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III.

On the question of whether there is a sufficient and proper submittal of the proposed amendments
to the people: Prescinding from the writers view of the nullity of the questioned decrees for lack of
authority on the Presidents part to exercise the constituent power, I hold that the doctrine of fair and
proper submission first enunciated by a simple majority of six Justices in Gonzales and subsequently
officially adopted by the required constitutional two-thirds majority of the Court in Tolentino is
controlling in the case at bar.
1. There cannot be said to be fair and proper submission of the proposed amendments. As ruled by this
Court in Tolentino, where "the proposed amendment in question is expressly saddled with reservations
which naturally impair, in great measure, its very essence as a proposed constitutional amendment"
and where "the way the proposal is worded, read together with the reservations tacked to it by the
Convention thru Section 3 of the questioned resolution, it is too much of a speculation to assume what
exactly the amendment would really amount to in the end. All in all, as already pointed out in our
discussion of movants first ground, if this kind of amendment is allowed, the Philippines will appear
before the world to be in the absurd position of being the only country with a constitution containing a
provision so ephemeral no one knows until when it will be actually in force", there can be no proper
submission.
In Tolentino a solitary amendment reducing the voting age to 18 years was struck down by this Court
which ruled that "in order that a plebiscite for the ratification of an amendment to the Constitution
may be validly held, it must provide the voter not only sufficient time but ample basis for an intelligent
appraisal of the nature of the amendment per se as well as its relation to the other parts of the
Constitution with which it has to form a harmonious whole," and that there was no proper submission
"wherein the people are in the dark as to frame of reference they can base their judgment on."
2. The now Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Makasiar with two other member 46 graphically pointed out in
their joint separate opinion that the solitary question "would seem to be uncomplicated and innocuous.
But it is one of lifes verities that things which appear to be simple may turn out not to be so simple
after all." 47
They further expressed "essential agreement" with Mr. Justice Conrado V. Sanchez separate opinion in
Gonzales "on the minimum requirements that must be met in order that there can be a proper
submission to the people of a proposed constitutional amendment" which reads
thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
". . . we take the view that the words submitted to the people for their ratification, if constrained in
the light of the nature of the Constitution a fundamental charter that is legislation direct from the
people, an expression of their sovereign will is that it can only be amended by the people expressing
themselves according to the procedure ordained by the Constitution. Therefore, amendments must be
fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning. The people are rot to be mere rubber
stamps. They are not to vote blindly. They must be afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original
provisions, compare them with the proposed amendments, and try to reach a conclusion as the
dictates of their conscience suggest, free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious
influences. We believe the word submitted can only mean that the government, within its maximum
capabilities, should strain every effort to inform every citizen of the provisions to be amended, and the
proposed amendments and the meaning, nature and effects thereof. By this, we are not to be
understood as saying that, if one citizen or 100 citizens or 1,000 citizens cannot be reached, then there
is no submission within the meaning of the word as intended by the framers of the Constitution. What
the Constitution in effect directs is that the government, in submitting an amendment for ratification,
should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural framework to enlighten the people,
educate them with respect to their act of ratification or rejection. For, as we have earlier stated, one
thing is submission and another is ratification. There must be fair submission, intelligent, consent or
rejection. If with all these safeguards the people still approve the amendment no matter how
prejudicial it is to them, then so be it. For the people decree their own fate." 48
Justice Sanchez therein ended the passage with an apt citation that." . . The great men who builded

the structure of our state in this respect had the mental vision of a good Constitution voiced by Judge
Cooley, who has said A good Constitution should be beyond the reach of temporary excitement and
popular caprice or passion. It is needed for stability and steadiness; it must yield to the thought of the
people; not to the whim of the people, or the thought evolved in excitement or hot blood, but the sober
second thought, which alone, if the government is to be safe, can be allowed efficiency. . . . Changes in
government are to be feared unless the benefit is certain. As Montaign says: All great mutations shake
and disorder a state. Good does not necessarily succeed evil: another evil may succeed and a worse."
49
Justice Sanchez thus stated the rule that has been adopted by the Court in Tolentino that there is no
proper submission "if the people are not sufficiently informed of the amendments to be voted upon, to
conscientiously deliberate thereon, to express their will in a genuine manner. . . .." 50
3. From the complex and complicated proposed amendments set forth in the challenged decree and
the plethora of confused and confusing clarifications reported in the daily newspapers, it is manifest
that there is no proper submission of the proposed amendments.
Nine (9) proposed constitutional amendments were officially proposed and made known as per
Presidential Decree No. 1033 dated September 22, 1976 for submittal at the "referendum-plebiscite"
called for this coming Saturday, October 16, 1976 wherein the 15-year and under 18-year-olds are
enjoined to vote 51 notwithstanding their lack of qualification under Article VI of the Constitution.
Former Senator Arturo Tolentino, an acknowledged parliamentarian of the highest order, was reported
by the newspapers last October 3 to have observed that "there is no urgency in approving the
proposed amendments to the Constitution and suggested that the question regarding charter changes
be modified instead of asking the people to vote on hurriedly prepared amendments." He further
pointed out that "apart from lacking the parliamentary style in the body of the Constitution, they do
not indicate what particular provisions are being repealed or amended." 52
As of this writing, October 11, 1976, the papers today reported his seven-page analysis questioning
among others the proposed granting of dual legislative powers to both the President and the Batasang
Pambansa and remarking that "This dual legislative authority can give rise to confusion and serious
constitutional questions." 53
Aside from the inadequacy of the limited time given for the peoples consideration of the proposed
amendments, there can be no proper submission because the proposed amendments are not in