You are on page 1of 8

JIMENEZ VS CABANGBANG

Cabangbang was a member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of its Committee on National Defense. On
14 Nov 1958, Cabangbang caused the publication of an open letter addressed to the Philippines. Said letter alleged that
there have been allegedly three operational plans under serious study by some ambitious AFP officers, with the aid of
some civilian political strategists. That such strategists have had collusions with communists and that the Secretary of
Defense, Jesus Vargas, was planning a coup dtat to place him as the president. The planners allegedly have Nicanor
Jimenez, among others, under their guise and that Jimenez et al may or may not be aware that they are being used as a
tool to meet such an end. The letter was said to have been published in newspapers of general circulation. Jimenez then
filed a case against Cabangbang to collect a sum of damages against Cabangbang alleging that Cabangbangs statement
is libelous. Cabangbang petitioned for the case to be dismissed because he said that as a member of the HOR he is
immune from suit and that he is covered by the privileged communication rule and that the said letter is not even libelous.
ISSUE: Whether or not the open letter is covered by privilege communication endowed to members of Congress. Whether
or not the said letter is libelous.
HELD: Article VI, Section 15 of the Constitution provides The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives
shall in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace. Be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the
sessions of the Congress, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate therein, they shall
not be questioned in any other place. The publication of the said letter is not covered by said expression which refers to
utterances made by Congressmen in the performance of their official functions, such as speeches delivered, statements
made, or votes cast in the halls of Congress, while the same is in session as well as bills introduced in Congress, whether
the same is in session or not, and other acts performed by Congressmen, either in Congress or outside the premises
housing its offices, in the official discharge of their duties as members of Congress and of Congressional Committees duly
authorized to perform its functions as such at the time of the performance of the acts in question. Congress was not in
session when the letter was published and at the same time he, himself, caused the publication of the said letter. It is
obvious that, in thus causing the communication to be so published, he was not performing his official duty, either as a
member of Congress or as officer of any Committee thereof. Hence, contrary to the finding made by the lower court the
said communication is not absolutely privileged.
The SC is satisfied that the letter in question is not sufficient to support Jimenez action for damages. Although the letter
says that plaintiffs are under the control of the persons unnamed therein alluded to as planners, and that, having been
handpicked by Vargas, it should be noted that defendant, likewise, added that it is of course possible that plaintiffs are
unwitting tools of the plan of which they may have absolutely no knowledge. In other words, the very document upon
which plaintiffs action is based explicitly indicates that they might be absolutely unaware of the alleged operational plans,
and that they may be merely unwitting tools of the planners. The SC does not think that this statement is derogatory to
Jimenez to the point of entitling them to recover damages, considering that they are officers of our Armed Forces, that as
such they are by law, under the control of the Secretary of National Defense and the Chief of Staff, and that the letter in
question seems to suggest that the group therein described as planners include these two (2) high ranking officers.
Petition is dismissed.

PEOPLE V JALOSJOS
Feb. 3, 2000
Facts: The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress who is confined at the national
penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness is pending appeal. The accused-appellant
filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative
sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense on the
basis of popular sovereignty and the need for his constituents to be represented
Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as member of House of Representatives

Held: Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, inspite of its importance, the privileges
and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law.
The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives arises from a provision
of the Constitution. The privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision granting an exemption as a
special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment,
implication or equitable considerations.
The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Sec. 11, Art. VI of the
Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence is
a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than six
years is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. To allow accused-appellant to attend
congressional sessions and committee meetings for 5 days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all
the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-appellants status to that
of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system.

Adaza vs Pacana
Homobono Adaza was elected governor of the province of Misamis Oriental in the January 30, 1980 elections. He took his
oath of office and started discharging his duties as provincial governor on March 3, 1980. Fernando Pacana, Jr. was
elected vice-governor for same province in the same elections. Under the law, their respective terms of office would expire
on March 3, 1986. On March 27, 1984, Pacana filed his certificate of candidacy for the May 14, 1984 BP elections;
petitioner Adaza followed suit on April 27, 1984. In the ensuing elections, petitioner won by placing first among the
candidates, while Pacana lost. Adaza took his oath of office as Mambabatas Pambansa on July 19, 1984 and since then
he has discharged the functions of said office. On July 23, 1984, Pacana took his oath of office as governor of Misamis
Oriental before President Marcos, and started to perform the duties of governor on July 25, 1984. Claiming to be the
lawful occupant of the governors office, Adaza has brought this petition to exclude Pacana therefrom. He argues that he
was elected to said office for a term of six years, that he remains to be the governor of the province until his term expires
on March 3, 1986 as provided by law, and that within the context of the parliamentary system, as in France, Great Britain
and New Zealand, a local IGEelective official can hold the position to which he had been elected and simultaneously be
an elected member of Parliament.
ISSUE: Whether or not Adaza can serve as a member of the Batasan and as a governor of the province simultaneously.
Whether or not a vice governor who ran for Congress and lost can assume his original position and as such can, by virtue
of succession, take the vacated seat of the governor.
HELD: Section 10, Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution provides as follows:
Section 10. A member of the National Assembly [now Batasan Pambansa] shall not hold any other office or employment
in the government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled
corporations, during his tenure, except that of prime minister or member of the cabinet . . .
The Philippine Constitution is clear and unambiguous. Hence Adaza cannot invoke common law practices abroad. He
cannot complain of any restrictions which public policy may dictate on his holding of more than one office. Adaza further
contends that when Pacana filed his candidacy for the Batasan he became a private citizen because he vacated his
office. Pacana, as a mere private citizen, had no right to assume the governorship left vacant by petitioners election to
the BP. This is not tenable and it runs afoul against BP. 697, the law governing the election of members of the BP on May
14, 1984, Section 13[2] of which specifically provides that governors, mayors, members of the various sangguniang or
barangay officials shall, upon filing a certificate of candidacy, be considered on forced leave of absence from office.
Indubitably, respondent falls within the coverage of this provision, considering that at the time he filed his certificate of
candidacy for the 1984 BP election he was a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as provided in Sections 204 and
205 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, otherwise known as the Local Government Code.

PUYAT VS GUZMAN
On 14 May 1979, Puyat and his group were elected as directors of the International Pipe Industries. The election was
subsequently questioned by Acero (Puyats rival) claiming that the votes were not properly counted hence he filed a quo
warranto proceeding before the Securities and Exchange Commission on 25 May 1979. Prior to Aceros filing of the case,
Estanislao Fernandez, then a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa purchased ten shares of stock of IPI from a
member of Aceros group. And during a conference held by SEC Commissioner de Guzman (from May 25-31 79) to have
the parties confer with each other, Estanislao Fernandez entered his appearance as counsel for Acero. Puyat objected
arguing that it is unconstitutional for an assemblyman to appear as counsel (to anyone) before any administrative body
(such as the SEC). This being cleared, Fernandez inhibited himself from appearing as counsel for Acero. He instead filed
an Urgent Motion for Intervention in this said SEC case for him to intervene not as a counsel but as a legal owner of IPI
shares and as a person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation. The SEC Commissioner granted the motion in
effect granting Fernandez leave to intervene. Puyat then moved to question the Commissioners action.
ISSUE: Whether or not Fernandez, acting as a stockholder of IPI, can appear and intervene in the SEC case without
violating the constitutional provision that an assemblyman must not appear as counsel in such courts or bodies?

HELD: No, Fernandez cannot appear before the SEC body under the guise that he is not appearing as a counsel. Even
though he is a stockholder and that he has a legal interest in the matter in litigation he is still barred from appearing. He
bought the stocks before the litigation took place. During the conference he presented himself as counsel but because it is
clearly stated that he cannot do so under the constitution he instead presented himself as a party of interest which is
clearly a work around and is clearly an act after the fact. A mere work around to get himself involved in the litigation. What
could not be done directly could not likewise be done indirectly.

AVELINO VS CUENCO
On 18 Feb 1949, Senator Taada invoked his right to speak on the senate floor to formulate charges against the then
Senate President Avelino. He request to do so on the next session (21 Feb 1949). On the next session however, Avelino
delayed the opening of the session for about two hours. Upon insistent demand by Taada, Cuenco and Sanidad and
others, Avelino was forced to open session. He however, together with his allies initiated all dilatory and delaying tactics to
forestall Taada from delivering his piece. Motions being raised by Taada et al were being blocked by Avelino and his
allies and they even ruled Taada and Sanidad, among others, as being out of order. Avelinos camp then moved to
adjourn the session due to the disorder. Sanidad however countered and they requested the said adjournment to be
placed in voting. Avelino just banged his gavel and he hurriedly left his chair and he was immediately followed by his
followers. Senator Cabili then stood up, and asked that it be made of record it was so made that the deliberate
abandonment of the Chair by the Avelino, made it incumbent upon Senate President Pro-tempore Arranz and the
remaining members of the Senate to continue the session in order not to paralyze the functions of the Senate. Tanada
was subsequently recognized to deliver his speech. Later, Arranz yielded to Sanidads Resolution (No. 68) that Cuenco
be elected as the Senate President. This was unanimously approved and was even recognized by the President of the
Philippines the following day. Cuenco took his oath of office thereafter. Avelino then filed a quo warranto proceeding
before the SC to declare him as the rightful Senate President.
ISSUE: Whether or not the SC can take cognizance of the case.
HELD: By a vote of 6 to 4, the SC held that they cannot take cognizance of the case. This is in view of the separation of
powers, the political nature of the controversy and the constitutional grant to the Senate of the power to elect its own
president, which power should not be interfered with, nor taken over, by the judiciary. The SC should abstain in this case
because the selection of the presiding officer affects only the Senators themselves who are at liberty at any time to
choose their officers, change or reinstate them. Anyway, if, as the petition must imply to be acceptable, the majority of the
Senators want petitioner to preside, his remedy lies in the Senate Session Hall not in the Supreme Court.
Supposed the SC can take cognizance of the case, what will be the resolution?
There is unanimity in the view that the session under Senator Arranz was a continuation of the morning session and that a
minority of ten senators (Avelino et al) may not, by leaving the Hall, prevent the other (Cuenco et al) twelve senators from
passing a resolution that met with their unanimous endorsement. The answer might be different had the resolution been
approved only by ten or less.
**Two senators were not present that time. Sen. Soto was in a hospital while Sen. Confesor was in the USA.
Is the rump session (presided by Cuenco) a continuation of the morning session (presided by Avelino)? Are
there two sessions in one day? Was there a quorum constituting such session?
The second session is a continuation of the morning session as evidenced by the minutes entered into the journal. There
were 23 senators considered to be in session that time (including Soto, excluding Confesor). Hence, twelve senators
constitute a majority of the Senate of twenty three senators. When the Constitution declares that a majority of each
House shall constitute a quorum, the House does not mean all the members. Even a majority of all the members
constitute the House. There is a difference between a majority of all the members of the House and a majority of the
House, the latter requiring less number than the first. Therefore an absolute majority (12) of all the members of the
Senate less one (23), constitutes constitutional majority of the Senate for the purpose of a quorum. Furthermore, even if
the twelve did not constitute a quorum, they could have ordered the arrest of one, at least, of the absent members; if one
had been so arrested, there would be no doubt Quorum then, and Senator Cuenco would have been elected just the
same inasmuch as there would be eleven for Cuenco, one against and one abstained.
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (filed by Avelino on March 14, 1949)
Avelino and his group (11 senators in all) insist that the SC take cognizance of the case and that they are willing to bind
themselves to the decision of the SC whether it be right or wrong. Avelino contends that there is no constitutional quorum

when Cuenco was elected president. There are 24 senators in all. Two are absentee senators; one being confined and
the other abroad but this does not change the number of senators nor does it change the majority which if mathematically
construed is + 1; in this case 12 (half of 24) plus 1 or 13 NOT 12. There being only 12 senators when Cuenco was
elected unanimously there was no quorum.
The Supreme Court, by a vote of seven resolved to assume jurisdiction over the case in the light of subsequent events
which justify its intervention. The Chief Justice agrees with the result of the majoritys pronouncement on the quorum upon
the ground that, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, the constitutional requirement in that regard has become a
mere formalism, it appearing from the evidence that any new session with a quorum would result in Cuencos election as
Senate President, and that the Cuenco group, taking cue from the dissenting opinions, has been trying to satisfy such
formalism by issuing compulsory processes against senators of the Avelino group, but to no avail, because of the
Avelinos persistent efforts to block all avenues to constitutional processes. For this reason, the SC believes that the
Cuenco group has done enough to satisfy the requirements of the Constitution and that the majoritys ruling is in
conformity with substantial justice and with the requirements of public interest. Therefore Cuenco has been legally elected
as Senate President and the petition is dismissed.

SANTIAGO VS SANDIGANBAYAN
On or about 17 Oct 1988, Santiago the then Commissioner of the Commission of Immigration and Deportation (CID)
approved the application for legalization of the stay of about 32 aliens. Her act was said to be illegal and was tainted with
bad faith and it ran counter against RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). The legalization of such is also a
violation of EO 324 which prohibits the legalization of disqualified aliens. The aliens legalized by Santiago were allegedly
known by her to be disqualified. Two other criminal cases were filed against Santiago. Pursuant to this information,
Garchitorena, presiding Justice of Sandiganbayan, issued the arrest of Santiago. Santiago petitioned for a provisional
liberty since she was just recovering from a car accident which was approved. After a long series of appeals and court
battles between Santiago and Sandiganbayan, in 1995 the latter moved for the suspension of Santiago, who was already
a senator by then, from office. Sandiganbayan ordered the Senate president (Maceda) to suspend Santiago from office for
90 days.
ISSUE: Whether or not Sandiganbayan can order suspension of a member of the Senate without violating the
Constitution.
HELD: The Constitution provides that each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for
disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of
suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days. On the other hand, Sec 13 of RA 3019 provides : SEC. 13.
Suspension and loss of benefits. any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid
information under this Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving fraud upon
government or public funds or property whether as a simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution
and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he be convicted by final judgment,
he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement
and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative
proceedings have been filed against him.
In here, the order of suspension prescribed by RA. 3019 is distinct from the power of Congress to discipline its own ranks
under the Constitution. The suspension contemplated in the above constitutional provision is a punitive measure that is
imposed upon determination by the Senate or the HOR, as the case may be, upon an erring member. This is quite distinct
from the suspension spoken of in Section 13 of RA 3019, which is not a penalty but a preliminary, preventive measure,
prescinding from the fact that the latter is not being imposed on petitioner for misbehavior as a Member of the Senate.
But Santiago committed the said act when she was still the CID commissioner, can she still be suspended as a senator?
In issuing the preventive suspension of petitioner, the Sandiganbayan merely adhered to the clear an unequivocal
mandate of the law, as well as the jurisprudence in which the SC has, more than once, upheld Sandiganbayans authority
to decree the suspension of public officials and employees indicted before it.
Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019 does not state that the public officer concerned must be suspended only in the office
where he is alleged to have committed the acts with which he has been charged. Thus, it has been held that the use of

the word office would indicate that it applies to any office which the officer charged may be holding, and not only the
particular office under which he stands accused.
Santiago has not yet been convicted of the alleged crime, can she still be suspended?
The law does not require that the guilt of the accused must be established in a pre-suspension proceeding before trial on
the merits proceeds. Neither does it contemplate a proceeding to determine (1) the strength of the evidence of culpability
against him, (2) the gravity of the offense charged, or (3) whether or not his continuance in office could influence the
witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records another evidence before the court could have a valid
basis in decreeing preventive suspension pending the trial of the case. All it secures to the accused is adequate
opportunity to challenge the validity or regularity of the proceedings against him, such as, that he has not been afforded
the right to due preliminary investigation, that the acts imputed to him do not constitute a specific crime warranting his
mandatory suspension from office under Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019, or that the information is subject to quashal
on any of the grounds set out in Section 3, Rule 117, of the Revised Rules on Criminal procedure.

Francisco I. Chavez v Commission on Elections


Facts:
This case was originally an urgent petition ad cautelam praying, among others, for the issuance of a temporary
th
restraining order enjoining respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from proclaiming the 24 highest senatorial
candidate.
On May 5, 1992, this Court issued a resolution in GR No. 104704. The above mentioned resolution was received
by respondent COMELEC on May 6, 1992 and on the same day, petitioner filed an urgent motion to disseminate through
the fastest available means and order said Election Officials to delete the name Melchor Chavez as printed in the certified
list of candidates tally sheets, election returns and count all votes in favor of Fransisco I. Chavez. But petitioner assailed
that COMELEC failed to perform its mandatory function thus the name of Melchor Chavez remained undeleted.
Petitioner prays not only for a restraining order but the judgment be rendered requiring the COMELEC to reopen
the ballot boxes in 80,348 precincts in 13 provinces including Metro Manila, scan the ballots for Chavez votes which
were invalidated or declared stray and credit said scanned Chavez votes in favor of petitioner.
Issue:
Whether or not Supreme Court has jurisdiction to entertain the instant petition.
Ruling:
It is quite obvious that petitioners prayer does not call for the correction of manifest errors in the certificates of
canvass or election returns before the COMELEC but for the ballots contained therein. Indeed, petitioner has not even
pointed to any manifest error in the certificates of canvass or election returns he desires to be rectified. There being
none, petitioners proper recourse is to file a regular election protest which, under the constitution and the Omnibus
Election code, exclusively pertains to the Senate Electoral Tribunal.
Thus, Sec. 17 Art. Vl of the constitution provides that the Senate and the House of Representatives shall each
have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contest relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of
their respective members (Emphasis supplied). The word sole underscores the exclusivity of the tribunals jurisdiction
over election contest relating to their respective members. It is therefore crystal clear that this Court has no jurisdiction to
entertain the instant petition. It is the Senate Electoral Tribunal which has exclusive jurisdiction to act on the complaint of
petitioner relating to the election of a member of the Senate.
As the authenticity of the certificates of canvass or election returns are not questioned, they must be prima facie
considered valid for purposes of canvassing the same and proclamation of the winning candidates.
Premises considered, the Court resolved to dismiss the instant petition for lack of merit.

ABBAS VS SENATE
Political Law Inhibition in the Senate Electoral Tribunal
On 9 Oct 1987, the Abbas et al filed before the SET an election contest docketed against 22 candidates of the LABAN
coalition who were proclaimed senators-elect in the May 11, 1987 congressional elections by the COMELEC. The SET
was at the time composed of three (3) Justices of the Supreme Court and six (6) Senators. Abbas later on filed for the
disqualification of the 6 senator members from partaking in the said election protest on the ground that all of them are
interested parties to said case. Abbas argue that considerations of public policy and the norms of fair play and due
process imperatively require the mass disqualification sought. To accommodate the proposed disqualification, Abbas
suggested the following amendment: Tribunals Rules (Section 24) - requiring the concurrence of five (5) members for
the adoption of resolutions of whatever nature - is a proviso that where more than four (4) members are disqualified, the
remaining members shall constitute a quorum, if not less than three (3) including one (1) Justice, and may adopt
resolutions by majority vote with no abstentions. Obviously tailored to fit the situation created by the petition for
disqualification, this would, in the context of that situation, leave the resolution of the contest to the only three Members
who would remain, all Justices of this Court, whose disqualification is not sought.
ISSUE: Whether or not Abbas proposal could be given due weight.
HELD: The most fundamental objection to such proposal lies in the plain terms and intent of the Constitution itself which,
in its Article VI, Section 17, creates the Senate Electoral Tribunal, ordains its composition and defines its jurisdiction and
powers.
Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral
Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by
the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case
may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or
organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall
be its Chairman.
It is quite clear that in providing for a SET to be staffed by both Justices of the SC and Members of the Senate, the
Constitution intended that both those judicial and legislative components commonly share the duty and authority of
deciding all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of Senators. The legislative component herein
cannot be totally excluded from participation in the resolution of senatorial election contests, without doing violence to the
spirit and intent of the Constitution. It is not to be misunderstood in saying that no Senator-Member of the SET may inhibit
or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any case before said Tribunal. Every Member of the Tribunal may, as his
conscience dictates, refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his personal
interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and impartial judgment. What SC is saying is that in the light of
the Constitution, the SET cannot legally function as such; absent its entire membership of Senators and that no
amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of valid adjudication of a senatorial
election contest.

OCAMPO VS HRET
th

On 23 May 2001, Crespo was declared as the elected Congressman of the 6 District of Manila. Ocampo was the rival
candidate who filed an electoral protest in the HRET alleging that Crespos win was due to election fraud and vote buying.
On 06 March 2003, Crespo was declared by the HRET as ineligible for office due to lack of residence in the said district of
Manila. Due to such declaration, Ocampo then requested the HRET to declare him as the winner of the election done in
2001 pursuant to RA 6646 which provides that Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified
shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted Ocampo argued that the votes for Crespo should
then be considered as stray votes. And that being the fact that Ocampo received the second highest number of vote (next
to Crespo, with just a margin of 768 votes), he should be declared as the winner of the said election contest. The HRET
denied Ocampos petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ocampo should be declared as the winner.

HELD: Jurisprudence has long established the doctrine that a second placer cannot be proclaimed the first among the
remaining qualified candidates in the event that the highest earner of votes is disqualified. The fact that the candidate
who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be disqualified or not eligible for the office to which he was
elected does not necessarily give the candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes the right to be declared
the winner of the elective office. Further, Section 6 of R.A. No. 6646 and section 72 of the Omnibus Election Code require
a final judgment before the election for the votes of a disqualified candidate to be considered stray. Hence, when a
candidate has not yet been disqualified by final judgment during the Election Day and was voted for, the votes cast in his
favor cannot be declared stray. To do so would amount to disenfranchising the electorate in whom sovereignty resides.
The obvious rationale behind the foregoing ruling is that in voting for a candidate who has not been disqualified by final
judgment during the election day, the people voted for him bona fide, without any intention to misapply their franchise, and
in the honest belief that the candidate was then qualified to be the person to whom they would entrust the exercise of the
powers of government.

GUINGONA VS GONZALES
HRETs Composition Rounding Off
After the May 11, 1992 elections, the senate was composed of 15 LDP senators, 5 NPC senators, 3 LAKAS-NUCD
senators, and 1 LP-PDP-LABAN senator. To suffice the requirement that each house must have 12 representatives in the
CoA, the parties agreed to use the traditional formula: (No. of Senators of a political party) x 12 seats) Total No. of
Senators elected. The results of such a formula would produce 7.5 members for LDP, 2.5 members for NPC, 1.5
members for LAKAS-NUCD, and 0.5 member for LP-PDP-LABAN. Romulo, as the majority floor leader, nominated 8
senators from their party because he rounded off 7.5 to 8 and that Taada from LP-PDP-LABAN should represent the
same party to the CoA. This is also pursuant to the proposition compromise by Sen Tolentino who proposed that the
elected members of the CoA should consist of eight LDP, one LP-PDP-LABAN, two NPC and one LAKAS-NUCD.
Guingona, a member of LAKAS-NUCD, opposed the said compromise. He alleged that the compromise is against
proportional representation.
ISSUE: Whether or not rounding off is allowed in determining a partys representation in the CoA.
HELD: It is a fact accepted by all such parties that each of them is entitled to a fractional membership on the basis of the
rule on proportional representation of each of the political parties. A literal interpretation of Section 18 of Article VI of the
Constitution leads to no other manner of application. The problem is what to do with the fraction of .5 or 1/2 to which each
of the parties is entitled. The LDP majority in the Senate converted a fractional half membership into a whole membership
of one senator by adding one half or .5 to 7.5 to be able to elect Romulo. In so doing one other partys fractional
membership was correspondingly reduced leaving the latters representation in the Commission on Appointments to less
than their proportional representation in the Senate. This is clearly a violation of Section 18 because it is no longer in
compliance with its mandate that membership in the Commission be based on the proportional representation of the
political parties. The election of Senator Romulo gave more representation to the LDP and reduced the representation of
one political party either the LAKAS NUCD or the NPC. A party should have at least 1 seat for every 2 duly elected
senators-members in the CoA. Where there are more than 2 parties in Senate, a party which has only one member
senator cannot constitutionally claim a seat. In order to resolve such, the parties may coalesce with each other in order to
come up with proportional representation especially since one party may have affiliations with the other party.