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Case Digest

Case Digest

Javellana vs. executive secretary 50 scra 33

Perfecto v Meer 85 Phil 552

In 1973, Marcos ordered the immediate implementation of the new 1973 Constitution.
Javellana, a Filipino and a registered voter sought to enjoin the Exec Sec and
other cabinet secretaries from implementing the said constitution. Javellana averred
that the said constitution is void because the same was initiated by the president. He
argued that the Presidentis w/o power to proclaim the ratification by the Filipino
people of the proposed constitution. Further, the election held to ratify such
constitution is not a free election there being intimidation and fraud.

GREGORIO PERFECTO vs. BIBIANO L. MEER


[G.R. No. L-2348. February 27, 1950.]

ISSUE:

Whether or not the SC must give due course to the petition.


HELD:

The SC ruled that they cannot rule upon the case at bar. Majorityof the SC justices
expressed the view that they were concluded by the ascertainment made by
the president of the Philippines, in the exercise of his political prerogatives. Further,
there being no competent evidence to show such fraud and intimidation during the
election, it is to be assumed that the people had acquiesced in or accepted the
1973 Constitution. The question of the validity of the 1973 Constitution is a political
question which was left to the people in their sovereign capacity to answer. Their
ratification of the same had shown such acquiescence.

Facts:
In April, 1947 the Collector of Internal Revenue required Mr. Justice Gregorio Perfecto
to pay income tax upon his salary as member of this Court during the year 1946. After
paying the amount (P802), he instituted this action in the Manila Court of First
Instance contending that the assessment was illegal, his salary not being taxable for
the reason that imposition of taxes thereon would reduce it in violation of the
Constitution.
Issue:
Does the imposition of an income tax upon this salary amount to a diminution there
of?
Held:
Yes. As in the United States during the second period, we must hold that salaries
of judges are not included in the word "income" taxed by the Income Tax Law. Two
paramount circumstances may additionally be indicated, to wit: First, when the
Income Tax Law was first applied to the Philippines 1913, taxable "income" did
not include salaries of judicial officers when these are protected from diminution. That
was the prevailing official belief in the United States, which must be deemed to
have been transplanted here ; and second, when the Philippine Constitutional
Convention approved (in 1935) the prohibition against diminution of the judges'
compensation, the Federal principle was known that income tax on judicial salaries
really impairs them. This is not proclaiming a general tax immunity for men on the
bench. These pay taxes. Upon buying gasoline, or cars or other commodities, they
pay the corresponding duties. Owning real property, they pay taxes thereon. And on
incomes other than their judicial salary, assessments are levied. It is only when the
tax is charged directly on their salary and the effect of the tax is to diminish their
official stipend that the taxation must be resisted as an infringement of the
fundamental charter. Judges would indeed be hapless guardians of the Constitution
if they did not perceive and block encroachments upon their prerogatives in whatever
form. The undiminishable character of judicial salaries is not a mere privilege of
judges personal and therefore waivable but a basic limitation upon legislative or
executive action imposed in the public interest (Evans vs. Gore).

Case Digest

Endencia vs. David 93 Phil 696 August 31 1953


[Salaries of Judges Tax Exemption]
FACTS:
Saturnino David was the Internal Revenue Collector who ordered Judges Endencio
and Jugos salaries. A case was filed. However, upon construing Article VIII Section 9
of the constitution, it shows that judicial officers are exempt from paying tax from their
salaries and thus considered that the deduction of salaries from the said judges as a
violation from the compensation received by judicial officers.
ISSUE: Whether or not Section 13 of RA 590 is constitutional.
RULING:
No, the Section 13 of RA 590 is unconstitutional. The collection of income taxes in
judicial officers is considered as against the provisions given by the Article VIII Sec 9
of the Constitution. The compensation shall not be diminished during their
continuance of their service. Section 13 of RA 590 stated that no salary received by
any public officer of the republic shall be exempted from paying its taxes. This specific
part of RA 590 is in contrary with what is Article VIII Sec 9 has provided.

Case Digest
Nitafan v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue [GR L-78780, 23 July 1987]
FACTS:
1. Petitioners David Nitafan, Wenceslao Polo and Maximo Savellano Jr., were duly
appointed and qualified Judges of the RTC National Capital Judicial Region.2.
Petitioners seeks to prohibit and/or perpetually enjoin respondents, (CIR and
the Financial Officer of the Supreme Court) from making any deduction of withholding
taxes from their salaries.
3. Petitioners submit that any tax withheld from their emoluments or compensation as judicial
officers constitutes
a decreased or diminution of their salaries, contrary to Section 10, Article VIII of the 1987
Constitution.

ISSUE:
Is a deduction of withholding tax a diminuition of the salaries of Judges/ Justices?
HELD:
The SC hereby makes of record that it had then discarded the ruling in PERFECTO
VS. MEER (88 Phil 552) and ENDENCIA VS. DAVID (93 Phil 696), that declared the
salaries of members of the Judiciary exempt from payment of the income tax and
considered such payment as a diminution of their salaries during their continuance in
office. The Court hereby reiterates that the salaries of Justices and Judges are
property subject to general income tax applicable to all income earners and that the
payment of such income tax by Justices and Judges does not fall within the
constitution protection against decrease of their salaries during their continuance in
office. The debates, interpellations and opinions expressed regarding the
constitutional provision in question until it was finally approved by the Commission
disclosed that the true intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, in adopting it,
was to make the salaries of members of the Judiciary taxable. The ascertainment of
that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental principle of constitutional
construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people
adopting it should be given effect.
The ruling that the imposition of income tax upon the salary of judges is a diminution thereof,
and so violates the Constitution in Perfecto vs. Meer, as affirmed in Endencia vs.

David must be deemed discarded.

Case Digest
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS
Facts:
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization
program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation 50 dated 8 December
1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and
outstanding shares of the MANILA HOTEL (MHC). In a close bidding held on 18
September 1995 only two bidders participated: Manila Prince HOTEL Corporation, a
Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at
P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its
hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or
P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Pending the declaration of Renong Berhard as
the winning bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the necessary contracts, the
Manila Prince Hotel matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong
Berhad in a letter to GSIS dated 28 September 1995. Manila Prince Hotel sent a
managers check to the GSIS in a subsequent letter, but which GSIS refused to
accept. On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive that GSIS has disregarded the
tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by
GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad, Manila Prince Hotel came to the Court
on prohibition and mandamus.
Issue(s):
Whether the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article XII Section 10, are selfexecuting.
Whether the 51% share is part of the national patrimony.
Held:
A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Article II of
the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete
in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling
legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants
may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing. Thus a constitutional provision is selfexecuting if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are
fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and
construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is
referred to the legislature for action. In self-executing constitutional provisions, the
legislature may still enact legislation to facilitate the exercise of powers directly
granted by the constitution, further the operation of such a provision, prescribe a
practice to be used for its enforcement, provide a convenient remedy for the
protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof, or place reasonable
CASE DIGEST
Aquino v. Enrile
59 SCRA 183
FACTS:
The cases are all petitions for habeas corpus, the petitioners having been arrested
and detained by the military by virtue of Proclamation 1081. The petitioners were
arrested and held pursuant to General Order No.2 of the President "for being
participants or for having given aid and comfort in the conspiracy to seize political

safeguards around the exercise of the right. The mere fact that legislation may
supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing
constitutional provision does not render such a provision ineffective in the absence of
such legislation. The omission from a constitution of any express provision for a
remedy for enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication that it was not
intended to be self-executing. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the
constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject, but any
legislation must be in harmony with the constitution, further the exercise of
constitutional right and make it more available. Subsequent legislation however does
not necessarily mean that the subject constitutional provision is not, by itself, fully
enforceable. As against constitutions of the past, modern constitutions have been
generally drafted upon a different principle and have often become in effect extensive
codes of laws intended to operate directly upon the people in a manner similar to that
of statutory enactments, and the function of constitutional conventions has evolved
into one more like that of a legislative body. Hence, unless it is expressly provided
that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the
presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. If the
constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing,
the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of
the fundamental law. In fine, Section 10, second paragraph, Art. XII of the 1987
Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which
needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From
its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation.
In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to heritage. When the
Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural resources of
the Philippines, as the Constitution could have very well used the term natural
resources, but also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos. It also refers to Filipinos
intelligence in arts, sciences and letters. In the present case, MANILA HOTELhas
become a landmark, a living testimonial of Philippine heritage. While it was
restrictively an American hotel when it first opened in 1912, a concourse for the elite,
it has since then become the venue of various significant events which have shaped
Philippine history. In the granting of economic rights, privileges, and concessions,
especially on matters involving national patrimony, when a choice has to be made
between a qualified foreigner and a qualified Filipino, the latter shall be chosen
over the former.
The Supreme Court directed the GSIS, the Manila Hotel Corporation, the Committee
on Privatization and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel to cease and
desist from selling 51% of the Share of the MHC to Renong Berhad, and to accept the
matching bid of Manila Prince HOTEL AT P44 per shere and thereafter execute the
necessary agreements and document to effect the sale, to issue the necessary
clearances and to do such other acts and deeds as may be necessary for the
purpose.
and state power in the country and to take over the Government by force..." General
Order No. 2 was issued by the President in the exercise of the power he assumed by
virtue of Proclamation 1081 placing the entire country under martial law.
ISSUES:
1) Is the existence of conditions claimed to justify the exercise of the power to declare
martial law subject to judicial inquiry?; and
2) Is the detention of the petitioners legal in accordance to the declaration of martial
law?

HELD:
5 Justices held that the issue is a political question, hence, not subject to judicial
inquiry, while 4 Justices held that the issue is a justiciable one. However, any inquiry
by this Court in the present cases into the constitutional sufficiency of the factual
bases for the proclamation of martial law has become moot and academic. Implicit in
the state of martial law is the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus with
respect to persons arrested or detained for acts related to the basic objective of the
proclamation, which is to suppress invasion, insurrection or rebellion, or to safeguard
public safety against imminent danger thereof. The preservation of society and
national survival takes precedence. The proclamation of martial law automatically
suspends the privilege of the writ as to the persons referred to in this case.

CASE DIGEST
PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION VS. COMELEC
140 SCRA 455
FACTS:
A number of petitions assailing the validity of B.P Blg. 883 calling for a special
election for a President and Vice-president on February 7, 1986. Marcos gave a
conditional resignation where he shall vacate the position only when a winner has
been proclaimed and qualified by taking his oath 10 days after the proclamation.
Petitioners question the validity of Marcos resignation as it did not create the vacancy
needed for a special election to be held and pray for prohibition to acts in relation to
B.P. Blg. 883
ISSUE:
Is the B.P Blg. 883 unconstitutional?
HELD:
The Court failed to have 10 votes to declare B.P. Blg. 883. Unconstitutional. Whereas
the original issue on B.P Blg. 883s constitutionality, the issue has now transformed
into a political question where only the sovereign people can decide in a fair, clean
and honest election. As such, the Court dismissed the petitions and denied their
prayers of prohibition.

CASE DIGEST
LAWYERS LEAGUE FOR A BETTER PHILIPPINES vs. AQUINO(G.R. No. 73748 May 22, 1986)

Yes. The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter but belongs
to the realm of politics where only the people are the judge. The Court further held
that:

FACTS:
1.On February 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation
No. 1 announcing that she and Vice President Laurel were taking power.2.On
March 25, 1986, proclamation No.3 was issued providing the basis of
the Aquino government assumption of power by stating that the "new government
was installed through a direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people assisted by
units of the New Armed Forces of the Philippines."

1. The people have accepted the Aquino government which is in


effective control of the entire country;
2. It is not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government; and
3. The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the new government.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the government of Corazon Aquino is legitimate.
HELD:

Bermudez claims that the said provision is not clear as to whom it refers, he then
asks the Court to declare and answer the question of the construction and
definiteness as to who, among the present incumbent President Corazon Aquino and
Vice President Salvador Laurel and the elected President Ferdinand E. Marcos and
Vice President Arturo M. Tolentino being referred to as the incumbent president.
ISSUE: Whether or not said provision is ambiguous.

In Re: Saturnino Bermudez


Saturnino Bermudez, as a lawyer, questioned the validity of the first paragraph of
Section 5 of Article XVIII of the proposed 1986 Constitution, which provides in full as
follows:
Sec. 5. The six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President elected in
the February 7, 1986 election is, for purposes of synchronization of elections, hereby
extended to noon of June 30, 1992.
The first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under this Constitution
shall be held on the second Monday of May, 1992.
CASE DIGEST
ALFREDO M. DE LEON vs. HON. BENHAMIN B. ESGUERRA (153 SCRA 602)
Facts:
In 1982, Alfredo M. De Leon was elected as Baranggay Captain along with the other
petitioners as Barangay Councilmen of Baranggay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal. On
February 9, 1987, he received a Memorandum antedated December 1, 1986, signed
on February 8, 1987 by OIC Gov. Benhamin B. Esguerra designating Florentino
Magno as new Barangay Captain. A separate Memorandum with the same dates was
also issued by Hon. Esguerra replacing the Barangay Councilmen. De Leon along
with the other petitioners filed a petition to declare the subject Memorandum null and
void and prevent the respondents from taking over their positions in the Barangay.
The petitioners maintained that OIC Gov. Esguerra no longer have the authority to
replace them under the 1987 Constitution and that they shall serve a term of six (6)
years in pursuant to Section 3 of the Barangay Election Act of 1982.

HELD: No. Bermudezs allegation of ambiguity or vagueness of the aforequoted


provision is manifestly gratuitous, it being a matter of public record and common
public knowledge that the Constitutional Commission refers therein to incumbent
President Aquino and Vice-President Laurel, and to no other persons, and provides
for the extension of their term to noon of June 30, 1992 for purposes of
synchronization of elections. Hence, the second paragraph of the cited section
provides for the holding on the second Monday of May, 1992 of the first regular
elections for the President and Vice-President under said 1986 Constitution. In
previous cases, the legitimacy of the government of President Aquino was likewise
sought to be questioned with the claim that it was not established pursuant to the
1973 Constitution. The said cases were dismissed outright by the Supreme Court
which held that: Petitioners have no personality to sue and their petitions state no
cause of action. For the legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable
matter. It belongs to the realm of politics where only the people of the Philippines are
the judge. And the people have made the judgment; they have accepted the
government of President Corazon C. Aquino which is in effective control of the entire
country so that it is not merely a de facto government but in fact and in law a de jure
government. Moreover, the community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the
present government.
Was the designation of the new Barangay Officials valid?
Ruling:
The effectivity of the Memorandum should be based on the date when it was signed,
February 8, 1987. By that time, the 1987 Constitution was already in effect, thus
superseding all previous constitution as provided in Section 27 of its Transitory
Provisions. Respondent OIC Governor could no longer rely on Section 2, Article III of
the Provisional Constitution to designate respondents to the elective positions
occupied by petitioners.
Barangay Election Act of 1982 should still govern since it is not inconsistent with the
1987 Constitution.
Wherefore, the designation by the OIC Governor of new Barangay Officials was
declared NO LEGAL FORCE AND EFFECT and the Writ for Prohibition is GRANTED
enjoining respondents perpetually from ouster/take-over of petitioners position
subject of this petition.

Issue:
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. No. L-2348


February 27, 1950
GREGORIO PERFECTO, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
BIBIANO MEER, Collector of Internal Revenue, defendant-appellant.

First Assistant Solicitor General Roberto A. Gianzon and Solicitor Francisco Carreon for
oppositor and appellant.
Gregorio Perfecto in his own behalf.
BENGZON, J.:
In April, 1947 the Collector of Internal Revenue required Mr. Justice Gregorio Perfecto to pay
income tax upon his salary as member of this Court during the year 1946. After paying the
amount (P802), he instituted this action in the Manila Court of First Instance contending that the
assessment was illegal, his salary not being taxable for the reason that imposition of taxes
thereon would reduce it in violation of the Constitution.
The Manila judge upheld his contention, and required the refund of the amount collected. The
defendant appealed.
The death of Mr. Justice Perfecto has freed us from the embarrassment of passing upon the
claim of a colleague. Still, as the outcome indirectly affects all the members of the Court,
consideration of the matter is not without its vexing feature. Yet adjudication may not be
declined, because (a) we are not legally disqualified; (b) jurisdiction may not be renounced, ad it
is the defendant who appeals to this Court, and there is no other tribunal to which the
controversy may be referred; (c) supreme courts in the United States have decided similar
disputes relating to themselves; (d) the question touches all the members of the judiciary from
top to bottom; and (e) the issue involves the right of other constitutional officers whose
compensation is equally protected by the Constitution, for instance, the President, the AuditorGeneral and the members of the Commission on Elections. Anyway the subject has been
thoroughly discussed in many American lawsuits and opinions, and we shall hardly do nothing
more than to borrow therefrom and to compare their conclusions to local conditions. There shall
be little occasion to formulate new propositions, for the situation is not unprecedented.
Our Constitution provides in its Article VIII, section 9, that the members of the Supreme Court
and all judges of inferior courts "shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law, which
shall not be diminished during their continuance in office." It also provides that "until Congress
shall provide otherwise, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall receive an annual
compensation of sixteen thousand pesos". When in 1945 Mr. Justice Perfecto assumed office,
Congress had not "provided otherwise", by fixing a different salary for associate justices. He
received salary at the rate provided by the Constitution, i.e., fifteen thousand pesos a year.
Now, does the imposition of an income tax upon this salary in 1946 amount to a diminution
thereof?.
A note found at page 534 of volume 11 of the American Law Reports answers the question in the
affirmative. It says:
Where the Constitution of a state provides that the salaries of its judicial officers shall
not be dismissed during their continuance in office, it had been held that the state
legislature cannot impose a tax upon the compensation paid to the judges of its court.
New Orleans v. Lea (1859) 14 La. Ann. 194; Opinion of Attorney-General if N. C.
(1856) 48 N. C. (3 Jones, L.) Appx. 1; Re Taxation of Salaries of Judges (1902) 131 N.
C. 692, 42 S. E. 970; Com. ex. rel. Hepburn v. Mann (1843) 5 Watts & S,. (Pa.) 403
[but see to the contrary the earlier and much criticized case of Northumberland county
v. Chapman (1829) 2 Rawle (Pa.) 73]*
A different rule prevails in Wisconsin, according to the same annotation. Another state holding
the contrary view is Missouri.
The Constitution of the United States, likes ours, forbids the diminution of the compensation of
Judges of the Supreme Court and of inferior courts. The Federal Governments has an income
tax law. Does it embrace the salaries of federal judges? In answering this question, we should
consider four periods:
First period. No attempts was made to tax the compensation of Federal judges up to 1862 1.
Second period. 1862-1918. In July, 1862, a statute was passed subjecting the salaries of "civil
officers of the United States" to an income tax of three per cent. Revenue officers, construed it
as including the compensation of all judges; but Chief Justice Taney, speaking for the judiciary,
wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury a letter of protest saying, among other things:
The act in question, as you interpret it, diminishes the compensation of every judge 3
per cent, and if it can be diminished to that extent by the name of a tax, it may, in the
same way, be reduced from time to time, at the pleasure of the legislature.

The judiciary is one of the three great departments of the government, created and
established by the Constitution. Its duties and powers are specifically set forth, and
are of a character that requires it to be perfectly independent of the two other
departments, and in order to place it beyond the reach and above even the suspicion
of any such influence, the power to reduce their compensation is expressly withheld
from Congress, and excepted from their powers of legislation.
Language could not be more plain than that used in the Constitution. It is, moreover,
one of its most important and essential provisions. For the articles which limits the
powers of the legislative and executive branches of the government, and those which
provide safeguards for the protection of the citizen in his person and property, would
be of little value without a judiciary to uphold and maintain them, which was free from
every influence, direct and indirect, that might by possibility in times of political
excitement warp their judgments.
Upon these grounds I regard an act of Congress retaining in the Treasury a portion of
the Compensation of the judges, as unconstitutional and void2.
The protest was unheeded, although it apparently bore the approval of the whole Supreme
Court, that ordered it printed among its records. But in 1869 Attorney-General Hoar upon the
request of the Secretary of the Treasury rendered an opinion agreeing with the Chief Justice.
The collection of the tax was consequently discontinued and the amounts theretofore received
were all refunded. For half a century thereafter judges' salaries were not taxed as income. 3
Third period. 1919-1938. The Federal Income Tax Act of February 24, 1919 expressly provided
that taxable income shall include "the compensation of the judges of the Supreme Court and
inferior courts of the United States". Under such Act, Walter Evans, United States judge since
1899, paid income tax on his salary; and maintaining that the impost reduced his compensation,
he sued to recover theMONEY he had delivered under protest. He was upheld in 1920 by the
Supreme Court in an epoch-making decision.*, explaining the purpose, history and meaning of
the Constitutional provision forbidding impairment of judicial salaries and the effect of an income
tax upon the salary of a judge.
With what purpose does the Constitution provide that the compensation of the judges
"shall not be diminished during their continuance in office"? Is it primarily to benefit the
judges, or rather to promote the public weal by giving them that independence which
makes for an impartial and courageous discharge of the judicial function? Does the
provision merely forbid direct diminution, such as expressly reducing the
compensation from a greater to a less sum per year, and thereby leave the way open
for indirect, yet effective, diminution, such as withholding or calling back a part as tax
on the whole? Or does it mean that the judge shall have a sure and continuing right to
the compensation, whereon he confidently may rely for his support during his
continuance in office, so that he need have no apprehension lest his situation in this
regard may be changed to his disadvantage?
The Constitution was framed on the fundamental theory that a larger measure of
liberty and justice would be assured by vesting the three powers the legislative, the
executive, and the judicial in separate departments, each relatively independent of
the others and it was recognized that without this independence if it was not made
both real and enduring the separation would fail of its purpose. all agreed that
restraints and checks must be imposed to secure the requisite measure of
independence; for otherwise the legislative department, inherently the strongest, might
encroach on or even come to dominate the others, and the judicial, naturally the
weakest, might be dwarf or swayed by the other two, especially by the legislative.
The particular need for making the judiciary independent was elaborately pointed our
by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist, No. 78, from which we excerpt the following:
xxx
xxx
xxx
At a later period John Marshall, whose rich experience as lawyer, legislator, and chief
justice enable him to speak as no one else could, tersely said (debates Va. Gonv.
1829-1831, pp. 616, 619): . . . Our courts are the balance wheel of our whole
constitutional system; and our is the only constitutional system so balanced and
controlled. Other constitutional systems lacks complete poise and certainly of
operation because they lack the support and interpretation of authoritative,
undisputable courts of law. It is clear beyond all need of exposition that for the definite

maintenance of constitutional understandings it is indispensable, alike for the


preservation of the liberty of the individual and for the preservation of the integrity of
the powers of the government, that there should be some nonpolitical forum in which
those understandings can be impartially debated and determined. That forum our
courts supply. There the individual may assert his rights; there the government must
accept definition of its authority. There the individual may challenge the legality of
governmental action and have it adjudged by the test of fundamental principles, and
that test the government must abide; there the government can check the too
aggressive self-assertion of the individual and establish its power upon lines which all
can comprehend and heed. The constitutional powers of the courts constitute the
ultimate safeguard alike of individual privilege and of governmental prerogative. It is in
this sense that our judiciary is the balance wheel of our entire system; it is meant to
maintain that nice adjustment between individual rights and governmental powers
which constitutes political liberty. Constitutional government in the United States, pp.
17, 142.
Conscious in the nature and scope of the power being vested in the national courts,
recognizing that they would be charge with responsibilities more delicate and
important than any ever before confide to judicial tribunals, and appreciating that they
were to be, in the words of George Washington, "the keystone of our political fabric",
the convention with unusual accord incorporated in the Constitution the provision that
the judges "shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall at stated times
receive for their services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their
continuance in office." Can there be any doubt that the two things thus coupled in
place the clause in respect of tenure during good behaviour and that in respect of
an undiminishable compensation-were equally coupled in purpose? And is it not plain
that their purposes was toINVEST the judges with an independence in keeping with
the delicacy and importance of their task, and with the imperative need for its impartial
and fearless performance? Mr. Hamilton said in explanation and support of the
provision (Federalist No. 79): "Next to permanency in office, nothing can contribute
more to the independence of the judges than a fixed provision for their support. . . . In
the general course of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a
power over his will.
xxx
xxx
xxx
These considerations make it very plain, as we think, that the primary purpose of the
prohibition against diminution was not to benefit the judges, but, like the clause in
respect of tenure, to attract good and competent men to the bench, and to promote
that independence of action and judgment which is essential to the maintenance of
the guaranties, limitations, and pervading principles of the constitution, and to the
admiration of justice without respect to persons, and with equal concern for the poor
and the rich.
xxx
xxx
xxx
But it is urged that what plaintiff was made to pay back was an income tax, and that a
like tax was exacted of others engaged in privateEMPLOYMENT .
If the tax in respect of his compensation be prohibited, it can find no justification in the
taxation of other income as to which there is no prohibition, for, of course, doing what
the Constitution permits gives no license to do what it prohibits.
The prohibition is general, contains no excepting words, and appears to be directed
against all diminution, whether for one purpose or another; and the reason for its
adoption, as publicly assigned at the time and commonly accepted ever since, make
with impelling force for the conclusion that the fathers of the Constitution intended to
prohibit diminution by taxation as well as otherwise, that they regarded the
independence of the judges as of far greater importance than any revenue that could
come from taxing their salaries. (American law Reports, annotated, Vol. 11, pp. 52225; Evans vs. Gore, supra.)
In September 1, 1919, Samuel J. Graham assumed office as judge of the Unites States court of
claims. His salary was taxed by virtue of the same time income tax of February 24, 1919. At the
time he qualified, a statute fixed his salary at P7,500. He filed action for reimbursement,
submitting the same theory on which Evans v. Gore had been decided. The Supreme Court of

the United States in 1925 reaffirmed that decision. It overruled the distinction offered by SolicitorGeneral Beck that Judge Graham took office after the income tax had been levied on judicial
salaries, (Evans qualified before), and that Congress had power "to impose taxes which should
apply to the salaries of Federal judges appointed after the enactment of the taxing statute." (The
law had made no distinction as to judges appointed before or after its passage)
Fourth period. 1939 Foiled in their previous attempts, the Revenue men persisted, and
succeeded in inserting in the United States Revenue Act of June, 1932 the modified proviso that
"gross income" on which taxes were payable included the compensation "of judges of courts of
the United States taking office after June 6, 1932". Joseph W. Woodrough qualified as United
States circuit judge on May 1, 1933. His salary as judge was taxed, and before the Supreme
Court of the United States the issue of decrease of remuneration again came up. That court,
however, ruled against him, declaring (in 1939) that Congress had the power to adopt the law. It
said:
The question immediately before us is whether Congress exceeded its constitutional
power in providing that United States judges appointed after the Revenue Act of 1932
shall not enjoy immunity from the incidence of taxation to which everyone else within
the defined classes of income is subjected. Thereby, of course, Congress has
committed itself to the position that a non-discriminatory tax laid generally on net
income is not, when applied to the income of federal judge, a diminution of his salary
within the prohibition of Article 3, Sec. 1 of the Constitution. To suggest that it makes
inroads upon the independence of judges who took office after the Congress has thus
charged them with the common duties of citizenship, by making them bear their
aliquot share of the cost of maintaining the Government, is to trivialize the great
historic experience on which the framers based the safeguards of Article 3, Sec. 1. To
subject them to a general tax is merely to recognize that judges also are citizens, and
that their particular function in government does not generate an immunity from
sharing with their fellow citizens the material burden of the government whose
Constitution and laws they are charged with administering. (O'Malley vs. Woodrough,
59 S. Ct. 838, A. L. R. 1379.)
Now, the case for the defendant-appellant Collector of Internal Revenue is premised mainly on
this decision (Note A). He claims it holds "that federal judges are subject to the payment of
income taxes without violating the constitutional prohibition against the reduction of their salaries
during their continuance in office", and that it "is a complete repudiation of the ratio
decidenci of Evans vs. Gore". To grasp the full import of the O'Malley precedent, we should bear
in mind that:
1. It does not entirely overturn Miles vs. Graham. "To the extent that what the Court now says is
inconsistent with what said in Miles vs. Graham, the latter can not survive", Justice Frankfurter
announced.
2. It does not expressly touch nor amend the doctrine in Evans vs, Gore, although it indicates
that the Congressional Act in dispute avoided in part the consequences of that case.
Carefully analyzing the three cases (Evans, Miles and O'Malley) and piecing them together, the
logical conclusion may be reached that although Congress may validly declare by law that
salaries of judges appointed thereaftershall be taxed as income (O'Malley vs. Woodrough) it
may not tax the salaries of those judges already in office at the time of such declaration because
such taxation would diminish their salaries (Evans vs. Gore; Miles vs. Graham). In this manner
the rationalizing principle that will harmonize the allegedly discordant decision may be
condensed.
By the way, Justice Frankfurter, writing the O'Malley decision, says the Evans precedent met
with disfavor from legal scholarship opinion. Examining the issues of Harvard Law review at the
time of Evans vs. Gore (Frankfurter is a Harvard graduate and professor), we found that such
school publication criticized it. Believing this to be the "inarticulate consideration that may have
influenced the grounds on which the case went off"4, we looked into the criticism, and discovered
that it was predicated on the position that the 16th Amendment empowered Congress "to collect
taxes on incomes from whatever source derived" admitting of no exception. Said the Harvard
Law Journal:
In the recent case of Evans vs. Gore the Supreme Court of the United States decided
that by taxing the salary of a federal judge as a part of his income, Congress was in
effect reducing his salary and thus violating Art. III, sec. 1, of the Constitution.

Admitting for the present purpose that such a tax really is a reduction of salary, even
so it would seem that the words of the amendment giving power to tax 'incomes, from
whatever source derived', are sufficiently strong to overrule pro tanto the provisions of
Art. III, sec. 1. But, two years ago, the court had already suggested that the
amendment in no way extended the subjects open to federal taxation. The decision in
Evans vs. Gore affirms that view, and virtually strikes from the amendment the words
"from whatever source derived". (Harvard law Review, vol. 34, p. 70)
The Unites States Court's shift of position5 might be attributed to the above detraction which,
without appearing on the surface, led to Frankfurter's sweeping expression about judges being
also citizens liable to income tax. But it must be remembered that undisclosed factor the 16th
Amendment has no counterpart in the Philippine legal system. Our Constitution does not
repeat it. Wherefore, as the underlying influence and the unuttered reason has no validity in this
jurisdiction, the broad generality loses much of its force.
Anyhow the O'Malley case declares no more than that Congress may validly enact a law taxing
the salaries of judges appointed after its passage. Here in the Philippines no such law has been
approved.
Besides, it is markworthy that, as Judge Woodrough had qualified after the express legislative
declaration taxing salaries, he could not very well complain. The United States Supreme Court
probably had in mind what in other cases was maintained, namely, that the tax levied on the
salary in effect decreased the emoluments of the office and therefore the judge qualified with
such reduced emoluments.6
The O'Malley ruling does not cover the situation in which judges already in office are made to
pay tax by executive interpretation, without express legislative declaration. That state of affairs is
controlled by the administrative and judicial standards herein-before described in the "second
period" of the Federal Government, namely, the views of Chief Justice Taney and of AttorneyGeneral Hoar and the constant practice from 1869 to 1938, i.e., when the Income Tax Law
merely taxes "income" in general, it does not include salaries of judges protected from
diminution.
In this connection the respondent would make capital of the circumstance that the Act of 1932,
upheld in the O'Malley case, has subsequently been amended by making it applicable even to
judges who took office before1932. This shows, the appellant argues, that Congress interprets
the O'Malley ruling to permit legislative taxation of the salary of judges whether appointed before
the tax or after. The answer to this is that the Federal Supreme Court expressly withheld opinion
on that amendment in the O'Malley case. Which is significant. Anyway, and again, there is here
no congressional directive taxing judges' salaries.
Wherefore, unless and until our Legislature approves an amendment to the Income Tax Law
expressly taxing "that salaries of judges thereafter appointed", the O'Malley case is not relevant.
As in the United States during the second period, we must hold that salaries of judges are not
included in the word "income" taxed by the Income Tax Law. Two paramount circumstances may
additionally be indicated, to wit: First, when the Income Tax Law was first applied to the
Philippines 1913, taxable "income" did not include salaries of judicial officers when these are
protected from diminution. That was the prevailing official belief in the United States, which must
be deemed to have been transplanted here;7 and second, when the Philippine Constitutional
Convention approved (in 1935) the prohibition against diminution off the judges' compensation,
the Federal principle was known that income tax on judicial salaries really impairs them. Evans
vs. Gore and Miles vs. Graham were then outstanding doctrines; and the inference is not
illogical that in restraining the impairment of judicial compensation the Fathers of the
Constitution intended to preclude taxation of the same.8
It seems that prior to the O'Malley decision the Philippine Government did not collect income tax
on salaries of judges. This may be gleaned from General Circular No. 449 of the Department of
Finance dated March 4, 1940, which says in part:
xxx
xxx
xxx
The question of whether or not the salaries of judges should be taken into account in
computing additional residence taxes is closely linked with the liability of judges to
income tax on their salaries, in fact, whatever resolution is adopted with respect to
either of said taxes be followed with respect to the other. The opinion of the Supreme
Court of the United States in the case of O'Malley v. Woodrough, 59 S. Ct. 838, to
which the attention of this department has been drawn, appears to have enunciated a

new doctrine regarding the liability of judges to income tax upon their salaries. In view
of the fact that the question is of great significance, the matter was taken up in the
Council of State, and the Honorable, the Secretary of Justice was requested to give
an opinion on whether or not, having in mind the said decision of the Supreme Court
of the United States in the case of O'Malley v. Woodrough, there is justification in
reversing our present ruling to the effect that judges are not liable to tax on their
salaries. After going over the opinion of the court in the said case, the Honorable, the
Secretary of Justice, stated that although the ruling of the Supreme Court of the
United States is not binding in the Philippines, the doctrine therein enunciated has
resolved the issue of the taxability of judges' salaries into a question of policy.
Forthwith, His Excellency the President decided that the best policy to adopt would be
to collect income and additional residence taxes from the President of the Philippines,
the members of the Judiciary, and the Auditor General, and the undersigned was
authorized to act accordingly.
In view of the foregoing, income and additional residence taxes should be levied on
the salaries received by the President of the Philippines, members of the Judiciary,
and the Auditor General during the calendar year 1939 and thereafter. . . . . (Emphasis
ours.)
Of course, the Secretary of Justice correctly opined that the O'Malley decision "resolved the
issue of taxability of judges' salaries into a question of policy." But that policy must be
enunciated by Congressional enactment, as was done in the O'Malley case, not by Executive
Fiat or interpretation.
This is not proclaiming a general tax immunity for men on the bench. These pay taxes. Upon
buying gasoline, or other commodities, they pay the corresponding duties. Owning real property,
they pay taxes thereon. And on incomes other than their judicial salary, assessments are levied.
It is only when the tax is charged directly on their salary and the effect of the tax is to diminish
their official stipend that the taxation must be resisted as an infringement of the fundamental
charter.
Judges would indeed be hapless guardians of the Constitution if they did not perceive and block
encroachments upon their prerogatives in whatever form. The undiminishable character of
judicial salaries is not a mere privilege of judges personal and therefore waivable but a
basic limitation upon legislative or executive action imposed in the public interest. (Evans vs.
Gore)
Indeed the exemption of the judicial salary from reduction by taxation is not really a gratuity or
privilege. Let the highest court of Maryland speak:
The exemption of the judicial compensation from reduction is not in any true sense a
gratuity, privilege or exemption. It is essentially and primarily compensation based
upon valuable consideration. The covenant on the part of the government is a
guaranty whose fulfillment is as much as part of the consideration agreed as is the
money salary. The undertaking has its own particular value to the citizens in securing
the independence of the judiciary in crises; and in the establishment of the
compensation upon a permanent foundation whereby judicial preferment may be
prudently accepted by those who are qualified by talent, knowledge, integrity and
capacity, but are not possessed of such a private fortune as to make an assured
salary an object of personal concern. On the other hand, the members of the judiciary
relinquish their position at the bar, with all its professional emoluments, sever their
connection with their clients, and dedicate themselves exclusively to the discharge of
the onerous duties of their high office. So, it is irrefutable that they guaranty against a
reduction of salary by the imposition of a tax is not an exemption from taxation in the
sense of freedom from a burden or service to which others are liable. The exemption
for a public purpose or a valid consideration is merely a nominal exemption, since the
valid and full consideration or the public purpose promoted is received in the place of
the tax. Theory and Practice of Taxation (1900), D. A. Wells, p. 541. (Gordy vs. Dennis
(Md.) 1939, 5 Atl. Rep. 2d Series, p. 80)
It is hard to see, appellants asserts, how the imposition of the income tax may imperil the
independence of the judicial department. The danger may be demonstrated. Suppose there is
power to tax the salary of judges, and the judiciary incurs the displeasure of the Legislature and
the Executive. In retaliation the income tax law is amended so as to levy a 30 per cent on all

salaries of government officials on the level of judges. This naturally reduces the salary of the
judges by 30 per cent, but they may not grumble because the tax is general on all receiving the
same amount of earning, and affects the Executive and the Legislative branches in equal
measure. However, means are provided thereafter in other laws, for the increase of salaries of
the Executive and the Legislative branches, or their perquisites such as allowances, per diems,
quarters, etc. that actually compensate for the 30 per cent reduction on their salaries. Result:
Judges compensation is thereby diminished during their incumbency thanks to the income tax
law. Consequence: Judges must "toe the line" or else. Second consequence: Some few judges
might falter; the great majority will not. But knowing the frailty of human nature, and this chink in
the judicial armor, will the parties losing their cases against the Executive or the Congress
believe that the judicature has not yielded to their pressure?
Respondent asserts in argumentation that by executive order the President has subjected his
salary to the income tax law. In our opinion this shows obviously that, without such voluntary act
of the President, his salary would not be taxable, because of constitutional protection against
diminution. To argue from this executive gesture that the judiciary could, and should act in like
manner is to assume that, in the matter of compensation and power and need of security, the
judiciary is on a par with the Executive. Such assumption certainly ignores the prevailing state of
affairs.
The judgment will be affirmed. So ordered.
Moran, C.J., Pablo, Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes and Torres, JJ., concur.
Separate Opinions
OZAETA., J., dissenting:
It is indeed embarrassing that this case was initiated by a member of this Court upon which
devolves the duty to decide it finally. The question of whether the salaries of the judges, the
members of the Commission on Elections, the Auditor General, and the President of the
Philippines are immune from taxation, might have been raised by any interested party other than
a justice of the Supreme Court with less embarrassment to the latter.
The question is simple and not difficult of solution. We shall state our opinion as concisely as
possible.
The first income tax law of the Philippines was Act No. 2833, which was approved on March 7,
1919, to take effect on January 1, 1920. Section 1 (a) of said Act provided:
There shall be levied, assessed, collected, and paid annually upon the entire net
income received in the preceding calendar year from all sources by every individual, a
citizen or resident of the Philippine Islands, a tax of two per centum upon such
income. . . . (Emphasis ours.)
Section 2 (a) of said Act provided:
Subject only to such exemptions and deductions as are hereinafter allowed, the
taxable net income of a person shall include gains, profits, and income derived from
salaries, wages or compensation for personal service of whatever kind and is
whatever form paid, or from professions, vocations, businesses, trade, commerce,
sales, or dealings in property, whether real or personal, growing out of the ownership
or use of or interest in real or personal property, also from interest, rent, dividends,
securities, or the transaction of any business carried on for gain or profit, or gains,
profits, and income derived from any source whatever.
That income tax law has been amended several times, specially as to the rates of the tax, but
the above-quoted provisions (except as to the rate) have been preserved intact in the
subsequent Acts. The present income tax law is Title II of the National Internal Revenue Code,
Commonwealth Act No. 466, sections 21, 28 and 29 of which incorporate the texts of the abovequoted provisions of the original Act in exactly the same language. There can be no dispute
whatsoever that judges (who are individuals) and their salaries (which are income) are as clearly
comprehended within the above-quoted provisions of the law as if they were specifically
mentioned therein; and in fact all judges had been and were paying income tax on their salaries
when the Constitution of the Philippines was discussed and approved by the Constitutional
Convention and when it was submitted to the people for confirmation in the plebiscite of May 14,
1935.

Now, the Constitution provides that the members of the Supreme Court and all judges of inferior
courts "shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished
during their continuance in office." (Section 9, Article VIII, emphasis ours.)a
The simple question is: In approving the provisions against the diminution of the compensation
of judges and other specified officers during their continuance in office, did the framers of the
Constitution intend to nullify the then existing income tax law insofar as it imposed a tax on the
salaries of said officers ? If they did not, then the income tax law, which has been incorporated in
the present National Internal Revenue Code, remains in force in its entirety and said officers
cannot claim exemption therefrom on their salaries.
Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution provides that all laws of the Philippine Islands shall
remain operative, unless inconsistent with this Constitution, until amended, altered, modified. or
repealed by the Congress of the Philippines.
In resolving the question at bar, we must take into consideration the following well-settled rules:
"A constitution shall be held to be prepared and adopted in reference to existing
statutory laws, upon the provisions of which in detail it must depend to be set in
practical operation" (People vs. Potter, 47 N. Y. 375; People vs. Draper, 15 N. Y. 537;
Cass vs. Dillon, 2 Ohio St. 607; People vs. N. Y., 25 Wend. (N. Y. 22). (Barry vs.
Traux, 3 A. & E. Ann. Cas 191, 193.).
Courts are bound to presume that the people adopting a constitution are familiar with
the previous and existing laws upon the subjects to which its provisions relate, and
upon which they express their judgment and opinion in its adoption (Baltimore vs.
State, 15 Md. 376, 480; 74 Am. Dec. 572; State vs. Mace, 5 Md. 337; Bandel vs.
Isaac, 13 Md. 202; Manly vs. State, 7 Md. 135; Hamilton vs. St. Louis County Ct., 15
Mo. 5; People vs. Gies, 25 Mich. 83; Servis vs. Beatty, 32 Miss. 52; Pope vs. Phifer, 3
Heisk. (Tenn.) 686; People vs. Harding, 53 Mich. 48, 51 Am. Rep. 95; Creve Coeur
Lake Ice Co. vs. Tamm, 138 Mo. 385, 39 S. W. Rep. 791). (Idem.)
A constitutional provision must be presumed to have been framed and adopted in the
light and understanding of prior and existing laws and with reference to them.
Constitutions, like statutes, are properly to be expounded in the light of conditions
existing at the time of their adoption, the general spirit of the times, and the prevailing
sentiments among the people. Reference may be made to the historical facts relating
to the original or political institutions of the community or to prior well-known practices
and usages. (11 Am. Ju., Constitutional Law, 676-678.)
The salaries provided in the Constitution for the Chief Justice and each associate Justice,
respectively, of the Supreme Court were the same salaries ]which they were receiving at the
time the Constitution was framed and adopted and on which they were paying income tax under
the existing income tax law. It seems clear to us that for them to receive the same salaries,
subject to the same tax, after the adoption of the Constitution as before does not involve any
diminution at all. The fact that the plaintiff was not a member of the Court when the Constitution
took effect, makes no difference. The salaries of justices and judges were subject to income tax
when he was appointed in the early part of 1945. In fact he must have declared and paid income
tax on his salary for 19454 he claimed exemption only beginning 1946. It seems likewise
clear that when the framers of the Constitution fixed those salaries, they must have taken into
consideration that the recipients were paying income tax thereon. There was no necessity to
provide expressly that said salaries shall be subject to income tax because they knew that
already so provided. On the other hand, if exemption from any tax on said salaries had been
intended, it would have been specifically to so provide, instead of merely saying that the
compensation as fixed "shall not be diminished during their continuance in office."
In the light of the antecedents, the prohibition against diminution cannot be interpreted to include
or refer to general taxation but to a law by which said salaries may be fixed. The sentence in
question reads: "They shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall not
be diminished during their continuance in office." The next sentence reads: "Until the Congress
shall provide otherwise, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall receive an annual
compensation of P16,000, and each associate Justice, P15,000." It is plain that the Constitution
authorizes the Congress to pass a law fixing another rate of compensation, but that such rate
must be higher than that which the justices receive at he time of its enactment or, if lower, it must
not affect those justice already in office. In other words, Congress may approve a law increasing

the salaries of the justices at any time, but it cannot approve a law decreasing their salaries
unless such law is made effective only as to justices appointed after its approval.
It would be a strained and unreasonable construction of the prohibition against diminution to
read into it an exemption from taxation. There is no justification for the belief or assumption that
the framers of the Constitution intended to exempt the salaries of said officers from taxes. They
knew that it was and is the unavoidable duty of every citizen to bear his aliquot share of the cost
of maintaining the Government; that taxes are the very blood that sustains the life of the
Government. To make all citizens share the burden of taxation equitably, the Constitution
expressly provides that "the rule of taxation shall be uniform." (Section 22 [1], Article VI.) We
think it would be a contravention of this provision to read into the prohibition against diminution
of the salaries of the judges and other specified officers an exemption from taxes on their
salaries. How could the rule of income taxation be uniform if it should not be applied to a group
of citizens in the same situation as other income earners ? It is to us inconceivable that the
framers ever intended to relieve certain officers of the Government from sharing with their
fellows citizens the material burden of the Government to exempt their salaries from taxes.
Moreover, the Constitution itself specifies what properties are exempt from taxes, namely:
"Cemeteries, churches, and parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto, and all lands,
buildings, and improvements used exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes."
(Sec. 22 [3], Article VI.) The omission of the salaries in question from this enumeration is in itself
an eloquent manifestation of intention to continue the imposition of taxes thereon as provided in
the existing law. Inclusio est exclusio alterius.
We have thus far read and construed the pertinent portions of our own Constitution and income
tax law in the light of the antecedent circumstances and of the operative factors which prevailed
at the time our Constitution was framed, independently of the construction now prevailing in the
United States of similar provisions of the federal Constitution in relation to the present federal
income tax law, under which the justices of the Supreme Court, and the federal judges are now,
and since the case of O'Malley vs. Woodrough was decided on May 22, 1939, have been,
paying income tax on their salaries. Were this a majority opinion, we could end here with the
consequent reversal of the judgment appealed from. But ours is a voice in the wilderness, and
we may permit ourselves to utter it with more vehemence and emphasis so that future players
on this stage perchance may hear and heed it. Who knows? The Gospel itself was a voice in the
wilderness at the time it was uttered.
We have to comment on Anglo-American precedents since the majority decision from which we
dissent is based on some of them. Indeed, the majority say they "hardly do nothing more than to
borrow therefrom and to compare their conclusions to local conditions." which we shall presently
show did not obtain in the United States at the time the federal and state Constitutions were
adopted. We shall further show that in any event what they now borrow is not usable because it
has long been withdrawn from circulation.
When the American Constitution was framed and adopted, there was no income tax law in the
United States. To this circumstance may be attributed the claim made by some federal judges
headed by Chief Justice Taney, when under the Act of Congress of July 1, 1862, their salaries
were subjected to an income tax, that such tax was a diminution of their salaries and therefore
prohibited by the Constitution. Chief Justice Taney's claim and his protest against the tax were
not heeded, but no federal judge deemed it proper to sue the Collector of Internal Revenue to
recover the taxes they continued to pay under protest for several years. In 1869, the Secretary
of the Treasury referred the question to Atty. General Hoar, and that officer rendered an opinion
in substantial accord with Chief Justice Taney's protest, and also advised that the tax on the
President's compensation was likewise invalid. No judicial pronouncement, however, was made
of such invalidity until June 1, 1920, when the case ofEvans vs. Gore (253 U.S. 245, 64 L. ed.
887) was decided upon the constitutionality of section 213 of the Act of February 24, 1919,
which required the computation of incomes for the purpose of taxation to embrace all gains,
profits, income and the like, "including in the case of the President of the United States, the
judges of the Supreme and inferior courts of the United States, [and others] . . . the
compensation received as such." The Supreme Court of the United States, speaking through Mr.
Justice Van Devanter, sustained the suit with the dissent of Justice Holmes and Brandeis. The
doctrine of Evans vs. Gore holding in effect that an income tax on a judge's salary is a
diminution thereof prohibited by the Constitution, was reaffirmed in 1925 in Miles vs. Graham, 69
L. ed 1067.

In 1939, however, the case of O'Malley vs. Woodrough (59 S. Ct. 838, 122 A. L. R. 1379) was
brought up to the test the validity of section 22 of the Revenue Act of June 6, 1932, which
included in the "gross income," on the basis of which taxes were to be paid, the compensation of
"judges of courts of the United States taking office after June 6, 1932." And in that case the
Supreme Court of the United States, with only one dissent (that of Justice Butler), abandoned
the doctrine of Evans vs. Gore and Miles vs. Graham by holding:
To subject them [the judges] to a general tax is merely to recognize that judges are
also citizens, and that their particular function in government does not generate an
immunity from sharing with their fellow citizens the material burden of the government
whose Constitution and laws they are charged with administering.
The decision also says:
To suggest that it [the law in question] makes inroads upon the independence of
judges who took office after Congress had thus charged them with the common duties
of citizenship, by making them bear their aliquot share of the cost of maintaining the
Government, is to trivialize the great historic experience on which the framers based
the safeguard of Article 3, section 1.
Commenting on the above-quoted portions of the latest decision of the Supreme Court of the
United States on the subject, Prof. William Bennett, Munro, in hisBOOK , The Government of
the United States, which is used as a text in various universities, says: ". . .
All of which seems to be common sense, for surely the framers of the Constitution
from ever cutting a judge's salary, did not intend to relieve all federal judges from the
general obligations of citizenship. As for the President, he has never raised the issue;
every occupant of the White House since 1913 has paid his income tax without
protest. (Pages 371-372.)
We emphasize that the doctrine of Evans vs. Gore and Miles vs. Graham is no longer operative,
and that all United States judges, including those who took office before June 6, 1932, are
subject to and pay income tax on their salaries; for after the submission of O'Malley vs.
Woodrough for decision the Congress of the United States, by section 3 of the Public Salary Act
of 1939, amended section 22 (a) of the Revenue Act of June 6, 1932, so as to make it applicable
to "judges of courts of the United States who took office on or before June 6, 1932." And the
validity of that Act, in force for more than a decade, has not been challenged.
Our colleagues import and transplant here the dead limbs of Evans vs. Gore and Miles vs.
Graham and attempt to revive and nurture them with painstaking analyses and diagnoses that
they had not suffered a fatal blow fromO'Malley vs. Woodrough. We refuse to join this heroic
attempt because we believe it is futile.
They disregard the actual damage and minimize it by trying to discover the process by which it
was inflicted and he motivations that led to the infliction. They say that the chief axe-wielder,
Justice Frankfurter, was a Harvard graduate and professor and that the Harvard Law Journal
had criticized Evans vs. Gore; that the dissenters in said case (Holmes and Brandeis) were
Harvard men like Frankfurter; and that they believe this to be the "inarticulate consideration that
may have influenced the grounds on which the case [O'Malley vs. Woodrough] went off." This
argument is not valid, in our humble belief. It was not only the Harvard Law Journal that had
criticized Evans vs. Gore. Justice Frankfurter and his colleagues said that the decision in that
case "met with wide and steadily growing disfavor from legal scholarship and professional
opinion," and they cited the following: Clark,Furthermore Limitations Upon Federal Income
Taxation, 30 Yale L. J. 75; Corwin, Constitutional Law in 1919-1920, 15 Am. Pol. Sci. Rev. 635,
641-644; Fellman, Diminution of Judicial Salaries, 24 Iowa L. Rev. 89; Lowndes,Taxing Income
of Federal Judiciary, 19 Va. L. Rev. 153; Powell, Constitutional Law in 1919-1920, 19 Mich. L.
Rev. 117, 118; Powell, The Sixteenth Amendment and Income from State Securities, National
Income Tax Magazine (July, 1923), 5, 6; 20 Columbia L. Rev. 794; 43 Harvard L. Rev. 318; 20 Ill.
L. Rev. 376; 45 Law Quarterly Rev. 291; 7 Va. L. Rev. 69; 3 University of Chicago L. Rev. 141.
Justice Frankfurter and his colleagues also said that "Evans vs. Gore itself was rejected by most
of the courts before whom the matter came after that decision." Is not the intention to throw
Evans vs. Gore into the graveyard of abandoned cases manifest from all this and from the
holding that judges are also citizens, liable to income tax on their salaries?
The majority say that "unless and until our legislature approves an amendment to the income tax
law expressly taxing 'the salaries of judges thereafter appointed,' the O'Malley case is not
relevant." We have shown that our income tax law taxes the salaries of judges as clearly as if

they are specifically mentioned therein, and that said law took effect long before the adoption of
the Constitution and long before the plaintiff was appointed.
We agree that the purpose of the constitutional provision against diminution of the salaries of
judges during their continuance in office is to safeguard the independence of the Judicial
Department. But we disagree that to subject the salaries of judges to a general income tax law
applicable to all income earners would in any way affect their independence. Our own
experience since the income tax law went effect in 1920 is the best refutation of such
assumption.
The majority give an example by which the independence of judges may be imperiled thru the
imposition of a tax on their salaries. They say: Suppose there is power to tax the salaries of
judges and the judiciary incurs the displeasure of the Legislature and the Executive. In retaliation
the income tax law is amended so as to levy a 30 per cent tax on all salaries of government
officials on the level of judges, and by means of another law the salaries of the executive and the
legislative branches are increased to compensate for the 30 per cent reduction of their salaries.
To this we reply that if such a vindictive measure is ever RESORTED to (which we cannot
imagine), we shall be the first ones to vote to strike it down as a palpable violation of the
Constitution. There is no parity between such hypothetical law and the general income tax law
invoked by the defendant in this case. We believe that an income tax law applicable only against
the salaries of judges and not against those or all other income earners may be successfully
assailed as being in contravention not only of the provision against diminution of the salaries of
judges but also of the uniformity of the rule of taxation as well as of the equal protection clause
of the Constitution. So the danger apprehended by the majority is not real but surely imaginary.
We vote for the reversal of the judgment appealed from the dismissal of plaintiff's complaint.
Paras J., concurs.
Footnotes
Evans vs. Gore, 253 U. S. 245 and Gordy v. Dennis, 5 Atl. (2d) 69, hold identical
view.
1
Evans vs. Gore, 253 U. S. 254, 64 L. ed. 887.
2
157 U. S. 701, Evans vs. Gore, supra.
3
See Evans vs. Gore, supra.
*

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-6355-56
August 31, 1953
PASTOR M. ENDENCIA and FERNANDO JUGO, plaintiffs-appellees,
vs.
SATURNINO DAVID, as Collector of Internal Revenue, defendant-appellant.
Office of the Solicitor General Juan R. Liwag and Solicitor Jose P. Alejandro for appellant.
Manuel O. Chan for appellees.
MONTEMAYOR, J.:
This is a joint appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila declaring section
13 of Republic Act No. 590 unconstitutional, and ordering the appellant Saturnino David as
Collector of Internal Revenue to re-fund to Justice Pastor M. Endencia the sum of P1,744.45,
representing the income tax collected on his salary as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals
in 1951, and to Justice Fernando Jugo the amount of P2,345.46, representing the income tax
collected on his salary from January 1,1950 to October 19, 1950, as Presiding Justice of the
Court of Appeals, and from October 20, 1950 to December 31,1950, as Associate Justice of the
Supreme Court, without special pronouncement as to costs.
Because of the similarity of the two cases, involving as they do the same question of law, they
were jointly submitted for determination in the lower court. Judge Higinio B. Macadaeg presiding,
in a rather exhaustive and well considered decision found and held that under the doctrine laid
down by this Court in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, 85 Phil., 552, the collection of income taxes
from the salaries of Justice Jugo and Justice Endencia was a diminution of their compensation

Evans vs. Gore, supra.


(Note A) The defendant also relies on the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice
Holmes in Evans vs. Gore, supra, forgetting that subsequently Justice
Holmes did not dissent in Miles vs. Graham, and apparently accepted
Evans vs. Gore as authority in writing his opinion in Gillespie vs. Oklahoma,
257 U. S. 501, 66 Law ed. 338. This remark applies to Taylor vs. Gehner
(1931), No. 45 S. W. (2d) 59, which merely echoes Holmes dissent.
State vs. Nygaard, 159, Wisc. 396 and the decision of English courts
invoked by appellant, are refuted or distinguished in Gordy vs. Dennis, 5 Alt.
(2d) 68, known to him since he invokes the minority opinion therein.
4
Frankfurter, The Administrative Side of Chief Justice Hughes, Harvard Law Review,
November, 1949.
5
It was a coincidence that the dissenters (Holmes and Brandeis) were Harvard men
like Frankfurter. It is not unlikely that the Harvard professor and admirer of Justice
Holmes (whose biography he wrote in 1938) noted and unconsciously absorbed the
dissent.
6
Baker vs. C.I.R. 149 Fed. (2d) 342.
7
It requires a very clear case to justify changing the construction of a constitutional
provision which has been acquiesced in for so long a period as fifty years. (States vs.
Frear, 138 Wisc. 536, 120 N. W. 216. See also Hill vs. Tohill, 225 Ill. 384, 80 NE, 253.
8
On persuasive weight of contemporary construction of constitutional provision, see
generally Cooley, Constitutional Limitation 98th Ed.) Vol. I pp. 144 et seq.
a
The Constitution also provides that the President shall "receive a compensation to be
ascertained by law which shall be neither increased nor diminished during the period
for which he shall have been elected" (section 9, Article VII); that the Auditor General
"shall receive an annual compensation to be fixed by law which shall not be
diminished during his continuance in office" (section 1, Article XI); and that the salaries
of the chairman and the members of the Commission on Elections "shall be neither
increased nor diminished during their term of office" (section 1, Article X).
*

and therefore was in violation of the Constitution of the Philippines, and so ordered the refund of
said taxes.
We see no profit and necessity in again discussing and considering the proposition and the
arguments pro and cons involved in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, supra, which are raised,
brought up and presented here. In that case, we have held despite the ruling enunciated by the
United States Federal Supreme Court in the case of O 'Malley vs. Woodrought 307 U. S., 277,
that taxing the salary of a judicial officer in the Philippines is a diminution of such salary and so
violates the Constitution. We shall now confine our-selves to a discussion and determination of
the remaining question of whether or not Republic Act No. 590, particularly section 13, can
justify and legalize the collection of income tax on the salary of judicial officers.
According to the brief of the Solicitor General on behalf of appellant Collector of Internal
Revenue, our decision in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, supra, was not received favorably by
Congress, because immediately after its promulgation, Congress enacted Republic Act No. 590.
To bring home his point, the Solicitor General reproduced what he considers the pertinent
discussion in the Lower House of House Bill No. 1127 which became Republic Act No. 590.
For purposes of reference, we are reproducing section 9, Article VIII of our Constitution:.
SEC. 9. The members of the Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts shall hold
office during good behavior, until they reach the age of seventy years, or become
incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. They shall receive such
compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their
continuance in office. Until the Congress shall provide otherwise, the Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court shall receive an annual compensation of sixteen thousand pesos,
and each Associate Justice, fifteen thousand pesos.
As already stated construing and applying the above constitutional provision, we held in the
Perfecto case that judicial officers are exempt from the payment of income tax on their salaries,
because the collection thereof by the Government was a decrease or diminution of their salaries

during their continuance in office, a thing which is expressly prohibited by the Constitution.
Thereafter, according to the Solicitor General, because Congress did not favorably receive the
decision in the Perfecto case, Congress promulgated Republic Act No. 590, if not to counteract
the ruling in that decision, at least now to authorize and legalize the collection of income tax on
the salaries of judicial officers. We quote section 13 of Republic Act No. 590:
SEC 13. No salary wherever received by any public officer of the Republic of the
Philippines shall be considered as exempt from the income tax, payment of which is
hereby declared not to be dimunition of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or
by law.
So we have this situation. The Supreme Court in a decision interpreting the Constitution,
particularly section 9, Article VIII, has held that judicial officers are exempt from payment of
income tax on their salaries, because the collection thereof was a diminution of such salaries,
specifically prohibited by the Constitution. Now comes the Legislature and in section 13,
Republic Act No. 590, says that "no salary wherever received by any public officer of the
Republic (naturally including a judicial officer) shall be considered as exempt from the income
tax," and proceeds to declare that payment of said income tax is not a diminution of his
compensation. Can the Legislature validly do this? May the Legislature lawfully declare the
collection of income tax on the salary of a public official, specially a judicial officer, not a
decrease of his salary, after the Supreme Court has found and decided otherwise? To determine
this question, we shall have to go back to the fundamental principles regarding separation of
powers.
Under our system of constitutional government, the Legislative department is assigned the
power to make and enact laws. The Executive department is charged with the execution of
carrying out of the provisions of said laws. But the interpretation and application of said laws
belong exclusively to the Judicial department. And this authority to interpret and apply the laws
extends to the Constitution. Before the courts can determine whether a law is constitutional or
not, it will have to interpret and ascertain the meaning not only of said law, but also of the
pertinent portion of the Constitution in order to decide whether there is a conflict between the
two, because if there is, then the law will have to give way and has to be declared invalid and
unconstitutional.
Defining and interpreting the law is a judicial function and the legislative branch may
not limit or restrict the power granted to the courts by the Constitution. (Bandy vs.
Mickelson et al., 44N. W., 2nd 341, 342.)
When it is clear that a statute transgresses the authority vested in the legislature by
the Constitution, it is the duty of the courts to declare the act unconstitutional because
they cannot shrink from it without violating their oaths of office. This duty of the courts
to maintain the Constitution as the fundamental law of the state is imperative and
unceasing; and, as Chief Justice Marshall said, whenever a statute is in violation of
the fundamental law, the courts must so adjudge and thereby give effect to the
Constitution. Any other course would lead to the destruction of the Constitution. Since
the question as to the constitutionality of a statute is a judicial matter, the courts will
not decline the exercise of jurisdiction upon the suggestion that action might be taken
by political agencies in disregard of the judgment of the judicial tribunals. (11 Am. Jur.,
714-715.)
Under the American system of constitutional government, among the most important
functions in trusted to the judiciary are the interpreting of Constitutions and, as a
closely connected power, the determination of whether laws and acts of the legislature
are or are not contrary to the provisions of the Federal and State Constitutions. (11
Am. Jur., 905.).
By legislative fiat as enunciated in section 13, Republic Act NO. 590, Congress says that taxing
the salary of a judicial officer is not a decrease of compensation. This is a clear example of
interpretation or ascertainment of the meaning of the phrase "which shall not be diminished
during their continuance in office," found in section 9, Article VIII of the Constitution, referring to
the salaries of judicial officers. This act of interpreting the Constitution or any part thereof by the
Legislature is an invasion of the well-defined and established province and jurisdiction of the
Judiciary.
The rule is recognized elsewhere that the legislature cannot pass any declaratory act,
or act declaratory of what the law was before its passage, so as to give it any binding

weight with the courts. A legislative definition of a word as used in a statute is not
conclusive of its meaning as used elsewhere; otherwise, the legislature would be
usurping a judicial function in defining a term. (11 Am. Jur., 914, emphasis supplied)
The legislature cannot, upon passing a law which violates a constitutional provision,
validate it so as to prevent an attack thereon in the courts, by a declaration that it shall
be so construed as not to violate the constitutional inhibition. (11 Am. Jur., 919,
emphasis supplied)
We have already said that the Legislature under our form of government is assigned the task
and the power to make and enact laws, but not to interpret them. This is more true with regard to
the interpretation of the basic law, the Constitution, which is not within the sphere of the
Legislative department. If the Legislature may declare what a law means, or what a specific
portion of the Constitution means, especially after the courts have in actual case ascertain its
meaning by interpretation and applied it in a decision, this would surely cause confusion and
instability in judicial processes and court decisions. Under such a system, a final court
determination of a case based on a judicial interpretation of the law of the Constitution may be
undermined or even annulled by a subsequent and different interpretation of the law or of the
Constitution by the Legislative department. That would be neither wise nor desirable, besides
being clearly violative of the fundamental, principles of our constitutional system of government,
particularly those governing the separation of powers.
So much for the constitutional aspect of the case. Considering the practical side thereof, we
believe that the collection of income tax on a salary is an actual and evident diminution thereof.
Under the old system where the in-come tax was paid at the end of the year or sometime
thereafter, the decrease may not be so apparent and clear. All that the official who had
previously received his full salary was called upon to do, was to fulfill his obligation and to
exercise his privilege of paying his income tax on his salary. His salary fixed by law was received
by him in the amount of said tax comes from his other sources of income, he may not fully
realize the fact that his salary had been decreased in the amount of said income tax. But under
the present system of withholding the income tax at the source, where the full amount of the
income tax corresponding to his salary is computed in advance and divided into equal portions
corresponding to the number of pay-days during the year and actually deducted from his salary
corresponding to each payday, said official actually does not receive his salary in full, because
the income tax is deducted therefrom every payday, that is to say, twice a month. Let us take the
case of Justice Endencia. As Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, his salary is fixed at
p12,000 a year, that is to say, he should receive P1,000 a month or P500 every payday,
fifteenth and end of month. In the present case, the amount collected by the Collector of Internal
Revenue on said salary is P1,744.45 for one year. Divided by twelve (months) we shall have
P145.37 a month. And further dividing it by two paydays will bring it down to P72.685, which is
the income tax deducted form the collected on his salary each half month. So, if Justice
Endencia's salary as a judicial officer were not exempt from payment of the income tax, instead
of receiving P500 every payday, he would be actually receiving P427.31 only, and instead of
receiving P12,000 a year, he would be receiving but P10,255.55. Is it not therefor clear that
every payday, his salary is actually decreased by P72.685 and every year is decreased by
P1,744.45?
Reading the discussion in the lower House in connection with House Bill No. 1127, which
became Republic Act No. 590, it would seem that one of the main reasons behind the enactment
of the law was the feeling among certain legislators that members of the Supreme Court should
not enjoy any exemption and that as citizens, out of patriotism and love for their country, they
should pay income tax on their salaries. It might be stated in this connection that the exemption
is not enjoyed by the members of the Supreme Court alone but also by all judicial officers
including Justices of the Court of Appeals and judges of inferior courts. The exemption also
extends to other constitutional officers, like the President of the Republic, the Auditor General,
the members of the Commission on Elections, and possibly members of the Board of Tax
Appeals, commissioners of the Public Service Commission, and judges of the Court of Industrial
Relations. Compares to the number of all these officials, that of the Supreme Court Justices is
relatively insignificant. There are more than 990 other judicial officers enjoying the exemption,
including 15 Justices of the Court of Appeals, about 107 Judges of First Instance, 38 Municipal
Judges and about 830 Justices of the Peace. The reason behind the exemption in the
Constitution, as interpreted by the United States Federal Supreme Court and this Court, is to

preserve the independence of the Judiciary, not only of this High Tribunal but of the other courts,
whose present membership number more than 990 judicial officials.
The exemption was not primarily intended to benefit judicial officers, but was grounded on public
policy. As said by Justice Van Devanter of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Evans
vs. Gore (253 U. S., 245):
The primary purpose of the prohibition against diminution was not to benefit the
judges, but, like the clause in respect of tenure, to attract good and competent men to
the bench and to promote that independence of action and judgment which is
essential to the maintenance of the guaranties, limitations and pervading principles of
the Constitution and to the administration of justice without respect to person and with
equal concern for the poor and the rich. Such being its purpose, it is to be construed,
not as a private grant, but as a limitation imposed in the public interest; in other words,
not restrictively, but in accord with its spirit and the principle on which it proceeds.
Having in mind the limited number of judicial officers in the Philippines enjoying this exemption,
especially when the great bulk thereof are justices of the peace, many of them receiving as low
as P200 a month, and considering further the other exemptions allowed by the income tax law,
such as P3,000 for a married person and P600 for each dependent, the amount of national
revenue to be derived from income tax on the salaries of judicial officers, were if not for the
constitutional exemption, could not be large or substantial. But even if it were otherwise, it
should not affect, much less outweigh the purpose and the considerations that prompted the
establishment of the constitutional exemption. In the same case of Evans vs. Gore, supra, the
Federal Supreme Court declared "that they (fathers of the Constitution) regarded the
independence of the judges as far as greater importance than any revenue that could come from
taxing their salaries.
When a judicial officer assumed office, he does not exactly ask for exemption from payment of
income tax on his salary, as a privilege . It is already attached to his office, provided and secured
by the fundamental law, not primarily for his benefit, but based on public interest, to secure and
preserve his independence of judicial thought and action. When we come to the members of the
Supreme Court, this excemption to them is relatively of short duration. Because of the limited
membership in this High Tribunal, eleven, and due to the high standards of experience, practice
and training required, one generally enters its portals and comes to join its membership quite
late in life, on the aver-age, around his sixtieth year, and being required to retire at seventy,
assuming that he does not die or become incapacitated earlier, naturally he is not in a position to
receive the benefit of exemption for long. It is rather to the justices of the peace that the
exemption can give more benefit. They are relatively more numerous, and because of the
meager salary they receive, they can less afford to pay the income tax on it and its diminution by
the amount of the income tax if paid would be real, substantial and onerous.
Considering exemption in the abstract, there is nothing unusual or abhorrent in it, as long as it is
based on public policy or public interest. While all other citizens are subject to arrest when
charged with the commission of a crime, members of the Senate and House of Representatives
except in cases of treason, felony and breach of the peace are exempt from arrest, during their
attendance in the session of the Legislature; and while all other citizens are generally liable for
any speech, remark or statement, oral or written, tending to cause the dishonor, discredit or
contempt of a natural or juridical person or to blacken the memory of one who is dead, Senators
and Congressmen in making such statements during their sessions are extended immunity and
exemption.
And as to tax exemption, there are not a few citizens who enjoy this exemption. Persons, natural
and juridical, are exempt from taxes on their lands, buildings and improvements thereon when
used exclusively for educational purposes, even if they derive income therefrom. (Art. VI, Sec.
22 [3].) Holders of government bonds are exempted from the payment of taxes on the income or
interest they receive therefrom (sec. 29 (b) [4], National Internal Revenue Code as amended by
Republic Act No. 566). Payments or income received by any person residing in the Philippines
under the laws of the United States administered by the United States Veterans Administration
are exempt from taxation. (Republic Act No. 360). Funds received by officers and enlisted men
of the Philippine Army who served in the Armed Forces of the United States, allowances earned
by virtue of such services corresponding to the taxable years 1942 to 1945, inclusive, are
exempted from income tax. (Republic Act No. 210). The payment of wages and allowances of
officers and enlisted men of the Army Forces of the Philippines sent to Korea are also exempted

from taxation. (Republic Act No. 35). In other words, for reasons of public policy and public
interest, a citizen may justifiably by constitutional provision or statute be exempted from his
ordinary obligation of paying taxes on his income. Under the same public policy and perhaps for
the same it not higher considerations, the framers of the Constitution deemed it wise and
necessary to exempt judicial officers from paying taxes on their salaries so as not to decrease
their compensation, thereby insuring the independence of the Judiciary.
In conclusion we reiterate the doctrine laid down in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, supra, to the
effect that the collection of income tax on the salary of a judicial officer is a diminution thereof
and so violates the Constitution. We further hold that the interpretation and application of the
Constitution and of statutes is within the exclusive province and jurisdiction of the Judicial
department, and that in enacting a law, the Legislature may not legally provide therein that it be
interpreted in such a way that it may not violate a Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying the
hands of the courts in their task of later interpreting said statute, specially when the
interpretation sought and provided in said statute runs counter to a previous interpretation
already given in a case by the highest court of the land.
In the views of the foregoing considerations, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed, with
no pronouncement as to costs.
Pablo, Bengzon, Padilla, Tuason, Reyes, and Labrador, JJ., concur.
Separate Opinions
BAUTISTA ANGELO, J., concurring:
Without expressing any opinion on the doctrine laid down by this Court in the case of Perfecto
vs. Meer, G. R. No. L-2314, in view of the part I had in that case as former Solicitor General, I
wish however to state that I concur in the opinion of the majority to the effect that section 13,
Republic Act No. 590, in so far as it provides that taxing of the salary of a judicial officer shall be
considered "not to be a diminution of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law",
constitutes an invasion of the province and jurisdiction of the judiciary. In this sense, I am of the
opinion that said section is null and void, it being a transgression of the fundamental principle
underlying the separation of powers.
PARAS, C.J., concurring and dissenting:
I dissent for the same reasons stated in the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Ozaeta in Perfecto
vs. Meer, 85 Phil., 552, in which I concurred. But I disagree with the majority in ruling that no
legislation may provide that it be held valid although against a provision of the Constitution.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 78780
July 23, 1987
DAVID G. NITAFAN, WENCESLAO M. POLO, and MAXIMO A. SAVELLANO, JR., petitioners,
vs.
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE and THE FINANCIAL OFFICER, SUPREME
COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
RESOLUTION
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
Petitioners, the duly appointed and qualified Judges presiding over Branches 52, 19 and 53,
respectively, of the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, all with stations in
Manila, seek to prohibit and/or perpetually enjoin respondents, the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue and the Financial Officer of the Supreme Court, from making any deduction of
withholding taxes from their salaries.
In a nutshell, they submit that "any tax withheld from their emoluments or compensation as
judicial officers constitutes a decrease or diminution of their salaries, contrary to the provision of
Section 10, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution mandating that "(d)uring their continuance in
office, their salary shall not be decreased," even as it is anathema to the Ideal of an independent
judiciary envisioned in and by said Constitution."
It may be pointed out that, early on, the Court had dealt with the matter administratively in
response to representations that the Court direct its Finance Officer to discontinue the
withholding of taxes from salaries of members of the Bench. Thus, on June 4, 1987, the
Court en banc had reaffirmed the Chief Justice's directive as follows:
RE: Question of exemption from income taxation. The Court REAFFIRMED the
Chief Justice's previous and standing directive to the Fiscal Management and Budget
Office of this Court to continue with the deduction of the withholding taxes from the
salaries of the Justices of the Supreme Court as well as from the salaries of all other
members of the judiciary.
That should have resolved the question. However, with the filing of this petition, the Court has
deemed it best to settle the legal issue raised through this judicial pronouncement. As will be
shown hereinafter, the clear intent of the Constitutional Commission was to delete the proposed
express grant of exemption from payment of income tax to members of the Judiciary, so as to
"give substance to equality among the three branches of Government" in the words of
Commissioner Rigos. In the course of the deliberations, it was further expressly made clear,
specially with regard to Commissioner Joaquin F. Bernas' accepted amendment to the
amendment of Commissioner Rigos, that the salaries of members of the Judiciary would be
subject to the general income tax applied to all taxpayers.
This intent was somehow and inadvertently not clearly set forth in the final text of the
Constitution as approved and ratified in February, 1987 (infra, pp. 7-8). Although the intent may
have been obscured by the failure to include in the General Provisions a proscription against
exemption of any public officer or employee, including constitutional officers, from payment of
income tax, the Court since then has authorized the continuation of the deduction of the
withholding tax from the salaries of the members of the Supreme Court, as well as from the
salaries of all other members of the Judiciary. The Court hereby makes of record that it had then
discarded the ruling in Perfecto vs. Meer and Endencia vs. David, infra, that declared the
salaries of members of the Judiciary exempt from payment of the income tax and considered
such payment as a diminution of their salaries during their continuance in office. The Court
hereby reiterates that the salaries of Justices and Judges are properly subject to a general

income tax law applicable to all income earners and that the payment of such income tax by
Justices and Judges does not fall within the constitutional protection against decrease of their
salaries during their continuance in office.
A comparison of the Constitutional provisions involved is called for. The 1935 Constitution
provided:
... (The members of the Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts) shall receive
such compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their
continuance in office ... 1 (Emphasis supplied).
Under the 1973 Constitution, the same provision read:
The salary of the Chief Justice and of the Associate Justices of the Supreme court,
and of judges of inferior courts shall be fixed by law, which shall not
be decreased during their continuance in office. ... 2 (Emphasis ours).
And in respect of income tax exemption, another provision in the same 1973 Constitution
specifically stipulated:
No salary or any form of emolument of any public officer or employee, including
constitutional officers, shall be exempt from payment of income tax. 3
The provision in the 1987 Constitution, which petitioners rely on, reads:
The salary of the Chief Justice and of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court,
and of judges of lower courts shall be fixed by law. During their continuance in office,
their salary shall not be decreased. 4(Emphasis supplied).
The 1987 Constitution does not contain a provision similar to Section 6, Article XV of the 1973
Constitution, for which reason, petitioners claim that the intent of the framers is to revert to the
original concept of "non-diminution "of salaries of judicial officers.
The deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission relevant to Section 10, Article VIII,
negate such contention.
The draft proposal of Section 10, Article VIII, of the 1987 Constitution read:
Section 13. The salary of the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court and of judges of the lower courts shall be fixed by law. During their continuance
in office, their salary shall not be diminished nor subjected to income tax. Until the
National Assembly shall provide otherwise, the Chief Justice shall receive an annual
salary of _____________ and each Associate Justice ______________
pesos. 5 (Emphasis ours)
During the debates on the draft Article (Committee Report No. 18), two Commissioners
presented their objections to the provision on tax exemption, thus:
MS. AQUINO. Finally, on the matter of exemption from tax of the salary of justices,
does this not violate the principle of the uniformity of taxation and the principle of
equal protection of the law? After all, tax is levied not on the salary but on the
combined income, such that when the judge receives a salary and it is comingled with
the other income, we tax the income, not the salary. Why do we have to give special
privileges to the salary of justices?
MR. CONCEPCION. It is the independence of the judiciary. We prohibit the increase
or decrease of their salary during their term. This is an indirect way of decreasing their
salary and affecting the independence of the judges.
MS. AQUINO. I appreciate that to be in the nature of a clause to respect tenure, but
the special privilege on taxation might, in effect, be a violation of the principle of
uniformity in taxation and the equal protection clause. 6
xxx
xxx
xxx
MR. OPLE. x x x
Of course, we share deeply the concern expressed by the sponsor, Commissioner
Roberto Concepcion, for whom we have the highest respect, to surround the Supreme
Court and the judicial system as a whole with the whole armor of defense against the
executive and legislative invasion of their independence. But in so doing, some of the
citizens outside, especially the humble government employees, might say that in
trying toERECT a bastion of justice, we might end up with the fortress of privileges,
an island of extra territoriality under the Republic of the Philippines, because a good
number of powers and rights accorded to the Judiciary here may not be enjoyed in the
remotest degree by other employees of the government.

An example is the exception from income tax, which is a kind of economic immunity,
which is, of course, denied to the entire executive department and the legislative. 7
And during the period of amendments on the draft Article, on July 14, 1986, Commissioner Cirilo
A. Rigos proposed that the term "diminished" be changed to "decreased" and that the words
"nor subjected to income tax" be deleted so as to "give substance to equality among the three
branches in the government.
Commissioner Florenz D. Regalado, on behalf of the Committee on the Judiciary, defended the
original draft and referred to the ruling of this Court in Perfecto vs. Meer 8 that "the independence
of the judges is of far greater importance than any revenue that could come from taxing their
salaries." Commissioner Rigos then moved that the matter be put to a vote. Commissioner
Joaquin G. Bernas stood up "in support of an amendment to the amendment with the request for
a modification of the amendment," as follows:
FR. BERNAS. Yes. I am going to propose an amendment to the amendment saying
that it is not enough to drop the phrase "shall not be subjected to income tax,"
because if that is all that the Gentleman will do, then he will just fall back on the
decision in Perfecto vs. Meer and in Dencia vs. David [should be Endencia and Jugo
vs. David, etc., 93 Phil. 696[ which excludes them from income tax, but rather I would
propose that the statement will read: "During their continuance in office, their salary
shall not be diminished BUT MAY BE SUBJECT TO GENERAL INCOME TAX."IN
support of this position, I would say that the argument seems to be that the justice and
judges should not be subjected to income tax because they already gave up the
income from their practice. That is true also of Cabinet members and all other
employees. And I know right now, for instance, there are many people who have
accepted employment in the government involving a reduction of income and yet are
still subject to income tax. So, they are not the only citizens whose income is reduced
by accepting service in government.
Commissioner Rigos accepted the proposed amendment to the amendment. Commissioner
Rustico F. de los Reyes, Jr. then moved for a suspension of the session. Upon resumption,
Commissioner Bernas announced:
During the suspension, we came to an understanding with the original proponent,
Commissioner Rigos, that his amendment on page 6,. line 4 would read: "During their
continuance in office, their salary shall not be DECREASED."But this is on the
understanding that there will be a provision in the Constitution similar to Section 6 of
Article XV, the General Provisions of the 1973 Constitution, which says:
No salary or any form of emolument of any public officer or employee,
including constitutional officers, shall be exempt from payment of income
tax.
So, we put a period (.) after "DECREASED" on the understanding that the salary of
justices is subject to tax.
When queried about the specific Article in the General Provisions on non-exemption from tax of
salaries of public officers, Commissioner Bernas replied:
FR BERNAS. Yes, I do not know if such an article will be found in the General
Provisions. But at any rate, when we put a period (.) after "DECREASED," it is on the
understanding that the doctrine in Perfecto vs. Meer and Dencia vs. David will not
apply anymore.
The amendment to the original draft, as discussed and understood, was finally approved without
objection.
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Bengzon). The understanding, therefore, is that there
will be a provision under the Article on General Provisions. Could Commissioner
Rosario Braid kindly take note that the salaries of officials of the government including
constitutional officers shall not be exempt from income tax? The amendment proposed
herein and accepted by the Committee now reads as follows: "During their
continuance in office, their salary shall not be DECREASED"; and the phrase "nor
subjected to income tax" is deleted.9
The debates, interpellations and opinions expressed regarding the constitutional provision in
question until it was finally approved by the Commission disclosed that the true intent of the
framers of the 1987 Constitution, in adopting it, was to make the salaries of members of the
Judiciary taxable. The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental

principle of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the
people adopting it should be given effect.10 The primary task in constitutional construction is to
ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in
the adoption of the Constitution.11 it may also be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the
Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation offered by the framers.12
Besides, construing Section 10, Articles VIII, of the 1987 Constitution, which, for clarity, is again
reproduced hereunder:
The salary of the Chief Justice and of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court,
and of judges of lower courts shall be fixed by law. During their continuance in office,
their salary shall not be decreased. (Emphasis supplied).
it is plain that the Constitution authorizes Congress to pass a law fixing another rate of
compensation of Justices and Judges but such rate must be higher than that which they are
receiving at the time of enactment, or if lower, it would be applicable only to those appointed
after its approval. It would be a strained construction to read into the provision an exemption
from taxation in the light of the discussion in the Constitutional Commission.
With the foregoing interpretation, and as stated heretofore, the ruling that "the imposition of
income tax upon the salary of judges is a dimunition thereof, and so violates the Constitution"
in Perfecto vs. Meer,13 as affirmed inEndencia vs. David 14 must be declared discarded. The
framers of the fundamental law, as the alter ego of the people, have expressed in clear and
unmistakable terms the meaning and import of Section 10, Article VIII, of the 1987 Constitution
that they have adopted
Stated otherwise, we accord due respect to the intent of the people, through the discussions and
deliberations of their representatives, in the spirit that all citizens should bear their aliquot part of
the cost of maintaining the government and should share the burden of general income taxation
equitably.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition for Prohibition is hereby dismissed.
Teehankee, C.J., Fernan, Narvasa, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla,
Bidin, Sarmiento and Cortes, JJ., concur.
Yap, J., is on leave.
1avvphi1

Footnotes
Section 9,Articie VIII.
Section 10, Article X.
3
Section 6, Article XV, General Provisions.
4
Section 10, Article VIII.
5
Record of the Constitutional Commission, Vol. I, p. 433.
6
Record of the Constitutional Commission, p. 460.
7
Ibid., at page 467,
8
85 Phil. 552 (1950).
9
Record of the Constitutional Commission, Vol. 1, p. 506.
10
Gold Creek Mining Co. vs. Rodriguez, 66 Phil. 259 (1938).
11
J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Land Tenure Administration, No. L-21064, February 18,
1970, 31 SCRA 413.
12
Tanada, Fernando, Constitution of the Philippines, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1, p. 21.
13
85 Phil. 552 (1950).
14
93 Phil. 696 (1953).
1
2

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
G.R. No. 76180 October 24, 1986
IN RE: SATURNINO V. BERMUDEZ, petitioner.
R E S O L U T IO N
PER CURIAM:
In a petition for declaratory relief impleading no respondents, petitioner, as a lawyer, quotes the
first paragraph of Section 5 (not Section 7 as erroneously stated) of Article XVIII of the proposed
1986 Constitution, which provides in full as follows:
Sec. 5. The six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President elected in the February
7, 1986 election is, for purposes of synchronization of elections, hereby extended to noon of
June 30, 1992.
The first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under this Constitution shall be
held on the second Monday of May, 1992.
Claiming that the said provision "is not clear" as to whom it refers, he then asks the Court "to
declare and answer the question of the construction and definiteness as to who, among the
present incumbent President Corazon Aquino and Vice-President Salvador Laurel and the
elected President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Vice-President Arturo M. Tolentino being referred to
under the said Section 7 (sic) of ARTICLE XVIII of the TRANSITORY PROVISIONS of the
proposed 1986 Constitution refers to, . ...
The petition is dismissed outright for lack of jurisdiction and for lack for cause of action.
Prescinding from petitioner's lack of personality to sue or to bring this action, (Tan vs.
Macapagal, 43 SCRA 677), it is elementary that this Court assumes no jurisdiction over petitions
for declaratory relief. More importantly, the petition amounts in effect to a suit against the
incumbent President of the Republic, President Corazon C. Aquino, and it is equally elementary
that incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period
of their incumbency and tenure.
The petition furthermore states no cause of action. Petitioner's allegation of ambiguity or
vagueness of the aforequoted provision is manifestly gratuitous, it being a matter of public
record and common public knowledge that the Constitutional Commission refers therein to
incumbent President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-President Salvador H. Laurel, and to no other
persons, and provides for the extension of their term to noon of June 30, 1992 for purposes of
synchronization of elections. Hence, the second paragraph of the cited section provides for the
holding on the second Monday of May, 1992 of the first regular elections for the President and
Vice-President under said 1986 Constitution. In previous cases, the legitimacy of the
government of President Corazon C. Aquino was likewise sought to be questioned with the claim
that it was not established pursuant to the 1973 Constitution. The said cases were dismissed
outright by this court which held that:
Petitioners have no personality to sue and their petitions state no cause of action. For the
legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter. It belongs to the realm of politics
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 78059 August 31, 1987
ALFREDO M. DE LEON, ANGEL S. SALAMAT, MARIO C. STA. ANA, JOSE C. TOLENTINO,
ROGELIO J. DE LA ROSA and JOSE M. RESURRECCION, petitioners,
vs.
HON. BENJAMIN B. ESGUERRA, in his capacity as OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal,

where only the people of the Philippines are the judge. And the people have made the judgment;
they have accepted the government of President Corazon C. Aquino which is in effective control
of the entire country so that it is not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure
government. Moreover, the community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of tlie present
government. All the eleven members of this Court, as reorganized, have sworn to uphold the
fundamental law of the Republic under her government. (Joint Resolution of May 22, 1986 in
G.R. No. 73748 [Lawyers League for a Better Philippines, etc. vs. President Corazon C. Aquino,
et al.]; G.R. No. 73972 [People's Crusade for Supremacy of the Constitution. etc. vs. Mrs. Cory
Aquino, et al.]; and G.R. No. 73990 [Councilor Clifton U. Ganay vs. Corazon C. Aquino, et al.])
For the above-quoted reason, which are fully applicable to the petition at bar, mutatis
mutandis, there can be no question that President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-President
Salvador H. Laurel are the incumbent and legitimate President and Vice-President of the
Republic of the Philippines.or the above-quoted reasons, which are fully applicable to the
petition at bar,
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby dismissed.
Teehankee, C.J., Feria, Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Alampay and Paras, JJ., concur.
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., concurring:
GUTIERREZ, Jr., J., concurring:
FELICIANO, JJ., concurring.
The petitioner asks the Court to declare who are "the incumbent President and Vice President
elected in the February 7, 1986 elections" as stated in Article XVIII, Section 5 of the Draft
Constitution adopted by the Constitutional Commission of 1986.
We agree that the petition deserves outright dismissal as this Court has no original jurisdiction
over petitions for declaratory relief.
As to lack of cause of action, the petitioner's prayer for a declaration as to who were elected
President and Vice President in the February 7, 1986 elections should be addressed not to this
Court but to other departments of government constitutionally burdened with the task of making
that declaration.
The 1935 Constitution, the 1913 Constitution as amended, and the 1986 Draft Constitution
uniformly provide 'that boards of canvassers in each province and city shall certified who were
elected President and Vice President in their respective areas. The certified returns are
transmitted to the legislature which proclaims, through the designated Presiding Head, who were
duty elected.
Copies of the certified returns from the provincial and city boards of canvassers have not been
furnished this Court nor is there any need to do so. In the absence of a legislature, we cannot
assume the function of stating, and neither do we have any factual or legal capacity to officially
declare, who were elected President and Vice President in the February 7, 1986 elections.
As to who are the incumbent President and Vice President referred to in the 1986 Draft
Constitution, we agree that there is no doubt the 1986 Constitutional Commission referred to
President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice President Salvador H. Laurel.
Finally, we agree with the Resolution of the Court in G.R. Nos. 73748, 73972, and 73990.
For the foregoing reasons, we vote to DISMISS the instant petition.
CRUZ, J., concurring:
I vote to dismiss this petition on the ground that the Constitution we are asked to interpret has
not yet been ratified and is therefore not yet effective. I see here no actual conflict of legal rights
susceptible of judicial determination at this time. (Aetna Life Insurance Co. vs. Haworth, 300
U.S. 227; PACU vs. Secretary of Education, 97 Phil. 806.)
HON. ROMEO C. DE LEON, in his capacity as OIC Mayor of the Municipality of Taytay,
Rizal, FLORENTINO G. MAGNO, REMIGIO M. TIGAS, RICARDO Z. LACANIENTA,
TEODORO V. MEDINA, ROSENDO S. PAZ, and TERESITA L. TOLENTINO, respondents.
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
An original action for Prohibition instituted by petitioners seeking to enjoin respondents from
replacing them from their respective positions as Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen
of Barangay Dolores, Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal.

As required by the Court, respondents submitted their Comment on the Petition, and petitioner's
their Reply to respondents' Comment.
In the Barangay elections held on May 17, 1982, petitioner Alfredo M. De Leon was elected
Barangay Captain and the other petitioners Angel S. Salamat, Mario C. Sta. Ana, Jose C.
Tolentino, Rogelio J. de la Rosa and Jose M. Resurreccion, as Barangay Councilmen of
Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal under Batas Pambansa Blg. 222, otherwise known as the
Barangay Election Act of 1982.
On February 9, 1987, petitioner Alfredo M, de Leon received a Memorandum antedated
December 1, 1986 but signed by respondent OIC Governor Benjamin Esguerra on February 8,
1987 designating respondent Florentino G. Magno as Barangay Captain of Barangay Dolores,
Taytay, Rizal. The designation made by the OIC Governor was "by authority of the Minister of
Local Government."
Also on February 8, 1987, respondent OIC Governor signed a Memorandum, antedated
December 1, 1986 designating respondents Remigio M. Tigas, Ricardo Z. Lacanienta Teodoro
V. Medina, Roberto S. Paz and Teresita L. Tolentino as members of the Barangay Council of the
same Barangay and Municipality.
That the Memoranda had been antedated is evidenced by the Affidavit of respondent OIC
Governor, the pertinent portions of which read:
xxx xxx xxx
That I am the OIC Governor of Rizal having been appointed as such on
March 20, 1986;
That as being OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal and in the performance
of my duties thereof, I among others, have signed as I did sign the
unnumbered memorandum ordering the replacement of all the barangay
officials of all the barangay(s) in the Municipality of Taytay, Rizal;
That the above cited memorandum dated December 1, 1986 was signed by
me personally on February 8,1987;
That said memorandum was further deciminated (sic) to all concerned the
following day, February 9. 1987.
FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NONE.
Pasig, Metro Manila, March 23, 1987.
Before us now, petitioners pray that the subject Memoranda of February 8, 1987 be declared
null and void and that respondents be prohibited from taking over their positions of Barangay
Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively. Petitioners maintain that pursuant to Section 3
of the Barangay Election Act of 1982 (BP Blg. 222), their terms of office "shall be six (6) years
which shall commence on June 7, 1982 and shall continue until their successors shall have
elected and shall have qualified," or up to June 7, 1988. It is also their position that with the
ratification of the 1987 Constitution, respondent OIC Governor no longer has the authority to
replace them and to designate their successors.
On the other hand, respondents rely on Section 2, Article III of the Provisional Constitution,
promulgated on March 25, 1986, which provided:
SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the
1973 Constitution shall continue in office until otherwise provided by
proclamation or executive order or upon the designation or appointment and
qualification of their successors, if such appointment is made within a period
of one year from February 25,1986.
By reason of the foregoing provision, respondents contend that the terms of office of elective
and appointive officials were abolished and that petitioners continued in office by virtue of the
aforequoted provision and not because their term of six years had not yet expired; and that the
provision in the Barangay Election Act fixing the term of office of Barangay officials to six (6)
years must be deemed to have been repealed for being inconsistent with the aforequoted
provision of the Provisional Constitution.
Examining the said provision, there should be no question that petitioners, as elective officials
under the 1973 Constitution, may continue in office but should vacate their positions upon the
occurrence of any of the events mentioned. 1
Since the promulgation of the Provisional Constitution, there has been no proclamation or
executive order terminating the term of elective Barangay officials. Thus, the issue for resolution

is whether or not the designation of respondents to replace petitioners was validly made during
the one-year period which ended on February 25, 1987.
Considering the candid Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor, we hold that February 8, 1977,
should be considered as the effective date of replacement and not December 1,1986 to which it
was ante dated, in keeping with the dictates of justice.
But while February 8, 1987 is ostensibly still within the one-year deadline, the aforequoted
provision in the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been overtaken by Section 27,
Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution reading.
SECTION 27. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its
ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose
and shall supersede all previous Constitutions.
The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2, 1987. By that date, therefore,
the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been superseded. Having become
inoperative, respondent OIC Governor could no longer rely on Section 2, Article III, thereof to
designate respondents to the elective positions occupied by petitioners.
Petitioners must now be held to have acquired security of tenure specially considering that the
Barangay Election Act of 1982 declares it "a policy of the State to guarantee and promote the
autonomy of the barangays to ensure their fullest development as self-reliant
communities. 2 Similarly, the 1987 Constitution ensures the autonomy of local governments and of political
subdivisions of which the barangays form a part, 3 and limits the President's power to "general supervision"
over local governments. 4 Relevantly, Section 8, Article X of the same 1987 Constitution further provides in
part:

Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials,
which shall be determined by law, shall be three years ...
Until the term of office of barangay officials has been determined by law, therefore, the term of
office of six (6) years provided for in the Barangay Election Act of 1982 5 should still govern.
Contrary to the stand of respondents, we find nothing inconsistent between the term of six (6)
years for elective Barangay officials and the 1987 Constitution, and the same should, therefore,
be considered as still operative, pursuant to Section 3, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution,
reading:
Sec. 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations letters of
instructions, and other executive issuances not inconsistent, with this
Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked.
WHEREFORE, (1) The Memoranda issued by respondent OIC Governor on February 8, 1987
designating respondents as the Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively, of
Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal, are both declared to be of no legal force and effect; and (2) the
Writ of Prohibition is granted enjoining respondents perpetually from proceeding with the
ouster/take-over of petitioners' positions subject of this Petition. Without costs.
SO ORDERED.
Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Gutierrez, Jr., Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin and Cortes, JJ.,
concur.
Separate Opinions
TEEHANKEE, CJ., concurring:
The main issue resolved in the judgment at bar is whether the 1987 Constitution took effect
on February 2, 1987, the date that the plebiscite for its ratification was held or whether it took
effect on February 11, 1987, the date its ratification was proclaimed per Proclamation No. 58 of
the President of the Philippines, Corazon C. Aquino.
The Court's decision, with the lone dissent of Mr. Justice Sarmiento, holds that by virtue of the
provision of Article XVIII, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution that it "shall take effect immediately
upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose," the 1987
Constitution took effect on February 2, 1987, the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on
that same date.
The thrust of the dissent is that the Constitution should be deemed to "take effect on the date its
ratification shall have been ascertained and not at the time the people cast their votes to
approve or reject it." This view was actually proposed at the Constitutional Commission

deliberations, but was withdrawn by its proponent in the face of the "overwhelming" contrary
view that the Constitution "will be effective on the very day of the plebiscite."
The record of the proceedings and debates of the Constitutional Commission fully supports the
Court's judgment. It shows that the clear, unequivocal and express intent of the Constitutional
Conunission in unanimously approving (by thirty-five votes in favor and none against) the
aforequoted Section 27 of Transitory Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution was that "the act of
ratification is the act of voting by the people. So that is the date of the ratification" and that "the
canvass thereafter [of the votes] is merely the mathematical confirmation of what was done
during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the President is merely the official
confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done by the Filipino people in adopting the
Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of the plebiscite."
The record of the deliberations and the voting is reproduced hereinbelow: 1
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, may we now put to a vote the original
formulation of the committee as indicated in Section 12, unless there are
other commissioners who would like to present amendments.
MR. DAVIDE. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Davide is recognized.
MR. DAVIDE. May I propose the following amendments.
On line 2, delete the words "its ratification" and in lieu thereof insert the
following-. "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS
BEEN RATIFIED." And on the last line, after "constitutions," add the
following: "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS."
MR. MAAMBONG. Just a moment, Madam President. If Commissioner
Davide is going to propose an additional sentence, the committee would
suggest that we take up first his amendment to the first sentence as
originally formulated. We are now ready to comment on that proposed
amendment.
The proposed amendment would be to delete the words "its ratification and
in lieu thereof insert the words "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE
PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED." And the second amendment
would be: After the word "constitutions," add the words" AND THEIR
AMENDMENTS,"
The committee accepts the first proposed amendment. However, we regret
that we cannot accept the second proposed amendment after the word
"constitutions" because the committee feels that when we talk of all previous
Constitutions, necessarily it includes "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS."
MR. DAVIDE. With that explanation, l will not insist on the second. But,
Madam President, may I request that I be allowed to read the second
amendment so the Commission would be able to appreciate the change in
the first.
MR. MAAMBONG. Yes, Madam President, we can now do that.
MR. DAVIDE. The second sentence will read: "THE PROCLAMATION
SHALL BE MADE WITHIN FIVE DAYS FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION
OF THE CANVASS BY THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS OF THE
RESULTS OF SUCH PLEBISCITE."
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, after conferring with our chairman,
the committee feels that the second proposed amendment in the form of a
new sentence would not be exactly necessary and the committee feels that
it would be too much for us to impose a time frame on the President to
make the proclamation. As we would recall, Madam President, in the
approved Article on the Executive, there is a provision which says that the
President shall make certain that all laws shall be faithfully complied. When
we approve this first sentence, and it says that there will be a proclamation
by the President that the Constitution has been ratified, the President will
naturally comply with the law in accordance with the provisions in the Article
on the Executive which we have cited. It would be too much to impose on
the President a time frame within which she will make that declaration. It

would be assumed that the President would immediately do that after the
results shall have been canvassed by the COMELEC.
Therefore, the committee regrets that it cannot accept the second sentence
which the Gentleman is proposing, Madam President.
MR. DAVIDE. I am prepared to withdraw the same on the assumption that
there will be an immediate proclamation of the results by the President.
MR. MAAMBONG. With that understanding, Madam President.
MR. DAVIDE. I will not insist on the second sentence.
FR. BERNAS. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Bernas is recognized.
FR. BERNAS. I would ask the committee to reconsider its acceptance of the
amendment which makes the effectivity of the new Constitution dependent
upon the proclamation of the President. The effectivity of the Constitution
should commence on the date of the ratification, not on the date of the
proclamation of the President. What is confusing, I think, is what happened
in 1976 when the amendments of 1976 were ratified. In that particular case,
the reason the amendments of 1976 were effective upon the proclamation
of the President was that the draft presented to the people said that the
amendment will be effective upon the proclamation made by the President. I
have a suspicion that was put in there precisely to give the President some
kind of leeway on whether to announce the ratification or not. Therefore, we
should not make this dependent on the action of the President since this will
be a manifestation of the act of the people to be done under the supervision
of the COMELEC and it should be the COMELEC who should make the
announcement that, in fact, the votes show that the Constitution was ratified
and there should be no need to wait for any proclamation on the part of the
President.
MR. MAAMBONG. Would the Gentleman answer a few clarificatory
questions?
FR. BERNAS. Willingly, Madam President.
MR. MAAMBONG. The Gentleman will agree that a date has to be fixed as
to exactly when the Constitution is supposed to be ratified.
FR. BERNAS. I would say that the ratification of the Constitution is on the
date the votes were supposed to have been cast.
MR. MAAMBONG. Let us go to the mechanics of the whole thing, Madam
President. We present the Constitution to a plebiscite, the people exercise
their right to vote, then the votes are canvassed by the Commission on
Elections. If we delete the suggested amendment which says: "THE
PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED,"
what would be, in clear terms, the date when the Constitution is supposed
to be ratified or not ratified, as the case may be?
FR. BERNAS. The date would be the casting of the ballots. if the President
were to say that the plebiscite would be held, for instance, on January 19,
1987, then the date for the effectivity of the new Constitution would be
January 19, 1987.
MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, it would not depend on the actual
issuance of the results by the Commission on Elections which will be doing
the canvass? That is immaterial Madam President
FR. BERNAS. It would not, Madam President, because "ratification" is the
act of saying "yes" is done when one casts his ballot.
MR. MAAMBONG. So it is the date of the plebiscite itself, Madam
President?
FR. BERNAS. Yes, Madam President.
MR. MAAMBONG. With that statement of Commissioner Bernas, we would
like to know from the proponent, Commissioner Davide, if he is insisting on
his amendment.
MR. DAVIDE. Madam President, I am insisting on the amendment because
I cannot subscribe to the view of Commissioner Bernas, that the date of the

ratification is reckoned from the date of the casting of the ballots. That
cannot be the date of reckoning because it is a plebiscite all over the
country. We do not split the moment of casting by each of the voters.
Actually and technically speaking, it would be all right if it would be upon the
announcement of the results of the canvass conducted by the COMELEC or
the results of the plebiscite held all over the country. But it is necessary that
there be a body which will make the formal announcement of the results of
the plebiscite. So it is either the President or the COMELEC itself upon the
completion of the canvass of the results of the plebiscite, and I opted for the
President.
xxx xxx xxx
MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Nolledo is recognized.
MR. NOLLEDO. Thank you, Madam President. I beg to disagree with
Commissioner Davide. I support the stand of Commissioner Bernas
because it is really the date of the casting of the "yes" votes that is the date
of the ratification of the Constitution The announcement merely confirms the
ratification even if the results are released two or three days after. I think it is
a fundamental principle in political law, even in civil law, because an
announcement is a mere confirmation The act of ratification is the act of
voting by the people. So that is the date of the ratification. If there should be
any need for presidential proclamation, that proclamation will merely confirm
the act of ratification.
Thank you, Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Does Commissioner Regalado want to contribute?
MR. REGALADO. Madam President, I was precisely going to state the
same support for Commissioner Bernas, because the canvass thereafter is
merely the mathematical confirmation of what was done during the date of
the plebiscite and the proclamation of the President is merely the official
confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done by the Filipino
people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of
the plebiscite.
MR. LERUM. Madam President, may I be recognized.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Lerum is recognized.
MR. LERUM. I am in favor of the Davide amendment because we have to
fix a date for the effectivity of the Constitution. Suppose the announcement
is delayed by, say, 10 days or a month, what happens to the obligations and
rights that accrue upon the approval of the Constitution? So I think we must
have a definite date. I am, therefore, in favor of the Davide amendment.
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Maambong is recognized.
MR. MAAMBONG. With the theory of the Commissioner, would there be a
necessity for the Commission on Elections to declare the results of the
canvass?
FR. BERNAS. There would be because it is the Commission on Elections
which makes the official announcement of the results.
MR. MAAMBONG. My next question which is the final one is: After the
Commision on Elections has declared the results of the canvass, will there
be a necessity for the President to make a proclamation of the results of the
canvass as submitted by the Commission on Elections?
FR. BERNAS. I would say there would be no necessity, Madam President.
MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, the President may or may not make the
proclamation whether the Constitution has been ratified or not.
FR. BERNAS. I would say that the proclamation made by the President
would be immaterial because under the law, the administration of all election
laws is under an independent Commission on Elections. It is the
Commission on Elections which announces the results.

MR. MAAMBONG. But nevertheless, the President may make the


proclamation.
FR. BERNAS. Yes, the President may. And if what he says contradicts what
the Commission on Elections says, it would have no effect. I would only add
that when we say that the date of effectivity is on the day of the casting of
the votes, what we mean is that the Constitution takes effect on every single
minute and every single second of that day, because the Civil Code says a
day has 24 hours.So that even if the votes are cast in the morning, the
Constitution is really effective from the previous midnight.
So that when we adopted the new rule on citizenship, the children of Filipino
mothers or anybody born on the date of effectivity of the 1973 Constitution,
which is January 17, 1973, are natural-born citizens, no matter what time of
day or night.
MR. MAAMBONG. Could we, therefore, safely say that whatever date is
the publication of the results of the canvass by the COMELEC retroacts to
the date of the plebiscite?
FR. BERNAS. Yes, Madam President.
MR. MAAMBONG. I thank the Commissioner.
MR. GUINGONA. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Guingona is recognized.
MR. GUINGONA. Mention was made about the need for having a definite
date. I think it is precisely the proposal of Commissioner Bernas which
speaks of the date (of ratification that would have a definite date,
because there would be no definite date if we depend upon the canvassing
by the COMELEC.
Thank you,
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Concepcion is recognized.
MR. CONCEPCION. Thank you, Madam President.
Whoever makes the announcement as to the result of the plebiscite, be it
the COMELEC or the President, would announce that a majority of the
votes cast on a given date was in favor of the Constitution. And that is the
date when the Constitution takes effect,APART from the fact that the
provision on the drafting or amendment of the Constitution provides that a
constitution becomes effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes
cast, although I would not say from the very beginning of the date of
election because as of that time it is impossible to determine whether there
is a majority. At the end of the day of election or plebiscite, the
determination is made as of that time-the majority of the votes cast in a
plebiscite held on such and such a date. So that is the time when the new
Constitution will be considered ratified and, therefore, effective.
THE PRESIDENT. May we now hear Vice-President Padilla.
MR. PADILLA. Madam President, I am against the proposed amendment of
Commissioner Davide and I support the view of Commissioner Bernas and
the others because the ratification of the Constitution is on the date the
people, by a majority vote, have cast their votes in favor of the Constitution.
Even in civil law, if there is a contract, say, between an agent and a third
person and that contract is confirmed or ratified by the principal, the validity
does not begin on the date of ratification but it retroacts from the date the
contract was executed.
Therefore, the date of the Constitution as ratified should retroact to the date
that the people have cast their affirmative votes in favor of the Constitution.
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Maambong is recognized
MR. MAAMBONG. We will now ask once more Commissioner Davide if he
is insisting on his amendment
MR. DAVIDE. In view of the explanation and overwhelming tyranny of
the opinion that it will be effective on the very day of the plebiscite, I
am withdrawing my amendment on the assumption that any of the following

bodies the Office of the President or the COMELEC will make the formal
announcement of the results.
MR. RAMA. Madam President, we are now ready to vote on the original
provision as stated by the committee.
MR. MAAMBONG. The committee will read again the formulation indicated
in the original committee report as Section 12.
This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and shall
supersede all previous Constitutions.
We ask for a vote, Madam President.
VOTING
THE PRESIDENT. As many as are in favor, please raise their hand.
(Several Members raised their hands.)
As many as are against, please raise their hand. (No Member raised his
hand.)
The results show 35 votes in favor and none against; Section 12 is
approved. 2
The Court next holds as a consequence of its declaration at bar that the Constitution took effect
on the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on February 2, 1987, that: (1) the Provisional
Constitution promulgated on March 25, 1986 must be deemed to have been superseded by the
1987 Constitution on the same date February 2, 1987 and (2) by and after said date, February 2,
1987, absent any saying clause to the contrary in the Transitory Article of the Constitution,
respondent OIC Governor could no longer exercise the power to replace petitioners in their
positions as Barangay Captain and Councilmen. Hence, the attempted replacement of
petitioners by respondent OIC Governor's designation on February 8, 1987 of their successors
could no longer produce any legal force and effect. While the Provisional Constitution provided
for a one-year period expiring on March 25, 1987 within which the power of replacement could
be exercised, this period was shortened by the ratification and effectivity on February 2, 1987 of
the Constitution. Had the intention of the framers of the Constitution been otherwise, they would
have so provided for in the Transitory Article, as indeed they provided for multifarious transitory
provisions in twenty six sections of Article XVIII, e.g. extension of the six-year term of the
incumbent President and Vice-President to noon of June 30, 1992 for purposes of
synchronization of elections, the continued exercise of legislative powers by the incumbent
President until the convening of the first Congress, etc.
A final note of clarification, as to the statement in the dissent that "the appointments of some
seven Court of Appeals Justices, 71 provincial fiscals and 55 city fiscals reported extended (by)
the President on February 2, 1987 . . . could be open to serious questions," in view of the
provisions of Sections 8 (1) and 9, Article VIII of the Constitution which require prior
endorsement thereof by the Judicial and Bar Council created under the Constitution. It should be
stated for the record that the reported date of the appointments, February 2, 1987, is incorrect.
The official records of the Court show that the appointments of the seven Court of Appeals
Justices were transmitted to this Court on February 1, 1987 and they were all appointed on or
before January 31, 1987. 3(Similarly, the records of the Department of Justice likewise show that the
appointment papers of the last batch of provincial and city fiscals signed by the President in completion of the
reorganization of the prosecution service were made on January 31, 1987 and transmitted to the Department
on February 1, 1987.) It is also a matter of record that since February 2, 1987, no appointments to the
Judiciary have been extended by the President, pending the constitution of the Judicial and Bar Council,
indicating that the Chief Executive has likewise considered February 2, 1987 as the effective date of the
Constitution, as now expressly declared by the Court.

CRUZ, J., concurring.


In her quiet and restrained manner, Justice Herrera is able to prove her point with more telling
effect than the tones of thunder. She has written another persuasive opinion, and I am delighted
to concur. I note that it in effect affirms my dissents in the De la Serna, Zamora, Duquing and
Bayas cases, where I submitted that the local OICs may no longer be summarily replaced,
having acquired security of tenure under the new Constitution. Our difference is that whereas I
would make that right commence on February 25, 1987, after the deadline set by the Freedom
Constitution, Justice Herrera would opt for February 2, 1987, when the new Constitution was
ratified. I yield to that better view and agree with her ponencia completely.
SARMIENTO, J., Dissenting.

With due respect to the majority I register this dissent.


While I agree that the one-year deadline prescribed by Section 2, Article III of the Provisional
Constitution with respect to the tenure of government functionaries, as follows:
SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the
1973 Constitution shall continue in office until otherwise provided by
proclamation or executive order or upon the designation or appointment and
qualification of their successors, if such appointment is made within a period
of one year from February 25, 1986.
was cut short by the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, I entertain serious doubts whether or
not that cut-off period began on February 2, 1987, the date of the plebiscite held to approve the
new Charter. To my mind the 1987 constitution took effect on February 11, 1987, the date the
same was proclaimed ratified pursuant to Proclamation No. 58 of the President of the
Philippines, and not February 2, 1987, plebiscite day.
I rely, first and foremost, on the language of the 1987 Charter itself, thus:
Sec. 27. This Constitution shag take effect immediately upon its ratification
by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall
supersede all previous Constitutions.
It is my reading of this provision that the Constitution takes effect on the date its ratification shall
have been ascertained, and not at the time the people cast their votes to approve or reject it. For
it cannot be logically said that Constitution was ratified during such a plebiscite, when the will of
the people as of that time, had not, and could not have been, vet determined.
Other than that, pragmatic considerations compel me to take the view.
I have no doubt that between February 2, and February 11, 1987 the government performed
acts that would have been valid under the Provisional Constitution but would otherwise have
been void under the 1987 Charter. I recall, in particular, the appointments of some seven Court
of Appeals Justices, 71 provincial fiscals, and 55 city fiscals the President reportedly extended
on February 2, 1987. 1 Under Sections 8 (1) and 9, Article VIII, of the l987 Constitution, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 8. (I)A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision
of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman,
the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex
oficio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a
retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private
sector.
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall
be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees
prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy, Such
appointments need no confirmation.
xxx xxx xxx
such appointments could be open to serious questions.
Since 1973, moreover, we have invariably reckoned the effectivity of the Constitution as well as
the amendments thereto from the date it is proclaimed ratified.
In Magtoto v. Manguera, 2 we held that the 1973 Constitution became in force and effect on January 17,
1973, the date Proclamation No. 1102, "Announcing the Ratification by the Filipino People of the Constitution
Proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention," was issued, although Mr. Justice, now Chief Justice,
Teehankee would push its effectivity date further to April 17, 1973, the date our decision in Javellana v.
Executive Secretary, 3 became final. And this was so notwithstanding Section 16, Article XVII, of the 1973
Constitution, thus:

SEC. 16. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification
by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and,
except as herein provided, shall supersede the Constitution of nineteenhundred and thirty- five and all amendments thereto.
On October 27, 1976, then President Marcos promulgated Proclamation no. 1595, proclaiming
the ratification of the 1976 amendments submitted in the plebiscite of October 16- 17, 1976. The
Proclamation states, inter alia, that.
By virtue-of the powers vested in me by law, I hereby proclaim all the amendments embodied in
this certificate as duly ratified by the Filipino people in the referendum- plebiscite held Oct. 1617, 1976 and are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of this date.

It shall be noted that under Amendment No. 9 of the said 1976 amendments.
These amendments shall take effect after the incumbent President shall
have proclaimed that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast
in the referendum-plebiscite.
On April 1, 1980, the then Chief Executive issued Proclamation no. 1959, "Proclaiming the
Ratification by the Filipino People of the Amendments of Section 7, Article X of the Constitution"
(lengthening the terms of office of judges and justices). The Proclamation provides:
[t]he above-quoted amendment has been duly ratified by a majority of the
votes cast in the plebiscite held, together with the election for local officials,
on January 30, 1980, and that said amendment is hereby declared to take
effect immediately.
It shall be noted that under Resolution No. 21, dated December 18, 1979, the proposed
amendment shall take effect on the date the incumbent President/Prime Minister shall proclaim
its ratification.
On April 7, 1981, Proclamation No. 2077 was issued "Proclaiming the Ratification in the
Plebiscite of April 7, 1981 of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batas Pambansa
Blg. 122 and Declaring Them Therefore Effective and in Full Force and Effect." The
Proclamation, in declaring the said amendments duly approved, further declared them
"[e]ffective and in full force and in effect as of the date of this Proclamation," It shall be noted, in
this connection, that under Resolutions Nos. I and 2 of the Batasang Pambansa, Third Regular
Session, Sitting as a Constituent Assembly, which parented these amendments, the same:
. . .shall become valid as part of the Constitution when approved by a
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be held pursuant to Section 2,
Article XVI of the Constitution.
On the other hand, Batas Pambansa Blg. 122, "An Act to Submit to the Filipino People, for
Ratification or Rejection, the Amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines, Proposed by the
Batasang Pambansa, Sitting as a Constituent Assembly, in its Resolutions Numbered Three,
Two, and One, and to Appropriate Funds Therefore," provides, as follows:
SEC. 7. The Commission on Elections, sitting en banc, shad canvass and
proclaim the result of the plebiscite using the certificates submitted to it, duly
authenticated and certified by the Board of Canvassers of each province or
city.
We have, finally, Proclamation No. 2332, "Proclaiming the Ratification in the Plebiscite of
January 27, 1984, of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batasang Pambansa
Resolutions Nos. 104, 105, 110, 111, 112 and 113." It states that the amendments:
....are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of the date of this
Proclamation.
It carries out Resolution no. 104 itself (as well as Resolutions Nos. 110 and 112 and Section 9,
Batas Blg. 643), which states, that:
The proposed amendments shall take effect on the date the President of the
Philippines shall proclaim that they have been ratified by a majority of the
votes cast in the plebiscite held for the purpose, but not later than three
months from the approval of the amendments.
albeit Resolutions Nos. 105, 111, and 113 provide, that:
These amendments shall be valid as a part of the Constitution when
approved by a majority of the votes cast in an election/plebiscite at which it
is submitted to the people for their ratification pursuant to Section 2 of Article
XVI of the Constitution, as amended.
That a Constitution or amendments thereto take effect upon proclamation of their ratification and
not at the time of the plebiscite is a view that is not peculiar to the Marcos era.
The Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress) in Joint Session on the March 11, 1947 plebiscite
called pursuant to Republic Act No. 73 and the Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress)
adopted on September 18, 1946, was adopted on April 9,1947. The April 9, 1947 Resolution
makes no mention of a retroactive application.
Accordingly, when the incumbent President (Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino) proclaimed on February
11, 1987, at Malacanang Palace:
... that the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines adopted by the
Constitutional Commission of 1986, including the Ordinance appended

thereto, has been duly ratified by the Filipino people and is therefore
effective and in full force and effect. 4
the 1987 Constitution, in point of fact, came into force and effect, I hold that it took effect at no
other time.
I submit that our ruling in Ponsica v. Ignalaga 5 in which we declared, in passing, that the new Charter
was ratified on February 2, 1987, does not in any way weaken this dissent. As I stated, the remark was said in
passing-we did not resolve the case on account of a categorical holding that the 1987 Constitution came to life
on February 2, 1987. In any event, if we did, I now call for its re-examination.

I am therefore of the opinion, consistent with the views expressed above, that the challenged
dismissals done on February 8, 1987 were valid, the 1987 Constitution not being then as yet in
force.
Separate Opinions
TEEHANKEE, CJ., concurring:
The main issue resolved in the judgment at bar is whether the 1987 Constitution took effect
on February 2, 1987, the date that the plebiscite for its ratification was held or whether it took
effect on February 11, 1987, the date its ratification was proclaimed per Proclamation No. 58 of
the President of the Philippines, Corazon C. Aquino.
The Court's decision, with the lone dissent of Mr. Justice Sarmiento, holds that by virtue of the
provision of Article XVIII, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution that it "shall take effect immediately
upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose," the 1987
Constitution took effect on February 2, 1987, the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on
that same date.
The thrust of the dissent is that the Constitution should be deemed to "take effect on the date its
ratification shall have been ascertained and not at the time the people cast their votes to
approve or reject it." This view was actually proposed at the Constitutional Commission
deliberations, but was withdrawn by its proponent in the face of the "overwhelming" contrary
view that the Constitution "will be effective on the very day of the plebiscite."
The record of the proceedings and debates of the Constitutional Commission fully supports the
Court's judgment. It shows that the clear, unequivocal and express intent of the Constitutional
Conunission in unanimously approving (by thirty-five votes in favor and none against) the
aforequoted Section 27 of Transitory Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution was that "the act of
ratification is the act of voting by the people. So that is the date of the ratification" and that "the
canvass thereafter [of the votes] is merely the mathematical confirmation of what was done
during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the President is merely the official
confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done by the Filipino people in adopting the
Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of the plebiscite."
The record of the deliberations and the voting is reproduced hereinbelow: 1
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, may we now put to a vote the original
formulation of the committee as indicated in Section 12, unless there are
other commissioners who would like to present amendments.
MR. DAVIDE. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Davide is recognized.
MR. DAVIDE. May I propose the following amendments.
On line 2, delete the words "its ratification" and in lieu thereof insert the
following-. "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS
BEEN RATIFIED." And on the last line, after "constitutions," add the
following: "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS."
MR. MAAMBONG. Just a moment, Madam President. If Commissioner
Davide is going to propose an additional sentence, the committee would
suggest that we take up first his amendment to the first sentence as
originally formulated. We are now ready to comment on that proposed
amendment.
The proposed amendment would be to delete the words "its ratification and
in lieu thereof insert the words "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE
PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED." And the second amendment
would be: After the word "constitutions," add the words" AND THEIR
AMENDMENTS,"

The committee accepts the first proposed amendment. However, we regret


that we cannot accept the second proposed amendment after the word
"constitutions" because the committee feels that when we talk of all previous
Constitutions, necessarily it includes "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS."
MR. DAVIDE. With that explanation, l will not insist on the second. But,
Madam President, may I request that I be allowed to read the second
amendment so the Commission would be able to appreciate the change in
the first.
MR. MAAMBONG. Yes, Madam President, we can now do that.
MR. DAVIDE. The second sentence will read: "THE PROCLAMATION
SHALL BE MADE WITHIN FIVE DAYS FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION
OF THE CANVASS BY THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS OF THE
RESULTS OF SUCH PLEBISCITE."
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, after conferring with our chairman,
the committee feels that the second proposed amendment in the form of a
new sentence would not be exactly necessary and the committee feels that
it would be too much for us to impose a time frame on the President to
make the proclamation. As we would recall, Madam President, in the
approved Article on the Executive, there is a provision which says that the
President shall make certain that all laws shall be faithfully complied. When
we approve this first sentence, and it says that there will be a proclamation
by the President that the Constitution has been ratified, the President will
naturally comply with the law in accordance with the provisions in the Article
on the Executive which we have cited. It would be too much to impose on
the President a time frame within which she will make that declaration. It
would be assumed that the President would immediately do that after the
results shall have been canvassed by the COMELEC.
Therefore, the committee regrets that it cannot accept the second sentence
which the Gentleman is proposing, Madam President.
MR. DAVIDE. I am prepared to withdraw the same on the assumption that
there will be an immediate proclamation of the results by the President.
MR. MAAMBONG. With that understanding, Madam President.
MR. DAVIDE. I will not insist on the second sentence.
FR. BERNAS. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Bernas is recognized.
FR. BERNAS. I would ask the committee to reconsider its acceptance of the
amendment which makes the effectivity of the new Constitution dependent
upon the proclamation of the President. The effectivity of the Constitution
should commence on the date of the ratification, not on the date of the
proclamation of the President. What is confusing, I think, is what happened
in 1976 when the amendments of 1976 were ratified. In that particular case,
the reason the amendments of 1976 were effective upon the proclamation
of the President was that the draft presented to the people said that the
amendment will be effective upon the proclamation made by the President. I
have a suspicion that was put in there precisely to give the President some
kind of leeway on whether to announce the ratification or not. Therefore, we
should not make this dependent on the action of the President since this will
be a manifestation of the act of the people to be done under the supervision
of the COMELEC and it should be the COMELEC who should make the
announcement that, in fact, the votes show that the Constitution was ratified
and there should be no need to wait for any proclamation on the part of the
President.
MR. MAAMBONG. Would the Gentleman answer a few clarificatory
questions?
FR. BERNAS. Willingly, Madam President.
MR. MAAMBONG. The Gentleman will agree that a date has to be fixed as
to exactly when the Constitution is supposed to be ratified.

FR. BERNAS. I would say that the ratification of the Constitution is on the
date the votes were supposed to have been cast.
MR. MAAMBONG. Let us go to the mechanics of the whole thing, Madam
President. We present the Constitution to a plebiscite, the people exercise
their right to vote, then the votes are canvassed by the Commission on
Elections. If we delete the suggested amendment which says: "THE
PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED,"
what would be, in clear terms, the date when the Constitution is supposed
to be ratified or not ratified, as the case may be?
FR. BERNAS. The date would be the casting of the ballots. if the President
were to say that the plebiscite would be held, for instance, on January 19,
1987, then the date for the effectivity of the new Constitution would be
January 19, 1987.
MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, it would not depend on the actual
issuance of the results by the Commission on Elections which will be doing
the canvass? That is immaterial Madam President
FR. BERNAS. It would not, Madam President, because "ratification" is the
act of saying "yes" is done when one casts his ballot.
MR. MAAMBONG. So it is the date of the plebiscite itself, Madam
President?
FR. BERNAS. Yes, Madam President.
MR. MAAMBONG. With that statement of Commissioner Bernas, we would
like to know from the proponent, Commissioner Davide, if he is insisting on
his amendment.
MR. DAVIDE. Madam President, I am insisting on the amendment because
I cannot subscribe to the view of Commissioner Bernas, that the date of the
ratification is reckoned from the date of the casting of the ballots. That
cannot be the date of reckoning because it is a plebiscite all over the
country. We do not split the moment of casting by each of the voters.
Actually and technically speaking, it would be all right if it would be upon the
announcement of the results of the canvass conducted by the COMELEC or
the results of the plebiscite held all over the country. But it is necessary that
there be a body which will make the formal announcement of the results of
the plebiscite. So it is either the President or the COMELEC itself upon the
completion of the canvass of the results of the plebiscite, and I opted for the
President.
xxx xxx xxx
MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Nolledo is recognized.
MR. NOLLEDO. Thank you, Madam President. I beg to disagree with
Commissioner Davide. I support the stand of Commissioner Bernas
because it is really the date of the casting of the "yes" votes that is the date
of the ratification of the Constitution The announcement merely confirms the
ratification even if the results are released two or three days after. I think it is
a fundamental principle in political law, even in civil law, because an
announcement is a mere confirmation The act of ratification is the act of
voting by the people. So that is the date of the ratification. If there should be
any need for presidential proclamation, that proclamation will merely confirm
the act of ratification.
Thank you, Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Does Commissioner Regalado want to contribute?
MR. REGALADO. Madam President, I was precisely going to state the
same support for Commissioner Bernas, because the canvass thereafter is
merely the mathematical confirmation of what was done during the date of
the plebiscite and the proclamation of the President is merely the official
confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done by the Filipino
people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of
the plebiscite.

MR. LERUM. Madam President, may I be recognized.


THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Lerum is recognized.
MR. LERUM. I am in favor of the Davide amendment because we have to
fix a date for the effectivity of the Constitution. Suppose the announcement
is delayed by, say, 10 days or a month, what happens to the obligations and
rights that accrue upon the approval of the Constitution? So I think we must
have a definite date. I am, therefore, in favor of the Davide amendment.
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Maambong is recognized.
MR. MAAMBONG. With the theory of the Commissioner, would there be a
necessity for the Commission on Elections to declare the results of the
canvass?
FR. BERNAS. There would be because it is the Commission on Elections
which makes the official announcement of the results.
MR. MAAMBONG. My next question which is the final one is: After the
Commision on Elections has declared the results of the canvass, will there
be a necessity for the President to make a proclamation of the results of the
canvass as submitted by the Commission on Elections?
FR. BERNAS. I would say there would be no necessity, Madam President.
MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, the President may or may not make the
proclamation whether the Constitution has been ratified or not.
FR. BERNAS. I would say that the proclamation made by the President
would be immaterial because under the law, the administration of all election
laws is under an independent Commission on Elections. It is the
Commission on Elections which announces the results.
MR. MAAMBONG. But nevertheless, the President may make the
proclamation.
FR. BERNAS. Yes, the President may. And if what he says contradicts what
the Commission on Elections says, it would have no effect. I would only add
that when we say that the date of effectivity is on the day of the casting of
the votes, what we mean is that the Constitution takes effect on every single
minute and every single second of that day, because the Civil Code says a
day has 24 hours.
So that even if the votes are cast in the morning, the Constitution is really
effective from the previous midnight. So that when we adopted the new rule
on citizenship, the children of Filipino mothers or anybody born on the date
of effectivity of the 1973 Constitution, which is January 17, 1973, are
natural-born citizens, no matter what time of day or night.
MR. MAAMBONG. Could we, therefore, safely say that whatever date is
the publication of the results of the canvass by the COMELEC retroacts to
the date of the plebiscite?
FR. BERNAS. Yes, Madam President.
MR. MAAMBONG. I thank the Commissioner.
MR. GUINGONA. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Guingona is recognized.
MR. GUINGONA. Mention was made about the need for having a definite
date. I think it is precisely the proposal of Commissioner Bernas which
speaks of the date (of ratification that would have a definite date,
because there would be no definite date if we depend upon the canvassing
by the COMELEC.
Thank you,
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Concepcion is recognized.
MR. CONCEPCION. Thank you, Madam President.
Whoever makes the announcement as to the result of the plebiscite, be it
the COMELEC or the President, would announce that a majority of the
votes cast on a given date was in favor of the Constitution. And that is the
date when the Constitution takes effect,APART from the fact that the
provision on the drafting or amendment of the Constitution provides that a

constitution becomes effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes


cast, although I would not say from the very beginning of the date of
election because as of that time it is impossible to determine whether there
is a majority. At the end of the day of election or plebiscite, the
determination is made as of that time-the majority of the votes cast in a
plebiscite held on such and such a date. So that is the time when the new
Constitution will be considered ratified and, therefore, effective.
THE PRESIDENT. May we now hear Vice-President Padilla.
MR. PADILLA. Madam President, I am against the proposed amendment of
Commissioner Davide and I support the view of Commissioner Bernas and
the others because the ratification of the Constitution is on the date the
people, by a majority vote, have cast their votes in favor of the Constitution.
Even in civil law, if there is a contract, say, between an agent and a third
person and that contract is confirmed or ratified by the principal, the validity
does not begin on the date of ratification but it retroacts from the date the
contract was executed.
Therefore, the date of the Constitution as ratified should retroact to the date
that the people have cast their affirmative votes in favor of the Constitution.
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Maambong is recognized
MR. MAAMBONG. We will now ask once more Commissioner Davide if he
is insisting on his amendment
MR. DAVIDE. In view of the explanation and overwhelming tyranny of
the opinion that it will be effective on the very day of the plebiscite, I
am withdrawing my amendment on the assumption that any of the following
bodies the Office of the President or the COMELEC will make the formal
announcement of the results.
MR. RAMA. Madam President, we are now ready to vote on the original
provision as stated by the committee.
MR. MAAMBONG. The committee will read again the formulation indicated
in the original committee report as Section 12.
This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and shall
supersede all previous Constitutions.
We ask for a vote, Madam President.
VOTING
THE PRESIDENT. As many as are in favor, please raise their hand.
(Several Members raised their hands.)
As many as are against, please raise their hand. (No Member raised his
hand.)
The results show 35 votes in favor and none against; Section 12 is
approved. 2
The Court next holds as a consequence of its declaration at bar that the Constitution took effect
on the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on February 2, 1987, that: (1) the Provisional
Constitution promulgated on March 25, 1986 must be deemed to have been superseded by the
1987 Constitution on the same date February 2, 1987 and (2) by and after said date, February 2,
1987, absent any saying clause to the contrary in the Transitory Article of the Constitution,
respondent OIC Governor could no longer exercise the power to replace petitioners in their
positions as Barangay Captain and Councilmen. Hence, the attempted replacement of
petitioners by respondent OIC Governor's designation on February 8, 1987 of their successors
could no longer produce any legal force and effect. While the Provisional Constitution provided
for a one-year period expiring on March 25, 1987 within which the power of replacement could
be exercised, this period was shortened by the ratification and effectivity on February 2, 1987 of
the Constitution. Had the intention of the framers of the Constitution been otherwise, they would
have so provided for in the Transitory Article, as indeed they provided for multifarious transitory
provisions in twenty six sections of Article XVIII, e.g. extension of the six-year term of the
incumbent President and Vice-President to noon of June 30, 1992 for purposes of

synchronization of elections, the continued exercise of legislative powers by the incumbent


President until the convening of the first Congress, etc.
A final note of clarification, as to the statement in the dissent that "the appointments of some
seven Court of Appeals Justices, 71 provincial fiscals and 55 city fiscals reported extended (by)
the President on February 2, 1987 . . . could be open to serious questions," in view of the
provisions of Sections 8 (1) and 9, Article VIII of the Constitution which require prior
endorsement thereof by the Judicial and Bar Council created under the Constitution. It should be
stated for the record that the reported date of the appointments, February 2, 1987, is incorrect.
The official records of the Court show that the appointments of the seven Court of Appeals
Justices were transmitted to this Court on February 1, 1987 and they were all appointed on or
before January 31, 1987. 3(Similarly, the records of the Department of Justice likewise show that the
appointment papers of the last batch of provincial and city fiscals signed by the President in completion of the
reorganization of the prosecution service were made on January 31, 1987 and transmitted to the Department
on February 1, 1987.) It is also a matter of record that since February 2, 1987, no appointments to the
Judiciary have been extended by the President, pending the constitution of the Judicial and Bar Council,
indicating that the Chief Executive has likewise considered February 2, 1987 as the effective date of the
Constitution, as now expressly declared by the Court.

CRUZ, J., concurring.


In her quiet and restrained manner, Justice Herrera is able to prove her point with more telling
effect than the tones of thunder. She has written another persuasive opinion, and I am delighted
to concur. I note that it in effect affirms my dissents in the De la Serna, Zamora, Duquing and
Bayas cases, where I submitted that the local OICs may no longer be summarily replaced,
having acquired security of tenure under the new Constitution. Our difference is that whereas I
would make that right commence on February 25, 1987, after the deadline set by the Freedom
Constitution, Justice Herrera would opt for February 2, 1987, when the new Constitution was
ratified. I yield to that better view and agree with her ponencia completely.
SARMIENTO, J., Dissenting.
With due respect to the majority I register this dissent.
While I agree that the one-year deadline prescribed by Section 2, Article III of the Provisional
Constitution with respect to the tenure of government functionaries, as follows:
SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the
1973 Constitution shall continue in office until otherwise provided by
proclamation or executive order or upon the designation or appointment and
qualification of their successors, if such appointment is made within a period
of one year from February 25, 1986.
was cut short by the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, I entertain serious doubts whether or
not that cut-off period began on February 2, 1987, the date of the plebiscite held to approve the
new Charter. To my mind the 1987 constitution took effect on February 11, 1987, the date the
same was proclaimed ratified pursuant to Proclamation No. 58 of the President of the
Philippines, and not February 2, 1987, plebiscite day.
I rely, first and foremost, on the language of the 1987 Charter itself, thus:
Sec. 27. This Constitution shag take effect immediately upon its ratification
by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall
supersede all previous Constitutions.
It is my reading of this provision that the Constitution takes effect on the date its ratification shall
have been ascertained, and not at the time the people cast their votes to approve or reject it. For
it cannot be logically said that Constitution was ratified during such a plebiscite, when the will of
the people as of that time, had not, and could not have been, vet determined.
Other than that, pragmatic considerations compel me to take the view.
I have no doubt that between February 2, and February 11, 1987 the government performed
acts that would have been valid under the Provisional Constitution but would otherwise have
been void under the 1987 Charter. I recall, in particular, the appointments of some seven Court
of Appeals Justices, 71 provincial fiscals, and 55 city fiscals the President reportedly extended
on February 2, 1987. 1 Under Sections 8 (1) and 9, Article VIII, of the l987 Constitution, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 8. (I)A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision
of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman,
the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex
oficio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a

retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private


sector.
xxx xxx xxx
2Sec. 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts
shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees
prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy, Such
appointments need no confirmation.
xxx xxx xxx
such appointments could be open to serious questions.
Since 1973, moreover, we have invariably reckoned the effectivity of the Constitution as well as
the amendments thereto from the date it is proclaimed ratified.
In Magtoto v. Manguera, 2 we held that the 1973 Constitution became in force and effect on January 17,
1973, the date Proclamation No. 1102, "Announcing the Ratification by the Filipino People of the Constitution
Proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention," was issued, although Mr. Justice, now Chief Justice,
Teehankee would push its effectivity date further to April 17, 1973, the date our decision in Javellana v.
Executive Secretary, 3 became final. And this was so notwithstanding Section 16, Article XVII, of the 1973
Constitution, thus:

SEC. 16. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification
by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and,
except as herein provided, shall supersede the Constitution of nineteenhundred and thirty- five and all amendments thereto.
On October 27, 1976, then President Marcos promulgated Proclamation no. 1595, proclaiming
the ratification of the 1976 amendments submitted in the plebiscite of October 16- 17, 1976. The
Proclamation states, inter alia, that.
By virtue-of the powers vested in me by law, I hereby proclaim all the amendments embodied in
this certificate as duly ratified by the Filipino people in the referendum plebiscite held Oct. 1617, 1976 and are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of this date.
It shall be noted that under Amendment No. 9 of the said 1976 amendments.
These amendments shall take effect after the incumbent President shall
have proclaimed that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast
in the referendum-plebiscite.
On April 1, 1980, the then Chief Executive issued Proclamation no. 1959, "Proclaiming the
Ratification by the Filipino People of the Amendments of Section 7, Article X of the Constitution"
(lengthening the terms of office of judges and justices). The Proclamation provides:
[t]he above-quoted amendment has been duly ratified by a majority of the
votes cast in the plebiscite held, together with the election for local officials,
on January 30, 1980, and that said amendment is hereby declared to take
effect immediately.
It shall be noted that under Resolution No. 21, dated December 18, 1979, the proposed
amendment shall take effect on the date the incumbent President/Prime Minister shall proclaim
its ratification.
On April 7, 1981, Proclamation No. 2077 was issued "Proclaiming the Ratification in the
Plebiscite of April 7, 1981 of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batas Pambansa
Blg. 122 and Declaring Them Therefore Effective and in Full Force and Effect." The
Proclamation, in declaring the said amendments duly approved, further declared them
"[e]ffective and in full force and in effect as of the date of this Proclamation," It shall be noted, in
this connection, that under Resolutions Nos. I and 2 of the Batasang Pambansa, Third Regular
Session, Sitting as a Constituent Assembly, which parented these amendments, the same:
... shall become valid as part of the Constitution when approved by a
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be held pursuant to Section 2,
Article XVI of the Constitution.
On the other hand, Batas Pambansa Blg. 122, "An Act to Submit to the Filipino People, for
Ratification or Rejection, the Amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines, Proposed by the
Batasang Pambansa, Sitting as a Constituent Assembly, in its Resolutions Numbered Three,
Two, and One, and to Appropriate Funds Therefore," provides, as follows:
SEC. 7. The Commission on Elections, sitting en banc, shad canvass and
proclaim the result of the plebiscite using the certificates submitted to it, duly
authenticated and certified by the Board of Canvassers of each province or
city.

We have, finally, Proclamation No. 2332, "Proclaiming the Ratification in the Plebiscite of
January 27, 1984, of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batasang Pambansa
Resolutions Nos. 104, 105, 110, 111, 112 and 113." It states that the amendments:
....are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of the date of this
Proclamation.
It carries out Resolution no. 104 itself (as well as Resolutions Nos. 110 and 112 and Section 9,
Batas Blg. 643), which states, that:
The proposed amendments shall take effect on the date the President of the
Philippines shall proclaim that they have been ratified by a majority of the
votes cast in the plebiscite held for the purpose, but not later than three
months from the approval of the amendments.
albeit Resolutions Nos. 105, 111, and 113 provide, that:
These amendments shall be valid as a part of the Constitution when approved by a majority of
the votes cast in an election/plebiscite at which it is submitted to the people for their ratification
pursuant to Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution, as amended.
That a Constitution or amendments thereto take effect upon proclamation of their ratification and
not at the time of the plebiscite is a view that is not peculiar to the Marcos era.
The Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress) in Joint Session on the March 11, 1947 plebiscite
called pursuant to Republic Act No. 73 and the Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress)
adopted on September 18, 1946, was adopted on April 9,1947. The April 9, 1947 Resolution
makes no mention of a retroactive application. Accordingly, when the incumbent President (Mrs.
Corazon C. Aquino) proclaimed on February 11, 1987, at Malacanang Palace:
... that the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines adopted by the
Constitutional Commission of 1986, including the Ordinance appended
thereto, has been duly ratified by the Filipino people and is therefore
effective and in full force and effect. 4
the 1987 Constitution, in point of fact, came into force and effect, I hold that it took effect at no
other time.

I submit that our ruling in Ponsica v. Ignalaga 5 in which we declared, in passing, that the new Charter
was ratified on February 2, 1987, does not in any way weaken this dissent. As I stated, the remark was said in
passing-we did not resolve the case on account of a categorical holding that the 1987 Constitution came to life
on February 2, 1987. In any event, if we did, I now call for its re-examination.

I am therefore of the opinion, consistent with the views expressed above, that the challenged
dismissals done on February 8, 1987 were valid, the 1987 Constitution not being then as yet in
force.
Footnotes
1 Topacio, Jr. vs. Pimentel G.R. No. 73770, April 10, 1986.
2 Section 2, BP Blg. 222.
3 Article 11, Section 25 and Article X, Sections 1, 2, 14, among others.
4 Article X, Section 4.
5 Section 3, BP Blg. 222.
Teehankee, C.J., concurring:
1 Volume Five, Record of the Constitutional Commission Proceedings and
Debates, pages 620-623; emphasis supplied.
2 The entire draft Constitution was approved on October 12, 1986 forty
forty-five votes in favor and two against.
3 The seven Court of Appeals Justices referred to are Justices Alfredo L.
Benipayo, Minerva G. Reyes, Magdangal B. Elma, Cecilio PE, Jesus
Elbinias, Nicolas Lapena Jr. and Justo P. Torres, Jr., and their appointments
bear various dates from January 9, 1987 to January 31, 1987.
Sarmiento, J., dissenting:
1 Manila Bulletin, Feb. 3, 1987, p. 1, cols. 6-7 Philippine Daily Inquirer, Feb.
3,1987, p. 1, cot 1; Malaya, Feb. 3, 1987, p. 1, col. 1.
2 Nos. 3720102 March 3, 1975, 63 SCRA 4 (1975).
3 Nos. L-36142, March 31, 1973, 50 SCRA 30 (1973).
4 Proclamation No. 58 (1987).
5 G.R. No. 72301.