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ROMEO P.

GEROCHI, KATULONG NG BAYAN (KB) and ENVIRONMENTALIST


CONSUMERS NETWORK, INC. (ECN), Petitioners
vs.
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE), ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION (ERC),
NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION (NPC), POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND
LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT GROUP (PSALM Corp.), STRATEGIC POWER
UTILITIES GROUP (SPUG), and PANAY ELECTRIC COMPANY INC. (PECO),
Facts:
RA 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), which
sought to impose a universal charge on all end-users of electricity for the purpose of funding
NAPOCORs projects, was enacted and took effect in 2001.
Petitioners contest the constitutionality of the EPIRA, stating that the imposition of the universal
charge on all end-users is oppressive and confiscatory and amounts to taxation without
representation for not giving the consumers a chance to be heard and be represented.
Issue:
W/N the universal charge is a tax
Ruling:
NO. The assailed universal charge is not a tax, but an exaction in the exercise of the States
police
power. That public welfare is promoted may be gleaned from Sec. 2 of the EPIRA, which
enumerates the policies of the State regarding electrification. Moreover, the Special Trust Fund
feature of the universal charge reasonably serves and assures the attainment and perpetuity of
the
purposes for which the universal charge is imposed (e.g. to ensure the viability of the countrys
electric power industry), further boosting the position that the same is an exaction primarily in
pursuit of the States police objectives.
If generation of revenue is the primary purpose and regulation is merely incidental, the
imposition
is a tax; but if regulation is the primary purpose, the fact that revenue is incidentally raised does
not make the imposition a tax.
The taxing power may be used as an implement of police power.
The theory behind the exercise of the power to tax emanates from necessity; without taxes,
government cannot fulfill its mandate of promoting the general welfare and well-being of the
people.

AKSYON MAGSASAKA-PARTIDO TINIG NG MASA (AKMA-PTM), Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,


RESPONDENT, ABANTE KATUTUBO (ABANTE KA), FROILAN M. BACUNGAN AND HERMENEGILDO
DUMLAO, Petitioners-in-Intervention.
DECISION
VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
Before us is a petition1 for certiorari and mandamus under Rule 65 in relation to Rule 64 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure,
as amended, with prayer for injunctive reliefs, assailing the respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for alleged
grave abuse of discretion in prematurely and erroneously allocating additional seats to certain party-list groups proclaimed as
initial winners in the 2013 automated elections.
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The Antecedents
Petitioner was among the accredited candidates for party-list representative during the national and local elections held on
May 13, 2013.
On May 24, 2013, the COMELEC En Banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), under NBOC Resolution No.
0006-13, proclaimed fourteen (14) party-list groups, which obtained at least 2% of the total votes cast for the party-list
system and were thus entitled to one (1) guaranteed seat each, pursuant to Section 11 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7941. 2
On May 28, 2013, COMELEC promulgated the assailed NBOC Resolution No. 0008-13, 3 which is hereunder reproduced:
IN THE MATTER OF THE
PROCLAMATION OF x x x x
ADDITIONAL WINNING
PARTY-LIST GROUPS,
ORGANIZATIONS AND
COALITIONS IN CONNECTION
WITH THE MAY 13, 2013
AUTOMATED NATIONAL AND
LOCAL ELECTIONS.

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Promulgated: May 28, 2013


NBOC RESOLUTION NO. 0008-13
WHEREAS, the Commission on Elections, sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) for the election of
Senators of the Republic of the Philippines and Party-List representatives, had, as of May 28, 2013, officially canvassed, in
open and public proceedings, the votes for the Party-List System of Representation in connection with the May 13, 2013
automated national and local elections;
WHEREAS, on May 24, 2013, the NBOC issued Resolution No. 0006-13 partially proclaiming fourteen (14) party-list groups
as initial winners in the party-list election of May 13, 2013 elections, without prejudice to the allocation of additional seats or
the proclamation of other parties, organizations, or coalitions which may later on be established to be entitled to one
guaranteed seat and/or additional seat;
WHEREAS, the Commission on Elections, in its Resolution of May 24, 2013 in SPP Cases Numbered 12-157 (PLM); 12-191
(PLM); 12-185 (PLM); 12-238 (PLM); 12-228 (PLM); and 12-202 (PLM), and also in its Resolution of May 27, 2013 in SPP
Cases Numbered 12-161 (PLM); 12-263 (PLM); 12-292 (PLM); 12-256 (PLM); 12-229 (PLM); .and 12-272 (PLM) considered
the cancellation of registration of the following party-list groups as final and executory:

NAME OF PARTY-LIST
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1
0

Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the


Philippines, Inc.
Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy
Abang Lingkod Party-List
Binhi Partido ng mga Magsasaka Para Sa Mga
Magsasaka
Cocofed-Philippine Coconut Producers Federation,
Inc.
Atong Paglaum, Inc.
Kaagapay ng Nagkakaisang Agilang Pilipinong
Magsasaka
Aagapay ng Indigenous People Rights Alliance, Inc.
Ang Galing Pinoy
The True Marcos Loyalist (For God, Country &
People) Association of the Philippines, Inc.

ACRONYM

VOTES
GARNERED

SENIOR CITIZENS

677,642

ANAD
ABANG-LINGKOD

200,972
260,215

BINHI

185,537

COCOFED

103,393

ATONG PAGLAUM

95,467

KAP

57,104

A-IPRA
AG

28,240
4,252

BANTAY

113,798

1 Social Movement for Active Reform and


1 Transparency

SMART

83,033
1,809,65
3

TOTAL

WHEREAS, the total votes cast for the abovementioned party-list are considered "stray" and as such will not be included in
the total votes cast for party-list;
WHEREAS, on the basis of Party-List Canvass Report No. 10, there is a total of 26,722,131 votes cast for party-list;
WHEREAS, there are fifty-eight (58) available seats for party-list;
WHEREAS, in view of the remaining uncanvassed results and special elections in some areas, not all of the fifty-eight (58)
available party-list can be allocated in order not to prejudice the proclamation of other parties, organizations, or coalitions
which may later on be established to be entitled to a seat or additional seats;
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the powers vested in it under the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code (Batas
Pambansa Blg. 881), Republic Acts Numbered 9369, 8436,7941,7166,6646, and other election laws, the Commission on
Elections sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers for Party-List, RESOLVED, as it herebyRESOLVES,
to PROCLAIM the following party-list groups as initial winners in the party list elections of May 13, 2013, involving a total of
fifty-three (53) guaranteed and/or additional seats, without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties, organizations or
coalitions which may later on be established to be entitled to one guaranteed seat and/or additional seat:
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GRAND
TOTAL
28-May
1:52AM
PARTY-LIST
GROUP
BUHAY
A TEACHER
BAYAN MUNA
I-CARE
AKBAYAN
ABONO
AKB
OFW FAMILY
GABRIELA
COOP-NATCCO
AGAP
CIBAC
MAGDALO
AN WARAY
ABAMIN
ACT
TEACHERS
BUTIL
AMIN
ACT-CIS
KALINGA
LPGMA
TUCP
YACAP
AGRI
ANGKLA
ABS

1,265,992
1,040,898
952,767
933,831
827,405
767,645
763,103
750,753
713,492
641,355
592,069
583,768
565,883
540,906
465,989

PERCENTAGE (%) OF Guaranteed Additiona


VOTES GARNERED
Seat
l Seat
(2nd
Total
round) Seats
4.74
1
2
3
3.90
1
1
2
3.57
1
1
2
3.49
1
1
2
3.10
1
1
2
2.87
1
1
2
2.86
1
1
2
2.81
1
1
2
2.67
1
1
2
2.40
1
1
2
2.22
1
1
2
2.18
1
1
2
2.12
1
1
2
2.02
1
1
2
1.74
1
1

453,491

1.70

438,601
376,932
376,175
371,610
370,360
368,883
366,340
365,516
360,138
358,693

1.64
1.41
1.41
1.39
1.39
1.38
1.37
1.37
1.35
1.34

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

DIWA
KABATAAN
ANAK PAWIS
ALAY BUHAY
AAMBIS-OWA
1-SAGIP
AVE
ATING KOOP
1-BAP
ABAKADA
AMA
ANG NARS

341,443
340,573
321,110
316,947
311,725
287,060
270,159
267,452
245,237
243,994
243,551
242,835

1.28
1.27
1.20
1.19
1.17
1.07
1.01
1.00
0.92
0.91
0.91
0.91

SO ORDERED.

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

(SGD.)
SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR.
Chairman
(SGD.)

(SGD.)

LUCENITO N. TAGLE
Member

ELIAS R. YUSOPH
Member

(SGD.)
CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. LIM
Member

(SGD.)
MARIA GRACIA CIELO M. PADACA
Member

(On Official Business)

(SGD.)

AL A. PARRENO
Member

LUIE TITO F. GUIA


Member

The petition was filed with this Court on May 30, 2013. The Court did not issue a temporary restraining order. Subsequently,
the Court admitted the petition-in-intervention 4 filed by Abante Katutubo (ABANTE KA), Froilan M. Bacungan and
Hermenegildo Dumlao who claim to have "demonstrable, legal, moral and compelling interest in the outcome of the case and
the controversy."5
Petitioner's Arguments
Petitioner contends that COMELEC's allocation of additional seats for those two-percenters and 38 other groups proclaimed as
initial winners greatly prejudiced its interest and those other parties or organizations as potential winners. It points out that
the proclamation of initial winners with additional seats on the second round was hasty and premature because at the time
the canvassing for party-list was still ongoing, there were still uncanvassed and untransmitted results from Mindanao, as well
as uncanvassed overseas and local absentee votes, and the results from special elections in several areas of the country had
yet to be transmitted. Attached to the petition is a copy of Canvass Report No. 8, 6 COMELEC's Tally Sheet showing that as of
May 23, 2013 petitioner had garnered 155,131 votes.
The projected figures of COMELEC such as the maximum total votes cast for party-list were also assailed as difficult and
impractical, considering that, unlike in the May 10, 2010 elections there existed a considerable number of untransmitted
results due to the breakdown, malfunctioning or glitches of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines during the May
13, 2013 elections, a fact well-reported in the papers. Petitioner asserts that the proclamation of initial winners for party-list
groups with additional seats was invalid, as it was based on an incomplete canvass/consolidation of only 110 Certificates of
Canvass (COCs), some of which were not electronically transmitted in gross violation of Section 27, R.A. No. 8436 (as
amended by Section 22, R.A. No. 9369). National Canvass Report No. 10 7 likewise did not state the total votes cast for partylist.8
Petitioner further argues that the allocation of additional seats did not conform to Section 11 of R.A. No. 7941 and this
Court's ruling in Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) v. COMELEC 9. It points out that
the product of the percentage of votes obtained by the party-list group multiplied by the additional seats available is not
an integer, such as the following figures found in the Table of party-list groups allocated with additional seats: 0.961, 0.932,
0.89, etc. Consequently, COMELEC seriously erred in computing the values and interpreting the results in the second round
leading to the invalid and unjust allocation of additional seats to the two-percenters to the prejudice of other party-list groups
such as petitioner.
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Petitioners-in-intervention's Arguments
Petitioners-in-intervention join petitioner in the foregoing arguments. It reiterates the rule that an incomplete canvass of
votes is illegal and cannot be the basis of a proclamation, citing Utto v. COMELEC10. In this case, only 110 out of 301 COCs
had been canvassed or reported when COMELEC proclaimed the party-list winners. Like petitioner, the petitioners-inintervention deplore the COMELEC'S alleged lack of transparency in the factual basis of the party-list election results. The
proclamation of initial winners despite the incomplete canvass contravened Section 231 of theOmnibus Election
Code requiring a COC to be prepared by the Board of Canvassers "supported by a statement of the votes received by each
candidate in each polling place,"11 Section 21 of R.A. No. 8436 requiring a completed canvass as a condition sine qua non to
the printing of COCs, and therefore, proclamation of the elected officials; and Section 28 of the General Instructions for
Special Board of Canvassers in the May 13, 2013 elections (COMELEC Resolution No. 9648), mandating the receipt and
consolidation of "all expected" results from the precincts, municipalities, cities or provinces as the case may be, to generate
and print COCs.
On the alleged irregularities or malfunctioning of the PCOS machines, petitioners-in-intervention expressed concern that up
to now, there is still no acceptable guarantee that the scanners or PCOS machines read the votes in the ballots fed to them
and that these were counted properly. It points out that Smartmatic, Inc., which provided the PCOS machines, did away with
the security features provided under the Automated Election System law (R.A. No. 9369), which issue is the subject of a
petition filed in this Court by civil society groups (G.R. No. 201413).
Another problem for COMELEC, according to petitioners-in-intervention, is the matter of disqualified party-list candidates, like
the Atong Paglaum consolidated cases which have been ordered remanded by this Court for determination of their bona fide
status under the new guidelines set in this Court's decision. In any event, petitioners-in-intervention believe that ABANTE KA
and AKMA-PTM would get enough votes since AK1VIA-PTM had 155,090 votes and ABANTE KA had 110,690 votes as
reflected in National Canvass Report12. They both wanted to know what happened to their votes and this Court should compel
COMELEC to answer this question.
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The Solicitor General's Comment


In his Consolidated Comment,13 the Solicitor General asserts that COMELEC faithfully adhered to the procedure prescribed
in BANAT in the allocation of party-list seats (14 guaranteed seats were first allocated to those who obtained 2% of the total
votes cast for party-list and thereafter 44 additional seats were completely distributed). It was explained that party-list
groups with products of less than one were still allocated seats depending on their rank and availability of seats. As to the
uncanvassed votes at the time, COMELEC had reserved five "buffer" seats to accommodate possible changes in the ranking.
Three of these "buffer" seats were distributed to ANAC-IP, AGBIAG! and APPEND, while the other two seats were reserved
pursuant to this Court's directive in Senior Citizen's Party-List v. COMELEC14.
The Solicitor General further contends that COMELEC's proclamation of initial winners under NBOC Res. No. 0008-13 is valid
as the votes yet to be canvassed did not materially affect the results of the election. He cites the National Canvass Report No.
1115 (as of July 18, 2013) reflecting a very minimal change in the ranking of party-list groups. The grand total of votes
garnered by AKMA-PTM and ABANTE KA were 165,784 (0.58%) and 111,625 (0.39%), respectively, still insufficient to be
entitled to an additional seat in the second round.
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Issue
The sole issue to be addressed is whether the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in allocating the additional seats for the
38 party-list candidates proclaimed as winners in the May 13, 2013 elections.
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Our Ruling
We dismiss the petition and petition-in-intervention.
COMELEC is authorized by law to proclaim winning candidates if the remaining uncanvassed election returns
will not affect the result of the elections
An incomplete canvass of votes is illegal and cannot be the basis of a subsequent proclamation. A canvass is not reflective of
the true vote of the electorate unless the board of canvassers considers all returns and omits none. However, this is true only
where the election returns missing or not counted will affect the results of the election. 16
Section 233 of the Omnibus Election Code authorizes the board of canvassers to proclaim winning candidates in cases of
delayed or lost election returns if the missing returns will not affect the results of the election. Said provision reads:
SEC. 233. When the election returns are delayed, lost or destroyed. - x x x The board of canvassers, notwithstanding the fact
that not all the election returns have been received by it, may terminate the canvass and proclaim the candidates elected on
the basis of the available election returns if the missing election returns will not affect the results of the election.
In Barbers v. COMELEC17 we dismissed a petition to annul the NBOC resolutions affirming the proclamation of COMELEC
declaring Rodolfo G. Biazon (Biazon) as the duly elected 12 th Senator in the May 10, 2004 national and local elections. On
petitioner's argument that the proclamation was premature and void, we ruled that COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of
discretion since the uncanvassed returns and the results of the special elections to be held would not materially affect the
results of the elections.
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In this case, COMELEC based its ruling on its national canvass reports for party-list. As of May 28, 2013, AKMA-PTM garnered
164,980 votes and ABANTE KA had 111,429 votes. In Party-List Canvass Report No. 11 as of July 18, 2013, AKMA-PTM's
total votes slightly increased to 165,784 votes while ABANTE KA had a total of 111,625 votes. There was no significant
change in the rankings as per the latest canvass and therefore COMELEC had sufficient basis for proclaiming the initial
winners on May 28, 2013 and reserving only five buffer seats.
On the alleged irregularities and glitches in the PCOS machines resulting in non-transmittal of election returns, no competent
evidence had been presented by petitioner in support of its allegations. It is a basic rule in evidence that each party must
prove his affirmative allegation,18 and that mere allegation is not evidence.19

Moreover, the factual question of the number of still uncanvassed votes at the time of the proclamation of initial winners
should have been raised before the COMELEC because this Court is not a trier of facts. 20 On the basis of its official records,
COMELEC had made a determination that the remaining uncanvassed votes will no longer materially affect the result of the
party-list elections and that the five buffer seats were sufficient to accommodate additional winners. The COMELEC enjoys
the presumption of good faith and regularity in the performance of official duty.21
COMELEC's allocation of additional seats for party-list in accordance with our ruling in BANAT
Section 12 of R.A. No. 7941 provides for the procedure in allocating seats for the party-list system:
SEC. 12. Procedure in Allocating Seats for Party-List Representatives. - The COMELEC shall tally all the votes for the parties,
organizations, or coalitions on a nationwide basis, rank them according to the number of votes received and allocate partylist representatives proportionately according to the percentage of votes obtained by each party, organization, or coalition as
against the total nationwide votes cast for the party-list system.
In BANAT v. COMELEC,22 we laid down the following procedure in determining the allocation of seats for party-list
representatives under Section 11 of R.A. No. 7941:
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chanroble svirtuallawlibrary

1.

The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the number of
votes they garnered during the elections.

2.

The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list
system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each.

3.

Those garnering sufficient number of votes, according to the ranking in paragraph 1, shall be entitled to additional
seats in proportion to their total number of votes until all the additional seats are allocated.

4.

Each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats.

As to the allocation of additional seats on the second round, after deducting the guaranteed one seat each, for those who
obtained 2% of the total votes cast for party-list, from the number of available party-list seats, we further held in BANAT that
In computing the additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no longer be included because they have already been
allocated, at one seat each, to every two-percenter. Thus, the remaining available seats for allocation as "additional seats"
are the maximum seats reserved under the Party List System less the guaranteed seats. Fractional seats are disregarded in
the absence of a provision in R.A. No. 7941 allowing for a rounding off of fractional seats.
In declaring the two percent threshold unconstitutional, we do not limit our allocation of additional seats in Table 3 below to
the two-percenters. 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 party's share in the remaining available seats. Second, we assign
one party-list 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. Finally, we apply the three-seat cap
to determine the number of seats each qualified party-list candidate is entitled. Thus:
Table 3. Distribution of Available Party-List Seats

Additiona
Votes Guarantee l Seats (B) plus
Applying
Garnere
d Seat
(C), in
the
d over
whole
three
Total
integer
seat cap
Votes for
(Second
s
Party
(First
Round)
List, in
Round)
%
(C)
Ran
k
1
2
3
4
5

Party
BUHAY
BAYAN MUNA
CIBAC
GABRIELA
APEC

Votes
Garnered

(B)
(A)

1,169,234
979,039
755,686
621,171
619,657

7.33
6.14
4.74
3.89
3.88

1
1
1
1
1

(D)

2.79
2.33
1.80
1.48
1.48

3
3
2
2
2

(E)

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

6
7
8
9*
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
Tota
l
*

A Teacher
AKBAYAN
ALAGAD
COOPNATCCO
BUTIL
BATAS
ARC
ANAKPAWIS
ABONO
AMIN
AGAP
AN WARAY
YACAP
FPJPM
UNI-MAD
ABS
KAKUSA
KABATAAN
ABA-AKO
ALIF
SENIOR
CITIZENS
AT
VFP
ANAD
BANAT
ANG
KASANGGA
BANTAY
ABAKADA
1-UTAK
TUCP
COCOFED

490,379
466,112
423,149

3.07
2.92
2.65

1
1
1

1.17
1.11
1.01

2
2
2

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

409,883

2.57

N.A.

409,160
385,810
374,288
370,261
339,990
338,185
328,724
321,503
310,889
300,923
245,382
235,086
228,999
228,637
218,818
217,822

2.57
2.42
2.35
2.32
2.13
2.12
2.06
2.02
1.95
1.89
1.54
1.47
1.44
1.43
1.37
1.37

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

213,058

1.34

N.A.

197,872
196,266
188,521
177,028

1.24
1.23
1.18
1.11

0
0
0
0

1
1
1
1

1
1
1
1

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

170,531

1.07

N.A.

169,801
166,747
164,980
162,647
155,920

1.06
1.05
1.03%
1.02%
0.98%

0
0
0
0
0

1
1
1
1
1

1
1
1
1
1

N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

17

55

The product of the percentage and the remaining available seats of all parties ranked nine and below is less than one.

Applying the procedure of seat allocation as illustrated in Table 3 above, there are 55 party-list representatives from the 36
winning party-list organizations. All 55 available party-list seats are filled. The additional seats allocated to the parties with
sufficient number of votes for one whole seat, in no case to exceed a total of three seats for each party, are shown in column
(D).23 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
It is clear from the foregoing that party-list groups garnering less than 2% of the party-list votes may yet qualify for a seat in
the allocation of additional seats depending on their ranking in the second round. As shown in Table 3, it was noted that the
product of the percentage and the remaining available seats of all parties ranked 9 and below is less than one. This conflicts
with the interpretation of petitioner that those party-list groups with product of the percentage less than one, and hence not
an integer, are not entitled to one seat in the allocation of additional seats. Indeed, following petitioner's interpretation would
result in the remaining party-list seats not being filled up. For that same reason, BANAT declared unconstitutional the
continued operation of the two-percent threshold, as it was deemed "an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of
Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution and prevents the attainment of the 'broadest possible representation of party,
sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives.'" 24 Apparently, petitioner mistakenly assumed that the statement
in BANAT disallowing fractional seats insofar as the additional seats for the two-percenters in the second round should also
apply to those party-list groups with less than 2% votes. But as demonstrated in BANAT, the 20% share in representation
may never be filled up if the 2% threshold is maintained. In the same vein, the maximum representation will not be achieved
if those party-list groups obtaining less than one percentage are disqualified from even one additional seat in the second
round.

In sum, we hold that COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in allocating the party-list seats in the 2013
elections and proclaiming the winners after distributing the guaranteed and additional seats in accordance with our ruling
in BANAT.
cralawre d

WHEREFORE, the petition and petition-in-intervention are both DISMISSED for lack of merit.
No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

SEMA VS COMELEC
The Province of Maguindanao is part of ARMM. Cotabato City is part of the province of
Maguindanao but it is not part of ARMM because Cotabato City voted against its inclusion in a
plebiscite held in 1989. Maguindanao has two legislative districts. The 1 st legislative district
comprises of Cotabato City and 8 other municipalities.
A law (RA 9054) was passed amending ARMMs Organic Act and vesting it with power to create
provinces, municipalities, cities and barangays. Pursuant to this law, the ARMM Regional
Assembly created Shariff Kabunsuan (Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act 201) which comprised of
the municipalities of the 1st district of Maguindanao with the exception of Cotabato City.
For the purposes of the 2007 elections, COMELEC initially stated that the 1 st district is now only
made of Cotabato City (because of MMA 201). But it later amended this stating that status quo
should be retained; however, just for the purposes of the elections, the first district should be
called Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato City this is also while awaiting a decisive declaration
from Congress as to Cotabatos status as a legislative district (or part of any).
Bai Sandra Sema was a congressional candidate for the legislative district of S. Kabunsuan with
Cotabato (1stdistrict). Later, Sema was contending that Cotabato City should be a separate
legislative district and that votes therefrom should be excluded in the voting (probably because
her rival Dilangalen was from there and D was winning in fact he won). She contended that
under the Constitution, upon creation of a province (S. Kabunsuan), that province automatically
gains legislative representation and since S. Kabunsuan excludes Cotabato City so in effect
Cotabato is being deprived of a representative in the HOR.
COMELEC maintained that the legislative district is still there and that regardless of S. Kabunsuan
being created, the legislative district is not affected and so is its representation.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 9054 is unconstitutional. Whether or not ARMM can create validly
LGUs.
HELD: RA 9054 is unconstitutional. The creation of local government units is governed by
Section 10, Article X of the Constitution, which provides:
Sec. 10. No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished
or its boundary substantially altered except in accordance with the criteria established in the
local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in
the political units directly affected.
Thus, the creation of any of the four local government units province, city, municipality or
barangay must comply with three conditions. First, the creation of a local government unit must
follow the criteria fixed in the Local Government Code. Second, such creation must not conflict
with any provision of the Constitution. Third, there must be a plebiscite in the political units
affected.
There is neither an express prohibition nor an express grant of authority in the Constitution for
Congress to delegate to regional or local legislative bodies the power to create local government
units. However, under its plenary legislative powers, Congress can delegate to local legislative
bodies the power to create local government units, subject to reasonable standards and provided
no conflict arises with any provision of the Constitution. In fact, Congress has delegated to

provincial boards, and city and municipal councils, the power to create barangays within their
jurisdiction, subject to compliance with the criteria established in the Local Government Code,
and the plebiscite requirement in Section 10, Article X of the Constitution. Hence, ARMM cannot
validly create Shariff Kabunsuan province.
Note that in order to create a city there must be at least a population of at least 250k, and that a
province, once created, should have at least one representative in the HOR. Note further that in
order to have a legislative district, there must at least be 250k (population) in said district.
Cotabato City did not meet the population requirement so Semas contention is untenable. On
the other hand, ARMM cannot validly create the province of S. Kabunsuan without first creating a
legislative district. But this can never be legally possible because the creation of legislative
districts is vested solely in Congress. At most, what ARMM can create are barangays not cities
and provinces.
GEORGIDI B. AGGABAO, petitioner, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, the
PROVINCIAL BOARD of CANVASSERS of ISABELA, and ANTHONY
MIRANDA, respondents.
This Petition for Certiorari[1] seeks to annul and set aside as having been issued with grave abuse
of discretion Resolution No. 7233 of the COMELEC En Banc and the proclamation of private
respondent Anthony Miranda as Congressman for the 4 th District of Isabela.[2]
Petitioner Georgidi B. Aggabao and private respondent Anthony Miranda were rival congressional
candidates for the 4th District of Isabela during the May 10, 2004 elections. During the
canvassing of the certificates of canvass of votes (COCV) for the municipalities of Cordon and
San Agustin, Miranda moved for the exclusion of the 1 st copy of the COCV on grounds that it was
tampered with; prepared under duress; differed from other authentic copies and contained
manifest errors.[3]
Aggabao objected arguing that the grounds raised by Miranda are proper only for a preproclamation controversy which is not allowed in elections for Members of the House of
Representatives.[4]
On May 22, 2004, the reconstituted Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC) excluded from canvass
the contested COCVs and used instead the 4 th and 7th copies of the COCVs.[5]Based on the results,
Miranda garnered the highest number of votes for the position of Congressman.
On appeal with the COMELEC,[6] petitioner asserted that the PBC acted without
jurisdiction[7] when it heard Mirandas Petition for Exclusion. Even assuming that the PBC had
jurisdiction over the petition, it still erred in excluding the contested COCVs as they appeared
regular and properly authenticated.[8]
On June 6, 2004, private respondent filed a Very Urgent Motion for Proclamation[9] which was
opposed[10] by petitioner who contended that the pendency of his appeal with the COMELEC
Second Division is a bar to Mirandas proclamation.
In a Memorandum dated June 8, 2004, Commissioner Mehol K. Sadain, commissioner in-charge
for Regions II and III, approved the proclamation of the remaining winning candidates for the
province of Isabela.[11]
On June 9, 2004, the COMELEC En Banc issued Resolution No. 7233 likewise directing the
proclamation of the remaining winning candidates in Isabela. [12] On the same day, petitioner filed
with the COMELEC an Urgent Motion to Set Aside the Notice of Proclamation with Prayer for the
Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order.[13]
On June 14, 2004, Miranda was proclaimed as the duly elected Congressman for the 4 th District of
Isabela.[14]
Two days after the proclamation, Aggabao filed this petition assailing Resolution No. 7233. He
claimed that the COMELEC En Banc acted without jurisdiction when it ordered Mirandas
proclamation considering that the Second Division has not yet resolved the appeal.

In his Comment,[15] Miranda moved for the dismissal of the petition considering that the issue
raised by Aggabao is best addressed to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal(HRET).[16]
On August 27, 2004, the petitioner filed a Consolidated Motion for Early Resolution;
Manifestation that the COMELEC Second Division Issued a Resolution Sustaining the Appeal of
the Petitioner; and Reply to the Comment.[17] He manifested that on August 16, 2004, the
COMELEC Second Division gave due course to his pending appeal. [18] At the same time, he
bewailed the failure of the COMELEC Second Division to annul the proclamation. [19]
The basic issue for resolution is whether we can take cognizance of this petition.
Certiorari as a special civil action can be availed of only if there is concurrence of the essential
requisites, to wit: (a) the tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial functions has acted without
or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, and
(b) there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
for the purpose of annulling or modifying the proceeding. There must be capricious, arbitrary and
whimsical exercise of power for it to prosper. [20]
Article VI, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution provides:
Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal
which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of
their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of
whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the
remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may
be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and
the parties or organization registered under the party-list system represented therein. The senior
Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.
In Pangilinan v. Commission on Elections[21] we ruled that:
The Senate and the House of Representatives now have their respective Electoral Tribunals which
are the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their
respective Members, thereby divesting the Commission on Elections of its jurisdiction under the
1973 Constitution over election cases pertaining to the election of the Members of the Batasang
Pambansa (Congress). It follows that the COMELEC is now bereft of jurisdiction to hear and
decide pre-proclamation controversies against members of the House of Representatives as well
as of the Senate.
The HRET has sole and exclusive jurisdiction over all contests relative to the election, returns,
and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives. Thus, once a winning candidate
has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of
Representatives, COMELECs jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns,
and qualifications ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins. [22]
It is undisputed that Miranda has already been proclaimed, taken his oath and assumed office on
June 14, 2004. As such, petitioners recourse would have been to file an electoral protest before
the HRET. His remedy is not this petition for certiorari. Thus:
Finally, the private respondent Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. has already been proclaimed as the winner
in the congressional elections in the fourth district of Quezon City. He has taken his oath of office
and assumed his duties as representative; hence, the remedy open to the petitioner was to have
filed an electoral protest with the Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives. [23]
The allegation that Mirandas proclamation is null and void ab initio does not divest the HRET of
its jurisdiction. Thus:
(I)n an electoral contest where the validity of the proclamation of a winning candidate who has
taken his oath of office and assumed his post as Congressman is raised, that issue is best
addressed to the HRET. The reason for this ruling is self-evident, for it avoids duplicity of

proceedings and a clash of jurisdiction between constitutional bodies, with due regard to the
peoples mandate.[24]
In Lazatin v. Commission on Elections[25] we ruled that, upon proclamation of the winning
candidate and despite its alleged invalidity, the COMELEC is divested of its jurisdiction to hear
the protest. Thus:
The petition is impressed with merit because the petitioner has been proclaimed winner of the
Congressional elections in the first district of Pampanga, has taken his oath of office as such, and
assumed his duties as Congressman. For this Court to take cognizance of the electoral protest
against him would be to usurp the functions of the House Electoral Tribunal. The alleged
invalidity of the proclamation (which has been previously ordered by the COMELEC itself) despite
alleged irregularities in connection therewith, and despite the pendency of the protests of the
rival candidates, is a matter that is also addressed, considering the premises, to the sound
judgment of the Electoral Tribunal.
In this case, certiorari will not lie considering that there is an available and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law for the purpose of annulling or modifying the proceedings before the
COMELEC. After the proclamation, petitioners remedy was an electoral protest before the HRET.
The resolution of the issues presented in this petition is best addressed to the sound judgment
and discretion of the electoral tribunal.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant Petition for Certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of
merit. No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

LIWAYWAY VINZONS-CHATO, Petitioner,


vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and RENATO J. UNICO, Respondents.
Before the Court is a petition for certiorari 1 filed by Liwayway Vinzons-Chato seeking to nullify the
Resolution2dated March 17, 2006 of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) en banc in SPC No.
04-096. The assailed resolution affirmed the Resolution 3 dated April 13, 2005 of the COMELEC
(First Division) dismissing petitioner Chatos "petition to correct/nullify the election returns in the
municipality of Labo, Camarines Norte, due to illegality of the proceedings before respondent
Municipal Board of Canvassers of Labo and for manifest errors in the election returns; to declare
null and void and without legal effect the proclamation of respondent candidate; and to declare
and proclaim petitioner as the candidate with the highest number of votes received for the lone
congressional district of the Province of Camarines Norte."
The factual and procedural antecedents are as follows:
Petitioner Chato and respondent Renato J. Unico were among the candidates for the lone
congressional district of Camarines Norte during the May 10, 2004 synchronized national and
local elections.
In her petition filed with the COMELEC, petitioner Chato alleged that during the canvassing of the
election returns before the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Labo (MBC Labo) from May 10 to 12,
2004, her counsel raised several objections and pointed to manifest errors or obvious
discrepancies in the election returns from various precincts of the municipality of Labo. Prior to
the suspension of proceedings on May 12, 2004, the MBC Labo gave her twenty-four (24) hours,
or until 6:00 p.m. of May 13, 2004, to prove her allegations.
Allegedly in violation of the procedure prescribed in Section 20 4 of Republic Act No. 7166 (An Act
Providing for Synchronized National and
Local Elections and For Electoral Reforms, Authorizing Appropriations Therefor, and For Other
Purposes), before the expiration of the period granted and without notice to petitioner Chato or

her counsel, the MBC Labo concluded the canvassing of votes and hastily forwarded the results
of its canvass to the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC) of Camarines Norte. At that time,
which was around 4:00 p.m. of May 13, 2004, petitioner Chatos counsel was supposed to deliver
to the MBC Labo her letter enumerating the election returns allegedly containing manifest errors
and discrepancies.
Petitioner Chatos counsel was thus constrained to appear before the PBC and moved for the
suspension of its proceedings on the ground that there were still pending incidents before the
MBC Labo. The PBC, however, denied the said motion. Upon instruction of the PBC, petitioner
Chato filed therewith a letter-petition for reconsideration of the denial of her request to remand
the matter to the MBC. However, on May 14, 2004, at around 10:00 a.m., petitioner Chatos
counsel received a Resolution, of even date, of the PBC denying with finality her letter-petition for
reconsideration. In so ruling, the PBC stated that pre-proclamation controversy was not allowed
for the election of Members of the House of Representatives. It noted that the matters raised by
petitioner Chato, which formed part of the proceedings of the PBC, were proper for an election
protest before the competent tribunal. Further, according to the PBC, it had no authority to direct
the MBC Labo to reconvene for the purpose of receiving petitioner Chatos written objections and
supporting documents and re-canvassing the election returns.
Likewise on May 14, 2004, at 11:30 a.m., the PBC proclaimed respondent Unico as
representative-elect of the lone congressional district of Camarines Norte.1awphi1.nt
Petitioner Chato forthwith filed with the COMELEC a Petition alleging manifest errors in that
1) Total number of ballots found in the compartment for valid ballots is more than the number of
voters who actually voted in Barangays Anamea[m], Bagong Silang III, Bakiad, Malangcao Basud
and Submakin;
2) Total number of votes counted is less than the number of voters who actually voted in
Barangays Gumamela, Pinya, Dalas, Anameam, Baay, Bagacay, Bagong Silang I, II & III, Bakiad,
Bautista, Bayan-Bayan, Bulhao, Cabusay, Calabasa, Cabatuhan, Canapwan, Daguit I,
Dumagmang, Exciban, Fundado, Gumacutan, Guisican, Iberica, Lugui, Mabilo I & II, Macogon,
Mahan-hawan, Malanggan Masalong, Napaod, Pag-asa, Pangpang, San Antonio, Sta. Cruz,
Submakin, Talobalib and Tulay na Lupa;
3) The entries in some election returns coming from different precincts in Barangays Tulay na
Lupa, Baay and Lugui, all of Labo, Camarines Norte, appear to have been written by one
person;1a\^/phi1.net
4) No data on number of voters who actually voted and of ballots found in compartment for valid
ballots from Barangays Bulhao, San Antonio, Tulay na Lupa, Daguit, Pinya, Cabusay, Napaod,
Pag-asa and Dalas; and
5) One election return is supposedly an election return from Barangay Del Carmen, Labo, but
there is apparently no Barangay Del Carmen and does not appear to be part of the series of
election returns assigned to Labo.5
Petitioner Chato insisted that correction of manifest errors in the certificates of canvass or
election returns, questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the boards of canvassers,
or noting of
objections on election returns or certificates of canvass were allowed before the MBC. She further
claimed that with all the manifest errors and obvious discrepancies appearing on the face of the
election returns, it could not be said that the canvassing of votes in Labo reflected the true and
correct number of votes that she received in the said municipality.
On July 2, 2004, the COMELEC (First Division) ordered the suspension of the effects of the
proclamation of respondent Unico. On July 23, 2004, it lifted the said order on the ground that
respondent Unicos proclamation and taking of oath of office had not only divested the
Commission of any jurisdiction to pass upon his election, returns, and qualifications, but also
automatically conferred jurisdiction to another electoral tribunal.

Subsequently, the COMELEC (First Division) issued the Resolution dated April 13, 2005,
dismissing the petition for lack of merit. It stated preliminarily that the MBC is precluded from
entertaining pre-proclamation controversies on matters relating to the preparation, transmission,
receipt, custody, and appreciation of the election returns or certificates of canvass involving the
positions of President, Vice-President, Senators, and Members of the House of Representatives
and Party-List.
The COMELEC (First Division) found that the relief sought by petitioner Chato was actually for the
re-counting of votes, not merely correction of manifest errors in the election returns. Further, in
seeking to nullify respondent Unicos proclamation, petitioner Chato alleged manifest errors in
the election returns and that they were tampered with and prepared under duress.
Addressing these contentions, the COMELEC (First Division) explained that a re-count of votes is
not within the province of a pre-proclamation controversy, which is generally limited to an
examination of the election returns on their face. It observed that under Section 31 6 of COMELEC
Resolution No. 6669 (General Instructions for Municipal/City/Provincial and District Board of
Canvassers in connection with the May 10, 2004 Elections), objections to the election returns or
certificates of canvass were to be specifically noted in the minutes of the board. With respect to
the manifest errors alleged by petitioner Chato, the COMELEC (First Division) stated that her
objections were general in character as they failed to specify the election return(s) containing
these alleged manifest errors as well as the precinct(s) from which they came. Under the
circumstances, the MBC Labo could not immediately rule on petitioner Chatos bare allegations
for to do so would have resulted in a fishing expedition.
The COMELEC (First Division) mentioned that even her petition for reconsideration filed with the
PBC was bereft of evidence to support her claim of manifest errors. It was only in her petition
filed with the COMELEC that petitioner Chato specifically enumerated the election returns that
allegedly contained infirmities or manifest errors. However, according to the COMELEC (First
Division), the resolution of the matters raised by petitioner Chato, e.g., correction of the votes
garnered by the candidates and reflected in the election returns, would require the opening of
the ballots. This could only be done in an election protest considering that petitioner Chato
likewise alleged fraud, substitution, and vote padding.
The COMELEC (First Division) also held that the MBC or PBC had no discretion on matters
pertaining to the proclamation of the winning candidates because they were simply performing a
ministerial function.1vvphi1.nt Absent a lawful order from the COMELEC to suspend or annul a
proclamation, the PBC of Camarines Norte, in particular, was mandated to comply with its duties
and functions including the proclamation of respondent Unico as the winning candidate for the
lone congressional district of Camarines Norte. The decretal portion of the Resolution dated April
13, 2005 of the COMELEC (First Division) stated:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for utter LACK OF
MERIT.
SO ORDERED.7
Aggrieved, petitioner Chato filed a motion for reconsideration thereof which was elevated to the
COMELEC en banc for resolution.
In the assailed Resolution dated March 17, 2006, the COMELEC en banc denied petitioner Chatos
motion for reconsideration ruling that the Commission already lost jurisdiction over the case in
view of the fact that respondent Unico had already taken his oath as a Member of the Thirteenth
(13th) Congress. It reasoned, thus:
In Pangilinan vs. Commission on Elections (G.R. No. 105278, November 18, 1993), the Supreme
Court made a categorical pronouncement that:
The Senate and the House of Representatives now have their respective Electoral Tribunals which
are the "sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their
respective Members, thereby divesting the Commission on Elections of its jurisdiction under the

1973 Constitution over election cases pertaining to the election of the Members of the Batasang
Pambansa (Congress). It follows that the COMELEC is now bereft of jurisdiction to hear and
decide the pre-proclamation controversies against members of the House of Representatives as
well as of the Senate.
The Honorable Court reiterated the aforequoted ruling in the recent case of Aggabao vs.
COMELEC, et al. (G.R. No. 163756, January 26, 2005), where it held that:
The HRET has sole and exclusive jurisdiction over all contests relative to the election, returns,
and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives. Thus, once a winning candidate
has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of
Representatives, COMELECs jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns,
and qualifications ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins.
Considering that private respondent Renato Unico had already taken his oath and assumed office
as member of the 13th Congress, the Commission had already lost jurisdiction over the case.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION is hereby DENIED for
lack of merit. The Resolution of this Commission (First Division) promulgated last April 13, 2005 is
affirmed.
SO ORDERED.8
Petitioner Chato now seeks recourse to the Court alleging that:
THE SOLE ISSUE FOR CONSIDERATION BY THIS HONORABLE COURT IS WHETHER OR NOT THE
PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMELEC COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK
OF OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN PROMULGATING THE QUESTIONED RESOLUTION ON MARCH
17, 2006.9
Petitioner Chato essentially contends that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion
when it ruled that it had already been divested of jurisdiction upon respondent Unicos
assumption of office as a Member of the House of Representatives. Petitioner Chato vigorously
asserts that respondent Unicos proclamation was void because it was based on doctored
election documents and not through the legitimate will of the electorate. As such, it can allegedly
be challenged even after respondent Unico had assumed office.
Petitioner Chato further submits that the COMELEC possesses the authority to pass upon issues
involving manifest errors in the certificates of canvass and the composition of the board or its
proceedings. It also has the authority to pass upon the nullity of what otherwise is a null and void
proclamation.
With respect to petitioner Chatos case, the MBC allegedly violated Section 20 of RA 7166 by
failing to rule on her objections during the canvassing of votes. The PBC allegedly confounded
this error by refusing to correct the alleged manifest errors in the election returns or certificate of
canvass before it. The COMELEC, for its part, allegedly committed grave abuse of discretion
when it did not annul the proclamation of respondent Unico even as it allegedly possessed such
authority as well as to correct manifest errors in the election returns and certificates of canvass,
and order the re-counting of the ballots. Petitioner Chato emphasized that the COMELEC has the
power of supervision and control over boards of canvassers, including the power to review, revise
and/or set aside their rulings. Although the COMELEC, through the First Division in its earlier
order suspending the effects of respondent Unicos proclamation, ordered the examination of the
evidence and documents submitted by the parties, petitioner Chato avers that the COMELEC
never disclosed the outcome of this supposed examination.
She thus urges the Court to order the COMELEC to direct the examination of the election returns
of the municipality of Labo, Camarines Norte, or release the results thereof if one had already
been undertaken; constitute and convene a new MBC, and direct the same to prepare a new
election return, accomplish a new certificate of canvass and submit it to the PBC; direct the PBC

to reconvene and canvass the new certificate of canvass, and subsequently proclaim the winning
candidate for the lone congressional district of Camarines Norte.
The petition is bereft of merit.
Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution reads:
SEC. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal
which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of
their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of
whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the
remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may
be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and
the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The
senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.
Construing this provision in Pangilinan v. Commission on Elections, 10 the Court held that:
x x x The Senate and the House of Representatives now have their respective Electoral Tribunals
which are the "sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of
their respective Members," thereby divesting the Commission on Elections of its jurisdiction
under the 1973 Constitution over election cases pertaining to the election of the Members of the
Batasang Pambansa (Congress). x x x
With respect to the House of Representatives, it is the House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal (HRET) that has the sole and exclusive jurisdiction over contests relative to the election,
returns and qualifications of its members. The use of the word "sole" in Section 17, Article VI of
the Constitution and in Section 250 of the Omnibus Election Code underscores the exclusivity of
the Electoral Tribunals jurisdiction over election contests relating to its members. 11
Further, the phrase "election, returns, and qualifications" has been interpreted in this wise:
The phrase "election, returns, and qualifications" should be interpreted in its totality as referring
to all matters affecting the validity of the contestees title. But if it is necessary to specify, we
can say that "election" referred to the conduct of the polls, including the listing of voters, the
holding of the electoral campaign, and the casting and counting of votes; "returns" 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" 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 certificate of
candidacy.12 (Emphasis supplied).
The Court has invariably held that once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his
oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, the COMELECs
jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends, and
the HRETs own jurisdiction begins.13 Stated in another manner, where the candidate has already
been proclaimed winner in the congressional elections, the remedy of the petitioner is to file an
electoral protest with the HRET.14
In the present case, it is not disputed that respondent Unico has already been proclaimed and
taken his oath of office as a Member of the House of Representatives (Thirteenth Congress);
hence, the COMELEC correctly ruled that it had already lost jurisdiction over petitioner Chatos
petition. The issues raised by petitioner Chato essentially relate to the canvassing of returns and
alleged invalidity of respondent Unicos proclamation. These are matters that are best addressed
to the sound judgment and discretion of the HRET. Significantly, the allegation that respondent
Unicos proclamation is null and void does not divest the HRET of its jurisdiction:
x x x [I]n an electoral contest where the validity of the proclamation of a winning candidate who
has taken his oath of office and assumed his post as Congressman is raised, that issue is best
addressed to the HRET. The reason for this ruling is self-evident, for it avoids duplicity of

proceedings and a clash of jurisdiction between constitutional bodies, with due regard to the
peoples mandate.15
Further, for the Court to take cognizance of petitioner Chatos election protest against
respondent Unico would be to usurp the constitutionally mandated functions of the
HRET.16 Petitioner Chatos remedy would have been to file an election protest before the said
tribunal, not this petition for certiorari. The special civil action of certiorari is available only if
there is concurrence of the essential requisites, to wit: (1) the tribunal, board or officer exercising
judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, and (b) there is no appeal or any plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law to annul or modify the proceeding.
There must be capricious, arbitrary and whimsical exercise of power for certiorari to prosper. 17
All told, the COMELEC en banc clearly did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it issued
the assailed Resolution dated March 17, 2006 holding that it had lost jurisdiction upon
respondent Unicos proclamation and oath-taking as a Member of the House of Representatives.
On the contrary, it demonstrated fealty to the constitutional fiat that the HRET shall be the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of its members.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Senate vs. Ermita , GR 169777, April 20, 2006
Senate vs. Ermita , GR 169777, April 20, 2006
FACTS:
This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition proffer that the President has abused power by
issuing E.O. 464 Ensuring Observance of the Principles of Separation of Powers, Adherence to
the Rule on Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in
Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation Under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes.
Petitioners pray for its declaration as null and void for being unconstitutional.
In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate
Committees, conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the
attendance of officials and employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices
including those employed in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces
of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The Committee of the Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department
for them to appear as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project, others on the
issues of massive election fraud in the Philippine elections, wire tapping, and the role of military
in the so-called Gloriagate Scandal.
Said officials were not able to attend due to lack of consent from the President as provided by
E.O. 464, Section 3 which requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure
the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress.
ISSUE:
Is Section 3 of E.O. 464, which requires all the public officials, enumerated in Section 2(b) to
secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress, valid and
constitutional?
RULING:
No. The enumeration in Section 2 (b) of E.O. 464 is broad and is covered by the executive
privilege. The doctrine of executive privilege is premised on the fact that certain information
must, as a matter of necessity, be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest. The privilege
being, by definition, an exemption from the obligation to disclose information, in this case to
Congress, the necessity must be of such high degree as to outweigh the public interest in
enforcing that obligation in a particular case.
Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought

in aid of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is
privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.
The infirm provisions of E.O. 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade congressional
requests for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or proffering its
reasons therefor. By the mere expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of Congress to
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is frustrated.
Sabio vs Gordon
504 SCRA 704 Political Law Inquiry in aid of legislation public officers
On February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago introduced Senate Res. No. 455
directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines
Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite
Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged
improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors. Pursuant to this, on May
8, 2006, Senator Richard Gordon, wrote Chairman Camilo Sabio of the PCGG inviting him to be
one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on
Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. Chairman
Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment. At the same time, he invoked Section
4(b) of E.O. No. 1 No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce
evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its
official cognizance. Apparently, the purpose is to ensure PCGGs unhampered performance of its
task. Gordons Subpoenae Ad Testificandum was repeatedly ignored by Sabio hence he
threatened Sabio to be cited with contempt.
ISSUE: Whether or not Section 4 of EO No. 1 is constitutional.
HELD: No. It can be said that the Congress power of inquiry has gained more solid existence
and expansive construal. The Courts high regard to such power is rendered more evident
in Senate v. Ermita, where it categorically ruled that the power of inquiry is broad enough to
cover officials of the executive branch. Verily, the Court reinforced the doctrine in Arnault that
the operation of government, being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for
investigation and that the power of inquiry is co-extensive with the power to legislate.
Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of
full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.
Article III, Section 7
The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access
to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or
decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be
afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
These twin provisions of the Constitution seek to promote transparency in policy-making and in
the operations of the government, as well as provide the people sufficient information to enable
them to exercise effectively their constitutional rights. Armed with the right information, citizens
can participate in public discussions leading to the formulation of government policies and their
effective implementation.
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee vs. Majaducon (G.R. No. 136760)
Facts:
This case had its aegis when the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee conducted an inquiry
into the alleged mismanagement of the funds and investment of the Armed Forces
Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS). During the public hearings
by the Blue Ribbon Committee, it appeared that the AFP-RSBS purchased a lot from
Atty. Nilo J. Flaviano worth P10,500 per square meter. However, the deed of sale filed
with the Register of Deeds indicated that the purchase price of the lot was only

P3,000 per square meter. The Committee caused the service of a subpoena to Atty.
Flaviano, directing him to appear and testify before it. Respondent refused to appear
and filed a petition for prohibition and preliminary injunction with prayer for
temporary restraining order with the RTC of General Santos City. The trial court
issued a TRO directing the committee to cease and desist from proceeding with the
inquiry. The Committee filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction
and failure to state a valid cause of action. The Trial Court denied the motion to
dismiss. Hence, this petition for certiorari alleging that Judge Majaducon committed
grave abuse of discretion and acted without or in excess of jurisdiction.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent Judge Jose Majaducon committed grave abuse of
discretion when he dismissed the petition for prohibition and issued the writ of
preliminary injunction.
Ruling:
The assailed resolution of respondent Judge Majaducon was issued without legal
basis. The principle of separation of powers essentially means that legislation belongs
to Congress, execution to the Executive, and settlement of legal controversies to the
Judiciary. Each is prevented from invading the domain of the others. When the Senate
Blue Ribbon Committee served subpoena on respondent Flaviano to appear and
testify before it in connection with its investigation of the alleged misuse and
mismanagement of the AFP-RSBS funds, it did so pursuant to its authority to conduct
inquiries in aid of legislation. This is clearly provided in Article 6, Section 21 of the
1987 Constitution:
The Senate of the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of
procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be
respected.
Hence, the RTC of General Santos City, or any court for that matter, had no authority
to prohibit the Committee from requiring respondent t appear and testify before it.
Also, the ruling in Bengzon vs. Blue Ribbon Committee cited by the respondent does
not apply in this case. The factual circumstances therein are different from those in
the case at bar. In Bengzon, no intended legislation was involved and the subject
matter of the inquiry was more within the province of the courts rather than the
legislature. On the other hand, there was in this case a clear legislative purpose, and
this is to look into the reported misuse and mismanagement of the AFP-RSBS funds,
with the intention of enacting appropriate legislation to protect the rights and
interests of the officers and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Wherefore, the petition is GRANTED.
Standard Chartered Bank (Philippine Branch) vs. Senate Committeeon Banks,
Financial Institutions and Currencies
FACTS:
Petitioner, Standard Chartered Bank, is an institution incorporated in England with limited liability
licensed to engage in banking, trust, and other related operations in the country. It violated
RA 8799for selling unregistered foreign securities. Senator Enrile in his privilege
speech introduced a Resolution to attend to the matter. The respondent-committees chairperson
Sen. Angara set an initial hearing to investigate in aid of legislation thereto. Respondent invited
petitioners to attend the hearing and submit their written position paper. Petitioners, in response,
submitted to respondent a letter stressing their position that there were cases already pending in
court which involved the same issues that the respondent is subjecting to legislative inquiry. The

petitioner thereby poses a challenge to the jurisdiction of respondent committee to continue the
inquiry since there are cases of a similar subject filed in court of which are still pending.
Respondent still commenced the investigation. Its vice chairperson moved for the issuance of a
subpoena to those who did not attend the hearing. Said motion was approved thereby the
cause of a petition. Standard Chartered Bank, petitioned for a TRO to direct the Senate
Committee on Banks from:
1.Proceeding with its inquiry pursuant to a Senate Resolution
2.Compelling the Banks officers to attend and testify before any further hearing called bythe
respondent Committee
3.Enforcing any Hold-departure
order (HDO) and/or putting the petitioners on the Watch listPetitioner-Bank also prays that
judgment be rendered annulling the subpoena ad testificandum and duces tecum issued to them
and prohibit the Committee from compelling them to appearand testify in the inquiry being
conducted pursuant to the Resolution.
ISSUE(S):
Whether or not respondent committee acted without jurisdiction and/or acted with grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, purportedly in aid of legislation
HELD:
Petition for prohibition DENIED
RATIO/DOCTRINE:
Respondent has jurisdiction to conduct the inquiry although the subject matter involved is the
very same subject matter pending in court. The respondent-committees action does not
encroach upon the judicial powers vested solely on the courts. The petitioners reliance to the
case is misplaced to the extent that, in the case at bar, there are a number of cases already
pending in various courts and administrative bodies involving the petitioners, relative to the
alleged sale of unregistered foreign securities, there is a resemblance between this case and
Bengzon. However, the similarity ends there. Central to the Courts ruling in Bengzon was
the courts determination that the intended inquiry was not in aid of legislation. The petitioners
erred in alleging that the inquiry was simply to denounce the illegal practice committed by
a foreign bank in selling unregistered foreign securities. This fallacy is made more glaring at the
conclusion of Sen. Enriles privilege speech urging the Senate to immediately conduct an
inquiry, in aid of legislation, so as to prevent the occurrence of a similar fraudulent activity in the
future. Indeed, the mere filing of a criminal or an administrative complaint before a court or a
quasi-judicial body should not automatically bar the conduct of legislative investigation.
Otherwise, it would be extremely easy to subvert any intended inquiry by Congress through the
convenient ploy of instituting a criminal or an administrative complaint. Surely, the exercise
of sovereign legislative authority, of which the power of legislative inquiry is an essential
component, cannot be made subordinate to a criminal or an administrative investigation.
SOUTHERN CROSS CEMENT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. THE PHILIPPINE CEMENT
MANUFACTURERS CORP., THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE & INDUSTRY,
THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE, and THE COMMISSIONER OF THE
BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, respondents.
Good fences make good neighbors, so observed Robert Frost, the archetype of traditional New
England detachment. The Frost ethos has been heeded by nations adjusting to the effects of the
liberalized global market.[1] The Philippines, for one, enacted Republic Act (Rep. Act) No. 8751 (on
the imposition of countervailing duties), Rep. Act No. 8752 (on the imposition of anti-dumping
duties) and, finally, Rep. Act No. 8800, also known as the Safeguard Measures Act (SMA) [2] soon
after it joined the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade
Organization (WTO) Agreement.[3]

The SMA provides the structure and mechanics for the imposition of emergency measures,
including tariffs, to protect domestic industries and producers from increased imports which
inflict or could inflict serious injury on them. [4] The wisdom of the policies behind the SMA,
however, is not put into question by the petition at bar. The questions submitted to the Court
relate to the means and the procedures ordained in the law to ensure that the determination of
the imposition or non-imposition of a safeguard measure is proper.
Antecedent Facts
Petitioner Southern Cross Cement Corporation (Southern Cross) is a domestic corporation
engaged in the business of cement manufacturing, production, importation and exportation. Its
principal stockholders are Taiheiyo Cement Corporation and Tokuyama Corporation, purportedly
the largest cement manufacturers in Japan.[5]
Private respondent Philippine Cement Manufacturers Corporation [6] (Philcemcor) is an association
of domestic cement manufacturers. It has eighteen (18) members, [7] per Record.While Philcemcor
heralds itself to be an association of domestic cement manufacturers, it appears that
considerable equity holdings, if not controlling interests in at least twelve (12) of its membercorporations, were acquired by the three largest cement manufacturers in the world, namely
Financiere Lafarge S.A. of France, Cemex S.A. de C.V. of Mexico, and Holcim Ltd. of Switzerland
(formerly Holderbank Financiere Glaris, Ltd., then Holderfin B.V.). [8]
On 22 May 2001, respondent Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) accepted an application
from Philcemcor, alleging that the importation of gray Portland cement [9] in increased quantities
has caused declines in domestic production, capacity utilization, market share, sales and
employment; as well as caused depressed local prices. Accordingly, Philcemcor sought the
imposition at first of provisional, then later, definitive safeguard measures on the import of
cement pursuant to the SMA. Philcemcor filed the application in behalf of twelve (12) of its
member-companies.[10]
After preliminary investigation, the Bureau of Import Services of the DTI, determined that critical
circumstances existed justifying the imposition of provisional measures. [11] On 7 November 2001,
the DTI issued an Order, imposing a provisional measure equivalent to Twenty Pesos and Sixty
Centavos (P20.60) per forty (40) kilogram bag on all importations of gray Portland cement for a
period not exceeding two hundred (200) days from the date of issuance by the Bureau of
Customs (BOC) of the implementing Customs Memorandum Order.[12] The
corresponding Customs Memorandum Order was issued on 10 December 2001, to take effect
that same day and to remain in force for two hundred (200) days. [13]
In the meantime, the Tariff Commission, on 19 November 2001, received a request from the DTI
for a formal investigation to determine whether or not to impose a definitive safeguard measure
on imports of gray Portland cement, pursuant to Section 9 of the SMA and its Implementing Rules
and Regulations. A notice of commencement of formal investigation was published in the
newspapers on 21 November 2001. Individual notices were likewise sent to concerned parties,
such as Philcemcor, various importers and exporters, the Embassies of
Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan, contractors/builders associations, industry associations, cement
workers groups, consumer groups, non-government organizations and concerned government
agencies.[14] A preliminary conference was held on 27 November 2001, attended by several
concerned parties, including Southern Cross. [15] Subsequently, the Tariff Commission received
several position papers both in support and against Philcemcors application.[16] The Tariff
Commission also visited the corporate offices and manufacturing facilities of each of the
applicant companies, as well as that of Southern Cross and two other cement importers.[17]
On 13 March 2002, the Tariff Commission issued its Formal Investigation Report (Report). Among
the factors studied by the Tariff Commission in its Report were the market share of the domestic
industry,[18] production and sales,[19] capacity utilization,[20] financial performance and profitability,
[21]
and return on sales.[22] The Tariff Commission arrived at the following conclusions:

1. The circumstances provided in Article XIX of GATT 1994 need not be demonstrated since the
product under consideration (gray Portland cement) is not the subject of any Philippine obligation
or tariff concession under the WTO Agreement. Nonetheless, such inquiry is governed by the
national legislation (R.A. 8800) and the terms and conditions of the Agreement on Safeguards.
2. The collective output of the twelve (12) applicant companies constitutes a major proportion of
the total domestic production of gray Portland cement and blended Portland cement.
3. Locally produced gray Portland cement and blended Portland cement (Pozzolan) are like to
imported gray Portland cement.
4. Gray Portland cement is being imported into the Philippines in increased quantities, both in
absolute terms and relative to domestic production, starting in 2000. The increase in volume of
imports is recent, sudden, sharp and significant.
5. The industry has not suffered and is not suffering significant overall impairment in its
condition, i.e., serious injury.
6. There is no threat of serious injury that is imminent from imports of gray Portland cement.
7. Causation has become moot and academic in view of the negative determination of the
elements of serious injury and imminent threat of serious injury. [23]
Accordingly, the Tariff Commission made the following recommendation, to wit:
The elements of serious injury and imminent threat of serious injury not having been established,
it is hereby recommended that no definitive general safeguard measure be imposed on the
importation of gray Portland cement.[24]
The DTI received the Report on 14 March 2002. After reviewing the report, then DTI Secretary
Manuel Roxas II (DTI Secretary) disagreed with the conclusion of the Tariff Commission that there
was no serious injury to the local cement industry caused by the surge of imports. [25] In view of
this disagreement, the DTI requested an opinion from the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the DTI
Secretarys scope of options in acting on the Commissions recommendations. Subsequently, then
DOJ Secretary Hernando Perez rendered an opinion stating that Section 13 of the SMA precluded
a review by the DTI Secretary of the Tariff Commissions negative finding, or finding that a
definitive safeguard measure should not be imposed. [26]
On 5 April 2002, the DTI Secretary promulgated a Decision. After quoting the conclusions of the
Tariff Commission, the DTI Secretary noted the DTIs disagreement with the conclusions.
However, he also cited the DOJ Opinion advising the DTI that it was bound by the negative
finding of the Tariff Commission. Thus, he ruled as follows:
The DTI has no alternative but to abide by the [Tariff] Commissions recommendations.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, and in accordance with Section 13 of RA 8800 which states:
In the event of a negative final determination; or if the cash bond is in excess of the
definitive safeguard duty assessed, the Secretary shall immediately issue, through
the Secretary of Finance, a written instruction to the Commissioner of Customs,
authorizing the return of the cash bond or the remainder thereof, as the case may be,
previously collected as provisional general safeguard measure within ten (10) days
from the date a final decision has been made; Provided, that the government shall
not be liable for any interest on the amount to be returned. The Secretary shall not
accept for consideration another petition from the same industry, with respect to the
same imports of the product under consideration within one (1) year after the date of
rendering such a decision.
The DTI hereby issues the following:
The application for safeguard measures against the importation of gray Portland cement filed by
PHILCEMCOR (Case No. 02-2001) is hereby denied. [27] (Emphasis in the original)

Philcemcor received a copy of the DTI Decision on 12 April 2002. Ten days later, it filed with the
Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus [28] seeking to set aside the
DTI Decision, as well as the Tariff Commissions Report. Philcemcor likewise applied for
a Temporary Restraining Order/Injunction to enjoin the DTI and the BOC from implementing the
questioned Decision and Report. It prayed that the Court of Appeals direct the DTI Secretary to
disregard the Report and to render judgment independently of the Report.Philcemcor argued that
the DTI Secretary, vested as he is under the law with the power of review, is not bound to adopt
the recommendations of the Tariff Commission; and, that the Report is void, as it is predicated on
a flawed framework, inconsistent inferences and erroneous methodology. [29]
On 10 June 2002, Southern Cross filed its Comment.[30] It argued that the Court of Appeals had no
jurisdiction over Philcemcors Petition, for it is on the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) that the SMA
conferred jurisdiction to review rulings of the Secretary in connection with the imposition of a
safeguard measure. It likewise argued that Philcemcors resort to the special civil action of
certiorari is improper, considering that what Philcemcor sought to rectify is an error of judgment
and not an error of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion, and that a petition for review with
the CTA was available as a plain, speedy and adequate remedy. Finally, Southern Cross echoed
the DOJ Opinion that Section 13 of the SMA precludes a review by the DTI Secretary of a negative
finding of the Tariff Commission.
After conducting a hearing on 19 June 2002 on Philcemcors application for preliminary injunction,
the Court of Appeals Twelfth Division[31] granted the writ sought in its Resolution dated21 June
2002.[32] Seven days later, on 28 June 2002, the two-hundred (200)-day period for the imposition
of the provisional measure expired. Despite the lapse of the period, the BOC continued to impose
the provisional measure on all importations of Portland cement made by Southern Cross. The
uninterrupted assessment of the tariff, according to Southern Cross, worked to its detriment to
the point that the continued imposition would eventually lead to its closure. [33]
Southern Cross timely filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution on 9 September
2002. Alleging that Philcemcor was not entitled to provisional relief, Southern Cross likewise
sought a clarificatory order as to whether the grant of the writ of preliminary injunction could
extend the earlier imposition of the provisional measure beyond the two hundred (200)-day limit
imposed by law. The appeals court failed to take immediate action on Southern Crosss motion
despite the four (4) motions for early resolution the latter filed between September of 2002 and
February of 2003. After six (6) months, on 19 February 2003, the Court of Appeals directed
Philcemcor to comment on Southern Crosss Motion for Reconsideration.[34] After Philcemcor filed
its Opposition[35] on 13 March 2003, Southern Cross filed another set of four (4) motions for early
resolution.
Despite the efforts of Southern Cross, the Court of Appeals failed to directly resolve the Motion
for Reconsideration. Instead, on 5 June 2003, it rendered a Decision,[36] granting in part
Philcemcors petition. The appellate court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the petition for
certiorari since it alleged grave abuse of discretion. It refused to annul the findings of the Tariff
Commission, citing the rule that factual findings of administrative agencies are binding upon the
courts and its corollary, that courts should not interfere in matters addressed to the sound
discretion and coming under the special technical knowledge and training of such agencies.
[37]
Nevertheless, it held that the DTI Secretary is not bound by the factual findings of the Tariff
Commission since such findings are merely recommendatory and they fall within the ambit of the
Secretarys discretionary review. It determined that the legislative intent is to grant the DTI
Secretary the power to make a final decision on the Tariff Commissions recommendation. [38] The
dispositive portion of the Decision reads:
WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing premises, petitioners prayer to set aside the findings of
the Tariff Commission in its assailed Report dated March 13, 2002 is DENIED. On the other hand,
the assailedApril 5, 2002 Decision of the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry is
hereby SET ASIDE. Consequently, the case is REMANDED to the public respondent Secretary of
Department of Trade and Industry for a final decision in accordance with RA 8800 and its
Implementing Rules and Regulations.

SO ORDERED.[39]
On 23 June 2003, Southern Cross filed the present petition, assailing the appellate
courts Decision for departing from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings, and not
deciding the substantial questions in accordance with law and jurisprudence. The petition argues
in the main that the Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction over Philcemcors petition, the proper
remedy being a petition for review with the CTA conformably with the SMA, and; that the factual
findings of the Tariff Commission on the existence or non-existence conditions warranting the
imposition of general safeguard measures are binding upon the DTI Secretary.
The timely filing of Southern Crosss petition before this Court necessarily prevented the Court of
Appeals Decision from becoming final.[40] Yet on 25 June 2003, the DTI Secretary issued a
new Decision, ruling this time that that in light of the appellate courts Decision there was no
longer any legal impediment to his deciding Philcemcors application for definitive safeguard
measures.[41] He made a determination that, contrary to the findings of the Tariff Commission, the
local cement industry had suffered serious injury as a result of the import surges. [42] Accordingly,
he imposed a definitive safeguard measure on the importation of gray Portland cement, in the
form of a definitive safeguard duty in the amount of P20.60/40 kg. bag for three years on
imported gray Portland Cement.[43]
On 7 July 2003, Southern Cross filed with the Court a Very Urgent Application for a Temporary
Restraining Order and/or A Writ of Preliminary Injunction (TRO Application), seeking to enjoin the
DTI Secretary from enforcing his Decision of 25 June 2003 in view of the pending petition before
this Court. Philcemcor filed an opposition, claiming, among others, that it is not this Court but the
CTA that has jurisdiction over the application under the law.
On 1 August 2003, Southern Cross filed with the CTA a Petition for Review, assailing the DTI
Secretarys 25 June 2003 Decision which imposed the definite safeguard measure. Prescinding
from this action, Philcemcor filed with this Court a Manifestation and Motion to Dismiss in regard
to Southern Crosss petition, alleging that it deliberately and willfully resorted to forumshopping. It points out that Southern Crosss TRO Application seeks to enjoin the DTI Secretarys
second decision, while its Petition before the CTA prays for the annulment of the same decision.
[44]

Reiterating its Comment on Southern Crosss Petition for Review, Philcemcor also argues that the
CTA, being a special court of limited jurisdiction, could only review the ruling of the DTI Secretary
when a safeguard measure is imposed, and that the factual findings of the Tariff Commission are
not binding on the DTI Secretary.[45]
After giving due course to Southern Crosss Petition, the Court called the case for oral argument
on 18 February 2004.[46] At the oral argument, attended by the counsel for Philcemcor and
Southern Cross and the Office of the Solicitor General, the Court simplified the issues in this wise:
(i) whether the Decision of the DTI Secretary is appealable to the CTA or the Court of Appeals; (ii)
assuming that the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction, whether its Decision is in accordance with
law; and, (iii) whether a Temporary Restraining Order is warranted.[47]
During the oral arguments, counsel for Southern Cross manifested that due to the imposition of
the general safeguard measures, Southern Cross was forced to cease operations in
thePhilippines in November of 2003.[48]
Propriety of the Temporary Restraining Order
Before the merits of the Petition, a brief comment on Southern Crosss application for provisional
relief. It sought to enjoin the DTI Secretary from enforcing the definitive safeguard measure he
imposed in his 25 June 2003 Decision. The Court did not grant the provisional relief for it would
be tantamount to enjoining the collection of taxes, a peremptory judicial act which is traditionally
frowned upon,[49] unless there is a clear statutory basis for it. [50] In that regard, Section 218 of the
Tax Reform Act of 1997 prohibits any court from granting an injunction to restrain the collection
of any national internal revenue tax, fee or charge imposed by the internal revenue code. [51] A
similar philosophy is expressed by Section 29 of the SMA, which states that the filing of a petition

for review before the CTA does not stop, suspend, or otherwise toll the imposition or collection
of the appropriate tariff duties or the adoption of other appropriate safeguard measures. [52] This
evinces a clear legislative intent that the imposition of safeguard measures, despite the
availability of judicial review, should not be enjoined notwithstanding any timely appeal of the
imposition.
The Forum-Shopping Issue
In the same breath, we are not convinced that the allegation of forum-shopping has been duly
proven, or that sanction should befall upon Southern Cross and its counsel. The standard by
Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure in order that sanction may be had is that
the acts of the party or his counsel clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping.
[53]
The standard implies a malicious intent to subvert procedural rules, and such state of mind is
not evident in this case.
The Jurisdictional Issue
On to the merits of the present petition.
In its assailed Decision, the Court of Appeals, after asserting only in brief that it had jurisdiction
over Philcemcors Petition, discussed the issue of whether or not the DTI Secretary is bound to
adopt the negative recommendation of the Tariff Commission on the application for safeguard
measure. The Court of Appeals maintained that it had jurisdiction over the petition, as it alleged
grave abuse of discretion on the part of the DTI Secretary, thus:
A perusal of the instant petition reveals allegations of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
DTI Secretary in rendering the assailed April 5, 2002 Decision wherein it was ruled that he had no
alternative but to abide by the findings of the Commission on the matter of safeguard measures
for the local cement industry. Abuse of discretion is admittedly within the ambit of certiorari.
Grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is
equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. It is alleged that, in the assailed Decision, the DTI Secretary
gravely abused his discretion in wantonly evading to discharge his duty to render an
independent determination or decision in imposing a definitive safeguard measure. [54]
We do not doubt that the Court of Appeals certiorari powers extend to correcting grave abuse of
discretion on the part of an officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. [55]However, the
special civil action of certiorari is available only when there is no plain, speedy and adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law. [56] Southern Cross relies on this limitation, stressing that
Section 29 of the SMA is a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
which Philcemcor did not avail of. The Section reads:
Section 29. Judicial Review. Any interested party who is adversely affected by the ruling of the
Secretary in connection with the imposition of a safeguard measure may file with the
CTA, a petition for review of such ruling within thirty (30) days from receipt thereof.
Provided, however, that the filing of such petition for review shall not in any way stop, suspend or
otherwise toll the imposition or collection of the appropriate tariff duties or the adoption of other
appropriate safeguard measures, as the case may be.
The petition for review shall comply with the same requirements and shall follow the same rules
of procedure and shall be subject to the same disposition as in appeals in connection with
adverse rulings on tax matters to the Court of Appeals. [57] (Emphasis supplied)
It is not difficult to divine why the legislature singled out the CTA as the court with jurisdiction to
review the ruling of the DTI Secretary in connection with the imposition of a safeguard measure.
The Court has long recognized the legislative determination to vest sole and exclusive
jurisdiction on matters involving internal revenue and customs duties to such a specialized court.
[58]
By the very nature of its function, the CTA is dedicated exclusively to the study and
consideration of tax problems and has necessarily developed an expertise on the subject. [59]

At the same time, since the CTA is a court of limited jurisdiction, its jurisdiction to take
cognizance of a case should be clearly conferred and should not be deemed to exist on mere
implication.[60] Concededly, Rep. Act No. 1125, the statute creating the CTA, does not extend to it
the power to review decisions of the DTI Secretary in connection with the imposition of safeguard
measures.[61] Of course, at that time which was before the advent of trade liberalization the
notion of safeguard measures or safety nets was not yet in vogue.
Undeniably, however, the SMA expanded the jurisdiction of the CTA by including review of the
rulings of the DTI Secretary in connection with the imposition of safeguard measures.However,
Philcemcor and the public respondents agree that the CTA has appellate jurisdiction over a
decision of the DTI Secretary imposing a safeguard measure, but not when his ruling is not to
impose such measure.
In a related development, Rep. Act No. 9282, enacted on 30 March 2004, expressly vests unto
the CTA jurisdiction over [d]ecisions of the Secretary of Trade and Industry, in case of
nonagricultural product, commodity or article xxx involving xxx safeguard measures under
Republic Act No. 8800, where either party may appeal the decision to impose or not to
impose said duties.[62] Had Rep. Act No. 9282 already been in force at the beginning of the
incidents subject of this case, there would have been no need to make any deeper inquiry as to
the extent of the CTAs jurisdiction. But as Rep. Act No. 9282 cannot be applied retroactively to
the present case, the question of whether such jurisdiction extends to a decision not to impose a
safeguard measure will have to be settled principally on the basis of the SMA.
Under Section 29 of the SMA, there are three requisites to enable the CTA to acquire jurisdiction
over the petition for review contemplated therein: (i) there must be a ruling by the DTI Secretary;
(ii) the petition must be filed by an interested party adversely affected by the ruling; and (iii)
such ruling must be in connection with the imposition of a safeguard measure. The first two
requisites are clearly present. The third requisite deserves closer scrutiny.
Contrary to the stance of the public respondents and Philcemcor, in this case where the DTI
Secretary decides not to impose a safeguard measure, it is the CTA which has jurisdiction to
review his decision. The reasons are as follows:
First. Split jurisdiction is abhorred.
Essentially, respondents position is that judicial review of the DTI Secretarys ruling is exercised
by two different courts, depending on whether or not it imposes a safeguard measure, and in
either case the court exercising jurisdiction does so to the exclusion of the other. Thus, if the DTI
decision involves the imposition of a safeguard measure it is the CTA which has appellate
jurisdiction; otherwise, it is the Court of Appeals. Such setup is as novel and unusual as it is
cumbersome and unwise. Essentially, respondents advocate that Section 29 of the SMA has
established split appellate jurisdiction over rulings of the DTI Secretary on the imposition of
safeguard measure.
This interpretation cannot be favored, as the Court has consistently refused to sanction split
jurisdiction.[63] The power of the DTI Secretary to adopt or withhold a safeguard measure
emanates from the same statutory source, and it boggles the mind why the appeal modality
would be such that one appellate court is qualified if what is to be reviewed is a positive
determination, and it is not if what is appealed is a negative determination. In deciding whether
or not to impose a safeguard measure, provisional or general, the DTI Secretary would be
evaluating only one body of facts and applying them to one set of laws. The reviewing tribunal
will be called upon to examine the same facts and the same laws, whether or not the
determination is positive or negative.
In short, if we were to rule for respondents we would be confirming the exercise by two judicial
bodies of jurisdiction over basically the same subject matterprecisely the split-jurisdiction
situation which is anathema to the orderly administration of justice. [64] The Court cannot accept
that such was the legislative motive especially considering that the law expressly confers on the
CTA, the tribunal with the specialized competence over tax and tariff matters, the role of judicial

review without mention of any other court that may exercise corollary or ancillary jurisdiction in
relation to the SMA. The provision refers to the Court of Appeals but only in regard to procedural
rules and dispositions of appeals from the CTA to the Court of Appeals. [65]
The principle enunciated in Tejada v. Homestead Property Corporation [66] is applicable to the case
at bar:
The Court agrees with the observation of the [that] when an administrative agency or body is
conferred quasi-judicial functions, all controversies relating to the subject matter
pertaining to its specialization are deemed to be included within the jurisdiction of
said administrative agency or body. Split jurisdiction is not favored.[67]
Second. The interpretation of the provisions of the SMA favors vesting untrammeled appellate
jurisdiction on the CTA.
A plain reading of Section 29 of the SMA reveals that Congress did not expressly bar the CTA
from reviewing a negative determination by the DTI Secretary nor conferred on the Court of
Appeals such review authority. Respondents note, on the other hand, that neither did the law
expressly grant to the CTA the power to review a negative determination. However, under the
clear text of the law, the CTA is vested with jurisdiction to review the ruling of the DTI
Secretary in connection with the imposition of a safeguard measure. Had the law been
couched instead to incorporate the phrase the ruling imposing a safeguard measure, then
respondents claim would have indisputable merit. Undoubtedly, the phrase in connection with
not only qualifies but clarifies the succeeding phrase imposition of a safeguard measure. As
expounded later, the phrase also encompasses the opposite or converse ruling which is the nonimposition of a safeguard measure.
In the American case of Shaw v. Delta Air Lines, Inc.,[68] the United States Supreme Court, in
interpreting a key provision of the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974, construed the
phrase relates to in its normal sense which is the same as if it has connection with or reference
to.[69] There is no serious dispute that the phrase in connection with is synonymous to relates to
or reference to, and that all three phrases are broadly expansive. This is affirmed not just by
jurisprudential fiat, but also the acquired connotative meaning of in connection with in common
parlance. Consequently, with the use of the phrase in connection with, Section 29 allows the CTA
to review not only the ruling imposing a safeguard measure, but all other rulings related or
have reference to the application for such measure.
Now, let us determine the maximum scope and reach of the phrase in connection with as used in
Section 29 of the SMA. A literalist reading or linguistic survey may not satisfy. Even the US
Supreme Court in New York State Blue Cross Plans v. Travelers Ins.[70] conceded that the phrases
relate to or in connection with may be extended to the farthest stretch of indeterminacy for,
universally, relations or connections are infinite and stop nowhere. [71] Thus, in the case the US
High Court, examining the same phrase of the same provision of law involved in Shaw, resorted
to looking at the statute and its objectives as the alternative to an uncritical literalism. [72] A
similar inquiry into the other provisions of the SMA is in order to determine the scope of review
accorded therein to the CTA.[73]
The authority to decide on the safeguard measure is vested in the DTI Secretary in the case of
non-agricultural products, and in the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture in the case of
agricultural products.[74] Section 29 is likewise explicit that only the rulings of the DTI Secretary or
the Agriculture Secretary may be reviewed by the CTA. [75] Thus, the acts of other bodies that
were granted some powers by the SMA, such as the Tariff Commission, are not subject to direct
review by the CTA.
Under the SMA, the Department Secretary concerned is authorized to decide on several matters.
Within thirty (30) days from receipt of a petition seeking the imposition of a safeguard measure,
or from the date he made motu proprio initiation, the Secretary shall make a preliminary
determination on whether the increased imports of the product under consideration substantially
cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the domestic industry. [76] Such ruling is crucial since

only upon the Secretarys positive preliminary determination that a threat to the domestic
industry exists shall the matter be referred to the Tariff Commission for formal investigation, this
time, to determine whether the general safeguard measure should be imposed or not.
[77]
Pursuant to a positive preliminary determination, the Secretary may also decide that the
imposition of a provisional safeguard measure would be warranted under Section 8 of the SMA.
[78]
The Secretary is also authorized to decide, after receipt of the report of the Tariff Commission,
whether or not to impose the general safeguard measure, and if in the affirmative, what general
safeguard measures should be applied. [79] Even after the general safeguard measure is imposed,
the Secretary is empowered to extend the safeguard measure, [80] or terminate, reduce or modify
his previous rulings on the general safeguard measure. [81]
With the explicit grant of certain powers involving safeguard measures by the SMA on the DTI
Secretary, it follows that he is empowered to rule on several issues. These are the issues which
arise in connection with, or in relation to, the imposition of a safeguard measure. They may arise
at different stages the preliminary investigation stage, the post-formal investigation stage, or the
post-safeguard measure stage yet all these issues do become ripe for resolution because an
initiatory action has been taken seeking the imposition of a safeguard measure. It is the initiatory
action for the imposition of a safeguard measure that sets the wheels in motion, allowing the
Secretary to make successive rulings, beginning with the preliminary determination.
Clearly, therefore, the scope and reach of the phrase in connection with, as intended by
Congress, pertain to all rulings of the DTI Secretary or Agriculture Secretary which arise
from the time an application or motu proprio initiation for the imposition of a
safeguard measure is taken. Indeed, the incidents which require resolution come to the fore
only because there is an initial application or action seeking the imposition of a safeguard
measure. From the legislative standpoint, it was a matter of sense and practicality to lump up the
questions related to the initiatory application or action for safeguard measure and to assign only
one court and; that is the CTA to initially review all the rulings related to such initiatory
application or action. Both directions Congress put in place by employing the phrase in
connection with in the law.
Given the relative expanse of decisions subject to judicial review by the CTA under Section 29,
we do not doubt that a negative ruling refusing to impose a safeguard measure falls within the
scope of its jurisdiction. On a literal level, such negative ruling is a ruling of the Secretary in
connection with the imposition of a safeguard measure, as it is one of the possible outcomes that
may result from the initial application or action for a safeguard measure. On a more critical level,
the rulings of the DTI Secretary in connection with a safeguard measure, however diverse the
outcome may be, arise from the same grant of jurisdiction on the DTI Secretary by the SMA.
[82]
The refusal by the DTI Secretary to grant a safeguard measure involves the same grant of
authority, the same statutory prescriptions, and the same degree of discretion as the imposition
by the DTI Secretary of a safeguard measure.
The position of the respondents is one of uncritical literalism [83] incongruent with the animus of
the law. Moreover, a fundamentalist approach to Section 29 is not warranted, considering the
absurdity of the consequences.
Third. Interpretatio Talis In Ambiguis Semper Fienda Est, Ut Evitur Inconveniens Et Absurdum. [84]
Even assuming arguendo that Section 29 has not expressly granted the CTA jurisdiction to review
a negative ruling of the DTI Secretary, the Court is precluded from favoring an interpretation that
would cause inconvenience and absurdity. [85] Adopting the respondents position favoring the
CTAs minimal jurisdiction would unnecessarily lead to illogical and onerous results.
Indeed, it is illiberal to assume that Congress had intended to provide appellate relief to rulings
imposing a safeguard measure but not to those declining to impose the measure. Respondents
might argue that the right to relief from a negative ruling is not lost since the applicant could, as
Philcemcor did, question such ruling through a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, in lieu of an appeal to the CTA. Yet these two reliefs are of
differing natures and gravamen. While an appeal may be predicated on errors of fact or errors of

law, a special civil action for certiorari is grounded on grave abuse of discretion or lack of or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of the decider. For a special civil action for certiorari to succeed,
it is not enough that the questioned act of the respondent is wrong. As the Court clarified
in Sempio v. Court of Appeals:
A tribunal, board or officer acts without jurisdiction if it/he does not have the legal power to
determine the case. There is excess of jurisdiction where, being clothed with the power to
determine the case, the tribunal, board or officer oversteps its/his authority as determined by
law. And there is grave abuse of discretion where the tribunal, board or officer acts in a
capricious, whimsical, arbitrary or despotic manner in the exercise of his judgment as to be said
to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Certiorari is often resorted to in order to correct errors of
jurisdiction. Where the error is one of law or of fact, which is a mistake of judgment, appeal is the
remedy.[86]
It is very conceivable that the DTI Secretary, after deliberate thought and careful evaluation of
the evidence, may either make a negative preliminary determination as he is so empowered
under Section 7 of the SMA, or refuse to adopt the definitive safeguard measure under Section
13 of the same law. Adopting the respondents theory, this negative ruling is susceptible to
reversal only through a special civil action for certiorari, thus depriving the affected party the
chance to elevate the ruling on appeal on the rudimentary grounds of errors in fact or in
law. Instead, and despite whatever indications that the DTI Secretary acted with measure and
within the bounds of his jurisdiction are, the aggrieved party will be forced to resort to a
gymnastic exercise, contorting the straight and narrow in an effort to discombobulate the courts
into believing that what was within was actually beyond and what was studied and deliberate
actually whimsical and capricious. What then would be the remedy of the party aggrieved by a
negative ruling that simply erred in interpreting the facts or the law? It certainly cannot be the
special civil action for certiorari, for as the Court held in Silverio v. Court of Appeals: Certiorari is
a remedy narrow in its scope and inflexible in its character. It is not a general utility tool in the
legal workshop.[87]
Fortunately, this theoretical quandary need not come to pass. Section 29 of the SMA is worded in
such a way that it places under the CTAs judicial review all rulings of the DTI Secretary, which are
connected with the imposition of a safeguard measure. This is sound and proper in light of the
specialized jurisdiction of the CTA over tax matters. In the same way that a question of whether
to tax or not to tax is properly a tax matter, so is the question of whether to impose or not to
impose a definitive safeguard measure.
On another note, the second paragraph of Section 29 similarly reveals the legislative intent that
rulings of the DTI Secretary over safeguard measures should first be reviewed by the CTA and not
the Court of Appeals. It reads:
The petition for review shall comply with the same requirements and shall follow the same rules
of procedure and shall be subject to the same disposition as in appeals in connection with
adverse rulings on tax matters to the Court of Appeals.
This is the only passage in the SMA in which the Court of Appeals is mentioned. The express wish
of Congress is that the petition conform to the requirements and procedure under Rule 43 of the
Rules of Civil Procedure. Since Congress mandated that the form and procedure adopted be
analogous to a review of a CTA ruling by the Court of Appeals, the legislative contemplation could
not have been that the appeal be directly taken to the Court of Appeals.
Issue of Binding Effect of Tariff
Commissions Factual Determination
on DTI Secretary.
The next issue for resolution is whether the factual determination made by the Tariff Commission
under the SMA is binding on the DTI Secretary. Otherwise stated, the question is whether the DTI

Secretary may impose general safeguard measures in the absence of a positive final
determination by the Tariff Commission.
The Court of Appeals relied upon Section 13 of the SMA in ruling that the findings of the Tariff
Commission do not necessarily constitute a final decision. Section 13 details the procedure for
the adoption of a safeguard measure, as well as the steps to be taken in case there is a negative
final determination. The implication of the Court of Appeals holding is that the DTI Secretary may
adopt a definitive safeguard measure, notwithstanding a negative determination made by the
Tariff Commission.
Undoubtedly, Section 13 prescribes certain limitations and restrictions before general safeguard
measures may be imposed. However, the most fundamental restriction on the DTI
Secretarys power in that respect is contained in Section 5 of the SMAthat there
should first be a positive final determination of the Tariff Commissionwhich the Court of
Appeals curiously all but ignored. Section 5 reads:
Sec. 5. Conditions for the Application of General Safeguard Measures. The Secretary shall apply
a general safeguard measure upon a positive final determination of the [Tariff]
Commission that a product is being imported into the country in increased quantities, whether
absolute or relative to the domestic production, as to be a substantial cause of serious injury or
threat thereof to the domestic industry; however, in the case of non-agricultural products, the
Secretary shall first establish that the application of such safeguard measures will be in the
public interest. (emphasis supplied)
The plain meaning of Section 5 shows that it is the Tariff Commission that has the power to make
a positive final determination. This power lodged in the Tariff Commission, must be distinguished
from the power to impose the general safeguard measure which is properly vested on the DTI
Secretary.[88]
All in all, there are two condition precedents that must be satisfied before the DTI Secretary may
impose a general safeguard measure on grey Portland cement. First, there must be a positive
final determination by the Tariff Commission that a product is being imported into the country in
increased quantities (whether absolute or relative to domestic production), as to be a substantial
cause of serious injury or threat to the domestic industry. Second, in the case of non-agricultural
products the Secretary must establish that the application of such safeguard measures is in the
public interest.[89] As Southern Cross argues, Section 5 is quite clear-cut, and it is impossible to
finagle a different conclusion even through overarching methods of statutory construction. There
is no safer nor better settled canon of interpretation that when language is clear and
unambiguous it must be held to mean what it plainly expresses: [90] In the quotable words of an
illustrious member of this Court, thus:
[I]f a statute is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and
applied without attempted interpretation. The verba legis or plain meaning rule rests on the valid
presumption that the words employed by the legislature in a statute correctly express its intent
or will and preclude the court from construing it differently. The legislature is presumed to know
the meaning of the words, to have used words advisedly, and to have expressed its intent by the
use of such words as are found in the statute. [91]
Moreover, Rule 5 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the SMA, [92] which interprets
Section 5 of the law, likewise requires a positive final determination on the part of the Tariff
Commission before the application of the general safeguard measure.
The SMA establishes a distinct allocation of functions between the Tariff Commission and the DTI
Secretary. The plain meaning of Section 5 shows that it is the Tariff Commission that has the
power to make a positive final determination. This power, which belongs to the Tariff
Commission, must be distinguished from the power to impose general safeguard measure
properly vested on the DTI Secretary. The distinction is vital, as a positive final determination
clearly antecedes, as a condition precedent, the imposition of a general safeguard measure. At
the same time, a positive final determination does not necessarily result in the imposition of a

general safeguard measure. Under Section 5, notwithstanding the positive final determination of
the Tariff Commission, the DTI Secretary is tasked to decide whether or not that the application
of the safeguard measures is in the public interest.
It is also clear from Section 5 of the SMA that the positive final determination to be undertaken
by the Tariff Commission does not entail a mere gathering of statistical data. In order to arrive at
such determination, it has to establish causal linkages from the statistics that it compiles and
evaluates: after finding there is an importation in increased quantities of the product in question,
that such importation is a substantial cause of serious threat or injury to the domestic industry.
The Court of Appeals relies heavily on the legislative record of a congressional debate during
deliberations on the SMA to assert a purported legislative intent that the findings of the Tariff
Commission do not bind the DTI Secretary. [93] Yet as explained earlier, the plain meaning of
Section 5 emphasizes that only if the Tariff Commission renders a positive determination could
the DTI Secretary impose a safeguard measure. Resort to the congressional records to ascertain
legislative intent is not warranted if a statute is clear, plain and free from ambiguity. The
legislature is presumed to know the meaning of the words, to have used words advisedly, and to
have expressed its intent by the use of such words as are found in the statute. [94]
Indeed, the legislative record, if at all to be availed of, should be approached with extreme
caution, as legislative debates and proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the statute
when the meaning is clear.[95] Our holding in Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary[96] on the
resort to deliberations of the constitutional convention to interpret the Constitution is likewise
appropriate in ascertaining statutory intent:
While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the
constitutional convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting
Constitution, resort thereto may be had only when other guides fail as said proceedings are
powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear. Debates in the
constitutional convention "are of value as showing the views of the individual members, and as
indicating the reasons for their votes, but they give us no light as to the views of the large
majority who did not talk xxx. We think it safer to construe the constitution from what appears
upon its face.[97]
Moreover, it is easy to selectively cite passages, sometimes out of their proper context, in order
to assert a misleading interpretation. The effect can be dangerous. Minority or solitary views,
anecdotal ruminations, or even the occasional crude witticisms, may improperly acquire the
mantle of legislative intent by the sole virtue of their publication in the authoritative
congressional record. Hence, resort to legislative deliberations is allowable when the statute is
crafted in such a manner as to leave room for doubt on the real intent of the legislature.
Section 5 plainly evinces legislative intent to restrict the DTI Secretarys power to impose a
general safeguard measure by preconditioning such imposition on a positive determination by
the Tariff Commission. Such legislative intent should be given full force and effect, as the
executive power to impose definitive safeguard measures is but a delegated powerthe power of
taxation, by nature and by command of the fundamental law, being a preserve of the legislature.
[98]
Section 28(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution confirms the delegation of legislative power,
yet ensures that the prerogative of Congress to impose limitations and restrictions on the
executive exercise of this power:
The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to
such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage
and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national
development program of the Government.[99]
The safeguard measures which the DTI Secretary may impose under the SMA may take the
following variations, to wit: (a) an increase in, or imposition of any duty on the imported product;
(b) a decrease in or the imposition of a tariff-rate quota on the product; (c) a modification or
imposition of any quantitative restriction on the importation of the product into the Philippines;

(d) one or more appropriate adjustment measures, including the provision of trade adjustment
assistance; and (e) any combination of the above-described actions. Except for the provision of
trade adjustment assistance, the measures enumerated by the SMA are essentially imposts,
which precisely are the subject of delegation under Section 28(2), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution.[100]
This delegation of the taxation power by the legislative to the executive is authorized by the
Constitution itself.[101] At the same time, the Constitution also grants the delegating authority
(Congress) the right to impose restrictions and limitations on the taxation power delegated to the
President.[102] The restrictions and limitations imposed by Congress take on the mantle of a
constitutional command, which the executive branch is obliged to observe.
The SMA empowered the DTI Secretary, as alter ego of the President,[103] to impose definitive
general safeguard measures, which basically are tariff imposts of the type spoken of in the
Constitution. However, the law did not grant him full, uninhibited discretion to impose such
measures. The DTI Secretary authority is derived from the SMA; it does not flow from any
inherent executive power. Thus, the limitations imposed by Section 5 are absolute, warranted as
they are by a constitutional fiat.[104]
Philcemcor cites our 1912 ruling in Lamb v. Phipps[105] to assert that the DTI Secretary, having the
final decision on the safeguard measure, has the power to evaluate the findings of the Tariff
Commission and make an independent judgment thereon. Given the constitutional and statutory
limitations governing the present case, the citation is misplaced. Lamb pertained to the
discretion of the Insular Auditor of the Philippine Islands, whom, as the Court recognized, [t]he
statutes of the United States require[d] xxx to exercise his judgment upon the legality xxx [of]
provisions of law and resolutions of Congress providing for the payment of money, the means of
procuring testimony upon which he may act. [106]
Thus in Lamb, while the Court recognized the wide latitude of discretion that may have been
vested on the Insular Auditor, it also recognized that such latitude flowed from, and is
consequently limited by, statutory grant. However, in this case, the provision of the Constitution
in point expressly recognizes the authority of Congress to prescribe limitations in the case of
tariffs, export/import quotas and other such safeguard measures. Thus, the broad discretion
granted to the Insular Auditor of the Philippine Islands cannot be analogous to the discretion of
the DTI Secretary which is circumscribed by Section 5 of the SMA.
For that matter, Cario v. Commissioner on Human Rights,[107] likewise cited by Philcemcor, is also
inapplicable owing to the different statutory regimes prevailing over that case and the present
petition. In Cario, the Court ruled that the constitutional power of the Commission on Human
Rights (CHR) to investigate human rights violations did not extend to adjudicating claims on the
merits.[108] Philcemcor claims that the functions of the Tariff Commission being only investigatory,
it could neither decide nor adjudicate. [109]
The applicable law governing the issue in Cario is Section 18, Article XIII of the Constitution,
which delineates the powers and functions of the CHR. The provision does not vest on the CHR
the power to adjudicate cases, but only to investigate all forms of human rights violations. [110] Yet,
without modifying the thorough disquisition of the Court in Cario on the general limitations on
the investigatory power, the precedent is inapplicable because of the difference in the involved
statutory frameworks. The Constitution does not repose binding effect on the results of the CHRs
investigation.[111] On the other hand, through Section 5 of the SMA and under the authority of
Section 28(2), Article VI of the Constitution, Congress did intend to bind the DTI Secretary to the
determination made by the Tariff Commission. [112] It is of no consequence that such determination
results from the exercise of investigatory powers by the Tariff Commission since Congress is well
within its constitutional mandate to limit the authority of the DTI Secretary to impose safeguard
measures in the manner that it sees fit.
The Court of Appeals and Philcemcor also rely on Section 13 of the SMA and Rule 13 of the SMAs
Implementing Rules in support of the view that the DTI Secretary may decide independently of
the determination made by the Tariff Commission. Admittedly, there are certain infelicities in the

language of Section 13 and Rule 13. But reliance should not be placed on the textual
imprecisions. Rather, Section 13 and Rule 13 must be viewed in light of the fundamental
prescription imposed by Section 5. [113]
Section 13 of the SMA lays down the procedure to be followed after the Tariff Commission
renders its report. The provision reads in full:
SEC. 13. Adoption of Definitive Measures. Upon its positive determination, the Commission shall
recommend to the Secretary an appropriate definitive measure, in the form of:
(a) An increase in, or imposition of, any duty on the imported product;
(b) A decrease in or the imposition of a tariff-rate quota (MAV) on the product;
(c) A modification or imposition of any quantitative restriction on the importation of the product
into the Philippines;
(d) One or more appropriate adjustment measures, including the provision of trade adjustment
assistance;
(e) Any combination of actions described in subparagraphs (a) to (d).
The Commission may also recommend other actions, including the initiation of international
negotiations to address the underlying cause of the increase of imports of the product, to
alleviate the injury or threat thereof to the domestic industry, and to facilitate positive
adjustment to import competition.
The general safeguard measure shall be limited to the extent of redressing or preventing the
injury and to facilitate adjustment by the domestic industry from the adverse effects directly
attributed to the increased imports: Provided, however, That when quantitative import
restrictions are used, such measures shall not reduce the quantity of imports below the average
imports for the three (3) preceding representative years, unless clear justification is given that a
different level is necessary to prevent or remedy a serious injury.
A general safeguard measure shall not be applied to a product originating from a developing
country if its share of total imports of the product is less than three percent (3%): Provided,
however, That developing countries with less than three percent (3%) share collectively account
for not more than nine percent (9%) of the total imports.
The decision imposing a general safeguard measure, the duration of which is more than one (1)
year, shall be reviewed at regular intervals for purposes of liberalizing or reducing its intensity.
The industry benefiting from the application of a general safeguard measure shall be required to
show positive adjustment within the allowable period. A general safeguard measure shall be
terminated where the benefiting industry fails to show any improvement, as may be determined
by the Secretary.
The Secretary shall issue a written instruction to the heads of the concerned government
agencies to implement the appropriate general safeguard measure as determined by the
Secretary within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the report.
In the event of a negative final determination, or if the cash bond is in excess of the definitive
safeguard duty assessed, the Secretary shall immediately issue, through the Secretary of
Finance, a written instruction to the Commissioner of Customs, authorizing the return of the cash
bond or the remainder thereof, as the case may be, previously collected as provisional general
safeguard measure within ten (10) days from the date a final decision has been
made: Provided, That the government shall not be liable for any interest on the amount to be
returned. The Secretary shall not accept for consideration another petition from the same
industry, with respect to the same imports of the product under consideration within one (1) year
after the date of rendering such a decision.

When the definitive safeguard measure is in the form of a tariff increase, such increase shall not
be subject or limited to the maximum levels of tariff as set forth in Section 401(a) of the Tariff
and Customs Code of the Philippines.
To better comprehend Section 13, note must be taken of the distinction between the
investigatory and recommendatory functions of the Tariff Commission under the SMA.
The word determination, as used in the SMA, pertains to the factual findings on whether there
are increased imports into the country of the product under consideration, and on whether such
increased imports are a substantial cause of serious injury or threaten to substantially cause
serious injury to the domestic industry.[114] The SMA explicitly authorizes the DTI Secretary to
make a preliminary determination,[115] and the Tariff Commission to make the final determination.
[116]
The distinction is fundamental, as these functions are not interchangeable. The Tariff
Commission makes its determination only after a formal investigation process, with such
investigation initiated only if there is a positive preliminary determination by the DTI Secretary
under Section 7 of the SMA.[117] On the other hand, the DTI Secretary may impose definitive
safeguard measure only if there is a positive final determination made by the Tariff Commission.
[118]

In contrast, a recommendation is a suggested remedial measure submitted by the Tariff


Commission under Section 13 after making a positive final determination in accordance with
Section 5. The Tariff Commission is not empowered to make a recommendation absent a positive
final determination on its part.[119] Under Section 13, the Tariff Commission is required to
recommend to the [DTI] Secretary an appropriate definitive measure. [120] The Tariff Commission
may also recommend other actions, including the initiation of international negotiations to
address the underlying cause of the increase of imports of the products, to alleviate the injury or
threat thereof to the domestic industry and to facilitate positive adjustment to import
competition.[121]
The recommendations of the Tariff Commission, as rendered under Section 13, are not obligatory
on the DTI Secretary. Nothing in the SMA mandates the DTI Secretary to adopt the
recommendations made by the Tariff Commission. In fact, the SMA requires that the DTI
Secretary establish that the application of such safeguard measures is in the public interest,
notwithstanding the Tariff Commissions recommendation on the appropriate safeguard measure
based on its positive final determination. [122] The non-binding force of the Tariff Commissions
recommendations is congruent with the command of Section 28(2), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution that only the President may be empowered by the Congress to impose appropriate
tariff rates, import/export quotas and other similar measures. [123] It is the DTI Secretary, as alter
ego of the President, who under the SMA may impose such safeguard measures subject to the
limitations imposed therein. A contrary conclusion would in essence unduly arrogate to the Tariff
Commission the executive power to impose the appropriate tariff measures. That is why the SMA
empowers the DTI Secretary to adopt safeguard measures other than those recommended by the
Tariff Commission.
Unlike the recommendations of the Tariff Commission, its determination has a different effect on
the DTI Secretary. Only on the basis of a positive final determination made by the Tariff
Commission under Section 5 can the DTI Secretary impose a general safeguard measure. Clearly,
then the DTI Secretary is bound by the determination made by the Tariff Commission.
Some confusion may arise because the sixth paragraph of Section 13 [124] uses the variant word
determined in a different context, as it contemplates the appropriate general safeguard measure
as determined by the Secretary within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the report. Quite plainly,
the word determined in this context pertains to the DTI Secretarys power of choice of the
appropriate safeguard measure, as opposed to the Tariff Commissions power to determine the
existence of conditions necessary for the imposition of any safeguard measure. In relation to
Section 5, such choice also relates to the mandate of the DTI Secretary to establish that the
application of safeguard measures is in the public interest, also within the fifteen (15) day period.
Nothing in Section 13 contradicts the instruction in Section 5 that the DTI Secretary is allowed to

impose the general safeguard measures only if there is a positive determination made by the
Tariff Commission.
Unfortunately, Rule 13.2 of the Implementing Rules of the SMA is captioned Final Determination
by the Secretary. The assailed Decision and Philcemcor latch on this phraseology to imply that
the factual determination rendered by the Tariff Commission under Section 5 may be amended or
reversed by the DTI Secretary. Of course, implementing rules should conform, not clash, with the
law that they seek to implement, for a regulation which operates to create a rule out of harmony
with the statute is a nullity.[125] Yet imperfect draftsmanship aside, nothing in Rule 13.2 implies
that the DTI Secretary can set aside the determination made by the Tariff Commission under the
aegis of Section 5. This can be seen by examining the specific provisions of Rule 13.2, thus:
RULE 13.2. Final Determination by the Secretary
RULE 13.2.a. Within fifteen (15) calendar days from receipt of the Report of the Commission, the
Secretary shall make a decision, taking into consideration the measures recommended by the
Commission.
RULE 13.2.b. If the determination is affirmative, the Secretary shall issue, within two (2) calendar
days after making his decision, a written instruction to the heads of the concerned government
agencies to immediately implement the appropriate general safeguard measure as determined
by him. Provided, however, that in the case of non-agricultural products, the Secretary shall first
establish that the imposition of the safeguard measure will be in the public interest.
RULE 13.2.c. Within two (2) calendar days after making his decision, the Secretary shall also
order its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation. He shall also furnish a copy of
his Order to the petitioner and other interested parties, whether affirmative or
negative. (Emphasis supplied.)
Moreover, the DTI Secretary does not have the power to review the findings of the Tariff
Commission for it is not subordinate to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It falls under
the supervision, not of the DTI nor of the Department of Finance (as mistakenly asserted by
Southern Cross),[126] but of the National Economic Development Authority, an independent
planning agency of the government of co-equal rank as the DTI. [127] As the supervision
and control of a Department Secretary is limited to the bureaus, offices, and agencies under him,
[128]
the DTI Secretary generally cannot exercise review authority over actions of the Tariff
Commission. Neither does the SMA specifically authorize the DTI Secretary to alter, amend or
modify in any way the determination made by the Tariff Commission. The most that the DTI
Secretary could do to express displeasure over the Tariff Commissions actions is to ignore its
recommendation, but not its determination.
The word determination as used in Rule 13.2 of the Implementing Rules is dissonant with the
same word as employed in the SMA, which in the latter case is undeviatingly in reference to the
determination made by the Tariff Commission. Beyond the resulting confusion, however, the
divergent use in Rule 13.2 is explicable as the Rule textually pertains to the power of the DTI
Secretary to review the recommendations of the Tariff Commission, not the latters determination.
Indeed, an examination of the specific provisions show that there is no real conflict to reconcile.
Rule 13.2 respects the logical order imposed by the SMA. The Rule does not remove the essential
requirement under Section 5 that a positive final determination be made by the Tariff
Commission before a definitive safeguard measure may be imposed by the DTI Secretary.
The assailed Decision characterizes the findings of the Tariff Commission as merely
recommendatory and points to the DTI Secretary as the authority who renders the final decision.
[129]
At the same time, Philcemcor asserts that the Tariff Commissions functions are merely
investigatory, and as such do not include the power to decide or adjudicate. These contentions,
viewed in the context of the fundamental requisite set forth by Section 5, are untenable. They
run counter to the statutory prescription that a positive final determination made by the Tariff
Commission should first be obtained before the definitive safeguard measures may be laid down.

Was it anomalous for Congress to have provided for a system whereby the Tariff Commission
may preclude the DTI, an office of higher rank, from imposing a safeguard measure? Of course,
this Court does not inquire into the wisdom of the legislature but only charts the boundaries of
powers and functions set in its enactments. But then, it is not difficult to see the internal logic of
this statutory framework.
For one, as earlier stated, the DTI cannot exercise review powers over the Tariff Commission
which is not its subordinate office.
Moreover, the mechanism established by Congress establishes a measure of check and balance
involving two different governmental agencies with disparate specializations. The matter of
safeguard measures is of such national importance that a decision either to impose or not to
impose then could have ruinous effects on companies doing business in thePhilippines. Thus, it is
ideal to put in place a system which affords all due deliberation and calls to fore various
governmental agencies exercising their particular specializations.
Finally, if this arrangement drawn up by Congress makes it difficult to obtain a general safeguard
measure, it is because such safeguard measure is the exception, rather than the rule.
The Philippines is obliged to observe its obligations under the GATT, under whose framework
trade liberalization, not protectionism, is laid down. Verily, the GATT actually prescribes
conditions before a member-country may impose a safeguard measure. The pertinent portion of
the GATT Agreement on Safeguards reads:
2. A Member may only apply a safeguard measure to a product only if that member has
determined, pursuant to the provisions set out below, that such product is being imported into its
territory in such increased quantities, absolute or relative to domestic production, and under
such conditions as to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the domestic industry that
produces like or directly competitive products. [130]
3. (a) A Member may apply a safeguard measure only following an investigation by the
competent authorities of that Member pursuant to procedures previously established and made
public in consonance with Article X of the GATT 1994. This investigation shall include reasonable
public notice to all interested parties and public hearings or other appropriate means in which
importers, exporters and other interested parties could present evidence and their views,
including the opportunity to respond to the presentations of other parties and to submit their
views, inter alia, as to whether or not the application of a safeguard measure would be in the
public interest. The competent authorities shall publish a report setting forth their findings and
reasoned conclusions reached on all pertinent issues of fact and law. [131]
The SMA was designed not to contradict the GATT, but to complement it. The two requisites laid
down in Section 5 for a positive final determination are the same conditions provided under the
GATT Agreement on Safeguards for the application of safeguard measures by a member country.
Moreover, the investigatory procedure laid down by the SMA conforms to the procedure required
by the GATT Agreement on Safeguards. Congress has chosen the Tariff Commission as the
competent authority to conduct such investigation. Southern Cross stresses that applying the
provision of the GATT Agreement on Safeguards, the Tariff Commission is clearly empowered to
arrive at binding conclusions.[132] We agree: binding on the DTI Secretary is the Tariff
Commissions determinations on whether a product is imported in increased quantities, absolute
or relative to domestic production and whether any such increase is a substantial cause of
serious injury or threat thereof to the domestic industry. [133]
Satisfied as we are with the proper statutory paradigm within which the SMA should be analyzed,
the flaws in the reasoning of the Court of Appeals and in the arguments of the respondents
become apparent. To better understand the dynamics of the procedure set up by the law leading
to the imposition of definitive safeguard measures, a brief step-by-step recount thereof is in
order.
1. After the initiation of an action involving a general safeguard measure, [134] the DTI Secretary
makes a preliminary determination whether the increased imports of the product under

consideration substantially cause or threaten to substantially cause serious injury to the


domestic industry,[135] and whether the imposition of a provisional measure is warranted under
Section 8 of the SMA.[136] If the preliminary determination is negative, it is implied that no further
action will be taken on the application.
2. When his preliminary determination is positive, the Secretary immediately transmits the
records covering the application to the Tariff Commission for immediate formal investigation. [137]
3. The Tariff Commission conducts its formal investigation, keyed towards making a final
determination. In the process, it holds public hearings, providing interested parties the
opportunity to present evidence or otherwise be heard. [138] To repeat, Section 5 enumerates what
the Tariff Commission is tasked to determine: (a) whether a product is being imported into the
country in increased quantities, irrespective of whether the product is absolute or relative to the
domestic production; and (b) whether the importation in increased quantities is such that it
causes serious injury or threat to the domestic industry. [139] The findings of the Tariff Commission
as to these matters constitute the final determination, which may be either positive or negative.
4. Under Section 13 of the SMA, if the Tariff Commission makes a positive determination, the
Tariff Commission recommends to the [DTI] Secretary an appropriate definitive measure. The
Tariff Commission may also recommend other actions, including the initiation of international
negotiations to address the underlying cause of the increase of imports of the products, to
alleviate the injury or threat thereof to the domestic industry, and to facilitate positive
adjustment to import competition.[140]
5. If the Tariff Commission makes a positive final determination, the DTI Secretary is then to
decide, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the report, as to what appropriate safeguard
measures should he impose.
6. However, if the Tariff Commission makes a negative final determination, the DTI Secretary
cannot impose any definitive safeguard measure. Under Section 13, he is instructed instead to
return whatever cash bond was paid by the applicant upon the initiation of the action for
safeguard measure.
The Effect of the Courts Decision
The Court of Appeals erred in remanding the case back to the DTI Secretary, with the instruction
that the DTI Secretary may impose a general safeguard measure even if there is no positive final
determination from the Tariff Commission. More crucially, the Court of Appeals could not have
acquired jurisdiction over Philcemcors petition for certiorari in the first place, as Section 29 of the
SMA properly vests jurisdiction on the CTA. Consequently, the assailed Decision is an absolute
nullity, and we declare it as such.
What is the effect of the nullity of the assailed Decision on the 5 June 2003 Decision of the DTI
Secretary imposing the general safeguard measure? We have recognized that any initial judicial
review of a DTI ruling in connection with the imposition of a safeguard measure belongs to the
CTA. At the same time, the Court also recognizes the fundamental principle that a null and void
judgment cannot produce any legal effect. There is sufficient cause to establish that the 5 June
2003 Decision of the DTI Secretary resulted from the assailed Court of AppealsDecision, even if
the latter had not yet become final. Conversely, it can be concluded that it was because of the
putative imprimatur of the Court of Appeals Decision that the DTI Secretary issued his ruling
imposing the safeguard measure. Since the 5 June 2003 Decision derives its legal effect from the
void Decision of the Court of Appeals, this ruling of the DTI Secretary is consequently void. The
spring cannot rise higher than the source.
The DTI Secretary himself acknowledged that he drew stimulating force from the appellate
courts Decision for in his own 5 June 2003 Decision, he declared:
From the aforementioned ruling, the CA has remanded the case to the DTI Secretary for a final
decision. Thus, there is no legal impediment for the Secretary to decide on the application. [141]

The inescapable conclusion is that the DTI Secretary needed the assailed Decision of the Court of
Appeals to justify his rendering a second Decision. He explicitly invoked the Court of
Appeals Decision as basis for rendering his 5 June 2003 ruling, and implicitly recognized that
without such Decision he would not have the authority to revoke his previous ruling and render a
new, obverse ruling.
It is clear then that the 25 June 2003 Decision of the DTI Secretary is a product of the
void Decision, it being an attempt to carry out such null judgment. There is therefore no choice
but to declare it void as well, lest we sanction the perverse existence of a fruit from a nonexistent tree. It does not even matter what the disposition of the 25 June 2003 Decision was, its
nullity would be warranted even if the DTI Secretary chose to uphold his earlier ruling denying
the application for safeguard measures.
It is also an unfortunate spectacle to behold the DTI Secretary, seeking to enforce a judicial
decision which is not yet final and actually pending review on appeal. Had it been a judge who
attempted to enforce a decision that is not yet final and executory, he or she would have readily
been subjected to sanction by this Court. The DTI Secretary may be beyond the ambit of
administrative review by this Court, but we are capacitated to allocate the boundaries set by the
law of the land and to exact fealty to the legal order, especially from the instrumentalities and
officials of government.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals is
DECLARED NULL AND VOID and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the DTI Secretary dated 25 June
2003 is also DECLARED NULL AND VOID and SET ASIDE. No Costs.
SO ORDERED.
Neri v. Senate Committee [Sept. 4, 2008]
Action:
A motion for reconsideration of the Decision dated Mar. 25 2008, granting the petition for
certiorari filed by petitioner Romulo Neri against the respondent Senate Committee on
Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, Trade and Commerce, and National Defense
and Security (the Committees).
Fact:
Neri appeared before the Committees and testified for about 11 hours on matters concerning the
NBN Project, a project awarded by the DOTC to ZTE.
Neri disclosed that then Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos offered him P200M in exchange for
his approval of the NBN Project. He informed PGMA of the bribery attempt and that she
instructed him not to accept the bribe. However, when probed further on PGMA and his
discussions relating to the NBN Project, Neri refused to answer, invoking executive privilege.
Committees persisted in knowing Neris answers to (a) w/n PGMA followed up the NBN Project,
(b) w/n she directed him to prioritize it, and (c) w/n she directed him to approve it, required him
to appear and testify once more on Nov. 20 2007. On that day, Neri did not appear upon orders
of the President invoking executive privilege.
On Nov. 22, the Committees issued the show-cause letter requiring him to explain why he should
not be cited in contempt. On Nov. 29, Neris replied that he manifested that it was not his
intention to ignore the Senate hearing and that he thought the only remaining questions were
those he claimed to be covered by executive privilege. He also manifested his willingness to
appear and testify should there be new matters to be taken up. He requested that he be
furbished in advance as to what else he needs to clarify.
Issue:
1. w/n there is a recognized presumptive presidential communications privilege in our legal
system
2. w/n there is factual or legal basis to hold that the communications elicited by the 3 questions

are covered by executive privilege


3. w/n Committees have shown that the communications elicited by the 3 questions are critical
to the exercise of their functions
4. w/n Committees committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the contempt order
Held:
1. Yes. In Almonte v. Vasquez, the Court affirmed that the presidential communications privilege
is fundamental to the operation of government and inextricably rooted in the separation of
powers under the Constitution. The Court articulated that there are certain types of information
which the government may withhold from the public, that there is governmental privilege
against public disclosure with respect to state secrets regarding military, diplomatic and other
national security matters; and that the right to information does not extend to matters
recognized as privileged information under the separation of powers, by which the Court meant
Presidential conversations, correspondences, and discussions in closed-door Cabinet meetings.
2. Yes.
a. Committees contend that the power to secure a foreign loan does not relate to a
quintessential and non-delegable presidential power, because the Constitution does not vest it
in the President alone, but also in the Monetary Board. Quintessential is defined as the most
perfect embodiment of something, the concentrated essence of substance. Non-delegable
means that a power or duty cannot be delegated to another or, even if delegated, the
responsibility remains with the obligor. The power to enter into an executive agreement is in
essence an executive power and the final decision in the exercise of the said executive power is
still lodged in the Office of the President even when it has to secure the prior concurrence of the
Monetary Board because it is only a form of check and balance.
b. Committees contend that the application of the doctrine of operational proximity for the
reason that it may be misconstrued to expand the scope of the presidential communications
privilege to communications between those who are operationally proximate to the President
by who may have no direct communications with her. In the case at bar, the danger is absent
because the official involved here is a member of the Cabinet, thus, properly within the term
advisor of the President; in fact, her alter ego and a member of her official family.
c. Committees contend that the Court erred in upholding the Presidents invocation, through
Exec. Sec., of executive privilege because
i. Between Committees specific and demonstrated need and the Presidents generalized interest
in confidentiality, there is a need to strike the balance in favor of the former
o It must be stressed that the Presidents claim of executive privilege is not merely founded on
her generalized interest in confidentiality. The Letter dated Nov. 15 of Exec. Sec. Ermita specified
presidential communications privilege in relation to diplomatic and economic relation with
another sovereign nation as the bases for the claim.
o The privileged character of diplomatic negotiations has been recognized in this jurisdiction that
information on inter-government exchanges prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive
agreements may be subject to reasonable safeguards for the sake of national interest.
ii. In the balancing of interest, the Court disregarded the provisions of the 1987 Constitution on
government transparency, accountability, and disclosure of information
o The constitutional provisions cited by Committees do not espouse an absolute right to
information. It must be emphasized that the assailed Decision did not enjoin the Committees
from inquiring into the NBN Project. All that is expected from them is to respect matters that are
covered by executive privilege.
3. No. Committees contend the information elicited by the 3 questions are necessary in the
discharge of their legislative function, among them,
a. To consider the 3 pending Senate BillsThere is simply a generalized assertion that the
information is pertinent to the exercise of the power to legislate and a broad and non-specific
reference to pending Senate Bills. And it is further expressed by the counsel of Committees that
even without Neri answering the 3 questions, the Senate can still come up with legislations.
b. To curb graft and corruptionThe potential culpability of high government officials in a given
government transaction is not a task for the Senate to perform. The role of the Legislature is to
make laws, not to determine anyones guilt of a crime or wrongdoing.
4. Yes. Committees contended that the ruling in Senate v. Ermita, requiring invitations or

subpoenas to contain the possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry
along with the usual indication of the subject of inquiry and the questions relative to and in
furtherance thereof is not provided for by the Constitution and is merely an obiter dictum.
o An unconstrained congressional investigative power, like an unchecked Executive, generates
its own abuses. The requirements set forth in Senate v. Ermita are modest mechanisms that
would not unduly limit Congress power. Witnesses should be adequately informed what matters
are to be covered by the inquiry. It will allow them to prepare the pertinent information and
documents.
o The language of Sec. 21 Art. 6 of the Constitution requiring that the inquiry be conducted in
accordance with the duly published rules of procedure is categorical. It should likewise be
stressed that not all orders issued or proceedings conducted pursuant to the subject Rules are
null and void. Onyle those that result in violation of the rights of witnesses should be considered
null and void, considering that the rationale for the publication is to protect the rights of
witnesses as expresses in Sec. 21 Art. 6 of the Constitution.
ESTRADA VS DESIERTO; ARROYO
[Immunity from Suit; Resignation of the President; Justiciable controversy]
FACTS:
It began in October 2000 when allegations of wrong doings involving bribe-taking, illegal
gambling, and other forms of corruption were made against Estrada before the Senate Blue
Ribbon Committee. On November 13, 2000, Estrada was impeached by the Hor and, on
December 7, impeachment proceedings were begun in the Senate during which more serious
allegations of graft and corruption against Estrada were made and were only stopped on January
16, 2001 when 11 senators, sympathetic to the President, succeeded in suppressing damaging
evidence against Estrada. As a result, the impeachment trial was thrown into an uproar as the
entire prosecution panel walked out and Senate President Pimentel resigned after casting his
vote against Estrada.
On January 19, PNP and the AFP also withdrew their support for Estrada and joined the crowd at
EDSA Shrine. Estrada called for a snap presidential election to be held concurrently with
congressional and local elections on May 14, 2001. He added that he will not run in this election.
On January 20, SC declared that the seat of presidency was vacant, saying that Estrada
constructively resigned his post. At noon, Arroyo took her oath of office in the presence of the
crowd at EDSA as the 14th President. Estrada and his family later left Malacaang Palace. Erap,
after his fall, filed petition for prohibition with prayer for WPI. It sought to enjoin the respondent
Ombudsman from conducting any further proceedings in cases filed against him not until his
term as president ends. He also prayed for judgment confirming Estrada to be the lawful and
incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties
of his office.

ISSUE(S):
1. WoN the petition presents a justiciable controversy.
2. WoN Estrada resigned as President.
3. WoN Arroyo is only an acting President.
4. WoN the President enjoys immunity from suit.
5. WoN the prosecution of Estrada should be enjoined due to prejudicial publicity.
RULING:
1. Political questions- "to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the
people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been

delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues
dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular measure."
Legal distinction between EDSA People Power I EDSA People Power II:
EDSA I

EDSA II

exercise of the people power


of revolution which overthrew
the whole government.

exercise of people power of


freedom of speech and
freedom of assemblyto
petition the government for
redress of grievances which
only affected the office of the
President.

extra constitutional and the


legitimacy of the new
government that resulted from
it cannot be the subject of
judicial review

presented a political
question;

intra constitutional and the


resignation of the sitting
President that it caused and
the succession of the Vice
President as President are
subject to judicial review.
involves legal questions.

The cases at bar pose legal and not political questions. The principal issues for resolution require
the proper interpretation of certain provisions in the 1987 Constitution: Sec 1 of Art II, and Sec 8
of Art VII, and the allocation of governmental powers under Sec 11 of Art VII. The issues likewise
call for a ruling on the scope of presidential immunity from suit. They also involve the correct
calibration of the right of petitioner against prejudicial publicity.
2. Elements of valid resignation: (a)an intent to resign and (b) acts of relinquishment. Both were
present when President Estrada left the Palace.
Totality of prior contemporaneous posterior facts and circumstantial evidence bearing material
relevant issuesPresident Estrada is deemed to have resigned constructive resignation.
SC declared that the resignation of President Estrada could not be doubted as confirmed by his
leaving Malacaan Palace. In the press release containing his final statement:
1. He acknowledged the oath-taking of the respondent as President;
2. He emphasized he was leaving the Palace for the sake of peace and in order to begin the
healing process (he did not say that he was leaving due to any kind of disability and that he was
going to reassume the Presidency as soon as the disability disappears);
3. He expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them as President
(without doubt referring to the past opportunity);
4. He assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come in the same service
of the country;
5. He called on his supporters to join him in promotion of a constructive national spirit of
reconciliation and solidarity.
Intent to resignmust be accompanied by act of relinquishmentact or omission before, during
and after January 20, 2001.
3. The Congress passed House Resolution No. 176 expressly stating its support to Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo as President of the Republic of the Philippines and subsequently passed H.R.
178 confirms the nomination of Teofisto T. Guingona Jr. As Vice President. Senate passed HR No.
83 declaring the Impeachment Courts as Functius Officio and has been terminated. It is clear is

that both houses of Congress recognized Arroyo as the President. Implicitly clear in that
recognition is the premise that the inability of Estrada is no longer temporary as the Congress
has clearly rejected his claim of inability.
The Court therefore cannot exercise its judicial power for this is political in nature and addressed
solely to Congress by constitutional fiat. In fine, even if Estrada can prove that he did not resign,
still, he cannot successfully claim that he is a President on leave on the ground that he is merely
unable to govern temporarily. That claim has been laid to rest by Congress and the decision that
Arroyo is the de jure, president made by a co-equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by
this Court.
4. The cases filed against Estrada are criminal in character. They involve plunder, bribery and
graft and corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can these crimes, especially plunder which
carries the death penalty, be covered by the alleged mantle of immunity of a non-sitting
president. He cannot cite any decision of this Court licensing the President to commit criminal
acts and wrapping him with post-tenure immunity from liability. The rule is that unlawful acts of
public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally is not acting as such but
stands in the same footing as any trespasser.
5. No. Case law will tell us that a right to a fair trial and the free press are incompatible. Also,
since our justice system does not use the jury system, the judge, who is a learned and legally
enlightened individual, cannot be easily manipulated by mere publicity. The Court also said that
Estrada did not present enough evidence to show that the publicity given the trial has influenced
the judge so as to render the judge unable to perform. Finally, the Court said that the cases
against Estrada were still undergoing preliminary investigation, so the publicity of the case would
really have no permanent effect on the judge and that the prosecutor should be more concerned
with justice and less with prosecution.
Ronald Allan Poe a.k.a. Fernando Poe, Jr., protestant, vs. Gloria MacapagalArroyo, protestee.
Facts: GMA was proclaimed by the congress as duly elected President of the Philippines.
Refusing to concede defeat, the second-placer in the elections, FPJ, filed an election protest
before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. However, the protestant died in the course of his
medical treatment at St. Lukes Hospital. Now, the widow of FPJ, Mrs. Jesusa Sonora Poe
submitted a manifestation with urgent petition/motion to intervene as a substitute for deceased
protestant FPJ.
Issue: Whether the widow may substitute/intervene for the protestant who died during the
pendency of the latters protest case.
Ruling: No. The court held in Vda. de De Mesa that while the right to a public office is personal
and exclusive to the public officer, an election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the
protestant or to the protestee such that the death of either would oust the court of all authority
to continue the protest proceedings. Hence, substitution and intervention is allowed but only by
a real party in interest. A real party in interest is the party who would be benefited or injured by
the judgment, and the party who is entitled to the avails of the suit. Herein movant/intervenor,
Mrs. FPJ, herself denies any claim to the august office of President. Thus, given the
circumstances of this case, we can conclude that protestants widow is not a real party in interest
to this election protest.

Loren B. Legarda, protestant, vs Noli L.De Castro, protestee.

Facts:
In a Resolution dated January 18, 2005, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) confirmed the jurisdiction over
the protest of Loren B. Legarda and denied the motion of protestee, Noli L. de Castro for its outright dismissal. The
Tribunal further ordered concerned officials to undertake measures for the protection and preservation of the ballot boxes
and election documents subject of the protest.

On February 4, 2005, De Castro filed a motion for reconsideration assailing the said resolution.
De Castro argues that where the correctness of the number of votes is the issue, the best evidence are the ballots;
that the process of correcting the manifest errors in the certificates of canvass or election returns is a function of the
canvassing bodies; that once the canvassing bodies had done their functions, no alteration or correction of manifest errors
can be made; that since the authority of the Tribunal involves an exercise of judicial power to determine the facts based
on the evidence presented and to apply the law based on the established facts, it cannot perform the ministerial function
of canvassing election returns. He also contends that the Tribunal cannot correct the manifest errors on the statements of
votes (SOV) and certificates of canvass (COC). But it is not suggested by any of the parties that questions on the validity,
authenticity and correctness of the SOVs and COCs are outside the Tribunals jurisdiction.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Tribunal can re-canvass the ballots and can correct the manifest errors in the SOVs and COCs.
RULING:
Yes. The SC finds no reason why the Tribunal cannot perform this function. SC agrees that the ballots are the best
and most conclusive evidence in an election contest where the correctness of the number of votes of each candidate is
involved. Legarda merely seeks the correction of manifest errors, that is, errors in the process of different levels of
transposition and addition of votes.
The constitutional function as well as the power and the duty to be the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualification of the President and Vice-President is expressly vested in the PET, in Section 4, Article
VII of the Constitution. Included therein is the duty to correct manifest errors in the SOVs and COCs. There is no
necessity, in the SCs view, to amend the PET Rules to perform this function within the ambit of its constitutional function.
In the instant protest, Legarda enumerated all the provinces, municipalities and cities where she questions all the
results in all the precincts therein. The protest here is sufficient in form and substantively, serious enough on its face to
pose a challenge to De Castros title to his office.
Considering that the protest is sufficient in form and substance, the SC again stress that nothing as yet has been
proved as to the veracity of the allegations. The protest is only sufficient for the Tribunal to proceed and give the Legarda
the opportunity to prove her case pursuant to Rule 61 of the PET Rules. Although said rule only pertains to revision of
ballots, nothing herein prevents the Tribunal from allowing or including the correction of manifest errors, pursuant to the
Tribunals rule-making power under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution.

Rufino vs Endriga
G.R. No. 139554
July 21, 2006
FACTS:
On 25 June 1966, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Executive Order No. 30 (EO 30)
creating the Cultural Center of the Philippines as a trust governed by a Board of Trustees of
seven members to preserve and promote Philippine culture.
On 5 October 1972, or soon after the declaration of Martial Law, President Marcos issued PD
15, the CCPs charter, which converted the CCP under EO 30 into a non-municipal public
corporation free from the pressure or influence of politics. PD 15 increased the members of
CCPs Board from seven to nine trustees. Later, Executive Order No. 1058, issued on 10 October
1985, increased further the trustees to 11.
After the People Power Revolution in 1986, then President Corazon C. Aquino asked for the
courtesy resignations of the then incumbent CCP trustees and appointed new trustees to the
Board. Eventually, during the term of President Fidel V. Ramos, the CCP Board included Endriga,
Lagdameo, Sison, Potenciano, Fernandez, Lenora A. Cabili (Cabili), and Manuel T. Maosa
(Maosa).

On 22 December 1998, then President Joseph E. Estrada appointed seven new trustees to
the CCP Board for a term of four years to replace the Endriga group as well as two other
incumbent trustees. The seven new trustees were:
1. Armita B. Rufino

President, vice Baltazar

N. Endriga
2. Zenaida R. Tantoco

3. Federico Pascual

Member, vice Doreen Fernandez

4. Rafael Buenaventura

Member, vice Lenora A. Cabili


-

Member, vice Manuel T. Maosa

5. Lorenzo Calma

Member, vice Ma. Paz D. Lagdameo

6. Rafael Simpao, Jr.

Member, vice Patricia C. Sison

7.

Freddie Garcia

Member, vice Irma Ponce-Enrile


Potenciano

Except for Tantoco, the Rufino group took their respective oaths of office and assumed the
performance of their duties in early January 1999.
On 6 January 1999, the Endriga group filed a petition for quo warranto before this Court
questioning President Estradas appointment of seven new members to the CCP Board. The
Endriga group alleged that under Section 6(b) of PD 15, vacancies in the CCP Board shall be
filled by election by a vote of a majority of the trustees held at the next regular meeting x x
x. In case only one trustee survive[s], the vacancies shall be filled by the surviving trustee
acting in consultation with the ranking officers of the [CCP]. The Endriga group claimed that it is
only when the CCP Board is entirely vacant may the President of the Philippines fill such
vacancies, acting in consultation with the ranking officers of the CCP.
The Endriga group asserted that when former President Estrada appointed the Rufino group, only
one seat was vacant due to the expiration of Maosas term. The CCP Board then had 10
incumbent trustees.
The Endriga group refused to accept that the CCP was under the supervision and control of the
President. The Endriga group cited Section 3 of PD 15, which states that the CCP shall enjoy
autonomy of policy and operation x x x.
On 14 May 1999, the Court of Appeals granted the quo warranto petition. The Court of Appeals
declared the Endriga group lawfully entitled to hold office as CCP trustees. On the other hand,
the appellate courts Decision ousted the Rufino group from the CCP Board.
In their motion for reconsideration, the Rufino group asserted that the law could only delegate to
the CCP Board the power to appoint officers lower in rank than the trustees of the Board. The
law may not validly confer on the CCP trustees the authority to appoint or elect their fellow
trustees, for the latter would be officers of equal rank and not of lower rank. Section 6(b)
of PD 15 authorizing the CCP trustees to elect their fellow trustees should be declared
unconstitutional being repugnant to Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution allowing the
appointment only of officers lower in rank than the appointing power.
On 3 August 1999, the Court of Appeals denied the Rufino groups motion for
reconsideration. The Court of Appeals also denied the Endriga groups motion for immediate
execution of the 14 May 1999 Decision.
Hence, the instant consolidated petitions.
ISSUE:

Whether or not Sec. 6 (b) of PD 15 is constitutional and CCP trustees have the authority to
appoint and elect their fellow trustees when there is vacancy.
RULING:
NO. The SC ruled that Sec. 6 (b) and (c) of PD 15 as amended which authorizes the remaining
trustees to fill by election vacancies in the Board of Trustees of CCP is unconstitutional.
Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15, which authorizes the trustees of the CCP Board to fill vacancies in
the Board, runs afoul with the Presidents power of control under Section 17, Article VII of the
1987 Constitution. The intent of Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is to insulate the CCP from
political influence and pressure, specifically from the President. Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15
makes the CCP a self-perpetuating entity, virtually outside the control of the President. Such a
public office or board cannot legally exist under the 1987 Constitution.
Section 3 of PD 15, as amended, states that the CCP shall enjoy autonomy of policy and
operation x x x. This provision does not free the CCP from the Presidents control, for if it does,
then it would be unconstitutional. This provision may give the CCP Board a free hand in initiating
and formulating policies and undertaking activities, but ultimately these policies and activities
are all subject to the Presidents power of control.
The CCP is part of the Executive branch. No law can cut off the Presidents control over the CCP
in the guise of insulating the CCP from the Presidents influence. By stating that the President
shall have control of all the executive x x x offices, the 1987 Constitution empowers the
President not only to influence but even to control all offices in the Executive branch,
including the CCP. Control is far greater than, and subsumes, influence.
JOSE LUIS ANGEL B. OROSA, petitioner,
vs.
ALBERTO C. ROA, respondent.
Assailed and sought to be set aside in this petition for review is the Resolution 1 dated July 8,
1999 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 53190, dismissing the petition for review
under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure thereat filed by the herein petitioner from an
adverse resolution of the Secretary of Justice.
The petition is casts against the following factual backdrop:
On November 27, 1996, petitioner, a dentist by profession, filed with the Pasig City Prosecution
Office a complaint-affidavit charging respondent Alberto C. Roa, likewise a dentist, with the crime
of libel. The complaint, docketed in said office as I.S. No. 96-5442, stemmed from an article
entitled "Truth vs. Rumors: Questions against Dr. Orosa" written by respondent and published in
the March-April 1996 issue of the Dental Trading Post, a bi-monthly publication of the Dental
Exchange Co., Inc. In gist, the article delved into the possibility of a father, who happened to be
an examiner in a licensure examination for dentistry where his sons were examinees,
manipulating the examinations or the results thereof to enable his children to top the same.
In his complaint-affidavit, petitioner alleged that the article in question is defamatory as it
besmirched his honor and reputation as a dentist and as the topnotcher in the dental board
examinations held in May 1994.
Respondent denied the accusation, claiming that the article constitutes a "fair and accurate
report on a matter of both public and social concern." He averred that the article in question was
not written with malice but with a sincere desire to contribute to the improvement of the
integrity of professional examinations.
After preliminary investigation, Pasig City Prosecutor Noel Paz issued a Resolution, dismissing
petitioner's complaint in this wise:

The publication being a bona fide communication on matters of public concern, and made
without malice, we find the respondent entitled to the protection of the rule on privileged
matters under Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code.
Petitioner appealed to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Acting on the appeal, Chief State
Prosecutor Jovencito Zuo issued a Resolution (Zuo Resolution), setting aside the findings of the
City Prosecutor and directing the latter to file an Information for libel against respondent.
Accordingly, in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City, an Information for libel was filed
against respondent, thereat docketed as Criminal Case No. 114517.
Adversely affected, respondent appealed to the Secretary of Justice. On October 28, 1998, then
Justice Secretary Serafin Cuevas reversed the Zuo Resolution and directed the City Prosecutor
of Pasig to withdraw the Information earlier filed with the RTC. In compliance therewith, a "Motion
to Withdraw Information" was accordingly filed in court by the Pasig City Prosecution Office.
Petitioner seasonably moved for a reconsideration but his motion was denied by the Secretary of
Justice in his Resolution of May 12, 1999.
Therefrom, petitioner went to the CA on a petition for review under Rule 43 2 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure, docketed as CA-G.R. No. SP No. 53190.
As stated at the outset hereof, the CA, in the herein assailed Resolution dated July 8, 1999,
dismissed petitioner's petition for review. Partly says the CA in its dismissal Resolution:
The Pasig City Prosecution Office and the Department of Justice are not among the quasi-judicial
agencies included in Section 1 of Rule 43 whose final orders or resolutions are subject to review
by the Court of Appeals.
The Supreme Court in its Resolution En Banc dated April 8, 1997, approving the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure in Bar Matter No. 803, did not include final orders or resolutions issued by these
agencies as appealable under Rule 43. The Court of Appeals is therefore not at liberty to supply
the omissions in the Rule, that would constitute an encroachment on the rule making power of
the Supreme Court.3
With his motion for reconsideration having been denied by the CA in its subsequent Resolution of
October 14, 1999, petitioner is now with this Court on his submission that the appellate court
erred:
I
XXX IN HOLDING THAT THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ARE NOT
REVIEWABLE BY IT UNDER RULE 43 OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE.
II
XXX IN FINDING THE PETITION IN CA G.R. SP NO. 53190 [WAS] PREMATURELY FILED.
III
XXX IN HOLDING THAT THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ASSAILED IN CA G.R.
SP NO. 53190 ARE NOT REVIEWABLE UNDER RULE 65 (sic) OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL
PROCEDURE SINCE THESE RESOLUTIONS WERE ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE IN THE
EXERCISE OF HIS POWER OF CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OVER PROSECUTORS.
IV
XXX IN NOT RESOLVING THE PETITION IN CA G.R. SP NO. 53190 ON THE MERITS.
V
XXX IN NOT REVERSING THE ASSAILED RESOLUTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN CA G.R.
SP NO. 53190 ON THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS:

a. RESPONDENT'S APPEAL FROM THE RESOLUTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THROUGH


THE CHIEF STATE PROSECUTOR, DATED JANUARY 22, 1998, WAS FATALLY DEFECTIVE.
b. RESPONDENT'S ARTICLE WAS DEFAMATORY.
c. MALICE ATTENDED THE PUBLICATION OF RESPONDENT'S ARTICLE.
d. RESPONDENT'S ARTICLE WAS NOT PROTECTED BY THE MANTLE OF PRIVILEGED MATTER.
As the Court sees it, the petition commends for its consideration the issue of whether or not a
petition for review under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is a proper mode of appeal
from a resolution of the Secretary of Justice directing the prosecutor to withdraw an information
in a criminal case.
It is petitioner's thesis that Rule 43 was intended to apply to all quasi-judicial agencies exercising
quasi-judicial functions. Upon this premise, petitioner submits that resolutions of the DOJ in the
exercise of its quasi-judicial functions are properly appealable to the CA via a petition for review
under Rule 43, adding that the quasi-judicial bodies enumerated under said Rule are not
exclusive.
Petitioner's above posture, while valid to a point, will not carry the day for him.
Rule 43 governs all appeals from the Court of Tax Appeals and quasi-judicial bodies to the CA.
Section 1 thereof provides:
Section 1. Scope. This Rule shall apply to appeals from judgments or final orders of the Court of
Tax Appeals, and from awards, judgments, final orders or resolutions of or authorized by any
quasi-judicial agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions. Among these agencies are the
Civil Service Commission, Central Board of Assessment Appeals, Securities and Exchange
Commission, Office of the President, Land Registration Authority, Social Security Commission,
Civil Aeronautics Board, Bureau of Patents, Trademarks and Technology Transfer, National
Electrification Administration, Energy Regulatory Board, National Telecommunications
Commission, Department of Agrarian Reform under Republic Act No. 6657, Government Service
and Insurance System, Employees' Compensation Commission, Agricultural Inventions Board,
Insurance Commission, Philippine Atomic Energy Commission, Board of Investments,
Construction Industry Arbitration Commission, and voluntary arbitrators authorized by law.
As may be noted, the DOJ is not among the agencies expressly enumerated under Section 1 of
Rule 43, albeit any suggestion that it does not perform quasi-judicial functions may have to be
rejected. However, its absence from the list of agencies mentioned thereunder does not, by this
fact alone, already imply its exclusion from the coverage of said Rule. This is because said
Section 1 uses the phrase "among these agencies," thereby implying that the enumeration made
is not exclusive of the agencies therein listed.
There is compelling reason to believe, however, that the exclusion of the DOJ from the list is
deliberate, being in consonance with the constitutional power of control 4 lodged in the President
over executive departments, bureaus and offices. This power of control, which even Congress
cannot limit, let alone withdraw, means the power of the Chief Executive to review, alter, modify,
nullify, or set aside what a subordinate, e.g., members of the Cabinet and heads of line agencies,
had done in the performance of their duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that
of the latter.5
Being thus under the control of the President, the Secretary of Justice, or, to be precise, his
decision is subject to review of the former. In fine, recourse from the decision of the Secretary of
Justice should be to the President, instead of the CA, under the established principle of
exhaustion of administrative remedies. The thrust of the rule on exhaustion of administrative
remedies is that if an appeal or remedy obtains or is available within the administrative
machinery, this should be resorted to before resort can be made to the courts. 6 Immediate
recourse to the court would be premature and precipitate; 7 subject to defined exception, a case
is susceptible of dismissal for lack of cause of action should a party fail to exhaust administrative

remedies.8 Notably, Section 1, supra, of Rule 43 includes the Office of the President in the
agencies named therein, thereby accentuating the fact that appeals from rulings of department
heads must first be taken to and resolved by that office before any appellate recourse may be
resorted to.
Given the above perspective, the question of whether or not a preliminary investigation is a
quasi-judicial proceeding, as petitioner posits, or whether or not the Secretary of Justice performs
quasi-judicial functions when he reviews the findings of a state or city prosecutor is of little
moment. The Court wishes, however, to draw attention to what it said in Santos v. Go 9 where the
Court, citing Bautista v. Court of Appeals,10 stated:
[t]he prosecutor in a preliminary investigation does not determine the guilt or innocence of the
accused. He does not exercise adjudication nor rule-making functions. Preliminary investigation
is merely inquisitorial, and is often the only means of discovering the persons who may be
reasonably charged with a crime and to enable the fiscal [prosecutor] to prepare his complaint or
information. It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no purpose except that of
determining whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to
believe that the accused is guilty thereof. While the fiscal [prosecutor] makes that determination,
he cannot be said to be acting as a quasi-court, for it is the courts, ultimately that pass judgment
on the accused, not the fiscal [prosecutor]. (Words in bracket ours)
While now perhaps anti-climactic to delve into, the ensuing holdings of the appellate court are
worth quoting:
The petition is premature. The Information charging respondent with the crime of libel, docketed
as Criminal Case No. 114517, is now with Branch 155 of the Regional Trial Court in Pasig City.
Thus understood, the said trial court has now the control of the case. The remedy of petitioner is
to reiterate the reasons or grounds alleged in his present petition by way of an appropriate
opposition to the Pasig City Prosecution Office's "Motion to Withdraw Information" dated
November 5, 1998, filed in compliance with the assailed directive of the Secretary of Justice.
Having control of the case, the trial court can look into the claim of petitioner. This will enable the
trial court to rule on the matter first without the precipitate intervention of this Court. In other
words, this is a prerequisite to the elevation of the case to this Court. 11
In view of the foregoing disquisition, the Court deems it unnecessary to address the other issues
raised in the petition.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed resolution of the Court of Appeals
is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
DENR VS DENR EMPLOYEES
G.R. No. 149724 [Alter ego of the President, Qualified Political Agency Doctrine]
FACTS:
DENR Reg 12 Employees filed a petition for nullity of the memorandum order issued by the
Regional Exec. Director of DENR, directing the immediate transfer of the DENR 12 Regional
Offices from Cotabato to Koronadal City. The memorandum was issued pursuant to DENR
Executive Order issued by the DENR Secretary.
Issue:
Whether or not DENR Secretary has the authority to reorganize the DENR Region 12 Office.
RULING: The qualified political agency doctrine, all executive and administrative organizations
are adjuncts of the Executive Department, and the acts of the Secretaries of such departments,
performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or
reprobated by the Chief Executive, are presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive. It is

corollary to the control power of the President as provided for under Art. VII Sec. 17 of the 1987
Constitution: "The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and
offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.
In the case at bar, the DENR Secretary can validly reorganize the DENR by ordering the transfer
of the DENR XII Regional Offices from Cotabato City to Koronadal, South Cotabato. The exercise
of this authority by the DENR Secretary, as an alter ego, is presumed to be the acts of the
President for the latter had not expressly repudiated the same.
ANAK MINDANAO VS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
Petitioners Anak Mindanao Party-List Group (AMIN) and Mamalo Descendants Organization, Inc.
(MDOI) assail the constitutionality of Executive Order (E.O.) Nos. 364 and 379, both issued in
2004, via the present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with prayer for injunctive relief.
E.O. No. 364, which President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued on September 27, 2004, reads:
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 364
TRANSFORMING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND
REFORM
WHEREAS, one of the five reform packages of the Arroyo administration is Social Justice and
Basic [N]eeds;
WHEREAS, one of the five anti-poverty measures for social justice is asset reform;
WHEREAS, asset reforms covers [sic] agrarian reform, urban land reform, and ancestral domain
reform;
WHEREAS, urban land reform is a concern of the Presidential Commission [for] the Urban Poor
(PCUP) and ancestral domain reform is a concern of the National Commission on Indigenous
Peoples (NCIP);
WHEREAS, another of the five reform packages of the Arroyo administration is Anti-Corruption
and Good Government;
WHEREAS, one of the Good Government reforms of the Arroyo administration is rationalizing the
bureaucracy by consolidating related functions into one department;
WHEREAS, under law and jurisprudence, the President of the Philippines has broad powers to
reorganize the offices under her supervision and control;
NOW[,] THEREFORE[,] I, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, by the powers vested in me as President of the
Republic of the Philippines, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. The Department of Agrarian Reform is hereby transformed into
the Department of Land Reform. It shall be responsible for all land reform in the country,
including agrarian reform, urban land reform, and ancestral domain reform.
SECTION 2. The PCUP is hereby placed under the supervision and control of the
Department of Land Reform. The Chairman of the PCUP shall be ex-officio Undersecretary of
the Department of Land Reform for Urban Land Reform.
SECTION 3. The NCIP is hereby placed under the supervision and control of the Department of
Land Reform. The Chairman of the NCIP shall be ex-officio Undersecretary of the Department of
Land Reform for Ancestral Domain Reform.
SECTION 4. The PCUP and the NCIP shall have access to the services provided by the
Departments Finance, Management and Administrative Office; Policy, Planning and Legal Affairs
Office, Field Operations and Support Services Office, and all other offices of the Department of
Land Reform.

SECTION 5. All previous issuances that conflict with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or
modified accordingly.
SECTION 6. This Executive Order takes effect immediately. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
E.O. No. 379, which amended E.O. No. 364 a month later or on October 26, 2004, reads:
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 379
AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 364 ENTITLED TRANSFORMING THE DEPARTMENT OF
AGRARIAN REFORM INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND REFORM
WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 8371 created the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples;
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Administrative Code of 1987, the President has the continuing
authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the National Government.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines,
by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, do hereby order:
Section 1. Amending Section 3 of Executive Order No. 364. Section 3 of Executive Order No. 364,
dated September 27, 2004 shall now read as follows:
Section 3. The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) shall be an attached
agency of the Department of Land Reform.
Section 2. Compensation. The Chairperson shall suffer no diminution in rank and salary.
Section 3. Repealing Clause. All executive issuances, rules and regulations or parts thereof which
are inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby revoked, amended or modified accordingly.
Section 4. Effectivity. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately. (Emphasis and
underscoring in the original)
Petitioners contend that the two presidential issuances are unconstitutional for violating:
THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION OF POWERS AND OF THE RULE OF
LAW[;]
THE CONSTITUTIONAL SCHEME AND POLICIES FOR AGRARIAN REFORM, URBAN LAND
REFORM, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS AND ANCESTRAL DOMAIN[; AND]
THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE AND THEIR ORGANIZATIONS TO EFFECTIVE
AND REASONABLE PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING, INCLUDING THROUGH ADEQUATE
CONSULTATION[.][1]
By Resolution of December 6, 2005, this Court gave due course to the Petition and required the
submission of memoranda, with which petitioners and respondents complied onMarch 24,
2006 and April 11, 2006, respectively.
The issue on the transformation of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) into the
Department of Land Reform (DLR) became moot and academic, however, the department having
reverted to its former name by virtue of E.O. No. 456 [2] which was issued on August 23, 2005.
The Court is thus left with the sole issue of the legality of placing the Presidential
Commission[3] for the Urban Poor (PCUP) under the supervision and control of the DAR, and the
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) under the DAR as an attached agency.
Before inquiring into the validity of the reorganization, petitioners locus standi or legal
standing, inter alia,[4] becomes a preliminary question.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), on behalf of respondents, concedes that AMIN [5] has the
requisite legal standing to file this suit as member [6] of Congress.

Petitioners find it impermissible for the Executive to intrude into the domain of the
Legislature. They posit that an act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress
causes a derivative but nonetheless substantial injury, which can be questioned by a member of
Congress.[7] They add that to the extent that the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the
power of each member thereof, since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of
the powers of that institution.[8]
Indeed, a member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the
prerogatives, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office. [9]
The OSG questions, however, the standing of MDOI, a registered peoples organization
of Teduray and Lambangian tribesfolk of (North) Upi and South Upi in
the province ofMaguindanao.
As co-petitioner, MDOI alleges that it is concerned with the negative impact of NCIPs becoming
an attached agency of the DAR on the processing of ancestral domain claims. It fears that
transferring the NCIP to the DAR would affect the processing of ancestral domain claims filed by
its members.
Locus standi or legal standing has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in a case
such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act
that is being challenged. The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such
personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which
sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult
constitutional questions.[10]
It has been held that a party who assails the constitutionality of a statute must have a direct and
personal interest. It must show not only that the law or any governmental act is invalid, but also
that it sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its
enforcement, and not merely that it suffers thereby in some indefinite way. It must show that it
has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which it is lawfully entitled or that it
is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained
of.[11]
For a concerned party to be allowed to raise a constitutional question, it must show that (1) it has
personally suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of
the government, (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action, and (3) the injury is
likely to be redressed by a favorable action. [12]
An examination of MDOIs nebulous claims of negative impact and probable setbacks [13] shows
that they are too abstract to be considered judicially cognizable. And the line of causation it
proffers between the challenged action and alleged injury is too attenuated.
Vague propositions that the implementation of the assailed orders will work injustice and violate
the rights of its members cannot clothe MDOI with the requisite standing.Neither would its status
as a peoples organization vest it with the legal standing to assail the validity of the executive
orders.[14]
La Bugal-Blaan Tribal Association, Inc. v. Ramos, [15] which MDOI cites in support of its claim to
legal standing, is inapplicable as it is not similarly situated with the therein petitioners who
alleged personal and substantial injury resulting from the mining activities permitted by the
assailed statute. And so is Cruz v. Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, [16] for the
indigenous peoples leaders and organizations were not the petitioners therein, who necessarily
had to satisfy the locus standi requirement, but were intervenors who sought and were allowed
to be impleaded, not to assail but to defend the constitutionality of the statute.
Moreover, MDOI raises no issue of transcendental importance to justify a relaxation of the rule on
legal standing. To be accorded standing on the ground of transcendental importance, Senate of
the Philippines v. Ermita[17] requires that the following elements must be established: (1) the
public character of the funds or other assets involved in the case, (2) the presence of a clear

case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or


instrumentality of government, and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific
interest in raising the questions being raised. The presence of these elements MDOI failed to
establish, much less allege.
Francisco, Jr. v. Fernando[18] more specifically declares that the transcendental importance of the
issues raised must relate to the merits of the petition.
This Court, not being a venue for the ventilation of generalized grievances, must thus deny
adjudication of the matters raised by MDOI.
Now, on AMINs position. AMIN charges the Executive Department with transgression of the
principle of separation of powers.
Under the principle of separation of powers, Congress, the President, and the Judiciary may not
encroach on fields allocated to each of them. The legislature is generally limited to the
enactment of laws, the executive to the enforcement of laws, and the judiciary to their
interpretation and application to cases and controversies. The principle presupposes mutual
respect by and between the executive, legislative and judicial departments of the government
and calls for them to be left alone to discharge their duties as they see fit. [19]
AMIN contends that since the DAR, PCUP and NCIP were created by statutes, [20] they can only be
transformed, merged or attached by statutes, not by mere executive orders.
While AMIN concedes that the executive power is vested in the President [21] who, as Chief
Executive, holds the power of control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices, [22] it
posits that this broad power of control including the power to reorganize is qualified and limited,
for it cannot be exercised in a manner contrary to law, citing the constitutional duty [23] of the
President to ensure that the laws, including those creating the agencies, be faithfully executed.
AMIN cites the naming of the PCUP as a presidential commission to be clearly an extension of the
President, and the creation of the NCIP as an independent agency under the Office of the
President.[24] It thus argues that since the legislature had seen fit to create these agencies at
separate times and with distinct mandates, the President should respect that legislative
disposition.
In fine, AMIN contends that any reorganization of these administrative agencies should be the
subject of a statute.
AMINs position fails to impress.
The Constitution confers, by express provision, the power of control over executive departments,
bureaus and offices in the President alone. And it lays down a limitation on the legislative power.
The line that delineates the Legislative and Executive power is not indistinct. Legislative power is
the authority, under the Constitution, to make laws, and to alter and repeal them. The
Constitution, as the will of the people in their original, sovereign and unlimited capacity, has
vested this power in the Congress of the Philippines. The grant of legislative power to Congress is
broad, general and comprehensive. The legislative body possesses plenary power for all
purposes of civil government. Any power, deemed to be legislative by usage and tradition, is
necessarily possessed by Congress, unless the Constitution has lodged it elsewhere. In
fine, except as limited by the Constitution, either expressly or impliedly, legislative power
embraces all subjects and extends to matters of general concern or common interest.
While Congress is vested with the power to enact laws, the President executes the laws. The
executive power is vested in the President. It is generally defined as the power to enforce and
administer the laws. It is the power of carrying the laws into practical operation and enforcing
their due observance.
As head of the Executive Department, the President is the Chief Executive. He represents the
government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are enforced by the officials and employees of

his department. He has control over the executive department, bureaus and offices. This means
that he has the authority to assume directly the functions of the executive department, bureau
and office, or interfere with the discretion of its officials. Corollary to the power of control, the
President also has the duty of supervising and enforcement of laws for the maintenance of
general peace and public order. Thus, he is granted administrative power over bureaus and
offices under his control to enable him to discharge his duties effectively. [25] (Italics omitted,
underscoring supplied)
The Constitutions express grant of the power of control in the President justifies an executive
action to carry out reorganization measures under a broad authority of law. [26]
In enacting a statute, the legislature is presumed to have deliberated with full knowledge of all
existing laws and jurisprudence on the subject. [27] It is thus reasonable to conclude that in
passing a statute which places an agency under the Office of the President, it was in accordance
with existing laws and jurisprudence on the Presidents power to reorganize.
In establishing an executive department, bureau or office, the legislature necessarily ordains an
executive agencys position in the scheme of administrative structure. Such determination is
primary,[28] but subject to the Presidents continuing authority to reorganize the administrative
structure. As far as bureaus, agencies or offices in the executive department are concerned, the
power of control may justify the President to deactivate the functions of a particular office. Or a
law may expressly grant the President the broad authority to carry out reorganization measures.
[29]
The Administrative Code of 1987 is one such law: [30]
SEC. 30. Functions of Agencies under the Office of the President. Agencies under the Office of the
President shall continue to operate and function in accordance with their respective charters or
laws creating them, except as otherwise provided in this Code or by law.
SEC. 31. Continuing Authority of the President to Reorganize his Office. The President, subject
to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and
efficiency, shall have continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the
Office of the President. For this purpose, he may take any of the following actions:
(1) Restructure the internal organization of the Office of the President Proper, including the
immediate Offices, the Presidential Special Assistants/Advisers System and the Common Staff
Support System, by abolishing, consolidating, or merging units thereof or transferring functions
from one unit to another;
(2) Transfer any function under the Office of the President to any other Department or Agency as
well as transfer functions to the Office of the President from other Departments and Agencies;
and
(3) Transfer any agency under the Office of the President to any other department or agency as
well as transfer agencies to the Office of the President from other departments or agencies.[31]
(Italics in the original; emphasis and underscoring supplied)
In carrying out the laws into practical operation, the President is best equipped to assess whether
an executive agency ought to continue operating in accordance with its charter or the law
creating it. This is not to say that the legislature is incapable of making a similar assessment and
appropriate action within its plenary power. The Administrative Code of 1987 merely underscores
the need to provide the President with suitable solutions to situations on hand to meet the
exigencies of the service that may call for the exercise of the power of control.
x x x The law grants the President this power in recognition of the recurring need of every
President to reorganize his office to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency. The Office of the
President is the nerve center of the Executive Branch. To remain effective and efficient, the Office
of the President must be capable of being shaped and reshaped by the President in the manner
he deems fit to carry out his directives and policies. After all, the Office of the President is the
command post of the President. This is the rationale behind the Presidents continuing authority
to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office of the President. [32]

The Office of the President consists of the Office of the President proper and the agencies under
it.[33] It is not disputed that PCUP and NCIP were formed as agencies under the Office of the
President.[34] The Agencies under the Office of the President refer to those offices placed under
the chairmanship of the President, those under the supervision and control of the President,
those under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President, those attached to the
Office for policy and program coordination, and those that are not placed by law or order creating
them under any special department.[35]
As thus provided by law, the President may transfer any agency under the Office of the President
to any other department or agency, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to
achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency. Gauged against these guidelines, the challenged
executive orders may not be said to have been issued with grave abuse of discretion or in
violation of the rule of law.
The references in E.O. 364 to asset reform as an anti-poverty measure for social justice and to
rationalization of the bureaucracy in furtherance of good government encapsulate a portion of
the existing policy in the Executive Office. As averred by the OSG, the President saw it fit to
streamline the agencies so as not to hinder the delivery of crucial social reforms.
The consolidation of functions in E.O. 364 aims to attain the objectives of simplicity, economy
and efficiency as gathered from the provision granting PCUP and NCIP access to the range of
services provided by the DARs technical offices and support systems.
The characterization of the NCIP as an independent agency under the Office of the President
does not remove said body from the Presidents control and supervision with respect to its
performance of administrative functions. So it has been opined:
That Congress did not intend to place the NCIP under the control of the President in all
instances is evident in the IPRA itself, which provides that the decisions of the NCIP in the
exercise of its quasi-judicial functions shall be appealable to the Court of Appeals, like those of
the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC). Nevertheless, the NCIP, although independent to a certain degree, was placed by
Congress under the office of the President and, as such, is still subject to the Presidents power of
control and supervision granted under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution with respect to
its performance of administrative functions[.
In transferring the NCIP to the DAR as an attached agency, the President effectively tempered
the exercise of presidential authority and considerably recognized that degree of independence.
The Administrative Code of 1987 categorizes administrative relationships into (1) supervision and
control, (2) administrative supervision, and (3) attachment. With respect to the third category, it
has been held that an attached agency has a larger measure of independence from the
Department to which it is attached than one which is under departmental supervision and control
or administrative supervision. This is borne out by the lateral relationship between the
Department and the attached agency. The attachment is merely for policy and program
coordination. Indeed, the essential autonomous character of a board is not negated by its
attachment to a commission.
AMIN argues, however, that there is an anachronism of sorts because there can be no policy and
program coordination between conceptually different areas of reform. It claims that the new
framework subsuming agrarian reform, urban land reform and ancestral domain reform is
fundamentally incoherent in view of the widely different contexts. And it posits that it is a
substantive transformation or reorientation that runs contrary to the constitutional scheme and
policies.
AMIN goes on to proffer the concept of ordering the law which, so it alleges, can be said of the
Constitutions distinct treatment of these three areas, as reflected in separate provisions in
different parts of the Constitution. It argues that the Constitution did not intend an over-arching
concept of agrarian reform to encompass the two other areas, and that how the law is ordered in

a certain way should not be undermined by mere executive orders in the guise of administrative
efficiency.
The Court is not persuaded.
The interplay of various areas of reform in the promotion of social justice is not something
implausible or unlikely. Their interlocking nature cuts across labels and works against a rigid
pigeonholing of executive tasks among the members of the Presidents official family. Notably, the
Constitution inhibited from identifying and compartmentalizing the composition of the Cabinet. In
vesting executive power in one person rather than in a plural executive, the evident intention
was to invest the power holder with energy.
AMIN takes premium on the severed treatment of these reform areas in marked provisions of the
Constitution. It is a precept, however, that inferences drawn from title, chapter or section
headings are entitled to very little weight. And so must reliance on sub-headings, or the lack
thereof, to support a strained deduction be given the weight of helium.
Secondary aids may be consulted to remove, not to create doubt. AMINs thesis unsettles, more
than settles the order of things in construing the Constitution. Its interpretation fails to clearly
establish that the so-called ordering or arrangement of provisions in the Constitution was
consciously adopted to imply a signification in terms of government hierarchy from where a
constitutional mandate can per se be derived or asserted. It fails to demonstrate that the
ordering or layout was not simply a matter of style in constitutional drafting but one of intention
in government structuring. With its inherent ambiguity, the proposed interpretation cannot be
made a basis for declaring a law or governmental act unconstitutional.
A law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. For it to be nullified, it must be shown
that there is a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. The ground for nullity must be
clear and beyond reasonable doubt. Any reasonable doubt should, following the universal rule of
legal hermeneutics, be resolved in favor of the constitutionality of a law.
Ople v. Torres on which AMIN relies is unavailing. In that case, an administrative order involved a
system of identification that required a delicate adjustment of various contending state policies
properly lodged in the legislative arena. It was declared unconstitutional for dealing with a
subject that should be covered by law and for violating the right to privacy.
In the present case, AMIN glaringly failed to show how the reorganization by executive fiat would
hamper the exercise of citizens rights and privileges. It rested on the ambiguous conclusion that
the reorganization jeopardizes economic, social and cultural rights. It intimated, without
expounding, that the agendum behind the issuances is to weaken the indigenous peoples rights
in favor of the mining industry. And it raised concerns about the possible retrogression in DARs
performance as the added workload may impede the implementation of the comprehensive
agrarian reform program.
AMIN has not shown, however, that by placing the NCIP as an attached agency of the DAR, the
President altered the nature and dynamics of the jurisdiction and adjudicatory functions of the
NCIP concerning all claims and disputes involving rights of indigenous cultural communities and
indigenous peoples. Nor has it been shown, nay alleged, that the reorganization was made in bad
faith.
As for the other arguments raised by AMIN which pertain to the wisdom or soundness of the
executive decision, the Court finds it unnecessary to pass upon them. The raging debate on the
most fitting framework in the delivery of social services is endless in the political arena. It is not
the business of this Court to join in the fray. Courts have no judicial power to review cases
involving political questions and, as a rule, will desist from taking cognizance of speculative or
hypothetical cases, advisory opinions and cases that have become moot.
Finally, a word on the last ground proffered for declaring the unconstitutionality of the assailed
issuances that they violate Section 16, Article XIII of the Constitution ] on the peoples right to
participate in decision-making through adequate consultation mechanisms.

The framers of the Constitution recognized that the consultation mechanisms were already
operating without the States action by law, such that the role of the State would be mere
facilitation, not necessarily creation of these consultation mechanisms. The State provides the
support, but eventually it is the people, properly organized in their associations, who can assert
the right and pursue the objective. Penalty for failure on the part of the government to consult
could only be reflected in the ballot box and would not nullify government action.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. Executive Order Nos. 364 and 379 issued
on September 27, 2004 and October 26, 2004, respectively, are declared not unconstitutional.
SO ORDERED.
MALARIA EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC.
(MEWAP), represented by its National President, DR. RAMON A. SULLA, and MEWAP
DOH Central Office Chapter President, DR. GRACELA FIDELA MINA-RAMOS, and
PRISCILLA CARILLO, and HERMINIO JAVIER, petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ALBERTO ROMULO, (substituting the former
Executive Secretary Renato de Villa), THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF HEALTH
MANUEL DAYRIT and THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT
EMILIA T. BONCODIN, respondents.
DECISION
PUNO, CJ.:
At bar is a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP
No. 65475 dated September 12, 2003 which upheld the validity of Executive Order (E.O.) No.
102,1 the law Redirecting the Functions and Operations of the Department of Health. Then
President Joseph E. Estrada issued E.O. No. 102 on May 24, 1999 pursuant to Section 20, Chapter
7, Title I, Book III of E.O. No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, and
Sections 78 and 80 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8522, also known as the General Appropriations Act
(GAA) of 1998. E.O. No. 102 provided for structural changes and redirected the functions and
operations of the Department of Health.
On October 19, 1999, the President issued E.O. No. 165 "Directing the Formulation of an
Institutional Strengthening and Streamlining Program for the Executive Branch" which created
the Presidential Committee on Executive Governance (PCEG) composed of the Executive
Secretary as chair and the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as cochair.
The DBM, on July 8, 2000, issued the Notice of Organization, Staffing and Compensation Action
(NOSCA). On July 17, 2000, the PCEG likewise issued Memorandum Circular (M.C.) No. 62,
entitled "Implementing Executive Order No. 102, Series of 1999 Redirecting the Functions and
Operations of the Department of Health." 2 M.C. No. 62 directed the rationalization and
streamlining of the said Department.
On July 24, 2000, the Secretary of Health issued Department Memorandum No. 136, Series of
2000, ordering the Undersecretary, Assistant Secretaries, Bureau or Service Directors and
Program Managers of the Department of Health to direct all employees under their respective
offices to accomplish and submit the Personal Information Sheet due to the approval of the
Department of Health Rationalization and Streamlining Plan.
On July 28, 2000, the Secretary of Health again issued Department Circular No. 221, Series of
2000, stating that the Department will start implementing the Rationalization and Streamlining
Plan by a process of selection, placement or matching of personnel to the approved
organizational chart and the list of the approved plantilla items. 3 The Secretary also issued
Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 94, Series of 2000, which set the implementing guidelines for the
restructuring process on personnel selection and placement, retirement and/or voluntary
resignation. A.O. No. 94 outlined the general guidelines for the selection and placement of

employees adopting the procedures and standards set forth in R.A. No. 6656 4 or the "Rules on
Governmental Reorganization," Civil Service Rules and Regulations, Sections 76 to 78 of the GAA
for the Year 2000, and Section 42 of E.O. No. 292.
On August 29, 2000, the Secretary of Health issued Department Memorandum No. 157, Series of
2000, viz.:
Pursuant to the Notice of Organization, Staffing and Compensation Action (NOSCA) approved by
the DBM on 8 July 2000 and Memorandum Circular No. 62 issued by the Presidential Committee
on Effective Governance (PCEG) on 17 July 2000, Implementing E.O. 102 dated 24 May 1999, the
following approved Placement List of DOH Personnel is hereby disseminated for your information
and guidance.
All personnel are hereby directed to report to their new assignments on or before 2 October 2000
pending processing of new appointments, required clearances and other pertinent documents.
All Heads of Office/Unit in the Department of Health are hereby directed to facilitate the
implementation of E.O. 102, to include[,] among others, the transfer or movement of personnel,
properties, records and documents to appropriate office/unit and device other necessary means
to minimize disruption of office functions and delivery of health services.
Appeals, oversights, issues and concerns of personnel related to this Placement List shall be
made in writing using the Appeals Form (available at the Administrative Service) addressed to
the Appeals Committee chaired by Dr. Gerardo Bayugo. All Appeals Forms shall be submitted to
the Re-Engineering Secretariat xxx not later than 18 September 2000. 5
Petitioner Malaria Employees and Workers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MEWAP) is a union
of affected employees in the Malaria Control Service of the Department of Health. MEWAP filed a
complaint, docketed as Civil Case No. 00-98793, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila seeking
to nullify Department Memorandum No. 157, the NOSCA and the Placement List of Department
of Health Personnel and other issuances implementing E.O. No. 102.
On May 2, 2001, while the civil case was pending at the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 22,
petitioners filed with this Court a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
Petitioners sought to nullify E.O. No. 102 for being issued with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction as it allegedly violates certain provisions of E.O. No.
292 and R.A. No. 8522. The petition was referred to the Court of Appeals which dismissed the
same in its assailed Decision. Hence, this appeal where petitioners ask for a re-examination of
the pertinent pronouncements of this Court that uphold the authority of the President to
reorganize a department, bureau or office in the executive department. Petitioners raise the
following issues, viz.:
1. Whether Sections 78 and 80 of the General Provision of Republic Act No. 8522, otherwise
known as the General Appropriation[s] Act of 1998[,] empower former President Joseph E.
Estrada to reorganize structurally and functionally the Department of Health.
2. Whether Section 20, Chapter I, title i, Book III of the Administrative Code of 1987 provides
legal basis in reorganizing the Department of Health.
(A) Whether Presidential Decree No. 1416, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1772, has
been repealed.
3. Whether the President has authority under Section 17, Article VIII of the Constitution to effect
a reorganization of a department under the executive branch.
4. Whether there has been abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of former President Joseph E. Estrada in issuing Executive Order No. 102, Redirecting the
functions and operations of the Department of Health.
5. Whether Executive Order No. 102 is null and void. 6

We deny the petition.


The President has the authority to carry out a reorganization of the Department of Health under
the Constitution and statutory laws. This authority is an adjunct of his power of control under
Article VII, Sections 1 and 17 of the 1987 Constitution, viz.:
Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines.
Section 17. The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus and
offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.
In Canonizado v. Aguirre,7 we held that reorganization "involves the reduction of
personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy
of functions." It alters the existing structure of government offices or units therein, including the
lines of control, authority and responsibility between them. 8While the power to abolish an office
is generally lodged with the legislature, the authority of the President to reorganize the executive
branch, which may include such abolition, is permissible under our present laws, viz.:
The general rule has always been that the power to abolish a public office is lodged with the
legislature.This proceeds from the legal precept that the power to create includes the power to
destroy. A public office is either created by the Constitution, by statute, or by authority of law.
Thus, except where the office was created by the Constitution itself, it may be abolished by the
same legislature that brought it into existence.
The exception, however, is that as far as bureaus, agencies or offices in the executive
department are concerned, the Presidents power of control may justify him to inactivate the
functions of a particular office, or certain laws may grant him the broad authority to carry out
reorganization measures.9
The Presidents power to reorganize the executive branch is also an exercise of his residual
powers under Section 20, Title I, Book III of E.O. No. 292 which grants the President broad
organization powers to implement reorganization measures, viz.:
SEC. 20. Residual Powers. Unless Congress provides otherwise, the President shall
exercise such other powers and functions vested in the President which are provided
for under the laws and which are not specifically enumerated above, or which are not
delegated by the President in accordance with law. 10
We explained the nature of the Presidents residual powers under this section in the case
of Larin v. Executive Secretary, 11 viz.:
This provision speaks of such other powers vested in the President under the law. What law
then gives him the power to reorganize? It is Presidential Decree No. 1772 which
amended Presidential Decree No. 1416. These decrees expressly grant the President
of the Philippines the continuing authority to reorganize the national government,
which includes the power to group, consolidate bureaus and agencies, to abolish
offices, to transfer functions, to create and classify functions, services and activities
and to standardize salaries and materials. The validity of these two decrees [is]
unquestionable. The 1987 Constitution clearly provides that "all laws, decrees, executive orders,
proclamations, letters of instructions and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this
Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked." So far, there is yet
no law amending or repealing said decrees.12
The pertinent provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1416, as amended by Presidential Decree No.
1772, clearly support the Presidents continuing power to reorganize the executive branch, viz.:
1. The President of the Philippines shall have continuing authority to reorganize the National
Government. In exercising this authority, the President shall be guided by generally acceptable
principles of good government and responsive national development, including but not limited to
the following guidelines for a more efficient, effective, economical and development-oriented
governmental framework:

xxx
b) Abolish departments, offices, agencies or functions which may not be necessary, or create
those which are necessary, for the efficient conduct of government functions, services and
activities;
c) Transfer functions, appropriations, equipment, properties, records and personnel from one
department, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality to another;
d) Create, classify, combine, split, and abolish positions;
e) Standardize salaries, materials, and equipment;
f) Create, abolish, group, consolidate, merge, or integrate entities, agencies, instrumentalities,
and units of the National Government, as well as expand, amend, change, or otherwise modify
their powers, functions, and authorities, including, with respect to government-owned or
controlled corporations, their corporate life, capitalization, and other relevant aspects of their
charters;
g) Take such other related actions as may be necessary to carry out the purposes and objectives
of this Decree.
Petitioners argue that the residual powers of the President under Section 20, Title I, Book III of
E.O. No. 292 refer only to the Office of the President and not to the departments, bureaus or
offices within the executive branch. They invoke Section 31, Chapter 10, Title III, Book III of the
same law, viz.:
Section 31. Continuing Authority of the President to Reorganize his Office. The President,
subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and
efficiency, shall have continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office
of the President. x x x
The interpretation of petitioners is illogically restrictive and lacks legal basis. The residual powers
granted to the President under Section 20, Title I, Book III are too broad to be construed as
having a sole application to the Office of the President. As correctly stated by respondents, there
is nothing in E.O. No. 292 which provides that the continuing authority should apply only to the
Office of the President.13 If such was the intent of the law, the same should have been expressly
stated. To adopt the argument of petitioners would result to two conflicting provisions in one
statute. It is a basic canon of statutory construction that in interpreting a statute, care should be
taken that every part thereof be given effect, on the theory that it was enacted as an integrated
measure and not as a hodge-podge of conflicting provisions. The rule is that a construction that
would render a provision inoperative should be avoided; instead, apparently inconsistent
provisions should be reconciled whenever possible as parts of a coordinated and harmonious
whole.14
In fact, as pointed out by respondents, the Presidents power to reorganize the executive
department even finds further basis under Sections 78 and 80 of R.A. No. 8522, viz.:15
Section 78. Organizational Changes Unless otherwise provided by law or directed by the
President of the Philippines, no organizational unit or changes in key positions in any department
or agency shall be authorized in their respective organizational structure and funded from
appropriations provided by this Act.
Section 80. Scaling Down and Phase-out of Activities of Agencies within the Executive Branch
The heads of departments, bureaus, offices and agencies are hereby directed to identify their
respective activities which are no longer essential in the delivery of public services and which
may be scaled down, phased-out or abolished subject to Civil Service rules and regulations. Said
activities shall be reported to the Office of the President through the Department of Budget and
Management and to the Chairman, Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives
and the Chairman, Committee on Finance of the Senate. Actual scaling down, phase-out or

abolition of the activities shall be effected pursuant to Circulars or Orders issued for the purpose
by the Office of the President.
Petitioners contend that Section 78 refers only to changes in "organizational units" or "key
positions" in any department or agency, while Section 80 refers merely to scaling down and
phasing out of "activities" within the executive department. They argue that neither section
authorizes reorganization. Thus, the realignment of the appropriations to implement the
reorganization of the Department of Health under E.O. No. 102 is illegal.
Again, petitioners construction of the law is unduly restrictive. This Court has consistently held
in Larin16 andBuklod ng Kawanihang EIIB v. Zamora17 that the corresponding pertinent
provisions in the GAA in these subject cases authorize the President to effect organizational
changes in the department or agency concerned.
Be that as it may, the President must exercise good faith in carrying out the reorganization of any
branch or agency of the executive department. Reorganization is effected in good faith if it is for
the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. 18 R.A. No. 665619 provides for the
circumstances which may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removal of civil service
employees made as a result of reorganization, to wit: (a)where there is a significant increase in
the number of positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or agency concerned;
(b) where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same functions is
created; (c) where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of status of
appointment, performance and merit; (d) where there is a classification of offices in the
department or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the same
functions as the original offices; and (e) where the removal violates the order of separation.
We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals that the President did not commit bad faith in
the questioned reorganization, viz.:
In this particular case, there is no showing that the reorganization undertaking in the
[Department of Health] had violated this requirement, nor [are] there adequate allegations to
that effect. It is only alleged that the petitioners were directly affected by the reorganization
ordered under E.O. [No.] 102. Absent is any showing that bad faith attended the actual
implementation of the said presidential issuance.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. SP No. 65475 dated September 12, 2003 is AFFIRMED.
Costs against petitioners.
SO ORDERED.
Lacson Vs. Perez
Facts: President Macapagal-Arroyo declared a State of Rebellion (Proclamation No. 38) on May 1,
2001 as well as General Order No. 1 ordering the AFP and the PNP to suppress the rebellion in
the NCR. Warrantless arrests of several alleged leaders and promoters of the rebellion were
thereafter effected. Petitioner filed for prohibition, injunction, mandamus and habeas corpus with
an application for the issuance of temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary
injunction. Petitioners assail the declaration of Proc. No. 38 and the warrantless arrests allegedly
effected by virtue thereof. Petitioners furthermore pray that the appropriate court, wherein the
information against them were filed, would desist arraignment and trial until this instant petition
is resolved. They also contend that they are allegedly faced with impending warrantless arrests
and unlawful restraint being that hold departure orders were issued against them.
Issue: Whether or Not Proclamation No. 38 is valid, along with the warrantless arrests and hold
departure orders allegedly effected by the same.
Held: President Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the lifting of Proc. No. 38 on May 6, 2006, accordingly
the instant petition has been rendered moot and academic. Respondents have declared that the
Justice Department and the police authorities intend to obtain regular warrants of arrests from

the courts for all acts committed prior to and until May 1, 2001. Under Section 5, Rule 113 of the
Rules of Court, authorities may only resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of
rebellion in suppressing the rebellion if the circumstances so warrant, thus the warrantless
arrests are not based on Proc. No. 38. Petitioners prayer for mandamus and prohibition is
improper at this time because an individual warrantlessly arrested has adequate remedies in law:
Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, providing for preliminary investigation, Article 125 of the Revised
Penal Code, providing for the period in which a warrantlessly arrested person must be delivered
to the proper judicial authorities, otherwise the officer responsible for such may be penalized for
the delay of the same. If the detention should have no legal ground, the arresting officer can be
charged with arbitrary detention, not prejudicial to claim of damages under Article 32 of the Civil
Code. Petitioners were neither assailing the validity of the subject hold departure orders, nor
were they expressing any intention to leave the country in the near future. To declare the hold
departure orders null and void ab initio must be made in the proper proceedings initiated for that
purpose. Petitioners prayer for relief regarding their alleged impending warrantless arrests is
premature being that no complaints have been filed against them for any crime, furthermore, the
writ of habeas corpus is uncalled for since its purpose is to relieve unlawful restraint which
Petitioners are not subjected to.
Petition is dismissed. Respondents, consistent and congruent with their undertaking earlier
adverted to, together with their agents, representatives, and all persons acting in their behalf,
are hereby enjoined from arresting Petitioners without the required judicial warrants for all acts
committed in relation to or in connection with the May 1, 2001 siege of Malacaang.
Sanlakas vs. Exec Sec (2004)
Tinga, J.
FACTS: July 27, 2003-Oakwood mutiny -Pres GMA issued Proclamation no 47 declaring a "state of
rebellion" & General Order No. 4 directing AFP & PNP to supress the rebellion. -by evening,
soldiers agreed to return to barracks. GMA, however, did not immediately lift the declaration of a
state of rebellion, only doing so on August 1, 2003 thru Proc NO. 435.
Petitioners:
1. Sanlakas & PM; standing as "petitioners committed to assert, defend, protect, uphold, and
promote the rights, interests, and welfare of the people, especially the poor and marginalized
classes and sectors of Philippine society. Petitioners are committed to defend and assert human
rights, including political and civil rights, of the citizens freedom of speech and of expression
under Section 4, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, as a vehicle to publicly ventilate their
grievances and legitimate demands and to mobilize public opinion to support the same; assert
that S18, Art7 of the Consti does not require the declaration of state of rebellion to call out
AFP;assert further that there exists no factual basis for the declaration, mutiny having ceased.
2. SJS; standing as "Filipino citizens, taxpayers, law profs & bar reviewers"; assert thatS18,
Art7 of the Consti does not require the declaration of the state of rebellion, declaration a
"constitutional anomaly" that misleads because "overzealous public officers, acting pursuant to
such proclamation or general order, are liable to violate the constitutional right of private
citizens"; proclamation is a circumvention of the report requirement under the same S18, Art7,
commanding the President to submit a report to Congress within 48 hours from the proclamation
of martial law; presidential issuances cannot be construed as an exercise of emergency powers
as Congress has not delegated any such power to the President
3. members of House; standing as citizens and as Members of the House of Representatives
whose rights, powers and functions were allegedly affected by the declaration of a state of
rebellion; the declaration of a state of rebellion is a "superfluity," and is actually an exercise of
emergency powers, such exercise, it is contended, amounts to a usurpation of the power of
Congress granted by S23 (2), Art6 of the Constitution
4. Pimentel; standing as Senator; assails the subject presidential issuances as "an unwarranted,
illegal and abusive exercise of a martial law power that has no basis under the Constitution;
petitioner fears that the declaration of a state of rebellion "opens the door to the unconstitutional
implementation of warrantless arrests" for the crime of rebellion

Respondents: SolGen; petitions have been rendered moot by the lifitng of the proclamation;
questions standing of petitioners
ISSUES:
1. whether or not petitioners have standing
2. whether or not case has been rendered moot by the lifting of the proclamation 3. whether or
not the proclamation calling the state of rebellion is proper
RULING: 1. NOT EVERY PETITIONER. only members of the House and Sen Pimentel have standing.
Sanlakas & PM have no standing by analogy with LDP in Lacson v Perez" petitioner has not
demonstrated any injury to itself which would justify the resort to the Court. Petitioner is a
juridical person not subject to arrest. Thus, it cannot claim to be threatened by a warrantless
arrest. Nor is it alleged that its leaders, members, and supporters are being threatened with
warrantless arrest and detention for the crime of rebellion." At best they seek for declaratory
relief, which is not in the original jurisdiction of SC. Even assuming that Sanlakas & PM are
"people's organizations" in the language of Ss15-16, Art13 of the Consti, they are still not
endowed with standing for as inKilosbayan v Morato "These provisions have not changed the
traditional rule that only real parties in interest or those with standing, as the case may be, may
invoke the judicial power. The jurisdiction of this Court, even in cases involving constitutional
questions, is limited by the "case and controversy" requirement of S5,Art8. This requirement lies
at the very heart of the judicial function." SJS, though alleging to be taxpayers, is not endowed
with standing since "A taxpayer may bring suit where the act complained of directly involves the
illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation.No such illegal disbursement is
alleged." Court has ruled out the doctrine of "transcendental importance" regarding
constitutional questions in this particular case. Only members of Congress, who's (?) powers as
provided in the Consti on giving the Pres emergency powers are allegedly being impaired, can
question the legality of the proclamation of the state of rebellion.
2. YES. As a rule, courts do not adjudicate moot cases, judicial power being limited to the
determination of "actual controversies." Nevertheless, courts will decide a question, otherwise
moot, if it is "capable of repetition yet evading review."19 The case at bar is one such case, since
prior events (the May 1, 2001 incident when the Pres also declared a state of rebellion) prove
that it can be repeated. 3. YES. S18, Art 7 grants the President, as Commander-in-Chief, a
"sequence" of "graduated power[s]." From the most to the least benign, these are: the calling out
power, the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and the power to declare
martial law. In the exercise of the latter two powers, the Constitution requires the concurrence of
two conditions, namely, an actual invasion or rebellion, and that public safety requires the
exercise of such power. However, as we observed in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora,
"[t]hese conditions are not required in the exercise of the calling out power. The only criterion is
that 'whenever it becomes necessary,' the President may call the armed forces 'to prevent or
suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.'"Nevertheless, it is equally true that S18, Art7
does not expressly prohibit the President from declaring a state of rebellion. Note that the
Constitution vests the President not only with Commander-in-Chief powers but, first and
foremost, with Executive powers. The ponencia then traced the evolution of executive power in
the US (Jackson and the South Carolina situation, Lincoln and teh 'war powers', Cleveland in In re:
Eugene Debs) in an effort to show that "the Commander-in-Chief powers are broad enough as it
is and become more so when taken together with the provision on executive power and the
presidential oath of office. Thus, the plenitude of the powers of the presidency equips the
occupant with the means to address exigencies or threats which undermine the very existence of
government or the integrity of the State." This, plus Marcos v Manglapus on residual powers,
the Rev Admin Code S4, Ch2, Bk3 on the executive power of the Pres to declare a certain status,
argue towards the validity of the proclamation. However, the Court maintains that the
declaration is devoid of any legal significance for being superflous. Also, the mere declaration of
a state of rebellion cannot diminish or violate constitutionally protected rights. if a state of
martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution or automatically suspend the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,61 then it is with more reason that a simple declaration of
a state of rebellion could not bring about these conditions. Apprehensions that the military and

police authorities may resort to warrantless arrests are likewise unfounded. In Lacson vs. Perez,
supra, majority of the Court held that "[i]n quelling or suppressing the rebellion, the authorities
may only resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion, as provided
under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court,63 if the circumstances so warrant. The
warrantless arrest feared by petitioners is, thus, not based on the declaration of a 'state of
rebellion.'"64 In other words, a person may be subjected to a warrantless arrest for the crime of
rebellion whether or not the President has declared a state of rebellion, so long as the requisites
for a valid warrantless arrest are present. The argument that the declaration of a state of
rebellion amounts to a declaration of martial law and, therefore, is a circumvention of the report
requirement, is a leap of logic. There is no illustration that the President has attempted to
exercise or has exercised martial law powers. Finally, Nor by any stretch of the imagination can
the declaration constitute an indirect exercise of emergency powers, which exercise depends
upon a grant of Congress pursuant to S23 (2), Art6 of the Constitution. The petitions do not cite a
specific instance where the President has attempted to or has exercised powers beyond her
powers as Chief Executive or as Commander-in-Chief. The President, in declaring a state of
rebellion and in calling out the armed forces, was merely exercising a wedding of her Chief
Executive and Commander-in-Chief powers. These are purely executive powers, vested on the
President by S1 & 18, Art7, as opposed to the delegated legislative powers contemplated
by Section 23 (2), Article VI.