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Basic Concepts, Vital Principles and Leading Cases

in Constitutional Law I
Atty. Victoria V. Loanzon


A.1. Nature of the Philippine Constitution
1. Manila Prince Hotel v. Government Service Insurance System, 267
408 (1997): Filipino First Policy does not need any enabling law
Parts of the Constitution
1 Constitution of Government establishes the structure of government, its branches
and their operation; read Articles VI, VII, VIII, IX and X
2 Constitution of Liberty - states the fundamental rights of the people; Read Art. III
The Bill of Rights
3 Constitution of Sovereignty - provides how the Constitution may be changed; Read
Art. XVII on Amending the Constitution [Lambino v. COMELEC, G.R. No.174153.
October 25, 2006]
Rules in Interpreting the Provisions of the Constitution
(1) Verba legis whenever possible, the words used in the Constitution must be given their
ordinary meaning except where technical term are employed;
(2) Ratio legis est anima words of the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with
the intent of the framers;
(3) Ut magis valeat quam pereat the Constitution should be interpreted as a whole
[Francisco v. House of Representatives, 415 SCRA 44 (2003)]
A.2. Amendment/ Revision of the Constitution (Refer to Article
Manner by which the Constitution may be amended or revised:
1. Congress as a Constituent Assembly a vote of of ALL its members.
2. Constitutional Convention Called into existence by (i) 2/3 of all members of
Congress or (ii) the electorate, in a referendum called for by a majority of all members
of Congress [CONST., Art. XVII, Sec. 3]
3. People through a Peoples Initiative - petition of at least 12% of the total number of
registered voters; every legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the
registered voters therein. Limited to amendment only.
Distinction between Amendment and Revision
Amendment An addition or change within the lines of the original constitution as will effect
an improvement, or better carry out the purpose for which it was framed; a change that adds,
reduces or deletes without altering the basic principles involved; affects only the specific
provision being amended. [Lambino v. COMELEC, G.R. No.17415, October 25, 2006]
Revision A change that alters a basic principle in the constitution, like altering the principle
of separation of powers or the system of checks-and-balances; alters the substantial entirety
of the constitution, as when the change affects substantial provisions of the constitution. [Id.]
Judicial Review to determine if the Constitution is being subjected to a revision or

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(1) Quantitative test - The Court examines only the number of provisions affected and does
not consider the degree of the change.
(2) Qualitative test The Court looks into the qualitative effects of the proposed change in
the constitution. The main inquiry is whether the change will accomplish such far reaching
changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to revision. The changes
include those to the fundamental framework or the fundamental powers of its branches, and
those that jeopardize the traditional form of government and the system of check and
balances. Whether there is an alteration in the structure of government is a proper subject of
inquiry. [See Lambino, supra.]
Procedure: There are two steps in the amendatory process: (1) proposal, and (2) ratification.
2. Santiago v. Commission on Elections, 270 SCRA 106 (1997): Peoples
Initiative requires an implementing law
3. Lambino v. Commission on Elections, 505 SCRA 160 (2006): distinction
between amendment and revision; Peoples Initiative cannot introduce
revisions in the Constitution.

B.1 National Territory and the Archipelagic Doctrine
The Archipelagic Doctrine: A body of water studded with islands, or the islands
surrounded with water, is viewed as a unity of islands and waters together forming one
integrated unit.
Straight baseline method consists of drawing straight lines connecting appropriate points on
the coast without departing to any appreciable extent from the general direction of the coast,
in order to delineate the internal waters from the territorial waters of an archipelago.
The Philippine Territory: The national territory is comprised of
(1) Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein; Internal waters
waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of
breadth and dimension; and
(2) All other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction consisting
of its territorial sea, seabed, subsoil, insular shelves, and other submarine areas; and its
terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial domains.
Read relevant materials on the decision of the Permanent Court of
Arbitration on the Philippine case against China
1. Magallona v. Ermita, 655 SCRA 476 (2011): the Philippine Baselines Law
is constitutional; the Philippines is not under obligation to enact a law to
conform with UNCLOS III provisions

B.2 State Immunity

General Rule: The State cannot be sued.
Exception to the General Rule: The State consents to be sued.
Manner by which consent is given:
(1) Express consent
(a) General Law; or
(b) Special law
(2) Implied consent
(a) When the State commences litigation, it becomes vulnerable to a counterclaim;
(b) State enters into a business contract in the exercise of its proprietary power;

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(c) When it would be inequitable for the State to invoke immunity; and
(d) When the state exercises it power of eminent domain.
When a suit is against the state:
A suit is against the State regardless of who is named the defendant if:
(1) It produces adverse consequences to the public treasury in terms of disbursement of
public funds and loss of government property.
(2) It cannot prosper unless the State has given its consent.
When not against the state
A suit is not against the State:
(1) When the purpose of the suit is to compel an officer charged with the duty of making
payments pursuant to an appropriation made by law in favor of the plaintiff to make such
payment, since the suit is intended to compel performance of a ministerial duty.
(2) When from the allegations in the complaint, it is clear that the respondent is a public
officer sued in a private capacity;
(3) When the action is not in personam with the government as the named defendant, but an
action in rem that does not name the government in particular.
1. University of the Philippines v. Dizon, 679 SCRA 54 (2012): An
appropriation by Congress is required before the judgment that rendered the UP liable for
moral and actual damages (including attorneys fees) would be satisfied considering that such
monetary liabilities were not covered by the appropriations earmarked for the said project.
The Constitution strictly mandates that (n) o money shall be paid out of the Treasury except
in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. (Bersamin, J.)
2. Arigo v. Swift, 735 SCRA 102 (2014): state immunity may be invoked
where it is established that the U.S. military vessel at the time of the
incident was performing a governmental function.

B.3 General Principles and State Policies

1. Ang Ladlad LGBT Party v. Commission on Elections, 618 SCRA 32
(2010): right of representation; legal basis for accreditation
2. Imbong v. Ochoa, 721 SCRA 146 (2014): the family is the basic unit of
society; right to privacy; freedom of religion
3. Garcia v. Drilon, 699 SCRA 352 (2013): protection of women and
children; VAWC law is constitutional and meets all the qualifications under
the equal protection clause: Disnction must be substantial; distinction
must be germane to the purpose of the law; distinction must not only
apply to existing conditions; and distinction must apply to those who
belong to the same came.
4. Republic v. Albios, 707 SCRA 584 (2013): No less than the Constitution declares
that marriage, as an in violable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be
protected by the State. It must, therefore, be safeguarded from the whims and caprices of the
contracting parties. This Court cannot leave the impression that marriage may easily be
entered into when it suits the needs of the parties, and just as easily nullified when no longer
5. International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications,

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v. Greenpeace Southeast Asia (Philippines), SCRA (G.R. No.209271, 8
December 2015): BT Talong";food security; right to good health; assessing
the evidence on record, as well as the current state of GMO research worldwide, the Court
finds all the three conditions present in this case - uncertainty, the possibility of irreversible
harm and the possibility of serious harm.
Eggplants (talong) are a staple vegetable in the country and grown by small-scale farmers,
majority of whom are poor and marginalized. While the goal of increasing crop yields to raise
farm incomes is laudable, independent scientific studies revealed uncertainties due to
unfulfilled economic benefits from BT crops and plants, adverse effects on the environment
associated with use of GE technology in agriculture, and serious health hazards from
consumption of GM foods. For a biodiversity-rich country like the Philippines, the natural
and unforeseen consequences of contamination and genetic pollution would be disastrous and
6. Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Berenguer, 614 SCRA 499, G.R. No. 154094
March 9, 2010: In Luz Farms v. Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, 192 SCRA
51 (1990), the Court pointed this out: The transcripts of the deliberations of the Constitutional
Commission of 1986 on the meaning of the word agricultural clearly show that it was never
the intention of the framers of the Constitution to include livestock and poultry industry in the
coverage of the constitutionally-mandated agrarian reform program of the Government.
A lot inside the poblacion should be presumed residential, or commercial, or non-agricultural
unless there is a clearly preponderant evidence to show that it is agricultural. (Bersamin, J.)
7. Escario v. National Labor Relations Commission (Third Division), 631 SCRA 261,
G.R. No. 160302 September 27, 2010: To safeguard the spirit of social justice that the Court
has advocated in favor of the working man, therefore, the right to reinstatement is to be
considered renounced or waived only when the employee unjustifiably or unreasonably
refuses to return to work upon being so ordered or after the employer has offered to reinstate
B.4 Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances
The government established by the Constitution follows fundamentally the theory of
separation of powers into the legislative, the executive and the judicial. Each branch performs
duties vested in it by the Constitution.
The principle of checks and balances ensures that there is harmony among the three branches
by allowing each branch to exercise the power to examine if there is an encroachment of the
functions of each respective branch.
1. Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., 710 SCRA 1 (2013): pork barrel issue; rule on cross
border transfer of funds; rule on appropriation of public funds; rule on how
funds under the General Appropriations Act may be spent; The Court renders
this Decision to rectify an error which has persisted in the chronicles of our history. In the
final analysis, the Court must strike down the Pork Barrel System as unconstitutional in view
of the inherent defects in the rules within which it operates. To recount, insofar as it has
allowed legislators to wield, in varying gradations, non-oversight, post-enactment authority in
vital areas of budget execution, the system has violated the principle of separation of
powers; insofar as it has conferred unto legislators the power of appropriation by giving them
personal, discretionary funds from which they are able to fund specific projects which they
themselves determine, it has similarly violated the principle of non-delegability of
legislative power ; insofar as it has created a system of budgeting wherein items are not
textualized into the appropriations bill, it has flouted the prescribed procedure of presentment
and, in the process, denied the President the power to veto items ; insofar as it has diluted
the effectiveness of congressional oversight by giving legislators a stake in the affairs of
budget execution, an aspect of governance which they may be called to monitor and

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scrutinize, the system has equally impaired public accountability ; insofar as it has
authorized legislators, who are national officers, to intervene in affairs of purely local nature,
despite the existence of capable local institutions, it has likewise subverted genuine local
autonomy ; and again, insofar as it has conferred to the President the power to appropriate
funds intended by law for energy-related purposes only to other purposes he may deem fit as
well as other public funds under the broad classification of "priority infrastructure
development projects," it has once more transgressed the principle of non-delegability.
2. Mendoza v. People, 659 SCRA 681 (2011); Under Article 5 of the Revised Penal
Code, the courts are bound to apply the law as it is and impose the proper penalty, no matter
how harsh it might be. The same provision, however, gives the Court the discretion to
recommend to the President actions it deems appropriate but are beyond its power when it
considers the penalty imposed as excessive. (Brion, J.)
3. Mamiscal v. Abdullah, 761 SCRA 39 (2015): In the issue before it, the Court
does not have jurisdiction to impose the proper disciplinary action against civil registrars.
While he is undoubtedly a member of the Judiciary as Clerk of Court of the Shari a Circuit
Court, a review of the subject complaint reveals that Mamiscal seeks to hold Abdullah liable
for registering the divorce and issuing the CRD pursuant to his duties as Circuit Registrar
of Muslim divorces. It has been said that the test of jurisdiction is the nature of the offense
and not the personality of the offender. (Mendoza, J.)
4. Ampatuan, Jr. v. De Lima, 695 SCRA 159, G.R. No. 197291 April 3, 2013: Consistent
with the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution, the Court deems it a
sound judicial policy not to interfere in the conduct of preliminary investigations, and to
allow the Executive Department, through the Department of Justice, exclusively to determine
what constitutes sufficient evidence to establish probable cause for the prosecution of
supposed offenders. By way of exception, however, judicial review may be allowed where it
is clearly established that the public prosecutor committed grave abuse of discretion, that is,
when he has exercised his discretion in an arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or despotic
manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, patent and gross enough as to amount to an
evasion of a positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. (Bersamin,
B.5 Delegation of Powers
Two tests of valid delegation: Completeness test and sufficient standard test
How law-making power is delegated: suppletory rule-making (filling in details to ensure
enforcement of the law) and contingent rule-making (ascertaining the facts to bring the
law into operation)
1. Sema v. Commission on Elections, 558 SCRA 700 (2008): only Congress
has the power to create political subdivisions; distinction between a
political subdivision and a legislative district; there is no need to conduct a
plebiscite in the creation of congressional districts but when political
subdivisions (autonomous regions, provinces, cities, municipalities and
barangays), the COMELEC must conduct a plebiscite.
2. NPC Drivers and Mechanics Association (NPC DAMA) v. National Power
Corporation, 503 SCRA 138 (2006): The case of American Tobacco Company v.
Director of Patents, the Court said that while a delegate may exercise his authority through
persons he appoints to assist him in his functions, it must be stressed that the Court explicitly
stated in the same case that said practice is permissible only when the judgment and
discretion finally exercised are those of the officer authorized by law. The rule that requires
an administrative officer to exercise his own judgment and discretion does not preclude him

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from utilizing, as a matter of practical administrative procedure, the aid of subordinates, so
long as it is the legally authorized official who makes the final decision through the use of his
own personal judgment. (Nazario, J)

General Rule: Only Congress may exercise legislative power.

Exceptions: (1) Delegated legislative power to local governments Local
governments, as an immemorial practice, may be allowed to legislate on
purely local matters.
(2) Subordinate legislation delegated to administrative agencies
(3) Those delegated by provisions of the Constitution:
(a) Emergency power delegated to the Executive during State of
War or National Emergency [Const., Art. VI, Sec. 23(2)]
(b) Certain taxing powers of the President [Const., Art. VI, Sec.
28(2)]. The Congress may authorize the President to fix, within
specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it
may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and
wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of
the national development program of the Government.
(3) The extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and
referendum [Const. Art. VI, Sec. 1]

Tests for valid delegation

1. Completeness test: The law sets forth the policy to be executed, carried out, or
implemented by the delegate such that there is nothing left for the delegate to do but to
enforce the law; and
2. Sufficient standard test: The standard is sufficient if it defines legislative policy, marks its
limits, maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the
circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected.

C.1 Membership, Election, and Qualifications (Read Article VI)

Senate House of Representatives

(Art. VI, Sections 2-4) (Art. VI, Sections 5-8)

24 Senators elected at large Not more than 250 members, unless
otherwise provided by law, consisting
(1) District Representatives
(2) Party-List Representatives

(1) Natural-born citizen (1) Natural-born citizens

(2) At least 35 years old (2) At least 25 years old

on the day of the election on the day of the election

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(3) Able to read and write (3) Able to read and write

(4) A registered voter (4) Registered voter in the district he

seeks to represent
(5) A resident of the Philippines
for at least 2 years immediately (5) A resident of the said district for at
preceding the day of the election least 1 year immediately preceding
day of the election

Term of Office
Six (6) years Three (3) years

Term Limits
Two (2) consecutive terms Three (3) consecutive terms

Apportionment is the determination of the number of representatives which a political

subdivision may send to a legislative body.

Rules on Apportionment of Legislative Districts:

(a) Apportionment of legislative districts must be by law which could be a:
(i) General Apportionment Law; or
(ii) Special Law
(b) Proportional representation based on number of inhabitants
(i) Each city with a population of at least 250,000 shall have at least one
(ii) Each province, irrespective of the number of inhabitants, shall have at least one
(c) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and
adjacent territory.
(d) Re-apportionment by Congress within three years after the return of each census

Party-list system
Party-List Representatives shall constitute 20% of the total number of representatives, elected
through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or
Three different parties or organizations may participate in the party-list system:
(a) national;
(b) regional; or
(c) sectoral

Disqualified Parties under R.A. 7941, An Act Providing for the Election of Party-List
Representatives the Party-List System and Appropriating Funds therefor, are:

(1) Religious Sects

(2) Foreign Organizations
(3) Organizations Advocating Violence or Unlawful Means

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(4) Organizations Receiving support from any foreign government, foreign political party,
foundation, organization, whether directly or through any of its officers or members or
indirectly through third parties for partisan election purposes.
(5) Organizations which violate or fails to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to
(6) Organizations which declare untruthful statements in its petition;
(7) Organizations which have ceased to exist for at least one (1) year; or
(8) Organizations which fail to participate in the last two (2) preceding elections or fail to
obtain at least 2 per centum of the votes cast under the party-list system in the two (2)
preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered.
Qualified Sectors:
(1) Labor
(2) Peasant
(3) Fisherfolk
(4) Urban Poor
(5) Indigenous Cultural Communities
(6) Elderly
(7) Handicapped
(8) Women
(9) Youth
(10) Veterans
(11) Overseas Workers
(12) Professionals

Limitations on party list representation:

(1) Only 20% of the total number of the membership of the House of Representatives is the
maximum number of seats available to party-list organizations.
(2) A party list must garner at least 2% of the total votes cast in the party-list elections to be
ensured of one (1) seat.
(3) The additional seats of the remaining seats after allocation of the guaranteed seats shall be
distributed to the party-list organizations including those that received less than two percent
of the total votes.
(4) Each party list can only have a maximum of three seats immaterial of the number of
votes garnered.
1. Aquino III v. Commission on Elections, 617 SCRA 623 (2010):
apportionment of congressional districts in a province does not require
the 250,000 inhabitant threshold; the 250,000 inhabitant threshold
applies only to a legislative district in a highly urbanized city
2. Aldaba v. Commission on Elections, 611 SCRA 137 (2010): number of
inhabitants must be actual and can be issued only the head of the
Philippine Statistics Authority
3. Navarro v. Ermita, 612 SCRA 131 (2010): an island province need not
meet the 2,000 square meter contiguous land requirement
4. Naval v. Commission on Elections, 729 SCRA 299 (2014): The essence of
republicanism is representation and renovation, the selection by the citizenry of a corps
of public functionaries who derive their mandate from the people and act on their

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behalf, serving for a limited period only, after which they are replaced or retained, at the
option of their principal; Reapportionment is the realignment or change in legislative
districts brought about by changes in population and mandated by the constitutional
requirement of equality of representation. The aim of legislative apportionment is to
equalize population and voting power among districts. The basis for districting shall be the
number of the inhabitants of a city or a province and not the number of registered voters
therein; In Navals case, the words of R.A. No. 9716 plainly state that the new Second
District is to be created, but the Third District is to be renamed. The doctrine of verba legis
non est recedendum must apply. (Reyes, J.)
5. Bagabuyo v. Commission on Elections, 573 SCRA 290 (2008): creation
of political subdivisions is the sole prerogative of Congress under the
Constitution and the same rule must apply in the creation of congressional
districts. A plebiscite is required to create political subdivisions but not in
the creation of congressional districts.
6. Reyes v. Commission on Elections, 699 SCRA 522 (2013) and 708 SCRA
197 (2013): Jurisdiction of HRET: The Court in Ongsiako-Reyes clarified that the
doctrine that once a proclamation has been made, COMELECs jurisdiction is already lost
[] and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins only applies in the context of a candidate who
has not only been proclaimed and sworn in, but has also assumed office.
7. Velasco v. Belmonte, Jr., (G.R. No. 211140, 12 January 2016): Writ of
Mandamus: the Speaker of the House of Representatives can be
compelled by way of mandamus to recognize the true winner of a
congressional seat; it is the ministerial duty of the Speaker to administer the oath of a
member of Congress; and the duty of the Secretary General to include his name in the Roll of
8. Ty-Delgado v. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, SCRA
No. 219603, 26 January 2016): A sentence by final judgment for a crime involving
moral turpitude is a ground for disqualification under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election
Code; Moral turpitude is defined as everything which is done contrary to justice, modesty, or
good morals; an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a
man owes his fellowmen, or to society in general. Although not every criminal act involves
moral turpitude, the Court is guided by one of the general rules that crimes mala in se involve
moral turpitude while crimes mala prohibita do not.((
9. Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency
(BANAT) v. Commission on Elections, 586 SCRA 210 (2009) and 592 SCRA
294 (2009): Parameters on extent of party list representation: maximum
number of party list members cannot exceed 20% of the total
membership; to be entitled to one seat, the party list must have obtained
2% of the total number of votes in the party list; and the 3-seat limit rule
10. Atong Paglaum, Inc. v. Commission on Elections, 694 SCRA 477
(2013): a political party may participate in the party list provided it does
not field any candidate in the congressional districts; party list
representation is not limited to disadvantaged sector due to economic
conditions of its members.
11. Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc.
Citizens Party-List] v. Commission on Elections, 701 SCRA 786 (2013): list
of nominees of a party list is an internal matter; nominee must meet

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qualifications prescribed by the Constitution; COMELEC may review the
qualifications of nominees.
12. Lico v. Commission on Elections, SCRA (G.R. No. (G.R. No. 205505,
September 29, 2015): The rules on intra-party matters and on the jurisdiction of the
HRET are not parallel concepts that do not intersect. Rather, the operation of the rule on
intra-party matters is circumscribed by Section 17 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and
jurisprudence on the jurisdiction of electoral tribunals. The jurisdiction of the HRET is
exclusive. It is given full authority to hear and decide the cases on any matter touching on the
validity of the title of the proclaimed winner. (Sereno, C.J.)
13. Abang Lingkod v. Commission on Elections, 708 SCRA 133 (2013): The
political party list sector, organization or coalition must represent the marginalized and
underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of RA 7941. In other words, it must show --
through its constitution, articles of incorporation, bylaws, history, platform of government
and track record -- that it represents and seeks to uplift marginalized and underrepresented
sectors. Majority of its membership should belong to the marginalized and underrepresented.
And it must demonstrate that in a conflict of interests, it has chosen or is likely to choose the
interest of such sectors. Track record refers to documentary evidence which presents an
abstract of the ideals that national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations seek to
achieve. This is not merely a matter of semantics; the delineation of what constitutes a track
record has certain consequences in a group's bid for registration under the party-list system.
Under Section 5 of R.A. No. 7941, groups intending to register under the party-list system
are not required to submit evidence of their track record; they are merely required to attach
to their verified petitions their "constitution, by-laws, platform of government, list of officers,
coalition agreement, and other relevant information as may be required by the COMELEC.
(Reyes, J.)
14. Abayon v. HRET, 612 SCRA 375(2010): Jurisdiction of HRET and Issues related
to election contest: Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution provides that the HRET shall be
the sole judge of all contests relating to, among other things, the qualifications of the
members of the House of Representatives. Since, as pointed out above, party-list nominees
are "elected members" of the House of Representatives no less than the district
representatives are, the HRET has jurisdiction to hear and pass upon their qualifications. By
analogy with the cases of district representatives, once the party or organization of the party-
list nominee has been proclaimed and the nominee has taken his oath and assumed office as
member of the House of Representatives, the COMELECs jurisdiction over election contests
relating to his qualifications ends and the HRETs own jurisdiction begin. (Abad, J.)
15. Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board [G.R. No. 157870, 2008]: Beyond the
constitutionally-stated qualifications such as the citizenship, voter registration, literacy, age
and residency of the candidate, there is no such need for undergoing drug testing in order to
qualified to run and that the Congress nor the COMELEC can validly amend or otherwise
modify these qualifications standard, as it cannot disregard the force of the constitutional
mandate. It is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates any norm of the
Constitution, that issuance is null and void and has no effect. (Velasco, J.)
Rights of students: The Court can take judicial notice of the proliferation of prohibited drugs
in the country that threatens the well - being of the people, particularly the youth and school
children who usually end up as victims. Accordingly, and until a more effective method is
conceptualized and put in motion, a random drug testing of students in secondary and tertiary
schools is not only acceptable but may even be necessary if the safety and interest of the
student population, doubtless a legitimate concern of the government, are to be promoted and

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Rights of employees: The reduced expectation of privacy on the part of the employees, the
compelling state concern likely to be met by the search, and the well - defined limits set forth
in the law to properly guide authorities in the conduct of the random testing, we hold that the
challenged drug test requirement is, under the limited context of the case, reasonable and,
ergo, constitutional.
Rights of the accused: In the case of persons charged with a crime before the prosecutor's
office, a mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicionless. The ideas of
randomness and being suspicionless are antithetical to their being made defendants in a
criminal complaint. They are not randomly picked; neither are they beyond suspicion.
C.2 Legislative Privileges, Inhibitions and Disqualifications
Inhibitions and Disqualifications
(1) May not hold any other office or employment in the government during his term without
forfeiting his seat. [Art. VI, Sec. 13]
The provision refers to an incompatible office. Forfeiture of the seat in Congress shall be
automatic upon the members assumption of such office deemed incompatible
(2) May not be appointed to any office created or whose emoluments were increased during
the term for which he was elected. [Art. VI, Sec. 13]
The provision refers to a forbidden office. He cannot validly take the office even if he is
willing to give up his seat.
(3) Shall not be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or franchise
or special privilege granted by the government during his term of office. [Art. VI, Sec. 14]
(4) Shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the government when it is for his
pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of his office. [Art. VI,
Sec. 14]
(5) Cannot personally appear as counsel before any court, electoral tribunal, quasi-judicial
and administrative bodies during his term of office. [Art. VI, Sec. 14]
Duty to Disclose
(1) SALN: Art. XI, Sec. 17
(2) Financial and business interests: Members must make full disclosure upon assumption
of office [Art. VI, Sec. 12]
(3) Potential conflicts of interest: Members must notify House, if conflict may arise from
the filing of a proposed legislation which they author. [Art. VI, Sec. 12]
Case: Liban v. Gordon, 593 SCRA 68 (2009) and 639 SCRA 709 (2011): a
member of the Senate may occupy a position in the Philippine National
Red Cross without violating the discharge of his responsibilities as Senator
since the Philippine National Red Cross is not part of the executive branch;
Liban has no personality to file a quo warranto case against Gordon
because he has no interest to the position of Senator because he did not
run for the post at the same time Gordon sought the post.

C.3 Discipline of Members

Each house may punish its members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of 2/3
of ALL its members, with (1) Suspension (shall not exceed 60 days); or (2) Expulsion
Other disciplinary measures may include:
(1) Deletion from the record of remarks which would bring dishonor to the body
(2) Fine
(3) Imprisonment
(4) Censure

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The suspension contemplated in the Constitution is different from the suspension prescribed
in the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019). The former is punitive in nature while
the latter is preventive. [Defensor-Santiago v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 118364, August 10,
C.4. Parliamentary Immunity, Privilege Speech
Pobre v. Defensor-Santiago, 597 SCRA 1 (2009): a Senator may invoke
parliamentary immunity in a privilege speech where she called the
justices of the Supreme Court as idiots.

C.5 Legislative Function under the Constitution

(1) Police power
(a) make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes
and ordinances as they shall judge for the good and welfare of the constituents.
(b) includes maintenance of peace and order, protection of life, liberty and property
and the promotion of general welfare.
(2) Power of taxation
(3) Power of eminent domain
(4) Contempt power: Query Can the Senate or the House of Representatives order the
arrest of an individual as adjunct to its power of congressional inquiry? Yes. (Read
Arnault v. Nazareno and take note of the arrest of Ronaldo Dayan for failure to heed
the summons of the House of Representatives.
Legislative Powers:
(1) Appropriation
(2) Taxation
(3) Expropriation
(4) Authority to make, frame, enact, amend, and repeal laws
(5) Ancillary powers (e.g. Conduct inquiry and punish for contempt)
Categories of congressional oversight functions:
(1) Scrutiny: Congress may request information and report from the other branches of
government. It can give recommendations or pass resolutions for consideration of the agency
(2) Congressional investigation: Art. VI, Sec. 21.
(3) Legislative supervision (Legislative Veto): Allows Congress to scrutinize the exercise of
delegated law-making authority, and permits Congress to retain part of that delegated
Voting Majorities
Doctrine of Shifting Majority For each House of Congress to pass a bill, only the votes of
the majority of those present in the session, there being a quorum, is required.
Exceptions to Doctrine of Shifting Majority:
(1) Votes where requirement is based on ALL THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
requirement is based on the entire composition of a House or Congress (in its entirety),
regardless of the number of Members present or absent.
Vote Required
Action (out of all Houses voting Basis
Override presidential 2/3 Separately (House Art. VI, Sec. 27(1)

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veto where bill originated
votes first)
Grant of tax Majority (Silent) Art. VI, Sec. 27(4)
Elect President in case Majority Separately Art. VII, Sec. 4, (5)
of tie
Confirm appointment Majority Separately Art. VII, Sec. 9
of VP
Revoke or extend (a) Majority Jointly Art. VII, Sec. 18
Martial Law or (b)
suspension of writ of
Habeas Corpus
Confirm amnesty grant Majority (Silent) Art. VII, Sec. 19, (2)
Submit question of Majority (Silent) Art. XVII, Sec. 3
calling a Constitutional
Convention to the Prevailing view: by
electorate default, houses vote
Call for Constitutional 2/3 separately (because Art. XVII, Sec. 3
Convention Congress is
Propose amendments 3/4 bicameral) Art. XVII, Sec. 1(1)
as Constituent

(2) Other Special Cases

Action Vote Required Basis

Determine Presidents 2/3 of both Houses, voting Art. VII, Sec. 11 (4)
disability separately
Declaring a State of War 2/3 of both Houses (in joint session), Art. VI, Sec. 23(1)
voting separately


Formal/Procedural Limitations
(a) Rider clause: every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which
shall be expressed in the title. [Art. VI, Sec. 26(1)]
(b) No bill passed by either house shall become law unless it has passed three readings on
separate days. [Art. VI, Sec. 26(2)]
(c) Printed copies in its final form must have been distributed to its members 3 days before
the passage of the bill. (Art. VI, Sec. 26[2])
Exception: President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public
calamity or emergency
Presidential certification dispenses with the (1) printing requirement; and

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(2) requiring the submission of the proposed bill to three readings on separate days
Substantive Limitations
Express limitations:
(1) Exercise of general powers of the state - Bill of Rights [Art. III]
(2) Limitations on the power of taxation [Sections 28 and 29(3), Art. VII]
(3) Requisites to pass an appropriation bill [Sections 25 and 29(1) and (2), Art VI]
(4) Limitation on the appellate jurisdiction of the SC [Sec. 30, Art. VI]
(5) No law granting title of royalty or nobility shall be passed [Sec. 31, Art. VI]
Implied Limitations:
(1) No power to pass irrepealable law
(2) Non-encroachment on powers of other departments
(3) Non-delegation of powers


General Limitations:
1. Appropriations must be for a public purpose.
2. The appropriation must be by law.
3. Cannot appropriate public funds or property, directly or indirectly, in favor of
(a) Any sect, church, denomination, or sectarian institution or system of religion or
(b) Any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such.

Exception: if the priest etc. is assigned to:

(a) The Armed Forces;
(b) Any penal institution;
(c) Government orphanage;
(d) Leprosarium.
4. Government is not prohibited from appropriating money for a valid secular purpose, even
if it incidentally benefits a religion.
Specific Limitations
For General Appropriations Bills [Sec. 25 (1)-(5)]
(1) Congress may not increase the appropriations recommended by the President for the
operation of the Government as specified in the budget.
(2) Form, content and manner of preparation of the budget shall be prescribed by law.
(3) No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general appropriations bill unless it
relates specifically to some particular appropriation therein.
(4) Procedure in approving appropriations FOR THE CONGRESS shall strictly follow the
procedure for approving appropriations for other departments and agencies.
(5) No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations. However, the following
may, BY LAW, be authorized to AUGMENT any item in the general appropriations law for
their respective offices FROM SAVINGS in other items of their respective appropriations:
(a) President
(b) Senate President
(c) Speaker of the HOR
(d) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
(e) Chairs of Constitutional Commissions

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For Special Appropriations Bills
(1) shall specify the purpose for which it is intended
(2) shall be supported by funds
(i) actually available as certified by the National Treasurer; or
(ii) to be raised by corresponding revenue proposal therein
Limitation on Use of Public Funds [Sec. 29]
(1) No money shall be paid out of the National Treasury except in pursuance of an
appropriation made by law.
(2) However, this rule does not prohibit continuing appropriations, e.g. for debt servicing, for
the reason that this rule does not require yearly or annual appropriation.

Taxation [Sec. 28]

(1) Power to tax should be exercised only for a public purpose.
(2) Taxes to be imposed must be uniform and equitable.
(a) Power to tax must operate with the same force and effect in every place where the subject
of it is found.
(a) Classification for the purpose of taxation is not prohibited per se, but it must comply with
the Test of Valid Classification
Constitutional Tax Exemptions:
(1) Religious, charitable, educational institutions and their properties
(2) All revenues and assets of non-stock, non-profit educational institutions are exempt from
taxes and duties provided that such revenues and assets are actually, directly and exclusively
used for educational purposes [Art. XIV, Sec. 4(3)]
(3) Grants, endowments, donations or contributions used actually, directly and exclusively for
educational purposes shall be exempt from tax, subject to conditions prescribed by law [Art.
XIV, Sec. 4(4)]

Special Funds
(1) Money collected on a tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund
and paid out for such purpose only.
(2) Once the special purpose is fulfilled or abandoned, any balance shall be transferred to the
general funds of the Government.

C. 6. Non-legislative Functions:
(1) Power to canvass the presidential elections;
(2) Declare the existence of war;
(3) Give concurrence to treaties and amnesties;
(4) Propose constitutional amendments;
(5) Impeachment: The HOR shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of
impeachment. [Sec. 3(1)]

C. 7. Electoral Tribunals
Two Types
(1) Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET)
(2) House Electoral Tribunal (HRET)

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1 Three (3) Supreme Court justices, designated by Chief Justice
Senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman
2 Six (6) members of the Senate or House, as the case may be, chosen on the basis of
proportional representation from parties
Composition Rules
1 The SET and the HRET shall be constituted within 30 days after the Senate and the
House shall have been organized with the election of the President and the Speaker. [Sec.
2 Members chosen enjoy security of tenure and cannot be removed by mere change of party
affiliation. (Bondoc v. Pineda, 201 SCRA 793).
Valid grounds/just cause for termination of membership to the tribunal:
1 Expiration of Congressional term of office;
2 Death or permanent disability;
3 Resignation from political party which one represents in the tribunal;
4 Removal from office for other valid reasons.
Jurisdiction: sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of
their respective members.
Election Contest: one where a defeated candidate challenges the qualification and claims for
himself the seat of a proclaimed winner.
Commencement of jurisdiction: The electoral tribunal acquires jurisdiction only after (1) a
petition is filed before it, and (2) a candidate is already considered a member of the House.
(Ongsiako-Reyes v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013)
REMEMBER: To be considered a member, in turn, there must be a concurrence of the
following: (1) a valid proclamation; (2) a proper oath (a) before the Speaker and (b) in open
session; and (3) assumption of office. [Id.]
The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission for the purpose of
determining the character, scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral
Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and
qualifications of the members of the National Assembly." [Angara v. Electoral Commission
The Constitution mandates that the HRET shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to
the election, returns and qualifications of its members. By employing the word sole, the
Constitution is emphatic that the jurisdiction of the HRET in the adjudication of election
contests involving its members is exclusive and exhaustive. Its exercise of power is intended
to be its own full, complete and unimpaired. [Duenas Jr. v. HRET, G.R. No. 185401,

Independence of the Electoral Tribunals

As constitutional creations invested with necessary power, the Electoral Tribunals are, in the
exercise of their functions independent organs independent of Congress and the Supreme
Court. The power granted to HRET by the Constitution is intended to be as complete and
unimpaired as if it had remained originally in the legislature [Co v. HRET (1991) citing
Angara vs. Electoral Commission (1936)].
Since all electoral tribunals are independent constitutional bodies, independent even of the
respective House, neither Congress nor the Courts may interfere with procedural matters

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relating to the functions of the Electoral Tribunals. [Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral
Tribunal, G.R. No. 191618, Nov. 23, 2010]

The HRET was created to function as a nonpartisan court although two-thirds of its members
are politicians. To be able to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, the House Electoral Tribunal
must be independent. Its jurisdiction to hear and decide congressional election contests is not
to be shared by it with the Legislature nor with the courts. "The Electoral Commission is a
body separate from and independent of the legislature and though not a power in the tripartite
scheme of government, it is to all intents and purposes, when acting within the limits of its
authority, an independent organ; while composed of a majority of members of the legislature
it is a body separate from and independent of the legislature. [Bondoc v. Pineda, (1991)]
Judicial Review of Decisions of Electoral Tribunals
The Supreme Court may scrutinize the decision of the electoral tribunals only insofar as it
was rendered:
1 without or in excess of jurisdiction; or
2 with grave abuse of discretion tantamount to denial of due process.

C.7. Commission on Appointments

1 Senate President as ex-officio chairman (shall not vote except in case of a tie)
2 12 Senators
3 12 Members of the HOR
The provision of Section 18 on proportional representation is mandatory in character and
does not leave any discretion to the majority party in the Senate to disobey or disregard the
rule on proportional representation.
By requiring a proportional representation in the Commission on Appointments, sec. 18 in
effect works as a check on the majority party in the Senate and helps to maintain the balance
of power. No party can claim more than what it is entitled to under such rule. [Guingona v.
Gonzales (1993)]
The CA shall be constituted within 30 days after the Senate and the House of Representative
shall have been organized with the election of the President and the Speaker. [Sec. 19, Art.
1 The Commission on Appointments shall confirm the appointments by the President with
respect to the following positions:
a Heads of Executive departments (except if it is the Vice-President who is appointed to
a cabinet position, as this needs no confirmation);
b Ambassadors, other public ministers or consuls;
c Officers of the AFP from the rank of Colonel or Naval Captain;
(d) Other officers whose appointments are vested in him by the Constitution
1. Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and
Investigations, 549 SCRA 77 (2008) and 564 SCRA 152 (2008): Congressional inquiry can
only be conducted in aid of legislative; instances when executive privilege can be invoked;

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Executive privilege is not a personal privilege, but one that adheres to the Office of the
President. It exists to protect public interest, not to benefit a particular public official. Its
purpose, among others, is to assure that the nation will receive the benefit of candid, objective
and untrammeled communication and exchange of information between the President and
his/her advisers in the process of shaping or forming policies and arriving at decisions in the
exercise of the functions of the Presidency under the Constitution. The confidentiality of the
Presidents conversations and correspondence is not unique. It is akin to the confidentiality of
judicial deliberations. It possesses the same value as the right to privacy of all citizens and
more, because it is dictated by public interest and the constitutionally ordained separation of
governmental powers.
2. Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., 710 SCRA 1 (2013): nature of cross-border transfer of funds;
violation of the doctrine of separation of powers; violation of the principle of checks and
balances; non-delegation of legislative powers; congressional act to implement anti-dynasty
law; local autonomy in the implementation of local projects.
3. Araullo v. Aquino III, 728 SCRA 1 (2014) and 749 SCRA 284 (2015): DAP is
unconstitutional; impoundment of government funds; nature of savings from the General
Appropriations Act; public officers authorized under the Constitution to augment its
Public Expenditures: Public expenditures are also broadly grouped according to their
functions into: (1) economic development expenditures (i.e., expenditures on agriculture and
natural resources, transportation and communications, commerce and industry, and other
economic development efforts); (2) social services or social development expenditures (i.e.,
government outlay on education, public health and medicare, labor and welfare and others);
(3) general government or general public services expenditures (i.e., expenditures for the
general government, legislative services, the administration of justice, and for pensions and
gratuities); (4) national defense expenditures (i.e., sub-divided into national security
expenditures and expenditures for the maintenance of peace and order); and (5) public debt.
Augmentation of Savings: Section 25(5), Article VI provides x x No law shall be passed
authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the President, the President of the
Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,
and the heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item
in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of
their respective appropriations.
4. Abakada Guro Party List v. Purisima, 562 SCRA 251 (2008): Congress can delegate rule-
making powers to an administrative agency in order to implement a duly-enacted law.
5. Lokin, Jr. v. Commission on Elections, 621 SCRA 385, G.R. Nos. 179431-32, June 22,
2010: The fourth ground in the COMELEC Resolution for substitution of party-list
nominees, i.e., he withdraws his acceptance to a nomination is void for being contrary to
R.A. 7941.
Although the people vote for the party-list organization itself in a party-list system of
election, not for the individual nominees, they still have the right to know who the nominees
of any particular party-list organization are. The publication of the list of the party-list
nominees in newspapers of general circulation serves that right of the people, enabling the
voters to make intelligent and informed choices. In contrast, allowing the party-list
organization to change its nominees through withdrawal of their nominations, or to alter the
order of the nominations after the submission of the list of nominees circumvents the voters
demand for transparency. The lawmakers exclusion of such arbitrary withdrawal has
eliminated the possibility of such circumvention. (Bersamin, J.)


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D.1: The President: Qualifications-
(1) Natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
(2) A registered voter;
(3) Able to read and write;
(4) At least 40 years of age on the day of the election; and
(5) A resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding such election.
[Art. VII, Sec. 2]

D.2. Election:
(1) Regular Election Second Monday of May
(2) National Board of Canvassers (President and Vice-President) Congress
(a) Returns shall be transmitted to Congress, directed to the Senate President
(b) Joint public session not later than 30 days after election date; returns to be opened in the
presence of the Senate and HOR in joint session

D.2: Immunity, Privileges, Inhibitions and Disqualifications

Official residence: The President shall have an official residence. [Sec. 6]
Salary to be determined by law. It shall not be decreased during tenure. No increase shall take
effect until after the expiration of the term of the incumbent during which such increase was
approved. [Sec. 6]
Presidential Immunity
The President as such cannot be sued, enjoying as he does immunity from suit
But the validity of his acts can be tested by an action against other executive officials.
[Carillo vs. Marcos (1981)]
The privilege may be invoked ONLY by the President.Immunity from suit pertains to the
President by virtue of the office and may be invoked only by the holder of the office; not by
any other person in the President's behalf. The President may waive the protection afforded by
the privilege and submit to the court's jurisdiction.
Exception: The president may be sued if the act is one not arising from official conduct. [See
Estrada v. Desierto, 353 SCRA 452, 523 (2001)]
Kinds of Executive Privilege
1. Presidential Communications Privilege (President): communications are presumptively
privileged; president must be given freedom to explore alternatives in policy-making. (Neri v.
Senate (2008))
2. Deliberative Process Privilege (Executive Officials): refers to materials that comprise part
of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated. This includes
diplomatic processes. [Akbayan v. Aquino (2008)]
1. Poe-Llamanzares v. Commission on Elections, SCRA (G.R. Nos.
etc., 8 March 2016, and, 5 April 2016): The tribunals which have jurisdiction over
the question of the qualifications of the President, the Vice-President, Senators and the
Members of the House of Representatives were made clear by the Constitution.

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On the issue of being a natural-born Filipino: There is a disputable presumption that things
have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life.113
All of the foregoing evidence, that a person with typical Filipino features is abandoned in
Catholic Church in a municipality where the population of the Philippines is overwhelmingly
Filipinos such that there would be more than a 99% chance that a child born in the province
would be a Filipino, would indicate more than ample probability if not statistical certainty,
that petitioner's parents are Filipinos. The common thread of the Universal Declaration on
Human Rights (UDHR), U. N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the
International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is to obligate the
Philippines to grant nationality from birth and ensure that no child is stateless. This grant of
nationality must be at the time of birth, and it cannot be accomplished by the application of
our present naturalization laws, Commonwealth Act No. 473, as amended, and R.A. No.
9139, both of which require the applicant to be at least eighteen (18) years old.
The principles found in two conventions, while yet unratified by the Philippines, are
generally accepted principles of international law. The first is Article 14 of the 1930 Hague
Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws under which a
foundling is presumed to have the "nationality of the country of birth.
On the issue of ten-year residence: The Constitution requires presidential candidates to have
ten (10) years' residence in the Philippines before the day of the elections. Since the
forthcoming elections will be held on 9 May 2016, petitioner must have been a resident of the
Philippines prior to 9 May 2016 for ten (10) years. In answer to the requested information of
"Period of Residence in the Philippines up to the day before May 09, 2016," she put in "10
years 11 months" which according to her pleadings in these cases corresponds to a beginning
date of 25 May 2005 when she returned for good from the U.S.
Requisites for a new domicile: There are three requisites to acquire a new domicile:
1. Residence or bodily presence in a new locality;
2. an intention to remain there; and
3. an intention to abandon the old domicile.
To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate an actual removal or an
actual change of domicile; a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence
and establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. In other
words, there must basically be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi. The
purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time; the
change of residence must be voluntary; and the residence at the place chosen for the new
domicile must be actual.
2. Pormento v. Estrada, 629 SCRA 530 (2010): The Court is called upon to
determine the proper interpretation of the following provision of Section 4, Article VII of
the Constitution: [t]he President shall not be eligible for any reelection?
The novelty and complexity of the constitutional issue involved in this case present a
temptation that magistrates, lawyers, legal scholars and law students alike would find hard to
resist. However, prudence dictates that this Court exercise judicial restraint where the issue
before it has already been mooted by subsequent events. More importantly, the constitutional
requirement of the existence of a case or an actual controversy for the proper exercise of the
power of judicial review constrains us to refuse the allure of making a grand pronouncement
that, in the end, will amount to nothing but a non-binding opinion.

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As a rule, this Court may only adjudicate actual, ongoing controversies. The Court is not
empowered to decide moot questions or abstract propositions, or to declare principles or rules
of law which cannot affect the result as to the thing in issue in the case before it. In other
words, when a case is moot, it becomes non-justiciable.
An action is considered moot when it no longer presents a justiciable controversy because the
issues involved have become academic or dead or when the matter in dispute has already
been resolved and hence, one is not entitled to judicial intervention unless the issue is likely
to be raised again between the parties. There is nothing for the court to resolve as the
determination thereof has been overtaken by subsequent events.
3. Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal, 635 SCRA 783 (2010) 651
SCRA 239 (2011): PET is a constitutionally created body and has a distinct
mandate from the Supreme Court:
We have previously declared that the PET is not simply an agency to which Members of the
Court were designated. Once again, the PET, as intended by the framers of the Constitution,
is to be an institution independent, but not separate, from the judicial department, i.e., the
Supreme Court. McCulloch v. State of Maryland proclaimed that "[a] power without the
means to use it, is a nullity." The vehicle for the exercise of this power, as intended by the
Constitution and specifically mentioned by the Constitutional Commissioners during the
discussions on the grant of power to this Court, is the PET. Thus, a microscopic view, like the
petitioner's, should not constrict an absolute and constitutional grant of judicial power.

D.3 Powers and Functions

1. Power of Control: Control is essentially the power to [a] alter or modify or nullify
or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to [b]
substitute the judgment of the former with that of the latter. [Biraogo v Philippine Truth
Commission (2010)]
Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency (Alter Ego Principle)
All the different executive and administrative organizations are mere adjuncts of the
Executive Department. This is an adjunct of the Doctrine of One Executive.
The heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief
Executive. [Villena v. Sec. of Interior (1939)]
In the regular course of business, acts of executive departments, unless disapproved or
reprobated by the Chief Executive, are presumptively acts of the Chief Executive. [Free
Telephone Workers Union vs. Minister of Labor and Employment (1981)]

2. Power to Appoint and Power to Abolish Offices:

Limitations on appointing power of the President
(1) Art. VII, Sec. 13, par. 2 - The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity within the
4th civil degree of the President shall not, during his "tenure", be appointed as:
(a) Members of the Constitutional Commissions;
(b) Member of the Office of Ombudsman;
(c) Secretaries;
(d) Undersecretaries;
(e) Chairmen or heads of bureaus or offices, including government-owned or controlled
corporations and their subsidiaries.
(2) Recess (Ad Interim) appointments: The President shall have the power to make
appointments during the recess of the Congress, whether voluntary or compulsory, but
such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the Commission on
Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress. (Art. VII, Sec. 16[2])

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Interim or Recess Appointments
Regular and recess (ad interim) appointments
Kinds of Appointments Requiring Confirmation:
(1) Regular: if the CA (Congress) is in session; and
(2) Ad Interim: during the recess of Congress. This is resorted by the President because the
Commission on Appointments shall meet only while Congress is in session. (Art. VI,
Sec. 19)
Generally, power to abolish a public office is legislative. But as far as bureaus, offices, or
agencies of the executive department are concerned, power of control may justify him to
inactivate functions of a particular office. (See Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB v. Zamora, 360
SCRA 718 [2001]

3. General Supervision over Local Government Units and the Autonomous Regions: The
President shall exercise general supervision over local governments. [Art. X, Sec. 4]
The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to ensure that laws
are faithfully executed. [Art. X, Sec. 16]

4. Commander-in-Chief Powers under Art. VII, Sec. 18:

(1) calling out powers (Armed Forces of the Philippines);
(2) power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; and
(3) power to declare martial law.
In the exercise of the latter two powers, the Constitution requires the concurrence of two
conditions: an actual invasion or rebellion; and that public safety requires the exercise of such
Suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus but not to exceed sixty (60) days unless
extended by Congress.
5. Exercise of Emergency Powers: While the President could validly declare the existence
of a state of national emergency even in the absence of a congressional enactment, the
exercise of the emergency powers, such as the taking over of privately-owned public utility or
business affected with public interest, requires a delegation from Congress which is the
repository of emergency powers. [David v. Arroyo (2006)]

Delegated Powers: The President, under martial rule or in a revolutionary government, may
exercise delegated legislative powers. [Art.VI, Sec. 23[2]]. Congress may delegate legislative
powers to the president in times of war or in other national emergency.

6. Pardoning Powers: Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in this

Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines
and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment. [Art. VII, Sec. 19, par. 1]

Pardon cannot be granted in cases of violation of election laws without the favorable
recommendation of the COMELEC. [Art. IX-C, Sec. 5]

The President shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority
of all the Members of the Congress

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7. Diplomatic Power: The President, being the head of state, is regarded as the sole organ
and authority in external relations and is the countrys sole representative with foreign

8. Power to Contract Foreign Loans Requisites for contracting and guaranteeing foreign
1 With the concurrence of the monetary board [Art. VII, Sec. 20]
2 Subject to limitations as may be provided by law [Art. XII, Sec. 2]
3 Information on foreign loans obtained or guaranteed shall be made available to the public
[Art. XII, Sec. 2]

9. Power to Fix Tariff Rates [Art. VI, Sec. 28]: The Congress may, by law, authorize the
President to fix (1) within specified limits, and (2) subject to such limitations and restrictions
as it may impose:
a Tariff rates;
b Import and export quotas;
c Tonnage and wharfage dues;
Other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the

10. Exercise veto power under the principle of checks and balances:
General rule: All bills must be approved by the President before they become law.
1 The veto of the President is overridden by 2/3 vote of all the Members of the House
where it originated;
2 The bill lapsed into law because of the inaction of the President; and
3 The bill passed is the special law to elect the President and Vice-President.

11. Residual Powers: The President has unstated residual powers, which are implied from
the grant of executive power necessary for her to comply with her constitutional duties, such
as to safeguard and protect the general welfare. It includes powers unrelated to the execution
of any provision of law. [Marcos v. Manglapus (1988)]

1. Funa v. Ermita, 612 SCRA 308 (2010): Requisites for Judicial Review: The
Courts power of judicial review, like almost all other powers conferred by the Constitution,
is subject to several limitations, namely: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy
calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have
"standing" to challenge; he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that
he has sustained or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of
constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of
constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.

Prohibition on holding of multiple positions for government officials: Since the evident
purpose of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is to impose a stricter prohibition on the
President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants with respect
to holding multiple offices or employment in the government during their tenure, the

23 | P a g e
exception to this prohibition must be read with equal severity. On its face, the language of
Section 13, Article VII is prohibitory so that it must be understood as intended to be a
positive and unequivocal negation of the privilege of holding multiple government offices
or employment. Verily, wherever the language used in the constitution is prohibitory, it is to
be understood as intended to be a positive and unequivocal negation. The phrase "unless
otherwise provided in this Constitution" must be given a literal interpretation to refer only to
those particular instances cited in the Constitution itself, to wit: the Vice-President being
appointed as a member of the Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as
President in those instances provided under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3), Article VII; and, the
Secretary of Justice being ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of
Section 8 (1), Article VIII.

2. Funa v. Agra, 691 SCRA 196 (2013): The primary functions of the Office of the
Solicitor General are not related or necessary to the primary functions of the Department of
Justice. Considering that the nature and duties of the two offices are such as to render it
improper, from considerations of public policy, for one person to retain both, an
incompatibility between the offices exists, further warranting the declaration of Agras'
designation as the Acting Secretary of Justice, concurrently with his designation as the Acting
Solicitor General, to be void for being in violation of the express provisions of the
Constitution. Accordingly, he was not to be considered as a de jure officer for the entire
period of his tenure as the Acting Secretary of Justice.

De jure officer: A de jure officer is one who is deemed, in all respects, legally appointed and
qualified and whose term of office has not expired.

De facto officer: A de facto officer is one who derives his appointment from one having
colorable authority to appoint, if the office is an appointive office, and whose appointment is
valid on its face. He may also be one who is in possession of an office, and is discharging its
duties under color of authority, by which is meant authority derived from an appointment,
however irregular or informal, so that the incumbent is not a mere volunteer.

Acts of de factor officer: The acts of the de facto officer are just as valid for all purposes as
those of a de jure officer, in so far as the public or third persons who are interested therein are

3. De Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council, 615 SCRA 666 (2010) {Read also
Separate Opinion of Justice Brion} and 618 SCRA 639 (2010): The
prohibition against midnight appointments does not apply to the judiciary;
Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the
appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. They
could not have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have easily
and surely written the prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article VII as being equally
applicable to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most
likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such specification was not done only reveals that the
prohibition against the President or Acting President making appointments within two months
before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the Presidents or Acting
Presidents term does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court.

24 | P a g e
4. Velicaria-Garafil v. Office of the President, SCRA (G.R. No. 203372,16
June 2015): The following elements should always concur in the making of a valid (which
should be understood as both complete and effective) appointment: (1) authority to appoint
and evidence of the exercise of the authority; (2) transmittal of the appointment paper and
evidence of the transmittal; (3) a vacant position at the time of appointment; and (4) receipt of
the appointment paper and acceptance of the appointment by the appointee who possesses all
the qualifications and none of the disqualifications. The concurrence of all these elements
should always apply, regardless of when the appointment is made, whether outside, just
before, or during the appointment ban. These steps in the appointment process should always
concur and operate as a single process. There is no valid appointment if the process lacks
even one step.
5. Resident Marine Mammals of the Protected Seascape Taon Strait v.
756 SCRA 513 (2015): power of the President to enter into Executive
Agreements related to the financial or technical assistance of mineral
resources; while only natural or juridical persons can become party-
litigants, the resident marine mammals can be represented by the
stewards of creation.
Alter ego Principle: Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a
single executive, all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive
Department, the heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the
Chief Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the
Constitution or law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act
personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive
are performed by and through the executive departments, and the acts of the Secretaries of
such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless
disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive presumptively the acts of the Chief
Constitutional Supremacy: Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a
law or contract violates any norm of the constitution that law or contract whether
promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private
persons for private purposes is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus,
since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is
deemed written in every statute and contract.
NIPAS Law and Capacity to exploit resources with NIPAS area: While Presidential Decree
No. 87 may serve as the general law upon which a service contract for petroleum exploration
and extraction may be authorized, the exploitation and utilization of this energy resource in
the present case may be allowed only through a law passed by Congress, since the Taon
Strait is a NIPAS area. Since there is no such law specifically allowing oil exploration and/or
extraction in the Taon Strait, no energy resource exploitation and utilization may be done in
said protected seascape.
6. Almario v. Executive Secretary, 701 SCRA 269 (2013): The selection of
national artists must comply with acceptable standards prescribed by law:
It is an opportune time for the Court to assert its role as republican schoolmaster, a teacher
in a vital national seminar. There are times when the controversy is of such character that, to
prevent its recurrence and to assure respect for constitutional limitations, this Court must pass
on the merits of a case. This is one such case. More than being a teaching moment, this is not
the first time that the Order of National Artists was conferred in the manner that is being
assailed in this case. If not addressed here and now, there is great probability that the central
question involved in this case will haunt us again in the future. Every President may invoke

25 | P a g e
absolute presidential prerogative and thrust upon us National Artists after his or her own
heart, in total disregard of the advice of the CCP and the NCCA and the voice of the
community of artists, resulting to repeated episodes of indignation and uproar from the artists
and the public.
7. Monsanto v. Factoran, Jr., 170 SCRA 190 (1989): The principal question raised
in this petition for review is whether or not a public officer, who has been granted an absolute
pardon by the Chief Executive, is entitled to reinstatement to her former position without
need of a new appointment.
Pardon, defined: Pardon is defined as "an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted
with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from
the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed. It is the private, though official
act of the executive magistrate, delivered to the individual for whose benefit it is intended,
and not communicated officially to the Court. ... A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which
delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance."
Effect of Presidential Pardon on Monsantos eligibility to a government post: For petitioner
Monsanto, this is the bottom line: the absolute disqualification or ineligibility from public
office forms part of the punishment prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for estafa thru
falsification of public documents. It is clear from the authorities referred to that when her
guilt and punishment were expunged by her pardon; this particular disability was likewise
removed. Henceforth, petitioner may apply for reappointment to the office which was
forfeited by reason of her conviction. And in considering her qualifications and suitability for
the public post, the facts constituting her offense must be and should be evaluated and taken
into account to determine ultimately whether she can once again be entrusted with public
funds. Stated differently, the pardon granted to petitioner has resulted in removing her
disqualification from holding public employment but it cannot go beyond that. To regain her
former post as assistant city treasurer, she must re-apply and undergo the usual procedure
required for a new appointment.
8. Risos-Vidal v. Commission on Elections, 747 SCRA 210 (2015): The grant
of absolute pardon restores the person to his full civil and political rights.

Effect of Absolute Pardon: A close scrutiny of the text of the pardon extended to
former President Estrada shows that both the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua and its
accessory penalties are included in the pardon. The first sentence refers to the executive
clemency extended to former President Estrada who was convicted by the Sandiganbayan of
plunder and imposed a penalty of reclusion perpetua. The latter is the principal penalty
pardoned which relieved him of imprisonment. The sentence that followed, which states that
"(h) e is hereby restored to his civil and political rights," expressly remitted the accessory
penalties that attached to the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua. Hence, even if we apply
Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code, it is indubitable from the text of the pardon
that the accessory penalties of civil interdiction and perpetual absolute disqualification were
expressly remitted together with the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua.

In this jurisdiction, the right to seek public elective office is recognized by law as falling
under the whole gamut of civil and political rights.

9. Kulayan v. Tan, 675 SCRA 482 (2012): only the President can exercise
the calling out powers: Springing from the well-entrenched constitutional precept of
One President is the notion that there are certain acts which, by their very nature, may only be
performed by the president as the Head of the State. One of these acts or prerogatives is the

26 | P a g e
bundle of Commander-in-Chief powers to which the "calling-out" powers constitutes a
portion. The Presidents Emergency Powers, on the other hand, is balanced only by the
legislative act of Congress, as embodied in the second paragraph of Section 23, Article VI of
the Constitution.
Respondent provincial governor is not endowed with the power to call upon the armed forces
at his own bidding. In issuing the assailed proclamation, Governor Tan exceeded his authority
when he declared a state of emergency and called upon the Armed Forces, the police, and his
own Civilian Emergency Force. The calling-out powers contemplated under the Constitution
is exclusive to the President. An exercise by another official, even if he is the local chief
executive, is ultra vires, and may not be justified by the invocation of Section 465 of the
Local Government Code.
10. Ampatuan v. Puno, 651 SCRA 228 (2011): As Commander-in-Chief, the
President can quell lawless violence:

x x x to pacify the peoples fears and stabilize the situation, the President had to take
preventive action. She called out the armed forces to control the proliferation of loose
firearms and dismantle the armed groups that continuously threatened the peace and security
in the affected places.

Notably, the present administration of President Benigno Aquino III has not withdrawn the
declaration of a state of emergency under Proclamation 1946. It has been reported24 that the
declaration would not be lifted soon because there is still a need to disband private armies and
confiscate loose firearms. Apparently, the presence of troops in those places is still necessary
to ease fear and tension among the citizenry and prevent and suppress any violence that may
still erupt, despite the passage of more than a year from the time of the Maguindanao

Since petitioners are not able to demonstrate that the proclamation of state of emergency in
the subject places and the calling out of the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless
violence there have clearly no factual bases, the Court must respect the Presidents actions.

11. Fortun v. Macapagal-Arroyo, 668 SCRA 504 (2012): invocation of

emergency powers must be supported by factual basis; limitations on the
exercise on the declaration; role of Congress; application of checks and
balances principle. (Section 18, Article VII)
12. Vinuya v. Romulo, 619 SCRA 533 (2010) and 732 SCRA 595-622
(2014): parties to a treaty; subrogation to rights under a treaty signed by
the U.S. government when the Philippines was still its colony
13. Saguisag v. Ochoa, Jr., SCRA (G.R. Nos. 212426 and 212444, 12
January 2016): EDCA is not a treaty but only an Executive Agreement.
Senate ratification is not necessary: The Senate ratification of the Mutual
Defense Treaty (MDT) complies with the requirement of Section 25, Article XVIIP9 of the 1987
Constitution that any agreement allowing foreign military facilities in the Philippines, like the
prepositioning of U.S. war materials, must be embodied in a treaty and ratified by two-thirds vote of
the Senate. The treaty which covers the terms and conditions under EDCA is the MDT which the
Philippine Senate ratified by two-thirds vote on 12 May 1952 and which the U.S. Senate earlier
ratified on 20 March 1952.

27 | P a g e
To hold that the EDCA cannot take effect without Senate ratification is to render the MDT,
the sole mutual self-defense treaty, totally inutile to meet the grave, even existentialist,
national security threat. (Carpio, J., concurring opinion)
14. Manalang-Demigillo v. Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the
Philippines (TIDCORP), 692 SCRA 359, G.R. No. 168613 March 5, 2013: The doctrine of
qualified political agency could not be extended to the acts of the Board of Directors of
TIDCORP despite some of its members being themselves the appointees of the President to
the Cabinet. (Bersamin, J.)
Constitutional Requisites
Supreme Court Justice
1 Natural born citizens
2 At least 40 years of age
3 Engaged in the practice of law or a judge of 15 years or more
4 Must be of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.
Lower Collegiate Courts (Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan and Court of Tax Appeals)
1 Natural born citizen
2 Member of the Philippine Bar
3 Must be of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence
4 Such additional requirements provided by law.
Lower Courts
1 Filipino citizens
2 Member of the Philippine Bar
3 Must be of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.
(4)Such additional requirements provided by law (N.B. The first clause of Art. VIII, Sec.
7(2) provides: The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of judges of lower courts
Ex-officio members [Art. VIII, Sec. 8(1)]
1 Chief Justice as ex-officio Chairman
2 Secretary of Justice
3 One representative of Congress
Regular members [Art. VIII, Sec. 8(1)]
1 Representative of the Integrated Bar
2 Professor of Law
3 Retired member of the SC
4 Representative of private sector
In the absence of the Chief Justice because of his impeachment, the most Senior Justice of
the Supreme Court, who is not an applicant for Chief Justice, should participate in the
deliberations for the selection of nominees for the said vacant post and preside over the
proceedings, pursuant to Section 12 of Republic Act No. 296, or the Judiciary Act of 1948.
[Famela Dulay v. Judicial and Bar Council, GR No. 202143 (2012)]
Appointment, Tenure, Salary of JBC Members
Regular members [Art. VIII, Sec. 8(2)] - The regular members shall be appointed by the
President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. The term of the regular
members is 4 years.

28 | P a g e
Primary function of the JBC: Recommend appointees to the judiciary; may exercise such
other functions and duties as the SC may assign to it. [Art. VIII, Sec. 8(5)]
Power of Judicial Review: Duty to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the Government [The Judiciary, Art. VIII, Sec. 1, par. 2]
Power of the courts to test the validity of executive and legislative acts in light of their
conformity with the Constitution [Angara v. Electoral Commission (1936)]
Jurisdiction Power to decide and hear a case and execute a decision based on factual
findings and legal grounds.
Requisites for exercise:
(1) Actual case or controversy
(2) Locus Standi
(3) Question raised at the earliest opportunity
(4) Lis mota of the case
Judicial Supremacy: The court only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by
the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to
establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and
guarantees to them. [Angara v. Electoral Commission (1936)]
The judiciary will not interfere with its co-equal branches when:
1 There is no showing of grave abuse of discretion
2 The issue is a political question.
Judicial privilege is a form of deliberative process privilege because certain court records
which are considered pre-decisional and deliberative in nature are protected and cannot be
the subject of a subpoena.
Judicial Privilege is an exception to the general rule of transparency as regards access to
court records.
Court deliberations are traditionally considered privileged communication.
General Rule: The court will not take cognizance of the case.
The term political question refers to: (1) matters to be exercised by the people in
their primary political capacity; or (2) those specifically delegated to some other
department or particular office of the government, with discretionary power to act. It
is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular
measure. [Taada v. Cuenco (1957)]
Guidelines for determining whether a question is political or not: [Baker v. Carr (369 US
1 There is a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a political
2 Lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it;
3 The impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for
non-judicial discretion;
4 Impossibility of a courts undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of
the respect due coordinate branches of government;

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5 An unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made; and
6 Potential embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on
one question.
General Rule: The interpretation (or declaration) of unconstitutionality is retroactive in
that it applies from the laws effectivity
Exception: Subsequent declaration of unconstitutionality does not nullify all acts
exercised in line with [the law]. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial
declaration. [Municipality of Malabang v. Benito (1969), citing Chicot County]
General Rule: Courts will not decide questions that have become moot and academic.
Exception: Courts will still decide if:
(a)There is a grave violation of the Constitution;
(b)The situation is of exceptional character and paramount public interest is involved;
(c)The constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide
the bench, the bar and the public; and
(d)The case is capable of repetition yet evading review. [David v. Macapagal-Arroyo
En banc Cases decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who
actually took part in the deliberations and voted.
Instances when the SC sits En Banc:
(1) Those involving the constitutionality, application, or operation of:
a Treaty
b Orders
c International or executive agreement
d Law
e Presidential decrees
f Instructions
g Proclamations
h Ordinances
i Other regulations
(2) Exercise of the power to discipline judges of lower courts, or order their dismissal [Art.
VIII, Sec. 11]
(3) Discipline of judges can be done by a division, BUT En Banc decides cases for dismissal,
disbarment, suspension for more than 1 year, or fine of more than P10,000. [People v. Gacott,
G.R. No. 116049, Jul. 13, 1995]
(4) Cases or matters heard by a Division where the required number of votes to decide or
resolve (the majority of those who took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and
voted thereon and in no case less than 3 members) is not met. [Art. VIII, Sec. 4(3)]
(5) Modifying or reversing a doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court in a decision
rendered en banc or in division [Art. VIII, Sec. 4(3)]
(6) Actions instituted by citizen to test the validity of a proclamation of Martial law or
suspension of the privilege of the writ [Art. VIII, Sec. 18]
(7) When sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal [Art. VIII, Sec. 4, par. 7]
(8) All Other cases which under the Rules of Court are required to be heard by the SC en
banc. [Art. VIII, Sec. 4(2)]

30 | P a g e
Requirement and Procedures in Divisions
1 Cases decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part
in the deliberations and voted.
2 In no case without the concurrence of at least three of such Members.
3 When required number is not obtained, the case shall be decided en banc.
a Only cases are referred to En Banc for decision when required votes are not
b Cases are of first instance; matters are those after the first instance, e.g. MRs and
post-decision motions.
c Failure to resolve a motion because of a tie does not leave case undecided.
The SC En Banc is not an appellate court vis--vis the Divisions of the Court. The only
constraint is that any doctrine or principle of law laid down by the Court, either rendered en
banc or in division, may be overturned or reversed only by the Court sitting en banc.
[Firestone Ceramics v. CA, (2001)]
Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court [Art. VIII, sec. 5[1]]
1 Cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls
2 Petition for certiorari
3 Petition for prohibition
4 Petition for mandamus
5 Petition for quo warranto
6 Petition for habeas corpus
Original Jurisdiction [Art. VIII, Sec. 5(2)] on appeal or certiorari (as the Rules of Court
provide), SC may review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm final judgments and orders of
lower courts in:
1 Cases involving the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive
agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or
2 Cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty
imposed in relation thereto
3 Cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue
4 Criminal cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
5 Cases where only a question of law is involved.
Period for Deciding Cases [Art. VIII, Sec. 15(1)]
Supreme Court Lower Collegiate Courts Other Lower Courts
24 months 12 months, unless reduced by 3 months, unless reduced by the
the SC SC


1 The SC is a constitutional body. It cannot be abolished nor may its membership or the
manner of its meetings be changed by mere legislation. [Art. VIII, Sec. 4]
2 The members of the judiciary are not subject to confirmation by the CA.
3 The members of the SC may not be removed except by impeachment. [Art. XI, Sec. 2]
4 The SC may not be deprived of its minimum original and appellate jurisdiction as
prescribed in Art. X, Sec. 5 of the Constitution. [Art. VIII, Sec. 2]

31 | P a g e
5 The appellate jurisdiction of the SC may not be increased by law without its advice and
concurrence. [Art. VI, Sec. 30; Fabian v. Desierto (1988)]
6 The SC has administrative supervision over all lower courts and their personnel. (Art.
VIII, Sec. 6.)
7 The SC has exclusive power to discipline judges of lower courts. [Art. VIII, Sec. 11]
8 The members of the SC and all lower courts have security of tenure; w/c cannot be
undermined by a law reorganizing the judiciary. [Id.]
9 They shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative
functions. [Art. VIII, Sec. 12]
10 The salaries of judges may not be reduced during their continuance in office. [Art. VIII,
Sec. 10]
11 The judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. [Art. VIII, Sec. 3]
12 The SC alone may initiate rules of court. [Art. VIII, Sec. 5(5)]
13 Only the SC may order the temporary detail of judges. [Art. VIII, Sec. 5(3)]
14 The SC can appoint all officials and employees of the judiciary. [Art. VIII, Sec. 5(6)]

1. Re: COA Opinion on the Computation of the Appraised Value of the
Properties Purchased by the Retired Chief/Associate Justices of the
Supreme Court, 678 SCRA 1 (2012): Fiscal autonomy of the Court should
be respected.
2. Re: Request for Guidance/Clarification on Section 7, Rule 111 of
Act. No. 10154 Requiring Retiring Government Employees to Secure a
Clearance of Pendency/Non-Pendency of Cases from the Civil Service
Commission, 706 SCRA 502 (2013): Not required for S.C. employees; S.C.
has separate rules for securing clearance
3. In The Matter of Save the Supreme Court Judicial Independence and
Autonomy Movement v. Abolition of Judiciary Development Fund (JDF)
and Reduction of Fiscal Autonomy, 746 SCRA 352 (2015): Funds covered
by JDF is within the discretionary power of the S.C. to allocate
4. Chavez v. Judicial and Bar Council, 676 SCRA 579 (2012) and 696 SCRA
496 (2013): The framers intended the JBC to be composed of 7 members only. Intent is
for each co-equal branch of government to have one representative. There is no dichotomy
between Senate and HOR when Congress interacts with other branches. But the SC is not in a
position to say who should sit.
5. Jardeleza v. Sereno, 733 SCRA 279 (2014) and Resolution (G.R. No.
213181, 21 January 2015): Art. VIII, Sec. 8 provides: A Judicial and Bar Council is
hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court. The supervisory authority of the
Court over the JBC covers the overseeing of compliance with its rules. The Court observed
that Jardeleza was not given the right to be heard to overturn the objection related to his
integrity as a person and as a public officer. Having denied due process, the Court issued the
writ of mandamus to include the name of Jardeleza in the shortlist for consideration of the
6. Villanueva v. Judicial and Bar Council, 755 SCRA 182 (2015): JBC has
rule-making powers to ensure compliance with its constitutional mandate

32 | P a g e
but such rules must be promulgated to ensure that interested parties are
made aware of the policies of the JBC in screening applicants/nominees for
any vacancy in the judiciary. The JBC must ensure the constitutional
qualifications of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence
are met by applicants/nominees.
7. Re: Petition for Recognition of the Exemption of the Government
Insurance System from Payment of Legal Fees, 612 SCRA 193 (2010):
monies collected by GSIS are trust funds; the charter of GSIS exempts
them from payments of fees; the grant of such exemption would encroach
on the rule-making powers of the Supreme Court
8. Re: Verified Complaint of Engr. Oscar L. Ongjoco, Chairman of the Board/CEO of FH-
Gymn Multi-Purpose and Transport Service Cooperative, Against Hon. Juan Q. Enriquez,
Jr., Hon. Ramon M. Bato, Jr. and Hon. Florito S. Macalino, Associate Justice, Court of
Appeals, 664 SCRA 465, A.M. OCA I.P.I. No. 11-184-CA-J January 31, 2012: Judicial
officers do not have to suffer the brunt of unsuccessful or dissatisfied litigants baseless and
false imputations of their violating the Constitution in resolving their cases and of harboring
bias and partiality towards the adverse parties. The litigant who baselessly accuses them of
such violations is not immune from appropriate sanctions if he thereby affronts the
administration of justice and manifests disrespect towards the judicial office. (Bersamin, J.)
9. De Castro vs. JBC, 615 SCRA 666, G. R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010: Prohibition on
presidential midnight appointments does not cover the Judiciary. (Bersamin, J.)

Article IX of the Constitution provides for the following constitutional commissions:
Civil Service Commission
Commission on Elections
Commission on Audit
Rule-making powers of the CSC, COMELEC and COA cannot be altered by Congress
absent a constitutional amendment or revision.
However, a constitutional commissions rule-making power is subject to the laws passed by
Congress. The laws that a constitutional commission interprets and enforces fall within the
prerogative of Congress. As an administrative agency, its quasi-legislative power is subject to
the same limitations applicable to other administrative bodies [Trade and Investment
Development Corporation of the Philippines v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 182249
Common provisions applicable to the Constitutional Commissions
1. Prohibitions to hold any other office or employment during their tenure.
2. Proscription against engaging in the practice of their profession or in active
management or control of any business which in any way may be affected by the
function of their office.
3. Injunction against financial interest, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or in
any franchise or privilege granted by the government, any of its subdivisions,
agencies or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled
4. Enjoyment of fiscal autonomy.
5. Authority to promulgate their respective rules concerning pleadings and practice
before it or before any of its offices, provided such rules shall not diminish, increase
or modify substantive rights.

33 | P a g e
6. The decisions of the Commissions may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari
by the aggrieved party within thirty (30) days from receipt of the copy of the decision.
7. The Commission is authorized to appoint their officials and employees in accordance
with law (Art. IX-A, Sections1-8).


1 They are constitutionally created, hence may not be abolished by statute.
2 Each commission is vested with powers and functions which cannot be reduced by
3 Independent constitutional bodies.
4 The Chairmen and members cannot be removed except by impeachment.
5 Fixed term of office of 7 years.
6 The Chairmen and members may not be appointed in an acting capacity.
7 The salaries of the Chairmen and members may not be decreased during their tenure.
8 The Commissions enjoy fiscal autonomy.
9 Each Commission may promulgate its own procedural rules, provided they do not
diminish, increase or modify substantive rights [though subject to disapproval by the
Supreme Court].
10 The Commission may appoint their own officials and employees in accordance with
Civil Service Law.
1. Funa v. Villar, 670 SCRA 579 (2012): Article IX-D, Sec. 1(2) does not prohibit a
promotional appointment from commissioner to chairman as long as:
a The Commissioner has not served the full term of 7 years; and
b The appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of
the predecessor. [Sec. 1(2), Article IX-D]
c The promotional appointment must conform to the rotational plan or the staggering of
terms in the commission membership.
2. Funa v. Duque III, 742 SCRA 166 (2014): The corporate powers of the GSIS,
PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF are exercised through their governing Boards, members of
which are all appointed by the President of the Philippines. Undoubtedly, the GSIS,
PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF and the members of their respective governing Boards are
under the control of the President. As such, the CSC Chairman cannot be a member of a
government entity that is under the control of the President without impairing the
independence vested in the CSC by the 1987 Constitution. (Bersamin, J.)
3. Dela Llana v. Chairman, Commission on Audit, 665 SCRA 176 (2012):
Petition for Certiorari; shift from pre-audit to post-audit system is a valid
exercise of constitutional mandate of COA under the 1987 Constitution.
4. Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) vs. Commission on Audit,
750 SCRA 247, G.R. No. 196418 February 10, 2015: Pursuant to Article VI, Section 29(1) of
the 1987 Constitution, no money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an
appropriation made by law. Hence, the GAA should be purposeful, deliberate, and precise in
its contents and stipulations. Not being self-executory, the execution of the GAA was still
subject to a program of expenditure to be approved by the President, and such approved
program of expenditure was the basis for the release of funds. (Bersamin, J.)
4. Guzman v. Commission on Elections, 597 SCRA 499, G.R. No. 182380 August 28, 2009:
True, the COMELEC, as the body tasked by no less than the 1987 Constitution to investigate

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and prosecute violations of election laws, has the full discretion to determine whether or not
an election case is to be filed against a person and, consequently, its findings as to the
existence of probable cause are not subject to review by courts. Yet, this policy of non-
interference does not apply where the COMELEC, as the prosecuting or investigating body,
was acting arbitrarily and capriciously, like herein, in reaching a different but patently
erroneous result. (Bersamin, J.)
5. Suhuri v. Commission on Elections, 602 SCRA 633, G.R. No. 181869 October 2, 2009:
Section 243 of the Omnibus Election Code limits a pre-proclamation controversy to the
questions enumerated therein. The enumeration is restrictive and exclusive. (Bersamin, J.)

1. Natural-born citizens Art. IV, Sec. 2
As a matter of law, foundlings are as a class, natural-born citizens. While the 1935
Constitution's enumeration is silent as to foundlings, there is no restrictive language which
would definitely exclude foundlings either. No such intent or language permits
discrimination against foundlings. On the contrary, all three Constitutions (1935, 1973, 1987)
guarantee the basic right to equal protection of the laws. All exhort the State to render social
justice. [Poe-Llamanzares v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 221697 (2016)]
Public Officers who must be natural born citizens:
- President Art. VII, Sec. 2
- Vice President
- Members of Congress Art. VI, Sections 3 and 6
- Justices of the Supreme Court and lower collegiate courts, Art. VIII, Sec. 7(1)
- Ombudsman and his deputies, Art. XI, Sec. 8
- Members of the Constitutional Commission, Art. IX, B, Sec. 1 (1); C, Sec. (1);
and D, Sec. 1(1)
- Members of the Central Monetary Authority, Art. XII, Sec. 20
- Members of Commission on Human Rights Art. XIII, sec. 17 (2)
Former natural born citizens as transferees of private lands, Art. XII, Sec.
2. Naturalized citizens under Com. Act No. 473: acquiring citizenship through judicial
Who are qualified to be naturalized? Sec. 2
Qualifications [C.A. 473, Sec. 2]
(1) Not less than twenty-one years of age on the day of the hearing of the petition;
(2) Resided in the Philippines for a continuous period of 10 years or more;
(3) Of good moral character; believes in the principles underlying the Philippine
Constitution; conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire
period of his residence towards the government and community
(4) Must own real estate in the Philippines worth P5,000 or more OR must have lucrative
trade, profession, or lawful occupation;
(5) Able to speak or write English or Spanish or anyone of the principal languages;
(6) Enrolled his minor children of school age in any of the recognized schools where
Philippine history, government and civics are taught or prescribed as part of the school
curriculum, during the entire period of the residence in the Philippines required of him.
When is the 10-year residence requirement reduced to 5 years? Sec. 3
Special Qualifications [C.A. 473, Sec. 3] Any of the following will result to reduction of
10-year period to 5 years
(1) Having honorably held office under the Government of the Philippines or under that of
any of the provinces, cities, municipalities, or political subdivisions thereof;
(2) Established a new industry or introduced a useful invention in the Philippines;

35 | P a g e
(3) Married to a Filipino woman;
(4) Engaged as a teacher in the Philippines in a public or recognized private school not
established for the exclusive instruction of children of persons of a particular nationality
or race, in any of the branches of education or industry for a period of 2 years or more;
(5) Born in the Philippines.
Who are disqualified to be naturalized? Sec. 4
Disqualifications [C.A. 473, Sec. 4]
(1) Persons opposed to organized government or affiliated with groups who uphold and
teach doctrines opposing all organized governments;
(2) Persons defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or
assassination for the success of their ideas;
(3) Polygamists or believers in polygamy;
(4) Persons convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude;
(5) Persons suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious diseases;
(6) Persons who during the period of their stay, have not mingled socially with the Filipinos,
or who have not evinced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions,
and ideals of the Filipinos;
(7) Citizens or subjects of nations with whom the Philippines is at war
(8) Citizens or subjects of a foreign country other than the United States, whose laws do not
grant Filipinos the right to become naturalized citizens or subject thereof.
Declaration of Intention, Sec. 5
Procedure, Sections 7-8
When decision is executed, Sec. 1
Effect on wife and minor children, Sec. 15
Denaturalization, Sec. 18
Grounds [C.A. 473, Sec. 18] Upon the proper motion of the Solicitor General or the
provincial prosecutor, naturalization may be cancelled when:
(1) Naturalization certificate was fraudulently or illegally obtained [See Po Soon Tek v.
Republic, 60 SCRA 98 (1974)]
(2) If, within the five years next following the issuance, he shall return to his native country
or to some foreign country and establish his permanent residence there
(3) Remaining for more than one year in his native country or the country of his former
nationality, or two years in any other foreign country, shall be considered as prima facie
evidence of his intention of taking up his permanent residence in the same;
(4) Petition was made on an invalid declaration of intention;
(5) Minor children of the person naturalized failed to graduate from the schools mentioned
in sec. 2, through the fault of their parents, either by neglecting to support them or by
transferring them to another school or schools.
(6) If he has allowed himself to be used as a dummy in violation of the Constitutional or
legal provision requiring Philippine citizenship as a requisite for the exercise, use or
enjoyment of a right, franchise or privilege.
Burden of Proof: The applicant must comply with the jurisdictional requirements, establish
his or her possession of the qualifications and none of the disqualifications enumerated under
the law, and present at least two (2) character witnesses to support his allegations. [Go v.
Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 202809 (2014)]
Naturalization is never final and may be revoked if one commits acts of moral turpitude.
[Republic v. Guy (1982)]

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Judgment directing the issuance of a certificate of naturalization is a mere grant of a political
privilege and that neither estoppel nor res judicata may be invoked to bar the State from
initiating an action for the cancellation or nullification of the certificate of naturalization thus
issued. [Yao Mun Tek v. Republic (1971)
Tak Ng v. Republic, G.R. L-13017, December 23, 1959: Good moral character is an essential
requirement for one to be naturalized as a Filipino. The petitioners statement in his
declaration of intention and in his petition for naturalization that he was single and that he did
not have any child at all, when in truth and in fact, he had then already 3 children with
Leonarda Cabacungan, is a deliberate falsehood amounting to perjury, as he concealed his
true status under oath and, likewise, shows petitioners wanton disregard for truth, hence, lack
of good moral character disabling him from acquiring Philippine citizenship.
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude is also a requirement to become a Filipino.
"Moral turpitude" has been defined as an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private
and social duties which a man owes his fellow men, or to society in general, contrary to the
accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man (Traders & General Ins.
Co. v. Russell, Tex. Civ. App., 99 S.W. [2d] 1079) or conduct contrary to justice, honesty,
modesty, or good morals (Marah v. State Bar of California, 210 Cal. 303, 291 P. 583).
Profiteering is an offense which involves moral turpitude inasmuch as it affects the prices of
prime commodities and goes to the life of the citizens, especially those who are poor and with
hardly the means to sustain themselves. Hence, conviction of said crime disqualifies a
petitioner from naturalization as a Filipino citizen.
3. Citizenship by legislative act
4. Loss and Reacquisition of Citizenship. Art. IV, Sec. 3, Sec. 2
5. Dual Citizenship: R.A. No. 9139 The Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000
In Re: Vicente Ching, Bar Matter No. 914, 513 SCRA 267: Philippine citizenship can never
be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and suppressed when
convenient. 20 One who is privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right
to such citizenship. As such, he should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm and
promptitude. Sadly, in this case, Ching slept on his opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship
and, as a result. this golden privilege slipped away from his grasp.
The Court, like the OSG, is sympathetic with the plight of Ching. However, even if we
consider the special circumstances in the life of Ching like his having lived in the Philippines
all his life and his consistent belief that he is a Filipino, controlling statutes and jurisprudence
constrain us to disagree with the recommendation of the OSG. Consequently, we hold that
Ching failed to validly elect Philippine citizenship. The span of fourteen (14) years that
lapsed from the time he reached the age of majority until he finally expressed his intention to
elect Philippine citizenship is clearly way beyond the contemplation of the requirement of
electing "upon reaching the age of majority." Moreover, Ching has offered no reason why he
delayed his election of Philippine citizenship. The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine
citizenship is certainly not a tedious and painstaking process. All that is required of the
elector is to execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and, thereafter, file the
same with the nearest civil registry. Ching's unreasonable and unexplained delay in making
his election cannot be simply glossed over.
R.A. No. 9225 Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 (Read Poe-
Llamanzares v. COMELEC, supra)
R. A. No. 9189 Overseas Voting Law
Nicolas- Lewis v. COMELEC 497 SCRA 649: There is no need to comply with one- year
residency requirement under Sec. 1, Article V and congressional prerogative under Sec. 2,
Article shall prevail. S. C. said: As may be noted, there is no provision in the dual

37 | P a g e
citizenship law - R.A. 9225 - requiring "duals" to actually establish residence and physically
stay in the Philippines first before they can exercise their right to vote. On the contrary, R.A.
9225, in implicit acknowledgment that "duals" are most likely non-residents, grants under its
Section 5(1) the same right of suffrage as that granted an absentee voter under R.A. 9189. It
cannot be overemphasized that R.A. 9189 aims, in essence, to enfranchise as much as
possible all overseas Filipinos who, save for the residency requirements exacted of an
ordinary voter under ordinary conditions, are qualified to vote.


Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable
to the people, serve with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with
patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives (sec. 1, Art. XI).
Impeachable officers
1. President
2. Vice-President
3. Members of the Supreme Court
4. Members of the Constitutional Commissions
5. Ombudsman
Grounds for impeachment
1. Culpable violation of the Constitution
2. Treason
3. Bribery
4. Graft and corruption
5. Other high crimes
6. Betrayal of public trust
Steps to be followed in impeachment
1. A member of the House of Representatives, or any citizen upon a resolution of
endorsement by a member of the House, may file a verified complaint.
2. The complaint is included in the Order of Business of the House of within three (3)
days thereafter.
3. The proper Committee of the House conducts the hearing after which, by a majority
of all the members of the committee, submits a report to the House within sixty (60)
days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution.
4. The resolution of the Committee shall be calendared for consideration of the House
within ten (10) session days from receipt of the resolution.
5. The House will either affirm or override the recommendation of the committee by a
vote of at least one-third of all the members of the House. The vote of each member
shall be recorded.
6. If, the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least 1/3 of all
the members of the House, the same shall constitute as the Articles of Impeachment
and forthwith forwarded to the Senate for trial and decision (sec. 1 [2,3,4], Art. XI).
Power to try impeachment cases. The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all
cases of impeachment. When sitting as an impeachment body, the Senators shall be on oath or
affirmation. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the
members of the Senate.
Effects of impeachment. Removal from office of the impeached official and disqualification
to hold any other public office.
When is an impeachment complaint initiated. The term to initiate refers to the filing of the
impeachment complaint coupled with Congress taking initial action of said complaint. The
initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment
38 | P a g e
complaint to the House Committee on Justice or, by filing by at least one-third of the
members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the
meaning of Section 3(5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has
been initiated, another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official
within a one year period (Francisco, Jr. v. Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga
Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc., 415 SCRA 45, 169-170).
Sufficiency of Impeachment Complaint in Form and Substance: The determination of
sufficiency of form and substance of an impeachment complaint is an exponent of the express
constitutional grant of rule-making power of the House of Representatives which committed
such determinative function to public respondent. In the discharge of its discretion, the House
has formulated determinable standards as to the form and substance of an impeachment
complaint. Prudential considerations behoove the Court to respect the compliance by the
House of its duly to effectively carry out the constitutional purpose, absent any contravention
of the minimum constitutional guidelines (Gutierrez v. House of Representatives on Justice,
643 SCRA 198, 239-241).
Power of Judicial Review in Impeachment Cases: Corona v. Senate of the Philippines
(2012): Given the concededly political character of impeachment proceedings, the precise
role of the judiciary in impeachment cases is a matter of utmost importance to ensure the
effective functioning of the separate branches while preserving the structure of checks and
balance in our government. Moreover, the acts of any branch or instrumentality of the
government, including those traditionally entrusted to the political departments, are proper
subjects of judicial review if tainted with grave abuse or arbitrariness.
Gutierrez v. House of Representatives: The rules on impeachment, as contemplated by the
framers of the Constitution, merely aid or supplement the procedural aspects of
impeachment. Being procedural in nature, they may be given retroactive application to
pending actions. It is axiomatic that the retroactive application of procedural laws does not
violate any right of a person who may feel that he is adversely affected, nor is it
constitutionally objectionable. The reason for this is that, as a general rule, no vested right
may attach to, nor arise from, procedural laws. In the present case, petitioner fails to allege
any impairment of vested rights.
1.Urbano v. Chavez: : Any pecuniary liability a public officer may be held to account for on the
occasion of such civil suit is for his own account. The State is not liable for the same. A fortiori, the
Office of the Solicitor General likewise has no authority to represent him in such a civil suit for
damages. The Office of the Solicitor General has no authority to represent Solicitor General
Chavez in the civil suit for damages filed against him in the Regional Trial Court arising from
allegedly defamatory remarks uttered by him.
2. Caoibes, Jr. v. Ombudsman (Discipline of judges): Only the Supreme Court can discipline
3. Gonzales III v. Office of the President, G.R. No. 196231, Jan. 28, 2014: Limitation on the
Power of the President to Remove a Public Officer: Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770, providing
that the President may remove a Deputy Ombudsman, is unconstitutional. Subjecting the
Deputy Ombudsman to discipline and removal by the President, whose own alter egos and
officials in the Executive department are subject to the Ombudsmans disciplinary authority,
cannot but seriously place at risk the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman itself.
Section 8(2) of R.A. No. 6770 intruded upon the constitutionally-granted independence of the
Office of the Ombudsman. By so doing, the law directly collided not only with the
independence that the Constitution guarantees to the Office of the Ombudsman, but
inevitably with the principle of checks and balances that the creation of an Ombudsman
office seeks to revitalize. What is true for the Ombudsman must equally and necessarily be

39 | P a g e
true for her Deputies who act as agents of the Ombudsman in the performance of their duties.
The Ombudsman can hardly be expected to place her complete trust in her subordinate
officials who are not as independent as she is, if only because they are subject to pressures
and controls external to her Office.
4. Estarija v. Ranada: Only public officers covered by Pay grade 27 will be tried before the
Sandiganbayan. Lower ranking public officers may be tried by the regional trial courts.
The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments,
resolutions or orders of regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original
jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction.
5. Tapiador v. Ombudsman (BID officials act of extortion): Due process of law requires that
the accused must given the chance to face his accusers.
6. Uy v. Sandiganbayan (Jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan, powers of the Ombudsman): The power to
investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. It
pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or employee when such act or omission
appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. The law does not make a distinction
between cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts. It
has been held that the clause "any illegal act or omission of any public official" is broad
enough to embrace any crime committed by a public officer or employee.


The term patrimony pertains to heritage, and given the history of the Manila Hotel, it has
become a part of our national economy and patrimony. Thus, the Filipino First policy
provision of the Constitution is applicable. Such provision is per se enforceable, and requires
no further guidelines or implementing rules or laws for its operation. [Manila Prince Hotel v.
GSIS, (1990)
Regalian doctrine. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum and other
mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and
fauna and other natural resources are owned by the State (Sec. 2, Art. XII).
The State, being the owner of the natural resources, is accorded the primary power and
responsibility in the exploration, development and utilization thereof. As such it may
undertake these activities through four modes:
(1) The State may directly undertake such activities;
(2) The State may enter into co-production, joint venture or production-sharing agreements
with Filipino citizens or qualified corporations;
(3) Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino
citizens; or
(4) For the large-scale exploration, development and utilization of minerals, petroleum and
other mineral oils, the President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned
corporations involving technical or financial assistance. [La Bugal-BLaan Tribal Assn.
v. Ramos (Jan. 2004)]

Limits imposed on the concept of regalian doctrine under Section 2, Article XII
1. Only agricultural lands of the public domain may be alienated.
2. The exploration, development, and utilization of all natural resources shall be under
the supervision of the State either by directly undertaking such exploration,
development, and utilization or through co-exploration, joint venture, or production-
sharing agreements with qualified persons or corporations.
3. All agreements with the qualified private sector maybe for only a period not
exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for another twenty-five years.

40 | P a g e
4. The twenty-five year limit is not applicable to water rights for irrigation, water supply,
fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, for which
beneficial use may be the measure and the limit of grant.
5. The use and enjoyment of the marine wealth of the archipelagic waters, territorial sea,
and exclusive economic zone shall be reserved for Filipino citizens.
6. Utilization of natural resources in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons may be allowed on
a small scale to Filipino citizens or cooperativeswith priority for subsistence
fishermen and fish workers ( Bernas, Primer, 461).
Classification of the land of the public domain: Lands of the public domain are classified
into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands, and national parks. Agricultural lands of the
public domain may be further classified according to the uses to which they may be devoted
(Sec. 3, Art. XII).
Rules on the disposition of agricultural lands of the public domain
1. Private corporations or associations may not acquire alienable lands of the public
2. Qualified individuals may acquire a maximum of 12 hectares of alienable lands of
public domain by purchase, homestead or grant.
3. Private corporations may hold alienable lands of the public domain by lease up to a
maximum of 1,000 hectares and for a period of twenty-five years renewable for
another twenty-five years.
4. Qualified individuals may lease land of the public domains up to a maximm of 500
hectares (Sec. 3, Art. XII).
Transfer of private lands to aliens: Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands
shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified
to acquire or hold lands of the public domain. (Sec. 7, Art. XII)
Prohibition does not apply to ownership of other real property. A foreigner may own a
condominium unit because the prohibition on aliens is only from acquiring land (see Hulst v.
PR Builders, G.R. No. 156364, September 25, 2008).
Limitations of reclaimed lands as part of public domain: Chavez v. Public Estates
Authority, 403 SCRA 1, 28-29
Nature of ancestral lands: La Bugal-BLaan Tribal Association, Inc. v. Ramos, 445 SCRA 1,
Public utility. A public utility is a utility corporation which renders service to the general
public for compensation. Its essential feature is that its service is not confined to privileged
individuals but is open to an indefinite public. The public or private character of a utility
does not depend on the number of persons who avail of its services but on whether or not it is
open to serve all members of the public who may require it (Iloilo Ice and Cold Storage Co.
v. Public Utility Board, 44 Phil. 551)
A public utility is a business or service engaged in regularly supplying the public with some
commodity or service of public consequence. A joint venture falls within the purview of an
association pursuant to Sec. 11, Art. XII and must comply with the 60%-40% Filipino-
foreign capitalization requirement. [JG Summit Holdings v. CA (2001)
What capital is covered- the 60% requirement applies to both the voting control and the
beneficial ownership of the public utility. Therefore, it shall apply uniformly, separately,
and across the board to all classes of shares, regardless of nomenclature or category,
comprising the capital of the corporation. (e.g. 60% of common stock, 60% of preferred
voting stock, and 60% of preferred non-voting stock.) [Gamboa v. Teves, G.R. No. 176579,
October 9, 2012]

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State polices on monopolies and restraint of trade. The State shall regulate or prohibit
monopolies when the public interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or
unfair competition shall be allowed (sec. 19, Art. XII).
State policy on the ownership of educational institutions. Educational institutions, other
than those established by religious groups and mission boards, shall be owned solely by
citizens of the Philippines or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the
capital of which is owned by such citizens. The Congress may, however, require increased
Filipino equity participation in all educational institutions. The control and administration of
educational institutions shall be vested in citizens of the Philippines (Sec. 4[2], Art. XIV)
Practice of Profession: 3. The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited
to Filipino citizens, save in cases prescribed by law. (Art. XII, Sec. 14)
1. Philippine Flag: Flag of the Philippines [Sec. 1] shall be Red, white and blue, with a sun
and three stars. Design of the flag may be changed only by constitutional amendment
[Primer, Bernas]
2. Name of Country, etc. :Name of the country, national anthem, and national seal [Sec. 2]
may be changed by Congress by law. Such law will only take effect upon ratification by the
qualified electorate in a national referendum.
3. Armed Forces
Composition. The armed forces of the Philippines shall be composed of a citizen armed force
which shall undergo military training and serve as may be provided by law. It shall keep a
regular force necessary for the security of the State (Sec. 4, Art. XVI).
Tour of duty of the Chief of Staff. The tour of duty of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces
shall not exceed three years. However, in times of war or other national emergency declared
by the Congress, the President may extend such tour of duty (Sec. 5[7], Art. XVI).
Partisan political activity. No member of the military shall engage directly or indirectly in
any partisan political activity, except to vote (Sec. 5[3], Art. XVI).
Appointment to other positions. No member of the armed forces in active service shall, at any
time, be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian position in the government
including government-owned or controlled corporation or in any of their subsidiaries (Sec.
5[4], Art. XVI).
4. Mass media and advertising industry
State policy on the ownership of mass media. The ownership and management of mass media
shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or associations,
wholly owned and managed by such citizens. The Congress shall regulate or prohibit
monopolies in commercial mass media when the public interest so requires. No combinations
in restraint of trade or unfair competition therein shall be allowed (Sec. 11 [1], Art. XVI).
State policy on the advertising industry. The advertising industry is impressed with public
interest, and shall be regulated by law for the protection of consumers and the promotion of
the general welfare. Only Filipino citizens or corporations or association at least seventy per
centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens shall be allowed to engage in the
advertising industry. The participation of foreign investors in the governing body or entities
in such industry shall be limited to their proportionate share in the capital thereof, and all the
executive and managing officers of such entities must be citizens of the Philippines (Sec. 11
(2), Art. XVI)

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