Ordillo vs Comelec (192 SCRA 100

)

Facts: On January 30, 1990, the people of the provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Abra and
Kalinga-Apayao and the city of Baguio cast their votes in a plebiscite held pursuant to Republic Act No. 6766
entitled “An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region.”
The official Commission on Elections (COMELEC) results of the plebiscite showed that the creation of the Region
was approved by a majority of 5,889 votes in only the Ifugao Province and was overwhelmingly rejected by
148,676 votes in the rest of the provinces and city above-mentioned.
Consequently, the COMELEC, on February 14, 1990, issued Resolution No. 2259 stating that the Organic Act for
the Region has been approved and/or ratified by majority of the votes cast only in the province of Ifugao.
the petitioner filed a petition with COMELEC to declare the non-ratification of the Organic Act for the Region.
The petitioners maintain that there can be no valid Cordillera Autonomous Region in only one province as the
Constitution and Republic Act No. 6766 require that the said Region be composed of more than one constituent
unit.
Issue: The question raised in this petition is whether or not the province of Ifugao, being the only province which
voted favorably for the creation of the Cordillera Autonomous Region can, alone, legally and validly constitute
such Region.
Held: The sole province of Ifugao cannot validly constitute the Cordillera Autonomous Region.
It is explicit in Article X, Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution. The keywords — provinces, cities, municipalities
and geographical areas connote that “region” is to be made up of more than one constituent unit. The term
“region” used in its ordinary sense means two or more provinces. This is supported by the fact that the
thirteen (13) regions into which the Philippines is divided for administrative purposes are groupings of
contiguous provinces. Ifugao is a province by itself. To become part of a region, it must join other provinces,
cities, municipalities, and geographical areas. It joins other units because of their common and distinctive
historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures and other relevant characteristics. The
Constitutional requirements are not present in this case.
Article III, Sections 1 and 2 of Republic Act No. 6766 provide that the Cordillera Autonomous Region is to be
administered by the Cordillera government consisting of the Regional Government and local government units.
It further provides that:
“SECTION 2. The Regional Government shall exercise powers and functions necessary for the proper governance
and development of all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangay or ili within the Autonomous Region . . .”
From these sections, it can be gleaned that Congress never intended that a single province may constitute the
autonomous region. Otherwise, we would be faced with the absurd situation of having two sets of officials,
a set of provincial officials and another set of regional officials exercising their executive and legislative
powers over exactly the same small area.

G.R. No. 76180 October 24, 1986
IN RE: SATURNINO V. BERMUDEZ, petitioner.

R E S O L U T IO N

PER CURIAM:

In a petition for declaratory relief impleading no respondents, petitioner, as a lawyer, quotes the first paragraph
of Section 5 (not Section 7 as erroneously stated) of Article XVIII of the proposed 1986 Constitution, which
provides in full as follows:

Sec. 5. The six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President elected in the February 7, 1986 election
is, for purposes of synchronization of elections, hereby extended to noon of June 30, 1992.

The first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under this Constitution shall be held on the
second Monday of May, 1992.

Claiming that the said provision “is not clear” as to whom it refers, he then asks the Court “to declare and answer
the question of the construction and definiteness as to who, among the present incumbent President Corazon
Aquino and Vice-President Salvador Laurel and the elected President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Vice-President

Arturo M. Tolentino being referred to under the said Section 7 (sic) of ARTICLE XVIII of the TRANSITORY
PROVISIONS of the proposed 1986 Constitution refers to,…”

The petition is dismissed outright for lack of jurisdiction and for lack for cause of action.

Prescinding from petitioner’s lack of personality to sue or to bring this action, (Tan vs. Macapagal, 43 SCRA 677),
it is elementary that this Court assumes no jurisdiction over petitions for declaratory relief. More importantly,
the petition amounts in effect to a suit against the incumbent President of the Republic, President Corazon C.
Aquino, and it is equally elementary that incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to
court during the period of their incumbency and tenure.

The petition furthermore states no cause of action. Petitioner’s allegation of ambiguity or vagueness of the
aforequoted provision is manifestly gratuitous, it being a matter of public record and common public knowledge
that the Constitutional Commission refers therein to incumbent President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-President
Salvador H. Laurel, and to no other persons, and provides for the extension of their term to noon of June 30,
1992 for purposes of synchronization of elections. Hence, the second paragraph of the cited section provides
for the holding on the second Monday of May, 1992 of the first regular elections for the President and Vice-
President under said 1986 Constitution. In previous cases, the legitimacy of the government of President
Corazon C. Aquino was likewise sought to be questioned with the claim that it was not established pursuant to
the 1973 Constitution. The said cases were dismissed outright by this court which held that:

Petitioners have no personality to sue and their petitions state no cause of action. For the legitimacy of the
Aquino government is not a justiciable matter. It belongs to the realm of politics where only the people of the
Philippines are the judge. And the people have made the judgment; they have accepted the government of
President Corazon C. Aquino which is in effective control of the entire country so that it is not merely a de facto
government but in fact and law a de jure government. Moreover, the community of nations has recognized the
legitimacy of the present government. All the eleven members of this Court, as reorganized, have sworn to
uphold the fundamental law of the Republic under her government. (Joint Resolution of May 22, 1986 in G.R.
No. 73748 [Lawyers League for a Better Philippines, etc. vs. President Corazon C. Aquino, et al.]; G.R. No. 73972
[People’s Crusade for Supremacy of the Constitution. etc. vs. Mrs. Cory Aquino, et al.]; and G.R. No. 73990
[Councilor Clifton U. Ganay vs. Corazon C. Aquino, et al.])

For the above-quoted reason, which are fully applicable to the petition at bar, mutatis mutandis, there can be
no question that President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-President Salvador H. Laurel are the incumbent and
legitimate President and Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines.

ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby DISMISSED.

CIRILO ROY G. MONTEJO, petitioner,
vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent.

SERGIO A.F. APOSTOL, intervenor.

PUNO, J.:

More than political fortunes are at stake in the case at bench. Petitioner Cirilo Roy G. Montejo, representing the
First District of Leyte, pleads for the annulment of section 1 of Resolution No. 2736 of the COMELEC, redistricting
certain municipalities in Leyte, on the ground that it violates the principle of equality of representation. To
remedy the alleged inequity, petitioner seeks to transfer the municipality of Tolosa from his district to the
Second District of the province. Intervenor Sergio A.F. Apostol, representing the Second District, vigorously
opposed the inclusion ofTolosa in his district. We gave due course to the petition considering that, at bottom, it
involves the validity of the unprecedented exercise by the COMELEC of the legislative power of redistricting and
reapportionment.

The province of Leyte with the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc is composed of five (5) legislative districts. 1

13. Tabontabon. The new legislative districts created as a result of such conversion shall continue to be represented in Congress by the duly-elected representatives of the original districts out of which said new provinces or districts were created until their own representatives shall have been elected in the next regular congressional elections and qualified. Kawayan.167 6. Tabango. 2736 where." On January 1. The third district 4 is composed of the municipalities of Almeria. Mahaplag. Palo. Hindang.119 7. After the movement of municipalities. Tacloban City. Tanauan and.: "Almeria. Baybay. among others. Dagami. To remedy the resulting inequality in the distribution of inhabitants. and Palompon. The fourth district 5 is composed of Ormoc City and the municipalities of Albuera. Hilongos. i.816 5. 1959.190 81. 38. Culaba. Biliran. Barauen. The composition of the First District which includes the municipality of Tolosa and the composition of the Fifth District were not disturbed. Caibiran. Tanauan and Tolosa. Capoocan. Maripipi. Matagob. San Isidro.375 20. Maripipi. Almeria. was made its sub-province by virtue of Republic Act No. Javier. 13. 2141 Section 1 of the law spelled out enacted on April 8. San Miguel. Carigara. and Naval. Biliran.067 as per the 1990 census. 137. 38. Sta. 7 Section 1 of the law spelled out the municipalities comprising the sub-province. viz. The conversion of Biliran into a regular province was approved by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held on May 11. Bate. Merida. Fe. the sub-province of Biliran became a regular province. Kawayan. and Matalom. Pastrana. it promulgated Resolution No. the composition of the five (5) legislative districts appeared as follows: First District: Population Registered Voters (1990) (1994) 1. Dulag.929 4. voters and municipalities in the province of Leyte. 1992.357 8.497 7.. San Miguel. Kananga. The fifth district 6 is composed of the municipalities of Abuyog.679 2. the Local Government Code took effect. Pursuant to its Section 462. La Pat.795 9.100 20. MacArthur. and Tunga.438 8. Calubian. 33. Palo. Babatngon.700 . Biliran. It provides: Existing sub-provinces are hereby converted into regular provinces upon approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be held in the sub- provinces and the original provinces directly affected. Jaro. Mayorga. Babatngon. Culaba. Julita. it transferred the municipality of Capoocan of the Second District and the municipality of Palompon of the Fourth District to the Third District of Leyte.The first district 2 covers Tacloban City and the municipalities of Alangalang. Biliran. Cabucgayan. 1994. and Villaba. The plebiscite shall be conducted by the COMELEC simultaneously with the national elections following the effectivity of this code.299 7. respondent COMELEC held consultation meetings with the incumbent representatives of the province and other interested parties. Caibiran. The second district 3 is composed of the municipalities of Barugo. On December 29. 12. Leyte. Maripipi and Naval and all the territories comprised therein. Naval. located in the third district of Leyte .543 3.e. As a consequence of the conversion. Alangalang. Kawayan. Sta. Culaba. eight (8) municipalities of the Third District composed the new province of Biliran. Isabel.033 22. Cabucgayan. 1992. Fe. Caibiran. Inopacan. Tolosa. 17. Cabucgayan. A further consequence was to reduce the Third District to five (5) municipalities with a total population of 145.

281 47. Baybay.871 5.339 21. and 23.530 5. Barugo. Dagami.183 4. Palompon. 23. Mayorga. Pastrana.658 11.916 4. 16.159 8. 33. 46.456 75. Isabel. Jaro.349 178.395 17. Javier.197 116.345 12.968 16. 48. 82.———— ———— TOTAL 303. Tabango.817 13.237 2. 47.474 ———— ———— TOTAL 269. Matagob.519 5. Merida.873 5.565 7. Capoocan. Hindang.944 6.442 14.307 3.401 7. 36.272 9. Albuera. 33. 13. 32. 25. Leyte. 24. 5.868 10.227 6.462 Third District: Population Registered Voters (1990) (1994) 1. and 22.347 155.474 9.595 7.029 23. Tabontabon.288 19.682 2. 14.419 13. Carigara 38. 129. Hilongos. Ormoc City. 45.923 4.389 21.659 6.139 7. 25. 29. 10. Inopacan. 18.575 16. 12.763 Fourth District: Population Registered Voters (1990) (1994) 1.387 ———— ———— TOTAL 272.003 9. Mac Arthur. and 7.413 3. San Isidro.687 13.688 Second District: Population Registered Voters (1990) (1994) 1. La Paz.140 2.499 125.474 ———— ———— TOTAL 214. 28.13 3. 9.020 19. Tunga.311 9. 16.48 5.863 22.167 156.628 11.196 8.745 27. Kananga.407 6. 32.606 16. Villaba. Calubian. Bato.348 12.415 3. Julita.894 10. Barauen.617 26.649 2. Dulag. Abuyog.493 3.265 28. 15.995 Fifth District: Population Registered Voters (1990) (1994) 1.889 4.375 6. 32.036 4.727 17.743 15.713 . 31.

462 registered voters or a difference of 22. is geographically located shall be correspondingly adjusted by the Commission on Elections but such adjustment shall not be made within one hundred and twenty days before the election. Rightly. Citing Wesberry v. (Emphasis supplied) The Ordinance was made necessary because Proclamation No. The number of Members apportioned to the province out of which such new province was created or where the city. compact and adjacent territory. abolished the Batasang Pambansa.673 13. the Members thereof shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. to the inequitable distribution of inhabitants and voters between the First and Second Districts. The Commission on Elections is hereby empowered to make minor adjustments of the reapportionment herein made. Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution.148 181. and (2) assuming it has jurisdiction. ordaining the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. The motion was opposed by intervenor.688 registered voters while the Second District has 156. The intervenor. he proposed that the municipality of Tolosa with 7. our first inquiry will relate to the constitutional power of the respondent COMELEC 9 to transfer municipalities from one legislative district to another legislative district in the province of Leyte. however. as far as practicable. While the petition at bench presents a significant issue. 8. Article IX of the Constitution. Any province that may hereafter be created." Its substantive sections state: Sec.242 Petitioner Montejo filed a motion for reconsideration calling the attention of respondent COMELEC. 3 10 of President Corazon C. Respondent Commission denied the motion ruling that: (1) its adjustment of municipalities involved the least disruption of the territorial composition of each district. whose population has so increased. opposed the petition on two (2) grounds: (1) COMELEC has no jurisdiction to promulgate Resolution No. 11 She then exercised legislative powers under the Provisional Constitution. respondent COMELEC does not invoke this provision but relies on the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution as the source of its power of redistricting which is traditionally regarded as part of the power to make laws. Sergio A. 2736 void. are spelled out in black and white in section 2(c).291 16. The basic powers of respondent COMELEC. or any city whose population may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty thousand shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least one Member or such number of Members as it may be entitled to on the basis of the number of its inhabitants and according to the standards set forth in paragraph (3)." The Solicitor General. Sanders.247 ———— ———— TOTAL 309.7000 registered voters be transferred from the First to the Second District. 2736 violates the principle of equality of representation ordained in the Constitution. He alleged that the First District has 178. Matalom 28. To diminish the difference. Apostol. Mahaplag. and until otherwise provided by law.616 9.F. said Resolution is in accord with the Constitution. among others. cities. 2. 1. Aquino. 12 . and (2) said adjustment complied with the constitutional requirement that each legislative district shall comprise.226 registered voters. 8 he argues that respondent COMELEC violated "the constitutional precept that as much as practicable one man's vote in a congressional election is to be worth as much as another's. and 22. Sec. We find section 1 of Resolution No. contiguous. as enforcer and administrator of our election laws. 2736. petitioner insists that Section I of Resolution No. The Ordinance is entitled "Apportioning the Seats of the House of Representatives of the Congress of the Philippines to the Different Legislative Districts in Provinces and Cities and the Metropolitan Manila Area. Respondent COMELEC filed its own Comment alleging that it acted within the parameters of the Constitution. In this petition. and the Metropolitan Manila Area as follows: xxx xxx xxx Sec. in his Comment. 3. For purposes of the election of Members of the House of Representatives of the First Congress of the Philippines under the Constitution proposed by the 1986 Constitutional Commission and subsequent elections. concurred with the views of the petitioner.

Commissioner Padilla is recognized. (2) empower the COMELEC to make the apportionment. Mr." But we shall have an ordinance appended to the new Constitution indicating specifically the following: "FOR PURPOSES OF THE ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE FIRST CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE RATIFICATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION PROPOSED BY THE 1986 CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION AND SUBSEQUENT ELECTIONS AND UNTIL OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW.. a prior or a proposed amendment." I hope the chairman will accept the proposed amendment. the same insofar as the apportionment is concerned. Among the vital issues were: whether the members of the House of Representatives would be elected by district or by province. more or less. who shall undertake the apportionment of the legislative districts. RESUMPTION OF SESSION At 3:40 p. Also. Presiding Officer.. Jamir). MR. So that in paragraph (5). The effect is. the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. what would be left would only be the following: "Within three years following the return of every census. Jamir). as a compromise.m. Mr. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jr. I wonder if the Commission will allow this. Aquino and Blas F. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SHALL BE ELECTED FROM LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS APPORTIONED AMONG THE PROVINCES. so that all the proponents can work together. I think I have filed a very simple motion by way of amendment by substitution and this was.m. which will in effect embody what the Commission had approved. Jamir). Ople. meaning after the first election. Presiding Officer.The Ordinance was the principal handiwork of then Commissioner Hilario G. The records reveal that the Constitutional Commission had to resolve several prejudicial issues before authorizing the first congressional elections under the 1987 Constitution.: 16 xxx xxx xxx MR. but the Bernas-Sarmiento et al. Presiding Officer. The session is resumed. viz. PADILLA. 14 Commissioner Davide. how the apportionment should be made. 13 now a distinguished member of this Court. Mr. the chairman of the Committee on the Legislative said that he was proposing a vote first by the Chamber on the concept of whether the election is by province and cities on the one hand. We quote the debates in extenso. I believe. Jr. the session was resumed. or (3) let the Commission exercise the power by way of an Ordinance appended to the Constitution. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. or by legislative districts on the other. It was 3:33 p. Davide. Commissioner Davide is recognized. We will just delete the proposed subparagraph (4) and all the capitalized words in paragraph (5). and." ." So.15 The different dimensions of the options were discussed by Commissioners Davide. Felicitas S. MR. DAVIDE. PADILLA. DAVIDE. The session is suspended. CITIES AND THE METROPOLITAN MANILA AREA AS FOLLOWS. the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. may I request for a suspension of the session. offered three (3) options for the Commission to consider: (1) allow President Aquino to do the apportionment by law. SUSPENSION OF SESSION MR. reading as follows: "Within three years following the return of every census. proposal would also provide for a mandate for the apportionment later. So I propose this simple formulation which reads: "FOR THE FIRST ELECTION UNDER THIS CONSTITUTION THE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS SHALL BE APPORTIONED BY THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.

Jamir). it is the safest. We know that the reapportionment of provinces and cities for the purpose of redistricting is generally inherent in the constituent power or in the legislative power. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. MR. being a nonpartisan. gerrymandering. Commissioner Bengzon is recognized. Jamir). MR. Redistricting is vitally linked to the baneful practices of cutting up areas or spheres of influence. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. apportioned the whole country into various districts based on the recommendation of the COMELEC. RODRIGO. I would like to support the position taken by Commissioner Aquino in this respect. I think. there arises. MS. I have to object to the provision which will give mandate to COMELEC to do the redistricting. OPLE. is in the best possible situation under the circumstances to undertake that responsibility. as chairman of the Committee on the Legislative. a nonpolitical deliberative body. The issue now is whether this body will make the apportionment itself or whether we will leave it to the COMELEC. We are not wanting in expertise and in time because in the first place. MR. Mr. So if this body is ready to accept the work of the Committee on the Legislative we would have no problem. We have the assurance of Commissioner Davide. I would like to inform the body that I believe the Committee on the Legislative has precisely worked on this matter and they are ready with a list of apportionment. BENGZON. So. in other words. we will mandate the COMELEC to make the actual apportionment on the basis of the number of seats provided for and allocated to each province by us. I support the position taken by Commissioner Aquino. Presiding Officer.And what will follow will be the allocation of seats to Metropolitan Manila Area. So they are ready with the list and if this body would wish to apportion the whole country by district itself. the Committee on the Legislative has prepared the report on the basis of the recommendation of the COMELEC. without indicating the municipalities comprising each of the districts. DAVIDE. the most reasonable. MS. there is no reason why we cannot complete the work of reapportionment on the basis of the COMELEC plan which the committee has already thoroughly studied and which remains available to the Constitutional Commission. BENGZON. RODRIGO. I just would like to give that information so that the people here would be guided accordingly when they vote. that even given the very short time remaining in the life of this Commission. then I believe we have the time to do it because the Committee on the Legislative is ready with that particular report which need only to be appended to the Constitution. Presiding Officer. a prejudicial question for the body to decide. Commissioner Ople is recognized. . Mr. to the provinces and to the cities. I would propose that the Commission should now decide what body should make the apportionment. AQUINO. and the most workable approach that is available to this Commission. Mr. They have. under Section 2. OPLE. Presiding Officer. MR. I just would like to ask Commissioner Davide some questions. Jamir) Commissioner Rodrigo is recognized. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Apropos of that. MR. AQUINO. in fact. Jamir). Mr. And I would feel very uncertain about delegating this to a quasi-judicial body even if it is one of the constitutional offices created under this Constitution. Commissioner Aquino is recognized. Mr. therefore. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. This Commission. Presiding Officer. Jamir). So. MR. Should it be the Commission or should it be the COMELEC? And the Committee on the Legislative will act accordingly on the basis of the decision. What does Commissioner Davide say: MR. Presiding Officer. Then.

MR. MR. Mr. MR. RAMA. Jamir).THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr.000 inhabitants. an amendment to the amendment as suggested by Commissioner Aquino. Will this apportionment which we are considering apply only to the first election after the enactment of the Constitution? MR. Mr. it will be for the first election. MS . Thank you. On the basis of the Commissioner's proposed apportionment and considering the fact that there will be a corresponding reduction to 183 seats. DAVIDE. MR. REGALADO. Yes.Commissioner Aquino is recognized. It will come out to be one for every 350 to 400. Gladly. DAVIDE. Jamir). Gentleman will please proceed. The Floor Leader is recognized. MR. DAVIDE. RODRIGO. Is it the motion or the proposed amendment? . Mr. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. it will only apply to the first election. On the basis of the Padilla proposal. REGALADO. xxx xxx xxx THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. RODRIGO. DAVIDE. So. May I be clarified. Commissioner Davide may yield if he so desires. MR. Yes. to please formulate it into a motion so we can vote on that first as an amendment to the amendment. it should be this Commission that shall make the redistricting. xxx xxx xxx MR. None at all. Jamir) Commissioner Regalado is recognized. MR. The motion is for this Commission to undertake the apportionment of the legislative districts instead of the proposal that COMELEC be given the mandate to undertake the responsibility. May I address a clarificatory question to Commissioner Davide? THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Mr. on the basis of the Sarmiento proposal. On the other hand. there seems to be a prejudicial question. would there be instances representation of under non-representation? MR. DAVIDE. I can assure the Commission that there will be no case of inequitable distribution. REGALADO. And after that. MR. Presiding Officer. Presiding Officer. And that would be within the standard that we refer. if she insists on that idea. Congress will have the power to reapportion. RODRIGO. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. RAMA. So may I ask Commissioner Aquino. MR. MR. The parliamentary situation is that there was a motion by Commissioner Sarmiento to mandate COMELEC to do the redistricting. Jamir). MR. Jamir). REGALADO. Presiding Officer. AQUINO. if we attach this to the Constitution — the reapportionment based on the COMELEC study and between the approval of the Constitution and the first election — the COMELEC no longer has the power to change that even a bit. SARMIENTO. that instead of the COMELEC. This was also almost the same motion by Commissioner Padilla and I think we have had some kind of meeting of minds. Presiding Officer. MR.

Jamir). So. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Would that require a two-thirds vote or a simple plurality to adopt that motion? THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Mr. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. SARMIENTO. It is already the Commission that will be mandated. adopting my motion? Would it not be right for him to move that the COMELEC be mandated? MR. Jamir) The Gentleman may proceed. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. So. the motion is approved. SARMIENTO. SARMIENTO. AQUINO. MS. Mr. Let us proceed to vote. viz. VOTING THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr.) As many as are against. DAVIDE. Jamir). MR. SARMIENTO. SARMIENTO. MR. please raise their hand. Presiding Officer. I am voting that this Commission do the reapportionment. May I be clarified again on the motion. Mr. AQUINO. AQUINO. please raise their hand. No. Mr. may I move for the approval of this proposed amendment. otherwise. Commissioner Aquino is recognized. we cannot exercise that authority until after the ratification of the new Constitution. May I request that it should be treated merely as a motion to be followed by a deletion of paragraph 4 because that should not really appear as a paragraph in Section 5. As many as are in favor. What does Commissioner Sarmiento say? MR.: . Jamir). (Several Members raised their hand. MR. Section 2 of the Ordinance only empowered the COMELEC "to make minoradjustments of the reapportionment herein made. Is Commissioner Sarmiento." The meaning of the phrase "minor adjustments was again clarified in the debates 17 of the Commission. May I restate the motion. It is accepted. MS. MS. MR. (No Member raised his hand. Jamir). Jamir). THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. we accepted the amendment. The proposed amendment. AQUINO. MS. That will require a two-thirds vote. As a matter of fact. Clearly then. May I move that this Commission do the reapportionment legislative districts. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. MS. Thank you. therefore. the Gentlemen has accepted the amendment the amendment. Mr. Thank you. AQUINO. Presiding Officer. May we move for the approval of this proposed amendment which we substitute for paragraphs 4 and 5.) The results show 30 votes in favor and none against. Presiding Officer. Jamir). What is the pleasure of Commissioner Aquino? MS. Presiding Officer. Presiding Officer. it will appear very ugly in the Constitution where we mandate a Commission that will become functus officioto have the authority. AQUINO. MR. the Constitutional Commission denied to the COMELEC the major power of legislative apportionment as it itself exercised the power. SARMIENTO.

MR. DAVIDE. . xxx xxx xxx THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. could devalue a citizen's vote in violation of the equal protection clause . DE CASTRO. Commissioner de Castro is recognized. Romulo). the minor adjustment may be made only if one of the municipalities is not mentioned in the ordinance appended to. GUINGONA. MR." Prescinding from these premises. meaning to say. DAVIDE. DAVIDE. we hold that respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it promulgated section 1 of its Resolution No. DE CASTRO. Presiding Officer. DAVIDE. xxx xxx xxx MR. MR. MR. Thank you. MR. Mr. GUINGONA. for example. my municipality is in the First District of Laguna. That is not even a minor correction. Yes. There were many batas pambansa enacted by both the interim and the Regular Batasang Pambansa changing the names of municipalities. However. we may not have the data regarding a division of a municipality by the interim Batasang Pambansa or the Regular Batasang Pambansa into two municipalities. This is just clarificatory. For instance. This imbalance. and it will be up for the COMELEC now to adjust or to put such municipality to a certain district. Presiding Officer. . Thank you. the Commission on Elections is empowered to make minor adjustments on the apportionment made here. Yes. or there may be an error in the correct name of a particular municipality because of changes made by the interim Batasang Pambansa and the Regular Batasang Pambansa. depending on its degree. meaning. The authority conferred would be on minor corrections or amendments. DE CASTRO. GUINGONA. It may well be that the conversion of Biliran from a sub-province to a regular province brought about an imbalance in the distribution of voters and inhabitants in the five (5) legislative districts of the province of Leyte. Mr. Mr. Consistent with the limits of its power to make minor adjustments. We should not set a time limit unless during the period of amendments a proposal is made. but still actually these are within the geographical district area. MR. MR. We have not set any time limit for this. meaning. Section 3 of the Ordinance did not also give the respondent COMELEC any authority to transfer municipalities from one legislative district to another district. MR. I was about to ask the committee the meaning of minor adjustment. That we shall consider a minor amendment. It is a substantive one. MR. Mr. Presiding Officer. Can it be possible that one municipality in a district be transferred to another district and call it a minor adjustment? MR. The power granted by Section 3 to the respondent COMELEC is to adjust the number of members (not municipalities) "apportioned to the province out of which such new province was created. which ought to be included in one district. . Presiding Officer. DAVIDE. they cannot put that in any other district. Minor. MR. So the minor adjustment which the COMELEC cannot do is that. 2736 transferring the municipality of Capoocan of the Second District and the municipality of Palompon of the Fourth District to the Third District of Leyte. DE CASTRO. for instance. that there should be no change in the allocations per district. that we may have forgotten an intervening municipality in the enumeration. a mother municipality and the new municipality. if. In Section 2. That cannot be done. Thank you. So. it may happen that we have forgotten a municipality in between which is still in the territory of one assigned district.

the attorneys for both parties moved for time within which to submit their respective memoranda. were posted in said office on December 4. Santos of the Grace Park Post Office 2to the effect that registered letters Nos. Angel P. Trial was conducted and the same was concluded when the accused rested his case on August 4. Be that as it may. Meanwhile. however. Manila. the respondent judge reset the promulgation of the decision to January 19. The issue involves a problem of reapportionment of legislative districts and petitioner's remedy lies with Congress. Rizal. 011980 and 011981.. 1975. as Presiding Judge of Branch XII of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. On the same date. on the ground of loss of jurisdiction of respondent trial court over the case for failure to decide the same within the period of ninety [90] days from submission thereof. counsel for the accused. The trial court granted the motion as follows: Upon joint motion. section 1 of Resolution No. On January 19. But while this Court can strike down an unconstitutional reapportionment. 1975. addressed to Marietta Ferrer of 9-E Mango Road. Petitioner espouses the thesis that the three-month period prescribed by Section 11[l] of Article X of the 1973 Constitution. 2736 insofar as it transferred the municipality of Capoocan of the Second District and the municipality of Palompon of the Fourth District to the Third District of the province of Leyte. Granting the motion. 1976. and for release from detention of petitioner. M. the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. Portero. Section 5(4). On January 16. respondent judge filed with the Deputy Clerk of Court his decision in said case for promulgation. the accused in said case. Acceding to counsel's request that he be given time to consider the proper remedial measure to take. is mandatory in character and that non-observance thereof results in the loss of jurisdiction of the court over the unresolved case. 1976 at 8:30 A. Jr. entitled People of the Philippines versus Bernardino Marcelino. who both received them on December 2. vs. . 4 On the date set for promulgation of the decision. raising for the first time the alleged loss of jurisdiction of the trial court for failure to decide the case within 90 days from submission thereof for decision. 1976. from promulgating his decision in Criminal Case No. C-5910." In Macias v. Counsel for petitioner submitted his memorandum in due time. Branch XII.1975. and thereafter the case shall be deemed submitted for decision of the Court. 1975. and Atty. and THE PROVINCIAL WARDEN OF THE PROVINCIAL JAIL OF RIZAL. the complaining witness. COMELEC. on January 12. 3 Similar notices were sent to the Provincial Fiscal of Pasig and to the Provincial Warden of Pasig. 1975. 1976. it cannot itself make the reapportionment as petitioner would want us to do by directing respondent COMELEC to transfer the municipality of Tolosa from the First District to the Second District of the province of Leyte. counsel for accused moved for postponement. Article VI of the Constitution categorically gives Congress the power to reapportion. BERNARDINO MARCELINO. Rizal. petitioner. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. These notices were received by the respective addressees on December 8 and 9. respondent judge rescheduled the promulgation to January 26. but no memorandum was filed by the People. J. SO ORDERED.of the Constitution. ESCOLIN.. being a constitutional directive. Intramuros. 1975. C-5910. FERNANDO CRUZ. 18 we ruled that the validity of a legislative apportionment is a justiciable question. 1976 was executed by Postmaster Jesse A. this Court issued an Order temporarily restraining respondent judge from promulgating the decision in Criminal Case No. counsel for the accused filed before Us the present petition. the parties are given thirty [30] days to submit their respective memoranda. On November 28.respondents. it is not proper at this time for petitioner to raise this issue using the case at bench as his legal vehicle. Purisima of 414 Shurdut Bldg. counsel for petitioner moved anew for the resetting of the promulgation of decision. respectively. 1 A certification dated January 26. Malabon.: A petition for prohibition and writ of habeas corpus to enjoin respondent Judge Fernando Cruz. JR. is annulled and set aside. 1976. thus: "Within three (3) years following the return of every census. No costs. THE HON. Petitioner was charged with the crime of rape before the Court of First Instance of Rizal. simultaneously. The decision was also dated November 28. We also deny the Petition praying for the transfer of the municipality of Tolosa from the First District to the Second District of the province of Leyte. IN VIEW WHEREOF.

App. App. 366. Morris. In practice. would make the courts. 91 S. respondent judge filed with the deputy clerk of court the decision in Criminal Case No. 484. Koken Barber Supply Co. Article X of the New Constitution provides in full. the reason being that less injury results to the general public by disregarding than by enforcing the letter of the law. 14 declares that constitutional provisions are directory. no authoritative interpretation of the above-quoted provision has been rendered by this Court. the statute under examination was construed merely to be directory. Court of Appeals 8. 61 Mo. or eighty. of Philadelphia. it was held that "the statutory provisions which may be thus departed from with impunity. Drake v. 69 Mo." 10 "The difference between a mandatory and a directory provision is often determined on grounds of expediency. 194 Mo. upon proper application and for meritorious reasons. 1975. " Thus. Section 11 [1]. " And there can be no doubt that said provision. State v. App. 5 Ago v. 381. in said case. Justice's Court. Cas. He had thus veritably rendered his decision on said case within the three-month period prescribed by the Constitution. authorities are one in saying that: Statutes requiring the rendition of judgment forthwith or immediately after the trial or verdict have been held by some courts to be merely directory so that non-compliance with them does not invalidate the judgment. 557. Cooley characterizes as "very dangerous ground when they [referring to the courts] venture to apply rules which distinguish directory and mandatory statutes to the provisions of a constitution. 67 Mo. in approaching this novel question. 13 it was ruled that "the legal distinction between directory and mandatory laws is applicable to fundamental as it is to statutory laws. Herwick v. considering that notices have to be sent to the accused as well as to the other parties involved. 742. are usually those which relate to the mode or time of doing that which is essential to effect the aim and purpose of the Legislature or some incident of the essential act. Davis. This Court had at various times. 26 Pac. Meagher. it is this date that should be considered in determining whether or not respondent judge had resolved the case within the allotted period. Such construction applies equally to the constitutional provision under consideration. 1000. 4 L. 39. v. 448. on the theory that if the statute had intended such result it would clearly have indicated it.We disagree. By the phrase "unless reduced by the Supreme Court. 585. 5 Ann. 65 Pac. having been incorporated for reasons of expediency. v. To date. to wit: SEC. Heillen v. practice and procedure in all courts .R. a different intention is manifest.." 11 In Trapp v. where they refer to matters merely procedural. 115 Mo. Bagley. Nicolas. and. the date of promulgation of a decision could not serve as the reckoning date because the same necessarily comes at at a later date.. The reason is that a departure from said provision would result in less injury to the general public than would its strict application. Court of Appeals 6 and Balquidra v. Thus.S. Indeed. App. shall be eighteen months for the Supreme court. Wissman v. 92 S. Thus. 1975 the date the case was deemed submitted for decision. twelve months for all inferior collegiate courts. We have assumed a liberal stand with respect to this provision. 133 Cal. In Comia v. and three months for all other inferior courts.) 1023. Undisputed is the fact that on November 28. Albermarle Oil & Gas Co. In Mikell v. the maximum period within which a case or matter shall be decided or resolved from the date of its submission. Pohle v. the very instruments to foster unresolved causes by reason merely of . 82. 454]. 12 a case calling for the interpretation of a statute containing a limitation of thirty [30] days within which a decree may be entered without the consent of counsel. 88 Cal. and not mandatory." it is evident that the period prescribed therein is subject to modification by this Court in accordance with its prerogative under Section 5[5] of Article X of the New Constitution to "promulgate rules concerning pleading. On this view. Dickmann. unless reduced by the Supreme Court. an event which is beyond the control of the judge. without affecting the validity of statutory proceedings. School Dis.. Upon the effectivity of this Constitution." [American Tupe Founders Co. There is no doubt that the constitutional provision cited by petitioner refers to the rendition of judgment and not to the promulgation thereof. relates merely to matters of procedure.five [851 days from September 4.W.W. 5910.A. 819. Phillips. 11 [1]. the promulgation of a judgment in the trial court does not necessarily coincide with the date of its delivery by the judge of the clerk of court. We now tread upon what Mr." 9 The established rule is that "constitutional provisions are to be construed as mandatory. the phraseology of the provision in question indicates that it falls within the exception rather than the general rule." To Our mind. (N. To hold that non- compliance by the courts with the aforesaid provision would result in loss of jurisdiction. McCormick. Court of First Instance 7 this Court ruled that the rendition of the judgment in trial courts refers to the filing of the signed decision with the clerk of court. allowed judges of inferior courts additional time beyond the three-month period within which to decide cases submitted to them. unless by express provision or by necessary implication. through which conflicts are resolved. As pointed out in People v.

JJ. Jr. Fenando Poe. Such an absurd situation could not have been intended by the framers of our fundamental law. to be binding. July 30. it should not be followed.. petitioner's case has to be declared by another judge. 2013 election. Section 11(1). Concepcion Jr. X of the Constitution is invoked.having failed to render a decision within the alloted term. and Susan Roces adopted Grace Poe. "Thus. she has been a resident in the Philippines for 9 years and 6 months only) . Iloilo by Edgardo Militar in 1968." (People vs. Notwithstanding Our conclusion that courts are not divested of their jurisdiction for failure to decide a case within the ninety-day period. Judiciary Act of 1948. Art. 45 Off. a decision rendered by an inferior court outside of the 90-day period is not void for loss of jurisdiction.. We here emphasize the rule. Henry Campbell Black in his Construction and Interpretation of the Laws.. 1957. WHEREFORE. SO ORDERED. 4457. 737 . In fact a certificate to this certificate is required before judges are allowed Lo draw their salaries. G. Emiliano Militar and his wife. L-8732. Rodriguez.. L-9111-9113. 2016 elections (hence. People v. Since respondent Judge Fernando Cruz. 37 Phil. As foreseen by Mr. 675. Elepaño. J. 1976 issued by this Court is lifted. his successor is hereby ordered to decide Criminal Case No. Separate Opinions ABAD SANTOS. The Commission on Elections. before the May 13. she has been a resident of the Philippines for 6 years and 6 months (reckoned from year 2006 when she re-acquired her Filipino citizenship under RA 9225). I submit. It cannot now be promulgated. Gaz. So. is on leave. is already deceased. ". No. Jr. Revised Administrative Code) but does not deprive them of jurisdiction to act in the causes pending before them. Emiliano reported and registered Grace Poe as a foundling with the Office of the Civil Registrar of Iloilo City. is valid and the only consequence is to subject the erring judge to administrative action. and the Restraining Order dated January 16. 733. A decision rendered beyond the 90-day period. for the guidance of the judges manning our courts. 186. impossible or mischievous consequences. failure to comply with the injunction for judges to decide their cases within 90 days from submission merely deprives them of their right to collect their salaries or to apply for leave (section 5. concurring: I concur and I wish to add the following observations: The petitioner sinks release from detention on the ground of loss of jurisdiction of the trial court allegedly because its judge failed to decide his case within 90 days from the date of its submission. Guerrero and De Castro. section 129. computing from May. The main opinion states that the 90-day period was not exceeded in this case and I agree. Aquino. Crescini.1956]. J. 15 the constitutional provision in question should be held merely as directory. the petition is hereby dismissed. Makasiar (Chairman). Barredo v. that cases pending before their salas must be decided within the aforementioned period. 2006 – she re-acquired Filipino citizenship · According to Poe in her 2013 COC for Senator. Garchitorena v.R. But exceeded or not. 2006.) The judge who wrote the questioned decision has died. " One last point.. concur. citing Lino Luna v. a judgment must be duly signed and promulgated during the incumbency of the judge whose signature appears thereon. 99 Phil." (Dimson vs. 37 Phil.) For this reason. Parental care and custody over her was passed on by Edgardo to his relatives. "It is well-settled that. · 1991 – Poe went to the US to be a permanent resident therein · 2001 – She became a naturalized US citizen · First quarter of 2005 – she came back to the Philippines to permanently reside herein · February 14. To hold otherwise is to make the administration of justice depend heavily on the frailities of a human judge. Court of Appeals. · Poe filed her COC for Presidency for the May 9. Failure to observe said rule constitutes a ground for administrative sanction against the defaulting judge. GRACE POE vs. 2013. where the contrary construction) would lead to absurd. COMELEC The Case · Grace Poe was found abandoned as a newborn infant in the Parish Church of Jaro.she went back to the US to dispose family belongings · July 18. C-5910 on the basis of the record thereof within ninety [90] days from the time the case is raffled to him.. No.

These laws do not provide that adoption confers citizenship upon the adoptee. natural born citizens. Ø Likewise. There are disputable presumptions that things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature. . RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT Poe is qualified to be a candidate for President in the National and Local Election on May 9. Generally accepted principles of international law The common thread of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. a foundling. North and South America and Europe have passed legislation recognizing foundlings as its citizens. Hence. all three Constitutions guarantee the basic right to equal protection of the laws. The principles stated in the: 1. Ø The amendment to the Constitution proposed by constitutionalist Rafols to include foundlings as natural born citizens was not carried out. 2016. She was abandoned in a Roman Catholic Church in Iloilo 2. Poe’s evidence shows that at least 60 countries in Asia. xxx. would indicate more than ample probability that Poe’s parents are Filipinos. Other circumstantial evidence of the nationality of Poe’s parents are the fact that: 1. the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights obligates the Philippines to grant nationality from birth and to ensure that no child is stateless. She has typical Filipino features. there is a generally accepted principle of international law to presume foundlings as having been born and a national of the country in which it is found. On this basis. the total number of foreigners born in the Philippines was 15. there is a 99% chance that the child born in the Philippines would be a Filipino which in turn. There was no intent or language that would permit discrimination against foundlings. 166 out of 189 countries accept that foundlings are recognized as citizens. domestic laws on adoption support the principle that foundlings are Filipinos. Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (foundling is presumed born of citizens of the country where he is found) bind the Philippines although we are not signatory to these conventions. rather. 1) Is Poe. Ø Recent legislation all expressly refer to “Filipino children” and include foundlings as among Filipino children who may be adopted. Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relation to the Conflict of Nationality laws (that a foundling is presumed to have the nationality of the country of birth) 2. not because there was any objection to the notion that persons of unknown parentage are not citizens. a natural-born citizen? Yes. Legislation Foundlings are as a class. but only because their number was not enough to merit specific mention. Poe declared that she is a natural born and her residence in the Philippine up to the day before election would be 10 years and 11 months counted from May 24. While the Filipinos born in the country were more than 10 Million. 2005 (when she returned from the US to the Philippines for good). On this basis. the adoptee must be Filipino in the first place to be adopted.985.· However. based on: a) Circumstantial evidence b) Legislation c) Generally accepted principles of international law Circumstantial evidence There is more than sufficient evidence that Poe has Filipino parents and is therefore a natural-born Filipino. The Solicitor General offered official Statistics from the Philippine Statistics office that from 1965 to 1975. in her COC. it is safer to assume that Poe’s parents are Filipinos. To assume otherwise is to accept the absurd. On the contrary. [T]here is a high probability that her parents are Filipinos.

No. it was for good.4 Billion in automatic appropriation (with P86. petitioners. xxx These evidence. Commission on Audit etc).017. she will have been a resident for 10 years and 11 months on the day of the election. No. HON. She said that she reckoned residency from April-May 2006 which was the period when the U.: This is a case of first impression whereby petitioners question the constitutionality of the automatic appropriation for debt service in the 1990 budget.. 2005 and her return to the Philippines every time she travelled abroad.3 Billion appropriated under Republic Act No. email correspondences with freight company to arrange for the shipment of household items as well as with the pet Bureau. Culture and Sports amount to P27. Pareno v. Poe was able to prove that her statement in her 2013 COC was only a mistake in good faith. HRET.D. 6831. GANCAYCO. and AQUILINO Q. Budget & Management. Poe’s repatriation resulted to reacquisition of natural born citizenship.S. the facts are as follows: The 1990 budget consists of P98. Such a mistake could be given in evidence against her but it was by no means conclusive considering the overwhelming evidence submitted by Poe." and by P. These evidence include former US passport showing her arrival on May 24. . 81.2 The said automatic appropriation for debt service is authorized by P.000. J. No. entitled "Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four Thousand Eight Hundred Sixty. Ramon A.D. [T]here is overwhelming evidence that leads to no to other conclusion that Poe decided to permanently abandon her US residence and reside in the Philippines as early as May 24.00. vs. TEOFISTO T. coupled with her eventual application to reacquire Philippine citizenship is clear that when she returned in May 2005. PIMENTEL. A natural born citizen before he lost his Philippine nationality will be restored to his former status as natural born Filipino after repatriation (Benson v. respondents. JR. CAJUCOM in her capacity as National Treasurer and COMMISSION ON AUDIT." by P. or a total of P233. As explained by Grace Poe. otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act. school records of her children showing enrolment in the Philippine to the Philippine schools starting on June 2005 etc. Poe presented voluminous evidence showing that she and her family abandoned their US domicile and relocated to the Philippines for good. 3) Has Poe satisfied the 10 year residency requirement? Yes. As alleged in the petition. house was sold and her husband returned to the Philippines.2) After renouncing her American citizenship and after having taken her Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. she was advised by her lawyers in 2015 that residence could be counted from 25 May 2005.1 while the appropriations for the Department of Education.813. 2005. HON. has Poe re-acquired her status as a natural-born Filipino citizen? Yes. 1967. In that regard. entitled "An Act Strenghthening the Guarantee and Payment Positions of the Republic of the Philippines on Its Contingent Liabilities Arising out of Relent and Guaranteed Loan by Appropriating Funds For The Purpose. 1177.8 Billion for debt service) and P155. Gonzales for petitioners. GUILLERMO CARAGUE. as Amended (Re: Foreign Borrowing Act). GUINGONA. ROZALINA S. she misunderstood the date required in the 2013 COC as the period of residence as of the day she submitted that COC in 2012. in his capacity as Secretary.D. entitled "Revising the Budget Process in Order to Institutionalize the Budgetary Innovations of the New Society.5 Billion. JR.

D. 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. 1177 AND PD No. No. 81. The petition also seeks to restrain the disbursement for debt service under the 1990 budget pursuant to said decrees. The judicial power shad be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. for all teachers. It cannot abdicate that obligation mandated by the 1987 Constitution. teaching competed most successfully against all other career choices for the best and the brightest of the younger generation. 1967.D. No. 6831. The questions raised in the instant petition are — I. and P. would ensure that the President and Congress would be strongly urged by a constitutional mandate to grant to them such a level of remuneration and other incentives that would make teaching competitive again and attractive to the best available talents in the nation. 1177. would ensure that teaching would be restored to its lost glory as the career of choice for the most talented and most public-spirited of the younger generation in the sense that it would become the . Mr. IS THE APPROPRIATION OF P86 BILLION IN THE P233 BILLION 1990 BUDGET VIOLATIVE OF SECTION 5. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. Ople pointed out that the recognition by the Constitution of the highest priority for public schoolteachers.3 Indeed.A. Respondents contend that the petition involves a pure political question which is the repeal or amendment of said laws addressed to the judgment. thus: In explaining his proposed amendment. 1. in disposing of the issue. he stated. ARE PD No. ARE THEY VIOLATIVE OF SECTION 29(l). Sec. R. there is an actual case or justiciable controversy between the Upper House of Congress and the executive department that may be taken cognizance of by this Court. Ople stated that despite the sincerity of all administrations that tried vainly to respond to the needs of the teachers. The reason behind the said provision is stated. including menial jobs in overseas employment and concerted actions by them to project their grievances. With the Senate maintaining that the President's veto is unconstitutional and that charge being controverted. No. although said provision by no means does away with the applicability of the principle in appropriate cases. This Court. Finally. Mr. This. and by implication. Mr. Art.There can be no question that petitioners as Senators of the Republic of the Philippines may bring this suit where a constitutional issue is raised. foredoomed the prospect of a significant pay increase for teachers. mainly over low pay and abject working conditions. The petitioner seek the declaration of the unconstitutionality of P. In Gonzales. especially keen among public schoolteachers. He pointed to the high expectations generated by the February Revolution.D. he stated. Ople recalled that before World War II. It is for this reason.5 the main issue was the unconstitutionality of the presidential veto of certain provision particularly Section 16 of the General Appropriations Act of 1990. ARTICLE XIV OF THE CONSTITUTION? II. XIV of the Constitution: (5) The State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment. PD No. that his proposed amendment if approved. Ople stated that all the great and sincere piety professed by every President and every Congress of the Philippines since the end of World War II for the economic welfare of the public schoolteachers always ended up in failure and this failure. The jurisdiction to delimit constitutional boundaries has been given to this Court. Mr. 5. ARTICLE VI OF THE CONSTITUTION?6 There is thus a justiciable controversy raised in the petition which this Court may properly take cognizance of On the first issue. stated — The political question doctrine neither interposes an obstacle to judicial determination of the rival claims. even a taxpayer has personality to restrain unlawful expenditure of public funds. the petitioners aver — According to Sec. which at present exacerbate these long frustrated hopes. Sections 31 of P. wisdom and patriotism of the legislative body and not this Court. he stated. 1967 STILL OPERATIVE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION? III. the central problem that always defeated their pious intentions was really the one budgetary priority in the sense that any proposed increase for public schoolteachers had to be multiplied many times by the number of government employees in general and their equitable claims to any pay standardization such that the pay rate of teachers is hopelessly pegged to the rate of government workers in general. 81. had caused mass defection of the best and brightest teachers to other careers.

credits and indebtedness. Vol. AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO FINANCE APPROVED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES OR PROJECTS. after deducting actual and necessary expenses for the operation and maintenance of said projects. all in United States dollars or its equivalent in other currencies. as well as theguarantees extended. as well as such loans which may be reloaned to Filipino owned or controlled corporations and similar purposes. credits and indebtedness are incurred: Provided. The amount of P29. Sec. securities or other evidences of indebtedness. that the said appropriation for debt services is inconsistent with the Constitution. It shall be the duty of the President. Article XIV of the Constitution Congress is mandated to "assign the highest budgetary priority to education" in order to "insure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment. IN BEHALF OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. as against this constitutional intention. which the President of the Philippines is authorized to incur under this Act shall not exceed one billion United States dollars or its equivalent in other foreign currencies at the exchange rate prevailing at the time the loans. which is hereby appropriated for the purpose as and when they shall become due.611. if in the process Congress appropriated an amount for debt service bigger than the share allocated to education. excluding interests.000. within thirty days after the opening of every regular session. credits or indebtedness. This is a clear compliance with the aforesaid constitutional mandate according highest priority to education.740. The total amount of loans. New Civil Code). the Court finds and so holds that said appropriation cannot be thereby assailed as unconstitutional. or on the bonds. Culture and Sports under the General Appropriations Act (R. shall be turned over in full. P86 Billion is appropriated for debt service while only P27 Billion is appropriated for the Department of Education in the 1990 budget. That the total loans. viod (Art. credits or indebtedness. such portion of the budgetary savings . 1172) However. agency or instrumentality. is the highest budgetary allocation among all department budgets. Section six of the same Act is hereby further amended to read as follows: Sec. hence.7 While it is true that under Section 5(5). Rep. Act 4860 entitled "AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES TO OBTAIN SUCH FOREIGN LOANS AND CREDITS.A. the greater portion of which was inherited from the previous administration. 7. the proceeds of which are deemed appropriated for the projects. Now to the second issue. taxes and other normal banking charges on the loans. (Journal of the Constitutional Commission. It plain. II. As aptly observed by respondents. 5. provides: Sec. that can reasonably service our enormous debt. p. It is not only a matter of honor and to protect the credit standing of the country. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding." it does not thereby follow that the hands of Congress are so hamstrung as to deprive it the power to respond to the imperatives of the national interest and for the attainment of other state policies or objectives. and in order to enable the Republic of the Philippines to pay the principal. or on the bonds.008 set aside for the Department of Education. credits or indebtedness as and when they shall become due. 2. 6831). He further stated that this would ensure that the future and the quality of the population would be asserted as a top priority against many clamorous and importunate but less important claims of the present. The petitioners made the following observations: To begin with. or government-owned or controlled corporation concerned. and the purposes and projects for which the loans. credits and indebtedness incurred under this Act shall not exceed two hundred fifty million in the fiscal year of the approval of this Act. 7. after the declaration of martial law. and the guarantees extended. to the National Treasury by the government office. APPROPRIATING THE NECESSARY FUNDS THEREFOR. AND TO GUARANTEE. thus: Sec. credits and indebtedness were incurred. The Congress shall appropriate the necessary amount out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated. 6.countervailing measure against the continued decline of teaching and the wholesale desertion of this noble profession presently taking place. guided only by its good judgment. Congress is certainly not without any power. debentures. the very survival of our economy is at stake. However. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. all the revenue realized from the projects financed by such loans. interest. interest and other charges. debentures. since 1985. securities or other evidences of indebtedness sold in international markets incurred under the authority of this Act. President Marcos issued PD 81 amending Section 6. More especially. FOREIGN LOANS OBTAINED OR BONDS ISSUED BY CORPORATIONS OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES INCLUDING THOSE INCURRED FOR PURPOSES OF RELENDING TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR. and two hundred fifty million every fiscal year thereafter. to provide an appropriation. therefore. credits and indebtedness contracted. Sec. OR TO INCUR SUCH FOREIGN INDEBTEDNESS. to cover the payment of the principal and interest on such loans. 6. Having faithfully complied therewith. The compensation of teachers has been doubled. the budget for education has tripled to upgrade and improve the facility of the public school system. In case the revenue realized is insufficient to cover the principal. No. however. Thus. to report to the Congress the amount of loans.

Aquino. are automatically appropriated.9 Petitioners argue that the said automatic appropriations under the aforesaid decrees of then President Marcos became functus oficio when he was ousted in February. on her own. That. .D. which shall be considered in the budgetary program of the Government. the President of the Philippines. has not approved any such law. government-owned or controlled corporations and/or government financial institutions the proceeds of which were relent to public or private institutions. which provides: Sec. In the "Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing Fiscal Year 1990. (b) principal and interest on public debt.. In other words. i. the said decrees are inoperative under Section 3. Automatic appropriations.as may be necessary to cover the balance or deficiency shall be set aside exclusively for the purpose by the government office." (Emphasis supplied. 2. . .4 Billion with the rest of the appropriations of P155. agency or instrumentality.8 billion out of the P98. out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated. the legislative power was restored to Congress on February 2.8 Billion automatic appropriation in the 1990 budget is an administrative act that rests on no law. Article VI of the Constitution. it cannot be enforced. The rest of the budget. . or revoked. government service insurance. such amounts as may be necessary to effect payments on foreign or domestic loans. There is hereby appropriated. government-owned or controlled corporations and/or financial institutions and guaranteed by the Republic of the Philippines. P. 4). 1967 did not expire with the ouster of President Marcos. that there is a need for a new legislation by Congress providing for automatic appropriation. No. stated: Sources Appropriation The P233. 1986. and PD 1967. All existing laws. Act 6831. All repayments made by borrower institutions on the loans for whose account advances were made by the National Treasury will revert to the General Fund. obtained by: a. No. and thus.4 billion. after the adoption of the 1987 Constitution.1 billion of new programmed appropriations out of a total P155. executive orders. determined and set aside the said amount of P98.4 Billion are programmed for debt service. if there still remains a deficiency.5 billion budget proposed for fiscal year 1990 will require P132. or government-owned or controlled corporation concerned: Provided. No. . 1. proclamations. d. totalling P101. Moreover. or foreign or domestic loans whereon creditors make a call on the direct and indirect guarantee of the Republic of the Philippines. In the event that any borrower institution is unable to settle the advances made out of the appropriation provided therein.0 billion from Continuing Appropriations (Fig. . The Republic of the Philippines the proceeds of which were relent to government-owned or controlled corporations and/or government financial institutions. 3..4 billion from Automatic Appropriations and P3." which accompanied her budget message to Congress.D. Sec. repealed.e. credit or indebtedness as and when they shall become due is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the national treasury not otherwise appropriated: . that no obligations shall be incurred or payments made from funds thus automatically appropriated except as issued in the form of regular budgetary allotments. decrees. Corazon C. P86. Provided. which is now Rep. 3. such amount necessary to cover the payment of the principal and interest on such loans. Sec. (c) national government guarantees of obligations which are drawn upon. letters of instructions. the President had. and other similar fixed expenditures.3 Billion to be determined and fixed by Congress. 81. that upon the expiration of the one-man legislature in the person of President Marcos. but Congress. other public or private institutions and guaranteed by government-owned or controlled corporations and/or government financial institutions. will be sourced from existing appropriations: P98. which provides: Sec. –– All expenditures for (a) personnel retirement premiums. 31. and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended.) They then point out that since the said decrees are inconsistent with Section 24. the Treasurer of the Philippines shall make the proper recommendation to the Minister of Finance on whether such advances shall be treated as equity or subsidy of the National Government to the institution concerned. And according to Figure 4. c. and thus the said P86. 1987 when the Constitution was ratified by the people. Article XVIII which provides –– Sec. up to the present. petitioners contend that assuming arguendo that P. b. 1177 and P.3 billion in new legislative authorization from Congress.D. President Marcos also issued PD 1177.

They assert that there must be definiteness. Section 3. An examination of the aforecited presidential decrees show the clear intent that the amounts needed to cover the payment of the principal and interest on all foreign loans. are otherwise amended. Well-known is the rule that repeal or amendment by implication is frowned upon. debt to asset.the test is the completeness of the statute in all its terms and provisions when it leaves the hands of the legislature. Absent an automatic appropriation clause. may no longer be responsive to the intended conditions which in the meantime may have already drastically changed. . First. Further. since both the periods and necessities are incapable of determination in advance. (Emphasis supplied. proclamations. 24. Article XVIII of the Constitution recognizes that "All existing laws. To determine whether or not there is an undue delegation of legislative power. which by the time this comes.10 then a law must be passed by Congress to authorize said automatic appropriation. The automatic appropriation provides the flexibility for the effective execution of debt management policies. for example. revenue or tariff bills. delayed payments and arrearages may have supervened. or to enter into arrangements that could lighten our outstanding debt burden debt-to-equity. No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. which are usually made one year in advance. Equally fundamental is the principle that construction of the Constitution and law is generally applied prospectively and not retrospectively unless it is so clearly stated. The annual debt service estimates.Sec. Its political wisdom has been convincingly discussed by the Solicitor General as he argues — . including those guaranteed by the national government. in Edu vs. and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives. petitioners state said decrees violate Section 29(l) of Article VI of the Constitution which provides as follows –– Sec. . Certainly. All appropriation.12 The Court is not persuaded. the automatic appropriation obviates the serious difficulties in debt servicing arising from any deviation from what has been previously programmed. the inequity must be directed . debt-to-debt or other such schemes. . it enables the Government to take advantage of a favorable turn of market conditions by redeeming high-interest securities and borrowing at lower rates. decrees. .14 this Court had this to say –– What cannot be delegated is the authority under the Constitution to make laws and to alter and repeal them. letters of instructions and other executive issuances not inconsistent with the Constitution shall remain operative until amended. but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments. In the meantime. the framers of the Constitution did not contemplate that existing laws in the statute books including existing presidential decrees appropriating public money are reduced to mere "bills" that must again go through the legislative million The only reasonable interpretation of said provisions of the Constitution which refer to "bills" is that they mean appropriation measures still to be passed by Congress. 13 The argument of petitioners that the said presidential decrees did not meet the requirement and are therefore inconsistent with Sections 24 and 27 of Article VI of the Constitution which requires. 29(l). repealed or revoked. certainty and exactness in an appropriation. The purpose is foreseen to subsist with or without the person of Marcos. "basket" of foreign exchange and interest rate assumptions which may significantly differ from actual rates not even in proportion to changes on the basis of the assumptions.11 otherwise it is an undue delegation of legislative power to the President who determines in advance the amount appropriated for the debt service. also. Such laws are to remain in force and effect unless they are inconsistent with the Constitution or. executive orders. . are based on a mathematical set or matrix or. the Philippine Government has to await and depend upon Congressional action. the claim that payment of the loans and indebtedness is conditioned upon the continuance of the person of President Marcos and his legislative power goes against the intent and purpose of the law. that "all appropriations. among others. only to worsen our debt service-to-total expenditure ratio in the budget due to penalties and/or demand for immediate payment even before due dates. should be made available when they shall become due precisely without the necessity of periodic enactments of separate laws appropriating funds therefor. Second.) whereby bills have to be approved by the President. in layman's parlance. Ericta. If the intention of the framers thereof were otherwise they should have expressed their decision in a more direct or express manner. On the third issue that there is undue delegation of legislative power. Clearly. bills authorizing increase of public debt" must be passed by Congress and approved by the President is untenable." This transitory provision of the Constitution has precisely been adopted by its framers to preserve the social order so that legislation by the then President Marcos may be recognized. repealed or revoked. or to shift from short-term to long-term instruments. bills of local application. bills authorizing increase of the public debt.

–– At this stage. and the translation of desired priorities and activities into expenditure levels.g. which implies at the very least that the legislature itself determines matters of principle and lays down fundamental policy . necessitated by the very nature of the problem being addressed. on whose part lies the implementation or execution of the legislative wisdom. . . This is invalid delegation. that may indeed be the only way in which legislative process can go forward . . . the amounts nevertheless are made certain by the legislative parameters provided in the decrees. interest. To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation there must be a standard.A. or on the bonds. The legislature does not abdicate its function when it describes what job must be done. For a complex economy. . since authorization therefor already exists under RA No. debentures or security or other evidences of indebtedness sold in international markets incurred by virtue of the law. based on the macro-economic projections of interest rates (e. credits or indebtedness incurred as guaranteed by it when they shall become due without the need to enact a separate law appropriating funds therefor as the need arises. 4860. 4860 and 245. LIBOR rate) and estimated sources of domestic and foreign financing. the Bureau of Treasury computes for the interest and principal payments for the year for all direct national government borrowings and other liabilities assumed by the same. Vera. the delegate will then have been given the opportunity to step in the shoes of the legislature and exercise a discretion essentially legislative in order to repair the omissions. estimates debt service levels.15 this Court said "the true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law. Budget preparation starts with the budget call issued by the Department of Budget and Management. from the policy and purpose of the act considered as whole . Congress enters the picture and deliberates or acts on the budget proposals of the President. The Government budgetary process has been graphically described to consist of four major phases as aptly discussed by the Solicitor General: The Government budgeting process consists of four major phases: 1. The Executive is not of unlimited discretion as to the amounts to be disbursed for debt servicing. which necessarily involves discretion as to what the law shall be. Congress does not concern itself with details for implementation by the Executive. Upon issuance of budget call. Although the subject presidential decrees do not state specific amounts to be paid. Debt service is not included in the General Appropriation Act. No uncertainty arises in executive implementation as the limit will be the exact amounts as shown by the books of the Treasury.16 The Court finds that in this case the questioned laws are complete in all their essential terms and conditions and sufficient standards are indicated therein.D. to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. who is to do it. 1967 is that the amount needed should be automatically set aside in order to enable the Republic of the Philippines to pay the principal. Congress has spoken and cannot be said to have delegated its wisdom to the Executive. No. but largely with annual levels and approval thereof upon due deliberations as part of the whole obligation program for the year. Section 31 of P. No. Upon such approval. Each agency is required to submit agency budget estimates in line with the requirements consistent with the general ceilings set by the Development Budget Coordinating Council (DBCC). as amended and PD 1967. the determination of budgetary priorities and activities within the constraints imposed by available revenues and by borrowing limits. Budget preparation. The first step is essentially tasked upon the Executive Branch and covers the estimation of government revenues.D. . The mandate is to pay only the principal. the law must be complete in all its essential terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature so that there will be nothing left for the delegate to do when it reaches him except enforce it. to the latter no valid objection can be made. No. With regard to debt servicing. Precisely in the fight of this subsisting authorization as embodied in said Republic Acts and PD for debt service. Legislative authorization. as amended. 1177 and P. the DBCC staff. and Congress in the exercise of its own judgment and wisdom formulatesan appropriation act precisely following the process established by the Constitution.to the scope and definiteness of the measure enacted. The legislative intention in R. taxes and other normal banking charges on the loans. . interest. The standard may be either express or implied . 2. taxes and other normal banking charges on the loans. . . which specifies that no money may be paid from the Treasury except in accordance with an appropriation made by law. and conferring authority or discretion as to its execution." Ideally. and what is the scope of his authority. If there are gaps in the law that will prevent its enforcement unless they are first filled. credits or indebtedness. as and when they shall become due. The first cannot be done. In People vs. The purpose of these laws is to enable the government to make prompt payment and/or advances for all loans to protect and maintain the credit standing of the country.

Tasked on the Executive. Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. No.431 Principal Amortization 16.077 31.D. invoking in support therefor the Constitution of Nebraska. Budget accountability. the constitution under which the case of State v. The Congressional authorization may be embodied in annual laws. P86. 4860. the evaluation of work and financial plans for individual activities. was decided.647 P86. Aquino submitted to Congress the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing for the Fiscal Year 1990. certain. petitioners insist nevertheless that subject presidential decrees constitute undue delegation of legislative power to the executive on the alleged ground that the appropriations therein are not exact." such as precisely the authorization or appropriation under the questioned presidential decrees. 4.D. Of the proposed budget.387 Total P53.171 P33. 1177 and P. in terms of time horizons. such as a general appropriations act or in special provisions of laws of general or special application which appropriate public funds for specific public purposes. exact or "specific appropriation made by law. The establishment of obligation authority ceilings. the implementation of cash payment schedules. the continuing review of government fiscal position. as RA 4860 amended as amended. 1967 and R.8 is set aside for debt servicing as follows: 1âwphi1 National Government Debt Service Expenditures. certain or definite. 272). therefor. . The Court. upon receiving official billings from the creditors. No money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. Budget Execution. an appropriation may be made impliedly (as by past but subsisting legislations) as well as expressly for the current fiscal year (as by enactment of laws by the present Congress). 69 NW 974. just as said appropriation may be made in general as well as in specific terms.17 Thus. Article VI of our 1987 Constitution omits any of these words and simply states: Section 29(l). cited by petitioners. Moore. as amended. there is no provision in our Constitution that provides or prescribes any particular form of words or religious recitals in which an authorization or appropriation by Congress shall be made. unless they are repealed or otherwise amended by Congress. Unlike the Constitution of Nebraska. the third phase of the budget process covers the variousoperational aspects of budgeting.310 15. 4860 and 245. as amended by P. the regulation of funds releases. whether in the past or in the present. Release from the debt service fired is triggered by a request of the Bureau of the Treasury for allotments from the Department of Budget and Management." Section 29. PD 1967 Interest Payments P36.861 P18.D. except that it be "made by law. 1990 (in million pesos) Domestic Foreign Total RA 245. More significantly. one quarter in advance of payment schedule. The Bureau of Treasury.A.818 18 ======== ======== ======== as authorized under P. remits payments to creditors through the Central Bank or to the Sinking Fund established for government security issues (Annex F). such as the questioned decrees.D. to ensure prompt payments. and other related activities comprise this phase of the budget cycle. No. obligations incurred. in accordance with Section 22.570 P55. No. finds that R. Section 31 of P. personnel hired and work accomplished are compared with the targets set at the time the agency budgets were approved. 81. our Constitution does not require adefinite. 32 P. President Corazon C. The Executive was thus merely complying with the duty to implement the same.5 Billion. 1967 constitute lawful authorizations or appropriations. The proposed 1990 expenditure program covering the estimated obligation that will be incurred by the national government during the fiscal year amounts to P233. An appropriation measure is sufficient if the legislative intention clearly and certainly appears from the language employed (In re Continuing Appropriations. The fourth phase refers to the evaluation of actual performance and initially approved work targets. however. There being no undue delegation of legislative power as clearly above shown. In other words.3.A.

was not unanimous since Commissioners Luzviminda G. petitioner. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II. vs. petitioner argues that the COMELEC indirectly amended the constitutional provisions on the electoral process and limited the power of the sovereign people to choose their leaders.. Sadain voted to include petitioner as they believed he had parties or movements to back up his candidacy.: Petitioner Rev. is not an issue that is presented or proposed to be addressed by the Court. 2004.There can be no question as to the patriotism and good motive of petitioners in filing this petition. Unfortunately. the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action. Elly Velez Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy for President on December 17. On January 15. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.. 2004. Narvasa. to seek the presidency. Implicit in the petitioner’s invocation of the constitutional provision ensuring "equal access to opportunities for public office" is the claim that there is a constitutional right to run for or hold public office and. Jr.. Tancangco and Mehol K. There is none. he is capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous national organizations under his leadership. he possesses all the constitutional and legal qualifications for the office of the president.1 by limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties.. which appears to be the ultimate objective of the petition. In so doing. In this Petition For Writ of Certiorari. and he has a platform of government. 2003. Griño-Aquino. By then. petitioner seeks to reverse the resolutions which were allegedly rendered in violation of his right to "equal access to opportunities for public service" under Section 26. The decision. The COMELEC declared petitioner and thirty-five (35) others nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not supported by a registered political party with a national constituency. Article II of the Constitution neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right. Respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) refused to give due course to petitioner’s Certificate of Candidacy in its Resolution No. First.2 and there is no plausible reason for according a different treatment to the "equal access" provision.e.4 . As to whether or not the country should honor its international debt. 6558. Article II of the 1987 Constitution. Section 26. ESQUIRE. Feliciano. Bidin. 6558 dated January 17. Petitioner likewise attacks the validity of the form for the Certificate of Candidacy prepared by the COMELEC. entitled "Declaration of Principles and State Policies. he also has the capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other countries. The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution. What is recognized is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. it is more of a political decision for Congress and the Executive to determine in the exercise of their wisdom and sound discretion." The provisions under the Article are generally considered not self-executing. however. respondent. 2004. concur. J. RESOLUTION TINGA. Commissioner Sadain maintained his vote for petitioner. WHEREFORE. 6604 dated February 11. the petition must fail on the constitutional and legal issues raised. JJ. petitioner moved for reconsideration of Resolution No.J. Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was docketed as SPP (MP) No. denied the same under the aegis of Omnibus Resolution No. Fernan. Indeed. the petition is DISMISSED. There is nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort. Commissioner Tancangco had retired. The COMELEC supposedly erred in disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates. acting on petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration and on similar motions filed by other aspirants for national elective positions. SO ORDERED. Petitioner claims that the form does not provide clear and reasonable guidelines for determining the qualifications of candidates since it does not ask for the candidate’s bio-data and his program of government. Melencio-Herrera. The COMELEC. the constitutional and legal dimensions involved.3 The disregard of the provision does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts. C. more especially the enormous amount that had been incurred by the past administration. particularly in his case. without pronouncement as to costs. Regalado and Davide. i. 04-001. REV. ELLY CHAVEZ PAMATONG. Medialdea.

The rationale behind the prohibition against nuisance candidates and the disqualification of candidates who have not evinced a bona fide intention to run for office is easy to divine. The original wording of the present Section 26. 11 The COMELEC itself recognized these practical considerations when it promulgated Resolution No.8 Words and phrases such as "equal access. 6558 on 17 January 2004. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by any one who is minded to file a certificate of candidacy. Inevitably. As the United States Supreme Court held: [T]here is surely an important state interest in requiring some preliminary showing of a significant modicum of support before printing the name of a political organization and its candidates on the ballot – the interest. Broadly written. I change the word "broaden. in order that we should not mandate the State to make the government the number one employer and to limit offices only to what may be necessary and expedient yet offering equal opportunities to access to it." and the substitution of the word "office" to "service. the equal access clause is not violated. 2002 outlining the instances wherein the COMELEC may motu proprio refuse to give due course to or cancel a Certificate of Candidacy. the provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many people as possible into public office. As earlier noted. and orderly. therefore. remedial actions should be available to alleviate these logistical hardships. the State takes into account the practical considerations in conducting elections. It is difficult to interpret the clause as operative in the absence of legislation since its effective means and reach are not properly defined. it would necessarily mean that the government would be mandated to create as many offices as are possible to accommodate as many people as are also possible. the myriad of claims that can be subsumed under this rubric appear to be entirely open-ended. So. in avoiding confusion. Their names would have to be printed in the Certified List of Candidates. Clearly. 6452 dated 10 December 2003. petitioner’s reliance on the equal access clause in Section 26. Moreover. The State has a compelling interest to ensure that its electoral exercises are rational. For the official ballots in . Article II had read. These would entail additional costs to the government. At the same time. never exempt the State from the conduct of a mandated electoral exercise. but a rot that erodes faith in our democratic institutions. objective. if no other. If you broaden. petitioner does not challenge the constitutionality or validity of Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code and COMELEC Resolution No." 7 (emphasis supplied) Obviously. not to mention the increased allocation of time and resources in preparation for the election." 6 Commissioner (now Chief Justice) Hilario Davide. In the case at bar. successfully brought forth an amendment that changed the word "broaden" to the phrase "ensure equal access. Jr. "The State shall broaden opportunities to public office and prohibit public dynasties. whenever necessary and proper. there is no showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create. As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without discrimination. adopting the study Memorandum of its Law Department dated 11 January 2004. the privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. Article II of the Constitution is misplaced." He explained his proposal in this wise: I changed the word "broaden" to "ENSURE EQUAL ACCESS TO" because what is important would be equal access to the opportunity." and "public service" are susceptible to countless interpretations owing to their inherent impreciseness. their presumed validity stands and has to be accorded due weight. Towards this end. That is the meaning of broadening opportunities to public service. Voters Information Sheet and the Official Ballots. the greater the opportunities for logistical confusion. These practical difficulties should. a disorderly election is not merely a textbook example of inefficiency. Ultimately. Some valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions 9 of the Omnibus Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates" and COMELEC Resolution No. As observed in the COMELEC’s Comment: There is a need to limit the number of candidates especially in the case of candidates for national positions because the election process becomes a mockery even if those who cannot clearly wage a national campaign are allowed to run. Thus. the provision as written leaves much to be desired if it is to be regarded as the source of positive rights. however." "opportunities. the greater the number of candidates. of course. it was not the intention of the framers to inflict on the people an operative but amorphous foundation from which innately unenforceable rights may be sourced. Certainly. Significantly. The approval of the "Davide amendment" indicates the design of the framers to cast the provision as simply enunciatory of a desired policy objective and not reflective of the imposition of a clear State burden.An inquiry into the intent of the framers5 produces the same determination that the provision is not self- executory. deception and even frustration of the democratic [process]. 6452 10 dated December 10.

The basis of the factual determination is not before this Court. The poll body would be bogged by irrelevant minutiae covering every step of the electoral process. "their trips to the moon on gossamer wings." The Omnibus Election Code and COMELEC Resolution No. Neither the COMELEC nor the Solicitor General appended any document to their respective Comments. satisfactorily defined in the Omnibus Election Code. The organization of an election with bona fide candidates standing is onerous enough. to our mind is. This is not to mention the candidacies which are palpably ridiculous so as to constitute a one-note joke.000. their proper application in the case of the petitioner cannot be tested and reviewed by this Court on the basis of what is now before it. no matter how slim. To add into the mix candidates with no serious intentions or capabilities to run a viable campaign would actually impair the electoral process.12 The preparation of ballots is but one aspect that would be affected by allowance of "nuisance candidates" to run in the elections. the needed factual premises. an additional page would amount to more or less FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION PESOS (P450. such as nuisance candidacies that distract and detract from the larger purpose. and the concept. It would be a senseless sacrifice on the part of the State. to determine the question on whether petitioner Elly Velez Lao Pamatong is a nuisance candidate as contemplated in Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code. can not properly pass upon the reproductions as evidence at this level. The COMELEC is directed to hold and complete the reception of evidence and report its findings to this Court with deliberate dispatch. Given these considerations. orderly and honest elections. SPP (MP) No. suffice it to say that the form strictly complies with Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code. The assailed resolutions of the COMELEC do not direct the Court to the evidence which it considered in determining that petitioner was a nuisance candidate. Owing to the superior interest in ensuring a credible and orderly election. xxx[I]t serves no practical purpose to allow those candidates to continue if they cannot wage a decent campaign enough to project the prospect of winning.00). since such a review would necessarily take into account the matters which the COMELEC considered in arriving at its decisions.automated counting and canvassing of votes. Now.14 or even the receipt of electoral contributions. A word of caution is in order. The COMELEC is mandated by the Constitution with the administration of elections16 and endowed with considerable latitude in adopting means and methods that will ensure the promotion of free. SO ORDERED. This precludes the Court from reviewing at this instance whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying petitioner. Petitioner has submitted to this Court mere photocopies of various documents purportedly evincing his credentials as an eligible candidate for the presidency. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. What is at stake is petitioner’s aspiration and offer to serve in the government.000. most probably posed at the instance of these nuisance candidates. . 6452 are cognizant of the compelling State interest to ensure orderly and credible elections by excising impediments thereto. 18 The determination of bona fidecandidates is governed by the statutes. It deserves not a cursory treatment but a hearing which conforms to the requirements of due process. the remand of this case for the reception of further evidence is in order. However valid the law and the COMELEC issuance involved are. Thus. 04-001 is hereby remanded to the COMELEC for the reception of further evidence. Our election laws provide various entitlements for candidates for public office. Yet this Court. the State could exclude nuisance candidates and need not indulge in. such as watchers in every polling place. there are election rules and regulations the formulations of which are dependent on the number of candidates in a given election. COMELEC Case No. the ignominious nature of a nuisance candidacy becomes even more galling. As to petitioner’s attacks on the validity of the form for the certificate of candidacy. The question of whether a candidate is a nuisance candidate or not is both legal and factual. with the required information tending to show that the candidate possesses the minimum qualifications for the position aspired for as established by the Constitution and other election laws. This provision specifically enumerates what a certificate of candidacy should contain.17 Moreover. as the song goes. not being a trier of facts.13 watchers in the board of canvassers.15Moreover. the Constitution guarantees that only bona fide candidates for public office shall be free from any form of harassment and discrimination.