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City of Baguio v.

Marcos
G.R. No. L-26100. February 28, 1969
FACTS:
On July 25, 1961, the Director of Lands in the
Court of First Instance of Baguio instituted the
reopening of the cadastral proceedings under
Republic Act 931. It is not disputed that the
land here involved was amongst those declared
public lands by final decision rendered in that
case on November 13, 1922. Respondent
Belong Lutes petitioned the cadastral court to
reopen said Civil Reservation Case No. 1 as to
the parcel of land he claims and prayed that
the land be registered in his name.
On December 18, 1961, private petitioners
Francisco G. Joaquin, Sr., Francisco G. Joaquin,
Jr., and Teresita J. Buchholz registered
opposition to the reopening. The petitioners
questioned the cadastral court's jurisdiction
over the petition to reopen.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the reopening petition was filed
outside the 40 year period preceding the
approval of Republic Act 931.
HELD:
Yes. The cadastral proceedings sought to be
reopened were instituted on April 12, 1912.
Final decision was rendered on November
13, 1922. Lutes filed the petition to reopen on
July 25, 1961. It will be noted that the title of
R.A. 931 authorizes "the filing in the proper
court, under certain conditions, of certain
claims of title to parcels of land that have been
declared public land, by virtue of judicial
decisions rendered within the forty years next
preceding the approval of this Act." The body of
the statute, however, in its Section 1, speaks of

parcels of land that "have been, or are about to


be declared land of the public domain, by
virtue of judicial proceedings instituted within
the forty years next preceding the approval of
this Act." There thus appears to be a seeming
inconsistency between title and body.
It has been observed that "in modern practice
the title is adopted by the Legislature, more
thoroughly read than the act itself. R.A. 931 is
a piece of remedial legislation and it should
receive blessings of liberal construction. The
court says that lingual imperfections in the
drafting of a statute should never be permitted
to hamstring judicial search for legislative
intent, which can otherwise be discovered.
Republic Act 931, claims of title that may be
filed thereunder embrace those parcels of land
that have been declared public land "by virtue
of judicial decisions rendered within the forty
years next preceding the approval of this Act."
Therefore, by that statute, the July 25, 1961
petition of respondent Belong Lutes to reopen
Civil Reservation Case No. 1, GLRO Record No.
211 of the cadastral court of Baguio, the
decision on which was rendered on November
13, 1922, comes within the 40-year period.
Ebarle v. Sucaldito,
G.R. No. L-33628. December 29, 1987
FACTS:
The petitioner, then provincial Governor of
Zamboanga del Sur and a candidate for
reelection in the local elections of 1971, seeks
injunctive relief in two separate petitions, to
enjoin further proceedings of his criminal
cases, as well as I.S. Nos. 1-70, 2-71, 4-71, 571, 6-71, and 7-71 of the respondent Fiscal's

office of the said city, all in the nature of


prosecutions for violation of certain provisions
of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and
various provisions of the Revised Penal Code.
Principally, the petitioner relies on the failure of
the respondents City Fiscal and the Anti-Graft
League to comply with the provisions of
Executive Order No. 264, "OUTLINING THE
PROCEDUE BY WHICH COMPLAINANTS
CHARGING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND
EMPLOYEES WITH COMMISSION OF
IRREGULARITIES SHOULD BE
GUIDED," preliminary to their criminal
recourses.
ISSUE:
Whether or not EO 264 is applicable in the case
at bar.
HELD:
No. It is plain from the very wording of the
Order that it has exclusive application to
administrative, not criminal complaints. The
very title speaks of "COMMISSION OF
IRREGULARITIES." There is no mention, not
even by implication, of criminal "offenses," that
is to say, "crimes." While "crimes" amount to
"irregularities," the Executive Order could have
very well referred to the more specific term had
it intended to make itself applicable thereto.
Clearly, the Executive Order simply
consolidates these existing rules and
streamlines the administrative apparatus in the
matter of complaints against public officials. It
is moreover significant that the Executive
Order in question makes specific reference to
"erring officials or employees ... removed or
otherwise vindicated. If it were intended to
apply to criminal prosecutions, it would have
employed such technical terms as "accused",

"convicted," or "acquitted." While this is not


necessarily a controlling parameter for all
cases, it is here material in construing the
intent of the measure.
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK VS. COURT
OF APPEALS
GR. NO. 107508 April 25, 1996
1st Division Kapunan
FACTS: Ministry of Education Culture issued a
check payable to Abante Marketing and drawn
against Philippine National Bank (PNB). Abante
Marketing, deposited the questioned check in
its savings account with Capitol City
Development Bank (CAPITOL). In turn, Capitol
deposited the same in its account with the
Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom)
which, in turn, sent the check to PNB for
clearing. PNB cleared the check as good and
thereafter, PBCom credited Capitol's account
for the amount stated in the check. However,
PNB returned the check to PBCom and debited
PBCom's account for the amount covered by
the check, the reason being that there was a
"material alteration" of the check number.
PBCom, as collecting agent of Capitol, then
proceeded to debit the latter's account for the
same amount, and subsequently, sent the
check back to petitioner. PNB, however,
returned the check to PBCom. On the other
hand, Capitol could not in turn, debit Abante
Marketing's account since the latter had
already withdrawn the amount of the check.
Capitol sought clarification from PBCom and
demanded the re-crediting of the amount.
PBCom followed suit by requesting an
explanation and re-crediting from PNB. Since
the demands of Capitol were not heeded, it

filed a civil suit against PBCom which in turn,


filed a third-party complaint against PNB for
reimbursement/indemnity with respect to the
claims of Capitol. PNB, on its part, filed a
fourth-party complaint against Abante
Marketing.
The Trial Court rendered its decision, ordering
PBCom to re-credit or reimburse; PNB to
reimburse and indemnify PBCom for whatever
amount PBCom pays to Capitol; Abante
Marketing to reimburse and indemnify PNB for
whatever amount PNB pays to PBCom. The
court dismissed the counterclaims of PBCom
and PNB. The appellate court modified the
appealed judgment by ordering PNB to honor
the check. After the check shall have been
honored by PNB, the court ordered PBCom to
re-credit Capitol's account with it the amount.
PNB filed the petition for review on certiorari
averring that under Section 125 of the NIL, any
change that alters the effect of the instrument
is a material alteration.
ISSUE: WON an alteration of the serial number
of a check is a material alteration under the
NIL.
HELD: NO, alteration of a serial number of a
check is not a material alteration contemplated
under Sec. 125 of the NIL.
RATIO: An alteration is said to be material if it
alters the effect of the instrument. It means an
unauthorized change in an instrument that
purports to modify in any respect the obligation
of a party or an unauthorized addition of words
or numbers or other change to an incomplete
instrument relating to the obligation of a party.
In other words, a material alteration is one
which changes the items which are required to

be stated under Section 1 of the Negotiable


Instruments Law.
In the present case what was altered is the
serial number of the check in question, an item
which is not an essential requisite for
negotiability under Section 1 of the Negotiable
Instruments Law. The aforementioned
alteration did not change the relations between
the parties. The name of the drawer and the
drawee were not altered. The intended payee
was the same. The sum of money due to the
payee remained the same. The check's serial
number is not the sole indication of its origin.
The name of the government agency which
issued the subject check was prominently
printed therein. The check's issuer was
therefore insufficiently identified, rendering the
referral to the serial number redundant and
inconsequential.

People v. Echaves
G.R. Nos. L-47757-61. January 28, 1980
FACTS:
On October 25, 1977 Fiscal Abundio R. Ello filed
with the lower court separate information
against sixteen persons charging them with
squatting as penalized by Presidential Decree
No. 772. The information provides that
sometime in the year 1974 continuously up to
the present, the above-named accused, with
stealth and strategy, enter into, occupy and
cultivate a portion of a grazing land physically
occupied, possessed and claimed by Atty.
Vicente de la Serna, accused's entrance into
the area has been and is still against the win of
the offended party; did then and there willfully,
unlawfully, and feloniously squat and cultivate

a portion of the said grazing land; said


cultivating has rendered a nuisance to and has
deprived the pasture applicant from the full use
thereof for which the land applied for has been
intended, that is preventing applicant's cattle
from grazing the whole area, thereby causing
damage and prejudice to the said applicantpossessor-occupant, Atty. Vicente de la Serna,
Jr.
Five of the information were raffled to Judge
Vicente B. Echaves, Jr. who dismissed the five
information on the grounds (1) that it was
alleged that the accused entered the land
through "stealth and strategy", whereas under
the decree the entry should be effected "with
the use of force, intimidation or threat, or
taking advantage of the absence or tolerance
of the landowner", and (2) that under the rule
of ejusdem generis the decree does not apply
to the cultivation of a grazing land.
ISSUE:
Whether or not by Presidential Decree No. 772
applies to agricultural lands.
HELD:
No. The court agrees to the lower court that the
decree does not apply to pasture lands
because its preamble shows that it was
intended to apply to squatting in urban
communities or more particularly to illegal
constructions in squatter areas made by wellto-do individuals. The squating complained of
involves pasture lands in rural areas. It should
be noted that squatting on public agricultural
lands, like the grazing lands involved in this
case, is punished by Republic Act No. 947. The
rule of ejusdem generis invoked by the trial
court, however, does not apply to this case.
The decree is intended to apply only to urban

communities, particularly to illegal


constructions. The rule of ejusdem generis is
merely a tool of statutory construction which is
resorted to when the legislative intent is
uncertain.
Florentino v. PNB
G.R. No. L-8782. April 28, 1956
FACTS:
The petitioners and appellants filed a petition
for mandamus against Philippine National Bank
to compel it to accept the backpay certificate
of petitioner Marcelino B. Florentino to pay an
indebtedness in the sum of P6,800 secured by
real estate mortgage plus interest. The debt
incurred on January 2, 1953, which is due on
January 2, 1954. Petitioner is a holder of
Backpay Acknowledgment No. 1721 dated
October 6, 1954, in the amount of P22,896.33
by virtue of Republic Act No. 897 approved on
June 20, 1953. Petitioners offered to pay their
loan with the respondent bank with their
backpay certificate, but the respondent bank,
on December 29, 1953, refused to accept the
latter's backpay certificate. Under section 2 of
Republic Act No. 879, respondent-appellee
contends that the qualifying clause refers to all
the antecedents, whereas the appellant's
contention is that it refers only to the last
antecedent.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the clause who may be willing
to accept the same for settlement refers to all
antecedents mentioned in the last sentence of
section 2 of Republic Act No. 879.
HELD:

No. Grammatically, the qualifying clause refers


only to the last antecedent; that is, "any citizen
of the Philippines or any association or
corporation organized under the laws of the
Philippines." It should be noted that there is a
comma before the words "or to any citizen,
etc.," which separates said phrase from the
preceding ones. But even disregarding the
grammatical construction, to make the
acceptance of the backpay certificates
obligatory upon any citizen, association, or
corporation, which are not government entities
or owned or controlled by the government,
would render section 2 of Republic Act No. 897
unconstitutional for it would amount to an
impairment of the obligation of contracts by
compelling private creditors to accept a sort of
promissory note payable within ten years with
interest at a rate very much lower than the
current or even the legal one. It was also found
out in the Congressional Record that the
amendatory bill to Sec. 2 was made which
permits the use of backpay certificates as
payment for obligations and indebtedness in
favor of the government. Another reason is that
it is matter of general knowledge that many
officials and employees of the Philippine
Government, who had served during the
Japanese Occupation, have already received
their backpay certificates and used them for
the payment of the obligations to the
Government and its entities for debts incurred
before the approval of Republic Act No. 304.
Florentino incurred his debt to the PNB on
January 2, 1953. Hence, the obligation was
subsisting when the Amendatory Act No.
897 was approved. Consequently, the present
case falls squarely under the provisions of
section 2 of the Amendatory Act No. 897.

Nera v. Garcia
G.R. No. L-13160. January 30, 1960
FACTS:
Petitioner Nera was at the time of his
suspension, serving as clerk in the Maternity
and Children's Hospital. In the course of his
employment, he served as manager and
cashier of the Maternity Employer's
Cooperative Association, Inc. On May 11,
1956, he was charged with malversation for
allegedly misappropriating the sum of
P12,636.21 belonging to the association.
Simplicio Balcos, husband of the suspended
administrative officer and cashier of the
Maternity and Children's Hospital, named
Gregoria Balcos, filed an administrative
complaint case then pending against him. On
December 19, 1956, Nera received a
communication from respondent Director of
Hospital suspending him from office as clerk of
the Maternity and Children's Hospital. This
suspension carried the approval of respondent
Garcia, Secretary of Health. Petitioner sought
for the annulment of the order of suspension
on the ground that assuming for a moment that
petitioner were guilty of malversation or
misappropriation of the funds of the
association, nevertheless, said irregularity had
no connection with his duly as clerk of the
Maternity and Children's Hospital.
ISSUE:
Whether or not suspension on the ground of
dishonesty or misconduct under Section 694 of
the Revised Penal Code need have to be in
relation to the performance of duty.
HELD:

No. As to the holding of the trial court about


dishonesty or misconduct in office having
connection with one's duties and functions in
order to warrant punishment, this involves an
interpretation of Section 694 of the Revised
Administrative Code. SEC. 694. Removal or
suspension. No officer or employee in the
civil service shall be removed or suspended
except for cause as provided by law. The
President of the Philippines may suspend any
chief or assistant chief of a bureau or office
and in the absence of special provision, any
other officer appointed by him, pending an
investigation of his bureau or office. With the
approval of the proper head of department, the
chief of a bureau in his bureau or under his
authority pending an investigation, if the
charge against such subordinate or employee
involves dishonesty, oppression, or grave
misconduct or neglect in the performance of
duty.
It will be observed that there is a comma after
the words dishonesty and oppression, thereby
warranting the conclusion that only the phrase
"grave misconduct or neglect "is qualified by
the words "in the performance of duty". In
other words, dishonesty and oppression to
warrant punishment or dismissal, need not be
committed in the course of them performance
of duty by the person charged. If a Government
officer or employee is dishonest or is guilty of
oppression or grave misconduct, even if said
defects of character are not connected with his
force, they affect his right to continue in office.
As the Solicitor General well pointed out in his
brief, "the private life of an employee cannot
be segregated from his public life. Dishonesty
inevitably reflects on the fitness of the officer

or employee to continue in office and the


discipline and morals of the service."
[G.R. No. L-8759. May 25, 1956.]
SEVERINO UNABIA vs. City Mayor.
Facts:
Petitioner was a foreman, Group Disposal,
Office of the City Health Officer, Cebu City, at
P3.90 per day. On June 16, 1953, the City
mayor removed him from the service and his
place was taken by Perfecto Abellana, and
latter by Pedro Gonzales. Before June 16, 1953,
The Group Disposal Division, including
personnel, was transferred from the City Health
Department to the Office of the Engineer. In
April 1954, petitioner sought to be reinstated
but his petiotion was not heeded by the
respondents.
On the basis of the above facts, the Court of
First Instances of Cebu held that petitioner is a
person in the Philippine Civil Service, pertaining
to the unclassified service(section 670, Revised
Administrative Code as amended), and his
removal from his position is a violation of
section 694 of the Revised Administrative Code
and section 4 of Art XII of the Constitution .
It also contended that the use of capitals in the
words Civil Service in section 1 and 4 of
Article XII of the Constitution and the use of
small letter for the same words civil service,
in section 670, Revised Administrative Code,
indicates that only those pertaining to the
classified service are protected in the abovementioned section of the Constitution.
Issue:
Whether the use of capital in the words Civil
Service in the constitution and the use of
small letters for the civil service in the
Revised Administrative code indicates that the

protection only pertains to the classified


service.
Held:
We see no validity in this argument. Capital C
and S in the words Civil Service were used
in the Constitution to indicate the group. No
capitals are used in the similar provisions of the
Code to indicate the system. We see no
difference between the use of capitals in the
former and of small letters in the latter. There
is no reason for excluding persons in the
unclassified service from the benefits extended
to those belonging to the classified service.
Both are expressly declared to belong to the
Civil Service;
Hence, the same rights and privileges should
be accorded to both. Persons in the unclassified
service are so designated because the nature
of their work and qualifications are not subject
to classification, which is not true of those
appointed to the classified service. This cannot
be a valid reason for denying priveges to the
former that are granted the latter.
As the removal of the petitioner was made
without investigation and without cause, said
removal is null and void and petitioner is
entitled to be reinstated to the petition from
which he was removed.
Sometime in 1959, UNILAB established the
United Retirement Plan (URP).[if !supportFootnotes][4]
[endif]
The plan is a comprehensive retirement
program aimed at providing for retirement,
resignation, disability, and death benefits of its
members. An employee of UNILAB becomes a
member of the URP upon his regularization in
the company. The URP mandates the
compulsory retirement of any memberemployee who reaches the age of 60.

Both UNILAB and the employee contribute to


the URP. On one hand, UNILAB provides for the
account of the employee an actuariallydetermined amount to Trust Fund A. On the
other hand, the employee chips in 2% of his
monthly salary to Trust Fund B. Upon
retirement, the employee gets both amounts
standing in his name in Trust Fund A and Trust
Fund B.
As retirement benefits, the employee receives
(1) from Trust Fund A a lump sum of 1 months
pay per year of service based on the members
last or terminal basic monthly salary,[if !
supportFootnotes][5][endif]
and (2) whatever the
employee has contributed to Trust Fund B,
together with the income minus any losses
incurred. The URP excludes commissions,
overtime, bonuses, or extra compensations in
the computation of the basic salary for
purposes of retirement.
Oxales joined UNILAB on September 1, 1968.
He was compulsorily retired by UNILAB when
he reached his 60th birthday on September 7,
1994, after having rendered service of twentyfive (25) years, eleven (11) months, and six (6)
days. He was then Director of Manufacturing
Services Group.
In computing the retirement benefits of Oxales
based on the 1 months for every year of
service under the URP, UNILAB took into
account only his basic monthly salary. It did not
include as part of the salary base the
permanent and regular bonuses, reasonable
value of food allowances, 1/12 of the 13th
month pay, and the cash equivalent of service
incentive leave.

Thus, Oxales received from Trust Fund A


P1,599,179.00, instead of P4,260,255.70. He
also received P176,313.06, instead of
P456,039.20 as cash equivalent of his unused
sick leaves. Lastly, he received P397,738.33
from his contributions to Trust Fund B. In sum,
Oxales received the total amount of
P2,173,230.39 as his retirement benefits.
On August 21, 1997, Oxales wrote UNILAB,
claiming that he should have been paid
P1,775,907.23 more in retirement pay and
unused leave credits. He insisted that his
bonuses, allowances and 13th month pay
should have been factored in the computation
of his retirement benefits.
On September 9, 1997, UNILAB wrote back and
reminded Oxales about the provision of the
URP excluding any commissions, overtime,
bonuses or extra compensations in the
computation of the basic salary of the retiring
employee.
Disgruntled, Oxales filed a complaint with the
Labor Arbiter for (1) the correct computation of
his retirement benefits, (2) recovery of the cash
equivalent of his unused sick leaves, (3)
damages, and (4) attorneys fees. He argued
that in the computation of his retirement
benefits, UNILAB should have included in his
basic pay the following, to wit: (a) cash
equivalent of not more than five (5) days
service incentive leave; (b) 1/12th of 13th
month pay; and (c) all other benefits he has
been receiving.

Efforts were exerted for a possible amicable


settlement. As this proved futile, the parties
were required to submit their respective
pleadings and position papers.
Issue:
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS
SERIOUSLY ERRED IN THE INTERPRETATION OF
R.A. NO. 7641 WHEN IT CONCLUDED THAT THE
SAID LAW IS APPLICABLE ONLY IN THE
ABSENCE OF RETIREMENT PLAN OR
AGREEMENT PROVIDING FOR THE RETIREMENT
BENEFITS OF EMPLOYEES IN AN
ESTABLISHMENT;
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS
SERIOUSLY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE
DEFINITION OF SALARY UNDER THE
IMPLEMENTING RULES OF R.A. NO. 7641
SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO INCLUDE THE
PERMANENT AND REGULAR REMUNERATIONS
OF PETITIONER IN THE SALARY BASE FOR
COMPUTING RETIREMENT BENEFITS;
Held:
The clear language of the URP should be
respected.
A retirement plan in a company partakes the
nature of a contract, with the employer and the
employee as the contracting parties. It creates
a contractual obligation in which the promise to
pay retirement benefits is made in
consideration of the continued faithful service
of the employee for the requisite period.
R.A. No. 7641 does not apply in view of
the URP which gives to the retiring
employee more than what the law

requires;the supporting cases cited by


Oxales are off-tangent.
First, a plain reading of the Retirement Pay
Law. R.A. No. 7641 originated from the House
of Representatives as House Bill 317 which was
later consolidated with Senate Bill 132. It was
approved on December 9, 1992 and took effect
on January 7, 1993.
Second, the legislative history of the
Retirement Pay Law. It may be recalled that
R.A. No. 7641 traces back its history in the case
of Llora Motors, Inc. v. Drilon. In this case, the
Court held that the then Article 287 of the
Labor Code and its Implementing Rules may not
be the source of an employees entitlement to
retirement pay absent the presence of a
collective bargaining agreement or voluntary
company policy that provides for retirement
benefits for the employee.
Third, the legislative intent of the Retirement
Pay Law. A reading of the explanatory note of
Representative Alberto S. Veloso would show
why Congress sought to pass the Retirement
Pay Law: many employers refuse or neglect to
adopt a retirement plan for their employees
because of the absence of any legal
compulsion for them to do so,
Fourth, the title of the Retirement Pay Law.
The complete title of R.A. No. 7641 is An Act
Amending Article 287 of Presidential Decree
No. 442, As Amended, Otherwise Known as the
Labor Code of the Philippines, By Providing for
Retirement Pay to Qualified Private Sector in
the Absence of Any Retirement Plan in the
Establishment. Res ipsa loquitur. The thing
speaks for itself

Arroyo v De Venecia
Facts:
Petitioners are members of the House
of Representatives. They brought this
suit against respondents charging violation of
the rules of the House which petitioners claim
are "constitutionally mandated" so that their
violation is tantamount to a violation of the
Constitution. In the course of his interpellation,
Rep. Arroyo announced that he was going to
raise a question on the quorum, although until
theend of his interpellation he never did.On the
same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of
the House of Representatives and the President
of the Senate and certified by the respective
secretaries of both Houses of Congress as
having been finally passed by the House
of Representatives and
by the Senate on November 21, 1996.
The enrolled bill was signed into law by
President Fidel V. Ramos on November
22,1996.
Issue:
Whether R.A. No. 8240 is null and void because
it was passed in violation of the rules of the
House; Whether the certification of Speaker De
Venecia that the law was properly passed is
false and spurious; Whether the Chair, in the
process of submitting and certifying the law
violated House Rules; and Whether a
certiorari/prohibition will be granted.
Held:
That after considering the arguments of the
parties, the Court finds no ground for holding
that Congress committed a grave abuse of
discretion in enacting R.A. No. 8240 This case is
therefore dismissed.

Ratio:
To disregard the "enrolled bill" rule in
such cases would-be to disregard the respect
due the other two departments of our
government. It would be an unwarranted
invasion of the prerogative of a coequal
department for this Court either to set-aside a
legislative action as void because the Court
thinks the House has disregarded its own rules
of procedure, or to allow those defeated in the
political arena to seek a rematch in the judicial
forum when petitioners can find their remedy
in that department itself. The Court has not
been invested with a roving commission to
inquire into complaints, real or imagined,
of legislative skullduggery. It would be acting
in excess of its power and would itself be guilty
of grave abuse of its discretion were it to do so.
The suggestion made in a case may instead
appropriately be made here: petitioners can
seek the enactment of a new law or the repeal
or amendment of R.A. No. 8240. In the absence
of anything to the contrary, the Court must
assume that Congress or any House thereof
acted in the good faith belief that its conduct
was permitted by its rules, and deference
rather than disrespect is due the judgment of
that body.
In view of what is essential:
Merely internal rules of procedure of the House
rather than constitutional requirements for the
enactment of a law, i.e., Art.VI, 26-27 are
VIOLATED. First, in Osmea v. Pendatun, it was
held: "At any rate, courts have declared that
'the rules adopted by deliberative bodies are
subject to revocation, modification or waiver
at the pleasure of the body adopting them.'
And it has been said that Parliamentary rules
are merely procedural, and with their
observance, the courts have no concern. They

may be waived or disregarded by the


legislative body
.' Consequently, 'mere failure to conform
to parliamentary usage will not invalidate the
action (taken by a deliberative body) when the
requisite number of members have agreed to a
particular measure. Rules are hardly
permanent in character. The prevailing view is
that they are subject to revocation,
modification or waiver at the pleasure of the
body adopting them as they are primarily
procedural. Courts ordinarily have no concern
with their observance. They may be waived
or disregarded by the legislative
body. Consequently,
mere failure to conform to them does not
have the effect of nullifying the act taken
if the requisite numbers of members have
agreed to a particular measure
.
In view of the Courts jurisdiction
This Court's function is merely to check
whether or not the governmental branch or
agency has gone beyond the constitutional
limits of its jurisdiction, not that it erred or
has different view. In the absence of a
showing . . . of grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction, there is
no occasion for the Court to exercise its
corrective power. . . . It has no power to look
into what it thinks is apparent error. If, then,
the established rule is that courts cannot
declare an act of the legislature void on
account merely of noncompliance with rules
of procedure
made by itself, it follows that such a case
does not present a situation in which a
branch of the government has "gone
beyond the constitutional limits of its
jurisdiction"

.
In view of House Rules:
No rule of the House of Representatives has
been cited which specifically requires that
in cases such as this involving approval of
a conference committee report, the Chair must
restate the motion and conduct a viva voce or
nominal voting. Mr. TOLENTINO. The fact that
nobody objects means a unanimous action of
the House. Insofar as the matter of procedure
is concerned, this has been a precedent since I came
here seven years ago, and it has been the
procedure in this House that if somebody
objects, then a debate follows and after the
debate, then the voting comes in nor does the
Constitution require that the yeas and the nays
of the Members be taken every time a House
has to vote, except only in the following
instances: upon the last and third readings
of a bill at the request of one-fifth of the
Members
present, and in re-passing a bill over the
veto of the President
.
In view of grave abuse
Indeed, the phrase "grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction" has
a settled meaning in the jurisprudence of
procedure. It means such capricious and
whimsical exercise of judgment by a tribunal
exercising judicial or quasi judicial power as
to amount to lack of power.
In view of the enrolled bill doctrine
Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of
H. No. 7198 by the Speaker of the House and
the President of the Senate and the
certification by the secretaries of both Houses
of Congress that it was passed on November
21, 1996 are conclusive of its due
enactment. This Court quoted from Wigmore

on Evidence the following excerpt which


embodies good, if old-fashioned democratic
theory: Instead of trusting a faithful Judiciary
to check an inefficient Legislature, they should
turn to improve the Legislature. The sensible
solution is not to patch and mend casual errors
by asking the Judiciary to violate legal principle
and to do impossibilities with the Constitution;
but to represent ourselves with competent,
careful, and honest legislators, the work
of whose hands on the statute-roll may come
to reflect credit uponthe name of popular
government.
(In view of justifiability according to
PUNO, J)
With due respect, I
do not agree that the issues posed by the
petitioner are non-justifiable
. Nor do I agree that we will trivialize the principle
of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction
over the case at bar. Even in the United States,
theprinciple of separation of power is no longer
an impregnableimpediment against the
interposition of judicial power on
casesinvolving breach of rules of procedure
by legislators. The Constitution empowers each
house to determine its rules of proceedings. It
may not by its rules ignore
constitutionalrestraints or violate fundamental
rights, and there should be areasonable
relation between the mode or method
of proceedings established by the rule and the
result which is sought to be attained. But within
these limitations all matters of method areopen
to the determination of the House, and it is no
impeachment of the rule to say that some
other way would be better, more accurate, or
even more just.

Creation Of A Province Must Comply With


Statutory Requirements Under RA 7160
Navarro vs. Ermita
Facts:
Rodolfo, Victor and Rene, as taxpayers, filed a
petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court
to declare as unconstitutional Republic Act
9355, which created the Province of Dinagat.
According to them, the province did not meet
the requirements of the Local Government
Code, Republic Act 7160 in terms of population
and territory. The creation of the province will
unjustly deprive the people of Surigao del
Norte a large chunk of territory, Internal
Revenue Allocation and rich resources from the
area. Whereas RA 7610 mandates that a
province to be created should have a
population of at least 250,000, the Province of
Dinagat, as of the 2000 NSO Census only had
106,591; whereas the law requires a new
province to have at least 2,000 square
kilometres of contiguous area, the new
province will only have a land area of 802.12
square kilometres. Further, the act of creating
the province was an act of gerrymandering.
In their defense, the respondents posited that
the law is constitutional. Dinagat as a new
province complied with the requirements of
Republic Act 7610 in terms of population and
land area. The 2003 population of Dinagat
Islands based on the special census ordered by
the then governor of Surigao del Norte, Lyndon
Barbers, was 371, 576 inhabitants; it is exempt
from the land area requirement because it is
composed of several islands, which exception
is provided for under the Implementing Rules
and Regulations of Republic Act 7160.
Issue:

Issue:
Whether or not the creation of the Province of
Dinagat complied with the requirements of the
law.
Held:
The Supreme Court granted the petition and
invalidated the law:
The territorial requirement in the Local
Government Code is adopted in the Rules and
Regulations Implementing the Local
Government Code of 1991 (IRR),thus:
ART. 9. Provinces.(a) Requisites for creation
A province shall not be created unless the
following requisites on income and either
population or land area are present:
(1) Income An average annual income of not
less than Twenty Million Pesos (P20,000,000.00)
for the immediately preceding two (2)
consecutive years based on 1991 constant
prices, as certified by DOF. The average annual
income shall include the income accruing to
the general fund, exclusive of special funds,
special accounts, transfers, and nonrecurring
income; and
(2) Population or land area Population which
shall not be less than two hundred fifty
thousand (250,000) inhabitants, as certified by
National Statistics Office; or land area which
must be contiguous with an area of at least two
thousand (2,000) square kilometers, as
certified by LMB. The territory need not be
contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more
islands or is separated by a chartered city or
cities which do not contribute to the income of
the province. The land area requirement shall

not apply where the proposed province is


composed of one (1) or more islands. The
territorial jurisdiction of a province sought to be
created shall be properly identified by metes
and bounds.
However, the IRR went beyond the criteria
prescribed by Section 461 of the Local
Government Code when it added the italicized
portion above stating that [t]he land area
requirement shall not apply where the
proposed province is composed of one (1) or
more islands. Nowhere in the Local
Government Code is the said provision stated
or implied. Under Section 461 of the Local
Government Code, the only instance when the
territorial or land area requirement need not be
complied with is when there is already
compliance with the population requirement.
The Constitution requires that the criteria for
the creation of a province, including any
exemption from such criteria, must all be
written in the Local Government Code. There is
no dispute that in case of discrepancy between
the basic law and the rules and regulations
implementing the said law, the basic law
prevails, because the rules and regulations
cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of
the basic law.
Hence, the Court holds that the provision in
Sec. 2, Art. 9 of the IRR stating that [t]he land
area requirement shall not apply where the
proposed province is composed of one (1) or
more islands is null and void.
xxx
Courts determine the intent of the law from
the literal language of the law within the laws
four corners. If the language of the law is plain,

clear and unambiguous, courts simply apply


the law according to its express terms. If a
literal application of the law results in
absurdity, impossibility or injustice, then courts
may resort to extrinsic aids of statutory
construction like the legislative history of the
law, or may consider the implementing rules
and regulations and pertinent executive
issuances in the nature of executive
construction.
In this case, the requirements for the creation
of a province contained in Sec. 461 of the Local
Government Code are clear, plain and
unambiguous, and its literal application does
not result in absurdity or injustice. Hence, the
provision in Art. 9(2) of the IRR exempting a
proposed province composed of one or more
islands from the land-area requirement cannot
be considered an executive construction of the
criteria prescribed by the Local Government
Code. It is an extraneous provision not
intended by the Local Government Code and,
therefore, is null and void.
xxx
The Province of Dinagat Islands also failed to
comply with the population requirement of not
less than 250,000 inhabitants as certified by
the NSO. Based on the 2000 Census of
Population conducted by the NSO, the
population of the Province of Dinagat Islands as
of May 1, 2000 was only 106,951.
Although the Provincial Government of Surigao
del Norte conducted a special census of
population in Dinagat Islands in 2003, which
yielded a population count of 371,000, the
result was not certified by the NSO as required
by the Local Government Code. Moreover,
respondents failed to prove that with the

population count of 371,000, the population of


the original unit (mother Province of Surigao
del Norte) would not be reduced to less than
the minimum requirement prescribed by law at
the time of the creation of the new province.
xxx
In fine, R.A. No. 9355 failed to comply with
either the territorial or the population
requirement for the creation of the Province of
Dinagat Islands.
The Constitution clearly mandates that the
creation of local government units must follow
the criteria established in the Local
Government Code. Any derogation of or
deviation from the criteria prescribed in the
Local Government Code violates Sec. 10, Art. X
of the Constitution.
Hence, R.A. No. 9355 is unconstitutional for its
failure to comply with the criteria for the
creation of a province prescribed in Sec. 461 of
the Local Government Code.
xxx
Gerrymandering is a term employed to
describe an apportionment of representative
districts so contrived as to give an unfair
advantage to the party in power. Fr. Joaquin G.
Bernas, a member of the 1986 Constitutional
Commission, defined gerrymandering as the
formation of one legislative district out of
separate territories for the purpose of favoring
a candidate or a party. The Constitution
proscribes gerrymandering, as it mandates
each legislative district to comprise, as far as
practicable, a contiguous, compact and
adjacent territory.

As stated by the Office of the Solicitor General,


the Province of Dinagat Islands consists of one
island and about 47 islets closely situated
together, without the inclusion of separate
territories. It is an unsubstantiated allegation
that the province was created to favor
Congresswoman Glenda Ecleo-Villaroman.
EN BANC, G.R. No. 180050, February 10,
2010, RODOLFO G. NAVARRO, VICTOR F.
BERNAL, and RENE O. MEDINA, Petitioners, vs.
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA,
representing the President of the Philippines;
Senate of the Philippines, represented by the
SENATE PRESIDENT; House of Representatives,
represented by the HOUSE SPEAKER;
GOVERNOR ROBERT ACE S. BARBERS,
representing the mother province of Surigao
del Norte; GOVERNOR GERALDINE ECLEO
VILLAROMAN, representing the new Province of
Dinagat Islands, Respondents.

Permissible vs mandatory use of surnames in


the context of Rule 103 proceedings: Grande vs
Antonio (G.R. No. 206248, February 18, 2014)
In the case of Grande vs Antonio (G.R. No.
206248, February 18, 2014), the Supreme
Court had the occasion to interpret Article 176
of the Family Code as amended by Republic Act
9255. The provision reads:
Art. 176. Illegitimate children shall use the
surname and shall be under the parental
authority of their mother, and shall be entitled
to support in conformity with this Code.
However, illegitimate children may use the
surname of their father if their filiation has
been expressly recognized by the father

through the record of birth appearing in the


civil register, or when an admission in a public
document or private handwritten instrument is
made by the father. Provided, the father has
the right to institute an action before the
regular courts to prove non-filiation during his
lifetime. The legitime of each illegitimate child
shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a
legitimate child.
The facts of the case as found by the Supreme
Court are as follows:
In the case at bar, respondent [the father] filed
a petition for judicial approval of recognition of
the filiation of the two children with the prayer
for the correction or change of the surname of
the minors from Grande to Antonio when a
public document acknowledged before a notary
public under Sec. 19, Rule 132 of the Rules of
Court is enough to establish the paternity of his
children. But he wanted more: a judicial
conferment of parental authority, parental
custody, and an official declaration of his
childrens surname as Antonio.
On the issue of whether or not the respondent
father could compel his illegitimate children to
use his surname, the Supreme Court ruled the
father could not. In the Grande vs Antonio
case, the SC voided the implementing rules
and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9255
insofar as the IRR makes it mandatory for the
illegitimate child to use the recognizing fathers
surname, since this was contrary to the express
permissive wording of Republic Act 9255
amending Art 176 which states that
illegitimate children may use the surname of
their father if their filiation has been expressly
recognized by the father. A relevant portion of
the Supreme Courts reasoning in Grande vs
Antonio (G.R. No. 206248, February 18, 2014)
is hereunder quoted:

Art. 176 gives illegitimate children the right to


decide if they want to use the surname of their
father or not. It is not the father (herein
respondent) or the mother (herein petitioner)
who is granted by law the right to dictate the
surname of their illegitimate children.
Nothing is more settled than that when the law
is clear and free from ambiguity, it must be
taken to mean what it says and it must be
given its literal meaning free from any
interpretation.[16][Republic v. Lacap, G.R. No.
158253, March 2, 2007, 517 SCRA 255;
Chartered Bank Employees Association v. Ople,
No. L-44717, August 28, 1985, 138 SCRA 273;
Quijano v. Development Bank of the
Philippines, G.R. No. 26419, October 19, 1970,
35 SCRA 270; Luzon Surety Co., Inc. v. De
Garcia, No. L-25659, October 31, 1969, 30
SCRA 111] Respondents position that the court
can order the minors to use his surname,
therefore, has no legal basis.
xxx
It is best to emphasize once again that the
yardstick by which policies affecting children
are to be measured is their best interest. On
the matter of childrens surnames, this Court
has, time and again, rebuffed the idea that the
use of the fathers surname serves the best
interest of the minor child.
xxx
Thus, We exercise this power in voiding the
provisions of the IRR of RA 9255 insofar as it
provides the mandatory use by illegitimate
children of their fathers surname upon the
latters recognition of his paternity.
To conclude, the use of the word shall in the
IRR of RA 9255 is of no moment. The clear,
unambiguous, and unequivocal use of may in
Art. 176 rendering the use of an illegitimate
fathers surname discretionary controls, and

illegitimate children are given the choice on the


surnames by which they will be known.
At this juncture, We take note of the letters
submitted by the children, now aged thirteen
(13) and fifteen (15) years old, to this Court
declaring their opposition to have their names
changed to Antonio. However, since these
letters were not offered before and evaluated
by the trial court, they do not provide any
evidentiary weight to sway this Court to rule for
or against petitioner.[27][Rule 132. Sec. 34.
Offer of evidence. The court shall consider no
evidence which has not been formally offered.
The purpose for which the evidence is offered
must be specified.] A proper inquiry into, and
evaluation of the evidence of, the childrens
choice of surname by the trial court is
necessary.
One aspect of the decision in Grande vs
Antonio (G.R. No. 206248, February 18, 2014)
is the invocation by the Supreme Court of the
principle of the childs best interest as the
yardstick by which policies affecting children
are to be measured such a principle was
evaluted by the Supreme Court in Grande vs
Antonio in the context of the use of surnames
when it said that [o]n the matter of childrens
surnames, this Court has, time and again,
rebuffed the idea that the use of the fathers
surname serves the best interest of the minor
child. On the other hand, the Supreme Court
also declared in Grande vs Antonio (G.R. No.
206248, February 18, 2014) that Art. 176
gives illegitimate children the right to decide if
they want to use the surname of their father or
not. It is not the father (herein respondent) or
the mother (herein petitioner) who is granted
by law the right to dictate the surname of their
illegitimate children. It will be interesting to
see the future development of the illegitimate

childs apparently sole or exclusive prerogatve


to use the recognizing fathers surname as it
interacts with the best interest of the child
principle. Even if Congress has apparently
enshrined in Republic Act 9255 in amending
Article 176 of the Family Code a policy of
allowing the child to have a final say on the
matter, such a prerogative (if we are to assume
that the childs best interest has priority in the
hierarchy of principles) of the child may be
disapproved by our courts in instances when
the childs choice is clearly not in his best
interest. After all, the discretion to determine
what is or what is not in the childs best
interest lies with our courts. The difficulty will
not be in concluding that the childs best
interest has primacy over the childs choice,
but in deciding at what point in the factual
situation a childs choice is no longer in his best
interest.
The discussion on the illegitimate childs
discretion to use his recognizing fathers
surname under Article 176 of the Family Code
brings to mind other provisions of the New Civil
Code which makes it obligatory upon a person
to use the surname of another as an incident to
that persons status. For instance, under Article
364 of the New Civil Code, [l]egitimate and
legitimated children shall principally use the
surname of the father and under Article 365 of
the New Civil Code, [a]n adopted child shall
bear the surname of the adopter [emphasis
supplied]. Even the Supreme Court in Republic
vsCapote (GR 157043, 2 Feb 2007) has held on
the basis of the first sentence of Article 176 of
the Family Code ([i]llegitimate children shall
use the surname and shall be under the
parental authority of their mother) that
unrecognized illegitimate children shall use
their mothers surname. Notwithstanding these

seemingly compulsory provisions, it must be


remembered that even if the New Civil Code or
Family Code provisions state that it is
mandatory for a person to use a certain name
or surname (eg, obligatory by virtue of that
persons legitimate, illegitimate or
unrecognized status as a child), a change of
that surname may still be authorized by our
courts under the exception of Article 376 of the
New Civil Code. Article 376 of the New Civil
Code (stating that [n]o person can change his
name or surname without judicial authority) is
implemented by Rule 103 of the Rules of Court
which authorizes a substantive change of
surname. For instance, in Republic v CA &
Wong (21 May 1992, GR 97906), the Supreme
Court allowed an adopted child to revert back
to using the surname of his biological parents
despite the seemingly mandatory character of
Article 365 of the New Civil Code which states
that [a]n adopted child shall bear the surname
of the adopter. The Supreme Court in Wong,
responding to the Solicitor Generals argument
that reversion to the biological parents name
violates Articles 341 and 365 of the Civil Code,
which requires an adopted child to use the
surname of the adopter, held that [i]f we were
to follow the argument of the Solicitor General
to its conclusion, then there will never be any
possibility or occasion for any person,
regardless of status, to change his name, in
view of the supposed subsequent violation of
the legal imperative on the use of surnames in
the event that the petition is granted. Rule 103
of the Rules of Court would then be rendered
inutile. This could hardly have been the
intendment of the law. The case of Alfon vs
Republic(GR No. L-51201, May 29, 1980) also
illustrates this point, where the Supreme Court
allowed the petitioner (legitimate child) to use

the surname of her mother Alfon instead of


that of her legitimate father Duterte, on
substantive grounds under Rule 103, namely
that it will avoid confusion. The point from all
this is that even if Article 176 of the Family
Code (as amended by Republic Act 9255) were
construed as to compel an illegitimate child to
use his fathers surname, that illegitimate child
can still use a surname (other than that of his
father) based on substantive grounds
warranted by Article 376 of the New Civil Code
through a Rule 103 proceeding.

ALVAREZ V. GUINGONA G.R. NO. 118303 252


SCRA 695
Facts:
On April 18, 1993, HB No. 8817, entitled An
Act Converting the Municipality of Santiago into
an Independent Component City to be known
as the City of Santiago, was filed in the House
of Representatives. Meanwhile, a counterpart
of HB No. 8817, Senate Bill No. 1243, was filed
in the Senate. On March 22, 1994, the House of
Representatives, upon being apprised of the
action of the Senate, approved the
amendments proposed by the Senate.
Issue:
Does the passing of SB No. 1243, the Senates
own version of HB No. 8817, into Republic Act
No. 7720 be said to have originated in the
House of Representatives as required?
Held:
Yes. Although a bill of local application
should originate exclusively in the House of
Representatives, the claim of petitioners that
Republic Act No. 7720 did not originate
exclusively in the House of Representatives
because a bill of the same import, SB No. 1243,

was passed in the Senate, is untenable


because it cannot be denied that HB No. 8817
was filed in the House of Representatives first
before SB No. 1243 was filed in the Senate.
The filing in the Senate of a substitute bill in
anticipation of its receipt of the bill from the
House, does not contravene the constitutional
requirement that a bill of local application
should originate in the House of
Representatives, for as long as the Senate does
not act thereupon until it receives the House
bill.
Arroyo vs. De Venecia G.R. No. 127255, August
14, 1997
Facts: A petition was filed challenging the
validity of RA 8240, which
amends certain provisions of the
National Internal Revenue Code. Petitioners,
who are members of the House of
Representatives, charged that there is violation
of the rules of the House which petitioners
claim are constitutionally-mandated so that
their violation is tantamount to a violation of
the Constitution.
The law originated in the House of
Representatives. The Senate approved it
with certain amendments. A
bicameral conference committee was formed
to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of
the House and Senate versions of the bill. The
bicameral committee submitted its report to
theHouse. During the interpellations, Rep.
Arroyo made an interruption and moved to
adjourn for lack of quorum. But after a roll call,
the Chairdeclared the presence of a quorum.
The interpellation then proceeded. After Rep.

Arroyos interpellation of the sponsor of the


committee report, Majority Leader Albano
moved for the approval and ratification of
theconference committee report. The Chair
called out for objections to the motion. Then
the Chair declared: There being none,
approved. At the same time the Chair was
saying this, Rep. Arroyo was asking, What is
thatMr. Speaker? The Chair and Rep. Arroyo
were talking simultaneously. Thus, although
Rep. Arroyo subsequently objected to the
Majority Leaders motion, the approval of
the conference committee report had by then
already been declared by the Chair.
On the same day, the bill was signed by the
Speaker of the House of Representatives and
the President of the Senate and certified by the
respective secretaries of both Houses of
Congress. The enrolled bill was signed into law
by President Ramos.
Issue: Whether or not RA 8240 is null and void
because it was passed in violation of the rules
of the House
Held:
Rules of each House of Congress are hardly
permanent in character. They are subject to
revocation, modification or waiver at the
pleasure of the body adopting them as they are
primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have
no concern with their observance. They may be
waived or disregarded by the legislative body.
Consequently, mere failure to conform to them
does not have the effect of nullifying the act
taken if the requisite number of members has
agreed to a particular measure. But this is

subject to qualification. Where the construction


to be given to a rule affects person other than
members of the legislative body, the question
presented is necessarily judicial in character.
Even its validity is open to question in a case
where private rights are involved.
In the case, no rights of private individuals are
involved but only those of a member who,

instead of seeking redress in the House, chose


to transfer the dispute to the Court.
The matter complained of concerns a matter of
internal procedure of theHouse with which the
Court should not be concerned. The claim is not
that there was no quorum but only that Rep.
Arroyo was effectively prevented from
questioning the presence of a quorum. Rep.

Arroyos earlier motion to adjourn for lack of


quorum had already been defeated, as
the roll call established the existence of a
quorum. The question of quorum cannot be
raised repeatedly especially when the quorum
is obviously present for the purpose of delaying
the business of the House.