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Lambino Vs.

Comelec Case Digest


Lambino Vs. Comelec
G.R. No. 174153
Oct. 25 2006
Facts: Petitioners (Lambino group) commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to
change the 1987 constitution, they filed a petition with the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that will
ratify their initiative petition under RA 6735. Lambino group alleged that the petition had the support
of 6M individuals fulfilling what was provided by art 17 of the constitution. Their petition changes the
1987 constitution by modifying sections 1-7 of Art 6 and sections 1-4 of Art 7 and by adding Art 18.
the proposed changes will shift the present bicameral- presidential form of government to
unicameral- parliamentary. COMELEC denied the petition due to lack of enabling law governing
initiative petitions and invoked the Santiago Vs. Comelec ruling that RA 6735 is inadequate to
implement the initiative petitions.
Issue:
Whether or Not the Lambino Groups initiative petition complies with Section 2, Article XVII of the
Constitution on amendments to the Constitution through a peoples initiative.
Whether or Not this Court should revisit its ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735 incomplete,
inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions to implement the initiative clause on
proposals to amend the Constitution.
Whether or Not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the
Lambino Groups petition.
Held: According to the SC the Lambino group failed to comply with the basic requirements for
conducting a peoples initiative. The Court held that the COMELEC did not grave abuse of discretion
on dismissing the Lambino petition.
1. The Initiative Petition Does Not Comply with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on Direct
Proposal by the People
The petitioners failed to show the court that the initiative signer must be informed at the time of the
signing of the nature and effect, failure to do so is deceptive and misleading which renders the
initiative void.
2. The Initiative Violates Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution Disallowing Revision through
Initiatives
The framers of the constitution intended a clear distinction between amendment and revision, it is
intended that the third mode of stated in sec 2 art 17 of the constitution may propose only
amendments to the constitution. Merging of the legislative and the executive is a radical change,
therefore a constitutes a revision.
3. A Revisit of Santiago v. COMELEC is Not Necessary
Even assuming that RA 6735 is valid, it will not change the result because the present petition
violated Sec 2 Art 17 to be a valid initiative, must first comply with the constitution before complying
with RA 6735
Petition is dismissed.

Mirriam Defensor Santiago v. COMELEC


Amendment to the Constitution
On 6 Dec 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a Petition to Amend the Constitution to
Lift Term Limits of elective Officials by Peoples Initiative The COMELEC then, upon its approval, a.)
set the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country, b.) caused the necessary
publication of the said petition in papers of general circulation, and c.) instructed local election
registrars to assist petitioners and volunteers in establishing signing stations. On 18 Dec 1996, MD
Santiago et al filed a special civil action for prohibition against the Delfin Petition. Santiago argues
that 1.) the constitutional provision on peoples initiative to amend the constitution can only be
implemented by law to be passed by Congress and no such law has yet been passed by Congress,
2.) RA 6735 indeed provides for three systems of initiative namely, initiative on the Constitution, on
statues and on local legislation. The two latter forms of initiative were specifically provided for in
Subtitles II and III thereof but no provisions were specifically made for initiatives on the Constitution.
This omission indicates that the matter of peoples initiative to amend the Constitution was left to
some future law as pointed out by former Senator Arturo Tolentino.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 6735 was intended to include initiative on amendments to the constitution
and if so whether the act, as worded, adequately covers such initiative.
HELD: RA 6735 is intended to include the system of initiative on amendments to the constitution but
is unfortunately inadequate to cover that system. Sec 2 of Article 17 of the Constitution provides:
Amendments to this constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative
upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every
legislative district must be represented by at least there per centum of the registered voters therein. .
. The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right This provision is
obviously not self-executory as it needs an enabling law to be passed by Congress. Joaquin Bernas,
a member of the 1986 Con-Con stated without implementing legislation Section 2, Art 17 cannot
operate. Thus, although this mode of amending the constitution is a mode of amendment which
bypasses Congressional action in the last analysis is still dependent on Congressional action.
Bluntly stated, the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the
system of inititative would remain entombed in the cold niche of the constitution until Congress
provides for its implementation. The people cannot exercise such right, though constitutionally
guaranteed, if Congress for whatever reason does not provide for its implementation.

***Note that this ruling has been reversed on November 20, 2006 when ten justices of the SC ruled
that RA 6735 is adequate enough to enable such initiative. HOWEVER, this was a mere minute
resolution which reads in part:
Ten (10) Members of the Court reiterate their position, as shown by their various opinions already
given when the Decision herein was promulgated, that Republic Act No. 6735 is sufficient and
adequate to amend the Constitution thru a peoples initiative.
As such, it is insisted that such minute resolution did not become stare decisis.

Pesca vs Pesca
Date: April 17, 2001Ponente: Vitug J
Facts:


Petitioner Lorna Pesca and respondent Zosimo Pesca met on board an inter-island vessel bound for
Bacolod. After a whirlwind courtship, the couple gotmarried on 03 March 1975. Due to the fact that
Lorna was still a college studentand that Zosimo was a seaman, the couple did not initially live
together. 6months after the marriage, the couple finally lived together; initially in QuezonCity, and
permanently thereafter, in Caloocan.

Despite being able to stay together for only 2 months in a year, the couple begot4 children.

It was only in 1988, or 13 years after they got married, that Lorna started tonotice her husbands
true color. Zosimo was emotionally immature, a habitualdrinker and has induced physical abuse
not only on Lorna but also on thechildren

Lorna, had once left the house due to the abuse, only to forgive Zosimo and givehim another
chance.

Finally, on 22 March 1994, Lorna left their home for good, after being assaultedby Zosimo for over
half an hour. Lorna submitted herself to a medical evaluationand filed a complaint against her
husband. Zosimo was found guilty by theMetropolitan Trial Court and sentenced to 11 days
imprisonment for slightphysical injuries.

Lorna also filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court, praying for the marriageto be declared null
and void by invoking psychological incapacity (Art. 36, NCC).

15 November 1995 the RTC declared the marriage between the parties to benull and void ab initio
due to psychological incapacity and ordered the liquidationof conjugal properties.

Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals, reversed the decision of the RTC on the basisthat Lorna Pesca
failed to show proof that Zosimo was indeed suffering frompsychological incapacity that would cause
him to be incognitive of the basicmarital covenant.

The CA stated that


The burden of proof to show the nullity of marriage lies in the plaintiff and any doubt should be
resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and
nullity.

Lorna Pesca, the appellant, filed a petition for review with the Supreme Courtcontending that:The doctrine laid out by Santos vs CA (1995) and Republic of the Philippines vsCA and Molina
(1997) cannot be retroactively applied.-

The application of Santos and Molina should have only warrant a remand of thecase to the Trial
Court for further proceedings.
Issue:

Whether or Not the CA erred in applying the doctrine laid out in Santos vs CA and RP vs CA and
Molina, and in reversing the decision of the RTC declaring themarriage to be null and void ab inito.
SC Held:
Denied.
Ratio:

The doctrine of Stare Decisis, ordained in Art. 8 of the Civil Code, provides that judicial decision
applying and interpretaing the law shall form part of the legalsystem of the Philippines.

The term psychological incapacity as a ground for the declaration of nullity of marriage (Art.36, NCC)
was defined in Santos as an incapacity that is:
a. Grave;
b. Has preceded the marriage; although may have manifested after themarriage; and
c. Incurable

Petitioner has failed to prove psychological incapacity on the part of herhusband.

Emotional immaturity, invoked by the petitioner, does not equate topsychological incapacity.

Libanan v HRET
Facts:
Petitioner Libanan and private respondent Ramirez were candidates for the congressional seat in Eastern
Samar, where Ramirez was proclaimed the winner. Libanan questioned some of the votes received by

Ramirez because they did contain the signature of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) Chairman,
though they contain the official Comelec watermarks. HRET ruled in favor Ramirez.

Issue:
Whether ballots not containing the signature of the BEI chairman are considered spurious

Ruling:
NO, HRET has been consistent with its rulings for considering ballots as spurious. To be considered be
valid, ballots must contain ANY of the following: (1) Comelec watermark, or (2) signature of BEI chairman,
or (3) red and blue fibers in case the Comelec watermark is blurred. In this case, all the unsigned ballots
contain the Comelec watermarks which makes them valid.

The specific provision about not being able to sign the ballots (sec 24 of RA 7166) penalizes the BEI
chairman, but not the voter. It wasn't the fault of the voter that the BEI chairman forgot to put his
signature, and would impede on his right of suffrage if his vote would be considered spurious.

Libanan raised the question about the stringent requirement of having the BEI chairman signature on
ballots for a barangay elections. The difference is that the ballots used for the barangay elections are
chosen by the municipality, and may easily be exploited that's why the BEI chairman signature is required,
else it is spurious. In the case of a congressional seat, any of the 3 requirements above would make the
ballot valid.

(1)[G.R. No. 118712. July 5, 1996]


LAND

BANK

OF

THE

PHILIPPINES,
PETITIONER
,
VS
.COURT

OF

APPEALS,

PEDRO

L.

YAP,

HEIRS

OF

EMILIANO

F.

SANTIAGO,

AGRICULTURAL

MANAGEMENT

&

DEVELOPMENT

CORPORATION,
RESPONDENTS
.
I. FACTSIn this agrarian dispute, it is once more imperative that the aforestated
principles be applied in its resolution. Separatepetitions for review were filed by
petitioners Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Land Bank of the following
theadverse ruling by the Court of Appeals. Private respondents are landowners
whose landholdings were acquired by theDAR and subjected to transfer schemes to
qualified beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Aggrieved by
the alleged lapses of the DAR and the Landbank with respect to the valuation and
payment of compensation for their land, they sought to compel the DAR to expedite
the pending summary administrative proceedingsto finally determine the just
compensation of their properties, and the Landbank to deposit in cash and bonds
the amountsrespectively "earmarked", "reserved" and "deposited in trust accounts"
for private respondents, and to allow them towithdraw the same.DAR and Land
Bank filed for petitions but it was dismissed and they filed a Motion for
Reconsideration.II. ISSUESWhether or not
the opening of "trust accounts" is within the coverage of term "deposit.
III. HELDThe provision is very clear and unambiguous, foreclosing any doubt as to
allow an expanded construction that would
include the opening of "trust accounts" within the coverage of term "deposit.
Accordingly, we must adhere to the well
-settled rule that when the law speaks in clear and categorical language, there is no
reason for interpretation or construction, but only for application. The validity of

constituting trust accounts for the benefit of the rejecting landownersand


withholding immediate payment to them is further premised on the latter's refusal
to accept the offered compensationthereby making it necessary that the amount
remains in the custody of the LBP for safekeeping and in trust for eventualpayment
to the landowners. As an exercise of police power, the expropriation of private
property under the CARP putsthe landowner, and not the government, in a situation
where the odds are already stacked against his favor. He has norecourse but to
allow it. His only consolation is that he can negotiate for the amount of
compensation to be paid for theexpropriated property. Unduly burdening the
property owners from the resulting flaws in the implementation of the CARPwhich
was supposed to have been a carefully crafted legislation is plainly unfair and
unacceptable.

Lapid vs CA
Posted on October 3, 2012

GR 142261
June 29, 2000
Facts:
Gov.Manuel Lapid & 5 other government officials were charged with alleged
dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the
service for allegedly having conspired among themselves in demanding &
collecting from various quarrying operators in Pampanga a control fee, control
slip, or monitoring fee of P120 per truckload of sand, gravel or other quarry
material, without a duly enacted provincial ordinance authorizing the collection
thereof and without issuing receipts for such collection.
The Ombudsman rendered a decision finding petitioner guilty for misconduct,
which meted out the penalty of 1yr suspension without pay pursuant
to Sec.25(2) of RA 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989).
The DILG implemented the said Ombudsman decision.
Proceeding from the premise that the Ombudsman decision had not yet become
final, petitioner argued that writs of prohibition & mandamus may be issued
against the DILG for prematurely implementing the assailed decision.

Issue:
WON the Ombudsmans Decision finding petitioner administratively liable for
misconduct & imposing upon him a penalty of 1yr suspension without pay is
immediately executory pending appeal.
Held:
Sec.27 of RA 6770 provides that Any order, directive or decision imposing the
penalty of public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one
months salary shall be final and unappealable.
The Rules of Produce of the Office of the Ombudsman likewise contains a similar
provision. Section 7, Rule III of the said Rules provides: where the respondent is
absolved of the charge and in case of conviction where the penalty imposed is
public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a fine
where the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of not
more than one month, or a fine not equivalent to one month salary, the decision
shall be final and unappealable. In all other cases, the decision shall become
final after the expiration of 10 days from receipt thereof by the respondent,
unless a motion for reconsideration or petition for certiorari, shall have been
filed by him as prescribed in Section 27of R.A. 6770.
The punishment imposed upon petitioner is not among those listed as final and
unappealable. The legal maxim inclusion unius est exclusio alterus finds
application. The express mention of the things included excludes those that are
not included. The clear import of these statements taken together is that all
other decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman which impose penalties not
enumerated in the said section are not final, unappealable and immediately
executory. An appeal timely filed, such as the one filed in the instant case, will
stay the immediate implementation of the decision.
A judgment becomes final and executory by operation of law. The fact that the
Ombudsman Act gives parties the right to appeal from its decisions should
generally carry with it the stay of these decisions pending appeal. Otherwise,
the essential nature of these judgments as being appealable would be rendered
nugatory.
The general rule is that judgments by lower courts or tribunals become
executory only after it has become final and executory, execution pending
appeal being an exception to this general rule.

There is no general legal principle that mandates that all decisions of quasijudicial agencies are immediately executory.
Where the legislature has seen fit to declare that the decision of the quasijudicial agency is immediately final and executory pending appeal, the law
expressly so provides.
Sec. 12 of Rule 43 should therefore be interpreted as mandating that the appeal
will not stay the award, judgment,final order or resolution unless the law
directs otherwise.finalorder or resolution unless the law directs otherwise.
Petitioner was charged administratively before the Ombudsman and accordingly
the provisions of the Ombudsman Act should apply in his case.
It is a principle in statutory construction that where there are two statutes that
apply to a particular case, that which was specially designed for the said case
must prevail over the other. Considering however, that petitioner was charged
under the Ombudsman Act, it is this law alone which should govern his case.
It is suffice to note that the Ombudsman rules of procedure, Administrative
Order No. 07, mandate that decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman where the
penalty imposed is other than public censure or reprimand, suspension of not
more than one month salary or fine equivalent to one month salary are still
appealable and hence, not final and executory.

Cebu Portland Cement Company, vs. Mun. of Naga, Cebu, et. al.
plaintiff-appellant defendants-appellees
Facts:
1.
The Treasurer of the Mun. of Naga, Cebu collected from Cebu Portland
CementCompany (CPCC) municipal license tax imposed by the Amended Ordinance
No. 21 oncement factories located in the same municipality.
2.
The demands made by the Treasurer were not entirely successful and resulted to
theremedies provided under Section 2304 of the Revised Administrative Code.
TheTreasurer gave CPCC 10 days to settle the account.
3.

The Treasurer also notified the Plant Manager of CPCC that he was distraining
100,000bags of Apo cement in satisfaction of their municipal license tax in the total
amount of Php 204,300.00. At first the Plant Manager did not agree with the letter
butacknowledged the distraint in the afternoon of the same day he was notified.
4.
The Treasurer signed the receipt of the goods under the authority of 2304 of the
RevisedAdministrative Code & shall sell the same at a public auction to the highest
bidder. Theproceeds thereof shall be utilized in part of the satisfaction of the
municipal license tax &penalties CPCC owes to the municipality of Naga, Cebu.
5.
The Notice of Sale was posted by the Treasurer & stated that the public sale shall be
onJuly 27, 1962. However, no sale was held on the date specified & in the
appealeddecision, that there was a stipulation by the parties where the auction took
place onJanuary 30, 1962.
Issue:
1.Whether the distraint was valid.
2.Whether the auction sale was valid

Held:
Decision of the lower court was affirmed in
toto
. With costs against the plaintiff-appellant.
1.
CPCC alleged that the 10-day grace period in the letter of the Municipal Treasurer
did not lapse and therefore, the distrain is invalid. This is not true. According to
theRevised Administrative Code, the municipal treasurer may seize & distrain
anypersonal property belonging to such person or any property subject to the tax
lien, insufficient quantity to satisfy the tax or charge in question xxx. With this, the
lawgives an authority to the municipal treasurer to seize & distrain properties
regardlessof the provisions or conditions stated in the letter. There is only room for
applicationand not for interpretation and what is stated in the letter cannot amend
the law.
2.

The auction sale is also valid. Under the Revised Administrative Code, the
salecannot take place less than 20 days after notice to the owner or possessor of
theproperty xxx. Since the first notification for distrait was in July 6, 1961 & the
sale wason January 30, 1962, the requisite for the notification was more than
complied with.The sale was only delayed due to the deferment made by the CPCC.
Even if the salewas made only in January 1962, the Treasurer informed the CPCCs
acting officer that he would again advertise for the public sale of the said bags of
cement. Withthis, the validity of the date of the said auction sale cannot be
contested.