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ABAYON v.

HRET
and
CONGRESSMAN JOVITO S. PALPARAN, JR., v. HRET
These two cases are about the authority of the House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal (HRET) to pass upon the eligibilities of the nominees of the
party-list groups that won seats in the lower house of Congress.
Issue
The common issue presented in these two cases is:
Whether or not respondent HRET has jurisdiction over the question of
qualifications of petitioners Abayon and Palparan as nominees of Aangat Tayo
and Bantay party-list organizations, respectively, who took the seats at the
House of Representatives that such organizations won in the 2007 elections.
Held:
What is inevitable is that Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution 9cralaw
provides that the HRET shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to,
among other things, the qualifications of the members of the House of
Representatives. Since, as pointed out above, party-list nominees are
"elected members" of the House of Representatives no less than the district
representatives are, the HRET has jurisdiction to hear and pass upon their
qualifications.
By analogy with the cases of district representatives, once the party or
organization of the party-list nominee has been proclaimed and the nominee
has taken his oath and assumed office as member of the House of
Representatives, the COMELEC's jurisdiction over election contests relating to
his qualifications ends and the HRET's own jurisdiction begins. 10cralaw
The Court holds that respondent HRET did not gravely abuse its discretion
when it dismissed the petitions for quo warranto against Aangat Tayo partylist and Bantay party-list but upheld its jurisdiction over the question of the
qualifications of petitioners Abayon and Palparan.

ARNAULT VS. NAZARENO


FACTS:
On February 27, 1950, the Senate adopted a resolution creating a special
committee to investigate on the purchase by the government of the
Buenavista and Tambobong Estates owned by Ernest Burt as represented by
Jean Arnault.
The committee sought to determine who were responsible for and who
benefited from the transaction at the expense of the government.
The special committee called and examined among other witness, Jean
Arnault. However, for the latters refusal to answer some of the questions
propounded on him, the name of the person to whom he gave the money as
well as answer to other pertinent questions in connection therewith, the
Senate resolved to imprison him until such time as he decided to answer
relevant questions put to him in connection with the investigation of a
government transaction.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Senate has authority to punish petitioner for
contempt.
HELD:
The Supreme Court said yes considering that he questions were pertinent to
the pursuance of the Senate Resolution.
The Supreme Court also held that the offender could be imprisoned
indefinitely by the State, it being a continuing body, provided that the
punishment did not become so long as to violate due process.

Tobias v. Abalos
Facts:
Petitioners as taxpayers and residents of Mandaluyong assail the constitutionality
of RA 7675: An Act Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly
Urbanized City to be known as the City of Mandaluyong
It has the following effects:
1. Converts the city of Mandaluyong into a highlyurbanized city
2. Creates a new legislative district for Mandaluyong
3. Leaves San Juan in the old legislative district whichused to be composed of
S.J. and Mand.T
the bill was sponsored by the congressman of thelegislative district covering the
two municipalities, Hon. Ronaldo Zamora. In a plebiscite pursuant to the Local
Government Code of 1991, the residents of mandaluyong affirmed the
conversion.
Issue: According to petitioners, the law is unconstitutional because:
1. It violates the one subject-one bill rule by making a new congressional district
along with the conversion.
2. It resulted in the increase of the members of the House of Representatives to
more than that provided in the constitution.
3. It was enacted not pursuant to a census to show that the municipality has
attained the minimum population requirement. It has the effect of preempting the
right of Congress to reapportion legislative districts pursuant to Sec. 5(4).
4.It preempts the right of Congress to reapportion legislative districts.
Aside from the above constitutional arguments, it is invalid because:
1.

the plebiscite. It
The people of San Juan were not made to participate in
involves a change in their legislative district and so they must be included.

Held:
1. The creation of a new congressional district is merely incompliance with

the one city-one representative mandate in Sec. 5(3). And contrary to


petitioners assertion, thecreation of a separate congressional district for
Mandaluyong is not a subject separate and distinct fromthe subject of its
conversion into a highly urbanized citybut is its natural and logical
consequence. A liberalconstruction of the one title- one subject rule is in
order.It should be given a practical rather than a technicalconstruction. It
should be sufficient compliance if the titleexpresses the general subject
and all the provisions aregermane to that general subject.
2. The 250 member limit is not absolute. This can be seen from the phrase
unless otherwise fixed by law. The composition of Congress may thus be
increased if Congress itself mandates so through legislative enactment.

3. As to the contention that there is no census to show that Mandaluyong


and San Juan had each attained the minimum requirement of 250,000
inhabitants to justify their separation into two legislative districts, the same
does not suffice to strike down the validity of RA 7675. The act enjoys the
presumption of having passed through the regular congressional
processes, including due consideration by the members of Congress of
the minimum requirements for the establishment of separate legislative
districts.
4. As to the contention that the act preempts Congress right to reapportion
legislative districts, this argument borders on the absurd. It was Congress
itself that enacted the law. Congress cannot preempt itself on a right which
pertains to itself.
5. The principal subject of the plebiscite was the conversion of mandaluyong.
The matter of separate district representation was only ancillary thereto.
The inhabitants of San Juan were properly excluded as they had nothing
to do with the change of status of neighboring Mandaluyong.
6. The law has the effect of diminishing the constituency of Rep. Zamora.
This could not be in favor of him, and is therefore not gerrymandering.
Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

MARIANO, JR. VS. COMELEC


FACTS:
R.A. 7854, which aims to convert Makati into a city, is assailed as being
unconstitutional on the grounds that R.A. 7854 aims to increase membership
of the House which the Constitution fixes and that R.A. 7854 being a special
law cannot change members of the Houses.
ISSUE: Whether or not the conversion of Makati into a city is constitutional.
HELD:
Yes. The Supreme Court held that as was already decided by the Supreme
Court in Tobias vs. Abalos, the Constitution provides that the compositions of
the House should not be more than 250 members, UNLESS otherwise
provided by law. The natural result in the creation of a new legislative from a
special law whose purpose is to convert a municipality into a city is
sanctioned by the Constitution.

US VS. PONS
The respondent, together with Beliso and Lasarte were charged with illegal
importation of opium. Pons and Beliso were tried separately on motion of
counsel. Lasarte had not yet been arrested. Each was found guilty of the
crime, charged and sentenced accordingly. Both appealed. Beliso later
withdrew his appeal and the judgment as to him has become final.
Respondents motion alleged to prove that the last day of the special session
of the Philippine Legislature for 1914 was the 28 th day of February, that Act
No.2381 under which Pons must be punished if found guilty, was not passed
nor approved on the 28th of February but on March 1 of that year. Also,
counsel for Pons alleged that the Assemblys clock was stopped on February
18, 1914 at midnight and left so until the determination of the discussion of
all pending matters among which was Act NO. 2381. to prove aid allegations,
counsel argued the court to go beyond the proceedings of the Legislature as
recorded in the journals.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the court may go beyond the recitals of legislature journals or
just take judicial notice of said journals for the purpose of determining the
date of adjournment when such journal are clear and explicitly.
HELD:
YES. From their very nature and object the records of the Legislature are as
important as those of the judiciary. And to inquire into the veracity of the
journals of the Philippine Legislature when they are, as we have said, clear
and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and the spirit of the organic
laws by which the Philippine government was brought into existence, to
invade and coordinate and independent department of the Government and
to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature.

PHILCONSA VS. GIMENEZ


The Supreme Court was called upon in to decide the grave and fundamental
problem of the constitutionality of RA 3836 insofar as the same allows
retirement gratuity and commutation of vacation and sick leave to Senators
and Representatives and to the elective officials of both houses (of
Congress).
The constitutionality of the law is assailed on the ground that the provision
for the retirement of the members and certain officers of Congress is not
expressed in the title of the bill, in violation of the Constitution.
ISSUE: Whether or Not RA 3836 violates the Constitutional provision that
every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject, which shall
be expressed in the title thereof.
HELD:
YES. Under RA 3836, amending CA 186, as amended by RA Nos. 660 and
3096, the retirement benefits are granted to members of the GSIS who have
rendered at least twenty years of service regardless of age. This provision is
related and germane to the subject of CA 186. On the other hand, the
succeeding paragraph of RA 3836 refers to members of Congress and to
elective officers thereof who are not members of the GSIS. To provide
retirement benefits, therefore, for these officials would relate to subject
matter, not germane to CA 186.

Jimenez v. Cabangbang
Facts Cabangbang published an open letter to the President, when congress
wasnt in session, saying that there was an insidious plan to build-up the Defense
Secretarys image for presidency, to stage a coup detat, and to assuage the
President through a loyalty parade to rally the AFP behind Gen. Arellano.
Petitioners were named as persons under the control of the planners.
Held The communication wasnt a debate or speech. It was published when
Congress wasnt in sesion. Cabangbang published them not in line with his
discharge of duties as congressman and as a member of his committee. The
letter isnt libelous because it doesnt state that the respondents were the
planners.
Puyat v. De Guzman
Assemblyman Estanislao Fernandez, first appeared as counsel for the
respondent Acero, in the Securities and Exchange Commission, an
administrative body. Because this wasprohibited, he bought 10 shares of stock
and intervened in theSEC case. The SEC granted the motion for intervention.
But the Court held that is a form of indirect appearance as counsel in an
administrative body prohibited by the Constitution.
ABBAS VS. SENATE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL
On October 1987, the petitioners filed before the respondent Senate Electoral
Tribunal an election protest against 22 candidates of the LABAN coalition who
were proclaimed senators-elect. Subsequently, the petitioners filed with the
respondent Tribunal a Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition of the
Senators-Members thereof from the hearing and resolution of the
aforementioned case, as respondents therein. The petitioners urged the
contest to be decided by only 3 members of the Tribunal.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Senators-Members of the Electoral Tribunal may
be compelled to inhibit themselves from hearing the contest.
HELD:
NO. It seems quite clear to us that in thus providing for a Tribunal 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.
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 we are merely saying is that in the light of the
Constitution, the Senate Electoral Tribunal cannot legally function as such,
absent its entire membership of Senators and that no amendment of its rules
can confer on the 3 Justice-Members along the power of valid adjudication of
a senatorial election protest.
BONDOC VS. PINEDA
Marciano Pineda of LDP won against his rival Dr. Emigdio Bondoc of NP
causing the latter to file a protest in the HRET. A decision had been reached
in which Bondoc won over Pineda by a margin of 23 votes. Hence, the LDP
members in the tribunal insisted on a re- appreciation and recount of the
ballots cast in some precincts resulting to the increase of Bondocs lead over
Pineda to 107 votes. Congressman Camasura coted with the SC Justices and
Congressman Cerilles to proclaim Bondoc as the winner of the contest.
Camasura later on revealed to his chief, notified the Chairman of the Tribunal
to withdraw the nomination and to rescind the election of Camasura to the
HRET and seeks to cancel the promulgation of the tribunals decision in
Bondoc v. Pineda.
ISSUE: Whether or not the House of Representatives could change its
representatives in the HRET at the request of the dominant party.
HELD:
NO. If the HRET would reserve the interest of the party in power, the
independence of the Electoral Tribunal, as embodied in the Constitution, will
no longer be protected. The resolution of the House of Representatives
removing Congressman Camasura from the HRET for disloyalty to the LDP,
because he cast his vote in the favor of NPs candidate, is a clear impairment
of the constitutional prerogative of the HRET to the sole judge of the election
contest between Pineda and Bondoc.
T o sanction such interference by the House of Representatives in the work of
the HRET would reduce the Tribunal to a mere tool for the aggrandizement of
the party in power (LDP) which the 3 Justices of the SC and the lone NP
member would be powerless to stop. A minority party candidate may as well
abandon all hope at the threshold of the tribunal.
As judges, the members of the Tribunal must be nonpartisan. They must
discharge their functions with complete detachment, impartiality and
independence even independence from the political party to which they
belong. Hence, disloyalty to a party and breach of party discipline are not
valid grounds for the expulsion of a member of the Tribunal. In expelling
Congressman Camasura from the HRET for having cast a conscience vote in
favor of Bondoc, based strictly on the result of the examination and
appreciation of the ballots and the recount of the votes by the Tribunal, the

House of Representatives committed a grave abuse of discretion, an


injustice, and aviolation of the Constitution. Its resolution of expulsion
against Congressman Camasura is therefore null and void.

Banat v. COMELEC
Quick Facts: Veterans formula is declared unconstitutional and replaced
w/ a new formula.
The initial step is to rank all the participating parties, organizations and
coalitions from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes
they each received. Then the ratio for each party is computed by dividing
its votes by the total votes cast for all the parties participating in the
system. All parties with at least two percent of the total votes are
guaranteed one seat each. Only these parties shall be considered in the
computation of additional seats. The party receiving the highest number
of votes shall thenceforth be referred to as the first party
The next step is to determine the number of seats the first party is
entitled to, in order to be able to compute that for the other parties. Since
the distribution is based on proportional representation, the number of
seats to be allotted to the other parties cannot possibly exceed that to
which the first party is entitled by virtue of its obtaining the most number
of votes

# of votes of 1

st

party

-------------------------- = X

If X, without rounding it off is equal to at least six percent of the total


valid votes cast for all the party list groups, then the first party shall be
entitled to two additional seats or a total of three seats overall. If X,
without a rounding off is equal to or greater than four percent, but less
than six percent, then the first party shall have one additional or a total of
two seats. And if X is less than four percent, then the first party shall not
be entitled to any additional seat
The next step is to solve for the number of additional seats that the other
qualified parties are entitled to, based on proportional representation:

# of votes of Additional concerned party

Seats for = ---------------------------- x Concerned party # of votes of 1


party

st

# of additional seats allocated to


the 1

st

party

Adaza v. Pacana
Incompatible & Forbidden Offices
ART. VI, 13No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold
any other office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision,
agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled
corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his seat.
Neither shall he be appointed to any office which may have been created or
the emoluments thereof increased during the term for which he was elected.
Adaza v. Pacana
Adaza, Governor of Misamis Oriental, won a seat in the Batasang Pambansa.
Vice-Governor Pacana also ran for a seat in the BP but he lost. Pacana took
the position of Governor that Adaza vacated when he got elected to the BP.
Adaza went to the SC claiming that he should be allowed to be a BP member
and Governor at the same time, following the practice in the Parliaments of
the UK, France, and NZ. He also contends that Pacana should not even be
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considered a Vice- Governor anymore, alleging that Pacana ipso facto
resigned from the position when he ran for the BP, thus he should only be a
regular citizen now. SC rules in favor of Pacana, dismisses Adazas petition.
SC bases its ruling on the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 10
Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution as well as BP 697.
Held:
Adaza cannot be BP member and Misamis Oriental Governor at the
same time.

Suanes v. Disbursing Officer of the Senate


FACTS:
.

This is a petition for mandamus filed by the petitioner Nicetas


Suanes to compel the Chief Accountant of the Senate of the Philippines to pay him
his salary as secretary to Sen. Ramon Diokno, a member of Senate Electoral
Tribunal (SET), in accordance to the appointment issued by the Chairman of SET.

There were two conflicting appointments: (1) appointment by the


President of the Senate to be Dioknos secretary for P200/month; and (2)
appointment by the Chairman of SET to the same post for P3,600/annum or
P300/month. The conflict arose when Suanes presented the voucher for P300 to
the Chief Accountant and Disbursing Officer of the Senate, where the latter
refused to pay Suanes the amount of P300 because the Senate Presidents
appointment was allegedly fixed at the rate of P200/month.
ISSUES: 2.
a. WON the Electoral Tribunals are mere agencies of the Philippine Congress
or they are entities distinct from and independent of the Philippine
Congress and
b. Which of the two conflicting appointments should prevail

HELD:
.

1. In a previous case, the court held that Electoral Tribunals are independent
constitutional creations with the specific powers and functions of passing upon all
contests relating to the election returns and qualifications of Service law.members
of the Congress, devoid of partisan influence.The purpose of the Constitution was
to transfer in its totality all the powers previously exercised by the budget
corresponding to the Senate, does not and cannot legislature in matters
pertaining to contested elections of its members to an independent and impartial
tribunal. Senate for both institutions are independent from each other. Thus, ETs
are sovereign over their internal affairs as areeach of the other powers of
government over their respective domains. Moreover, such independence is not
limited to their judicial functions but also to the selection of their administrative
personnel.
The inclusion of the provisions creating the SET in Section 11 of Article VI of the
Consti (Legislative Department) cannot be inferred to mean that said tribunals are
intended parts of the Congress. This should be understood only that both houses
of Congress are each provided with independent constitutional organs to settle
issues pertaining to Congress which the Congress cannot adequately decide.
President Manuel Roxas, who was a prominent member of the Constitutional
Convention, also supported the independent control of ET of their personnel and
recommended that in the next Budget, an appropriation for ET should be
unattached and separate from the outlays of Congress.

2. Consequently, the employees of an ET are its own, and not of the Senate nor of the
House of Reps nor of any other entity and it stands to reason that the appointment, the
supervision and the control over said employees rest wholly within the Tribunal itself.
Par 4, of the Rules of the ET for the Senate provides other things that the Chairman
thereof shall have the power to appoint the employees of the Tribunal with the approval
of the tribunal, and in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service law. The fact
that the appropriation of the SET is included in the budget corresponding to the Senate,
does not and cannot legislature in matters pertaining to contested elections of mean that
the employees of the Senate for both institutions are independent from each other.
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Under Sec 3 of the Appropriations Act for 1948 , the power of the Senate President is
only limited to affect those appropriations for the Senate and not those appropriations for
the Senate Electoral Tribunal. The senate president is not supposed to have power of the
expenses of the SET to protect the latters independence.
JUDGMENT: The writ of Mandamus is GRANTED.

Bondoc v. Pineda
th
In the local elections, Pineda, member of LDP was declared winner of the 4
district of Pampanga over Bondoc of NP. Bondoc filed an election protest in
the House of Representatives Election Tribunal or HRET which is composed of
three SC Justices and 6 Representatives based on the proportion of the
political parties. Bondoc was declared winner by 23 votes.
It was urged that the ballots be reopened and it turned out that Bondocs
margin of victory increased to 107. Because of this, HRET proclaimed Bondoc
the winner by a 5-4 vote. (Here comes the hot issue.) Surprisingly,
Camasura, a member of LDP voted in favor of rival Bondoc and against fellow
member Pineda. When the LDP Secretary-General found out (from Camasura
himself), Camasura was removed from the party (allegedly for trying to form
a new party).
LDP urged that the HRET members be revamped since Bondoc was no longer
part of the LDP and since this no longer reflected the proportion of the
parties. SC members also wanted to leave since the case had been tainted by
political factors.
Bondoc filed for certiorari. Congress cannot interfere nor influence HRET.
HRET is the sole judge of elections. Being a judicial body, it must be
unbiased and non-partisan. Camasuras expulsion was illegal and null and
void as he had security of tenure. A party may expel a member for disloyalty
but there must be proof that the member associated with another party.

CARLOS CUNANAN vs. JORGE TAN, JR.


Facts:
Petitioner sought to nullify the ad interim appointment of Jorge Tan Jr as
acting Deputy Administrator of the Reforestation Administration. Cunanan
was formerly appointed in the same position but was later on rejected by
the Commision of Appointment prompting the President to replace him with
Jorge Tan Jr immediately without his consent.
Filing the quo warranto proceeding to the Supreme Court, Cunanan
questions the validity of the convened Commission of Appointments citing
irregularities as to the numbers of members comprising the same.
Issue:
WON the appointment of Jorge Tan Jr is valid.
Ruling:

With the reorganization of the Commission of Appointment, it was ruled


that such is a power vested in the Congress as they deem it proper taking
into consideration the proportionate numbers of the members of the
Commission of Appointment members as to their political affiliations.
However, with their reorganization, this affected a third party's right which
they rejected as its result. To correct this, the Supreme Court declared the
reinstatement of the petitioner and ordered respondent to vacate and turn
over the office in contention.

Cunanan v Tan case in point


72 seats were won by the Nacionalista, 29 to Liberal, and 1 by independent.
Thus the CA representation was 8 from NP and 4 from LP. 25 members of the
NP joined the LP to form the Allied Majority. 3 NP reps to the CA were
replaced by 3 members of the Allied Majority
Cunanan questioned his displacement from the CA on the ground that the CA
itself was invalidly constituted and if NP were
The Court said that the Allied Majority was a temporary combination since
the transferees didn't disafilliate from the NP. The reorganization was invalid
bec it wasn't based on proportional representation
o A shifting of votes at a given time doesn't suffice to authorize a
reorganization of the CA membership. Otherwise, the CA may have to be
reorganized as often as votes shift from 1 side to another in the HOR.
.

Supervening event the COMELEC en banc granted the petition of the


LDP for registration as a political party while this case was pending

The political stability theory of Daza was untenable bec if this were
a requirement, then newly formed parties would be absolutely precluded
from electing its their representatives in the CA, a situation that the Consti
doesnt contemplate. Lastly, we resolve that issue in favor of the authority of
the House of Representatives to change its representation in the
Commission on Appointments to reflect at any time the changes

Coseteng vs. Mitra

PERTINENT LAW FROM THE CONSTITUTION: ARTICLE VI, SECTION 18


There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of the
President of the Senate, as ex officio Chairman, 12 Senators, and 12
Members of the HOR elected by each House on the basis of
proportional representation from the political parties or
organizations registered under the party list system represented
therein. XXXXX
- Upon nomination of the Minority Floor Leader, the House added Honorable
th
Roque Ablan, Jr. from KBL as the 12 member of the Commission
(representing coalesced minority in the House).
.

A year later, on Sept 16, 1988, the LDP was organized as the new majority
party (w/158 out 202 members from the House) and so the House
committees, including the House representation in the COA, had to be
reorganized.

On Oct 8, 1988, petitioner Coseteng wrote a letter to Speaker Ramon Mitra


to appoint her, as the representative of KAIBA, to be a member of the COA
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and HRET. Her request was endorsed by 9 other Congressmen .

On Dec 5, 1988, the House of representatives revised the House majority


th
membership in the COA. Congressman Ablan was still retained as the 12
member representing the House minority.

On Feb 1, 1989, Coseteng and her party, KAIBA, filed this Petition for
Extraordinary Legal Writs (which may be considered as a petition for quo
warranto and injunction) praying this Court to declare null and void the
election of a number of congressmen as member of the COA on the theory
that their election to that Commission violated the constitutional mandate of
proportional representation because:

a.

The New Majority, which is LDP, is entitled to only 9 seats out of the 12 to be
filled by the House.

b.

The members representing the political parties must be nominated by their


respective parties.

c.

The nomination and election of respondent Verano-Yap by the respondents as


representative of the minority was clearly invalid

d.

The retention of Ablan as Minority member in the commission was invalid


because he was neither nominated nor elected as such by the minority party
or parties in the House.

ISSUE/HELD/RATIO:(1) WON the members of the Commission of


Appointments were chosen on the basis of proportional representation. YES,
they were chosen on the basis of proportional representation as mandated by
20
the Constitution
. There are 160 members of the LDP in the House which
represent 79% or 80% of the House membership. 80% of the 12 members of
the