatedly advised to exercise the power of
contempt judiciously and sparingly with utmost self-restraint with
the end in view of utilizing the same for correction and
preservation of the dignity of the court, not for retaliation or
vindication.[63] Respondent Committees should have exercised
the same restraint, after all petitioner is not even an ordinary
witness. He holds a high position in a co-equal branch of
government.
In this regard, it is important to mention that many incidents of

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judicial review could have been avoided if powers are discharged
with circumspection and deference. Concomitant with the doctrine
of separation of powers is the mandate to observe respect to a coequal branch of the government.”
III. Sec. 21 of Article VI of the
Constitution requires that the
inquiry be in accordance with the
“duly
published
rules
of
procedure.”
--------------------------------------------4.01 Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution likewise establishes crucial
safeguards that proscribe the legislative power of inquiry. The provision requires that the
inquiry be done in accordance with the Senate or House’s duly published rules of
procedure, necessarily implying the constitutional infirmity of an inquiry conducted
without duly published rules of procedure. (Senate of the Philippines vs. Ermita7.

4.02 In the same case of Neri, the Supreme Court ruled, in quoting the OSG, that
the phrase “duly published rules of procedure” requires the Senate of every Congress to
publish its rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation because every
Senate is distinct from the one before it or after it. Since Senatorial elections are held
every three (3) years for one-half of the Senate’s membership, the composition of the
Senate also changes by the end of each term. Each Senate may thus enact a different set
of rules as it may deem, fit. Not having published its Rules of Procedure, the subject
hearings in aid of legislation conducted by the 14th Senate, are therefore, procedurally
infirm.

4.03 Justice Isagani Cruz, in his book Philippine Political Law, offers a verifiable
observation:
“The reason is that in the past this power was much abused by
some legislators who used it for illegitimate ends or to browbeat or
intimidate witnesses, usually for grandstanding purposes only. There were
also times when the subject of the inquiry was purely private in nature and
therefore outside the scope of the powers of the Congress.
7

488 SCRA 1

15

To correct these excesses, it is now provided that the legislative
inquiry must be in aid of legislation, whether it be under consideration
already or still to be drafted. Furthermore, the conduct of the investigation
must be strictly in conformity with the rules of procedure that must have
been published in advance for the information and protection of the
witnesses.”8

4.04 Hence, it is indispensable that the Senate Rules of Procedure during the
current 14th Congress must be duly published. The problem is, the rules have not been
published in the Official Gazette or newspaper of general circulation as required by
Tanada v. Tuvera9,. Publication in either of these forms is mandatory to comply with
the due process requirement. Due process requires that fair notice be given to those
concerned before the rules that put their liberty at risk take effect.10 The rationale of this
requirement was enunciated in Tanada as follows:
“Laws must come out in the open in the clear light of the sun
instead of skulking in the shadows with their dark, deep secrets.
Mysterious pronouncements and rumored rules cannot be recognized as
binding unless their existence and contents are confirmed by a valid
publication intended to make full disclosure and give proper notice to
the people. The furtive law is like a scabbarded saber that cannot feint,
parry or cut unless the naked blade is drawn.”

4.05 The current Senate cannot in good conscience neglect to publish its Rules of
Procedure. Nor could its Committee ignore the Rules, especially those on quorum. In the
absence of a published rule of procedure on a matter which is the subject of legislative
inquiry, any action which affects substantial rights of persons would be anathema, and
risks unconstitutionality. Even if there is such a rule or statute duly published, if it lacks
comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
meaning and differ in its application, the rule or statute would be repugnant to the
Constitution in two respects:

it violates due process for failure to accord persons,

especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what conduct to avoid; and, it leaves the
law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary

8
9
10

I. Cruz, Philippine Political Law, 163-164 (2002 ed)
146 SCRA 446
See Globe Telecom, Inc. v. National Telecommunications Commission, 435 SCRA 110, 148.

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flexing of the Government muscle.11 How much more in this case where there is a patent
lack of publication and proper notice of the applicable rules. Or where the rules are
misread and misapplied resulting to lack of quorum.12

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, petitioner respectfully prays that this Honorable Court:

(1) ANNUL AND SET ASIDE, for having been issued with grave abuse of
discretion and in excess of jurisdiction, the Orders given in open session last
23 October 2008 by Mme. Sen. Miriam Santiago, in her capacity as Chair of
the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations denying petitioner’s “Challenge to
Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoenae” and ordering the respondent
Senate Sergeant Arms, Jose Balajadia, Jr. to arrest the petitioners and to
compel them to submit to the jurisdiction of the Committee; and to
(2) PROHIBIT the respondents from assuming jurisdiction over the case, from
conducting hearings or inquiries supposedly in aid of legislation, and from
enforcing any of the orders, decisions or reports and that it may issue in the
course of its proceedings.

In the meantime that this petition is being heard by this Honorable Court, it is
likewise prayed that a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction be issued
temporarily enjoining the respondents from proceeding with the conduct of their
legislative inquiry as regards the Moscow incident against the petitioners in any manner
and compelling them to submit to the jurisdiction of the Committee and to restrain the
issuance or the enforcement of the arrest warrant if already issued.
Other reliefs just and equitable are likewise prayed for.
Pasig City for Manila, October 27, 2008
11
12

Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148560, November 19, 2001.
See cf “Tatad points out Senate’s misreading of its rules.” Manila Bulletin, July 29, 2008, p. 18.

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MALAYA, SANCHEZ, AÑOVER,
AÑOVER and SIMPAO LAW OFFICES
Counsel for the Petitioners
Suite 422 Chateau Verde Condominium,
Valle Verde I (Gate 2), E. Rodriguez, Jr. Ave.
Brgy. Ugong, 1604 Pasig City
By:
NOEL M. MALAYA
PTR #4309997; 1/04/08 QC
IBP Lifetime Roll No. 02767
Bar Roll No. 29216
ALBERT DENNIS N. AÑOVER
PTR No. 4310000; 01/04/08 Pasig
IBP Lifetime Roll No. 0276
Roll No. 34810
MCLE Compliance No. II-0001863; June 29, 2007

REYNALDO R. SIMPAO
PTR No. 9771352;01/07/08 Quezon City
IBP No. 726181;01/03/08 Quezon City
Roll No. 40980

ALEXIS M. ABASTILLAS-SUAREZ
PTR No. 4334353;01/04/08 Pasig City
IBP No. 733019;01/04/08 Neg. Occ.
Roll No. 49650
MCLE Compliance #II - 0002763

VERIFICATION AND
CERTIFICATION
AGAINST FORUM SHOPPING

We, Spouses PNP Director ELISEO DELA PAZ (Ret.) and MARIA FE
DELA PAZ, of legal age, Filipinos and with postal address at
______________________, after having been duly sworn to, hereby depose and say, that:
We are the petitioners in the above entitled case;

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We caused the preparation of the above Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition;
and have read and understood the same and that the allegations therein are true and
correct of our own personal knowledge and/or based on the authentic records of this case.
We certify that we have not forum-shopped; specifically, we have not theretofore
commenced any other action or proceeding involving the same issues in the Supreme
Court, the Court of Appeals or different divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency;
if there is such other action or proceeding, we must state the status of the same; and if we
would thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending
before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or different divisions thereof, or any
other tribunal or agency, I undertake to promptly inform the aforesaid courts and other
tribunal or agency thereof within five (5) days therefrom.
Pasig City, October 27, 2008
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto affixed our hands this 27th day of
October 2008 in Pasig City.

PNP Director ELISEO D. DELA PAZ (Ret.)

MARIA FE C. DELA PAZ

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 27th day of October 2008 in
Pasig City, personally appeared PNP Director ELISEO DELA PAZ (Ret.) exhibiting to
me his Passport No. NN0457523 issued on August 3, 2004 and set to expire on August 3,
2008, and MARIA FE DELA PAZ exhibiting to me her Passport No. SS0539671 issued
on February 22, 2006 and set to expire on February 22, 2011 as their competent evidence
of identity bearing their photograph and signatures.

MARBERT J. QUIA-ONG
Doc. No 397
Page No. 80
Book No. I
Series of 2008

Appointment No. 65[2008-2009]
Notary Public – City of Pasig
Until December 31, 2009
PTR No. 4334351;01/04/08 Pasig
IBP No. 733021;01/04/08 RSM
TIN 102-918-531
Suite 422 Chateau Verde condo.
VVI, E. Rodriguez, Jr. Ave.

Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City
COPY FURNISHED:
OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
134 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Villege,
Makati City
OFFICE OF THE SENATE PRESIDENT
Pasay City
OFFICE OF THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS
OFFICE OF THE SENATE
Pasay City

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OFFICE OF THE SENATE LEGAL COUNSEL
Pasay City
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
OFFICE OF THE SENATE
Pasay City

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