You are on page 1of 5

G.R. No.

L-10144
ANASTASIA PAMINTUAN, ET AL., petitioners, stalker
vs.
JULIO LLORENTE, Judge of First Instance, and CLEMENTE DAYRIT, respondents.
Pedro Abad Santos and Aurelio Pineda for petitioners. William A. Kincaid and Thomas L. Hartigan for respondents.
PER CURIAM:
This is an applicant for the writ of mandamus. Its purpose is to compel the Honorable Julio Llorente to continue with the trial of a cause commenced in the Court of
First Instance of the Province of Pampanga, while he was yet judge of said court. The important facts alleged in the complaint are as follows:
First. That on the 3d day of August, 1910, the defendant (Clemente Dayrit) commenced an action in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Pampanga
against the plaintiffs in this action. Said action was numbered 507.
Second. That at the time of the commencement of said action (the 3d of August, 1910), the said Honorable Julio Llorente was judge of the Court of First Instance
of said province.
Third. That on the 1st day of July, 1914, the Honorable Julio Llorente ceased to be judge of said court and became judge, on said date, of the Fifth Judicial District,
in accordance with the provisions of Act No. 2347 .
Fourth. That sometime between the 3d day of August, 1910, and the 1st day of July, 1914, the said judge had entered upon the trial of said cause; that the
declarations of some of the witnesses had been taken; that he had seen and heard said witnesses; that he had made an ocular inspection of the property in
question in said cause No. 507.
Fifth. That on the 1st day of July, 1914, the trial of said cause was still pending.
`Sixth. That after the 1st day of July, 1914, and after the Honorable Julio Llorente had ceased to be judge of the Court of First Instance of the Province of
Pampanga and had become judge of the Fifth Judicial District, he refused to continue with the trial of said cause, No. 507, for the reason that he claimed that he
was incompetent to try the same.
The plaintiffs, upon the foregoing facts, prayed that a writ of mandamus should be issued by this court, directing, requiring, and compelling the said Honorable
Julio Llorente to continue the trial of said cause No. 507 until its conclusion.
To said petition, the defendants or respondent presented a demurrer, alleging that the facts stated were not sufficient to constitute a cause of action; that the facts
stated in said complaint showed that the Honorable Julio Llorente had been judge of the Fifth Judicial District from the 1st day of July, 1914, and was, therefore,
incompetent to continue the trial of said cause No. 507 pending in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Pampanga, the Seventh Judicial District.
Upon the issue thus presented the cause was submitted to this court.
The simple question presented by the petition and the demurrer is, whether or not, under the provisions of Act No. 2347, a judge who had commenced the trial of
a cause and who had ceased to be the judge of the particular court in which said cause was pending, before the termination of the same, may be compelled by
mandamus to continue with the trial of the same. The petitioners in the present cause rely upon the provisions of section 24 of said Act No. 2347. Said section 24
provides:
All criminal or civil cases, and all judicial proceedings of a like nature, pending decision or sentence, or pending continuance of the evidence in the present Courts
of First Instance, at the time when this Act takes effect, shall remain under the jurisdiction of said courts, until their final decision; and all civil or criminal cases, and
all judicial proceedings of a like nature that have been filed or initiated and are pending trial or a hearing in said courts shall be transferred to their successors for
trial and sentence, and all pending decision or decree, or continuance of the evidence in the Court of Land Registration at the date on which this Act takes effect,
shall continue until their final decision under the jurisdiction of the judges of said court to whom such cases were assigned, and all cases filed or begun, but
pending trial or a hearing in the Court of Land Registration, shall be transferred to the judges of the Court of First Instance of the provinces where said lands made
the object of said cases are situate.
The particular part of said section upon which the petitioners rely is the following:
All criminal or civil cases . . . pending decision or sentence in the present Courts of First Instance at the time when this Act takes effect, shall remain under the
jurisdiction of said courts, until their final decision.
If the quoted provision of said section 24 was the only provision of said Act No. 2347, there might be but little difficulty in ascertaining the purpose of the
Legislature. We find, however, another section which bears an important relation to the interpretation of said section 24. Section 7 of said Act, among other things,
provides:
The present judges of Courts of First Instance, judges at large, and judges of the Court of Land Registration vacate their positions on the taking effect of this Act.
This Act took effect on the 1st day of July, 1914.
It will be noted that section 7, in effect, provides that the present judges (those appointed prior to July 1, 1914) shall vacate their positions on the 1st day of July,
1914. The language used in the phrase "shall vacate their positions" is very strong language. The Legislature could hardly have used stronger language if its real
purpose was to terminate the judicial authority of the "present judges." The word "vacate" means, according to Webster, "To make vacant; to leave empty; to cease
from filling or occupying; to annul; to deprive of force; to make of no authority or validity; to defeat; to put an end to."
The Standard Dictionary also defines the word "vacate" as follows: "To make vacant; empty; to surrender possession of by removal; to put an end to; give up; quit;
leave."
Bouvier, in his valuable Law Dictionary, defines the words "vacate" as follows: "To annul; to render an act void."
Black, in his Law Dictionary, defines the word "vacate" to mean: "To annul; to cancel or rescind; to render an act void."
Mr. Ladd, in the case of Bautista vs. Johnson (2 Phil. Rep., 230) defines the word "vacate," as used in Act No. 267 , to mean: "To annul; to render void." Mr. Ladd
continues by saying: "No stronger word could have been employed by the Commission (Legislature) in the law in question to signify absolute extinction."
If then the judicial authority of the "present judges" was ended or terminated or extinguished, by what authority could they continue to act? And suppose also that
the "present judges" had not been reappointed, by what authority could the act? But the petitioners argue that under the provisions of section 24 (Act No. 2347)
"all criminal or civil cases . . . pending decision or sentence, or pending continuance of the evidence in the present courts . . . shall remain under the jurisdiction of
said courts, until their final decision," and that, therefore, the "present judges" are vested with authority and jurisdiction to continue to consider said cases until their
final decision. A careful reading of said provisions discloses the fact, however, that said "criminal or civil cases," etc., "pending decision, shall remain under the
jurisdiction of the courts," and not under the jurisdiction of the judges. The purpose of this provision was to clearly indicate that the existing Courts of First Instance
were to continue; that the existing courts were not "vacated" or terminated or extinguished. Had the existence of the courts been terminated or "vacated," then, of
course, all actions pending would have been ended, and it would have been necessary to recommence them in the new courts. It was clearly not the intention of
the Legislature to destroy the existing Courts of First Instance. The law clearly indicates the contrary. Its purpose was simply to change the personnel of the
judges, or at least to require all the judges to be reappointed under the new law and under new qualifications. Had the Legislature intended that all criminal and
civil cases pending decision, etc., etc., shall remain under the jurisdiction of the "present judges," it would have said so. On the contrary, it is said that all criminal
and civil cases pending decision, shall remain under the jurisdiction of the courts then existing.
The petitioners argue at length that the word "judges" and "courts" are used synonymously and interchangeably. That is true, generally speaking. In ordinary
parlance judges are spoken of as the courts and the courts are referred to, when the person speaking means the judge simply. It is common for persons, lawyers,
and judges, as well as the law, to use these terms interchangeably. But, notwithstanding that fact, there is an important distinction between them which should be
kept in mind. Courts may exist without a present judge. There may be a judge without a court. The judge may become disqualified, but such fact does not destroy
the court. It simply means that there is no judge to act in the court. The courts of the Philippine Islands were created and the judges were appointed thereto later.
In a few instances, the judges were appointed before the courts were established. A person may be appointed a judge and be assigned to a particular district or
court subsequently. So it appears that there is an important distinction between the court, as an entity, and the person who occupies the position of judge. In the
most general sense these words may be used interchangeably. In the statute under consideration, however, it is clear that the Legislature intended to make a

distinction between "courts" and "judges." It is clear, when sections 7 and 24 are read together, that when the Legislature "vacated" the "present judges" by section
7, that they did not intend to "vacate" the "court," or otherwise they would not have provided that "all criminal and civil cases, pending decision," etc., "shall remain
under the jurisdiction of the courts." It was clearly not the intention of the Legislature to "vacate" the courts. Its purpose was simply to change the personnel of the
judges of the courts. In other words, on and after the 1st of July, 1914, there were no judges of the Courts of First Instance until and unless others were appointed.
But the courts still existed, just as though the law had not been changed. The law simply changed the personnel of the courts.
Certainly the Legislature did not intend to provide, after it had vacated, terminated and put an end the judicial authority of the "present judges," that said judges
should continue to exercise judicial authority, unless and until they were reappointed. The Act nowhere provides that the existing courts shall be supplanted. It (the
Act) simply changes the district. It expressly recognizes the existence and continuance of the present courts, with the same jurisdiction which theretofore existed.
The new judges which were appointed under and by authority of said Act (No. 2347) "have the same jurisdiction and competency as conferred by existing law
upon the Courts of First Instance." attempt even to change the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, except to confer upon them the jurisdiction which had
theretofore been exercised by the Court of Land Registration. In every other respect the "Courts" of First Instance existed after the 1st of July, 1914, with the same
powers and jurisdiction which they had exercised theretofore.
The petitioners further argue that the Honorable Julio Llorente, having heard a part of the proof in case No. 507, should, for that reason, hear it all and decide the
case. In answer to that argument, as we have pointed out above, he is no longer judge of that court and has no more authority to act as judge of the same than
any other person. His authority was "vacated" and terminated and extinguished to act as judge in said district, after the 1st of July, 1914.
The question presented by the petitioners here has already been decided by this court. In the case of United States vs. Soler, 6 Phil. Rep., 321, the court,
speaking through the late Mr. Justice Willard, said:
The seventh assignment of error in the brief of the appellant is to the effect that the judgment is void because the judge who tried the case had ceased to be the
judge of the Court of First Instance of Sorsogon at the time he signed the judgment, and at that time was the judge of the Court of First Instance of the Eleventh
Judicial District, the Province of Sorsogon being included in the Eighth Judicial District. It is admitted in the brief of the Solicitor-General that on the 30th day of
April, 1904, when the judgment was signed, the judge who signed it was not the judge of the district court in which the action was pending. We think that this
assignment of error must be sustained. . . .
The judgment of the court below is set aside and the case is remanded for a new trial. Upon the new trial it will not be necessary to retake the evidence already
taken and appearing in the record, but the parties will be at liberty to present such other evidence as they see fit, with the costs of this instance de officio.
See also U. S. vs. Singuimuto, 3 Phil. Rep., 176.
In the case of the United States vs. Macavinta, 8 Phil. Rep., 447, this court held that: "A judge who hears a part of the testimony and leaves the jurisdiction of the
court where the cause was being tried before the same is finally closed and submitted, has no jurisdiction to impose a sentence in said cause."
In that case, from the record it appears that the Honorable Mariano Cui heard a part of the proof presented. Before the close of the trial he was transferred to
another district and the Honorable W. F. Norris was appointed as the regular judge. The case was again called up to trial and the parties litigant renounced their
right to present further proof. Whereupon the said Norris ordered a transcription of the notes taken by the stenographer during the trial of the cause and remitted
the same to the Honorable Mariano Cui, who had heard the evidence during the trial of the cause, in order that he might prepare the sentence. Later the said Cui,
while he was judge of another district, prepared the sentence in said case, finding the defendant guilty of the crime charged. From that sentence the defendant
appealed to this court. In this court the defendant and appellant contended that the said Honorable Mariano Cui had no jurisdiction to prepare the sentence, not
having concluded the trial.
After a consideration of the assignments of error made by the appellant, this court said: "The Honorable Mariano Cui did not have jurisdiction over the said cause
at the time it was submitted to the court of said province, he had no authority or jurisdiction to render the decision therein, and for this reason the said sentence is
reversed and the case is hereby ordered to be remanded to the Court of First Instance of the Province of Capiz, with direction that the judge thereof render such
sentence in the cause as the record and evidence justify."
See also the case of U. S. vs. Autiz, 10 Phil. Rep., 233.
If then a judge who has been transferred or changed from one court or province to another, cannot decide a case which he tried, but had not yet decided before
his transfer, how can the "present judges" whose position have been vacated continue to take jurisdiction of "pending decisions?" In view of the above-quoted
decisions of this court, the question contains its own answer. The mere fact that a judge happened to be reappointed cannot change the result, unless he happens
to be assigned to the same district or province. In the latter case it will, of course, be his duty to dispose of the case.
There is not a word nor a single provisions in said Act (No. 2347) which tends to show or to intimate that the Legislature intended to establish, in the place of the
existing courts, other and different Courts of First Instance. Said Act changed the personnel of the judges of the existing Courts of First Instance only.
In the case of Santos vs. Johnson, 6 Phil. Rep, 473, this court, speaking through Mr. Chief Justice Arellano, said:
It appearing that the defendant judge was not at that time the judge of the province in question, we hold that he properly refused to sign and certify the bill of
exceptions presented to him in a case which he had tried. The certification and signing of a bill of exceptions are jurisdictional acts which cannot be executed by
one who has no jurisdiction over the matter on account of his having ceased to be the judge of the court in which the case was tried by him as such judge. He has
no right to exercise any jurisdiction in a court of which he has ceased to be the judge. (Enriquez vs. Watson, 3 Phil. Rep., 279; Ricamora vs. Trent, 3 Phil. Rep.,
137; Osme?a vs. Gorordo, 5 Phil. Rep., 37.)
In a very recent case decided by this court (Mapiot vs. Mapiot, R. G. No. 7748, not reported), one judge heard all of the proof submitted and later another judge
decided the case, without any objection from either of the parties, upon the proof theretofore submitted, and the decision of the lower court was affirmed by the
Supreme Court. Many more instances might be given showing where one judge of the Court of First Instance had heard a part or all of the proof in a particular
case, and where the decision was rendered by another judge upon the same, and in some instances, additional proof.
We do not believe that it was the intention of the Legislature to provide that a judge whose position had been vacated on the 1st of July, 1914, and who had been
appointed and transferred to another district as judge, should continue to act in his original district and to continue to have jurisdiction of cases, criminal or civil,
theretofore pending before him. It is our opinion that one who has been judge of the court of a particular district and who is afterwards appointed judge of another
district, has no authority, after he becomes judge of the latter district, to take any action in cases pending in the former district, at the time he retired therefrom.
For all of the foregoing reason, we are of the opinion and so hold that the petitioners are not entitled to the writ of mandamus as prayed for. The demurrer is
therefore hereby sustained, with costs against the petitioners.
Arellano, C.J., Torres, Johnson and Araullo, JJ., concur. Trent, J., concurs in the result.
No. L-21638. July 26, 1966.
ONG SIU, ET AL., petitioners-appellants, vs. HON. ANTONIO P. PAREDES, in his capacity as Judge of Branch II of the Municipal Court of Manila,
CHARLIE FUNG, and BENJAMIN LU, respondents-appellees.
BARRERA, J.:
This is an appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila (in Civ. Case No. 53280) dismissing the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by
Ong Siu, Sy So Ty, Francisco Ong, and Lucio Ong, to restrain respondent Judge Antonio P. Paredes of the Municipal Court of Manila from retrying Criminal Cases
Nos. F038479 and F-038480 of the latter court.
The disputed facts of this case are as follows:
In August, 1961, petitioners-appellants Ong Siu and Sy So Ty were charged in the Municipal Court of Manila with slight physical injuries (Crim. Case No. F038479), while petitioners-appellants Francisco Ong and Lucio Ong were charged with light threats (Crim. Case No. F-038480). On the other hand, respondentsappellees Charlie Fung and Benjamin Lu were accused of the crime of serious physical injuries and slight physical injuries in Criminal Cases Nos. F-038477 and
F-038478 of the same court.

These four cases were jointly tried by Judge Andres Sta. Maria of Branch II of the Municipal Court, and a single decision was rendered under date of July 7,
1962, On July 9, 1962, and before the decision could be promulgated, Judge Sta. Maria was appointed to and assumed the position of Judge of the Court of First
Instance of Mindoro. Judge Milagros German succeeded him as Municipal Judge of Manila. Charlie Fung and Benjamin Lu, the accused in Criminal Cases Nos. F038477 and F-038478 petitioned the court that the unpromulgated decision of Judge Sta. Maria be declared null and void. In her order of August 14, 1962, Judge
German granted the petition and the unpromulgated decision of Judge Sta. Maria was declared a nullity, as if no trial was had before. But before a retrial of the
cases could be held, Judge German resigned from the position. Solicitor Lauro C. Maiquez of the Solicitor Generals Office, was temporarily assigned to preside
over Branch II of the Municipal Court.
Upon petition of herein appellants, the accused in Criminal Cases Nos. F-038479 and F-038480, Acting Judge Maiquez in his order of August 22, 1962,
directed the promulgation of the decision of Judge Sta. Maria, for August 29, 1962. However, on August 23, 1962, respondent Judge Antonio P. Paredes was
appointed to the vacant position of Municipal Judge. In his order of even date, Judge Paredes also scheduled the promulgation of the decision of Judge Sta.
Maria. This was done with respect to appellants, the accused in Criminal Cases Nos. F-038479 and F-038480, but not with regard to Charlie Fung and Benjamin
Lu who did not appear during the promulgation of the judgment. Def endants Fung and Lu, who were ordered arrested for their non-appearance, thereupon
instituted certiorari and prohibition proceeding in the Court of First Instance of Manila to restrain the promulgation of the decision (Civ. Case No. 51468).
In its decision of November 5, 1962, the Court of First Instance of Manila (Judge Jose N. Leuterio presiding) granted the writ, on the ground that since Judge
Sta. Maria was no longer a judge of the Municipal Court, the decision written by him could no longer be validly promulgated, Upon the decision of Judge Leuterio
becoming final, Judge Antonio Paredes of the Municipal Court ordered a retrial of the four criminal cases (Nos. F-038477, F-038478, F038479, and F-038480),
which was set for March 14, 1963. Herein appellants now in turn went to the Court of First Instance of Manila and applied for a writ to restrain the Municipal Judge
from retrying the four cases. lt was alleged that, as the decision acquitting them had already been promulgated with respect to them, a retrial of the cases would
subject them to double jeopardy for the same offenses.
On June 20, 1963, the Court of First Instance of Manila (Judge Arsenio Santos, presiding) dismissed the petition, for the reason that the decision of Judge
Sta. Maria being invalid because its promulgation was effected when the judge had already ceased to be a municipal judge, the same cannot place the defendants
twice in jeopardy for the same offense. This is the decision that is the subject of the present appeal.
The appellants in effect contend that since the decision of Judge Sta. Maria was signed by him while he was still the judge of the Municipal Court of Manila where
they were tried, its promulgation, although made in his absence, was valid. In support of this contention, they cite Section 6 of Rule 116 (now Rule 120) of the
Rules of Court, which reads:
SEC. 6. Promulgation of judgment.The judgment is promulgated by reading the judgment or sentence in the presence of the defendant and any jugde of the
court in which it was rendered. The defendant must be personally present if the conviction is for a grave offense; if for a light offense, the judgment may be
pronounced in the presence of his attorney or representative. And when the judge is absent or outside of the province or city, his presence is not necessary and
the judgment may be promulgated or read to the defendant by the clerk of court. x x x. (Italics supplied.)
Pursuant to the above-quoted provisions, the petitionersappellants argue, the decision of Judge Sta. Maria was promulgated in the presence of Judge Paredes,
another judge of the Municipal Court. They claim that the absence of Judge Sta. Maria during the promulgation does not render the decision he penned prior to his
appointment to the position of judge of the court of first instance null and void. Thus, it is alleged, the promulgation thereof, upon order of Judge Paredes, was
valid and could be the basis of the defense of double jeopardy.
The above-quoted Section 6 of Rule 116 (now Rule 120) of the Rules of Court, allowing the dispensability of the presence of the judge in the reading of a
sentence refers only to the physical absence of the judge, and not to his inability to be present during the promulgation of the judgment because of the cessation
of or his removal from office. This is clear from the use of the disjunctive clause absent or outside of the province or city in the provision. In other words, the
decision of the judge may be promulgated even without his presence, as long as he is still a judge of that court. 1
In the present case, what we have is not merely physical absence of the judge who penned the decision, but the cessation or termination of his incumbency as
such judge. In the case of People v. Bonifacio So y Ortega,2 this Court ruled:
It is well-settled that, to be binding a judgment must be duly signed, and promulgated during the incumbency of the judge who signed it.
In Lino Luna vs. Rodriguez, supra, Judge Barretto signed his decision on January 14; two days later (January 16), he qualified as Secretary of Finance
thereby retiring from the judiciary; and on January 17 his decision was promulgated. This Court held such decision to be void, because at the time of the
promulgation the judge who prepared it was no longer a judicial officer.
In criminal proceedings the Rules are more explicit. They require the judgment to be promulgated by reading the judgment or sentence in the presence of
the defendant and the judge of the court who has rendered it (Rule 116, sec. 6); and although it is true that it may be read by the clerk when the judge is absent or
outside the province, it is implied that it may be read, provided he is still the judge therein.
It is contended that herein decision was promulgated, to all intents and purposes, when it was delivered to the clerk for promulgationJune 18. That
contention was however, indirectly overruled in People v. Court of Appeals, a case similar to this wherein we regarded compliance with sec. 6 of Rule 116 as
essential to promulgation, and held that as the judgment was promulgated after the judge who penned it had ceased to be judge, it was not legally binding.
It is true that in Cea vs. Cinco (50 Off. Gaz. 5254) this section was interpreted to mean that where judgment is one of acquittal, reading in the presence of
the. defendant may be substituted by giving a copy of the decision to him. We declared that such actdelivery of copyamounted to promulgation. In the case
before us, notice that the decision would be read (on June 30) was sent out, while Judge Encarnacion was still a judge. Yet no copy of such decision was given the
accused, and he was not informed thereof during said judges incumbency. No judgment was therefore validly entered. (C/. Landicho v. Tan, 48 Off. Gaz. 1007)."
Here, in the present case, when the notice for the promulgation of the decision was sent out, the judge who signed the decision was no longer the judge of the
court, and no copy of the judgment of acquittal was delivered to the appellants. With more reasons, therefore, is there no judgment validly entered in this case.
It may also be stated that pursuant to Section 9, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court, for the defense of double jeopardy to be invoked, there must be either
previous acquittal, or conviction, or the case against the accused was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent or that there is another
pending charge against him involving the same offense, or for any attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof, or for any offense which necessarily includes
or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the former complaint or information. In the case at bar, while it is true that there was a valid information, the
accused had been arraigned, and the cases were heard by a competent court, there is, however, no valid judgment acquitting or convicting the accused or
terminating the cases without their express consent. And neither is there any other criminal.charge pending against the accused. In the rehearing being ordered by
the respondent judge, no new information is filed. This hearing is made necessary only because of the nullity of the judgment rendered by the judge who heard the
cases and by the fact that the trial court is not a court of record. The rehearing thus ordered actually is nothing more than a continuation of the trial of the charges
against the accused for the purpose of enabling the respondent Judge to properly render the decision in the cases. It is similar to a proceeding for the
reconstitution of lost evidence. As this Court had said in the case of United States v. Laguna (17 Phil. 532, 540) quoted with approval in the case ofPeople v.
Dagatan:3
In the present case, there might have been a delay that has worked hardship or disadvantage on the accused, but the same cannot be attributed solely to the
Government, since reconstitution is as much the duty of the prosecution as of the defense (Gunabe vs. Director of Prisons, 44 O.G. 1244). x x x
x x x. Every person who finds himself in a court of justice, in whatever capacity, must hold himself while there, subject to those unforeseen events which
suddenly and unavoidably intervene and change the Whole aspect of things. The sickness or death of the judge, or of counsel for the prosecution, the destruction
by f ire or f lood of the court-house and all the records and evidence of the pending trialany of these things are sufficient to interrupt the course of the
proceedings and to require that they be begun anew. Such events weigh equally against all. As no one can be charged with their occurrence, so no one can legally
lose or profit by their results. While the law protects persons charged with crime from the unjust and arbitrary acts of man, there is no shield which may be
interposed against the tyranny of unforeseen events. Until the proceedings which, under the system which the law provides, constitute his trial are terminated, the
happening of an unforeseen event which renders the continuance of his trial for the time impossible, as it can not be used for his conviction, can not be urged for
his absolution.

Wherefore, finding no error in the decision appealed from, the same is hereby affirmed, with costs against the appellants. So ordered.
Chief Justice Concepcion and Justices J.B.L. Reyes, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, J.P. Bengzon,Zaldivar and Sanchez, concur.
Decision affirmed.
RODRIGUEZ VS TESORERO
o
L-3054: Petitioner, as a tax-payer, an elector, and president of the Nacionalista Party, applies for a writ of prohibition to restrain the Treasurer of the
Philippines from disbursing E.O. No. 225 (appropriates funds for the operation of the Philippine Government during the period from July 1, 1949 to June
30, 1950, and for other purposes)
o
L-3056: petitioner, with reference to EO No. 226 (appropriates P6M to defray the expenses in connection with, and incidental to, the hold lug of the
national elections to be held in Nov. 1949), asks this Court to prevent "the respondents from disbursing, spending or otherwise disposing of that amount
or any part of it."

As petitioners fail to assailing the constitutionally of Act No. 671 in their oral argument and memorandum (they rest their case chiefly on the proposition that
the CA No. 671 has ceased to have any force and effect), constitutionality of said act will be taken for granted.

Act No. 671, enacted by the National Assembly, is an act declaring a state of total emergency as a result of war between the United States and other countries
of Europe and Asia, which involves the Philippines and authorizing the president to promulgate rules and regulations to meet such emergency, pursuant to Art.
VI, sec. 26, of the Constitution. The problem is, CA No. 671 does not in term fix the duration of its effectiveness
Issue: WON CA No. 671 has ceased to have any force and effect
Held and Ratio

YES. Art. VI of the Constitution provides that any law passed by virtue thereof should be "for a limited period." "Limited period" as used in the Constitution
means restrictive in duration. Emergency, in order to justify the delegation of emergency powers, must be temporary or it can not be said to be an emergency.
It is to be presumed that CA No. 671 was approved with this limitation in view as the opposite would make the law repugnant to the Constitution, and contrary
to the principle that the legislature is deemed to have full knowledge of the constitutional scope of its powers. The assertion that new legislation is needed to
repeal the act would not be in harmony with the Constitution either.
Moreover, the fact that Sec. 4, CA No. 471 (which stipulates that "the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall be in full force and effect until the
Congress of the Philippines shall otherwise provide") is silent regarding the repeal of the authority itself, in the face of the express provision for the repeal of
the rules and regulations issued in pursuance of it only means that the National Assembly believed that there was no necessity to provide for a provision
regarding the repeal of the authority itself. There would be no point in repealing or annulling the rules and regulations promulgated under a law if the law itself
was to remain in force, since, in that case, the President could not only make new rules and regulations but he could restore the ones already annulled by the
legislature.
It would anomalous to have two legislative bodies (Legislative and Executive) operating over the same field, legislating concurrently and simultaneously,
mutually nullifying each other's actions. Even if the emergency powers of the President, as suggested, be suspended while Congress was in session and be
revived after each adjournment, the anomaly would not be limited. Congress by a 2/3 vote could repeal executive orders promulgated by the President during
congressional recess, and the President in turn could treat in the same manner, between sessions of Congress, laws enacted by the latter.
Aside from these anomalies, Sec. 3which provides that the President shall as soon as practicable upon the convening of the Congress report thereto all the
rules and regulations promulgated by him under the powers herein grantedimplies that there was to be only one meeting of Congress at which the President
was to give an account of his trusteeship.
Moreover, Pres. Quezon, who called the National Assembly to a special session, who recommended the enactment of the Emergency Powers Act, if indeed
he was not its author, and who was the very President to be entrusted with its execution, stated in his autobiography, that CA No. 671 was only "for a certain
period" and "would become invalid unless reenacted." These connote automatic extinction of the law upon the conclusion of a certain period. A new legislation
was necessary to keep alive (not to repeal) the law after the expiration of that period.
What then was the contemplated period? Pres. Quezon said he issued the call for a special session of the National Assembly "when it became evident that
we were completely helpless against air attack, and that it was most unlikely the Philippine Legislature would hold its next regular session which was to open
on January 1, 1942." From that, the conferring of enormous powers upon the President was decided upon with specific view to the inability of the National
Assembly to meet, as no other factor than this inability could have motivated the delegation of powers so vast as to amount to an abdication by the National
Assembly of its authority.
HELD: Thus, the Court held that the period contemplated from the foregoing was a period coextensive with the inability of Congress to function, a period
ending with the convening of that body. Particularly, CA No. 671 became inoperative when Congress met, not in the first special session where the Congress
may "consider general legislation or only such as he (President) may designate." (Art. VI(9), Constitution) but in regular session on May 25, 1946 where the
power Congress to legislate is not circumscribed except by the limitations imposed by the organic law. The Court further held that EO Nos. 62, 192, 225 and
226 were issued without authority of law (because they were issued when CA No. 671 was not in full force and effect).
Having arrived at this conclusion, the Court need not decide the question as to which department of government is authorized to inquire whether the
contingency on which the law is predicated still exists. The right of one or another department to declare the emergency terminated is not in issue.
What the Court in this case did is to find out the will of legislature and, once found, to apply it. Of course, the function of interpreting statutes in proper cases,
as in this, will not be denied the courts as their constitutional prerogative and duty.
No legal principle can be found to support the proposition that the Chief Executive has the exclusive authority to say that war has not ended, and may act on
the strength of his opinion and findings in contravention of the law as the courts have construed it.
Another peg to the ratio decidendi (naks! Method ang dating! Haha!) Acts Nos. 600 and 620 even imparts by express provision that the rules and regulations
to be eventually made in pursuance of Acts Nos. 600 and 620, were to be good only up to the corresponding dates of adjournment of the following sessions of
the Legislature, "unless sooner amended or repealed by the National Assembly." From this the idea was fixed that the Acts themselves would lapse not latter
than the rules and regulations. The design to provide for the automatic repeal of those rules and regulations necessarily was predicated on the consciousness
of a prior or at best simultaneous repeal of their source.
The question whether war, in law or in fact, continues, is irrelevant. If we were to that actual hostilities between the original belligerents are still raging, the
elusion would not be altered.
In the light of the conditions surrounding the approval of the Emergency Power Act, we are of the opinion that the "state of total emergency as a result of war"
envisaged in the preamble referred to the impending invasion and occupation of the Philippines by the enemy and the consequent total disorganization of the
Government, principally the impossibility for the National Assembly to act. The state of affairs was one which called for immediate action and with which the
National Assembly would not be able to cope. The war itself and its attendant chaos and calamities could not have necessitated the delegation had the
National Assembly been in a position to operate.
A Note on the System of Separation of Powers: The Constitution has set up this form of government, with all its defects and shortcomings, in preference to
the commingling of powers in one man or group of men. The Filipino people by adopting parliamentary government have given notice that they share the faith
of other democracy-loving people in this system, with all its faults, as the ideal. The point is, under this framework of government, legislation is preserved for
Congress all the time, not expecting periods of crisis no matter how serious. The truth is that under our concept of constitutional government, in times of
extreme perils more than in normal circumstances "the various branches, executive, legislative, and judicial," given the ability to act, are called upon "to the
duties and discharge the responsibilities committed to them respectively." (Thus, the President should not retain his extraordinary powers as long as turmoil
and other ills directly or indirectly traceable to the late war harass the Philippines)

For lack of the required number of votes, judgment was not obtained. However, after rehearing, the required number of votes was had, by resolution of September
16, 1949, which follows.