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JURISTS BAR REVIEW CENTER

2015 REMINDERS for POLITICAL LAW


Prof. Carlo L. Cruz
SEPARATION OF POWERS - Unless the Constitution provides otherwise, the Executive department should exclusively exercise all
roles and prerogatives which go into the implementation of the national budget as provided under the GAA as well as any other
appropriation law. Clearly, these post-enactment measures which govern the areas of project identification, fund release and fund
realignment are not related to functions of congressional oversight and, hence, allow legislators to intervene and/or assume duties
that properly belong to the sphere of budget execution. Indeed, by virtue of the foregoing, legislators have been, in one form or
another, authorized to participate in "the various operational aspects of budgeting," including "the evaluation of work and financial
plans for individual activities" and the "regulation and release of funds" in violation of the separation of powers principle. [Belgica v.
Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
WHEREFORE, the Court PARTIALLY GRANTS the petitions for certiorari and prohibition; and DECLARES the following acts and
practices under the Disbursement Acceleration Program, National Budget Circular No. 541 and related executive issuances
UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being in violation of Section 25(5), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the doctrine of separation of
powers, namely: (a) The withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies, and the declaration of the
withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year without complying
with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Acts; and (b) The cross-border transfers of the
savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive. The Court further DECLARES VOID
the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded
the revenue targets for non-compliance with the conditions provided in the relevant General Appropriations Acts. [Araullo v. Aquino,
G.R. No. 209287, February 3, 2015]
Accordingly, the item referred to by Section 25(5) of the Constitution is the last and indivisible purpose of a program in the
appropriation law, which is distinct from the expense category or allotment class. There is no specificity, indeed, either in the
Constitution or in the relevant GAAs that the object of augmentation should be the expense category or allotment class. In the same
vein, the President cannot exercise his veto power over an expense category; he may only veto the item to which that expense
category belongs to Nonetheless, this modified interpretation does not take away the caveat that only DAP projects found in the
appropriate GAAs may be the subject of augmentation by legally accumulated savings. [Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, February
3, 2015]
Here, the Constitution has entrusted to the Executive Department the conduct of foreign relations for the Philippines. Whether or not
to espouse petitioners' claim against the Government of Japan is left to the exclusive determination and judgment of the Executive
Department. The Court cannot interfere with or question the wisdom of the conduct of foreign relations by the Executive
Department. Accordingly, we cannot direct the Executive Department, either by writ of certiorari or injunction, to conduct our
foreign relations with Japan in a certain manner. [Vinuya v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 162230, August 13, 2014]
Checks and Balances The Presidents disapproval of a bill, commonly known as a veto, is essentially a legislative act. [Bengzon v.
Secretary of Justice and Insular Auditor, 62 Phil. 912, cited in Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
DELEGATION OF POWERS the 2013 PDAF Article, insofar as it confers post-enactment identification authority to individual
legislators, violates the principle of non-delegability since said legislators are effectively allowed to individually exercise the power of
appropriation, which is lodged in Congress. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
The 2013 PDAF Article does not constitute an "appropriation made by law" since it, in its truest sense, only authorizes individual
legislators to appropriate in violation of the non-delegability principle as afore-discussed. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No.
208566, November 19, 2013]
Finally, it may not be amiss to state that such arrangement also raises non-delegability issues considering that the implementing
authority would still have to determine, again, both the actual amount to be expended and the actual purpose of the appropriation.
Since the foregoing determinations constitute the integral aspects of the power to appropriate, the implementing authority would, in
effect, be exercising legislative prerogatives in violation of the principle of non-delegability. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No.
208566, November 19, 2013]
Presidential Pork Barrel - the phrase "and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President" under Section 8 of PD
910 constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power insofar as it does not lay down a sufficient standard to adequately determine
the limits of the Presidents authority with respect to the purpose for which the Malampaya Funds may be used This
notwithstanding, it must be underscored that the rest of Section 8, insofar as it allows for the use of the Malampaya Funds "to finance
energy resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the government," remains legally effective and subsisting
the declared unconstitutionality of the aforementioned phrase is but an assurance that the Malampaya Funds would be used as it
should be used only in accordance with the avowed purpose and intention of PD 910. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566,
November 19, 2013]
Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, indicates that the Presidential Social Fund may be used "to first, finance the priority
infrastructure development projects and second, to finance the restoration of damaged or destroyed facilities due to calamities, as
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
Bar Confidant, Supreme Court.
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may be directed and authorized by the Office of the President of the Philippines." The Court finds that while the second indicated
purpose adequately curtails the authority of the President to spend the Presidential Social Fund only for restoration purposes which
arise from calamities, the first indicated purpose, however, gives him carte blanche authority to use the same fund for any
infrastructure project he may so determine as a "priority". Verily, the law does not supply a definition of "priority infrastructure
development projects" and hence, leaves the President without any guideline to construe the same. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R.
No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
The proviso under Section 9 of the RH Law which states that "any product or supply included or to be included in the EDL must have
a certification from the FDA that said product and supply is made available on the condition that it is not to be used as an
abortifacient" is empty as it is absurd. The FDA, with all its expertise, cannot fully attest that a drug or device will not all be used as
an abortifacient, since the agency cannot be present in every instance when the contraceptive product or supply will be used. [Imbong
v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014]
The issuance of a Barangay Protection Order by the Punong Barangay or, in his unavailability, by any available Barangay Kagawad,
merely orders the perpetrator to desist from (a) causing physical harm to the woman or her child; and (2) threatening to cause the
woman or her child physical harm. Such function of the Punong Barangay is, thus, purely executive in nature, in pursuance of his
duty under the Local Government Code to "enforce all laws and ordinances," and to "maintain public order in the barangay. Not
violative of the principle of delegation. [Garcia v. Drilon, G. R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013, 699 SCRA 352; Tua v. Mangrobang, G.R. No.
170701, January 22, 2014]
Article I The Archipelago Doctrine - teaches that the outermost points of our terrestrial domain are to be connected with straight
baselines and all waters enclosed thereby shall be considered as our internal waters. As internal waters, they are subject to the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Philippines. Archipelagic sealanes are to be laid on these waters over which foreign ships will have the
right of passage as if they were open seas.
UNCLOS III prescribes the water-land ratio, length, and contour of baselines of archipelagic States like the Philippines and sets the
deadline for the filing of application for the extended continental shelf. Complying with these requirements, RA 9522 shortened one
baseline, optimized the location of some basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and classified adjacent territories, namely, the
Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and the Scarborough Shoal, as regimes of islands whose islands generate their own applicable
maritime zones baselines laws are nothing but statutory mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit with precision the
extent of their maritime zones and continental shelves. In turn, this gives notice to the rest of the international community of the
scope of the maritime space and submarine areas within which States parties exercise treaty-based rights, namely, the exercise of
sovereignty over territorial waters (Article 2), the jurisdiction to enforce customs, fiscal, immigration, and sanitation laws in the
contiguous zone (Article 33), and the right to exploit the living and non-living resources in the exclusive economic zone (Article 56)
and continental shelf (Article 77). [Magallona v. Ermita, G.R No. 187167, August 16, 2011]
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea - Territorial Sea - provides for a uniform breadth of 12 miles from the low-water mark of the
coast. Contiguous Zone - 12 miles from the outer limits of the territorial sea exercise of protective jurisdiction in a zone of the
high seas contiguous to its territorial sea, the coastal state may exercise the control necessary to prevent and punish infringement of
its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary regulations within its territory or territorial sea. Economic Zone or Patrimonial Sea extending 200 miles from the low water mark of the coastal state all living and non-living resources found therein belong
exclusively to the coastal state. The Continental Shelf refers to [a] the seabed and the subsoil of the submarine areas adjacent to the
coast but outside of the territorial sea, to a depth of 200 meters, or beyond that limit, to where the depth of the subjacent waters
admits of the exploitation of the natural resources of the said areas, and [b] to the seabed and subsoil of similar areas adjacent to the
coasts of the islands. The costal state has the EXCLUSIVE sovereign right to explore the continental shelf and to exploit its natural
resources, and no one else may do so without its consent. [Magallona v. Ermita, G.R No. 187167, August 16, 2011]
Whether referred to as Philippine internal waters under Article I of the Constitution or as archipelagic waters under UNCLOS III
(Article 49 [1]), the Philippines exercises sovereignty over the body of water lying landward of the baselines, including the air space
over it and the submarine areas underneath The imposition of these passage rights [right of innocent passage and the right of
transit passage through international straits] through archipelagic waters under UNCLOS III was a concession by archipelagic States,
in exchange for their right to claim all the waters landward of their baselines, regardless of their depth or distance from the coast, as
archipelagic waters subject to their territorial sovereignty. [Magallona v. Ermita, G.R No. 187167, August 16, 2011]
Petitioners argument that the KIG now lies outside Philippine territory because the baselines that RA 9522 draws do not enclose the
KIG is negated by RA 9522 itself. Section 2 of the law commits to text the Philippines continued claim of sovereignty and jurisdiction
over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal: SEC. 2. The baselines in the following areas over which the Philippines likewise exercises
sovereignty and jurisdiction shall be determined as Regime of Islands under the Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article
121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS): a) The Kalayaan Island Group as constituted under
Presidential Decree No. 1596 and b) Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal. [Magallona v. Ermita, G.R No. 187167,
August 16, 2011]
In the absence of municipal legislation, international law norms, now codified in UNCLOS III, operate to grant innocent passage
rights over the territorial sea or archipelagic waters, subject to the treatys limitations and conditions for their exercise. Significantly,
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
Bar Confidant, Supreme Court.
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the right of innocent passage is a customary international law, thus automatically incorporated in the corpus of Philippine law. No
modern State can validly invoke its sovereignty to absolutely forbid innocent passage that is exercised in accordance with customary
international law without risking retaliatory measures from the international community. The fact that for archipelagic States, their
archipelagic waters are subject to both the right of innocent passage and sea lanes passage does not place them in lesser footing vis-vis continental coastal States which are subject, in their territorial sea, to the right of innocent passage and the right of transit passage
through international straits. The imposition of these passage rights through archipelagic waters under UNCLOS III was a concession
by archipelagic States, in exchange for their right to claim all the waters landward of their baselines, regardless of their depth or
distance from the coast, as archipelagic waters subject to their territorial sovereignty. More importantly, the recognition of
archipelagic States archipelago and the waters enclosed by their baselines as one cohesive entity prevents the treatment of their
islands as separate islands under UNCLOS III. Separate islands generate their own maritime zones, placing the waters between
islands separated by more than 24 nautical miles beyond the States territorial sovereignty, subjecting these waters to the rights of
other States under UNCLOS III. [Magallona v. Ermita, G.R No. 187167, August 16, 2011]
The Open Seas res communes but a state may exercise jurisdiction on the open seas over its vessels, over pirates, in the exercise of the
right to visit and search and under the doctrine of hot pursuit.
Outer space, like the open seas, is res communes and NOT susceptible to discovery and occupation; it is not subject to national
appropriation by claim of sovereignty. A state is responsible for whatever injury or damage any object it sends to outer space may
cause.
The Bangsamoro Juridical Entity [BJE] is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM, the status of its relationship with the national
government being fundamentally different from that of the ARMM. Indeed, the BJE is a state in all but name as it meets the criteria of
a state laid down in the Montevideo Convention, namely, a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and a capacity to
enter into relations with other states. Even assuming arguendo that the MOA-AD would not necessarily sever any portion of
Philippine territory, the spirit animating it which has betrayed itself by its use of the concept of association runs counter to the
national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic. [The Province of North Cotabato v. The Government of the Republic of the
Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, G.R. No. 183591, October 14, 2008]
ARTICLE II - generally not a source of enforceable rights EXCEPT the Incorporation Clause and Section 28 on the policy of public
disclosure duty to disclose [which presents a SPLENDID SYMMETRY to Article III, Section 7 on the Right to Information]. Section
16 on ecology has been implemented by law; which, together with Section 14 right to health need not even be written.
[Oposa v. Factoran]
The Constitution now describes the Philippines as not only a republican but also a democratic State. NOTE provisions on initiative
on national legislation [Article VI (32)] and initiative on amendment of the Constitution. [Article VII (2)]. - Besides, the 1987
Constitution accords to the citizens a greater participation in the affairs of government. Indeed, it provides for people's initiative, the
right to information on matters of public concern (including the right to know the state of health of their President), as well as the
right to file cases questioning the factual bases for the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus or declaration of martial
law. These provisions enlarge the peoples right in the political as well as the judicial field. It grants them the right to interfere in the
affairs of government and challenge any act tending to prejudice their interest. [Petitioner Organizations v. Executive Secretary, G.R.
Nos. 147036-37, April 10, 2012] - SEE also Article II [23] The State shall encourage non-governmental, community based, or
sectoral organizations that provide the welfare of the nation. Article X [14] The President shall provide for regional development
councils xxx composed of local government officials, and representatives from non-governmental organizations xxx Article X [18]
The Congress shall enact an organic act for each autonomous region with the assistance and participation of the regional
consultative commission composed of representatives appointed by the President from a list of nominees from multisectoral bodies. x
x x. Article XII [9] The Congress may establish an independent economic and planning agency headed by the President, which shall,
after consultations with the xxx various private sectors xxx Article XIII [15] The State shall respect the role of independent peoples
organizations. Article XIII [16] The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels
of social, political and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. Article XVI [12] The Congress may create a consultative
body to advise the President on policies affecting indigenous cultural communities, the majority of the members of which shall come
from the communities.
Whatever good is done by the government is attributed to the State but every harm inflicted on the people is imputed not to the State
but to the government alone. Such injury may justify the replacement of the government by revolution, theoretically at the behest of
the State, in a development known as direct State action.
Parens Patriae guardian of the rights of the people Offensive language (low value expressions) in television may be regulated or
even banned for the sake of the children. Justification parens patriae. [Soriano v. Laguardia, G.R. No. 164785, April 29, 2009]
A belligerent occupation would have no effect on the continued effectivity of the law on treason. Accordingly, political laws, like the
Constitution, were merely suspended, subject to revival under the jus postliminium upon the end of the occupation. Suspension of
political laws affects only the civilians, and not the soldiers or enemies in arms. [Ruffy v. Chief of Staff] Also does not apply to
treason [Laurel v. Misa]. Non-political laws, like the Civil Code, remain effective, unless changed by the belligerent occupant. Judicial

2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
Bar Confidant, Supreme Court.
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decisions, such as a conviction for defamation, shall remain valid even after a belligerent occupation, except those of a political
complexion.
Right to Self-Determination right to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural
development. Internal self-determination a peoples pursuit of its political, economic, social and cultural development within the
framework of an existing state. External self-determination - the establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free
association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people.
The peoples right to self-determination should not, however, be understood as extending to a unilateral right of secession. [The
Province of North Cotabato v. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, G.R. No. 183591, October
14, 2008]
Distinguish the Incorporation Clause or Doctrine of Incorporation from the Doctrine of Transformation accepted rules of international law
must first be enacted into legislation. [Note both doctrines are applicable in our jurisdiction. There is transformation when the
Senate gives its concurrence to treaties.]
Tax treaties are entered into "to reconcile the national fiscal legislations of the contracting parties and, in turn, help the taxpayer avoid
simultaneous taxations in two different jurisdictions." Thus, laws and issuances must ensure that the reliefs granted under tax treaties
are accorded to the parties entitled thereto. The BIR must not impose additional requirements that would negate the availment of the
reliefs provided for under international agreements. [Deutsche Bank AG Manila Branch v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No.
188550, August 19, 2013]
A zygote is a human organism and that the life of a new human being commences at a scientifically well-defined moment of
conception, that is, upon fertilization. [Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014]
Thus, the word primarily in Section 3.0I(a and G) of the RH-IRR should be declared void. To uphold the validity of Section 3.0I(a
and G) of the RH-IRR and prohibit only those contraceptives that have the primary effect of being an abortive would effectively open
the floodgates to the approval of contraceptives which may harm or destroy the life of the unborn from conception/fertilization in
violation of Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution. To repeat and emphasize, in all cases, the principle of no abortion embodied in
the constitutional protection of life must be upheld. [Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014]
Education - the academic freedom accorded to institutions of higher learning gives them the right to decide for themselves their aims
and objectives and how best to attain them. They are given the exclusive discretion to determine who can and cannot study in them,
as well as to whom they can confer the honor and distinction of being their graduates. This necessarily includes the prerogative to
establish requirements for graduation, such as the completion of a thesis, and the manner by which this shall be accomplished by
their students. The courts may not interfere with their exercise of discretion unless there is a clear showing that they have arbitrarily
and capriciously exercised their judgment. [Calawag v. University of the Philippines Visayas, G.R. No. 207412, August 7, 2013]
Political Dynasties Section 26 (of Article II) is not self-executing due to the qualifying phrase "as may be defined by law." since
there appears to be no standing law which crystallizes the policy on political dynasties for enforcement, the Court must defer from
ruling on this issue. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
ARTICLE VI The commencement of the terms and the regular election of legislators may be changed by law. An increase in their
salaries shall take effect after the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives
approving such increase.
Qualifications - Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 requiring candidates for senator to be certified illegal-drug free unconstitutional list of
constitutional qualifications exclusive, may not be enlarged by Congress. [Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board, G.R. No.
157870, November 3, 2008]
Indeed, there is no doubt that Section 40(d) of the Local Government Code disqualifies those with dual citizenship from running for
local elective positions. There is likewise no doubt that the use of a passport is a positive declaration that one is a citizen of the
country which issued the passport, or that a passport proves that the country which issued it recognizes the person named therein as
its national. It is unquestioned that Arnado is a natural born Filipino citizen, or that he acquired American citizenship by
naturalization. There is no doubt that he reacquired his Filipino citizenship by taking his Oath of Allegiance to the Philippines and
that he renounced his American citizenship. It is also indubitable that after renouncing his American citizenship, Arnado used his
U.S. passport at least six times. If there is any remaining doubt, it is regarding the efficacy of Arnados renunciation of his American
citizenship when he subsequently used his U.S. passport Allowing the subsequent use of a foreign passport because it is convenient
for the person to do so is rendering the oath a hollow act. It devalues the act of taking of an oath, reducing it to a mere ceremonial
formality. The dissent states that the Court has effectively left Arnado "a man without a country". On the contrary, this Court has, in
fact, found Arnado to have more than one. Nowhere in the decision does it say that Arnado is not a Filipino citizen. What the
decision merely points out is that he also possessed another citizenship at the time he filed his certificate of candidacy. [Macquiling v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 195649, July 2, 2013]

2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
Bar Confidant, Supreme Court.
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To be an actual and physical resident of a locality, one must have a dwelling place where one resides no matter how modest and
regardless of ownership. The mere purchase of a parcel of land does not make it ones residence. The fact that the residential structure
where petitioner intends to reside was still under construction on the lot she purchased means that she has not yet established actual
and physical residence in the barangay xxx A temporary stay in a strangers house cannot amount to residence Approval of voter
registration does not presuppose six-month residency in the place prior to registration. [Jalosjos v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
193314, June 25, 2013]
The critical issue, however, pertains to Osmeas bodily presence in Toledo City and the declaration he made in his COC on this
point. The petitioners claim that Osmea was only seen in Toledo City in the month of September 2012 to conduct political meetings.
They also stress that the dilapidated property in Ibo, Toledo City is not even owned by Osmea, and is not in keeping with the latters
stature a former Senator and a member of a political clan The law does not require a person to be in his home twenty-four (24)
hours a day, seven (7) days a week, to fulfill the residency requirement. In Fernandez v. House Electoral Tribunal, we ruled that the "fact
that a few barangay health workers attested that they had failed to see petitioner whenever they allegedly made the rounds in Villa
de Toledo is of no moment, especially considering that there were witnesses (including petitioner's neighbors in Villa de Toledo) that
were in turn presented by petitioner to prove that he was actually a resident of Villa de Toledo, in the address he stated in his COC. x
x x It may be that whenever these health workers do their rounds petitioner was out of the house to attend to his own employment or
business." Similarly, the fact that Osmea has no registered property under his name does not belie his actual residence in Toledo
City because property ownership is not among the qualifications required of candidates for local election. It is enough that he should
live in the locality, even in a rented house or that of a friend or relative. To use ownership of property in the district as the
determinative indicium of permanence of domicile or residence implies that only the landed can establish compliance with the
residency requirement. In Perez v. COMELEC, we sustained the COMELEC when it considered as evidence tending to establish a
candidates domicile of choice the mere lease (rather than ownership) of an apartment by a candidate in the same province where he
ran for the position of governor Osmeas actual physical presence in Toledo City is established not only by the presence of a place
(Ibo, Toledo City, house and lot) he can actually live in, but also the affidavits of various persons in Toledo City. Osmeas substantial
and real interest in establishing his domicile of choice in Toledo City is also sufficiently shown not only by the acquisition of
additional property in the area and the transfer of his voter registration and headquarters, but also his participation in the
communitys socio-civic and political activities. Osmea has been proclaimed winner in the electoral contest and has therefore the
mandate of the electorate Before his transfer of residence, Osmea already had intimate knowledge of Toledo City, particularly of the
whole 3rd legislative district that he represented for one term. Thus, he manifests a significant level of knowledge of and sensitivity to
the needs of the said community. Moreover, Osmea won the mayoralty position as the choice of the people of Toledo City. [Jalover v.
de la Pena, G.R. No. 209286, September 23, 2014]
The prescriptive period under the HRET Rules [for the institution of election contests] does not apply to disqualification cases based
on citizenship. Being a continuing requirement, one who assails a member's citizenship or lack of it may still question the same at any
time, the prescriptive period notwithstanding. BUT it is the State, through its representatives designated by statute that may question
the illegally or invalidly procured certificate of naturalization in the appropriate denaturalization proceedings. It is plainly not a
matter that may be raised by private persons in an election case involving the naturalized citizens descendant. [Limkaichong v.
COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 178831-32, April 1, 2009]
Party-List Representatives - The COMELEC cannot issue implementing rules and regulations that provide an additional ground - when
the nomination is withdrawn by the party - for the substitution of a party-list nominee. RA 7941 lists only 3 grounds death,
disability and withdrawal by the nominee himself. [Lokin v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 180443, June 22, 2010]
A party-list nominee who changes his sectoral affiliation within the same party will only be eligible for nomination under the new
sectoral affiliation if the change has been effected at least six months before the elections. [Amores v. HRET, G.R. No. 189600, June 29,
2010]
For every four district representatives, there shall be one party-list representative. There is no need for legislation to create an
additional party-list seat whenever four additional legislative districts are created by law. Section 5(2), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution automatically creates such additional party-list seat. [BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, July 8, 2009]
The filling-up of all available party-list seats is not mandatory. Four parameters in a Philippine-style party-list election system: [1]
Twenty percent of the total number of the membership of the House of Representatives is the maximum number of seats available to
party-list organizations, such that there is automatically one party-list seat for every four existing legislative districts. [2] Garnering
two percent of the total votes cast in the party-list elections guarantees a party-list organization one seat. The guaranteed seats shall
be distributed in a first round of seat allocation to parties receiving at least two percent of the total party-list votes. [3] The additional
seats, that is, the remaining seats after allocation of the guaranteed seats, shall be distributed to the party-list organizations including
those that received less than two percent of the total votes. The continued operation of the two percent threshold as it applies to the
allocation of the additional seats is now unconstitutional because this threshold mathematically and physically prevents the filling up
of the available party-list seats. The additional seats shall be distributed to the parties in a second round of seat allocation according
to the two-step procedure laid down in the Decision of 21 April 2009 as clarified in this Resolution. (Two-Step Procedure - The
percentage of votes garnered by each party-list candidate is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party by
15,950,900, the total number of votes cast for party-list candidates. There are two steps in the second round of seat allocation. First,
the percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats, 38, which is the difference between the 55 maximum seats reserved
under the Party-List System and the 17 guaranteed seats of the two-percenters. The whole integer of the product of the percentage
and of the remaining available seats corresponds to a partys share in the remaining available seats. Second, we assign one party-list
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
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seat to each of the parties next in rank until all available seats are completely distributed. We distributed all of the remaining 38 seats
in the second round of seat allocation.) [4] The three-seat cap is constitutional. The three-seat cap is intended by the Legislature to
prevent any party from dominating the party-list system. [BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, July 8, 2009]
Parameters for party-list registration: 1. Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (1) national parties or
organizations, (2) regional parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral parties or organizations. 2. National parties or organizations and
regional parties or organizations do not need to organize along sectoral lines and do not need to represent any marginalized and
underrepresented sector. 3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided they register under the party-list system
and do not field candidates in legislative district elections. A political party, whether major or not, that fields candidates in legislative
district elections can participate in party-list elections only through its sectoral wing that can separately register under the party-list
system. The sectoral wing is by itself an independent sectoral party, and is linked to a political party through a coalition. 4. Sectoral
parties or organizations may either be marginalized and underrepresented or lacking in well-defined political constituencies. It is
enough that their principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector. The sectors that are marginalized
and underrepresented include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, and
overseas workers. The sectors that lack well-defined political constituencies include professionals, the elderly, women, and the
youth. 5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the marginalized and underrepresented
must belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector they represent. Similarly, a majority of the members of sectoral
parties or organizations that lack well-defined political constituencies must belong to the sector they represent. The nominees of
sectoral parties or organizations that represent the marginalized and underrepresented, or that represent those who lack welldefined political constituencies, either must belong to their respective sectors, or must have a track record of advocacy for their
respective sectors. The nominees of national and regional parties or organizations must be bona-fide members of such parties or
organizations. 6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations shall not be disqualified if some of their nominees are
disqualified, provided that they have at least one nominee who remains qualified. [Atong Paglaum, Inc. v. Commission on Elections, G.R.
No. 203766, April 2, 2013]
There is no arguing that the COMELEC Resolution dated January 5, 2010 granting LPGMAs registration has since become final. Such
finality, however, pertains only to the Resolution itself and not to the accreditation of LPGMA as a party-list organization The
Resolution did not create in LPGMAs favor a perpetual and indefeasible right to its accreditation as a party-list organization. Neither
did it grant finality and indefeasibility to the factual findings of the COMELEC on the qualifications of the group. Both the
accreditation and the facts substantiating the same can be reviewed and revoked at any time by the COMELEC, motu propio, or upon
the instance of any interested party thru a complaint for cancellation, as set forth in Section 6 of R.A. No. 7941. [Dayao v. Commission
on Elections, G.R. No. 193643]
There are two kinds of congressmen elected from legislative districts and those elected through the party-list system. Once elected,
the party-list representative has the same rights, privileges and duties as the district representative. They are also subject to the same
term limitation of three years for a maximum of three consecutive terms. The consistent judicial holding is that the HRET has
jurisdiction to pass upon the qualifications of party-list nominees after their proclamation and assumption of office. [Abayon v. HRET,
G.R. No. 189466, February 11, 2010]
No one has a vested right to any public office, much less a vested right to an expectancy of holding a public office." Under Section
2(5), Article IX-C of the Constitution, the COMELEC is entrusted with the function to "register, after sufficient publication, political
parties, organizations, or coalitions which, in addition to other requirements, must present their platform or program of government."
In fulfilling this function, the COMELEC is duty-bound to review the grant of registration to parties, organizations, or coalitions
already registered in order to ensure the latters continuous adherence to the requirements prescribed by law and the relevant rulings
of this Court relative to their qualifications and eligibility to participate in party-list elections. The Arquiza Group cannot, therefore,
object to the retroactive application of COMELEC Resolution No. 9366 on the ground of the impairment of SENIOR CITIZENS
vested right. Be that as it may, even if COMELEC Resolution No. 9366 expressly provided for its retroactive application, the Court
finds that the COMELEC En Banc indeed erred in cancelling the registration and accreditation of SENIOR CITIZENS. The reason for
this is that the ground invoked by the COMELEC En Banc, i.e., the term-sharing agreement among the nominees of SENIOR
CITIZENS, was not implemented Indubitably, if the term-sharing agreement was not actually implemented by the parties thereto,
it appears that SENIOR CITIZENS, as a party-list organization, had been unfairly and arbitrarily penalized by the COMELEC En
Banc. [Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 206844-45, July 23, 2013]
Under Section 4 of RA No. 7941, a party-list group already registered "need not register anew" for purposes of every subsequent
election, but only needs to file a manifestation of intent to participate with the COMELEC. [COCOFED v. Commission on Elections, G.R.
No. 207026, August 6, 2013; Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 206987, September 10,
2013]
The fact that COCOFED did not obtain sufficient number of votes in the elections does not affect the issue of the validity of the
COMELECs registration. [COCOFED v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 207026, August 6, 2013]

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A party is not allowed to simply refuse to submit a list containing "not less than five nominees" and consider the deficiency as a
waiver on its part. [COCOFED v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 207026, August 6, 2013; Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy
(ANAD) v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 206987, September 10, 2013]
Sectoral parties or organizations, such as ABANG LINGKOD, are no longer required to adduce evidence showing their track record,
i.e. proof of activities that they have undertaken to further the cause of the sector they represent. Indeed, it is enough that their
principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector evidence showing a track record in representing the
marginalized and underrepresented sectors is only required from nominees of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the
marginalized and underrepresented who do not factually belong to the sector represented by their party or organization. [Abang
Lingkod Party-List v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 206952, October 22, 2013]
Legislative Districts Gerrymandering is a term employed to describe an apportionment of representative districts so contrived as to
give an unfair advantage to the party in power. The Constitution proscribes gerrymandering, as it mandates each legislative district
to comprise, as far as practicable, a contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. [Navarro v. Ermita, G.R. No. 180050, February 10, 2010]
The law clearly provides that the basis for districting shall be the number of the inhabitants of a city or a province, not the number of
registered voters therein. [Herrera v. COMELEC ] Each additional legislative district in a city need not have 250,000 inhabitants
provided that the initial or original district formed in said city had, at the time of its establishment, a population of 250,000. [Mariano
v. COMELEC] Congress may not authorize the ARMM to create provinces and cities because the power to create them inherently
involves the power to create a legislative district, which only Congress possesses. The ARMM may, however, be authorized by law to
create municipalities and barangays. [Sema v. COMELEC , G.R. No. 177597, July 16, 2008] A proposed province composed of one or
more islands need not comply with the 2,000 square meter contiguous territory requirement under the Local Government Code, as
provided for under the exemptions in the IRR of the LGC. [Navarro v. Ermita, G.R. No. 180050, April 12, 2011] Section 5(3) of the
Constitution requires a 250,000 minimum population only for a city to be entitled to a representative, but not so for a province. The
250,000 inhabitants requirement does not apply to creation of additional legislative districts for a province. [Aquino v. COMELEC,
G.R. No. 189793, April 7, 2010] A law is passed dividing Cagayan de Oro City into two legislative districts. No need for a plebiscite
under Article X, Section 10, because the territory remains a single unit. [Bagabuyo v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176970, December 8, 2008]
Inhibitions - allowing legislators to intervene in the various phases of project implementation a matter before another office of
government renders them susceptible to taking undue advantage of their own office insofar as its post-enactment features dilute
congressional oversight and violate Section 14, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, thus impairing public accountability, the 2013
PDAF Article and other forms of Congressional Pork Barrel of similar nature are deemed as unconstitutional. [Belgica v. Executive
Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
Legislative power - appropriation, taxation, expropriation - not exclusive to Congress initiative and referendum may be exercised
directly by the people RA 6735 includes the power to amend or repeal laws.
The acts done by Congress purportedly in the exercise of its oversight powers may be divided into three categories, namely: scrutiny to determine economy and efficiency of the operation of government activities; investigation under Section 21; and supervision (or
legislative veto) which connotes a continuing and informed awareness on the part of a congressional committee regarding executive
operations in a given administrative area. While both congressional scrutiny and investigation involve inquiry into past executive
branch actions in order to influence future executive branch performance, congressional supervision allows Congress to scrutinize the
exercise of delegated law-making authority, and permits Congress to retain part of that delegated authority. xxx. The requirement
that the implementing rules of a law be subjected to approval by Congress as a condition for their effectivity violates the cardinal
constitutional principles of bicameralism and the rule on presentment. Every bill passed by Congress must be presented to the
President for approval or veto. In the absence of presentment to the President, no bill passed by Congress can become a law. (The socalled rule on presentment pertains to the submission of a bill to the President for his appropriate action. [VI, 27 (1)) [Abakada Guro
Party List V. Purisima, G.R. No. 166715 August 14, 2008; Macalintal v. COMELEC, G.R. 157013, July 10, 2003]
The power to grant immunity from prosecution is essentially a legislative prerogative springs from its authority to define and
prescribe punishment for crimes. [Quarto v. the Honorable Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo, G.R. No. 169042, October 5, 2011]
The supermajority vote requirement set forth in Section 1, Article XVII of RA No. 9054 [Section 1, Article XVII of RA No. 9054
provides: Consistent with the provisions of the Constitution, this Organic Act may be re-amended or revised by the Congress of the
Philippines upon a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate voting separately.] is
unconstitutional for violating the principle that Congress cannot pass irrepealable laws. [Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the
Philippines, G.R. No. 196271, February 28, 2012]
We rule out the first option holdover for those who were elected in executive and legislative positions in the ARMM during the
2008-2011 term as an option that Congress could have chosen because a holdover violates Section 8, Article X of the Constitution
the term of three years for local officials should stay at three (3) years as fixed by the Constitution and cannot be extended by
holdover by Congress If it will be claimed that the holdover period is effectively another term mandated by Congress, the net result
is for Congress to create a new term and to appoint the occupant for the new term. This view like the extension of the elective term
is constitutionally infirm because Congress cannot do indirectly what it cannot do directly, i.e., to act in a way that would effectively
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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extend the term of the incumbents Congress cannot also create a new term and effectively appoint the occupant of the position for
the new term. This is effectively an act of appointment by Congress and an unconstitutional intrusion into the constitutional
appointment power of the President. [Pimentel v. Ermita, G.R. No. 164978, October 13, 2005; Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the
Philippines, G.R. No. 196271, October 18, 2011]
The President, Congress and the Court cannot create directly franchises for the operation of a public utility that are exclusive in
character. [Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution]
Non-legislative powers of Congress canvass of presidential elections [VII, 5]; declaration of existence of a state of war [VII, 23 (2)];
resolution of conflicts between the President and a majority of his Cabinet regarding his ability to discharge his functions [VII, 11]
confirmation of amnesties [VII, 19], and of presidential appointments [VII, 16]; amendment or revision of the Constitution [XVII]; and
impeachment [XI].
Nature of Congress - Congress is not a continuing body. [League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176951, November 18,
2008] The Senate as an institution is continuing, as it is not dissolved as an entity with each national election or change in the
composition of its members. However, in the conduct of its day-to-day business the Senate of each Congress acts separately and
independently of the Senate of the Congress before it. Accordingly, all pending matters and proceedings, i.e., unpassed bills and even
legislative investigations, of the Senate of a particular Congress are considered terminated upon the expiration of that Congress and it
is merely optional on the Senate of the succeeding Congress to take up such unfinished matters, not in the same status, but as if
presented for the first time. [Garcillano v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 170338, December 23, 2008] BUT NOTE Arnault v. Nazareno
the Senate is a continuing body for purposes of its power of contempt.
Electoral Tribunals - The resolution of electoral contests as essentially an exercise of judicial power At the higher levels city,
provincial, and regional, as well as congressional and senatorial exclusive and original jurisdiction is lodged in the COMELEC and
in the House of Representatives and Senate Electoral Tribunals, which are not, strictly and literally speaking, courts of law. Although
not courts of law, they are, nonetheless, empowered to resolve election contests which involve, in essence, an exercise of judicial
power, because of the explicit constitutional empowerment found in Section 2(2), Article IX-C (for the COMELEC) and Section 17,
Article VI (for the Senate and House Electoral Tribunals) of the Constitution. Besides, when the COMELEC, the HRET, and the SET
decide election contests, their decisions are still subject to judicial review via a petition for certiorari filed by the proper party if
there is a showing that the decision was rendered with grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
[Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No. 191618, November 23, 2010 and June 7, 2011]
Electoral Tribunals shall be the sole judges of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of their respective
Members. To be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a concurrence of the following requisites:
(a) a valid proclamation, (b) a proper oath, and (c) assumption of office. A proper oath is one taken before the Speaker of the
House of Representatives in open session, consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of Rule II (Membership) of the Rules of the
House of Representatives. [Reyes v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013]
Considering that Angelina had already been proclaimed as Member of the House of Representatives, as she has in fact taken her
oath and assumed office past noon time of June 30, 2013, the Court is now without jurisdiction to resolve the case at bar the issues
concerning the conduct of the canvass and the resulting proclamation of Angelina as herein discussed are matters which fall under
the scope of the terms "election" and "returns" as above-stated and hence, properly fall under the HRETs sole jurisdiction. [Tanada v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 207199-200, October 22, 2013]
The term "election" refers to the conduct of the polls, including the listing of voters, the holding of the electoral campaign, and the
casting and counting of the votes; "returns" refers to the canvass of the returns and the proclamation of the winners, including
questions concerning the composition of the board of canvassers and the authenticity of the election returns; and "qualifications"
refers to matters that could be raised in a quo warranto proceeding against the proclaimed winner, such as his disloyalty or
ineligibility or the inadequacy of his CoC. [Barbers v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 165691, June 22, 2005, 460 SCRA 569]
Commission on Appointments - shall rule by a majority of all its Members The President may not be compelled to submit his acting
appointments to the CA for confirmation. [Pimentel v. Ermita] Ad interim appointments, which are permanent appointments [Matibag
v. Benipayo], shall remain effective only until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the adjournment of the next
special or regular session of Congress. [Guevarra v. Inocentes] In a special session, the Congress may consider general legislation or
only such subjects as the President may designate. In a regular session, the power of the Congress is not circumscribed except by
limitations imposed by organic law. [Araneta v. Dinglasan]
Legislative Inquiries - Section 21 relates to the power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. Its aim is to elicit information that may
be used for legislation. On the other hand, Section 22 pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective of which is to
obtain information in pursuit of Congress oversight function. Simply stated, while both powers allow Congress or any of its
committees to conduct inquiry, their objectives are different. [Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers, G.R. No.
180643, March 25, 2008]

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The Senate cannot be allowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned legislative inquiry without duly published rules of
procedure. New session requires a new publication of rule, unless said rules would provide that they shall continue to be effective
unless changed by a subsequent Congress. [Garcillano v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 170338, December 23, 2008]
Executive privilege with respect to the privilege for diplomatic negotiations may be invoked not only against citizens demands for
information, but also in the context of legislative investigations. [AKBAYAN v. Aquino, G.R. No. 170516, July 16, 2008] The subject of
a legislative inquiry is a political question. [De la Paz v. Senate, G.R. No. 184849, February 13, 2009]
Appropriations - an item of appropriation as "an indivisible sum of money dedicated to a stated purpose." An "item" is indivisible
because the amount cannot be divided for any purpose other than the specific purpose stated in the item. [Footnote 211, Belgica v.
Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013] An item of an appropriation bill obviously means an item which, in itself,
is a specific appropriation of money, not some general provision of law which happens to be put into an appropriation bill.
A General Appropriations Act contains an estimate of revenues and funding sources, which are usually (1) taxes, (2) capital revenues
(like proceeds from the sales of assets), (3) grants, (4) extraordinary income (like dividends of government corporations) and (5)
borrowings. Unprogrammed funds arise or exist when the estimated revenues are exceeded by actual receipts, e.g., unexpected large
dividends from government institutions like the Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System. Savings occur
when estimated expenditures are not spent, e.g. (a) the PAPs (projects, activities or programs) for which the appropriation had been
authorized was completed, finally discontinued, or abandoned; or (b) there were vacant positions and leaves of absence without pay;
or (c) the required or planned targets, programs and services were realized at a lesser cost because of the implementation of measures
resulting in improved systems and efficiencies. The act or practice of transferring funds prior to the end of the fiscal year, which
did not meet any of those three instances, is unconstitutional. [Araullo v. Aquino, G.R. No. 209287, July 1, 2014]
An appropriation made by law under the contemplation of Section 29(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution exists when a provision
of law (a) sets apart a determinate or determinable amount of money and (b) allocates the same for a particular public purpose the
2013 PDAF Article cannot be properly deemed as a legal appropriation under the said constitutional provision precisely because it
contains post-enactment measures which effectively create a system of intermediate appropriations. These intermediate
appropriations are the actual appropriations meant for enforcement and since they are made by individual legislators after the GAA
is passed, they occur outside the law the real appropriation made under the 2013 PDAF Article is not the P24.79 Billion allocated
for the entire PDAF, but rather the post-enactment determinations made by the individual legislators which are, to repeat,
occurrences outside of the law. .. the 2013 PDAF Article does not constitute an "appropriation made by law" since it, in its truest
sense, only authorizes individual legislators to appropriate in violation of the non-delegability principle. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary,
G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
Enrolled Bills - That the provision was a product of amendments introduced during the deliberation of the Senate Bill does not detract
from its validity This Court has subscribed to the conclusiveness of an enrolled bill to refuse invalidating a provision of law, on the
ground that the bill from which it originated contained no such provision and was merely inserted by the bicameral conference
committee of both Houses. [Central Bank Employees Association v. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 148208,
December 15, 2004]
Log-rolling legislation - refers to the process in which several provisions supported by an individual legislator or minority of legislators
are combined into a single piece of legislation supported by a majority of legislators on a quid pro quo basis: no one provision may
command majority support, but the total package will. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
Instances when vote needs to be recorded at the request of 1/5 [16, 4], vote on third reading [26, 2], overriding vote in case of veto
[27, 1], HR impeachment vote [XI, 3, 3].
Presidential certification [economic emergency] does away with the requirements of three readings on separate days and distribution
of final copies three days before enactment. [Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance]
Note Article VII, Section 10 simultaneous vacancies in the offices of the President and the Vice-President - The bill calling such
special election shall be deemed certified under paragraph 2, Section 26, Article V1 of this Constitution and shall become law upon its
approval on third reading by the Congress. No special election shall be called if the vacancy occurs within eighteen months before the
date of the next presidential election.
The RH Law does not violate the one subject/one bill rule a textual analysis of the various provisions of the law shows that both
"reproductive health" and "responsible parenthood" are interrelated and germane to the overriding objective to control the population
growth Considering the close intimacy between "reproductive health" and "responsible parenthood" which bears to the attainment
of the goal of achieving "sustainable human development" as stated under its terms, the Court finds no reason to believe that
Congress intentionally sought to deceive the public as to the contents of the assailed legislation. [Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204819,
April 8, 2014]
Although not provided for in the Constitution, Congress has established the so-called Conference Committee, composed of
representatives from the Senate and the House of Representatives, which is a mechanism for compromising differences between
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their respective versions of a bill or joint resolution. It has been ruled that it is within the power of a conference committee to
include in its report an entirely new provision that is not found either in the House bill or in the Senate bill and whatever changes
may be agreed upon by the Conference Committee need not undergo another three readings in the Senate and the House of
Representatives. [Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance]
Partial veto general rule approve entirely or disapprove in toto, except with respect to appropriations bills.
In contrast, what beckons constitutional infirmity are appropriations which merely provide for a singular lump-sum amount to be
tapped as a source of funding for multiple purposes. Since such appropriation type necessitates the further determination of both the
actual amount to be expended and the actual purpose of the appropriation which must still be chosen from the multiple purposes
stated in the law, it cannot be said that the appropriation law already indicates a "specific appropriation of money and hence, without
a proper line-item which the President may veto. As a practical result, the President would then be faced with the predicament of
either vetoing the entire appropriation if he finds some of its purposes wasteful or undesirable, or approving the entire appropriation
so as not to hinder some of its legitimate purposes. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
For the President to exercise his item-veto power, it necessarily follows that there exists a proper "item" which may be the object of
the veto. An item, as defined in the field of appropriations, pertains to "the particulars, the details, the distinct and severable parts of
the appropriation or of the bill." Further, it is significant to point out that an item of appropriation must be an item characterized by
singular correspondence meaning an allocation of a specified singular amount for a specified singular purpose, otherwise known as
a "line-item." [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
Power of Taxation - Since building permit fees are not charges on property, they are not impositions from which petitioner is exempt.
[Angeles University Foundation v. City of Angeles, G.R. No. 189999, June 27, 2012]
Double taxation - petitioner should not have been subjected to taxes under Section 21 of the Manila Revenue Code for the fourth
quarter of 2001, considering that it had already been paying local business tax under Section 14 of the same ordinance. [Swedish Match
Philippines, Inc. v. The Treasurer of the City of Manila, G.R. No. 181277, July 3, 2013]
Inititatives Any proposal to enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress shall be valid only
if ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than forty-five days but not later than ninety
days after the certification by the Commission on Elections of the sufficiency of the petition.
ARTICLE VII The President is granted Ordinance Powers under Chapter 2, Book III of Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative
Code of 1987) and may issue any of the following: xxx Sec. 2. Executive Orders. Acts of the President providing for rules of a
general or permanent character in implementation or execution of constitutional or statutory powers shall be promulgated in
executive orders. Sec. 3. Administrative Orders. Acts of the President which relate to particular aspect of governmental operations
in pursuance of his duties as administrative head shall be promulgated in administrative orders. Sec. 4. Proclamations. Acts of the
President fixing a date or declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, upon the existence of which the operation of a
specific law or regulation is made to depend, shall be promulgated in proclamations which shall have the force of an executive order.
Sec. 5. Memorandum Orders. Acts of the President on matters of administrative detail or of subordinate or temporary interest which
only concern a particular officer or office of the Government shall be embodied in memorandum orders. Sec. 6. Memorandum
Circulars. Acts of the President on matters relating to internal administration, which the President desires to bring to the attention
of all or some of the departments, agencies, bureaus or offices of the Government, for information or compliance, shall be embodied
in memorandum circulars. Sec. 7. General or Special Orders. Acts and commands of the President in his capacity as Commander-inChief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines shall be issued as general or special orders.
The President may not invoke Section 17 of Article XII, which would authorize her during the emergency to temporarily take over or
direct the operation of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest without authority from Congress.
BUT the President alone can declare a state of national emergency; however, without legislation, he has no power to take over
privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest. [David v. Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006]
A verbal pronouncement to the effect that E.O. No. 304 is suspended should not have been given weight. An executive order is valid
when it is not contrary to the law or Constitution. [Civil Code, Article 7] [Republic of the Philippines v. Bayao, G.R. No. 179492, June 5,
2013]
We have held that an administrative regulation adopted pursuant to law has the force and effect of law. (Spouses Almeda v. Court of
Appeals, 326 Phil. 309) Thus, the rules, guidelines and policies regarding the Order of National Artists jointly issued by the CCP
Board of Trustees and the NCCA pursuant to their respective statutory mandates have the force and effect of law. Until set aside,
they are binding upon executive and administrative agencies, including the President himself/herself as chief executor of laws.
[Almario v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 189028, July 16, 2013]
Executive Power - Clearly, the abolition of the PAGC and the transfer of its functions to a division specially created within the
ODESLA is properly within the prerogative of the President under his continuing "delegated legislative authority to reorganize" his

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own office pursuant to E.O. 292. [Pichay v. Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Investigative and Adjudication Division,
G.R. No. 196425, July 24, 2012]
As Chief Executive, the President has the general responsibility to promote public peace, and as Commander-in-Chief, she has the
more specific duty to prevent and suppress rebellion and lawless violence While the President does not possess constituent powers
as those powers may be exercised only by Congress, a Constitutional Convention, or the people through initiative and referendum
she may submit proposals for constitutional change to Congress in a manner that does not involve the arrogation of constituent
powers. It will be observed that the President has authority, as stated in her oath of office, only to preserve and defend the
Constitution. Such presidential power does not, however, extend to allowing her to change the Constitution, but simply to
recommend proposed amendments or revision. [The Province of North Cotabato v. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace
Panel on Ancestral Domain, GR No. 183591, October 14, 2008]
Executive Privilege - The Presidents executive privilege covers all presidential communications. [AKBAYAN v. Aquino, G.R. No.
170516, July 16, 2008] However, the privilege accorded to presidential communications is not absolute, one significant qualification
being that the Executive cannot, any more than the other branches of government, invoke a general confidentiality privilege to
shield its officials and employees from investigations by the proper governmental institutions into possible criminal wrongdoing.
This qualification applies whether the privilege is being invoked in the context of a judicial trial or a congressional investigation
conducted in aid of legislation.
Executive privilege, which includes conversations and correspondence between the President and the public official covered by this
executive order (Almonte vs. Vasquez, G.R. No. 95367, May 23, 1995; Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, G.R. No. 133250, July 9. 002);
military, diplomatic and other national security matters which in the interest of national security should not be divulged (Almonte vs.
Vasquez, G.R. No. 95367, May 23, 1995; Chavez v. Presidential Commission on Good Government, G.R. No. 130716, December 9, 1998);
information between inter-government agencies prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements (Chavez v. Presidential
Commission on Good Government, G.R. No. 130716, December 9, 1998); discussion in close-door Cabinet meetings (Chavez v. Presidential
Commission on Good Government, G.R. No. 130716, December 9, 1998); and matters affecting national security and public order (Chavez
v. Public Estates Authority, G.R. No. 133250, July 9, 2002), MAY BE INVOKED against this legislative power. BUT note that executive
officials are not exempt by the mere fact that they are department heads. Only one executive official may be exempted from this
power the President on whom executive power is vested, hence, beyond the reach of Congress except through the power of
impeachment. A claim of privilege, being a claim of exemption from an obligation to disclose information, must, therefore, be clearly
asserted, and not merely implied. In light of this highly exceptional nature of the privilege, the Court finds it essential to limit to the
President the power to invoke the privilege. She may of course authorize the Executive Secretary to invoke the privilege on her
behalf, in which case the Executive Secretary must state that the authority is By order of the President, which means that he
personally consulted with her. The privilege being an extraordinary power, it must be wielded only by the highest official in the
executive hierarchy. In other words, the President may not authorize her subordinates to exercise such power. [3] That a type of
information is recognized as privileged does not, however, necessarily mean that it would be considered privileged in all instances.
For in determining the validity of a claim of privilege, the question that must be asked is not only whether the requested information
falls within one of the traditional privileges, but also whether that privilege should be honored in a given procedural setting. [Neri v.
Senate Committee on Accountability of Public
[1] Secrecy of negotiations with foreign countries is not violative of the constitutional provisions of freedom of speech or of the press nor
of the freedom of access to information. [Peoples Movement for Press Freedom (PMPF) v. Manglapus] Information on intergovernment exchanges prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements may be subject to reasonable safeguards for the
sake of national interest. [Chavez v. PCGG] Diplomatic negotiations, therefore, are recognized as privileged in this jurisdiction, the
JPEPA negotiations constituting no exception. It bears emphasis; however, that such privilege is only presumptive. [2] Informers
Privilege - the privilege of the Government not to disclose the identity of a person or persons who furnish information of violations of
law to officers charged with the enforcement of that law. [3] Privilege accorded to presidential communications, which are presumed
privileged without distinguishing between those which involve matters of national security and those which do not, the rationale for
the privilege being that a frank exchange of exploratory ideas and assessments, free from the glare of publicity and pressure by
interested parties, is essential to protect the independence of decision-making of those tasked to exercise Presidential, Legislative and
Judicial power. It bears emphasis, however, that the privilege accorded to presidential communications is not absolute, one
significant qualification being that the Executive cannot, any more than the other branches of government, invoke a general
confidentiality privilege to shield its officials and employees from investigations by the proper governmental institutions into
possible criminal wrongdoing. This qualification applies whether the privilege is being invoked in the context of a judicial trial or a
congressional investigation conducted in aid of legislation. [4] Deliberative Process Privilege - covers documents reflecting advisory
opinions, recommendations and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are
formulated. Notably, the privileged status of such documents rests, not on the need to protect national security but, on the obvious
realization that officials will not communicate candidly among themselves if each remark is a potential item of discovery and front
page news, the objective of the privilege being to enhance the quality of agency decisions. The so-called deliberative process
privilege refers to the decision-making of executive officials. [AKBAYAN v. Aquino, G.R. No. 170516, July 16, 2008]
Presidential Communications Privilege applies to decision-making of the President; rooted in the constitutional principle of separation of
power and the Presidents unique constitutional role. The elements of presidential communications privilege are - 1) The protected
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communication must relate to a quintessential and non-delegable presidential power. 2) The communication must be authored or
solicited and received by a close advisor of the President or the President himself. The judicial test is that an advisor must be in
operational proximity with the President. The presidential communications privilege remains a qualified privilege that may be
overcome by a showing of adequate need, such that the information sought likely contains important evidence and by the
unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority.
Deliberative Process Privilege applies to decision-making of executive officials; based on common law privilege.
Unlike the deliberative process privilege, the presidential communications privilege applies to documents in their entirety, and
covers final and post-decisional materials as well as pre-deliberative ones As a consequence, congressional or judicial negation of the
presidential communications privilege is always subject to greater scrutiny than denial of the deliberative process privilege. [Neri v.
Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officer, G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008]
Power of Appointment - In Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, [G.R. No. 83896, February 22, 1991, 194 SCRA 317] this Court
explained that the prohibition contained in Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution does not apply to posts occupied by the
Executive officials specified therein without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law and as required by
the primary function of said official's office.
The 1987 Constitution in prohibiting dual or multiple offices, as well as incompatible offices, refers to the holding of the office, and
not to the nature of the appointment or designation, words which were not even found in Section 13, Article VII nor in Section 7,
paragraph 2, Article IX-B. To hold an office means to possess or occupy the same, or to be in possession and administration,
which implies nothing less than the actual discharge of the functions and duties of the office. [Funa v. Ermita, G.R. No. 184740,
February 11, 2010]
The designation of Agra as Acting Secretary of Justice concurrently with his position of Acting Solicitor General was unconstitutional
and void for being in violation of the constitutional prohibition under Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution It is equally
remarkable, therefore, that Agras designation as the Acting Secretary of Justice was not in an ex officio capacity, by which he would
have been validly authorized to concurrently hold the two positions due to the holding of one office being the consequence of
holding the other. [Funa v. Agra, G.R. No. 191644, February 19, 2013]
A de facto officer is one who derives his appointment from one having colorable authority to appoint, if the office is an appointive
office, and whose appointment is valid on its face. He may also be one who is in possession of an office, and is discharging its duties
under color of authority, by which is meant authority derived from an appointment, however irregular or informal, so that the
incumbent is not a mere volunteer. Consequently, the acts of the de facto officer are just as valid for all purposes as those of a de jure
officer, in so far as the public or third persons who are interested therein are concerned. In order to be clear, therefore, the Court holds
that all official actions of Agra as a de facto Acting Secretary of Justice, assuming that was his later designation, were presumed valid,
binding and effective as if he was the officer legally appointed and qualified for the office. This clarification is necessary in order to
protect the sanctity of the dealings by the public with persons whose ostensible authority emanates from the State. Agras official
actions covered by this clarification extend to but are not limited to the promulgation of resolutions on petitions for review filed in the
Department of Justice, and the issuance of department orders, memoranda and circulars relative to the prosecution of criminal cases.
[Funa v. Agra, G.R. No. 191644, February 19, 2013]
Assuming that Gaite was a de facto officer of the Office of the President after his appointment to the Securities and Exchange
Commission, any decision he renders during this time is presumed to be valid, binding, and effective. [Espiritu v. del Rosario, G.R. No.
204964, October 15, 2014]
Section 15 [of Article VII, on prohibited or midnight appointments] does not apply to the Judiciary. Under the Constitution, it is
mandatory for the JBC to submit to the President the list of nominees to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court in order to enable the
President to appoint one of them within the 90-day period from the occurrence of the vacancy. [De Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council, G.
R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010]
Confirmation is required only for the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers
of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this
Constitution. [Sarmiento v. Mison] Commissioner of Human Rights not subject to confirmation; not included in the first sentence.
[Bautista v. Salonga] NLRC commissioners do not require confirmation. [Calderon v. Carale] Constitutional Commissioners require
confirmation. Members of the Judiciary do not require confirmation, only JBC nomination. Judicial and Bar Council [regular
members] require confirmation. Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsmen do not require confirmation, just JBC nomination. The VicePresident, when appointed to the Cabinet, requires no confirmation.
Now that the Philippine Coast Guard is under the DOTC and no longer part of the Philippine Navy or the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, the promotions and appointments of respondent officers of the PCG, or any PCG officer from the rank of captain and
higher for that matter, do not require confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. [Soriano III v. Lista, G.R. 153881, March 24,
2003]

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Given that the President derives his power to appoint OICs in the ARMM regional government from law, it falls under the
classification of presidential appointments covered by the second sentence of Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution; the
Presidents appointment power thus rests on clear constitutional basis. [Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines, G.R. No.
196271, February 28, 2012]
The petitioners also jointly assert that RA No. 10153, in granting the President the power to appoint OICs in elective positions,
violates Section 16, Article X of the Constitution, which merely grants the President the power of supervision over autonomous
regions There is no incompatibility between the Presidents power of supervision over local governments and autonomous regions,
and the power granted to the President, within the specific confines of RA No. 10153, to appoint OICs Once the President has
appointed the OICs for the offices of the Governor, Vice Governor and members of the Regional Legislative Assembly, these same
officials will remain in office until they are replaced by the duly elected officials in the May 2013 elections. Nothing in this provision
even hints that the President has the power to recall the appointments he already made. Clearly, the petitioners fears in this regard
are more apparent than real. [Datu Michael Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines, G.R. No. 196271, February 28, 2012]
The power granted to the President, via RA No. 10153, to appoint members of the Regional Legislative Assembly is comparable to the
power granted by BP 881 (the Omnibus Election Code) to the President to fill any vacancy for any cause in the Regional Legislative
Assembly (then called the Sangguniang Pampook). [Section 35. Filling of vacancy. - Pending an election to fill a vacancy arising from
any cause in the Sangguniang Pampook, the vacancy shall be filled by the President, upon recommendation of the Sangguniang
Pampook: Provided, That the appointee shall come from the same province or sector of the member being replaced.] [Datu Michael
Abas Kida v. Senate of the Philippines, G.R. No. 196271, February 28, 2012]
Generally, the power to appoint vested in the President includes the power to make temporary appointments, unless he is otherwise
specifically prohibited by the Constitution or by the law, or where an acting appointment is repugnant to the nature of the office
involved. [Cabiling v. Pabualan, G.R. Nos. L-21764 and L-21765, May 31, 1965, 14 SCRA 274]
Generally, the purpose for staggering the term of office is to minimize the appointing authoritys opportunity to appoint a majority of
the members of a collegial body. It also intended to ensure the continuity of the body and its policies. A staggered term of office,
however, is not a statutory prohibition, direct or indirect, against the issuance of acting or temporary appointment. It does not negate
the authority to issue acting or temporary appointments that the Administrative Code grants. [General v. Urro, G.R. No. 191560,
March 29, 2011]
The President is without any power to remove elected officials, since the power is exclusively vested in the proper courts as expressly
provided for in the last paragraph of Section 60 of the Local Government Code. [Salalima v. Guingona, Jr.]; Sangguniang Barangay of
Don Mariano Marcos v. Martinez, G.R. No. 170626, March 3, 2008]
The authority of the CSC is only to determine whether or not the appointees possess the legal qualifications and the appropriate
eligibility, nothing else. [Lopez v. Civil Service Commission]
The CSC may not approve as temporary an appointment designated as permanent by the appointing authority. [Luego v. Civil
Service Commission]
The CSC classified the position of Graft Investigation Officer III as belonging to the Career Executive Service; appointee to the
position required to acquire CES eligibility [CES officers, under the Administrative Code, are appointed by the President].
Ombudsman challenges the classification, saying that it impairs his appointment prerogative as guaranteed under the Constitution.
SC: classification would result in absurdity [a] it would vest in the President the power to appoint an employee of the Ombudsman,
in violation of the Constitution, or [b] it would include in the CES a position not occupied by a presidential appointee, contrary to the
Administrative Code. The CSC may not classify a position [Graft Investigation Officer III of the Office of the Ombudsman] as
belonging to the Career Executive Service and require an appointee thereto to acquire CES eligibility, because CES officers are
appointed by the President. This derogates the appointing power of the Ombudsman. A CES appointment not effected by the
President is contrary to the provisions of the Administrative Code. [Office of the Ombudsman v. Civil Service Commission, 451 SCRA
570]
An ad interim appointment that has lapsed by inaction of the Commission on Appointments does not constitute a term of office. The
period from the time the ad interim appointment is made to the time it lapses is neither a fixed term nor an unexpired term. [Fetalino
v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 191890, December 04, 2012]
In the voting held on January 28, 2014, by a vote of 8-7, the Court resolved to reverse its September 4, 2012 Decision insofar as
petitioner Gonzales is concerned (G.R. No. 196231). We declared Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 unconstitutional by granting disciplinary
jurisdiction to the President over a Deputy Ombudsman, in violation of the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman. However,
by another vote of 8-7, the Court resolved to maintain the validity of Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 insofar as Sulit is concerned. The
Court did not consider the Office of the Special Prosecutor to be constitutionally within the Office of the Ombudsman and is, hence,
not entitled to the independence the latter enjoys under the Constitution. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court resolves to
declare Section 8(2) UNCONSTITUTIONAL. This ruling renders any further ruling on the dismissal of Deputy Ombudsman Emilio
Gonzales III unnecessary, but is without prejudice to the power of the Ombudsman to conduct an administrative investigation, if
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warranted, into the possible administrative liability of Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzales III under pertinent Civil Service laws,
rules and regulations. [Gonzales v. Office of the President, G.R. No. 196231, January 28, 2014, Resolution on Motion for Reconsideration]
Power of control - if a certain power or authority is vested by law upon the Department Secretary, then such power or authority may be
exercised directly by the President, who exercises supervision and control over the departments. [Araneta v. Gatmaitan, 101 Phil. 328]
Memorandum Circular No. 58, which provides that no appeal from or petition for review of decisions/orders/resolutions of the
Secretary of Justice on preliminary investigations of criminal cases shall be entertained by the Office of the President, except those
involving offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua to death, is well within the purview of the doctrine of qualified political agency.
[Angeles v. Gaite, G.R. No. 165276, November 25, 2009]
But the doctrine of qualified political agency could not be extended to the acts of the Board of Directors of TIDCORP despite some of
its members being themselves the appointees of the President to the Cabinet Such Cabinet members sat on the Board of Directors of
TIDCORP ex officio, or by reason of their office or function, not because of their direct appointment to the Board by the President.
Evidently, it was the law, not the President, that sat them in the Board. [Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the Philippines
v. Manalang-Demigillo]
Such "executive control" is not absolute. The definition of the structure of the executive branch of government, and the corresponding
degrees of administrative control and supervision is not the exclusive preserve of the executive. It may be effectively limited by the
Constitution, by law, or by judicial decisions. All the more in the matter of appellate procedure as in the instant case. Appeals are
remedial in nature; hence, constitutionally subject to this Courts rulemaking power. The Rules of Procedure was issued by the Court
pursuant to Section 5, Article VIII of the Constitution, which expressly empowers the Supreme Court to promulgate rules concerning
the procedure in all courts. Parenthetically, Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 18 expressly recognizes an exception to the remedy of
appeal to the Office of the President from the decisions of executive departments and agencies. Under Section 1 thereof, a decision or
order issued by a department or agency need not be appealed to the Office of the President when there is a special law that provides
for a different mode of appeal. In the instant case, the enabling law of respondent BOI, E.O. No. 226, explicitly allows for immediate
judicial relief from the decision of respondent BOI involving petitioners application for an ITH. E.O. No. 226 is a law of special nature
and should prevail over A.O. No. 18. In this case, a special law, RA 7394, likewise expressly provided for immediate judicial relief
from decisions of the DTI Secretary by filing a petition for certiorari with the "proper court." Hence, private respondent should have
elevated the case directly to the CA through a petition for certiorari. [Moran v. Office of the President, G.R. No. 192957, September 29,
2014]
Faithful Execution of Laws - The Presidents discretion in the conferment of the Order of National Artists should be exercised in
accordance with the duty to faithfully execute the relevant laws. [Almario v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 189028, July 16, 2013]
The creation of the PTC finds justification under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution, imposing upon the President the duty to
ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. [Section 17, Article VII] [Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010, G.R. No.
192935, December 7, 2010]
Since the DOJ is not a quasi-judicial body and it is not one of those agencies whose decisions, orders or resolutions are appealable to
the Court of Appeals under Rule 43, the resolution of the Secretary of Justice finding probable cause to indict petitioners for estafa is,
therefore, not appealable to the Court of Appeals via a petition for review under Rule 43. [Santos v. Go, G.R. No. 156081, October 19,
2005]
Commander-in-Chief - Pursuant to the doctrine of command responsibility, the President, as the Commander-in-Chief of the AFP, can
be held liable for affront against the petitioners rights to life, liberty and security as long as substantial evidence exist to show that he
or she had exhibited involvement in or can be imputed with knowledge of the violations, or had failed to exercise necessary and
reasonable diligence in conducting the necessary investigations required under the rules. The Court also stresses that rule that the
presidential immunity from suit exists only in concurrence with the presidents incumbency. [Rodriguez v. Macapagal Arroyo, G.R. No.
191805, November 15, 2011, citing Estrada v. Desierto, G.R. Nos. 146710-15, 146738, March 2, 2001, 353 SCRA 452]
It is evident that under the 1987 Constitution the President and the Congress act in tandem in exercising the power to proclaim martial
law or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. They exercise the power, not only sequentially, but in a sense jointly since,
after the President has initiated the proclamation or the suspension, only the Congress can maintain the same based on its own
evaluation of the situation on the ground, a power that the President does not have. Consequently, although the Constitution
reserves to the Supreme Court the power to review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation or suspension in a proper
suit, it is implicit that the Court must allow Congress to exercise its own review powers, which is automatic rather than initiated.
Only when Congress defaults in its express duty to defend the Constitution through such review should the Supreme Court step in as
its final rampart. The constitutional validity of the Presidents proclamation of martial law or suspension of the writ of habeas corpus
is first a political question in the hands of Congress before it becomes a justiciable one in the hands of the Court. [Fortun v. Arroyo,
G.R. No. 190293, March 20, 2012]
In Marcos v. Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines [89 Phil, 246 (1951)], this Court ruled that a court-martial case is a criminal
case and the General Court Martial is a "court" akin to any other courts. In the case of Ramon Ruffy vs. Chief of Staff of the Philippine
Army, 43 Off. Gaz., 855, we did not hold that the word "court" in general used in our Constitution does not include a Court-Martial;
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what we held is that the words "inferior courts" used in connection with the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to "review on
appeal certiorari or writ of error, as the law or rules of court may provide, final judgments of inferior courts in all criminal cases in
which the penalty imposed is death or life imprisonment," as provided for in section 2, Article VIII, of the Constitution, do not refer to
Courts-Martial or Military Courts. The fact that a judgment of conviction, not of acquittal, rendered by a court-martial must be
approved by the reviewing authority before it can be executed (Article of War 46), does not change or affect the character of a courtmartial as a court. A judgment of the Court of First Instance imposing death penalty must also be approved by the Supreme Court
before it can be executed. [Garcia v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 198554, July 30, 2012]
The power to confirm a sentence of the President, as Commander-in-Chief, includes the power to approve or disapprove the entire or
any part of the sentence given by the court martial. [Garcia v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 198554, July 30, 2012]
Pardoning Power - criminal and administrative remedies for violation of conditional pardon are not mutually exclusive and may be
successively availed of by the President for the punishment of the conditional pardon. recommitment/criminal prosecution for
violation of conditional pardon/criminal prosecution for new offense if violation of the condition constitutes a separate criminal
offense. [Culanag v. Director of Prisons]
A conditional pardonee committed usurpation of public functions. New case dismissed for lack of witnesses. President ordered his
commitment. SC sustained saying mere commission, not conviction required for recommitment. [Espuelas v. Provincial Warden of
Bohol , affirmed in Sumulong v. Gonzales]
The Pardon included a preambular clause which read: WHEREAS, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly committed to no longer seek
any elective position or office. Former President Estrada was granted an absolute pardon that fully restored all his civil and political
rights, which naturally includes the right to seek public elective office, the focal point of this controversy The pardoning power of
the President cannot be limited by legislative action. A close scrutiny of the text of the pardon extended to former President Estrada
shows that both the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua and its accessory penalties are included in the pardon. The first sentence
refers to the executive clemency extended to former President Estrada who was convicted by the Sandiganbayan of plunder and
imposed a penalty of reclusion perpetua. The latter is the principal penalty pardoned which relieved him of imprisonment. The
sentence that followed, which states that "(h)e is hereby restored to his civil and political rights," expressly remitted the accessory
penalties that attached to the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua. Hence, even if we apply Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal
Code, it is indubitable from the text of the pardon that the accessory penalties of civil interdiction and perpetual absolute
disqualification were expressly remitted together with the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua The third preambular clause of
the pardon did not operate to make the pardon conditional Contrary to Risos-Vidals declaration, the third preambular clause of
the pardon, i.e., "[w]hereas, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly committed to no longer seek any elective position or office," neither
makes the pardon conditional, nor militate against the conclusion that former President Estradas rights to suffrage and to seek public
elective office have been restored This is especially true as the pardon itself does not explicitly impose a condition or limitation,
considering the unqualified use of the term "civil and political rights" as being restored. Jurisprudence educates that a preamble is not
an essential part of an act as it is an introductory or preparatory clause that explains the reasons for the enactment, usually introduced
by the word "whereas." Whereas clauses do not form part of a statute because, strictly speaking, they are not part of the operative
language of the statute. In this case, the whereas clause at issue is not an integral part of the decree of the pardon, and therefore, does
not by itself alone operate to make the pardon conditional or to make its effectivity contingent upon the fulfilment of the
aforementioned commitment nor to limit the scope of the pardon. [Risos-Vidal v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206666, January 21, 2015]
Amnesty commonly denotes a general pardon to rebels for their treason or other high political offenses, or the forgiveness which one
sovereign grants to the subjects of another, who have offended, by some breach, the law of nations. Amnesty looks backward, and
abolishes and puts into oblivion, the offense itself; it so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged, that the person
released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense. x x x Pardon is granted by the Chief
Executive and as such it is a private act which must be pleaded and proved by the person pardoned, because the courts take no notice
thereof; while amnesty by Proclamation of the Chief Executive with the concurrence of Congress, is a public act of which the courts
should take judicial notice. x x x [Magdalo Para sa Pagbabago, G.R. No. 190793, June 19, 2012]
Treaties - The power to ratify treaties is vested in the President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The President may not be
compelled to submit a treaty to the Senate for concurrence. [Pimentel v. Executive Secretary] Executive Agreements do not require the
concurrence of the Senate for their validity. An executive agreement may not amend a treaty. [Adolfo v. CFI of Zambales]
The Contract Agreement xxx between Northrail and CNMEG does not partake of the nature of an executive agreement. It is merely
an ordinary commercial contract that can be questioned before the local courts. [China National Machinery & Equipment Corporation v.
Sta. Maria, G.R. No. 185572, February 7, 2012]
Presidential Immunity - The President, during his tenure of office or actual incumbency, may not be sued in any civil or criminal case,
and there is no need to provide for it in the Constitution or law. [Rubrico v. Arroyo, G.R. No. 183871, February 18, 2010]
ARTICLE VIII Judicial Power - It is an opportune time for the Court to assert its role as republican schoolmaster (Lerner, Ralph, The
Supreme Court as Republican Schoolmaster, 1967 Sup. Ct. Rev. 127), a teacher in a vital national seminar. (Rostow, Eugene, The
Democratic Character of Judicial Review, 66 Harv. L. Rev. 193 (1952)) There are times when the controversy is of such character that,
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to prevent its recurrence and to assure respect for constitutional limitations, this Court must pass on the merits of a case. (Rufino v.
Endriga, 528 Phil. 473) [Almario v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 189028, July 16, 2013]
A facial objection is meritorious if, expressly and on the face of the petition, what is evident as cited grounds are erroneous applications
of the law rather than grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. [Liberal Party v. COMELEC, G.R. No.
191771, May 6, 2010]
In United States (US) constitutional law, a facial challenge, also known as a First Amendment Challenge, is one that is launched to
assail the validity of statutes concerning not only protected speech, but also all other rights in the First Amendment. [See United States
v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987)] These include religious freedom, freedom of the press, and the right of the people to peaceably
assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. After all, the fundamental right to religious freedom, freedom
of the press and peaceful assembly are but component rights of the right to one's freedom of expression, as they are modes which [sic]
one's thoughts are externalized. In this jurisdiction, the application of doctrines originating from the U.S. has been generally
maintained, albeit with some modifications. While this Court has withheld the application of facial challenges to strictly penal statues
(Romualdez v. Commission on Elections, 576 Phil. 357 (2008); Romualdez v. Hon. Sandiganbayan, 479 Phil. 265 (2004); Estrada v.
Sandiganbayan, 421 PhiI. 290 (2001)), it has expanded its scope to cover statutes not only regulating free speech, but also those
involving religious freedom, and other fundamental rights. 109 (Resolution, Romualdez v. Commission on Elections, 594 Phil. 305, 316
(2008)) The underlying reason for this modification is simple. For unlike its counterpart in the U.S., this Court, under its expanded
jurisdiction, is mandated by the Fundamental Law not only to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable, but also to determine whether or not 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. Verily, the framers of Our Constitution
envisioned a proactive Judiciary, ever vigilant with its duty to maintain the supremacy of the Constitution. Consequently,
considering that the foregoing petitions have seriously alleged that the constitutional human rights to life, speech and religion and
other fundamental rights mentioned above have been violated by the assailed legislation, the Court has authority to take cognizance
of these kindred petitions and to determine if the RH Law can indeed pass constitutional scrutiny. To dismiss these petitions on the
simple expedient that there exist no actual case or controversy, would diminish this Court as a reactive branch of government, acting
only when the Fundamental Law has been transgressed, to the detriment of the Filipino people. [Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204819,
April 8, 2014]
The issuance of subsequent resolutions by the Court is simply an exercise of judicial power under Art. VIII of the Constitution,
because the execution of the Decision is but an integral part of the adjudicative function of the Court With the final and executory
judgment in MMDA, the writ of continuing mandamus issued in MMDA means that until petitioner-agencies have shown full
compliance with the Courts orders, the Court exercises continuing jurisdiction over them until full execution of the judgment.
[MMDA v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay, G.R. Nos. 171947-48, February 15, 2011]
The Supreme Court as guardian of the legal profession has ultimate powers over attorneys. Its authority to discipline lawyers stems
from its constitutional prerogative to regulate the practice of law and the admission of the persons to engage therein (Section 5(5),
Article X, The 1973 Philippine Constitution; In Re Cunanan, 94 Phil. 534, 1954). Apart from the constitutional mandate, the
disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court over attorneys is an inherent power incidental to its proper administration of justice and
essential to an orderly discharge of its judicial functions (Tejan v. Cusi, 57 SCRA 154; In Re Almacen, 31 SCRA 562; Hilado v. David, 84
Phil. 573; In the Matter of the IBP Membership Dues Delinquency of Edillon, G.R. No. AC-1928 [IBP Adm. Case No. DD-1] August 3, 1978).
Furthermore, attorneys are the court's constituency - to aid in the administration of justice (Doge S. State, 39 NE 745). A lawyer
occupies what may be termed a quasi-judicial office since he is in fact an officer of the court, and like the court itself, an instrument or
agency to advance the ends of justice (Kerlin v. Culkin, 60 ALR 851) [People v. Sesbreno]
Requisites for Judicial Inquiry Actual Case or Controversy - The moot and academic principle is not a magical formula that can
automatically dissuade the courts in resolving a case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if: first, there is a
grave violation of the Constitution; second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved;
third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and
fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review. [David v. Arroyo]
The expiration of the term generally renders an election protest moot and academic [Sales v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 174668] BUT said
case may still be resolved for purposes of formulating controlling principles to guide the bench, bar and the public [Atienza v.
Villarosa], or in the case of determining a question involving the one-year residency requirement for those running for public office,
which is one capable of repetition, under the doctrine of repetition yet evading review. [Gayo v. Verceles]; or notwithstanding the
election and proclamation of a new set of municipal officers, to prevent a repetition of the acts complained of [Albaa v. Commission on
Elections]; or despite the approval by the Civil Service Commission of the questioned appointments, to avoid a repetition [Altres v.
Emple, G.R. No. 180986, December 10, 2008]; or the demise of one of the accused, to prevent a miscarriage of justice against a coaccused [Constantino v. People, G.R. No. 140656, September 13, 2007]; or even the separation of the petitioner from government
service, because other penalties may be imposed upon her [Pagano v. Nazarro, G.R. No. 149072, September 21, 2007].
By the mere enactment of the questioned law or the approval of the challenged action, the dispute is said to have ripened into a
judicial controversy even without any other overt act. [Pimentel v. Aguirre]
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
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Locus Standi - A perusal of private respondents petition for declaratory relief would show that they have failed to demonstrate how
they are left to sustain or are in immediate danger to sustain some direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the assailed
provisions of RA 9372. Not far removed from the factual milieu in the Southern Hemisphere cases, private respondents only assert
general interests as citizens, and taxpayers and infractions which the government could prospectively commit if the enforcement of
the said law would remain untrammeled. As their petition would disclose, private respondents fear of prosecution was solely based
on remarks of certain government officials which were addressed to the general public. They, however, failed to show how these
remarks tended towards any prosecutorial or governmental action geared towards the implementation of RA 9372 against them. In
other words, there was no particular, real or imminent threat to any of them. [Republic of the Philippines v. Roque, G.R. No. 204603,
September 24, 2013]
Earliest Opportunity if not raised in pleadings, cannot be considered at trial and, if not considered at trial, cannot be considered on
appeal. In criminal cases, constitutional question can be raised any time in the discretion of the court. In civil cases, question can be
raised at any stage if it is necessary to the determination of the case itself. In every case, except where there is estoppel or laches
[Tijam v. Sibonghanoy], constitutional question may be raised at any stage if it involves the jurisdiction of the court.
Necessity of Deciding Constitutional Questions justification - separation of powers [trias politica principle]
When a law or a provision of law is null because it is inconsistent with the Constitution, the nullity cannot be cured by
reincorporation or reenactment of the same or a similar law or provision. A law or provision of law that was already declared
unconstitutional remains as such unless circumstances have so changed as to warrant a reverse conclusion The clause, "or for three
(3) months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less" in Section 7 of Republic Act No. 10022 amending Section 10 of
Republic Act No. 8042 is declared unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void. [SameerOverseas Placement Agency, Inc. v. Cabiles, G.R.
No. 170139, August 5, 2014]
Theory of Relative Constitutionality - While R.A. No. 7653 started as a valid measure well within the legislatures power, 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 constitutionality of a statute cannot, in every instance, be determined by a mere comparison of its provisions with
applicable provisions of the Constitution, since the statute may be constitutionally valid as applied to one set of facts and invalid in its
application to another A statute valid at one time may become void at another time because of altered circumstances. Thus, if a
statute in its practical operation becomes arbitrary or confiscatory, its validity, even though affirmed by a former adjudication, is
open to inquiry and investigation in the light of changed conditions. [Central Bank Employees Association v. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and
the Executive Secretary]
Operative Fact Doctrine - The general rule is that an unconstitutional law is void. The doctrine of operative fact, as an exception to the
general rule, only applies as a matter of equity and fair play. [Planters Products Inc. v. Fertiphil Corporation, G.R. No. 166006, March 14,
2008]
The operative fact doctrine also applies to executive orders and executive acts subsequently declared as invalid. [Hacienda Luisita,
Incorporated v. Presidential Agrarian Reform Council, G.R. No. 171101, November 22, 2011]
Clearly, for the operative fact doctrine to apply, there must be a "legislative or executive measure," meaning a law or executive
issuance, that is invalidated by the court. From the passage of such law or promulgation of such executive issuance until its
invalidation by the court, the effects of the law or executive issuance, when relied upon by the public in good faith, may have to be
recognized as valid. In the present case, however, there is no such law or executive issuance that has been invalidated by the Court
except BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03. [Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. San Roque Power Corporation, G.R. No. 187485, October 8, 2013]
Fiscal autonomy - means freedom from outside control. Congress could not have carved out an exemption for the GSIS from the
payment of legal fees without transgressing another equally important institutional safeguard of the Courts independence - fiscal
autonomy. [Re: Petition for Recognition of the Exemption of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for Payment of Legal Fees] Fiscal
autonomy recognizes the power and authority of the Court to levy, assess and collect fees [Bengzon v. Drilon] including legal fees
Any exemption from the payment of legal fees granted by Congress to government-owned or controlled corporations and local
government units will necessarily reduce the JDF and the SAJF. Undoubtedly, such situation is constitutionally infirm for it impairs
the Courts guaranteed fiscal autonomy and erodes its independence. [In the Matter of Clarification of Exemption from Payment of All
Court and Sheriffs Fees, A.m. No. 12-2-03-0, March 13, 2012]
Regional Trial Courts (RTC) have the authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of statutes, executive orders,
presidential decrees and other issuances. [Planters Products Inc. v. Fertiphil Corporation, G.R. No. 166006, March 14, 2008] Family
Courts have authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a statute. [Garcia v. Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013]
BUT note British American Tobacco v. Camacho, G.R. No. 163583, August 20, 2008 the Court of Tax Appeals cannot pass upon the
constitutionality of a statute.
Rule-Making Authority - Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by
the SC.

2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
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The National Power Corporation [A.M. NO. 05-10-20-SC, March 10, 2010], the GSIS [A.M. No. 08-2-01-0, February 11, 2010] and the
Land Bank of the Philippines [Land Bank of the Philippines v. Rivera, G.R. No. 182431, November 17, 2001] are not exempt from paying
filing fees.
Christina's directly accusing the respondents of forcibly separating her from her child and placing the latter up for adoption,
supposedly without complying with the necessary legal requisites to qualify the child for adoption, clearly indicates that she is not
searching for a lost child but asserting her parental authority over the child and contesting custody over him. Since it is extant from
the pleadings filed that what is involved is the issue of child custody and the exercise of parental rights over a child, who, for all
intents and purposes, has been legally considered a ward of the State, the Amparo rule cannot be properly applied. To reiterate, the
privilege of the writ of amparo is a remedy available to victims of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances or threats of a
similar nature, regardless of whether the perpetrator of the unlawful act or omission is a public official or employee or a private
individual. It is envisioned basically to protect and guarantee the right to life, liberty and security of persons, free from fears and
threats that vitiate the quality of life. [Yusay v. Segui, G.R. No. 193652, August 5, 2014]
Administrative Supervision - administrative jurisdiction over a court employee belongs to the Supreme Court, regardless of whether the
offense was committed before or after employment in the judiciary. [Ampong v CSC, G.R. No. 167916, August 26, 2008]
This provision empowers the Court to oversee all matters relating to the effective supervision and management of all courts and
personnel under it. Recognizing this mandate, Memorandum Circular No. 26 of the Office of the President, dated July 31, 1986,
considers the Supreme Court exempt and with authority to promulgate its own rules and regulations on foreign travels. [Leave
Division v. Heusdens, A.M. No. P-11-2927, December 13, 2011]
The Court rules that the subject provision which requires retiring government employees to secure a prior clearance of
pendency/non-pendency of administrative case/s from, among others, the CSC should not be made to apply to employees of the
Judiciary. To deem it otherwise would disregard the Courts constitutionally-enshrined power of administrative supervision over its
personnel A prior clearance of pendency/non-pendency of administrative case/s from the Office of the President (albeit some
court personnel are presidential appointees, e.g., Supreme Court Justices) or the Office of the Ombudsman should not equally apply
to retiring court personnel. Verily, the administrative supervision of court personnel and all affairs related thereto fall within the
exclusive province of the Judiciary. It must, however, be noted that since the Constitution only accords the Judiciary administrative
supervision over its personnel, a different treatment of the clearance requirement obtains with respect to criminal cases. As such, a
clearance requirement which pertains to criminal cases may be imposed by the appropriate government agency, i.e., the Office of the
Ombudsman, on retiring court personnel as it is a matter beyond the ambit of the Judiciarys power of administrative supervision.
[Re: Request for Guidance/Clarification on Section 7, Rule III of Republic Act No. 10154 Requiring Retiring Government Employees to Secure a
Clearance of Pendency/Non-pendency of Case/s from the Civil Service Commission, A.M. No. 13-09-08-SC, October 1, 2013]
The Ombudsman is duty bound to have all cases against judges and court personnel filed before it referred to the Supreme Court for
determination as to whether an administrative aspect is involved therein. [Caoibes, Jr. v. Ombudsman]
JBC - The regular members of the Judicial and Bar Council have staggered terms. Congress may designate only one (1) representative
to the JBC. [Chavez v. Judicial and Bar Council, G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012] A vacancy in the Supreme Court must be filled within
ninety days from the occurrence thereof. A vacancy in the lower courts must be filled within ninety days from the submission of the
list of nominees. [Vacancies in the Offices of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsmen shall be filled within three months after they
occur.]
As a meaningful guidepost, jurisprudence provides the definition and scope of supervision. It is the power of oversight, or the
authority to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. It ensures that the laws and the rules governing the conduct of a
government entity are observed and complied with. Supervising officials see to it that rules are followed, but they themselves do not
lay down such rules, nor do they have the discretion to modify or replace them. If the rules are not observed, they may order the
work done or redone, but only to conform to such rules. They may not prescribe their own manner of execution of the act. They have
no discretion on this matter except to see to it that the rules are followed. Based on this, the supervisory authority of the Court over
the JBC covers the overseeing of compliance with its rules As disclosed by the guidelines and lists of recognized evidence of
qualification laid down in JBC-009, "integrity" is closely related to, or if not, approximately equated to an applicants good reputation
for honesty, incorruptibility, irreproachable conduct, and fidelity to sound moral and ethical standards. That is why proof of an
applicants reputation may be shown in certifications or testimonials from reputable government officials and non-governmental
organizations and clearances from the courts, National Bureau of Investigation, and the police, among others. In fact, the JBC may
even conduct a discreet background check and receive feedback from the public on the integrity, reputation and character of the
applicant, the merits of which shall be verifiedand checked. As a qualification, the term is taken to refer to a virtue, such that,
"integrity is the quality of persons character." xxx A simple reading of the above provision undoubtedly elicits the rule that a higher
voting requirement is absolute in cases where the integrity of an applicant is questioned. Simply put, when an integrity question
arises, the voting requirement for his or her inclusion as a nominee to a judicial post becomes "unanimous" instead of the "majority
vote" required in the preceding section. Considering that JBC-009 employs the term "integrity" as an essential qualification for
appointment, and its doubtful existence in a person merits a higher hurdle to surpass, that is, the unanimous vote of all the members
of the JBC, the Court is of the safe conclusion that "integrity" as used in the rules must be interpreted uniformly. Hence, Section 2,
Rule 10 of JBC-009 envisions only a situation where an applicants moral fitness is challenged. It follows then that the "unanimity
rule" only comes into operation when the moral character of a person is put in issue. It finds no application where the question is
essentially unrelated to an applicants moral uprightness These two issues (illicit relationship and insider trading) can be properly
categorized as "questions on integrity" under Section 2, Rule 10 of JBC-009. They fall within the ambit of "questions on integrity."
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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Hence, the "unanimity rule" may come into operation as the subject provision is worded After careful calibration of the case, the
Court has reached the determination that the application of the "unanimity rule" on integrity resulted in Jardelezas deprivation of his
right to due process. [Jardeleza v. Sereno, G.R. No. 213181, August 19, 2014]
Decisions - A minute resolution is not a binding precedent. The constitutional requirement under the first paragraph of Section 14,
Article VIII of the Constitution that the facts and the law on which the judgment is based must be expressed clearly and distinctly
applies only to decisions, not to minute resolutions. A minute resolution is signed only by the clerk of court by authority of the
justices, unlike a decision. It does not require the certification of the Chief Justice. Moreover, unlike decisions, minute resolutions are
not published in the Philippine Reports. Finally, the proviso of Section 4(3) of Article VIII speaks of a decision. Indeed, as a rule, this
Court lays down doctrines or principles of law which constitute binding precedent in a decision duly signed by the members of the
Court and certified by the Chief Justice. [Deutsche Bank AG Manila Branch v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 188550, August
19, 2013]
Section 14 does not apply to decisions in administrative proceedings, like those rendered by the Office of the President. BUT note the
cardinal rights of parties in administrative proceedings in the landmark case of Ang Tibay v. CIR. [Solid Homes, Inc. v. Laserna, G.R. No.
166051, April 8, 2008]
ARTICLE IX-A - rules of procedure should not encroach upon the constitutional prerogatives of other bodies, like the rule-making
authority [or the competence to admit to the practice of law] of the Supreme Court. [Philippine Lawyers Association v. Agrava]
Section 5 (a) of Rule 3 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure and Section 7 of Article IX-A of the Constitution require that a majority vote
of all the members of the Comelec, and not only those who participated and took part in the deliberations, is necessary for the
pronouncement of a decision, resolution, order or ruling. [Marcoleta v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 181377, April 24, 2009]
Final decisions, orders or rulings of Constitutional Commissions may be appealed to the Supreme Court by way of a petition for
certiorari under Rule 64, with respect to the COMELEC and the COA, and Rule 43 with respect to the CSC.
The COMELECs contempt power can be exercised only in connection with its power of adjudication, and may not be invoked in
connection with its exercise of purely administrative functions. [Guevara v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 181377, April 24, 2009]
The Supreme Court has no power to review via certiorari an interlocutory order or even a final resolution of a Division of the
COMELEC, only final orders, rulings or decisions of the COMELEC en banc, unless the Resolution sought to be set aside is a
nullity. [Blanco v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 180164, June 17, 2008]
Only orders or rulings issued in connection with the COMELECs quasi-judicial power can be the subject of certiorari proceedings
under section 7. Resolutions awarding contracts should be the subject of ordinary civil actions before trial courts. [Filipinas
Engineering and Machine Shop v. Ferrer]
Staggering of Terms/Reappointments in the Constitutional Commissions [1] The appointment of members of any of the three
constitutional commissions, after the expiration of the uneven terms of office of the first set of commissioners, shall always be for a
fixed term of seven (7) years; an appointment for a lesser period is void and unconstitutional. The appointing authority cannot
validly shorten the full term of seven (7) years in case of the expiration of the term as this will result in the distortion of the rotational
system prescribed by the Constitution. [2] Appointments to vacancies resulting from certain causes (death, resignation, disability or
impeachment) shall only be for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor, but such appointments cannot be less than the
unexpired portion as this will likewise disrupt the staggering of terms laid down under Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D). [3] Members of the
Commission, e.g. COA, COMELEC or CSC, who were appointed for a full term of seven years and who served the entire period, are
barred from reappointment to any position in the Commission. Corollarily, the first appointees in the Commission under the
Constitution are also covered by the prohibition against reappointment. [4] A commissioner who resigns after serving in the
Commission for less than seven years is eligible for an appointment to the position of Chairman for the unexpired portion of the term
of the departing chairman. Such appointment is not covered by the ban on reappointment, provided that the aggregate period of the
length of service as commissioner and the unexpired period of the term of the predecessor will not exceed seven (7) years and
provided further that the vacancy in the position of Chairman resulted from death, resignation, disability or removal by
impeachment. The Court clarifies that reappointment found in Sec. 1(2), Art. IX (D) means a movement to one and the same office
(Commissioner to Commissioner or Chairman to Chairman). On the other hand, an appointment involving a movement to a
different position or office (Commissioner to Chairman) would constitute a new appointment and, hence, not, in the strict legal sense,
a reappointment barred under the Constitution. [5] Any member of the Commission cannot be appointed or designated in a
temporary or acting capacity. [Funa v. The Chairman, Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012]
ARTICLE IX-B Rule-Making Authority - But while the grant of the CSCs rule-making power is untouchable by Congress, the laws
that the CSC interprets and enforces fall within the prerogative of Congress. As an administrative agency, the CSCs quasi-legislative
power is subject to the same limitations applicable to other administrative bodies. The rules that the CSC formulates must not
override, but must be in harmony with, the law it seeks to apply and implement. [Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the
Philippines v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 182249, March 5, 2013]

2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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Government Instrumentalities - The MIAA is a government instrumentality that does not qualify as a government-owned or
controlled corporation. The term government instrumentality is broader than the term government-owned or controlled
corporation. The fact that two terms have separate definitions means that while a government instrumentality may include a
government-owned or controlled corporation, there may be a government instrumentality that will not qualify as a
government-owned or controlled corporation. [Manila International Airport Authority v. City of Pasay, G.R. No. 163072, April 2, 2009]
UP ranks with MIAA, a government instrumentality exercising corporate powers but not organized as a stock or non-stock
corporation. While said corporations are government instrumentalities, they are loosely called government corporate entities but not
government-owned and controlled corporations in the strict sense. [Lockheed Detective and Watchman Agency, Inc. v. University of the
Philippine, G.R. No. 185918, April 18, 2012]
Jurisdiction - Based on all of the foregoing, the inescapable conclusion is that the CSC may take cognizance of an administrative case
filed directly with it against an official or employee of a chartered state college or university. This is regardless of whether the
complainant is a private citizen or a member of the civil service and such original jurisdiction is shared with the Board of Regents of
the school. [Civil Service Commission v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 176162, October 9, 2012]
Which quasi-judicial agency has jurisdiction to hear and decide complaints for illegal dismissal against an adjunct government
agency engaged in proprietary function? The Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissary and Exchange Services (AFPCES) is a
unit/facility of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) organized pursuant to Letter of Instruction (LOI) No. 31, which was issued
on November 20, 1972 by then President Ferdinand Marcos. Since it cannot be denied that petitioners are government employees, the
proper body that has jurisdiction to hear the case is the CSC. [Hidalgo v. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 179793, July 5, 2010]
The charge against the respondent in an administrative case need not be drafted with the precision of an information in a criminal
prosecution. It is sufficient that he is apprised of the substance of the charge against him; what is controlling is the allegation of the
acts complained of, not the designation of the offense. It must be stressed that what the law requires is to simply inform the civil
servant of the nature and cause of accusation against him in a clear and concise manner for the purpose of giving him the right to
confront the allegations against him. [Dadubo v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 106498, June 28, 1993, 223 SCRA 747]
The failure to designate the offense specifically and with precision is of no moment in this administrative case. The essence of due
process in administrative proceedings is that a party be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence he
may have in support of his defense. [Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation v. Marquez, G.R. No. 191877, June 18, 2013]
Formal charges issued by petitioner Government Service Insurance System President without prior conduct of a preliminary
investigation are null and void. [Salva v. Valle, G. R. No. 193773, April 2, 2013]
RA 4670 Magna Carta for Public School Teachers schools have exclusive jurisdiction over public school teachers. But SC has
declared that the CSC and the Ombudsman have concurrent disciplinary jurisdiction over public school teachers.
Where concurrent jurisdiction exists in several tribunals, the body that first takes cognizance of the complaint shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of the others. In this case, it was CSC which first acquired jurisdiction over the case because the complaint
was filed before it. Thus, it had the authority to proceed and decide the case to the exclusion of the DepEd and the Board of
Professional Teachers. [Pat-og v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 198755, June 5, 2013]
Period of preventive suspension pending investigation cannot be deducted from the penalty, because preventive suspension is not a
penalty. [Quimbo v. Gervacio] Preventive suspension pending appeal is actually punitive; so, if exonerated, respondent is entitled to
be reinstated with full pay for the period of suspension [pending appeal]. However, if penalty or conviction is affirmed, the period of
preventive suspension pending appeal becomes part of the penalty of suspension or dismissal. [Gloria v. CA]
The present legal basis for an award of back salaries is Section 47, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (4) An appeal shall
not stop the decision from being executory, and in case the penalty is suspension or removal, the respondent shall be considered as
having been under preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins an appeal. This provision,
however, on its face, does not support a claim for back salaries since it does not expressly provide for back salaries during this period;
our established rulings hold that back salaries may not be awarded for the period of preventive suspension [Hon. Gloria v. CA, 365
Phil. 744 (1999)] as the law itself authorizes its imposition so that its legality is beyond question. To resolve the seeming conflict, the
Court crafted two conditions before an employee may be entitled to back salaries: a) the employee must be found innocent of the
charges and b) his suspension must be unjustified. [Bangalisan v. CA, 342 Phil. 586 (1997)] The reasoning behind these conditions
runs this way: although an employee is considered under preventive suspension during the pendency of a successful appeal, the law
itself only authorizes preventive suspension for a fixed period; hence, his suspension beyond this fixed period is unjustified and must
be compensated. [Civil Service Commission v. Cruz, G.R. No. 187858, August 9, 2011]
Preventive Suspension Periods CSC 90 days/Public officers with pending criminal cases 90 days/Local elective officials (Local
Government Code) 60 days/Anti-Graft Law suspension pendente lite 90 days/Ombudsman six months.
An illegally terminated civil service employee is entitled to back salaries limited only to a maximum period of five years, and not full
back salaries from his illegal termination up to his reinstatement. [Yenko v. Gungon, G.R. Nos. 165450 & 165452, August 13, 2009, 595
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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SCRA 562] The illegally dismissed government employee shall be paid back salaries at the rate he was receiving when he was
terminated unqualified by salary increases and without deduction from earnings received elsewhere during the period of his illegal
dismissal. [Balquidra v. CFI of Capiz, Branch II. No. L-40490, October 28, 1977, 80 SCRA 123] Being an incumbent at the time, Galang
would have continued to receive RATA, Meal Allowance and Rice Subsidy, separate from his salary, had he not been illegally
dismissed from service. [Galang v. Land Bank of the Philippines, G.R. No. 175276, May 31, 2011]
As a matter of law, a department secretarys decision confirming the removal of an officer under his authority is immediately
executory, even pending further remedy by the dismissed public officer. [Bangalisan v. CA, 342 Phil. 586 (1997); and Aquino v. Navarro,
No. L-50695, March 18, 1985, 135 SCRA 361]
It appears that Section 43 of the Civil Service Rules is self-contradicting. While the second paragraph provides that a penalty of
removal "shall be executory only after confirmation by the Secretary concerned," the third paragraph states: "Pending appeal, the
penalty imposed shall be executory, including the penalty of removal from the service without need for the confirmation by the
department secretary to which the agency is attached." The CSC should look into the implication and/or consequence of its
amendment of the rules and should clarify how the newly enacted paragraph can operate, without conflict, with the reenacted
provisions of the old Section 43. In any case, even if we were to assume that the new rules now declare that a penalty of removal shall
be executory pending appeal, without need for confirmation by the secretary of the Department to which the agency is attached, this
rule cannot and should not be applied to petitioners case. Resolution No. 07-0244 became effective 15 days after 21 March 2007, the
day it was published, or a few months before the CSC denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration. This Court cannot declare that
the amendment of the Civil Service Rules while the case of petitioner was pending proves the lack of impartiality on the CSCs part as
petitioner claims. However, it can and does now declare that the CSC had no right to retroactively apply the amended provision to
petitioners case. Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. When petitioner was dismissed, the old
Section 43 of the Civil Service Rules was still in effect. The aforecited provision clearly states that the penalty of removal is not
executory, pending appeal, unless the penalty is confirmed by Secretary of the Department where the dismissed employee works.
Petitioner now claims that because the penalty of dismissal imposed by Commissioner Seeres was never confirmed by the Secretary
of Labor, it could not have been executed while his appeal to the CSC was ongoing; thus, he should have been allowed to continue to
work and receive his salary. We agree. [Barcelona v. Lim, G.R. No. 189171, June 3, 2014]
The government party that can appeal the decision in administrative cases must be the party prosecuting the case and not the
disciplining authority or tribunal which heard the administrative case. [CSC v. Dacoycoy, cited in Office Ombudsman v. Liggayu, G.R.
No. 174297, June 20, 2012]
Appointments/Security of Tenure - The mere fact that a particular position belongs to the career service does not automatically confer
security of tenure on its occupant. Such right will have to depend on the nature of his appointment, which in turn depends on his
eligibility or lack of it. [Amores v. CSC, G.R. No. 170093, April 29, 2009]
Acceptance of a temporary appointment divests the temporary appointee of constitutional security of tenure against removal without
cause even if he is a civil service eligible. [Romualdez v. CSC] A persons acceptance of a temporary appointment results in the
termination of official relations with his former permanent position, to which he may not demand reinstatement if his temporary
appointment is not renewed. [Tolentino v. de Jesus]
Where a temporary employee acquires civil service eligibility during his tenure as such, his temporary appointment does not thereby
automatically become permanent. [Maturan v. Maglana]
Even if appointment is temporary, appointee may not be removed at will if appointment is for a fixed period. [Ambas v. Buenaseda]
A government employee holding a casual or temporary employment cannot be terminated within the period of his employment except
for cause. Thus, they may be laid-off anytime before the expiration of the employment period provided any of the following occurs:
(1) when their services are no longer needed; (2) funds are no longer available; (3) the project has already been completed/finished; or
(4) their performance are below par. Equally important, they are entitled to due process especially if they are to be removed for more
serious causes or for causes other than the reasons mentioned in CSC Form No. 001. This is pursuant to Section 2, Article IX(B) of the
Constitution and Section 46 of the Civil Service Law. The reason for this is that their termination from the service could carry a
penalty affecting their rights and future employment in the government. [PCSO v. Lapid, G.R. No. 191940, April 12, 2011]
RA 6850 temporary employees who have been in their positions for 7 years may be granted civil service eligibility that will qualify
them for permanent appointment to their positions.
A probationary employee may only be terminated for a just cause, that is, unsatisfactory conduct or want of capacity. [Daza v. Lugo,
G.R No. 168999, April 30, 2008]
Primarily confidential one which denotes not only confidence in the aptitude of the appointee for the duties of the office but primarily
close intimacy which ensures freedom of intercourse without embarrassment or freedom from misgivings or betrayals of personal
trust or confidential matters of state [De los Santos v. Mallare]; or one declared to be so upon recommendation of the CSC [Salazar v.
Mathay] BUT see PAGCOR v. Angara [involving token attendants at the PAGCOR, whose positions are, by law, classified, as primarily
confidential], citing PAGCOR v. Rilloraza, CSC v. Salas and Pinero v. Hechanova an executive or legislative declaration that a position
is primarily confidential, highly technical or policy-determining is not conclusive upon the courts, the true test being the nature of the
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
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position. These employees still have security of tenure, and are exempt only from the requirement of competitive examinations.
Examples private secretaries [Corpus v. Cuaderno] bodyguards [Borres v. CA] city legal officer [Cadiente v. Santos] and provincial
attorney [Grino v. CSC]
A driver is not a confidential employee. [Re: Vehicular Accident - A.M. No. 2008-13-SC, November 19, 2008]
Policy-determining, highly technical and primarily confidential employees, are exempted from the competitive examination
requirement for eligibility; they enjoy security of tenure. [Corpus v. Cuaderno]
To be sure, both career and non-career service employees have a right to security of tenure. All permanent officers and employees in
the civil service, regardless of whether they belong to the career or non-career service category, are entitled to this guaranty; they
cannot be removed from office except for cause provided by law and after procedural due process. (Jocom v. Judge Regalado, 278 Phil.
83, 94 (1991), citing Tapales v. President and Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines, 117 Phil. 561 (1963)) The concept of
security of tenure, however, labors under a variation for primarily confidential employees due to the basic concept of a "primarily
confidential" position. Serving at the confidence of the appointing authority, the primarily confidential employees term of office
expires when the appointing authority loses trust in the employee. When this happens, the confidential employee is not "removed" or
"dismissed" from office; his term merely "expires" (Ingles v. Mutuc, 135 Phil. 177, 182 (1968)) and the loss of trust and confidence is
the "just cause" provided by law that results in the termination of employment. In the present case where the trust and confidence has
been irretrievably eroded, we cannot fault Governor Pimentels exercise of discretion when he decided that he could no longer
entrust his confidence in Gonzales. Security of tenure in public office simply means that a public officer or employee shall not be
suspended or dismissed except for cause, as provided by law and after due process. It cannot be expanded to grant a right to public
office despite a change in the nature of the office held. In other words, the CSC might have been legally correct when it ruled that the
petitioner violated Gonzales right to security of tenure when she was removed without sufficient just cause from her position, but
the situation had since then been changed. In fact, Gonzales was reinstated as ordered, but her services were subsequently terminated
under the law prevailing at the time of the termination of her service; i.e., she was then already occupying a position that was
primarily confidential and had to be dismissed because she no longer enjoyed the trust and confidence of the appointing authority.
Thus, Gonzales termination for lack of confidence was lawful. She could no longer be reinstated as provincial administrator of
Camarines Norte or to any other comparable position. This conclusion, however, is without prejudice to Gonzales entitlement to
retirement benefits, leave credits, and future employment in government service. [The Provincial Government of Camarines Norte v.
Gonzales, G.R. No. 185740, July 23, 2013]
A valid order of abolition must not only come from a legitimate body, it must also be made in good faith. An abolition is made in
good faith when it is not made for political or personal reasons, or when it does not circumvent the constitutional security of tenure of
civil service employees. Abolition of an office may be brought about by reasons of economy, or to remove redundancy of functions, or
a clear and explicit constitutional mandate for such termination of employment. Where one office is abolished and replaced with
another office vested with similar functions, the abolition is a legal nullity. When there is a void abolition, the incumbent is deemed to
have never ceased holding office. [CAAP Employees Union v. CAAP, G.R. No. 190120, November 11, 2014]
Nepotism appointment or designation of relatives within the 3rd degree of consanguinity of affinity prohibited except [1] persons
appointed in a confidential capacity [2] teachers [3] members of the AFP [4] physicians applies even to designations.
Nepotism is defined as an appointment issued in favor of a relative within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of any of
the following: (1) appointing authority; (2) recommending authority; (3) chief of the bureau or office; and (4) person exercising
immediate supervision over the appointee. Here, it is undisputed that respondent Cortes is a relative of Commissioner Mallari in the
first degree of consanguinity, as in fact Cortes is the daughter of Commissioner Mallari In the present case, respondent Cortes'
appointment as IO V in the CHR by the Commission En Banc, where his father is a member, is covered by the prohibition.
Commissioner Mallari's abstention from voting did not cure the nepotistic character of the appointment because the evil sought to be
avoided by the prohibition still exists. His mere presence during the deliberation for the appointment of IO V created an impression
of influence and cast doubt on the impartiality and neutrality of the Commission En Banc. [Civil Service Commission v. Cortes, G.R. No.
200103, April 23, 2014]
In the local government career service, the prohibition against nepotism extends to the relatives of the appointing or recommending
authority, within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. The nepotism rule covers all kinds of appointments whether
original, promotional, transfer and reemployment regardless of status including casuals and contractuals except consultants. [Galeos
v. People, G.R. Nos. 174730-37, February 9, 2011]
Personnel Movements - The principal distinctions between a detail [movement from one agency to another - Executive Order 292, Book
V, Title 1, Subtitle A, Chapter 5, Section 26 (6)] and reassignment [reassignment from one organizational unit to another in the same
agency -E.O. 292, Book V, Title 1, Subtitle A, Chapter 5, Section 26 (7)] lie in the place where the employee is to be moved and in its
effectivity pending appeal with the CSC. Based on the definition, a detail requires a movement from one agency to another while a
reassignment requires a movement within the same agency. Moreover, pending appeal with the CSC, an order to detail is
immediately executory, whereas a reassignment order does not become immediately effective. [Republic of the Philippines v. Pacheco,
G.R. No. 178021, January 25, 2012]
Dual Appointments/Incompatible Offices - 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
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
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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. Upon the other hand, 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. [Quinto v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, [MR] February 22, 2010]
Elective officials can be appointed to civilian posts during their term, but they shall be considered as having forfeited their elective
seats upon acceptance of said civilian posts.
Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or
employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including Government-owned or controlled
corporations or their subsidiaries. Not applicable to President, Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or
assistants, who can hold other offices only if allowed under the Constitution. [Article VII, Section 13] [Civil Liberties Union v.
Executive Secretary]
The appointment of Dr. Posadas as TMC Project Director falls within the prohibition against holding of multiple positions since there
is no distinction in Section 7, Article IX-B as to the employment status, i.e., whether permanent, temporary or coterminous. Petitioners
failed to cite any law to justify Dr. Posadas holding of concurrent positions as Chancellor and TMC Project Director. [Posadas v.
Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 168951 & 169000, July 17, 2013]
The Regional Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has the power to appoint officers in the region's civil
service. However, if there is no regional law providing for the qualifications for the position at the time of appointment, the appointee
must satisfy the civil service eligibilities required for the position in the national government to be appointed in a permanent capacity.
[Buena v. Benito, G.R. No. 181760, October 14, 2014]
Pensions or gratuities shall not be considered as additional, double, or indirect compensation. Thus, entitlement to separation pay
does not disqualify the separated employee who is likewise qualified to receive loyalty award pursuant to the CSC Memorandum
Circular. Verily, when an employee has complied with the statutory requirements for the grant of loyalty award under the CSC
Memorandum Circular, his right to receive what is due him by virtue thereof becomes vested and may not thereafter be revoked or
impaired. Otherwise, it would be ridiculous, if not deleterious, to deprive employees who were forced to relinquish their livelihood,
of an award they have duly earned throughout their service in the government, simply because they accepted the separation pay due
them from the separation or displacement. After all, being terminated from service as a consequence of the restructuring of the
electric power industry or privatization of NPC assets was not their choice, but staying in the government despite that, is. Thus, not
unless the loyalty award was considered in the computation of the separation pay, the same should not be withdrawn from the
employees enumerated in the ND. [National Transmission Corporation v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 204800, October 14, 2014]
In this case, Ocampo is not claiming two (2) sets of retirement benefits for one and the same creditable period. Rather, Ocampo is
claiming a set of retirement benefits for each of her two (2) retirements from the ERB. In other words, each set of retirement benefits
claimed by Ocampo is based on distinct creditable periods i.e., one for her term as member of the ERB and another for her term as
chairman of the same agency. What Ocampo is merely claiming, therefore, is that she is entitled to two (2) sets of retirement benefits
for her two (2) retirements from the ERB under Republic Act No. 1568, as amended. Hence, in order to resolve her claim, what is only
required is an interpretation of Republic Act No. 1568, as amended. [Ocampo v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 188716, June 10, 2013]
ARTICLE IX-C Commissioners re: complaint for disbarment against COMELEC Commissioners - an impeachable officer who is a
member of the Bar cannot be disbarred without first being impeached [Jarque v. Ombudsman, In Re: Raul M. Gonzales and Cuenco v.
Fernan] It bears emphasis that the provision that majority of Comelec members should be lawyers pertains to the desired
composition of the Comelec. While the appointing authority may follow such constitutional mandate, the appointment of a full
complement of lawyers in the Comelec membership is not precluded. [Marcoleta v. Borra, A.C. No. 7732, March 30, 2009]
Powers - Power to enforce and administer election laws includes the power to annul an illegal registry of voters; cancel a proclamation
made by a board of canvassers; oust a candidate already proclaimed; reject nuisance candidates; postpone or continue elections
[Ocampo v. COMELEC]; declare a failure of elections [Omnibus Election Code/Sanchez v. COMELEC]
Considering that there is an existing line item appropriation for the conduct of recall elections in the 2014 GAA, we see no reason why
the COMELEC is unable to perform its constitutional mandate to "enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the
conduct of x x x recall." Should the funds appropriated in the 2014 GAA be deemed insufficient, then the COMELEC Chairman may
exercise his authority to augment such line item appropriation from the COMELEC's existing savings, as this augmentation is
expressly authorized in the 2014 GAA. [Goh v. Bayron and COMELEC, G.R. No. 212584, November 25, 2014]
The petitions question the constitutionality of the limitations placed on aggregate airtime allowed to candidates and political parties, as
well as the requirements incident thereto, such as the need to report the same, and the sanctions imposed for violations There is no
question that the COMELEC is the office constitutionally and statutorily authorized to enforce election laws but it cannot exercise its
powers without limitations - or reasonable basis. It could not simply adopt measures or regulations just because it feels that it is the
right thing to do, in so far as it might be concerned. It does have discretion, but such discretion is something that must be exercised
within the bounds and intent of the law. The COMELEC is not free to simply change the rules especially if it has consistently
interpreted a legal provision in a particular manner in the past. If ever it has to change the rules, the same must be properly explained
with sufficient basis The law, on its face, does not justify a conclusion that the maximum allowable airtime should be based on the
totality of possible broadcast in all television or radio stations. Senator Cayetano has called our attention to the legislative intent
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
reproduction, use, or dissemination is strictly prohibited and shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including administrative complaints with the Office of the
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relative to the airtime allowed - that it should be on a "per station" basis. This is further buttressed by the fact that the Fair Election Act
(R.A. No. 9006) actually repealed the previous provision, Section ll(b) of Republic Act No. 6646, which prohibited direct political
advertisements -the so-called "political ad ban." If under the previous law, no candidate was allowed to directly buy or procure on his
own his broadcast or print campaign advertisements, and that he must get it through the COMELEC Time or COMELEC Space, R.A.
No. 9006 relieved him or her from that restriction and allowed him or her to broadcast time or print space subject to the limitations set
out in the law. Congress, in enacting R.A. No. 9006, felt that the previous law was not an effective and efficient way of giving voice to
the people. Noting the debilitating effects of the previous law on the right of suffrage and Philippine democracy, Congress decided to
repeal such rule by enacting the Fair Election Act The assailed rule on "aggregate-based" airtime limits is unreasonable and
arbitrary as it unduly restricts and constrains the ability of candidates and political parties to reach out and communicate with the
people. Here, the adverted reason for imposing the "aggregate-based" airtime limits - leveling the playing field - does not constitute a
compelling state interest which would justify such a substantial restriction on the freedom of candidates and political parties to
communicate their ideas, philosophies, platforms and programs of government. And, this is specially so in the absence of a clear-cut
basis for the imposition of such a prohibitive measure. In this particular instance, what the COMELEC has done is analogous to
letting a bird fly after one has clipped its wings. [GMA Network, Inc. v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 205357, September 2, 2014]
A COMELEC resolution required newspapers to provide it with free space of not less than page for the common use of political
parties and candidates. SC: Unconstitutional constituted taking of private property without payment of just compensation.
[Philippine Press Institute v. COMELEC, 244 SCRA272]
BP 881, Section 92 required radio and TV stations to give free air time to the COMELEC to be used as the COMELEC hour for
broadcasting information regarding candidates. Challenged as unconstitutional for constituting taking without just compensation,
the SC said the law was a valid regulation by the State of the use of the States air waves. Valid exercise of the police power.
[Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines v. COMELEC, 289 SCRA 337]
A failure of election may be declared only in the three instances stated in Section 6 of the OEC: the election has not been held; the
election has been suspended before the hour fixed by law; and the preparation and the transmission of the election returns have given
rise to the consequent failure to elect, meaning nobody emerged as the winner. Furthermore, the reason for such failure of election
should be force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes. Finally, before the COMELEC can grant a verified
petition seeking to declare a failure of election, the concurrence of 2 conditions must be established, namely: (1) no voting has taken
place in the precincts concerned on the date fixed by law or, even if there was voting, the election nevertheless resulted in a failure to
elect; and (2) the votes cast would affect the result of the election. [Presbiterio v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 178884, June 30, 2008]
The annulment of election can only be done when the COMELEC finds that an election was vitiated by widespread and pervasive
terrorism and election frauds, which resulted in the submission at gunpoint of falsified and tampered election returns, and it is
impossible to purge the illegal from the valid returns, so that there are no returns worthy of faith and credit and from which would be
gauged a fair and true expression of the popular will. [Sanchez v. COMELEC; Sangcopan v. COMELEC, G. R. No. 170216 , March 12,
2008]
The prohibition on conducting special elections after thirty days from the cessation of the cause of the failure of elections is not
absolute. It is directory, not mandatory, and the COMELEC possesses residual power to conduct special elections even beyond the
deadline prescribed by law. [Cagas v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 209185, October 25, 2013]
The COMELEC en banc can order a correction of the Statement of Votes to make it conform to the election returns. [Duremdes v.
Commission on Elections, cited in Flauta v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 184586, July 22, 2009]
Under Section 5, Rule 27 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, correction of manifest errors in the tabulation or tallying of results
during the canvassing may be filed directly with the Commission, even after a proclamation of the winning candidates. Despite the
proclamation of the winning candidates, the COMELEC still has jurisdiction to correct manifest errors in the election returns for the
Sangguniang Bayan candidates. A manifest error is one that is visible to the eye or obvious to the understanding; that which is
open, palpable, incontrovertible, needing no evidence to make it more clear. [Abainza v. Arellano, G.R. No. 181644, December 8, 2008]
The [restrictive and exclusive] grounds that must support a pre-proclamation controversy are limited by the Omnibus Election Code
to the following: (a) Illegal composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers; (b) The canvassed election returns are
incomplete, contain material defects, appear to be tampered with or falsified, or contain discrepancies in the same returns or in other
authentic copies thereof as mentioned in Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 of this Code; (c) The election returns were prepared under
duress, threats, coercion, or intimidation, or they are obviously manufactured or not authentic; and (d) When substitute or
fraudulent returns in controverted polling places were canvassed, the results of which materially affected the standing of the
aggrieved candidate or candidates. [Section 243] [Villamor v. Commission on Elections]
A pre-proclamation controversy is not proper after a proclamation has been made, only if there had been a valid proclamation.
[Duremdes v. Commission on Elections]
Election Protests - The abduction of a voter, the killing of a political leader, the threats which prevented the holding of the campaign
sorties, and the intimidation of voters, or of terrorism [also massive vote-buying and bribery] are proper grounds for an election
protest, not a pre-proclamation controversy [Abayon v. COMELEC and Raul Daza, G.R. No. 181295, April 2, 2009]

2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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The COMELEC has quasi-judicial, quasi-legislative and administrative powers. Its CONTEMPT power may be xercised in connection
with its quasi-judicial power, i.e., an investigation into alleged massive electoral fraud. [Bedol v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179830,
December 3, 2009]
Appeals The Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional a law providing that decisions of the municipal or metropolitan trial
courts in barangay elections may be appealed to regional trial courts. [Flores v. COMELEC]
Trial courts of limited jurisdiction have exclusive original jurisdiction over election protests involving barangay officials, which
include the SK chairman. [Fernandez v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176296, June 30, 2008]
Since it is the COMELEC which has jurisdiction to take cognizance of an appeal from the decision of the regional trial court in election
contests involving elective municipal officials, then it is also the COMELEC which has jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari in aid of
its appellate jurisdiction. [Galang v. Geronimo, G.R. No. 192793, February 22, 2011; see also Bulilis v. Nuez, G. R. No. 195953, August 9,
2011]
There is no question, therefore, that the Court has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the petition for certiorari assailing the denial by
the COMELEC First Division of the special affirmative defenses of the petitioner. The proper remedy is for the petitioner to wait for
the COMELEC First Division to first decide the protest on its merits, and if the result should aggrieve him, to appeal the denial of his
special affirmative defenses to the COMELEC en banc along with the other errors committed by the Division upon the merits
Otherwise stated, the Court has no power to review on certiorari an interlocutory order or even a final resolution issued by a Division
of the COMELEC. [Ambil v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 143398, October 25, 2000, 344 SCRA 358, 365-366; Cagas v. Commission on
Elections, G.R. No. 194139, January 24, 2012]
Under the exception, therefore, the [Supreme] Court may take cognizance of a petition for certiorari under Rule 64 to review an
interlocutory order issued by a Division of the COMELEC on the ground of the issuance being made without jurisdiction or in excess
of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it does not appear to be specifically
provided under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure that the matter is one that the COMELEC en banc may sit and consider, or a
Division is not authorized to act, or the members of the Division unanimously vote to refer to the COMELEC en banc. Of necessity,
the aggrieved party can directly resort to the Court because the COMELEC en banc is not the proper forum in which the matter
concerning the assailed interlocutory order can be reviewed. [Kho v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 124033, September 25, 1997, 279
SCRA 463, 471-473; Cagas v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 194139, January 24, 2012]
Divisions/En Banc - The COMELEC sitting en banc does not have the authority to hear and decide election cases, including preproclamation controversies in the first instance, as the COMELEC in division has such authority. The COMELEC en banc can exercise
jurisdiction only on motions for reconsideration of the resolution or decision of the COMELEC in division. Pursuant to Rule 18 of the
Omnibus Election Code, decisions and resolutions of any division of the COMELEC in special cases become final and executory after
the lapse of five days, unless a timely motion for reconsideration is lodged with the COMELEC en banc. [Pacificador v. COMELEC,
G.R. No. 178259, March 13, 2009]
No fault, let alone grave abuse of discretion, can be ascribed to the COMELEC when the Special First Division issued the questioned
writ of preliminary injunction. Contrary to petitioners claim, it cannot be said that the First Division and the Special First Division
are two distinct bodies and that there has been consequent transfers of the case between the two. Strictly speaking, the COMELEC did
not create a separate Division but merely and temporarily filled in the vacancies in both of its Divisions. The additional term "special,"
in this case, merely indicates that the commissioners sitting therein may only be doing so in a temporary capacity or via substitution.
The COMELEC First Division exercises jurisdiction over the cases that were assigned to it before the substitution was made,
including SPR (AEL) No. 04-2014. This jurisdiction was not lost by the subsequent formation of the Special First Division since this
only entailed a change in the Divisions composition of magistrates. Indeed, the case was not reassigned or re-raffled anew. If
anything, it was only petitioners naivety that misled him into interpreting the designation of the division as a "special" one, meaning
it is distinct from the first. Corollarily, petitioner is also mistaken in claiming that the jurisdiction was eventually "re-acquired" by the
First Division from the Special First Division by ruling on the motion to quash since the First Division never lost jurisdiction to begin
with. [Villarosa v. Festin and COMELEC, G.R. No. 212953, August 5, 2014]
Only final orders of the COMELEC in Division may be raised before the COMELEC en banc. Clearly, the assailed status quo ante
Order, being interlocutory, should first be resolved by the COMELEC First Division via a motion for reconsideration. [Cayetano v.
COMELEC, G.R. No. 193846, April 12, 2011]
The Special Second Division of the COMELEC clearly acted with grave abuse of discretion when it immediately transferred to the
Commission en banc a case that ought to be heard and decided by a division. Such action cannot be done without running afoul of
Section 3, Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution. Instead of peremptorily transferring the case to the Commission en banc, the Special
Second Division of COMELEC, should have instead assigned another Commissioner as additional member of its Special Second
Division, not only to fill in the seat temporarily vacated by Commissioner Ferrer, but more importantly so that the required quorum
may be attained. [Eriguel v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190526, February 26, 2010]
Thus, it is the Court, under its power to review decisions, orders, or resolutions of the COMELEC provided under Section 7, Article
IX-A of the 1987 Constitution and Section 1, Rule 37 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure that has jurisdiction to hear the instant
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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petition. In this case, the COMELEC En Banc cannot be compelled to resolve Layugs Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution
dated June 15, 2010 that was filed on July 28, 2010 after said Resolution had already attained finality. In fact, the COMELEC Second
Division denied the same Motion in its Order dated August 4, 2010 precisely for the reason that it was filed out of time. [Layug v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 192984, February 28, 2012]
Even without a petition under either Section 12 or Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code, or under Section 40 of the Local
Government Code, the COMELEC is under a legal duty to cancel the certificate of candidacy of anyone suffering from the accessory
penalty of perpetual special disqualification to run for public office by virtue of a final judgment of conviction. The final judgment of
conviction is notice to the COMELEC of the disqualification of the convict from running for public office. The law itself bars the
convict from running for public office, and the disqualification is part of the final judgment of conviction. The final judgment of the
court is addressed not only to the Executive branch, but also to other government agencies tasked to implement the final judgment
under the lawThe above-cited constitutional provision requiring a motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC En Banc may
take action is confined only to cases where the COMELEC exercises its quasi-judicial power. It finds no application, however, in
matters concerning the COMELECs exercise of administrative functions In Aratea v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 195229, October 12, 2012,
683 SCRA 105), the Court similarly pronounced that the disqualification of a convict to run for public office, as affirmed by final
judgment of a competent court, is part of the enforcement and administration of all laws relating to the conduct of elections. Applying
these principles to the case at bar, it is clear that the COMELEC En Banc did not exercise its quasi-judicial functions when it issued
Resolution No. 9613 as it did not assume jurisdiction over any pending petition or resolve any election case before it or any of its
divisions. Rather, it merely performed its duty to enforce and administer election laws in cancelling petitioners CoC on the basis of
his perpetual absolute disqualification, the fact of which had already been established by his final conviction. In this regard, the
COMELEC En Banc was exercising its administrative functions, dispensing with the need for a motion for reconsideration of a
division ruling under Section 3, Article IX-C of the Constitution, the same being required only in quasi-judicial proceedings. [Romeo
Jalosjos v. The Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 205033, June 18, 2013]
Certificates of Candidacy - The certificate of candidacy of a green card holder who states therein that he is a resident may be denied due
course or cancelled on the ground of material misrepresentation. [Ugdoracion v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179851, April 18, 2008]
The use of a name other than that stated in the certificate of birth is not a material misrepresentation, as material misrepresentation
under the earlier-quoted Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code refers to qualifications for elective office. A petition for
disqualification based on material misrepresentation in the certificate of candidacy is different from an election protest. The purpose
of an election protest is to ascertain whether the candidate proclaimed elected by the board of canvassers is really the lawful choice of
the electorate. [Justimbaste v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179413, November 28, 2008]
Section 68 petition for disqualification based on commission of prohibited acts [e.g., vote-buying, terrorism, overspending, unlawful
electioneering] and the possession of a permanent resident status in a foreign country; may be filed anytime after the deadline for
filing of CoCs but before proclamation; may be validly substituted; person disqualified is prohibited from continuing as a candidate.
Section 78 petition to deny due course to or cancel a Certificate of Candidacy [CoC] based on false material misrepresentations [on
material matters - statements regarding age, residence, citizenship or non-possession of natural-born Filipino status , eligibility, as when
one, although precluded from running for a fourth term because of the three-term limit rule; claims to be eligible despite his
disqualification on the basis of an accessory penalty in connection with his conviction in a criminal case]; the false representation must
consist of a deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible. In other
words, it must be made with an intention to deceive the electorate as to ones qualification for public office; may be filed not later
than 25 days from the filing of the questioned CoC; may not be validly substituted; person disqualified is not treated as a candidate
at all has been likened to a petition for quo warranto, but is filed before, and not after, proclamation.
In Aratea v. COMELEC, the Supreme Court acknowledged that there may be instances when the grounds for both Sections 68 and 78
may overlap, as when a candidate who represents that he is a resident of the place where he seeks election but is actually a
permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country, in which case, he would clearly also not be a resident of the place where he
seeks election for at least one year immediately preceding the day of the election. In such cases, the Court clarified that one who
would like to assail the candidacy of that person may avail himself of either remedy.
When a candidate files his certificate of candidacy, the COMELEC has a ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge its receipt. [See
Section 76 of the Omnibus Election Code; Cerafica v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 205136, December 2, 2014]
The cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of an ineligible candidate who has assumed office renders the officer a de facto officer.
[Svetlana Jalosjos v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 193314, June 25, 2013]
Substitution - A candidate may be substituted if he dies, is disqualified or withdraws. Substitutions in cases of death or
disqualification may usually be made until midday of election day. An earlier deadline is usually prescribed for substitutions by
reason of withdrawal. Under Section 12 of R.A. No. 9006, in order to obviate confusion, the name of the substitute candidate should,
as much as possible, bear the same surname as that of the substituted candidate. [Federico v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 199612,
January 22, 2013]

2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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Thus, in Federico v. Commission on Elections, the Court invalidated the substitution of a candidate for mayor who withdrew her
candidacy for purposes of substituting her husband as candidate for governor because of the latters death. It said that, while her
substitution of her husband because of his death may have been valid because said substitution may be done until midday of election
day, her substitution as a candidate for mayor was invalid because the deadline for the same had long prescribed. The Court stressed
that her substitution as a mayoralty candidate was not by reason of her death or disqualification. A candidate whose certificate of
candidacy is cancelled or denied due course may likewise not be substituted. [Talaga v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 196804,
October 9, 2012; Tagolino v. HRET and Lucy Torres, G.R. No. 202202, March 19, 2013; see Miranda v. Abaya, G.R. No. 136351, July 28,
1999, 311 SCRA 617] A cancelled certificate of candidacy void ab initio cannot give rise to a valid candidacy, and much less to valid
votes. [Aratea v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 195229, October 9, 2012]
Since Hans Roger withdrew his certificate of candidacy and the COMELEC found that Luna complied with all the procedural
requirements for a valid substitution, Luna can validly substitute for Hans Roger. The COMELEC acted with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in declaring that Hans Roger, being under age, could not be considered to have
filed a valid certificate of candidacy and, thus, could not be validly substituted by Luna. The COMELEC may not, by itself, without
the proper proceedings, deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy filed in due form. In Sanchez vs. Del Rosario, the
Court ruled that the question of eligibility or ineligibility of a candidate for non-age is beyond the usual and proper cognizance of the
COMELEC. Section 74 of the Election Code provides that the certificate of candidacy shall state, among others, the date of birth of the
person filing the certificate. Section 78 of the Election Code provides that in case a person filing a certificate of candidacy has
committed false material representation, a verified petition to deny due course to or cancel the certificate of candidacy of said person
may be filed at any time not later than 25 days from the time of filing of the certificate of candidacy. If Hans Roger made a material
misrepresentation as to his date of birth or age in his certificate of candidacy, his eligibility may only be impugned through a verified
petition to deny due course to or cancel such certificate of candidacy under Section 78 of the Election Code. In this case, there was no
petition to deny due course to or cancel the certificate of candidacyof Hans Roger. The COMELEC only declared that Hans Roger did
not file a valid certificate of candidacy and, thus, was not a valid candidate in the petition to deny due course to or cancel Lunas
certificate of candidacy. In effect, the COMELEC, without the proper proceedings, cancelled Hans Rogers certificate of candidacy
and declared [Cerafica v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 205136, December 2, 2014]
Nuisance candidates stray votes - We hold that the rule in Resolution No. 4116 considering the votes cast for a nuisance candidate
declared as such in a final judgment, particularly where such nuisance candidate has the same surname as that of the legitimate
candidate, not stray but counted in favor of the latter, remains a good law. [De la Cruz v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
192221, November 13, 2012]
Disqualification - Vote-buying has its criminal and electoral aspects. Its criminal aspect to determine the guilt or innocence of the
accused cannot be the subject of summary hearing. However, its electoral aspect to ascertain whether the offender should be
disqualified from office can be determined in an administrative proceeding that is summary in character. (Blanco v. COMELEC, G.R.
No. 180164, June 17, 200) The petitioner who was earlier found administratively, and not criminally, liable for vote-buying, and
disqualified under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code, is disqualified only from continuing as a candidate. [Blanco v.
COMELEC, G.R. No. 122258]
Second Placers - a subsequent disqualification of a winning candidate will not entitle his opponent, the candidate who received the
second highest number of votes to be declared the winner. [Ocampo v. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal]
NOTE - in subsequent decisions of the Supreme Court, it made clear that its earlier rulings holding that the second-placer cannot be
proclaimed winner if the first-placer is disqualified or declared ineligible should be limited to situations where the certificate of
candidacy of the first-placer was valid at the time of filing but subsequently had to be cancelled because of a violation of law that took
place, or a legal impediment that took effect, after the filing of the certificate of candidacy. If the certificate of candidacy is void ab
initio, then legally the person who filed such void certificate of candidacy was never a candidate in the elections at any time. All votes
for such non-candidate should therefore be considered as stray votes and should not be counted. Thus, such non-candidate can never
be a first-placer in the elections. If a certificate of candidacy void ab initio is cancelled on the day, or before the day, of the election,
prevailing jurisprudence holds that all votes for that candidate are stray votes. [Cayat v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 163776, April 24, 2007,
522 SCRA 23] If a certificate of candidacy void ab initio is cancelled one day or more after the elections, all votes for such candidate
should also be stray votes because the certificate of candidacy is void from the very beginning. This, according to the Supreme Court,
is the more equitable and logical approach on the effect of the cancellation of a certificate of candidacy that is void ab initio.
Otherwise, a certificate of candidacy void ab initio can operate to defeat one or more valid certificates of candidacy for the same
position. [Jalosjos v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 193237, October 9, 2012]
The rule on succession in Section 44 of the Local Government Code cannot apply in instances when a de facto officer is ousted from
office and the de jure officer takes over. The ouster of a de facto officer cannot create a permanent vacancy as contemplated in the Local
Government Code. There is no vacancy to speak of as the de jure officer, the rightful winner in the elections, has the legal right to
assume the position. [Svetlana Jalosjos v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 193314, June 25, 2013]
Political Parties - the COMELEC may resolve an intra-party leadership dispute, in a proper case brought before it, as an incident of its
power to register political parties. [Atienza v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 188920, February 16, 2010]

2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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Political coalitions need to register in accordance with the established norms and procedures, if they are to be recognized as such and
be given the benefits accorded by law to registered coalitions. [Liberal Party v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191771, May 6, 2010]
Prosecution of Election Offenses - It is clear that the grant of the exclusive power to investigate and prosecute election offenses to the
COMELEC was not by virtue of the Constitution but by BP 881, a legislative enactment. [BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177508,
August 7, 2009]
It is clear that the Chief State Prosecutor, all Provincial and City Fiscals, and/or their respective assistants have been given continuing
authority, as deputies of the Commission, to conduct a preliminary investigation of complaints involving election offenses under the
election laws and to prosecute the same. Such authority may be revoked or withdrawn anytime by the COMELEC, either expressly
or impliedly, when in its judgment such revocation or withdrawal is necessary to protect the integrity of the process to promote the
common good, or where it believes that successful prosecution of the case can be done by the COMELEC. [Dino v. Olivarez, G.R. No.
170447, December 4, 2009]
Not all criminal offenses committed during the election period are election offenses.
Under the present law, the Comelec and other prosecuting arms of the government, such as the DOJ, now exercise concurrent
jurisdiction in the investigation and prosecution of election offenses. [Arroyo v. Department of Justice, G.R. No. 199082, July 23, 2013]
Election/Campaign Periods - The election period may be changed by resolution of the Commission on Elections. The election period
may, under the Constitution, commence earlier than ninety days before the day of election. Special case Article VII, Section 10
special election, to be called within 7 days after vacancy, and must be held not earlier than 45 days nor later than 60 days from such
call.
Any person who files his certificate of candidacy within [the filing] period shall only be considered a candidate at the start of the
campaign period for which he filed his certificate of candidacy. [Penera v. COMELEC, G. R. No. 181613, November 25, 2009]
ARTICLE IX-D - Petitioner, a sociedad anonimas, is DECLARED a private domestic corporation subject to the jurisdiction of the
Securities and Exchange Commission. [Philippine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No.
169752, September 25, 2007]
The Boy Scouts of the Philippines is a public corporation and its funds are subject to the COAs audit jurisdiction. [Boy Scouts of the
Philippines v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 177131, June 7, 2011]
Local water districts, such as the LMWD, are GOCCs with special charter. P.D. No. 198 constitutes the special charter by virtue of
which local water districts exist. [Feliciano v. Aranez , G.R. No. 165641, August 25, 2010]
LGUs, though granted local fiscal autonomy, are still within the audit jurisdiction of the COA. [Veloso v. Commission on Audit, G.R.
No. 193677, September 6, 2011]
The MECO is a nongovernmental entity. However, under existing laws, the accounts of the MECO pertaining to the verification fees
it collects on behalf of the DOLE as well as the fees it was authorized to collect under Section 2(6) of EO No. 15, s. 2001, are subject to
the audit jurisdiction of the COA. Such fees pertain to the government and should be audited by the COA. [Funa v. Manila Economic
and Cultural Office, G. R. No. 193462, February 04, 2014]
Section 2[2] the critical function of the COA authorizes it to VETO disbursements.
Riel v. Wright Insular Auditor denied a claim for payment of his salary for services as a temporary clerk of the Senate on the ground
that his services were unnecessary. SC: invalid/this is a matter within the peculiar province of the Legislature and for which its
members are responsible to their constituents. Insular Auditor cannot question the necessity of an appropriation. BUT in Matute v.
Hernandez Insular Auditor refused to authorize payment under a contract, which was novated without a second public bidding. SC:
valid because the Insular Auditor can reject an account that is demonstrably unlawful.
The Court had therefore previously upheld the authority of the COA to disapprove payments which it finds excessive and
disadvantageous to the Government; to determine the meaning of public bidding and when there is failure in the bidding; to
disallow expenditures which it finds unnecessary according to its rules even if disallowance will mean discontinuance of foreign
aid; to disallow a contract even after it has been executed and goods have been delivered. Likewise, we sustained the findings of the
COA disallowing the disbursements of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation for failure to submit certain documentary
requirements and for being irregular and excessive. We have also ruled that the final determination of the Department of Finance
and the BIR as to a persons entitlement to an informers reward is conclusive only upon the executive agencies concerned and not on
the COA, the latter being an independent constitutional commission. The COA is traditionally given free rein in the exercise of its
constitutional duty to examine and audit expenditures of public funds especially those which are palpably beyond what is allowed
by law. [Barbo v Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 157542, October 10, 2008] - in Rodolfo S. de Jesus and Catbalogan Water District v. COA,
the Court upheld the authority and jurisdiction of the COA to rule on the legality of the disbursement of government funds by a
water district and declared that such power does not conflict with the jurisdiction of the courts, the DBM, and the LWUA. [Sanchez v.
Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 127545, April 23, 2008]
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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Monetary claims must be acted upon by the COA within 60 days. Failure to do so within said period would not result in the
automatic approval of the claim pursuant to section1 of CA 327. SC: NO, claimant can file petition for mandamus to compel COA to
render a decision. [Pacete v. Acting Chairman of the COA]
While the determination of leave benefits is within the functions of the Civil Service Commission as the central personnel agency of
the government, the duty to examine accounts and expenditures relating to such benefits properly pertains to the Commission on
Audit. Even as the Supreme Court recognizes the Civil Service Commissions jurisdiction in this case, it is not exclusive as it is shared
with the Commission on Audit. [Civil Service Commission v. Pobre, 438 SCRA 334]
Be that as it may, assuming for the sake of argument that execution by garnishment could proceed in this case against the funds of
petitioner, it must bear stress that the latter is a government-owned or controlled corporation with a charter of its own. Its juridical
personality is separate and distinct from the government and it can sue and be sued in its name. As such, while indeed it cannot
evade the effects of the execution of an adverse judgment and may not ordinarily place its funds beyond an order of garnishment
issued in ordinary cases, it is imperative in order for execution to ensue that a claim for the payment of the judgment award be first
filed with the Commission on Audit (COA). [NHMFC v. Abayari, G.R. No. 166508, October 2, 2009]
An absolution from a criminal charge is not a bar to an administrative prosecution or vice versa. The criminal case filed before the
Office of the Ombudsman is distinct and separate from the proceedings on the disallowance before the COAWith respect to the
liability of petitioner, we likewise affirm the COAs ruling that he is personally and solidarily liable for the disallowed amount. The
doctrine of separate personality of a corporation finds no application because CDA is not a private entity but a government agency
created by virtue of Republic Act No. 6939 in compliance with the provisions of Section 15, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution.
Moreover, respondents satisfactorily established that petitioner acted in bad faith when he prevailed upon the DAP-TEC to modify
the initial result of the technical evaluation of the computers by imposing an irrelevant grading system that was intended to favor one
of the bidders, after the bids had been opened. [Versoza v. Carague, G.R. No. 157838, March 8, 2011]
This Court agreed that employees who have erroneously received rice allowances (Agra v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 167807,
December 6, 2011, 661 SCRA 563; De Jesus v. Commission on Audit, 451 Phil. 812, 824 (2003)), productivity incentive bonuses (De Jesus v.
Commission on Audit; Blaquera v. Hon. Alcala, 356 Phil. 678), representation and transportation allowances (RATA) (De Jesus v.
Commission on Audit), anniversary bonuses (Id.), year-end bonuses (Id.), and cash gifts (Id.) no longer need to refund the same. xxx
Analogously, when Mrs. Gruba received the survivorship pension benefits, she accepted them in good faith, knowing that this Court
positively pronounced that she was entitled to them in the Resolution dated January 17, 2012. When we revoked this Resolution, such
revocation should only apply prospectively in the interest of equity and fairness. [Re: Application for Survivorship Benefits, A.M. No.
14155-Ret., November 19, 2013]
ARTICLE X Local Autonomy - Thus, insofar as individual legislators are authorized to intervene in purely local matters and thereby
subvert genuine local autonomy, the 2013 PDAF Article as well as all other similar forms of Congressional Pork Barrel is deemed
unconstitutional. [Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566, November 19, 2013]
Recall - Section 70 of the Local Government Code Percentage requirements at least 25% in the case of LGUs with a voting
population of not more than 20,000/At least 20% in the case of LGUs with a voting population of at least 20,000 but not more than
75,000, provided petitioners shall not be less than 5,000/At least 15% in the case of LGUs with a voting population of at least 75,000
but not more than 300,000, provided petitioners shall not be less than 15,000/At least 10% in case the voting population exceeds
300,000, provided petitioners shall not be less than 45,000
The LGU did not have the authority to grant franchises to operate a CATV system because it was the National Telecommunications
Commission (NTC) that had the power under EO Nos. 205 and 436 to regulate CATV operations. [Batangas CATV, Inc. v. Court of
Appeals]
Based on law and jurisprudence, the office of the mayor has quasi-judicial powers to order the closing and demolition of
establishments. This power granted by the LGC, as earlier explained, We believe, is not the same power devolved in favor of the LGU
under Sec. 17 (b )(2)(ii), as above-quoted, which is subject to review by the DENR. The fact that the building to be demolished is
located within a forestland under the administration of the DENR is of no moment, for what is involved herein, strictly speaking, is
not an issue on environmental protection, conservation of natural resources, and the maintenance of ecological balance, but the
legality or illegality of the structure. [Aquino v. Municipality of Malay, Aklan, G.R. No. 211356, September 29, 2014]
Section 4 of Article X of the Constitution confines the Presidents power over LGUs to one of general supervision. Supervisory
power, when contrasted with control, is the power of mere oversight over an inferior body; it does not include any restraining
authority over such body. It does not allow the supervisor to annul the acts of the subordinate. Here, what the DOE seeks to do is to
set aside an ordinance enacted by local officials, a power that not even its principal, the President, has. Thus, the President and his or
her alter egos, the department heads, cannot interfere with the activities of local governments, so long as they act within the scope of
their authority. Accordingly, the DOE cannot substitute its own discretion for the discretion exercised by the sanggunian of the City
of Manila. In local affairs, the wisdom of local officials must prevail as long as they are acting within the parameters of the
Constitution and the law. [Social Justice Society v. Atienza, G.R. No. 156052, February 13, 2008]

2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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Governors do not have emergency military powers. Respondents cannot rely on paragraph 1, subparagraph (vii) of Article 465 [of the
Local Government Code], as the said provision expressly refers to calamities and disasters, whether man-made or natural. [Kulayan
v. Tan, G.R. No. 187298, July 3, 2012]
Three-Term Limit [1] When a permanent vacancy occurs in an elective position and the official merely assumed the position pursuant
to the rules on succession under the LGC, then his service for the unexpired portion of the term of the replaced official cannot be
treated as one full term as contemplated under the subject constitutional and statutory provision that service cannot be counted in the
application of any term limit (Borja, Jr. v. Commission on Elections and Jose T. Capco, Jr., G.R. No. 133495, September 3, 1998, 295 SCRA
157). If the official runs again for the same position he held prior to his assumption of the higher office, then his succession to said
position is by operation of law and is considered an involuntary severance or interruption (Montebon v. Commission on Elections, G.R.
No. 180444, April 8, 2008, 551 SCRA 50). [2.] An elective official, who has served for three consecutive terms and who did not seek the
elective position for what could be his fourth term, but later won in a recall election, had an interruption in the continuity of the
officials service. For, he had become in the interim, i.e., from the end of the 3rd term up to the recall election, a private citizen
(Adormeo v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 147927, February 4, 2002, 376 SCRA 90 and Socrates v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
154512, November 12, 2002, 391 SCRA 457). [3] The abolition of an elective local office due to the conversion of a municipality to a city
does not, by itself, work to interrupt the incumbent officials continuity of service (Latasa v. Commission on Elections. G.R. No. 154829,
December 10, 2003, 417 SCRA 601). [4] Preventive suspension is not a term-interrupting event as the elective officers continued stay
and entitlement to the office remain unaffected during the period of suspension, although he is barred from exercising the functions
of his office during this period (Aldovino, Jr. v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 184836, December 23, 2009, 609 SCRA 234). [5] When a candidate
is proclaimed as winner for an elective position and assumes office, his term is interrupted when he loses in an election protest and is
ousted from office, thus disenabling him from serving what would otherwise be the unexpired portion of his term of office had the
protest been dismissed (Lonzanida v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 135150, July 28, 1999, 311 SCRA 602 and Dizon v. Commission on
Elections, G.R. No. 182088, January 30, 2009, 577 SCRA 589). The break or interruption need not be for a full term of three years or for
the major part of the 3-year term; an interruption for any length of time, provided the cause is involuntary, is sufficient to break the
continuity of service (Socrates v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 154512, November 12, 2002, 391 SCRA 457, citing Lonzanida v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 135150, July 28, 1999, 311 SCRA 602). [6] When an official is defeated in an election protest and said
decision becomes final after said official had served the full term for said office, then his loss in the election contest does not constitute
an interruption since he has managed to serve the term from start to finish. His full service, despite the defeat, should be counted in
the application of term limits because the nullification of his proclamation came after the expiration of the term (Ong v. Alegre, G.R.
Nos. 163295 & 163354, January 23, 2006, 479 SCRA 473 and Rivera III v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 167591 & 170577, May 9,
2007, 523 SCRA 41). [Discussed in Abundo v. Commission on Election, G.R. No. 201716, January 8, 2013]
There can be no quibbling that, during the term 2004-2007, and with the enforcement of the decision of the election protest in his
favor, Abundo assumed the mayoralty post only on May 9, 2006 and served the term until June 30, 2007 or for a period of a little over
one year and one month. Consequently, unlike Mayor Ong in Ong and Mayor Morales in Rivera, it cannot be said that Mayor
Abundo was able to serve fully the entire 2004-2007 term to which he was otherwise entitled. [Abundo v. Commission on Election, G.R.
No. 201716, January 8, 2013]
Punong barangay of municipality of Sorsogon for 1st two terms. By the time he was elected for his 3rd term, the municipality had
been merged with another municipality to form the City of Sorsogon. Territorial jurisdiction and inhabitants the same. Latasa v.
COMELEC affirmed. Disqualified to run for a fourth term. [Laceda v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 182867, November 25, 2008]
A winner who dislodges in a recall election an incumbent elective local official merely served the balance of the latters term of office;
it is not a full three-year term. It also goes without saying that an incumbent elective local official against whom a recall election is
initiated and who nevertheless wins in a recall election must be viewed as being a continuing term of office and not as a break in
reckoning three consecutive terms. - A recall election term then, not being a full three-year term, is not to be counted or used as a
basis for disqualification whether it is held prior or subsequent to the nine-year full three-term limit. [Mendoza v. COMELEC]
A provincial board member cannot be elected and serve for more than three consecutive terms. But then, the Court is now called
upon to resolve the following questions. First. What are the consequences to the provincial board members eligibility to run for the
same elective position if the legislative district, which brought him or her to office to serve the first two consecutive terms, be
reapportioned in such a way that 8 out of its 10 town constituencies are carved out and renamed as another district? Second. Is the
provincial board members election to the same position for the third and fourth time, but now in representation of the renamed
district, a violation of the three-term limit rule? - Reapportionment is "the realignment or change in legislative districts brought about
by changes in population and mandated by the constitutional requirement of equality of representation." The aim of legislative
apportionment is to equalize population and voting power among districts. The basis for districting shall be the number of the
inhabitants of a city or a province and not the number of registered voters therein From 2004 to 2007 and 2007 to 2010, Naval had
been elected and had served as a member of the Sanggunian, Second District, Province of Camarines Sur. On October 12, 2009, the
President approved Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9716, which reapportioned the legislative districts in Camarines Sur Notably, 8 out of
10 towns were taken from the old Second District to form the present Third District. The present Second District is composed of the
two remaining towns, Gainza and Milaor, merged with five towns from the old First District. In the 2010 elections, Naval once again
won as among the members of the Sanggunian, Third District. He served until 2013. In the 2013 elections, Naval ran anew and was
re-elected as Member of the Sanggunian, Third District Clearly, the drafters of our Constitution are in agreement about the possible
attendant evils if there would be no limit to re-election. Notwithstanding their conflicting preferences on whether the term limit
would disqualify the elected official perpetually or temporarily, they decided that only three consecutive elections to the same
position would be allowed. Thereafter, the public official can once again vie for the same post provided there be a gap of at least one
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term from his or her last election. The rule answers the need to prevent the consolidation of political power in the hands of the few,
while at the same time giving to the people the freedom to call back to public service those who are worthy to be called statesmen.
The compromise agreed upon by the drafters of our Constitution was a result of exhaustive deliberations. The required gap after
three consecutive elections is significant. Thus, the rule cannot be taken with a grain of salt. Nothing less than its strict application is
called for In sum, the Court finds no compelling reason to grant the reliefs prayed for by Naval. For the Court to declare otherwise
would be to create a dangerous precedent unintended by the drafters of our Constitution and of R.A. No. 9716. Considering that the
one-term gap or rest after three consecutive elections is a result of a compromise among the members of the Constitutional
Commission, no cavalier exemptions or exceptions to its application is to be allowed. Aldovino affirms this interpretation. Further,
sustaining Navals arguments would practically allow him to hold the same office for 15 years. These are the circumstances the
Constitution explicitly intends to avert. Certainly, the Court accords primacy to upholding the will of the voting public, the real
sovereign, so to speak. However, let all the candidates for public office be reminded that as citizens, we have a commitment to be
bound by our Constitution and laws. Side by side our privileges as citizens are restrictions too. [Naval v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207851,
July 8, 2014]
ARTICLE XI Impeachment - a COMELEC Commissioner may not be charged with libel without first being impeached. [The RTC,
not the Ombudsman, or the Sandiganbayan, has jurisdiction over libel charges against public officers.] [People v. Benipayo, G.R. No.
154473, April 24, 2009]
BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST - "acts which are just short of being criminal but constitute gross faithlessness against public trust,
tyrannical abuse of power, inexcusable negligence of duty, favoritism, and gross exercise of discretionary powers." In other words,
acts that should constitute betrayal of public trust as to warrant removal from office may be less than criminal but must be attended
by bad faith and of such gravity and seriousness as the other grounds for impeachment. [Gonzales v. Office of the President, G.R. No.
196231, September 4, 2012]
Hence, where betrayal of public trust, for purposes of impeachment, was not intended to cover all kinds of official wrongdoing and
plain errors of judgment, this should remain true even for purposes of removing a Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor from
office. Hence, the fact that the grounds for impeachment have been made statutory grounds for the removal by the President of a
Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor cannot diminish the seriousness of their nature nor the acuity of their scope. Betrayal of
public trust could not suddenly "overreach" to cover acts that are not vicious or malevolent on the same level as the other grounds for
impeachment. [Gonzales v. Office of the President, G.R. No. 196231, September 4, 2012]
The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.
Indubitably, an impeachment is not a judicial proceeding, but rather a political exercise. [Gutierrez v. The House of Representatives, G.R.
No. 193459, March 8, 2011]
Initiation takes place by the act of filing of the impeachment complaint AND referral to the House of Committee on Justice
Impeachment proceedings are subject to judicial review. [Francisco v. HR, G.R. No. 160261 November 10, 2003]
Referring the complaint to the proper committee ignites the impeachment proceeding. With a simultaneous referral of multiple
complaints filed, more than one lighted matchsticks [sic] light the candle at the same time. What is important is that there should
only be ONE CANDLE that is kindled in a year, such that once the candle starts burning, subsequent matchsticks can no longer
rekindle the candle. [Gutierrez v. The House of Representatives, G.R. No. 193459, February 15, 2011]
No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.
Contrary to petitioners emphasis on impeachment complaint, what the Constitution mentions is impeachment proceedings.
Suffice it to state that the Constitution allows the indictment for multiple impeachment offenses, with each charge representing an
article of impeachment, assembled in one set known as the Articles of Impeachment. It, therefore, follows that an impeachment
complaint need not allege only one impeachable offense. [Gutierrez v. The House of Representatives , G.R. No. 193459, February 15,
2011]
A person no longer in office may still be impeached penalty: disqualification from public office.
Promulgation must thus be used in the context in which it is generally understoodthat is, to make known. It is within the
discretion of Congress to determine on how to promulgate its Impeachment Rules, in much the same way that the Judiciary is
permitted to determine that to promulgate a decision means to deliver the decision to the clerk of court for filing and publication
To reiterate, when the Constitution uses the word promulgate, it does not necessarily mean to publish in the Official Gazette or in a
newspaper of general circulation. Promulgation, as used in Section 3(8), Article XI of the Constitution, suitably takes the meaning of
to make known as it should be generally understood. [Gutierrez v. The House of Representatives, G.R. No. 193459, March 8, 2011]
Sandiganbayan -Original Jurisdiction [a] violations of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, where the accused are officials occupying
the following positions, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity Official of the Executive Branch with the position of
regional director or higher or with a salary grade level 27, including provincial governors, vice-governors, board members, provincial
treasurers, assessors, engineers and other provincial department heads/city mayors, vice-mayors, city councilors, city treasurers,
assessors, engineers and other city department heads/officials of the diplomatic service from consuls or higher/PA-PAF colonels or
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PN captains and all officers of higher rank/officers of the PNP while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding
the rank of senior superintendent or higher/city or provincial prosecutors and their assistants and officials and prosecutors in the
Office of the Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor/presidents, directors, trustees or managers of GOCCs, state universities or
educational institutions or foundations /
Members of Congress and officials with SG27 and up / Members of the judiciary
without prejudice to the Constitution / Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional Commissions without prejudice to the
Constitution / All other national and local officials with SG27 or higher. / [b] other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed
with other crimes committed by public officials and employees mentioned above in relation to their office [where the penalty
prescribed by law is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six years or a fine of P6,000.00 [Madarang v.
Sandiganbayan] / [c] civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with EO Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A issued in 1986
sequestration cases.
Original Jurisdiction over petitions for writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunction and other ancillary writs and
processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, provided that jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the SC.
The Sandiganbayan has appellate Jurisdiction over final judgments, resolutions or orders of regional trial courts whether in the
exercise of their own original jurisdiction or their appellate jurisdiction.
Consequently, we agree with the CAs consolidated decision promulgated on September 30, 2008 that the RTC (Branch 138), not the
Sandiganbayan, had jurisdiction because Civil Case No. 04-1049 did not involve a sequestration-related incident but an intracorporate controversy. [Note POTC is a sequestered corporation.] [Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation v. Africa, G.R.
No. 184622, July 3, 2013]
All these judicial pronouncements demand two concurring elements to be present before assets or properties were considered as illgotten wealth, namely: (a) they must have "originated from the government itself," and (b) they must have been taken by former
President Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, and close associates by illegal means. [Republic of the Philippines v. Reyes-Bakunawa,
G.R. No. 180418, August 28, 2013]
The Sandiganbayan has exclusive original jurisdiction over the criminal action involving petitioner notwithstanding that he is a
private individual considering that his criminal prosecution is intimately related to the recovery of ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses,
their immediate family, subordinates and close associates. [Africa v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 172222, November 11, 2013]
Violations of RA No. 3019 by a municipal mayor come within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan because under
RA No. 6758, otherwise known as the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989, municipal mayors are local officials
classified as Grade 27. [Binay v. Sandiganbayan; Caballero v. Sandiganbayan,- G.R. Nos. 137355-58, September 25, 2007] - The
Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod whose salary grade is below 27 and charged with
violation of The Auditing Code of the Philippines. [People v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 169004, September 15, 2010]
Carandang was correct in insisting that being a private individual he was not subject to the administrative authority of the
Ombudsman and to the criminal jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan because Radio Philippines Network, Inc. (RPN) was not a
government-owned or -controlled corporation, although sequestered by the PCGG; hence, he was not a public official or employee.
[Azarcon v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 116033, February 26, 1997, 268 SCRA 747] [Carandang v. Desierto, G.R. No. 148076, January 11,
2011]
Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over presidents, directors, trustees or managers of all GOCCs, whether or not with original charters.
[People v. Sandiganbayan]
Judges may be prosecuted before the Sandiganbayan even if they come under the administrative supervision of the SC.
Administrative charges shall defer filing of criminal charges based on the same offense by the Special Prosecutor before the
Sandiganbayan. [Orap v. Sandiganbayan] BUT see Balsamo v. Suan [citing Rallos v. Gako and Calleja v. Santelices] an administrative
case against a judge must be held in abeyance if the basis for the administrative case is a case pending review by or appeal before the
CA.
While it is true that the interlocutory order issued by the RTC is reviewable by certiorari, the same was incorrectly filed with the CA.
Magno should have filed the petition for certiorari with the Sandiganbayan, which has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over the RTC
since the accused are public officials charged of committing crimes in their capacity as Investigators of the National Bureau of
Investigation. [Magno v. People, G.R. No. 171542, April 6, 2011]
Ombudsman - The OMBUDSMAN is the ACTIVIST WATCHMAN! [Ombudsman v. Racho, G.R. No. 185685, January 31, 2011]
We rule that subjecting the Deputy Ombudsman to discipline and removal by the President, whose own alter egos and officials in the
Executive Department are subject to the Ombudsmans disciplinary authority, cannot but seriously place at risk the independence of
the Office of the Ombudsman itself Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 (providing that the President may remove a Deputy Ombudsman)
should be declared void. [Gonzales v. Office of the President, G.R. No. 196231, January 28, 2014, Resolution on Motion for
Reconsideration]

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It is only the Office of the Ombudsman, which includes her Deputies, that is endowed with constitutional independence. The
inclusion of the Office of the Special Prosecutor with the Office of the Ombudsman in Section 3 of Republic Act No. 6770 does not ipso
facto mean that the Office of the Special Prosecutor must be afforded the same levels of constitutional independence as that of the
Ombudsman and the Deputy Ombudsman. The law simply defines how the Office of the Special Prosecutor is attached and,
therefore, coordinated with the Office of the Ombudsman. Thus, the provision of Section 8, Paragraph (2) of Republic Act No. 6770
which provides for the power of the President to remove the Special Prosecutor is valid and constitutional. [Gonzales v. Office of the
President, G.R. No. 196231, January 28, 2014, Resolution on Motion for Reconsideration, Concurring and Separate Opinion of J.
Leonen]
The primary jurisdiction of the Ombudsman to investigate any act or omission of a public officer or employee applies only in cases
cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. In cases cognizable by regular courts, the Ombudsman has concurrent jurisdiction with other
investigative agencies of government. [Office of the Ombudsman v. Rodriguez, G.R. No. 172700, July 23, 2010]
When the City Prosecutor is deputized by the Office of the Ombudsman, he comes under the supervision and control of the
Ombudsman which means that he is subject to the power of the Ombudsman to direct, review, approve, reverse or modify the
prosecutors decision. [Estandarte v. People, G.R. Nos. 156851-55, February 18, 2008]
The Ombudsman can conduct preliminary investigations and prosecute criminal cases involving public officers and employees; not
only those within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, but those falling within the jurisdiction of regular courts as well. [Uy v.
Sandiganbayan, G.R .No. 105965-70, March 20, 2001]
The Ombudsman need not conduct a preliminary investigation upon receipt of a complaint. Indeed, we have said in Knecht v. Desierto
[353 Phil. 494 (1998)] and later in Mamburao, Inc. v. Office of the Ombudsman [398 Phil. 762 (2000)] and Karaan v. Office of the Ombudsman
[476 Phil. 536 (2004)] that should investigating officers find a complaint utterly devoid of merit, they may recommend its outright
dismissal. Moreover, it is also within their discretion to determine whether or not preliminary investigation should be conducted. The
Court has undoubtedly acknowledged the powers of the Ombudsman to dismiss a complaint outright without a preliminary
investigation in The Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans v. Desierto. [437 Phil. 702 (2002)] We reiterate that the
Ombudsman has full discretion to determine whether a criminal case should be filed, including whether a preliminary investigation
is warranted. The Court therefore gives due deference to the Ombudsmans decision to no longer conduct a preliminary
investigation in this case on the criminal charges levelled against respondent Velasco. [Judge Angeles v. Gutierrez, G.R. Nos. 189161 &
189173, March 21, 2012]
The Ombudsman can investigate on its own or on complaint by any person any act or omission of any public official or employee
when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, or improper It does not require that the act or omission be related to or be
connected with or arise from the performance of official duty. [See Santos v. Rasalan, citing Vasquez v. Hobilla-Alinio, G.R. Nos. 11881314, April 8, 1997, 271 SCRA 67, 74]
The Court has repeatedly ruled that the power of the Ombudsman to investigate offenses involving public officials is not exclusive,
but is concurrent with other similarly authorized agencies of the government in relation to the offense charged. [Honasan v. Panel of
Investigating Prosecutors of the Department of Justice, G.R. No. 159747, April 13, 2004, 427 SCRA 46] Therefore, with respect to
petitioners, the Ombudsman may share its authority to conduct an investigation concerning administrative charges against them with
other agencies [like the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission or the Civil Service Commission]. [Lacson v. Executive Secretary, G.R.
Nos. 165399 and 165475, May 30, 2011]
The administrative disciplinary authority of the Ombudsman over a public school teacher is not an exclusive power but is concurrent
with the proper committee of the DepEd, which has concurrent jurisdiction under the provisions of the Magna Carta for Public
School Teachers. [Office of the Ombudsman v. Medrano, G.R. No. 177580, October 17, 2008]
There are 2 kinds of administrative cases against municipal officers [1] those related to the discharge of the functions of their office
[neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or other forms of maladministration of office] and [2] those not so connected with said
functions. Under the 2nd category, when the crime involving moral turpitude is not linked with the performance of official duties,
conviction by final judgment is required as a condition precedent to administrative action. [Palma v. Fortich]
Administrative offenses do not prescribe. [Office of the Ombudsman v. de Sahagun, G.R. No. 167982, August 13, 2008]
The period [of one year] stated in Section 20(5) of R.A. No. 6770 does not refer to the prescription of the offense but to the discretion
given to the Ombudsman on whether it would investigate a particular administrative offense. The use of the word may in the
provision is construed as permissive and operating to confer discretion. It is, therefore, discretionary upon the Ombudsman whether
or not to conduct an investigation of a complaint even if it was filed after one year from the occurrence of the act or omission
complained of. [Melchor v. Gironella]
The principle of res judicata would not preclude the Ombudsman from ordering another review of a complaint, for he or she may
revoke, repeal or abrogate the acts or previous rulings of a predecessor in office. [Alvarez v. People, G.R. No. 192591, June 29, 2011]

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The decision of the Ombudsman is immediately executory pending appeal and may not be stayed by the filing of an appeal or the
issuance of an injunctive writ. The aforementioned Section 7 is also clear in providing that in case the penalty is removal and the
respondent wins his appeal, he shall be considered as having been under preventive suspension and shall be paid the salary and such
other emoluments that he did not receive by reason of the removal. The CAs issuance of a preliminary mandatory injunction,
staying the penalty of dismissal imposed by the Ombudsman in this administrative case, is thus an encroachment on the rule-making
powers of the Ombudsman under Section 13 (8), Article XI of the Constitution, and Sections 18 and 27 of R.A. No. 6770, which grants
the Office of the Ombudsman the authority to promulgate its own rules of procedure. The issuance of an injunctive writ renders
nugatory the provisions of Section 7, Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman. [Facura v. Court of Appeals,
G.R. No. 166495, February 16, 2011]
Where the respondent is absolved of the charge, and in case of conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand,
suspension of not more than one month, or a fine equivalent to one month salary, the Ombudsmans decision shall be final,
executory, and unappealable. [Tolentino v. Loyola, G.R. No. 153809, July 27, 2011, 654 SCRA 420, 431-432; Office of the Ombudsman
(Mindanao) v. Cruzabra, G.R. No. 183507, February 24, 2010, 613 SCRA 549, 554-555; Reyes, Jr. v. Belisario, G.R. No. 154652, August 14,
2009, 596 SCRA 31, 43-45; Republic v. Canastillo, G.R. No. 172729, June 8, 2007, 524 SCRA 546, 552; Herrera v. Bohol, 466 Phil. 905, 910911 (2004); Lopez v. Court of Appeals, 438 Phil. 351, 358-359 (2002).] Indeed, in one case, the Court went so far as to declare that in such
cases, "it follows that the Court of Appeals has no appellate jurisdiction to review, rectify or reverse"[Republic v. Bajao, G.R. No.
160596, March 20, 2009, 582 SCRA 53, 65, citing Republic v. Francisco, 539 Phil. 433, 450 (2006)] the order or decision of the
Ombudsman. But of course, the above principles are subject to the rule that decisions of administrative agencies which are declared
final and unappealable by law are still "subject to judicial review if they fail the test of arbitrariness, or upon proof of grave abuse of
discretion, fraud or error of law, or when such administrative or quasi-judicial bodies grossly misappreciate evidence of such nature
as to compel a contrary conclusion, the Court will not hesitate to reverse the factual findings." [Orais v. Almirante, G.R. No. 181195,
June 10, 2013]
In Soriano v. Cabais, G.R. No. 157175, June 21, 2007, 525 SCRA 261, 265 this Court had the occasion to discuss the appropriate recourse
to take from decisions or resolutions of the Ombudsman, and said - In Fabian, we ruled that appeals from the decisions of the Office
of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals by way of a petition for review
under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. Here, petitioners complaint is criminal in nature. In Estrada v.
Desierto, we held that the remedy of aggrieved parties from resolutions of the Office of the Ombudsman finding probable cause in
criminal cases or non-administrative cases, when tainted with grave abuse of discretion, is to file an original action for certiorari with
this Court, not with the Court of Appeals. In cases when the aggrieved party is questioning the Office of the Ombudsmans finding of
lack of probable cause, as in this case, there is likewise the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65 to be filed with this Court and not with
the Court of Appeals. [Belongilot v. Cu, G.R. No. 160933, November 24, 2010]
The Ombudsman has the constitutional power to directly remove from government service an erring public official other than a
member of Congress and the Judiciary. [Republic of the Philippines v. Bajao, G.R. No. 160596, March 20, 2009]
But the filing of the criminal action against an accused in court does not prevent the Ombudsman from exercising the power that the
Congress has granted him. Section 17 of R.A. 6770 provides:
Section 17. Immunities. x x x Under such terms and conditions as it may determine, taking into account the
pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court, the Ombudsman may grant immunity from criminal prosecution to any
person whose testimony or whose possession and production of documents or other evidence may be necessary to
determine the truth in any hearing, inquiry or proceeding being conducted by the Ombudsman or under its
authority, in the performance or in the furtherance of its constitutional functions and statutory objectives. The
immunity granted under this and the immediately preceding paragraph shall not exempt the witness from
criminal prosecution for perjury or false testimony nor shall he be exempt from demotion or removal from office.
His above authority enables the Ombudsman to carry out his constitutional mandate to ensure accountability in the public service.
(Quarto v. Marcelo, G.R. No. 169042, October 5, 2011, 658 SCRA 580, 600) It gives the Ombudsman wide latitude in using an accused
discharged from the information to increase the chances of conviction of the other accused and attain a higher prosecutorial goal. (Mapa, Jr. v.
Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 100295, April 26, 1994, 231 SCRA 783) Immunity statutes seek to provide a balance between the states
interests and the individuals right against self-incrimination. To secure his testimony without exposing him to the risk of
prosecution, the law recognizes that the witness can be given immunity from prosecution. (Quarto v. Marcelo, G.R. No. 169042,
October 5, 2011, 658 SCRA 580, at 597) In such a case, both interests and rights are satisfied.
As it happened in this case, the Ombudsman had already filed with the Sandiganbayan the criminal action against Mercado and the
other respondents in Criminal Cases 27511-14 prior to the Ombudsmans grant of immunity to Mercado. Having already acquired
jurisdiction over Mercados case, it remained within the Sandiganbayans power to determine whether or not he may be discharged
as a state witness in accordance with Section 17, Rule 119 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. [People v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos.
185729-32, June 26, 2013]
Article XI, Section 15. The right of the State to recover properties unlawfully acquired by public officials or employees, from them or
from their nominees or transferees, shall not be barred by prescription, laches, or estoppel.
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We, therefore, count the running of the prescriptive period from the date of discovery thereof on January 4, 1993, when the
Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee reported to the President its findings and conclusions anent RHCs loans. This being the
case, the filing by the PCGG of its Affidavit-Complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman on January 6,2003, a little over ten (10)
years from the date of discovery of the crimes, is clearly belated. Undoubtedly, the ten-year period within which to institute the
action has already lapsed, making it proper for the Ombudsman to dismiss petitioners complaint on the ground of prescription.
Simply put, and as correctly held by the Ombudsman, prescription has already set in when petitioner PCGG filed the AffidavitComplaint on January 6, 2003. [PCGG v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 206357, November 12, 2014]
ARTICLE XII While property of the State or any of its subdivisions patrimonial in character may be the object of prescription, those
"intended for some public service or for the development of the national wealth" are considered property of public dominion and
therefore not susceptible to acquisition by prescription. [Dream Village Neighborhood Association v. Bases Conversion and Development
Authority, G.R. No. 192896, July 24, 2013]
To sum up, we now observe the following rules relative to the disposition of public land or lands of the public domain, namely:
(1) As a general rule and pursuant to the Regalian Doctrine, all lands of the public domain belong to the State and are inalienable.
Lands that are not clearly under private ownership are also presumed to belong to the State and, therefore, may not be alienated or
disposed;
(2) The following are excepted from the general rule, to wit:
(a) Agricultural lands of the public domain are rendered alienable and disposable through any of the exclusive
modes enumerated under Section 11 of the Public Land Act. If the mode is judicial confirmation of imperfect title
under Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act, the agricultural land subject of the application needs only to be
classified as alienable and disposable as of the time of the application, provided the applicants possession and
occupation of the land dated back to June 12, 1945, or earlier. Thereby, a conclusive presumption that the applicant
has performed all the conditions essential to a government grant arises (Republic v. Intermediate Appellate Court,
No. L-75042, November 29, 1988, 168 SCRA 165, 174) and the applicant becomes the owner of the land by virtue of
an imperfect or incomplete title. By legal fiction, the land has already ceased to be part of the public domain and
has become private property. (Dissenting opinion of Justice Teehankee in Manila Electric Company v. CastroBartolome, No. L-49623, June 29, 1982, 114 SCRA 799, 813 )
(b) Lands of the public domain subsequently classified or declared as no longer intended for public use or for the
development of national wealth are removed from the sphere of public dominion and are considered converted
into patrimonial lands or lands of private ownership that may be alienated or disposed through any of the modes
of acquiring ownership under the Civil Code. If the mode of acquisition is prescription, whether ordinary or
extraordinary, proof that the land has been already converted to private ownership prior to the requisite
acquisitive prescriptive period is a condition sine qua non in observance of the law (Article 1113, Civil Code) that
property of the State not patrimonial in character shall not be the object of prescription.
To reiterate, then, the petitioners failed to present sufficient evidence to establish that they and their predecessors-in-interest had been
in possession of the land since June 12, 1945. Without satisfying the requisite character and period of possession - possession and
occupation that is open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious since June 12, 1945, or earlier - the land cannot be considered ipso jure
converted to private property even upon the subsequent declaration of it as alienable and disposable. Prescription never began to run
against the State, such that the land has remained ineligible for registration under Section 14(1) of the Property Registration Decree.
Likewise, the land continues to be ineligible for land registration under Section 14(2) of the Property Registration Decree unless
Congress enacts a law or the President issues a proclamation declaring the land as no longer intended for public service or for the
development of the national wealth. [Heirs of Malabanan v. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 179987, September 3, 2013]
Under the Regalian doctrine, the State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land. This is premised on the basic doctrine
that all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. [Republic of the
Philippines v. Imperial Credit Corporation, G.R. No. 173088, June 25, 2008]
Lands of the public domain are classified into agricultural, forest or timber [1935 Constitution] and national parks [1987 Constitution].
Only agricultural lands may be alienated, but a prior positive act of the Government, declaring land as alienable and disposable, by
way of proclamation, executive order, administrative action, report, statute, or certification, is required. [Secretary of the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources v. Yap, G.R. No. 167707, October 8, 2008]
A religious corporation controlled by non-Filipinos cannot acquire and own lands even for religious purposes. [Roman Catholic
Administrator of Davao Diocese, Inc. v. Land Registration Commission]
The 1987 Constitution absolutely prohibits private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain. The
length of possession of the land by the corporation cannot be tacked on to complete the statutory 30 years acquisitive prescriptive
period. Only an individual can avail of such acquisitive prescription since both the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions prohibit corporations
from acquiring lands of the public domain. [Republic of the Philippines v. T.A.N. Properties, G.R. No. 154953, June 26, 2008]
2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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Forest lands are outside the commerce of man and unsusceptible of private appropriation in any form. A certificate of title is void
when it covers property of public domain classified as forest, timber or mineral lands. [Land Bank of the Philippines v. Republic of the
Philippines , G.R. No. 150824, February 4, 2008]
The transfer of land from Agro-Macro Development Corporation to Jambrich, who is an Austrian, would have been declared invalid
if challenged, had not Jambrich conveyed the properties to petitioner who is a Filipino citizen. Since the ban on aliens is intended to
preserve the nations land for future generations of Filipinos, that aim is achieved by making lawful the acquisition of real estate by
aliens who became Filipino citizens by naturalization or those transfers made by aliens to Filipino citizens. As the property in dispute
is already in the hands of a qualified person, a Filipino citizen, there would be no more public policy to be protected. The objective of
the constitutional provision to keep our lands in Filipino hands has been achieved. [United Church Board for World Ministries]
[Borromeo v. Descalla, G.R. No. 159310, February 24, 2009]
In Muller v. Muller, [500 SCRA 65] wherein the respondent, a German national, was seeking reimbursement of funds claimed by him
to be given in trust to his petitioner wife, a Philippine citizen, for the purchase of a property in Antipolo, the Court, in rejecting the
claim, ruled that: Respondent was aware of the constitutional prohibition and expressly admitted his knowledge thereof to this
Court. He declared that he had the Antipolo property titled in the name of the petitioner because of the said prohibition. His attempt
at subsequently asserting or claiming a right on the said property cannot be sustained. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that an
implied trust was created and resulted by operation of law in view of petitioner's marriage to respondent. Save for the exception
provided in cases of hereditary succession, respondent's disqualification from owning lands in the Philippines is absolute. Not even
an ownership in trust is allowed. Besides, where the purchase is made in violation of an existing statute and in evasion of its express
provision, no trust can result in favor of the party who is guilty of the fraud. To hold otherwise would allow circumvention of the
constitutional prohibition. [Ho v. Gui, G.R. No. 130115, July 16, 2008]
Under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 4726, otherwise known as the Condominium Act, foreign nationals can own Philippine real estate
through the purchase of condominium units or townhouses constituted under the Condominium principle with Condominium
Certificates of Title. Considering that the rights and liabilities of the parties under the Contract to Sell is covered by the
Condominium Act wherein petitioner as unit owner was simply a member of the Condominium Corporation and the land remained
owned by respondent, then the constitutional proscription against aliens owning real property does not apply to the present case.
[Hulst v. PR Builders, Inc., G.R. No. 156364, September 25, 2008]
The term capital in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of
directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock comprising both common
and non-voting preferred shares. [Gamboa v. Finance Secretary, G.R. No. 176579, June 28, 2011]
Since the constitutional requirement of at least 60 percent Filipino ownership applies not only to voting control of the corporation but
also to the beneficial ownership of the corporation, it is therefore imperative that such requirement apply uniformly and across the board
to all classes of shares, regardless of nomenclature and category, comprising the capital of a corporation. xxx The Constitution
expressly declares as State policy the development of an economy "effectively controlled" by Filipinos. Consistent with such State
policy, the Constitution explicitly reserves the ownership and operation of public utilities to Philippine nationals, who are defined in
the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 as Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least 60 percent of whose capital with
voting rights belongs to Filipinos. The FIAs implementing rules explain that "[f]or stocks to be deemed owned and held by
Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity. Full beneficial
ownership of the stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights is essential." In effect, the FIA clarifies, reiterates and confirms the
interpretation that the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution refers to shares with voting rights, as well as
with full beneficial ownership. This is precisely because the right to vote in the election of directors, coupled with full beneficial
ownership of stocks, translates to effective control of a corporation. xxx The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions have the same 60
percent Filipino ownership and control requirement for public utilities like PLDT. Any deviation from this requirement necessitates
an amendment to the Constitution as exemplified by the Parity Amendment. This Court has no power to amend the Constitution for
its power and duty is only to faithfully apply and interpret the Constitution. [Heirs of Wilson Gamboa v. Finance Secretary, G.R. No.
176579, October 9, 2012]
Section 14. xxx The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save in cases prescribed by law.
ARTICLE XIII the provisions of Article XIII are not judicially enforceable, particularly Section 3 thereof. Article XIII, by itself,
without the application of the equal protection clause, has no life or force of its own. [Serrano v. Gallant Maritime Services, Inc., G.R.
No. 167614, March 24, 2009]
The wording of the provision is unequivocalthe farmers and regular farmworkers have a right TO OWN DIRECTLY OR
COLLECTIVELY THE LANDS THEY TILL. The basic law allows two (2) modes of land distributiondirect and indirect ownership.
Direct transfer to individual farmers is the most commonly used method by DAR and widely accepted. Indirect transfer through
collective ownership of the agricultural land is the alternative to direct ownership of agricultural land by individual farmers. The
aforequoted Sec. 4 EXPRESSLY authorizes collective ownership by farmers. No language can be found in the 1987 Constitution that
disqualifies or prohibits corporations or cooperatives of farmers from being the legal entity through which collective ownership can
be exercised. xxx. Clearly, workers cooperatives or associations under Sec. 29 of RA 6657 and corporations or associations under the
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succeeding Sec. 31, as differentiated from individual farmers, are authorized vehicles for the collective ownership of agricultural land.
Cooperatives can be registered with the Cooperative Development Authority and acquire legal personality of their own, while
corporations are juridical persons under the Corporation Code. Thus, Sec. 31 is constitutional as it simply implements Sec. 4 of Art.
XIII of the Constitution that land can be owned COLLECTIVELY by farmers. xxx. [Hacienda Luisita Incorporated v. Luisita Industrial
Park Corporation, G.R. No. 171101, July 5, 2011,]
The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers and employers and the preferential use of voluntary
modes in settling disputes, including conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial peace. [The
University of the Immaculate Conception v. NLRC, G.R. No. 181146, January 26, 2011]
Section 10. Urban or rural poor dwellers shall not be evicted nor their dwelling demolished, except in accordance with law and in a
just and humane manner. No resettlement of urban or rural dwellers shall be undertaken without adequate consultation with them
and the communities where they are to be relocated.
ARTICLE XIV - Section 3. - All educational institutions shall include the study of the Constitution as part of the curricula. They shall
inculcate patriotism and nationalism, foster love of humanity, respect for human rights, appreciation of the role of national heroes in
the historical development of the country, teach the rights and duties of citizenship, strengthen ethical and spiritual values, develop
moral character and personal discipline, encourage critical and creative thinking, broaden scientific and technological knowledge,
and promote vocational efficiency. At the option expressed in writing by the parents or guardians, religion shall be allowed to be
taught to their children or wards in public elementary and high schools within the regular class hours by instructors designated or
approved by the religious authorities of the religion to which the children or wards belong, without additional cost to the
Government.
Educational institutions, other than those established by religious groups and mission boards, shall be owned solely by citizens of the
Philippines or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens. The Congress
may, however, require increased Filipino equity participation in all educational institutions. The control and administration of
educational institutions shall be vested in citizens of the Philippines. No educational institution shall be established exclusively for
aliens and no group of aliens shall comprise more than one-third of the enrollment in any school. The provisions of this sub section
shall not apply to schools established for foreign diplomatic personnel and their dependents and, unless otherwise provided by law,
for other foreign temporary residents. All revenues and assets of non-stock, non-profit educational institutions used actually,
directly, and exclusively for educational purposes shall be exempt from taxes and duties. Upon the dissolution or cessation of the
corporate existence of such institutions, their assets shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law. Proprietary educational
institutions, including those cooperatively owned, may likewise be entitled to such exemptions, subject to the limitations provided by
law, including restrictions on dividends and provisions for reinvestment. Subject to conditions prescribed by law, all grants,
endowments, donations, or contributions used actually, directly, and exclusively for educational purposes shall be exempt from tax.
Institutional academic freedom - consists of four essential freedoms to determine for itself on academic grounds: (1) who may teach; (2)
what may be taught; (3) how it shall be taught; and (4) who may be admitted to study. Note that these four essential freedoms are
given to the university as an institution, not to the professors or to the researchers in that institution. [Justice Felix Frankfurter]
Camacho vs. Corresi, G.R. No. 134372., August 22, 2002; 387 SCRA 628; 636-637 -"Academic freedom is two-tiered that of the
academic institution and the teacher's.
While a schools academic freedom entitles it to determine who may teach, said academic freedom may not be invoked because the
administrative charges against the respondent, i.e., nepotism, dishonesty, falsification of official documents, grave misconduct, and
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, are classified as grave offenses under civil service rules, punishable with
suspension or even dismissal. Although Section 4 of R.A. No. 8292 grants to the board [of the school] the power to remove school
faculty members, administrative officials, and employees for cause, this power is not exclusive in the matter of disciplining and
removing its employees and officials. Being a non-career civil servant does not remove respondent from the ambit of the CSC. Career
or non-career, a civil service official or employee, is within the jurisdiction of the CSC. [Civil Service Commission v. Sojor, G.R. No.
168766, May 22, 2008]
Every citizen has a right to select a profession or course of study, subject to fair, reasonable, and equitable admission and academic
requirements.
Section 7. For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise
provided by law, English.
ARTICLE XV - sex reassignment In our system of government, it is for the legislature, should it choose to do so, to determine what
guidelines should govern the recognition of the effects of sex reassignment. The need for legislative guidelines becomes particularly
important in this case where the claims asserted are statute-based. It might be theoretically possible for this Court to write a protocol
on when a person may be recognized as having successfully changed his sex. However, this Court has no authority to fashion a law
on that matter, or on anything else. The Court cannot enact a law where no law exists. It can only apply or interpret the written word
of its co-equal branch of government, Congress. [Silverio v. Republic, G.R. No. 174689, October 22, 2007]

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Section 3. The State shall defend [1] The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the
demands of responsible parenthood; [2] The right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special
protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development.
ARTICLE XVI The Philippine flag may be changed only by constitutional amendment. The national anthem may be changed by
law, subject to ratification in a referendum.
State Immunity - Under the PRINCIPLE OF SOVEREIGN EQUALITY OF STATES - AVAILABLE to foreign states insofar as they are
sought to be sued in the courts of the local state. [Syquia v. Almeda Lopez]
There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity, each widely held and firmly established. According to the classical or
absolute theory, a sovereign cannot, without its consent, be made a respondent in the courts of another sovereign. According to the
newer or restrictive theory, the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard to public acts or acts jure imperii of a state,
but not with regard to private acts or acts jure gestionis The restrictive theory came about because of the entry of sovereign states
into purely commercial activities remotely connected with the discharge of governmental functions. This is particularly true with
respect to the Communist states which took control of nationalized business activities and international trading. [Holy See v. Rosario,
G.R. No. 101949, 1 December 1994, 238 SCRA 524, 535, cited in China National Machinery & Equipment Corporation v. Sta. Maria, G.R.
No. 185572, February 7, 2012]
Suit for damages for defamatory remarks statements were made by petitioners as officers of the US Government considered suit
against the state. [Sanders v. Veridiano]
IF A SUIT ASKS FOR affirmative relief on the part of the State, like the passage of a special appropriations law, then it is against it,
and the State may invoke its immunity. Otherwise, it is only a suit against its officers, which can act on the relief prayed for in the
suit without further State intervention.
Garcia v. Chief of Staff claim for damages for injuries was considered a suit against the State, since the latter would need to
appropriate funds to satisfy the claim. Ruiz v. Cabahug claim for payment of architectural fees, for which appropriations had
already been made was considered a suit against the Secretary of National defense alone, and did not involve the State. - Santiago v.
Republic suit purely for the revocation of a donation on the ground of the failure of the Government to comply with its obligations
is not a suit against the State.
If a government agency is incorporated, the test of its suability is found in its charter. The simple rule is that it is suable if its charter
says so, and this is true regardless of the functions it is performing. Municipal corporations, for example, like provinces and cities, are
agencies of the State when they are engaged in governmental functions and therefore should enjoy the sovereign immunity from suit.
Nevertheless, they are subject to suit even in the performance of such functions because their charter provides that they can sue and
be sued. If it is not incorporated, it is necessary to determine the nature of the functions in which the agency is engaged, so as to hold
it suable if they are proprietary and not suable if they are governmental. The test in every case is the nature of the primary functions
being discharged.
MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS may be suable because their charters grant them the competence to sue and be sued; BUT they are
generally not liable for torts committed by them in the discharge of governmental functions and can be held answerable only if it can
be shown that they were acting in a proprietary capacity. [Palafox v. Province of Ilocos Norte, where the injury occurred in connection
with the repair of streets; and Torio v. Fontanilla, where a municipality was held liable for a tort committed in connection with the
celebration of a town fiesta, which was considered a proprietary function. In this case, people were injured when the stage for the
fiesta collapsed.]
CONSENT EXPRESS General Law CA 327, as amended [claims against government to be filed with the COA Special Law
Merritt v. Government special law which allowed a person to sue the Philippine Government for injuries he sustained when his
motorcycle collided with a government ambulance. [Government eventually found not to be liable, because the ambulance was
driven by a regular driver, who was not considered to be a special agent of the government.]
The VFA is an agreement which defines the treatment of United States troops and personnel visiting the Philippines to promote
"common security interests" between the US and the Philippines in the region. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits of
military personnel, and further defines the rights of the United States and the Philippine government in the matter of criminal
jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and exportation of equipment, materials and supplies. The invocation of
US federal tort laws and even common law is thus improper considering that it is the VF A which governs disputes involving US
military ships and crew navigating Philippine waters in pursuance of the objectives of the agreement. As it is, the waiver of State
immunity under the VF A pertains only to criminal jurisdiction and not to special civil actions such as the present petition for
issuance of a writ of Kalikasan. [Arigo v. Swift, G.R. No. 206510, September 16, 2014]
IMPLIED when the State institutes a complaint BUT NOTE Froilan v. Pan Oriental Shipping Co., where the government was held to
have impliedly allowed itself to be sued when it filed a complaint in intervention for the purpose of asserting a claim for affirmative
relief against the plaintiff, to wit, the recovery of a vessel. AND Lim v. Brownell, where it was ruled that the State is not considered to
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have impliedly waived its immunity when it files, as successor-in-interest, a complaint in intervention to join the defendant in
invoking the doctrine of State immunity to secure the dismissal of the action. Its purpose was merely to resist the claim. Hence. No
waiver of state immunity.
There is implied waiver when the Government enters into a contract, but, as ruled by the Supreme Court in USA v. Ruiz, suability
would follow only if the contract is entered into by the state in its proprietary capacity. Governmental contracts [such as for the
repair of wharves] do not result in implied waiver of the immunity of the State from suit.
Note USA v. Guinto, where the Supreme Court said that the operation by the US Government of restaurants in Camp John Hay in
Baguio City, and of barber shops in Clark Air Base not covered by the doctrine of state immunity.
Republic v. Villasor when the State consents to be sued, it does not thereby also consent to the execution of any judgment against it.
Such execution will require another waiver.
We further observe the doctrine of sovereign immunity cannot be successfully invoked to defeat a valid claim for compensation
arising from the taking without just compensation and without the proper expropriation proceedings being first resorted to of the
plaintiffs property. [Republic v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 90478, Nov. 2, 1991, 204 SCRA 212, 231; Ministerio v. Court of First Instance of
Cebu, No. L-31635, Aug. 31, 1971, 40 SCRA 464; Santiago v. Republic, No. L-48214, Dec. 19, 1978, 87 SCRA 294]
In National Electrification Administration v. Morales, the order of garnishment against the NEA funds to implement the RTC Decision
was in issue, and we said that the COA had exclusive jurisdiction to decide on the allowance or disallowance of money claims arising
from the implementation of Republic Act No. 6758. We observed therein that the RTC acted prudently in halting implementation of
the writ of execution to allow the parties recourse to the processes of the COA. [See National Electrification Administration v. Morales,
G.R. No. 154200, July 24, 2007, 528 SCRA 79, 81.] In fact, we even stated there that it is not for this Court to preempt the action of the
COA on the post-audit to be conducted by it per its Indorsement dated March 23, 2000. [Id., cited in Agra v. Commission on Audit, G.
R. No. 167807, December 6, 2011]
No member of the armed forces in the active service shall, at any time, be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian
position in the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations or any of their subsidiaries.
Laws on retirement of military officers shall not allow extension of their service.
The tour of duty of the Chief of Staff of the armed forces shall not exceed three years. However, in times of war or other national
emergency declared by the Congress, the President may extend such tour of duty.
Section 6. The State shall establish and maintain one police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian in character, to be
administered and controlled by a national police commission. The authority of local executives over the police units in their
jurisdiction shall be provided by law.
Section 11. [1] The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations,
cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens. [2] The Congress shall regulate or prohibit monopolies in
commercial mass media when the public interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition therein shall
be allowed.
The advertising industry is impressed with public interest, and shall be regulated by law for the protection of consumers and the
promotion of the general welfare. Only Filipino citizens or corporations or associations at least seventy per centum of the capital of
which is owned by such citizens shall be allowed to engage in the advertising industry. The participation of foreign investors in the
governing body of entities in such industry shall be limited to their proportionate share in the capital thereof, and all the executive
and managing officers of such entities must be citizens of the Philippines.
ARTICLE XVII Changes in the Constitution may be effected by a mere modification in its interpretation. [Note People v. Pomar
declared a law granting maternity leave privileges as unconstitutional, for violating the non-impairment clause. Today, maternity
leave benefits are commonplace; the impairment clause has not undergone any rewording; the police power today justifies these
maternity leave benefits.]
Lambino v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006 - [1] Two essential elements must be present. First, the people must author
and thus sign the entire proposal. No agent or representative can sign on their behalf. Second, as an initiative upon a petition, the
proposal must be embodied in a petition. The full text of the proposed amendments may be either written on the face of the petition,
or attached to it. If so attached, the petition must state the fact of such attachment.
The framers of the Constitution intended, and wrote, a clear distinction between amendment and revision of the Constitution. A
peoples initiative can only propose amendments to the Constitution since the Constitution itself limits initiatives to amendments.
Revision broadly implies a change that alters a basic principle in the constitution, like altering the principle of separation of powers or
the system of checks-and-balances. There is also revision if the change alters the substantial entirety of the constitution, as when the
change affects substantial provisions of the constitution. On the other hand, amendment broadly refers to a change that adds,
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reduces, or deletes without altering the basic principle involved. Revision generally affects several provisions of the constitution,
while amendment generally affects only the specific provision being amended.
The quantitative test asks whether the proposed change is so extensive in its provisions as to change directly the substantial entirety
of the constitution by the deletion or alteration of numerous existing provisions. The court examines only the number of provisions
affected and does not consider the degree of the change.
The qualitative test inquires into the qualitative effects of the proposed change in the constitution. The main inquiry is whether the
change will accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision.
Whether there is an alteration in the structure of government is a proper subject of inquiry. Thus, a change in the nature of [the]
basic governmental plan includes change in its fundamental framework or the fundamental powers of its Branches. A change in
the nature of the basic governmental plan also includes changes that jeopardize the traditional form of government and the system
of check and balances.
A change in the structure of government is a revision of the Constitution. A shift from a Bicameral-Presidential to a UnicameralParliamentary system, involving the abolition of the Office of the President and the abolition of one chamber of Congress, is beyond
doubt a revision, not a mere amendment.
Congress, acting as a constituent assembly, may, with the concurrence of two thirds of all its members, call a constitutional
convention in general terms only. Thereafter, the same Congress, acting this time as a legislative body, may pass the necessary
implementing law providing for the details of the constitutional convention. [Imbong v. COMELEC]
A plebiscite may be scheduled on the same day as the regular elections. [Gonzales v. COMELEC, reiterated in Occena v. COMELEC]
There can be no piecemeal ratification. Whole proposalfor amendment or revision must be submitted for approval, so the people can
have a proper frame of reference. [Tolentino v. COMELEC]
ARTICLE XVIII Section 25 After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United
States of America concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except
under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the
people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

2015 Reminders for Political Law by Prof. Carlo L. Cruz for Jurists Bar Review Center. All rights reserved 2015 by Jurists Review Center Inc. Unauthorized
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