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Republic of the Philippines

his answer, would join such a plea asking that the constitutional and legal questions

SUPREME COURT

raised be decided "once and for all." Respondent Teddy C. Galo who was quite

ManilaEN BANC

categorical in his assertion that both the challenged legislation and the administrative
order transgress the constitutional requirements of due process and non-delegation, is

DECISION

not averse either to such a definitive ruling. Considering the great public interest
involved and the reliance by respondent Galo and the allegation that the repugnancy to

October 24, 1970

the fundamental law could be discerned on the face of the statute as enacted and the
L-32096

executive order as promulgated, this Court, sees no obstacle to the determination in this

ROMEO F. EDU, in his capacity as Land Transportation Commissioner, petitioner,

proceeding of the constitutional questions raised. For reasons to be hereafter stated, we

vs.

sustain the validity of the Reflector Law and Administrative Order No. 2 issued in the

HON. VICENTE G. ERICTA in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance

implementation thereof, the imputation of constitutional infirmity being at best flimsy and

of Rizal, Br. XVIII, Quezon City, and TEDDY C. GALO respondents.

insubstantial.

Office of the Solicitor General Felix Q. Antonio, Acting Assistant Solicitor General

As noted in the answer of respondent Judge, respondent Galo on his behalf and that of

Hector C. Fule and Solicitor Vicente A. Torres for petitioner. Teddy C. Galo in his own

other motorist filed on May 20, 1970 a suit for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary

behalf.

injunction assailing the validity of the challenged Act as an invalid exercise of the police

G.R.

No.

power, for being violative of the due process clause. This he followed on May 28, 1970
, J.:

Petitioner Romeo F. Edu, the Land Transportation Commissioner, would have us rule
squarely on the constitutionality of the Reflector Law1 in this proceeding for certiorari
and prohibition against respondent Judge, the Honorable Vicente G. Ericta of the Court
of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, to annul and set aside his order for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction directed against Administrative Order No. 2 of
petitioner for the enforcement of the aforesaid statute, in a pending suit in his court for
certiorari and prohibition, filed by the other respondent Teddy C. Galo assailing; the
validity of such enactment as well as such administrative order. Respondent Judge, in

with a manifestation wherein he sought as an alternative remedy that, in the event that
respondent Judge would hold said statute constitutional, Administrative Order No. 2 of
the Land Transportation Commissioner, now petitioner, implementing such legislation be
nullified as an undue exercise of legislative power. There was a hearing on the plea for
the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction held on May 27. 1970 where both parties
were duly represented, but no evidence was presented. The next day, on May 28, 1970,
respondent Judge ordered the issuance of a preliminary injunction directed against the
enforcement of such administrative order. There was the day after, a motion for its
reconsideration filed by the Solicitor General representing petitioner. In the meanwhile,

the clerk of court of respondent Judge issued, on June 1, 1970 the writ of preliminary

1. The threshold question is whether on the basis of the petition, the answers, and the

injunction upon the filing of the required bond. The answer before the lower court was

oral argument, it would be proper for this Court to resolve the issue of the

filed by petitioner Edu on June 4, 1970. Thereafter, on June 9, 1970, respondent Judge

constitutionality of the Reflector Law. Our answer, as indicated, is in the affirmative. It is

denied the motion for reconsideration of the order of injunction. Hence this petition for

to be noted that the main thrust of the petition before us is to demonstrate in a rather

certiorari and prohibition filed with this court on June 18, 1970.

convincing fashion that the challenged legislation does not suffer from the alleged
constitutional infirmity imputed to it by the respondent Galo. Since the special civil action

In a resolution of June 22, 1970, this Court required respondents to file an answer to the
petition for certiorari and prohibition. Respondent Judge, the Honorable Vicente G.
Ericta, did file his answer on June 30, 1970 explaining why he restrained the
enforcement of Administrative Order No. 2 and, as noted at the outset, joining the
Solicitor General in seeking that the legal questions raised namely the constitutionality
of the Reflector Law and secondly the validity of Administrative Order No. 2 alleged to
be in excess of the authority conferred on petitioner and therefore violative of the
principle of non-delegation of legislative power be definitely decided. It was on until July
6, 1970 that respondent Galo filed his answer seeking the dismissal of this petition
concentrating on what he considered to be the patent invalidity of Administrative Order
No. 2 as it went beyond the authority granted by the Reflector Law, even assuming that
it is constitutional. In the meanwhile, on July 2, 1970, the petition was called for hearing
with Solicitor Vicente Torres appearing for petitioner and respondent Galo for himself. It

for certiorari and prohibition filed before him before respondent Judge would seek a
declaration of nullity of such enactment by the attribution of the violation the face thereof
of the due process guarantee in the deprivation of property rights, it would follow that
there is sufficient basis for us to determine which view should prevail. Moreover, any
further hearing by respondent Judge would likewise to limited to a discussion of the
constitutional issues raised, no allegations of facts having made. This is one case then
where the question of validity is ripe for determination. If we do so, further effort need
not be wasted and time is saved moreover, the officials concerned as well as the public,
both vitally concerned with a final resolution of questions of validity, could know the
definitive answer and could act accordingly. There is a great public interest, as was
mentioned, to be served by the final disposition of such crucial issue, petitioner praying
that respondent Galo be declared having no cause of action with respondent Judge
being accordingly directed to dismiss his suit.

was made clear during the course of such argumentation that the matter of the
constitutionality of the Reflector Law was likewise under consideration by this Court.

There is another reinforcement to this avenue of approach. We have done so before in

The case is thus ripe for decision.

a suit, Climaco v. Macadaeg, 2 involving the legality of a presidential directive. That was
a petition for the review and reversal of a writ of preliminary injunction issued by the

We repeat that we find for petitioner and sustain the Constitutionality of the Reflector
Law as well as the validity of Administrative Order No. 2.

then Judge Macadaeg. We there announced that we "have decided to pass upon the
question of the validity of the presidential directive ourselves, believing that by doing so
we would be putting an end to a dispute, a delay in the disposition of which has caused

considerable damage and injury to the Government and to the tobacco planters

interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare.

themselves."

Persons and property could thus "be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens in
order to secure the general comfort, health and prosperity of the state." Shortly after

There is no principle of constitutional adjudication that bars this Court from similarly
passing upon the question of the validity of a legislative enactment in a proceeding
before it to test the propriety of the issuance of a preliminary injunction. The same felt
need for resolving once and for all the vexing question as to the constitutionality of a
challenged enactment and thus serve public interest exists. What we have done in the
case of an order proceeding from one of the coordinate branches, the executive, we can
very well do in the matter before us involving the alleged nullity of a legislative act.
Accordingly, there is nothing to preclude the grant of the writs prayed for, the burden of

independence in 1948, Primicias v. Fugoso,5 reiterated the doctrine, such a
competence being referred to as "the power to prescribe regulations to promote the
health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety, and general welfare of the
people." The concept was set forth in negative terms by Justice Malcolm in a preCommonwealth decision as "that inherent and plenary power in the State which enables
it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety and welfare of society."6 In that
sense it could be hardly distinguishable as noted by this Court in Morfe v. Mutuc7 with
the totality of legislative power.

showing the constitutionality of the act having proved to be as will now be shown too
much for respondent Galo.

It is in the above sense the greatest and most powerful attribute of government. It is to
quote Justice Malcolm anew "the most essential, insistent, and at least illimitable of

2. The Reflector Law reads in full: "(g) Lights and reflector when parked or disabled. Appropriate parking lights or flares visible one hundred meters away shall be displayed
at a corner of the vehicle whenever such vehicle is parked on highways or in places that
are not well-lighted or is placed in such manner as to endanger passing traffic.
Furthermore, every motor vehicle shall be provided at all times with built-in reflectors or
other similar warning devices either pasted, painted or attached to its front and back
which shall likewise be visible at light at least one hundred meters away. No vehicle not

powers," 8 extending as Justice Holmes aptly pointed out "to all the great public needs."
9 Its scope, ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the
future where it could be done, provides enough room for an efficient and flexible
response to conditions and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits. In the
language of Justice Cardozo: "Needs that were narrow or parochial in the past may be
interwoven in the present with the well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent
changes with the

provided with any of the requirements mentioned in this subsection shall be
registered."3 It is thus obvious that the challenged statute is a legislation enacted under

time." 10 The police power is thus a dynamic agency, suitably vague and far from

the police power to promote public safety.

precisely defined, rooted in the conception that men in organizing the state and
imposing upon its government limitations to safeguard constitutional rights did not

Justice Laurel, in the first leading decision after the Constitution came to force, Calalang
v. Williams,4 identified police power with state authority to enact legislation that may

intend thereby to enable an individual citizen or a group of citizens to obstruct

unreasonably the enactment of such salutary measures calculated to insure communal

The New Deal administration of President Roosevelt more responsive to the social and

peace, safety, good order, and welfare.

economic forces at work changed matters greatly. By 1937, there was a greater
receptivity by the American Supreme Court to an approach not too reverential of

It would then be to overturn a host of decisions impressive for their number and
unanimity were this Court to sustain respondent Galo. 11 That we are not disposed to
do, especially so as the attack on the challenged statute ostensibly for disregarding the
due process safeguard is angularly unpersuasive. It would be to close one's eyes to the
hazards of traffic in the evening to condemn a statute of this character. Such an attitude
betrays lack of concern for public safety. How can it plausibly alleged then that there
was no observance of due process equated as it has always been with that is
reasonable? The statute assailed is not infected with arbitrariness. It is not the product

property rights. Even earlier, in 1935, Professor Coker of Yale, speaking as a historian,
could already discern a contrary drift. He did note the expending range of governmental
activity in the United States. 13 What is undeniable is that by 1943, laissez-faire was no
longer the dominant theory. In the language of Justice Jackson in the leading case of
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette: 14 "We must, transplant these rights
to a soil in which the laissez-faire concept or non-interference has withered at least as
to economic affairs, and social advancements are increasingly sought through closer
integration of society and through expanded and strengthened governmental controls."

of whim or caprice. It is far from oppressive. It is a legitimate response to a felt public
need. It can stand the test of the most unsymphatetic appraisal.

While authoritative precedents from the United States federal and state jurisdictions
were deferred to when the Philippines was still under American rule, it cannot be said

Respondent Galo is of a different mind, having been unable to resist the teaching of
many American State Court decisions referred to in the secondary source, American
Jurisprudence principally relied upon by him. He ought to have been cautioned against
an indiscriminate acceptance of such doctrines predicated on what was once a
fundamental postulate in American public law, laissez faire.

It is to be admitted that there was a period when such a concept did influence American
court decisions on constitutional law. As was explicitly stated by Justice Cardozo
speaking of that era: "Laissez-faire was not only a counsel of caution which would do
well to heed. It was a categorical imperative which statesmen as well as judges must
obey." 12 For a long time legislation tending to reduce economic inequality foundered
on the rock that was the due process clause, enshrining as it did the liberty of contract,
based on such a basic assumption.

that the laissez-faire principle was invariably adhered to by us even then As early as
1919, in the leading case of Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro, 15 Justice Malcolm
already had occasion to affirm: "The doctrines of laissez-faire and of unrestricted
freedom of the individual, as axioms of economic and political theory, are of the past.
The modern period has shown a widespread belief in the amplest possible
demonstration of government activity. The Courts unfortunately have sometimes
seemed to trail after the other two branches of the Government in this progressive
march." People v. Pomar, 16 a 1924 decision which held invalid under the due process
clause a provision providing for maternity leave with pay thirty days before and thirty
days after confinement could be cited to show that such a principle did have its day. It is
to be remembered though that our Supreme Court had no other choice as the
Philippines was then under the United States, and only recently the year before, the

American Supreme Court in Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 17 in line with the laissez-

thus: "My answer is that this constitution has definite and well defined philosophy not

faire theory, did hold that a statute providing for minimum wages was constitutionally

only political but social and economic. ... If in this Constitution the gentlemen will find

infirm.

declarations of economic policy they are there because they are necessary to safeguard
the interests and welfare of the Filipino people because we believe that the days have

What is more, to erase any doubts, the Constitutional Convention saw to it
that the concept of laissez-faire was rejected. It entrusted to our
government the responsibility of coping with social and economic
problems with the commensurate power of control over economic affairs.
Thereby it could live up to its commitment to promote the general welfare
through state action. No constitutional objection to regulatory measures
adversely affecting property rights, especially so when public safety is the
aim, is likely to be heeded, unless of course on the clearest and most
satisfactory proof of invasion of rights guaranteed by the Constitution. On
such a showing, there may be a declaration of nullity, but not because the
laissez-faire principle was such a new law before it adjourns for the 1998
elections.

come when in self-defense, a nation may provide in its constitution those safeguards,
the patrimony, the freedom to grow, the freedom to develop national aspirations and
national interests, not to be hampered by the artificial boundaries which a constitutional
provision automatically imposes. 19

It was not expected then when in a concurring opinion, Justice Laurel, who likewise sat
in the Constitutional Convention and was one of its leading lights, explicitly affirmed in a

7.2At the very least, whether or not Congress will be able to fasttrack the
enactment of a new oil deregulation law consistent with the Honorable
Court's ruling, would depend on many unforseeable and uncontrollable
factors. Already, several statements from legislators, senators and
congressmen alike, say that the new law can wait because of other
pending legislative matters, etc. Given the "realities" of politics, especially
with the 1998 presidential polls six months away, it is not far-fetched that
the general welfare could be sacrificed to gain political mileage, thus
further unduly delaying the enactment of a new oil deregulation law.
disregarded but because the due process, equal protection, or non-impairment

concurring opinion, later quoted with approval in the leading case of Antamok Goldfields
Mining Co. v. Court of Industrial Relations, 20 that the Constitution did away with the
laissez-faire doctrine. In the course of such concurring opinion and after noting the
changes that have taken place calling for a more affirmative role by the government and
its undeniable power to curtail property rights, he categorically declared the doctrine in
People v. Pomar no longer retains "its virtuality as a living principle." 21

guarantees would call for vindication.
It is in the light of such rejection of the laissez-faire principle that during the
To repeat, our Constitution which took effect in 1935 erased whatever doubts there

Commonwealth era, no constitutional infirmity was found to have attached to legislation

might be on that score. Its philosophy is a repudiation of laissez-faire. One of the

covering such subjects as collective bargaining, 22 security of tenure, 23 minimum

leading members of the Constitutional Convention, Manuel A. Roxas, later the first

wages, 24 compulsory arbitration, 25 the regulation of tenancy 26 as well as the

President of the Republic, made it clear when he disposed of the objection of Delegate

issuance of

Jose Reyes of Sorsogon, who noted the "vast extensions in the sphere of governmental
functions" and the "almost unlimited power to interfere in the affairs of industry and

securities, 27 and control of public services. 28 So it is likewise under the Republic this

agriculture as well as to compete with existing business" as "reflections of the

Court having given the seal of approval to more favorable tenancy laws, 29

fascination exerted by [the then] current tendencies" in other jurisdictions. 18 He spoke

nationalization of the retail trade, 30 limitation of the hours of labor, 31 imposition of

of which the Reflector Law is an amendment. Such reflectors shall either be factory built-in-reflector commercial glass reflectors. which took effect on April 17. The luminosity shall have an intensity to be maintained visible and clean However. The painted or taped area may be bigger at the discretion of the vehicle owner. may." participate in its exercise. pasted or painted in front and those in the rear end of the Respondent Galo thus could have profited by a little more diligence in the scrutiny of Philippine decisions rendered with not unexpected regularity. for being contrary to the principle of non-delegation of legislative power." 37 There is the further requirement that in addition to such reflectors there scheme. 3.At least 3 inches wide and 12 inches government. the with the requirements contained in this Order shall be sufficient cause to refuse constitutional test. with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications. that in the case of the violation of Section 1(a) and (b) and paragraph (8) Section 3 hereof. kind. make. registration of the motor vehicle affected and if already registered. 1970. pasted Constitution to make laws and to alter and repeal them. Reflectorized Tape . pasted or painted four reflectors on each side of the motor vehicle parallel to those installed. placement and color. The same lack of success marks the effort of respondent Galo to impugn the validity of Administrative Order No. a fine of not less than ten nor more than fifty pesos shall be imposed. it would appear. Thus: "Non-compliance from the attack so recklessly hurled against it. The Reflector Law is thus immune Penalties resulting from a violation thereof could be imposed. Such administrative order. during all the while our Constitution has been in force attesting to the demise of such a shibboleth as laissezfaire. as the Land Transportation Commissioner. the test is the completeness of . issue rules and regulations for its implementation as long as they do not conflict with its provisions. reflection tape or luminous paint. its registration maybe suspended in pursuance of the provisions of Section 16 of RA 4136. 4136. It was one of those fighting faiths that time and circumstances had upset. What cannot be delegated is the authority under the 36 Provision is then made as to how such reflectors are to be "placed. whether built-in. to body thereof. has a provision on reflectors in effect reproducing what was set forth in the Act. 34 shall be installed. is a vain quest. 33 and social security or painted. reflectorized tape or reflectorized paint placed in the front part of any motor vehicle shall be amber or yellow and those placed on the sides and in the rear shall all be red.price control. a futile undertaking. and quite easily too. duly approved by the Secretary of Public Works and Communications. commercial glass. subject to the exception that local governments may over local affairs long. 42 at all times such that if struck by a beam of light shall be visible 100 meters away at night. Thus: "No motor vehicles of whatever style. As to dimensions It is a fundamental principle flowing from the doctrine of separation of powers that the following is provided for: "Glass reflectors .Not less than 3 inches in diameter or not Congress may not delegate its legislative power to the two other branches of the less than 3 inches square." 35 Then came a section on dimensions. Yet respondent Galo would seek to vivify and resurrect it. 39 paraphrase Holmes. 41 It is likewise an express provision of the above statute that for a violation of any of its provisions or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto a fine of not less than P10 nor not less than P50 could be imposed. [Provided]. installed. 2 issued by petitioner in his official capacity. That. class or denomination shall be registered if not equipped with reflectors. 32 requirement of separation pay for one month. 40 It is not to be lost sight of that under Republic Act No. petitioner. It can survive. 38 The color required of each reflectors.

the statute in all its term and provisions when it leaves the hands of the legislature. the executive or administrative office designated may in multifarious and complex situations that may be met in carrying the law in effect." 45 Consistency with the conceptual approach requires the reminder that regarded as denying the legislature the necessary resources of flexibility and what is delegated is authority non-legislative in character. the non-delegation law prescribes . It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a An even more explicit formulation of the controlling principle comes from the pen of the whole. marks its limits. but conform to the standards that the The standard may be either express or implied. All that pursuance of the above guidelines promulgate supplemental rules and regulations. giving rise to the adoption. to which no valid objection call be made. The Constitution is thus not to be by the courts. In the Reflector Law. is required is that the regulation should germane to the objects and purposes of the law. the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulation. Exconde: 46 "It is well establish in this jurisdiction that. there is a constantly growing tendency toward the of authority or discretion as to its execution to exercised under and in pursuance of the delegation of greater powers by the legislature and toward the approval of the practice law. Reyes in very least that the legislature itself determines matters of principle and lay down People vs. does not abdicate its functions when it describes what job must be done. there must be a standard. that the regulation be not in contradiction with it. It is the criterion by which legislative purpose legislature often finds it impracticable (if not impossible) to anticipate and proved for the may be carried out. the legality of Circular No. L.. For a complex economy. and the increased discretion as to what it shall be. " 47 objection is easily met. B. now Chief Justice. It indicates the circumstances under which implement a given legislation and effectuate its policies. laws is a non-delegable activity that corresponds exclusively to Congress. its maps out its boundaries the latter may constitutionally delegate authority to promulgate rules and regulations to and specifies the public agency to apply it. If the former. To This is to adhere to the recognition given expression by Justice Laurel in a decision determine whether or not there is an undue delegation of legislative power the inquiry announced not long after the Constitution came into force and effect that the principle of must be directed to the scope and definiteness of the measure enacted. which constitutionally may not be done." 43 assailed upon the ground that the grant of authority to issue the same constitutes an . who is to do it. with the growing complexity of modern been made between delegation of power to make the laws which necessarily involves a life. A distinction has rightfully governments. Concepcion: "Lastly. and delegation difficulty of administering the laws. The legislature non-delegation "has been made to adapt itself the complexities of modern governments. while the making of fundamental policy. Williams is "safe transit upon the roads.. for the reason that the the legislative command is to be effected. Thereafter. That is then Justice. of the principle of "subordinate and what is the scope of his authority." 44 He continued: "Accordingly. Justice J. Otherwise. Thus from. nevertheless A standard thus defines legislative policy. The standard though does not have to be spelled out specifically. 21 is sought to be attained as in Calalang v. the charge of complete abdication may be hard to repel. To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation. statute when it leaves the hands of Congress being assumed. which implies at the Our later decisions speak to the same effect. the completeness of the practicability. within certain limits. clearly the legislative objective is public safety. that may indeed be the legislation" not only in the United States and England but in practically all modern only way in which the legislative process can go forward.

His Administrative Order No. and another thing to delegate the writ of preliminary injunction of June 1. 4136. Manila among others. MINISTER OF Transportation Code. FIRST DIVISION Rep. respondents. 2 of "sufficiently marks the field within which the Administrator is to act so that it may be petitioner have not been shown to be tainted by invalidity. SACO... which are. under our system of government. 1970 denying the authority to fix the details in the execution of enforcement of a policy set out in the reconsideration are annulled and set aside. 265). Dala & Zaragoza Law Office for petitioner. the character of administrative details in the enforcement of the law G. furthermore. category. " 48 EASTERN SHIPPING LINES. "to maintain monetary stability in the Philippines. Jimenea. WHEREFORE. Republic of the Philippines 848) . It should be noted. vs. 88 L. His power is clear. that these powers must be construed and SUPREME COURT exercised in relation to the objectives of the law creating the Central Bank." (Yakus vs." and "to promote a rising level of production. It is true that. The Solicitor General for public respondent. INC. costs. one thing is to of May 28. Briefly stated. far-from-formidable. Dizon Law Office for respondent Kathleen D. No. launched against it by respondent Galo.undue delegation of legislative power. It bears repeating that the Reflector Law construed together with the Land PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION (POEA). the writs of certiorari and prohibition prayed for are granted. However." (Section 2. leaves no LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT. Act No. Respondent Judge is likewise directed to law itself. 1970 of respondent Judge for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. delegate the power to determine what the law shall be. if the law authorizing the. the rule is that the delegated powers fall under the second dismiss the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by respondent Teddy C. Saco. 1970 and his order of June 9. 1988 and to place the grant said authority beyond the category of a delegation of legislative powers . 76633 October 18... statutes of this character. . Galo. HEARING OFFICER ABDUL BASAR and KATHLEEN doubt as to the stress and emphasis on public safety which is the prime consideration in D. the orders said power may not be delegated except to local governments. employment and real income in the Philippines. Republic Act No.R. United States. of which it is an amendment. 2 can easily survive the attack. There has been no abuse. These standards are sufficiently concrete and definite to vest in the delegated authority. delegation furnishes a reasonable standard which there being no cause of action as the Reflector Law and Administrative Order No. There is likewise a categorical affirmation Of the power of petitioner as Land Transportation Commissioner to promulgate rules and regulations to give life to and translate into actuality such fundamental purpose.. ed. Without pronouncement as to known whether he has kept within it in compliance with the legislative will. petitioner.

include "claims for death. 797. argued that the complaint was cognizable not by the POEA but by the Social Security System and should have been filed against the State Insurance Fund. Under Section 4(a) of the said executive order. if any. on the theory inter alia that the agency should be given an opportunity to correct the errors. March 15. This case comes under one of the exceptions. to promote and monitor the overseas CRUZ. 1985. His widow sued for damages under benefits" arising out of such employment. prompting the Solicitor General to move for dismissal on the ground of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies. Ordinarily. subject to appeal to the Employees Compensation Commission. What it does urge is that he was not an overseas worker but a 'domestic employee and consequently his widow's claim should have been filed with Social Security System. as owner of the vessel. involving employee-employer relations arising out of or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino contract workers. 1 Moreover. It replaced the National Seamen The private respondent in this case was awarded the sum of P192. 1982. 2 of the POEA. including employment on board vessels plying international waters.: employment of Filipinos and to protect their rights. as the questions the petitioner is raising are essentially questions of law. foreign .00 as death benefits and P12. the POEA is vested with "original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases. according to the 1985 Rules and Regulations on Overseas Vitaliano Saco was Chief Officer of the M/V Eastern Polaris when he was killed in an Employment issued by the POEA. We see no reason to disturb the factual finding of the POEA that Vitaliano Saco was an overseas employee of the petitioner at the time he met with the fatal accident in Japan in 1985. including seamen.000. of its subordinates. 2 Executive Order No. overseas employment is defined as "employment of a worker outside the Philippines.000.000. 797 and Memorandum Circular No. The petitioner does not contend that Saco was not its employee or that the claim of his widow is not compensable. The POEA nevertheless assumed jurisdiction and after considering the position papers of the parties ruled in favor of the complainant. promulgated on May 1.00 for burial expenses. however. the decisions of the POEA should first be appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission." These cases. Under the 1985 Rules and Regulations on Overseas Employment. The award consisted of P180. J. observing that the usual procedure would delay the disposition of the case to her prejudice. The petitioner immediately came to this Court. the private respondent himself has not objected to the petitioner's direct resort to this Court.00 by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for the death of her husband. The decision is challenged by the petitioner on the principal ground that the POEA had no jurisdiction over the case as the husband was not an overseas worker. covered by a valid contract. Board created earlier under Article 20 of the Labor Code in 1974. 3 A contract worker is described as "any person working or who has worked overseas under a valid employment contract and shall include seamen" 4 or "any person working overseas or who has been employed by another which may be a local employer. Japan. disability and other accident in Tokyo. including money claims. The petitioner.The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration was created under Executive Order No.

" In the second place. which became effective It is worth observing that the petitioner performed at least two acts which constitute on February 1.00 for death benefits and P12. 797. the provisions of the said circular are nevertheless deemed written into the contract with Saco as a postulate of the police power of the State. No.D. A similar contract had earlier been required by the National Seamen Board formalization and approval in the exercise of its regulatory power over overseas and had been sustained in a number of cases by this Court. This circular prescribed a standard contract to be adopted by both implied or tacit recognition of the nature of Saco's employment at the time of his death foreign and domestic shipping companies in the hiring of Filipino seamen for overseas in 1985. in the light of the petitioner's own previous acts." 9 While this receipt is certainly not controlling.000. are not considered overseas workers. is not subject to delegation. it does contract effective that date. principal or partner under a valid employment contract and shall include cannot under the definitions given be considered seamen nor are their appointments seamen. that the petitioner and the Fund to which it had made contributions considered Saco to be an overseas employee. necessary to submit its shipping articles to the POEA for processing. If this be so. it should have done so as required by the circular. died while under a contract of employment with the petitioner and alongside the The award of P180. Workers. the analogy is hardly appropriate as the employees of the PAL Order No. the office administering this fund.00 for burial expenses was petitioner's vessel." board any ocean-going vessel are advised to adopt and use this employment contract effective 01 February 1984 and to desist from using any other format of employment Significantly. the regulation represents an exercise of legislative discretion which. although working abroad in its international flights. employment. even if it had not done so." 5 These definitions clearly apply to Vitaliano Saco for it is not disputed that he coursed through the POEA. and even with such authorization. It contends that no authority had The petitioner argues that the deceased employee should be likened to the employees of the Philippine Air Lines who. 6 made by the POEA pursuant to its Memorandum Circular No. Moreover. the M/V Eastern Polaris. 2 itself as violative of the principle of non-delegation of legislative power. 11 indicate. employment under Executive Order NO. 797. in the receipt it prepared for the private respondent's signature.employer. formalization and approval or to contribute to the Welfare Fund which is available only to overseas The authority to issue the said regulation is clearly provided in Section 4(a) of Executive workers. 1694 "for the purpose of providing social and which specifically declared that "all parties to the employment of any Filipino seamen on welfare services to Filipino overseas workers. described the subject of the burial benefits as "overseas contract worker Vitaliano Saco. The first is its submission of its shipping articles to the POEA for processing. under the principle. But the petitioner questions the validity of Memorandum Circular No. while berthed in a foreign country. the petitioner should not have found it been given the POEA to promulgate the said regulation. 7 The second is its payment 8 10 The petitioner claims that of the it had never entered into such a contract with the deceased Saco. but that is hardly a contributions mandated by law and regulations to the Welfare Fund for Overseas serious argument. reading as follows: . In the first place. 2.000. 1984. which was created by P.

or more and more frequent. Intermediate Apellate Court 12 which annulled Executive Order No. not what the law shall be. such occasions have become One searches in vain for the usual standard and the reasonable guidelines. this Court held: Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the delegate. there must be adequate guidelines or stations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegate's authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. they and they alone may . as hereunder provided choose the grantee as they see fit. in Ynot v. Their options are apparently boundless. if not necessary. viz.' in short a clearly profligate and therefore invalid delegation of legislative powers. and even corruption.. The ascertainment of the latter subject is a prerogative of the legislature. 626. What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may be enforced. the questionable manner of the disposition of the power essentially legislative. the fortunate beneficiaries of their generosity and by what criteria shall they be chosen? Only the officers named can supply the answer. legislative power. in the case of carabaos. if condition it is. Under the first test. and in their own exclusive discretion. on top of all this.) The phrase of the many instances when its delegation is permitted. This prerogative legislature such that when it reaches the delegate the only thing he will have to do is enforce it. the limitations that the officers must observe when they make their delegation of legislative power has become the rule and its non-delegation the distribution. confiscated property as prescribed in the questioned executive order. 13 Under the sufficient standard test. This had led to the observation that the better still. as earlier observed. 14 cannot be abdicated or surrendered by the legislature to the delegate. The occasions are rare when "may see fit" is an extremely generous and dangerous condition. Thus. There is none.' (Italics supplied. The governing Board of the Administration (POEA). It is there authorized that the seized property shall be distributed to charitable institutions The principle of non-delegation of powers is applicable to all the three major powers of and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection the Government but is especially important in the case of the legislative power because Commission may see fit... It executive or judicial powers have to be delegated by the authorities to which they legally is laden with perilous opportunities for partiality and abuse. the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the The second challenge is more serious as it is true that legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot be delegated. canalized within banks that keep it from overflowing. Similar authorization had been granted the National Seamen Board. shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to govern the exercise of there is here a 'roving commission a wide and sweeping authority that is not the adjudicatory functions of the Administration (POEA). had itself prescribed a standard shipping contract substantially the same as There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is a valid delegation of the format adopted by the POEA. the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Who shall be exception. certain. however. Definitely. which. who is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a We also mark. In the case of the legislative power.

be expected from its delegates. The model contract prescribed thereby has been applied in a significant number of the cases without challenge by the employer.— 1. 18 to mention only a few cases. With the proliferation of specialized activities and their attendant peculiar problems.00 for master and chief engineers . P220. administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in a the petitioner because it is specifically reserved in the standard contract of employment statute by "filling in' the details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or for Filipino seamen under Memorandum Circular No. the national legislature has found it more and more necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue rules to carry out the general provisions of the statute. 2. 19 and "national security" in Hirabayashi v. The reasons given above for the delegation of legislative powers in general are Industrial Commission.42 since March 1985 and that she was also paid a P1. United States.The reason is the increasing complexity of the task of government and the growing guiding the delegate in the exercise of the said authority. that— competence to provide. Auditor General. Rosenthal 15 "justice and equity" in Antamok Gold Fields v." It is not denied that the private respondent has been receiving a monthly death benefit pension of P514. in creating the Philippine Overseas Employment attention. the legislature may not have the competence to provide the required direct and efficacious. Williams 17 and "simplicity.000. In case of death of the seamen during the term of his Contract. as already observed. To many of the problems attendant upon present-day undertakings. This is called the "power of subordinate legislation. 20 particularly applicable to administrative bodies. specific solutions. the "sense and experience of men" was accepted in Mutual Film Corp. In addition. Series of 1984. she also received a P5. CIR 16 "public convenience and welfare" in Calalang v. not to say. Parenthetically. the employer shall pay his beneficiaries the amount of: a.000. The power of the POEA (and before it the National Seamen Board) in requiring the model contract is not unlimited as there is a sufficient standard Section C. These solutions may. it is recalled that this Court has accepted as sufficient standards "Public interest" in People v. Specialization even in legislation has become necessary. who are supposed to be experts in the particular fields assigned to them. This is effected by their promulgation of what are known as supplementary regulations. mandated it to protect the rights of overseas Filipino workers to "fair and sophisticated problems that the legislature cannot be expected reasonably to equitable employment practices.00 burial gratuity from the Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers. The growth of society has ramified its activities and created peculiar and Administration. That standard is discoverable inability of the legislature to cope directly with the myriad problems demanding its in the executive order itself which. 2 is one such administrative regulation." comprehend. however. such as the implementing rules issued by the Department of Labor on the new Labor Code.00 funeral benefit by the Social Security System. v. economy and efficiency" in Cervantes v. These regulations have the force and effect of law.000. Memorandum Circular No. These payments will not preclude allowance of the private respondent's claim against With this power. In the United States. Compensation and Benefits.

One last challenge of the petitioner must be dealt with to close t case. This is only fair if he is . the Central Bank on its own circulars. Such an arrangement has been accepted as a fact of life of modern governments and cannot be considered violative of due process as long as the cardinal rights laid down by Justice Laurel in the landmark case of Ang Tibay v. P180. .. P 130..000. Whatever doubts may still remain regarding the rights of the parties in this case are resolved in favor of the private respondent.b. as so too do the Philippine Patent Office and by the National Seamen Board on July 12. the Securities and The underscored portion is merely a reiteration of Memorandum Circular No. and will be in addition to whatever benefits which the seaman is entitled to under Philippine laws. Administrative agencies are vested with two basic powers. in addition to whatever benefits.000. and the second enables them to interpret and apply such regulations. 2 has also sustained and applied it is an uninformed criticism of administrative law itself. beneficiaries in accordance with such laws.00 for other officers. issued Exchange Commission on its own rules.. When the conflicting interests of labor and capital are weighed on the scales of social justice. If the remains of the seaman is buried in the Philippines. gratuities or allowances that the seaman or his beneficiaries may be entitled to under the employment contract approved by the NSB. it has been denied due process because the same POEA that issued Memorandum Circular No. Court of Industrial Relations 21 are observed. the quasi-legislative and the quasi-judicial. c. the owners shall pay the beneficiaries of the seaman an amount not exceeding P18. Book Four of the Labor Code of the Philippines (Employees Compensation and State Insurance Fund) shall be granted. .— All compensation benefits under Title II. Its argument that 2. 3. The first enables them to promulgate implementing rules and regulations. 22. consistently with the social justice policy and the specific provisions in the Constitution for the protection of the working class and the promotion of its interest. c.00 for burial expenses.00 for ratings. including radio operators and master The above provisions are manifestations of the concern of the State for the working electrician class. the heavier influence of the latter must be counter-balanced by the sympathy and compassion the law must accord the underprivileged worker..1976.000. It is understood and agreed that the benefits mentioned above shall be separate and distinct from. all benefits under the Social Security Law and the Philippine Medicare Law shall be enjoyed by the seaman or his administrative regulations. providing an follows: the Videogram Regulatory Board and the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Department of Natural Resources and so on ad infinitum on their respective Income Benefits under this Rule Shall be Considered Additional Benefits. If applicable. Examples abound: the Bureau of Internal Revenue adjudicates on its own revenue regulations. in line with the express mandate of the Labor Code and the principle that those with less in life should have more in law.

)..R. DECISION NACHURA. The universal charge shall be a non-bypassable charge which shall be passed on and collected from all end-users on a monthly basis by the distribution utilities. (d) An environmental charge equivalent to one-fourth of one centavo per kilowatt-hour (P0. J p: (c) The equalization of the taxes and royalties applied to indigenous or renewable sources of energy vis-à-vis imported energy fuels. 1 and Rule 18 of the Rules and Regulations (IRR) 2 which seeks to implement the said imposition. Collections by the distribution utilities and the TRANSCO in any given month shall be remitted to the PSALM Corp. The temporary restraining order dated December 10. All amount collected for the universal charge shall be distributed to the respective beneficiaries within a reasonable period to be provided by the ERC. Katulong Ng Bayan (KB). Gerochi. as administrator of the fund. The PSALM Corp. with costs against the petitioner. and collecting the said charge. Any end-user or self-generating entity not connected to a distribution utility shall remit its corresponding universal charge directly to the TRANSCO. STRATEGIC POWER UTILITIES GROUP (SPUG).. (ECN). DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE). Gancayco. on or before the fifteenth (15th) of the succeeding month. shall be imposed on all electricity end-users for the following purposes: (a) Payment for the stranded debts 4 in excess of the amount assumed by the National Government and stranded contract costs of NPC 5 and as well as qualified stranded contract costs of distribution utilities resulting from the restructuring of the industry. . Said fund shall be managed by NPC under existing arrangements. come before this Court in this original action praying that Section 34 of Republic Act (RA) 9136. NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION (NPC). Griño-Aquino and Medialdea. a universal charge to be determined. KATULONG NG BAYAN (KB) and ENVIRONMENTALIST CONSUMERS NETWORK. concur. with which he can negotiate on even plane. (b) Missionary electrification. No. Petitioners also pray that the Universal Charge imposed upon the consumers be refunded and that a preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order (TRO) be issued directing the respondents to refrain from implementing. — Within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act.] ROMEO P. 3 The assailed provision of law reads: SECTION 34.0025/kWh). Narvasa. Labor is not a mere employee of capital but its active and equal partner. July 17. INC.to be given the opportunity and the right to assert and defend his cause not as a subordinate but as a peer of management. 1986 is hereby LIFTED. and (e) A charge to account for all forms of cross-subsidies for a period not exceeding three (3) years. fixed and approved by the ERC. POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT GROUP (PSALM Corp. WHEREFORE. JJ. Inc. be declared unconstitutional. vs. 2007. Universal Charge. (ECN) (petitioners). which shall accrue to an environmental fund to be used solely for watershed rehabilitation and management. net of any amount due to the distribution utility. the petition is DISMISSED. imposing the Universal Charge. respondents. petitioners. GEROCHI. It is so ordered. ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION (ERC). shall create a Special Trust Fund which shall be disbursed only for the purposes specified herein in an open and transparent manner. charging. and Environmentalist Consumers Network. (PECO). and PANAY ELECTRIC COMPANY INC. 6 EN BANC [G. Petitioners Romeo P. 159796. otherwise known as the "Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001" (EPIRA).

on June 26. authorizing the NPC to draw up to P70. 9 On May 7.59. respondent National Power Corporation-Strategic Power Utilities Group 8 (NPC-SPUG) filed with respondent Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) a petition for the availment from the Universal Charge of its share for Missionary Electrification. the provisional authority granted to petitioner National Power Corporation-Strategic Power Utilities Group (NPC-SPUG) in the Order dated December 20. on April 2.0168 per kilowatt-hour provisionally authorized by the Commission in the said Order. 2003.00 from PSALM for its 2003 Watershed Rehabilitation Budget subject to the availability of funds for the Environmental Fund component of the Universal Charge. 15 (a) June 26-July 25. the ERC rendered its Decision 13 (for ERC Case No. Explanation of the reallocation of UC-ME funds. Period of completion. Gerochi and all other end-users with the Universal Charge as reflected in their respective electric bills starting from the month of July 2003. 2001. which the ERC granted in its Order dated October 7.0025 per kilowatt-hour (/kWh). (PECO) charged petitioner Romeo P. 14 to set aside the above-mentioned Decision. docketed as ERC Case No. 2001. NPC-SPUG is directed to submit. 2002-165 provisionally approving the computed amount of P0. 2003. 2004. and 6. 5. Accordingly. thus: WHEREFORE.847. Start of Operation. Relative thereto. respondent Panay Electric Company. Inc. 2003 for National Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO). 2003 is hereby modified accordingly. the ERC issued an Order 12 in ERC Case No. 2002-165. SO ORDERED. the Decision dated June 26. 17 Hence.488. 2003. 16 On the basis of the said ERC decisions. this original action. 11 On December 20. if any. 7 On April 5. the foregoing premises considered.0373 per kilowatt-hour and remit the same to PSALM on or before the 15th day of the succeeding month.0373 per kilowatt-hour is hereby APPROVED for withdrawal from the Special Trust Fund managed by PSALM as its share from the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UC-ME) effective on the following billing cycles: Let copies of this Order be furnished petitioner NPC-SPUG and all distribution utilities (Dus). 2. Congress enacted the EPIRA on June 8.000. disposing: WHEREFORE. 2002-194. NPC-SPUG is directed to submit a quarterly report on the following: 1. On August 13. a detailed report to include Audited Financial Statements and Meanwhile. 2002. In the meantime.000. Projects for CY 2002 undertaken. a total amount of P0. On June 26. 4. NPC-SPUG filed a Motion for Reconsideration asking the ERC. 2002 is hereby modified to the effect that an additional amount of P0. 2003. and (b) July 2003 for Distribution Utilities (Dus). TRANSCO and Dus are directed to collect the UC-ME in the amount of P0. Relative thereto. the "Motion for Reconsideration" filed by petitioner National Power CorporationSmall Power Utilities Group (NPC-SPUG) is hereby GRANTED. ERC decided ERC Case No. 2002-194. docketed as ERC Case No. Location 3. praying that the proposed share from the Universal Charge for the Environmental charge of P0. 2002. or a total of P119. 2002. among others. . 2002. Actual amount utilized to complete the project.0168/kWh as the share of the NPCSPUG from the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification and authorizing the National Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO) and Distribution Utilities to collect the same from its end-users on a monthly basis. Accordingly.0205 per kilowatt-hour should be added to the P0. 2002-165) modifying its Order of December 20. SO ORDERED. it took effect.The Facts physical status (percentage of completion) of the projects using the prescribed format. be approved for withdrawal from the Special Trust Fund (STF) managed by respondent Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Group (PSALM) 10 for the rehabilitation and management of watershed areas. the foregoing premises considered. NPC filed another petition with ERC. not later than April 30.

therefore. On this premise. respondent PSALM through the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) contends that unlike a tax which is imposed to provide income for public purposes. 34 of the EPIRA and the Decisions in ERC Case Nos. Respondents further contend that said Universal Charge does not possess the essential characteristics of a tax. it is exacted by the State in the exercise of its inherent police power. and 2) Whether or not there is undue delegation of legislative power to tax on the part of the ERC. and NPC. 34 of the EPIRA is a tax. the respective funds 20 were created in order to balance and stabilize the prices of oil and sugar. The power to tax is strictly a legislative function and as such. 2. such as support of the government. Section 5 (1) and (2) of the 1987 Constitution 27 categorically provides that: SECTION 5. 34 of the EPIRA imposing the Universal Charge and Rule 18 of the EPIRA's IRR. the Universal Charge imposed under Sec. administration of the law. and to act as buffer to counteract the changes and adjustments in prices. which imposes fines and penalties for any violation of its provisions or its IRR. and is. The assailed provision clearly provides that the Universal Charge is to be determined. the assailed Universal Charge is levied for a specific regulatory purpose. or payment of public expenses. and other variables which cannot be adequately and timely monitored by the legislature. Petitioners filed before us an original action particularly denominated as a Complaint assailing the constitutionality of Sec. through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). which is to ensure the viability of the country's electric power industry. Furthermore. and that its rate is uniformly levied on electricity end-users. hence leaving to the latter complete discretionary legislative authority. They impugn the constitutionality of Sec. 34 of the EPIRA and sought to be implemented under Sec. 34 of the EPIRA because they sustained a direct injury as a result of the imposition of the Universal Charge as reflected in their electric bills. unlike a tax which is imposed based on the individual taxpayer's ability to pay. 23 On its part. benefit of the electric power industry and not to the public. peso devaluation. No doubt. 21 Petitioners posit that the Universal Charge is imposed not for a similar purpose. 22 Respondents Department of Energy (DOE). fixed and approved by the ERC. PSALM submits that there is no undue delegation of legislative power to the ERC since the latter merely exercises a limited authority or discretion as to the execution and implementation of the provisions of the EPIRA. 46 24 of the EPIRA. the Complaint is bereft of any allegation of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the ERC or any of the public respondents. respondent PECO argues that it is duty-bound to collect and remit the amount pertaining to the Missionary Electrification and Environmental Fund components of the Universal Charge. which is not so in the case at bench. share the same view that the Universal Charge is not a tax because it is levied for a specific regulatory purpose. Lastly. Otherwise. Moreover. petitioners violated the doctrine of hierarchy of courts when they filed this "Complaint" directly with us. ERC. the delegation of said power to any executive or administrative agency like the ERC is unconstitutional. 25 The Issues 3) The imposition of the Universal Charge on all end-users is oppressive and confiscatory and amounts to taxation without representation as the consumers were not given a chance to be heard and represented. that its imposition would redound to the The ultimate issues in the case at bar are: 1) Whether or not. Article VIII. PECO could be held liable under Sec. there was a need to delegate powers to administrative bodies. 26 Before we discuss the issues. the Court shall first deal with an obvious procedural lapse. which is to ensure the viability of the country's electric power industry. On the other hand. pursuant to Sec. Thus. 18 Petitioners contend that the Universal Charge has the characteristics of a tax and is collected to fund the operations of the NPC. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: . giving the same unlimited authority. However. 2) The ERC is also empowered to approve and determine where the funds collected should be used. 2002-194 and 2002-165. in order for the Court to consider it as a petition for certiorari or prohibition.Petitioners submit that the assailed provision of law and its IRR which sought to implement the same are unconstitutional on the following grounds: 1) The universal charge provided for under Sec. respondents argue that the imposition of the Universal Charge is not oppressive and confiscatory since it is an exercise of the police power of the State and it complies with the requirements of due process. petitioners have locus standi. an exaction in the exercise of the State's police power. In said cases. Rule 18 of the IRR of the said law is a tax which is to be collected from all electric end-users and self-generating entities. Thus. They argue that the cases 19 invoked by the respondents clearly show the regulatory purpose of the charges imposed therein. respondents deny that there is undue delegation of legislative power to the ERC since the EPIRA sets forth sufficient determinable standards which would guide the ERC in the exercise of the powers granted to it.

Review. or affirm on appeal or certiorari. law. ordinance. proclamation. 35 (a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty. revise. and habeas corpus. the imposition is a tax. mandamus. The EPIRA resonates such regulatory purposes. so that security against its abuse is to be found only in the responsibility of the legislature which imposes the tax on the constituency that is to pay it. Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors. security and affordability of the supply of electric power. thus: SECTION 2. and control. final judgments and orders of lower courts in: The justification is found in the Latin maxims salus populi est suprema lex (the welfare of the people is the supreme law) and sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas (so use your property as not to injure the property of others). first and foremost. we opt to resolve the constitutional issue raised herein. government cannot fulfill its mandate of promoting the general welfare and wellbeing of the people. (c) To ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electricity in a regime of free and fair competition and full public accountability to achieve greater operational and economic efficiency and enhance the competitiveness of Philippine products in the global market. without taxes. foster. the fact that revenue is incidentally raised does not make the imposition a tax. preserve. In exacting the assailed Universal Charge through Sec. modify. or regulation is in question. while concurrent with that of the regional trial courts and the Court of Appeals. particularly its regulatory dimension. quo warranto. In the public interest and to avoid unnecessary delay. order. as the law or the rules of court may provide. this Court renders its ruling now. or where exceptional and compelling circumstances justify availment of a remedy within and call for the exercise of our primary jurisdiction. the theory behind the exercise of the power to tax emanates from necessity. as parens patriae. but if regulation is the primary purpose. This procedural infirmity notwithstanding. Such can be deduced from Sec. reverse. prohibition. prohibition. with due regard for the interests. the issue will certainly resurface in the near future. resulting in a repeat of this litigation. 33 It is the most pervasive. other public ministers and consuls. (d) To enhance the inflow of private capital and broaden the ownership base of the power generation. 30 It is based on the principle that taxes are the lifeblood of the government. instruction. 28 It has long been established that this Court will not entertain direct resort to it unless the redress desired cannot be obtained in the appropriate courts. mandamus. acknowledging in its very nature no limits. As an inherent attribute of sovereignty which virtually extends to all public needs. . does not give litigants unrestrained freedom of choice of forum from which to seek such relief. 36 But this Court's jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari. 31 Thus. police power is the power of the state to promote public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property. 34 of the EPIRA is not resolved now. — It is hereby declared the policy of the State: (a) To ensure and accelerate the total electrification of the country. 34 of the EPIRA. (f) To protect the public interest as it is affected by the rates and services of electric utilities and other providers of electric power. 34 We have held that the power to "regulate" means the power to protect. reliability. (e) To ensure fair and non-discriminatory treatment of public and private sector entities in the process of restructuring the electric power industry. it is necessary to distinguish the State's power of taxation from the police power. promote. The power to tax is an incident of sovereignty and is unlimited in its range. 29 This circumstance alone warrants the outright dismissal of the present action. The instant complaint is bereft of merit. and over petitions for certiorari.1. the State's police power. 34 which enumerates the purposes for which the Universal Charge is imposed 37 and which can be amply discerned as regulatory in character. and probably involving the same parties. transmission and distribution sectors. is invoked. of the public. gives effect to a host of its regulatory powers. international or executive agreement. (b) To ensure the quality. and habeas corpus. and their prompt and certain availability is an imperious need. police power grants a wide panoply of instruments through which the State. The First Issue To resolve the first issue. 2. Declaration of Policy. The conservative and pivotal distinction between these two powers rests in the purpose for which the charge is made. the least limitable. then of the utility and of its patrons. and the most demanding of the three fundamental powers of the State. 32 On the other hand. We are aware that if the constitutionality of Sec. presidential decree. quo warranto. If generation of revenue is the primary purpose and regulation is merely incidental.

and (k) To encourage the efficient use of energy and other modalities of demand side management. the ERC shall conduct a review to determine whether there is underrecovery or over recovery and adjust (true-up) the level of the stranded cost recovery charge. Orbos 41 with respect to the OPSF. the need to delegate to administrative bodies — the principal agencies tasked to execute laws in their specialized fields — the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given statute and effectuate its policies. the administration of the STF shall be transferred to the DOF or any of the DOF attached agencies as designated by the DOF Secretary. as expressed in the Latin maxim potestas delegata non delegari potest (what has been delegated cannot be delegated). et al. 46 This feature of the Universal Charge further boosts the position that the same is an exaction imposed primarily in pursuit of the State's police objectives. 47 In the face of the increasing complexity of modern life. the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate. viz. A logical corollary to the doctrine of separation of powers is the principle of non-delegation of powers. With the Universal Charge. i. R. we disagree with petitioners that the instant case is different from the aforementioned cases. 9136. that comprehensive sovereign authority we designate as the police power of the State. Public welfare is surely promoted. At the end of the stranded cost recovery period. the only thing he will have to do is to enforce it. to ensure the viability of the country's electric power industry. The doctrine was reiterated in Osmeña v. 45 The OSG is in point when it asseverates: Evidently.(g) To assure socially and environmentally compatible energy sources and infrastructure. In case of an overrecovery. Hence. 38 In Valmonte v. Energy Regulatory Board.A. delegation of legislative power to various specialized administrative agencies is allowed as an exception to this principle. Thus. it can be gleaned that the assailed Universal Charge is not a tax. (h) To promote the utilization of indigenous and new and renewable energy resources in power generation in order to reduce dependence on imported energy. but in conformity with. a Special Trust Fund (STF) is also created under the administration of PSALM. any remaining amount in this account shall be used to reduce the electricity rates to the end-users. Under the first test. 40 this Court held that the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF) and the Sugar Stabilization Fund (SSF) were exactions made in the exercise of the police power. A separate account shall be created for these amounts which shall be held in trust for any future claims of distribution utilities for stranded cost recovery. if the total amount collected for the same is greater than the actual availments against it. it is doubtful if the legislature can promulgate laws that will deal adequately with and respond promptly to the minutiae of everyday life. 44 3) Upon expiration of the term of PSALM. From the aforementioned purposes. This is based on the ethical principle that such delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate through the instrumentality of his own judgment and not through the intervening mind of another. under the last paragraph of Section 34. The Second Issue The principle of separation of powers ordains that each of the three branches of government has exclusive cognizance of and is supreme in matters falling within its own constitutionally allocated sphere. The second test mandates adequate guidelines or limitations in the . it is a well-established doctrine that the taxing power may be used as an implement of police power. the ERC shall ensure that any excess amount shall be remitted to the STF.. 43 2) With respect to the assailed Universal Charge.: 1)In the implementation of stranded cost recovery. (j) To establish a strong and purely independent regulatory body and system to ensure consumer protection and enhance the competitive operation of the electricity market. Republic Planters Bank. 39 and in Gaston v. 48 Given the volume and variety of interactions in today's society. is well within the pervasive and non-waivable power and responsibility of the government to secure the physical and economic survival and well-being of the community. the establishment and maintenance of the Special Trust Fund. (i) To provide for an orderly and transparent privatization of the assets and liabilities of the National Power Corporation (NPC). These requirements are denominated as the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. the PSALM shall retain the balance within the STF to pay for periods where a shortfall occurs. The STF reasonably serves and assures the attainment and perpetuity of the purposes for which the Universal Charge is imposed. No.e. the standards prescribed by the law. Moreover. All that is required for the valid exercise of this power of subordinate legislation is that the regulation be germane to the objects and purposes of the law and that the regulation be not in contradiction to. 42 The STF has some notable characteristics similar to the OPSF and the SSF. but an exaction in the exercise of the State's police power.

fix. 61 the Court had occasion to say: In determining the extent of powers possessed by the ERC. including the proceeds from the universal charge. accepted as sufficient standards the following: "interest of law and order. security and affordability of the supply of electric power" 59 and "watershed rehabilitation and management" 60 meet the requirements for valid delegation. promulgate and enforce." and therefore. 34 thereof.law to determine the boundaries of the delegate's authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. the law is complete and passes the first test for valid delegation of legislative power. That in the formulation of the financial capability standards. Thus. reliability. utilizing the proceeds from sales and other property contributed to it. ensure customer choice and penalize abuse of market power in the restructured electricity industry. as they provide the limitations on the ERC's power to formulate the IRR. Although Sec. 43 (b) (ii) of the EPIRA provides: SECTION 43. the ERC in this case. further. in accordance with law. Rather. and approve." 53 "justice and equity. a Universal Charge to be determined. Sec." 54 "public convenience and welfare. in the performance of its functions and for the attainment of its objective." 51 "adequate and efficient instruction. now Chief Justice. Moreover. In his Concurring and Dissenting Opinion 62 in the same case. the provisions of the EPIRA must not be read in separate parts. they did not intend to abolish or reduce the powers already conferred upon ERC's predecessors. In appropriate cases. the nature and function of the entity shall be considered: Provided. then Associate Justice." 55 "simplicity. and is animated by one general purpose and intent. and that it contains sufficient standards. 49 The Court finds that the EPIRA. to be imposed on all electricity end-users pursuant to Section 34 hereof. These are sufficient standards. Energy Regulatory Commission. encourage market development. read and appreciated in its entirety. the amount nevertheless is made certain by the legislative parameters provided in the law itself. Puno described the immensity of police power in relation to the delegation of powers to the ERC and its regulatory functions over electric power as a vital public utility. to wit: . 34 of the EPIRA merely provides that "within one (1) year from the effectivity thereof. Determine. after due notice and public hearings the universal charge. (e) To liquidate the NPC stranded contract costs. shall. contrary to the petitioners' contention. For one. economy and efficiency. it is plain to see that the law has expanded the jurisdiction of the regulatory body." 52 "public interest. a National Grid Code and a Distribution Code which shall include. in relation to Sec. Powers. have the following powers: xxx xxx xxx (d) To calculate the amount of the stranded debts and stranded contract costs of NPC which shall form the basis for ERC in the determination of the universal charge. the ERC is authorized to issue cease and desist order after due notice and hearing. "to ensure the total electrification of the country and the quality." 57 and "fair and equitable employment practices. — The PSALM Corp. this Court had. the TRANSCO. to enable the latter to implement the reforms sought to be accomplished by the EPIRA. because a statute is passed as a whole." 58 Provisions of the EPIRA such as. It may be noted that this is not the first time that the ERC's conferred powers were challenged. but not limited to the following: xxx xxx xxx (ii) Financial capability standards for the generating companies. fixed and approved by the ERC. In Freedom from Debt Coalition v. the ERC does not enjoy a wide latitude of discretion in the determination of the Universal Charge. Sec. among others. distribution utilities and suppliers: Provided. Its meaning cannot to be extracted from any single part thereof but from a general consideration of the statute as a whole. That such standards are set to ensure that the electric power industry participants meet the minimum financial standards to protect the public interest. 51 (d) and (e) of the EPIRA 50 clearly provides: SECTION 51. Functions of the ERC. in the past. it shall be responsible for the following key functions in the restructured industry: xxx xxx xxx (b) Within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act. Considering the intent of Congress in enacting the EPIRA and reading the statute in its entirety. Reynato S. is complete in all its essential terms and conditions. does not state the specific amount to be paid as Universal Charge. As to the second test. Towards this end. When the legislators decided to broaden the jurisdiction of the ERC. To sustain the view that the ERC possesses only the powers and functions listed under Section 43 of the EPIRA is to frustrate the objectives of the law. shall be imposed on all electricity end-users. the law must be read in its entirety. — The ERC shall promote competition." 56 "standardization and regulation of medical education.

AustriaMartinez. when the need arises. the determination of whether or not a tax is excessive. Energy Regulatory Commission 63 where the Court held that the ERC. Carpio. poor quality of service to consumers. 67 Finally. The engines of progress may come to a screeching halt if the delivery of electric power is impaired. Puno. high system losses. dismal to forgettable performance of the government power sector. 66 structure and regulatory framework for the electric power industry. WHEREFORE. the transition to a competitive structure. Quisumbing. its exercise should be given a wide latitude.R. concur. Thus. Jr. where the State must take a more active role in balancing the many conflicting interests in society. Ynares-Santiago. speculative. This approach is more compelling in the field of rate-regulation of electric power rates. Corona. 65 Moreover. JJ. From the foregoing disquisitions. It established a new policy." When police power is delegated to administrative bodies with regulatory functions. 2007) As a penultimate statement. We find no clear violation of the Constitution which would warrant a pronouncement that Sec. and amounts to taxation without representation. 159796. The law ordains the division of the industry into four (4) distinct sectors. The Questioned Order was issued by the ERC. every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality.Over the years.J. We should have exceptionally good grounds to curtail its exercise. SO ORDERED. and the delineation of the roles of various government agencies and the private entities. we therefore hold that there is no undue delegation of legislative power to the ERC. Hence. including the privatization of the assets of the National Power Corporation (NPC). acting as an agent of the State in the exercise of police power. Police power now requires the State to "assume an affirmative duty to eliminate the excesses and injustices that are the concomitants of an unrestrained industrial economy. Tinga. largely foreign. 2004. oppressive or confiscatory is an issue which essentially involves questions of fact. Chico-Nazario. however. It is an important factor in encouraging investment and promoting business. there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution and not one that is doubtful. The State thru the ERC should be able to exercise its police power with great flexibility. as regulator. The new thrust is to tap private capital for the expansion and improvement of the industry as the large government debt and the highly capital-intensive character of the industry itself have long been acknowledged as the critical constraints to the program. the NPC generating plants have to privatized and its transmission business spun off and privatized thereafter. the jaded structure of the industry had to be addressed. Petitioners failed to pursue in their Memorandum the contention in the Complaint that the imposition of the Universal Charge on all end-users is oppressive and confiscatory. extremely high and uncompetitive power rates. and thus. the range of police power was no longer limited to the preservation of public health. and to justify its nullification. Sandoval-Gutierrez. Billions of pesos would be lost as a result of power outages or unreliable electric power services. Garcia and Velasco. namely: generation. Footnotes ||| (Gerochi v. 34 of the EPIRA and Rule 18 of its IRR are unconstitutional and void.. This was reiterated in National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms v. safety and morals. it may be well to recall what this Court said of EPIRA: One of the landmark pieces of legislation enacted by Congress in recent years is the EPIRA. The pervasive flaws have caused a low utilization of existing generation capacity. the instant case is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. the EPIRA provides a framework for the restructuring of the industry. the distribution side was fragmented with over 130 utilities. July 17." Police power is now exerted "to further the public welfare — a concept as vast as the good of society itself. "police power is but another name for the governmental authority to further the welfare of society that is the basic end of all government. Electric power generation and distribution is a traditional instrument of economic growth that affects not only a few but the entire nation. such contention is deemed waived or abandoned per Resolution 64 of August 3. No. distribution and supply. 68 Indubitably. transmission. Carpio-Morales. To attract private investment.. should have sufficient power to respond in real time to changes wrought by multifarious factors affecting public utilities. Police power takes on an even broader dimension in developing countries such as ours. and an inability to develop a clear strategy for overcoming these shortcomings. Azcuna. legal EN BANC . Corollarily. or argumentative. Department of Energy. While the generation and transmission sectors were centralized and monopolistic. C. this Court is precluded from reviewing the same. mostly small and uneconomic.." Hence. which used to be the primary social interests in earlier times. petitioners failed to overcome this presumption in favor of the EPIRA. G.

[G. This Court has struck down laws abridging the political and civil rights of our people even if it has to often the other more powerful branches of government.A. in his capacity as the Secretary of Energy. . Our decision annulling R.. HON. It did not exempt from the reach of this authority laws with economic dimension. respondents. ARROYO. It was also found that said tariff differential serves as a protective shield for the big oil companies. petitioners.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. — This 4% tariff differential gives a decisive edge to the existing oil companies even as it constitutes a substantial barrier to the entry of prospective players. In fine. Concepcion. 127867. RUBEN TORRES in his capacity as the Executive Secretary. No. REPUBLIC ACT NO. A separability clause does not clothe the valid parts with immunity from the invalidating effect the law gives to the inseparable blending of the bad with the good. THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE. No.. — The choice and crafting of the standard to guide the exercise of delegated power is part of the lawmaking process and lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress.] EDCEL C. it was established that the 4% tariff differential on crude oil and refined petroleum importation gives a 20-centavo per liter advantage to the three big oil companies over the new players. 8180. violates the economic rights of our people even if it has to bridle the liberty of big business within reasonable bounds. PETRON Corporation. Te. ID. SYLLABUS Angara. and DUBPHIL GAS. DELEGATED POWER. minimum inventory and predatory pricing are anti-competition.. Viterbo & Tan Law Firm for petitioners. and PILIPINAS SHELL Corporation. No.A. EASTERN PETROLEUM CORP. The Motions for Reconsideration of the public respondents and of the intervenors as well as the Partial Motion for Reconsideration of petitioner Enrique Garcia: are denied for lack of merit. WIGBERTO TAÑADA.. minimum inventory and predatory pricing cannot but result in the unconstitutionality of the entire law despite its separability clause. petitioner. Cortez.R. December 3. Regala & Cruz co-counsel for Caltex Phil. TATAD. 8180 that 1. SANLAKAS. JOKER P. FRANCISCO VIRAY.. Abaya. the unconstitutionality of the provisions on tariff differential. In sum. Abello. Inc. INC. These provisions cannot be struck down alone for they were the ones intended to carry out the policy of the law embodied in Section 2 thereof. SEAOIL PETROLEUM CORP. The Constitution gave this Court the authority to strike down all laws that violate the Constitution. The standard cannot be altered in any way by the executive for the Executive cannot modify the will of the Legislature. separation will not take place despite the inclusion of a separability clause in the law..A. LAGMAN. Without these provisions in place.R. 8180 unconstitutional. SUBIC BAY DISTRIBUTION. The standard cannot be altered in any way by the Executive for the Executive cannot modify the will of the Legislature. FREEDOM FROM DEBT COALITION (FDC).. December 3. The choice and crafting of the standard to guide the exercise of delegated power is part of the lawmaking process and lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress.. In the recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy chaired by Senator Freddie Webb. HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION. INC. 8180 (OIL DEREGULATION LAW).[G. There is no reason why the Court cannot strike down R. vs. if the separation of the statute will defeat the intent of the legislature.ID. 1997. Inc. respondents. No. Congress could not have deregulated the downstream oil industry. We do not agree with the public respondents that there is no empirical evidence to support this ruling. The power of Congress to enact laws does not include the right to pass unconstitutional laws.A. 4 % 'TARIFF DIFFERENTIAL GIVES A DECISIVE EDGE TO EXISTING OIL COMPANIES. HON. The provisions on 4% tariff differential. We hold that power and obligation of this Court to pass upon the constitutionality of laws cannot be defeated by the fact that the challenged law carries serious economic implications. INC. 8180 is justified by the principle of check and balance. FLAG HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION. 2. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT. 1997. 8180. TWA. the Court did not usurp the power of Congress to enact laws but merely discharged its bounden duty to check the constitutionality of laws when challenged in appropriate cases. The separability clause cannot also be applied if it will produce an absurd result.] FRANCISCO S. CALTEX Philippines. SYNOPSIS Motions for reconsideration and partial motions for reconsideration were filed by the parties of the decision of the Supreme Court declaring R. ENRIQUE GARCIA. Sanidad. Nor do we approve public respondents' submission that the entry of new players after deregulation is proof that the 4% tariff differential is not a heavy disincentive.. In the case of Republic Act No. CRAFTING OF STANDARD LIES WITHIN THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF CONGRESS. Madrid. movants-in-intervention. vs. and they are the key provisions of R. 124360.

A. 8180 that violates the economic rights of our people even if it has to bridle the liberty of big business within reasonable bounds. we held that the provision on predatory pricing is constitutionally infirmed for it can be wielded more successfully by the oil oligopolists. the Court did not annul the economic policy of deregulation but vitiated its aspects which offended the constitutional mandate on fair competition. — The public respondents tenaciously defend the validity of the minimum inventory requirement. By that date the transition period has ended and it was expected that the people would have adjusted to the role of market forces in shaping the prices of petroleum and its products." In light of its loose characterization in R. eliminating a competitor or discouraging a competitor from entering the market. and to require new players to put up more than they need is to compound and aggravate their costs. 8. they implicitly confirmed that the high cost of meeting the inventory requirement has an inhibiting effect in their operation and hence. we held that said tariff differential substantially occluded the entry point of prospective players in the downstream oil industry. In fine.A. — We hold that the power and obligation of this Court to pass upon the constitutionality of laws cannot be defeated by the fact that the challenged law carries serious economic implications. Rather. It did not exempt from the reach of this authority laws with economic dimension.ID.. the argument on whether the minimum inventory requirement seriously hurts the new players is best settled by hearing the new players themselves In their motion for intervention.. Congressman Tinga has proposed to redefine predatory pricing. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT. etc. Nonetheless. It is beyond debate that the power of Congress to enact laws does not include the right to pass unconstitutional laws. POWER TO PASS UPON CONSTITUTIONALITY LAWS DID NOT EXEMPT LAWS WITH ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS. thus creating the clear danger that the deregulated market in the downstream oil industry will not operate under an atmosphere of free and fair competition. viz. — Petitioner has no basis in condemning as unconstitutional per se the date fixed by Congress for the beginning of the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry. Our Decision did not hold that the 4% tariff differential infringed the equal protection clause of the Constitution even as this was contended by petitioner Tatad. No. 8180 involves an economic policy which this Court cannot review for lack of power and competence. In truth. March 1997 is not an arbitrary date. the Court did not usurp the power of Congress to enact laws but merely discharged its bounden duty to check the constitutionality of laws when challenged in appropriate cases. No. It is certain that lack of real competition will allow the present oil oligopolists to dictate prices. third. No. fourth. 5... 8180 and the law's anti-competitive provisions. 8180 is justified by the principle of checks and balance.. . they support the ruling of this Court striking it down as unconstitutional.A.ID. SUPREME COURT.. storage facilities. 8180 but its compatibility with the Constitution. The Court is aware that the principle of separation of powers prohibits the judiciary from interfering with the policy setting function of the legislature. ID.A. ID. A JUDGMENT CALL OF CONGRESS WHICH CANNOT BE IMPUGNED BY THIS COURT. This consideration is basic in anti-trust suits and cannot be eroded by belaboring the inapplicable principle in taxation that different things can be taxed differently. "the prohibitive cost of the required minimum inventory will not be any less burdensome on the second. No. 6. They aver that the requirement will not prejudice new players ".A.A. and consequently their great disadvantage vis-a-vis the Big 3.A. Obviously. There is no reason why the Court cannot strike down R. — Public respondents insist on their thesis that the cases at bar actually assail the wisdom of R. 8180 on tariff differential and minimum inventory erected high barriers to the entry of prospective players even as they raised their new rivals' costs. The Constitution gave this Court the authority to strike down all laws that violate the Constitution. ID. 8180 BUT MERELY DISCHARGED ITS BOUNDEN DUTY TO CHECK CONSTITUTIONALITY OF LAWS. MINIMUM INVENTORY REQUIREMENT.ID. HIGH COST OF MEETING REQUIREMENT HAS AN INHIBITING EFFECT ON OPERATIONS. DID NOT REVIEW THE WISDOM OF R. years of operations..CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. No. Our Decision merely faulted the Executive for factoring the depletion of OPSF in advancing the date of full deregulation to February 1997.A.3. R. ID.REMEDIAL LAW. ID. NO. the provisions of R.ID.. No. 8180 and that this Court should refrain from examining the wisdom of legislations. — Public respondents try to justify the 4% tariff differential on the ground that there is a substantial difference between a refiner and an importer just as there is a difference between raw material and finished product. Following the more effective Areeda-Turner test. For this reason we italicized in our Decision that the Court did not review the wisdom of R.. the error of the Executive is now a non-issue for the full deregulation set by Congress itself at the end of March 1997 has already come to pass. Ocean receiving terminals are already very expensive. the effort is made to demonstrate that the unequal tariff does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. The effort only proves that the public respondents are still looking at the issue of tariff differential from the wrong end of the telescope.ID. 8180 prohibits predatory pricing will not dissolve-this clear danger. . and can entice them to engage in predatory pricing to eliminate rivals.: "Predatory pricing means selling or offering to sell any oil product at a price below the average variable cost for the purpose of destroying competition. Unlike most products which can be imported and stored with facility. This Court has struck down laws abridging-the political and civil rights of our people even if it has to offend the other more powerful branches of government..A. .. They contend that R. . oil imports require ocean receiving. The choice of March 1997 as the date of full deregulation is a judgment of Congress and its judgment call cannot be impugned by this Court.A. 8180. during their first year of operation because they do not have yet annual sales from which the required minimum inventory may be determined. PREDATORY PRICING. — As discussed. DEFINITION TOO LOOSE TO BE DETERRENT. NO. its definition of predatory pricing is too loose to be a real deterrent. 7. We further held that its inevitable result is to exclude fair and effective competition and to enhance the monopolists ability to tamper with the mechanism of a free market. Its cumulative effect is to add to the arsenal of power of the dominant oil companies. Compliance with such requirement on their second and succeeding years of operation will not be difficult because the putting up of storage facilities in proportion to the volume of their business becomes an ordinary and necessary business undertaking just as the case of importers of finished-products in other industries. No." Again. DOES NOT VIOLATE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTION BUT EXCLUDE FAIR AND EFFECTIVE COMPETITION. The fact that R." The contention cannot convince for as well articulated by petitioner Garcia. ID. 4. CHOICE OF DATE OF FULL DEREGULATION. Our Decision annulling R.

8180.ID.. INTENT OF THE LEGISLATURE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AND SHOULD NOT CLOTHE VALID PARTS WITH IMMUNITY FROM INVALIDATING EFFECT OF LAW.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.. 8180 will bring about an absurdity — a fully deregulated downstream oil industry where government is impotent to regulate run away prices.. It is the unyielding duty of this Court to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution not with a mere wishbone but with a backbone that should neither bend nor break.. such intent is expressed in a separability clause stating that the invalidity or unconstitutionality of any provision or section of the law will not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remainder. Under our scheme of government. We held in our Decision that the provisions on 4% tariff differential. It is not an inexorable command.. It is true that most of the time. the Constitution provides a shield to the economic rights of our people. differential of the Tariff Code. CASE AT BAR. minimum inventory and predatory pricing are anti-competition. It is a legislative expression of intent that the nullity of one provision shall not invalidate the other provisions of the act. Such a clause is not.ID. They actually set the stage for the regime of deregulation where government will no longer intervene in fixing the price of oil and the operations of oil companies. A separability clause does not clothe the valid parts with immunity from the invalidating effect the law gives to the inseparable blending of the bad with the good. Congress can block the revival of the status quo ante or stop its continuation by immediately enacting the necessary remedial legislation. the separability clause only creates a presumption that the act is severable. RESOLUTION 11. — A separability clause states that if for any reason. despite the elimination of some of its parts. In other words. We emphasize that in the cases at bar. No.. the remedy to prevent the revival of all unwanted status quo ante lies with Congress. ID. 10. and they are the key provisions of R. ID. controlling and the courts may. the Court did not condemn the economic policy of deregulation as unconstitutional. ID.. ID. To decree the partial unconstitutionality of R. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE.A.A. 392 is not a misapplication of Republic Act No. ID. 2. Thus. minimum inventory and predatory pricing cannot but result in the unconstitutionality of the entire law despite its separability clause. — The three provisions declared void are severable from the main statute and their removal therefrom would not affect the validity and enforceability of the remaining provisions of the said law R.9. Garcia and the intervenors. 8180 minus its provisions which are anti-competition. concurring and dissenting opinion: 1. the courts should consider the intent of the legislature. sans the constitutionally infirmed portions.. No. sensible. It is merely an aid in statutory construction. It merely held that as crafted. . after the void part.ID.. where prospective players cannot come in.ID. J. LEGISLATIVE POWER.A. 8180. — It is sealed jurisprudence that the declaration of a law as unconstitutional revives the laws that it has repealed. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT. 1 In their Motion for Reconsideration. — In the case of Republic Act No. — We cannot affirm the movants for to determine whether or not a particular provision is separable. J p: For resolution are: (1) the motion for reconsideration filed by the public respondents. any section or provision of the statute is held to be unconstitutional or (invalid).ID. The Court has no partisan political theology for as an institution it is at best apolitical. politics nor does it delve into the mysticism of politics. especially the poor. KAPUNAN. ID. in spite of it. It is conceded that the success of deregulation lies in a truly competitive market and there can be no competitive market without the easy entry and exit of competitors.. The separability clause cannot also be applied if it will produce an absurd result. ID. Nonetheless.. Stated otherwise. WITH NO PARTISAN POLITICAL THEOLOGY. and (2) the partial motions for reconsideration filed by petitioner Enrique T. 13. where the oil oligopolists can engage in cartelization without competition. the public respondents contend: I "Executive Order No. remains "complete in itself. Congress could not have deregulated the downstream oil industry. Without these provisions in place. These provisions cannot be struck down alone for they were the ones intended to carry out the policy of the law embodied in Section 2 thereof.ID. an unconstitutional law returns us to the status quo ante and this return is beyond the power of the Court to stay.. the unconstitutionality of the provisions on tariff differential. ID. Be that as it may.. the other section(s) or provision(s) of the law shall not be affected thereby. 12.. Thus. WITH THE UNYIELDING DUTY TO UPHOLD THE SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION. invalidate the whole statute where what is left. STATUTES. the law runs counter to the constitutional provision calling for fair competition. CASE AT BAR. — The Constitution mandates the regulation of monopolies and interdicts unfair competition. 8180. AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW REVIVES THE LAWS IT HAS REPEALED. CONSTRUED. is not complete and workable. ID. and at worse politically agnostic. the law can still stand on its own. The Court agrees that our return to the regime of regulation has pernicious consequences and it specially sympathizes with the intervenors. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE. 8180. the Court is powerless to prevent this return just as it is powerless to repeal the 10% tariff. ID. SUPREME COURT... ID. capable of being executed and wholly independent of (those) which (are) rejected. — When the Court reviews the constitutionality of a law... there is no impediment in reenacting R A. however. it does not deal with the realities of PUNO. however. and where new players will close shop. It is Congress that can a give all these remedies. In sum if the separation of the statute will defeat the intent of the legislature separation will not take place despite the inclusion of a separability clause in the law.

hence their nullity will not vitiate the other parts thereof. . The standard cannot be altered in any way by the Executive for the Executive cannot modify the will of the Legislature.3Ultimately the total nullification of Republic Act No. The public respondents next recycle their arguments that sections 5(b).1.. To give their argument a new spin. 8180 on the 4% tariff differential. We shall first resolve public respondents' motion for reconsideration. No. Shell and Petron over the small oil firms. and DubPhil Gas have intervened in the cases at bar and have spoken for themselves. we held that said tariff differential substantially occluded the entry point of prospective players in the downstream oil industry. the opportunity to get the answer right from the 'horses' mouth' eluded this Honorable Court since none of the new players supposedly adversely affected by the assailed provisions came forward to voice their position. public respondents even lament that "unfortunately. No. In their motion for intervention." llcd In their Motion for Reconsideration.A. they made it crystal clear that it is not their intention ". 8180 do not contravene section 19." In his Partial Motion for Reconsideration.1. 7 The horse's mouth therefore authoritatively tells us that the new players themselves consider the 4% tariff differential in R. They contend that the rule prohibits the Executive from subtracting but not from adding to the standard set by Congress. The effort only proves that the public respondents are still looking at the issue of tariff differential from the wrong end of the telescope. He cites the "pernicious effects" of a total declaration of unconstitutionality of R.1The total nullification of Republic Act No. It was also found that said tariff differential serves as a protective shield for the big oil companies. Our Decision did not hold that the 4% tariff differential infringed the equal protection clause of the Constitution even as this was contended by petitioner Tatad. if Congress can fasttrack an entirely new law. albeit imperfect. In the recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy chaired by Senator Freddie Webb." We find no merit in the motions for reconsideration and partial motion for reconsideration.A. 6 and 9(b) of R.1. 8180 when the Executive considered the depletion of the OPSF in advancing the date of full deregulation of the downstream oil industry. predatory pricing and minimum inventory be declared unconstitutional. .2The total nullification of Republic Act No. Seaoil Petroleum Corporation. 2 petitioner Garcia prays that only the provisions of R. TWA Inc. nor of the prohibition of predatory pricing in section 9(b). No. public respondents try to justify the 4% tariff differential on the ground that there is a substantial difference between a refiner and an importer just as there is a difference between raw material and finished product. No. He avers that "it is very problematic . Inc. and 2. the intervenors argue: "2. 8180. Article XII of the Constitution. Article XII of the Constitution. 8180 removes substantial. Obviously. We have rejected this submission for a reality check will reveal that this 4% tariff differential gives a decisive edge to the existing oil companies even as it constitutes a substantial barrier to the entry of prospective players. 3 They reiterate that the 4% tariff differential would encourage the construction of new refineries which will benefit the country for they use Filipino labor and goods. 6 and 9(b) of R. The choice and crafting of the standard to guide the exercise of delegated power is part of the lawmaking process and lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress. 8180 as oppressive and should be nullified. barriers to monopolistic practices and unfair competition and trade practices harmful not only to movant-intervenors but also to the public in general. This consideration is basic in anti-trust suits and cannot be eroded by belaboring the inapplicable principle in taxation that different things can be taxed differently. to seek the reversal of the Court's nullification of the 4% differential in section 5(b) nor of the inventory requirement of section 6. This hair splitting is a sterile attempt to make a distinction when there is no difference.A. 8180 do not permeate the essence of the said law. They insist that there was no misapplication of Republic Act No." 6 They stressed that they only protest the restoration of the 10% oil tariff differential under the Tariff Code. 4 Nor do we approve public respondents' submission that the entry of new players after deregulation is proof that the 4% tariff differential is not a heavy disincentive. and III Sections 5(b). To be sure. 8180 restores the disproportionate advantage of the three big oil firms — Caltex. The new players represented by Eastern Petroleum. 8180 "disarms" the new entrants and seriously cripples their capacity to compete and grow. We do not agree with the public respondents that there is no empirical evidence to support this ruling.. . it was established that the 4% tariff differential on crude oil and refined petroleum importation gives a 20-centavo per liter advantage to the three big oil companies over the new players. Sections 5(b). 8180 do not contravene section 19. No. We further held that its inevitable result is to exclude fair and effective competition and to enhance the monopolists' ability to tamper with the mechanism of a free market.II public respondents do not cite any authority to support its strange thesis for there is none in our jurisprudence. 6 and 9(b) of Republic Act No. They urge that the consideration of this factor did not violate the rule that the exercise of delegated power must be done strictly in accord with the standard provided in the law. Subic Bay Distribution. the effort is made to demonstrate that the unequal tariff does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.A. 2. ." 5 They need not continue their lamentation.A. Acting as the mouthpiece of the new players. . 8 Rather.

their argument is not fresh though embellished with citations of cases in the United States sustaining the validity of sales-below-costs statutes. no school of scholars can claim any infallibility. third. It is certain that lack of real competition will allow the present oil oligopolists to dictate prices. It is implicit in quite a few of its provisions. Congressman Tinga has proposed to redefine predatory pricing. Congressman Dante O. To start with. 11 A quick look at these American cases will show that they are inapplicable. Our Decision annulling R.A. Fernando. one of which is the due process clause. For as structured. . years of operations. "the prohibitive cost of the required minimum inventory will not be any less burdensome on the second. . would not be able to cope effectively with the problems of poverty and misery that unfortunately afflict so many of our people. fourth. as well as the pledge of protection to labor with the specific authority to regulate the relations between landowners and tenants and between labor and capital. In Alalayan vs. eliminating a competitor or discouraging a competitor from entering the market. 8180 that violates the economic rights of our people even if it has to bridle the liberty of big business within reasonable bounds. In their motion for intervention. 8180 has a different cast. and consequently their great disadvantage vis-a-vis the Big 3." 9 The contention is an old one although it is purveyed with a new lipstick. oil imports require ocean receiving. No. Public respondents insist on their thesis that the cases at bar actually assail the wisdom of RA. We hold that the power and obligation of this Court to pass upon the constitutionality of laws cannot be defeated by the fact that the challenged law carries serious economic implications. 8180 involves an economic policy which this Court cannot review for lack of power and competence.The public respondents tenaciously defend the validity of the minimum inventory requirement. we held that the provision on predatory pricing is constitutionally infirmed for it can be wielded more successfully by the oil oligopolists. The contention cannot convince for as well articulated by petitioner Garcia. and to require new players to put up more than they need is to compound and aggravate their costs. it can stop the small oil players but cannot stop the big oil players from engaging in predatory pricing. needs to be tightened up particularly with respect to the definitive benchmark price and the specific anti-competitive intent. It is to be admitted of course that property rights find shelter in specific constitutional provisions.A. Tinga filed H. There is the clause on the promotion of social justice to ensure the wellbeing and economic security of all the people." Following the more effective Areeda-Turner test. is not susceptible to the indictment that the government therein established is impotent to take the necessary remedial measures. The definition in the bill at hand which was taken from the Areeda-Turner test in the United States on predatory pricing resolves the questions." when there was the fear expressed in many quarters that a constitutional democracy. the Court did not usurp the power of Congress to enact laws but merely discharged its bounden duty to check the constitutionality of laws when challenged in appropriate cases. No.Nor is petitioner anymore successful in his plea for the nullification of the challenged provision on the ground of his being deprived of the liberty to contract without due process of law. They aver that the requirement will not prejudice new players ". Be that as it may." 13 In light of its loose characterization in R. This . one of the law's principal authors. its provisions on tariff differential and minimum inventory erected high barriers to the entry of prospective players even as they raised their new rivals' costs. National Power Corporation 16 the Court. storage facilities. 8180 is justified by the principle of check and balance. held: "2.: "Predatory pricing means selling or offering to sell any oil product at a price below the average variable cost for the purpose of destroying competition. Ocean receiving terminals are already very expensive. 8180 but its compatibility with the Constitution. They contend that R. during their first year of operation because they do not have yet annual sales from which the required minimum inventory may be determined. No. in view of its commitment to the claims of property. 15 For this reason we italicized in our Decision that the Court did not review the wisdom of R. Thus. 8180 and that this Court should refrain from examining the wisdom of legislations." 10 Again. Chief Justice Enrique M. Historians with undefiled learning have chronicled 14 over the years the disgrace of many economists and the fall of one economic dogma after another. they support the ruling of this Court striking it down as unconstitutional. Unlike most products which can be imported and stored with facility. No. 12 and can entice them to engage in predatory pricing to eliminate rivals. viz. thus creating the clear danger that the deregulated market in the downstream oil industry will not operate under an atmosphere of free and fair competition. 8180 prohibits predatory pricing will not dissolve this clear danger. Its cumulative effect is to add to the arsenal of power of the dominant oil companies. the Court did not annul the economic policy of deregulation but vitiated its aspects which offended the constitutional mandate on fair competition. As discussed. 10057 where he acknowledged in its explanatory note that "the definition of predatory pricing . In truth.A. etc. the Court is aware that the principle of separation of powers prohibits the judiciary from interfering with the policy setting function of the legislature. . There is no reason why the Court cannot strike down R. No. R. Compliance with such requirement on their second and succeeding years of operation will not be difficult because the putting up of storage facilities in proportion to the volume of their business becomes an ordinary and necessary business undertaking just as the case of importers of finished products in other industries. they implicitly confirmed that the high cost of meeting the inventory requirement has an inhibiting effect in their operation and hence.A.A. No. the argument on whether the minimum inventory requirement seriously hurts the new players is best settled by hearing the new players themselves. In fine.A. it has no more than the strength of a spider web — it can catch the weak but cannot catch the strong. 8180 and the law's anti-competitive provisions. It is beyond debate that the power of Congress to enact laws does not include the right to pass unconstitutional laws. The framers saw to that. The fact that R. This Court has struck down laws abridging the political and civil rights of our people even if it has to offend the other more powerful branches of the government. speaking thru Mr. No. The welfare state concept is not alien to the philosophy of our Constitution. No.A.B. Again. It is equally certain that our fundamental law framed at a time of "surging unrest and dissatisfaction. It suffices to mention two. Public respondents still maintain that the provision on predatory pricing does not offend the Constitution. . its definition of predatory pricing is too loose to be a real deterrent.

5. the 4% tariff differential. pernicious effects will happen: 8. No.3Correspondingly. Invariably. we humbly submit that the unconstitutionality of the aforementioned provisions of R. minimum wages..e. 8180 remains nullified as unconstitutional. if Congress can fasttrack an entirely new law. which as interpreted by them is a bar to regulatory measures. 8180 which will continue until Congress enacts an amendatory law for the start of full oil deregulation in due time. which still exists.1In consequence. it is neither correct nor fair for high government officials to criticize and blame the Honorable Court on the OPSF. the statute complained of may be characterized as a denial of due process. The next issue is whether the Court should only declare as unconstitutional the provisions of R.A. it is very problematic.2Best of all." The Constitution gave this Court the authority to strike down all laws that violate the Constitution. i. Congress does not anymore have to pass a new deregulation law. effective upon finality of this Court's favorable resolution on this motion for partial reconsideration.Begging the kind indulgence and benign patience of the Court. we sustained legislations providing for collective bargaining. and tenancy regulation. This means full regulation. The Energy Regulatory Board (ERB). 38). Neither did the objections as to the validity of measures regulating the issuance of securities and public services prevail. the monthly automatic price control mechanism based on Singapore Posted Prices (SPP) will be revived. and restrictions on the importation of refined petroleum products that would be allowed only if there are shortages. . No. No. 8180 would continue to be in place (sans its unconstitutional provisions).A. thus it can immediately concentrate on just amending R.1There is already limited time for Congress to pass 8. 8. Parenthetically. has been far from sympathetic. A 20-20 vision will show that the grant by the Constitution to this Court of this all important power of review is written without any fine print. an even playing field will attract many more new players to come in a much shorter time.1With the striking down of 'ultimately full deregulation. Thus. 6.4In as much as R. No. during the Commonwealth. In turn. 6. minimum inventory and predatory pricing. on the government's assumption that it is necessary to do so. 17 It did not exempt from the reach of this authority laws with economic dimension. security of tenure.1Until the new oil deregulation law is enacted. based on SPP. the existing new players. the oil deregulation can continue uninterrupted without the three other assailed provisions. 6. would have to totally stop their operations. No. compulsory arbitration. p. Positing the affirmative view.The Court. only the Comprehensive Tax Reform Package (CTRP) would be needed for the country to exit from IMF by December 1997. to say the least. 7. petitioner Garcia proffered the following arguments: "5. considering that said OPSF is not inherent in nor necessary to the transition period and may be removed at any time. etc. The police power as an attribute to promote the common weal would be diluted considerably of its reach and effectiveness if on the mere pleas that the liberty to contract would be restricted. No. was evidently expecting that Congress "can fasttrack the writing of a new law on oil deregulation in accord with the Constitution" (Decision. from the time the Constitution was enacted.2In consequence of the above.' we will simply go back to the transition period under R.A. 8180 to abolish the OPSF. of each and every petroleum fuel product. not unnaturally evincing lack of enthusiasm for police power legislation that affect them adversely and restrict their profits could predicate alleged violation of their rights on the due process clause. we would have to go back to the old law. higher petroleum product price ceilings based on transfer prices of imported crude oil.A.We further humbly submit that a favorable resolution on this motion for partial reconsideration would be consistent with public interest. 8180 implies that the other provisions are constitutional. 7. namely. No. 6. new players that have already come in can uninterruptedly continue their operations more competitively and bullishly with an even playing field. Thus. 5.Furthermore. would re-acquire jurisdiction and would easily compute the monthly price ceiling. The right to property cannot be pressed to such an unreasonable extreme. 8180 on 4% tariff differential. in declaring the entire R.A. However. the response from this Court. predatory pricing and minimum inventory.A. higher tariff differential of 10%. when free market forces are already in place. 8180 may and can very well be spared. It is understandable though why business enterprises.particularized reference to the rights of working men whether in industry and agriculture certainly cannot preclude attention to and concern for the rights of consumers. who are the objects of solicitude in the legislation now complained of. 8180 unconstitutional.2Further. 6.A.A. said constitutional provisions of R. if the entire R.

2. traders.1.Petitions for price adjustments should be filed and approved by the ERB. 9. 8180. (1) the big oil firms can block oil importation by the small oil firms. No. No. and (c) the issue of wiping out the deficit of P2.Importers. Secondly. 8. .A. minimum inventory. They also allege that their separability is further shown by the pending bills in Congress which only seek the partial repeal of R. the prices of petroleum products will be higher because of price ceilings based on transfer imported crude.1The total nullification of Republic Act No. would play a limited and ministerial role of computing the monthly price ceiling of each and every petroleum fuel product.3Ultimately.4The investments that existing new players have already made would become idle and unproductive.2The total nullification of Republic Act No. the oil deregulation program will be delayed. the total nullification of Republic Act No. 29).Government control and regulation of all the activities of the oil industry will discourage prospective investors and drive away the existing new players. albeit imperfect. No.6 billion and creating a subsidy fund in the Oil Price Stabilization Fund.8. price control will be revived through the automatic pricing mechanism based on Singapore Posted Prices. barriers to monopolistic practices and unfair competition and trade practices harmful not only to movant-intervenors but also to the public in general. We humbly submit that this is another reason to grant the motion for partial reconsideration. We shall first resolve petitioner Garcia's linchpin contention that the full deregulation decreed by R. 5. No.A. public interest will suffer. Shell and Petron — over the small oil firms.A. 8180. using the automatic . (2) the big oil firms can block the expansion and growth of the small oil firms. and predatory pricing are separable from the body of R. Congress provided a safeguard against the possibility that any of its provisions could be declared unconstitutional. 8. 8180 to start at the end of March 1997 is unconstitutional. They likewise submit that the provisions on tariff differential.A." To bolster this proposition.All expansion and investment programs of the oil companies and new players will be shelved indefinitely.1. thus the separability clause thereof. No. 4. They will be in some sort of "limbo" upon the nullification of the entire R. 8180 restores the disproportionate advantage of the three big oil firms — Caltex. and industrial end-users like the National Power Corporation will be constrained to source their oil Joining the chorus. or the "Oil Tariff Law.When it passed R. No. 8180. In his Supplement to Urgent Motion for Partial Reconsideration. especially on their delivery commitments of petroleum fuel products." 8. 8180. 8184. No. All their planned additional investments would be put on hold. In a similar refrain. 8180 "disarms" the new entrants and seriously cripples their capacity to compete and grow. fuel oil and kerosene. petitioner suggests that "we simply go back to the transition period under R.A. For prescinding from this premise. 2. 8180" as follows: "1." which simplified tax administration by lowering the tax rates for socially-sensitive products such as LPG. . they cite the separability clause of the law and the pending bills in Congress proposing to repeal said offensive provisions but not the entire law itself. Under the transition period. and increasing tax rates of gasoline products which are used mostly by consumers who belong to the upper income group. requirement only from existing oil companies because of the higher tariff on imported refined petroleum products and restrictions on such importation that would be allowed only if there are shortages. all this would translate into tremendous losses for them. diesel. 8.A.3The existing new players would find themselves in a bind on how to fulfill their contractual obligations. 3. the intervenors contend that: "2. and 2. p. (b) the uncertainty regarding R. which the Court noted (Decision.A.There will be bigger price adjustments in petroleum products due to (a) the reimposition of the higher tariff rates for imported crude oil and imported refined petroleum products [10%20%]. No.1.A.6And obviously. prospective new players cannot and will not come in. 8180 because of its separability clause.7On top of everything. petitioner Garcia amplified his contentions." The intervenors further aver that under a regime of regulation. The Energy Regulatory Board . 8180 "independent and separable from one another. They also recite the "inevitable consequences of the declaration of unconstitutionality of R. 8180 removes substantial.5Needless to say. the public respondents contend that the "unmistakable intention of Congress" is to make each and every provision of RA. Firstly.

Nonetheless. 8180. 8180. the transition period has ended and it was expected that the people would have adjusted to the role of market forces in shaping the prices of petroleum and its products. 8180. the unsatisfactory scheme of price regulation by the ERB. separation will not take place despite the inclusion of a separability clause in the law. The choice of March 1997 as the date of full deregulation is a judgment of Congress and its judgment call cannot be impugned by this Court. The high 10% tariff differential will certainly give a bigger edge to the three existing oil companies. monopolies. and hence. We held in our Decision that the provisions on 4% tariff differential. recast our laws on trust. To be sure. The Court agrees that our return to the regime of regulation has pernicious consequences and it specially sympathizes with the intervenors. 22 there was a ten-point difference between the tariff imposed on crude oil and that on refined petroleum. It is conceded that the success of deregulation lies in a truly competitive market and there can be no competitive market without the easy entry and exit of competitors. No. Congress could not have deregulated the downstream oil industry. No. the courts should consider the intent of the legislature. 23 Thus. Under our scheme of government. 8180. that this reduced tariff differential is unconstitutional for it still posed a substantial barrier to the entry of new players and enhanced the monopolistic power of the three existing oil companies. the Court is powerless to .A. Section 5(b) of R. To stress again. 8180 minus its provisions which are anti-competition." 21 We are not impressed by petitioner Garcia's submission. 8180 can be declared unconstitutional minus its offensive provisions. The ruling that the 4% differential is unconstitutional will unfortunately revive the 10% tariff differential of the Tariff and Customs Code. oligopolies. — It shall be the policy of the State to deregulate the downstream oil industry to foster a truly competitive market which can better achieve the social policy objectives of fair prices and adequate. No.A. the Court did not condemn the economic policy of deregulation as unconstitutional.A. however. In taking this position. 8180 lowered the difference to four by imposing a 3% tariff on crude oil and a 7% tariff on refined petroleum. where the oil oligopolists can engage in cartelization without competition. minimum inventory and predatory pricing are anti-competition. No. 8180. the movants rely heavily on the separability provision of R. cartels and combinations injurious to public welfare — to restore competition where it has disappeared and to We also reject the argument that the bills pending in Congress merely seek to remedy the partial defects of R. It merely held that as crafted.pricing formula. . 8180. No. we need to perpetuate competition as a system to regulate the economy and achieve global product quality. The separability clause cannot also be applied if it will produce an absurd result. We referred to the pending bills in Congress in our Decision only to show that Congress itself is aware of the various defects of the law and not to prove the inseparability of the offending provisions from the body of R. In a word. minimum inventory and predatory pricing cannot but result in the unconstitutionality of the entire law despite its separability clause. should alone be declared as unconstitutional. and will drive out of business the new players. it is not the will of the Court to return even temporarily to the regime of regulation. there is no impediment in re-enacting R. and where new players will close shop. Our Decision merely faulted the Executive for factoring the depletion of OPSF in advancing the date of full deregulation to February 1997. They emphasize its pernicious consequences — the revival of the 10% tariff differential which will wipe out the new players.A. 8180. 2. 8180 will bring about an absurdity — a fully deregulated downstream oil industry where government is impotent to regulate run away prices. . and they are the key provisions of R. No. 18 A separability clause does not clothe the valid parts with immunity from the invalidating effect the law gives to the inseparable blending of the bad with the good. Before R. continuous supply of environmentally-clean and high-quality petroleum products. It is not an inexorable command.A. No.A. 20 In the case of Republic Act No.A. an unconstitutional law returns us to the status quo ante and this return is beyond the power of the Court to stay. the unconstitutionality of the provisions on tariff differential. The movants warn that our Decision will throw us back to the undesirable regime of regulation. While the OPSF would return. will form an insuperable barrier to prospective players. No less than President Fidel V. It is merely an aid in statutory construction.50 per liter. the return of the OPSF which is too burdensome to government. minimum inventory and predatory pricing are separable from the body of R. No. No. etc. Consider the 4% tariff differential on crude oil and refined petroleum.A. this coverage would be limited to monthly price increases in excess of P0. 8180. If we return to the regime of regulation." preserve it where it still exists. Congress can block the revival of the status quo ante or stop its continuation by immediately enacting the necessary remedial legislation. These provisions cannot be struck down alone for they were the ones intended to carry out the policy of the law embodied in section 2 thereof which reads: Sec. the separability clause only creates a presumption that the act is severable. They actually set the stage for the regime of deregulation where government will no longer intervene in fixing the price of oil and the operations of oil companies. Stated otherwise.A. We cannot affirm the movants for to determine whether or not a particular provision is separable. By that date. No. Ramos recognized this matrix when he declared that the need is to ". the law runs counter to the constitutional provision calling for fair competition. Nonetheless.A. if the separation of the statute will defeat the intent of the legislature. and that this is proof that R. March 1997 is not an arbitrary date. 8180. the remedy to prevent the revival of an unwanted status quo ante lies with Congress.Declaration of Policy. such intent is expressed in a separability clause stating that the invalidity or unconstitutionality of any provision or section of the law will not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remainder. where prospective players cannot come in. To decree the partial unconstitutionality of R.A.A. the error of the Executive is now a non-issue for the full deregulation set by Congress itself at the end of March 1997 has already come to pass. Thus. It is settled jurisprudence that the declaration of a law as unconstitutional revives the laws that it has repealed. there can be no question that Congress will not allow deregulation if the tariff is 10% on crude oil and 20% on refined petroleum. movants even overlooked the fact that resolutions have been filed in both Houses of Congress calling for a total review of R. R. We emphasize that in the cases at bar. it is because it is the inevitable consequence of the enactment by Congress of an unconstitutional law. Petitioner has no basis in condemning as unconstitutional per se the date fixed by Congress for the beginning of the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry. No. No. LLjur We come to the submission that the provisions on 4% tariff differential. Be that as it may. however. We ruled. It is true that most of the time. 19 In sum. Without these provisions in place.

bills amending the offensive provisions of R. Vitug. and at worse. I concur in part and dissent in part. the other section(s) or provision(s) of the law shall not be affected thereby." The short answer to petitioner Garcia's argument is that when the Court reviews the constitutionality of a law. A separability clause states that if for any reason. it can exploit the economy if greed becomes its creed. it does not deal with the realities of politics nor does it delve into the mysticism of politics." 25 Even before our Decision. on official leave when the case was deliberated. after the void part. and (3) it will sire an even more powerful oligopoly whose unchecked power will prejudice the interest of the consumers and compromise the general welfare. it will have the power to drive the Filipino to a prayerful pose. Romero. I did not go along with his conclusion declaring the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act (R A. Justice Reynato S. . took no part.A.J . this Decision. With prescience. Davide. A foreign oil oligopoly can undermine the security of the nation. IN VIEW WHEREOF. stated thru its Acting President Jaime Ladao that ". The Court has no partisan political theology for as an institution it is at best apolitical. concurring and dissenting: Brought before us are the motions for reconsideration of public respondents and the partial motions for reconsideration of petitioner Enrique T. To recapitulate. (2) it blocked the entry of effective competitors. In any event. The rest of the law. Regalado. although I concurred with the enlightened ponencia of Mr. Speaker Jose de Venecia has assured after a meeting of the Legislative-Executive Advisory Council (LEDAC) that: "I suppose before Christmas. in fact tells us that we are for honest-to-goodness competition. In response to this official repertoire. . Under a deregulated regime. especially the poor. injects a non-legal argument in his motion for partial reconsideration. Separate Opinions KAPUNAN.. J ." 26 The Chief Executive himself has urged the immediate passage of a new and better oil deregulation law. our Decision declared R. however. 3 . it should not take a long time for Congress to enact a new oil deregulation law given its interest for the welfare of our people. SO ORDERED. in spite of it. It is Congress that can give all these remedies. The majority. 1 A weak and developing country like the Philippines cannot risk a downstream oil industry controlled by a foreign oligopoly that can run riot. JJ .. is not complete and workable. not yet a member of the Court when the case was deliberated. Thus. Such a clause is not. Garcia and the movants-inintervention. should remain in force and effect in view of the separability clause contained therein. it would now be easy for Congress to craft a new law. Oil is our most socially sensitive commodity and for it to be under the control of a foreign oligopoly without effective competitors is a clear and present danger. With due respect. however. Narvasa. Mendoza and Panganiban. resolves to deny the same for lack of merit. took no part.. He avers that "given the 'realities' of politics. 2 It is a legislative expression of intent that the nullity of one provision shall not invalidate the other provisions of the act. with the Court's decision. Petitioner Garcia himself has been quoted as saying that ". we should be able to pass a new oil deregulation law. free from the taint of unconstitutionality. . 8180 unconstitutional for three reasons: (1) it gave more power to an already powerful oil oligopoly. Puno in the decision sought to be reconsidered. 8180) unconstitutional in its entirety. suffice to state that our Decision precisely levels the playing field for foreign investors as against the three dominant oil oligopolists. C .. In the dispositive portion of my separate opinion. No. invalidate the whole statute where what is left." Our Decision should be a confidence booster to foreign investors for it assures them of an effective judicial remedy against an unconstitutional law. Martinez. Francisco and Melo.. No. especially with the 1998 presidential polls six months away. the people's only hope to check the overwhelming power of the foreign oil oligopoly lies on a market where there is fair competition. concur. considering that lawmakers will be guided by the Court's points. It is the unyielding duty of this Court to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution not with a mere wishbone but with a backbone that should neither bend nor break. public respondents raise the scarecrow argument that our Decision will drive away foreign investors. thus further unduly delaying the enactment of a new oil deregulation law. No. Bellosillo. JJ . . There is need to attract foreign investment but the policy has never been foreign investment at any cost.prevent this return just as it is powerless to repeal the 10% tariff differential of the Tariff Code. At the outset let me clarify that. politically agnostic. 24 Petitioner Garcia. No less than the influential Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry whose motive is beyond question. the Motions for Reconsideration of the public respondents and of the intervenors as well as the Partial Motion for Reconsideration of petitioner Enrique Garcia are DENIED for lack of merit. Jr.. controlling and the courts may. We cannot trade-in the Constitution for foreign investment. any section or provision of the statute is held to be unconstitutional or (invalid). maintain their dissent. 27 the Constitution mandates the regulation of monopolies and interdicts unfair competition. I explicitly stated that only the three anti-competition provisions of the said law should be deemed unconstitutional. Let me explain. the Constitution provides a shield to the economic rights of our people. 8180 have already been filed in the Congress and under consideration by its committees. acting on the motions. it is not far-fetched that the general welfare could be sacrificed to gain political mileage. Finally. It is not economic heresy to hold that trade-in is not a fair exchange.A. J .

all the other provisions thus dependent. or compensations for each other. There is no question that the legislature intended a single uniform tariff rate for imported crude oil and imported petroleum products. or connected with one another.A. That beginning on January 1. hence. No. so much so. it is imperative that the anti-competition provisions found therein be taken out. 5(b) of R. may stand and be enforced. without which there is nothing to equalize. conditional. In making the parts of the statute dependent." a tool to effectively carry out the legislative intent of fostering a truly competitive market. inventory and predatory pricing inhibit fair competition. the legislature intended the statute to be carried out as a whole and would not have enacted it if one part is void. The three provisions declared void are severable from the main statute and their removal therefrom would not affect the validity and enforceability of the remaining provisions of the said law. No. of the statute. considerations. 8180. the nullification of the tariff differential renders the prospective effectivity of the rate equalization irrelevant and superfluous. capable of being executed and wholly independent of (those) which (are) rejected. 8180 remains intact in substance and the elimination of the tariff differential would. sans the constitutionally infirmed portions. in the instant case. as conditions. The provision requiring a minimum inventory was similarly found by the majority to be anti-competition. 8180. To justify this result. inventory and predatory pricing are among the principal props of' R. The tariff provision which. No. it is only through the "separation" of these provisions that the deregulation would be able to fully realize its objective.A. thus. 4 However. 5(b) 7 of R. that it is no longer expressive of the legislative will and could no longer carry out the legislative purpose. or connected must fall with them. 8180 so permeate its essence that the entire law has to be struck down. since the court has no power to legislate.The rules on statutory construction. would not have any deleterious effect on the . contrary to their intent. A different way of interpreting the law would be less than faithful to the legislative intent to enhance free competition in the oil industry for the purpose of obtaining fair prices for highquality petroleum products. No. the removal of the 4% differential would result in the imposition of a single uniform tariff rate on the importation of both crude oil and refined petroleum products at 3% as distinctly and deliberately set in sec. The language used in the invalid part of the statute can have no legal effect or efficacy for any purpose whatsoever. No. there would no longer be any basis for postponing the leveling of the tariff rate to a later date.A.A. In other words. However. No. Therefore. therefore. The crucial test is to determine if expulsion of the assailed provisions cripples the whole statute. 6 In other words. This is obvious from the proviso contained in Sec. The majority opinion enunciated. the exception rather than the general rule was applied. Take the tariff provision for instance. the imposition of a single uniform tariff rate on imported crude oil and imported petroleum products is to take effect immediately. we hold that the offending provisions of R. thus: This separability clause not withstanding.A. in order to make the deregulation law work. The principal intent of R. 2004 is premised on the validity of the tariff differential. and what remains must express the legislative will independently of the void part. is among the "principal props" of R. Stated differently. 8180 is to open the country's oil market to fair and free competition and the three provisions are assailed precisely because they are anticompetition and they obstruct the entry of new players. Its exclusion. That this provision maybe amended only by an Act of Congress. 5 I beg to disagree. transform it into one of the statute's "vouchsafing provisions. Unfortunately. rather than complete nullity. 8180 which specifically states that: Provided. sensible. The void provisions must be eliminated without causing results affecting the main purpose of the act in a manner contrary to the intention of the legislature. The provision that the tariff rate shall be equalized on January 1. in which case if some parts are unconstitutional. the valid portion. No. 8180 itself. The exception to the general rule is that when the parts of a statute are so mutually dependent and connected. 2004 the tariff rate on imported crude oil and refined petroleum products shall be the same: Provided. The repudiation of the tariff differential will not revive the 10% and 20% tariff rates. 2004. the valid portion must be so far independent of the invalid portion that it is fair to presume that the legislature would have enacted it by itself if it had supposed that it could not constitutionally enact the other. Enough must remain to make a complete. if separable from the invalid. as to warrant a belief that the legislature intended them as a whole the nullity of one part will vitiate the rest. these provisions on tariff differential. despite the elimination of some of its parts. Congress could not have deregulated the downstream oil industry without these provisions. R. although said proviso equalizing the tariff rate takes effect on January 1. What is being discarded is the differential not the tariff itself. intelligible. and valid statute which carries out the legislative intent. remains "complete in itself. encourage monopolistic power and interfere with the free interaction of market forces.A. in effect. inducements. admittedly. The presence of a separability clause in a statute creates the presumption that the legislature intended separability. conditional. The provisions on tariff differential. further. Naturally. the law can still stand on its own. while another part is valid.A. prescribe that: The general rule is that where part of a statute is void as repugnant to the Constitution.

Public respondents. 8180. even assuming that the assailed provisions are constitutionally defective. Any person wishing to build and establish or operate. or capable of bringing about the full deregulation of the oil industry. He expounds. the unconstitutionality is partial. therefore. No. 8180 unconstitutional. 8180. 9 Even the public respondents in their motion for reconsideration concede that if R. any person or entity may import or purchase any quantity of crude oil and petroleum products from a foreign or domestic source. were allowed to file their opposition. SJ. therefore. Joaquin G. 8180 should be declared unconstitutional. remodel or refurbish any retail outlet for petroleum products had to obtain approval from the EIAB. On the contrary. for monitoring purposes. xxx xxx xxx Another barrier to equalization concerns the expansion of services of small players.A. The goal is to unshackle the oil industry from the restraints of regulation. That such notice shall not exempt such person or entity from securing certificates of quality. The procedure followed was that. TWA. restrict outputs or divide markets. To strike down the whole statute would go against the very ideal that our country is striving for. No. Equivalently. Bernas. or use the same for his own requirement: Provided. Subic Bay Distribution. 8180.A.A. the following acts are hereby prohibited: a)Cartelization which means any agreement. — To ensure fair competition and prevent cartels and monopolies in the downstream oil industry.. The EIAB was duty bound to evaluate the applications against the opposition.. Under the regulated regime.Prohibited Acts. Under the regulated regime.Liberalization of Downstream Oil Industry and Tariff Treatment. the essence of R. Seaoil Petroleum Corp. 8180 void in its entirety would bring us back to where we started. that is. No. which are some of the oil industry's new entrants. whenever there was an application to import oil products. either by products or by areas. thus. Inc. combination or concerted action by refiners and/or importers or their representatives to fix prices. 5. xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx The answer is not the wholesale rejection of R. expansion of facilities was also under the control of the EIAB. 9. in restraint of trade or free competition. and These barriers were eradicated by R. or allocating markets. opine: Thus.A. Eastern Petroleum Corp. only the three (3) anti-competition provisions should be declared void. No. the EIAB was required to inform the oil companies of the proposed importation in order to give them the option to match the desired importation with locally available products. as expressly mandated in Sec. further. That any person or entity who shall engage in any such activity shall give prior notice thereof to the DOE for monitoring purposes: Provided. 9(a). 8 The nullification of the whole law would. . Copies of applications filed with the EIAB had to be given to competing oil companies which. the large oil companies could block imports by the smaller players. . thus: . under the rules. to block the importation of petroleum products by the small oil companies and likewise impede their expansion and growth. finally. Inc. 5(a) thereof: SEC. No.A. That all oil importations shall be in accordance with the Basel Convention. filed a motion for intervention on 18 November 1997 urging the Court to reconsider its decision declaring the whole R. The same rationale applies to the provision concerning predatory pricing and may be subsumed (at least in the meantime pending the amendment of the law) under Sec. furthermore. . either by products or by areas. As a consequence thereof. — a) Any law to the contrary notwithstanding. That such person or entity shall. which is free and fair competition is preserved.A. SEC. To declare R. The intervenors raise similar apprehensions concerning the power of the existing oil firms under the regulated industry. and Dubphil Gas. they cannot be that contagious as to infect or contaminate the other valid parts of the law which are complete in themselves. LLphil To apply the exception to the general rule of separability will require a clear and overwhelming demonstration which will erase any and all doubts on the unconstitutionality of R.A.oil deregulation law. This rule made it possible for the big players to block the expansion of competing facilities. report to the DOE his or its every importation/exportation: Provided. health and safety and environmental clearance from the proper governmental agencies: Provided.. lease or own and operate refineries and other downstream oil facilities and market such crude oil and petroleum products either in a generic name or its own trade name. No. Worse. considerably jeopardize the chances of the new entrants to survive and remain competitive in the market. as pointed out by the eminent constitutionalist. importation of oil was controlled by the Energy Industry Administrative Bureau (EIAB). the hardest hit would be the few new players who have entered the oil business and have begun investing in our country under the deregulated regime. 8180.

minimum inventory requirement and predatory pricing. have any place in a law whose goal is to promote and achieve fair and free competition? The oil deregulation law was not built upon and do not center on the provisions on tariff differential. did not contain any tariff differential. 8180: SEC.A." As I have previously pointed out. 5(a) aptly entitled "Liberalization of Downstream Oil Industry and Tariff Treatment. will soar if R. or enhance environmental protection. 1253. The foregoing instances clearly demonstrate that the assailed provisions were indeed separable and independent of the other provisions of R. R. 8180 is declared only partially unconstitutional. With this provision the "entry and exit of competitors" is made relatively easy and from this the competitive market is established. without which Congress would not have passed R. and joint actions on oil spill control and fire prevention. the separable and independent character of the assailed provisions may be inferred from the various bills filed by leading legislators which. 8180.A. 8180 intended to implement the legislative intent as expressed in sec. No. the aforementioned provisions were declared unconstitutional precisely because they were found to be anti-competition. How can anti-competition provisions. 8. 8180 and Congress did not consider the same to be that indispensable.A. Sec. The DOE shall maintain in a periodic schedule of present and future total industry inventory of petroleum products for the purpose of determining the level of supply. 8180 is a bold and progressive piece of legislation. 188 and 189 of the Revised Penal Code. The heart and soul of R. This shall also apply to the process of marketing local and imported petroleum products." 11 Likewise. The law also tasks the Department of Energy (DOE) to "take all measures to promote fair trade and to prevent cartelization. No. the better solution is to retain the foundations of the law and leave it to Congress to pass the necessary amendments and enact the appropriate supporting legislation to fortify R. and inventory on a per crude/product basis. even if only for a short period while the legislature "fasttracks" the passage of a new oil deregulation law (the feasibility of which remains a big "if") defeats the whole purpose and only succeeds in retarding the country's economic growth.A. 10 The public need not fear that prices of petroleum products. These practices may include borrow-and-loan agreements.Monitoring. which later became R. No. sales and/or consumption. These are not the only provisions of R. The DOE shall continue to encourage certain practices in the oil industry which serve the public interest and are intended to achieve efficiency and cost reduction. In view of the foregoing.A. No. The Bureau of Product Standards (BPS). No. the original as well as the final versions of House Bill No. therefore. — The DOE shall monitor and publish daily international oil prices to enable the public to determine whether current market oil prices are reasonable. shall set national standards of quality that are aligned with the international standards/protocols of quality. 8180. as defined in Articles 186. 8 of the said law provides that: xxx xxx xxx Any report from any person of an unreasonable rise in the prices of petroleum products shall be immediately acted upon. No.A. To implement this. refiners. It shall likewise monitor the quality of petroleum products and stop the operation of businesses involved in the sale of petroleum products which do not comply with the national standards of quality. 8180 into law. hospitality agreements. particularly gasoline. 5264 and Senate Bill No. 8180 is embodied in sec. the creation of a Department of Energy (DOE) Department of Justice (DOJ) Task Force is hereby mandated to determine the merits of the report and to initiate the necessary actions warranted under the circumstances to prevent cartelization. Thus.A. For instance. in the downstream oil industry." It is this provision which does away with the burdensome requirements and procedures for the importation of petroleum products (the main impediments to the entry of new players in the oil market). the importers. 2 thereof. rationalized deport operations. in coordination with DOE. No.A. The DOE shall monitor the refining and manufacturing processes of local petroleum products to ensure that clean and safe (environment and worker-benign) technologies are applied. . ensure continuous supply of petroleum products. joint tanker and pipeline utilization. It must be given a chance to work and prove its worth. Congress could not have deregulated the downstream oil industry. xxx xxx xxx Reverting to a regulated oil industry. among others. For this purpose. No." In fact. and marketers are hereby required to submit monthly to the DOE their actual and projected importations. 6 of R. 8180. The oil deregulation law itself provides adequate safeguards that would effectively avert and preclude such a dire scenario. local purchases.A. I find myself unable to concur with the majority's thesis that the three assailed provisions "cannot be struck down alone for they were the ones intended to carry out the policy of (R.A. 8180)" and that "without these provisions in place.A. monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade and any unfair competition.Moreover. as noted by the Honorable Court. the DOE is endowed with monitoring powers as mandated in Sec. seek "the repeal of this odious and offensive provisions in R.

A. as amended by Republic Act No. The point is. Provided. 8180 (sans the void provisions) is not an absurdity. on the contrary as shown above. No. 9(a) on the prevention of cartels and monopolies. Sec. which is hereby created. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. I also take exception to the majority's observation that ". Cotabato City forms part of Maguindanao's first legislative district. sec.A. The infirmities of some parts of the statute should not taint the whole when these parts could successfully be incised. resolving the pending motion for reconsideration and partial motions for reconsideration. petitioner. The Municipalities of Barira. Article VI of R. Republic Act No. J p: The Case These consolidated petitions 1 seek to annul Resolution No. 5. of R. and Upi are hereby separated from the Province of Maguindanao and constituted into a distinct and independent province. but I register my DISSENT to its ruling declaring the entire law as unconstitutional. DECISION Sec. R. 8180. 201 (MMA Act 201) creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan composed of the eight municipalities in the first district of Maguindanao. vs. 127867. I CONCUR with the majority insofar as it maintains the opinion to strike down as unconstitutional the three (3) anti-competition provisions of R. respondents. MMA Act 201 provides: EN BANC Section 1. vs.A.a partial declaration of unconstitutionality of R. The implementation. 6734 (R. [G. having voted against its inclusion in the ARMM in the plebiscite held in November 1989. petitioner. 2008.A. of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) treating Cotabato City as part of the legislative district of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan. 124360. SDECAI On 28 August 2006.The other remaining provisions are. the ARMM's legislature. it is the sensible thing to do. 6734). The incumbent elective provincial officials of the Province of Maguindanao shall continue to serve their unexpired terms in the province that they will choose or where they are residents: Provided.] PERFECTO F. where the oil oligopolists can engage in cartelization without competition. 7902. 4 Although under the Ordinance. of Department of Energy. The corporate existence of this province shall commence upon the appointment by the Regional Governor or election of the governor and majority of the regular members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. 2 The Facts The Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution apportioned two legislative districts for the Province of Maguindanao. likewise. SEMA. 9054). No.R. to be known as the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan. The first legislative district consists of Cotabato City and eight municipalities. 3 Maguindanao forms part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). No. G. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DIDAGEN P. 9054 (R. among others. dated 10 May 2007. As I have earlier discussed. No.A. 178628. MARQUEZ.] xxx xxx xxx BAI SANDRA S. . should any of these arise. where prospective players cannot come in. Sultan Kudarat.R.A. 8180 has armed the government with adequate measures to deal with the above problems. There is. DILANGALEN. July 16. December 03. therefore. 5 enacted Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. exercising its power to create provinces under Section 19. 177597. 9054. 8180 will bring about a fully deregulated downstream oil industry where government will be impotent to regulate run away prices. it is not part of the ARMM but of Region XII.R. . sufficient to serve the legislative will. . TESICD [G. even without the subject three provisions what remains is a comprehensible and workable law. 7 mandating the promotion of fair trade practices and sec. Parang. created under its Organic Act. ||| (Tatad v. July 16. No. Kabuntalan. and shall hold office until their successors shall have been elected and qualified in the next local elections. Datu Odin Sinsuat. 1997) CARPIO. respondent. Sultan Mastura. ACCORDINGLY. the ARMM Regional Assembly. No. all incumbent elective provincial officials shall have preference for appointment to a higher elective vacant position and for the time being be appointed by the Regional Governor. No. 2008. A.A. and where new players will close shop. that where an elective position in both provinces becomes vacant as a consequence of the creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan. Matanog. Buldon.

7902 because the COMELEC issued the same in the exercise of its administrative. 7845 stating that Maguindanao's first legislative district is composed only of Cotabato City because of the enactment of MMA Act 201. Sema. Article VI of the Constitution 10 and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. the COMELEC promulgated on 29 March 2007 Resolution No. the Court required the parties in G. 7902. On 6 February 2007. 7902 is constitutional because it did not apportion a legislative district for Shariff Kabunsuan or reapportion the legislative districts in Maguindanao but merely renamed Maguindanao's first legislative district. prayed for the nullification of COMELEC Resolution No. ICDSca The voters of Maguindanao ratified Shariff Kabunsuan's creation in a plebiscite held on 29 October 2006. Respondent Dilangalen added that COMELEC Resolution No. 7902. without a reapportionment. not quasi-judicial. that there shall be no diminution in the number of the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the mother province. the COMELEC issued Resolution No. in preparation for the 14 May 2007 elections. subject of these petitions. 7902 which maintained the status quo in Maguindanao's first legislative district despite the COMELEC's earlier directive in Resolution No. Thus. 7 provides in pertinent parts: Considering the foregoing. No. who was a candidate in the 14 May 2007 elections for Representative of "Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato City". to adopt the recommendation of the Law Department that pending the enactment of the appropriate law by Congress. No. No. the COMELEC. the corresponding representative district comes into existence neither by authority of that statute — which cannot provide otherwise — nor by apportionment. the COMELEC usurped Congress' power to create or reapportion legislative districts. Sema indicated that she was seeking election as representative of "Shariff Kabunsuan including Cotabato City". Article VI of R. 7845 designating Cotabato City as the lone component of Maguindanao's reapportioned first legislative district. as it hereby resolves. In his Comment. 3999 requesting the COMELEC to "clarify the status of Cotabato City in view of the conversion of the First District of Maguindanao into a regular province" under MMA Act 201. respondent Dilangalen countered that Sema is estopped from questioning COMELEC Resolution No. 9054 is entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives without need of a national law creating a legislative district for such new province." (b) Section 462 of Republic Act No. The parties submitted their compliance as follows: (1) Sema answered the issue in the affirmative on the following grounds: (a) the Court in Felwa v.A. (Emphasis supplied) aScIAC However." 9 In G. Sema asserted that the COMELEC acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing Resolution No. Provided.R. Article VI of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance . Later. power and (2) Sema's prayer for the writ of prohibition in G.A. the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City passed Resolution No. 7160) "affirms" the apportionment of a legislative district incident to the creation of a province. 07-0407. and (c) Section 5 (3). 177597 became moot with the proclamation of respondent Didagen P. is not part of the Province of Maguindanao. but by operation of the Constitution. CHDAaS In its Comment. 12 Sema further claimed that in issuing Resolution No. 7902 and the exclusion from canvassing of the votes cast in Cotabato City for that office. the Commission RESOLVED. Salas 14 stated that "when a province is created by statute.R.further. Article VI of the Constitution for the creation of a legislative district within a city. 07-0407 by renaming the legislative district in question as "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City (formerly First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City). acSECT Except as may be provided by national law. not to mention that Cotabato City does not meet the minimum population requirement under Section 5 (3). Resolution No. chose not to reach the merits of the case and merely contended that (1) Sema wrongly availed of the writ of certiorari to nullify COMELEC Resolution No. amending Resolution No. 177597. 177597 to comment on the issue of whether a province created by the ARMM Regional Assembly under Section 19. shall remain. although part of Maguindanao's first legislative district. which adopted the recommendation of the COMELEC's Law Department under a Memorandum dated 27 February 2007. which includes Cotabato as a part thereof. 8 On 10 May 2007. 7902. Dilangalen (respondent Dilangalen) on 1 June 2007 as representative of the legislative district of Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City. bringing its total number of municipalities to 11.R. to maintain the status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in the First Legislative District of Maguindanao. 7902 because in her certificate of candidacy filed on 29 March 2007. that they shall continue to receive the salaries they are receiving at the time of the approval of this Act until the new readjustment of salaries in accordance with law. CHIEDS In answer to Cotabato City's query. 07-0407 on 6 March 2007 "maintaining the status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in the First Legislative District of Maguindanao". what was left of Maguindanao were the municipalities constituting its second legislative district. Sema contended that Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to one representative in Congress under Section 5 (3). 11 Thus. 7160 (R. HAaScT In the Resolution of 4 September 2007. three new municipalities 6 were carved out of the original nine municipalities constituting Shariff Kabunsuan. 13 Sema filed a Consolidated Reply controverting the matters raised in respondents' Comments and reiterating her claim that the COMELEC acted ultra vires in issuing Resolution No. furthermore. Respondent Dilangalen further claimed that the COMELEC could not reapportion Maguindanao's first legislative district to make Cotabato City its sole component unit as the power to reapportion legislative districts lies exclusively with Congress. Cotabato City. the COMELEC issued Resolution No. through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). the existing legislative district.

7160. Article VI of R. 9054 to the ARMM Regional Assembly of the power to "prescribe standards lower than those mandated" in R. which has a population of less than 250. . Thus. 177597. 19 (2) Respondent Dilangalen contended that Section 19. 178628 echoed Sema's contention that the COMELEC acted ultra vires in issuing Resolution No. Article VI of the Constitution is "selfexecuting".R. 7902. and (3) Respondent Dilangalen answered the issue in the negative on the following grounds: (a) the "province" contemplated in Section 5 (3). No. and (d) Cotabato City. No. 7160.A. maintained the validity of COMELEC Resolution No. the Court ordered G. 7160 in the creation of provinces contravenes Section 10. (c) recognizing a legislative district in every province the ARMM Regional Assembly creates will lead to the disproportionate representation of the ARMM in the House of Representatives as the Regional Assembly can create provinces without regard to the requirements in Section 461 of R. joined causes with respondent Dilangalen (thus effectively abandoning the position the COMELEC adopted in its Compliance with the Resolution of 4 September 2007) and contended that Section 19.R. On the question of whether a province created under Section 19. every new province created by the ARMM Regional Assembly is ipso facto entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives even in the absence of a national law. aSDHCT (2) The COMELEC. No. is not entitled to a representative in the House of Representatives. No.R. In its Comment to the petition in G. TcaAID On 27 November 2007. and (2) if in the affirmative. 20 Article X of the Constitution and (b) the power to create provinces was withheld from the autonomous regions under Section 20. 177597 filed their respective Memoranda on the issues raised in the oral arguments. through their organic acts. The Issues The petitions raise the following issues: I. No.A. 177597: (A) Preliminarily — (1) whether the writs of Certiorari. Sema proposed that Section 19 "should be construed as prohibiting the Regional Assembly from prescribing standards .A. Thus. (b) Section 3. 9054.R. 177597.A. and EHCcIT (3) The COMELEC.A. . Article VI of the Constitution is one that is created by an act of Congress taking into account the provisions in R. No. 07-0407 and 7902 and joined causes with Sema. through the OSG.R. Article VI of R. Article VI of R.A. The COMELEC deemed it unnecessary to submit its position on this issue considering its stance that Section 19. In G. 9054 to the ARMM Regional Assembly of the power to prescribe standards lower than those mandated in Section 461 of R.appended to the Constitution mandate the apportionment of a legislative district in newly created provinces. and TIHDAa (2) whether the proclamation of respondent Dilangalen as representative of Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City mooted the petition in G. 9054 is unconstitutional. if taken literally. (B) On the merits — . No. 7902 as a temporary measure pending the enactment by Congress of the "appropriate law". 178628 was disclosed during the oral arguments on 27 November 2007. Article X of the Constitution and (b) the grant under Section 19. 178628 consolidated with G. No. CcTIDH The pendency of the petition in G. 9054. 15 In compliance with the Resolution dated 27 November 2007. apparently abandoned its earlier stance on the propriety of issuing Resolution Nos. the parties in G. 7160 on the creation of provinces. 9054 is entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives without need of a national law creating a legislative district for such new province.R. 178628.A.A. No. in the Resolution of 19 February 2008. whether a province created under Section 19. Article X of the Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause. contending that Section 5 (3). the COMELEC. the grant in Section 19.A. 16 On the question of the constitutionality of Section 19. Article VI of R. Sema and respondent Dilangalen reiterated in their Memoranda the positions they adopted in their Compliance with the Resolution of 4 September 2007. 7160 on the creation of provinces contravenes Section 10. 9054 is unconstitutional because (a) it contravenes Section 10 and Section 6.R.A.R.A.A. No. 9054 is entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives without need of a national law creating a legislative district for such new province. which encompasses the apportionment of legislative districts for members of the House of Representatives.A. Article VI of R. and Mandamus are proper to test the constitutionality of COMELEC Resolution No. 18 Thus. Sema concedes that.A. Article X of the Constitution.A. legislative powers over "other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region" and (b) as an amendment to Section 6 of R. that do not comply with the minimum criteria " under R.A. is constitutional. Article VI of R. again represented by the OSG. 177597 adopted the following positions: CITcSH (1) Sema contended that Section 19. 9054 is unconstitutional on the following grounds: (a) the power to create provinces was not among those granted to the autonomous regions under Section 20. Article X of the Constitution granting to the autonomous regions. 177597 in oral arguments on the following issues: (1) whether Section 19. Article IV of R. Article VI of R. Article X of the Constitution. delegating to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces. the parties in G.R.R. The petition in G. 17 However. 7160.A. through the OSG. 9054 is constitutional (a) as a valid delegation by Congress to the ARMM of the power to create provinces under Section 20 (9).000. Prohibition. 7902 depriving the voters of Cotabato City of a representative in the House of Representatives. Article VI of R. Article VI of R. Article VI of R. 9054 withheld from the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to enact measures relating to national elections. the Court heard the parties in G.

A. Rather. The Court's ruling in these petitions affects not only the recently concluded elections but also all the other succeeding elections for the office in question. On the Preliminary Matters The Writ of Prohibition is to Test the Constitutionality Election Laws. one way or another. 25 subject to compliance with the criteria established in the Local Government Code. Article VI of R. under the Local Government Code." 22 True. 23 Nor is there a law which specifically enjoins the COMELEC to exclude from canvassing the votes cast in Cotabato City for representative of "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City"." 21 On the other hand. No. whether a province created by the ARMM Regional Assembly under MMA Act 201 pursuant to Section 19. However. municipalities and barangays conflicts with any provision of the Constitution. cities. On the Main Issues II. the creation of a local government unit must follow the criteria fixed in the Local Government Code. and city and municipal councils. such creation must not conflict with any provision of the Constitution. DCaSHI The Ruling of the Court The petitions have no merit.A. We rule that (1) Section 19. 177597 because Sema also prayed for the issuance of the writ of Prohibition and we have long recognized this writ as proper for testing the constitutionality of election laws. Article VI of R. board. municipality. the outcome of this petition. 26 EIaDHS Under Section 19. as well as the power of the ARMM Regional Assembly to create in the future additional provinces. the COMELEC did not issue Resolution No. Whether the ARMM Can Create the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan Regional Assembly The creation of local government units is governed by Section 10.R. 7902 is valid. (2) MMA Act 201 creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan is void. corporation. No. No. municipalities and barangays. merged. .R. board. the question arises whether the delegation to the ARMM Regional Assembly of the power to create provinces. These. 9054. 7902. However. 24 2005jur Respondent Does Not Moot the Petition Dilangalen's Proclamation There is also no merit in the claim that respondent Dilangalen's proclamation as winner in the 14 May 2007 elections for representative of "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City" mooted this petition. .A. determines whether the votes cast in Cotabato City for representative of the district of "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City" will be included in the canvassing of ballots. This case does not concern respondent Dilangalen's election. Third. do not justify the outright dismissal of the petition in G. 9054. Congress delegated to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces. Congress can delegate to local legislative bodies the power to create local government units. Article X of the Constitution. subject to reasonable standards and provided no conflict arises with any provision of the Constitution. delegating to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces. abolished or its boundary substantially altered except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. under its plenary legislative powers. however. an Act of Congress" can create provinces. 9054. or barangay may be created. In G. or person to perform an act "which the law specifically enjoins as a duty. 9054 is entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives without need of a national law creating a legislative district for such province. EcSCAD Thus. Article VI of R. 178628. cities or municipalities. Rules and Regulations Appropriate of The purpose of the writ of Certiorari is to correct grave abuse of discretion by "any tribunal. officer.(1) whether Section 19. municipalities and barangays within the ARMM. Congress made the delegation under its plenary legislative powers because the power to create local government units is not one of the express legislative powers granted by the Constitution to regional legislative bodies. city. despite the creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan out of such district (excluding Cotabato City). as well as the constitutionality of MMA Act 201 and Section 19. 27 In the present case. the creation of any of the four local government units — province. 10. Congress has delegated to provincial boards. Article VI of R. rules. Second. 7902 in the exercise of its judicial or quasijudicial functions. this incidental consequence is no reason for us not to proceed with the resolution of the novel issues raised here. the writ of Mandamus will issue to compel a tribunal. . municipality or barangay — must comply with three conditions. 7902 is valid for maintaining the status quo in the first legislative district of Maguindanao (as "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City [formerly First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City]"). which provides: Sec.A. there must be a plebiscite in the political units affected. First.R. Admittedly. is constitutional. and cSIADa (2) if in the affirmative. city. 177597 and G. However. cities. 9054 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and cities. and regulations. In fact. the power to create barangays within their jurisdiction.A. Article X of the Constitution. Article VI of R. There is neither an express prohibition nor an express grant of authority in the Constitution for Congress to delegate to regional or local legislative bodies the power to create local government units. whether COMELEC Resolution No. cities. or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. No province. and (3) COMELEC Resolution No. it involves an inquiry into the validity of COMELEC Resolution No. and the plebiscite requirement in Section 10. "only . divided.

and sectoral parties or organizations. The threshold issue then is. is traditionally regarded as part of the power (of Congress) to make laws". Section 20. and to reapportion legislative districts. . the allowable membership in the House of Representatives. and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. requires also the power to create a legislative district. TEHIaA (3) Each legislative district shall comprise. COMELEC 29 we held that the "power of redistricting . . It would be anomalous for regional or local legislative bodies to create or reapportion legislative districts for a national legislature like Congress. The allowable membership of the House of Representatives can be increased. "Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand. provided Section 10. " ADaSEH Clearly. Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution provides.xxx xxx xxx There is no provision in the Constitution that conflicts with the delegation to regional legislative bodies of the power to create municipalities and barangays. The power to reapportion legislative districts necessarily includes the power to create legislative districts out of existing ones.000. a city with a population of 250. shall have at least one representative" in the House of Representatives. as provided by law. Similarly. the organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers over: ASaTHc (1) Administrative organization. (3) Ancestral domain and natural resources. Section 5 (4) empowers Congress to reapportion legislative districts. (2) Creation of sources of revenues. . compact. HCaIDS Legislative Districts Only by an Act of Congress are Created or Reapportioned Under the present Constitution. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand. Even the creation of a city with a population of less than 250. (Emphasis supplied) ECaAHS Section 5 (1). cities. cannot change the membership of the superior legislative body. Article X of the Constitution provides: SECTION 20. who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. Congress exercises these powers through a law that Congress itself enacts. created by a superior legislative body. Article VI of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. did not divest Congress of its exclusive authority to create legislative districts. the power to create a province. SaCDTA The creation of the ARMM. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members. the power to increase the allowable membership in the House of Representatives. the city automatically becomes entitled to one representative under Section 5 (3). unless otherwise fixed by law. Congress is a national legislature and any increase in its allowable membership or in its incumbent membership through the creation of legislative districts must be embodied in a national law. This is clear from the Constitution and the ARMM Organic Act. Article VI of the Constitution provides. For Congress to delegate validly the power to create a province or city. An inferior legislative body. through a law. For the same reason. shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national. contiguous. or each province. the power to create a province or city inherently involves the power to create a legislative district. is vested exclusively in Congress. as far as practicable. "Any province that may hereafter be created. and not through a law that regional or local legislative bodies enact. the creation of provinces and cities is another matter. Thus. the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. Only Congress can enact such a law. . and adjacent territory.000 involves the power to create a legislative district because once the city's population reaches 250. . or each province. Thus. a province cannot be created without a legislative district because it will violate Section 5 (3). Section 5. Article VI of the Constitution provides: SECTION 5. Section 5 (3).000 or more cannot also be created without a legislative district. Article X of the Constitution is followed. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. as amended. can Congress validly delegate to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create legislative districts for the House of Representatives? The answer is in the negative. Article VI of the Constitution vests in Congress the power to increase. However. and those who. it must also validly delegate at the same time the power to create a legislative district. and new legislative districts of Congress can be created. regional. Article VI of the Constitution as well as Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. shall have at least one representative. as well as in past 28 Constitutions. or any city whose population may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least one Member . (4) Within three years following the return of every census. Thus. and thus is vested exclusively in Congress. only through a national law passed by Congress. and the grant of legislative powers to its Regional Assembly under its organic act. In Montejo v. or a city with a population of 250.000 or more. This textual commitment to Congress of the exclusive power to create or reapportion legislative districts is logical. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national laws.

" Thus. It is a self-evident inherent limitation on the legislative powers of every local or regional legislative body that it can only create local or regional offices. First. Ifugao. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand. the first representative is always elected in the "next national elections" from the effectivity of the law. and tourism development. is automatically entitled to one member in the House of Representatives in the 14 May 2007 elections. was whether Republic Act No. 4695 (R. Section 5 of MMA Act 201 provides that: Except as may be provided by national law. (Emphasis supplied) EASCDH serve as bases for the conclusion that the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan." The contention has no merit. On the other hand. . 31 It would be incongruous for a regional legislative body like the ARMM Regional Assembly to create a national office when its legislative powers extend only to its regional territory. Article IV of R. Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution. (k) National elections. Article X of the Constitution which expressly limits the coverage of the Regional Assembly's legislative powers "[w]ithin its territorial jurisdiction . except on the following matters: . is geographically located shall be correspondingly adjusted by the Commission on Elections but such adjustment shall not be made within one hundred and twenty days before the election. (Emphasis supplied) aTIAES However. the creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan without a legislative district is unconstitutional. family. Article X of the Constitution authorizes autonomous regions. or each province. provides. (8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage. or any city whose population may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least one Member or such number of Members as it may be entitled to on the basis of the number of its inhabitants and according to the standards set forth in paragraph (3). . . recognized the exclusive nature of Congress' power to create or reapportion legislative districts by abstaining from creating a legislative district for Shariff Kabunsuan. and it can never create a national office. which states: Any province that may hereafter be created. (5) Regional urban and rural planning development. but by operation of the Constitution. 9054 amending the ARMM Organic Act. This violates Section 20. contiguous. among others. the corresponding representative district comes into existence neither by authority of that statute — which cannot provide otherwise — nor by apportionment. .A. contends that Section 5 (3). . The office of a district representative is maintained by national funds and the salary of its occupant is paid out of national funds. DEcTCa Nothing in Section 20. The issue in Felwa. Article VI of the Constitution. (6) Economic. Mountain Province. and (9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region. . The number of Members apportioned to the province out of which such new province was created or where the city. to create or reapportion legislative districts for Congress. Whenever Congress enacts a law creating a legislative district. petitioner in G. To allow the ARMM Regional Assembly to create a national office is to allow its legislative powers to operate outside the ARMM's territorial jurisdiction. . 177597. shall have at least one representative. and its occupant. . expressly or impliedly. 4695). a Member of the House of Representatives. (Emphasis supplied) aCTcDH and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. 30 ADCTac Indeed. . Section 3. (7) Educational policies. as far as practicable." SHEIDC The ARMM Regional Assembly itself. in creating Shariff Kabunsuan. social. . the office of a legislative district representative to Congress is a national office. and adjacent territory. which includes Cotabato City as a part thereof. compact. shall remain. the existing legislative district. As further support for her stance. is a national official. a province cannot legally be created without a legislative district because the Constitution mandates that "each province shall have at least one representative. respectively. it cannot create a legislative district whose representative is elected in national elections. which provides: Each legislative district shall comprise. without a reapportionment.A. .R. Sema. and KalingaApayao and providing for congressional representation in the old and new provinces. and property relations. . "The Regional Assembly may exercise legislative power ." Since the ARMM Regional Assembly has no legislative power to enact laws relating to national elections. petitioner invokes the statement in Felwa that "when a province is created by statute. creating the provinces of Benguet. created on 29 October 2006. No. whose population has so increased.(4) Personal.

or trigger the creation of. through the creation of a province — for "each province shall have at least one member" in the House of Representatives. 34 The following scenarios thus become distinct possibilities: (1) An inferior legislative body like the ARMM Regional Assembly can create 100 or more provinces and thus increase the membership of a superior legislative body. a legislative district. It merely prevents any other legislative body. namely: minimum annual income of P20.A. 4695 because (1) it validly created legislative districts "indirectly" through a special law enacted by Congress creating a province and (2) the creation of the legislative districts will not result in breaching the maximum number of legislative districts provided under the 1935 Constitution.. SDECAI What Felwa teaches is that the creation of a legislative district by Congress does not emanate alone from Congress' power to reapportion legislative districts.000 square kilometers or minimum population of 250. under the first method. or other conditions under which a province may be created. this will leave Cotabato City as the lone component of the first legislative district of Maguindanao. Thus.000 residents will be negated because the ARMM Regional Assembly need not comply with the requirement in Section 461 (a) (ii) of R. provinces have been created or subdivided into other provinces. and minimum contiguous territory of 2. This is deducible. Moreover." EacHSA Second. the new province was created merely by a regional law enacted by the ARMM Regional Assembly. 33 Article VI of R. with the consequent creation of additional representative districts. cSaCDT There is no constitutional limitation as to the time when. 7160. the corresponding representative district. 7160 that every province created must have a population of at least 250. thus: caHCSD The Constitution ordains: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than one hundred and twenty Members who shall be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective inhabitants. Each representative district shall comprise as far as practicable. if the consequence thereof were to exceed the maximum of 120 representative districts prescribed in the Constitution.000. when a province is created by statute. As a matter of fact. and not otherwise. except.A. Until such apportionment shall have been made. . not only from the general tenor of the provision above quoted. perhaps. who shall be elected by the qualified electors from the present Assembly districts. Felwa does not apply to the present case because in Felwa the new provinces were created by a national law enacted by Congress itself.was unconstitutional for "creati[ng] congressional districts without the apportionment provided in the Constitution. it had a population of only 163. This does not detract from the constitutional principle that the power to create legislative districts belongs exclusively to Congress. from the fact that the apportionment therein alluded to refers to that which is made by an Act of Congress. . but. 9054.A. Indeed. only an act of Congress can trigger the creation of a legislative district by operation of the Constitution. Article VI of the Constitution which requires that "[E]ach city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand . contiguous and compact territory. a legislative district is created by operation of the Constitution because the Constitution provides that "each province shall have at least one representative" in the House of Representatives. 32 (Emphasis supplied) Thus. if as Sema claims MMA Act 201 apportioned a legislative district to Shariff Kabunsuan upon its creation. Under Section 19. from creating provinces because for a legislative body to create a province such legislative body must have the power to create legislative districts." The Court answered in the negative. when a province is created." Pursuant to this Section. but also from Congress' power to create provinces which cannot be created without a legislative district. shall have at least one representative. and do not apply to those incidental to the creation of provinces. except Congress. the House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that fixed by law for the National Assembly. or (b) by direct creation of several representative districts within a province. only Congress has the power to create. beyond the maximum limit of 250 fixed in the Constitution (unless a national law provides otherwise). the Court sustained the constitutionality of R.000. and . the ARMM Regional Assembly can create provinces and cities within the ARMM with or without regard to the criteria fixed in Section 461 of R. but by operation of the Constitution. also. The requirements concerning the apportionment of representative districts and the territory thereof refer only to the second method of creation of representative districts. territory of. In short. the House of Representatives. a representative district may come into existence: (a) indirectly. Here. However. without complying with the aforementioned requirements.A.000. Cotabato City cannot constitute a legislative district by itself because as of the census taken in 2000.000. To constitute Cotabato City alone as the surviving first legislative district of Maguindanao will violate Section 5 (3). The Congress shall by law make an apportionment within three years after the return of every enumeration. Thus. without a reapportionment. SHCaDA (2) The proportional representation in the House of Representatives based on one representative for at least every 250. but each province shall have at least one Member. Sema's theory also undermines the composition and independence of the House of Representatives. comes into existence neither by authority of that statute — which cannot provide otherwise — nor by apportionment. which is not the effect of the legislation under consideration.849.

is that what you are saying? ITSaHC The Constitution empowered Congress to create or reapportion legislative districts. even before Congress can create new provinces. . under the correct factual circumstances. . you mean to say [a] Local Government can create legislative district[s] and pack Congress with their own representatives [?] CIaHDc Neither the framers of the 1987 Constitution in adopting the provisions in Article X on regional autonomy. there is a need now for Congress to increase by law the allowable membership of the House. the power to create or reapportion legislative districts cannot be delegated by Congress but must be exercised by Congress itself. as mandated in Section 10. IHEaAc The following exchange during the oral arguments of the petition in G. . 37 nor Congress in enacting R. Vistan II: 35 Yes. TEaADS Atty. Incidentally. Article X of the Constitution which mandates that the ARMM "shall be created . . not the regional assemblies. . that is what we are saying. No. ESTcIA Atty. 7160. . the ARMM legislature can create thirty-five (35) new provinces. Vistan II: Without law passed by Congress.A. and. . . Article X of the Constitution expressly provides that the legislative powers of regional assemblies are limited "[w]ithin its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of the Constitution and national laws. 9054) itself states that the ARMM Government is established "within the framework of the Constitution". much less than the 219 incumbent district representatives. The reason is that the creation of a province increases the actual membership of the House of Representatives. [only] one hundred thousand (100. . within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines". they can also create one thousand (1000) new provinces. is that what you are saying? That can be done. 177597 highlights the absurdity of Sema's position that the ARMM Regional Assembly can create provinces: Justice Carpio: So. . envisioned or intended these disastrous consequences that certainly would wreck the tri-branch system of government under our Constitution. Since party-list members shall constitute 20 percent of total membership of the House.R. and they will each have one representative . because the Constitution allows that. they can have thirty-five (35) new representatives in the House of Representatives without Congress agreeing to it. . in the present 14th Congress. Vistan II: Yes. Justice Carpio: Under your theory.A. 9054. yes. under your theory[?] cDAISC Atty. This leaves only 200 seats for district representatives. xxx xxx xxx The present case involves the creation of a local government unit that necessarily involves also the creation of a legislative district. . Even the ARMM Regional Assembly recognizes this. there may be . Justice Carpio: So. correct? Atty. . ." The Preamble of the ARMM Organic Act (R. . . there are 219 38 district representatives out of the maximum 250 seats in the House of Representatives. Your Honor. refers to a province created by Congress itself through a national law. [the] Regional Assembly of [the] ARMM can create and create . Clearly.000) [population]. an increase that only Congress can decide. . Your Honor. Your Honor. sen[d] one thousand (1000) representatives to the House of Representatives without a national law[. This follows Section 15. "[A]ny province that may hereafter be created .A. . The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of the creation of municipalities and barangays that does not comply with the criteria established in Section 461 of R. . . to Congress without any national law. therefore.. It is axiomatic that organic acts of autonomous regions cannot prevail over the Constitution. shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least one Member". Your Honor.(3) Representatives from the ARMM provinces can become the majority in the House of Representatives through the ARMM Regional Assembly's continuous creation of provinces or cities within the ARMM. 36 (Emphasis supplied) So. Vistan II: Justice Carpio: Yes. there should at least be 50 party-list seats available in every election in case 50 party-list candidates are proclaimed winners.] that is legally possible. Section 3 of the Ordinance to the Constitution which states. Thus. provinces . Section 20.

The petitioner in G.A. 1 argues that with the creation of Shariff Kabunsuan. TCEaDI Puno. Consequently. we rule that MMA Act 201. whereby it resolved to maintain the composition of what had been the First District of Maguindanao. IcDESA As narrated by the majority. Article VI of R. join the dissent of Justice Tinga. never put in issue the constitutionality of the creation of the province. We leave the resolution of this issue to an appropriate case.. Sema.Article X of the Constitution. a congressional candidate in the 2007 legislative elections who posits that the newlycreated province of Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to its own exclusive legislative district. . his home city cannot be conjoined with Shariff Kabunsuan to create just one legislative district for both territories..R. Only Congress can create provinces and cities because the creation of provinces and cities necessarily includes the creation of legislative districts.. Article X of the Constitution. which after all. the Court has dealt another severe blow to the cause of local autonomy. please see dissenting concurring opinion. 7902 is VALID. that of the people of Shariff Kabunsuan. and several other municipalities. JJ. because the creation of such municipalities and barangays does not involve the creation of legislative districts. SO ORDERED. 201 creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan. in reflection of the sovereign wisdom of the people. there will be no shelter for the Court from the impact of this decision. Thus. I. Leonardo-de Castro and Brion. Carpio-Morales. Article VI of Republic Act No. by sovereign desire and constitutional design. JJ. The majority did not bother to hear their side in these petitions. Jr. Moreover. 177597. J. TINGA. With this ruling. No. Article VI of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. we rule that Section 19. The ARMM Regional Assembly cannot create a province without a legislative district because the Constitution mandates that every province shall have a legislative district. 7902 Complies with the Constitution Consequently. 7902. concur. we declare Section 19. acCITS Resolution No. Nachura and Reyes. Tinga. we hold that COMELEC Resolution No. insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and cities. respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) promulgated Resolution No. 178628.R. Marquez. I cannot accede to the majority's conclusion.A. No. We are dealing with two consolidated petitions which essentially raise the same arguments. Velasco. J. WHEREFORE. is valid as it merely complies with Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20 of Article X of the Constitution.J. The majority has annihilated the province with nary a word of comfort or concern for its citizens. Separate Opinions In summary.. Bai Sandra S. which was created by the Regional Assembly by virtue of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 9054 UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it grants to the Regional Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao the power to create provinces and cities. C. 7902.. Thus. has prescribed local government rule as a tool for national development and welfare. which unduly stretches the Constitution to deny the will of the duly elected members of the Regional Assembly.. we declare VOID Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. ratified through a plebiscite the province named in honor of the revered figure who introduced Islam to Central Mindanao. dissenting and concurring: I agree that the petitions should be denied. a power only Congress can exercise under Section 5. but were brought forth by two different parties laboring under different circumstances. CTaSEI Our Constitution. took no part — close relationship to a party. is void for being contrary to Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20 of Article X of the Constitution. composed of Cotabato City. that of the constituents they represent. Austria-Martinez. join the separate opinion of Justice Tinga. 9054. that the Regional Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Regional Assembly) should be deprived of the power delegated to it by Congress to create provinces. Quisumbing. is void. 201 in August of 2006. JJ. suing in his capacity as a taxpayer and a resident of Cotabato City. J. a chartered city. but on a wholly different basis from that offered by the majority. preserving the geographic and legislative district of the First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City. as well as Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. the ARMM Regional Assembly cannot enact a law creating a national office like the office of a district representative of Congress because the legislative powers of the ARMM Regional Assembly operate only within its territorial jurisdiction as provided in Section 20. Perfecto F. and most of all... The majority is unfortunately unmindful of these considerations. 2 four (4) days prior to the 14 May 2007 elections. Sadly. even though these municipalities formerly belonging to Maguindanao have since been constituted as part of the province of Shariff Kabunsuan. we rule that COMELEC Resolution No. The people of Shariff Kabunsuan. as well as Section 1 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. ESTAIH Let a copy of this ruling be served on the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The petitioner in G. The Regional Assembly and the government of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao exercised constituent functions in establishing the province of Shariff Kabunsuan and providing for its local government. enacted by the ARMM Regional Assembly and creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan. Ynares-Santiago. burnished by reasoning most strained. Corona. Azcuna and Chico-Nazario.

It is cardinal that the Court's power of judicial review may be exercised in constitutional cases only if all the following requisites are complied with. However. as well as the fact that such recourse usually smacks of opportunism and bad faith. it is plainly evident. lawfully represents the City in addition to the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan. and instead seeks that new or special elections be conducted. she filed her Certificate of Candidacy before the COMELEC. Dilangalen. that party has been or is about to be. No. and have failed to join a proper party. he frames two issues — whether Congress can delegate to the Regional Assembly the power to create provinces. but also that he or she has sustained or is in immediate. her votes from both Shariff Kabunsuan and Cotabato City included in the tally. On 29 March 2007. AHaETS In sum.Both petitioners challenge the notion of fusing Cotabato City. 3 With respect to Sema. has the power to set congressional elections only for Cotabato City. it would be improper for this Court to compel Congress by judicial fiat to pass a law or resolution for the holding of such elections. thereby changing the legal complexion and factual milieu of the situation. (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity. which was filed with this Court in July 2007. However. HTCAED However. and was accordingly defeated by Dilangalen. which is the case here." 4 She recognized under oath that she was seeking election for a legislative district that encompassed both Shariff Kabunsuan and Cotabato City. could no longer ask that the holding of the said elections in the conjoined district be restrained. with the ARMM municipalities which now constitute the new province of Shariff Kabunsuan. the exception in exercising judicial review if the case is capable of repetition yet evading review applies only if the case is "moot and academic". Worse. it is inevitable that the Court examine the validity of the creation of Shariff Kabunsuan in the first place. act or statute must show "not only that the law is invalid. Considering the grave implications of the step he seeks. there are significant impediments that weigh down both petitioners. . as the same is part of the plenary legislative power. Didagen P. Only Congress. Moreover. DHcSIT It is clear that both petitioners rely on constitutional issues in support of their petitions as they posit that under the Constitution Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to its own separate legislative district. 6 Clearly. His prayer is to compel the COMELEC to provide for new congressional elections for Cotabato City. A party challenging the constitutionality of a law. which was not impleaded as a party to Marquez's petition. with due respect. declaring her candidacy a Member of the House of Representatives representing "the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan w/ Cotabato City. Marquez does not have a valid cause of action before this Court. the questions that will be facing the Court then should a challenge be mounted may very well be different from those currently befacing us. and for not impleading a real party-in-interest. The relief sought does not lie simply because Rep. and whether the Regional Assembly has the power to create legislative districts. which after all. 5 Sema's prior avowal that she was running for the Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato City legislative district. reaffirms the very legislative district whose seat in Congress she had sought to be elected to. he filed his petition after the voters in the affected districts had already elected a candidate of their choosing. for lack of cause of action. if ever. as argued by private respondent Rep. As a result. it is apparent that the ponente wishes to settle these cases on the merits. or imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement". In doing so. Even assuming that Congress was impleaded. which is not a part of ARMM. into one legislative district. To resolve that question on the merits. since the situation may emerge again. SIHCDA It would indeed be difficult to assess injury for purposes of locus standi on the part of Sema by reason of the assailed COMELEC Resolution. which would have been at a point prior to the May 2007 elections. by virtue of his electoral victory. The resulting analysis is incomplete and uninformed of the full constitutional milieu under which these petitions should be resolved. In addition. From another perspective.R. On the part of Marquez. among the requisites for the Court to be able to exercise judicial review in constitutional cases is that the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest possible opportunity. it is entirely possible that between now and the next elections. the majority fails to take into account certain fundamental constitutional principles which have immense bearing in these cases. have no cause of action. Sema appears to have campaigned for election in this conjoined district. (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question. If that occurs. Her standing to raise the present petition is materially affected by her express consent and active campaign for election from the legislative district which she now seeks to invalidate. the majority's discussion makes quite an easy leap when it abruptly fuses these two issues. it is but proper for the Court to decline review unless all the established requisites for judicial review for constitutional cases have indeed been met. 179608. AEDcIH As earlier noted. 7 and not when the petitioners lack the requisite standing. II. and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota of the case. and the majority has fully adopted that approach. Marquez does not meet this Court's exacting standards. and her campaign for election to that district. a sovereign act which he seeks to annul. However. belie the existence of injury on her part caused by the COMELEC resolution that affirmed that very legislative district. Dilangalen. One might argue that it is imperative for the Court to resolve the substantive issues. he first raised his present claims through the petition in G. and she should be consequently barred from disavowing the very district which she undertook to serve if elected. that she is estopped from bringing forth the present petition. the COMELEC does not have the requisite power to call elections. either Congress or the Regional Assembly would pass new legislation concerning the composition or status of Shariff Kabunsuan. Marquez's petition should be dismissed outright for having been filed out of time. or more than two months after the May 2007 elections. namely: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate case or controversy. denied some right or privilege to which he or she is lawfully entitled. his petition was not timely filed at the earliest possible opportunity. and supply the cogent reason for the more prudent approach which is to dismiss the petitions outright. Worse.

21 and on many other matters of grave import. administrative agencies. limited only by general state law. and power of eminent domain can be. the legislature cannot delegate to a commission the power to determine the form of government. Perhaps it is possible to segregate these particular functions to those which would. and local autonomy rule for Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera region. the strict application of the non-delegation doctrine has. 15 the date of regular elections for members of Congress. taxing power. This is based on the ethical principle that such delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate through the instrumentality of his own judgment and not through the intervening mind of another. Before we get there. 19 the salaries of the President and VicePresident. The Constitution expressly vests legislative power in the Congress of the Philippines. wholly original functions. cTCADI May these specified functions be delegated by Congress to another body? These specific functions are non-delegable. The laws we are presently impelled to interpret involve multiple instances of Congress delegating power to the Regional Assembly. The majority likewise asserts that through that mechanism. a noted authority on the subject has this to say: The state legislative power — that is. 12 III. "A logical corollary to the doctrine of separation of powers is the principle of non-delegation of powers. The rule against delegation of state legislative authority is no barrier to the delegation of powers of local self government to local units. it bears notice that while our Constitution broadly endows legislative powers to Congress it also specifically conditions the emergence of certain rights. With respect to the non-plenary functions assigned to Congress. There shall be further discussion on this point in relation to the questions currently presented. Rep. as expressed in the Latin maxim potestas delegata non delegare potest (what has been delegated cannot be delegated). and almost always are. only Congress. Article X guarantees that the territorial and political subdivisions in the Philippines shall enjoy local autonomy. Thus. local governance and autonomy. 14 the manner by which Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired. and such basic state powers as the police power. for they are textually committed by the Constitution to Congress. powers and functions of proposed municipalities since these matters require legislative judgment. The 1987 Constitution ushered in a new era in local government rule for all citizens. As to those powers which would normally fall within the plenary legislative power. 8 Traditionally. been relaxed. Act No. even absent constitutional definition. 16 the manner of conduct of special elections to fill in congressional vacancies. The guarantee of local autonomy is actualized through a local government code that delineates the structure and powers of local governments. . Explicity. But the details of Notwithstanding the exceptions that have been carved to the rule of non-delegation. and no other body. can carry out that function." 11 In the context of delegation of legislative powers to local governments. Without the influence of these principles. 18 the system for initiative and referendum. 10 "Given the volume and variety of interactions in today's society. . 17 the authorization of the President to exercise emergency powers. . 9054 delegates to the Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and other local government units. and through constitutional measures that entitle local government units to generate their own revenue stream and assure the same to their fair share in the . and those which are not plenary in nature but were especially designated to Congress by the Constitution. duties and obligations upon the enactment of a law oriented towards such constitutional predicate. have been granted considerable lawmaking power. 20 the creation and allocation of jurisdiction of lower courts. particularly in the context of regulatory jurisdiction of administrative agencies. though subject to certain specified limitations. and the constitutionallyordained paradigms of local government and local autonomy. the need to delegate to administrative bodies — the principal agencies tasked to execute laws in their specialized fields — the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given statute and effectuate its policies. in recent times. The fundamental principles on delegation of powers bear review. consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives." 9 However. which are generally part of the executive branch. Section 2. it is clear that the assignment implies the delegation by the Constitution to Congress of specific. that should likewise bear on our deliberations. Still. if not minimized altogether. This new paradigm is crystallized under Article X of the Constitution. the Constitution has decided to doubly emphasize that it is the Congress which is so empowered to perform such tasks. any resulting analysis of the two issues cast by the majority will be atomistic in nature. These include the prohibition of political dynasties as may be defined by law. Congress has also delegated to the Regional Assembly the power to create legislative districts. Hence. delegated to local governments for their use for local purposes. HcSDIE organization of its own government can be left to a municipality. SDTaHc IV. anyway fall within the plenary legislative power. the delegation of Congress of its legislative powers had been frowned upon. 13 the reasonable conditions prescribed by law relating to full public disclosure of all the State's transactions involving public interest. I wish to emphasize a second constitutional principle. the exercise of the policymaking judgment and discretion on state matters that state constitutions vest and recognize in the legislature — cannot be delegated to some other person or body but must rest with the legislature itself. in either case. In every industrialized nation.My own framework firstly considers two important principles which underlie the issues presented before us — the rule on delegation of powers. it is doubtful if the legislature can promulgate laws that will deal adequately with and respond promptly to the minutiae of everyday life.

so that they will flourish politically. the Organic Acts are more than ordinary statutes because they enjoy affirmation by a plebiscite. their very lives threatened. In 2001. 6734. Datumanong. Their cultures have been defiled. 24 the Court explained at length the vital constitutional purposes of local autonomy: . too is a plea for national peace. . and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage. and other relevant characteristics . Parenthetically. decentralization and regionalization. all in the name of the right to property. all in the name of national security. The Moros' struggle for self-determination dates as far back as the Spanish conquest in the Philippines. Let us not pass the buck to the Congress to decide on this. except for the violation of their human rights. instead of prolonging the agony of their vigil and their struggle. 22 Local government rule. . . excerpts of the poignant plea of Commissioner Ponciano Bennagen deserve to be quoted verbatim: .national internal revenue. divide. with the hope that after achieving parity with the rest of the country they would "give up their own autonomous region in favor of joining the national mainstream". once and for all. their names and identities have been debased. the Muslim delegate. Congress in 1989 passed Republic Act No. in international law. Their ancestral lands have been ransacked for their treasures. xxx xxx xxx Several commissioners echoed the pervasive sentiment in the plenary sessions in their own inimitable way. EcIaTA By constitutional design. autonomy. Commissioner Bias Ople referred to the recognition that the Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras "do not belong to the dominant national community" as the justification for conferring on them a "measure of legal selfsufficiency. These phrases have meant nothing to our indigenous communities. regional autonomy is also a means towards solving existing serious peace and order problems and secessionist movements. all in the name of public interest. as a matter of right. We propose that we have a separate Article on the autonomous regions for the Bangsa Moro and Cordillera people clearly spelled out in this Constitution. economic and social structures. and thus could not be amended by ordinary statutes without any plebiscite." Following the Constitution. is a live being that exists to counterbalance the rule of the national government. This. Commissioner Ahmad Alonto. to my mind. our varying regional characteristics are factors to capitalize on to attain national strength through decentralization. "An Act Providing for An Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao". AacSTE xxx xxx xxx Honorable Commissioners. . empowered the Assembly to create provinces. cities. has ineluctably tied the hands of progress in our country . ASHECD Perforce. local government rule for the people of Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras is even more enhanced. all in the name of common good. Finally. which among others. separatism. merge. 23 In Disomangcop v. Act No. Even at present. as they are assured of their own autonomous regions. in constitutional contemplation. We have the overwhelming support of the Bangsa Moro and the Cordillera Constitution. 9054. Thus. ethnic conflict and threat of secession. The need for regional autonomy is more pressing in the case of the Filipino Muslims and the Cordillera people who have been fighting for it. While they are classified as statutes. Their political struggle highlights their unique cultures and the unresponsiveness of the unitary system to their aspirations. Section 15. have become politically acceptable answers to intractable problems of nationalism. The Organic Acts possess a special status within Philippine laws. for their wealth. must be allowed to flourish. For his part. we wish to impress upon you the gravity of the decision to be made by every single one of us in this Commission. extinguished. 25 Petitioner Sema points out that among the terms in the Final Peace Agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro National Liberation Front was that amendments be introduced to the original Organic Act. These cultures. municipalities. . including one which authorized the Assembly to "create. Congress further strengthened the Organic Act with the passage of Rep. meaning self-government. the struggle goes on. Let us not wash our hands of our responsibility to attain national unity and peace and to settle this problem and rectify past injustices. Article X of the Constitution mandated that "[t]he shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces. By this we mean meaningful and authentic regional autonomy. According to Commissioner Jose Nolledo. economically and culturally". leading to the creation of the ARMM. . For so long. Chairman of the Committee which drafted the provisions. all in the name of Regalian Doctrine. . abolish or substantially alter boundaries of local government units in the area of autonomy in accordance with the criteria laid down by law subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the . and is not a mere palliative established in the Constitution to soothe the people with the illusion of having a more direct say in their governance. it "is an indictment against the status quo of a unitary system that. all in the name of national development. They see regional autonomy as the answer to their centuries of struggle against oppression and exploitation. . and worse." DCcHAa The idea behind the Constitutional provisions for autonomous regions is to allow the separate development of peoples with distinctive cultures and traditions. spoke of the diversity of cultures as the framework for nation-building.

We hope that the Article on Social Justice can contribute to a climate of peace so that any civil strife in the countryside can be more quickly and more justly resolved. . If self-determination is viewed as an end in itself reflecting a preference for homogeneous. not only for the present but for our posterity. . of course. to develop freely their ways of life and heritage. OPLE. with a common tradition and shared social-cultural characteristics. and to this day. We are writing a Constitution. Again. to the extent that the former is accommodated under the latter. the establishment of priorities by the community's internal decision-making processes and the management of collective matters by themselves. even a glimpse of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission could lend a sense of the urgency and the inexorable appeal of true decentralization: MR. it is incapable of universal application without massive disruption. we know that we deal with questions of war and peace. . and the writing of this Constitution just happens at a time when it is possible for this Commission to help the cause of peace and reconciliation in Mindanao and the Cordilleras. It would remove the wariness among the Muslims. more or less. It does come with a measure of surprise and disappointment that the Solicitor General has reached a position that rejects the Final Peace Agreement negotiated by the Government and the MNLF. TCHcAE In international law. These are momentous issues in which the territorial integrity and the solidarity of this country are being put at stake. increase their trust in the government and pave the way for the unhampered implementation of the development programs in the region. for generations to come." 26 Indeed. xxx xxx xxx MR. It ensures the right of peoples to the necessary level of autonomy that would guarantee the support of their own cultural identity. . So in order to foreclose and convince the rest of the Philippines that Mindanao autonomy will be granted to them as soon as possible. CDHSac Disomangcop further crystallizes the interplay between regional autonomy and national sovereignty. However. . by taking advantage of a heaven-sent opportunity. independent nation-states.purpose in the political units affected. The reason for this abbreviation of the period for the consideration of the Congress of the organic acts and their passage is that we live in abnormal times. Regional autonomy is the degree of self-determination exercised by the local government unit vis-Ã -vis the central government. participatory political and economic system in which the rights of individuals and the identity of minority communities are protected — its continuing validity is more easily perceived. OPLE. in a manner of speaking. This is achieved through the establishment of a special governance regime for certain member communities who choose their own authorities from within the community and exercise the jurisdictional authority legally accorded to them to decide internal community affairs. cDCHaS xxx xxx xxx MR. in fact. . One hundred thousand lives were lost in that struggle in Mindanao. regional autonomy implies the cultivation of more positive means for national integration. It was. . it could hardly be argued that the challenged power of the Assembly was animated by nakedly selfish political purposes. . We are writing a peace Constitution. ABUBAKAR. exercise their rights. the right to self-determination need not be understood as a right to political separation. no matter how sympathetic to the Philippines. IaAHCE Regional autonomy refers to the granting of basic internal government powers to the people of a particular area or region with least control and supervision from the central government. but rather as a complex net of legalpolitical relations between a certain people and the state authorities. not only for autonomy but for independence. to contribute to the settlement of this issue. to dissuade these armed men from going outside while Mindanao will be under the control of the national government. This will be an answer to the Misuari clamor. . let us establish an autonomous Mindanao within our effort and capacity to do so within the shortest possible time. among the terms negotiated with care by the Philippine Government with the leading armed insurgency group in Muslim Mindanao towards the higher purpose of providing a permanent peace agreement in the strife-torn region. There is no harm in recognizing certain vital pragmatic needs for national peace and solidarity. and be in charge of their own business. . TAScID xxx xxx xxx Rather than give opportunity to foreign bodies. ATcaID In the Philippine setting. I think the Constitutional Commission ought not to forego the opportunity to put the stamp of this Commission through definitive action on the . . the Cordilleras is being shaken by an armed struggle as well as a peaceful and militant struggle. The objective of the autonomy system is to permit determined groups. if self-determination is viewed as a means to an end — that end being a democratic. We are providing for autonomous regions so that we give constitutional permanence to the just demands and grievances of our own fellow countrymen in the Cordilleras and in Mindanao. . In the case of Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras.

There should be little debate on the origins of the power to create provinces. 28 Decentralization of power involves an abdication of political power in the favor of local government units declared to be autonomous. They are created by the people through their representatives in Congress. 30 Disomangcop further elaborates on the import of political autonomy as it relates to the ARMM: [B]y regional autonomy. No. sec. substantial and meaningful autonomy is "the kind of local self-government which allows the people of the region or area the power to determine what is best for their growth and development without undue interference or dictation from the central government". family and property law jurisdiction in each of the autonomous regions [Art.A. the decentralization of government authority [Villegas v. It should be emphasized that local autonomy cannot be in denigration of the Constitution. which ushered the irreversible march towards further enlargement of local autonomy in the country [Villegas v. particularly by the Regional Assembly.R. At the same time. even as such paradigm partakes of a constitutional mandate. the creation of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras. the provision also curtails The diminution of Congress' powers over autonomous regions was confirmed in Ganzon v. . sec. Local autonomy is not unique to the 1987 Constitution. To this end. In essence. which had existed as a political unit in the Philippines since the Spanish colonial period. 18]. Congress will have to re-examine national laws and make sure that they reflect the Constitution's adherence to local autonomy.A.settlement of the problems that have nagged us and our forefathers for so long. In fact. Thus. Section 16. Consequently. [ 31 ] wherein this Court held that "the omission (of "as may be provided by law") signifies nothing more than to underscore local governments' autonomy from Congress and to break Congress' 'control' over local government affairs. I shall proceed to dwell on the core issues raised. which is peculiar to the 1987 Constitution. If anything. 5185). the Congress enacted the Local Autonomy Act (R. contemplates the grant of political autonomy and not just administrative autonomy to these regions. supra. L-31004. It is repeatedly emphasized within Article X that the grant of local autonomy and the subsequent exercise of powers by the autonomous government must remain within the confines of the Constitution. Subido." 32 Unfortunately. 2264) and the Decentralization Act (R. May Congress delegate to the Regional Assembly the power to create provinces? Assuming that such delegation is not barred by the Constitution. X. II. considering the constitutional mandate of local autonomy for Muslim Mindanao. 10]. these provisions should dissuade against a reflexive dismissal of the provisions of the Organic Acts. may the exercise of such power by the Regional Assembly give rise to separate legislative districts for such provinces thus created? V. sec. No. 29 What the Constitution contemplated with respect to the ARMM was political autonomy. DSHTaC May such power be delegated by Congress to a local legislative body such as the Regional Assembly? Certainly. As explained by Justice Cortes for the Court: It must be clarified that the constitutional guarantee of local autonomy in the Constitution [Art. the provision in the Constitution for an autonomous regional government with a basic structure consisting of an executive department and a legislative assembly and special courts with personal. which are free to chart their own destiny and shape their future with minimum intervention from central authorities. and which all our Constitutions have recognized as a basic level of local governments. No. which typically involves delegated power wherein a larger government chooses to delegate certain authority to more local governments. X. 27 the power of Congress over autonomous regions. Court of Appeals. the power to create provinces have always been legislative in character. it being guaranteed also under the 1973 Constitution [Art. 37 SCRA 1]. Ever since the emergence of our tripartite system of democratic government. And in case of conflicts. then there is no basis to thwart the constitutional design by denying such powers to that body. 2] refers to the administrative autonomy of local government units or. subject to direct affirmation by the very people who stand to become the constituents of the new putative province. Article X limits the power of the President over autonomous regions. it can be said that such delegation is in furtherance of the constitutional design. cast in more technical language. And while there was no express guarantee under the 1935 Constitution. the underlying spirit which should guide its resolution is the Constitution's desire for genuine local autonomy. nothing in the Constitution bars Congress from doing so. if there is no constitutional bar against the exercise of the powers of government by the autonomous government in Muslim Mindanao. the majority gives short shrift to the considerations of local autonomy. CcTIAH A necessary prerequisite of autonomy is decentralization. the framers intended it to mean "meaningful and authentic regional autonomy". 1971. G.] cADaIH On the other hand. As articulated by a Muslim author. Subido. aCITEH Having laid down the essential constitutional predicates. January 8.

TCADEc The financial requirements of the provinces. and particularly. and all other matters relating to the organization and operation of the local units. cities and municipalities. divided. 7160. or barangays in accordance with the criteria laid down by the Republic Act No. merge. in the creation. and referendum. and even religious diversities. merged. abolition. and indeed if that were the case. municipalities. Policies emanating from the legislature are invariably assimilationist in character despite channels being open for minority representation. Act No. 35 Attuned with enhanced local government rule. merger. cities. division. the absence of constitutional language committing Congress with the function of creating political subdivisions ultimately denotes that such legislative function may be delegated by Congress. appointment and removal. Article X. CaDATc In fact. subject to reasonable standards and provided no conflict arises with any provision of the Constitution. or barangay. the majority actually concedes that Congress. it has been the national legislature which has exercised the power to create provinces. ISAcHD Nothing in this provision specifically limits the power to create provinces. Section 19 of Rep. The Constitution does not confine the exercise of such powers only to the national legislature. initiative. The holding of a plebiscite to determine the will of the majority of the voters of the areas affected by the creation. and thusly provides: The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall. as a national policy. municipalities or barangays to Congress alone. the general power to create barangays within their respective jurisdictions. municipality or barangay may be created. or barangays so created. albeit prudently withholding any ability to create legislative districts as well. the Local Government Code of 1991. cultural. or . or substantially alter boundaries of provinces. It would thus be proper to say that the Constitution limits the ability to set forth the standards for the creation of a province exclusively to Congress. merged. election. 9054 reads: Section 19. 9054. a law which is enacted by Congress. allocate among the different local government units their powers. But to say that the Constitution confines to Congress alone the power to establish the criteria for creating provinces is vastly different from saying that the Constitution confines to Congress alone the power to create provinces." 33 As is pointed out. a regime of local autonomy for Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras. shall not be entitled to any share of the taxes that are allotted to the local governments units under the provisions of the code. through Rep. abolish. divided. 7160. Creation. Datumanong. At the same time. Article X does not specifically designate Congress as the body with the power to create provinces. Division or Abolition of Provinces. powers and functions and duties of local officials. the power to create barangays as granted by the LGC to local legislative bodies would be unconstitutional. It strives to free Philippine society of the strain and wastage caused by the assimilationist approach. 7160. We recognized in Disomangcop v. which reads: Section 10. divided. However. or whose boundaries are altered without observing the standards prescribed by Republic Act No. Municipalities or Barangay. or its boundary substantially altered. merger.The only constitutional provision that concerns with the creation of provinces is Section 10. Section 10. recognizes the wholeness of the Philippine society in its ethnolinguistic. salaries. Congress had. As earlier stated. subject to the approval by the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite in the political units directly affected. There is nothing in the Constitution that supports the latter proposition. municipalities. which confers to provincial boards and city and municipal councils. responsibilities. Act No. divide. The provision does embody a significant limitation — that the creation of these political subdivisions must be in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code. abolished. such delegation is operationalized by the LGC itself. — The Regional Assembly may create. term. cities. Provinces. 34 It bears reemphasizing that the Constitution also actualizes a preference for local government rule. municipalities. thus: Autonomy. the power to create these political subdivisions is part of the plenary legislative power. or barangays created. cities. the Local Government Code of 1991. cities. Cities. hence such power can be exercised by Congress even without need of specific constitutional assignation. except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. democracy becomes an irony to the minority group. merged shall be provided by the Regional Assembly out of the general funds of the Regional Government. the 1987 Constitution ushered in a new era in devolved local government rule. under its plenary legislative powers. city. Traditionally. "can delegate to local legislative bodies the power to create local government units. No province. division. and provide for the qualifications. taken the bold step of delegating to a local legislative assembly the power to create provinces. and resources. As a result. The Regional Assembly may prescribe standards lower than those mandated by Republic Act No. the Local Government Code of 1991. or alteration of the boundaries of provinces.

The creation of provinces within the autonomous region precisely assists these constitutional aims under Section 20. 38 but this Court has likewise recognized that reapportionment can also be made through a special law. directly or indirectly. 9054 granted to the Regional Assembly the power. any legislative district without affecting that body's delegated authority to create provinces. as if the power to create provinces and the power to create legislative districts were one and the same. be observed. Act No. COMELEC. functions. or barangays. thus amending the LGC to the extent of accommodating these newly-granted powers to the Assembly. function and responsibility to create provinces and other local government units which had been exercised by the National Government. such act may be invalidated by the Court. and the promotion of the local economy. abolition or alteration of boundaries of local government units. 9054.whose boundaries are being altered as required by Republic Act No. "by operation of the Constitution. Article VI. The reasons offered for such conclusion are actually the same reasons it submits why the Regional Assembly could not create legislative districts. the Local Government Code of 1991. and MMA Act No. Under the Constitution. I propose to pinpoint a specific constitutional provision that prohibits the Regional Assembly from creating. cities. The constitutionality of the delegated power of the Regional Assembly to create provinces is further affirmed by the provisions in the Constitution concerning the mandatory creation of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao. abolition. Notably. The provision states in part "[t]hat Regional Assembly may prescribe standards lower than those mandated by Republic Act No. municipalities and barangays within the ARMM. Republic Act No. Article X states that "[a]ll powers. enhancing as it does the basic administration of government. specifically disavows the creation of a new district for that province and maintains the old legislative district shared with Cotabato City. social and tourism development. municipalities. unequivocally granted to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces. No such constitutional limitation exists. Article X. Act No. But the subsequent passage of Rep. the delivery of government services. SAHIDc . such power was properly exercised by the National Government. Article X. as found in Sections 15 to 21. such as in the charter of a new city. Congress cannot substitute its own discretion for the standards set forth in Section 5. creation of sources of revenues. despite the absence of any constitutional bar in that respect. the Local Government Code of 1991. 40 There is another constitutional provision which is of critical importance in considering limitations in the creation of legislative districts. which accords to the LGC the sole criteria for the creation. merged. division." The provision textually commits that only through a law may the numerical composition of Congress may be increased or reduced. However. administrative organization. Article VI states that "[t]he House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred fifty members. 36 Section 20 specifically allows the organic act of autonomous regions to provide for legislative powers over. however. such reapportionment occurs within three years following the return of the census. which was passed ten (10) years after the LGC. merger. abolished or its boundary substantially altered. 39 Still." How exactly does a legislative district come into being? In theory. division. The organic act enacted by Congress for the autonomous region is to define the basic structure of government. aDIHCT Because this empowerment scheme is in line with a policy preferred by the Constitution. thus this aspect of unconstitutionality of Rep. among others. which created Shariff Kabunsuan. ESITcH It bears noting that there is no contention presented thus far that the creation of Shariff Kabunsuan was not in accordance with the criteria established in the LGC. Section 5 (1). economic. 7160. unless otherwise fixed by law. 201. in the creation. 7160. duty or sensible recourse of this Court to nullify an act of Government in furtherance of a constitutional mandate and directly ratified by the affected people if nothing in the Constitution proscribes such act. aSIDCT Any argument that the LGC confines to Congress the creation of provinces is muted by the fact that ten years after the LGC was enacted by Congress. thus at that point. 9054 does not empower the Regional Assembly to create legislative districts. 9054 may not be material to the petitions at bar. and responsibilities not granted by this Constitution or by law to the autonomous regions shall be vested in the National Government". except by reapportionment. Said proviso thus cannot receive recognition from this Court. The original Organic Act for Muslim Mindanao did not grant to the regional government the power to create provinces. CIHTac Let us review this issue as presented before us. cities. albeit one which is not in point in this case. shall. merger. aSHAIC In addition. It is the thesis though of the petitioners that following Felwa v. Republic Act No. The majority does not point to any specific constitutional prohibition barring Congress from delegating to the Regional Assembly the power to create provinces. Congress does not have any express or plenary legislative power to create legislative districts. The majority unfortunately asserts that Congress may not delegate to the Regional Assembly the power to create provinces. it becomes utterly necessary to pinpoint a specific constitutional prohibition that bars Congress from authorizing the Regional Assembly to create provinces. In contrast. even in exercising this limited power through the constitutionally mandated reapportionment. And should general reapportionment made by Congress violate the parameters set forth by the Constitution." That proviso is squarely inconsistent with Section 10. and such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region. Salas. It does cite though that Article 460 of the LGC provides that only by an Act of Congress may a province be created. and it is not the province. the same legislative body conferred on the Assembly that same power within its territorial jurisdiction. as it did in Macias v. Section 17. 37 the creation of the new province ipso facto established as well an exclusive legislative district for Shariff Kabunsuan. or alteration of the boundaries of provinces. There actually is an obvious unconstitutional dimension to Section 19. VI. divided.

we ruled that reapportionment of legislative districts may be made through a special law. the prescription of a system for initiative and referendum. However. and the creation and allocation of jurisdiction of lower courts. And the Constitution does textually commit to Congress alone the power to increase the membership of the House of Representatives. are of national interest. it is evident that a law creating the province of Shariff Kabunsuan may likewise serve the purpose of increasing the composition of the House of Representatives. in cases where it is a body other than Congress which has created. COMELEC: 43 These issues have been laid to rest in the recent case of Tobias v. Even as Section 19 of Rep. as aforequoted. 7854 and providing for an increase in Makati's legislative district. if Congress itself so mandates through a legislative enactment. The majority itself had raised an alarmist tone that allowing the Assembly to create provinces would not lead to the unholy spectacle of whimsical provinces intended as personal fiefdoms and created irrespective of size. Congress generally has the power to delegate the power of creating local government units to the appropriate local legislative assemblies. For that. Act No. which may not delegate such law-making power to the Regional Assembly. Abalos. Considering that all these matters. the manner by which Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired. cDEICH I have already pointed out that when the Constitution specifically designates a particular function to Congress. To repeat. as the same is nondelegable. 44 From these cases. 42 This point was reemphasized by the Court in Mariano v. The inescapable import of the latter clause is that the present composition of Congress may be increased. In addition. the increase in congressional representation mandated by R. but it may be one that creates a province or charters a city with a population of more than 250. the provision for the manner of conduct of special elections to fill in congressional vacancies. as Shariff Kabunsuan cannot acquire its own legislative district unless Congress itself accedes to the passage of a law that establishes the same. This is exactly what was done by Congress in enacting R. unless otherwise fixed by law. the Constitution did not preclude Congress from increasing its membership by passing a law. Its pronouncement that the creation of a province automatically leads to the creation of a legislative district "by operation of the Constitution" can only apply when the province is created by Congress itself. although validly. "unless otherwise provided by law". Felwa cannot apply to these petitions. In Tobias v. allowing the Regional Assembly to create provinces will not lead to hundreds or thousands. No. I concur with the result of the majority. the petitioners' position cannot be sustained. Abalos. If we were to rule that Congress may delegate the power to increase the composition of the House of Representatives. only Congress may exercise such function. The power to increase the composition of the House of Representatives is restricted by the Constitution to a law passed by Congress. these include gravely important functions as the enactment of a law defining political dynasties. such as in the charter of a new city. the enactment of reasonable conditions relating to full public disclosure of all the State's transactions involving public interest. or . In said case. cSIACD Accordingly. 7675 is not unconstitutional. the authorization of the President to exercise emergency powers. Therefore. a requirement imposed by the Organic Act itself and by Section 10. The Constitution clearly provides that Congress shall be composed of not more than two hundred fifty (250) members. the legislative district. there would be no impediment for us to similarly rule that those other specific functions tasked by the Constitution to Congress may be delegated as well.A. IcaHCS VII. which limits to Congress alone the non-delegable power to fix or increase the composition of the House of Representatives. including the composition of the House of Representatives. Article X of the Constitution. The contrary position is in denigration of the Constitution. I had earlier identified as unconstitutional the discretion of the Regional Assembly to create local government units based on a lower standard than that prescribed under the LGC. shape and sense. it is but constitutionally proper that only a national legislature has the competence to exercise these powers. other than a general reapportionment law. In fact. No. the date of regular elections for members of Congress. Another clear limitation is that the creation of provinces cannot be authorized without the ratification through a plebiscite by the people affected by such act. 9054 constitutionally authorizes the Regional Assembly to create provinces.The Court has previously recognized that such law increasing the membership of the House of Representatives need not be one specifically devoted for that purpose alone. shows that the present limit of 250 members is not absolute. as this will result in an increase in the composition of the House of Representatives which can only be accomplished through a law passed by Congress. the salaries of the President and Vice-President. a reading of the applicable provision. since there is no other constitutional impediment to the emergence of the legislative district. As thus worded. The critical question now is thus whether Congress may delegate to local legislative assemblies the power to increase the composition of the House of Representatives? The answer is no.000. the Constitution itself bars the emergence of an accompanying legislative district. 41 the Court pronounced that the law converting Mandaluyong into a city could likewise serve the purpose of increasing the composition of the House of Representatives: As to the contention that the assailed law violates the present limit on the number of representatives as set forth in the Constitution. The Constitution clearly provides that the House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than 250 members. Section 5 (1). there are legal limitations that constrict the discretion of that body to exercise such power. Article VI.A.

cities. municipalities. following Section 461 of the LGC. Datu Paglas. Mamasapano. Article X of the 1987 Constitution. it bears reviewing what exactly is the criteria set forth under the LGC for the creation of provinces. abolition.R. divided. and barangays was vested in Congress (for provinces. public places and institutions. for the writs of certiorari. 178628. Sultan Kudarat. as certified by the Lands Management Bureau (excepting when comprised of two (2) or more islands or when separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the income of the province). the petitioner in G. the Local Government Code of 1991. and Upi. however. Kabuntalan. On the other hand. abolish. Matanog. 177597. Datu Unsay. and income of the original unit or units at the time of said creation to less than the minimum requirements prescribed under the Code. prays that the Court order the COMELEC to conduct a special election for representative of the "First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City". merger. Except for the result. for "declaratory relief " and for the writs of prohibition and mandamus. of not less than Php20. Datu Abdullah Sangki.The petitioner in G. Perfecto Marquez. 9054. and non-recurring income. municipalities. A. cities. IX. exclusive of special funds.A. Cities. sad to say. or barangay created. This decision today. — The Regional Assembly may create. especially since it shuns the terms of the negotiated peace. Talayan. No. hundreds or thousands of provinces within the relatively confined spaces of the present Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. and declare regional holidays. or a population of not less than 250. The concerns raised by the majority on how allowing the Assembly to create provinces would affect the composition of the national Congress are valid issues. Municipalities or Barangay. Division or Abolition of Provinces. division. as certified by the Department of Finance. 5. in G. merged. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991). The Regional Assembly may prescribe standards lower than those mandated by Republic Act No. cities. would preclude the emergence of dozens. Buluan.000. subject to the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. population.The enactment of the organic acts for the autonomous regions of the Cordilleras and Muslim Mindanao is mandated under Sections 18 and 19. Pendatun. or barangay in accordance with the criteria laid down by Republic Act No. SacTCA To stress how implausible the scenario of dozens-hundred-thousands of ARMM provinces actually is. Shariff Aguak.Barira. or whose boundaries are being altered as required by Republic Act No. transfers. or barangay so created. The Regional Assembly may also change the names of local government units. Pagagawan and Paglat). is a decisive step backwards from the previous rulings of this Court that have been supportive of the aims of regional autonomy.R. or substantially alter boundaries of provinces. municipalities. (c) that the creation of the province shall not reduce the land area. The second legislative district is composed of 19 municipalities (Talitay. shall not be entitled to any share of the taxes that are allotted to the local governments units under the provisions of the Code. or barangay.R. shall. (b) a contiguous territory of at least two thousand (2.The provision reads: SECTION 19. merger. municipalities. divided. Parang. Pagalungan. 178628. . 177597. division. Sema (Sema).In G. S. 7160. which I join. cities. No. the power to create provinces. These standards. Creation. in the creation. 7160. Gen.000) square kilometers. instead of the countervailing constitutional principle that it actually is.000. municipalities. cities. just as with any other putative province. Bai Sandra S. the Local Government Code of 1991. No. TaEIAS 4. or alteration of the boundaries of provinces. Datu Odin Sinsuat. aAcHCT 2. prohibition and mandamus. 7160. Ampatuan. and 460 of Republic Act No. The holding of a plebiscite to determine the will of the majority of the voters of the areas affected by the creation.R. 7160. It is an approach that will exacerbate political and regional tensions within Mindanao. Rajah Buayan. merge.000 inhabitants as certified by the National Statistics Office. must possess the following requisites: (a) an average annual income. further seeks to compel the COMELEC to exclude from the canvassing the votes cast in Cotabato City for representative of the legislative district in question in the 14 May 2007 elections.even tens or dozens of new provinces. 448. divide. the Local Government Code of 1991. the Local Government Code of 1991. Buldon. I respectfully dissent. (Emphasis supplied) aDcETC Before the enactment of R. CHTAIc The financial requirements of the provinces.K. Footnotes 1. Guindulungan. South Upi. which should bear upon the Assembly. trust funds. Any new province will have to meet the same criteria set forth by the LGC for the creation of provinces. be observed. such income including the income accruing to the general fund. yet the approach it adopts is to treat autonomy as invisible and inconsequential. or merged shall be provided by the Regional Assembly out of the general funds of the Regional Government. (See Sections 384. Sultan Sa Barongis. Datu Piang. AEIHaS 3. No. An Assembly-created province. Provinces.00. Datu Saudi Ampatuan. or whose boundaries are altered without observing the standards prescribed by Republic Act No. cities and municipalities) and in the sangguniang panlalawigan and sangguniang panlungsod (for barangays).

The dispositive portion of which reads: 8. in view of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act (MMAA) No. Following the rule in establishing legislative district. IaDcTC WHEREAS. WHEREAS. entitled. Upi and Datu Blah. which includes Cotabato City as a part thereof. 2007.Sultan Mastura (created from Sultan Kudarat). and Paglat. 9. ASDALA. K. WHEREAS. 201. Parang. Sultan Sa Barongis. legally speaking. Buluan. K. Datu Piang. Matanog. Kabuntalan. Datu Unsay. The Commission RESOLVED. xxx xxx xxx In order to avoid controversy on the matter. WHEREAS. The record shows the former province of Maguindanao was divided into two new provinces (Shariff Kabunsuan and Maguindanao). Sultan Kudarat. Buldon. as it hereby RESOLVES. as far as practicable. Mamasapano. the Province of Maguindanao consists of two legislative districts. 07-0407 to now read.Resolution No. the power to legislate laws including the enactment of the Local Government Code of ARMM. Pagagawan. Datu Paglas. South Upi. Article VI of Republic Act No. shall remain with said province. It must be emphasized that Cotabato City is not included as part of ARMM although geographically located within the first district of the former Maguindanao province. to maintain status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in the First District of Maguindanao".Resolution No. 201 provides that "(e)xcept as may be provided by national law. dated 11 January 2007. Datu Odin Sinsuat and Kabuntalan as its nearest neighbors. while the remaining municipalities of Talisay. contiguous. it may arise question of legality [sic] if Cotabato City will be appended as part of the newly created Shariff Kabunsuan province. Talayan. and its second legislative district. Rajah Buayan. the COMELEC allocated one legislative seat each for the provinces of Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan for the 14 May 2007 elections. Datu Abdullah Sangki. Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. the last paragraph of Section 5 of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy (MMA) Act No. Sultan Kudarat. Guindulungan. Pendatun. Datu Piang. which authority was conferred to under Section 17. Rajah Buayan. "IN THE MATTER OF THE MEMORANDUM OF ATTY.The Memorandum reads in pertinent parts: Geographically speaking since [sic] Cotabato City is located within the newly created province of Shariff Kabunsuan having been bounded by municipalities of Sultan Kudarat. the existing legislative district. and Paglat[. 201. Guindulungan. Buldon. Mamasapano. Gen. Pagalungan. ACTING DIRECTOR III. Gen. to adopt the recommendation of the Law Department that pending the enactment of the appropriate law by Congress. except Cotabato City which is not part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. S. 201 provided for the creation of the new Province of Shariff Kabunsuan comprising the municipalities of Barira.] (Emphasis supplied) 7. Shariff Aguak. Sultan Sa Barongis. shall remain. it shall comprise. Ampatuan. 7801.". Datu Unsay. Buluan. Ampatuan. South Upi. 9054 giving the ARMM. all of the first legislative district of the mother Province of Maguindanao. the first legislative district of the Province of Maguindanao is now made up of Cotabato City only. RELATIVE TO THE STUDY/RECOMMENDATION OF SAID DEPARTMENT RE: CONVERSION OF THE FIRST DISTRICT OF MAGUINDANAO INTO A REGULAR PROVINCE PER MINUTE RESOLUTION NO. Talayan. thru its Regional Legislative Assembly. Sultan Mastura. Shariff Aguak. as it hereby RESOLVES. Datu Saudi Ampatuan. Datu Odin Sinsuat. pending the enactment of appropriate law by Congress. This is the reason why Cotabato City was not specifically mentioned as part of the newly created province of Shariff Kabunsuan. Datu Abdullah Sangki. The newly created province of Shariff Kabunsuan comprises the municipalities of Barira. 7845 pertinently provides: "Considering the foregoing. 07-0407 dated March 6. the Commission RESOLVED. Datu Saudi Ampatuan. LAW DEPARTMENT. including Cotabato City [which] belongs to the first district of Maguindanao province. 07-0297 DATED FEBRUARY 20.6. with Cotabato City as part of the first legislative district. Kabuntalan. Pendatun. WYNNE B. S. compact and adjacent territory. it would be prudent and logically feasible to maintain status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in the first district of Maguindanao. Pagalungan. 2007". as follows[:] . Datu Paglas. However. 7902 reads in full: This pertains to the amendment of Minute Resolution No. Datu Odin Sinsuat. by reason of said provision of MMA Act No. Under our Constitution [it is] only Congress that shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided for under Section 5 (1) of Article VI. Pagagawan. to amend the pertinent portion of Minute Resolution No. Sultan Mastura and Upi. the municipalities of Talisay. Cotabato City is not voting for provincial officials. Matanog. Parang. CHTcSE In the earlier Resolution No. all of the second legislative district of the mother Province of Maguindanao. Northern Kabuntulan (created from Kabuntulan) and Datu Blah Sinsuat (created from Upi).

however. cSDIHT 12. subject to such limitations and requirements prescribed in this Code."SEC. L-32717. abolished. 36 SCRA 228. Cotabato City had a population of 163. Article VI of the Constitution which provides: "Each legislative district shall comprise. — The City of San Jose del Monte shall have its own representative district to commence in the next national election after the effectivity of this Act.As provided in the Resolution of 16 October 2007. 13.Section 1. — As highly urbanized. 26 November 1970. contiguous. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand.Section 3. — As a highly-urbanized city. or any city whose population may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least one Member or such number of Members as it may be entitled to on the basis of the number of its inhabitants and according to the standards set forth in paragraph (3). Article X. No province. or barangay may be created.R.849.A." Let the Executive Director advise the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Cotabato City accordingly. 7839 (Charter of City of Pasig) provides: Section 50." 18. compact. city. or any other political subdivision.124 Phil. Legislative District. Vice-President. whose population has so increased. Authority to Create Local Government Units. HcSaAD 24.A. in the national taxes which shall be automatically released to them".In his Concurring Opinion in Paras v. Commission on Elections (332 Phil. 16. Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution. 30. 9355 provides: Section 7. 7160. 23. is geographically located shall be correspondingly adjusted by the Commission on Elections but such adjustment shall not be made within one hundred and twenty days before the election". or by ordinance passed by the sangguniang panlalawigan or sangguniang panlungsod concerned in the case of a barangay located within its territorial jurisdiction. 6. 21. the City of Parañaque shall have its own legislative district with the first representative to be elected in the next national election after the passage of this Act. Legislative District. (Emphasis supplied) Section 7 of Republic Act No. 229. 15. — The Province of Dinagat Islands shall constitute one. as determined by law. 11. 409 Phil."SECTION 10.The Court also required Sema to submit with her Memorandum the certifications from the Department of Finance. the National Statistics Office. 56.See Section 2. (Emphasis supplied) AEcTaS 14. 7160. DCESaI 17. 1226 (1966). separate legislative district to commence in the next national election after the effectivity of this Act. abolished. 449 and 460. No. the City of Pasig shall have its own legislative district with the first representative to be elected in the next national elections after the passage of this Act. 26. or its boundaries substantially altered either by law enacted by Congress in the case of a province. as far as practicable. 7160. Constitution. 683 [2002]) where the Court held that a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 will lie to question the constitutionality of an election regulation if the COMELEC has acted capriciously or whimsically. Mayors and Vice-Mayors of cities . Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution and Section 5. merged. 571 (2001).Sections 441.See. or each province. the Commission RESOLVED. The elective local officials are Provincial Governors. Legislative District. Local government units shall have a just share. 29. falling short of the minimum population requirement in Section 5 (3). 9230 provides: Section 58. divided. v. that as of 2000. the Lands Management Bureau. SDaHEc 28. merged. 8507 (Charter of Parañaque City) provides: Section 48. city or municipality. Davide. 66 [1996]). or each province. stated: The term "regular local election" must be confined to the regular election of elective local officials. p.["]Considering the foregoing. shall have at least one representative". and petitioner does not dispute. Vice-Governors of provinces. Inc. contiguous. R. 22. divided. petitioner filed with the COMELEC a petition for the disqualification of respondent Dilangalen as candidate for representative of that province (docketed as SPA No.Respondent Dilangalen asserts. 501 (1995). and the Department of Interior and Local Government that at the time of the creation of Shariff Kabunsuan on 28 August 2006 it met the requisites for the creation of a province under Section 461 of R.Social Weather Stations."Any province that may hereafter be created. Jr. compact. shall have at least one representative". Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand." STIcaE 19. municipality.A. R. except in accordance with the criteria established in the Local Government Code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. Macabago v. The elective national officials are the President. Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Mutuc v. 27."SECTION 6. 20. Commission on Elections (440 Phil.312 Phil. R. A07-0). G.Section 48 of Republic Act No. (Emphasis supplied) 31. and adjacent territory. COMELEC. with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. as distinguished from the regular election of national officials. 492. or its boundary substantially altered. as it hereby RESOLVES. (Emphasis supplied) HIAcCD Section 50 of Republic Act No. and adjacent territory. Representative District. then Associate Justice (later Chief Justice) Hilario G."Each legislative district shall comprise. 25. Article VI of the 1935 Constitution.Consistent with her claim that Cotabato City is not part of Shariff Kabunsuan's legislative district. that the district shall be known as Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City (formerly First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City).Section 20. as far as practicable. (Emphasis supplied) Section 58 of Republic Act No.A.Rollo. — A local government unit may be created. The number of Members apportioned to the province out of which such new province was created or where the city.Sections 385 and 386. (Emphasis in the original) TcDHSI 10. Commission on Elections. Senators and Congressmen.

] voting population. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: xxx xxx xxx (2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections. No. 114783. 1994.A. GABRIEL.621 voted "yes" whereas 7. punong barangays and members of the sangguniang barangays.A. LIM. RAMON M. Hon. 7675. 7675 was deemed ratified and in effect. sponsored the bill which eventually became R. PANLUNGSOD. 7675. Pursuant to the Local Government Code of 1991. No. 7675. 7675. returns. President Ramos signed R. No. Section 49 thereof. the municipalities of Mandaluyong and San Juan belonged to only one legislative district. 7675 provides: respondents.A. December 8. These are the only local elective officials deemed recognized by Section 2 (2) of Article IX-C of the Constitution. and the elective regional officials of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. 1994. No. otherwise known as Juan with its first representative to be elected at the same election.41% of the [G." "An Act Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as the City of Mandaluyong. provincial. Metro Manila. GREGORIO D. The people of Mandaluyong were asked whether they approved of the conversion of the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city as EN BANC provided under R.911 voted "no. R." By virtue of these results. CITY MAYOR BENJAMIN S. Ronaldo Zamora. No. Nevertheless. and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction. TOBIAS. herein Juan/Mandaluyong shall become the new legislative district of San petitioners assail the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 1994. cities and municipalities. ROBERT V. GUZMAN. and qualifications of all elective regional. 7675 into law on February 9. is unconstitutional for being violative of TREASURER WILLIAM MARCELINO. TOBIAS. "As a highly-urbanized city.A.and municipalities.R. JR. contending that R. the incumbent congressional representative of this legislative district. Members of the Sanggunians of provinces.A." . which provides: SEC. TERRY T. The remainder of the former legislative district of San Invoking their rights as taxpayers and as residents of Mandaluyong. all of the City of Mandaluyong. (Emphasis supplied) EC Prior to the enactment of the assailed statute. CITY specifically Article VIII. petitioners. or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction. a plebiscite was held on April 10. No. and THE SANGGUNIANG three specific provisions of the Constitution. and city officials. 18. J p: the next national elections after the passage of this Act. HON. 2. ABALOS. the City of Mandaluyong shall have its DECISION own legislative district with the first representative to be elected in BIDIN. Section 49 of R. vs. The turnout at the plebiscite was only 14. and ROBERTO R. Petitioners now come before this Court. Article VIII. No.A.

. as provided by law. cities. Section 5 (3). Within three years following the return of every census. regional and sectoral parties or organizations. as expressed in the title of the law. And finally. petitioners contend that said division was not made pursuant to any census showing that the Petitioners contend that the second aforestated subject is not germane to the subject matter of R. No. provided in Article VI. Sec. to wit: "Sec. . 26 (1). who shall be elected from legislative districts ". 5(4). we agree with the observation of the Solicitor General that the statutory conversion of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city with a population of not less than two hundred fifty thousand indubitably ordains "Sec. 5 (4) as aforecited. "Sec. No. inhabitants." Section 26 (1) of the Constitution. Sections 5 (1) and (4) of the Constitution. Furthermore. the "one subject-one bill" rule has not been complied with. Petitioners' second and third objections involve Article VI. Anent the first issue. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty apportioned among the provinces. Constitution). 5 (1). subject municipalities have attained the minimum population requirements. 7675 is that it contravenes the "one subject-one bill" rule. The House of Representatives shall be composed of compliance with the "one city-one representative" proviso in the Constitution: not more than two hundred and fifty members. and those who.Petitioner's first objection to the aforequoted provision of R. Therefore. Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. as enunciated in Article VI. shall have at least one representative" Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective (Article VI. petitioners assert that Section 49 has the effect of preempting the right of Congress to reapportion legislative districts pursuant to Sec. namely: (1) the separate congressional districts under Section 49 of the assailed law has resulted conversion of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city. since Section 49 treats of a subject distinct from that stated in the title of the law. or each province." Petitioners allege that the inclusion of the assailed Section 49 in the Petitioners argue that the division of San Juan and Mandaluyong into subject law resulted in the latter embracing two principal subjects.A.A. to wit: The contentions are devoid of merit. 5 (1) of the Constitution. 7675 since the said law treats of the conversion of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city. and (2) the division of the in an increase in the composition of the House of Representatives beyond that congressional district of San Juan/Mandaluyong into two separate districts. which provide." based on the standard provided in this section. unless otherwise fixed by law. shall be elected through a party . and the Metropolitan thousand. list system of registered national.

"unless otherwise provided by law. as aforequoted.Hence. At any rate. language of such precision as to mirror. the title of R. district for Mandaluyong is not a subject separate and distinct from the subject of its conversion into a highly urbanized city but is a natural and logical consequence of Proceeding now to the other constitutional issues raised by petitioners to its conversion into a highly urbanized city." applicable provision.A.A. Verily. Therefore. we ruled that the constitutional requirements for the establishment of separate legislative districts. Article VI. Section 49 of R.A. 7675 is not unconstitutional. the creation of a separate congressional (emphasis supplied). it is not required that all laws emanating from the legislature must contain all relevant data considered by Congress in the enactment of said laws. a reading of the germane to that general subject.000 inhabitants to justify their separation into two legislative districts. The said Act enjoys the Mandaluyong.A. shows that the present limit of 250 members is not absolute. the Constitution does not require Congress to employ in the title of an enactment. the persons decreed under Article VIII. Comelec (73 Phil. requirement as now expressed in Article VI. 288 [1941]). it is in compliance with the aforestated constitutional mandate that therein. to wit: "Of course. scope and consequences of the proposed law and its operation" Contrary to petitioners' assertion. No. Comelec (21 SCRA 496 [1967]). It should be sufficient compliance with As to the contention that the assailed law violates the present limit on the such requirement if the title expresses the general subject and all the provisions are number of representatives as set forth in the Constitution. 7675. of the nature. interested in the subject of the bill and the public. 7675. No. Section 26(1) "should be given a practical rather than a technical construction. It suffices if the title should serve the purpose of the the creation of a separate congressional district for the City of Mandaluyong is constitutional demand that it inform the legislators. Thus. No." The inescapable import of the latter clause is that the present composition of Congress may be increased. No. if Congress itself so mandates through a legislative enactment. The Constitution clearly provides that The liberal construction of the "one title-one subject" rule had been further elucidated in Lidasan v. the same Section 49 regarding the creation of a separate congressional district for does not suffice to strike down the validity of R. Section 5 (1). the increase in congressional representation mandated by R. presumption of having passed through the regular congressional processes. fully index or catalogue all the contents and the minute details the House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than 250 members. a liberal construction of the "one title-one subject" rule has been invariably adopted by this court so as not to cripple or impede legislation. . including due consideration by the members of Congress of the minimum Moreover. "An Act the effect that there is no mention in the assailed law of any census to show that Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong Into a Highly Urbanized City of Mandaluyong and San Juan had each attained the minimum requirement of Mandaluyong" necessarily includes and contemplates the subject treated under 250. 7675. in Sumulong v.

.A." which is the practice of creating legislative districts to favor a particular candidate or party. 7675. Emmanuel P. No. No. Quiason. the assailed Section 49 of R.R. Regalado. Vitug. is not worthy of credence. 1995.A. Villamor Legarda & Associates for petitioner in G. 118577. As to the contention that Section 49 of R.R. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. HON. The contention is bereft of merit since the principal subject involved in the plebiscite was the conversion of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city.J . petitioners Kapunan and Mendoza. Feliciano. No. the said argument borders on the absurd since petitioners overlook the glaring fact that it was Congress itself which drafted. vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. THE MUNICIPAL TREASURER. JJ. 1995. JJ. As correctly observed by EN BANC [G. it should be noted that Rep. in the absence of proof that Mandaluyong and San Juan do not Juan/Mandaluyong district. JEJOMAR BINAY.A. Narvasa. 118627. the Solicitor General.J. SO ORDERED. present further arguments against the validity thereof. respondents. Aside from the constitutional objections to R.R. By dividing qualify to have separate legislative districts..] JUANITO MARIANO. MUNICIPAL TREASURER. AND SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF MAKATI. THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI. Davide. JEJOMAR BINAY. C. having consistently won in both localities. et al. [G. concur. the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. 7675 in effect preempts the right of Congress to reapportion legislative districts. petitioners' additional argument that the subject law has resulted in "gerrymandering.R. March 7. Ronaldo Zamora. 118627. San Juan/Mandaluyong. Congress cannot possibly preempt itself on a right which pertains to itself. OSMEÑA. The Solicitor General for public respondent. Padilla. which development could hardly be considered as favorable to him. vs.Thus. March 7.. Acosta & Corvera Law Offices for petitioners in G. No. THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI. is the incumbent representative of the former San . the inhabitants of San Juan were properly excluded from the said plebiscite as they had nothing to do with the change of status of neighboring Mandaluyong. AND SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF MAKATI. 118577.. No. including Section 49 WHEREFORE. 7675 must be allowed to stand. 7675 as the same involved a change in their legislative district. petitioner. the author of SYLLABUS the assailed law. No. Similarly.. Puno. Romero. No. Thus. petitioners..A. No.] JOHN R. deliberated upon and enacted the assailed law. JR. thereof. The matter of separate district representation was only ancillary thereto. Jr. respondents. Bellosillo. HON. Petitioners contend that the people of San Juan should have been made to participate in the plebiscite on R. Rep. Tamase for private respondents. Zamora's constituency has in fact been diminished. is on leave.

It then becomes a case of the master serving the slave. No. ID. as a matter of fact. 33 SCRA 1105). COMELEC." These criteria are now set forth in Section 7 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R. DECISION . That intolerable situation will deprive the people of a new city or province a particle of their sovereignty. p. such as in the charter of a new city. December 8. law. No. the clause refers to a general reapportionment law. — Congress did not intend that laws creating new cities must contain therein detailed technical descriptions similar to those appearing in Torrens titles. RULE THAT LAW MUST BE ENFORCED WHEN ASCERTAINED. 1. 1051. the Constitution did not preclude Congress from increasing its membership by passing a DAVIDE. 7160). city." The petitioners' reliance on Section 450 of R. This could not be the intendment of the law. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. 72 SCRA 520). CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991 (R. 7854 on the mere ground that no cadastral type of description was used in the law would serve the letter but defeat the spirit of the Code. 95 SCRA 392 [1980]. REAPPORTIONMENT OF LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT. Limjap. It seeks to make local governments more responsive to the needs of their constituents while at the same time serving as a vital cog in national development. The Constitution does not provide for a description by metes and bounds as a condition sine qua non for the creation of a local government unit or its conversion from one level to another.A. No.A. — Strictly speaking. 7854. REQUIREMENTS. — The requirements before a litigant can challenge the constitutionality of a law are well-delineated. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION..A. Article VI of the Constitution. No. Hidalgo. To invalidate R. RATIONALE. and (4) the decision on the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. APPLICATION IN CASE AT BAR. REQUIREMENT THAT TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES BE IDENTIFIED BY METES AND BOUNDS WITH TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION. its acts are ultra vires. Courts will not follow the letter of the statute when to do so would depart from the true intent of the legislature or would otherwise yield conclusions inconsistent with the general purpose of the act (Torres v. Moreover. No. 7854 unconstitutional or illegal. The Constitution (Section 5(1). the increase in the number of legislative seats for the City of Makati provided for in R. any uncertainty in the boundaries of local government units will sow costly conflicts in the exercise of governmental powers which ultimately will prejudice the people's welfare." In short. JUSTIFIED. Needless to state. municipality or barangay may be created. or its boundary substantially altered. Article VI) clearly provides that Congress shall be composed of not more than two hundred fifty (250) members. As thus worded. Article X of the Constitution provides that "[n]o province.A. The boundaries must be clear for they define the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of a local government unit. 141.A. No.. concurring opinion: 2. 24) 4. Beyond these limits. LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE.. The increase under R. That clause contemplates of the reapportionment mentioned in the succeeding paragraph (4) of the said Section which reads in full as follows: "Within three years following the return of every census. This is exactly what was done by Congress in enacting R. Cruz. Sovereignty cannot admit of any kind of subtraction. 103 Phil. 7854 (An Act Converting the Municipality of Makati Into a Highly Urbanized City to be Known as the City of Makati) to describe the territorial boundaries of the city by metes and bounds does not make R. To require such description in the law as a condition sine qua non for its validity would be to defeat the very purpose which the Local Government seeks to serve. WHEN NOT APPLICABLE. Abalos. the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. It must be forever whole or it is not sovereignty. this Court ruled that reapportionment of legislative districts may be made through a special law. 7854 are not absolute. No. — Section 10. (2) the question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party. 7854 is not an increase justified by the clause unless otherwise fixed by law in paragraph 1. unless otherwise fixed by law. 56 Phil.R. It is indivisible. The omission of R. The criteria provided for in Section 7 of R. ALTHOUGH IT MAY NOT BE CONSISTENT WITH THE STRICT LETTER OF THE STATUTE. 7854 is a permissible increase under Sections 1 and 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. means that laws have ends to achieve. the section starts with the clause "as a general rule. 3. REQUIRED. J . 2. and statutes should be so construed as not to defeat but to carry out such ends and purposes (Bocobo v. Hidalgo v. as petitioners seem to imply. — In the recent case of Tobias v. Section 5. RULE. JR. Too well settled is the rule that laws must be enforced when ascertained. No. would create an unequitable situation where a new city or province created by Congress will be denied legislative representation for an indeterminate period of time. — The importance of drawing with precise strokes the territorial boundaries of a local unit of government cannot be overemphasized. Cuenco. (Dumlao v. It can legitimately exercise powers of government only within the limits of its territorial jurisdiction.A. 1991 ed. No.A. 114783.. Estanislao. No. (3) the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. One of these is that the territorial jurisdiction of the local government unit to be created or converted should be properly identified by metes and bounds with technical descriptions. CONSTITUTIONALITY OF LAW. although it may not be consistent with the strict letter of the statute. divided. WHEN CHALLENGED. No. not a highly urbanized city. to hold that reapportionment can only be made through a general apportionment law. 7160). APPLICATION IN CASE AT BAR. 1994. abolished. They are: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy.A.A. instead of the other way around. DRAWING OF TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES. Constitutional Law. with a review of all the legislative districts allotted to each local government unit nationwide. other than a general reapportionment law. Tañada v. CASE AT BAR. The manifest intent of the Code is to empower local government units and to give them their rightful due. No..A. for purposes of interpretation. R.1. Said section only applies to the conversion of a municipality or a cluster of barangays into a COMPONENT CITY. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. 7160 is unavailing. G. 7854 and providing for an increase in Makati's legislative district. ID. This is the evil sought to be avoided by the Local Government Code in requiring that the land area of a local government unit must be spelled out in metes and bounds. for. merged. INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF LEGISLATIVE SEATS. except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. Legislation is an active instrument of government which.A. with technical descriptions.

Teresita Abang." G. Frankie Cruz.A. Taguig. Florante Alba." (Emphasis supplied) 2. No. only Mariano. and Perfecto Alba. they assail as unconstitutional Sections 2. 7854 is unconstitutional for: The importance of drawing with precise strokes the territorial boundaries of a local unit of government cannot be overemphasized. 7854 on the following grounds: "1. No. Given the facts of the cases at bench. in violation of Section 10. and. The others are residents of Ibayo Ususan. 7854. 118577 involves a petition for prohibition and declaratory relief. It can legitimately exercise powers of government only within the limits of its territorial jurisdiction. No. Beyond these limits. is a resident of Makati. and (c) the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in accord with Section 5 (3). 7854 as unconstitutional. — The Municipality of Makati shall be converted into a highly urbanized city to be known as the City of Makati. 51 and 52 of R. Osmeña as senator. with technical descriptions. No. Article VI of the constitution for as of the latest survey (1990 census). No. subtract. No. This is the evil sought to be avoided by the Local Government Code in requiring that the land area of a local government unit must be spelled out in metes and bounds. 118577. in relation to Sections 7 and 450 of the Local Government Code. The foregoing provision shall be without prejudice to the resolution by the appropriate agency or forum of existing boundary disputes or cases involving questions of territorial jurisdiction between the City of Makati and the adjoining local government units. 2. No.. In G. Article X of the Constitution. Section 2. We find no merit in the petitions. or multiply the established land area of Makati. 7854. 7854 did not properly identify the land area or territorial jurisdiction of Makati by metes and bounds.A. dctai (b) the increase in legislative district. Article X and Section 7. It was filed by petitioners Juanito Mariano. 7854 attempts to alter or restart the 'three consecutive term' limit for local elective officials. Section 2 stated that the city's land area "shall comprise the present territory of the municipality. Out of a becoming sense of respect to a co-equal department of government. Jr.A. Ricardo Pascual. which shall comprise the present territory of the Municipality of Makati in Metropolitan Manila Area over which it has jurisdiction bounded on the northeast by Pasig River and beyond by the City of Mandaluyong and the Municipality of Pasig. Valentina Pitalvero. on the southwest by the City of Pasay and the Municipality of Taguig.A. any uncertainty in the boundaries of local government units will sow costly conflicts in the exercise of governmental powers which ultimately will prejudice the people's welfare. with technical descriptions. 2 3. Section 2 did not add. Suing as taxpayers. Article I of R. Camilo Santos." 1 G. R.A. No.000. No. (a) it increased the legislative district of Makati only by special law (the Charter in violation of the constitutional provision requiring a general reapportionment law to be passed by Congress within three (3) years following the return of every census.. 7854 is entitled. with technical descriptions. we cannot perceive how this evil can be brought about by the description made in Section 2 of R. petitioners claim that this delineation violates Sections 7 and 450 of the Local Government Code which require that the area of a local government unit should be made by metes and bounds with technical descriptions. the legislations felt that the dispute should be .PUNO. Rufino Caldoza. No. divide.A. on the southeast by the municipalities of Pateros and Taguig. Of the petitioners. Petitioners have not demonstrated that the delineation of the land area of the proposed City of Makati will cause confusion as to its boundaries. Teresita Tibay. in violation of Section 8. No. "An Act Converting the Municipality of Makati Into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as the City of Makati. J p: I At bench are two (2) petitions assailing certain provisions of Republic Act No. Metro Manila. taxpayer. Article VI of the Constitution. Section 52 of R. 7854 delineated the land area of the proposed city of Makati.A. its acts are ultra vires. the territorial dispute between the municipalities of Makati and Taguig over Fort Bonifacio was under court litigation. hereinafter referred to as the City. Section 2 of R.R. Section 51 of R. 118627 was filed by petitioner John H. thus: "SEC. Bautista. In language that cannot be any clearer. was not expressed in the title of the bill. Needless to state. Jr. Ligaya S.A.R. At the time of the consideration of R. the population of Makati stands at only 450.R. We note that said delineation did not change even by an inch the land area previously covered by Makati as a municipality. 7854 as unconstitutional on the same grounds as aforestated. and concerned citizen. No." The deliberations of Congress will reveal that there is a legitimate reason why the land area of the proposed City of Makati was not defined by metes and bounds.A. Petitioner assails Section 52 of R. The City of Makati. The boundaries must be clear for they define the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of a local government unit. by the City of Manila. on the northwest.

. 1051.e. 56 Phil. Article X and Section 7. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. Cuenco. Legislation is an active instrument of government which.A. Congress did not intend that laws creating new cities must contain therein detailed technical descriptions similar to those appearing in Torrens titles. This would have ensued if they defined the land area of the proposed city by its exact metes and bounds. it may be concluded that the legislative intent behind the law has been sufficiently served. To require such description in the law as a condition sine qua non for its validity would be to defeat the very purpose which the Local Government Code seeks to serve. 141. Limjap.A. Article X of R. with technical descriptions. The appointive officials and employees of the City shall likewise continue exercising their functions and duties and they shall be automatically absorbed by the city government of the City of Makati. Section 51 states: "SEC. then.A. It is not an end in itself. The term of office of elective local officials. Congress maintained the existing boundaries of the proposed City of Makati but as an act of fairness. the requirement on metes and bounds was meant merely as tool in the establishment of local government units. i. In the cases at bench. 8. instead of the other way around. No. viz: "Going now to Sections 7 and 450 of the Local Government Code. with technical descriptions' — was made in order to provide a means by which the area of said cities may be reasonably ascertained. Estanislao. It then becomes a case of the master serving the slave.." cdll Petitioners stress that under these provisions. (Torres v. 3 We take judicial notice of the fact that Congress has also refrained from using the metes and bounds description of land areas of other local government units with unsettled boundary disputes. We sustain the submission of the Solicitor General in this regard. 33 SCRA 1105). No member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. elective local officials. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected.left to the courts to decide. Hidalgo v." They contend that this section collides with Section 8. by referring to common boundaries with neighboring municipalities. In other words. It seeks to make local governments more responsive to the needs of their constituents while at the same time serving as a vital cog in national development. viz: 'the territorial jurisdiction of newly created or converted cities should be described by metes and bounds. Considering these peculiar circumstances. xxx xxx xxx SEC. means that laws have ends to achieve. and statutes should be so construed as not to defeat but to carry out such ends and purposes (Bocobo v. The manifest intent of the Code is to empower local government units and to give them their rightful due. we are not prepared to hold that Section 2 of R. To invalidate R. Courts will not follow the letter of the statute when to do so would depart from the true intent of the legislature or would otherwise yield conclusions inconsistent with the general purpose of the act. Hidalgo. Officials of the City of Makati. although it may not be consistent with the strict letter of the statute. They did not want to foreclose the dispute by making a legislative finding of fact which could decide the issue. including Members of the House of Representatives. as in this case. 7. Article VI of the Constitution which provide: "SEC. 72 SCRA 520). which shall be determined by law. Tañada v. it is beyond cavil that the requirement stated therein. 4 We hold that the existence of a boundary dispute does not per se present an unsurmountable difficulty which will prevent Congress form defining with reasonable certitude the territorial jurisdiction of a local government unit. No. 103 Phil. Too well settled is the rule that laws must be enforced when ascertained. have a term of three (3) years and are prohibited from serving for more than three (3) consecutive terms. 118577 also assail the constitutionality of Section 51. Ergo. for purposes of interpretation. 51. 7854 is unconstitutional. so long as the territorial jurisdiction of a city may be reasonably ascertained. unless otherwise provided by law at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election. Certainly. made them subject to the ultimate resolution by the courts. 7854 on the mere ground that no cadastral type of description was used in the law would serve the letter but defeat the spirit of the Code. The new city will acquire a new corporate existence. The same rule must indubitably apply to the case at bar. except barangay officials. as petitioners seem to imply." II Petitioners in G. No. This could not be the intendment of the law.R. — The represent elective officials of the Municipality of Makati shall continue as the officials of the City of Makati and shall exercise their powers and functions until such time that a new election is held and the duly elected officials shall have already qualified and assume their offices: Provided. The Members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of three years which shall begin. 7854. They argue that by providing that the new city shall acquire a new corporate existence. shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms.

Petitioners cannot insist that the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in accord with Section 5(3). or completely catalogue all its details. 8 In said case. petitioners point that Section 51 favors the incumbent Makati Mayor. with a review of all the legislative districts allotted to each local government unit nationwide. Romero.. barangays Magallanes. Feliciano. 7854 and providing for an increase in Makati's legislative district. In particular. No. other than a general reapportionment law. he can still run for the same position in 1998 and seek another three-year consecutive term since his previous three-year consecutive term as municipal mayor would not be counted. the population of Makati stands at only four hundred fifty thousand (450. Padilla. to hold that reapportionment can only be made through a general apportionment law. we reiterated the policy of the Court favoring a liberal construction of the "one title-one subject" rule so as not to impede legislation. 5 Petitioners have far from complied with these requirements.A. 7854 restarts the term of the present municipal elective officials of Makati and disregards the terms previously serve by them. They further argue that should Mayor Binay decide to run and eventually win as city mayor in the coming elections. who has already served for two (2) consecutive terms. would create an inequitable situation where a new city or province created by Congress will be denied legislative representation for an indeterminate period of time. To be sure. JJ . Henceforth. that Mayor Binay will run again in this coming mayoralty elections. As thus worded.e. 7166 as implemented by the Commission on Elections to commence at the next national elections to be held after the effectivity of this Act. Narvasa. The petition is premised on the occurrence of many contingent events. (3) the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. Hence. 7854. the Constitution does not command that the title of a law should exactly mirror. petitioners conclude that said Section 51 has been conveniently crafted to suit the political ambitions of respondent Mayor Binay. unless otherwise fixed by law. 14 Finally.A. that he would be re-elected in said elections. 52. v. petitioners in the two (2) cases at bench assail the constitutionality of Section 52. Bidin. we ruled that "it should be sufficient compliance if the title expresses the general subject and all the provisions are germane to such general subject. its legislative district may still be increased since it has met the minimum population requirement of two hundred fifty thousand (250. Legislative Districts. The requirements before a litigant can challenge the constitutionality of a law are well-delineated. 7 and (3) Makati's population. Abalos. 13 Said section provides. Vitug. Kapunan. G. Bellosillo. Abalos. the Constitution did not preclude Congress from increasing its membership by passing a law. SO ORDERED. Jr. such as in the charter of a new city. and that he would seek re-election for the same post in the 1998 elections.000) shall be entitled to at least one congressional representative." WHEREFORE. (2) the addition of a legislative district is not expressed in the title of the bill. Petitioners who are residents of Taguig (except Mariano) are not also the proper parties to raise this abstract issue. ||| (Mariano. 10 That intolerable situation will deprive the people of a new city or province a particle of their sovereignty. and Forbes shall be with the first district. inter alia. No. Makati shall thereafter have at least two (2) legislative districts that shall initially correspond to the two (2) existing districts created under Section 3 (a) of Republic Act No. concur. Quiason." (Emphasis supplied) They contend that the addition of another legislative district in Makati is unconstitutional for: (1) reapportionment 6 cannot made by a special law.000) shall have at least one representative. 1995) EN BANC . They are: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy.000). COMELEC. i. — Upon its conversion into a highlyurbanized city. It is indivisible. Regalado. Thus. No. and (4) the decision on the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. Worse. C .R. It must be forever whole or it is not sovereignty. (2) the question of constitutionality must be raised by the proper party. In the same case of Tobias v. as per the 1990 census. stands at only four hundred fifty thousand (450.Section 51 of R.J . we do not find merit in petitioners' contention that the creation of an additional legislative district in Makati should have been expressly stated in the title of the bill. op cit. petitioners merely pose a hypothetical issue which has yet to ripen to an actual case or controversy.000). Dasmariñas. Melo.. No. March 07. No costs. We cannot entertain this challenge to the constitutionality of Section 51. These issues have been laid to rest in the recent case of Tobias v. 118627.000). This is exactly what was done by Congress in enacting R. in lieu of Barangay Guadalupe-Viejo which shall form part of the second district. In fact. Article X of R. Mendoza and Francisco. they hoist this futuristic issue in a petition for declaratory relief over which this Court has no jurisdiction..A. fully index. 118577. Considering that these contingencies may or may not happen. respondent Jejomar Binay. Section 52 of the Charter provides: "SEC. the petitions are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. Moreover. III Finally. that a city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand (250. Even granting that the population of Makati as of the 1990 census stood at four hundred fifty thousand (450. Article VI 12 of the Constitution for as of the latest survey (1990 census).000). The Constitution 9 clearly provides that Congress shall be composed of not more than two hundred fifty (250) members. 11 Sovereignty cannot admit of any kind of subtraction. we ruled that reapportionment of legislative districts may be made through a special law. Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution provides that a city whose population has increased to more than two hundred fifty thousand (250.

[G.R. No. 189698. February 22, 2010.]

I.
Procedural Issues

ELEAZAR P. QUINTO and GERINO A. TOLENTINO, JR.,
petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent.

First, we shall resolve the procedural issues on the timeliness of the COMELEC's
motion for reconsideration which was filed on December 15, 2009, as well as the
propriety of the motions for reconsideration-in-intervention which were filed after the
Court had rendered its December 1, 2009 Decision.

RESOLUTION
i. Timeliness of COMELEC's Motion for Reconsideration
PUNO, C.J p:
Upon a careful review of the case at bar, this Court resolves to grant the respondent
Commission on Elections' (COMELEC) motion for reconsideration, and the movantsintervenors' motions for reconsideration-in-intervention, of this Court's December 1,
2009 Decision (Decision). 1
The assailed Decision granted the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by Eleazar
P. Quinto and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr. and declared as unconstitutional the second
proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic Act No. 9369, 2 Section 66 of
the Omnibus Election Code 3 and Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678, 4
mainly on the ground that they violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution
and suffer from overbreadth. The assailed Decision thus paved the way for public
appointive officials to continue discharging the powers, prerogatives and functions of
their office notwithstanding their entry into the political arena.
In support of their respective motions for reconsideration, respondent COMELEC and
movants-intervenors submit the following arguments:
(1) The assailed Decision is contrary to, and/or violative of, the
constitutional proscription against the participation of
public appointive officials and members of the military in
partisan political activity;

Pursuant to Section 2, Rule 56-A of the 1997 Rules of Court, 5 in relation to Section 1,
Rule 52 of the same rules, 6 COMELEC had a period of fifteen days from receipt of
notice of the assailed Decision within which to move for its reconsideration. COMELEC
received notice of the assailed Decision on December 2, 2009, hence, had until
December 17, 2009 to file a Motion for Reconsideration.
The Motion for Reconsideration of COMELEC was timely filed. It was filed on December
14, 2009. The corresponding Affidavit of Service (in substitution of the one originally
submitted on December 14, 2009) was subsequently filed on December 17, 2009 — still
within the reglementary period.
ii. Propriety of the Motions for Reconsideration-in-Intervention
Section 1, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court provides:
A person who has legal interest in the matter in litigation or in the
success of either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so
situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other
disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer
thereof may, with leave of court, be allowed to intervene in the
action. The court shall consider whether or not the intervention will
unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the
original parties, and whether or not the intervenor's rights may be
fully protected in a separate proceeding.

(2) The assailed provisions do not violate the equal protection
clause when they accord differential treatment to elective
and appointive officials, because such differential
treatment rests on material and substantial distinctions
and is germane to the purposes of the law; cDaEAS

Pursuant to the foregoing rule, this Court has held that a motion for intervention shall be
entertained when the following requisites are satisfied: (1) the would-be intervenor
shows that he has a substantial right or interest in the case; and (2) such right or
interest cannot be adequately pursued and protected in another proceeding. 7 SCIacA

(3) The assailed provisions do not suffer from the infirmity of
overbreadth; and

Upon the other hand, Section 2, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court provides the time within
which a motion for intervention may be filed, viz.:

(4) There is a compelling need to reverse the assailed Decision, as
public safety and interest demand such reversal.
We find the foregoing arguments meritorious.

SECTION 2. Time to intervene. — The motion for intervention may
be filed at any time before rendition of judgment by the trial court. A
copy of the pleading-in-intervention shall be attached to the motion
and served on the original parties. (italics supplied)

This rule, however, is not inflexible. Interventions have been allowed even beyond the
period prescribed in the Rule, when demanded by the higher interest of justice.
Interventions have also been granted to afford indispensable parties, who have not
been impleaded, the right to be heard even after a decision has been rendered by the
trial court, 8 when the petition for review of the judgment has already been submitted for
decision before the Supreme Court, 9 and even where the assailed order has already
become final and executory. 10 In Lim v. Pacquing, 11 the motion for intervention filed
by the Republic of the Philippines was allowed by this Court to avoid grave injustice and
injury and to settle once and for all the substantive issues raised by the parties.

We now turn to the substantive issues.
II.
Substantive Issues
The assailed Decision struck down Section 4 (a) of Resolution 8678, the second proviso
in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic Act (RA) 9369, and Section 66 of the
Omnibus Election Code, on the following grounds:

In fine, the allowance or disallowance of a motion for intervention rests on the sound
discretion of the court 12 after consideration of the appropriate circumstances. 13 We
stress again that Rule 19 of the Rules of Court is a rule of procedure whose object is to
make the powers of the court fully and completely available for justice. 14 Its purpose is
not to hinder or delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice. 15

(1) They violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution
because of the differential treatment of persons holding
appointive offices and those holding elective positions;
(2) They are overbroad insofar as they prohibit the candidacy of all
civil servants holding appointive posts: (a) without
distinction as to whether or not they occupy high/influential
positions in the government, and (b) they limit these civil
servants' activity regardless of whether they be partisan or
nonpartisan in character, or whether they be in the
national, municipal or barangay level; and

We rule that, with the exception of the IBP-Cebu City Chapter, all the movantsintervenors may properly intervene in the case at bar.
First, the movants-intervenors have each sufficiently established a substantial right or
interest in the case.
As a Senator of the Republic, Senator Manuel A. Roxas has a right to challenge the
December 1, 2009 Decision, which nullifies a long established law; as a voter, he has a
right to intervene in a matter that involves the electoral process; and as a public officer,
he has a personal interest in maintaining the trust and confidence of the public in its
system of government.
On the other hand, former Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Tom V. Apacible are
candidates in the May 2010 elections running against appointive officials who, in view of
the December 1, 2009 Decision, have not yet resigned from their posts and are not
likely to resign from their posts. They stand to be directly injured by the assailed
Decision, unless it is reversed.
Moreover, the rights or interests of said movants-intervenors cannot be adequately
pursued and protected in another proceeding. Clearly, their rights will be foreclosed if
this Court's Decision attains finality and forms part of the laws of the land.
With regard to the IBP-Cebu City Chapter, it anchors its standing on the assertion that
"this case involves the constitutionality of elections laws for this coming 2010 National
Elections," and that "there is a need for it to be allowed to intervene . . . so that the voice
of its members in the legal profession would also be heard before this Highest Tribunal
as it resolves issues of transcendental importance." 16 SDHacT
Prescinding from our rule and ruling case law, we find that the IBP-Cebu City Chapter
has failed to present a specific and substantial interest sufficient to clothe it with
standing to intervene in the case at bar. Its invoked interest is, in character, too
indistinguishable to justify its intervention.

(3) Congress has not shown a compelling state interest to restrict
the fundamental right of these public appointive officials.
We grant the motions for reconsideration. We now rule that Section 4 (a) of Resolution
8678, Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, and the second proviso in the third
paragraph of Section 13 of RA 9369 are not unconstitutional, and accordingly reverse
our December 1, 2009 Decision.
III.
Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution 8678 Compliant with Law
Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution 8678 is a faithful reflection of the present state of
the law and jurisprudence on the matter, viz.:
Incumbent Appointive Official. — Under Section 13 of RA 9369,
which reiterates Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, any
person holding a public appointive office or position, including
active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and officers
and employees in government-owned or -controlled corporations,
shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the
filing of his certificate of candidacy.
Incumbent Elected Official. — Upon the other hand, pursuant to
Section 14 of RA 9006 or the Fair Election Act, 17 which repealed
Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code 18 and rendered
ineffective Section 11 of R.A. 8436 insofar as it considered an

elected official as resigned only upon the start of the campaign
period corresponding to the positions for which they are running, 19
an elected official is not deemed to have resigned from his office
upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy for the same or any
other elected office or position. In fine, an elected official may run
for another position without forfeiting his seat. ADEHTS
These laws and regulations implement Section 2 (4), Article IX-B of the 1987
Constitution, which prohibits civil service officers and employees from engaging in
any electioneering or partisan political campaign.
The intention to impose a strict limitation on the participation of civil service officers and
employees in partisan political campaigns is unmistakable. The exchange between
Commissioner Quesada and Commissioner Foz during the deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission is instructive:

To emphasize its importance, this constitutional ban on civil service officers and
employees is presently reflected and implemented by a number of statutes. Section 46
(b) (26), Chapter 7 and Section 55, Chapter 8 — both of Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the
Administrative Code of 1987 — respectively provide in relevant part:
Section 44. Discipline: General Provisions:
xxx xxx xxx
(b) The following shall be grounds for disciplinary action:
xxx xxx xxx
(26) Engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political
activities by one holding a non-political office. TCacIE

MS. QUESADA.
xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx
Secondly, I would like to address the issue here as provided in
Section 1 (4), line 12, and I quote: "No officer or employee
in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in
any partisan political activity." This is almost the same
provision as in the 1973 Constitution. However, we in the
government service have actually experienced how this
provision has been violated by the direct or indirect
partisan political activities of many government officials.
So, is the Committee willing to include certain clauses that would
make this provision more strict, and which would deter its
violation?
MR. FOZ.
Madam President, the existing Civil Service Law and the
implementing rules on the matter are more than
exhaustive enough to really prevent officers and
employees in the public service from engaging in any form
of partisan political activity. But the problem really lies in
implementation because, if the head of a ministry, and
even the superior officers of offices and agencies of
government will themselves violate the constitutional
injunction against partisan political activity, then no string
of words that we may add to what is now here in this draft
will really implement the constitutional intent against
partisan political activity. . . . 20 (italics supplied)

Section 55. Political Activity. — No officer or employee in the Civil
Service including members of the Armed Forces, shall engage
directly or indirectly in any partisan political activity or take part in
any election except to vote nor shall he use his official authority or
influence to coerce the political activity of any other person or body.
Nothing herein provided shall be understood to prevent any officer
or employee from expressing his views on current political
problems or issues, or from mentioning the names of his
candidates for public office whom he supports: Provided, That
public officers and employees holding political offices may take part
in political and electoral activities but it shall be unlawful for them to
solicit contributions from their subordinates or subject them to any
of the acts involving subordinates prohibited in the Election Code.
Section 261 (i) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (the Omnibus Election Code) further
makes intervention by civil service officers and employees in partisan political
activities an election offense, viz.:
SECTION 261. Prohibited Acts. — The following shall be guilty of
an election offense:
xxx xxx xxx
(i) Intervention of public officers and employees. — Any officer or
employee in the civil service, except those holding political offices;
any officer, employee, or member of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, or any police force, special forces, home defense
forces, barangay self-defense units and all other para-military units
that now exist or which may hereafter be organized who, directly or
indirectly, intervenes in any election campaign or engages in any

partisan political activity, except to vote or to preserve public order,
if he is a peace officer.

disenfranchisement. We know that suffrage, although
plenary, is not an unconditional right. In other words, the
Legislature can always pass a statute which can withhold
from any class the right to vote in an election, if public
interest so required. I would only like to reinstate the
qualification by specifying the prohibited acts so that those
who may want to vote but who are likewise prohibited from
participating in partisan political campaigns or
electioneering may vote.

The intent of both Congress and the framers of our Constitution to limit the participation
of civil service officers and employees in partisan political activities is too plain to be
mistaken.
But Section 2 (4), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution and the implementing statutes
apply only to civil servants holding apolitical offices. Stated differently, the
constitutional ban does not cover elected officials, notwithstanding the fact that
"[t]he civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies
of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original
charters." 21 This is because elected public officials, by the very nature of their office,
engage in partisan political activities almost all year round, even outside of the
campaign period. 22 Political partisanship is the inevitable essence of a political office,
elective positions included. 23

MR. FOZ:
There is really no quarrel over this point, but please understand
that there was no intention on the part of the Committee to
disenfranchise any government official or employee. The
elimination of the last clause of this provision was
precisely intended to protect the members of the civil
service in the sense that they are not being deprived of
the freedom of expression in a political contest. The last
phrase or clause might have given the impression that a
government employee or worker has no right whatsoever
in an election campaign except to vote, which is not the
case. They are still free to express their views although
the intention is not really to allow them to take part actively
in a political campaign. 24

The prohibition notwithstanding, civil service officers and employees are allowed to
vote, as well as express their views on political issues, or mention the names of certain
candidates for public office whom they support. This is crystal clear from the
deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, viz.:
MS. AQUINO:
Mr. Presiding Officer, my proposed amendment is on page 2,
Section 1, subparagraph 4, lines 13 and 14. On line 13,
between the words "any" and "partisan," add the phrase
ELECTIONEERING AND OTHER; and on line 14, delete
the word "activity" and in lieu thereof substitute the word
CAMPAIGN. AaITCS
May I be allowed to explain my proposed amendment?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Treñas):
Commissioner Aquino may proceed.
MS. AQUINO:
The draft as presented by the Committee deleted the phrase
"except to vote" which was adopted in both the 1935 and
1973 Constitutions. The phrase "except to vote" was not
intended as a guarantee to the right to vote but as a
qualification of the general prohibition against taking part
in elections.
Voting is a partisan political activity. Unless it is explicitly provided
for as an exception to this prohibition, it will amount to

IV.
Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, Section 13 of RA 9369, and
Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code Do Not Violate the
Equal Protection Clause
We now hold that Section 4 (a) of Resolution 8678, Section 66 of the Omnibus Election
Code, and the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of RA 9369 are not
violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. DcTSHa
i. Fariñas, et al. v. Executive Secretary, et al. is Controlling
In truth, this Court has already ruled squarely on whether these deemed-resigned
provisions challenged in the case at bar violate the equal protection clause of the
Constitution in Fariñas, et al. v. Executive Secretary, et al. 25
In Fariñas, the constitutionality of Section 14 of the Fair Election Act, in relation to
Sections 66 and 67 of the Omnibus Election Code, was assailed on the ground, among
others, that it unduly discriminates against appointive officials. As Section 14 repealed
Section 67 (i.e., the deemed-resigned provision in respect of elected officials) of the
Omnibus Election Code, elected officials are no longer considered ipso facto resigned
from their respective offices upon their filing of certificates of candidacy. In contrast,
since Section 66 was not repealed, the limitation on appointive officials continues to be
operative — they are deemed resigned when they file their certificates of candidacy.

The petitioners in Fariñas thus brought an equal protection challenge against Section
14, with the end in view of having the deemed-resigned provisions "apply equally" to
both elected and appointive officials. We held, however, that the legal dichotomy
created by the Legislature is a reasonable classification, as there are material and
significant distinctions between the two classes of officials. Consequently, the contention
that Section 14 of the Fair Election Act, in relation to Sections 66 and 67 of the Omnibus
Election Code, infringed on the equal protection clause of the Constitution, failed
muster. We ruled:
The petitioners' contention, that the repeal of Section 67 of the
Omnibus Election Code pertaining to elective officials gives undue
benefit to such officials as against the appointive ones and violates
the equal protection clause of the constitution, is tenuous.
The equal protection of the law clause in the Constitution is not
absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification. If the groupings
are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real
differences, one class may be treated and regulated differently from
the other. The Court has explained the nature of the equal
protection guarantee in this manner:
The equal protection of the law clause is against undue
favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile
discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not
intended to prohibit legislation which is limited either in the
object to which it is directed or by territory within which it is
to operate. It does not demand absolute equality among
residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be
treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both
as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. The
equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which
applies only to those persons falling within a specified
class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class,
and reasonable grounds exist for making a distinction
between those who fall within such class and those who
do not. ADTEaI
Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and
appointive officials. The former occupy their office by virtue of the
mandate of the electorate. They are elected to an office for a
definite term and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent
conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials hold their office
by virtue of their designation thereto by an appointing authority.
Some appointive officials hold their office in a permanent capacity
and are entitled to security of tenure while others serve at the
pleasure of the appointing authority.
Another substantial distinction between the two sets of officials is
that under Section 55, Chapter 8, Title I, Subsection A. Civil Service
Commission, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive

Order No. 292), appointive officials, as officers and employees in
the civil service, are strictly prohibited from engaging in any
partisan political activity or take (sic) part in any election except to
vote. Under the same provision, elective officials, or officers or
employees holding political offices, are obviously expressly allowed
to take part in political and electoral activities.
By repealing Section 67 but retaining Section 66 of the Omnibus
Election Code, the legislators deemed it proper to treat these two
classes of officials differently with respect to the effect on their
tenure in the office of the filing of the certificates of candidacy for
any position other than those occupied by them. Again, it is not
within the power of the Court to pass upon or look into the wisdom
of this classification.
Since the classification justifying Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006,
i.e., elected officials vis-à-vis appointive officials, is anchored upon
material and significant distinctions and all the persons belonging
under the same classification are similarly treated, the equal
protection clause of the Constitution is, thus, not infringed. 26
The case at bar is a crass attempt to resurrect a dead issue. The miracle is that our
assailed Decision gave it new life. We ought to be guided by the doctrine of stare
decisis et non quieta movere. This doctrine, which is really "adherence to precedents,"
mandates that once a case has been decided one way, then another case involving
exactly the same point at issue should be decided in the same manner. 27 This doctrine
is one of policy grounded on the necessity for securing certainty and stability of judicial
decisions. As the renowned jurist Benjamin Cardozo stated in his treatise The Nature of
the Judicial Process:
It will not do to decide the same question one way between one set
of litigants and the opposite way between another. "If a group of
cases involves the same point, the parties expect the same
decision. It would be a gross injustice to decide alternate cases on
opposite principles. If a case was decided against me yesterday
when I was a defendant, I shall look for the same judgment today if
I am plaintiff. To decide differently would raise a feeling of
resentment and wrong in my breast; it would be an infringement,
material and moral, of my rights." Adherence to precedent must
then be the rule rather than the exception if litigants are to have
faith in the even-handed administration of justice in the courts. 28
CaHAcT
Our Fariñas ruling on the equal protection implications of the deemed-resigned
provisions cannot be minimalized as mere obiter dictum. It is trite to state that an
adjudication on any point within the issues presented by the case cannot be considered
as obiter dictum. 29 This rule applies to all pertinent questions that are presented and
resolved in the regular course of the consideration of the case and lead up to the final
conclusion, and to any statement as to the matter on which the decision is predicated.
30 For that reason, a point expressly decided does not lose its value as a precedent

With the fact that they both head executive offices. 41 We may not strike down a law merely because the legislative aim would have been more fully achieved by expanding the class. interior and local government. by reason of other points in the case. in the example. 38 Sad to state. elected Vice-Presidents were appointed to take charge of national housing. it may justifiably be said that they were excluded from the ambit of the deemed resigned provisions in utmost respect for the mandate of the sovereign will. 50 Considering that elected officials are put in office by their constituents for a definite term. 49 It involves the choice or selection of candidates to public office by popular vote. also. otherwise than it did. thereby creating some inequity as to those included or excluded. be regarded as dicta. and none of such points can be regarded as having the status of a dictum. the Legislature need not address every manifestation of the evil at once. . because "whether one holds an appointive office or an elective one. To start with. retains his position during the entire election period and can still use the resources of his office to support his campaign. the Executive Secretary. brought forward after the case has been disposed of on one ground. 33 (italics supplied) ii. or even though. 34 What it simply requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. . or not the best solution from a public-policy standpoint. is there a rational justification for excluding elected officials from the operation of the deemed resigned provisions? I submit that there is. nor can an additional reason in a decision.: 32 . whether or not the Legislature cited those bases as reasons for the enactment. nor does a decision on one proposition make statements of the court regarding other propositions dicta. 46 such that the constitutionality of the law must be sustained even if the reasonableness of the classification is "fairly debatable. the fact that a legislative classification. the courts must defer to the legislative judgment. however. we must find that there is no reasonably rational reason for the differing treatment. the result reached might have been the same if the court had held. social welfare development. 42 Stated differently. it was necessary to consider another question. and foreign affairs). is underinclusive will not render it unconstitutionally arbitrary or invidious. running this time. It. proffers the dubious conclusion that the differential treatment of appointive officials vis-à-vis elected officials is not germane to the purpose of the law. [I]t is not sufficient grounds for invalidation that we may find that the statute's distinction is unfair. or might have been.because the disposition of the case is. . for President. Under the present state of our law." 39 In addressing a societal concern. the case as an authoritative precedent as to every point decided. the evils sought to be prevented by the measure remain. 43 There is no constitutional requirement that regulation must reach each and every class to which it might be applied. (2) It is germane to the purposes of the law. 35 The test developed by jurisprudence here and yonder is that of reasonableness. 31 As we held in Villanueva. Classification Germane to the Purposes of the Law The Fariñas ruling on the equal protection challenge stands on solid ground even if reexamined. by itself. third and fourth requisites of reasonableness. where a case presents two (2) or more points. Jr. it must invariably draw lines and make choices. it may proceed "one step at a time. A decision which the case could have turned on is not regarded as obiter dictum merely because. (3) It is not limited to existing conditions only. For example. Thus. any one of which is sufficient to determine the ultimate issue. 37 Our assailed Decision readily acknowledged that these deemed-resigned provisions satisfy the first. An election is the embodiment of the popular will. this conclusion conveniently ignores the long-standing rule that to remedy an injustice. the Vice-President. could wield the same influence as the Vice- . the petitioners failed — and in fact did not even attempt — to discharge this heavy burden. Court of Appeals. Our assailed Decision was likewise silent as a sphinx on this point even while we submitted the following thesis: (1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions. and (4) It applies equally to all members of the same class. on the particular point. made on some other ground. unwise.: SCEDaT . v. et al. let us say. owing to the disposal of the contention." 47 In the case at bar. but the court actually decides all such points. as long as "the bounds of reasonable choice" are not exceeded. underinclusive. . . 48 In the instant case. any person who poses an equal protection challenge must convincingly show that the law creates a classification that is "palpably arbitrary or capricious. perhaps the purest expression of the sovereign power of the people. rather. and one point should not be denied authority merely because another point was more dwelt on and more fully argued and considered. So. . the equal protection clause does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or things without distinction. ." 45 He must refute all possible rational bases for the differing treatment. 36 which has four requisites: President who at the same time is appointed to a Cabinet post (in the recent past. or any Member of the Cabinet for that matter. 40 Nevertheless. there is no valid justification to treat them differently when both file their [Certificates of Candidacy] for the elections. 44 that the Legislature must be held rigidly to the choice of regulating all or none." viz.

and discipline of the public service. the deemed-resigned provisions pursue their objective in a far too heavy-handed manner as to render them unconstitutional. et al. v. et al. We cannot blink away the fact that the United States Supreme Court effectively overruled Mancuso three months after its promulgation by the United States Court of Appeals. It then concluded with the exhortation that since "the Americans. the Legislature. It is certainly within the Legislature's power to make the deemed-resigned provisions applicable to elected officials. Pathetically. For the law was made not merely to preserve the integrity. which struck down as unconstitutional a similar statutory provision. This Court cannot and should not arrogate unto itself the power to ascertain and impose on the people the best state of affairs from a public policy standpoint. Nor do they seek to control political opinions or beliefs. 59 the government has an interest in regulating the conduct and 'the . in his dissent." TCHcAE Our assailed Decision's reliance on Mancuso is completely misplaced. insofar as government employees are concerned. Mancuso v. ethnic. whose wisdom is outside the rubric of judicial scrutiny. It is the Legislature that is given the authority. They discriminate against no racial. Mancuso v. and the country appears to have been that partisan political activities by federal employees must be limited if the Government is to operate effectively and fairly. that elected officials (vis-à-vis appointive officials) have greater political clout over the electorate. Board of Education. or to interfere with or influence anyone's vote at the polls. 53 and Broadrick. v. and extensively cited. but apply equally to all partisan activities of the type described. or religious minorities. should it later decide that the evils sought to be prevented are of such frequency and magnitude as to tilt the balance in favor of expanding the class. 58 iii.In other words. as follows: Finding no Philippine jurisprudence to prop up its equal protection ruling. (3) While the state has a compelling interest in maintaining the honesty and impartiality of its public work force. groups. The Court declared these provisions compliant with the equal protection clause. our assailed Decision. the correct standard of review is an interestbalancing approach. there is no such expectation insofar as appointed officials are concerned. as the Court held in Pickering v.. Mr. In contrast. relying on Mancuso. The absurdity of that position is self-evident. the Executive. (iii) if the employees' expression interferes with the maintenance of efficient and regularly functioning services. over another in which a significant portion thereof is contained. interest of deferring to the sovereign will. Taft Has Been Overruled Letter Carriers elucidated on these principles. and employees themselves are to be sufficiently free from improper influences. It held that (i) in regulating the speech of its employees. had already stricken down a similar measure for being unconstitutional[. the state as employer has interests that differ significantly from those it possesses in regulating the speech of the citizenry in general. the limitation on speech is not unconstitutional. the judgment of Congress. too. also thought it wise to balance this with the competing. 57 Therefore. National Association of Letter Carriers AFL-CIO. State of Oklahoma. 51 (emphasis in the original) In fine. to say the least. et al. and Until now. existing at the behest of both appointive and elected officials. et al. or points of view. (ii) the courts must therefore balance the legitimate interest of employee free expression against the interests of the employer in promoting efficiency of public services. and (iv) the Legislature is to be given some flexibility or latitude in ascertaining which positions are to be covered by any statutory restrictions. it would favor a situation in which the evils are unconfined and vagrant. Justice Nachura. voiced by our esteemed colleague. In United States Civil Service Commission. a means-end scrutiny that examines the closeness of fit between the governmental interests and the prohibitions in question. 52 This was a decision of the First Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals promulgated in March 1973. the assailed Decision would have us "equalize the playing field" by invalidating provisions of law that seek to restrain the evils from running riot. The concern. yet equally compelling. claimed: (1) The right to run for public office is "inextricably linked" with two fundamental freedoms — freedom of expression and association. elections are to play their proper part in representative government. complete deference is accorded to the will of the electorate that they be served by such officials until the end of the term for which they were elected. Under the pretext of equal protection. from whom we copied the provision in question. to balance competing interests and thereafter make policy choices responsive to the exigencies of the times. our assailed Decision adverted to.] it is high-time that we. 54 the United States Supreme Court was faced with the issue of whether statutory provisions prohibiting federal 55 and state 56 employees from taking an active part in political management or in political campaigns were unconstitutional as to warrant facial invalidation. But. (2) Any legislative classification that significantly burdens this fundamental right must be subjected to strict equal protection review. Violation of these provisions results in dismissal from employment and possible criminal sanctions. The restrictions so far imposed on federal employees are not aimed at particular parties. efficiency. Taft. under our constitutional system. CaSHAc The dichotomized treatment of appointive and elective officials is therefore germane to the purposes of the law. Suffice it to say that the remedy lies with the Legislature. should follow suit. is indeed a matter worth exploring — but not by this Court.

A major thesis of the Hatch Act is that to serve this great end of Government — the impartial execution of the laws — it is essential that federal employees. For these and other reasons.' Perhaps Congress at some time will come to a different view of the realities of political life and Government service. . but that is its current view of the matter. and at the same time to make sure that Government employees would be free from pressure and from express or tacit invitation to vote in a certain way or perform political chores in order to curry favor with their superiors rather than to act out their own beliefs.' Rather. in commenting upon matters of public concern and the interest of the (government). For example.' Although Congress is free to strike a different balance than it has. failing to distinguish between conduct that may be proscribed and conduct that must be permitted. its language is unconstitutionally vague and its prohibitions too broad in their sweep. if consistent with the will of Congress. (italics supplied) Broadrick likewise definitively stated that the assailed statutory provision is constitutionally permissible. They are expected to enforce the law and execute the programs of the Government without bias or favoritism for or against any political party or group or the members thereof. free from the vicissitudes of the elective process. at the hearings in 1972 on proposed legislation for liberalizing the prohibition against political activity. and not run for office on partisan political tickets. Another major concern of the restriction against partisan activities by federal employees was perhaps the immediate occasion for enactment of the Hatch Act in 1939. . and this remains as important as any other. rather than in accordance with their own or the will of a political party. Neither the right to associate nor the right to participate in political activities is absolute in any event. if confidence in the system of representative Government is not to be eroded to a disastrous extent. The problem in any case is to arrive at a balance between the interests of the (employee). paid for at public expense. was to further serve the goal that employment and advancement in the Government service not depend on political performance. Nor. We have held today that the Hatch Act is not impermissibly vague. not undertake to play substantial roles in partisan political campaigns. even commendable. That was the conviction that the rapidly expanding Government work force should not be employed to build a powerful. Appellants freely concede that such restrictions serve valid and important state interests. The experience of the 1936 and 1938 campaigns convinced Congress that these dangers were sufficiently real that substantial barriers should be raised against the party in power — or the party out of power. appellants maintain that however permissible. 61 We have little doubt that s 818 is similarly not so vague that . as an employer. or those working for any of its agencies. xxx xxx xxx As we see it. we think the balance it has so far struck is sustainable by the obviously important interests sought to be served by the limitations on partisan political activities now contained in the Hatch Act. the goals of s 818 may be. 60 . There is another consideration in this judgment: it is not only important that the Government and its employees in fact avoid practicing political justice. Forbidding activities like these will reduce the hazards to fair and effective government. and we are not now in any position to dispute it. if it so chooses.: Appellants do not question Oklahoma's right to place even-handed restrictions on the partisan political conduct of state employees. but it is also critical that they appear to the public to be avoiding it. and by protecting them from 'political extortion. particularly with respect to attracting greater numbers of qualified people by insuring their job security. It may be urged that prohibitions against coercion are sufficient protection. . . the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission stated that 'the prohibitions against active participation in partisan political management and partisan political campaigns constitute the most significant safeguards against coercion . appellants assert that the sixth and seventh paragraphs of s 818 are void in toto and cannot be enforced against them or anyone else. our task is not to destroy the Act if we can. but to construe it. invincible. and perhaps corrupt political machine. for example.. for that matter — using the thousands or hundreds of thousands of federal employees. in our view. so as to comport with constitutional limitations. does the Constitution forbid it. but for many years the joint judgment of the Executive and Congress has been that to protect the rights of federal employees with respect to their jobs and their political acts and beliefs it is not enough merely to forbid one employee to attempt to influence or coerce another. in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees.speech of its employees that differ(s) significantly from those it possesses in connection with regulation of the speech of the citizenry in general. should administer the law in accordance with the will of Congress. not take formal positions in political parties. HIDCTA A related concern. to man its political structure and political campaigns. as a citizen. viz. HTSIEa It seems fundamental in the first place that employees in the Executive Branch of the Government.

s 818 is not a censorial statute. We do not believe that the overbreadth doctrine may appropriately be invoked in this manner here. xxx xxx xxx The consequence of our departure from traditional rules of standing in the First Amendment area is that any enforcement of a statute thus placed at issue is totally forbidden until and unless a limiting construction or partial invalidation so narrows it as to remove the seeming threat or deterrence to constitutionally protected expression. or local committees of political parties. manifestly. such statutes have in the past been subject to a less exacting overbreadth scrutiny. . we do not believe that s 818 must be discarded in toto because some persons' arguably protected conduct may or may not be caught or chilled by the statute. serving as delegates or alternates to caucuses or conventions of political parties. soliciting votes or assisting voters at the polls or helping in a partisan effort to get voters to the polls. . . taking part in the management or affairs of any political party's partisan political campaign. addressing or taking an active part in partisan political rallies or meetings. Although such laws. may not be applied. as well as unprotected conduct. judged in relation to the statute's plainly legitimate sweep. therefore. becoming members of national. or candidates for any paid public office. But the plain import of our cases is. . IAEcCT xxx xxx xxx [Appellants] nevertheless maintain that the statute is overbroad and purports to reach protected. we believe that the overbreadth of a statute must not only be real. . Mitchell. Unlike ordinary breach-of-the peace statutes or other broad regulatory acts. Section 818 is not substantially overbroad and it not. . may deter protected speech to some unknown extent. and has been unhesitatingly reaffirmed today in Letter Carriers. participating in the distribution of partisan campaign literature. is applicable here: 'there are limitations in the English language with respect to being both specific and manageably brief. . . But at the same time.' . without sacrifice to the public interest. justify invalidating a statute on its face and so prohibiting a State from enforcing the statute against conduct that is admittedly within its power to proscribe. there is no question that s 818 is valid at least insofar as it forbids classified employees from: soliciting contributions for partisan candidates. HAIaEc . or riding in caravans for any political party or partisan political candidate. assertedly. unconstitutional on its face. by its terms. It is our view that s 818 is not substantially overbroad and that whatever overbreadth may exist should be cured through case-bycase analysis of the fact situations to which its sanctions.' or 'take part in. candidacy or other political purpose' and taking part 'in the management or affairs of any political party or in any political campaign. at political expression which if engaged in by private persons would plainly be protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. if too broadly worded.'men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning. and must therefore be struck down on its face and held to be incapable of any constitutional application. This much was established in United Public Workers v. a limited one at the outset. or officers or committee members in partisan political clubs. The statute. there may be disputes over the meaning of such terms in s 818 as 'partisan. they are set out in terms that the ordinary person exercising ordinary common sense can sufficiently understand and comply with. directed at particular groups or viewpoints. (italics supplied) . attenuates as the otherwise unprotected behavior that it forbids the State to sanction moves from 'pure speech' toward conduct and that conduct-even if expressive-falls within the scope of otherwise valid criminal laws that reflect legitimate state interests in maintaining comprehensive controls over harmful. as presently construed.' 62 Whatever other problems there are with s 818.' or 'affairs of' political parties. Moreover. strong medicine. and it seems to us that although the prohibitions may not satisfy those intent on finding fault at any cost. But. s 818 is directed.' Words inevitably contain germs of uncertainty and. at the very least. or other partisan political purposes. initiating or circulating partisan nominating petitions. constitutionally unprotected conduct. as with the Hatch Act. In the plainest language. it is all but frivolous to suggest that the section fails to give adequate warning of what activities it proscribes or fails to set out 'explicit standards' for those who must apply it. As indicted. It has been employed by the Court sparingly and only as a last resort. Application of the overbreadth doctrine in this manner is. But what was said in Letter Carriers. . it prohibits any state classified employee from being 'an officer or member' of a 'partisan political club' or a candidate for 'any paid public office. there comes a point where that effect-at best a prediction-cannot. seeks to regulate political activity in an even-handed and neutral manner. but substantial as well. Under the decision in Letter Carriers. It may be that such restrictions are impermissible and that s 818 may be susceptible of some other improper applications. state. that facial over-breadth adjudication is an exception to our traditional rules of practice and that its function. the fact remains that s 818 regulates a substantial spectrum of conduct that is as manifestly subject to state regulation as the public peace or criminal trespass. rather. . with confidence. political parties. particularly where conduct and not merely speech is involved. To put the matter another way.' It forbids solicitation of contributions 'for any political organization.

city council member or mayor. the Hatch Act's prohibition against "active participation in political management or political campaigns" 63 with respect to certain defined activities in which they desired to engage. which prohibits "continuing in the classified service of the city after becoming a candidate for nomination or election to any public office. He would hold. and that he would do so except for fear of losing his job by reason of violation of the Hatch Act. In Broadrick. Contrary to his claim. The plaintiffs relevant to this discussion are: THEcAS (a) The National Association of Letter Carriers. as aforesaid.: (1) Mancuso involved a civil service employee who filed as a candidate for nomination as representative to the Rhode Island General Assembly. (italics supplied) . the Hatch Act's prohibition against "active participation in political management or political campaigns. on the other hand. that these cases cannot be interpreted to mean a reversal of Mancuso. Candidacy for local office: Candidacy for a nomination or for election to any National. Justice Nachura does not deny the principles enunciated in Letter Carriers and Broadrick. nonetheless. . The Hatch Act defines "active participation in political management or political campaigns" by cross-referring to the rules made by the Civil Service Commission. and for receiving and distributing campaign posters in bulk. an automatic resignation provision. filed as a candidate for nomination as representative to the Rhode Island General Assembly.: In Letter Carriers. or threatening to enforce. who alleged that he desired to. who alleged that he desired to run as a Republican candidate in the 1971 partisan election for the mayor of West Lafayette. Clearly. among others. viz. to participate as delegates in party conventions. Prior to the commencement of the action." (2) Letter Carriers involved plaintiffs who alleged that the Civil Service Commission was enforcing. The Mayor of Cranston then began the process of enforcing the resign-to-run provision of the City Home Rule Charter. (italics in the original) We hold. Broadrick and Mancuso all concerned the constitutionality of resign-to-run laws. is merely passive is immaterial.It bears stressing that. for soliciting money for the campaign. if an employee acquiesces in the efforts of friends in furtherance of such candidacy such acquiescence constitutes an infraction of the prohibitions against political activity. Letter Carriers. and to hold office in a political club. and (c) Plaintiff Myers. to encourage and get federal employees to run for state and local offices. which alleged that its members were desirous of. (b) Plaintiff Gee. and were administratively charged for asking other Corporation Commission employees to do campaign work or to give referrals to persons who might help in the campaign. The rule pertinent to our inquiry states: 30. as the above-cited US cases pertain to different types of laws and were decided based on a different set of facts. the appellants actively participated in the 1970 reelection campaign of their superior. The prohibition against political activity extends not merely to formal announcement of candidacy but also to the preliminaries leading to such announcement and to canvassing or soliciting support or doing or permitting to be done any act in furtherance of candidacy. Letter Carriers and Broadrick cannot be interpreted to mean a reversal of Mancuso. He assailed the constitutionality of §14. since they "pertain to different types of laws and were decided based on a different set of facts. the appellants sought the invalidation for being vague and overbroad a provision in the (sic) Oklahoma's Merit System of Personnel Administration Act restricting the political activities of the State's classified civil servants. Mr. but did not. however. county. in his Dissenting Opinion. Kenneth Mancuso. or threatening to enforce. Mancuso. The fact that candidacy. in much the same manner as the Hatch Act proscribed partisan political activities of federal employees. file as a candidate for the office of Borough Councilman in his local community for fear that his participation in a partisan election would endanger his job. a full time police officer and classified civil service employee of the City of Cranston. that his position is belied by a plain reading of these cases. or municipal office is not permissible. .09 (c) of the City Home Rule Charter. Indiana. the plaintiffs alleged that the Civil Service Commission was enforcing. running in local elections for offices such as school board member. involves." viz." The plaintiffs desired to campaign for candidates for public office. . State.

and (ii) were decided by a superior court. Letter Carriers and Broadrick compel new analysis. xxx xxx xxx Magill involved Pawtucket. . Both dealt with laws barring civil servants from partisan political activity. Taft. as Letter Carriers and Broadrick (i) concerned virtually identical resign-torun laws. By no stretch of the imagination could Mancuso still be held operative. Consequently. Broadrick sustained Oklahoma's "Little Hatch Act" against constitutional attack." Violation of Section 818 results in dismissal from employment. but the Court gave little weight to the argument that prohibitions against the coercion of government employees were a less drastic means to the same end. . the United States Supreme Court. since the Supreme Court (finding that the government's interest in regulating both the conduct and speech of its employees differed significantly from its interest in regulating those of the citizenry in general) had given little weight to the argument that prohibitions against the coercion of government employees were a less drastic means to the same end. the court. is constitutional. as the district court recognized. Taft than remains after Letter Carriers. Rhode Island firemen who ran for city office in 1975. We cannot be more precise than the Third Circuit in characterizing the Court's approach as "some sort of 'balancing' process". states that "[n]o employee in the classified service shall be . was a position which was no longer viable.Section 9 (b) requires the immediate removal of violators and forbids the use of appropriated funds thereafter to pay compensation to these persons. Oklahoma. the Court in Letter Carriers recognized that the government's interest in regulating both the conduct and speech of its employees differs significantly from its interest in regulating those of the citizenry in general. Becoming a candidate for any city office is specifically proscribed. The firemen brought an action against the city officials on the ground that that the provision of the city charter was unconstitutional. under the circumstances of that case. Nat'l Ass'n of Letter Carriers and Broadrick v. Civil Service Comm'n v. as What we are obligated to do in this case. limiting its holding to Oklahoma's construction that the Act barred only activity in partisan politics. possible criminal sanctions and limited state employment ineligibility. We have particular reference to our view that political candidacy was a fundamental interest which could be trenched upon only if less restrictive alternatives were not available. However. . . The issue compels us to extrapolate two recent Supreme Court decisions. it cannot be denied that Letter Carriers and Broadrick effectively overruled Mancuso. 66 the violation being punished by removal from office or immediate dismissal. Pawtucket's "Little Hatch Act" prohibits city employees from engaging in a broad range of political activities. Mitchell. Section 818 (7). Letter Carriers reaffirmed United Public Workers v. deferring to the judgment of the Congress. which bars a city employee's candidacy in even a nonpartisan city election. . took the position that Mancuso had since lost considerable vitality. Not only was United Public Workers v. It was thus not surprising for the First Circuit Court of Appeals — the same court that decided Mancuso — to hold categorically and emphatically in Magill v. As we priorly explained: it was reasonable for the city to fear. 64 (3) Broadrick was a class action brought by certain Oklahoma state employees seeking a declaration of unconstitutionality of two sub-paragraphs of Section 818 of Oklahoma's Merit System of Personnel Administration Act. 67 aIcCTA It must be noted that the Court of Appeals ruled in this manner even though the election in Magill was characterized as nonpartisan. 68 It appears that the government may place limits on campaigning by public employees if the limits substantially serve government interests that are "important" enough to outweigh the employees' First Amendment rights. In Mancuso v. . Ruled the court: The question before us is whether Pawtucket's charter provision. that politically active bureaucrats might use their official power to help political friends and hurt political foes. a candidate for nomination or election to any paid public office . upholding the constitutionality of the Hatch Act as to federal employees. is to apply the Court's interest balancing approach to the kind of nonpartisan election revealed in this record. We believe that the district court found more residual vigor in our opinion in Mancuso v. and applying a "balancing" test to determine whether limits on political activity by public employees substantially served government interests which were "important" enough to outweigh the employees' First Amendment rights. (italics supplied) . Lynch 65 that Mancuso is no longer good law. While this approach may still be viable for citizens who are not government employees. the paragraph relevant to this discussion. It observed that the view that political candidacy was a fundamental interest which could be infringed upon only if less restrictive alternatives were not available. Mitchell "unhesitatingly" reaffirmed. we assumed that proscriptions of candidacy in nonpartisan elections would not be constitutional. fully cognizant of Letter Carriers and Broadrick. deferring to the judgment of Congress. .

Upholding thus the constitutionality of the law in question, the
Magill court detailed the major governmental interests discussed in
Letter Carriers and applied them to the Pawtucket provision as
follows:
In Letter Carriers[,] the first interest identified by the Court was that of an
efficient government, faithful to the Congress rather than to party. The district
court discounted this interest, reasoning that candidates in a local election
would not likely be committed to a state or national platform. This
observation undoubtedly has substance insofar as allegiance to broad policy
positions is concerned. But a different kind of possible political intrusion into
efficient administration could be thought to threaten municipal government:
not into broad policy decisions, but into the particulars of administration
favoritism in minute decisions affecting welfare, tax assessments, municipal
contracts and purchasing, hiring, zoning, licensing, and inspections. Just as
the Court in Letter Carriers identified a second governmental interest in the
avoidance of the appearance of "political justice" as to policy, so there is an
equivalent interest in avoiding the appearance of political preferment in
privileges, concessions, and benefits. The appearance (or reality) of
favoritism that the charter's authors evidently feared is not exorcised by the
nonpartisan character of the formal election process. Where, as here, party
support is a key to successful campaigning, and party rivalry is the norm, the
city might reasonably fear that politically active bureaucrats would use their
official power to help political friends and hurt political foes. This is not to say
that the city's interest in visibly fair and effective administration necessarily
justifies a blanket prohibition of all employee campaigning; if parties are not
heavily involved in a campaign, the danger of favoritism is less, for neither
friend nor foe is as easily identified. CScaDH
A second major governmental interest identified in Letter Carriers was
avoiding the danger of a powerful political machine. The Court had in mind
the large and growing federal bureaucracy and its partisan potential. The
district court felt this was only a minor threat since parties had no control
over nominations. But in fact candidates sought party endorsements, and
party endorsements proved to be highly effective both in determining who
would emerge from the primary election and who would be elected in the
final election. Under the prevailing customs, known party affiliation and
support were highly significant factors in Pawtucket elections. The charter's
authors might reasonably have feared that a politically active public work
force would give the incumbent party, and the incumbent workers, an
unbreakable grasp on the reins of power. In municipal elections especially,
the small size of the electorate and the limited powers of local government
may inhibit the growth of interest groups powerful enough to outbalance the
weight of a partisan work force. Even when nonpartisan issues and
candidacies are at stake, isolated government employees may seek to
influence voters or their co-workers improperly; but a more real danger is
that a central party structure will mass the scattered powers of government
workers behind a single party platform or slate. Occasional misuse of the
public trust to pursue private political ends is tolerable, especially because
the political views of individual employees may balance each other out. But
party discipline eliminates this diversity and tends to make abuse systematic.

Instead of a handful of employees pressured into advancing their immediate
superior's political ambitions, the entire government work force may be
expected to turn out for many candidates in every election. In Pawtucket,
where parties are a continuing presence in political campaigns, a carefully
orchestrated use of city employees in support of the incumbent party's
candidates is possible. The danger is scarcely lessened by the openness of
Pawtucket's nominating procedure or the lack of party labels on its ballots.
The third area of proper governmental interest in Letter Carriers was
ensuring that employees achieve advancement on their merits and that they
be free from both coercion and the prospect of favor from political activity.
The district court did not address this factor, but looked only to the possibility
of a civil servant using his position to influence voters, and held this to be no
more of a threat than in the most nonpartisan of elections. But we think that
the possibility of coercion of employees by superiors remains as strong a
factor in municipal elections as it was in Letter Carriers. Once again, it is the
systematic and coordinated exploitation of public servants for political ends
that a legislature is most likely to see as the primary threat of employees'
rights. Political oppression of public employees will be rare in an entirely
nonpartisan system. Some superiors may be inclined to ride herd on the
politics of their employees even in a nonpartisan context, but without party
officials looking over their shoulders most supervisors will prefer to let
employees go their own ways.
In short, the government may constitutionally restrict its employees'
participation in nominally nonpartisan elections if political parties play a large
role in the campaigns. In the absence of substantial party involvement, on
the other hand, the interests identified by the Letter Carriers Court lose much
of their force. While the employees' First Amendment rights would normally
outbalance these diminished interests, we do not suggest that they would
always do so. Even when parties are absent, many employee campaigns
might be thought to endanger at least one strong public interest, an interest
that looms larger in the context of municipal elections than it does in the
national elections considered in Letter Carriers. The city could reasonably
fear the prospect of a subordinate running directly against his superior or
running for a position that confers great power over his superior. An
employee of a federal agency who seeks a Congressional seat poses less of
a direct challenge to the command and discipline of his agency than a
fireman or policeman who runs for mayor or city council. The possibilities of
internal discussion, cliques, and political bargaining, should an employee
gather substantial political support, are considerable. (citations omitted)
TEaADS
The court, however, remanded the case to the district court for
further proceedings in respect of the petitioners' overbreadth
charge. Noting that invalidating a statute for being overbroad is "not
to be taken lightly, much less to be taken in the dark," the court
held:

The governing case is Broadrick, which introduced the doctrine of
"substantial" overbreadth in a closely analogous case. Under Broadrick,
when one who challenges a law has engaged in constitutionally
unprotected conduct (rather than unprotected speech) and when the
challenged law is aimed at unprotected conduct, "the overbreadth of a
statute must not only be real, but substantial as well, judged in relation to
the statute's plainly legitimate sweep." Two major uncertainties attend the
doctrine: how to distinguish speech from conduct, and how to define
"substantial" overbreadth. We are spared the first inquiry by Broadrick
itself. The plaintiffs in that case had solicited support for a candidate, and
they were subject to discipline under a law proscribing a wide range of
activities, including soliciting contributions for political candidates and
becoming a candidate. The Court found that this combination required a
substantial overbreadth approach. The facts of this case are so similar
that we may reach the same result without worrying unduly about the
sometimes opaque distinction between speech and conduct.
The second difficulty is not so easily disposed of. Broadrick found no
substantial overbreadth in a statute restricting partisan campaigning.
Pawtucket has gone further, banning participation in nonpartisan
campaigns as well. Measuring the substantiality of a statute's
overbreadth apparently requires, inter alia, a rough balancing of the
number of valid applications compared to the number of potentially
invalid applications. Some sensitivity to reality is needed; an invalid
application that is far-fetched does not deserve as much weight as one
that is probable. The question is a matter of degree; it will never be
possible to say that a ratio of one invalid to nine valid applications makes
a law substantially overbroad. Still, an overbreadth challenger has a duty
to provide the court with some idea of the number of potentially invalid
applications the statute permits. Often, simply reading the statute in the
light of common experience or litigated cases will suggest a number of
probable invalid applications. But this case is different. Whether the
statute is overbroad depends in large part on the number of elections that
are insulated from party rivalry yet closed to Pawtucket employees. For
all the record shows, every one of the city, state, or federal elections in
Pawtucket is actively contested by political parties. Certainly the record
suggests that parties play a major role even in campaigns that often are
entirely nonpartisan in other cities. School committee candidates, for
example, are endorsed by the local Democratic committee.
The state of the record does not permit us to find
overbreadth; indeed such a step is not to be taken lightly,
much less to be taken in the dark. On the other hand, the
entire focus below, in the short period before the election
was held, was on the constitutionality of the statute as
applied. Plaintiffs may very well feel that further efforts are
not justified, but they should be afforded the opportunity to
demonstrate that the charter forecloses access to a
significant number of offices, the candidacy for which by
municipal employees would not pose the possible threats
to government efficiency and integrity which Letter

Carriers, as we have interpreted it, deems significant.
Accordingly, we remand for consideration of plaintiffs'
overbreadth claim. (italics supplied, citations omitted)
Clearly, Letter Carriers, Broadrick, and Magill demonstrate
beyond doubt that Mancuso v. Taft, heavily relied upon by the
ponencia, has effectively been overruled. 69 As it is no longer
good law, the ponencia's exhortation that "[since] the Americans,
from whom we copied the provision in question, had already
stricken down a similar measure for being unconstitutional[,] it is
high-time that we, too, should follow suit" is misplaced and
unwarranted. 70
Accordingly, our assailed Decision's submission that the right to run for public office is
"inextricably linked" with two fundamental freedoms — those of expression and
association — lies on barren ground. American case law has in fact never recognized
a fundamental right to express one's political views through candidacy, 71 as to
invoke a rigorous standard of review. 72 Bart v. Telford 73 pointedly stated that
"[t]he First Amendment does not in terms confer a right to run for public office, and this
court has held that it does not do so by implication either." Thus, one's interest in
seeking office, by itself, is not entitled to constitutional protection. 74 Moreover, one
cannot bring one's action under the rubric of freedom of association, absent any
allegation that, by running for an elective position, one is advancing the political ideas of
a particular set of voters. 75 HTSAEa
Prescinding from these premises, it is crystal clear that the provisions challenged in the
case at bar, are not violative of the equal protection clause. The deemed-resigned
provisions substantially serve governmental interests (i.e., (i) efficient civil service
faithful to the government and the people rather than to party; (ii) avoidance of the
appearance of "political justice" as to policy; (iii) avoidance of the danger of a powerful
political machine; and (iv) ensuring that employees achieve advancement on their
merits and that they be free from both coercion and the prospect of favor from political
activity). These are interests that are important enough to outweigh the nonfundamental right of appointive officials and employees to seek elective office.
En passant, we find it quite ironic that Mr. Justice Nachura cites Clements v. Fashing
76 and Morial, et al. v. Judiciary Commission of the State of Louisiana, et al. 77 to
buttress his dissent. Maintaining that resign-to-run provisions are valid only when made
applicable to specified officials, he explains:
. . . U.S. courts, in subsequent cases, sustained the constitutionality
of resign-to-run provisions when applied to specified or particular
officials, as distinguished from all others, 78 under a
classification that is germane to the purposes of the law. These
resign-to-run legislations were not expressed in a general and
sweeping provision, and thus did not violate the test of being
germane to the purpose of the law, the second requisite for a
valid classification. Directed, as they were, to particular officials,
they were not overly encompassing as to be overbroad. (emphasis
in the original)

This reading is a regrettable misrepresentation of Clements and Morial. The resign-torun provisions in these cases were upheld not because they referred to specified or
particular officials (vis-à-vis a general class); the questioned provisions were found valid
precisely because the Court deferred to legislative judgment and found that a
regulation is not devoid of a rational predicate simply because it happens to be
incomplete. In fact, the equal protection challenge in Clements revolved around the
claim that the State of Texas failed to explain why some public officials are subject to
the resign-to-run provisions, while others are not. Ruled the United States Supreme
Court:
Article XVI, § 65, of the Texas Constitution provides that the holders of
certain offices automatically resign their positions if they become
candidates for any other elected office, unless the unexpired portion of the
current term is one year or less. The burdens that § 65 imposes on
candidacy are even less substantial than those imposed by § 19. The two
provisions, of course, serve essentially the same state interests. The
District Court found § 65 deficient, however, not because of the nature or
extent of the provision's restriction on candidacy, but because of the
manner in which the offices are classified. According to the District Court,
the classification system cannot survive equal protection scrutiny, because
Texas has failed to explain sufficiently why some elected public officials are
subject to § 65 and why others are not. As with the case of § 19, we
conclude that § 65 survives a challenge under the Equal Protection Clause
unless appellees can show that there is no rational predicate to the
classification scheme. TcSICH
The history behind § 65 shows that it may be upheld consistent with the
"one step at a time" approach that this Court has undertaken with regard to
state regulation not subject to more vigorous scrutiny than that sanctioned
by the traditional principles. Section 65 was enacted in 1954 as a
transitional provision applying only to the 1954 election. Section 65
extended the terms of those offices enumerated in the provision from two to
four years. The provision also staggered the terms of other offices so that at
least some county and local offices would be contested at each election.
The automatic resignation proviso to § 65 was not added until 1958. In that
year, a similar automatic resignation provision was added in Art. XI, § 11,
which applies to officeholders in home rule cities who serve terms longer
than two years. Section 11 allows home rule cities the option of extending
the terms of municipal offices from two to up to four years.
Thus, the automatic resignation provision in Texas is a creature of the
State's electoral reforms of 1958. That the State did not go further in
applying the automatic resignation provision to those officeholders whose
terms were not extended by § 11 or § 65, absent an invidious purpose, is
not the sort of malfunctioning of the State's lawmaking process forbidden
by the Equal Protection Clause. A regulation is not devoid of a rational
predicate simply because it happens to be incomplete. The Equal
Protection Clause does not forbid Texas to restrict one elected
officeholder's candidacy for another elected office unless and until it places
similar restrictions on other officeholders. The provision's language and its
history belie any notion that § 65 serves the invidious purpose of denying

access to the political process to identifiable classes of potential
candidates. (citations omitted and italics supplied)
Furthermore, it is unfortunate that the dissenters took the Morial line that "there is no
blanket approval of restrictions on the right of public employees to become candidates
for public office" out of context. A correct reading of that line readily shows that the Court
only meant to confine its ruling to the facts of that case, as each equal protection
challenge would necessarily have to involve weighing governmental interests vis-à-vis
the specific prohibition assailed. The Court held:
The interests of public employees in free expression and political
association are unquestionably entitled to the protection of the first and
fourteenth amendments. Nothing in today's decision should be taken to
imply that public employees may be prohibited from expressing their private
views on controversial topics in a manner that does not interfere with the
proper performance of their public duties. In today's decision, there is no
blanket approval of restrictions on the right of public employees to become
candidates for public office. Nor do we approve any general restrictions on
the political and civil rights of judges in particular. Our holding is necessarily
narrowed by the methodology employed to reach it. A requirement that a
state judge resign his office prior to becoming a candidate for non-judicial
office bears a reasonably necessary relation to the achievement of the
state's interest in preventing the actuality or appearance of judicial
impropriety. Such a requirement offends neither the first amendment's
guarantees of free expression and association nor the fourteenth
amendment's guarantee of equal protection of the laws. (italics supplied)
cTCEIS
Indeed, the Morial court even quoted Broadrick and stated that:
In any event, the legislature must have some leeway in determining which of
its employment positions require restrictions on partisan political activities
and which may be left unregulated. And a State can hardly be faulted for
attempting to limit the positions upon which such restrictions are placed.
(citations omitted)
V.
Section 4(a) of Resolution
and
Section
66
of
Do Not Suffer from Overbreadth

8678,
the

Section 13 of RA
Omnibus
Election

9369,
Code

Apart from nullifying Section 4 (a) of Resolution 8678, Section 13 of RA 9369, and
Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code on equal protection ground, our assailed
Decision struck them down for being overbroad in two respects, viz.:
(1) The assailed provisions limit the candidacy of all civil servants
holding appointive posts without due regard for the type of
position being held by the employee seeking an elective

post and the degree of influence that may be attendant
thereto; 79 and

ii. Limitation
on
Regardless of Type of Office Sought, Valid

(2) The assailed provisions limit the candidacy of any and all civil
servants holding appointive positions without due regard
for the type of office being sought, whether it be partisan
or nonpartisan in character, or in the national, municipal or
barangay level.

The assailed Decision also held that the challenged provisions of law are overly broad
because they are made to apply indiscriminately to all civil servants holding appointive
offices, without due regard for the type of elective office being sought, whether it be
partisan or nonpartisan in character, or in the national, municipal or barangay level.

Again, on second look, we have to revise our assailed Decision.
i. Limitation
on
Candidacy
Incumbent Appointive Official's Position, Valid

Regardless

of

According to the assailed Decision, the challenged provisions of law are overly broad
because they apply indiscriminately to all civil servants holding appointive posts, without
due regard for the type of position being held by the employee running for elective office
and the degree of influence that may be attendant thereto.
Its underlying assumption appears to be that the evils sought to be prevented are extant
only when the incumbent appointive official running for elective office holds an influential
post.
Such a myopic view obviously fails to consider a different, yet equally plausible, threat
to the government posed by the partisan potential of a large and growing bureaucracy:
the danger of systematic abuse perpetuated by a "powerful political machine" that has
amassed "the scattered powers of government workers" so as to give itself and its
incumbent workers an "unbreakable grasp on the reins of power." 80 As elucidated in
our prior exposition: 81 EHTSCD
Attempts by government employees to wield influence over others or to
make use of their respective positions (apparently) to promote their own
candidacy may seem tolerable — even innocuous — particularly when
viewed in isolation from other similar attempts by other government
employees. Yet it would be decidedly foolhardy to discount the equally (if
not more) realistic and dangerous possibility that such seemingly
disjointed attempts, when taken together, constitute a veiled effort on the
part of an emerging central party structure to advance its own agenda
through a "carefully orchestrated use of [appointive and/or elective]
officials" coming from various levels of the bureaucracy.
. . . [T]he avoidance of such a "politically active public work force" which
could give an emerging political machine an "unbreakable grasp on the
reins of power" is reason enough to impose a restriction on the
candidacies of all appointive public officials without further distinction as to
the type of positions being held by such employees or the degree of
influence that may be attendant thereto. (citations omitted)

Candidacy

This erroneous ruling is premised on the assumption that "the concerns of a truly
partisan office and the temptations it fosters are sufficiently different from those involved
in an office removed from regular party politics [so as] to warrant distinctive treatment,"
82 so that restrictions on candidacy akin to those imposed by the challenged provisions
can validly apply only to situations in which the elective office sought is partisan in
character. To the extent, therefore, that such restrictions are said to preclude even
candidacies for nonpartisan elective offices, the challenged restrictions are to be
considered as overbroad.
Again, a careful study of the challenged provisions and related laws on the matter will
show that the alleged overbreadth is more apparent than real. Our exposition on this
issue has not been repudiated, viz.:
A perusal of Resolution 8678 will immediately disclose that the rules and
guidelines set forth therein refer to the filing of certificates of candidacy
and nomination of official candidates of registered political parties, in
connection with the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections. 83
Obviously, these rules and guidelines, including the restriction in Section
4(a) of Resolution 8678, were issued specifically for purposes of the May
10, 2010 National and Local Elections, which, it must be noted, are
decidedly partisan in character. Thus, it is clear that the restriction in
Section 4(a) of RA 8678 applies only to the candidacies of appointive
officials vying for partisan elective posts in the May 10, 2010 National and
Local Elections. On this score, the overbreadth challenge leveled against
Section 4 (a) is clearly unsustainable. aIcDCH
Similarly, a considered review of Section 13 of RA 9369 and Section 66 of
the Omnibus Election Code, in conjunction with other related laws on the
matter, will confirm that these provisions are likewise not intended to apply
to elections for nonpartisan public offices.
The only elections which are relevant to the present inquiry are the
elections for barangay offices, since these are the only elections in this
country which involve nonpartisan public offices. 84
In this regard, it is well to note that from as far back as the enactment of
the Omnibus Election Code in 1985, Congress has intended that these
nonpartisan barangay elections be governed by special rules, including a
separate rule on deemed resignations which is found in Section 39 of the
Omnibus Election Code. Said provision states:

Section 39. Certificate of Candidacy. — No person shall be elected
punong barangay or kagawad ng sangguniang barangay unless he
files a sworn certificate of candidacy in triplicate on any day from the
commencement of the election period but not later than the day
before the beginning of the campaign period in a form to be
prescribed by the Commission. The candidate shall state the
barangay office for which he is a candidate.
xxx xxx xxx
Any elective or appointive municipal, city, provincial or national
official or employee, or those in the civil or military service, including
those in government-owned or-controlled corporations, shall be
considered automatically resigned upon the filing of certificate of
candidacy for a barangay office.
Since barangay elections are governed by a separate deemed resignation
rule, under the present state of law, there would be no occasion to apply
the restriction on candidacy found in Section 66 of the Omnibus Election
Code, and later reiterated in the proviso of Section 13 of RA 9369, to any
election other than a partisan one. For this reason, the overbreadth
challenge raised against Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code and the
pertinent proviso in Section 13 of RA 9369 must also fail. 85
In any event, even if we were to assume, for the sake of argument, that Section 66 of
the Omnibus Election Code and the corresponding provision in Section 13 of RA 9369
are general rules that apply also to elections for nonpartisan public offices, the
overbreadth challenge would still be futile. Again, we explained:
In the first place, the view that Congress is limited to controlling only partisan
behavior has not received judicial imprimatur, because the general
proposition of the relevant US cases on the matter is simply that the
government has an interest in regulating the conduct and speech of its
employees that differs significantly from those it possesses in connection with
regulation of the speech of the citizenry in general. 86
Moreover, in order to have a statute declared as unconstitutional or void on its
face for being overly broad, particularly where, as in this case, "conduct" and
not "pure speech" is involved, the overbreadth must not only be real, but
substantial as well, judged in relation to the statute's plainly legitimate sweep.
87 DaTEIc
In operational terms, measuring the substantiality of a statute's overbreadth
would entail, among other things, a rough balancing of the number of valid
applications compared to the number of potentially invalid applications. 88 In
this regard, some sensitivity to reality is needed; an invalid application that is
far-fetched does not deserve as much weight as one that is probable. 89 The
question is a matter of degree. 90 Thus, assuming for the sake of argument
that the partisan-nonpartisan distinction is valid and necessary such that a

statute which fails to make this distinction is susceptible to an overbreadth
attack, the overbreadth challenge presently mounted must demonstrate or
provide this Court with some idea of the number of potentially invalid elections
(i.e., the number of elections that were insulated from party rivalry but were
nevertheless closed to appointive employees) that may in all probability result
from the enforcement of the statute. 91
The state of the record, however, does not permit us to find overbreadth.
Borrowing from the words of Magill v. Lynch, indeed, such a step is not to be
taken lightly, much less to be taken in the dark, 92 especially since an
overbreadth finding in this case would effectively prohibit the State from
'enforcing an otherwise valid measure against conduct that is admittedly
within its power to proscribe.' 93
This Court would do well to proceed with tiptoe caution, particularly when it comes to
the application of the overbreadth doctrine in the analysis of statutes that purportedly
attempt to restrict or burden the exercise of the right to freedom of speech, for such
approach is manifestly strong medicine that must be used sparingly, and only as a last
resort. 94 EcIaTA
In the United States, claims of facial overbreadth have been entertained only where, in
the judgment of the court, the possibility that protected speech of others may be muted
and perceived grievances left to fester (due to the possible inhibitory effects of overly
broad statutes) outweighs the possible harm to society in allowing some unprotected
speech or conduct to go unpunished. 95 Facial overbreadth has likewise not been
invoked where a limiting construction could be placed on the challenged statute, and
where there are readily apparent constructions that would cure, or at least substantially
reduce, the alleged overbreadth of the statute. 96
In the case at bar, the probable harm to society in permitting incumbent appointive
officials to remain in office, even as they actively pursue elective posts, far outweighs
the less likely evil of having arguably protected candidacies blocked by the possible
inhibitory effect of a potentially overly broad statute.
In this light, the conceivably impermissible applications of the challenged statutes —
which are, at best, bold predictions — cannot justify invalidating these statutes in toto
and prohibiting the State from enforcing them against conduct that is, and has for more
than 100 years been, unquestionably within its power and interest to proscribe. 97
Instead, the more prudent approach would be to deal with these conceivably
impermissible applications through case-by-case adjudication rather than through a total
invalidation of the statute itself. 98
Indeed, the anomalies spawned by our assailed Decision have taken place. In his
Motion for Reconsideration, intervenor Drilon stated that a number of high-ranking
Cabinet members had already filed their Certificates of Candidacy without relinquishing
their posts. 99 Several COMELEC election officers had likewise filed their Certificates of
Candidacy in their respective provinces. 100 Even the Secretary of Justice had filed her
certificate of substitution for representative of the first district of Quezon province last
December 14, 2009 101 — even as her position as Justice Secretary includes
supervision over the City and Provincial Prosecutors, 102 who, in turn, act as Vice-

Bersamin. directly or indirectly. REVERSE and SET ASIDE this Court's December 1. and work. to promote their candidacies or the candidacies of other persons. DISMISS the Petition. A person merely exercising his or her right to vote does not. other candidates vying for the same elective office. thus: IN VIEW WHEREOF. Fourth. it was clear that the exercise of the right to vote is the only non-partisan Second. . Corona. Villarama. From the moment the civil servant files his or her Certificate of Candidacy. Commissioner Christian Monsod declared that. Section 5(3). We have seen the spectacle of civil servants who. directly or indirectly. once a person becomes an official candidate. . Article XVI of the Constitution No member of the military shall engage. by the very nature of the act. 103 The Judiciary has not been spared. Leonardo-de Castro.. and the resources of their office. Nachura. . ECaITc Separate Opinions CARPIO. and (3) Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code. JJ. he abandons the role of a mere passive voter in an election. Indeed. and ISSUE this Resolution declaring as not UNCONSTITUTIONAL (1) Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. (2) the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic Act No. and assumes the role of a political partisan. the Constitution provides: Section 2(4). are not unconstitutionally overbroad. Article IX-B of the Constitution No officer or employee in the civil service shall engage. We cannot allow the tilting of our electoral playing field in their favor. IDCHTE SO ORDERED. Puno. Abad. Brion. only a candidate for a political office files a Certificate of Candidacy. a candidate filing his or her Certificate of Candidacy almost always states in the Certificate of Candidacy the name of the political party to which he or she belongs.Chairmen of the respective Boards of Canvassers. Velasco. an electioneering or partisan political activity. Section 79 (b) of the Omnibus Election Code implements this by declaring that any act designed to elect or promote the election of a candidate is an electioneering or partisan political activity. he or she is immediately identified as a political partisan because everyone knows he or she will prepare. Thus. J. Perez and Mendoza. Jr. 2009 Decision." 1 For the foregoing reasons. more often than not. the mere filing of a Certificate of Candidacy is a definitive announcement to the world that a person will actively solicit the votes of the electorate to win an elective public office. "As a matter of fact. Carpio. the constitutional ban prohibiting civil servants from engaging in partisan political activities is intended. except to vote. First. This constitutional ban is violated when a civil servant files his or her Certificate of Candidacy as a candidate of a political party. to keep the civil service non-partisan. political activity a citizen can do. Carpio Morales. Two provisions of the Constitution. mandate that civil service employees cannot engage in any electioneering or partisan political activity except to vote. The term "election campaign" or "partisan political activity"refers to an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office .. Fifth. for the victory of his or her political party in the elections.. Third. The filing of a Certificate of Candidacy for an elective position is. in any partisan political activity. we now rule that Section 4 (a) of Resolution 8678 and Section 13 of RA 9369. A candidate for a political office is necessarily a partisan political candidate because he or she is contesting an elective office against other political candidates. . The candidate and the electorate know that there are. for a Regional Trial Court Judge in the South has thrown his hat into the political arena. Peralta. taken together. The candidate will even attach to his or her Certificate of Candidacy the certification of his or her political party that he or she is the official candidate of the political party. among others. still cling to their public office while campaigning during office hours." Filing a certificate of candidacy is obviously a partisan political activity. All other political activities are deemed partisan.. concur. Such an announcement is already a promotion of the candidate's election to public office. Jr. a candidate promoting his own candidacy to public office. Thus. in any electioneering or partisan political activity. Indisputably. the Court RESOLVES to GRANT the respondent's and the intervenors' Motions for Reconsideration. the constitutional ban prohibiting civil servants from engaging in partisan political activities is also intended to prevent civil servants from using their office. 9369. During the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission on these provisions of the Constitution. making the contest politically partisan. the only non partisan political activity one can engage in as a citizen is voting. after filing their certificates of candidacies. any political activity except to vote is a partisan political activity. Such certification by a political party is obviously designed to promote the election of the candidate. which merely reiterate Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code. Del Castillo. 8678. concurring: I concur with the ponencia of Chief Justice Reynato S.

I find no compelling reason to excuse movants' procedural lapse and allow their much belated intervention. These very same points. 10 Petitioner Tolentino. through its Law Department. still hold on to their public office. Accordingly. the majority refused to rectify an unjust rule. a former senator and a senatorial candidate in the 2010 elections. Section 2. (b) Admit Attached Motion for Reconsideration. remain ubiquitously present. leaving in favor of a discriminatory state regulation and disregarding the primacy of the people's fundamental rights to the equal protection of the laws. after filing their certificates of candidacies. which initially represented the COMELEC in the proceedings herein. Cebu City Chapter. Drilon. 6 In a related development. They should have intervened prior to the rendition of this Court's Decision on December 1. Set the Instant Case for Oral Arguments. Tom V. I therefore respectfully register my dissent to the resolution of the majority granting the motion for reconsideration. 8 Finally. his Motion for Leave to Intervene and to Admit the Attached Motion for Reconsideration in Intervention. on the other hand. 9369. 1 Claiming to have legal interest in the matter in litigation. 2010. Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) and Section 4 (a) of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution No. his Motion to Intervene and for the Reconsideration of the Decision dated December 1. viewed in relation to other appointive civil servants running for elective office. petitioner Quinto admitted that he did not pursue his plan to run for an elective office. the COMELEC merely echoed the arguments of the dissenters. considering that the issues. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). as well as Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code. Further. Subsequently. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Roxas filed. 2009. These developments could very well be viewed by the Court as having rendered this case moot and academic. this time disagreed with the latter. Thus. moved for the reconsideration of the aforesaid December 1. The COMELEC's motion for reconsideration Interestingly. EHDCAI On February 1. his Omnibus Motion for Leave of Court to: (a) Intervene in the Instant Case. I vote to grant respondent Comelec's Motion for Reconsideration. the Court rendered its Decision granting the petition and declaring as unconstitutional the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic Act (R." 11 Obviously. instead of moving for the reconsideration of the December 1. disclosed that he filed his certificate of candidacy but that he had recently resigned from his post in the executive department. even as the Court should deny the motions for intervention. pass upon the issues raised therein. As aforesaid. as this Court already rendered judgment on December 1. Thus. 3 Expressing a similar desire. 2009 Decision. 2009. on January 11. on January 8. dissenting: I vote to maintain this Court's December 1. 2 On the same date. 2009. cannot claim to have been unaware of the pendency of this much publicized case. on December 1. 8678. filed. 12 The movants. Senator Manuel A.A. IBP-Cebu City Chapter. and (c) If Necessary. We have seen Comelec officials who. Section 11 of R. 2009. the issues in the instant case could fall within the classification of controversies that are capable of repetition yet evading review. Parenthetically. 2009. cAaETS NACHURA. because they were the same issues raised in respondent COMELEC's motion for reconsideration. petitioners filed their consolidated comment on the motions. unconstitutional. 2010 Resolution. 2009. The automatic resignation rule on appointive government officials and employees running for elective posts is. on December 14. The intervention Let it be recalled that. I earnestly believe that by this resolution. I refuse to proceed to such a conclusion. to my mind. No. 9369. the constitutional ban prohibiting civil servants from engaging in partisan political activities is further intended to prevent conflict of interest. Apacible. 7 The motions for intervention should be denied.) No. However. To allow their intervention at this juncture is unwarranted and highly irregular. it is necessary to. Roxas. 2009 Decision. respondent COMELEC.Sixth. filing of a Certificate of Candidacy is a partisan political act that ipso facto operates to consider the candidate deemed resigned from public office pursuant to paragraph 3. 2010. In its January 12. moved for clarification of the effect of our declaration of unconstitutionality. 4 On December 28. also constitute the gravamen of the motion for reconsideration filed by respondent COMELEC. as amended. I then implore that the Court rule on the motions. Drilon. the COMELEC does not raise a matter other than those already considered and discussed by the Court in the assailed decision.A.. and. as amended by R. Franklin M. 13 While the Court has the power to suspend the application of procedural rules. a congressional candidate in the 2010 elections. Rule 19 of the Rules of Court explicitly states that motions to intervene may be filed at any time "before the rendition of judgment. intervention may no longer be allowed. a perusal of their pleadings-in-intervention reveals that they merely restated the points and arguments in the earlier dissenting opinions of Chief Justice Puno and Senior Associate Justices Carpio and Carpio Morales. 9 the Court required petitioners to comment on the aforesaid motions. in its motion for reconsideration. also filed its Motion for Leave to Intervene 5 and Motion for Reconsideration in Intervention. incidentally. on December 17. J. No.A. . 2009. 2009 Decision. and Apacible. filed. 8436. 2010.

regardless of whether they occupy positions of influence in government or not. the measure is not reasonably necessary to. To impose a prohibitive measure intended to curb this evil of wielding undue influence on the electorate and apply the prohibition only on appointive officials is Sec. therefore.A. this ipso facto resignation rule is overbroad. it may not be amiss to state that. as clearly shown. Certainly. . whether one holds an appointive office or an elective one. Section 66 of the OEC and Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. which reads: Sec. We reiterate our earlier pronouncement that specific evils require specific remedies. compared to a governor or a mayor. . Furthermore. may use his position to promote his candidacy or to wield a dangerous or coercive influence on the electorate. among others. This is illustrated by. 8678 are unconstitutional for being violative of the equal protection clause and for being overbroad. and treating them differently by considering the first as ipso facto resigned while the second as not. despite their employment in the government. in his dissent to the assailed decision. he may also. offensive to the equal protection clause. . No compelling state interest has been shown to justify such a broad. nor does it necessarily promote. classifying candidates. the elective officials. because. a chauffeur. not only downright ineffectual. a messenger. Yet it would be decidedly foolhardy to discount the equally (if not more) realistic and dangerous possibility that such seemingly disjointed attempts. The fact alone that there is substantial distinction between the two classes does not justify such disparate treatment. It may also be pointed out that this automatic resignation rule has no pretense to be the exclusive and only available remedy to curb the uncontrolled exercise of undue influence and the feared "danger of systemic abuse. the Court did not act in a manner inconsistent with Section 2 (4) of Article IX-B of the Constitution. in any electioneering or partisan political activity. . In addition. Let it be noted. (4) No officer or employee in the civil service shall engage. but not considering as resigned all other civil servants. Constitutional law jurisprudence requires that the classification must and should be germane to the purposes of the law. our Constitution and our body of laws are replete with provisions that directly address these evils. more often than not. whether in the national. a candidate. the proliferation of "private armies" especially in the provinces. I wish to reiterate the Court's earlier declaration that the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of R. municipal or barangay level. including the right to aspire for elective public office. whether holding an appointive or an elective office. thus — CDHaET Attempts by government employees to wield influence over others or to make use of their respective positions (apparently) to promote their own candidacy may seem tolerable — even innocuous — particularly when viewed in isolation from other similar attempts by other government employees. As clearly explained in the assailed decision. not overly broad measures that unduly restrict guaranteed freedoms. whether they hold appointive or elective positions. be cowed to submit to their dictates and vote for them. 5. with the greater tendency to misuse the powers of their office. as shown in the assailed decision. In considering persons holding appointive positions as ipso facto resigned from their posts upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy (CoCs). Indeed. It covers all civil servants holding appointive posts without distinction. specifically the elective ones. Under the same scenario. the fulfillment of the state interest sought to be served by the statute. an undersecretary or a bureau head. It is unreasonable and excessive. civil servants remain citizens of the country. even acknowledges that the "danger of systemic abuse" remains present whether the involved candidate holds an appointive or an elective office. as he will predictably prioritize his campaign. It is common knowledge that "private armies" are backed or even formed by elective officials precisely for the latter to ensure that the electorate will not oppose them. be swayed by political considerations. .I remain unpersuaded. . this general provision on automatic resignation is directed to the activity of seeking any and all public elective offices. which reads: In fact. . when taken together. not the appointive ones. The armed forces shall be insulated from partisan politics. No. 14 To repeat for emphasis. can form his own "private army" to wield undue influence on the electorate. encompassing and sweeping application of the law. directly or indirectly. or with Section 5 (3). (3) Professionalism in the armed forces and adequate remuneration and benefits of its members shall be a prime concern of the State. 9369. whether partisan or nonpartisan in character. . that." As we have explained in the assailed decision. but is also. the law unduly discriminates against the first class. Likewise. it is also unimaginable how an appointive utility worker. the evils sought to be prevented by the measure remain. entitled to enjoy the civil and political rights granted to them in a democracy. in the discharge of his official duties. Chief Justice Puno. or an industrial worker in the government service cannot exert the same influence as that of a Cabinet member. Parenthetically. to impose a blanket prohibition — one intended to discourage civil servants from using their positions to influence the votes — on all civil servants without considering the nature of their positions. is not germane to the purposes of the law. HIaSDc It should be stressed that when the Court struck down (in the earlier decision) the assailed provisions. 2. . he may neglect his or her official duties. a utility worker. as the Court explained in the assailed decision. constitute a veiled effort on the part of a reigning political party to advance its own agenda through a "carefully orchestrated use of [appointive and/or elective] officials" coming from various levels of the bureaucracy. Article XVI of the Constitution. exert more coercive influence on the electorate.

The act of filing is only an announcement of one's intention to run for office. Thus. (3) Making speeches. do not transgress or violate the Constitution and the law. 55. In any event. there is yet no candidate whose election or defeat will be promoted. it is obvious that the filing of a Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for an elective position. the main issue therein being the constitutionality of the repealing clause in the Fair Election Act. is obiter dictum. Neither does the Court's earlier ruling infringe on Section 55. Commission on Elections and Edgar T. Nothing herein provided shall be understood to prevent any officer or employee from expressing his views on current political problems or issues. shall engage directly or indirectly in any partisan political activity or take part in any election except to vote nor shall he use his official authority or influence to coerce the political activity of any other person or body. Chapter 8. In fact. Title I. or from mentioning the names of candidates for public office whom he supports: Provided. Political Activity. There is a need to point out that the discussion in Fariñas v. That public officers and employees holding political offices may take part in political and electoral activities but it shall be unlawful for them to solicit contributions from their subordinates or subject them to any of the acts involving subordinates prohibited in the Election Code. they are not engaging in a "partisan political activity" and. is not a "partisan political activity" within the contemplation of the law. (2) Holding political caucuses. Definitions. Andanar 16 instructs that any person who files his CoC shall only be considered a candidate at the start of the campaign period. announcements or commentaries. Penera v. associations. 17 relative to the differential treatment of the two classes of civil servants in relation to the ipso facto resignation clause. except to vote. parades. or holding interviews for or against the election of any candidate for public office. conferences. The Executive Secretary. That discussion is not necessary to the decision of the case. It is only an aspiration for a public office. rallies. Given the aforequoted Section 79 (b). — As used in this Code: xxx xxx xxx (b) The term "election campaign" or "partisan political activity" refers to an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office which shall include: (1) Forming organizations. Further. for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate. the Court en banc. in the absence of a "candidate. 2009 Decision. DaScAI (4) Publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate. can very well reexamine. — No officer or employee in the Civil Service including members of the Armed Forces. "Partisan political activity" includes every form of solicitation of the elector's vote in favor of a specific candidate. pledges or support for or against a candidate. committees or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign for or against a candidate. or other similar assemblies. at that moment. meetings. Mancuso was only cited to show that resign-to-run provisions. or coalition of parties shall not be considered as election campaign or partisan political activity. as it did in the assailed decision. 15 Section 79 (b) of the OEC defines "partisan political activity" as follows: SEC. not yet a promotion or a solicitation of votes for the election or defeat of a candidate for public office. directly or indirectly. its earlier pronouncements and even abandon them when perceived to be incorrect. unlike in the instant case. even after the filing of the CoC but before the start of the campaign period. or (5) Directly or indirectly soliciting votes. Taft 18 is not the heart of the December 1." the mere filing of CoC cannot be considered as an "election campaign" or a "partisan political activity. which reads: Sec. therefore. Let it also be noted that Mancuso v. when appointive civil servants file their CoCs. 79. in deciding subsequent cases.No member of the military shall engage. Rosalinda A. clubs. no direct challenge was posed in Fariñas to the constitutionality of the rule on the ipso facto resignation of appointive officials. there is no valid basis to consider them as ipso facto resigned from their posts. such as those . The foregoing enumerated acts if performed for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nominations for candidacy to a public office by a political party." Section 79 of the OEC does not even consider as "partisan political activity" acts performed for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nominations for candidacy to a public office. Accordingly. in any partisan political activity. Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987. Public expressions or opinions or discussions of probable issues in a forthcoming election or on attributes of or criticisms against probable candidates proposed to be nominated in a forthcoming political party convention shall not be construed as part of any election campaign or partisan political activity contemplated under this Article. while it may be a political activity. Thus. aggroupment.

as we have interpreted it. . deems significant. It is expected that his decisions in office may be predetermined by campaign commitment.S. He cannot. The state may reasonably conclude that such pledges and promises. and to hold office in a political club. and were administratively charged for asking other Corporation Commission employees to do campaign work or to give referrals to persons who might help in the campaign. the appellants sought exemption from the implementation of a sentence in the Hatch Act. foreign jurisprudence only enjoys a persuasive influence on the Court. 25 In Broadrick. in Mr. in Magill v. Mitchell.which are specifically involved herein. such as United States Civil Service Commission v. courts. Morial v. Moreover. a closer reading of these latter US cases reveals that Mancuso is still applicable. in subsequent cases. bind himself to decide particular cases in order to achieve a given programmatic result. an erstwhile judge is more free to make promises of postcampaign conduct with respect both to issues and personnel. IAcDET On one hand. Justice Holmes' words. involves." 22 Among the appellants. in the conduct of his campaign for the mayoralty. Letter Carriers and Broadrick cannot be interpreted to mean a reversal of Mancuso. to encourage and get federal employees to run for state and local offices. they were not overly encompassing as to be overbroad. National Association of Letter Carriers 19 and Broadrick v. Lynch. Not so the candidate for judicial office. Thus. and for being overbroad. . the contention that Mancuso has been effectively overturned by subsequent American cases. we remand for consideration of plaintiffs' overbreadth claim. the plaintiffs alleged that the Civil Service Commission was enforcing. "confined from molar to molecular motions. though made in the course of a campaign for non-judicial office. consistent with the proper exercise of his judicial powers. and thus did not violate the test of being germane to the purpose of the law . only George P. Directed. Fashing 31 ) in the December 1. Letter Carriers and Broadrick. Louisiana's Code of Judicial Conduct bars candidates for judicial office from making "pledges or promises of conduct in office other than the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of the office. For example the contours of the judicial function make inappropriate the same kind of particularized pledges of conduct in office that are the very stuff of campaigns for most non-judicial offices. than he would be were he a candidate for re-election to his judgeship. but they should be afforded the opportunity to demonstrate that the charter forecloses access to a significant number of offices. Judiciary Commission of the State of Louisiana. In Mitchell. U. or to advance the interests of a particular group. which are based on United Public Workers of America v. for soliciting money for the campaign. as aforesaid. the appellants sought the invalidation for being vague and overbroad a provision in the Oklahoma's Merit System of Personnel Administration Act restricting the political activities of the State's classified civil servants. the appellants actively participated in the 1970 reelection campaign of their superior." 33 The Morial court instructed thus — HTDcCE Because the judicial office is different in key respects from other offices. filed his candidacy for nomination as representative to the Rhode Island General Assembly. 30 As observed by the Court (citing Clements v. Kenneth Mancuso. to participate as delegates in party conventions. 2009 Decision. under a classification that is germane to the purposes of the law . an automatic resignation provision. The Mayor of Cranston then began the process of enforcing the resign-to-run provision of the City Home Rule Charter. 24 In Letter Carriers. Poole violated the provision 23 by being a ward executive committeeman of a political party and by being politically active on election day as a worker at the polls and a paymaster for the services of other party workers. 20 is not controlling. Thus. have been stricken down in the United States for unduly burdening First Amendment rights of employees and voting rights of citizens. In fact." As one safeguard of the special character of the judicial function. 29 the same collegial court which decided Mancuso was so careful in its analysis that it even remanded the case for consideration on the overbreadth claim. which reads: "No officer or employee in the executive branch of the Federal Government . shall take any active part in political management or in political campaigns. in much the same manner as the Hatch Act proscribed partisan political activities of federal employees. whether publicly or privately. The judge legislates but interstitially. to particular officials. as the above-cited US cases pertain to different types of laws and were decided based on a different set of facts. 26 Prior to the commencement of the action." Candidates for nonjudicial office are not subject to such a ban. the state may regulate its judges with the differences in mind. as distinguished from all others. Verily. or threatening to enforce. on the other hand. the progress through the law of a particular judge's social and political preferences is. as they were. 28 Clearly. These resign-to-run legislations were not expressed in a general and sweeping provision. A candidate for the mayoralty can and often should announce his determination to effect some program. Be that as it may. to reach a particular result on some question of city policy. in our jurisdiction. Accordingly. 27 Mancuso. the second requisite for a valid classification. the candidacy for which by municipal employees would not pose the possible threats to government efficiency and integrity which Letter Carriers. 32 where the resign-to-run provision pertaining to judges running for political offices was upheld. declares that "there is no blanket approval of restriction on the right of public employees to become candidates for public office. sustained the constitutionality of resign-torun rules when applied to specified or particular officials. the Hatch Act's prohibition against "active participation in political management or political campaigns. the judge acts on individual cases and not broad programs." The plaintiffs desired to campaign for candidates for public office. State of Oklahoma. 21 involve provisions prohibiting Federal employees from engaging in partisan political activities or political campaigns. and for receiving and distributing campaign posters in bulk. a full-time police officer and classified civil service employee of the City of Cranston. The Magill court stated thus — Plaintiffs may very well feel that further efforts are not justified. .

or if he had already assumed office. The Court only declared as unconstitutional Section 13 of R. Without unnecessarily preempting the resolution of any subsequent actual case or unwittingly giving an advisory opinion. and his filing of a CoC cannot be taken to be a violation of any provision of the Constitution or any statute. at the same time. who is an employee of the COMELEC. 2009 Decision.A. Upon the proper action being filed. the OSG pleads that this Court clarify whether. Let it be stressed at this point that the said laws provide for specific remedies for specific evils. So do other statutes. likewise. Thus. the Court. or until they win or lose or are removed from office. appear to affect the post-election conduct of a judge who had returned to the bench following an electoral defeat. At the start of the campaign period. for an ipso facto resignation rule to be valid. Letter Carriers and Broadrick. thus. ETaHCD The only logical and legal effect. 36 The OSG points out that the official spokesperson of the Court explained before the media that "the decision would in effect allow appointive officials to stay on in their posts even during the campaign period. that is. and should be strictly applied." 37 I pose the following response to the motion for clarification. under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or under the OEC. Article XVI of the Constitution. To illustrate. it must be shown that the classification is reasonably necessary to attain the objectives of the law. OEC. in the December 1. it may even be said that Mitchell. and related laws. While the provisions on the ipso facto resignation of appointive civil servants are unconstitutional for being violative of the equal protection clause and for being overbroad. however. be removed from. Section 66 of the OEC and Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. be disqualified from running for office. 2009 Decision intended to allow appointive officials to stay in office during the entire election period. the Anti-Graft Law. 2009 Decision is too plain to be mistaken. Section 2 (4) of Article IX-B and Section 5 (3). because whether one holds an appointive office or an elective one. Louisiana has drawn a line which protects the state's interests in judicial integrity without sacrificing the equally important interests in robust campaigns for elective office in the executive or legislative branches of government. we hypothetically assume that a municipal election officer. Thus. Louisiana has drawn a line which rests on the different functions of the judicial and non-judicial office holder. he could. as . if they will not be considered as resigned when they file their COCs. the differential treatment in the application of this resign-to-run rule is not germane to the purposes of the law. Covered civil servants running for political offices who later on engage in "partisan political activity" run the risk of being administratively charged. The COMELEC's motion for reconsideration should. Again. the general provisions prohibiting civil servants from engaging in "partisan political activity" remain valid and operational." then. under civil service laws. office. This analysis applies equally to the differential treatment of judges and other office holders. run the risk of being prosecuted under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or under the OEC on election offenses. Those who abuse their authority to promote their candidacy shall be made liable under the appropriate laws. states that what should be implemented are the other provisions of Philippine laws (not the concerned unconstitutional provisions) that specifically and directly address the evils sought to be prevented by the measure. such as the Civil Service Laws. files his CoC. DCISAE The invalidation of the ipso facto resignation provisions does not mean the cessation in operation of other provisions of the Constitution and of existing laws. Here. appropriate laws in place to curb abuses in the government service. Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 still apply." There are. he becomes vulnerable to prosecution under the Administrative Code. be denied. therefore. the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. the December 1. after all. too. In contrast. 8678. the cases earlier cited by Chief Justice Puno and Associate Justices Carpio and CarpioMorales. by declaring as unconstitutional the concerned ipso facto resignation provisions. prevented from assuming. is a "disaster waiting to happen. At this juncture. engages in a "partisan political activity. It is highly speculative then to contend that members of the police force or the armed forces. even more plausibly. as already explained in the assailed decision. he remains in his post. A judge who fails in his bid for a post in the state legislature must not use his judgeship to advance the cause of those who supported him in his unsuccessful campaign in the legislature. therefore. a member of the state legislature who runs for some other office is not expected upon his return to the legislature to abandon his advocacy of the interests which supported him during the course of his unsuccessful campaign. and Section 55. the evils sought to be prevented are not effectively addressed by the measure. in effect. if he has not voluntarily resigned. 34 Indeed. The Court never stated in the decision that appointive civil servants running for elective posts are allowed to stay in office during the entire election period. and he.might affect or. Here. the ineluctable conclusion that the concerned provisions are invalid for being unconstitutional. Title I. the said election officer is not considered as ipso facto resigned from his post at the precise moment of the filing of the CoC. Given the invalidation of the automatic resignation provisions. No. or if elected. 35 Civil servants who use government funds and property for campaign purposes. if he is still in the government service. Chapter 8. By requiring resignation of any judge who seeks a non-judicial office and leaving campaign conduct unfettered by the restrictions which would be applicable to a sitting judge. The language of the December 1. The OSG's motion for clarification In its motion. of the Court's earlier declaration of unconstitutionality of the ipso facto resignation provisions is that appointive government employees or officials who intend to run for elective positions are not considered automatically resigned from their posts at the moment of filing of their CoCs. 2009 Decision. 9369. support the proposition advanced by the majority in the December 1. unlike the automatic resignation provisions that are sweeping in application and not germane to the purposes of the law.

In this original action. other Constitutional and statutory provisions do not cease in District operation and should. the said law created an additional legislative district for the Province of Camarines Sur by reconfiguring the existing first and second legislative districts of the province. 189698. the first district municipalities of Libmanan. Pasacao. MELO and its Commissioners. RENE V. 1st District Let the full force of the laws apply. Pamplona. the Province of Camarines Sur was estimated to have aDistrict) population of 1. Minalabac. petitioners Senator Benigno Simeon C.explained above. 1 In substance.R. 4264. 9716. April 7. COMELEC. 9716. respondents." Petitioners consequently pray that the3rd District respondent Commission on Elections be restrained from making any issuances and(formerly 2nd from taking any steps relative to the implementation of Republic Act No. Aquino III and Mayor Jesse Robredo. AQUINO III and MAYOR JESSE ROBREDO. petitioners. No. 5th District (formerly 4th Prior to Republic Act No.548 429. seek the nullification as unconstitutional of Republic Act No. or fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Manila Standard. a newspaperDistrict) of general circulation. FERRER. 189793. as public officers. 2 distributed among four (4) legislative districts in this wise: Municipalities/Cities Del Gallego Ragay Lupi Sipocot Cabusao Libmanan Minalabac Pamplona Pasacao Naga Pili Ocampo Canaman Caramoan Garchitorena Goa Lagonoy Presentacion Iriga Baao Balatan Bato Population 176.043 372. vs. 9716 originated from House Bill No. in fact. and San Fernando were combined with the second district municipalities of Milaor and Gainza to form a new second legislative district.] SENATOR BENIGNO SIMEON C. February 22. Hence. ||| (Quinto v. District) Republic Act No. DECISION PEREZ.383 San Fernando Gainza Milaor 276.548 429. be strictly implemented by the authorities. 9716.777 Camaligan Magarao Bombon Calabanga Sangay San Jose Tigaon Tinamba Siruma Buhi Bula Nabua 439.899 372. J p: 4th District Municipalities/Cities Del Gallego Ragay Lupi Sipocot Cabusao Gainza Milaor Naga Pili Ocampo Caramoan Garchitorena Goa Lagonoy Presentacion Iriga Baao Balatan Bato Libmanan Minalabac Pamplona Pasacao San Fernando Canaman Camaligan Magarao Bombon Calabanga Sangay San Jose Tigaon Tinamba Siruma Buhi Bula Nabua Population 417. 2010. No.821. 2010) 2nd District EN BANC 3rd District [G. entitled "An Act Reapportioning the Composition of the First (1st) and Second (2nd) Legislative Districts in the Province of Camarines Sur and Thereby Creating a New Legislative District From Such Reapportionment. 9716: AIaSTE District 1st District This case comes before this Court by way of a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS represented by its Chairman JOSE A. the first and second districts of Camarines Sur were reconfigured in order to create an additional legislative district for the province.304 474. taxpayers and2nd District citizens. G. It took effect on 31 October(formerly 3rd 2009.693. The following table 3 illustrates the reapportionment made by Republic Act No. TAGLE. 9716. and was signed into law by4th District President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on 12 October 2009. NICODEMO T. SARMIENTO. Then let the axe fall where it should.070 .R.070 Following the enactment of Republic Act No. LUCENITO N. ARMANDO VELASCO.R. YUSOPH AND GREGORIO LARRAZABAL. ELIAS R.

9716 of the first and second districts of Camarines Sur is unconstitutional. .Republic Act 9716 violates the principle of proportional representation as provided in Article VI. DIcSHE (4). 9 The petitioners argue that when the Constitutional Commission fixed the original number of district seats in the House of Representatives to two hundred (200). compact. . (3)Each legislative district shall comprise. contiguous. because the proposed first district will end up with a population of less than 250. runs afoul of the explicit constitutional standard that requires a minimum population of two hundred fifty thousand (250. and adjacent territory. 7 The petitioners theorize that. save in the case of a newly created province. and those who. and Article VI Section 5. 5 The petitioners claim that the reconfiguration by Republic Act No. which was a part of the former second district from which the municipalities of Gainza and Milaor were taken for inclusion in the new second district. contiguous. the submission is that: 1. Section 5. (3) and (4) of the Constitution. compact.(1) . provided each resulting district will represent a population of at least 250.Republic Act No. now before us. . is the Mayor of Naga City.000 inhabitants. from the filing of House Bill No. who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. . cities and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants.000. as provided by law.000 or only 176. Petitioners contend that the reapportionment introduced by Republic Act No. . 4264 until its approval by the Senate on a vote of thirteen (13) in favor and two (2) against. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution is actually based on the population constant used by the Constitutional Commission in distributing the initial 200 legislative seats. 10 According to the petitioners. Verbatim. 9716 is a well-milled legislation. the reapportionment must be stricken down as invalid for noncompliance with the minimum population requirement. unless otherwise fixed by law. the petitioners point to what they claim is the intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution to adopt a population minimum of 250.(1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members. 11 Thus. and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand. (3)Each legislative district shall comprise. The factual recitals by both parties of the origins of the bill that became the law show that. the 250. No other local executive joined the two.Republic Act 9716 is unconstitutional because the newly apportioned first district of Camarines Sur failed to meet the population requirement for the creation of the legislative district as explicitly provided in Article VI. 8 Under this view. . Each city with a . if the reapportionment would result in the creation of a legislative seat representing a populace of less than 250. Paragraphs (1) and (3) of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended thereto.000 in the creation of additional legislative seats. marked by public hearings on the sentiments and position of the local officials of Camarines Sur on the creation of a new congressional district. . Congress is bound to observe a 250. or each province. EaHcDS (2).000 population threshold. 6 The provision reads: In support of their theory.000. as well as argumentation and debate on the issue. 4 Petitioner Aquino III was one of two senators who voted against the approval of the Bill by the Senate. they took into account the projected national population of fifty five million (55. as far as practicable. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution as basis for the cited 250. Robredo.000 in order to be valid. 55 million people represented by 200 district representatives translates to roughly 250. Thus did the petitioners claim that in reapportioning legislative districts independently from the creation of a province.000 minimum population standard. shall have at least one representative.000 population requirement found in Section 5 (3). The petitioners posit that the 250. (2). as far as practicable. neither did the representatives of the former third and fourth districts of the province.000 figure appearing in the above-cited provision is the minimum population requirement for the creation of a legislative district. (Emphasis supplied). His co-petitioner. the process progressed step by step. concerning the stand of the oppositors of the bill that a population of at least 250. 2. in the same manner that the Constitutional Commission did in the original apportionment. 9716.000) for the creation of a legislative district. regional and sectoral parties or organizations. existing legislative districts may be reapportioned and severed to form new districts.000 people for every one (1) representative. . On the other hand. Petitioners rely on Section 5 (3). shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. Section 5 paragraphs (1).000 is required by the Constitution for such new district.000) for the year 1986.383. each legislative district created by Congress must be supported by a minimum population of at least 250. 12 The provision subject of this case states: Article VI Section 5.

or each province. on more than one occasion. On procedural matters.The petitioners could have availed themselves of another plain. the 250. We first pass upon the threshold issues. must always be eschewed. the respondents deny the existence of a fixed population requirement for the reapportionment of districts in provinces. On the other hand. board. In Lim v.000 population condition. 21 just to name a few. (Emphasis supplied) Anent the locus standi requirement. Therefore. the standing . The Jaworski case ratiocinates: CAaSED Granting arguendo that the present action cannot be properly treated as a petition for prohibition. 14 as well as relaxed the requirement of locus standi whenever confronted with an important issue of overreaching significance to society. (4)Within three years following the return of every census.The instant petition is bereft of any allegation that the respondents had acted without or in excess of jurisdiction. 3. but argue that a plain and simple reading of the questioned provision will show that the same has no application with respect to the creation of legislative districts in provinces. in Del Mar v. which would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate. 9716. The respondents likewise allege that the petitioners had failed to show that they had sustained. Considering that the main thrust of the instant petition is the declaration of unconstitutionality of Republic Act No. 2. Executive Secretary. nor were they engaging in the performance of a ministerial act. shall have at least one representative. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) 16 and Jaworski v. therefore. the respondents argue that the petitioners are guilty of two (2) fatal technical defects: first. 9716. rather than promote substantial justice. 9716. and second. In sum. Their strict and rigid application. and so. 9716 via the remedy of Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. the respondents. over which the Supreme Court has only appellate. or with grave abuse of discretion. the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. On substantive matters. hence. this Court has already uniformly ruled in Kilosbayan v. PAGCOR. The respondents. the same could have been ventilated through a petition for declaratory relief. specially the youth. the respondents call attention to an apparent distinction between cities and provinces drawn by Section 5 (3). tempered the application of procedural rules. 15 Hence. seek the dismissal of the present petition based on procedural and substantive grounds. 9716. 19 Chavez v. or is in danger of sustaining any substantial injury as a result of the implementation of Republic Act No. The respondents assert that by choosing to avail themselves of the remedies of Certiorari and Prohibition. that absence of direct injury on the part of the party seeking judicial review may be excused when the latter is able to craft an issue of transcendental importance.population of at least two hundred fifty thousand. by reason of constitutional importance.000 minimum population is only a requirement for the creation of a legislative district in a city. conclude that the petitioners lack the required legal standing to question the constitutionality of Republic Act No. officer or person. 9716. through the Office of the Solicitor General. Zamora. but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice. 17 this Court sanctioned momentary deviation from the principle of the hierarchy of courts. 13 Rather. This Court has paved the way away from procedural debates when confronted with issues that. they were not acting as a judicial or quasijudicial body. the petitioners have committed a fatal procedural lapse. Respondents maintain that in implementing Republic Act No. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. or ministerial functions. 22 this Court held that in cases of transcendental importance. The respondents cite the following reasons: EHITaS 1. 18 Tatad v. need a direct focus of the arguments on their content and substance. which only creates an additional legislative district within the province of Camarines Sur. not original jurisdiction. This is in accordance with the well-entrenched principle that rules of procedure are not inflexible tools designed to hinder or delay. the cases must be settled promptly and definitely.The remedy of Certiorari and Prohibition must be directed against a tribunal. their proper and just determination is an imperative need. the petitioners have no locus standi to question the constitutionality of Republic Act No. the transcendental importance of the issues involved in this case warrants that we set aside the technical defects and take primary jurisdiction over the petition at bar. should be sustained as a perfectly valid reapportionment law. 9716. The Supreme Court has. Public Estates Authority 20 and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan v. whether exercising judicial. petitioners committed an error in choosing to assail the constitutionality of Republic Act No. Guingona. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. quasi-judicial. One cannot deny that the issues raised herein have potentially pervasive influence on the social and moral well being of this nation. and took original cognizance of cases raising issues of paramount public importance. The respondents concede the existence of a 250. Republic Act No. Executive Secretary.

" to wit: DTEScI Petitioners cannot insist that the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in accord with section 5(3). Jr. The second sentence of Section 5 (3).000). considering moreover that a province is entitled to an initial seat by the mere fact of its creation and regardless of its population. explaining the operation of the Constitutional phrase "each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand.000.000. Said section provides. a city must first meet a population minimum of 250.000. v. Section 5 (3) of the Constitution requires a 250. In fact. while Section 5 (3). should not be applied to additional districts in provinces. the petitioners rely on the second sentence of Section 5 (3). the presumption of constitutionality will prevail and the law must be upheld. but not for a province." The provision draws a plain and clear distinction between the entitlement of a city to a district on one hand. Article VI of the Constitution requires a city to have a minimum population of 250.000 to be entitled to a representative. its legislative district may still be increased since it has met the minimum population requirement of two hundred fifty thousand (250. which was the law that converted the Municipality of Makati into a Highly Urbanized City. This liberal stance has been echoed in the more recent decision on Chavez v. Indeed. Article VI of the Constitution for as of the latest survey (1990 census). there must be a clear showing that a specific provision of the fundamental law has been violated or transgressed. Article VI of the Constitution. it does not have to increase its population by another 250. but not so for a province. 27 In Mariano.000).000 minimum population requirement for legislative districts in cities was.000) shall have at least one representative. 25 There is no specific provision in the Constitution that fixes a 250.000 is an indispensable constitutional requirement for the creation of a new legislative district in a province. For while a province is entitled to at least a representative. Gonzales. which involves the creation of an additional district within a city. Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution provides that a city whose population has increased to more than two hundred fifty thousand (250. of not less than Twenty million pesos (P20. that a city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand (250. Even granting that the population of Makati as of the 1990 census stood at four hundred fifty thousand (450. with nothing mentioned about population.000 minimum population is only required for a city.000. shall have at least one representative. or each province. neither should such be needed for an additional district in a province. — (a) A province may be created if it has an average annual income. considering that Makati had a total population of only 450. We deny the petition. is entitled to at least a legislative district. Any law duly enacted by Congress carries with it the presumption of constitutionality. When there is neither a violation of a specific provision of the Constitution nor any proof showing that there is such a violation. Section 461 of the Local Government Code states: Requisites for Creation. The petitioners in that case argued that the creation of an additional district would violate Section 5 (3). In other words. As it happened. which at that time was a lone district. the issue presented was the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 7854. 7854 created an additional legislative district for Makati. To doubt is to sustain. and the entitlement of a province to a district on the other. Article VI of the Constitution. the subject of interpretation by this Court in Mariano.000 in order to be similarly entitled. the foregoing principles must apply. 23 Given the weight of the issue raised in the instant petition. coupled with what they perceive to be the intent of the framers of the Constitution to adopt a minimum population of 250.000) shall be entitled to at least one congressional representative. Republic Act No.00) based on 1991 constant prices and either of the following requisites: .000). the population of Makati stands at only four hundred fifty thousand (450. if an additional legislative district created within a city is not required to represent a population of at least 250. 26 Plainly read. The Supreme Court sustained the constitutionality of the law and the validity of the newly created district.000 for each legislative district. There is no reason why the Mariano case.000 minimum population only for a city to be entitled to a representative. in turn. The 250. Thus.000 minimum population requirement for cities only to its initial legislative district. because the resulting districts would be supported by a population of less than 250.requirements may be relaxed. succinctly provides: "Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand.000 to be entitled to an additional district. by virtue of and upon creation. COMELEC. We start with the basics. The beaten path must be taken.000 in order to be valid. as certified by the Department of Finance. The use by the subject provision of a comma to separate the phrase "each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand" from the phrase "or each province" point to no other conclusion than that the 250. We go directly to the determination of whether or not a population of 250. Apropos for discussion is the provision of the Local Government Code on the creation of a province which. 24 Before a law may be declared unconstitutional by this Court. inter alia.000 minimum population that must compose a legislative district. 28 (Emphasis supplied) The Mariano case limited the application of the 250. TaCDIc As already mentioned. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

Mr.000 inhabitants was not taken as an absolute minimum for one legislative district. And. which corresponded to the original number of district representatives. Mariano. From its journal. Brooke's Point. Cebu.480 and based on the apportionment. Quezon. explained this in his sponsorship remark 32 for the Ordinance to be appended to the 1987 Constitution: Commissioner Davide: The ordinance fixes at 200 the number of legislative seats which are.000) square kilometers. Bacolod. (Emphasis supplied). and each one for all cities with a population of at least 250. and 2) the legislative district must be compact. xxx xxx xxx Thereupon. population as a factor was not the sole. Pasay. Nolledo pointed out that the last factor was not met when Puerto Princesa was included with the northern towns. He then queried whether population was the only factor considered by the Committee in redistricting. 30 second. 29 we can see that the Constitutional Commission originally divided the entire country into two hundred (200) districts. Palawan is a case in point. in fact. Nolledo inquired on the reason for including Puerto Princesa in the northern towns when it was more affinity with the southern town of Aborlan. Nolledo stated that Puerto Princesa has a population of 75. Narra.000) inhabitants as certified by the National Statistics Office. Even then. cities and Metropolitan Manila.000 population benchmark was used for the 1986 nationwide apportionment of legislative districts among provinces. the requirement of population is not an indispensable requirement. Davao and Zamboanga.000 as against only 186. adjacent and contiguous. Replying thereto. proceeded to form an ordinance that would be appended to the final document. and wherefores of the population requirement of "at least two hundred fifty thousand" may be gleaned from the records of the Constitutional Commission which.000. Notably. we then proceed[ed] to increase whenever appropriate the number of seats for the provinces and cities in accordance with the number of their inhabitants on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. Mr." 31 Commissioner Davide. Thereafter. Journal No. 107 of the Constitutional Commission narrates: INTERPELLATION OF MR. Taking into account the mandate that each city with at least 250." Such records would show that the 250.000 for the south. Simply discernible too is the fact that. is but a reflection of the pertinent ideas that ran through the deliberations on the words and meaning of Section 5 of Article VI. The Ordinance is captioned "APPORTIONING THE SEATS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES TO THE DIFFERENT LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS IN PROVINCES AND CITIES AND THE METROPOLITAN MANILA AREA. one (1) seat each was given to the seventy-three (73) provinces and the ten (10) cities with a population of at least 250. through the use of the population benchmark.000 inhabitants and each province shall have at least one representative. The 200 seats were distributed by the Constitutional Commission in this manner: first. whys. This projection indicates that our population is more or less 56 million. several determinants. the remaining seats were then redistributed among the provinces. dealt with determinants other than population as already mentioned. or DTAcIa (ii)a population of not less than two hundred fifty thousand (250. which are the Cities of Manila.000 and the Metropolitan Area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. Cuyo was the capital of Palawan before its transfer to . Davide explained that the Committee took into account the standards set in Section 5 of the Article on the Legislative Department. Cagayan de Oro. apportioned among provinces and cities with a population of at least 250. who later became a Member and then Chief Justice of the Court. Mr. it would turn out. The whats. Differentiated from this. The population is based on the 1986 projection. Iloilo. city. we first allotted one seat for each of the 73 provinces. the population figure was used to determine how many districts a province. He added that Cuyo and Coron are very important towns in the northern part of Palawan and. He then inquired what is the distance between Puerto Princesa from San Vicente. in the determination of the precise district within the province to which.000. upon framing the provisions of Section 5 of Article VI. the requirement of 250. for the purpose. namely: 1) the legislative seats should be apportioned among the provinces and cities and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with their inhabitants on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. NOLLEDO: Mr. as certified by the Lands Management Bureau. Caloocan. Simply put. or Metropolitan Manila should have. in turn. population had to be the determinant.(i)a contiguous territory of at least two thousand (2. but is merely an alternative addition to the indispensable income requirement. so many districts have been apportioned. cEAIHa Thus was the number of seats computed for each province and city. the records show. with the 1980 official enumeration as the point of reckoning. Quezon and Marcos. He stated that the First District has a greater area than the Second District. cities and the Metropolitan Area "in accordance with the number of their inhabitants on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. Batarasa. the determination of the districts within the province had to consider "all protests and complaints formally received" which. its inclusion with the northern towns would result in a combined population of 265. closer to the point herein at issue. though it was among.

the amendment was approved by the Body. on motion of Mr. Mr. however.733. for purposes of business and professional transactions. He stated that the Committee would submit the matter to the Body. Benguet and Baguio are another reference point. it is beyond question that population-wise. APPROVAL OF THE APPORTIONMENT AND DISTRICTING OF PALAWAN There being no other amendment. REMARKS OF MR. . Tublay. Bokod. by itself.000 while the Second District would have 262. the venue and situs of many government offices and functions. Monsod's query. not to speak of the official business matters. 33 "PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF MR.Puerto Princesa. Regalado made a reservation with the Committee for the possible reopening On motion of Mr. Upon inquiry of the Chair whether he is insisting on his amendment. Davide accepted Mr. Davide adverted to Director de Lima's statement that unless Tuba and Baguio City are united. Mr. Mr. Nolledo's proposal to insert Puerto Princesa City before the Municipality of Aborlan. the apportionment and districting for the province of Palawan was approved by the Body. He stated that he was toying with the idea that. have its own constituency and Tuba could be transferred to the Second District together with Itogon. there being no objection. Mr. Davide. There being no objection on the part of the Members the same was approved by the Body.358 including the City of Puerto Princesa.000 population figure. Regalado was put to a vote. on motion of Mr. and there would be no substantial changes. He then suggested that Puerto Princesa be included in the south or the Second District. The First District shall comprise of the municipalities of Mankayan. Davide. the amendment of Mr. however. perhaps as a special consideration for Baguio because it is the summer capital of the Philippines. Kabayan. Bakun. Atok. He proposed. The Journal further narrates: At this juncture. Regalado admitted that the regular population of Baguio may be lower during certain times of the year. DEIHAa Mr.149. 34 The districting of Palawan disregarded the 250. Mr. Tuba could be divorced from Baguio City so that it could. transactions and offices that are also there.213. cSTCDA In reply to Mr. Davide stated that the proposal would be considered during the period of amendments. Tuba will be isolated from the rest of Benguet as the place can only be reached by passing through Baguio City. He requested that the COMELEC staff study said proposal. Kapangan. while the Second District has a total population of 186. REGALADO Mr. Nolledo explained that with the proposed transfer of Puerto Princesa City to the Second District. there being no objection. It was decided by the importance of the towns and the city that eventually composed the districts. Mr. but the transient population would increase the population substantially and. therefore. Davide informed the Body that Mr. Mr. Baguio would more than qualify. He also pointed out that there are more potential candidates in the north and therefore if Puerto Princesa City and the towns of Cuyo and Coron are lumped together. particularly Benguet. Mr. Regalado stated that in the formulation of the Committee. Benguet with Baguio City will have two seats. that Puerto Princesa be included in the Second District in order to satisfy the contiguity requirement in the Constitution considering that said City is nearer the southern towns comprising the Second District. Kibungan. Mr. Davide. Davide informed that in view of the approval of the amendment. Nolledo pointed out that it was explained in the interpellations that District I has a total population of 265. On the districting of Palawan. Regalado stated that the Body should have a say on the matter and that the considerations he had given are not on the demographic aspects but on the fact that Baguio City is the summer capital. La Trinidad. pointed out that the population of Baguio City is only 141. most of whose inhabitants are not interested in politics. Davide. the First District would only have a total population of 190. Buguias. the Body approved the reconsideration of the earlier approval of the apportionment and districting of Region I. there would be less candidates in the south. there being no objection. Baguio City and Tuba are placed in one district. NOLLEDO of the approval of Region I with respect to Benguet and Baguio City. Thereafter. With 14 Members voting in favor and none against.

(Emphasis supplied)." because such consideration "fosters common interests in line with the standard of compactness. traditional and sectoral leaders. 2. 4264. whose population growth has increased beyond the 1986 numbers. This 2008 pronouncement is fresh reasoning against the uncompromising stand of petitioner that an additional provincial legislative district. a rice growing area. however." 38 Consistent with Mariano and with the framer deliberations on district apportionment. so very clearly given form in the Constitutional debates on the exact issue presented by this petition. To be clear about our judgment. Article VI of the Constitution can. To ensure quality representation through commonality of interests and ease of access by the representative to the constituents. 9786. and (d)the balancing of the areas of the three districts resulting from the redistricting of Districts One and Two. the Body approved the apportionment and districting of Region I.000 used by the Constitutional Commission in nationally apportioning legislative districts among provinces and cities — entitled to two (2) districts in addition to the four (4) that it was given in the 1986 apportionment. Translated in the terms of the present case: 1. Undeniably. among the matters discussed were "political stability and common interest among the people in the area" and the possibility of "chaos and disunity" considering the "accepted regional. COMELEC 39 that: TcSHaD .821 in 2007 is — based on the formula and constant number of 250. these figures show a disparity in the population sizes of the districts. For Cebu. such as that provided for in Republic Act No. 41 Each of such factors and in relation to the others considered together. compact and adjacent territory. EcIaTA 3. There being no objection.The Province of Camarines Sur. . 9716. Our ruling is that population is not the only factor but is just one of several other factors in the composition of the additional district.383 and not 250. the petition find support.693. and more importantly based on the final districting in the Ordinance on considerations other than population. (b)the size of the original groupings compared to that of the regrouped municipalities. population was explicitly removed as a factor.000 is a constitutional sine qua non for the formation of an additional legislative district in a province. . 42 that would warrant the invalidation of Republic Act No." 37 For Laguna. another a vegetable and fruit area. Such settlement is in accord with both the text of the Constitution and the spirit of the letter. we stated in Bagabuyo v. Commissioner Maambong proposed that they should "balance the area and population. even the Ordinance itself. with the increased population of the erstwhile Districts One and Two. refutes the contention that a population of 250. contiguous. It may be additionally mentioned that the province of Cavite was divided into districts based on the distribution of its three cities. . point to the utter absence of abuse of discretion. much less grave abuse of discretion. it was mentioned that municipalities in the highland should not be grouped with the towns in the lowland. 40 In other words. .The factors mentioned during the deliberations on House Bill No.Sablan. the number of inhabitants in the resulting additional district should not be considered. The Constitution.Based on the pith and pitch of the exchanges on the Ordinance on the protests and complaints against strict conformity with the population standard. And the formulation of the Ordinance in the implementation of the provision. we do not say that in the reapportionment of the first and second legislative districts of Camarines Sur.000 population is not allowed by the Constitution. 35 Quite emphatically. nay. with an estimated population of 1. political. as far as practicable. were: (a)the dialects spoken in the grouped municipalities. Neither in the text nor in the essence of Section 5. with each district having a city: one district "supposed to be a fishing area. The foregoing reading and review lead to a clear lesson. the reapportionment or the recomposition of the first and second legislative districts in the Province of Camarines Sur that resulted in the creation of a new legislative district is valid even if the population of the new district is 176. Significantly. . and the third. (c)the natural division separating the municipality subject of the discussion from the reconfigured District One.000 as insisted upon by the petitioners. . all that the Constitution requires is that every legislative district should comprise. petitioner Aquino concedes this point." 36 In the districting of Maguindanao. The Second District shall comprise of Baguio City alone. . which does not have at least a 250. Itogon and Tuba. Section 5 of Article VI as clearly written allows and does not prohibit an additional district for the Province of Camarines Sur. does not require mathematical exactitude or rigid equality as a standard in gauging equality of representation.

please see concurring and dissenting opinion. and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. is on official leave. . cities. Separate Opinions CARPIO. for the first time under the 1987 Constitution.. while Albay with less inhabitants (515. . and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio . SO ORDERED. the petition is hereby DISMISSED. one vote" or equality in voting power is inherent in proportional representation.857) four members while Davao with 903. members. or any other political unit. five members having been assigned to it. Translated in terms of legislative redistricting. . cities. Instead.000. Leonardo-de Castro. I join opinion of J. concur. I join Justice Morales' concurring and dissenting opinion. are: (1) proportional representation. . gave Manila four members. JJ. one vote. this means representation for every legislative district "in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. just like in the previous Constitutions. 4 The only difference is that the members of the Senate represent the people at large while the members of the House represent the people in legislative districts.000 per legislative district. J. Jr. while Rizal with a bigger number of inhabitants got four only. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. and (4) uniformity in apportionment of legislative districts "in provinces. (b) . Carpio. CC Morales. aHSTID The assailed Republic Act No. two only. (d) [gave] Samar (with 871. wealth or literacy. this means equal representation for equal numbers of people 12 or equal voting weight per legislative district." directly run the government. claiming to be a "democratic and republican State. C. .WHEREFORE.. (3) progressive ratio in the increase of legislative districts as the population base increases. Carpio." where all citizens are equally subject to the laws. Regardless of race. not more or less. and equality under the law." 7 is the cardinal feature of any polity. one vote.." The assailed RA 9716 grossly violates these constitutional standards. Villarama. (e) [gave] Bulacan with 557. as far as population is concerned. . Bersamin. . Velasco. Not Provinces or Cities There was never any debate 3 in the design of our government that the members of the House of Representatives. as individuals.. . voters have an equal vote. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution for the creation of legislative districts. The majority opinion wreaks havoc on the bedrock principle of our "democratic and republican State" 1 that all votes are equal.. . . Del Castillo and Mendoza. population — or the number of inhabitants in a district — is the essential measure of representation in the House of Representatives. Jr. . Puno.691) got three. Legislators Represent People. while Cotabato with a bigger population got three only. Republic Act No. Corona. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio" 13 or proportional representation. J. electing their representatives under the principle of "one person. under the principle of "one person. cCaEDA The constitutional standard of proportional representation is rooted in equality in voting power — that each vote is worth the same as any other vote. Peralta.. Section 5 (4) 2 of Article VI mandates that "Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards" fixed in Section 5. These constitutional standards. (Emphasis supplied) Evidently.. one vote. In constitutional parlance. Brion. . 10 ruled by a representative government elected by the majority of the people under the principle of "one person. the principle of "one person. ethnicity. poverty. occupation." 8 A democracy in its pure state is one where the majority of the people.. 5 Section 5 (1). 6 could not be any clearer: The House of Representatives shall be composed of . I join the dissenting opinion of J. just like the members of the Senate. and the Metropolitan Manila area. Carpio Morales... J. 11 A republic is also known as a representative democracy. Nachura. the idea of the people.224 got three only. J. like ours. all other legislative districts created by Congress send one representative each because they all meet the minimum population requirement of 250. In sharp contrast. royalty or nobility. It was in obedience to the rule on proportional representation that this Court unanimously struck down an apportionment law which: (a) . . 9 A republic is one which has no monarch. J. . (2) minimum population of 250. represent people — not provinces. more than both. Abad. 9716 entitled "An Act Reapportioning the Composition of the First (1st) and Second (2nd) Legislative Districts in the Province of Camarines Sur and Thereby Creating a New Legislative District From Such Reapportionment" is a VALID LAW. gave Cebu seven members. sex. and . . 9716 (RA 9716) is unconstitutional for being utterly repugnant to the clear and precise "standards" prescribed in Section 5. cities. see dissenting opinion. J. religion. voters in a legislative district created by Congress to send one representative to Congress even if the district has a population of only 176.383. and converge on the common principle of equality — equality in voting power. the majority opinion introduces the Orwellian concept that some votes are more equal than others. .691 . who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. Thus. (c) [gave] Pangasinan with less inhabitants than both Manila and Cotabato ..J. The democratic and republican ideals are intertwined. Thus. dissenting: I dissent. The majority opinion allows.

" The addition of the phrase "on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio" was meant to stress that the rule on proportional representation shall apply uniformly in the apportionment of every legislative district. a population of 250. . which was not present in our previous Constitutions. What is inescapable is that the 1987 Constitution has strengthened and tightened the requirement of uniformity in the apportionment of legislative districts. Fourth is the rule on uniformity. cities." which precedes the phrase "provinces. 50.839 . cities or the Metropolitan Manila area. and second. which is the universal standard in direct representation in legislatures. TCaEIc On population. IESTcD The phrase "progressive ratio" means that the number of legislative districts shall increase as the number of the population increases. ." means that legislative districts in provinces." 15 Section 5 (1). and the Metropolitan Manila area. . which requires that the first three rules shall apply uniformly in all apportionments in provinces. Under the majority's ruling. This will spell the end of our democratic and republican system of government as we know it and as envisioned in the 1987 Constitution. Such legislative districts can have a population of 150. while Cavite with less inhabitants (379. . Obviously. whether inhabiting in provinces. cities and the Metropolitan Manila area. as a necessary consequence.000. The Constitution 18 and the Ordinance 19 appended to the 1987 Constitution fixes the minimum population of a legislative district at 250. there shall be one legislative district for every given number of people. this minimum population requirement applies equally to legislative districts apportioned in provinces and the Metropolitan Manila area because of the constitutional command that "legislative districts [shall be] apportioned among the provinces. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio . and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio . This is what is meant by a "progressive ratio" in the apportionment of legislative districts. Thus. This insures that proportional representation is maintained if there are increases in the population of a province. cities or the Metropolitan Manila area. 14 . whether in provinces. . and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution is even more precise by providing that the Members of the House "shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. following its command that "Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. which means that the number of legislative districts shall increase as the number of the population increases in accordance with the rule on proportional representation.000 or even 100. and fatally corrosive of the bedrock notion that this country is a "democratic and republican State. cities. Article VI. ratio" means that the ratio of one legislative district for every given number of people shall be applied uniformly in all apportionments. . that apportionment in provinces can disregard the minimum population requirement because the Constitution speaks of a minimum population only in cities is logically flawed. Second is the rule on a minimum population of 250. a province shall have one legislative district if it has a population of 250. These standards relate to first. the 1987 Constitution has laid down clear and precise standards in the apportionment of legislative districts compared to the 1935 Constitution.000." This means that legislative districts in provinces can have a minimum population of anywhere from 100 (or even less) to 250. and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. the constitutional standards of proportional representation and uniformity in the creation of legislative districts in "provinces. whether in provinces. a ratio that must also be uniformly applied. whether in provinces. Thus. First is the rule on proportional representation. thus throwing out of the window the constitutional standards of proportional representation and uniformity in the creation of legislative districts. ." 17 referring to Section 5. To disregard the minimum population requirement of 250. city. . The phrase "in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. whether in provinces.000. as the majority opinion holds. The phrase "on the basis of a uniform ." Consequently. Although textually relating to cities. constitutionally repulsive. population. Congress can create legislative districts in provinces without regard to any minimum population. shall have at least one representative. cities or the Metropolitan Manila area.000. while legislative districts in cities will always have a minimum population of 250. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio.(f) [gave] Misamis Oriental with 387.000 in provincial legislative districts while maintaining it in city legislative districts is to disregard. . . cities and the Metropolitan Manila area shall be apportioned according to proportional representation or equal representation for equal numbers of people. cities or the Metropolitan Manila area." 16 This ruling of the majority strikes a debilitating blow at the heart of our democratic and republican system of government." To reiterate. Constitutional Standards Population and Territory for Reapportionment: The Constitution itself provides the "standards" against which reapportionment laws like RA 9716 will be tested. Section 5 (3) of Article VI mandates that "[e]ach city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand ." The phrase "as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective inhabitants" in the 1935 Constitution has been changed in the 1987 Constitution to the more precise "in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants.000 per legislative district. cities or in the Metropolitan Manila area. . Section 5 admits of no other standards. for being repugnant to the constitutional edict under the 1935 Constitution that the Members of the House of Representatives "shall be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective inhabitants. Third is the rule on progressive ratio. or the Metropolitan Manila area. 100.000 serves as the default minimum population applicable to every legislative district following the rule on uniformity in the apportionment of legislative districts. cities and the Metropolitan Manila area. the . . cities. .000.000. the standards of the 1987 Constitution have four elements. one member only.904) got two. and two legislative districts if it has 500. To now declare.000. territory. .

shall have at least one representative" means only that when a province is created.6%.9% to positive 29.Constitution commands that this rule on uniformity shall apply to legislative districts in "provinces. This Court cannot add other standards not found in Section 5. an invalid standard for redistricting under Section 5 of Article VI. ten times lower than in districts apportioned in cities. there are no other standards prescribed in Section 5 of Article VI. . cities. In contrast. a legislative district must also be created with it. and Fifth Districts are undervalued by more than 200% compared to votes in the First District while those in the Second District suffer more than 60% undervaluation." For territory. . 23 Significantly. (3) progressive ratio in the increase of legislative districts as the population base increases. for every legislative district. Under any redistricting yardstick. four. Votes in the proposed First District are overvalued by more than 200% compared to votes from the Third. . Fourth. Conversely. cities. RA 9716 violates the minimum population requirement of 250. to the last digit. other than population and territory.000 per legislative district admits of no variance and must be complied with to the last digit.777 (proposed Second District) and an average of 379." To repeat. the disparity is so high that three of the proposed districts (Third. the variances swing from negative 47. . cities. members. 20 This results in wide variances among the districts' populations. the proposed First District under RA 9716 will have a population of only 176. cDICaS The resulting vote undervaluation (for voters in the disfavored districts) and vote overvaluation (for voters in the First District) fails even the most liberal application of the constitutional standards. Still using the 2007 census. "as far as practicable. the ideal per district population for Camarines Sur is 338.000 in creating the proposed First District." for every legislative district in provinces and in the Metropolitan Manila area. violating the constitutional command that apportionment shall be based on a uniform ratio in "provinces. lowest at 276.383. such variances are grossly anomalous and destructive of the concept of proportional representation." Otherwise. based solely on the whims of incumbent Congressmen.6% (Third District) to a low of negative 47. as far as population is concerned." That the Constitution never meant to exclude provinces from the requirement of proportional representation is evident in the opening provision of Section 5 (1). are: (1) proportional representation." (Boldfacing and underscoring supplied) . under the assailed RA 9716. The Constitution mandates a population of "at least two hundred fifty thousand" for a legislative district in a city. which is 29% below the constitutional minimum population of 250. RA 9716 tinkers with vote valuation.764. and under the principle of "uniform and progressive ratio. and the Metropolitan Manila area. Clearly. and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. 21 The populations of the proposed districts swing from this ideal by a high of positive 29. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio." In short. (2) a minimum "population of at least two hundred fifty thousand" per legislative district. Fourth. Entitlement of "Each Province" to "at Least One No Basis to Ignore Standard of Uniform Population Ratio Representative" The directive in Section 5 (3) of Article VI that "each province. Equally important. and the Metropolitan Manila area. who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. 25 Can this district have a population below 250. In the United States.000? To answer in the affirmative is to ignore the constitutional mandate that districts in provinces be apportioned "in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. The minimum population of 250. and Fifth Districts) have populations more than double that of the proposed First District. will have constituencies two. the remaining four proposed districts have populations way above the minimum with the highest at 439. Proportional representation in redistricting does not mean exact numbers of population. . The Malapportionment of the Constitutional Standards on Population RA 9716 Flouts RA 9716 grossly malapportions Camarines Sur's proposed five legislative districts by flouting the standards of proportional representation among legislative districts and the minimum population per legislative district. petitioner Senator Aquino's attempt to redraw districting lines to make all five proposed districts compliant with the minimum population requirement (and thus lessen the wide variances in population among the districts) was thwarted chiefly for political expediency: his colleagues in the Senate deemed the existing districts in Camarines Sur "untouchable" because "[a Congressman] is king [in his district]. Fourth. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio . Based on the 2007 census.383. and consequently with the constitutional standard of proportional representation. if freed from the minimum population requirement. districts apportioned in provinces.000 per legislative district.. and adjacent.043 (proposed Third District). contiguous. Indeed. However. . and the Metropolitan Manila area.359. which states: CDHacE The House of Representatives shall be composed of . 22 This means that the smallest proposed district (First District) is underpopulated by nearly 50% of the ideal and the biggest proposed district (Third District) is overpopulated by nearly 30% of the ideal. the Supreme Court there ruled that a variance of even less than 1% is unconstitutional in the absence of proof of a good faith effort to achieve a mathematically exact apportionment. votes from the Third. cities." 24 This shows a stark absence of a good faith effort to achieve a more precise proportional representation in the redistricting under the assailed RA 9716. and (4) uniformity in the apportionment of legislative districts in "provinces. compact. the Constitution prescribes the "standards" that a legislative district must be.9% (First District). and Fifth Districts and by more than 60% compared to votes in the Second District. which will have a population of only 176. . . the constitutional "standards" in the apportionment of legislative districts under Section 5 of Article VI.

here the Court. the two districts created complied with the minimum population of 250. either for this sole purpose 34 or ancillary to the conversion 35 or creation 36 of a local government unit.. unlike the Constitutional Commission which could create one-time exceptions subject to ratification by the sovereign people. neither Mariano v. 30 Footnote 13 in Mariano v. COMELEC states: "As per the certificate issued by Administrator Tomas Africa of the National Census and Statistics Office. representing small. Until it enacted RA 9716.000 as prescribed in Section 5 of Article VI. ten times more valuable than the votes in disfavored districts. . Article VI. the Court in Mariano v. through the instrument of ratification. at the behest of legislators representing the area. All votes are equal. the population of Makati City was 508. . COMELEC took note of the certification by the National Statistics Office that at the time of the enactment of RA 7854. Senate Deliberations on House Bill No. as the Court noted in Bagabuyo v. 7854 (RA 7854) which doubled the legislative districts in Makati City. possessed the greater sovereign power to overrule the Constitutional Commission. Only very recently. COMELEC 27 and Bagabuyo v. enjoyed absolute discretion to relax the standards it textualized in Section 5. in Republic Act No. In the first place.000.000 minimum requirement. History will not be kind to those who embark on a grotesquely anomalous constitutional revision that is repulsive to our ideals of a "democratic and republican State. COMELEC nor Bagabuyo v. has failed in its primordial constitutional duty to protect the essence of our democracy. one." The ruling of the majority today could sound the death knell for the principle of "one person. in ruling that there are some votes more equal than others. 1994. which is banned under the 1987 Constitution.174. which has a population just short of the 250.In short. ten times more populous than other favored districts. the people in the exercise of their sovereign power sanctioned the Constitutional Commission's discretionary judgments. entitling it to two representatives. the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section.000 in creating a legislative district.000 (254." 37 To uphold RA 9716 is to uphold the blatant violation of the constitutional standards requiring proportional representation and a minimum population in the creation of legislative districts. 9716 for grossly violating the standards of proportional representation and minimum population in the creation of legislative districts as prescribed in Section 5. Until RA 9716 came along. Congress enacted RA 9716 in the exercise of its legislative powers under the 1987 Constitution and subject to the reapportionment standards in Section 5.644 and 299. these cases confirm that every legislative district must have a minimum population of 250. Thus. 12240 (converting Makati into a highly urbanized city) . COMELEC. . elected by voters holding "mickey mouse votes" and another. If left unchecked. August 4. COMELEC supports the claim that Congress can create a legislative district with a population of less than 250. cities and the Metropolitan Manila area must comply with proportional representation. Article VI of the Constitution. RA 9716 marks a tectonic shift by tilting the balance in favor of entrenched interests. four. the ideals of representative democracy. RA 9716 Harbinger for Wave of Malapportionments CARPIO MORALES. a scheme that for the first time under the 1987 Constitution creates a new politically privileged class of legislators in what is supposed to be a "democratic and republican State. J.000. respectively). cHATSI Accordingly. In contrast. 9371 (RA 9371) which also doubled the legislative districts in Cagayan de Oro City. one vote" that insures equality in voting power. This will derail our one person. at the altar of political expediency. the population of Makati as of 1994 stood at 508. on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. As movements of district lines spell doom or salvation for entrenched political interests. in Republic Act No." Similarly. one vote representative democracy from the tracks clearly and precisely laid down in the 1987 Constitution. the Constitutional Commission. favored districts." 33 Instead. DHTCaI census. . Congress never deviated from the minimum population requirement of 250. 29 Only the people. the Constitution clearly mandates that the creation of legislative districts in provinces. sacrificing the Constitution and ultimately. This equality in voting power is the essence of our democracy. By overwhelmingly ratifying the 1987 Constitution. and there is no vote more equal than others. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. this Court in Aldaba v. Congress has yet to comply with the Constitution's mandate that "[w]ithin three years following the return of every I concur with the ponencia's discussion on the procedural issue. And for what end — to create a special class of legislative districts represented by a new political elite exercising more legislative power than their votes command? Such a grant of privileged political status is the modern day equivalent of a royalty or nobility title. This Court is supposed to be the last bulwark of our democracy. Congress has contented itself with enacting piecemeal reapportionment laws for individual areas. On the contrary. this process subjects Congress to intense pressure to keep off certain districts. Congress is strictly bound by the reapportionment standards in Section 5. elected by voters holding "premium votes" two. Congress was able to balance political exigency with constitutional imperatives.174. COMELEC 32 struck down a law creating a legislative district in the City of Malolos.322. Our oath of office as Justices of this Court forbids us from legitimizing this constitutionally abhorrent scheme. representing districts two. 26 Apportionment in the Ordinance Appended to the 1987 Constitution Distinct from Legislative Reapportionments It will not do to hoist the apportionment under the Ordinance appended to the Constitution or Mariano v. laws like RA 9716 will fill the House of Representatives with two breeds of legislators. four. exercising constituent powers. 31 Contrary to the assertion of the majority opinion. I vote to GRANT the petition and to DECLARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL Republic Act No. in the interest of creating legislative districts en masse cognizant of legitimate concerns. COMELEC 28 as normative props to shore up the hollow proposition that reapportionment in provinces can dispense with the minimum population of 250. Sadly. concurring and dissenting: More than 20 years after the 1987 Constitution took effect.

4 That is why the Court in Mariano declared: Petitioners cannot insist that the addition of another legislative district in Makati is not in accord with Section 5(3). 9716) mandates the creation of another legislative district and indubitably involves the expenditure of public funds. a statute may be nullified. No. Undeniably. Comelec. Even granting that the population of Makati as of the 1990 census stood at four hundred fifty thousand (450. 5 (emphasis in the original) cIECaS Nothing in Mariano reflects that the Court disregarded the 250. the population of Makati stands at only four hundred fifty thousand (450. However. The Constitution. the ponencia spliced that portion of the decision in Bagabuyo which it cited to suit its argument.000) shall be entitled to at least one congressional representative. The permissive declaration at that time presupposes that Makati must still meet the constitutional requirements before it can have another congressional district. its legislative district may still be increased since it has met the minimum population requirement of two hundred fifty thousand (250. however.000) shall have at least one representative. petitioners do not merely rely on Article VI. To ensure quality representation through commonality of interests and ease of access by the representative to the constituents. The ponencia misinterprets Mariano v. as far as practicable. (emphasis and underscoring supplied) The two legislative districts of Cagayan de Oro subject of Bagabuyo met the minimum population requirement at the time of reappportionment. In fact. Undeniably. on the ponencia's conclusion. I DISSENT.000).000. on the substantive issue. apportioned among the provinces and cities with a population of at least 250. on the supposition that expenditure of public funds for the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds. contiguous. Jr. 4264 that was to be enacted into R. The sponsorship speech of Commissioner Hilario Davide.A. .322 residents. petitioners have the requisite locus standi. however. . Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution provides that a city whose population has increased to more than two hundred fifty thousand (250. (emphasis and underscoring in the original by the ponente) It omitted that portion which specified the respective total population of the two districts as above 250. inter alia. however. . . . as far as practicable. . compact and adjacent territory. 3 The actual population of the City of Makati during the Senate deliberations in 1994 on House Bill (H. we take judicial notice of the August 2007 census of the National Statistics Office which shows that barangays comprising Cagayan de Oro's first district have a total population of 254. contiguous.174. 1 Republic Act No.000 benchmark was used in apportioning the legislative districts in the country. The ponencia's construal of the disparity in population sizes of the districts involved in Bagabuyo clearly differs from the disparity of population in the present case."Transcendental importance" doctrine aside. does not require mathematical exactitude or rigid equality as a standard in gauging equality of representation. . these figures show a disparity in the population sizes of the districts. . EACH CITY OR EACH PROVINCE WITH A POPULATION OF AT LEAST 250. Contrary to the ponencia's assertion.000 is not an indispensable constitutional requirement for the creation of a new legislative district in a province.000 or to newly created provinces under the Local Government Code (as long as the income and territory requirements are met). Article VI of the Constitution for as of the latest survey (1990 census). in turn. unfortunately. 7 reflects so. .000 population requirement as it merely stated that Makati's legislative district may still be increased as long as the minimum population requirement is met. Comelec. The Local Government Code likewise is not in point since Section 461 thereof tackles the creation of a province and not the reapportioning of a legislative district based on increasing population. .000 population requirement only with respect to existing provinces whose population does not exceed 250. these figures show a disparity in the population sizes of the districts. did not provide information about the actual population of Cagayan de Oro City. .000). . 9716 (R. This is Section 5 of the Article on the Legislative. 7854 was 508. The ponencia likewise misinterprets Bagabuyo v. Thus the ponencia quotes: .B. The ordinance fixes at 200 the number of legislative seats which are.) No.000 SHALL HAVE AT LEAST ONE REPRESENTATIVE. does not require mathematical exactitude or rigid equality as a standard in gauging equality of representation.644 while the second district has 299. all that the Constitution requires is that every legislative district should comprise.Each legislative district shall comprise. Said section provides. . 6 Notably. Petitioners are suing not only as lawmakers but as taxpayers and citizens as well. Thus the full text of the pertinent portion of the decision reads: The petitioner. that a city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand (250. Section 5 (3) of Article VI disregards the 250. compact and adjacent territory.000). . . At the initiative of a taxpayer.000 . Section 5 (3) but also on Section 5 (1) of the same Article. The Constitution. 2 Both provisions must be read together in light of the constitutional requirements of population and contiguity. that a population of 250. There is thus no point in asserting that population is merely an alternative addition to the income requirement. CADSHI The Record of the Constitutional Commission itself declares that the 250.A.

Villafuerte] does not also want it [referring to the district of Rep. the population count in these provinces more than met the basic standard. it is clear that population and contiguity were the primary considerations. No reasons were offered except Senator Joker Arroyo's during the Senate Plenary Debates on H. Thus.6% District 2: 28. Linguistic ." 14 The resulting population distribution in the present case violates the uniform and progressive ratio prescribed in the Constitution. Cagayan de Oro. The population is based on the 1986 projection.000-450.A.34% District 3: 25. the tally of population percentage per district in Camarines Sur based on its population of 1. with the 1980 official enumeration as the point of reckoning. No. Cavite. 9716. touch the third and fourth districts which.000 minimum. particularly the inclusion of the municipality of Libmanan in the second district. however.A. however. .A.33% (former District 4) Remarkably. 12 The ponencia sweepingly declares that "population was explicitly removed as a factor. Using anything less than 250. Iloilo. Following the constitutional mandate. At the time of the congressional deliberations and effectivity of these laws. Villafuerte] touched . in proportion to the country's total population at that time (56 million). . 9716. Baguio. the population requirement cannot fall below 250. 4264.4% District 2: 16. It did not. 9716. on what the present population yardstick is. It bears noting that petitioners raised the legislative entitlement to underscore the GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION committed in the enactment of R. It is eerily silent. We cannot touch them. If the present estimated population of 90 million is to be the dividend. Sultan Kudarat already had a population of 522.9% District 4: 21. This projection indicates that our population is more or less 56 million. when properly reapportioned." 13 Far from it.000. for it would operate to allow more than 360 representatives of legislative districts alone on some capricious basis other than the variable of population.000 to both cities and provinces in the initial apportionment. 8 then there would roughly be one legislative district representative for every 450. he does not want it touched.A. . it suffered a very significant drop in its population from 416. viz. No. the benchmark should be anywhere between 250.157. and one each for all cities with a population of at least 250.000 inhabitants and each province shall have at least one representative. 10 respectively. Davao and Zamboanga. using the present population figure. italics and underscoring supplied) The framers of the Constitution intended to apply the minimum population requirement of 250.693. Quezon. Prior to the enactment of R. congressmen are kings. The ponencia harps on petitioners' admission that Camarines Sur is actually entitled to SIX legislative districts. Population remains the controlling factor. and now disregards the benchmark's application in the present petition. we at first allotted one seat for each of the 73 provinces. before R.03% District 3: 21. .A.000 persons per district. Laguna.693.000. Cebu.33% Compare now the population percentage per district after the passage of R.000.187 during the 1995 census year. 9716: TaDCEc District 1: 10.700 headcount. CcTHaD A case in point is the congressional reapportionment done in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and Zamboanga Sibugay effected through Republic Act No. Maguindanao and Cebu in 1986. emphasis. Bacolod. 11 while Zamboanga Sibugay met the population threshold in 2001 with an estimated 503.and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. (capitalization. to justify its conclusion that there is nothing wrong in the creation of another legislative district in the province. The extraneous factors 15 cited by the ponencia do not suffice to justify the redistricting. Caloocan. Taking into account the mandate that each city with at least 250.000 is illogical.A. .821 was as follows: District 1: 24. After R.000 benchmark was used only for the purpose of the 1986 initial apportionment of the legislative districts. This is the average "uniform and progressive ratio" that should prevail.680 to 176. which are the Cities of Manila.: "When it comes to their district.99% (former District 3) District 5: 25. This is a wrong premise. From the discussions in the initial apportionment and districting of Puerto Princesa. Pasay. . we then proceeded to increase whenever appropriate the number of seats for the provinces and cities in accordance with number of their inhabitants on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. Thereafter. 9357 9 and Republic Act No. 9716. can easily form another district. Yet the ponencia asserts that the 250. 9716 created one legislative district by reconfiguring the first and second districts. He [referring to Rep. 9360.B. and the extraneous factors considered were circumspectly subsumed thereto. even if they have a pregnant populace or inhabitants.99% District 4: 25. given its population of 1. the first district met the 250. No. R.821. No.

petitioners. .] VICTORINO B. . not land or trees or pastures. J p: [Equal protection] requires that a State make an honest and good faith effort to construct districts. should be considered in the composition of additional districts. 9716. but neither history alone. if not bigger. is an invitation to a free-for-all. there is no compelling reason to segregate Libmanan from the first district and tack it to the newly created second district. then the former fourth district should have been re-districted also since it is endowed with a big area like the former first district. Simply stated. such as economic. The seminal case of Reynolds v. . Calumpit. We realize that it is a practical impossibility to arrange legislative districts so that each one has an identical number of residents. . G. and MINERVA ALDABA MORADA. Yet Cabusao is part of the new first district.R. vs. creating a legislative district for the city of Malolos.R. thereby adding other requisites despite the Constitution's clear limitation to population and contiguity. an individual's right to vote for state legislators is unconstitutionally impaired when its weight is in a substantial fashion diluted when compared with votes of citizens living in other parts of the [State]. not history or economic interests. amending Malolos' City Charter. RA 9591 lapsed into law. [We] hold that. as a basic constitutional standard. But the former fourth district (which is now the fifth) comprises the same percentage of land area. The First Legislative District comprised of the city of Malolos 1 and the municipalities of Hagonoy. COMELEC. as nearly of equal population as is practicable. To sanction that as basis would see a wholesale redistricting of the entire country. The former first district supposedly occupied 40% of the total land area of Camarines Sur. By pronouncing that "other factors.difference is a weak basis to segregate the municipalities in the redistricting. Citizens. the petition and DECLARE ||| (Aquino III v. I vote to GRANT UNCONSTITUTIONAL Republic Act No. CaHcET Undoubtedly. Again. Mathematical exactness or precision is hardly a workable constitutional requirement. or voters. The municipality of Libmanan is supposedly isolated by a body of water from the first district. racial and even religious ones. the starting point for consideration and the controlling criterion for judgment in legislative apportionment controversies. In light of the foregoing. 9591 (RA 9591). 189793. . 2010) EN BANC [G. cast votes. people. MORADA. If land area was a factor. Leaving open Section 5 of Article VI to arbitrary factors. . Considering the similar geographical location of the two municipalities. But so is the municipality of Cabusao which is situated northeast of Libmanan and which is bordered by the same body of water. DECISION xxx xxx xxx CARPIO. socio-cultural. Sims 16 had already ruled that these factors cannot be permissively considered in legislative reapportionment. are permissible factors in attempting to justify disparities from population-based representation. Imagine Binondo being segregated from the Tagalog-speaking district of Tondo or Sta. Camarines Sur's malapportionment largely partakes of gerrymandering. April 07. 188078. and Paombong. 2 by creating a separate legislative district for the city. 17 A final word. nor economic or other sorts of group interests. the province of Bulacan was represented in Congress through four legislative districts. So long as the divergences from a strict population principle are constitutionally permissible. . Bulacan. 2010. respondent. Cruz in Manila on the ground that Fookien is largely spoken in Binondo. No. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. . Antecedents Before 1 May 2009. On 1 May 2009. vote. (emphasis and underscoring supplied) The Case This is an original action for Prohibition to declare unconstitutional Republic Act No. political. . January 25. in both houses of its legislature. FAJARDO. At the time the legislative bills for RA 9591 were . No. given the hundreds of dialects being spoken. JULIO G. of necessity." aside from population. Pulilan. [equal protection] requires that the seats in both houses of a bicameral state legislature must be apportioned on a population basis. Population is. Bulacan. Considerations of area alone provide an insufficient justification for deviations from the equal-population principle. ALDABA. for violating the minimum population requirement for the creation of a legislative district in a city. citizens. the ponencia effectively opens the floodgates to opportunistic lawmakers to reconfigure their own principalia and bantam districts. CARLO JOLETTE S.

(Emphasis supplied) The Certification of Regional Director Miranda does not state that the demographic projections he certified have been declared official by the NSCB. The records of this . certification on population size will be based on actual population census counts. will be issued by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer. House Bill No.291. intercensal population projections must be as of the middle of every year. HEcaIC (a) The National Statistics Office shall issue certification on data that it has collected and processed as well as on statistics that it has estimated. for the purpose of creating a legislative district for the City of Malolos in time for the 10 May 2010 elections. and 461 of the New Local Government Code. The population of Malolos City on 1 May 2009 is a contested fact but there is no dispute that House Bill No. 452. Bulacan as of May 1. registered voters and residents of Malolos City.filed in Congress in 2007. (d) Certification of population size based on projections may specify the range within which the true count is deemed likely to fall. such as May 1. the population of Malolos City was 223.000 population. the certification will be made on the basis of a set of demographic projections or estimates declared official by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). and the city or municipality for intercensal estimates. Third. Domingo of the City of Malolos in connection with the proposed creation of Malolos City as a lone congressional district of the Province of Bulacan. 442. while for the intercensal years. 135 8 dated 6 November 1993 issued by President Fidel V. is without legal effect because Regional Director Miranda has no basis and no authority to issue the Certification.000 is entitled to have a legislative district only in the "immediately following election" 7 after the attainment of the 250. Miranda of Region III of the National Statistics Office (NSO) as authority that the population of the City of Malolos "will be 254. In its Comment to the petition. House Bill No. during off-census years.069. The Certification is also void on its face because based on its own growth rate assumption. while those of intercensal population estimates will be as of middle of every year. which is based on demographic projections. 3162 (later converted to House Bill No. (f) Certifications of population size based on published census results shall be issued by the Provincial Census Officers or by the Regional Census Officers. 1990. Guidelines on the Issuance of Certification of Population sizes Pursuant to Section 7. (e) The smallest geographic area for which a certification on population size may be issued will be the barangay for census population counts. certifications on demographic projections can be issued only if such projections are declared official by the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB). the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) contended that Congress' use of projected population is non-justiciable as it involves a determination on the "wisdom of the standard adopted by the legislature to determine compliance with [a constitutional requirement]. The range will correspond to the official low and high population projections. approval must be sought from the NSCB and the conduct must be under the technical supervision of NSO from planning to data processing." The Certification states that the population of "Malolos.000 in the year 2010." 4 DECSIT The Ruling of the Court We grant the petition and declare RA 9591 unconstitutional for being violative of Section 5 (3).000. the population of Malolos will be less than 250. 3693 cites the undated Certification of Regional Director Alberto N. The 1987 Constitution requires that for a city to have a legislative district. intercensal demographic projections cannot be made for the entire year. filed this petition contending that RA 9591 is unconstitutional for failing to meet the minimum population threshold of 250. however. In addition. If an LGU wants to conduct its own population census. In any event. namely. If not. Section 6 of Executive Order No." 5 The only issue here is whether the City of Malolos has a population of at least 250. taxpayers. 2000 is 175. Certifications based on projections or estimates. (c) Certification of population census counts will be made as of the census reference date. 1986.030 by the year 2010 using the population growth rate of 3. Ramos provides: SECTION 6. First.78 between 1995 to 2000. 450. 3693 relied on an undated certification issued by a Regional Director of the National Statistics Office (NSO) that "the projected population of the Municipality of Malolos will be 254. a city whose population has increased to 250. certifications based on demographic projections can be issued only by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer. (b) For census years." 6 The Certification of Regional Director Miranda. then RA 9591 creating a legislative district in the City of Malolos is unconstitutional.030 by the year 2010. 386. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. 3693) and Senate Bill No.000 for a city to merit representation in Congress as provided under Section 5 (3)." 3 Petitioners." The Certification further states that it was "issued upon the request of Mayor Danilo A. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. whether actual or projected. the city must have "a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand. Second.

Incidentally. 12 (Emphasis supplied) Any population projection forming the basis for the creation of a legislative district must be based on an official and credible source. "the population of the Municipality of Malolos will be 254.030 by the year 2010. based on the NSO projection. Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution. this Court had already ruled. actual or projected." Based on the Certification's own growth rate assumption. a city must first attain the 250. 10 All these conflict with what the Certification states that the population of Malolos "will be 254. 135. .000 is entitled to a legislative district only in the "immediately following election. the Certification states that "the total population of Malolos. "The overwhelming weight of authority is that district apportionment laws are subject to review by the courts. such city shall have a district representative.333 as of 1 August 2010.550 in 2010. and thereafter.365 as of 1 August 2010. . the population of Malolos will be less than 250. invoked Executive Order No. in the immediately following election. there is no official record that the population of the City of Malolos will be at least 250. 135 in its Comment.291 in 2000 will grow to only 241. there is no showing that Regional Director Miranda has been designated by the NSO Administrator as a certifying officer for demographic projections in Region III. thus: Here. That is why the OSG cited Executive Order No.78 between 1995-2000. (Emphasis supplied) ITCHSa A city that has attained a population of 250.030 by the year 2010 using the population growth rate of 3. . the immediately following election after the supposed attainment of such population.000. before the 10 May 2010 elections. On the OSG's contention that Congress' choice of means to comply with the population requirement in the creation of a legislative district is non-justiciable. representing respondent Commission on Elections. Thus. Clearly. Moreover." This projection issued by the authority of the NSO Administrator is recognized under Executive Order No. xxx xxx xxx (f) Certifications of population size based on published census results shall be issued by the Provincial Census Officers or by the Regional Census Officers." The Certification also states that the population growth rate of Malolos is 3." In short. or any city whose population may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least one Member or such number of members as it may be entitled to on the basis of the number of its inhabitants and according to the standards set forth in paragraph (3).030 by the year 2010. the 2007 Census places the population of Malolos at 223. Even if the growth rate is compounded yearly.78% per year. suffice it to say that questions calling for judicial determination of compliance with constitutional standards by other branches of the government are fundamentally justiciable.069 as of 1 August 2007 will grow to only 249.case do not also show that the Certification of Regional Director Miranda is based on demographic projections declared official by the NSCB. the population of Malolos will grow to only 248. 2000 is 175. the NSO has no published population projections for individual municipalities or cities but only for entire regions and provinces. however.000 population. whether actual or projected. which states that the population of Malolos "will be 254. 9 Based on a growth rate of 3. prior to the 10 May 2010 elections.291." In addition.000. 13 Even under the 1935 Constitution. Certifications based on projections or estimates. The range will correspond to the official low and high population projections. The resolution of such questions falls within the checking function of this Court under the 1987 Constitution to determine whether there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. will be issued by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer. only the certification of the NSO Administrator can be given credence by this Court. In the absence of such official designation. 11 Executive Order No. DcICEa Also." 14 Compliance with constitutional standards on the creation of legislative . the population of Malolos of 223. Bulacan as of May 1. otherwise the population projection would be unreliable or speculative." violates the requirement that intercensal demographic projections shall be "as of the middle of every year.78% per year between 1995 and 2000. The OSG. the population of Malolos of 175. which states: xxx xxx xxx (d) Certification of population size based on projections may specify the range within which the true count is deemed likely to fall. 135 cannot simply be brushed aside. There is no showing in the present case that the City of Malolos has attained or will attain a population of 250. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. Based on a growth rate of 3.069 as of 1 August 2007. The Certification. Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution provides: Any province that may be created. .78%. the City of Malolos is not qualified to have a legislative district of its own under Section 5 (3). 135 (The Guidelines on the Issuance of Certification of Population Sizes).000 before the 10 May 2010 elections.

join the dissent of J. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. however. On May 1. Villarama. 2001.000. Abad. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution reads: Puno. Jr. 8754. making the city a separate district from the existing first legislative district of Bulacan.. They point out a) It is further certified that the projected population of the Municipality of Malolos will be 254. to amend Section 57 of R. Bulacan as of May 1. contiguous. For a city to merit one representative it should have a population of at least 250. Morada. the charter of the City of Malolos. C.. filed the present action.. This is to certify that the results of the census 2000 were proclaimed and declared official by the President of the Philippines under Proclamation No.78 between 1995 to 2000. or each province.291. compact and adjacent territory. Pulilan. dissenting: This case is about a law that establishes a new legislative district based on a projected population of the National Statistics Office (NSO) to meet the population requirement of the Constitution in the reapportionment of legislative districts.J.000. JJ. JJ. Bulacan.. Section 5. (4) Within three years following the return of every census. We DECLARE Republic Act No. all claiming to be taxpayers from Malolos City. In this case.A. Jr. shall have at least one representative. J. (3) Each legislative district shall comprise.districts is important because the "aim of legislative apportionment is 'to equalize population and voting power among districts. Fajardo. contiguous. is entitled to one representative no matter what its population size. and (3) that the law violates Section 5 (3). J. dated April 18. we GRANT the petition. Article VI which provides that each district shall comprise as far as practicable.030.. Peralta and Bersamin. 9591. 2009 petitioners Victorino Aldaba.A..A. A province. its population in 2010 will be 254. paragraphs (3) and (4).030. using the established population growth rate of 3.069. Corona. Separate Opinions ABAD. the total population of Malolos. is on leave.. Calumpit. 2000 is 175. and Paombong comprise the current first district of the province of Bulacan. that the law failed to comply with the requirement of Section 5 (4). Abad. Carpio Morales. Thus. will be 254. This is to certify that based on the 2000 census of population in housing census 2000 conducted by the National Statistics Office. and Minerva Aldaba Morada.78 percent between 1995 and 2000. the basis of House Bill 3696 is the certification of the NSO that the projected population of the City of Malolos by 2010. (2) that the creation of a separate district amounts to a conversion and requires the conduct of a plebiscite. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand. compact and adjacent territory. the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. First. 28.) 9591. Velasco. the coming election year. In 2007 the population of Malolos City was 223. 2009 Congress enacted Republic Act (R. Mendoza. concur. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution that a city must have a population of at least 250. Leonardo-de Castro. Julio G. Please note that the computation was just based on the conventional method and not taking into account other factors that may affect the base . and Perez. as far as practicable.'" 15 WHEREFORE. Brion. took no part due to relationship.. J. see dissenting opinion. The Challenge On June 16. Carlo Jolette S. Del Castillo.. J. Nachura.030 by the year 2010 using the population growth rate of 3. The NSO projected that. The Dissenting View SO ORDERED. said the NSO: National Statistics Office Region III CERTIFICATION The Facts and the Case To whom it may concern: The City of Malolos and the Municipalities of Hagonoy. assailing the constitutionality of R. 9591 UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being violative of Section 5 (3).

to only 241. the projected population may reach more than 250. 3 the Court upheld the validity of a reapportionment law based on the NSO's "preliminary count of population" which may be subject to revision.000 by the year 2010. The Court has always been reluctant to act like a third chamber of Congress and second guess its work. however. The Court held there that "although not final. Carpio points out. the certification issued by the NSO Region III Director. 9591 is based on a "legislative" finding of fact that Malolos will have a population of over 250. b. and Section 461 (the creation of urbanized cities). Regional Director 1 I cannot agree with petitioners' claim that the Congress gravely abused its discretion in relying on the 2010 projected population of Malolos City as basis for its reapportionment law.78% per year. which is by no means a local government unit. At any rate.80% per 10 years to substitute for the stated official growth rate of 3. in the sense that Governmental action may be based thereon even in matters of apportionment of legislative districts. the Court cannot intrude into the wisdom of the standard adopted by the legislature. But the lawmakers must not only abuse this discretion.78 annual growth rate by 10 for the 10 years between 2000 and 2010) = 241. 2000 is. Only when the lawmakers commit grave abuse of discretion in their passage of the law can the Court step in.A. Thus: Base Rate Growth Year . This certification is issued upon the request of Mayor Danilo A. Obviously. ESHAcI In fact. a census enumeration may be considered official. Given that the total population of Malolos as of May 1. Section 452 (the creation of highly urbanized cities). That Malolos had a population of 175.550 in 2010. the NSO Regional Director's computation applies the growth rate of 3. as the certification states. c. EDATSI The majority opinion claims that the NSO Regional Director's projection of the population of Malolos by 2010 is erroneous. The Regional Director did not make the projection by counting the trees from the mountaintops. the standard to be adopted in determining compliance with the population requirement involves a political question. 2000 was 175.78% per year. It ignores logic and the natural cumulative growth of population." Majority opinion ably written by Justice Antonio T. R. Section 386 (the creation of a barangay). the population growth rate of 3. which requires that such demographic projection be declared official by the National Statistics Coordination Board and that the certification be issued by the NSO administrator or a designated officer. the Judicial Department will resist a mandate from Congress on what evidence its courts may receive to support its decisions. according to the Executive Order. In contrast. Commission on Elections. mortality. in Macias v. Since R. according to the dissenting opinion. 1993 of President Fidel V.550. The President issued Executive Order 135 specifically to provide guidelines on the issuance of Certification of Population sizes pursuant to the following provisions of the Local Government Code: Section 7 (the creation and conversion of local government units).291 as of May 1. In addition. Domingo of the City of Malolos in connection with the proposed creation of Malolos City as a lone congressional district of the Province of Bulacan.population.291 x 37. Hence.) ALBERTO MIRANDA the N. The President of the Philippines proclaimed and declared that census official under Proclamation 28 dated April 18.291 and its growth rate was 3. The rules of legislative inquiry or investigation are unique to each house of Congress. the same is not governed by the requirements of Executive Order 135. It would be foolhardy for the Court to suggest that the legislature consider only evidence admissible in a court of law or under the rules passed by the Office of the President. As argued by the Solicitor General." But Executive Order 135 cannot apply to this case for the following reasons: a. "be as of middle of every year. the intercensal population estimates must. whose office has jurisdiction over Malolos City. Article VI of the Constitution prohibits the use of estimates or population projections in the creation of legislative districts. 9591 is not concerned with the creation or conversion of a local government unit but with the establishment of a new legislative district. Ramos.000 in consideration of the other factors like future or past fertility. Neither the Supreme Court nor the Executive Department can dictate on Congress the kind of evidence that will satisfy its law-making requirement. By authority Administrator of (Sgd. The data are based on evidence that is admissible even in a court of law. On the other hand. they must do so with grave consequences. nothing in Section 5. It uses a growth rate of 37. and migration within the locality for the year 2010. Section 450 (the conversion of a municipality or a cluster of barangay into a component city). and still subject to correction.78% per year. Section 442 (the creation of a municipality). 2001. In the absence of grave abuse of discretion or patent violation of established legal parameters. 2 Here. partakes of official information based on official data.80% (arrived at by multiplying the 3. its population will grow.A.78% used in the 2010 population projection for Malolos derived from the difference between the results of the official population census taken in 1995 and that taken in 2000. which is more logical in that the base is adjusted annually to reflect the year to year growth. based on the 2000 census of population conducted by the NSO. that "no legal effect" can be accorded to the certification of demographic projection for Malolos City issued by the NSO Region III Director because it violates the provisions of Executive Order 135 dated November 6. But the majority opinion uses the following formula: 175.

That would be a mere shadow of freedom. Incorporated in 2003. harmony among those theoretically opposed is an insurmountable goal. 188078.A. that because of negative societal attitudes.335 2004 203. which is not the case here. In many cases. [F]reedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much.036 2010 Second. 2009 3 (the Second Assailed Resolution) in SPP No. at least. choices are not to be legally prohibited merely because they are different.021 2005 211. bisexuals.917 2001 substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. The constitutional check against "gerrymandering. Jackson 188. 2010) . The case has its roots in the COMELEC's refusal to accredit Ang Ladlad as a party-list organization under Republic Act (RA) No. the Assailed Resolutions). 4 is found in Section 5 (3). A city can aspire to have one representative who will represent its interest in Congress. It states that "each legislative district shall comprise. 9716.929 x 3." It should be noted. civilly. diversity and difference in opinion. Indeed. R. . G. It does not require the conduct of a plebiscite for its validity. as far as practicable.78% = 181. As the Court held in Bagabuyo v. and the right to disagree and debate about important questions of public policy is a core value protected by our Bill of Rights.78% = 244.78% = 203. merger. 5 the holding of a plebiscite is not a requirement in legislative apportionment or reapportionment. This Court recognizes. Commission on Elections. and that Ang Ladlad complied with the 8-point guidelines .793 x 3. and violence. 9591 to favor the interest of any candidate. filed by Ang Ladlad LGBT Party (Ang Ladlad) against the Resolutions of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) dated November 11. even choices that may shock or offend or anger us. This is so because there is no showing that Congress enacted R. 7941.78% = 254. January 25.335 x 3." Hence. ||| (Aldaba v. COMELEC. . or trans-gendered individuals (LGBTs). contiguous. LGBTs are constrained to hide their sexual orientation. the fact that the creation of a legislative district for Malolos would separate the town of Bulacan from the rest of the towns comprising the first district.929 2003 West Virginia State Board of Education v. gays. 09-228 (PL) (collectively. Yet herein lies the paradox — philosophical justifications about what is moral are indispensable and yet at the same time powerless to create agreement. choices we may disapprove of. with an application for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction.78% = 188. Before the COMELEC. Ang Ladlad again filed a Petition 5 for registration with the COMELEC. reason more worthy than rhetoric. that practical solutions are preferable to ideological stalemates.291 x 3. However.793 2002 Justice Robert A. then. Third. Article VI of the Constitution. our democracy is built on genuine recognition of. This will allow persons of diverse viewpoints to live together. otherwise known as the Party-List System Act.A. where moral convictions are concerned. 2009. that this rule is qualified by the phrase "as far as practicable. petitioner argued that the LGBT community is a marginalized and under-represented sector that is particularly disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.276 2007 227.78% = 227. Ang Ladlad first applied for registration with the COMELEC in 2006.175. society has grappled with deep disagreements about the definitions and demands of morality. I vote to dismiss the petition. discrimination. Contrary to petitioners' claim. accommodation is better than intransigence. The application for accreditation was denied on the ground that the organization had no substantial membership base. however. compact and adjacent territory. Factual Background This is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.78% = 235. On August 17.783 x 3.78% = 195.867 x 3. abolition or alteration of boundaries of local government units. No. Since ancient times.021 x 3. 181.78% = 218. Barnette 1 195. if not harmoniously. would not militate against the constitutionality of R. A plebiscite is necessary only in the creation.998 2006 218.783 2009 244.998 x 3. that LGBTs are victims of exclusion.78% = 211. 2009 2 (the First Assailed Resolution) and December 16." which means the creation of representative districts out of separate points of territory in order to favor a candidate.R.A. however. and respect for.867 2008 235. division.917 x 3. 4 CDAHaE Ang Ladlad is an organization composed of men and women who identify themselves as lesbians. 9591 is a reapportionment bill.276 x 3. The test of its One unavoidable consequence of everyone having the freedom to choose is that others may make different choices — choices we would not make for ourselves.

for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men." This definition of the LGBT sector makes it crystal clear that petitioner tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs. relationship. . obscene publications and exhibitions. as amended. morals.000 (Genesis 19 is the history of Sodom and Gomorrah). or more than one gender. It is further indicated in par. stating that: . object or purpose is contrary to law. the COMELEC (Second Division) dismissed the Petition on moral grounds. business. good customs. published with their knowledge in any form. Hence. and outlined its platform of governance. 6 Ang Ladlad laid out its national membership base consisting of individual members and organizational supporters. 27. In Romans 1:26. or disregards decency or morality . Art.(a) The authors of obscene literature. burned in their lust one toward another. the hereunder verses are pertinent: For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women "ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds. . 2009. and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. after admitting the petitioner's evidence. pertinent provisions of the Civil Code and the Revised Penal Code are deemed part of the requirement to be complied with for accreditation. or both such imprisonment and fine. obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows' as follows: Art. . 2. 7 On November 11. . ANG LADLAD collides with Article 695 of the Civil Code which defines nuisance as 'Any act. public order or public policy. provided they are not contrary to law. clauses. This Petition is dismissible on moral grounds. (3) shocks. or accreditation. affectional and sexual attraction to. thus: . Finally to safeguard the morality of the Filipino community. Men Having Sex with Men or MSMs in the Philippines were estimated as 670. . It also collides with Article 1306 of the Civil Code: 'The contracting parties may establish such stipulations. terms and conditions as they may deem convenient.Those who shall publicly expound or proclaim doctrines openly contrary to public morals. Laws are deemed incorporated in every contract. the editors publishing such literature. and intimate and sexual relations with. or anything else which . individuals of a different gender. Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community. and indecent shows. . and proceeded to define sexual orientation as that which: . 6F: 'Consensual partnerships or relationships by gays and lesbians who are already of age'. omission. — The penalty of prision mayor or a fine ranging from six thousand to twelve thousand pesos. of the same gender. shall be imposed upon: 1.81) "And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): Then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime!" (7:84) "He said: "O my Lord! Help Thou me against people who do mischief" (29:30). . establishment. and the owners/operators of the establishment selling the same. the Revised Penal Code." (7. refers to a person's capacity for profound emotional. . . 24 of the Petition which waves for the record: 'In 2007. 1409 of the Civil Code provides that 'Contracts whose cause. 2008: CcADHI The ANG LADLAD apparently advocates sexual immorality as indicated in the Petition's par. Immoral doctrines. As correctly pointed out by the Law Department in its Comment dated October 2.enunciated by this Court inAng Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. 201. public order or public policy' are inexistent and void from the beginning. condition of property. defies. Commission on Elections. good customs. . a marginalized and under-represented sector that is particularly disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. leaving the natural use of the woman. . penalizes 'Immoral doctrines. In the Koran. Paul wrote: For this cause God gave them up into vile affections. license. Gay. men with men working that which is unseemly. Petitioner defines the Filipino Lesbian. permit. morals.

shall include those which: (1) glorify criminals or condone crimes. Rene V. Lehman Strauss. xxx xxx xxx IV. Article II of the Constitution to protect our youth from moral and spiritual degradation. scenes. the party-list system is a tool for the realization of aspirations of marginalized individuals whose interests are also the nation's — only that their interests have not been brought to the attention of the nation because of their under representation. a famous bible teacher and writer in the U. Section 2 of the party-list law unequivocally states that the purpose of the party-list system of electing congressional representatives is In the United States. organizations and parties. established policies. decrees and edicts. lust or pornography. Larrazabal. acts or shows. Sarmiento.The Spirit of Republic Act No. then all representative organizations would have found themselves into the party-list race. courts do not recognize lesbians. sculpture or literature which are offensive to morals. If entry into the party-list system would depend only on the ability of an organization to represent its constituencies. it has also been held that homosexuality is not a constitutionally protected fundamental right. and they will remain either male or female protected by the same Bill of Rights that applies to all citizens alike. fairs. (2) serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market for violence. .No substantial differentiation Furthermore. 7941 Ladlad is applying for accreditation as a sectoral party in the partylist system. cinematographs or any other place. lawful orders. (4) tend to abet traffic in and use of prohibited drugs.A. . breaking the tie and speaking for the majority in his Separate Opinion. Rather. Constitution discloses a comparable intent to protect or promote the social or legal equality of homosexual relations. and that "nothing in the U. gays. and Armando Velasco). ours too is the State's avowed duty under Section 13. we will be exposing our youth to an environment that does not conform to the teachings of our faith. its application for accreditation under the party-list system will remain just that. should this Commission grant the petition. stating that: I. acts or shows. and who lack welldefined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. ." to enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. (3) offend any race or religion. or regulations relating to the elections. Ferrer.(b)Those who. THADEI Petitioner should likewise be denied accreditation not only for advocating immoral doctrines but likewise for not being truthful when it said that it "or any of its nominees/party-list representatives have not violated or failed to comply with laws. and (5) are contrary to law. II. The COMELEC Chairman. even if society's understanding. rules. ." As an agency of the government. it being understood that the obscene literature or indecent or immoral plays. and acceptance of LGBT's is elevated." as in the case of race or religion or belief. while three commissioners voted to deny Ang Ladlad's Motion for Reconsideration (Commissioners Nicodemo T. EcHTCD xxx xxx xxx Thus.Public Morals . Yusoph). 3. whose equal protection doctrine pervades Philippine jurisprudence. engravings. good customs. Tagle. Significantly.S. to become members of the House of Representatives. public order. There is no question about not imposing on Ladlad Christian or Muslim religious practices. scenes. 9 three commissioners voted to overturn the First Assailed Resolution (Commissioners Gregorio Y. there can be no denying that Ladlad constituencies are still males and females. Neither is there any attempt to any particular religious group's moral rules on Ladlad. in theaters. it cannot be said that Ladlad's expressed sexual orientations per se would benefit the nation as a whole. give away or exhibit films. Even assuming that it has properly proven its underrepresentation and marginalization. Until the time comes when Ladlad is able to justify that having mixed sexual orientations and transgender identities is beneficial to the nation. whether live or in film. homosexuals. said in one article that "older practicing homosexuals are a threat to the youth. The party-list system is not a tool to advocate tolerance and acceptance of misunderstood persons or groups of persons. upheld the First Assailed Resolution. 8 When Ang Ladlad sought reconsideration. which are prescribed by virtue hereof. . and bisexuals (LGBT) as a "special class" of individuals. morals. and Elias R.Those who shall sell.S. exhibit indecent or immoral plays. what are . Rather. tolerance. Lucenito N. But that is not the intention of the framers of the law. prints.

freedom of speech and assembly." "Ang Ladlad" apparently falls under these legal provisions. omission . insofar as it justified the exclusion by using religious dogma. .000. in order to give COMELEC the opportunity to fully ventilate its position. . 2010. fisherfolk. 12 Somewhat surprisingly. * Article 694 of the Civil Code defines "nuisance" as any act. 2010. or anything else . Our Ruling We grant the petition. praying that the Court annul the Assailed Resolutions and direct the COMELEC to grant Ang Ladlad's application for accreditation. In its Comment. Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code imposes the penalty of prision mayor upon "Those who shall publicly expound or proclaim doctrines openly contrary to public morals. 17 The CHR opined that the denial of Ang Ladlad's petition on moral grounds violated the standards and principles of the Constitution. the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) filed a Motion to Intervene or to Appear as Amicus Curiae. 2010. DcaECT On January 26. . expression. Ang Ladlad filed this Petition. and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court. the COMELEC reiterated that petitioner does not have a concrete and genuine national political agenda to benefit the nation and that the petition was validly dismissed on moral grounds. 14 The COMELEC. the Philippines cannot ignore its more than 500 years of Muslim and Christian upbringing. V. Respondent mistakenly opines that our ruling in Ang Bagong Bayani stands for the proposition that only those sectors specifically enumerated in the law or related to said sectors (labor. and professionals) may be registered under the party-list system. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Compliance with the Constitution 7941 the and Requirements Republic Act of No. Jr. however. as well as constituted violations of the Philippines' international obligations against discrimination based on sexual orientation. . Moreoever. 24 of the Petition which waves for the record: 'In 2007. overseas workers. indigenous cultural communities. we granted the CHR's motion to intervene. 19 The Parties' Arguments Ang Ladlad argued that the denial of accreditation. 13 Thus. 2010. nor is it associated with or related to any of the sectors in the enumeration. which shocks. On January 6. on January 13. peasant. It is further indicated in par. 16 Also. and equal protection of laws. As we explicitly ruled in Ang Bagong BayaniOFW Labor Party v. 10 On January 4. Salonga. we required it to file its own comment. 11 Instead of filing a Comment. However. youth. 15 In the meantime." These are all unlawful. . and assembly were concerned. through its Law Department. The crucial element is not whether a sector is specifically enumerated. women. the OSG later filed a Comment in support of petitioner's application. . It also argued for the first time that the LGBT sector is not among the sectors enumerated by the Constitution and RA 7941. . This is clear from its Petition's paragraph 6F: "Consensual partnerships or relationships by gays and lesbians who are already of age. 2010. we issued a temporary restraining order on January 12.Legal Provisions But above morality and social norms. 2010. Petitioner also claimed that the Assailed Resolutions contravened its constitutional rights to privacy. obscene publications and exhibition and indecent shows. 2010. 2010. they have become part of the law of the land. . and that petitioner made untruthful statements in its petition when it alleged its national existence contrary to actual verification reports by COMELEC's field personnel. Commission on Elections. It also opined that LGBTs have their own special interests and concerns which should have been recognized by the COMELEC as a separate classification. defies or disregards decency or morality . handicapped. They are possibly religious-based. 2010 to Comment. due to the urgency of the petition. requesting that it be given until January 16. the OSG maintained that there had been no restrictions on these rights. Men Having Sex with Men or MSMs in the Philippines were estimated as 670." It penalizes "immoral doctrines. On January 19. filed its Comment on February 2. 2010. Ang Ladlad also sought the issuance ex parte of a preliminary mandatory injunction against the COMELEC. filed his Motion to Intervene 18 which motion was granted on February 2. the OSG filed a Motion for Extension. which had previously announced that it would begin printing the final ballots for the May 2010 elections by January 25. violated the constitutional guarantees against the establishment of religion. elderly. The OSG concurred with Ang Ladlad's petition and argued that the COMELEC erred in denying petitioner's application for registration since there was no basis for COMELEC's allegations of immorality. directing the COMELEC to cease and desist from implementing the Assailed Resolutions. insofar as the purported violations of petitioner's freedom of speech. we ordered the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to file its Comment on behalf of COMELEC not later than 12:00 noon of January 11.being adopted as moral parameters and precepts are generally accepted public morals. Epifanio D. 2010. but whether a particular organization complies with the requirements of the Constitution and RA 7941. such that some moral precepts espoused by said religions have sipped [sic] into society and these are not publicly accepted moral norms. The COMELEC denied Ang Ladlad's application for registration on the ground that the LGBT sector is neither enumerated in the Constitution and RA 7941. but as a society. 20 "the enumeration of marginalized and under-represented sectors is not exclusive". veterans. attaching thereto its Comment-in-Intervention. urban poor.

petitioner alleged that the LGBT community in the Philippines was estimated to constitute at least 670. The COMELEC claims that upon verification by its field personnel. it was shown that "save for a few isolated places in the country. Rizal •The Link-Davao City •Tayabas Gay Association-Quezon . the COMELEC claimed that petitioner was "not being truthful when it said that it or any of its nominees/party-list representatives have not violated or failed to comply with laws. A cursory perusal of Ang Ladlad's initial petition shows that it never claimed to exist in each province of the Philippines. Rather. Bisexual.044 members in its electronic discussion group." 21 EaISTD This argument that "petitioner made untruthful statements in its petition when it alleged its national existence" is a new one. & Transgender Youth Association (GABAY) •Soul Jive-Antipolo. that it had 16. This. at worst. At best. is quite curious. Inc. we find that there has been no misrepresentation. Aelred (OSAe)-Metro Manila •Aklan Butterfly Brigade (ABB)-Aklan •PUP LAKAN •Albay Gay Association •RADAR PRIDEWEAR •Arts Center of Cabanatuan City-Nueva Ecija •Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights). a belated afterthought. previously. Inc. 22 Ang Ladlad also represented itself to be "a national LGBT umbrella organization with affiliates around the Philippines composed of the following LGBT networks:" •Metropolitan Community Church (MCC)-Metro Manila •Naga City Gay Association-Naga City •ONE BACARDI AaITCS •Abra Gay Association •Order of St. petitioner does not exist in almost all provinces in the country. and 4. Inc. this is irregular procedure.100 affiliates and members around the country. a change in respondent's theory.Respondent also argues that Ang Ladlad made untruthful statements in its petition when it alleged that it had nationwide existence through its members and affiliate organizations. in itself.-Metro Manila •Boys Legion-Metro Manila •San Jose del Monte Gay Association-Bulacan •Cagayan de Oro People Like Us (CDO PLUS) •Sining Kayumanggi Royal Family-Rizal •Can't Live in the Closet. (CLIC)-Metro Manila •Society of Transexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)Metro Manila •Cebu Pride-Cebu City •Circle of Friends •Dipolog Gay Association-Zamboanga del Norte •Gay." Nowhere was this ground for denial of petitioner's accreditation mentioned or even alluded to in the Assailed Resolutions.000 persons. rules. •Gay and Lesbian Activists Network for Gender Equality (GALANG)-Metro Manila •Gay Men's Support Group (GMSG)-Metro Manila •Gay United for Peace and Solidarity (GUPS)-Lanao del Norte •Iloilo City Gay Association-Iloilo City •Kabulig Writer's Group-Camarines Sur •Lesbian Advocates Philippines. (LEAP) •LUMINA-Baguio City •Marikina Gay Association-Metro Manila Nonetheless. or regulations relating to the elections. considering that the reports of petitioner's alleged non-existence were already available to the COMELEC prior to the issuance of the First Assailed Resolution. and a serious violation of petitioner's right to procedural due process.

homosexual conduct. however. Succinctly put. it is no surprise that they found that petitioner had no presence in any of these regions. if government relies upon religious beliefs in formulating public policies and morals." 25 We thus find that it was grave violation of the non-establishment clause for the COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang Ladlad. .. although the morality contemplated by laws is secular. through the years. Indeed. which is registered as Ang Ladlad's principal place of business." Otherwise. ." anathema to religious freedom. "governmental reliance on religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of neutrality. Rather than relying on religious belief. Benevolent neutrality recognizes that government must pursue its secular goals and interests but at the same time strive to uphold religious liberty to the greatest extent possible within flexible constitutional limits. The COMELEC argues: aIcCTA Petitioner's accreditation was denied not necessarily because their group consists of LGBTs but because of the danger it poses to the people especially the youth. i. As a result. the human mind endeavors to regulate the temporal and spiritual institutions of society in a uniform manner. government action. petitioner does not even exist in Quezon City. to a "compelled religion. Although admittedly. The difference. if COMELEC's findings are to be believed. Religion Accept Registration as the Ang Basis Ladlad's for Refusal Petition to for Our Constitution provides in Article III. benevolent neutrality could allow for accommodation of morality based on religion. Section 5 that "[n]o law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion. "Religious teachings as expressed in public debate may influence the civil public order but public moral disputes may be resolved only on grounds articulable in secular terms. nowhere in the records has the respondent ever found/ruled that Ang Ladlad is not qualified to register as a party-list organization under any of the requisites under RA 7941 or the guidelines in Ang Bagong Bayani." At bottom. a law could be religious or Kantian or Aquinian or utilitarian in its deepest roots. Recognizing the religious nature of the Filipinos and the elevating influence of religion in society. After all. Any society without a set of moral precepts is in danger of losing its own existence. lies in Ang Ladlad's morality. or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. aside from COMELEC's moral objection and the belated allegation of non-existence. moral judgments based on religion might have a compelling influence on those engaged in public deliberations over what actions would be considered a moral disapprobation punishable by law. they might also be adherents of a religion and thus have religious opinions and moral codes with a compelling influence on them. Against this backdrop. 27 Public Morals as a Ang Ladlad's Petition for Registration Ground to Deny Respondent suggests that although the moral condemnation of homosexuality and homosexual conduct may be religion-based. the resulting policies and morals would require conformity to what some might regard as religious programs or agenda. The non-believers would therefore be compelled to conform to a standard of conduct buttressed by a religious belief. . what our non-establishment clause calls for is "government neutrality in religious matters. •Zamboanga Gay Association-Zamboanga City 23 Since the COMELEC only searched for the names ANG LADLAD LGBT or LADLAD LGBT. Likewise. . Once it is recognized by the government. Escritor: 26 . It will bring down the standard of morals we cherish in our civilized society. The morality referred to in the law is public and necessarily secular. but it must have an articulable and discernible secular purpose and justification to pass scrutiny of the religion clauses.•Women's Bisexual Network-Metro Manila policy. In fact. COMELEC claims. government will not provide full religious freedom for all its citizens. or lack thereof. government must act for secular purposes and in ways that have primarily secular effects. and perhaps homosexuals themselves. 28 We are not blind to the fact that. Otherwise stated." 24 Clearly. harmonizing earth with heaven. including its proscription of immorality as expressed in criminal law like concubinage. on whether the COMELEC is able to advance some justification for its rulings beyond mere conformity to religious doctrine. must have a secular purpose. Thus. have borne the brunt of societal disapproval. it would tacitly approve or endorse that belief and thereby also tacitly disapprove contrary religious or non-religious views that would not support the In other words. . instead. it has long been transplanted into generally accepted public morals. the legitimacy of the Assailed Resolutions should depend. As we held in Estrada v. That is. not religious as the dissent of Mr. a sector which believes that there is nothing wrong in having sexual relations with individuals of the same gender is a bad example. if government based its actions upon religious beliefs.e. It is not difficult . provided it does not offend compelling state interests. Justice Carpio holds. the Philippine constitution's religion clauses prescribe not a strict but a benevolent neutrality. the government proscribes this conduct because it is "detrimental (or dangerous) to those conditions upon which depend the existence and progress of human society" and not because the conduct is proscribed by the beliefs of one religion or the other. or even make it appear that those whose beliefs are disapproved are second-class citizens. we find that Ang Ladlad has sufficiently demonstrated its compliance with the legal requirements for accreditation.

requires proof beyond reasonable doubt to support a criminal conviction. and they deserve to participate in the party-list system on the same basis as other marginalized and under-represented sectors. a civil action. we cannot countenance advocates who. Respondent's blanket justifications give rise to the inevitable conclusion that the COMELEC targets homosexuals themselves as a class. 36 we declared that "[i]n our jurisdiction. and procreation. which provides "nor shall any person be denied equal protection of the laws. we recall that the Philippines has not seen fit to criminalize homosexual conduct. and this constitutes sufficient reason to disqualify the petitioner. without more. the lesbian. . furthers no legitimate state interest other than disapproval of or dislike for a disfavored group. have followed the 'rational basis' test. or anything else which shocks. even dislike or distrust of homosexuals themselves and their perceived lifestyle. omission. establishment. SDIaCT As such. the notion of morality is robbed of all value. we will uphold the classification as long as it bears a rational relationship to some legitimate government end. condition of property." 33 The equal protection clause guarantees that no person or class of persons shall be deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place and in like circumstances. The denial of Ang Ladlad's registration on purely moral grounds amounts more to a statement of dislike and disapproval of homosexuals. rather than a tool to further any substantial public interest. therefore. "consists in the same treatment of similar persons. at worst. do not suggest that the state is wholly without authority to regulate matters concerning morality. . It is this selective targeting that implicates our equal protection clause. We disagree with the OSG's position that homosexuals are a class in themselves for the purposes of the equal protection clause. Nonetheless." Certainly this is not the intendment of the law. disingenuous. 38 We are not prepared to single out homosexuals as a separate class meriting special or differentiated treatment. We. Clearly then. and we recognize that the government will and should continue to restrict behavior considered detrimental to society. gay. or more than one gender." the remedies for which are a prosecution under the Revised Penal Code or any local ordinance. Neither has the COMELEC condescended to justify its position that petitioner's admission into the party-list system would be so harmful as to irreparably damage the moral fabric of society. Section 1 of our Constitution. Indeed. bisexual. From the standpoint of the political process. without bothering to go through the rigors of legal reasoning and explanation. even if we were to assume that public opinion is as the COMELEC describes it. There is a great divide between thought and action. and its unsubstantiated claim that Ang Ladlad cannot contribute to the formulation of legislation that would benefit the nation. or why special protection is required for the youth. situate morality on one end of an argument or another. Evidently. It hardly needs to be emphasized that mere allegation of violation of laws is not proof. Unfortunately for the respondent. COMELEC would have its hands full of disqualification cases against both the "straights" and the gays. these "generally accepted public morals" have not been convincingly transplanted into the realm of law. at best. the bare invocation of morality will not remove an issue from our scrutiny.to imagine the reasons behind this censure — religious beliefs. Nonetheless. is not a sufficient governmental interest to justify exclusion of homosexuals from participation in the party-list system. We have not received sufficient evidence to this effect. or disregards decency or morality. Equal Protection Despite the absolutism of Article III. Article 694 of the Civil Code defines a nuisance as "any act. It bears stressing that our finding that COMELEC's act of differentiating LGBTs from heterosexuals insofar as the party-list system is concerned does not imply that any other law distinguishing between heterosexuals and homosexuals under different circumstances would similarly fail. the standard of analysis of equal protection challenges . laws of general application should apply with equal force to LGBTs." courts have never interpreted the provision as an absolute prohibition on classification. Petitioner itself has merely demanded that it be recognized under the same basis as all other groups similarly . not because of any particular morally reprehensible act. on the other hand. Even the OSG agrees that "there should have been a finding by the COMELEC that the group's members have committed or are committing immoral acts. coupled with a deferential attitude to legislative classifications and a reluctance to invalidate a law unless there is a showing of a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. 34 Recent jurisprudence has affirmed that if a law neither burdens a fundamental right nor targets a suspect class. v. 35 In Central Bank Employees Association. 31 Respondent has failed to explain what societal ills are sought to be prevented. No law exists to criminalize homosexual behavior or expressions or parties about homosexual behavior. Inc. or abatement without judicial proceedings. Hence. 29 The Assailed Resolutions have not identified any specific overt immoral act performed by Ang Ladlad. we hold that moral disapproval. defies. but mere attraction does not translate to immoral acts. moral disapproval of an unpopular minority — is not a legitimate state interest that is sufficient to satisfy rational basis review under the equal protection clause. convictions about the preservation of marriage. Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas. and sexual relations." 37 The COMELEC posits that the majority of the Philippine population considers homosexual conduct as immoral and unacceptable. the Philippine electorate has expressed no such belief. We also find the COMELEC's reference to purported violations of our penal and civil laws flimsy. of a different gender. If immoral thoughts could be penalized. the asserted state interest here — that is. . Reduction ad absurdum. and a mere blanket invocation of public morals cannot replace the institution of civil or criminal proceedings and a judicial determination of liability or culpability. 32 A violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code. A person may be sexually attracted to a person of the same gender." said Aristotle. "Equality. In this. State intrusion in this case is equally burdensome. . family. and it is simply unnecessary to make such a ruling today." 30 The OSG argues: . sexuality. of course. The COMELEC's differentiation. and transgender have the same interest in participating in the party-list system on the same basis as other political parties similarly situated. undoubtedly with the loftiest of intentions.

even if such ideas may seem shocking or unacceptable to the authorities or the majority of the population. this common agreement on political and moral ideas is distilled in the public square. and this freedom applies not only to those that are favorably received but also to those that offend. are entitled to hold and express that view. In order to justify the prohibition of a particular expression of opinion. shock. The OSG argues that: . in the very act of adopting and accepting a constitution and the limits it specifies — including protection of religious freedom "not only for a minority. every aspiration. The ECHR has emphasized that political ideas that challenge the existing order and whose realization is advocated by peaceful means must be afforded a proper opportunity of expression through the exercise of the right of association. Thus. It well may be that this Decision will only serve to highlight the discrepancy between the rigid constitutional analysis of this Court and the more complex moral sentiments of Filipinos. 45 Only if a political party incites violence or puts forward policies that are incompatible with democracy does it fall outside the protection of the freedom of association guarantee. the people deliberate and decide. On the other hand. in all likelihood. In the area of freedom of expression. 39 It is in the public square that deeply held convictions and differing opinions should be distilled and deliberated upon. Citizens are the bearers of opinion. however small — not only for a majority. Otherwise stated. LGBTs and their supporters. Any restriction imposed in this sphere must be proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued. or espousing religious belief.situated. in Europe. aAcDSC This position gains even more force if one considers that homosexual conduct is not illegal in this country. with its vibrant human rights tradition. believe with equal fervor that relationships between individuals of the same sex are morally equivalent to heterosexual relationships. We do not suggest that public opinion. however large — but for each of us" — the majority imposes upon itself a self-denying ordinance. It follows that both expressions concerning one's homosexuality and the activity of forming a political association that supports LGBT individuals are protected as well. and every moral discernment has access to the public square where people deliberate the order of their life together. none of this suggests the impending arrival of a golden age for gay rights litigants. They are entitled to hold and express that view. offensive. They. and its members have not been deprived of their right to voluntarily associate. and that the COMELEC made "an unwarranted and impermissible classification not justified by the circumstances of the case. our democracy precludes using the religious or moral views of one part of the community to exclude from consideration the values of other members of the community. reflect a clear-cut strong consensus favorable to gay rights claims and we neither attempt nor expect to affect individual perceptions of homosexuality through this Decision. too. the laws will largely reflect the beliefs and preferences of the majority. 41 European and United Nations judicial decisions have ruled in favor of gay rights claimants on both privacy and equality grounds. may nevertheless have persuasive influence on the Court's analysis. the state is prohibited from determining which convictions and moral judgments may be proposed for public deliberation. public institutions must show that their actions were caused by "something more than a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint. or even defiant. and these citizens have equal access to the public square. Majority rule is a necessary principle in this democratic governance. then there has been no restriction on their freedom of expression or association. As we held in Estrada v. Nevertheless. Of course. every opinion. the mainstream or median groups.. such jurisprudence is certainly illuminating." Freedom Association of Expression and Under our system of laws. while not formally binding on Philippine courts. 46 We do not doubt that a number of our citizens may believe that homosexual conduct is distasteful. every group has the right to promote its agenda and attempt to persuade society of the validity of its position through normal democratic means. citing general privacy and equal protection provisions in foreign and international texts. In this representative democracy. or disturb. even at its most liberal. including opinion shaped by. The OSG argues that since there has been neither prior restraint nor subsequent punishment imposed on Ang Ladlad. However. It promises not to do what it otherwise could do: to ride roughshod over the dissenting minorities. 42 To the extent that there is much to learn from other jurisdictions that have reflected on the issues we face here. Where citizens are free. every prejudice. the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has repeatedly stated that a political party may campaign for a change in the law or the constitutional structures of a state if it uses legal and democratic means and the changes it proposes are consistent with democratic principles. Other jurisdictions have gone so far as to categorically rule that even overwhelming public perception that homosexual conduct violates public morality does not justify criminalizing same-sex conduct. the COMELEC is certainly not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one. Absent any compelling state interest. Through a constitutionally designed process. United States courts have ruled that existing free speech doctrines protect gay and lesbian rights to expressive conduct. These foreign authorities." 43 With respect to freedom of association for the advancement of ideas and beliefs. for instance. 44 A political group should not be hindered solely because it seeks to publicly debate controversial political issues in order to find solutions capable of satisfying everyone concerned. Escritor: 40 In a democracy.e. i. when public deliberation on moral judgments is finally crystallized into law. Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society. it is not for the COMELEC or this Court to impose its views on the populace. as far as this Court is concerned.

SIaHDA The principle of non-discrimination is laid out in Article 26 of the ICCPR. (c)To have access. . [COMELEC] simply exercised its authority to review and verify the qualifications of petitioner as a sectoral party applying to participate in the party-list system. if not outrightly nullifying the capacity of its members to fully and equally participate in public life through engagement in the party list elections. Article III of the Constitution. In fact. the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race. directly or through freely chosen representatives. enunciated in the UDHR and the ICCPR. petitioner contends that the denial of Ang Ladlad's petition has the clear and immediate effect of limiting. indeed. therefore. has grown dynamically in its attempt to bring about a more just and humane world order. the scope of the right to electoral participation is elaborated by the Human Rights Committee in its General Comment No. no publication censored. as follows: (1)Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country. the ICCPR states: Article 25 Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity. directly or through freely chosen representatives. Likewise. political or other opinion. (b)To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot. we find that there has. to public service in his country. For individuals and groups struggling with inadequate structural and governmental support. property. or any assembly denied. standards of conduct. In this context. In this respect. a variety of United Nations bodies have declared discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to be prohibited under various international agreements. This argument is puerile. As stated by the CHR in its Comment-in-Intervention. and should be effectively enforced in domestic legal systems so that such norms may become actual. the principle of non-discrimination requires that laws of general application relating to elections be applied equally to all persons. Our Decision today is fully in accord with our international obligations to protect and promote human rights. on general terms of equality. international human rights norms are particularly significant. The holding of a public office is not a right but a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. ." 48 Additionally. Although sexual orientation is not specifically enumerated as a status or ratio for discrimination in Article 26 of the ICCPR. 49 The UDHR provides: Article 21. international human rights law. in particular. 47 The OSG fails to recall that petitioner has. Their right to vote will not be hampered by said denial. guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors. that the petitioner has been precluded. established its qualifications to participate in the party-list system. been a transgression of petitioner's fundamental rights. the right to vote is a constitutionally-guaranteed right which cannot be limited. . Non-Discrimination Law and International In an age that has seen international law evolve geometrically in scope and promise. language. This lawful exercise of duty cannot be said to be a transgression of Section 4. In particular. colour. and — as advanced by the OSG itself — the moral objection offered by the COMELEC was not a limitation imposed by law. from publicly expressing its views as a political party and participating on an equal basis in the political process with other equally-qualified party-list candidates. birth or other status. As to its right to be elected in a genuine periodic election.There was no utterance restricted. 25 (Participation in Public Affairs and the Right to Vote) as follows: . To the extent. does not deprive the members of the petitioner to freely take part in the conduct of elections. religion. we explicitly recognize the principle of nondiscrimination as it relates to the right to electoral participation. sex. in fact. rather than ideal. . because of COMELEC's action. without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions: (a)To take part in the conduct of public affairs. regardless of sexual orientation. Article 26 All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. . xxx xxx xxx A denial of the petition for registration . national or social origin. the ICCPR Human Rights Committee has opined that the reference to "sex" in Article 26 should be construed to include "sexual orientation.

Christian 2 and . The Commission on Elections is directed to GRANT petitioner's application for party-list accreditation. Velasco. residence or descent. We refer now to the petitioner's invocation of the Yogyakarta Principles (the Application of International Human Rights Law In Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity). Mr. J.e. This Court's role is not to impose its own view of acceptable behavior. even the psychiatric and religious communities are divided in opinion. Persons who are otherwise eligible to stand for election should not be excluded by unreasonable or discriminatory requirements such as education. The Resolutions of the Commission on Elections dated November 11. and is a result of the notion that if "wants" are couched in "rights" language. C. States parties should indicate and explain the legislative provisions which exclude any group or category of persons from elective office. JJ. we cannot help but observe that the social issues presented by this case are emotionally charged. Using even the most liberal of lenses. 09-228 (PL) are hereby SET ASIDE.. as it denied Ang Ladlad's petition for registration as a sectoral party principally on the ground that it "tolerates immorality which offends religious (i. There was cypher effort on the part of the COMELEC to couch its reasoning in legal — much less constitutional — terms.e. Whatever form of constitution or government is in force. Corona. so much of contemporary international law is characterized by the "soft law" nomenclature. that although this Court stands willing to assume the responsibility of giving effect to the Philippines' international law obligations.. EScIAa FIRST. Perezand Mendoza. I respectfully submit this separate opinion to underscore some points that I deem significant. Leonardo-de Castro. Rather. are — at best — de lege ferenda — and do not constitute binding obligations on the Philippines. Bersamin.. Brion. xxx xxx xxx 15. Abad. Villarama. concur. Nonetheless. Corona.. and respect for human rights. or by reason of political affiliation. the right to vote and to be elected and the right to have access to public service. the Petition is hereby GRANTED. WHEREFORE.. This has the effect of diluting real human rights. and do not find basis in any of the sources of international law enumerated under Article 38 (1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. it is to apply the Constitution and laws as best as it can. the Covenant requires States to adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to ensure that citizens have an effective opportunity to enjoy the rights it protects.1. join concurring opinion of J. these Yogyakarta Principles.. such as minimum age. consisting of a declaration formulated by various international law professors. must be justifiable on objective and reasonable criteria. i. At this time.. see dissenting opinion. It is unfortunate that much of what passes for human rights today is a much broader context of needs that identifies many social desires as rights in order to further claims that international law obliges states to sanction these innovations. Abad wrote a separate concurring opinion. The assailed Resolutions of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) run afoul of the non-establishment clause 1 of the Constitution. Separate Opinions PUNO. international law is full of principles that promote international cooperation. Puno. Nachura and Peralta.Article 25 of the Covenant recognizes and protects the right of every citizen to take part in the conduct of public affairs. societal attitudes are in flux. No person should suffer discrimination or disadvantage of any kind because of that person's candidacy. Article 25 lies at the core of democratic government based on the consent of the people and in conformity with the principles of the Covenant. without the support of either State practice or opinio juris. the blanket invocation of international law is not the panacea for all social ills. Pls. Jr. SO ORDERED. uninfluenced by public opinion. 51 which petitioner declares to reflect binding principles of international law. Indeed. J.. J. Jr.. then they are no longer controversial. 2009 and December 16. del Castillo.J.. however. concurring: I concur with the groundbreaking ponencia of my esteemed colleague. Any restrictions on the right to stand for election. This is not an arbitrary human intervention that may be added to or subtracted from at will.The effective implementation of the right and the opportunity to stand for elective office ensures that persons entitled to vote have a free choice of candidates.. Justice Mariano C. ATDHSC We also hasten to add that not everything that society — or a certain segment of society — wants or demands is automatically a human right. Carpio Morales. 50 We stress. C. Carpio.J. we are not prepared to declare that these Yogyakarta Principles contain norms that are obligatory on the Philippines. There are declarations and obligations outlined in said Principles which are not reflective of the current state of international law. 52 Petitioner has not undertaken any objective and rigorous analysis of these alleged principles of international law to ascertain their true status. Abad. most of which amount to no more than well-meaning desires. JJ. joins dissent of J. I certify that J. 2009 in SPP No. and confident in the knowledge that our democracy is resilient enough to withstand vigorous debate. harmony. 53 As a final note.

" 10 However." To be sure. speaking for the United States (U. to act in accordance with man's "views of his relations to His Creator. 5 the requirement of an articulable and discernible secular purpose is meant to give flesh to the constitutional policy of full religious freedom for all. Escritor. when the law speaks of "immorality" in the Civil Service Law or "immoral" in the Code of Professional Responsibility for lawyers. This agreement on a secular mechanism is the price of ending the "war of all sects against all".. are now publicly accepted moral norms. 7 Ang Ladlad's right of political participation was unduly infringed when the COMELEC. however.e.] for in our constitutional order. that there may be many "right" ways of conducting those relationships. and implies the affirmative "establishment" of a civil order for the resolution of public moral disputes. 15 as basis for the declaration that the party espouses and advocates sexual immorality. would deny homosexual and bisexual individuals a fundamental element of personal identity and a legitimate exercise of personal liberty. the resulting policies and morals would require conformity to what some might regard as religious programs or agenda. a morality police. on the other. . or "moral character" in the Constitution. if government relies upon religious beliefs in formulating public policies and morals. Some people may find homosexuality and bisexuality deviant. in reality. 12 opined: It must be acknowledged. odious. The morality referred to in the law is public and necessarily secular. This position." 14 as well as its citation of the number of Filipino men who have sex with men. that the Court in Bowers was making the broader point that for centuries there have been powerful voices to condemn homosexual conduct as immoral. "Our obligation is to define the liberty of all. i. should be kept in mind." 4 As we explained in Estrada v. crossed over from the religious to the secular sphere. even if the State has legislated to this effect. we all depend on the "emotional enrichment from close ties with others. governmental reliance upon religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of neutrality. and that much . and religious morality. the religion clauses prohibit the state from establishing a religion. . The non-believers would therefore be compelled to conform to a standard of conduct buttressed by a religious belief. The issue is whether the majority may use the power of the State to enforce these views on the whole society through operation of the . and respect for the traditional family. Justice del Castillo. The condemnation has been shaped by religious beliefs. as correctly observed by Mr. or "morals" in the New Civil Code. 11 These alleged "generally accepted public morals" have not. the distinction between public and secular morality on the one hand. and the development of human personality[." 13 SECOND.: Religion also dictates "how we ought to live" for the nature of religion is not just to know. of course.S. the assailed resolutions of the COMELEC are violative of the constitutional directive that no religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. Justice Kennedy. Justice Blackmun so eloquently said in his stinging dissent in Bowers v. The COMELEC capitalized on Ang Ladlad's definition of the term "sexual orientation. it would tacitly approve or endorse that belief and thereby also tacitly disapprove contrary religious or non-religious views that would not support the policy.) Supreme Court in the landmark case of Lawrence v. Texas): 18 Only the most willful blindness could obscure the fact that sexual intimacy is "a sensitive. or "public morals" in the Revised Penal Code. however unfounded. These considerations do not answer the question before us." Otherwise. private discrimination. arrogated unto itself the role of a religious court or worse. central to family life.Muslim 3 ) beliefs. in a Nation as diverse as ours. 6 (citations omitted and italics supplied) Consequently. Mr. not religious as the dissent of Mr. to a "compelled religion. Likewise." anathema to religious freedom. . community welfare. if government based its actions upon religious beliefs." But the Establishment Clause puts a negative bar against establishment of this morality arising from one religion or the other. For. the COMELEC's ruling is completely antithetical to the fundamental rule that "[t]he public morality expressed in the law is necessarily secular[.]"19 The fact that individuals define themselves in a significant way through their intimate sexual relationships with others suggests. Hardwick 17 (overturned by the United States Supreme Court seventeen years later in Lawrence v. Thus. . As a result. cannot be attributed or ascribed to the State." 16 As Mr. Indeed. The COMELEC attempts to disengage itself from this "excessive entanglement" 8 with religion by arguing that we "cannot ignore our strict religious upbringing. Texas. Expansive religious freedom therefore requires that government be neutral in matters of religion. the "ability to [independently] define one's identity that is central to any concept of liberty" cannot truly be exercised in a vacuum. government will not provide full religious freedom for all its citizens. Justice Carpio holds. but often. including the morality it sanctions. or even make it appear that those whose beliefs are disapproved are second-class citizens. the establishment of a secular public moral order is the social contract produced by religious truce. swayed by the private biases and personal prejudices of its constituent members. For many persons these are not trivial concerns but profound and deep convictions accepted as ethical and moral principles to which they aspire and which thus determine the course of their lives. viz. conceptions of right and acceptable behavior. the law is vulnerable to constitutional attack on privacy grounds. the Philippines has not seen fit to disparage homosexual conduct as to actually criminalize it. key relationship of human existence. however. "Religious teachings as expressed in public debate may influence the civil public order but public moral disputes may be resolved only on grounds articulable in secular terms. law. and offensive. Nevertheless. not to mandate our own moral code. whether Christian or Muslim" 9 since the "moral precepts espoused by [these] religions have slipped into society and .

the home. as to trigger a heightened level of review. as a general rule. statutes that purport to do no more than prohibit a particular sexual act. Accordingly. to be sure. 22 Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought. the charters of the GSIS. in this wise: While R. sexual behavior. DBP . When these violations arise. involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime. I humbly submit. to define the meaning of the relationship or to set its boundaries absent injury to a person or abuse of an institution the law protects. that a classification based on gender or sexual orientation is a quasi-suspect classification. the Court declared: "There can be no assumption that today's majority is 'right' and the Amish and others like them are 'wrong. 7653 started as a valid measure well within the legislature's power. The statutes do seek to control a personal relationship that. are central to the liberty protected by the due process clause. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. v. Article II of R.A. though. whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law. or prejudices persons accorded special protection by the Constitution. the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring. in our jurisdiction. 26 Lawrence v. expression. and in the most private of places. what the Court really has refused to recognize is the fundamental interest all individuals have in controlling the nature of their intimate associations with others. (italics supplied) THIRD. choices central to personal dignity and autonomy. and of the mystery of human life. Their penalties and purposes." 21 The Court claims that its decision today merely refuses to recognize a fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy. The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this choice. we hold that the enactment of subsequent laws exempting all rank-and-file employees of other GFIs leeched all validity out of the challenged proviso. the standard and analysis of equal protection challenges in the main have followed the rational basis test. Preliminarily.A. and require a stricter and more exacting adherence to constitutional limitations. such that prejudice to persons accorded special protection by the Constitution requires stricter judicial scrutiny than mere rationality. of the universe. When sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person. The ponencia of Mr. touching upon the most private human conduct. this Court must discharge its primary role as the vanguard of constitutional guaranties. (citations omitted and italics supplied) Considering thus that labor enjoys such special and protected status under our fundamental law. and its policies should be accorded recognition and respect by the courts of justice except when they run afoul of the Constitution. Justice del Castillo refused to characterize homosexuals and bisexuals as a class in themselves for purposes of the equal protection clause. No. (italics supplied) It has been said that freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. however. just as it would demean a married couple were it to be said marriage is simply about the right to have sexual intercourse. It suffices for us to acknowledge that adults may choose to enter upon this relationship in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons. For example. in holding that the clearly important state interest in public education should give way to a competing claim by the Amish to the effect that extended formal schooling threatened their way of life. and certain intimate conduct.of the richness of a relationship will come from the freedom an individual has to choose the form and nature of these intensely personal bonds. viz. belief. This. No. Texas 27 is again instructive: To say that the issue in Bowers was simply the right to engage in certain sexual conduct demeans the claim the individual put forward. Central Bank Employees Association. The deference stops where the classification violates a fundamental right. 20 AEITDH In a variety of circumstances we have recognized that a necessary corollary of giving individuals freedom to choose how to conduct their lives is acceptance of the fact that different individuals will make different choices. 23 These matters. 7653 is also violative of the equal protection clause because after it was enacted.' A way of life that is odd or even erratic but interferes with no rights or interests of others is not to be condemned because it is different. Rational basis should not suffice. IEHTaA xxx xxx xxx According to petitioner. 24 At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence. Inc. should counsel against attempts by the State. of meaning. according to which government need only show that the challenged classification is rationally related to serving a legitimate state interest. The laws involved in Bowers and here are. the rational basis test. 29 carved out an exception to this general rule. or a court. is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals. Inc. the last proviso of Section 15(c). have more far-reaching consequences. LBP. coupled with a deferential attitude to legislative classifications and a reluctance to invalidate a law unless there is a showing of a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. 28 However. the Court ruled in favor of the Central Bank Employees Association.: Congress retains its wide discretion in providing for a valid classification. 25 Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State. it struck down the assailed Resolutions using the most liberal basis of judicial scrutiny.

and its conclusion of unconstitutionality by subsequent operation. but must also apply equally to all members of the class. Verily. The proviso may be fair on its face and impartial in appearance but it cannot be grossly discriminatory in its operation. or the lack thereof. Indeed. There should be no hesitation in using the equal protection clause as a major cutting edge to eliminate every conceivable irrational discrimination in our society. LBP. viz. through seven separate acts of Congress? Is the right to equal protection of the law bounded in time and space that: (a) the right can only be invoked against a classification made directly and deliberately. It is not based on substantial distinctions that make real differences between the BSP rank-and-file and the seven other GFIs. xxx xxx xxx In the case at bar. the two-tier analysis made in the case at bar of the challenged provision. 7653. it cannot run riot and overrun the ramparts of protection of the Constitution. and three other GFIs. Thus. can the exclusion of the rank-and-file employees of the BSP stand constitutional scrutiny in the light of the fact that Congress did not exclude the rank-and-file employees of the other GFIs? Is Congress' power to classify so unbridled as to sanction unequal and discriminatory treatment. not instantly through a single overt act. from 1995 to 2004. thereby exposing the proviso to more serious scrutiny. as petitioner points out. Indeed. the social justice imperatives in the Constitution. xxx xxx xxx The abovementioned subsequent enactments. there are no characteristics peculiar only to the seven GFIs or their rank-and-file so as to justify the exemption which BSP rank-and-file employees were denied (not to mention the anomaly of the SEC getting one). thereby proscribing any evaluation vis-Ã -vis the grouping. we take judicial notice that after the new BSP charter was enacted in 1993. are in cadence and in consonance with the progressive trend of other jurisdictions and in international law. This time. xxx xxx xxx The disparity of treatment between BSP rank-and-file and the rankand-file of the other seven GFIs definitely bears the unmistakable badge of invidious discrimination — no one can. among several similar enactments made over a period of time? In this second level of scrutiny. DBP and SSS. it is precisely the fact that as regards the exemption from the SSL. but gradually and progressively. within the class of rank-and-file personnel of GFIs. deny the discriminatory character of the subsequent blanket and total exemption of the seven other GFIs from the SSL when such was withheld from the BSP. the BSP rank-and-file are also discriminated upon. the scrutiny relates to the constitutionality of the classification — albeit made indirectly as a consequence of the passage of eight other laws — between the rank-and-file of the BSP and the seven other GFIs. but also arbitrary. or as a consequence of several other acts. constitute significant changes in circumstance that considerably alter the reasonability of the continued operation of the last proviso of Section 15(c). Congress also undertook the amendment of the charters of the GSIS." All legislative enactments necessarily rest on a policy determination — even those that have been declared to contravene the Constitution. as opposed to a discrimination that arises indirectly. however. so as practically to make unjust distinctions between persons who are without differences. simply because the inequity manifested itself. and (b) is the legal analysis confined to determining the validity within the parameters of the statute or ordinance (where the inclusion or exclusion is articulated). the second level of inquiry deals with the following questions: Given that Congress chose to exempt other GFIs (aside the BSP) from the coverage of the SSL.: xxx xxx xxx It is noteworthy. . . Article II of Republic Act No. then no due process and equal protection challenges would ever prosper. coupled with the special status and protection afforded to labor. but the personnel of the latter GFIs were all exempted from the coverage of the SSL. the inequality of treatment cannot be justified on the mere assertion that each exemption (granted to the seven other GFIs) rests "on a policy determination by the legislature. There is nothing inherently sacrosanct in a policy determination made by Congress or by the Executive. The distinction made by the law is not only superficial. compel this approach. The classification must not only be reasonable. .and SSS were also amended. Alikes are being treated as unalikes without any rational basis. if this could serve as a magic wand to sustain the validity of a statute. with candor and fairness. xxx xxx xxx Thus. that the subsequent charters of the seven other GFIs share this common proviso: a blanket exemption of all their employees from the coverage of the SSL. expressly or impliedly . Stated differently.

e. which springs from general principles of law. the International Covenant on Economic. economic. and the legislative discretion would be given deferential treatment." Similarly. xxx xxx xxx The foregoing provisions impregnably institutionalize in this jurisdiction the long honored legal truism of "equal pay for equal work. where the relations between capital and labor are often skewed in favor of capital. and Cultural Rights.. reduce social. to promote and ensure equal employment opportunities." Persons who work with substantially equal qualifications. the office or the field — but include as well the manner by which employers treat their employees. likewise proscribes discrimination. Social. In the workplace. in Article 7 thereof. and political inequalities. The Philippines.Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind. Judicial scrutiny would be based on the "rational basis" test. the Labor Code provides that the State shall "ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex." DAEIHT International law. the Convention against Discrimination in Education. skill. based on the test of what is reasonable. the Convention (No. xxx xxx xxx Notably. Our Constitution and laws reflect the policy against these evils. "in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties. has incorporated this principle as part of its national laws. in particular: a. xxx xxx xxx The Constitution specifically provides that labor is entitled to "humane conditions of work. The Constitution in the Article on Social Justice and Human Rights exhorts Congress to "give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all people to human dignity. in spite of its primordial obligation But if the challenge to the statute is premised on the denial of a fundamental right. the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Constitution also directs the State to promote "equality of employment opportunities for all. i. and Cultural Rights. which ensure." The very broad Article 19 of the Civil Code requires every person. 111) Concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation — all embody the general principle against discrimination. with equal pay for equal work. should be paid similar salaries. judicial scrutiny ought to be more strict. as a minimum. the International Covenant on Economic. give everyone his due. This is . the very antithesis of fairness and justice." These conditions are not restricted to the physical workplace — the factory. General principles of law include principles of equity." It would be an affront to both the spirit and letter of these provisions if the State. A weak and watered down view would call for the abdication of this Court's solemn duty to strike down any law repugnant to the Constitution and the rights it enshrines. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. through its Constitution. Quisumbing: That public policy abhors inequality and discrimination is beyond contention. Under most circumstances.Apropos the special protection afforded to labor under our Constitution and international law. the Court will exercise judicial restraint in deciding questions of constitutionality. closes its eyes to unequal and discriminatory terms and conditions of employment. the general principles of fairness and justice. race or creed. we held in International School Alliance of Educators v. inequality and discrimination by the employer are all the more reprehensible. under similar conditions. effort and responsibility. provides: The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and [favorable] conditions of work. or the perpetuation of prejudice against persons favored by the Constitution with special protection.Remuneration which provides workers. Social. in particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men. and observe honesty and good faith. recognizing the broad discretion given to Congress in exercising its legislative power. with: all i. [to] act with justice.

32 The underlying rationale of this theory is that where legislation affects discrete and insular minorities. with the higher grades as recipients of a benefit specifically withheld from the lower grades. The level of review. 37 If neither strict nor intermediate scrutiny is appropriate. on a sliding scale basis. In the case at bar. 41 thus: (1)The history of invidious discrimination against the class burdened by the legislation. 39 The presumption is in favor of the classification. I respectfully submit that classification on the basis of sexual orientation (i. . low-salaried employees are limited to the rates prescribed by the SSL. every factor in every case. not abstract logic. as to individually demand a certain weight. must be the primary guide. and the government action will be closely scrutinized in light of its asserted purpose. nonetheless gives rise to recurring constitutional difficulties. 51 Guided by this framework.true whether the actor committing the unconstitutional act is a private person or the government itself or one of its instrumentalities. it is they — and not the officers — who have the real economic and financial need for the adjustment. if any such grounds exist. if not all. It is akin to a distinction based on economic class and status. especially in terms of job marketability. provide adequate social services. while not facially invidious. 33 In such a case. the last two factors — immutability of the characteristic and political powerlessness of the group — are considered simply to supplement the analysis as a means to discern whether a need for heightened scrutiny exists. 42 (2)Whether the characteristics that distinguish the class indicate a typical class member's ability to contribute to society. while the poorer. if the classification. This is in accord with the policy of the Constitution "to free the people from poverty. on which the State acted. 38 This is a relatively relaxed standard reflecting the Court's awareness that the drawing of lines which creates distinctions is peculiarly a legislative task and an unavoidable one. and ancestry." it will be treated under intermediate or heightened review. and improve the quality of life for all. 31 Over the years. are not constitutive essential elements of a suspect or quasi-suspect class. experience. it must be emphasized. American case law provides that a state action questioned on equal protection grounds is subject to one of three levels of judicial scrutiny. Officers of the BSP now receive higher compensation packages that are competitive with the industry. 47 Indeed. the law must not only further an important governmental interest and be substantially related to that interest. the rank-and-file employees consist of people whose status and rank in life are less and limited. 36 Noteworthy. homosexuality and/or bisexuality) is a quasi-suspect classification that prompts intermediate review. Supreme Court has applied the four factors in a flexible manner. extend to them a decent standard of living. the United States Supreme Court has looked to four factors. 50 However. alienage. 45 These factors. man/woman basis — have been previously held to trigger heightened scrutiny.. 48 In any event. 34 On the other hand. 46 The U. 40 Instead of adopting a rigid formula to determine whether certain legislative classifications warrant more demanding constitutional analysis.e. 49 They have been critical to the analysis and could be considered as prerequisites to concluding a group is a suspect or quasi-suspect class. and of legitimate grounds of distinction. and of special interest to us in this case. (citations omitted and italics supplied) Corollarily. it has neither required. religion. 30 ATaDHC If a legislative classification disadvantages a "suspect class" or impinges upon the exercise of a "fundamental right. then the statute will be tested for mere rationality. quasi-suspect classes include classifications based on gender or illegitimacy." then the courts will employ strict scrutiny and the statute must fall unless the government can demonstrate that the classification has been precisely tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest. or if a classification disadvantages a "quasisuspect class. the first two factors — history of intentional discrimination and relationship of classifying characteristic to a person's ability to contribute — have always been present when heightened scrutiny has been applied. 44 and (4)The political power of the subject class. of the reasonableness and fairness of state action. the presumption of constitutionality fades because traditional political processes may have broken down. Oppressive acts will be struck down regardless of the character or nature of the actor. national origin. The implications are quite disturbing: BSP rank-and-file employees are paid the strictly regimented rates of the SSL while employees higher in rank — possessing higher and better education and opportunities for career advancement — are given higher compensation packages to entice them to stay. 43 (3)Whether the distinguishing characteristic is "immutable" or beyond the class members' control. the United States Supreme Court has determined that suspect classes for equal protection purposes include classifications based on race. nor even discussed. Considering that majority.S. 35 To survive intermediate scrutiny. the challenged proviso operates on the basis of the salary grade or officer-employee status. varies with the type of classification utilized and the nature of the right affected. and considering further that classifications based on sex or gender — albeit on a male/female. no single talisman can define those groups likely to be the target of classifications offensive to the equal protection clause and therefore warranting heightened or strict scrutiny. the State bears a heavy burden of justification." Any act of Congress that runs counter to this constitutional desideratum deserves strict scrutiny by this Court before it can pass muster. but the justification for the classification must be genuine and must not depend on broad generalizations.

gay persons stand in stark contrast to other groups that have been denied suspect or quasi-suspect class recognition. but were not acknowledged by police as hate crimes or violent acts of bigotry. 53 Paragraphs 6 and 7 of Ang Ladlad's Petition for Registration for party-list accreditation in fact state: TaCDIc 6. 7. including repeated rapes[. NGOs. among which are: (a)Effeminate or gay youths being beaten up by their parents and/or guardians to make them conform to standard gender norms of behavior. .There have been documented cases of discrimination and violence perpetuated against the LGBT Community. and other religious cures are performed on gays and lesbians to "reform" them. the existence of this factor indicates the classification is likely based on irrelevant stereotypes and prejudice. (f)Consensual partnerships or relationships by gays and lesbians who are already of age. and choirs because of their identity. it is gainful to repair to Kerrigan v. are denied entry or services in certain restaurants and establishments. (g)Pray-overs. he was subjected to a variety of sexual abuse and violence. (d)Effeminate youths and masculine young women are refused admission from (sic) certain schools. are broken up by their parents or guardians using the [A]ntikidnapping [L]aw. (c)Effeminate gays and butch lesbians are kicked out of school. the entire phenomenon of 'staying in the [c]loset' and of 'coming out' would not exist. despite a history of discrimination. "homosexuality bears no relation at all to [an] individual's ability to contribute fully to society. (b)Fathers and/or guardians who allow their daughters who are butch lesbians to be raped[. 58 Unlike the characteristics unique to those groups. trainings and other work benefits once one's sexual orientation and gender identity is (sic) revealed. exorcisms. and (j)Several murders from the years 2003-3006 were committed against gay men. If homosexuals were afflicted with some sort of impediment to their ability to perform and to contribute to society. 55 Heightened scrutiny is applied when the classification bears no relationship to this ability. 57 viz. so as] to "cure" them into becoming straight women. are suspended or are automatically put on probation." 59 Indeed. because the distinguishing characteristics of those groups adversely affect their ability or capacity to perform certain functions or to discharge certain responsibilities in society.The first consideration is whether homosexuals have suffered a history of purposeful unequal treatment because of their sexual orientation. as well. because an individual's homosexual orientation "implies no impairment in judgment. the target of purposeful and pernicious discrimination due solely to their sexual orientation. stability. this history of discrimination suggests that any legislative burden placed on lesbian and gay people as a class is "more likely than others to reflect deep-seated prejudice rather than legislative rationality in pursuit of some legitimate objective. In this critical respect.] which he could not report to [the] police [or speak of] to his own parents. however. . . dispute that gay and lesbian persons historically have been.In the recent May 2009 US asylum case of Philip Belarmino. . 52 One cannot. promotions. Commissioner of Public Health. (e)Denial of jobs. . reliability or general social or vocational capabilities". in good faith. (h)Young gays and lesbians are forcibly subjected to psychiatric counseling and therapy to cure them[.: The defendants also concede that sexual orientation bears no relation to a person's ability to participate in or contribute to society. Accordingly. he testified that as a young gay person in the Philippines. 60 the observation of the United States Supreme Court that race. and continue to be. or individuals who were born mail but who self-identity as women and dress as such. their impediment would betray their status." 54 A second relevant consideration is whether the character-in-issue is related to the person's ability to contribute to society. alienage and national origin — all suspect classes entitled to the highest level of constitutional protection — "are so seldom relevant to the achievement of any legitimate state interest that laws .] despite the de-listing (sic) of homosexuality and lesbianism as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. a fact that many courts have acknowledged. 56 Insofar as sexual orientation is concerned. . (i)Transgenders.

It is premised on the proposition that the . bisexual and trans-gendered individuals)." 69 Stated differently." 73 Applying this standard. discrimination. 77 In this case. it is not appropriate to require a person to repudiate or change his or her sexual orientation in order to avoid discriminatory treatment. dissenting: Stripped of the complicated and contentious issues of morality and religion. the touchstone of the analysis should be "whether the group lacks sufficient political strength to bring a prompt end to the prejudice and discrimination through traditional political means. the constitutional relevance of the immutability factor is not reserved to those instances in which the trait defining the burdened class is absolutely impossible to change. 76 It is therefore respectfully submitted that any state action singling lesbians. the assailed Resolutions of the COMELEC unmistakably fail the intermediate level of review. Regrettably.grounded in such considerations are deemed to reflect prejudice and antipathy" 61 is no less applicable to gay persons. It is essentially a tool for the advancement of social justice with the fundamental purpose of affording opportunity to marginalized and underrepresented sectors to participate in the shaping of public policy and the crafting of national laws. A SYSTEM AND UNDERREPRESENTED SECTORS FOR MARGINALIZED The party-list system is an innovation of the 1987 Constitution. this position is belied by our ruling in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC. considering their long history (and indeed. I likewise see no logical or factual obstacle to classifying the members of the LGBT community as marginalized and underrepresented. 64 Immutability is a factor in determining the appropriate level of scrutiny because the inability of a person to change a characteristic that is used to justify different treatment makes the discrimination violative of the rather "'basic concept of our system that legal burdens should bear some relationship to individual responsibility. the political powerlessness factor of the level-of-scrutiny inquiry does not require a showing of absolute political powerlessness. under the terms of the Constitution and RA 7941. ongoing narrative) of persecution." 71 However. gays. CORONA.'" 65 However. Accordingly. as a marginalized and underrepresented sector in the party-list system? IaHCAD The relevant facts are likewise relatively uncomplicated. because sexual orientation "may be altered [if at all] only at the expense of significant damage to the individual's sense of self. homosexual orientation is no more relevant to a person's ability to perform and contribute to society than is heterosexual orientation." classifications based thereon "are no less entitled to consideration as a suspect or quasi-suspect class than any other group that has been deemed to exhibit an immutable characteristic. In our constitutional system. In my humble view. It has been suggested that the LGBT community cannot participate in the party-list system because it is not a "marginalized and underrepresented sector" enumerated either in the Constitution 80 or Republic Act No. marginalization for purposes of party-list representation encompasses social marginalization as well. the characteristic that distinguishes gay persons from others and qualifies them for recognition as a distinct and discrete group is the characteristic that historically has resulted in their social and legal ostracism. 74 The discrimination that they have suffered has been so pervasive and severe — even though their sexual orientation has no bearing at all on their ability to contribute to or perform in society — that it is highly unlikely that legislative enactments alone will suffice to eliminate that discrimination. (RA) 7941. J. I vote to grant the petition. To hold otherwise is tantamount to trivializing socially marginalized groups as "mere passive recipients of the State's benevolence" and denying them the right to "participate directly [in the mainstream of representative democracy] in the enactment of laws designed to benefit them. the immutability prong of the suspectness inquiry surely is satisfied when the identifying trait is "so central to a person's identity that it would be abhorrent for government to penalize a person for refusing to change [it]. the Commission on Elections denied its petition. 70 The final factor that bears consideration is whether the group is "a minority or politically powerless. 62 DECSIT A third factor that courts have considered in determining whether the members of a class are entitled to heightened protection for equal protection purposes is whether the attribute or characteristic that distinguishes them is immutable or otherwise beyond their control. 66 That is. status-based classification undertaken for its own sake cannot survive. 81 However. bisexuals and trans-genders out for disparate treatment is subject to heightened judicial scrutiny to ensure that it is not the product of historical prejudice and stereotyping. sexual orientation is not the type of human trait that allows courts to relax their standard of review because the barrier is temporary or susceptible to self-help. 68 Consequently. 79 FOURTH. insofar as the LGBT community plays a role in the political process. Petitioner seeks accreditation by the respondent Commission on Elections as a political organization of a marginalized and underrepresented sector under the party-list system. they raise the inevitable inference that the disadvantage imposed is born of animosity toward the class of persons affected 78 (that is. Finding that petitioner is not a marginalized sector under RA 7941." 83 The party-list system could not have been conceptualized to perpetuate this injustice. it would not be difficult to conclude that gay persons are entitled to heightened constitutional protection despite some recent political progress. their attraction to persons of the same sex.. I believe the basic issue here is simple: does petitioner Ang Ladlad LGBT Party qualify. namely. (italics supplied) Clearly. 72 Rather. because a person's sexual orientation is so integral an aspect of one's identity. it is apparent that their numbers reflect their status as a small and insular minority. and pathos. they betray no more than bigotry and intolerance. gay. 63 Of course. 75 Furthermore. 82 where we clearly held that the enumeration of marginalized and underrepresented sectors in RA 7941 is not exclusive." 67 Prescinding from these premises. lesbian.

It provides: party-list system by filing with the COMELEC not later than ninety (90) days before the election a petition verified by its president or secretary stating its desire to participate in the party-list system as a national.Refusal and/or Cancellation of Registration. But who are the marginalized and underrepresented sectors for whom the party-list system was designed? THE TEXTS AND OF RA 1 7941 OF THE CONSTITUTION The resolution of a constitutional issue primarily requires that the text of the fundamental law be consulted. urban poor. youth. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution. 5. except the religious sector. as provided by law. regional or sectoral party or organization or a coalition of such parties or organizations. (6)It declares untruthful statements in its petition. by selection or election from the labor. organization or association. RA 7941 or the Party-List System Act was enacted in 1995. — Any organized group of persons may register as a party. Pursuant to this constitutional mandate. (2)It advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal. (2)The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of Representatives including those under the party-list. organization. — The COMELEC may. or . Towards this end. fisherfolk. platform or program of government. to become members of the House of Representatives. indigenous cultural communities. (5)It violates or fails to comply with laws. peasant. overseas workers. women. . resolve the petition within fifteen (15) days from the date it was submitted for decision but in no case not later than sixty (60) days before election. organization or coalition for purposes of the The COMELEC shall. and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. (emphasis supplied) The Constitution left the matter of determining the groups or sectors that may qualify as "marginalized" to the hands of Congress.. women. Section 6. list of officers. and such other sectors as may be provided by law. after due notice and hearing. urban poor. foreign political party. organized for religious purposes. (3)It is a foreign party or organization. bylaws. organizations and parties. The COMELEC shall publish the petition in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation. Section 5 (2). rules or regulations relating to elections.Registration. That the sectors shall include labor. free and open party system in order to attain the broadest possible representation of party. refuse or cancel. organization or coalition on any of the following grounds: (1)It is a religious sect or denomination. — The State shall promote proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives through a party-list system of registered national. peasant. the State shall develop and guarantee a full. and shall provide the simplest scheme possible. after due notice and hearing. foundation. the registration of any national. attaching thereto its constitution. which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and under-represented sectors. veterans. regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof. sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives by enhancing their chances to compete for and win seats in the legislature. xxx xxx xxx Section 5.Declaration of policy. youth. . AcSHCD (4)It is receiving support from any foreign government.advancement of the interests of the marginalized sectors contributes to the advancement of the common good and of our nation's democratic ideals. (7)It has ceased to exist for at least one (1) year. regional or sectoral party. coalition agreement and other relevant information as the COMELEC may require: Provided. SEC. whether directly or through any of its officers or members or indirectly through third parties for partisan election purposes. and professionals. motu propio or upon verified complaint of any interested party. Article VI of the Constitution directs the course of our present inquiry. indigenous cultural communities. elderly. one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled. The law provides: Section 2. handicapped.

(8)It fails to participate in the last two (2) preceding elections or fails to obtain at least two per centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list system in the two (2) preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered. Neither does it allude to numerical strength in a distressed or oppressed group. — Any organized group of persons may register as a party. organizations and parties. The key words in this policy are "proportional representation. which will "enable" the election to the House of Representatives of Filipino citizens. The marginalized and underrepresented sectors to be represented under the party-list system are enumerated in Section 5 of RA 7941. but more so by enabling them to become veritable lawmakers themselves. and 2. 1. elderly. Concurrently.. 5. handicapped. Commission on Elections: 2 That political parties may participate in the party-list elections does not mean. it is not enough for the candidate to claim representation of the marginalized and underrepresented. . as laid down in the Constitution and RA 7941. however.who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. ECTHIA The intent of the Constitution is clear: to give genuine power to the people. namely. veterans. Rather. it points again to those with disparate interests identified with the "marginalized or underrepresented. but 3." "marginalized and underrepresented. and professionals. . The party-list organization or party must factually and truly represent the marginalized and underrepresented constituencies mentioned in Section 5. (emphasis supplied) THE COURT'S PREVIOUS PRONOUNCEMENTS As the oracle of the Constitution. like voters of a congressional district or territorial unit of government." In the end. . to become members of the House of Representatives. that any political party — or any organization or group for that matter — may do so. . women. peasant." Where the language of the law is clear. organizations and parties. which states: "SEC. urban poor. indigenous cultural communities. it refers to the representation of the "marginalized and underrepresented" as exemplified by the enumeration in Section 5 of the law.who lack well-defined constituencies. youth. the persons nominated by the party-list candidateorganization must be "Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. organizations and parties. Consistent with this intent. . the policy of the implementing law. because the party-list election is national in scope. overseas workers. ." However. is likewise clear: "to enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. "lack of well-defined constituenc[y]" refers to the absence of a traditionally identifiable electoral group. The requisite character of these parties or organizations must be consistent with the purpose of the party-list system. this Court divined the intent of the party-list system and defined its meaning in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. not only by giving more law to those who have less in life." and "lack [of] well-defined constituencies." Finally. organization or coalition for purposes of the party-list system by filing with the COMELEC not later than ninety (90) days before the election a petition verified by its president or secretary stating its desire to participate in the party-list system as a . fisherfolk.Registration. it must be applied according to its express terms. we repeat. Rather. because representation is easy to claim and to feign. Filipino-style. "labor. the role of the Comelec is to see to it that only those Filipinos who are "marginalized and underrepresented" become members of Congress under the party-list system." "Proportional representation" here does not refer to the number of people in a particular district. The Marginalized and Underrepresented to Become Lawmakers Themselves [Section 2 of RA 7941] mandates a state policy of promoting proportional representation by means of the Filipino-style party-list system.who belong to marginalized and underrepresented sectors.

national, regional or sectoral party or organization or a
coalition of such parties or organizations, attaching thereto
its constitution, by-laws, platform or program of
government, list of officers, coalition agreement and other
relevant information as the COMELEC may require:
Provided, that the sector shall include labor, peasant,
fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities,
elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas
workers, and professionals."
While the enumeration of marginalized and underrepresented
sectors is not exclusive, it demonstrates the clear intent of the
law that not all sectors can be represented under the party-list
system. It is a fundamental principle of statutory construction that
words employed in a statute are interpreted in connection with, and
their meaning is ascertained by reference to, the words and the
phrases with which they are associated or related. Thus, the
meaning of a term in a statute may be limited, qualified or
specialized by those in immediate association.
xxx xxx xxx
Indeed, the law crafted to address the peculiar disadvantages of
Payatas hovel dwellers cannot be appropriated by the mansion
owners of Forbes Park. The interests of these two sectors are
manifestly disparate; hence, the OSG's position to treat them
similarly defies reason and common sense. In contrast, and with
admirable candor, Atty. Lorna Patajo-Kapunan admitted during the
Oral Argument that a group of bankers, industrialists and sugar
planters could not join the party-list system as representatives of
their respective sectors.
While the business moguls and the mega-rich are, numerically
speaking, a tiny minority, they are neither marginalized nor
underrepresented, for the stark reality is that their economic clout
engenders political power more awesome than their numerical
limitation. Traditionally, political power does not necessarily
emanate from the size of one's constituency; indeed, it is likely to
arise more directly from the number and amount of one's bank
accounts.
It is ironic, therefore, that the marginalized and underrepresented in
our midst are the majority who wallow in poverty, destitution and
infirmity. It was for them that the party-list system was enacted — to
give them not only genuine hope, but genuine power; to give them
the opportunity to be elected and to represent the specific concerns
of their constituencies; and simply to give them a direct voice in
Congress and in the larger affairs of the State. In its noblest sense,
the party-list system truly empowers the masses and ushers a new
hope for genuine change. Verily, it invites those marginalized

and underrepresented in the past — the farm hands, the fisher
folk, the urban poor, even those in the underground movement
— to come out and participate, as indeed many of them came out
and participated during the last elections. The State cannot now
disappoint and frustrate them by disabling and desecrating this
social justice vehicle.
xxx xxx xxx
Verily, allowing the non-marginalized and overrepresented to
vie for the remaining seats under the party-list system would
not only dilute, but also prejudice the chance of the
marginalized and underrepresented, contrary to the intention of
the law to enhance it. The party-list system is a tool for the benefit
of the underprivileged; the law could not have given the same tool
to others, to the prejudice of the intended beneficiaries.
This Court, therefore, cannot allow the party-list system to be
sullied and prostituted by those who are neither marginalized
nor underrepresented. It cannot let that flicker of hope be snuffed
out. The clear state policy must permeate every discussion of the
qualification of political parties and other organizations under the
party-list system. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
Hence, in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party, the Court stressed that the party-list
system is reserved only for those sectors marginalized and underrepresented in the
past (e.g., labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities,
elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, professionals and
even those in the underground movement who wish to come out and participate). They
are those sectors traditionally and historically marginalized and deprived of an
opportunity to participate in the formulation of national policy although their sectoral
interests are also traditionally and historically regarded as vital to the national
interest. That is why Section 2 of RA 7941 speaks of "marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political
constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate
legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole."
How should the matter of whether a particular sectoral interest is vital to national
interest (and therefore beneficial to the nation as a whole) be determined? Chief Justice
Reynato S. Puno's opinion 3 in Barangay Association for National Advancement and
Transparency (BANAT) v. Commission on Elections 4 offers valuable insight:
. . . Similarly, limiting the party-list system to the marginalized and
excluding the major political parties from participating in the election
of their representatives is aligned with the constitutional mandate to
"reduce social, economic, and political inequalities, and remove
cultural inequalities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power
for the common good"; the right of the people and their
organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels
of social, political, and economic decision-making; the right of

women to opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable
them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation; the
right of labor to participate in policy and decision-making processes
affecting their rights and benefits in keeping with its role as a
primary social economic force; the right of teachers to professional
advancement; the rights of indigenous cultural communities to the
consideration of their cultures, traditions and institutions in the
formulation of national plans and policies, and the indispensable
role of the private sector in the national economy. DIECTc
As such, the interests of marginalized sectors are by tradition and history vital to
national interest and therefore beneficial to the nation as a whole because the
Constitution declares a national policy recognizing the role of these sectors in the
nation's life. In other words, the concept of marginalized and underrepresented sectors
under the party-list scheme has been carefully refined by concrete examples involving
sectors deemed to be significant in our legal tradition. They are essentially sectors with
a constitutional bond, that is, specific sectors subject of specific provisions in the
Constitution, namely, labor, 5 peasant, 6 urban poor, 7 indigenous cultural communities,
8 women, 9 youth, 10 veterans, 11 fisherfolk, 12 elderly, 13 handicapped, 14 overseas
workers 15 and professionals. 16
The premise is that the advancement of the interests of these important yet traditionally
and historically marginalized sectors promotes the national interest. The Filipino people
as a whole are benefited by the empowerment of these sectors.
The long-muffled voices of marginalized sectors must be heard because their respective
interests are intimately and indispensably woven into the fabric of the national
democratic agenda. The social, economic and political aspects of discrimination and
marginalization should not be divorced from the role of a particular sector or group in
the advancement of the collective goals of Philippine society as a whole. In other words,
marginalized sectors should be given a say in governance through the party-list system,
not simply because they desire to say something constructive but because they deserve
to be heard on account of their traditionally and historically decisive role in Philippine
society.
A UNIFYING THREAD
Fidelity to the Constitution requires commitment to its text. Thus, in the exercise of its
function as official interpreter of the Constitution, the Court should always bear in mind
that judicial prudence means that it is safer to construe the Constitution from what
appears upon its face. 17
With regard to the matter of what qualifies as marginalized and underrepresented
sectors under the party-list system, Section 5 (2), Article VI of the Constitution mentions
"the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and
such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector." On the other
hand, the law speaks of "labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural
communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and
professionals." 18

Surely, the enumeration of sectors considered as marginalized and underrepresented in
the fundamental law and in the implementing law (RA 7941) cannot be without
significance. To ignore them is to disregard the texts of the Constitution and of RA 7941.
For, indeed, the very first of Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party's eight guidelines for
screening party-list participants is this: the parties, sectors or organizations "must
represent the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of RA
7941." 19
For this reason, I submit the majority's decision is cryptic and wanting when it makes
short shrift of the issue of whether petitioner is a marginalized and underrepresented
sector in the following manner:
The crucial element is not whether a sector is specifically
enumerated, but whether a particular organization complies with
the requirements of the Constitution and RA 7941.
The resolution of petitions for accreditation in the party-list system on a case-to-case
basis not tethered to the enumeration of the Constitution and of RA 7941 invites the
exercise of unbridled discretion. Unless firmly anchored on the fundamental law and the
implementing statute, the party-list system will be a ship floating aimlessly in the ocean
of uncertainty, easily tossed by sudden waves of flux and tipped by shifting winds of
change in societal attitudes towards certain groups. Surely, the Constitution and RA
7941 did not envision such kind of a system.
Indeed, the significance of the enumeration in Section 5 (2), Article VI of the Constitution
and Section 5 of RA 7941 is clearly explained in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party:
"Proportional representation" here does not refer to the number of
people in a particular district, because the party-list election is
national in scope. Neither does it allude to numerical strength in a
distressed or oppressed group. Rather, it refers to the
representation of the "marginalized and underrepresented" as
exemplified by the enumeration in Section 5 of the law;
namely, "labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous
cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth,
veterans, overseas workers, and professionals."
However, it is not enough for the candidate to claim representation
of the marginalized and underrepresented, because representation
is easy to claim and to feign. The party-list organization or party
must factually and truly represent the marginalized and
underrepresented constituencies mentioned in Section 5.
Concurrently, the persons nominated by the party-list candidateorganization must be "Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized
and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties."
xxx xxx xxx

The marginalized and underrepresented sectors to be
represented under the party-list system are enumerated in
Section 5 of RA 7941, which states:
"SEC. 5.Registration. — Any organized group of persons
may register as a party, organization or coalition for
purposes of the party-list system by filing with the
COMELEC not later than ninety (90) days before the
election a petition verified by its president or secretary
stating its desire to participate in the party-list system as a
national, regional or sectoral party or organization or a
coalition of such parties or organizations, attaching thereto
its constitution, by-laws, platform or program of
government, list of officers, coalition agreement and other
relevant information as the COMELEC may require:
Provided, that the sector shall include labor, peasant,
fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities,
elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas
workers, and professionals." cITaCS
While the enumeration of marginalized and underrepresented
sectors is not exclusive, it demonstrates the clear intent of the
law that not all sectors can be represented under the party-list
system. It is a fundamental principle of statutory construction that
words employed in a statute are interpreted in connection with, and
their meaning is ascertained by reference to, the words and the
phrases with which they are associated or related. Thus, the
meaning of a term in a statute may be limited, qualified or
specialized by those in immediate association. 20 (emphasis
and underscoring supplied)
More importantly, in defining the concept of a "sectoral party," Section 3 (d) of RA 7941
limits "marginalized and underrepresented sectors" and expressly refers to the list in
Section 5 thereof:
Section 3.Definition of Terms. — . . .
(d)A sectoral party refers to an organized group of citizens
belonging to any of the sectors enumerated in Section 5
hereof whose principal advocacy pertains to the special interest
and concerns of their sector, . . . . (emphasis supplied)
Petitioner does not question the constitutionality of Sections 2, 3 (d) and 5 of RA 7941.
(Its charges of violation of non-establishment of religion, equal protection, free speech
and free association are all leveled at the assailed resolutions of the Commission on
Elections.) Thus, petitioner admits and accepts that its case must rise or fall based on
the aforementioned provisions of RA 7941.

Following the texts of the Constitution and of RA 7941, and in accordance with
established rules of statutory construction and the Court's pronouncement in Ang
Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party, the meaning of "marginalized sectors" under the
party list system is limited and qualified. Hence, other sectors that may qualify as
marginalized and underrepresented should have a close connection to the sectors
mentioned in the Constitution and in the law. In other words, the marginalized and
underrepresented sectors qualified to participate in the party-list system refer only to the
labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly,
handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, professionals and other
related or similar sectors.
This interpretation is faithful to and deeply rooted in the language of the fundamental
law and of its implementing statute. It is coherent with the mandate of the Constitution
that marginalized sectors qualified to participate in the party-list system but not
mentioned in Section 5 (2), Article VI are "such other sectors as may be provided by
law" duly enacted by Congress. It is also consistent with the basic canon of statutory
construction, ejusdem generis, which requires that a general word or phrase that follows
an enumeration of particular and specific words of the same class, the general word or
phrase should be construed to include, or to be restricted to persons, things or cases,
akin to, resembling, or of the same kind or class as those specifically mentioned. 21
Moreover, it reins in the subjective elements of passion and prejudice that accompany
discussions of issues with moral or religious implications as it avoids the need for
complex balancing and undue policy-making.
What is the unifying thread that runs through the marginalized and underrepresented
sectors under the party-list system? What are the family resemblances that would
characterize them? 22
Based on the language of the Constitution and of RA 7941 and considering the
pronouncements of this Court in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party and BANAT, the
following factors are significant:
(a)they must be among, or closely connected with or similar to, the
sectors mentioned in Section 5 of RA 7941;
(b)they must be sectors whose interests are traditionally and
historically regarded as vital to the national interest but
they have long been relegated to the fringes of society and
deprived of an opportunity to participate in the formulation
of national policy;
(c)the vinculum that will establish the close connection with or
similarity of sectors to those expressly mentioned in
Section 5 of RA 7941 is a constitutional provision
specifically recognizing the special significance of the said
sectors (other than people's organizations, unless such
people's organizations represent sectors mentioned in
Section 5 of RA 7941) 23 to the advancement of the
national interest; and

(d)while lacking in well-defined political constituencies, they must
have regional or national presence to ensure that their

interests and agenda will be beneficial not only to their
respective sectors but, more importantly, to the nation as a
whole.
FOR
PURPOSES
OF
THE
PARTY-LIST
PETITIONER IS NOT A MARGINALIZED SECTOR

SYSTEM,

In this case, petitioner asserts that it is entitled to accreditation as a marginalized and
underrepresented sector under the party-list system. However, the Commission on
Elections disagrees.
The majority reverses the Commission on Elections. While it focuses on the contentious
issues of morality, religion, equal protection, and freedom of expression and
association, by granting the petition, the majority effectively rules that petitioner is a
qualified marginalized and underrepresented sector, thereby allowing its accreditation
and participation in the party-list system.
I disagree. cTECIA
Even assuming that petitioner was able to show that the community of lesbians, gays,
bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) is underrepresented, it cannot be properly
considered as marginalized under the party-list system. First, petitioner is not included
in the sectors mentioned in Section 5 (2), Article VI of the Constitution and Section 5 of
RA 7941. Unless an overly strained interpretation is resorted to, the LGBT sector cannot
establish a close connection to any of the said sectors. Indeed, petitioner does not even
try to show its link to any of the said sectors. Rather, it represents itself as an altogether
distinct sector with its own peculiar interests and agenda.
Second, petitioner's interest as a sector, which is basically the legal recognition of its
members' sexual orientation as a right, cannot be reasonably considered as an interest
that is traditionally and historically considered as vital to national interest. At best,
petitioner may cite an emergent awareness of the implications of sexual orientation on
the national human rights agenda. However, an emergent awareness is but a
confirmation of lack of traditional and historical recognition. 24 Moreover, even the
majority admits that there is no "clear cut consensus favorable to gay rights claims." 25
Third, petitioner is cut off from the common constitutional thread that runs through the
marginalized and underrepresented sectors under the party-list system. It lacks the
vinculum, a constitutional bond, a provision in the fundamental law that specifically
recognizes the LGBT sector as specially significant to the national interest. This
standard, implied in BANAT, is required to create the necessary link of a particular
sector to those sectors expressly mentioned in Section 5 (2), Article VI of the
Constitution and Section 5 of RA 7941.
Finally, considering our history and tradition as a people, to consider the promotion of
the LGBT agenda and "gay rights" as a national policy as beneficial to the nation as a
whole is debatable at best. Even the majority (aside from extensively invoking foreign
practice and international conventions rather than Philippine laws) states:

We do not suggest that public opinion, even at its most liberal,
reflect a clear cut strong consensus favorable to gay rights claims. .
. . 26
This is so unlike the significance of the interests of the sectors in Section 5 of RA
7941 which are, without doubt, indisputable.
Regardless of the personal beliefs and biases of its individual members, this Court can
only apply and interpret the Constitution and the laws. Its power is not to create policy
but to recognize, review or reverse the policy crafted by the political departments if and
when a proper case is brought before it. Otherwise, it will tread on the dangerous
grounds of judicial legislation.
In this instance, Congress, in the exercise of its authority under Section 5 (2), Article VI
of the Constitution, enacted RA 7941. Sections 2, 3 (d) and (5) of the said law instituted
a policy when it enumerated certain sectors as qualified marginalized and
underrepresented sectors under the party-list system. Respect for that policy and fidelity
to the Court's duty in our scheme of government require us to declare that only sectors
expressly mentioned or closely related to those sectors mentioned in Section 5 of RA
7941 are qualified to participate in the party-list system. That is the tenor of the Court's
rulings in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party and BANAT. As there is no strong
reason for the Court to rule otherwise, stare decisis compels a similar conclusion in this
case.
The Court is called upon to exercise judicial restraint in this case by strictly adhering to,
rather than expanding, legislative policy on the matter of marginalized sectors as
expressed in the enumeration in Section 5 of RA 7941. The Court has no power to
amend and expand Sections 2, 3 (d) and 5 of RA 7941 in the guise of interpretation.
The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests the authority to determine "such other
[marginalized] sectors" qualified to participate in the party-list system to Congress.
Thus, until and unless Congress amends the law to include the LGBT and other sectors
in the party-list system, deference to Congress' determination on the matter is proper.
A FINAL WORD
To be succinctly clear about it, I do not say that there is no truth to petitioner's claim of
discriminatory and oppressive acts against its members. I am in no position to make
that claim. Nor do I claim that petitioner has no right to speak, to assemble or to access
our political departments, particularly the legislature, to promote the interests of its
constituency. Social perceptions of sexual and other moral issues may change over
time, and every group has the right to persuade its fellow citizens that its view of such
matters is the best. 27 But persuading one's fellow citizens is one thing and insisting on
a right to participate in the party-list system is something else. Considering the facts, the
law and jurisprudence, petitioner cannot properly insist on its entitlement to use the
party-list system as a vehicle for advancing its social and political agenda.
While bigotry, social stereotyping and other forms of discrimination must be given no
place in a truly just, democratic and libertarian society, the party-list system has a welldefined purpose. The party-list system was not designed as a tool to advocate tolerance

and acceptance of any and all socially misunderstood sectors. Rather, it is a platform for
the realization of the aspirations of marginalized sectors whose interests are, by nature
and history, also the nation's but which interests have not been sufficiently brought to
public attention because of these sectors' underrepresentation.
Congress was given by the Constitution full discretion to determine what sectors may
qualify as marginalized and underrepresented. The Court's task is to respect that
legislative determination by strictly adhering to it. If we effectively and unduly expand
such congressional determination, we will be dabbling in policy-making, an act of
political will and not of judicial judgment. TAaCED
Accordingly, I respectfully vote to dismiss the petition.
ABAD, J.:
I have to concur only in the result set forth in the well-written ponencia of Justice
Mariano C. Del Castillo because I arrived at the same conclusion following a different
path.
I also felt that the Court needs, in resolving the issues in this case, to say more about
what the Constitution and Republic Act (R.A.) 7941 intends in the case of the party-list
system to abate the aggravations and confusion caused by the alarming overnight
proliferation of sectoral parties.
The underlying policy of R.A. 7941 or The Party-List System Act is to give the
marginalized and underrepresented sectors of society an opportunity to take a direct
part in enacting the laws of the land. In Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v.
Commission on Elections (COMELEC), 1 the Court laid down guidelines for
accreditation, but these seem to leave the COMELEC like everyone else even more
perplexed and dumbfounded about what organizations, clubs, or associations can pass
for sectoral parties with a right to claim a seat in the House of Representatives. The
Court can, in adjudicating this case, unravel some of the difficulties.
Here, I fully agree that the COMELEC erred when it denied Ang Ladlad's petition for
sectoral party accreditation on religious and moral grounds. The COMELEC has never
applied these tests on regular candidates for Congress. There is no reason for it to
apply them on Ang Ladlad. But the ponencia already amply and lucidly discussed this
point.
What I am more concerned about is COMELEC's claim in its comment on the petition
that the Ang Ladlad sectoral party was not marginalized and underrepresented since it
is not among, or even associated with, the sectors specified in the Constitution and in
R.A. 7941. 2 Ang Ladlad, it claims, did not qualify as a marginalized and
underrepresented group of people like those representing labor, peasant, fisherfolk,
urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth,
veterans, overseas workers, and professionals. This is effectively the COMELEC's
frame of mind in adjudicating applications for accreditation.

. elderly. women. the State shall develop and guarantee a full. have a common hobby or sport. 4 Thus.A. women. the only clue that the Constitution provides respecting the identity of the sectors that will make up the party-list system is found in the examples it gives. . Towards this end. as the Court said in Ang Bagong Bayani. Congress concluded that these groups belonged to the "marginalized and underrepresented. lack well defined political constituencies . and who lack well defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. neither the Constitution nor R. the women. an elephant. it was envisioned as a social justice tool for the marginalized and underrepresented in general. by selection or election from the labor. the vulnerable (women. It is possible. these examples are not exclusive. Provided. as provided by law. peasant. If one were to analyze these Constitutional and statutory examples of qualified parties. In fact. the elderly. the peasant. peasant. quite often ideas are best described by examples of what they are. As the Court acknowledged in Ang Bagong Bayani. Fortunately. the pertinent portion of Section 5 of R. and the youth sectors.) The above speaks of "marginalized and underrepresented sectoral parties or organizations . except the religious sector. women. handicapped. — The State shall promote proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives through a party-list system of registered regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof. or wish to promote public support for their mutual interests. The group should be characterized by a shared advocacy for genuine issues affecting basic human rights as these apply to their groups. the Court said in that case that the list in R. . youth." But. fisherfolk. A reading of Ang Bagong Bayani will show that. the economically deprived (urban poor). overseas workers). peasant. This analysis provides some understanding of who. one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled. and the professionals. As it happened. handicapped. veterans).) Getting its bearing from the examples given above. urban poor. 7941 merely provide by examples a sense of what the qualified organizations should look like. the indigenous cultural minorities. however. Congress has added six others to this list: the fisherfolk. the women. It should be borne in mind. . indigenous cultural minorities. the handicapped. to become members of the House of Representatives. urban poor. and youth) and found a common thread that passes through them all. 7941 intends the excessively limited coverage that the COMELEC now suggests. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution. youth) and the work impaired (elderly. This is in keeping with the statutory objective of sharing with them seats in the House of Representatives so they can take part in enacting beneficial legislation. 7941 provides: HcTSDa Sec." So what is the meaning of the term "marginalized and underrepresented?" The examples given (labor. — . the overseas workers. Thus: Sec. and youth) should be the starting point in any search for definition. 2. the social outcasts (indigenous cultural minorities). . the Congress provided in Section 2 of R. and shall provide the simplest scheme possible. youth. the COMELEC's proposition imposes an unwarranted restriction which is inconsistent with the purpose and spirit of the Constitution and the law. based on the Court's reading. while the party-list system is not meant for all sectors of society. and the youth segments of society. the whole thing boils down to ascertaining whether the party seeking accreditation belongs to the "marginalized and underrepresented. For . These examples are the labor." Nor did the Court dare provide one in its decision in Ang Bagong Bayani. Thus. peasant. the urban poor. the veterans. indigenous cultural communities. 7941 a broad standard for screening and identifying those who may qualify for the party-list system. namely.A. The parties of the marginalized and underrepresented should be more than just lobby or interest groups. organizations and parties. a cat. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides: (2)The party-list representative shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party list.Registration. indigenous cultural minorities. the urban poor. it looked at the samples of qualified groups (labor. are marginalized and underrepresented." (Underscoring supplied. the service class (professionals). For Congress it was much like looking at a gathering of "a dog. urban poor.But.A. overseas workers. and a tiger" and concluding that it is a gathering of "animals. and professionals. who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation. the peasant. in the eyes of Congress." Here. Congress did not provide a definition of the term "marginalized and underrepresented.A. indigenous cultural communities. (Underscoring supplied. urban poor. 5. that the sector shall include labor. peasant. fisherfolk. rather than by an abstract description of them. it should be evident that they represent the working class (labor. and such other sectors as may be provided by law. It is not enough that their members belong to the same industry.Declaration of policy. to get a sense of what Congress intended in adopting such term. however. which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. 7941 is not exclusive. which was what those who drafted the 1987 Constitution did." 3 Unfortunately. speak the same dialect. women. Congress crafted that term — marginalized and underrepresented — from its reading of the concrete examples that the Constitution itself gives of groupings that are entitled to accreditation. that both the Constitution and R. veterans. . the indigenous cultural minorities. free and open party system or group interests in the House of Representatives by enhancing their chances to compete for and win seats in the legislature. No doubt. a horse. the labor. They must have an authentic identity that goes beyond mere similarities in background or circumstances. Section 5 (2).A.

instance. If such party is a sub-group within that sector. or some such similar class of persons. An interpretation that will allow concretely or specifically defined groups to seek election as a separate party-list sector by itself will result in riot and redundancy in the mix of sectoral parties grabbing seats in the House of Representatives. If they can muster enough votes. — Any organized group of persons may register as a party. See the other illustrations below. Broad*NarrowSpecifically DefinitionDefinition Defined Working ClassLaborCarpenters." "barbers. if any of the sub-groupings (the carpenters. if the evidence warrants." "tricycle drivers. Ang Ladlad represents men and women who identify themselves as lesbians. The people they represent are not bound up by the territorial borders of provinces. or municipalities. A sectoral group representing the sugar plantation workers of Negros Occidental. gays. the party-list system by filing with the COMELEC not later than ninety (90) days before the election a petition verified by its president or secretary stating its desire to participate in the party-list system as a national. tricycle drivers EconomicallyUrbanInformal settlers. regional. This is the apparent intent of the Constitution and the law. Sec. It must present to the COMELEC clear and convincing evidence of its history. There will be an irrational apportionment of party-list seats in the legislature. it must compete with other sub-groups for the seat allotted to the "labor sector" in the House of Representatives. organization or coalition for purposes of Two. indicates that every sectoral party-list applicant must have an inherently regional presence (indigenous cultural minorities) or a national presence (all the rest)." exemplified by the working class. security factory workers. the level of representation desired by both the Constitution and R. victims of slavery Work ImpairedHandi-Deaf Cappedwheelchairs and dumb. or sectoral parties. cities. Section 5 of R. the tricycle drivers in the example) within the sector desires to apply for accreditation as a party-list group. They may be regarded. 7941. there are groups which are pushed to the margin because they advocate an extremist political ideology. the blind. Further. the members of the party seeking accreditation must have an inherent regional or national presence. such as the extreme right and the extreme left of the political divide. . it is not enough for a party to claim that it represents the marginalized and underrepresented. authenticity. it must compete with other sub-groups for the seat allocated to their sector. the applying party must share the cause of their sector." The implication of this is that. narrowly defined as shown above. the social outcasts. In addition. as qualified sectors. taken alongside with the territorial character of the sample sectors provided by the Constitution and R. a party applying for accreditation must represent a narrow rather than a specific definition of the class of people they seek to represent." and similar sub-groupings in the "labor" group. Applying the universally accepted estimate that one out of every 10 persons is an LGBT of a certain kind. the country may have a party-list of pedicab drivers and another of tricycle drivers. The COMELEC must reject those who put up building props overnight as in the movies to create an illusion of sectoral presence so they can get through the door of Congress without running for a seat in a regular legislative district. the Constitution uses the term "labor. the applying party must show that it represents the "marginalized and underrepresented. For example. In sum. the microchips factory workers. This provision. advocacy. regional or sectoral party or organization or a coalition of such parties or organizations. In this case. battered women. as the Court held in Ang Bagong Bayani. "working class. 7941 provides that parties interested in taking part in the party-list system must state if they are to be considered as national." without slipping down to the more specific and concrete definition like "carpenters." a narrower definition than the broad and more abstract term. jobless. 7941 for the party-list system is the second. Four.Registration.A. bisexuals." "security guards. The party must factually and truly represent the marginalized and underrepresented. 5. Thus: ESCDHA And five. . the security guards. DeprivedPoordisplaced by domestic wars the Groups guards. . the economically deprived. barbers. except for matters the COMELEC can take judicial notice of. people on *The definition that the Constitution and R. Finally. the applying party should be characterized by a shared advocacy for genuine issues affecting basic human rights as these apply to the sector it represents. the party applying for accreditation must prove its claims by clear and convincing evidence. 7941 use by their examples. to qualify. Three. It will defeat altogether the objectives of the party-list system. to qualify for accreditation: Obviously. the service class. 5 the ." "microchips factory workers.A. the vulnerable. the narrow definition of the sector that the law regards as "marginalized and underrepresented. or trans-gendered persons (LGBTs). That is easy to do. for example.A. and magnitude of presence.A. One. will not qualify because it does not represent the inherently national character of the labor sector. the work impaired. . microchip persons The VulnerableWomenWorking women. the barbers.

LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP. Francis A. Meanwhile. gays. 2010) Cruz Cruz & Navarro for Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga. 190582. I vote to GRANT the petition. AKSYON DEMOKRATIKO. GO! GO! PHILIPPINES. At home. EN BANC Yap Crisanto Salvador & Calderon and Fonacier & Fonacier Law Office for Chamber of Real Estate Builders Asso. and trans-gendered persons in our communities are our brothers. Ver for Phil. discriminated against. Neri Javier Colmenares for Bayan Muna. PARTIDO NG MASANG PILIPINO (PMP). vs. NATIONALIST PEOPLE'S COALITION. petitioner. excluded from the mainstream. and persecuted. But it does promise them. NATIONAL FEDERATION OF SUGARCANE PLANTERS. petitioner. 2001. Ang Ladlad claims that many cases of intolerance and violence against LGBTs have been documented. ANG BUHAY HAYAANG YUMABONG. It is an opportunity for true and effective representation which is the very essence of our party-list system. and BAGONG BAYANI ORGANIZATION.. PARTIDO NG MASANG PILIPINO. LIBERAL PARTY. NACIONALISTA PARTY. 2001. they are denied promotions or benefits which are otherwise available to heterosexuals holding the same positions. ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY (under the acronym OFW). PHILIPPINE LOCAL AUTONOMY.R. Ang Ladlad has amply proved that it meets the requirements for sectoral party accreditation.R. however. June 26. For the above reasons. 3785. sisters. THE TRUE MARCOS Juan Carlos T. Ang Ladlad represents a narrow definition of its class (LGBTs) rather than a concrete and specific definition of a sub-group within the class (group of gay beauticians. True. MOHAMMAD OMAR FAJARDO. No. respondents. Brillantes Navarro Jumamil Arcilla Escolin & Martinez Law Offices for The True Marcos Loyalist Association of the Philippines. in the workplace.Filipino LGBTs should now stand at about 8. friends. for example). ANG LAKAS NG OVERSEAS CONTRACT WORKERS (OCW). vs. bisexuals. and others under "Political Parties" of Omnibus Resolution No. the chance to have a direct involvement in crafting legislations that impact on their lives and existence. or colleagues who have suffered in silence all these years.7 million. JEEP. No. 3785. . COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. The lesbians.] Mcaskell Equila & Associates for Ang Lakas ng Overseas Contract Workers (OCW). represented herein by its secretary-general. Cuna for Partido ng Masang Pilipino. No. or are suspended and put on probation. cIETHa LOYALIST ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES. June 26.] BAYAN MUNA. ENVIRONMENT AND PEACE. LABAN NG DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO (LDP). CITIZENS DRUG WATCH. SPORTS & HEALTH ADVANCEMENT FOUNDATION. Despite this. the party-list system is not necessarily a tool for advocating tolerance or acceptance of their practices or beliefs. CREBA. CITIZENS MOVEMENT FOR JUSTICE. while lesbian youths are raped to cure them of their perceived affliction. MAMAMAYAN AYAW SA DROGA. ECONOMY. The people that Ang Ladlad seeks to represent have a national presence. CHAMBER OF REAL ESTATE BUILDERS ASSOCIATION. they are by and large. 147589. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.R. Chan Robles & Associates for Citizens Drug Watch Foundation. LAKAS NUCD-UMDP. COMELEC. INC. MAMAMAYANG AYAW SA DROGA. BAGONG BAYANI ORGANIZATION and others under "Organizations/Coalitions" of Omnibus Resolution No. LGBTs are refused admission from certain schools. respondents. That the COMELEC denied Ang Ladlad's petition on religious and moral grounds is proof of this discrimination. [G. LABAN NG DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO. subtly if not brutally. effeminate or gay youths are subjected to physical abuse by parents or guardians to make them conform to standard gender norms of behavior. Their members are in the vulnerable class like the women and the youth. There is bigotry for their group. Buñag Kapunan Migallos & Perez for Aksyon Democratiko. [G. G. LIBERAL PARTY. 147613. April 08. ||| (Ang Ladlad LGBT Party v. Inc. as a marginalized and underrepresented group. NATIONALIST PEOPLE'S COALITION (NPC). PDP-LABAN. Local Autonomy Movement.

— Procedural requirements "may be glossed over to prevent a miscarriage of justice. — Commissioner Monsod stated that the purpose of the partylist provision was to open up the system. RULE 13 THEREOF. including those herein impleaded. merely on the ground that they are political parties. for it potentially involves the composition of 20 percent of the House of Representatives. He explained: "The purpose of this is to open the system. open to all. VALIDITY OF COMELEC OMNIBUS RESOLUTION 3785 IN CASE AT BAR MAY BE BROUGHT BEFORE THIS COURT IN A VERIFIED PETITION THEREFOR UNDER RULE 65 OF 7. Article VI of the Constitution. — Petitioners attack the validity of Comelec Omnibus Resolution 3785 for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion. The Court remanded the case to the Comelec and directed the Commission to conduct summary evidentiary hearings on the qualifications of the party-list participants. . MAY PARTICIPATE IN PARTYLIST ELECTIONS AND MAY BE REGISTERED UNDER PARTY-LIST SYSTEM. Rule 13 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure. it would further weaken them and aggravate their marginalization. WHEN AVAILABLE. . the instant case is indubitably imbued with public interest and with extreme urgency. political parties may be registered under the party-list system. under both the Constitution and the Rules of Court. such position does not only weaken the electoral chances of the marginalized and underrepresented. The Court stressed that the very reason for the establishment of the party-list system is the fundamental social justice principle that those who have less in life should have more in law. TO FORMULATE GUIDING AND CONTROLLING CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES.Tonisito M. Petitioners seek the disqualification of private respondents. when the decision sought to be set aside is a nullity. to give them the opportunity to be elected and to represent the specific concerns of their constituencies. . 1. 2. and in case of urgency. in order to give a chance to parties that consistently place third or fourth in congressional district elections to win a seat in Congress. private respondents cannot be disqualified from the party-list elections. RULES OF COURT. ELECTION LAWS. arguing mainly that the party-list system was intended to benefit the marginalized and underrepresented. It was for them that the party-list system was enacted — to give them not only genuine hope. It has been held that certiorari is available. it being a prohibited pleading under Section 1 (d)." Indeed. it also prejudices them. such challenge may be brought before this Court in a verified petition for certiorari under Rule 65. The State cannot now disappoint and frustrate them by disabling and desecrating this social justice vehicle." Furthermore.. Bautista & Partners for Bagong Bayani Org. no motion for reconsideration was possible. — Under the Constitution and RA 7941. SYNOPSIS Petitioners Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party and Bayan Muna filed the present petitions under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Antonio Dollete & Associates for Partido ng Masang Pilipino. doctrines. — The assailed Omnibus Resolution was promulgated by Respondent Commission en banc. provides that members of the House of Representatives may "be elected through a party-list system of registered national. under Sections 7 and 8. 3. "where the issue raised is one purely of law. This Resolution approved the participation of 154 organizations and parties. PURPOSE.." acCTIS SYLLABUS 6.. COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE. ID. — These cases present an exception to the rule that certiorari shall lie only in the absence of any other plain. DUTY. POLITICAL PARTIES. 2001. PARTY-LIST SYSTEM. SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS. ID. PRECEPTS. it would create a mirage. It would gut the substance of the party-list system. not the mainstream political parties. Furthermore. the nonmarginalized or overrepresented. 37851 issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on March 26. SUPREME COURT. — These cases raise transcendental constitutional issues on the party-list system. without any qualification. political parties — even the major ones — may participate in the party-list elections. ID. which this Court must urgently resolve... challenging Omnibus Resolution No. DOCTRINES OR RULES. ID. Instead of generating hope. when the issue involves the principle of social justice . CERTIORARI. speedy and adequate remedy. notwithstanding the presence of other remedies.C. Ceferino Padua Law Office. and sectoral parties or organizations. In the past . Section 11 of RA 7941 leaves no doubt as to the participation of political parties in the party-list system. in the 2001 party-list elections." 4. POLITICAL LAW. REMEDIAL LAW. The Court also laid down some guidelines to assist the Comelec in its work of conducting summary evidentiary hearings on the qualifications of the party-list participants. and simply to give them a direct voice in Congress and in the larger affairs of the State. According to the Court. Article IX (C) of the Constitution. 5. Yulo and Bello Law Offices for LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP. Umali for Liberal Party. ID. regional. The Supreme Court found the petition partly meritorious. ID. Indeed. Gerardo A. where public interest is involved. insofar as it allowed respondents to participate in the party-list elections of 2001. Indubitably.. . ID. hence. precepts.. The Court rejected the submissions of the Comelec and the other respondents that the party-list system is. or rules. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. Instead of enabling the marginalized.. We quote the pertinent provision below: . ID.. or when the need for relief is extremely urgent and certiorari is the only adequate and speedy remedy available. ID. therefore. consistent with its duty to "formulate guiding and controlling constitutional principles. but genuine power. Section 5. Del Mundo Law Office and Antonio R. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION PROHIBITED UNDER SECTION 1(D). WHEN PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS MAY BE GLOSSED OVER TO PREVENT A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE. The Solicitor General for Commission on Elections.

DEFINED.. — Second..000. — The intent of the Constitution is clear: to give genuine power to the people. PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION. . we repeat. It is a fundamental principle of statutory construction that words employed in a statute are interpreted in connection with.. bylaws. REMEDIAL LAW. fisherfolk. but more so by enabling them to become veritable lawmakers themselves.. platform of government and track record — that it represents and seeks to uplift marginalized and underrepresented sectors.. — While the enumeration of marginalized and underrepresented sectors is not exclusive. And it must demonstrate that in a conflict of interests. organization or coalition must represent the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of RA 7941. CONSTRUED. we found out that there were certain groups or parties that. they have no voice in the Assembly. in order to shed light on and ascertain the true intent or purpose of the provision being construed. is that the primary source from which to ascertain constitutional intent or purpose is the language of the provision itself." 10. Neither does it allude to numerical strength in a distressed or oppressed group. ID. or a quasi-judicial agency like the Commission on Elections. principles and policies for the general conduct of government and which. Indeed. . violates or ignores the Constitution or the law.. Rather. SUPREME COURT. JURISDICTION. youth. SUPREME COURT NOT A TRIER OF FACTS. if we count their votes nationwide. . handicapped. ID. as the most immediate means of securing their adoption. — Bayan Muna also urges us to immediately rule out Respondent Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD). urban poor. — First. however." Where the language of the law is clear.000 votes. to be elected to the House of Representatives. majority of its membership should belong to the marginalized and underrepresented. history. WHERE LANGUAGE OF LAW IS CLEAR. LACK OF WELL-DEFINED CONSTITUENCY.elections. 2 of RA 7941 does not refer to the number of people in a particular district." 11. elderly. 13.. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. the function of all judicial and quasi-judicial instrumentalities is to apply the law as they find it. ITS ACTION CAN BE STRUCK DOWN BY THIS COURT ON THE GROUND THEREOF. and their meaning is ascertained by reference to." This Court. ID. PARTY-LIST SYSTEM ACT (RA 7941). The presumption is that the words in which the constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained. EXPLAINED. indigenous cultural communities. POLITICAL PARTY. ID. ID. DAHaTc . ID. they must show. like voters of a congressional district or territorial unit of government. namely. POLITICAL PARTY. regularly nominates and supports certain of its leaders and members as candidates for public office. It is not equipped to receive evidence and determine the truth of such factual allegations. the political party. while they are not disqualified merely on the ground that they are political parties. 17. because the party-list election is national in scope. Consistent with this intent. .. it has chosen or is likely to choose the interest of such sectors. IT MUST BE APPLIED ACCORDING TO ITS EXPRESS TERMS. the words and the phrases with which they are associated or related. its action can be struck down by this Court on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. that is essentially the mechanics. Rather.. Only when the meaning of the words used is unclear and equivocal should resort be made to extraneous aids of construction and interpretation. "labor." In other words. SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS." More to the point.. peasant. ID. however. ORGANIZATION OR COALITION MUST REPRESENT MARGINALIZED AND UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS IDENTIFIED IN SECTION 5 THEREOF. CERTIORARI. But they were always third or fourth place in each of the districts. it must be applied according to its express terms. ID. So. qualified or specialized by those in immediate association. . it demonstrates the clear intent of the law that not all sectors can be represented under the party-list system. . — "Lack of well-defined constituenc[y]" refers to the absence of a traditionally identifiable electoral group. Thus. the law defines "political party" as "an organized group of citizens advocating an ideology or platform. regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof. But this way.. they must comply with the declared statutory policy of enabling "Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors . because "it is a government entity using government resources and privileges. 16. it refers to the representation of the "marginalized and underrepresented" as exemplified by the enumeration in Section 5 of RA 7941." 9." Section 3 expressly states that a "party" is "either a political party or a sectoral party or a coalition of parties. — For its part. 15. it points again to those with disparate interests identified with the "marginalized or underrepresented. PRIMARY SOURCE FROM WHICH TO ASCERTAIN CONSTITUTIONAL INTENT OR PURPOSE IS LANGUAGE OF PROVISION ITSELF. Section 2 of RA 7941 also provides for "a party-list system of registered national.. not only by giving more law to those who have less in life. In other words. MEANING OF A TERM IN A STATUTE MAY BE LIMITED. ID. RA 7941. Verily. overseas workers. while even major political parties are expressly allowed by RA 7941 and the Constitution to participate in the party-list system. SECTOR. ID. articles of incorporation. So. not to reinvent or second-guess it. GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. 12. ID. . the purpose and objectives of the party-list system.500. it must show — through its constitution. ID. veterans. women. In other words. that they represent the interests of the marginalized and underrepresented.. INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES. ID. sector.000 or 1.. CONSTITUTIONAL CONSTRUCTION. WHEN A LOWER COURT OR A QUASI-JUDICIAL AGENCY VIOLATES OR IGNORES THE CONSTITUTION OR THE LAW. they would have five or six representatives in the Assembly even if they would not win individually in legislative districts. — The fundamental principle in constitutional construction. MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES MUST SHOW THAT THEY REPRESENT INTERESTS OF THE MARGINALIZED AND UNDERREPRESENTED. and professionals. such as the proceedings of the Constitutional Commission or Convention. the policy of the implementing law. ID. is likewise clear: "to enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors." 8. is not a trier of facts. . to become members of the House of Representatives. however. — When a lower court. 14. . QUALIFIED OR SPECIALIZED BY THOSE IN IMMEDIATE ASSOCIATION. organizations and parties. — "Proportional representation" in Sec. have about 1. the meaning of a term in a statute may be limited.. verba legis still prevails.

A nominee of the youth sector is further required to be at least 25 but not more than 30 years of age on the day of the election. 2. . the party or organization must not be an adjunct of. Section 5(2). further. as well as R. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT. — Fifth. At first glance. I do not see any prohibition here against a priest running as a candidate. the Constitution provides that "religious denominations and sects shall not be registered. Coalition is an aggrupation of duly registered national. The participation of the government or its officials in the affairs of a party-list candidate is not only illegal and unfair to other parties. NOMINEE MUST BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO FORMULATION AND ENACTMENT OF APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION THAT WILL BENEFIT THE NATION AS A WHOLE. that he is not a candidate for any elective office or has lost his bid for an elective office in the immediately preceding election." The prohibition was explained by a member of the Constitutional Commission in this wise: "[T]he prohibition is on any religious organization registering as a political party. while lacking a well-defined political constituency.. CONSTRUED.. employment. RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS AND SECTS SHALL NOT BE REGISTERED AS POLITICAL PARTIES. foundation. 19. 3) sectoral organizations. ID. A PARTY OR ORGANIZATION MUST NOT BE DISQUALIFIED UNDER SECTION 6 THEREOF.18. 23. neither can those of the urban poor or the working class.. A nominee must actually belong to the sector which they purport to represent. NOMINEES MUST REPRESENT MARGINALIZED AND UNDERREPRESENTED SECTORS. ID. ID. elderly. a party or an organization must not be disqualified under Section 6 of RA 7941. foreign political party. — Fourth. of the Constitution. attain the age of 30 during his term. — The party-list system is limited to four groups — 1) political parties. — Not only the candidate party or organization must represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors.. sectoral parties or organizations for election purposes. indigenous cultural communities and women and those added by R. Sectoral representation on the other. ID. QUALIFICATIONS OF PARTY-LIST NOMINEE. which enumerates the grounds for disqualification as follows: "(1) It is a religious sect or denomination. the party or organization must be a group of citizens.. and 4) coalitions.. ID.. so also must its nominees. RELIGIOUS SECTOR MAY NOT BE REPRESENTED IN PARTY-LIST SYSTEM.." Surely. is not going to represent a particular district . it is the registration of a religious sect as a political party." 21... The first. Section 5(2). A sectoral party is an organized group of citizens belonging to identifiable sectors. the interests of the youth cannot be fully represented by a retiree. interests or concerns. (2) It advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal. AND 4) COALITIONS.. organized by citizens and operated by citizens. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. Senator Jose Lina explained during the bicameral committee proceedings that "the nominee of a party. peasant. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.. urban poor. J. 2) sectoral parties. however. — As previously discussed..A. ID. Should he. national or regional. which is allegedly a religious group. ID. ID. A political party is an organized group of citizens advocating an ideology. EXPLAINED. It must be independent of the government. That is not prohibited here. or platform. By the very nature of the party-list system.. SYSTEMS OF REPRESENTATION. handicapped. ID. To allow otherwise is to betray the State policy to give genuine representation to the marginalized and underrepresented. ID. or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by the government. which includes the labor. on one end. ID. 22. presupposes that every underrepresented sector be represented in Congress.. the nominees must be Filipino citizens "who belong to marginalized and underrepresented sectors.. PARTY OR ORGANIZATION MUST NOT BE AN ADJUNCT OF. under Section 2 of RA 7941. as the most immediate means of securing their adoption. in enumerating specific sectors to be represented.. by an industrialist. or (8) It fails to participate in the last two (2) preceding elections or fails to obtain at least two per centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list system in the two (2) preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered. To repeat. — Perhaps the present controversy stems from a confusion of the actual character of the party-list system. it gives the impression of being a combination of proportional representation for nontraditional parties and sectoral representation. ID. rules or regulations relating to elections. Once . PARTY-LIST SYSTEM ACT (RA 7941). the Court notes the express constitutional provision that the religious sector may not be represented in the party-list system. (3) It is a foreign party or organization. PARTY-LIST SYSTEM. . regional. ID. dissenting opinion: 1." 20. but also deleterious to the objective of the law: to enable citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations to be elected to the House of Representatives. A sectoral organization is a group of citizens who share the same or similar attributes or characteristics. ID. ID. 3) SECTORAL ORGANIZATIONS. of the 1987 Constitution. whether directly or through any of its officers or members or indirectly through third parties for partisan election purposes. there can be no true representation.. 2) SECTORAL PARTIES. (7) It has ceased to exist for at least one (1) year. — Furthermore. (5) It violates or fails to comply with laws. otherwise. overseas workers and professionals. — A party-list nominee is subject to basically the same qualifications applicable to legislative districts candidates.. PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION AND SECTORAL REPRESENTATION. OR A PROJECT ORGANIZED OR AN ENTITY FUNDED OR ASSISTED BY THE GOVERNMENT. . ID. 7941 like the fisherfolk. ID. (4) It is receiving support from any foreign government. proportional representation. is intended for no other reason than to open up the electoral process for broader participation and representation. organizations and parties. — In view of the objections directed against the registration of Ang Buhay Hayaang Yumabong. NAMELY: 1) POLITICAL PARTIES. and provided. 7941. ID. ID. he is allowed to continue until the expiration thereof. 3. organization or association organized for religious purposes. principles or policies for the general conduct of government and which. FOUR GROUPS BELONGING THERETO. organization. the nominee must likewise be able to contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. regularly nominate and supports certain of its leaders and members as candidates for public office.A.. (6) It declares untruthful statements in its petition. such as those enumerated in Article 6." VITUG. This impression of sectoral-based representation stems from the provisions of Article 6.. ID. veterans. with the exception of the additional requirement that he be nominated in one list only.

" The proper interpretation therefore depends more on how it was understood by the people adopting it than in the framers' understanding thereof. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. — "The most important single factor in determining the intention of the people from whom the Constitution emanated is the language in which it is expressed. VI. as follows: While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the constitutional convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution.. indigenous cultural communities. ID. resort thereto may be had only when other guides fail as said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear. a party-list representative who switches party affiliations during his term forfeits his seat." The text of Art. ID. and more importantly. except that they are not entitled to the Country-wide Development Fund (CDF).. dissenting opinion: 3. ID. — The polestar of constitutional interpretation has been stated by this Court in Civil Liberties Union v. The ponencia itself. PARTY-LIST SYSTEM. becomes physically incapacitated. therefore. urban poor. he gets no seat. representatives are elected from multi-seat districts in proportion to the number of votes received in contrast to the "winner-take-all" single-seat district in which.. the lament of herein petitioners is understandable. Textually. ID. §5(1)(2) provides no basis for petitioners' contention that whether it is sectoral representation or party-list system the purpose is to provide exclusive representation for "marginalized sectors. §5(1)(2) is quite clear." not for sectoral representation. indigenous cultural communities." by which term petitioners mean the labor. — The polestar in the constructions of constitutions always remains — "effect must be given to the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it. 1. much less of the mass or our fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the force of fundamental law. misreads the debates on Art. Executive Secretary. of a constitutional amendment. SECTORAL GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS. EFFECT MUST BE GIVEN TO INTENT OF FRAMERS OF ORGANIC LAW AND OF PEOPLE ADOPTING IT.. and youth sectors. in its clear formulation cannot give this tribunal the elbow-room for construction.. — The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission show that the party-list system is not limited to the "marginalized and underrepresented" sectors referred to by petitioners. or is disqualified during his term. women. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION. MENDOZA. even if a candidate garners 49. sectoral groups and organizations. if a person changes his sectoral affiliation within 6 months before the election. SYSTEMS OF REPRESENTATION. Only for three consecutive terms following the ratification of the Constitution and only with respect to one-half of the seats allotted to party-list representatives does it allow sectoral representation. women. women. resigns. and the youth. but they give us no light as to the views of the large majority who did not talk. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT. Thus. EcTDCI 2. 4. It.. (In this sense. Art. labor.e. 4. i. Thus. We think it safer to construe the constitution from what appears upon its face. coalitions and aggrupation acquire the status of "candidates" and their nominees relegated to mere agents. VI. the party-list system enables marginalized and underrepresented sectors (such as. Villacorta and the 5. RESORT TO DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS OF CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION MAY BE HAD ONLY WHEN OTHER GUIDES FAIL AS SAID PROCEEDINGS ARE POWERLESS TO VARY TERMS OF CONSTITUTION WHEN MEANING IS CLEAR. Otherwise.elected." The law.. in ruling as it does. J. and youth sectors) to obtain seats in the House of Representatives. urban poor. Party-list representation is a type of proportional representation designed to give those who otherwise cannot win a seat in the House of Representatives in district elections a chance to win if they have sufficient strength on a nationwide basis. CONSTITUTIONAL CONSTRUCTION. FEATURE THEREOF IS THAT POLITICAL PARTIES. While. rights and privileges as do district representatives. A TYPE OF PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION INTENDED TO GIVE VOICE TO THOSE WHO MAY NOT HAVE THE NECESSARY NUMBER TO WIN A SEAT IN A DISTRICT BUT ARE SUFFICIENTLY NUMEROUS TO GIVE THEM A SEAT NATIONWIDE. urban poor. also. peasants.") Under the party-list system. his party can send another person to take his place for the remaining period. ID. DISTINGUISHED. in the "winner-take-all" single-seat district. party-list representatives also enjoy the same term. or as compensated by countervailing advantages.. be crossing the limits of judicial review and treading the dangerous waters of judicial legislation. ID. CONSTITUTIONAL CONSTRUCTION. regional. §5(1)(2) to say that "Although Commissioners Villacorta and Monsod differed in their proposals as to the details of the party-list system. but not limited to. peasant. — The two systems of representation are not identical. he will not be eligible for nomination in party-list representative under his new party or organization. COALITIONS AND AGGRUPATION ACQUIRE STATUS OF "CANDIDATES" AND THEIR NOMINEES RELEGATED TO MERE AGENTS. Furthermore. peasant. under the party-list system. Debates in the constitutional convention "are of value as showing the views of the individual members. the remedy lies not with this Court but with the people themselves through an amendment of their work as and when better counsel prevails. may unwittingly. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION. It provides for a party-list system of "registered. . indigenous cultural communities. removed from office by the party or the organization he represents.9% of the votes. these groups are considered "marginalized and underrepresented. MOST IMPORTANT SINGLE FACTOR IN DETERMINING INTENTION OF PEOPLE FROM WHOM CONSTITUTION EMANATED IS LANGUAGE IN WHICH IT IS EXPRESSED. if a party-list representative dies. the votes cast for a losing candidate are wasted as only those who vote for the winner are represented. ID. VI. but that it is a type of proportional representation intended to give voice to those who may not have the necessary number to win a seat in a district but are sufficiently numerous to give them a seat nationwide. So. — A feature of the party-list system is that political parties. the party-list system does not guarantee to these sectors seats in the legislature. provided the replacement is next in succession in the list of nominees submitted to the COMELEC upon registration. the labor. a party or candidate need not come in first in order to win seats in the legislature.. On the other hand. PARTY-LIST SYSTEM AND WINNER-TAKE-ALL SINGLE-SEAT DISTRICT SYSTEM. Courts are bound to suppose that any inconveniences involved in the application of constitutional provisions according to their plain terms and import have been considered in advance and accepted as less intolerable than those avoided. both proponents worked within the framework that the party-list system is for the 'marginalized' as termed by Comm. and as indicating the reason for their votes. and sectoral parties or organizations. To the extent then that it assures parties or candidates a percentage of seats in the legislature that reflects their public support.

Thus. "a full. No. but also to enable them to become veritable lawmakers themselves. CONSTRUED. This Resolution approved the participation of 154 organizations and parties. peasants. For while the representation of "marginalized and underrepresented" sectors is a basic purpose of the law. SECTION 2 THEREOF. urban poor.A. in the 2001 party-list elections.. What it says is that the policy of the law is "to promote proportional representation through a party-list system of registered national. arguing mainly that the party-list system was intended to benefit the marginalized and underrepresented. urban poor. the aim of proportional representation is to enable those who cannot win in the "winner-take-all" district elections a chance of winning. not the mainstream political parties. together with Manifestations of their intent to participate in the party-list elections. PARTY-LIST SYSTEM ACT (R." 2 Thereafter. the Comelec received several Petitions for registration filed by sectoral parties. DHITcS DECISION PANGANIBAN.. The Constitutional Commission chose the partylist system. veterans. C. URBAN POOR. women. Other sectoral and political parties and organizations whose registrations were denied also filed Motions for Reconsideration. WOMEN AND YOUTH..'" 5." 6. which we quote: . indigenous cultural communities. review of these petitions as well as deliberations takes a longer process in order to arrive at a decision and as a result the two (2) divisions promulgated a separate Omnibus Resolution and individual resolution on political parties.. and professionals. 2000. It intends to make the marginalized and the underrepresented not merely passive recipients of the State's benevolence. free and open party system in order to attain the broadest possible representation of party. women. With the number of these petitions and the observance of the legal and procedural requirements. Contrary to what the majority claims.'underrepresented' as termed by Comm. 2001. This Court cannot hold that the party-list system is reserved for the labor. ID. 7941). J p: The party-list system is a social justice tool designed not only to give more law to the great masses of our people who have less in life. SUPREME COURT CANNOT HOLD THAT PARTY-LIST SYSTEM IS RESERVED EXCLUSIVELY FOR LABOR. organizations. fisherfolk. that to achieve this end. and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof. 3785 1 issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on March 26. 2001 deadline prescribed under Comelec Resolution No. the registered parties and organizations filed their respective Manifestations. but denied those of several others in its assailed March 26.e. ID. challenging Omnibus Resolution No. §6 that "A free and open party system shall be allowed to evolve according to the free choice of the people. and youth as petitioners contend without changing entirely the meaning of the Constitution which in fact mandates exactly the opposite of the reserved seats system when it provides in Art. ID. — A problem was placed before the Constitutional Commission that the existing "winner-take-all" one-seat district system of election leaves blocks of voters underrepresented. §2 does not say that the party-list system is intended "to enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. it is not its only purpose. Still other registered parties filed their Manifestations beyond the deadline. to have the same opportunity to participate in party-list elections would desecrate this lofty objective and mongrelize the social justice mechanism into an atrocious veneer for traditional politics. These groups are not necessarily limited to the sectors mentioned in §5.. "[v]erifications were made as to the status and capacity of these parties and organizations and hearings were scheduled day and night until the last party w[as] heard. 7941 simply states is that the purpose of the party-list system is to promote proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives and. the elderly. i. As already explained. According to the Comelec. subject to the provisions of this Article. regional. the non-marginalized or overrepresented. overseas workers. sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives" shall be guaranteed. indigenous cultural communities. — What Section 2 of RA No. ID. organizations and political parties. and parties. empowered to participate directly in the enactment of laws designed to benefit them. allowing all individuals and groups. The Factual Antecedents With the onset of the 2001 elections. These groups can possibly include other sectors. before the February 12. These numerous petitions and processes observed in the disposition of these petition[s] hinder the early release of the Omnibus Resolutions of the Divisions which were promulgated only on 10 February 2001. The Case Before us are two Petitions under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. but active participants in the mainstream of representative democracy. The Comelec gave due course or approved the Manifestations (or accreditations) of 154 parties and organizations. stating their intention to participate in the party-list elections. INDIGENOUS CULTURAL COMMUNITIES. which he defined as those which are 'always third or fourth place in each of the districts. PEASANTS. which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation" to win seats in the House of Representatives. organizations. 3426 dated December 22. including those herein impleaded. including those which now dominate district elections. and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation" to win seats in the House. the youth. and parties. the handicapped. 3785. peasants. 2001 Omnibus Resolution No. Petitioners seek the disqualification of private respondents. labor. IX. Monsod. To this problem of under representation two solutions were proposed: sectoral representation and party-list system or proportional representation.

insofar as it allowed respondents to participate in the party-list elections of 2001. that the votes cast for the said respondents not be counted or canvassed. Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party filed a Petition 9 before this Court on April 16. 2001. In its Resolution dated April 17. 2000. No. 10 the Court directed respondents to comment on the Petition within a non-extendible period of five days from notice. but barred the proclamation of any winner therein. More specifically. 2001. 2001. the parties were directed to submit their respective Memoranda simultaneously within a non-extendible period of five days. after summary evidentiary hearings. This Petition. 2001. ASCTac First Issue: Recourse Under Rule 65 Respondents contend that the recourse of both petitioners under Rule 65 is improper because there are other plain. 3785. "3. and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections. the Comelec required the respondents in the two disqualification cases to file Comments within three days from notice. 2001. however. regional. 147613. the Oral Argument was conducted as scheduled. as specified in this Decision. 2001. Commissioner Ralph C. 6 but subsequently reset it to May 3.R. 4 On April 11. 20. 3307-A 18 dated November 9." 3 On April 10." It also asked. under both the Constitution 20 and the Rules of Court. 3785. 8 Meanwhile. In an Order given in open court. 17 The Office of the Solicitor General argues that petitioners should have filed before the Comelec a petition either for disqualification or for cancellation of registration. 3785. 147589. the Court directed the parties to address the following issues: "1. assailed Comelec Omnibus Resolution No. 21 and 22 of Comelec Resolution No. Whether or not recourse under Rule 65 is proper under the premises. as an alternative.R. These cases should be remanded to the Comelec which will determine. In its Resolution dated May 9." 16 The Court's Ruling The Petitions are partly meritorious. "4. At bottom. 2001. also challenging Comelec Omnibus Resolution No. Bayan Muna and Bayan Muna-Youth also filed a Petition for Cancellation of Registration and Nomination against some of herein respondents. speedy and adequate remedies in the ordinary course of law. Lantion merely directed the parties to submit their respective memoranda. No. 2001. 13 the Court ordered the consolidation of the two Petitions before it. having in mind that this system of proportional representation scheme will encourage multi-partisan [sic] and enhance the inability of small. we must recognize the fact that there is a need to keep the number of sectoral parties. 2001. 2001. Petitioner Bayan Muna also filed before this Court a Petition. directed respondents named in the second Petition to file their respective Comments on or before noon of May 15. such challenge may be brought before this Court in a verified petition for certiorari under Rule 65. keeping only those who substantially comply with the rules and regulations and more importantly the sufficiency of the Manifestations or evidence on the Motions for Reconsiderations or Oppositions. Whether or not political parties may participate in the party-list elections. until further orders of the Court. Indeed. on May 17. 5 On April 18. whether the 154 parties and organizations enumerated in the assailed Omnibus Resolution satisfy the requirements of the Constitution and RA 7941. and that the latter's nominees not be proclaimed. It added that the Comelec may proceed with the counting and canvassing of votes cast for the party-list elections. Akbayan Citizens Action Party filed before the Comelec a Petition praying that "the names of [some of herein respondents] be deleted from the 'Certified List of Political Parties/Sectoral Parties/Organizations/Coalitions Participating in the Party List System for the May 14. petitioners attack the validity of Comelec Omnibus Resolution 3785 for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion. and called the parties to an Oral Argument on May 17. 2001 Elections' and that said certified list be accordingly amended. Thereafter. the 'party-list system' is a 'mechanism of proportional representation' in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives from national. docketed as G. is there no other plain. 2001. 7 During the hearing. Whether or not the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in promulgating Omnibus Resolution No. dissatisfied with the pace of the Comelec. 2001. 15 Issues: "It will be noted that as defined. 2001."We carefully deliberated the foregoing matters. 19 We disagree. 11 On April 17. "However. . pursuant to Sections 19. in the course of our review of the matters at bar. down to a manageable level. 12 docketed as G. It also set the date for hearing on April 26. organizations and coalitions. speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law? "2. new or sectoral parties or organization to directly participate in this electoral window. Comments 14 on the second Petition were received by the Court and. Whether or not the party-list system is exclusive to 'marginalized and underrepresented' sectors and organizations. During the hearing on May 17.

regional. except for those registered under the partylist system as provided in this Constitution. So. if we count their votes nationwide. hence.000 or 1. Liberal at Nacionalista? MR." 27 For its part. private respondents cannot be disqualified from the party-list elections. In view of the pendency of the elections. they would have five or six representatives in the Assembly even if they would not win individually in legislative districts. or coalition shall be valid. where public interest is involved. Jaime Tadeo and Blas Ople: 33 "MR. Subsequent events have proven the urgency of petitioner's action." 25 We now rule on this issue. 8. "Sec. consistent with its duty to "formulate guiding and controlling constitutional principles. that is essentially the mechanics." 32 This was also clear from the following exchange between Comms. shall not be represented in the voters' registration boards. under Sections 7 and 8. . UNIDO. or a regional party in Mindanao. Rule 13 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure. 22 The Comelec. no motion for reconsideration was possible. this case raises transcendental constitutional issues on the party-list system. Petitioner Bayan Muna sought succor from this Court. Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party contends that "the inclusion of political parties in the party-list system is the most objectionable portion of the questioned Resolution. the assailed Omnibus Resolution was promulgated by Respondent Commission en banc. through the Office of the Solicitor General. and in case of urgency. to this date." 24 Indeed." . 7. speedy and adequate remedy. submits that the Constitution and RA No. the Office of the Solicitor General. they shall be entitled to appoint poll watchers in accordance with law. organization. . political parties may be registered under the party-list system." Indeed. regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof. Commissioner Monsod stated that the purpose of the party-list provision was to open up the system. thesse cases present an exception to the rule that certiorari shall lie only in the absence of any other plain." 29 Naniniwala ba kayo na ang party list ay pwedeng paghati-hatian ng UNIDO. Under the Constitution and RA 7941. we found out that there were certain groups or parties that. in order to give a chance to parties that consistently place third or fourth in congressional district elections to win a seat in Congress. like the impleaded political parties. TADEO. . or organizations or coalitions registered under the party-list system. the instant case is indubitably imbued with public interest and with extreme urgency. Monsod pointed out that the participants in the party-list system may "be a regional party." For its part. doctrines. 23 It has been held that certiorari is available. "where the issue raised is one purely of law. But this way. 34 He explained: "The purpose of this is to open the system. it being a prohibited pleading under Section 1 (d). merely on the ground that they are political parties. procedural requirements "may be glossed over to prevent a miscarriage of justice. OPLE. No votes cast in favor of a political party. Petitioner Bayan Muna objects to the participation of "major political parties. however. the purpose and objectives of the partylist system. in fact. a sectoral party. 7941 allow political parties to participate in the party-list elections. In the past elections.000. or rules." Furthermore. 21 The Court also notes that Petitioner Bayan Muna had filed before the Comelec a Petition for Cancellation of Registration and Nomination against some of herein respondents.000 votes. for it potentially involves the composition of 20 percent of the House of Representatives. open to all "registered national. boards of canvassers. when the decision sought to be set aside is a nullity. or other similar bodies." 28 On the other hand. when the issue involves the principle of social justice . In any event. precepts. have about 1. PDP-Laban. Comm. for there was no other adequate recourse at the time. Moreover. Article VI of the Constitution provides that members of the House of Representatives may "be elected through a party-list system of registered national. Christian S. "Sec. Political parties. did not act on that Petition. However. regional and sectoral parties or organizations. . Article IX (C) of the Constitution." 26 Second Issue: Participation of Political Parties In its Petition. boards of election inspectors. PNP. which this Court must urgently resolve. the Comelec has not yet formally resolved the Petition before it." 30 During the deliberations in the Constitutional Commission. But a resolution may just be a formality because the Comelec. So. notwithstanding the presence of other remedies.Moreover. Finally. Maaari yan sapagkat bukas ang party list system sa lahat ng mga partido. they have no voice in the Assembly. 31 Magsasaka. Section 2 of RA 7941 also provides for "a party-list system of registered national. a national party. or when the need for relief is extremely urgent and certiorari is the only adequate and speedy remedy available. . It argues that the party-list system is. But they were always third or fourth place in each of the districts. has made its position on the matter quite clear. and sectoral parties or organizations. Section 5.500. .

by selection or election from the labor. cities. the law defines "political party" as "an organized group of citizens advocating an ideology or platform. and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. The requisite character of these parties or organizations must be consistent with the purpose of the party-list system. (2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party list.) . Third Issue: Marginalized and Underrepresented That political parties may participate in the party-list elections does not mean. regularly nominates and supports certain of its leaders and members as candidates for public office. urban poor. as laid down in the Constitution and RA 7941. the first five (5) major political parties on the basis of party representation in the House of Representatives at the start of the Tenth Congress of the Philippines shall not be entitled to participate in the party-list system. Section 5. unless otherwise fixed by law. and those who. who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. youth. therefore." (Italics supplied." More to the point. "xxx xxx xxx" Indubitably. one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled. regional. except the religious sector. Section 11 of RA 7941 leaves no doubt as to the participation of political parties in the party-list system. peasant. as the most immediate means of securing their adoption. provides as follows: "(1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members. We quote the pertinent provision below: "xxx xxx xxx "For purposes of the May 1998 elections. political parties — even the major ones — may participate in the party-list elections.Section 3 expressly states that a "party" is "either a political party or a sectoral party or a coalition of parties. that any political party — or any organization or group for that matter — may do so. as provided by law. principles and policies for the general conduct of government and which. Article VI of the Constitution. as provided by law. and sectoral parties or organizations." Furthermore. indigenous cultural communities. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national. and such other sectors as may be provided by law. however. women. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution.

elderly. The key words in this policy are "proportional representation. namely. Rather. handicapped. urban poor. usher in a new chapter to our national history. . organizations and parties. who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. regional or sectoral party or organization or a coalition of such parties or organizations. sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives by enhancing their chances to compete for and win seats in the legislature. peasant. it refers to the representation of the "marginalized and underrepresented" as exemplified by the enumeration in Section 5 of the law. urban poor. it was thus up to Congress to sculpt in granite the lofty objective of the Constitution. and 2. veterans." "Proportional representation" here does not refer to the number of people in a particular district. interspersed with phrases like "in accordance with law" or "as may be provided by law". free and open party system in order to attain the broadest possible representation of party. to become members of the House of Representatives. we shall." . Hence. because the party-list election is national in scope. a distinguished member of the Constitutional Commission declared that the purpose of the party-list provision was to give "genuine power to our people" in Congress. it must be applied according to its express terms. fisherfolk. Registration. women. overseas workers. 5. 1. indigenous cultural communities. because representation is easy to claim and to feign. which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors." and "lack [of] well-defined constituencies. not only by giving more law to those who have less in life." However. the policy of the implementing law." "marginalized and underrepresented. organization or coalition for purposes of the party-list system by filing with the COMELEC not later than ninety (90) days before the election a petition verified by its president or secretary stating its desire to participate in the party-list system as a national. the persons nominated by the party-list candidate-organization must be "Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. but more so by enabling them to become veritable lawmakers themselves. Filipino-style. youth. 2. it is not enough for the candidate to claim representation of the marginalized and underrepresented. coalition agreement and other relevant information as the COMELEC may require: Provided. Consistent with this intent." The Marginalized to Become Lawmakers Themselves and Underrepresented The foregoing provision mandates a state policy of promoting proportional representation by means of the Filipino-style party-list system. who lack well-defined constituencies. Declaration of Policy. organizations and parties. Neither does it allude to numerical strength in a distressed or oppressed group. organizations and parties. Rather. "lack of well-defined constituenc[y]" refers to the absence of a traditionally identifiable electoral group. and professionals. and shall provide the simplest scheme possible. he exultantly announced: "On this first day of August 1986." Where the language of the law is clear." In the end. fisherfolk. The intent of the Constitution is clear: to give genuine power to the people. is likewise clear: "to enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. which states: "SEC. that the sector shall include labor. overseas workers. list of officers. . 37 The marginalized and underrepresented sectors to be represented under the party-list system are enumerated in Section 5 of RA 7941. like voters of a congressional district or territorial unit of government. platform or program of government. indigenous cultural communities. — The State shall promote proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives through a party-list system of registered national. regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof. the State shall develop and guarantee a full. but 3. women. in fact. Hence. elderly. the role of the Comelec is to see to it that only those Filipinos who are "marginalized and underrepresented" become members of Congress under the partylist system." Finally. and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. it points again to those with disparate interests identified with the "marginalized or underrepresented. we repeat. hopefully.Notwithstanding the sparse language of the provision. RA 7941 was enacted. Towards this end." 35 The foregoing provision on the party-list system is not self-executory. . which will "enable" the election to the House of Representatives of Filipino citizens. organizations and parties. It laid out the statutory policy in this wise: "SEC. The partylist organization or party must factually and truly represent the marginalized and underrepresented constituencies mentioned in Section 5. veterans. "labor. youth. It is. bylaws. and professionals. attaching thereto its constitution. . 36 Concurrently. to become members of the House of Representatives. peasant. by giving genuine power to our people in the legislature. handicapped. — Any organized group of persons may register as a party. when the provision was discussed. who belong to marginalized and underrepresented sectors.

the fisher folk. 38 The Party-List by the OSG Contentions System Desecrated Notwithstanding the unmistakable statutory policy. the party-list system truly empowers the masses and ushers a new hope for genuine change. Conversely. In its noblest sense. the open party-list system is only for the "outsiders" who cannot get elected through regular elections otherwise. destitution and infirmity. Obviously. . that the marginalized and underrepresented in our midst are the majority who wallow in poverty. qualified or specialized by those in immediate association. organizations and parties — to be elected to the House of Representatives. and their meaning is ascertained by reference to. Refutation Separate Opinions of the The Separate Opinions of our distinguished colleagues. contrary to the intention of the law to enhance it. In the same vein. therefore. 41 The declared policy of RA 7941 contravenes the position of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). The party-list system is a tool for the benefit of the underprivileged. therefore. allowing the non-marginalized and overrepresented to vie for the remaining seats under the party-list system would not only dilute. Lorna Patajo-Kapunan 42 admitted during the Oral Argument that a group of bankers. Verily. 45 Logic shows that the system has been opened to those who have never gotten a foothold within it — those who cannot otherwise win in regular elections and who therefore need the "simplest scheme possible" to do so. it contends that any party or group that is not disqualified under Section 6 40 of RA 7941 may participate in the elections. the "open house" is for the benefit of outsiders only. numerically speaking. to the prejudice of the intended beneficiaries. hence. it is not for the non-marginalized or overrepresented who already fill the ranks of Congress. The interests of these two sectors are manifestly disparate. to give them the opportunity to be elected and to represent the specific concerns of their constituencies. Its claim that even the super-rich and overrepresented can participate desecrates the spirit of the party-list system. It cannot let that flicker of hope be snuffed out. the Office of the Solicitor General submits that RA No. 20 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives were set aside for the party-list system. and simply to give them a direct voice in Congress and in the larger affairs of the State." 39 In fact. Hence. it demonstrates the clear intent of the law that not all sectors can be represented under the party-list system.While the enumeration of marginalized and underrepresented sectors is not exclusive. the OSG and the Comelec disregard the fundamental difference between the congressional district elections and the party-list elections. As earlier noted. Verily. indeed. they are neither marginalized nor underrepresented. We stress that the party-list system seeks to enable certain Filipino citizens — specifically those belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. it invites those marginalized and underrepresented in the past — the farm hands. the law crafted to address the peculiar disadvantages of Payatas hovel dwellers cannot be appropriated by the mansion owners of Forbes Park. political power does not necessarily emanate from the size of one's constituency. Traditionally. 7941 "does not limit the participation in the party-list system to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of society. In arguing that even those sectors who normally controlled 80 percent of the seats in the House could participate in the party-list elections for the remaining 20 percent. It is a fundamental principle of statutory construction that words employed in a statute are interpreted in connection with. 44 in order to enhance the chance of sectoral groups and organizations to gain representation in the House of Representatives through the simplest scheme possible. it is likely to arise more directly from the number and amount of one's bank accounts. not the dormers themselves who can enter the dormitory even without such special privilege. the meaning of a term in a statute may be limited. the purpose of the party-list provision was to open up the system. industrialists and sugar planters could not join the party-list system as representatives of their respective sectors. The assertion of the OSG that the party-list system is not exclusive to the marginalized and underrepresented disregards the clear statutory policy. the OSG's position to treat them similarly defies reason and common sense. and with admirable candor. it admitted during the Oral Argument that even an organization representing the super rich of Forbes Park or Dasmariñas Village could participate in the party-list elections. In contrast. Thus. the law could not have given the same tool to others. are anchored mainly on the supposed intent of the framers of the Constitution as culled from their deliberations. It is ironic. Mendoza. Indeed. for the stark reality is that their economic clout engenders political power more awesome than their numerical limitation. HDAaIc This Court. the words and the phrases with which they are associated or related. it would be illogical to open the system to those who have long been within it — those privileged sectors that have long dominated the congressional district elections. a tiny minority. the urban poor. The import of the open party-list system may be more vividly understood when compared to a student dormitory "open house. The State cannot now disappoint and frustrate them by disabling and desecrating this social justice vehicle. Atty. even those in the underground movement — to come out and participate. Because the marginalized and underrepresented had not been able to win in the congressional district elections normally dominated by traditional politicians and vested groups. The clear state policy must permeate every discussion of the qualification of political parties and other organizations under the party-list system. 43 While the business moguls and the mega-rich are. as indeed many of them came out and participated during the last elections. Justices Jose C." which by its nature allows outsiders to enter the facilities. cannot allow the party-list system to be sullied and prostituted by those who are neither marginalized nor underrepresented. It was for them that the party-list system was enacted — to give them not only genuine hope. but genuine power. Vitug and Vicente V. but also prejudice the chance of the marginalized and underrepresented.

only persuasive in construing the meaning and purpose of the constitution or statute. Hence. . Thus. Article VI of the Constitution. . 46 In other words. Only when the meaning of the words used is unclear and equivocal should resort be made to extraneous aids of construction and interpretation. Debates in the constitutional convention 'are of value as showing the views of the individual members. it seems to have ignored the facet of the party-list system discussed above. however. they remain parts of the law. Be it remembered that the constitutionality or validity of Sections 2 and 5 of RA 7941 is not an issue here. there is no need for recourse to constitutional deliberations. 47 Indeed. the framers' deliberations merely express their individual opinions and are. In any event. On the contrary. much less of the mass or our fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the force of fundamental law. is that the primary source from which to ascertain constitutional intent or purpose is the language of the provision itself. Executive Secretary 48 that "the debates and proceedings of the constitutional convention [may be consulted] in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution . organizations and parties. the intent of the law is obvious and clear from its plain words. as cited in the Separate Opinion of Justice Mendoza. not even to the proceedings of Congress. but they give us no light as to the views of the large majority who did not talk. in order to shed light on and ascertain the true intent or purpose of the provision being construed. . Congress enacted RA 7941. But. only when other guides fail as said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear.' The proper interpretation therefore depends more on how it was understood by the people adopting it than in the framers' understanding thereof. We think it safer to construe the constitution from what appears upon its face. is couched in clear terms: the mechanics of the system shall be provided by law. and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole . this Court stated in Civil Liberties Union v. at best. relative to the party-list system. which must be applied plainly and simply. Fourth Issue: Grave Abuse of Discretion From its assailed Omnibus Resolution. as discussed earlier. The OSG as . we should therefore look at the law first. Section 2 thereof unequivocally states that the party-list system of electing congressional representatives was designed to "enable underrepresented sectors." The criteria for participation is well defined. Only when we find its provisions ambiguous should the use of extraneous aids of construction be resorted to. such as the proceedings of the Constitutional Commission or Convention. In understanding and implementing party-list representation. it is manifest that the Comelec failed to appreciate fully the clear policy of the law and the Constitution. The presumption is that the words in which the constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained. verba legis still prevails. and as indicating the reason for their votes. ." Section 5. Pursuant thereto.The fundamental principle in constitutional construction.

because "it is a government entity using government resources and privileges. in order to circumvent this prohibition. while they are not disqualified merely on the ground that they are political parties. could field candidates in the party-list elections. after summary evidentiary hearings. have the necessary qualifications to participate in the party-list elections. LDP. preferred poll watchers ." We note. 51 It is not equipped to receive evidence and determine the truth of such factual allegations. In other words. LP and PMP — on the ground that under Comelec Resolution No. NPC. The extent of the constitutional proscription is demonstrated by the following discussion during the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission: "MR. culled from the law and the Constitution. 49 Indeed. Verily. 50 Second. pursuant to the Constitution and the law. articles of incorporation. MONSOD. the political party. 7166. Petitioner Bayan Muna passionately pleads for the outright disqualification of the major political parties — Respondents Lakas-NUCD." In other words. they must show. sector. OPLE. All I am saying is. whether the 154 parties and organizations allowed to participate in the party-list elections comply with the requirements of the law. 4073. Your Honor. or a quasi-judicial agency like the Commission on Elections. then certainly the Comelec can pierce through the legal fiction." 54 The following discussion is also pertinent: . . When a lower court. it must show — through its constitution. by laws. platform of government and track record — that it represents and seeks to uplift marginalized and underrepresented sectors. inter alia. . In the event that a certain religious sect with nationwide and even international networks of members and supporters. however. to be elected to the House of Representatives. In this light. . all the 154 previously approved groups. KAPUNAN: Yes. to assist the Comelec in its work. that they represent the interests of the marginalized and underrepresented. that this accreditation does not refer to the party-list election. the function of all judicial and quasi-judicial instrumentalities is to apply the law as they find it. to the election of district representatives for the purpose of determining which parties would be entitled to watchers under Section 26 of Republic Act No. 2001 elections. the Court finds it appropriate to lay down the following guidelines. . they have been accredited as the five (six. they have the "advantage of getting official Comelec Election Returns. . Basic rudiments of due process require that respondents should first be given an opportunity to show that they qualify under the guidelines promulgated in this Decision. which is allegedly a religious group. If the evidence shows that the intention is to go around the prohibition. as the following quote shows: In its Memorandum. in view of the objections 53 directed against the registration of Ang Buhay Hayaang Yumabong. is not a trier of facts. it has chosen or is likely to choose the interest of such sectors. is a factual determination of whether respondents herein and. Guidelines Party-List Participants for Screening The Court. decides to form its own political party in emulation of those parties I had mentioned earlier as deriving their inspiration and philosophies from well-established religious faiths. Certificates of Canvass. for that matter. The counsel of Aksyon Demokratiko and other similarly situated political parties admitted as much during the Oral Argument. And it must demonstrate that in a conflict of interests. deems it proper to remand the case to the Comelec for the latter to determine. . the political party must claim to represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors? ATTY. organization or coalition must represent the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of RA 7941. not to reinvent or second-guess it. What is needed under the present circumstances. they must comply with the declared statutory policy of enabling "Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors . the Court notes the express constitutional provision that the religious sector may not be represented in the party-list system. even the non-marginalized and overrepresented. however. marginalized and underrepresented. but." This Court. . will that also not fall within this prohibition? MR. therefore. while even major political parties are expressly allowed by RA 7941 and the Constitution to participate in the party-list system. however." 52 Third. Bayan Muna also urges us to immediately rule out Respondent Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD). majority of its membership should belong to the "JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: I am not disputing that in my question. however. It argues that because of this. including PDP-Laban) major political parties in the May 14.its counsel admitted before the Court that any group. before they can be deprived of their right to participate in and be elected under the party-list system. First. its action can be struck down by this Court on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. the answer is yes. history. . violates or ignores the Constitution or the law.

The participation of the government or its officials in the affairs of a party-list candidate is not only illegal 60 and unfair to other parties. of course. — No person shall be nominated as party-list representative unless he is a naturalborn citizen of the Philippines."MR. that does not comply with this policy must be disqualified. therefore. Any youth sectoral representative who attains the age of thirty (30) during his term shall be allowed to continue in office until the expiration of his term. imams or pastors who may be elected by. the interests of the youth cannot be fully represented by a retiree. a bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election. the Constitution provides that "religious denominations and sects shall not be registered. REV. Section 9 of RA 7941 reads as follows: SEC." 56 The prohibition was explained by a member 57 of the Constitutional Commission in this wise: "[T]he prohibition is on any religious organization registering as a political party. not only the candidate party or organization must represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors. neither can those of the urban poor or the working class. but I am objecting to anybody who represents the Iglesia ni Kristo. the government. the party or organization must not be an adjunct of. RIGOS. a resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. foreign political party. These laws include Section 2 of RA 7941. It must be independent of the government. to become members of the House of Representatives. rules or regulations relating to elections. organization or association organized for religious purposes. To allow otherwise is to betray the State policy to give genuine representation to the marginalized and underrepresented. I do not see any prohibition here against a priest running as a candidate." 58 Fourth. That is not prohibited here. By the very nature of the party-list system. able to read and write. under Section 2 of RA 7941. its nominees must likewise do so. Sixth. which disqualifies a party or group for violation of or failure to comply with election laws and regulations." 55 Furthermore. Fifth. a party or an organization must not be disqualified under Section 6 of RA 7941. organizations and parties. and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the election. which enumerates the grounds for disqualification as follows: "(1) It is a religious sect or denomination. 9. the party must not only comply with the requirements of the law." 59 Note should be taken of paragraph 5. . (7) It has ceased to exist for at least one (1) year. by an industrialist. the indigenous community sector to represent their group. foundation. the nominee must likewise be able to contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. When the Commissioner proposed "EXCEPT RELIGIOUS GROUPS." Surely. the party or organization must be a group of citizens. it is the registration of a religious sect as a political party. the nominees must be Filipino citizens "who belong to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. as previously discussed. To repeat." Seventh. or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by." A party or an organization. organization. . organized by citizens and operated by citizens. In case of a nominee of the youth sector. (6) It declares untruthful statements in its petition. whether directly or through any of its officers or members or indirectly through third parties for partisan election purposes." he is not. or (8) It fails to participate in the last two (2) preceding elections or fails to obtain at least two per centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list system in the two (2) preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered. VILLACORTA. Not at all. so also must its nominees. Eighth. the Catholic Church. prohibiting priests. Senator Jose Lina . Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. the Protestant Church et cetera. (4) It is receiving support from any foreign government. (5) It violates or fails to comply with laws. (2) It advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal. he must at least be twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. which states that the party-list system seeks to "enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. but also deleterious to the objective of the law: to enable citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations to be elected to the House of Representatives. say. (3) It is a foreign party or organization. while lacking a well-defined political constituency. organizations and parties . a registered voter.

MAHARLIKA. PRP. and even to those in the underground. ALL COOP. is not going to represent a particular district . WOMEN-POWER. BANTAY-BAYAN. It is a message to the destitute and the prejudiced. ALU. vs. AABANTE KA PILIPINAS. BIGAS. AFW. 2001) EN BANC [G. 136795. The Comelec is further DIRECTED to submit to this Court its compliance report within 30 days from notice hereof. PMP. AWATU. PCCI. AKSYON. MINFA. vs. PCCI. The party-list system is one such tool intended to benefit those who have less in life. . it would further weaken them and aggravate their marginalization. October 6. G. COPRA. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES represented by Speaker Manuel B. 136786. VETERANS CARE. AYOS. the Comelec would have us believe that the party-list provisions of the Constitution and RA 7941 are nothing more than a play on dubious words. CUP. NCWP. that change is possible. without any qualification. ATUCP. Villar. No. AMIN. in His Capacity as Speaker of the House of Representatives. AKSYON. October 6. 2000] AKBAYAN! (CITIZENS' ACTION PARTY). and ASSOCIATION OF PHILIPPINE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES (APEC). MANGGAGAWANG BUKID AT MANGINGISDA. PINATUBO. ARBA. COPRA. AWATU.. ATUCP. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC). NUPA. NUPA. and LUZON FARMERS' PARTY (BUTIL). AMMA-KATIPUNAN. SENIOR CITIZENS. it also prejudices them. UNIFIL. a mockery of noble intentions. KATIPUNAN. 136781. MAHARLIKA. respondents. [G. therefore. PDP-LABAN. WOMENPOWER INC. PABAHAY AT KAUNLARAN (AKO). INC. VILLAR.. to become members of the House of Representatives. COPRA." 61 Epilogue The linchpin of this case is the clear and plain policy of the law: "to enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors. No. KATIPUNAN. 2000] VETERANS FEDERATION PARTY. [G. OCW. OCW-UNIFIL. petitioners. organizations and parties. PRP. BIGAS. Clearly. It is an invitation for them to come out of their limbo and seize the opportunity. ANAKBAYAN. No. ALU. NUPA. petitioners. AABANTE KA PILIPINAS -. ONEWAY PRINT. AMIN. ||| (Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW v. it would create a mirage. The Resolution of this Court dated May 9. ALYANSANG BAYANIHAN NG MGA MAGSASAKA. open to all. GREEN. FOUR "L". SENIOR CITIZENS. directing the Comelec "to refrain from proclaiming any winner" during the last party-list election. KAMPIL. this case is REMANDED to the Comelec. ANG LAKAS OCW. and an empty offering on the altar of people empowerment. PINATUBO. WOMENPOWER INC. ARBA. WHEREFORE." Crucial to the resolution of this case is the fundamental social justice principle that those who have less in life should have more in law. and AABANTE KA PILIPINAS. PDP-LABAN. Surely. AWATU. PAG-ASA. KAMPIL. BANTAY-BAYAN. AYOS. MINFA. October 6. PMP. No. AFW.explained during the bicameral committee proceedings that "the nominee of a party. DECISION . VETERANS CARE. FEJODAP. 147589. AMMA-KATIPUNAN. BANTAY-BAYAN. Instead of generating hope. PAG-ASA.R. ANAK-BAYAN. national or regional. AKAP. MANUEL B. VETERANS CARE. ADHIKAIN AT KILUSAN NG ORDINARYONG TAO PARA SA LUPA. ATUCP. . shall remain in force until after the Comelec itself will have complied and reported its compliance with the foregoing disposition. AKAP AKSYON.R. SENIOR CITIZENS. Considering the extreme urgency of determining the winners in the last party-list elections. Such position does not only weaken the electoral chances of the marginalized and underrepresented. NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF SMALL COCONUT FARMERS' ORGANIZATIONS (NCSFCO). PINATUBO. and LUZON FARMERS PARTY. 2000] ALAGAD (PARTIDO NG MARALITANG-LUNGSOD). AMMA-KATIPUNAN. the Court cannot accept the submissions of the Comelec and the other respondents that the party-list system is. GREEN. KAMPIL. AKAP. this could not have been the intention of the framers of the Constitution and the makers of RA 7941. PRP. PAG-ASA. ARBA. vs. June 26. which is hereby DIRECTED to immediately conduct summary evidentiary hearings on the qualifications of the party-list participants in the light of the guidelines enunciated in this Decision. It gives the great masses of our people genuine hope and genuine power. COMELEC.R. No pronouncement as to costs. AYOS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. CUP. In effect.. ANG LAKAS OCW.All Being Party-List Parties/Organizations -. 4L. Instead of enabling the marginalized. respondents. OCW. AFW. MAHARLIKA. ALL COOP. GREEN.and Hon. NCWP. PDP-LABAN. and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. FEJODAP. NCWP. PCCI. 2001. ANG LAKAS OCW. BIGAS. petitioners. CUP. ALL COOP. respondents. MINFA. ADHIKAIN AT KILUSAN NG ORDINARYONG TAO PARA SA LUPA. the Comelec is directed to begin its hearings for the parties and organizations that appear to have garnered such number of votes as to qualify for seats in the House of Representatives. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. PABAHAY AT KAUNLARAN. UNIFIL. ALU. 4L. PAG-ASA. 147613.R. JR. PMP. AMIN. It would gut the substance of the party-list system. This Decision is immediately executory upon the Commission on Elections' receipt thereof. ANAK-BAYAN. ONEWAY PRINT. FEJODAP. ONEWAY PRINT. KATIPUNAN. SO ORDERED.

propriety or rationality of the acts of Congress. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution. Under this system. is entitled to a maximum of three seats. 1998 Resolution1[1] of the Commission on Elections (Comelec). regional or sectoral party or organization registered with the Commission on Elections may participate in the election of party-list representatives who. The Case Before the Court are three consolidated Petitions for Certiorari (with applications for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction) under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.each qualified party.into our presidential form of government.only those parties garnering a minimum of two percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are “qualified” to have a seat in the House of Representatives. regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof. by selection or election from the labor.the additional seats which a qualified party is entitled to shall be computed “in proportion to their total number of votes. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members. Under this statute’s policy declaration. Second. the State shall "promote proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives through a party-list system of registered national. and sectoral parties or organizations. which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and 2 3 * 4 1 5 . women. affirming the said disposition. defeat. which provides: “Sec. a voter is given two (2) votes for the House -. the constitutional introduction of the party-list system . assailing (1) the October 15. one “qualifying” and two additional seats. the twenty percent allocation .2[2] and (2) the January 7.:* Prologue To determine the winners in a Philippine-style party-list election. Congress enacted RA 7941 on March 3. the assailed Resolutions must be struck down for having been issued in grave abuse of discretion. the three-seat limit .the party-list method of representation. Fourth. as provided by law. methods and formulas to implement election laws -.” The Facts and the Antecedents Our 1987 Constitution introduced a novel feature into our presidential system of government -.4[4] In effect. regulations. in Election Matter 98-065.5[5] Specifically.a normal feature of parliamentary democracies .” Because the Comelec violated these legal parameters. upon their election and proclamation. urban poor. as provided by law. It has no power to contravene or amend them. 7941 mandate at least four inviolable parameters.not to reject. in turn. proportional representation . who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. youth.” Complying with its constitutional duty to provide by law the “selection or election” of party-list representatives.one for a district congressman and another for a party-list representative. except the religious sector. Third. 1995. (2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. this system of representation is mandated by Section 5. any national. and such other sectors as may be provided by law. These are: First. which demand innovative legal solutions convertible into mathematical formulations which are. the two percent threshold . presents new paradigms and novel questions. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained. ignore. Neither does it have authority to decide the wisdom. obstruct or circumvent them. cities. 1999 Resolution3[3] of the Comelec en banc. that is. anchored on time-tested jurisprudence. J. Second Division.A. Its bounden duty is to craft rules. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and R. peasant. The assailed Resolutions ordered the proclamation of thirty-eight (38) additional party-list representatives "to complete the full complement of 52 seats in the House of Representatives as provided under Section 5. one half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled. and those who. In fine. regional. 5.the combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the House of Representatives. Article VI of the Constitution. shall sit in the House of Representatives as regular members. The poll body is mandated to enforce and administer election-related laws. shall be elected by a party-list system of registered national. indigenous cultural communities. modified by unique Filipino statutory parameters. unless otherwise fixed by law.PANGANIBAN. 7941. including those elected under the party list. the Constitution and Republic Act (RA) No.

54% 2.388 votes." It alleged that the filling up of the twenty percent membership of party-list representatives in the House of Representatives. Rosales Benjamin A. AKBAYAN 232. Pursuant to Section 18 of RA 7941.The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum (20%) of the total number of the members of the House of Representatives including those under the party-list.646 3. Montemayor Diogenes S.36% 2. the first five (5) major political parties on the basis of party representation in the House of Representatives at the start of the Tenth Congress of the Philippines shall not be entitled to participate in the party-list system. Unde Patricia M. PMP. and shall provide the simplest scheme possible. The proclaimed winners and the votes cast in their favor were as follows:6[6] 6 Party/Organization/ Number of Percentage of Nominees Coalition Votes Obtained Total Votes 1. In determining the allocation of seats for the second vote. It further claimed that the literal application of the two percent vote requirement and the three-seat limit under RA 7941 would defeat this constitutional provision. and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each.33% Leonardo Q. 1998. which were equivalent to 2. NCSCFO 238. PRP. Inc. and 25. APEC 503. On June 26.802 FEDERATION 5. ALAGAD 312. free and open party system in order to attain the broadest possible representation of party. and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. 1998. -. 1998. and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections. short of the 52 party-list representatives who should actually sit in the House.” (italics ours. Silos Melvyn Eballe 2. 4L. PAG-ASA (People’s Progressive Alliance for Peace and Good Government Towards Alleviation of Poverty and Social Advancement) filed with the Comelec a "Petition to Proclaim [the] Full Number of Party-List Representatives provided by the Constitution. AWATU. NUPA.41% 3. organizations. AMIN. nine other party-list organizations8[8] filed their respective Motions for Intervention. ATUCP. COOP-NATCCO 189. Cruz Renato B. organizations. After passing upon the results of the special elections held on July 4.07% D. That each party. to become members of the House of Representatives.643 11. 11. Towards this end.) was entitled to one party-list seat for having garnered 186. organization. Inc. That those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. It also ordered the proclamation of herein 38 7 8 . as provided under the Constitution. 2847.60% Joy A.) The requirements for entitlement to a party-list seat in the House are prescribed by this law (RA 7941) in this wise: “Sec. Young Ariel A.5 percent of the votes.376 10.500 4. Thus. 1998. ABANSE! PINAY 235. 1998 as the 14th party-list representative. PINATUBO. Magtubo Cresente C. Likewise. Provided. Ang Lakas OCW.57% 2. prescribing the rules and regulations governing the election of party-list representatives through the party-list system. FEJODAP. CUP.79% 2.7[7] On July 6. Number of Party-List Representatives. Senior Citizens. AKAP. SANLAKAS 194. AKSYON. Pilapil 2. Women Power.. Zartiga Gorgonio P. These organizations were COCOFED.5% Rene M.G.184 6.13% 2. 1998. Emerito S. the first election for party-list representation was held simultaneously with the national elections. For purposes of the May 1998 elections. finally.04 percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system.51% 3. the Comelec Second Division promulgated the present assailed Resolution granting PAG-ASA's Petition. Provided. Paez 2. the Comelec en banc further determined that COCOFED (Philippine Coconut Planters’ Federation. PCCI. the following procedure shall be observed: (a) The parties. ABA 321. was mandatory. Sarenas Loreta Ann P. AKO 239. KAMPIL. OCW-UNIFIL. which had obtained at least two percent of the total number of votes cast for the party-list system.042 7. Thereafter. 18. which obtained 5. ALU and BIGAS. organizations and coalitions participated. Election of the Fourteen Party-List Representatives On May 11.802 3. AMMA-KATIPUNAN. was proclaimed on September 8. Bantay Bayan. for only 25 nominees would be declared winners. the State shall develop and guarantee a full. PROMDI 255. VETERANS 304. A total of one hundred twenty-three (123) parties.underrepresented sectors. Osabel Eduardo P. 1998. sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives by enhancing their chances to compete for and win seats in the legislature.303 8. the Comelec en banc promulgated Resolution No. MAHARLIKA.61% 2. BUTIL 215. its first nominee.487 5.617 12. (b) The parties. organizations and parties. Calderon.548 9. PAG-ASA’s Petition was joined by other party-list organizations in a Manifestation they filed on August 28. AFW. Veterans Care. seeking the same relief as that sought by PAG-ASA on substantially the same grounds. Two of the proclaimed representatives belonged to Petitioner APEC. the Comelec en banc proclaimed thirteen (13) party-list representatives from twelve (12) parties and organizations. On October 15. or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats.

ANAKBAYAN 31. AYOS 9 . AFW 16. ARBA 32. Instead.) Considering these elements." which should supposedly determine "how the 52 seats should be filled up. but ignoring the two percent threshold requirement of RA 7941. PRP 7. it disregarded the two percent-vote requirement prescribed under Section 11 (b) of RA 7941. in addition to the 14 already sitting.P. MINFA 33. 19.” It thus disposed as follows: 12. CUP 20. BIGAS 28. "the system should represent the broadest sectors of the Philippine society. PMP 24." Second. 1 to 51 x x x should have at least one representative. would thus total 52 party-list representatives. AWATU 23. to include those similarly situated. organizations and coalitions are PROCLAIMED as party-list representatives. It held that "at all times. OCW-UNIFIL 11. NCWP 26. 4L 22. it concluded that "the party-list groups ranked Nos. FCL 13. Republic Act No. the Omnibus Election Code (B. MAHARLIKA 10." First. PINATUBO 5. the nominees from the party-list hereinbelow enumerated based on the list of names submitted by their respective parties. to wit: 1. AKSYON 4. VETERANS CARE 21. 881). ATUCP 25. BANTAY BAYAN 15. the Commission (Second Division) hereby resolves to GRANT the instant petition and motions for intervention." In allocating the 52 seats. the total number of congressional9[9] seats must be filled up by eighty (80%) percent district representatives and twenty (20%) percent party-list representatives. AMMA-KATIPUNAN "WHEREFORE. SENIOR CITIZENS 2. AKAP 3." Third. "it should encourage [the] multi-party system. "the system was conceived to enable the marginalized sectors of the Philippine society to be represented in the House of Representatives.” (Boldface in the original. COPRA 29. WOMENPOWER. ALU 27. 18. INC. PAG-ASA 9. 7941 and other election laws. NUPA 6. FEJODAP ACCORDINGLY.respondents who. AMIN 8. it identified three "elements of the party-list system. by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution. GREEN 30. KAMPIL 14. ANG LAKAS OCW 17.

Attys. veterans. ALL COOP 35.to develop and guarantee a full.even if they had not passed the two percent threshold? sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives to thirteen organizations representing two political parties. ONEWAY PRINT 38. organizations and coalitions that had been declared by the poll body as likewise entitled to party-list seats in the House of Representatives. which had earlier been proclaimed winners on the basis of having obtained at least two percent of the votes cast for the party-list system. KATIPUNAN 37. organizations and coalitions enumerated in the dispositive portions of its 15 October 1998 Resolution or its 7 January 1999 Resolution. Marcoleta for petitioners in GR No. 1999. Atty.34.” the Comelec en banc resolved only the issue concerning the apportionment or allocation of the remaining seats.” Without expressly declaring as unconstitutional or void the two percent vote requirement imposed by RA 7941. based on its three “elements. objected to the proclamation of the 38 parties and filed separate Motions for Reconsideration. for petitioners in GR No.herein private respondents . 1999. until further orders from this Court. 13[13] In the suits. the Comelec en banc.movants and oppositors alike . made respondents together with the Comelec were the 38 parties. prohibition and mandamus.affirmed the Resolution of its Second Division. for inexplicable reasons. with prayers for the issuance of temporary restraining orders or writs of preliminary injunction. this Court issued a Status Quo Order directing the Comelec “to CEASE and DESIST from constituting itself as a National Board of Canvassers on 13 January 1999 or on any other date and proclaiming as winners the nominees of the parties. "pending the resolution of petitions for correction of manifest errors. Andolana. In other words. it "will also prevent this Commission from complying with the constitutional and statutory decrees for party-list representatives to compose 20% of the House of Representatives. On January 12. and (2) additional seats. in its Resolution dated January 7. Ruling of the Comelec En Banc Noting that all the parties -. Gregorio A. Atty. the Commission blithely rejected and circumvented its application. organizations or coalitions garnering at least two percent of the votes for the party-list system were entitled to seats in the House of Representatives. Sison for Intervenor NACUSIP. PDP-LABAN 36. Such strict application of the 2% 'threshold' does not serve the essence and object of the Constitution and the legislature -. 1996. Upon invitation of the Court. were filed before this Court by the parties and organizations that had obtained at least two per cent of the total votes cast for the party-list system. as provided by said Section 11. only parties. for all the private respondents.” Additionally. women and peasantry x x x. 2847 dated June 25. 1999. should be allocated to those which had garnered the two percent threshold in proportion to the number of votes cast for the winning parties. 12 10 13 . AABANTE KA PILIPINAS to complete the full complement of 52 seats in the House of Representatives as provided in Section 5. However. 7941. Atty. held in abeyance the proclamation of the 51st party (AABANTE KA PILIPINAS). Porfirio V. oral arguments were heard from the parties. holding that there were more important considerations than this statutory threshold. petitioners sought the proclamation of additional representatives from each of their parties and organizations.” Thus.” the “Group of 38” private respondents. the issue was: Should the remaining 38 unfilled seats allocated to party-list solons be given (1) to the thirteen qualified parties that had each garnered at least two percent of the total votes. 136781. In its Resolution No. Ricardo Blancaflor and Pete Quirino Quadra. It.” Under these Rules and Regulations.had agreed that the twenty percent membership of party-list representatives in the House "should be filled up. Jeremias U. 136786.with three commissioners concurring11[11] and two members12[12] dissenting -.” It apparently relied on this method when it proclaimed the 14 incumbent party-list solons (two for APEC and one each for the 12 other qualified parties).” On July 1. free and open party system in order to attain the broadest possible representation of party. one additional seat shall be given for every two percent of the vote. Montemayor appeared for petitioners in GR No. and Atty. 136795. Balbuena for Respondent Comelec. a formula the Comelec illustrated in its Annex “A. all of which had obtained at least two percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system. They contended that (1) under Section 11 (b) of RA 7941. Consequently. by a razor-thin majority -. retired Comelec Commissioner 11 The poll body held that to allocate the remaining seats only to those who had hurdled the two percent vote requirement "will mean the concentration of representation of party. Atty. not exceeding two for each. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and R. Rodante D.10[10] The twelve (12) parties and organizations. it abandoned said unanimous Resolution and proclaimed. Jose P. the Comelec en banc had unanimously promulgated a set of “Rules and Regulations Governing the Election of x x x Party-List Representatives Through the Party-List System. however. sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives x x x. three coalitions and four sectors: urban poor. or (2) to the Group of 38 .A. several petitions for certiorari.” The foregoing disposition sums up a glaring bit of inconsistency and flip-flopping. Collectively.

cities. one half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled.Regalado E. this percentage is a ceiling. as provided by law. The problematic question. Solicitor General Ricardo P.Are the two percent threshold requirement and the three-seat limit provided in Section 11 (b) of RA 7941 constitutional? 3. the Constitution makes the number of district representatives the determinant in arriving at the number of seats allocated for party-list lawmakers.” First Issue: Whether the Twenty Percent Constitutional Allocation Is Mandatory Twenty Percent Allocation a Mere Ceiling The pertinent provision15[15] of the Constitution on the composition of the House of Representatives reads as follows: The Constitution simply states that "[t]he party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. the number of party-list seats would be 52. To illustrate. considering that there were 208 district representatives to be elected during the 1998 national elections. not for any party but also as a friend of the Court. as follows: No. unless otherwise fixed by law. In the exercise of its prerogative. and those who. If there is no sufficient number of participating parties. and such other sectors as may be provided by law. the parties and the amici curiae were required to submit their respective Memoranda in amplification of their verbal arguments. The Court agrees with petitioners that the assailed Resolutions should be nullified. how should the additional seats of a qualified party be determined? Clearly.80 representatives This formulation16[16] means that any increase in the number of district representatives. Maambong acted as amicus curiae. that the main question of how to determine the winners of the subject party-list election can be fully settled by addressing the following issues: 1.14[14] the ratification of this Constitution. urban poor. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. then naturally such 15 16 . as may be provided by law. who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. computed as follows: The Court’s Ruling 208 -------. the mechanics by which it is to be filled up has been left to Congress. by selection or election from the labor. 5.x . (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members. however.20 = No. Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives mentioned in Section 5 (2). 14 Petitioners further argue that the constitutional provision must be construed together with this legislative requirement. mandatory or is it merely a ceiling? In other words. and so holds. of district representatives ---------------------------------. is this: Does the Constitution require all such allocated seats to be filled up all the time and under all circumstances? Our short answer is “No. as provided by law. except the religious sector. peasant.80 The Petitions are partly meritorious. regional.x . the legislature enacted RA 7941. of party-list . For three consecutive terms after According to petitioners.” “Sec." We thus translate this legal provision into a mathematical formula. women. If the answer to Issue 2 is in the affirmative. and sectoral parties or organizations. shall be elected by a party-list system of registered national. Thereafter. Galvez appeared. by which it prescribed that a party. Article VI of the Constitution. should the twenty percent allocation for party-list solons be filled up completely and all the time? 2. will necessarily result in a corresponding increase in the number of party-list seats. indigenous cultural communities. organization or coalition participating in the party-list election must obtain at least two percent of the total votes cast for the system in order to qualify for a seat in the House of Representatives. youth. The foregoing computation of seat allocation is easy enough to comprehend. organizations or coalitions which could hurdle the two percent vote threshold and thereby fill up the twenty percent party-list allocation in the House.” Determination of the Total Number of Party-List Lawmakers The Issues The Court believes. but disagrees that they should all be granted additional seats.20 = 52 . and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. (2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. who shall comprise "twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list.

more particularly the Bundestag of Germany. On the other hand. as far as practicable. the function of the Supreme Court. organization.” suffice it to say that the prerogative to determine whether to adjust or change this percentage requirement rests in Congress. together with the respondent parties. The Constitution explicitly sets down only the percentage of the total membership in the House of Representatives reserved for party-list representatives. Mr. A party must obtain at least 2 percent of the votes cast. as well as of all judicial and quasi-judicial agencies.allocation cannot be filled up completely. easily conveys the equally simple message that Congress was vested with the broad power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list system of representation. 5 percent or 10 percent of the votes cast. Congress enacted RA 7941. but to craft an innovative mathematical formula that can. even the framers of our Constitution had in mind a minimum-vote requirement. Those garnering more than this percentage could have "additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. as should have been the Comelec’s. President. or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats. organization or coalition can have more than three seats in the House of Representatives. Indeed. a statute remains a valid command of sovereignty that must be respected and obeyed at all times. they will be able to get to the Parliament through the backdoor under the name of the party-list system. Senator Osmeña when he said that a political party must have obtained at least a minimum percentage to be provided in this law in order to qualify for a seat under the party-list system."18[18] A similar intent is clear from the statements of the bill sponsor in the House of Representatives. and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each. is to apply the law as we find it. ineffective. because its strict application would make it mathematically impossible to fill up the House party-list complement. avers that the twenty percent allocation for party-list lawmakers is mandatory. Thus the relevant portion of Section 11(b) of the law provides: “SENATOR GONZALES: For purposes of continuity. I think. Article VI of the Constitution. Constitutional Commissioner Christian S." for ultimately the voters themselves are the ones who. Otherwise. In imposing a two percent threshold. Unless declared unconstitutional. not to reinvent or second-guess it. organizations and coalitions participating in the system to obtain at least two percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system in order to be entitled to a party-list seat. organizations. There are about 20 million who cast their votes in the last elections. ESPINOSA. I would want to follow up a point that was raised by. it will be shown presently that Section 5 (2). no winning party. As said earlier. Second Issue: The Statutory Requirement and Limitation The Two Percent Threshold We rule that a simple reading of Section 5. patterned after that of the party list of the other parliaments or congresses. Provided. This intent can be gleaned from the deliberations on the proposed bill. “(b)The parties.” Considering the foregoing statutory requirements. The Comelec cannot be faulted for the "incompleteness. MONSOD. finally. and that the two percent vote requirement in RA 7941 is unconstitutional.”19[19] Moreover. I think. That those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. It however deemed it necessary to require parties. organizations and coalitions having a sufficient number of constituents deserving of representation are actually represented in Congress. is not to find fault in the wisdom of the law through highly unlikely scenarios of clinical extremes. determine who and how many should represent them. There is a mathematical formula which is. x x x We are amenable to modifications in the minimum percentage of votes. There is a mathematical formula which this computation is based at.” Furthermore. Congress declared therein a policy to promote "proportional representation" in the election of party-list representatives in order to enable Filipinos belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors to contribute legislation that would benefit them. Congress wanted to ensure that only those parties. implement it within the context of the actual election process. Our proposal is that anybody who has two-and-a-half percent of the votes gets a seat. insufficient or otherwise void by the proper tribunal. in the exercise of their right of suffrage. the specification of which they left to Congress to properly determine. It merely provides a ceiling for party-list seats in Congress. 17[17] Our task now. Monsod explained: “MR. this will actually proliferate political party groups and those who have not really been given by the people sufficient basis for them to represent their constituents and. in turn. as the following shows: “MR. They do that in many other countries. arriving at a five percent ratio which would distribute equitably the number of seats among the different sectors. as I have said. Two-and-a- 18 17 19 . On the contention that a strict application of the two percent threshold may result in a “mathematical impossibility. We quote below a pertinent portion of the Senate discussion: In the exercise of its constitutional prerogative. That each party. Provided. This is the essence of the rule of law. Public Respondent Comelec. Article VI of the Constitution is not mandatory.

This proposal has the advantage of simplicity and ease of comprehension. to earn their seats among the fifty.for example. or maybe regional groups. the result might be the proliferation of small groups which are incapable of contributing significant legislation. All in all. The percentage of their respective votes as against the total number of votes cast for the party-list system is then determined. "Qualified" means having hurdled the two percent vote threshold." The problem is how to distribute additional seats "proportionally." Under a republican or representative state. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio" 22[22] to ensure meaningful local representation.is to rank all the participating parties.half percent would mean 500. This way. organization or coalition. in a legislature that features the party-list system. Party B.000 votes.000 families. would dominate the party-list seats. If we bring that down to two percent. x x x.23[23] The Three-Seat-Per-Party Limit An important consideration in adopting the party-list system is to promote and encourage a multiparty system of representation. but is exercised by representatives chosen by them. So. we are talking about 400. however. we quote Commissioner Monsod: “MR. Thus. Thereafter.000. but with the very essence of "representation. We are for opening up the system. 6 percent. I just want to say that we suggested or proposed the party list system because we wanted to open up the political system to a pluralistic society through a multiparty system. no matter how large its membership. here we are talking about 134.000 votes. thus. when Party A receives 20 percent of the total votes cast. We shall not belabor this point. When the law is clear. The average vote per family is three. The very first step . Anybody who has a constituency of 500. all the parties will each uniformly have three seats only. One Additional Seat Per Two Percent Increment One proposed formula is to allocate one additional seat for every additional proportion of the votes obtained equivalent to the two percent vote requirement for the first seat. and should earn their seats within that system. organizations and coalitions (hereafter collectively referred to as "parties") according to the votes they each obtained. the reserve seat system. Again.there is no dispute on this . not interpretation or circumvention. and one that gets two percent will be entitled to one seat only. and we would like very much for the sectors to be there. and having upheld the constitutionality of the two percent vote threshold and the three-seat limit imposed under RA 7941. We believe that it is our job to open up the system and that we should not have within that system a reserve seat. proportional representation 22 23 20 24 21 25 . Such three-seat limit ensures the entry of various interest-representations into the legislature. and which might even pose a threat to the stability of Congress. we hold that the statutory provision on this two percent requirement is precise and crystalline. when the parties get very lop-sided votes -. All those that garnered at least two percent of the total votes cast have an assured or guaranteed seat in the House of Representatives. But we also wanted to avoid the problems of mechanics and operation in the implementation of a concept that has very serious shortcomings of classification and of double or triple votes.”24[24] Consistent with the Constitutional Commission's pronouncements.”20[20] The two percent threshold is consistent not only with the intent of the framers of the Constitution and the law. 25 [25] Translated in figures. Problems arise. Considering the three-seat limit imposed by law. We believe that there are many sectors who will be able to get seats in the Assembly because many of them have memberships of over 10. "those garnering more than two percent of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. Madam President. Party A would be entitled to 10 seats. the function of courts is simple application. organizations and coalitions are entitled to. a party that wins at least six percent of the total votes cast will be entitled to three seats. no single group." bearing in mind the three-seat limit further imposed by the law. MONSOD. to 5 seats and Party C. 21[21] But to have meaningful representation. Congress set the seat-limit to three (3) for each qualified party. even legislative districts are apportioned according to "the number of their respective inhabitants. we will open it up and enable sectoral groups. We would then have the spectacle of a party garnering two or more times the number of votes obtained by another. the elected persons must have the mandate of a sufficient number of people. we now proceed to the method of determining how many party-list seats the qualified parties. We think that people should organize. Under the method just described.000 votes nationwide deserves a seat in the Assembly. 10 percent. because the validity of the three-seat limit is not seriously challenged in these consolidated cases. What we are trying to avoid is this selection of sectors. that is the operational implication of our proposal. In effect. should work hard. Party B. and Party C. Otherwise. Third Issue: Method of Allocating Additional Seats Having determined that the twenty percent seat allocation is merely a ceiling. all government authority emanates from the people. That is why one of the ways to do that is to put a ceiling on the number of representatives from any single party that can sit within the 50 allocated under the party list system. if not the entire House. to 3 seats. another party that gets four percent will be entitled to two seats. In effect. yet getting the same number of seats as the other one with the much lesser votes.

This major statutory difference makes the Niemeyer formula completely inapplicable to the Philippines. we need to review the parameters of the Filipino party-list system. the distribution of party-list seats under the Niemeyer method would be as follows: Party Number of Guaranteed Votes Seats 1. Third. SANLAKAS 194. because of our three-seat limit and the non-mandatory character of the twenty percent allocation. the thirteen qualified parties will each be entitled to three seats. finds no application in the Philippine setting. COCOFED 186. The Niemeyer formula.338 Additional Seats 5. however.90 1 4 7 5 4 4 However. they are as follows: 1 2. PROMDI 255.only those parties garnering a minimum of two percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are “qualified” to have a seat in the House of Representatives. NCSCFO 238. the three-seat limit .617 1 12. Note that like the previous proposal. In crafting a legally defensible and logical solution to determine the number of additional seats that a qualified party is entitled to.500 1 4.the combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the House of Representatives. RA 7941. More important. regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained.487 1 2.042 1 2. of remaining seats to be allocated --------------------------. both our Congress and the Bundestag have threshold requirements -. Under our present set of facts. BUTIL 215. the Court discarded it. Hence.388 1 Total 3. VETERANS 304. while no doubt suitable for Germany.” 26 .12 13 32 4 1 1 4 3 3 7 3 52 First. the two percent threshold . Under this formula. Based on the 1998 election results.45 2. including those elected under the party list.the additional seats which a qualified party is entitled to shall be computed “in proportion to their total number of votes.548 4 9. The Niemeyer Formula Another suggestion that the Court considered was the Niemeyer formula. ABA 321. True. the twenty percent allocation .68 2. The Legal and Logical Formula for the Philippines It is now obvious that the Philippine style party-list system is a unique paradigm which demands an equally unique formula. In contrast.376 1 10.each qualified party.646 1 3. is entitled to a maximum of three seats. The integer portion of the resulting product will be the number of additional seats that the party concerned is entitled to. the number of additional seats to which a qualified party would be entitled is determined by multiplying the remaining number of seats to be allocated by the total number of votes obtained by that party and dividing the product by the total number of votes garnered by all the qualified parties. COOP-NATCCO 189. as already mentioned.21 1 2. there are no seat limitations. neither can the Niemeyer formula be transplanted in toto here because of essential variances between the two party-list models.303 1 8. AKO 239.26[26] one half of the German Parliament is filled up by party-list members. one “qualifying” and two additional seats. As earlier mentioned in the Prologue.72 7. those obtaining more than the limit will have to give up their excess seats.429.will be contravened and the law rendered nugatory by this suggested solution. Second. of votes of = seats of party party concerned concerned (Integer.802 3 13." a basic tenet of our party-list system.16 2.64 2. Fourth.184 1 6. the Niemeyer formula would violate the principle of "proportional representation. which was developed by a German mathematician and adopted by Germany as its method of distributing party-list seats in the Bundestag. of votes of qualified parties No. proportional representation .802 1 FEDERATION 5. because German law discourages the proliferation of small parties.71 1 4 1 2.x Total no. ABANSE! PINAY 235. ALAGAD 312.47 Extra Seats 1 1 Total 2. As ably pointed out by private respondents.decimal) The next step is to distribute the extra seats left among the qualified parties in the descending order of the decimal portions of the resulting products. of additional No. There are marked differences between the two models. APEC 503. resulting in an overall total of 39.two percent for us and five for them. since Section 11 of RA 7941 sets a limit of three (3) seats for each party. AKBAYAN 232.55 3. imposes a three-seat limit to encourage the promotion of the multiparty system. Just as one cannot grow Washington apples in the Philippines or Guimaras mangoes in the Arctic because of fundamental environmental differences.66 3. that is.643 1 11. Thus: No.73 3.

how do we determine the number of seats the first party is entitled to? The only basis given by the law is that a party receiving at least two percent of the total votes shall be entitled to one seat. in effect. The proper solution. the said party would be entitled to two additional seats or a total of three seats overall. Applying the above formula. and (2) the formula does not admit of mathematical rounding off. Step One. is to grant the first party a total of three seats. The formula. As explained earlier. We adopted this six percent bench mark. and the party receiving six percent. deprive another party's fractional membership. The party receiving the highest number of votes shall thenceforth be referred to as the “first” party.to grant it the same number of seats as the second party would violate the statutory mandate of proportional representation. the first party received 1.There is no dispute among the petitioners. that the initial step is to rank all the participating parties. If the proportion of votes without a rounding off is equal to or greater than four percent. APEC. We said further that "no party can claim more than what it is entitled to x x x.” In any case. because the first party is not always entitled to the maximum number of additional seats. Depending on the proportion of its votes relative to that of the first party whose number of seats has already been predetermined. the use of the same formula for all would contravene the proportional representation parameter. It would be a violation of the constitutional mandate of proportional representation. The Supreme Court does not make the law. Then the ratio for each party is computed by dividing its votes by the total votes cast for all the parties participating in the system. but less than six percent. Gonzales27[27] that a fractional membership cannot be converted into a whole membership of one when it would.say. the number of seats to which all the parties are entitled may exceed the maximum number of party-list seats reserved in the House of Representatives. The other qualified parties will always be allotted less additional seats than the first party for two reasons: (1) the ratio between said parties and the first party will always be less than 1:1. The next step is to determine the number of seats the first party is entitled to. And if the proportion is less than four percent. it merely applies it to a given set of facts. For example. the number of seats to be allotted to the other parties cannot possibly exceed that to which the first party is entitled by virtue of its obtaining the most number of votes.000. therefore. is to find a way to translate “proportional representation” into a mathematical formula that will not contravene. Formula for Determining Additional Seats for the First Party Now. The Court has previously ruled in Guingona Jr.000 votes and is determined to be entitled to two additional seats. such as in an extreme case wherein 18 or more parties tie for the highest rank and are thus entitled to three seats each. if the first party received a significantly higher amount of votes -. Another qualified party which received 500. then the first party shall be entitled to two additional seats or a total of three seats overall. the public and the private respondents. in order to be able to compute that for the other parties. will definitely not end up in such constitutional contravention.5% of the total votes cast. since a party getting only six percent of the votes will have an equal number of representatives as the one obtaining twenty percent. circumvent or amend the above-mentioned parameters. After careful deliberation. a second party obtains six percent of the total number of votes cast. v. Since the distribution is based on proportional representation.The problem. an arbitrary rounding off could result in a violation of the twenty percent allocation. step by step. the second party should be given less than that to which the first one is entitled. Proportionally. given the number of qualified parties and the voting percentages obtained. if the first party were to receive twice the number of votes of the second party. In such scenario. All parties with at least two percent of the total votes are guaranteed one seat each. organizations and coalitions from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they each received. we now explain such formula.= first party relative to Total votes for total votes for party-list system party-list system If the proportion of votes received by the first party without rounding it off is equal to at least six percent of the total valid votes cast for all the party list groups. Only these parties shall be considered in the computation of additional seats. then the first party shall not be entitled to any additional seat. because there is no such thing as a fraction of a seat. therefore. then the first party shall have one additional or a total of two seats. Verily. as well as the members of this Court. Step Two. twenty percent -.000 votes cannot be entitled to the same number of seats. Formula for Additional Seats of Other Qualified Parties 27 . Likewise. An academic mathematical demonstration of such incipient violation is not necessary because the present set of facts. which received 5. it would prevent the allotment of more than the total number of available seats. the decision on whether to round off the fractions is better left to the legislature. for computing the number of seats to which the first party is entitled is as follows: Number of votes of first party Proportion of votes of -------------------. is entitled to one additional seat or a total of two seats. According to the above formula. Note that the above formula will be applicable only in determining the number of additional seats the first party is entitled to. However. it should be entitled to twice the latter's number of seats and so on. as already stated. Since Congress did not provide for it in the present law. For example. additional seats in proportion to those of the first party. neither will this Court. since it garnered only fifty percent of the votes won by the first party. It cannot be used to determine the number of additional seats of the other qualified parties.

487 * 1 = 0. because it glaringly violated two requirements of RA 7941: the two percent threshold and proportional representation.042 / 503.802 / 503.61% 1 239. since rounding off is not to be applied %age ofInitial No.184 2. Substituting actual values would result in the following equation: Additional seats 321.500 304.64 3. two for the first party (APEC) and one each for the twelve other qualified parties. rounding off may result in the awarding of a number of seats in excess of that provided by the law.57% 1 321. ABANSE! PINAY 9. In simplified form. an exact whole number is necessary. Additional Total Garnered Total Votes of Seats Seats 5. in the case of ABA. Hence. the additional number of seats it would be entitled to is computed as follows: Additional seats for concerned = party (ABA) No.487 321. then the ratio of the number of votes for the other party to that for the first one is multiplied by zero.51 1 239. we affirm the legality of the incumbencies of their nominees. namely. APEC 2.64 or 0 additional seat.487 * 1 = 0. AKBAYAN! 10. We say. If Congress in its wisdom decides to modify RA 7941 to make it “less strict.487 * 1 = 0.184 / 503. of votes of concerned party -----------------Total no. COOP1 NATCCO 13.376 / 503. of votes of the first party first party -----------------Total no.487 * 1 = 0.47 1 238. of votes for party list system = No.47 Incidentally.303 / 503. we find the outcome of the 1998 party-list election to be as follows: In his Dissent. however.487 * 1 = 0.50% 1 1 3.548 2.617 2. of votes of the first party first party (APEC) 235.487 * 1 = 0.51% 1 321.376 2. To repeat. Hence.39 1 189.43 194. The formula is encompassed by the following complex fraction: Additional seats for concerned party No.487 * 1 = 0. ALAGAD 4.646 for concerned = ----------.33% 1 304. VETERANS FEDERATION 503. of additional = ----------------------x seats allocated to No. But the law itself has set the limit: only two additional seats.388 2.643 2.x 1 = party (ABA) 503.500 / 503. Organization Votes Epilogue 1. based on proportional representation. An increase in the maximum number of additional representatives a party may be entitled to would result in a more accurate proportional representation.042 2.62 3. BUTIL 1 11.x seats allocated to No. .487 * 1 = 0. Justice Mendoza criticizes our methodology for being too strict.” then the formula will also be modified to reflect the changes willed by the lawmakers.79% 1 255.487 * 1 = 0. we need to work within such extant parameter.487 * 1 = 0. if the first party is not entitled to any additional seat.Step Three The next step is to solve for the number of additional seats that the other qualified parties are entitled to. SANLAKAS 12.646 / 503.38 186. PROMDI 6.04% 1 186.37 1 The above formula does not give an exact mathematical representation of the number of additional seats to be awarded since. we hold that the Comelec gravely abused its discretion in ruling that the thirtyeight (38) herein respondent parties.54% 1 232.487 255. The net result of the foregoing formula for determining additional seats happily coincides with the present number of incumbents. no more no less. NCSFO 1 8.617 / 503. that our formula merely translated the Philippine legal parameters into a mathematical equation. ABA 3.13% 1 194. In fact.07% 1 189.646 312. of additional -----------------.487 * 1 = 0. organizations and coalitions are each entitled to a party-list seat. it is written as follows: Additional seats for concerned party 5. in order to be entitled to one additional seat. albeit through the use of a different formula and methodology.41% 1 312. COCOFED Applying the above formula. of votes for party-list system No. of additional -------------------. of votes of the first party first party Thus.802 2. AKO 7.36% 1 215.x seats allocated to No. of votes of concerned party No. of votes of ABA No. obtaining absolute proportional representation is restricted by the three-seat-per-party limit to a maximum of two additional slots.643 / 503.46 1 215. most of the actual mathematical proportions are not whole numbers and are not rounded off for the reasons explained earlier.47 1 232.61 2 1 1 1 In sum.802 . Furthermore.802 / 503.60% 1 238.487 * 1 = 0. The end result would be zero additional seat for each of the other qualified parties as well.646 / 503.388 / 503.303 2.

The proclamations of the fourteen (14) sitting party-list representatives . As a mere implementing body.have failed to demonstrate that our lawmakers gravely abused their discretion in prescribing such requirements. MYRNA P.both petitioners and respondents . The wisdom and the propriety of these impositions. AGBIAG TIMPUYOG ILOCANO. Quite the contrary. the Comelec and the other parties in these cases . (AGAP). INC. the Comelec effectively arrogated unto itself what the Constitution expressly and wholly vested in the legislature: the power and the discretion to define the mechanics for the enforcement of the system. the Petitions are hereby partially GRANTED. the Comelec and the defeated litigants should not despair. absent any clear transgression of the Constitution or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (ABA ILONGGO). our marginalized sectors. CINCO. INC. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. a reading of the entire Constitution reveals no violation of any of its provisions by the strict enforcement of RA 7941. Armed with patience. ALAY SA BAYAN NG MALAYANG PROPESYUNAL AT REPORMANG KALAKAL (ABAY-PARAK). AGRICULTURAL SECTOR ALLIANCE OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioners. though already popular in parliamentary democracies.two for APEC and one each for the remaining twelve (12) qualified parties . BABAE PARA SA KAUNLARAN (BABAE KA). Indeed. INC. 30 [30] cannot simply disregard an act of Congress exercised within the bounds of its authority. No pronouncement as to costs. perseverance and perspicacity. By grave abuse of discretion is meant such capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdiction. we are confident our people will be more responsive to future party-list elections.In disregarding. there must be a clear and unequivocal showing that what the Constitution prohibits. represented by MRS. (AGHAM). INC. SO ORDERED. ABANTE ILONGGO. Philippine style. We should allow it some time to take root in the consciousness of our people and in the heart of our tripartite form of republicanism. PUWERSA NG BAYANING ATLETA (PBA). KAPATIRAN NG MGA NAKAKULONG NA WALANG SALA (KAKUSA). Its recourse is to draft an amendment to the law and lobby for its approval and enactment by the legislature.] BANTAY REPUBLIC ACT OR BA-RA 7941. it cannot judge the wisdom. It should stir them to be more active and vigilant in their campaign for representation in the State's 28 29 30 31 [G. Furthermore.31[31] Neither can we grant petitioners’ prayer that they each be given additional seats (for a total of three each). the statute permits. No. is still quite new in our presidential system. (AGBIAG!). which is tasked merely to enforce and administer election-related laws. rejecting and circumventing these statutory provisions. Be it remembered that the party-list system.28[28] Indeed. BIYAHENG PINOY. the dismal result of the first election for party-list representatives should serve as a challenge to our sectoral parties and organizations. May 4. BAGO NATIONAL CULTURAL SOCIETY OF THE PHILIPPINES . AHON PINOY. 177271. AANGAT ANG KABUHAYAN (ANAK). AKSYON SAMBAYANAN (AKSA). It should also serve as a clarion call for innovation and creativity in adopting this novel system of popular democracy. 2007. The assailed Resolutions of the Comelec are SET ASIDE and NULLIFIED. because granting such plea would plainly and simply violate the “proportional representation” mandated by Section 11 (b) of RA 7941. Secretary-General. WHEREFORE. propriety or rationality of such act. lawmaking body.29[29] The Comelec.R. are beyond judicial review. EN BANC The low turnout of the party-list votes during the 1998 elections should not be interpreted as a total failure of the law in fulfilling the object of this new system of representation. AANGAT TAYO (AT). in time. will fulfill the Filipino dream of full representation in Congress under the aegis of the partylist system. AND URBAN POOR FOR LEGAL REFORMS (UP-LR). It is basic that to strike down a law or any of its provisions as unconstitutional.are AFFIRMED. represented by MR. BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FOR NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY (BANAT). ALYANSA NG MGA GRUPONG HALIGI NG AGHAM AT TEKNOLOHIYA PARA SA MAMAMAYAN. AMEURFINO E. PORCARE. It should not be deemed a conclusive indication that the requirements imposed by RA 7941 wholly defeated the implementation of the system. Chairman. With adequate information dissemination to the public and more active sectoral parties.

2007. Rosales. In the main.R. KILOSBAYAN FOUNDATION. petitioner Rosales. seven (7) private respondents 3 in G. 1-UNITED TRANSPORT KOALISYON (1UNTAK).R. petitioners. (AMANG).R. the separate comments of the private respondents focused on the untenability and prematurity of the plea of petitioners BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR to nullify their accreditation as party-list groups and thus disqualify them and their respective nominees from participating in the May 14. Petitioners BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR presented a longer. a number of organized groups filed the necessary manifestations. UNITED MOVEMENT AGAINST DRUGS (UNI-MAD). petitioners Bantay Republic Act (BARA 7941. The facts: On January 12. or the "Party-List System Act" and belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector each seeks to represent. 2007 followed. (12) BANAT. for short) assail the various Comelec resolutions accrediting private respondents Biyaheng Pinoy et al. respondents. 2007 without simultaneously determining whether or not their respective nominees possess the requisite qualifications defined in Republic Act (R. (KASOSYO). ARTS BUSINESS AND SCIENCE PROFESSIONAL (ABS). No. 177314. Another letter 6 of the same tenor dated March 31. Apart from respondent Comelec. 7804 prescribing rules and regulations to govern the filing of manifestation of intent to participate and submission of names of nominees under the party-list system of representation in connection with the May 14. Docketed in the Comelec as SPA Case No 07-026. ALLIANCE FOR NATIONALISM AND DEMOCRACY (ANAD). Subsequent events saw BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR filing with the Comelec an Urgent Petition to Disqualify. Among these — and ostensibly subsequently accredited by the Comelec to participate in the 2007 elections — are 14 party-list groups. PROFESSIONALS AND SENIORS (AAPS). 177271 and one party-list group 4 mentioned in G.R. No. 177314. BANTAY KATARUNGAN FOUNDATION. ROSALES. 2) correspondingly. No. INC. 177271 have the following additional prayers: 1) that the 33 private respondents named therein be "declare[d] as unqualified to participate in the party-list elections as sectoral organizations..) No. 2007 to Director Alioden Dalaig of the Comelec's Law Department requesting a list of that groups' nominees. aTEHCc In separate resolutions both dated April 24. albeit an overlapping. 2007. Pursuant thereto. (4) AKSA. No. (10) AANGAT ANG KABUHAYAN. No. DECISION GARCIA. FILIPINOS FOR PEACE. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. reacting to the emerging public perception that the individuals behind the aforementioned 14 party-list groups do not.A. 2007 effectively denying their request for the release or disclosure of the names of the nominees of the fourteen (14) accredited participating party-list groups mentioned in petitioner Rosales' previous letter-request. (14) AGING PINOY. 177314. namely: (1) BABAE KA. the Comelec issued Resolution No. petitioners Loreta Ann P. BIYAYANG BUKID.R. BIGKIS PINOY MOVEMENT (BIGKIS). for short) and the Urban Poor for Legal Reforms (UP-LR. thereunder seeking to disqualify the nominees of certain party-list organizations. May 4. INC. [G. In the first petition. JUSTICE AND PROGRESS MOVEMENT (FPJPM).. (9) ANAD. 2007.(BAGO). SULONG BARANGAY MOVEMENT. No. 177314 submitted their separate comments. LORETTA ANN P. as they should. the Court en banc required the public and private respondents to file their respective comments on the petitions within a nonextendible period of five (5) days from notice. . ALLIANCE OF NEOCONSERVATIVES (ANC). (7) OFW PARTY. 1 the petitioners in G. 177271. While both petitions commonly seek to compel the Comelec to disclose or publish the names of the nominees of the various party-list groups named in the petitions. Both petitioners appear not to have the names of the nominees sought to be disqualified since they still asked for a copy of the list of nominees. 2007. ASSOSASYON NG MGA MALILIIT NA NEGOSYANTENG GUMAGANAP INC. ALLIANCE TRANSPORT SECTOR (ATS). KALAHI SECTORAL PARTY (ADVOCATES FOR OVERSEAS FILIPINO) AND ASSOCIATION OF ADMINISTRATORS. (11) AGBIAG. AKBAY PINOY OFW-NATIONAL INC. (6) AHON PINOY. EACIcH Meanwhile. (3) AKBAY PINOY. 2007 elections. Comelec 2 ]" and. list. that the Comelec be enjoined from allowing respondent groups from participating in the May 2007 elections.] REP. (5) KAKUSA. docketed as G. respondents. (8) BIYAHENG PINOY.R. this time petitioner Rosales impressing upon Atty. PARENTS ENABLING PARENTS (PEP). ANGAT ANTAS-KABUHAYAN PILIPINO MOVEMENT (AANGAT KA PILIPINO).R. vs. No. addressed a letter 5 dated March 29.. 7941. in G. Kilosbayan Foundation and Bantay Katarungan Foundation impugn Comelec Resolution 07-0724 dated April 3. (APOI). In the second. docketed as G. ALLIANCE FOR BARANGAY CONCERNS (ABC). this urgent petition has yet to be resolved. (13) BANTAY LIPAD. Dalaig the particular urgency of the subject request. 2007 party-list elections. actually represent the poor and marginalized sectors. (2) ANG KASANGGA. to participate in the forthcoming party-list elections on May 14. KASOSYO PRODUCERS CONSUMER EXCHANGE ASSOCIATION. parties or coalition for failure to comply with the guidelines prescribed by the [Court] in [Ang Bagong Bayani v. J p: Before the Court are these two consolidated petitions for certiorari and mandamus to nullify and set aside certain issuances of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) respecting party-list groups which have manifested their intention to participate in the party-list elections on May 14.

Emilio Capulong. ." On April 16.) According to petitioner Rosales. Now to the other but core issues of the case.A. Messrs. 177314 formulates and captures the main issues tendered by the petitioners in these consolidated cases and they may be summarized as follows: 1. (Emphasis added. . . The exercise would require the Court to make a factual determination. No. 2007 . inquiring on the party-list nominees' is apparently a fool-proof bureaucratic way to distort and mangle the truth and give the impression that the antedated Resolution of April 3.m. Atty. No. italization in the original) 12 DEScaT The Court is unable to grant the desired plea of petitioners BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR for cancellation of accreditation on the grounds thus advanced in their petition. 2007 virtually declaring the nominees' names confidential and in net effect denying petitioner Rosales' basic disclosure request. however. Comelec — . 10 The herein consolidated petitions are cast against the foregoing factual setting. 7941 is there a requirement that the qualification of a party-list nominee be determined simultaneously with the accreditation of an organization. Jr. . "collectively or individually. 2007. with a request for the Comelec.Neither the Comelec Proper nor its Law Department officially responded to petitioner Rosales' requests. the banner headline and the alleged statement of Chairman Benjamin Abalos. . such course of action would entail going over and evaluating the qualities of the sectoral groups or parties in question. on election day. "not only the candidate party or organization must represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors. 2007. Rosales. petitioners BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR would have the Court cancel the accreditation accorded by the Comelec to the respondent party-list groups named in their petition on the ground that these groups and their respective nominees do not appear to be qualified. when they filed their petition on April 18. or whether or not the nominees are likewise belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sector they claim to represent in Congress. so also must its nominees." In the case of private respondents. . she was able to obtain a copy of the April 3." Evidently unbeknownst then to Ms. of Petitioners". In the words of petitioners BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR.A. Invoking their constitutionally-guaranteed right to information. 07-026 in which petitioners BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR themselves seek to disqualify the nominees of the respondent party-list groups named in their petition. In certiorari proceedings. . To start off. of the April 3. . Salonga. The April 13. by refusing to reveal the names of the nominees of the various party-list groups. the Court is not called upon to decide factual issues and the case must be decided on the undisputed facts on record. in accordance with No. Section 4 of R. . forwarded a letter 8 to the Comelec formally requesting action and definitive decision on Rosales' earlier plea for information regarding the names of several party-list nominees. . . 2007. In its relevant part. committed grave abuse of discretion . to issue a formal clarification. Whether respondent Comelec. when it granted the assailed accreditations even without simultaneously determining whether the nominees of herein private respondents are qualified or not. and ex-Senator Jovito R. 7 of the eight-point guidelines prescribed by the Honorable Supreme in the Ang Bagong Bayani 11 case which states that. 2007 Elections only after 3:00 p. . albeit petitioners BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR appear not to be aware. particularly whether or not they indeed represent marginalized/underrepresented groups. moreover. For. in their own behalves and as counsels of petitioner Rosales. The petition in G. Nowhere in R. Capulong and Salonga at the same time drew attention to the banner headline adverted to earlier. carried the front-page banner headline "COMELEC WON'T BARE PARTY-LIST NOMINEES". 14 Not lost on the Court of course is the pendency before the Comelec of SPA Case No. is the final answer to the two formal requests . She would later state the observation that the last part of the "Order empowering the Law Department to 'implement this resolution and reply to all letters . And as aptly pointed out by private respondent Babae Para sa Kaunlaran (Babae Ka). 2007 Comelec Resolution 07-0724. 7 with the following sub-heading: "Abalos says party-list polls not personality oriented. either confirming or denying . was the issuance of Comelec en banc Resolution 07-0724 9 under date April 3.R. DaACIH Let the Law Department implement this resolution and reply to all letters addressed to the Commission inquiring on the party-list nominees. . and .. No. 13 The sole function of a writ of certiorari is to address issues of want of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion and does not include a review of the tribunal's evaluation of the evidence. (Words in bracket added. 7941 requires a petition for registration of a party-list organization to be filed with the Comelec "not later than ninety (90) days before the election" whereas the succeeding Section 8 requires the submission "not later than forty-five (45) days before the election" of the list of names whence party-list representatives shall be chosen. Petitioners BA-RA 7941's and UP-LR's posture that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it granted the assailed accreditations without simultaneously determining the qualifications of their nominees is without basis. public respondent Comelec granted accreditations without the required simultaneous determination of the qualification of the nominees as part of the accreditation process of the party-list organization itself. that the Commission will disclose/publicize the names of party-list nominees in connection with the May 14. et al. Sr. . has violated the right to information and free access to documents as guaranteed by the Constitution. a matter which is outside the office of judicial review by way of special civil action for certiorari. 2007 Resolution only on April 21. . Resolution 07-0724 reads as follows: RESOLVED. 2007 issue of the Manila Bulletin.

the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. either because these directly affect their lives. such as military. the Bill of Rights becomes a sophistry. As may be noted. Abalos. The names of the party-list nominees shall not be shown on the certified list. Abalos said under [R. At the end of the day. surely the identity of candidates for a lofty elective public office should be a matter of highest public concern and interest. regional. If. not for their nominees. Sr. it is for the courts to determine. This provision. or sectoral parties. or decisions. 19 The terms "public concerns" and "public interest" have eluded precise definition.) aEDCSI And doubtless part of Comelec's reason for keeping the names of the party list nominees away from the public is deducible from the following excerpts of the news report appearing in the adverted April 13.2. transactions. Similarly. and papers pertaining to official acts. whether or not at issue is of interest or importance to the public. no national security or like concerns is involved in the disclosure of the names of the nominees of the party-list groups in question. Whether respondent Comelec is mandated by the Constitution to disclose to the public the names of said nominees. . This is the essence of the Bill of Rights in a constitutional regime. (Emphasis added. or the citizens to be precise.7. objections on ground of locus standi are ordinarily unavailing. Assayed against the non-disclosure stance of the Comelec and the given rationale therefor is the right to information enshrined in the self-executory 15 Section 7. By weight of jurisprudence. . Article III of the Constitution. or coalitions. any citizen can challenge any attempt to obstruct the exercise of his right to information and may seek its enforcement by mandamus. But both terms embrace. it was the legitimate concern of a citizen to know if certain persons employed as sanitarians of a health department of a city are civil service eligibles. 16 Without a government's acceptance of the limitations upon it by the Constitution in order to uphold individual liberties. While the Comelec did not explicitly say so. We refer to Section 28.. Thus: SEC. COMELEC Chairman Benjamin S. on a case to case basis. prepare a certified list of national. or coalitions accredited to participate in the party-list election which will be held simultaneously with the May 14 mid-term polls. the Comelec . Certified List of Registered Parties. shall be afforded the citizen. Doubtless. 28. 7. 18 Like all constitutional guarantees. and to documents. without an acknowledgment on its part of those duties exacted by the rights pertaining to the citizens.A. the right to information and its companion right of access to official records are not absolute.A. viz: Sec. the petitions are impressed with merit. the policy of full disclosure is confined to transactions involving "public interest" and is subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law.A. 7941. trade. . The right to information is a public right where the real parties in interest are the public. while commanding the publication and the posting in polling places of a certified list of party-list system participating groups. 17 And since every citizen by the simple fact of his citizenship possesses the right to be informed. . Article II of the Constitution reading: Sec. a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know. . organizations or coalitions which have applied or who have manifested their desire to participate under the party-list system and distribute copies thereof to all precincts for posting in the polling places on election day.] 7941 . the people's right to know is limited to "matters of public concern" and is further subject to such limitation as may be provided by law. as well to government research data used as basis for policy development. supra. it based its refusal to disclose the names of the nominees of subject party-list groups on Section 7 of R. there is also the need of preserving a measure of confidentiality on some matters. nonetheless tells the Comelec not to show or include the names of the party-list nominees in said certified list. . Access to official records. organizations. . Complementing and going hand in hand with the right to information is another constitutional provision enunciating the policy of full disclosure and transparency in Government. or simply because such matters naturally whet the interest of an ordinary citizen. as in Legaspi. (Words in brackets and emphasis added) HEDSCc Insofar as the disclosure issue is concerned. the people are to vote for sectoral parties. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. organizations. 7941 that requires the Comelec to disclose the names of nominees. however. — The COMELEC shall. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. banking and diplomatic secrets or those affecting national security. . And for every right of the people recognized as fundamental lies a corresponding duty on the part of those who govern to respect and protect that right. not later than sixty (60) days before election. to borrow from Legaspi. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. 2007 issue of the Manila Bulletin: The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) firmed up yesterday its decision not to release the names of nominees of sectoral parties. He said there is nothing in R. Too. As articulated in Legaspi. said he and [the other five COMELEC] Commissioners — believe that the party list elections must not be personality oriented.

sectors or organizations accredited to participate in the May 14. 21 has consistently made it clear that it frowns upon any interpretation of the law or rules that would hinder in any way the free and intelligent casting of the votes in an election. as veritably advocated in the assailed resolution of the Comelec. 2009. G.R. since the 1914 case of Gardiner v. the Court always assumes. In all. sectors or organizations accredited to participate in the May 14. 177314 are GRANTED. To us. lies. as it were. impinging. The Comelec is further DIRECTED to submit to the Court its compliance herewith within five (5) days from notice hereof. that it extends only to the certified list which the same provision requires to be posted in the polling places on election day. therefore. 7941 reading: "[T]he names of the party-list nominees shall not be shown on the certified list" is certainly not a justifying card for the Comelec to deny the requested disclosure. 7941. to justify its assailed non-disclosure stance which comes. The interpretation thus given by the Comelec virtually tacks an unconstitutional dimension on the last sentence of Section 7 of R. that the Court is in the business of dispensing justice on the basis of hard facts and applicable statutory and decisional laws. on a fundamental right to information. 7941 that prohibits the Comelec from disclosing or even publishing through mediums other than the "Certified List" the names of the party-list nominees. however. COMELEC. at the first instance. The Court is very much aware of newspaper reports detailing the purported reasons behind the Comelec's disinclination to release the names of party-list nominees. however. meaning.committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing the legitimate demands of the petitioners for a list of the nominees of the party-list groups subject of their respective petitions. 177271 is partly DENIED insofar as it seeks to nullify the accreditation of the respondents named therein. the petition in G. 2007 party-list elections. the same petition and the petition in G.A. 2007 elections. No. However. 177314.A. in the end. As it were. No. To stretch the coverage of the prohibition to the absolute is to read into the law something that is not intended. with a weighty presumption of invalidity. Mandamus.R. And lest it be overlooked. 2007) The Comelec's reasoning that a party-list election is not an election of personalities is valid to a point. 177271. Romulo. This Decision is declared immediately executory upon its receipt by the Comelec. there is absolutely nothing in R. as it does.] . No. 22 So it must be here for still other reasons articulated earlier. 179271. would eventually sit in the House of Representatives.R. in appropriate cases. we agree with the petitioners that respondent Comelec has a constitutional duty to disclose and release the names of the nominees of the party-list groups named in the herein petitions. No. No pronouncement as to costs. the presumptive validity and regularity of official acts of government officials and offices. The Court. No. The ideal cannot be achieved in a system of blind voting. would be a vote for its nominees. the Comelec is hereby ORDERED to immediately disclose and release the names of the nominees of the party-list groups. Accordingly. The Comelec obviously misread the limited non-disclosure aspect of the provision as an absolute bar to public disclosure before the May 2007 elections. May 04. the prohibition imposed on the Comelec under said Section 7 is limited in scope and duration. such vote. who. The last sentence of Section 7 of R.A.R. to compel the Comelec to disclose or publish the names of the nominees of party-list groups. cIECaS WHEREFORE. It cannot be taken. HcaATE SO ORDERED. ||| (Cinco v. It is to be stressed. insofar as it seeks EN BANC [G. 20 While the vote cast in a party-list elections is a vote for a party. Hence the need for voters to be informed about matters that have a bearing on their choice. No. It has been repeatedly said in various contexts that the people have the right to elect their representatives on the basis of an informed judgment. April 21.

upon completion of the canvass of the party-list results. 6 On 27 June 2002. WHEREAS. that is. NBC No. INC. as of 03 July 2007. Estrella DL Santos. No.121) votes given the following statistical data: . sitting as the NBC. Akbayan! Citizen's Action Party (AKBAYAN). The COMELEC announced that. The Facts COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES. INC. assails NBC Resolution No. a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution. A Teacher. Aangat Tayo (AT). 1 assails the Resolution 2 promulgated on 3 August 2007 by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in NBC No. or coalition in accordance with Veterans Federation Party v.R. respondent. vs. (Senior Citizens). docketed as NBC No. J p: The Case Petitioner in G. thru its Sub-Committee for PartyList. and Abono. vs. namely: Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (BUHAY).723. acting as NBC. Inc. 07-60 4 promulgated on 9 July 2007. Cooperative-Natco Network Party (COOP-NATCCO). 3 The 14 May 2007 elections included the elections for the party-list representatives. 7 There were no intervenors in BANAT's petition before the NBC. The following are intervenors in G. in connection with the National and Local Elections conducted last 14 May 2007.R. in her capacity as President and First Nominee of the Veterans Freedom Party. BANAT filed its petition because "[t]he Chairman and the Members of the [COMELEC] have recently been quoted in the national papers that the [COMELEC] is duty bound to and shall implement the Veterans ruling. Bayan Muna. filed a motion to intervene in both G. the study conducted by the Legal and Tabulation Groups of the National Board of Canvassers reveals that the projected/maximum total party-list votes cannot go any higher than sixteen million seven hundred twenty three thousand one hundred twenty-one (16. the Commission on Elections sitting en banc as National Board of Canvassers. DECISION CARPIO. ARTS BUSINESS AND SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS. 179271 — Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) — in a petition for certiorari and mandamus.659) votes under the Party-List System of Representation. 07-041 (PL) approved the recommendation of Atty. Gabriela's Women Party (Gabriela). organizations and coalitions that obtained at least two percent of the total votes cast under the Party-List System. to deny the petition of BANAT for being moot. a total of fifteen million two hundred eighty three thousand six hundred fifty-nine (15. and Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action. Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC).283. 07-041 (PL). BANAT filed a memorandum on 19 July 2007. The COMELEC's resolution in NBC No. The COMELEC counted 15. organization. Abono. (SENIOR CITIZENS). 179295. BANAT filed a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution. [G. had officially canvassed. 07-60. 179271: Arts Business and Science Professionals (ABS). 179295 — Bayan Muna. in open and public proceedings. Luzon Farmers Party (BUTIL).900 votes cast for 93 parties under the Party-List System. intervenor. intervenor. NBC Resolution No. petitioners. Alagad.. COOPERATION AND HARMONY TOWARDS EDUCATIONAL REFORMS. Petitioners in G. Anak Pawis. 07-60 proclaimed thirteen (13) parties as winners in the party-list elections. promulgated NBC Resolution No. No.950. 07-60 in its entirety below: WHEREAS. would apply the Panganiban formula in allocating party-list seats".BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FOR NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY (BANAT). Alioden D. 07-041 (PL) before the NBC. respondent. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (sitting as the National Board of Canvassers). We quote NBC Resolution No. 179271 and 179295. BANAT filed before the COMELEC En Banc. 2009. it would determine the total number of seats of each winning party. Dalaig.] BAYAN MUNA. Nos. Head of the National Board of Canvassers (NBC) Legal Group. No. aTEACS On 9 July 2007. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.R. intervenor.R. AANGAT TAYO. the COMELEC. COMELEC 5 (Veterans). Citizens' Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC). Alliance of Rural Concerns (ARC). April 21. and Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines. Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher) — in a petition for certiorari with mandamus and prohibition.R. No. ADVOCACY FOR TEACHER EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ACTION. 07-60 made a partial proclamation of parties. petitioner. and ABONO.

organizations. finally.462) votes.283.337.032 Maximum party-list votes (based on 100% outcome) from areas not yet submitted for canvass (Bogo. Bais City. and Pagalungan. reiterated its ruling in Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC adopting a formula for the additional seats of each party.659 Total party-list votes remaining uncanvassed/ untabulated (i. in Citizen's Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) versus COMELEC. the presumptive two percent (2%) threshold can be pegged at three hundred thirty four thousand four hundred sixty-two (334. the Supreme Court.ted/Maximum Party-List Votes for May 2007 Elections Total party-list votes already canvassed/ tabulated 15. organizations. stating that the same shall be determined only after all party-list ballots have been completely canvassed. and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each: provided. Maguindanao) 102.462) votes are as follows: PARTY/ORGANIZATION/ COALITION VOTES RECEIVED .430 Maximum Total Party-List Votes 16. Lanao del Norte. that those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes: provided.723. WHEREAS. for the 2007 Elections. organization or coalition receiving more than the required two percent (2%) votes. the parties. or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats.e. based on the above projected total of party-list votes. and coalitions that have thus far garnered at least three hundred thirty four thousand four hundred sixty-two (334. WHEREAS. organization. that each party. 7941 (Party-List System Act) provides in part: The parties. canvass deferred) 1. Section 11 of Republic Act No. WHEREAS.121 WHEREAS. Pantar. Cebu.

144.971 476.BUHAY BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD BUTIL COOP-NATCO BATAS ANAK PAWIS ARC ABONO 1. hereby RESOLVES to PARTIALLY PROCLAIM. organization or coalition shall be determined pursuant to Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC formula upon completion of the canvass of the party-list results. Akbayan! Citizen's Action Party Alagad Luzon Farmers Party Cooperative-Natco Network Party Anak Pawis Alliance of Rural Concerns Abono BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD BUTIL COOP-NATCCO ANAKPAWIS ARC ABONO This is without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties. 07-250. by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution.872 423. sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers. the Commission on Elections. 6646.036 470. Finally.218 972.036 338.194 337. SATDHE NOW. and other election laws. 7941. 07-250.730 760.451 538. 7166. Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms. Buhay Hayaan Yumabong BUHAY .361 376. The proclamation of Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS) is hereby deferred until final resolution of SPC No. organizations and coalitions participating under the Party-List System: Bayan Muna Citizens Battle Against Corruption Gabriela Women's Party Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action. except for Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS). The total number of seats of each winning party. Executive Order No.163. subject to certain conditions set forth below. in order not to render the proceedings therein moot and academic.029 386. THEREFORE. the Omnibus Election Code. or coalitions which may later on be established to have obtained at least two percent (2%) of the total actual votes cast under the Party-List System. Republic Act Nos. all proclamation of the nominees of concerned parties. organizations and coalitions included in the aforementioned list are therefore entitled to at least one seat under the party-list system of representation in the meantime.076 405. all the parties. the following parties. organizations.052 390. Inc. docketed as SPC No. against which an URGENT PETITION FOR CANCELLATION/REMOVAL OF REGISTRATION AND DISQUALIFICATION OF PARTY-LIST NOMINEE (With Prayer for the Issuance of Restraining Order) has been filed before the Commission.046 WHEREAS. organizations and coalitions with pending disputes shall likewise be held in abeyance until final resolution of their respective cases.260 610.

Let the Clerk of the Commission implement this Resolution. in determining the additional seats for the "first party". the COMELEC. WHEREAS.920 370. 2007. 07-60. acITSD WHEREAS. organizations and coalitions. promulgated NBC Resolution No.846 340. on July 9. votes received but uncanvassed.674 423.369. Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay) obtained the highest number of votes among the thirteen (13) qualified parties.151 wherein the proportion of votes received by the first party (without rounding off) shall entitle it to additional seats: Proportion of votes received by the first party Additional seats Equal to or at least 6% Equal to or greater than 4% but lessthan 6% Two (2) additional seats One (1) additional seat No additional seat .261. which declared the additional seats allocated to the appropriate parties. qualified parties.178. organization[s] and coalitions based on the presumptive two percent (2%) threshold of 334. based on the above Report. 07-72: WHEREAS. is 16. is: votes actually canvassed. SO ORDERED. organizations and coalitions participating under the party-list system of representation that have obtained one guaranteed (1) seat may be entitled to an additional seat or seats based on the formula prescribed by the Supreme Court in Veterans. making it the "first party" in accordance with Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC. based on the the correct formula as expressed in Veterans.462 votes from the projected maximum total number of party-list votes of 16.190 409.369 462. Lanao del Norte. per Report of the Tabulation Group and Supervisory Committee of the National Board of Canvassers. 29. We quote from the COMELEC's interpretation of the Veterans formula as found in NBC Resolution No. WHEREAS.121.747 977. reiterated in Citizen's Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) versus COMELEC. as of July 11. and maximum votes expected for Pantar. 07-72.723.476 755. furnishing a copy thereof to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. 2007.298 412.489 492. and were thus given one (1) guaranteed party-list seat each. 8 (Emphasis in the original) Pursuant to NBC Resolution No.718 622.964 621. the projected WHEREAS. organizations and coalition[s] are as follows: Number of votes of first party Proportion of votes of first ————————————— = party relative to total votes for Total votes for party-list system party-list system Party-List Projected total number of votes BUHAY BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD BUTIL COOP-NATCO ANAKPAWIS ARC ABONO 1. acting as NBC. maximum total party-list votes. and that the projected maximum total votes for the thirteen (13) qualified parties.165 375. votes canvassed but not included in Report No. the Commission on Elections sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers proclaimed thirteen (13) qualified parties.

the correct formula as expressed in Veterans and reiterated in CIBAC is. Republic Act Nos.747 ————— 16.63 0. 6646.65 1. applying the above formula. organizations and coalitions.69 0. 7941 and other elections laws. to proclaim the following parties. 144. as follows: = No.69 0. 7166.83 0. organizations or coalitions as entitled to additional seats.71 0. of votes of first party x NOW THEREFORE. WHEREAS. the Commission on Elections en banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers.07248 or 7. the results are as follows: 2 1 1 1 1 . by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution.369 = COOP-NATCO ANAKPAWIS 0.05 1.28 1.78 0. applying the above formula. in determining the additional seats for the other qualified parties. of additional seats allocated to first party Additional Seats BAYAN MUNA WHEREAS.s for rty BAYAN MUNA WHEREAS.62 0. Omnibus Election Code. to wit: No.178. Executive Order No.57 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 which entitles it to two (2) additional seats.261. as it hereby RESOLVES. hereby RESOLVED.05 0. of votes of concerned party —————— No. Buhay obtained the GABRIELA following percentage: A TEACHER 1.2% Percentage Additional Seat 1.

SO ORDERED. The Commission En Banc in NBC Resolution No. 9 Acting on BANAT's petition. Article VI of the Constitution shall be proclaimed.Paragraph (b). premises considered. RECOMMENDATION: Acting on the foregoing Petition of the Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) party-list. that is. In fine. Dalaig. NBC Legal Group. Head. 7941 and that the procedure in allocating seats for party-list representative prescribed by Section 12 of RA 7941 shall be followed. WHEREFORE. Alioden D.That the full number — twenty percent (20%) — of Party-List representatives as mandated by Section 5. only to the first party-list representative seats to be allotted on the basis of their initial/first ranking. to wit: 1.Initially. to declare as unconstitutional Section 11 of Republic Act No. the National Board of Canvassers RESOLVED. 07-60 promulgated July 9. organizations or coalitions which may later on be established to have obtained at least two per cent (2%) of the total votes cast under the party-list system to entitle them to one (1) guaranteed seat. which reads as follows: This pertains to the Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of PartyList Representatives Provided by the Constitution filed by the Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT). all proclamation of the nominees of concerned parties. or to the appropriate percentage of votes to entitle them to one (1) additional seat. Let the Supervisory Committee implement this resolution. Dalaig. Section 11 of RA 7941 which prescribes the 2% threshold votes. CaDEAT 2. 07-88 on 3 August 2007. which party-list groups are entitled to representative seats and how many of their nominees shall seat [sic]. organizations and coalitions with pending disputes shall likewise be held in abeyance until final resolution of their respective cases. to DENY the herein petition of BANAT for being moot and academic. Organizations and Coalitions Participating Under the Party-List System During the May 14. Finally. 5.This is without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties. the NBC promulgated NBC Resolution No. 2007 National and Local Elections" resolved among others that the total number of seats of each winning party. Let the National Board of Canvassers Secretariat implement this Resolution. the formula/procedure prescribed in the "ALLOCATION OF PARTY-LIST SEATS.The 3-seat limit prescribed by RA 7941 shall be applied. all party-list groups shall be given the number of seats corresponding to every 2% of the votes they received and the additional seats shall be allocated in accordance with Section 12 of RA 7941. and 4. should be harmonized with Section 5. ANNEX "A" of COMELEC RESOLUTION 2847 dated 25 June 1996.In the alternative. . after deducting the corresponding votes of those which were allotted seats under the 2% threshold rule. Article VI of the Constitution and with Section 12 of the same RA 7941 in that it should be applicable The petition of BANAT is now moot and academic. 3. in proportion to the percentage of votes obtained by each party-list group in relation to the total nationwide votes cast in the party-list election. 2007 re "In the Matter of the Canvass of Votes and Partial Proclamation of the Parties. Atty. furnishing a copy hereof to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. which reads: COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS: Petitioner Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT). Head. National Board of Canvassers Legal Group submitted his comments/observations and recommendation thereon [NBC 07-041 (PL)]. shall be used for [the] purpose of determining how many seats shall be proclaimed. in its Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution prayed for the following reliefs. Alioden D. as it hereby RESOLVES. organization or coalition shall be determined pursuant to the Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC formula upon completion of the canvass of the party-list results". to approve and adopt the recommendation of Atty.

12 Anak Mindanao (AMIN). 07-250.Is the two percent threshold and "qualifier" votes prescribed by the same Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? 4. 07-88. 07-60 because the Veterans formula is violative of the Constitution and of Republic Act No.A. A Teacher. the following party-list organizations have been proclaimed as of 19 May 2008: Party-List No. (AGAP).8 1. 14 Per the certification 15 by COMELEC. committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it promulgated NBC Resolution No. and Abono.10 1. acting as NBC. No.Is the three-seat limit provided in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? 3. raised the following issues in their petition: I.Violates the provisions of RA 7941 particularly: 1. 7941).13 1.The use of two formulas in the allocation of additional seats. BANAT did not file a motion for reconsideration of NBC Resolution No.5 1. Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or is it merely a ceiling? 2. 13 and An Waray. 10 BANAT filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the ruling in NBC Resolution No.1. against which an Urgent Petition for Cancellation/Removal of Registration and Disqualification of Party-list Nominee (with Prayer for the Issuance of Restraining Order) has been filed before the COMELEC.12 1.Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives provided in Section 5(2).7 1.11 1. Abono.9 1. 07-88. SaHIEA Issues BANAT brought the following issues before this Court: 1. Inc. the COMELEC proclaimed three other party-list organizations as qualified parties entitled to one guaranteed seat under the Party-List System: Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines.Violates the constitutional principle of proportional representation.4 1.6 1.2 1.The 2-4-6 Formula used by the First Party Rule in allocating additional seats for the "First Party" violates the principle of proportional representation under RA 7941.3 1.15 SO ORDERED. 7941 (R. 2. acting as National Board of Canvassers. on the other hand. On the same day.14 1.1 1. to reconsider its decision to use the Veterans formula as stated in its NBC Resolution No. On 9 July 2007. and A Teacher asked the COMELEC. Bayan Muna. one for the "First Party" . 11 Aside from the thirteen party-list organizations proclaimed on 9 July 2007. B.How shall the party-list representatives be allocated? 16 Bayan Muna. 07-60 to implement the First-Party Rule in the allocation of seats to qualified partylist organizations as said rule: A. of Seat(s) Buhay Bayan Muna CIBAC Gabriela APEC A Teacher Akbayan Alagad Butil Coop-Natco [sic] Anak Pawis ARC Abono AGAP AMIN 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 The proclamation of Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (BATAS). was deferred pending final resolution of SPC No.Respondent Commission on Elections. the COMELEC denied reconsideration during the proceedings of the NBC.

Is the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? 3. v.Is the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 to qualify for one seat constitutional? 4. 17 Third. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution. et al. Number of Party-List The Formula Mandated by the Constitution Representatives: Section 5. . and sectoral parties or organizations. cities. urban poor. the two percent threshold — only those parties garnering a minimum of two percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are "qualified" to have a seat in the House of Representatives.and another for the qualifying parties. women.Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties from participating in the party-list elections? If not. proportional representation — the additional seats which a qualified party is entitled to shall be computed "in proportion to their total number of votes". the twenty percent allocation — the combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the House of Representatives. 19 ITSacC However. regional. Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely a ceiling? 2. shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national. that is. youth. The petitions have partial merit.Violates the "Four Inviolable Parameters" of the Philippine party-list system as provided for under the same case of Veterans Federation Party. by selection or election from the labor.(1)The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members. can the major political parties be barred from participating in the party-list elections? 18 The Ruling of the Court Fourth. indigenous cultural communities. regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained. (2)The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. 3. violates Section 11(b) of RA 7941. because the formula in Veterans has flaws in its mathematical interpretation of the term "proportional representation". this Court is compelled to revisit the formula for the allocation of additional seats to party-list organizations. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. as provided by law. including those elected under the party list.Presuming that the Commission on Elections did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it implemented the First-Party Rule in the allocation of seats to qualified party-list organizations. who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. involving the correct interpretation and implementation of RA 7941. the three-seat limit — each qualified party. We maintain that a Philippine-style party-list election has at least four inviolable parameters as clearly stated in Veterans. COMELEC. C. v. COMELEC. and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. the same being merely in consonance with the ruling in Veterans Federations Party. and are of transcendental importance to our nation. one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled. one "qualifying" and two additional seats. Second. Considering the allegations in the petitions and the comments of the parties in these cases. the instant Petition is a justiciable case as the issues involved herein are constitutional in nature. For easy reference.The proportional relationships under the First Party Rule are different from those required under RA 7941. unless otherwise fixed by law. Article VI of the Constitution provides: Section 5. et al. is entitled to a maximum of three seats. II. and those who.How shall the party-list representative seats be allocated? 5. peasant. these are: First. we defined the following issues in our advisory for the oral arguments set on 22 April 2008: 1. and such other sectors as may be provided by law.Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section 5(2). except the religious sector. as provided by law.

A. or coalitions on a nationwide basis.80 x . Allocation of Seats for The Statutory Limits Presented by and the Three-Seat Cap xxx xxx xxx Section 5 (1). . rank them according to the number of votes received and allocate partylist representatives proportionately according to the percentage of votes obtained by each party. 220 ———— . 7941. No. This formula allows for the corresponding increase in the number of seats available for party-list representatives whenever a legislative district is created by law. or coalition as against the total nationwide votes cast for the party-list system. 7941 reads: Section 11. (Emphasis supplied) . We compute the number of seats available to party-list representatives from the number of legislative districts. organizations. or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats. In determining the allocation of seats for the second vote. After prescribing the ratio of the number of party-list representatives to the total number of representatives. states the ratio of partylist representatives to the total number of representatives. The House of Representatives shall be composed of district representatives and party-list representatives. unless otherwise fixed by law". Congress enacted R. organization. . The Constitution allows the legislature to modify the number of the members of the House of Representatives. Article VI of the Constitution. there are 55 seats available to party-list representatives.Number of Party-List Representatives. and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each: Provided. finally. Veterans produced the First Party Rule. organizations. 20 and Justice Vicente V. organizations. Section 5 (2). the Constitution left the manner of allocating the seats available to party-list representatives to the wisdom of the legislature. That those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes: Provided. there are numerous interpretations of the provisions of R. Since the 14th Congress of the Philippines has 220 district representatives.Number of Party-List Representatives. That each party. On this point. as well as on the formula to determine the guaranteed seats to party-list candidates garnering at least two-percent of the total party-list votes. The Constitution left to Congress the determination of the manner of allocating the seats for party-list representatives. we do not deviate from the first formula in Veterans.20 = Number of seats available to party-list representatives Party-List the Two Representatives: Percent Threshold All parties agree on the formula to determine the maximum number of seats reserved under the Party-List System. 7941 on the allocation of "additional seats" under the Party-List System.20 = 55 (b)The parties.Procedure in Allocating Seats for Party-List Representatives. and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections. — The COMELEC shall tally all the votes for the parties. organization. — . Mendoza's dissent in Veterans presented Germany's Niemeyer formula 21 as an alternative.A. thus: er of seats available to ative districts —————————— x . Article VI of the Constitution states that the "House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members. — The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum (20%) of the total number of the members of the House of Representatives including those under the party-list.A.The first paragraph of Section 11 of R. on the other hand. No. However. Section 12. No. paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 11 and Section 12 of which provide: Section 11. 22 the following procedure shall be observed: (a)The parties.

organization or coalition as against the total nationwide votes cast for the party-list system. that no party-list groups shall have more than three (3) seats (Section 11. 7941 prescribes to allocate seats for party-list representatives. They claim that both formulas do not factor in the total number of seats allotted for the entire Party-List System. No. there shall be 55 Party-List Representatives.379 466. and A Teacher reject the three-seat cap. No. 26 (a)The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty percent (20%) of the total Members of the House of Representatives including those from the party-list groups as prescribed by Section 5. and the other is "by making the votes of a party-list with a median percentage of votes as the divisor in computing the allocation of seats". from the whole integers are ranked from highest to lowest and the remaining seats on the basis of this ranking are allocated until all the seats are filled up. and. There will be a first round of seat allocation. The number of seats allocated to a qualified party is computed by multiplying the total party-list seats available with the second percentage. The first interpretation allegedly harmonizes the provisions of Section 11 (b) on the 2% requirement with Section 12 of R. No. and apportions the seats for party-list representatives by following Section 12 of R. The second interpretation presented by BANAT assumes that the 2% vote requirement is declared unconstitutional. RA 7941).883 409. (b)rank them according to the number of votes received. 7941 prescribes the ranking of the participating parties from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections. a second percentage is generated by dividing the votes of a qualified party by the total votes of all qualified parties only. BANAT presents two interpretations through three formulas to allocate party-list representative seats. Bayan Muna. 25 Thirty-four (34) party-list seats will be awarded under BANAT's second interpretation.288 . after deducting the seats obtained by the party-list groups under the immediately preceding paragraph and after deducting from their total the votes corresponding to those seats. Article VI of the Constitution.171 619. Bayan Muna.039 755. 23 We examine what R. No. BANAT used two formulas to obtain the same results: one is based on the proportional percentage of the votes received by each party as against the total nationwide party-list votes. Table 1. The fractions. No.810 374. and A Teacher criticize both the COMELEC's original 2-4-6 formula and the Veterans formula for systematically preventing all the party-list seats from being filled up. or coalitions on a nationwide basis. provided.149 409. BANAT described this procedure as follows: ASEIDH In G.A. After all the qualified parties are given their seats.A.A. After determining the qualified parties. 24 Rank Party Votes Garnered 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 BUHAY BAYAN MUNA CIBAC GABRIELA APEC A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD COOP-NATCCO BUTIL BATAS ARC 1. a second round of seat allocation is conducted. but accept the 2% threshold. 27 Forty-four (44) party-list seats will be awarded under BANAT's first interpretation. (b)All party-list groups shall initially be allotted one (1) seat for every two per centum (2%) of the total party-list votes they obtained. Section 11 (1st par.234 979.A.In G. Abono. limited to using the whole integers as the equivalent of the number of seats allocated to the concerned party-list. Since there are 220 District Representatives in the 14th Congress. BANAT states that the COMELEC: (a)shall tally all the votes for the parties.) of RA 7941 and Comelec Resolution No. Abono. 2847 dated 25 June 1996.160 385.R.657 490. (c)allocate party-list representatives proportionately according to the percentage of votes obtained by each party.112 423. the remaining seats shall be allotted proportionately to all the party-list groups which have not secured the maximum three (3) seats under the 2% threshold rule. No. Ranking of the participating parties from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes garnered during the elections. Section 11 (a) of R.R. 179271. (c)The remaining seats shall. 7941. 179295.686 621. 7941. in accordance with Section 12 of RA 7941. or remainders.169. organizations. All seats shall have to be proclaimed.

920 146.086 228.724 321.993 58.541 78.220 60.732 110.261 339.522 51.717 57.424 77.032 141.185 328.722 .012 55.801 166.923 245.200 74.544 62.999 228.266 188.058 88.769 110.637 218.058 197.503 310.440 107.747 164.021 99.980 162.872 57.846 54.868 79.636 97.889 300.327 75.818 217.751 54.817 130.531 169.375 90.521 177.872 196.386 78.356 119.990 338.822 213.647 155.686 71.13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 ANAKPAWIS ABONO AMIN AGAP AN WARAY YACAP FPJPM UNI-MAD ABS KAKUSA KABATAAN ABA-AKO ALIF SENIOR CITIZENS AT VFP ANAD BANAT ANG KASANGGA BANTAY ABAKADA 1-UTAK TUCP COCOFED AGHAM ANAK ABANSE! PINAY PM AVE SUARA ASSALAM DIWA ANC SANLAKAS ABC KALAHI APOI BP AHONBAYAN BIGKIS PMAP AKAPIN PBA GRECON BTM A SMILE NELFFI AKSA BAGO BANDILA AHON ASAHAN MO 370.054 110.382 235.028 170.

.

A.255 29.724 321.149 409.33% 6. we use the first 20 party-list candidates for illustration purposes.915 8. the total number of votes cast for all party-list candidates.950.686 621. in % 1.13% 2. we distributed 17 guaranteed seats.185 328. are the party-list candidates that are "entitled to one seat each". .221 ————— 15.12% 2. or the two-percenters.421 16.903 33.42% 2.169. The 17 qualified party-list candidates.54% From Table 2 above.95% 1.062 42.161 9.35% 2.837 50.810 374.57% 2.65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 AGBIAG! SPI BAHANDI ADD AMANG SCIAaT ABAY PARAK BABAE KA SB ASAP PEP ABA ILONGGO VENDORS ADD-TRIBAL ALMANA AANGAT KA PILIPINO AAPS HAPI AAWAS SM AG AGING PINOY APO BIYAYANG BUKID ATS UMDJ BUKLOD FILIPINA LYPAD AA-KASOSYO KASAPI TOTAL 50.234 979.946 20.729 16.990 338.65% 2.89% 3.74% 3. In this first round of seat allocation.261 339.039 755.282 36.896 32.130 26.57% 2.07% 2.160 385.89% 1.112 423.950.900 ========= BUHAY BAYAN MUNA GABRIELA A TEACHER AKBAYAN ALAGAD COOP-NATCCO BATAS 29 ANAKPAWIS ABONO IDTHcA AN WARAY YACAP FPJPM The first clause of Section 11 (b) of R. 28 Votes Garnered Votes Garnered over Total Votes for Party-List. In Table 2 below.900.657 490. we see that only 17 party-list candidates received at least 2% from the total number of votes cast for party-list candidates. 7941 states that "parties.02% 310.938 33.835 34. No.406 6.612 45.445 8.92% 2.781 22. or the guaranteed seat. UNI-MAD and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each".889 300.691 32.512 34. Table 2.883 409.32% 2.478 46.171 619.923 245.744 16.916 16.471 8.271 25.098 33. The percentage of votes garnered by each party is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party by 15.624 43.288 370.88% 3.503 7.The first 20 party-list candidates and their respective percentage of votes garnered over the total votes for the party-list.06% 2.14% 4. organizations.241 14.379 466. This clause guarantees a seat to the twopercenters.382 1.

No. 38. No. 7941. First. We distributed all of the remaining 38 seats in the second round of seat allocation. There are two steps in the second round of seat allocation. Suppose there are 50 million votes cast for the 100 participants in the party list elections. The percentage of votes garnered by each party-list candidate is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party by 15. we do not limit our allocation of additional seats in Table 3 below to the two-percenters. IATHaS We rule that. This is where petitioners' and intervenors' problem with the formula in Veterans lies. Thus. 2.A. 7941. and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections. it is always impossible for the number of occupied party-list seats to exceed 50 seats as long as the two percent threshold is present.950. the following procedure shall be observed: 1. Veterans interprets the clause "in proportion to their total number of votes" to be in proportion to the votes of the first party. this situation will repeat itself even if we increase the available party-list seats to 60 seats and even if we increase the votes cast to 100 million. to every two-percenter.A. we apply the threeseat cap to determine the number of seats each qualified party-list candidate is entitled. No. shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes until all the additional seats are allocated. which is the difference between the 55 maximum seats reserved under the Party-List System and the 17 guaranteed seats of the two-percenters. 7941 allowing for a rounding off of fractional seats. the percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats. 7941. Because of the operation of the two percent threshold. even if the maximum number of parties get two percent of the votes for every party. Second.The parties.Distribution of Available Party-List Seats Votes Garnered Votes Garnered over Total Votes for Party List. organizations.A. in % (A) Guaranteed Seat Additional Seats (First Round) (B) (Second Round) (C) . In declaring the two percent threshold unconstitutional. 7941 is unconstitutional. Thus: We therefore strike down the two percent threshold only in relation to the distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11 (b) of R. in computing the allocation of additional seats. Article VI of the Constitution and prevents the attainment of "the broadest possible representation of party. organizations. organization. The continued operation of the two percent threshold in the distribution of the additional seats frustrates the attainment of the permissive ceiling that 20% of the members of the House of Representatives shall consist of party-list representatives. the remaining available seats for allocation as "additional seats" are the maximum seats reserved under the Party List System less the guaranteed seats. 4. sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives". The two percent threshold presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section 5 (2).The parties. A party that has two percent of the votes cast. The second clause of Section 11 (b) of R. according to the ranking in paragraph 1.A. Table 3. To illustrate: There are 55 available party-list seats. or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats. the continued operation of the two percent threshold for the distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11 (b) of R.Each party.A. 30 In determining the allocation of seats for party-list representatives under Section 11 of R. Thus. The whole integer of the product of the percentage and of the remaining available seats corresponds to a party's share in the remaining available seats. Only 50 parties get a seat despite the availability of 55 seats. No. we assign one party-list seat to each of the parties next in rank until all available seats are completely distributed. and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each. No. Fractional seats are disregarded in the absence of a provision in R. Finally.900. This Court finds that the two percent threshold makes it mathematically impossible to achieve the maximum number of available party list seats when the number of available party list seats exceeds 50. at one seat each. 7941 provides that "those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes".A. In computing the additional seats.Those garnering sufficient number of votes. gets a guaranteed seat. Let us further assume that the first 50 parties all get one million votes. or one million votes. the total number of votes cast for party-list candidates. This interpretation is contrary to the express language of R. the guaranteed seats shall no longer be included because they have already been allocated.3. No.

14% 4. . The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission clearly bear this out.92% 2.06% 2.23% 1.923 245.657 490.48 1.160 385.990 338.88% 3.02% 0.79 2.02% 1.883 409.810 374.521 177.35% 2.80 1. . All 55 available party-list seats are filled.37% 1.382 235. .57% 2.03% 1.33 1.07% 2.07% 1.01 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Applying the procedure of seat allocation as illustrated in Table 3 above.801 166.37% 1. . Likewise.889 300.647 155.171 619.028 170. .086 228. The additional seats allocated to the parties with sufficient number of votes for one whole seat.818 217.872 196.47% 1.1.95% 1.34% 1. they can also field sectoral candidates for the 20 percent or 30 .503 310. My question is this: Are we going to classify for example Christian Democrats and Social Democrats as political parties? Can they run under the party list concept or must they be under the district legislation side of it only? MR.11 1.06% 1. Madam President.185 328. in no case to exceed a total of three seats for each party. .13% 2. thus: MR.17 1.89% 3.57% 2. MONSOD.48 1.12% 2.637 218.261 339.234 979.980 162. and we would like very much for the sectors to be there.686 621.74% 3.32% 2. I think these parties that the Commissioner mentioned can field candidates for the Senate as well as for the House of Representatives.999 228.43% 1.05% 1. I just want to say that we suggested or proposed the party list system because we wanted to open up the political system to a pluralistic society through a multiparty system.11% 1. there are 55 party-list representatives from the 36 winning party-list organizations.54% 1. In reply to that query.822 213.89% 1.920 7.42% 2.98% 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 —— 17 ==== 2. Madam President. .33% 6.169.531 169. That is why one of the ways to do that is to put a ceiling on the number of representatives from any single party that can sit within the 50 allocated under the party list system.058 197. IcADSE Participation of Major Political Parties in Party-List Elections The Constitutional Commission adopted a multi-party system that allowed all political parties to participate in the party-list elections.44% 1. We are for opening up the system. MONSOD. are shown in column (D).18% 1.747 164.266 188.724 321.65% 2. VILLACORTA.379 466.039 755. xxx xxx xxx MR.149 409.288 370.24% 1.112 423. the candidacy for the 198 seats is not limited to political parties.

MONSOD. MR. TADEO. pero sa sectoral lines. TADEO. DAETHc MR. The same. Kung titingnan natin itong 198 seats. xxx xxx xxx . the Christian Democrats can field district candidates and can also participate in the party list system? What the Commissioner is saying is that all political parties can participate because it is precisely the contention of political parties that they represent the broad base of citizens and that all sectors are represented in them. Puwede po ang UNIDO. Kay Commissioner Monsod. Why not? When they come to the party list system. VILLACORTA. No. MR. Hindi ito reserve seat sa marginalized sectors. it will dominate the party list at mawawalang saysay din yung sector. why not? For as long as they field candidates who come from the different marginalized sectors that we shall designate in this Constitution. MONSOD.percent. MONSOD. MR. MR. VILLACORTA. On that condition alone. MR. UNIDO may field sectoral candidates. In other words. MR. TADEO. they will be fielding only sectoral candidates. Ang punto lamang namin. MONSOD. Lalamunin mismo ng political parties ang party list system. MR. of the seats that we are allocating under the party list system. Would the Commissioner agree? MR. Political parties. pag pinayagan mo ang UNIDO na isang political party. MONSOD. would UNIDO be banned from running under the party list system? MR. are not prohibited to participate in the party list election if they can prove that they are also organized along sectoral lines. whichever is adopted. VILLACORTA. Yes. Who would pass on whether he is a farmer or not? MR. MONSOD. particularly minority political parties. MR. Senator Tañada would not qualify. UNIDO may be allowed to register for the party list system. May I be clarified on that? Can UNIDO participate in the party list system? MR. as I said. But my question to Commissioner Villacorta and probably also to Commissioner Tadeo is that under this system. MONSOD. Gusto ko lamang bigyan ng diin ang "reserve". would he qualify? Hindi po reserved iyon kasi anybody can run there. reserved din ito sa political parties. VILLACORTA. MR. VILLACORTA. gusto ko lamang linawin ito. No. May I inquire from Commissioner Tadeo if he shares that answer? But UNIDO can field candidates under the party list system and say Juan dela Cruz is a farmer. MR. Suppose Senator Tañada wants to run under BAYAN group and says that he represents the farmers.

There is no question that they will be attractive to many mass organizations. cDaEAS (d)A sectoral party refers to an organized group of citizens belonging to any of the sectors enumerated in Section 5 hereof whose principal advocacy pertains to the special interests and concerns of their sector. It is also a fact well known to all that in the United States. It is a national party when its constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the regions. Section 3 of R. I see no reason why they should not be able to make common goals with mass organizations so that the very leadership of these parties can be transformed through the participation of mass organizations. principles and policies for the general conduct of government and which. we have the PDP-Laban and the UNIDO. 7941 reads: Definition of Terms. But the businessmen. employment. to become actual political parties capable of contesting political power in the wider constitutional arena for major political parties. 7941 prohibits major political parties from participating in the party-list system. In the opposition parties to which we belong. regional. On the contrary. the AFLCIO always vote with the Democratic Party. . in time. (c)A political party refers to an organized group of citizens advocating an ideology or platform. 7941 provided the details for the concepts put forward by the Constitutional Commission.A. No. regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). . there will be a stimulus for us to contact mass organizations so that with their participation. put the three-seat cap to prevent any party from dominating the party-list elections. (f)A coalition refers to an aggrupation of duly registered national. Neither the Constitution nor R. (b)A party means either a political party or a sectoral party or a coalition of parties. meaning that there is no reason at all why political parties and mass organizations should not combine. xxx xxx xxx 32 (Emphasis supplied) R. Component parties or organizations of a coalition may participate independently provided the coalition of which they form part does not participate in the party-list system. develop this excellent system that they have in Europe where labor organizations and cooperatives. as the most immediate means of securing their adoption. and more institutionalized way. It is a regional party when its constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the cities and provinces comprising the region. it challenges the sector to rise to the majesty of being elected representatives later on through a party list system. And if this is true of the administration parties. but at the same time. I support this [Monsod-Villacorta] amendment. interests or concerns. . although it is open to all the parties. reenforce. and even beyond that. And the party list system is certainly available. (a) The party-list system is a mechanism of proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives from national. For example.A. (e)A sectoral organization refers to a group of citizens or a coalition of groups of citizens who share similar physical attributes or characteristics. most of them.A. more lasting. influence and interact with each other so that the very objectives that we set in this Constitution for sectoral representation are achieved in a wider. In my opinion. in enacting R. Congress. for example. distribute themselves either in the Social Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Party in Germany. 7941. OPLE. No. regularly nominates and supports certain of its leaders and members as candidates for public office. Therefore. this will be true of others like the Partido ng Bayan which is now being formed. this will also create the stimulus for political parties and mass organizations to seek common ground. So that we may. It is understood that the parties will enter in the roll of the COMELEC the names of representatives of mass organizations affiliated with them. and their very presence there has a transforming effect upon the philosophies and the leadership of those parties.A. the policies of such parties can be radically transformed because this amendment will create conditions that will challenge both the mass organizations and the political parties to come together. always vote with the Republican Party. No. It installs sectoral representation as a constitutional gift.MR. sectoral parties or organizations for political and/or election purposes. No. the framers of the Constitution clearly intended the major political parties to participate in party-list elections through .

Under Section 9 of R. Neither the Constitution nor R. and in the alternative the reservation of the partylist system to the sectoral groups. Puno in his separate opinion. able to read and write. No pronouncement as to costs. Those who voted to continue disallowing major political parties from the partylist elections joined Chief Justice Reynato S.-RSP Ynares-Santiago.] ATONG PAGLAUM. No. the intent of the Constitutional Commission. Excluding the major political parties in party-list elections is manifestly against the Constitution. . However. the Liberal Party participates in the party-list election through the Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas (KALIPI). and Leonardode Castro. its sectoral youth wing. This Decision is immediately executory. . The Constitution. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Tinga.A. or affiliate with. he or she must be a fisherfolk. join the Chief Justice in his concurring and dissenting opinion. R. Alan Igot. represented by its President. No. petitioner. and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the election. a registered voter. the Court decided to continue the ruling in Veterans disallowing major political parties from participating in the party-list elections. directly or indirectly.J. J. Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI) can do the same for the urban poor. Major political parties are disallowed from participating in partylist elections. In fact. Any youth sectoral representative who attains the age of thirty (30) during his term shall be allowed to continue until the expiration of his term. — No person shall be nominated as party-list representative unless he is a natural born citizen of the Philippines. In case of a nominee of the youth sector. 179271. There should not be a problem if.. by a vote of 8-7.A. the Nacionalista Party can establish a fisherfolk wing to participate in the party-list election. 33 In defining a "party" that participates in party-list elections as either "a political party or a sectoral party". it is not necessary that the party-list organization's nominee "wallow in poverty. 7941 also clearly intended that major political parties will participate in the party-list elections. On the formula to allocate party-list seats. 7941 and the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission state that major political parties are allowed to establish. 203766. 07-60. he must at least be twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. 179295. ||| (BANAT v. 2009) EN BANC [G. 7941. 19-22. and R. . Nachura. It is enough that the nominee of the sectoral party/organization/coalition belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors. the members of the Constitutional Commission voted down.A. . remains a valid statutory device that prevents any party from dominating the party-list elections. bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election. . No. unless otherwise WHEREFORE.. Austria-Martinez. 2013. sectoral organizations for electoral or political purposes. C. for example. or if the nominee represents the senior citizens. their chosen sector or sectors. ECISAD Carpio Morales." The 20% allocation of party-list representatives is merely a ceiling. party-list representatives cannot be more than 20% of the members of the House of Representatives. No. Jr. Quisumbing joined the Chief Justice's Opinion. Velasco. However. any permanent sectoral seats.R. concur. Puno. Chico-Nazario. Mr. see concurring and dissenting opinion. Read together. Seats for partylist representatives shall thus be allocated in accordance with the procedure used in Table 3 above. left the determination of the number of the members of the House of Representatives to Congress: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members. in paragraph 1. destitution and infirmity" 34 as there is no financial status required in the law. the Court is unanimous in concurring with this ponencia. R. COMELEC. This Court cannot engage in socio-political engineering and judicially legislate the exclusion of major political parties from the party-list elections in patent violation of the Constitution and the law. 7941. The other major political parties can thus organize. To further illustrate. The allocation of additional seats under the Party-List System shall be in accordance with the procedure used in Table 3 of this Decision. we cannot allow the continued existence of a provision in the law which will systematically prevent the constitutionally allocated 20% party-list representatives from being filled.A. G. No. April 21. No. Peralta and Bersamin.. certify that J. and this fisherfolk wing can field its fisherfolk nominees. we PARTIALLY GRANT the petition. a resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the elections. he or she must be a senior citizen. Quisumbing.. JJ.R. We declare unconstitutional the two percent threshold in the distribution of additional party-list seats. Brion. vs. 7941 mandates the filling-up of the entire 20% allocation of party-list representatives found in the Constitution. Corona. or form coalitions with. The qualifications of party-list nominees are prescribed in Section 9 of R.A. No. 35 that is. Section 5 of Article VI. as a limitation to the number of seats that a qualified party-list organization may occupy. 7941: Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. We SET ASIDE the Resolution of the COMELEC dated 3 August 2007 in NBC No.. SO ORDERED. April 2. The three-seat cap. INC.their sectoral wings. No. fixed by law.A. JJ. respondent. if the nominee represents the fisherfolk. 07-041 (PL) as well as the Resolution dated 9 July 2007 in NBC No.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. 204125.] AGAPAY NG INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ALLIANCE. INC. vs. Chairman. vs. Commissioner. (A-IPRA). 2013. respondent. represented by its President Congressman Ponciano D. [G. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC..R.] ALLIANCE FOR RURAL CONCERNS. respondent. No.] ALLIANCE FOR RURAL AND AGRARIAN RECONSTRUCTION. the party's Secretary General. April 2.] ASSOCIATION OF PHILIPPINE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES (APEC). petitioner.R. petitioner. [G. No.R. respondent. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC composed of SIXTO S. (ARARO). [G. 2013. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. petitioner. vs. INC. [G.] AKSYON MAGSASAKA-PARTIDO TINIG NG MASA. 2013. vs.. vs. 2013.] ALLIANCE FOR NATIONALISM AND DEMOCRACY (ANAD). 204122. 2013. 2013.[G. petitioner. No.] . INC.] AKO BICOL POLITICAL PARTY (AKB). vs.R. [G. 204126. No. petitioner. 204094. April 2. ASSOCIATION FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS ADVOCACY ON LEADERSHIP (ARAL) PARTY-LIST.R. Ronald D. LIM. 203981. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. No. respondent. [G.R. represented herein by Ms.] 1 GUARDIANS NATIONALIST PHILIPPINES. 2013. petitioner. 2013. 204100.] 1ST CONSUMERS ALLIANCE FOR RURAL ENERGY. April 2. vs. respondent. INC. No. petitioner. Macaraig. Lourdes L. TAGLE. respondent. [G. No. April 2. SARMIENTO. 203958. vs. BRILLANTES. vs.. [G. 204002. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.R. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. Nos. [G. Agustin. 203960. 2013. respondent. vs. [G. RENE V. petitioner. 2013. respondent. ELIAS R. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. No. [G. 203976.] KAPATIRAN NG MGA NAKULONG NA WALANG SALA. 2013. No.R.] [G. April 2. 203936.] 1-BRO PHILIPPINE GUARDIANS BROTHERHOOD. VELASCO.R. JR. No. Commissioner. (1BRO-PGBI) formerly PGBI. petitioner. INC.R.R. (KAKUSA). April 2. April 2. petitioner.R. and CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. April 2. Commissioner. April 2. petitioner. (1GANAP/GUARDIANS). respondent. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. respondent. April 2. respondent. Payuyo. No. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. (1CARE). LUCENITO N. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. 2013. YUSOPH. April 2. April 2. vs. respondents. 2013. represented by its Secretary General. Commissioner. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Commissioner. petitioner.R. ARMANDO C. represented by its President Michael Abas Kida. April 2. No. 203922. INC. 203818-19.

respondent. petitioner. vs. [G. 204240. ARMANDO C.] . 204220.R. respondent. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. vs.] PASANG MASDA NATIONWIDE PARTY represented by its President Roberto "Ka Obet" Martin. respondent.R. 2013.R. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. April 2.A. 2013. Enriquez. No. petitioner. No.. No. No.R.R. Michael Ryan A.] GREEN FORCE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF MOTHER EARTH (GREENFORCE). [G. Silva. No. 2013. No. April 2.] BANTAY PARTY LIST.R. 204174. 2013. vs. YUSOPH.R. represented by Atty. 2013. April 2. petitioner. petitioner. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. VELASCO. April 2.] AANGAT TAYO PARTY LIST-PARTY. formerly known as AKO AGILA NG NAGKAKAISANG MAGSASAKA (AKO AGILA). No. 2013. No. 2013. BRILLANTES. AND ALL OTHER PERSONS ACTING ON THEIR BEHALF. respondent. INC. [G. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. A BLESSED PARTY LIST A. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. vs. [G. 204153. MARIA GRACIA CIELO M.] [G. 204216. [G. respondents. President. [G. [G. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. 2013. vs. petitioner. No.] FIRM 24-K ASSOCIATION. respondent. respondent. CHRISTIAN ROBERT S.R. petitioner. vs. INC. 204236. 204141. April 2.] AGRI-AGRA NA REPORMA PARA SA MAGSASAKA NG PILIPINAS MOVEMENT (AGRI). No. PADACA. April 2.K.] ALLIANCE OF BICOLNON PARTY (ABP). represented by its Secretary General.. [G. [G. 204158. 2013. Leo R. Palparan. April 2. vs. SARMIENTO. respondent. No. April 2. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. respondent. No. San Buenaventura. ELIAS R. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.] [G. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. represented by its President Simeon T. respondent. represented by its Secretary General. respondent. April 2. 204239. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. BLESSED FEDERATION OF FARMERS AND FISHERMEN INTERNATIONAL. [G. petitioner.R. represented by Maria Evangelina F. petitioner. 2013. 204318. Berteni Cataluña Causing. [G.] ABROAD PARTY LIST. JR. 204238. 2013. 204139.KAAGAPAY NG NAGKAKAISANG AGILANG PILIPINONG MAGSASAKA (KAP).R. INC. 2013. vs.R.. petitioner. COMMISSIONERS RENE V. vs. No. COCOFED-PHILIPPINE COCONUT PRODUCERS FEDERATION. vs.R. respondent..] ABANG LINGKOD PARTY-LIST. April 2. LIM. LUCENITO TAGLE. Jr. petitioner. vs. CHAIRMAN SIXTO S. petitioner..R.] ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM). 2013. petitioner. petitioner. 204263. April 2. April 2. vs. respondent. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. April 2.

represented by its Secretary General. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. ELIAS R. petitioner. PABAHAY. represented by its Secretary General Jose C. 2013. No. Fitrylin Dalhani. HANAPBUHAY AT KAUNLARAN (AKO BUHAY). [G. Policarpio.R. vs. Abdul Malik.R. 204321. and MA. Faye Maybelle Lorenz. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. Cubelo. represented herein by its President Fatani S. petitioner. and MARIA GRACIA CIELO M. 2013. SARMIENTO. respondents. vs. 204364.. PADACA.] [G. DRUGS FOUNDATION vs. respondent. ELECTIONS. No. respondent. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.R. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. 204379. petitioner. April 2. [G. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC.] . petitioner. No. vs.] [G. respondent.] ANG AGRIKULTURA NATIN ISULONG (AANI). PARA SA LUPA. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. ADHIKAIN AT KILUSAN NG ORDINARYONG-TAO. COMMISSION ON SOCIAL MOVEMENT FOR ACTIVE REFORM AND TRANSPARENCY (SMART). BRILLANTES. April 2. vs.R. vs. 204323. 2013.R. No. ELIAS R. 204359.] ALLIANCE OF ADVOCATES IN MINING ADVANCEMENT FOR NATIONAL PROGRESS (AAMA).] BUTIL FARMERS PARTY. JR.] BAYANI PARTYLIST as represented by Homer Bueno. 204394. 2013. vs. 204341. vs. in their capacities as Commissioners thereof. [G. LUCENITO N. Rodolfo T. LIM. [G. petitioner. ARMANDO C. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. vs. petitioner. YUSOPH. JR. petitioner. YUSOPH. [G.] AKBAY KALUSUGAN INCORPORATION (AKIN). SARMIENTO. 2013. 2013.] ACTION LEAGUE OF INDIGENOUS MASSES (ALIM) PARTYLIST. April 2. RENE V.R.] ALAGAD NG SINING (ASIN) represented by its President.UNITED MOVEMENT AGAINST (UNIMAD) PARTY-LIST. No. 204356. LUCENITO N. BINHI-PARTIDO NG MGA MAGSASAKA PARA SA MGA MAGSASAKA. Dante Navarro and Guiling Mamondiong. respondent. respondent. 204358. petitioner. 2013. petitioner.R. [G. respondent. vs. April 2.R. April 2. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. LIM. April 2. 204374.R. SIXTO S. April 2. April 2. ARMANDO C.R.. 204367. CHAIRMAN SIXTO S. TAGLE. 2013. April 2.R. No. TAGLE. petitioner. represented by its Chairman. respondent. vs. No. vs. 204370. GRACIA CIELO M. PADACA. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. [G. 2013. respondent. Israel de Castro. No. No. petitioner. VELASCO. [G.] [G. Jr. Tuazon.] [G. respondent. April 2. 2013. April 2. respondent. Carlito B. BRILLANTES. No. 2013. COMMISSIONERS RENE V. respondents. No. No. VELASCO. April 2. petitioner.R.. 2013. AKO AN BISAYA (AAB).

204421. Corella.] COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES. AGENT AND NANNY OF THE PHILIPPINES.. petitioner.R. INC. ARMANDO C. represented by its Secretary General. respondent. April 2. petitioner. Suplico. April 2. 2013. April 2. petitioner.R. SIXTO S. respondent. ELIAS R. 204408. 2013. 204435.R. 2013. respondent. Jr. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.R.R. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. represented by its President. INC. [G. (ALA-EH). petitioner. [G. RIDER. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. vs. petitioner.. [G. No. DRIVER/DOMESTIC HELPER. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. and MA. Federazo. [G. No.. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.] 1-UNITED TRANSPORT KOALISYON (1-UTAK). 2013. Frances Q.] PILIPINO ASSOCIATION FOR COUNTRY-URBAN POOR YOUTH ADVANCEMENT AND WELFARE (PACYAW).] KALIKASAN PARTY-LIST. No. petitioner. petitioner.. respondent. No. INC. April 2.] [G. respondents. April 2.ASSOCIATION OF GUARD UTILITY HELPER.] ANG GALING PINOY (AG). respondent. vs. AIDER. represented by its Secretary General.R. April 2. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. INC. 2013. TAGLE. 2013. respondent. No. [G. No. Clemente G. respondent. VELASCO. vs. Quimpo. petitioner. vs. petitioner. respondent. (GUARDJAN). LUCENITO N. April 2.] ABYAN ILONGGO PARTY (AI). 204428.R. vs.] PARTIDO NG BAYAN ANG BIDA (PBB).R. 2013. RENE V. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. No. ACTING FOR AND IN ITS BEHALF. [G. No. PADACA.] 1 ALLIANCE ADVOCATING AUTONOMY PARTY (1AAAP). 204426. YUSOPH. 2013.R. 204402. No. petitioner. JANITOR. petitioner. represented by its Party President. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. No. Bautista. vs. respondents. Roger M. LIM. INC. Bernardo R. represented herein by its 1st nominee and Chairman. JR. April 2. Francisco G. April 2.] MANILA TEACHER SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION. petitioner. 2013. [G. April 2. Rolex T. SENIOR CITIZEN PARTY-LIST. [G.. 204455. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. INCLUDING THE CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION. 204485. 204484. April 2. [G. vs.] COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES. in their respective capacities as COMELEC Chairperson and Commissioners. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and ANY OF ITS OFFICERS AND AGENTS. 2013. [G.] .R. April 2. and Secretary General. No. ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL ATHLETICS ENTREPRENEURS AND HOBBYISTS. SARMIENTO. vs.. 204410. vs. No. Jr. [G. vs. respondent. vs.R. Jr. GRACIA CIELO M. Datol. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. respondent. BRILLANTES. 2013. 2013. 204425. vs.R. 204436.

No. Inc. 5 11 (PLM) Advocating December 2012. either by denial of their petitions for registration under the party-list system.R. participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections. (ALA-EH) accreditation as party-list organizations. and - Failure of the nominees to qualify under RA 7941 and Ang Bagong [G. 204490. J p: The first and second nominees are not teachers by profession. respondent. groups/organizations Resolution dated 23 November 2012 8 [G. marginalized and underrepresented. 7941) and COMELEC Resolution Nos. 7 The Facts - Failure to show that its members belong to the marginalized. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. April 2. 2 20 November 2012.R.] 204379 1ST KABALIKAT NG BAYAN GINHAWANG SANGKATAUHAN (1ST KABAGIS). vs. vs. No. 12-099 Alagad ng (PLM) Sining (ASIN) - The "artists" sector is not considered marginalized and underrepresented. - Failure to prove track record. No.Via the COMELEC En Banc's automatic review of the COMELEC Division's resolutions approving registr ASSOCIATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioner. vs. Resolution dated 27 November 2012 9 PILIPINAS PARA SA PINOY (PPP). and Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. The Cases 204426 12-011 Association of (PLM) Local Athletics These cases constitute 54 Petitions for Certiorari and Petitions for Certiorari and Prohibition 1 filed by 52 party-list groups and organizations assailing the Resolutions Entrepreneurs issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) disqualifying them from and Hobbyists. 204455 12-041 Manila Teachers (PLM) DECISION - A non-stock savings and loan Savings and Loan association cannot be considered Association.R.ALLIANCE OF ORGANIZATIONS. 4 4 December 2012. petitioner. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. G. (Manila Teachers) and - CARPIO. 6 and 19 February 2013. and - Failure of the nominees to qualify. or cancellation of their registration and Inc. respondent. four of the five nominees do not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented. 9366 and 9531. petitioner. NETWORKS AND A. 2013. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS EN BANC. 204486. - Failure of the nominees to qualify: although registering as a regional Autonomy Party political party. April 2. approximately 280 groups and organizations registered and manifested their desire to participate in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections. (ALONA). 7941 (R. Group Grounds for Denial Resolution dated 27 November 2012 11 .] Bayani. 3 27 November 2012. 2013. SPP No. two of the nominees (1AAAP) are not residents of the region. No.A. respondent. Resolution dated 27 November 2012 10 This Court resolved to consolidate the 54 petitions in the Resolutions dated 13 204435 12-057 1 Alliance November 2012. INC.

Party (AI) - 12-165 represents a marginalized and Resolution dated 7 November 2012 16 underrepresented sector. - Constituency has district representatives. despite theregistration of groups and organizations denying formation of a sectoral wing for the Resolution dated 7 November 2012 15 benefit of farmers of Region 8. and - The nominees do not belong to the sector which the group claims to represent. Inc. and underrepresented. (ALONA) (PL) Kalusugan nominees belong to the urban poor cooperatives are not marginalized (AKIN). - Failure to establish that the group can represent 14 Networks and sectors. as the (PLM) Province of Iloilo has district - 204402 Untruthful statements in the memorandum. - 204139 Lack of track record in representing 12-127 Alab ng (PL) Mamamahayag organization. The group reflects an advocacy for and underrepresented. on dated 4 December 2012 14 204485 Failure to establish that the group can represent all sectors it seeks to Failure to show that the party representatives. represent. and on dated 4 December 2012 13 12-009 Abyan Ilonggo (PP). sector. Associations of the Philippines. Failure to show that the group actually represents the marginalized peasants. 204436 Failure to prove track record as an (ALAM) peasants and farmers. entrepreneurs and - The nominees do not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented.Via the COMELEC En Banc's review on motion for reconsideration of the COMELEC Division's res sector of society.204367 12-104 Akbay - Failure of the group to show that its Inc. and - Withdrawal of three of its five nominees. - There is no proof that majority of its members belong to the marginalized and underrepresented. - Nominees are neither farmers nor and underrepresented. and is not (KALIKASAN) representative of the marginalized 12-175 Alliance of (PL) Organizations. . and on dated 29 November 2012 12 associations. 204370 12-011 Ako An Bisaya (PP) (AAB) - Failure to represent a marginalized B. and - - - The sectors of homeowners' - The group represents sectors with conflicting interests. 12-061 Kalikasan Party- - (PP) List the environment.

on dated 14 November 2012 17 .

and - The Bicol region already has The nominees are not marginalized and underrepresented.A. to represent. the following groups and organizations from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections: - Failure to present activities that G. AI. Manila Teachers. Leadership (ARAL) - The nominees do not represent the sectors which the party represents. ALONA. but denied 12-177 (AKB) participation in the May 2013 party-list (PLM) elections on dated 5 December 2012 18 - Failure to represent any marginalized and underrepresented sector. AKIN. and PBB failed to establish its track record as an organization that seeks to uplift the lives of the "marginalized and underrepresented. the COMELEC En Banc scheduled summary evidentiary hearings to determine whether the groups and organizations that filed manifestations of intent to participate in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections have - The nominees do not belong to the sectors which the party represents. Inc. 7941 and Ang Bagong BayaniOFW Labor Party v." 20 SDHCac 203981 These 13 petitioners (ASIN. Aider. PBB failed to apply for registration as a party-list group. Driver/ Domestic Helper. Cancelled registration and (PLM) Inc. Janitor. and for violation of election laws. . Rider. 9604. Agent (GUARDJAN) Grounds for Denial 12-154 AKO Bicol Retained registration and accreditation (PLM) Political Party as a political party. and - The party failed to file its Statement of Contributions and Expenditures for the 2010 Elections. GUARDJAN. PPP. Pursuant to paragraph 2 22 of Resolution No. COMELEC 23 (Ang Bagong Bayani). The COMELEC. No. (Atong accreditation Paglaum) In a Resolution dated 5 December 2012. 9513. Failure to show a track record of Resolution dated 11 October 2012 25 undertaking programs for the welfare of the sector the group seeks to 203766 represent. 12-187 Association for (PLM) Righteousness Cancelled registration and accreditation - Advocacy on Failure to comply. and underrepresented sector. However. 12-161 Atong Paglaum. Utility Helper. No. ALAM. 12-145 Association of (PL) Guard. The COMELEC disqualified and track record. KALIKASAN. 19 the COMELEC En Banc affirmed the COMELEC Second Division's resolution to grant Partido ng Bayan ng Bida's (PBB) registration and accreditation as a political party in the National Capital Region. 21 and excluded the names of these 13 petitioners in the printing of the official ballot for the 13 May 2013 party-list elections. SPP No. ALA-EH. Group sufficiently benefited its intended Resolution dated 10 October 2012 24 constituency. 204490 12-073 Pilipinas Para sa (PLM) Pinoy (PPP) - Failure to show that the group - represents a marginalized and representatives in Congress. and - and Nanny of the The nominees do not belong to any 203818of the sectors which the group seeks Philippines. as Region - 12 has district representatives.R. and PBB) were not able to secure a mandatory injunction from this Court. on 7 January 2013 issued Resolution No.204394 - Failure to prove membership base continually complied with the requirements of R. 1AAAP. AAB. PBB was denied participation in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections because PBB does not represent any "marginalized and underrepresented" sector.

on dated 16 October 2012 26 204100 12-196 1-Bro Philippine (PLM) Guardians Cancelled registration - Brotherhood. 204122 12-223 1 Guardians (PLM) Nationalist Philippines. Failure to define the sector it seeks to represent. (UNIMAD) are not marginalized and underrepresented. 204002 12-188 Alliance for Cancelled registration and (PLM) Rural Concerns accreditation (ARC) - Failure of the nominees to qualify. and - Failure of the nominees to qualify as representatives of the youth and young urban professionals. - Failure to establish track record. Cancelled registration - The party is a military fraternity. . and - Failure of the party to prove that majority of its members belong to the sectors it seeks to represent. and Inc.and - There is doubt that the party is organized for religious purposes. 204318 12-220 United Cancelled registration and (PLM) Movement accreditation Against Drugs The sectors of drug counsellors and Foundation lecturers. veterans and the youth. Inc. (1 BROPGBI) - The nominees do not belong to a marginalized and underrepresented sector.

.

urban poor sectors that the party energy consumers. Resolution dated 23 October 2012 29 volunteer workers. 203960 12-260 1st Consumers (PLM) Alliance for Resolution dated 23 October 2012 30 Cancelled registration - The sector of rural energy consumers Rural Energy. represent. on dated 16 October 2012 28 203922 The interests of the peasant and Failure to show that three of the 12-201 Association of Cancelled registration and nominees are bona fide party (PLM) Philippine accreditation members. the sector sought Congress failed to author or International. youth. the region and - sought to be represented. The nominees do not belong to the marginalized sectors that the party on dated 16 October 2012 27 seeks to represent. voters of Region XI. elderly. and - and underrepresented sector. The nominees do not belong to the - - The nominees do not belong to the sectors that the party seeks to sector of rural energy consumers.(1GANAP/ - GUARDIANS) The sector of community volunteer Cooperatives workers is too broad to allow for (APEC) meaningful representation. and Inc. urban poor). (1-CARE) underrepresented. and sponsor bills that are beneficial to the sectors that the party represents Inc. (ARARO) represents differ. is not marginalized and Inc. - - 203976 12-288 Alliance for Cancelled registration and (PLM) Rural and accreditation The party's track record is related Agrarian to electric cooperatives and not rural Reconstruction. 204263 12-257 Blessed (PLM) Federation of Cancelled registration - 204174 Three of the seven and nominees do 12-232 Aangat Tayo Cancelled registration and (PLM) Party-List Party accreditation (AT) - The incumbent representative in Farmers and not belong to the sector of farmers Fishermen and fishermen. (A BLESSED - Party-List) None of the nominees are registered (women. and - The nominees do not belong to the The nominees do not appear to sector that the party claims to belong to the sector of community represent. to be represented. and Electric - Failure to represent a marginalized - Lack of a Board resolution to .

Poor Youth a new application. or sector of peasants and farmers that Tao Para sa that they have undertaken meaningful the party seeks to represent. Lupa. and - 204240 12-279 Agri-Agra na (PLM) Reporma Para sa actually belong to the sector. nominees actually belong to the nominees actually belong to the Inc. Cancelled registration Advancement The Manifestation of Intent and and Welfare Agilang Certificate of Nomination were not (PACYAW) Pilipinong signed by an appropriate officer of Magsasaka the party. (AGRI) - - - - 204364 12-248 Aksyon (PLM) Magsasaka- Adhikain at (PLM) Kilusan ng Cancelled registration - Failure to show that nominees Ordinaryong actually belong to the sector. and 204126 Failure to show that nominees Cancelled registration Movement 203936 Failure to show track record for the 204408 Failure to show that five of its nine - Change of sector (from urban poor nominees work on uplifting the lives Country — Urban youth to urban poor) necessitates of the members of the sector. 12-217 Pilipino Cancelled registration (PLM) Association for farmers sector. (BANTAY) marginalized and underrepresented. and Kaunlaran Failure to show meaningful activities (AKO-BAHAY) 204141 Cancelled registration - 12-180 The nominees do not belong to the for its constituency.participate in the party-list elections. Pabahay. activities for the sector. and Masa (AKMA- underrepresented. its members are marginalized Partido Tinig ng members are marginalized and Country and and underrepresented. or The party ceased to exist for more that they have undertaken meaningful Magsasaka ng than a year immediately after the activities for the sector. - Failure to prove that majority of its members and officers are from the . - on dated 24 October 2012 31 farmers and peasants sector. 12-263 Kaagapay ng (PLM) Nagkakaisang (KAP) - - Failure to show track record for the marginalized and underrepresented. Only four nominees were submitted Hanapbuhay at to the COMELEC. People) PTM) Association of - - - Failure to prove that two of its Failure to prove that four of its nine the Philippines. 12-229 The True (PLM) Marcos Loyalist Cancelled registration - Failure to show that majority of Failure to show that majority of its (for God. Pilipinas May 2010 elections.

and - The nominees are not members of the .urban poor sector.

Daughters of does not represent the marginalized Mother Earth and underrepresented. Inc. Congress failed to author or sponsor and bills that are beneficial to the sector - Failure to submit its Statement of that the party represents (persons Contribution and Expenditures for imprisoned without proof of guilt the 2007 Elections. (KAKUSA) marginalized and underrepresented. - The nominees are not marginalized citizens. 204153 12-277 Pasang Masda (PLM) Nationwide Cancelled registration Resolution dated 7 November 2012 33 - The party represents drivers and Party (PASANG operators. (ANAD) - marginalized and underrepresented Cancelled registration - its officers and members belong to the Inc. on dated 30 October 2012 32 - The party is an advocacy group and (GREENFORCE) 204428 12-256 Ang Galing Cancelled registration and (PLM) Pinoy (AG) accreditation - - record requirement. (PLM) Association. accreditation and - Failure to comply with the track The nominees did not appear to be (FIRM 24-K) - The nominees do not belong to the sector that the party seeks to . 12-015 Kapatiran ng (PLM) mga Nakulong Nominees are either operators or Democracy former operators.urban poor sector. Failure to represent an identifiable - Only three nominees were submitted to the COMELEC. - sector. dated 7 November 2012 34 - - Failure to show track record for the marginalized and underrepresented. and (PLM) Nationalism and accreditation - 203958 marginalized and underrepresented. - The nominees do not belong to the The incumbent representative in marginalized and underrepresented. and Failure to attend the summary - hearing. Failure to show track record 204236 for the 12-254 Firm 24-K Cancelled registration and marginalized and underrepresented. Failure to prove that majority of na Walang Sala. who may have conflicting 204094 12-185 Alliance for Cancelled registration and MASDA) interests. 204239 12-060 Green Force for Cancelled registration and and (PLM) the Environment accreditation The nominees did not appear to be Sons and marginalized and underrepresented. beyond reasonable Resolution doubt).

- Only two of the party's nominees reside in the Mindanao and Cordilleras. and - Three of the nominees do not appear to belong to the marginalized. - Only two of its nominees reside in the National Capital Region. on dated 7 November 2012 35 204358 12-204 Alliance of (PLM) Advocates in Cancelled registration - The sector it represents is a Mining specifically defined group which Advancement may not be allowed registration for National under the party-list system. and - Failure to comply with the track record requirement. and Progress (AAMA) - Failure to establish that the nominees actually belong to the sector.represent (urban poor and peasants of the National Capital Region). on dated 7 November 2012 36 204359 12-272 Social (PLM) Movement for Cancelled registration - The nominees are disqualified from . 204341 12-269 Action League Cancelled registration and (PLM) of Indigenous accreditation Masses (ALIM) - Failure to establish that its nominees are members of the indigenous people in the Mindanao and Cordilleras sector that the party seeks to represent.

.

and - The nominees are not members of . of professionals. and government agencies and is unqualified to represent the sector (COCOFED) not marginalized. 12-292 Agapay ng Cancelled registration and (PLM) Indigenous accreditation - Failure to represent any sector.Active Reform representing the sectors that204321 12-252 Ang Agrikultura Cancelled registration and and Transparency the party represents. and - 204323 Failure to prove that its five nominees 12-210 Bayani Party Cancelled registration and (PLM) List (BAYANI) accreditation - - Failure to prove that its five nominees are bona fide members. the sector it claims to - - represent. and Producers One nominee was declared Federation. are members of the indigenous are employed in the construction (A-IPRA) people sector. - on dated 7 November 2012 37 More than a majority of the party's nominees do not belong to the farmers sector. and Peoples Rights - Failure to establish that the nominees Alliance. of its members are marginalized and and underrepresented. 204238 12-173 Alliance of Cancelled registration Resolution and dated 7 November 2012 40 (PLM) Bicolnon Party accreditation (ABP) - Defective registration and 204125 accreditation dating back to 2010. Inc. Resolution dated 7 November 2012 41 Failure to prove a track record of trying to uplift the marginalized 204216 and 12-202 Philippine Cancelled registration and underrepresented sector of (PLM) Coconut accreditation professionals. Inc. (PLM) Natin Isulong accreditation (SMART) (AANI) - - - Failure to establish a track record Failure to comply with the track of enhancing the lives of the record requirement. industry. - - on dated 7 November 2012 39 The party is affiliated with private The party is assisted by the government in various projects. Failure to prove that its five nominees actively participated in the on dated 7 November 2012 38 undertakings of the party. and marginalized and underrepresented There is doubt as to whether majority farmers which it claims to represent.

on dated 28 November 2012 44 and - None of its nominees belong to the labor. Resolution dated 3 December 2012 46 Failure to show that the party is Dreamers. nor to have actively participated in the undertakings of 204158 12-158 Action Cancelled registration and (PLM) Brotherhood for accreditation Active - the party. and - The party receives assistance from the government through the (ABANG - - Magsasaka Cancelled registration - accreditation - Failure to establish that the Failure to show that its nominees are agriculture and cooperative sectors marginalized and underrepresented. The nominees are not part of any of the sectors which the party seeks to represent. fisherfolk. actually able to represent all204486 of 12-194 1st Kabalikat ng Cancelled registration and (ABROAD) the sectors it claims to represent. The party's nominees neither appear to belong to the sectors they seek to on dated 14 November 2012 43 represent. and urban poor indigenous cultural communities sectors which it seeks to represent. and - Failure to establish a track record of Failure to prove that the group is marginalized and underrepresented. are marginalized and have actively participated in programs underrepresented. (PLM) Bayan accreditation - - Failure to show a complete track Ginhawang record of its activities since its Sangkatauhan registration. and for the advancement of farmers. Failure to show that its members 204356 12-136 Butil Farmers Cancelled registration and actually belong to the peasant farmers (PLM) Party (BUTIL) accreditation sector. 204374 12-228 Binhi-Partido ng Cancelled registration Resolution and dated 4 December 2012 47 . and - adhere to its advocacies. and (1st KABAGIS) - Declaration of untruthful statements. - Failure to exist for at least one year. continuously representing Resolution thedated 28 November 2012 45 LINGKOD) peasant farmers sector. Inc.the marginalized sector of coconut (PLM) farmers and producers. Para sa mga on dated 7 November 2012 42 204220 12-238 Abang Lingkod (PLM) Party-List mga Magsasaka (BINHI) Department of Agriculture.

204410 12-198 1-United Cancelled accreditation .

CSAaDE 12-229 (PLM) Group Resolution dated 13 November 2012 03818-19 12-154 (PLM) AKO Bicol Political Party (AKB) 12-177 (PLM) 204122 Philippines.R. directing the COMELEC to include the names of these 39 petitioners in the printing of 204216 the official ballot for the 13 May 2013 party-list elections. 204240 SENIOR CITIZENS) were able to secure a mandatory injunction from this Court. 1-Bro Philippine Guardians Brotherhood. ABROAD. Inc. AKMA-PTM. AKO-BAHAY. (1GANAP/GUARDIANS) 203766 12-161 (PLM) Atong Paglaum. (1BRO-PGBI) CITIZENS) G. A BLESSED Party-List. COCOFED. PACYAW. 1st KABAGIS. (COCOFED) Action Brotherhood for Active Dreamer. (ABROAD) 1 Guardians Nationalist Philippines. (BANTAY) 12-279 (PLM) Agri-Agra na Reporma Para sa Magsasaka ng Pilipinas Movement (AGRI) 12-202 (PLM) 12-223 (PLM) Philippine Coconut Producers Federation. BUTIL. Inc. AT. 1-UTAK. (A-IPRA) 204100 (SENIOR Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy Foundation (UNIMAD) Blessed Federation of Farmers and Fishermen International. BAYANI. GREENFORCE. (A BLESSED Party-List) 204174 12-232 (PLM) Aangat Tayo Party-List Party (AT) 204126 12-263 (PLM) Kaagapay ng Nagkakaisang Agilang . Inc. No. This Decision governs only the 54 consolidated petitions that were granted Status Quo Ante Orders. AG. ANAD. 203976 12-288 (PLM) Kapatiran ng mga Nakulong na Walang Sala. Inc. PASANG MASDA. BANTAY. UNIMAD. 1-CARE. KAKUSA. (Atong Paglaum) 204318 12-220 (PLM) United Movement Against Drugs 12-257 (PLM) 03981 12-187 (PLM) Association for Righteousness Advocacy 204263 on Leadership (ARAL) 04002 12-188 (PLM) Alliance for Rural Concerns (ARC) 03922 12-201 (PLM) Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) The True Marcos Loyalist (for God. KAP. Inc. who may have conflicting 203936 interests. (1-CARE) 12-248 (PLM) Aksyon Magsasaka-Partido Tinig ng Masa (AKMA-PTM) The party's nominees do not belong 203958 to any marginalized and 12-015 (PLM) underrepresented sector. SMART. Senior Citizens Cancelled registration - 204094 12-185 (PLM) The party violated election laws 12-191 in the 204125 because its nominees had a term- (PLM) Philippines. ARAL. Inc. 1BRO-PGBI. AGRI. AAMA. ARC. Inc. (ARARO) Resolution dated 20 November 2012 204421. namely: Resolutions dated 4 December 2012 SPP No. Country and People) Association of the Petitioners prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of 204158 12-158 (PLM) preliminary injunction. AANI. Inc. This Court issued Status Quo Ante Orders in all petitions. and UTAK) - on dated 4 December 2012 48 12-260 (PLM) 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy. sharing agreement. (ANAD) 12-292 (PLM) 12-196 (PLM) Resolution dated 27 November 2012 204141 These 39 petitioners (AKB. APEC. BINHI. Inc.(PLM) Transport - Koalisyon (1- 203960 The party represents drivers and operators. ABANG LINGKOD. FIRM 24-K. Inc. ALIM. Atong Paglaum. 12-157 Coalition of 204425 (PLM). Inc. Agapay ng Indigenous Peoples Rights Alliance. (KAKUSA) Alliance for Rural and Agrarian Reconstruction. ABP. AIPRA. 1GANAP/GUARDIANS. Inc. ARARO.

04364 Pilipinong Magsasaka (KAP) 12-180 (PLM) Adhikain at Kilusan ng Ordinaryong Tao Para sa Lupa. Janitor. Rider. Pabahay. Hanapbuhay at Kaunlaran (AKO-BAHAY) 04139 12-127 (PL) Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM) 04220 12-238 (PLM) Abang Lingkod Party-List (ABANG 04236 12-254 (PLM) Firm 24-K Association. Agent and Nanny of the Philippines. 04408 Aider. Driver/Domestic Helper. (FIRM 24-K) 04238 12-173 (PLM) Alliance of Bicolnon Party (ABP) 04239 12-060 (PLM) Green Force for the Environment Sons LINGKOD) and Daughters of Mother Earth (GREENFORCE) 04321 12-252 (PLM) Ang Agrikultura Natin Isulong (AANI) 04323 12-210 (PLM) Bayani Party List (BAYANI) 04341 12-269 (PLM) Action League of Indigenous Masses 04358 04359 04356 (ALIM) 12-204 (PLM) Alliance of Advocates in Mining Advancement for National Progress (AAMA) 12-272 (PLM) Social Movement for Active Reform and Transparency (SMART) 12-136 (PLM) Butil Farmers Party (BUTIL) Resolution dated 11 December 2012 04402 12-061 (PL) Kalikasan Party-List (KALIKASAN) 04394 12-145 (PL) Association of Guard. Utility Helper. Inc. Inc. (GUARDJAN) 12-217 (PLM) Pilipino Association for Country — Urban Poor Youth Advancement and Welfare (PACYAW) 04428 12-256 (PLM) Ang Galing Pinoy (AG) 04490 12-073 (PLM) Pilipinas Para sa Pinoy (PPP) 04379 12-099 (PLM) Alagad ng Sining (ASIN) 04367 12-104 (PL) Akbay Kalusugan (AKIN) 04426 12-011 (PLM) Association of Local Athletics .

and second. either by denial of their new petitions for registration under the party-list system. Abyan Ilonggo Party (AI) Sangkatauhan (1st KABAGIS) 12-165 (PLM) 204485 12-175 (PL) Alliance of Organizations. Commission on Elections 49 (BANAT) should be applied by the COMELEC in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections. Networks and Associations of the Philippines. whether the criteria for participating in the party-list system laid down in Ang Bagong Bayani and Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency v. However. since the Court adopts in this . whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections. (SENIOR CITIZENS) 204436 12-009 (PP). The Court's Ruling We hold that the COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in following prevailing decisions of this Court in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections. Inc. (Manila Teachers) 204374 12-228 (PLM) Binhi-Partido ng mga Magsasaka Para sa mga Magsasaka (BINHI) 204370 12-011 (PP) Ako An Bisaya (AAB) 204435 12-057 (PLM) 1 Alliance Advocating Autonomy Party (1AAAP) 204486 12-194 (PLM) 1st Kabalikat ng Bayan Ginhawang 204410 12-198 (PLM) 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-UTAK) 204421. 12-157 (PLM) Coalition of Senior Citizens in the 204425 12-191 (PLM) Philippines. (ALA-EH) 204455 12-041 (PLM) Manila Teachers Savings and Loan Association. Inc. Inc. (ALONA) 204484 11-002 Partido ng Bayan ng Bida (PBB) Resolution dated 11 December 2012 204153 12-277 (PLM) Pasang Masda Nationwide Party (PASANG MASDA) The Issues We rule upon two issues: first. Inc. or by cancellation of their existing registration and accreditation as party-list organizations.Entrepreneurs and Hobbyists.

or coalition shall be valid. cities. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio. youth.Political parties. we have the problem of which sector because as we will notice in Proclamation No. the more limiting the law become because when we make an enumeration we exclude those who are not in the enumeration. except the religious sector.Decision new parameters in the qualification of national. it is up to the discretion of the person to say "I am a farmer" so he would be included in that sector. Sections 7 and 8. Second. Article IX-C Sec.. as provided by law. And then. And we went through the exercise in a caucus of which sector should be included which went up to 14 sectors. they shall be entitled to appoint poll watchers in accordance with law. The 1987 Constitution provides: cCTESa Section 5. by selection or election from the labor. academic. Let us just say the farmers and the laborers. laborers and farmers can form a sectoral party or a sectoral organization that will then register and present candidates . And so. 50 The voter elects two representatives in the House of Representatives: one for his or her legislative district. Let us say. women. a sectoral representation in the Assembly would mean that certain sectors would have reserved seats. and to participate in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections. indigenous cultural communities. that they will choose among themselves who would sit in those reserved seats. and those who. And as we all know.. one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled. Under the party list system. shall not be represented in the voters' registration boards.No votes cast in favor of a political party. The problem we had in trying to approach sectoral representation in the Assembly was whether to stop at these nine sectors or include other sectors. and sectoral parties under the party-list system. In effect. Precisely." 51 The constitutional provisions on the party-list system should be read in light of the following discussion among its framers: SEDaAH MR. Commissioner Christian S. However. 7. and such other sectors as may be provided by law. we had the problem of who comprise the farmers. the longer we make our enumeration. in effect. and another for his or her partylist group or organization of choice. urban poor. and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective