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G.R. NO. 160261
NOV. 10, 2003
Facts: On 28 November 2001, the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives
adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment
Proceedings, superseding the previous House Impeachment Rules approved by the
11th Congress. On 22 July 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution,
which directed the Committee on Justice "to conduct an investigation, in aid of
legislation, on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). On 2 June 2003, former
President Joseph E. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint (first impeachment
complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G.Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of
the Supreme Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public
trust and other high crimes." The complaint was endorsed by House
Representatives, and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on 5 August
2003 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution.The House
Committee on Justice ruled on 13 October 2003 that the first impeachment
complaint was "sufficient inform," but voted to dismiss the same on 22 October
2003 for being insufficient in substance. Four months and three weeks since the
filing of the first complaint or on 23 October 2003, a day after the House Committee
on Justice voted to dismiss it, the second impeachment complaint was filed with the
Secretary General of the House by House Representatives against Chief Justice
Hilario G. Davide, Jr., founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry
initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. The second impeachment
complaint was accompanied by a"Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment" signed
by at least 1/3 of all the Members of the House of Representatives.Various petitions
for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus were filed with the Supreme Court against
the House of Representatives, et. al., most of which petitions contend that the filing
of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision
of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that "[n]o impeachment proceedings
shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one
Issue: Whether the power of judicial review extends to those arising from
impeachment proceedings.
Held: The Court's power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the
government in Section 1, Article VIII of our present 1987 Constitution. The
"moderating power" to "determine the proper allocation of powers" of the different
branches of government and "to direct the course of government along
constitutional channels" is inherent in all courts as a necessary consequence of the

judicial power itself, which is "the power of the court to settle actual controversies
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable." As indicated in
Angara v. Electoral Commission, judicial review is indeed an integral component of
the delicate system of checks and balances which, together with the corollary
principle of separation of powers, forms the bedrock of our republican form of
government and insures that its vast powers are utilized only for the benefit of the
people for which it serves. The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in
our system of government. It obtains not through express provision but by actual
division in our Constitution. Each department of the government has exclusive
cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere.
But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate
and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and
independent of each other. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of
checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various
departments of the government. And the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme Court
as the final arbiter,effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its
power to determine the law, and hence to declare executive and legislative acts
void if violative of the Constitution.The major difference between the judicial power
of the Philippine Supreme Court and that of the U.S. Supreme Court is that while the
power of judicial review is only impliedly granted to the U.S. Supreme Court and is
discretionary in nature,that granted to the Philippine Supreme Court and lower
courts, as expressly provided for in the Constitution, is not just a power but also a
duty, and it was given an expanded definition to include the power to correct any
grave abuse of discretion on the part of any government branch or instrumentality.
There are also glaring distinctions between the U.S.
Constitution and the Philippine Constitution with respect to the power of the House
of Representatives over impeachment proceedings. While the U.S. Constitution
bestows sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives without
limitation, our Constitution, though vesting in the House of Representatives the
exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases, provides for several limitations to
the exercise of such power as embodied in Section 3(2), (3), (4) and (5), Article XI
thereof. These limitations include the manner of filing, required vote to impeach,and
the one year bar on the impeachment of one and the same official. The people
expressed their will when they instituted the above-mentioned safeguards in the
Constitution. This shows that the Constitution did not intend to leave the matter of
impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress. Instead, it provided for certain welldefined limits, or "judicially discoverable standards" for determining the validity of
the exercise of such discretion, through the power of judicial review. There is indeed
a plethora of cases in which this Court exercised the power of judicial review over
congressional action. Finally, there exists no constitutional basis for the contention
that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings would upset the
system of checks and balances. Verily, the Constitution is to be interpreted as a
whole and "one section is not to be allowed to defeat another." Both are integral
components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that

insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers assigned to it by the

Lecaroz vs Sandiganbayan
[G.R. No. 130872. March 25, 1999]
Petitioner Francisco M. Lecaroz was the Municipal Mayor of Santa Cruz, Marinduque,
while his son and co-petitioner Lenlie Lecaroz, was the outgoing chairman of the
Kabataang Barangay (KB) of Barangay Bagong Silang, Santa Cruz, and currently a
member of its SanguniangBayan (SB) representing the Federation of Kabataang
Barangays. In the 1985 election of the Kabataang Barangay Jowil Red won the KB
Chairman of Barangay Matalaba, Santa Cruz. Red was appointed by then President
Marcos as member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Santa Cruz representing the KBs of
the municipality. However, Mayor Lecaroz informed Red that he could not yet sit as
member of the municipal council until the Governor of Marinduque had cleared his
appointment. When Red finally received his appointment papers, President Aquino
was already in power. But still Red was not allowed to sit as sectoral representative
in the Sanggunian. Meanwhile with the approval of the Mayor, Lenlie continued to
receive his salary for more than a year. Finally Red was able to secure appointment
papers from the Aquino administration after three years and nine months from the
date he received his appointment paper from President Marcos. Subsequently, Red
filed with the Office of the Ombudsman several criminal complaints against the
Mayor and Lenlie arising from the refusal of the two officials to let him assume the
position of KB sectoral representative. After preliminary investigation, the
Ombudsman filed with the Sandiganbayan thirteen (13) informations for estafa
through falsification of public documents against petitioners, and one (1)
information for violation of Sec. 3, par. (e), of RA No. 3019, the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act, against the Mayor alone. The Sandiganbayan rendered a
decision finding the two accused guilty on all counts of estafa. However, with
respect to the charge of violation of RA No. 3019, The Sandiganbayan acquitted
Mayor Lecaroz. The Sandiganbayan, having denied their motion for reconsideration,
the accused, elevated their case to the Supreme Court.
Issue:Whether or not an officer is entitled to stay in office until his successor is
appointed or chosen or has qualified.
Held: YES.
To resolve these issues, it is necessary to refer to the laws on the terms of office of
KB youth sectoral representatives to the SB and of the KB Federation Presidents.
Section 7 of BP Blg. 51 and Sec. 1 of the KB Constitution respectively provide -

Sec. 7. Term of Office. - Unless sooner removed for cause, all local elective officials
hereinabove mentioned shall hold office for a term of six (6) years, which shall
commence on the first Monday of March 1980.
In the case of the members of the sanggunian representing the association of
barangay councils and the president of the federation of kabataang barangay, their
terms of office shall be coterminous with their tenure is president of their respective
association and federation .
Sec 1. All incumbent officers of the Kabataang Barangay shall continue to hold office
until the last Sunday of November 1985 or such time that the newly elected officers
shall have qualified and assumed office in accordance with this Constitution.
The theory of petitioners is that Red failed to qualify as KB sectoral representative
to the SB since he did not present an authenticated copy of his appointment papers;
neither did he take a valid oath of office. Resultantly, this enabled petitioner Lenlie
Lecaroz to continue as member of the SB although in a holdover capacity since his
term had already expired. The Sandiganbayan however rejected this postulate
declaring that the holdover provision under Sec. 1 quoted above pertains only to
positions in the KB, clearly implying that since no similar provision is found in Sec. 7
of B.P. Blg. 51, there can be no holdover with respect to positions in the SB.
The Supreme Court disagree with the Sandiganbayan. The concept of holdover
when applied to a public officer implies that the office has a fixed term and the
incumbent is holding onto the succeeding term. It is usually provided by law that
officers elected or appointed for a fixed term shall remain in office not only for that
term but until their successors have been elected and qualified. Where this
provision is found, the office does not become vacant upon the expiration of the
term if there is no successor elected and qualified to assume it, but the present
incumbent will carry over until his successor is elected and qualified, even though it
be beyond the term fixed by law.
In the instant case, although BP Blg. 51 does not say that a Sanggunian member
can continue to occupy his post after the expiration of his term in case his successor
fails to qualify, it does not also say that he is proscribed from holding over. Absent
an express or implied constitutional or statutory provision to the contrary, an officer
is entitled to stay in office until his successor is appointed or chosen and has
qualified.The legislative intent of not allowing holdover must be clearly expressed or
at least implied in the legislative enactment, otherwise it is reasonable to assume
that the law-making body favors the same.
Indeed, the law abhors a vacuum in public offices,and courts generally indulge in
the strong presumption against a legislative intent to create, by statute, a condition
which may result in an executive or administrative office becoming, for any period
of time, wholly vacant or unoccupied by one lawfully authorized to exercise its
functions. This is founded on obvious considerations of public policy, for the
principle of holdover is specifically intended to prevent public convenience from
suffering because of a vacancy and to avoid a hiatus in the performance of
government functions

Azarcon vs. Sandiganbayan

Facts: Petitioner Alfredo Azarcon owned and operated an earth-moving business,
hauling dirt and ore. His services were contracted by PICOP. Occasionally, he
engaged the services of sub-contractors like Jaime Ancla whose trucks were left at
the formers premises.
On May 25, 1983, a Warrant of Distraint of Personal Property was issued by BIR
commanding one of its Regional Directors to distraint the goods, chattels or effects
and other personal property of Jaime Ancla, a sub-contractor of accused Azarcon
and a delinquent taxpayer. A Warrant of Garnishment was issued to and
subsequently signed by accused Azarcon ordering him to transfer, surrender,
transmit and/or remit to BIR the property in his possession owned by Ancla. Azarcon
then volunteered himself to act as custodian of the truck owned by Ancla.
After some time, Azarcon wrote a letter to the Reg. Dir of BIR stating that while he
had made representations to retain possession of the property of Ancla, he thereby
relinquishes whatever responsibility he had over the said property since Ancla
surreptitiously withdrew his equipment from him. In his reply, the BIR Reg. Dir. said
that Azarcons failure to comply with the provisions of the warrant did not relieve
him from his responsibility.
Along with his co-accused, Azarcon was charged before the Sandiganbayan with the
crime of malversation of public funds or property. On March 8, 1994, the
Sandiganbayan rendered a Decision sentencing the accused to suffer the penalty of
imprisonment ranging from 10 yrs and 1 day of prision mayor in its maximum
period to 17 yrs, 4 mos and 1 day of reclusion temporal. Petitioner filed a motion for
new trial which was subsequently denied by Sandiganbayan. Hence, this petition.
Issue: Whether or not Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over a private individual
designated by BIR as a custodian of distrained property.
Held: SC held that the Sandiganbayans decision was null and void for lack of
Sec. 4 of PD 1606 provides for the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. It was
specified therein that the only instances when the Sandiganbayan will have
jurisdiction over a private individual is when the complaint charges the private
individual either as a co-principal, accomplice or accessory of a public officer or
employee who has been charged with a crime within its jurisdiction.
The Information does no charge petitioner Azarcon of becoming a co-principal,
accomplice or accessory to a public officer committing an offense under the
Sandiganbayans jurisdiction. Thus, unless the petitioner be proven a public officer,
Sandiganbayan will have no jurisdiction over the crime charged.

Art. 203 of the RPC determines who public officers are. Granting that the petitioner,
in signing the receipt for the truck constructively distrained by the BIR, commenced
to take part in an activity constituting public functions, he obviously may not be
deemed authorized by popular election. Neither was he appointed by direct
provision of law nor by competent authority. While BIR had authority to require
Azarcon to sign a receipt for the distrained truck, the National Internal Revenue
Code did not grant it power to appoint Azarcon a public officer. The BIRs power
authorizing a private individual to act as a depositary cannot be stretched to include
the power to appoint him as a public officer. Thus, Azarcon is not a public officer.

Zaldivar Vs. Sandiganbayan

170 SCRA 1
G.R. No. 79690-707
February 1, 1989
Facts: The case stemmed from the resolution of the Supreme Court stopping the
respondent from investigating graft cases involving Antique Gov. Enrique Zaldivar.
The Court ruled that since the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, respondents
powers as Tanodbayan have been superseded by the creation of the Office of the
Ombudsman, he however becomes the Special Prosecutor of the State, and can
only conduct an investigation and file cases only when so authorized by the
Ombudsman. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the respondent wherein he
included statements which were unrelated in the Issue raised in the Court. This
include: (a)That he had been approached twice by a leading member of the court
and he was asked to 'go slow on Zaldivar and 'not to be too hard on him; (b) That he
"was approached and asked to refrain from investigating the COA report on illegal
disbursements in the Supreme Court because 'it will embarass the Court;" and (c)
that in several instances, the undersigned respondent was called over the phone by
a leading member of the Court and was asked to dismiss the cases against two
Members of the Court." Statements of the respondent saying that the SCs order
'"heightens the people's apprehension over the justice system in this country,
especially because the people have been thinking that only the small fly can get it
while big fishes go scot-free was publicized in leading newspapers.
Now, the Court Resolved to require respondent to explain in writing why he should
not be punished for contempt of court for making such public statements reported
in the media. Respondent then sought to get some members of the Court to inhibit
themselves in the resolution of the Zaldivar case for alleged bias and prejudice
against him. A little later, he in effect asked the whole Court to inhibit itself from
passing upon the Issue involved in proceeding and to pass on responsibility for this
matter to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, upon the ground that respondent
cannot expect due process from this Court, that the Court has become incapable of
judging him impartially and fairly. The Court found respondent guilty of contempt of

court and indefinitely suspended from the practice of law. Now, he assails said
conviction, invoking his freedom of speech. Counsel for respondent urges that it is
error "for this Court to apply the "visible tendency" rule rather than the "clear and
present danger" rule in disciplinary and contempt charges."
Issue: Whether or Not there was a violation of the freedom of speech/expression.
Held: There was no violation. The Court did not purport to announce a new doctrine
of "visible tendency," it was simply paraphrasing Section 3 (d) of Rule 71 of the
Revised Rules of Court which penalizes a variety of contumacious conduct including:
"any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct or
degrade the administration of justice."
Under either the "clear and present danger" test or the "balancing-of-interest test,"
the Court held that the statements made by respondent Gonzalez are of such a
nature and were made in such a manner and under such circumstances, as to
transcend the permissible limits of free speech. What is here at stake is the
authority of the Supreme Court to confront and prevent a "substantive evil"
consisting not only of the obstruction of a free and fair hearing of a particular case
but also the avoidance of the broader evil of the degradation of the judicial system
of a country and the destruction of the standards of professional conduct required
from members of the bar and officers of the courts, which has some implications to
the society.
(Koh v. CA)CAASI V CA (1990)
Miguel won as Mayor of Bolinao. Caasi, a rival candidate, objected to Miguels
qualifications on the ground that the latter was a green card holder, hence a
permanent resident of America and not of Bolinao. (COMELEC dismissed the
contest, holding that the possession of a green card does not establish Miguels
abandonment of his Philippine residence)
When Miguel returned to the Philippines in November 1987,he stayed in Bolinao for
only three (3) months before the elections on January 18, 1988.
ISSUE: WON Miguel is a resident of Bolinao, and not US.
Miguel lost his Philippine residence.
The law requires that the candidate who is a green cardholder must have waived
his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country. Miguels act of
filing a certifcate of candidacy for elective office in the Philippines did not itself
constitute a waiver of his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of the US.
There must be some other act independent of and prior to the filing of his
candidacy. No evidence that Miguel waived his status as green card holder before
he ran for mayor.

Local Govt Code requires residence of one (1) year in the municipality (to get
acquainted with the places condition).
Omnibus Election Code has a policy of banning Philippine citizens with dual
loyalties and allegiance.