Francisco vs.

House of Representatives
(GR 160261, 10 November 2003) En Banc, Carpio Morales (J): 1 concurs, 3 wrote separate concurring opinions to which 4 concur, 2 wrote concurring and dissenting separate opinions to which 2 concur. Facts: On 28 November 2001, the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Porceedings, superceding 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 in form," 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 year." 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 well-defined 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 Constitution.

Digest: Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS (GR 122156, 3 February 1997)
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS GR 122156, 3 February 1997

Facts: The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation 50 dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of the Manila Hotel (MHC). In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two bidders participated: Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Pending the declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the necessary contracts, the Manila Prince Hotel matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong Berhad in a letter to GSIS dated 28 September 1995. Manila Prince Hotel sent a manager’s check to the GSIS in a subsequent letter, but which GSIS refused to accept. On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive that GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad, Manila Prince Hotel came to the Court on prohibition and mandamus. Issue(s): • Whether the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article XII Section 10, are selfexecuting. • Whether the 51% share is part of the national patrimony.

Held: A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Article II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. In selfexecuting constitutional provisions, the legislature may still enact legislation to facilitate the exercise of powers directly granted by the constitution, further the operation of such a provision, prescribe a practice to be used for its enforcement, provide a convenient remedy for the protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof, or place reasonable safeguards around the exercise of the right. The mere fact that legislation may supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing constitutional provision does not render such a provision ineffective in the absence of such legislation. The omission from a constitution of any express provision for a remedy for enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication that it was not intended to be self-executing. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject, but any legislation must be in harmony with the constitution, further the exercise of constitutional right and make it more available. Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject constitutional provision is not, by itself, fully enforceable. As against constitutions of the past, modern constitutions have been generally drafted upon a different principle and have often become in effect extensive codes of laws intended to operate directly upon the people in a manner similar to that of statutory enactments, and the function of constitutional conventions has evolved into one more like that of a legislative body. Hence, unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. If the constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing, the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law. In fine, Section 10, second paragraph, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to heritage. When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural resources of the Philippines, as the Constitution could have very well used the term natural resources, but also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos. It also refers to Filipino’s intelligence in arts, sciences and letters. In the present case, Manila Hotel has become a landmark, a living testimonial of Philippine heritage. While it was restrictively an American hotel when it first opened in 1912, a concourse for the elite, it has since then become the venue of various significant events which have shaped Philippine history. In the granting of economic rights, privileges, and concessions, especially on matters involving national patrimony, when a choice has to be made between a “qualified foreigner” and a “qualified Filipino,” the latter shall be chosen over the former. The Supreme Court directed the GSIS, the Manila Hotel Corporation, the Committee on Privatization and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel to cease and desist from selling 51% of the Share of the MHC to Renong Berhad, and to accept the matching bid of Manila Prince Hotel at P44 per shere and thereafter execute the necessary agreements and document to effect the sale, to issue the necessary clearances and to do such other acts and deeds as may be necessary for the purpose.

KILOSBAYAN, et. al. vs. MANUEL L. MORATO, et. al.
(G. R. No. 118910) FACTS: This is a petition seeking to declare the ELA invalid on the ground that it is substantially the same as the Contract of Lease nullified in G. R. No. 113373, 232 SCRA 110. Petitioners contended that the amended ELA is inconsistent with and violative of PCSO's charter and the decision of the Supreme Court of 5 May 1995, that it violated the law on public bidding of contracts as well as Section 2(2), Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution in relation to the COA Circular No. 85-55-A. Respondents questioned the petitioners' standing to bring this suit. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners possess the legal standing to file the instant petition. RULING: The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. Standing is a special concern in constitutional law because some cases are brought not by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of the law or by official action taken, but by concerned citizens, taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public interest. Petitioners do not in fact show what particularized interest they have for bringing this suit. And they do not have present substantial interest in the ELA as would entitle them to bring this sui

BAYAN vs. Zamora G.R. No. 138570 October 10, 2000

FACTS : On March 14, 1947, the Philippines and the United States of America forged a military bases agreement which formalized, among others, the use of installations in the Philippine territory by the US military personnel. To further strengthen their defense and security relationship, the Philippines and the US entered into a Mutual Defense Treaty on August 30, 1951. Under the treaty, the parties agreed to respond to any external armed attack on their territory, armed forces, public vessels and aircraft. In 1991, with the expiration of RP-US Military Bases Agreement, the periodic military exercises between the two countries were held in abeyance. However, the defence and security relationship continued pursuant to the Mutual Defense Treaty. On July 18, 1997 RP and US exchanged notes and discussed, among other things, the possible elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Negotiations by both panels on VFA led to a consolitdated draft text and a series of conferences. Eventually, President Fidel V. Ramos approved the VFA. On October 5, 1998 President Joseph E. Estrada ratified the VFA thru respondent Secretary of Foreign Affairs. On October 6, 1998, the President, acting thru Executive Secretary Zamora officially transmitted to the Senate, the Instrument of Ratification, letter of the President and the VFA for approval. It was approved by the Senate by a 2/3 vote of its members. On June 1, 1999, the VFA officially entered into force after an exchange of notes between Secretary Siazon and US Ambassador Hubbard. The VFA provides for the mechanism for regulating the circumstances and conditions under which US Armed Forces and defense personnel may be present in the Philippines. Hence this petition for certiorari and prohibition, assailing the constitutionality of the VFA and imputing grave abuse of discretion to respondents in ratifying the agreement. ISSUE : Whether or not the VFA is unconstitutional. RULING : Petition is dismissed. The 1987 Philippine Constitution contains two provisions requiring the concurrence of the Senate on treaties or international agreements. Sec. 21 Art. VII, which respondent invokes, reads: “No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least 2/3 of all the Members of the Senate. Sec. 25 Art. XVIII provides : “After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the RP and the US concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in and when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the Senateby the other contracting state”. The first cited provision applies to any form of treaties and international agreements in general with a wide variety of subject matter. All treaties and international agreements entered into by the Philippines, regardless of subject matter, coverage or particular designation requires the concurrence of the Senate to be valid and effective. In contrast, the second cited provision applies to treaties which involve presence of foreign military bases, troops and facilities in the Philippines. Both constitutional provisions share some common ground. The fact that the President referred the VFA to the Senate under Sec. 21 Art. VII, and that Senate extended its concurrence under the same provision is immaterial. Undoubtedly, Sec. 25 Art. XVIII which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases and troops should apply in the instant case. Hence, for VFA to be constitutional it must sufficiently meet the following requisites : a) it must be under a treaty b) the treaty must be duly concurred in by the Senate, and when so required by Congress, ratified by a majority of votes cast by the people in a national referendum c) recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State There is no dispute in the presence of the first two requisites. The third requisite implies that the other contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. Moreover, it is inconsequential whether the US treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty. They are equally binding obligations upon nations. Therefore, there is indeed marked compliance with the mandate of the constitution. The court also finds that there is no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the executive department as to their power to ratify the VFA.

Gonzales vs. Narvasa G.R. No. 140835, August 14, 2000

Labels: Case Digests, Political Law Facts: Petitioner Ramon Gonzales, in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer, assails the constitutionality of the creation of the Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) and of the positions of presidential consultants, advisers and assistants. The PCCR was created by Pres. Estrada by virtue of EO 43 in order to study and recommend proposed amendments and/or revisions to the Constitution, and the manner of implementing them. Issue: Whether or not the petitioner has legal standing to file the case Held: In assailing the constitutionality of EO 43, petitioner asserts his interest as a citizen and taxpayer. A citizen acquires standing only if he can establish that he has suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and the injury is likely to be addressed by a favorable action. Petitioner has not shown that he has sustained or in danger of sustaining any personal injury attributable to the creation of the PCCR and of the positions of presidential consultants, advisers and assistants. Neither does he claim that his rights or privileges have been or are in danger of being violated, nor that he shall be subjected to any penalties or burdens as a result of the issues raised. In his capacity as a taxpayer, a taxpayer is deemed to have the standing to raise a constitutional issue when it is established that public funds have disbursed in alleged contravention of the law or the Constitution. Thus, payer’s action is properly brought only when there is an exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending power. In the creation of PCCR, it is apparent that there is no exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending power. The PCCR was created by the President by virtue of EO 43 as amended by EO 70. The appropriations for the PCCR were authorized by the President, not by Congress. The funds used for the PCCR were taken from funds intended for the Office of the President, in the exercise of the Chief Executive’s power to transfer funds pursuant to Sec. 25(5) of Art. VI of the Constitution. As to the creation of the positions of presidentialconsultants , advisers and assistants, the petitioner has not alleged the necessary facts so as to enable the Court to determine if he possesses a taxpayer’s interest in this particular issue.

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